Espinas and Magma Almudron are some of the toughest new monsters introduced in Sunbreak. Here's how to beat them (and Aurora Somnacanth).
Monster Hunter Rise’s Somnacanth isn’t the toughest monster on the block. Annoying at times, sure, but not difficult. Introduced in Sunbreak, Aurora Somnacanth is tougher, moving faster and more often. It specializes in Ice elemental damage and is weak to Fire and Thunder damage. Resistant to Water, Ice and Dragon elements, it’s also susceptible to ailments like Fireblight and Blast. The best spot to aim for is its neck, which takes the most part damage from Cut and Blunt weapons. Otherwise, the head is the next best option, though not the safest.
Many of Aurora Somnacanth’s attacks will look familiar to those who have fought the base version. It slashes with one of its claws (which is avoided by dodging towards the other), somersaults forward to slam the ground, and whips foes with its tail. Its sweeping breath attack creates a nice opening if you can get to its side or back. Be careful of its dash and charge, especially since the latter ends with an exploding Ice attack.
When the camera suddenly starts panning back a bit, Aurora Somnacanth is getting ready to unleash its strongest attack. This involves standing on its tail and charging an Ice blast in its mouth. When fired, it creates three rows of exploding Ice which shoots forward. Being caught in this can cause massive damage. Fortunately, it’s obvious when Aurora Somnacanth will unleash the move. As it tries to reposition, get close to it and stick to its back, attacking all the while.
Bring Nullberries and have some Ice resistance to ensure the Iceblight doesn’t get to you. Eventually, it will fall without too much trouble.
How to Defeat Espinas
Introduced in Monster Hunter Frontier, Espinas is a Flying Wyvern that may prove your first real difficulty spike in Sunbreak. Though technically specializing in Fire damage, it can also inflict Fireblight, Paralysis and Poison simultaneously with its breath attacks. It’s immune to Fire damage while being resistant to Thunder damage.
The best option is Ice elemental damage with Blast and Iceblight being good elements.
Hilariously, the first hunt for Espinas starts with trying to wake it up. You’ll learn quickly that its head isn’t a weak spot for part damage with Cut, Blunt and Ammo weapons dealing minimal damage. This applies to almost every area of its body, except the legs.
Espinas’s attacks are typical for a Flying Wyvern. It will bite at you several times, shoot fireballs, unleash two fireballs and a third in a row, and so on. It can also slam the ground with its body, whip with its tail, and performs several charging attacks. Be extremely careful of the charges – they can easily chunk you for lots of damage. Espinas will perform multiple charges in a row, which can be fatal. You’ll want Fire resistance and enough Antidotes/Nullberries to negate the Poison/Fire damage (since Paralysis will leave you quickly) to survive.
But the key is to identify Espinas’ patterns and avoid the fireballs entirely. When it stops charging, target its legs and pile on the damage. Don’t be afraid to take the hunt slow and abuse Wyvern Riding to bring it down.
How to Defeat Magma Almudron
While Aurora Somnacanth is a relatively decent variant to deal with, Magma Almudron is a whole different issue. It’s as unpredictable as the base version when moving and deals way more damage, specializing in Fire (which it’s also immune to along with Thunder damage).
Weaknesses include Water and Ice elemental damage with the only good ailment to inflict being Waterblight. The two best weak spots to target for part damage are the head – which is great for Cut and Blunt weapons while being good for Ammo weapons – and the tail tip – which is very good for Cut weapons, good for Blunt weapons, and poor for Ammo weapons.
Magma Almudron often has a fiery rock on its tail which it uses to strike (and that gets pretty big, resulting in more damage). Hitting it results in the rock exploding, which also deals damage. Otherwise, you’re going to deal with tail swipes, claw swipes, and much more. It will also slam its tail down and send a ball of magma forward, leaving a line of fire.
You’ll also have to deal with it digging underground, emerging in a half-buried state to attack with its tail (which provides an opening to assault the head). The most dangerous attacks include hitting the ground with its tail, causing three magma boulders to arise; digging and resurfacing multiple times while it shoots fire projectiles; and a massive explosion following a tail slam, which leaves it open for some time.
When it goes underground and emerges, it will enter a super-heated state. This is a good time to deal damage but always be wary of its next attack. Weapons which deal a strong amount of elemental damage like Dual Blades and Charge Blade with Chain Crit can be ideal for this fight.
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is currently available for PC and Nintendo Switch. Check out our official review for the expansion here.