Malzeno is one of the toughest foes that players will face in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak. This vampire-esque dragon is one of the most unique foes in all of Monster Hunter and is featured as Sunbreak’s flagship, representing the expansion as a whole. It’s featured in the latest demo for Sunbreak, boasting a tight time limit and powerful abilities much like the demo version of base Rise’s Magnamalo. While methods of beating the demo in the time limit can vary from heavy use of Wyvern Riding to swapping in the new Switch Skills beforehand, standing up to Malzeno itself is an extremely difficult task. To beat Malzeno, players will need great reaction time and even greater skill.
Malzeno’s Attacks and Attributes
A couple of Malzeno’s attacks can inflict Dragonblight, but the most relevant status ailment it can inflict is Bloodblight. This will slowly drain the hunter’s health while effecting the efficacy of their healing items. Even Max Potions will only heal around half of what they should. Players will instead need to focus on attacking Malzeno, with each hit restoring a portion of their HP. Many of Malzeno’s attacks, especially its tail thrusts, will inflict this status. It doesn’t last long, but it cannot be cured through the use of Nulberries, so keeping those on hand is only relevant to players most affected by Dragonblight.
In its base form, Malzeno will attack using its tail, legs, wings, and mouth. Commonly, it will fly into the air for a short moment to slam down using either its front legs or its tail. The slam with its front legs is heavily damaging, while the slam with its tail is followed up with a powerful thrust. Sometimes, it will fire a ball of red energy below itself before launching it directly at the hunter. On the ground, Malzeno will more commonly slam at the player with its wings or swipe at them with its tail. Hunters should stay away from the tail at all costs, as its swiping moves – even when used after a grounded thrust – can be deceptively powerful.
While many of its attacks are physical, Malzeno has some varied ranged attacks as well. It can use its wings to produce long-range shockwaves that throw the player in the air, and it can summon crimson butterflies to create energy balls that seek out hunters. It can use the latter attack while standing up; doing so will make the energy balls home in on a target. Malzeno can also concentrate a breath of red energy, making the ground in front of it explode. Its trickiest ranged attack is the barrage of grounded energy beams it can shoot out. Sometimes they’ll fire out in an arc, and sometimes they’ll curve inward. These beams will always be fired out in front of Malzeno, so players should either stay up close to it or off to the dragon’s side or back.
Other attacks used by Malzeno include a pin that will allow it to drink the hunter’s blood and various simple biting attacks. It will get more aggressive when enraged, which should come as no surprise to long-time players. However, that red-eyed glow it takes on is not its most menacing or dangerous appearance. After some time spent fighting the vampiric dragon, Malzeno will take on a new form with powers never seen before in Monster Hunter history.
Malzeno’s Transformed State
In its transformed state, Malzeno’s neck, arms, and tail will gain a crimson glow. Much like with Magnamalo, attacking these parts enough times will eventually make Malzeno topple over, kicking it out of its transformation. But for as long as it’s in this state, Malzeno is one of the deadliest creatures a hunter can face. It will start to do some of its attacks twice in a row, including its wing slam, ranged shockwaves, and flying tail thrust. It also gains a new method of transportation. After enclosing itself in its wings, Malzeno will disappear and reappear next to its target, setting itself up to attack them with some of its most powerful moves. Hunters must focus on dodging when Malzeno uses this ability, as they’ll otherwise be swiftly defeated.
If hunters are unable to knock Malzeno out of this form, it will eventually use one more extremely powerful move. It will fly up into the air, shooting a quick red laser in a circle at the floor. Then it will launch a massive red ball down to the floor. Once it explodes, it will send out two waves of grounded energy beams. If you’re far enough away, it’s not too difficult to avoid, but it can be a devastating attack if you’re at its epicenter.
How to Beat Malzeno
Malzeno’s weakest parts are its arms, neck, and head. Staying directly in front of it might be dangerous, but it’s the best way to deal damage and keep track of its moves. Malzeno is particularly vulnerable when using its wing slam; it takes a while to recover from the attack, and it can easily overshoot you if you’re close enough to its side. Many of its attacks can also be guarded, though much like the electric wyvern Astalos, Malzeno’s speed and strength can make blocking with weaker weapons feel pretty worthless. Players should take advantage of a relentless assault, using their strongest attacks and counters to keep up with the dragon’s pace. As a bonus, blunt weapons will be very useful against Malzeno; even when missing the head, Hammers and Hunting Horns are still likely to hit its arms or neck for maximum damage.
Players should not rely solely on their own abilities to beat Malzeno. Palicos and Palamutes can be surprisingly helpful in defeating the dragon, especially with new skills such as the Palico’s Lottery Box. Keep in mind that Malzeno is still an Elder Dragon, so use of traps will not be very helpful. Many of Malzeno’s limbs can also be broken. Doing so won’t help in mitigating its damage much, but it will usually cause the dragon to stagger, leaving it open to further attacks. At certain points during the fight, Malzeno might run off to attack a smaller monster on the map, draining its energy through use of butterflies. It’s left wide open to attacks in this state, so hunters should take full advantage of it. It might not be an easy task, but by utilizing everything they know and learning the dragon’s deadliest attacks, it’s entirely possible to beat Malzeno!
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak will release on June 30, 2022.