This guide will be teaching you how to properly deal with Behemoth in Monster Hunter: World.
Prologue and Assumptions
Behemoth is without doubt one of my favorite fights in Monster Hunter: World and I find myself playing it again and again even after finishing Iceborne. In my many hundreds (thousands probably) of hunts against this amazing FF14 collab monster I’ve picked up on several recurring themes that cause many a party wipe on both Normal difficulty and Extreme alike, and surprisingly it’s not the very high damage or wide hitboxes. I will begin with the most common cause of death I’ve seen and work my way down to the least, if you have experienced one or many of these unfortunate accidents feel free to comment and share your story. This guide is not meant to be a Pro-Gamer Speedrun-Stratz walkthrough, this is meant to get you through your first few Behemoth fights.
For this guide, I will be assuming players are using end-to-post-story High-Rank level gear and weapons (with augments) and are familiar with concepts like animation commitment and invulnerability frames (I-frames). If you’re using Iceborne armor you probably won’t die to normal attacks (If you do, it’s kinda embarrassing) and if you die at all it’ll be to Ecliptic or a teammate being a bad tank.
The Tragedy of the MMO-Composition
As a fight inspired by a classic MMO, the game recommends you to take a standard Light Party: one healer, one tank, and two DPS characters. This is…sub-optimal to say the least. A more appropriate composition for Monster Hunter World is one tank and 3 DPS hunters. Dedicated healers are of little use as Dust of Life (for those with Iceborne) and Lifepowder (for those who do not have Iceborne) is sufficient to get teammates that are dying away from the one-shot range. If you insist on being a healer bring a regular DPS set with Wide Range 5 (if you don’t have wide range 5 the healing is just pathetic) and ideally Speed Eating 3 so you can get back to DPS-ing faster.
That said, a tank is a good role to have, somebody whose primary job is to hold Enmity and make sure Behemoth is not killing your comets. I personally prefer using a charge blade when tanking because SAED provides substantial damage when Behemoth trips to offset your lower damage output under normal circumstances. Additionally, the clutch claw attack on Charge Blade generates enmity with just one attack, which is nice for quickly and reliably gaining enmity. Spread HBG is also a good option because your damage output even with 3 shield mods and defensive skills is still substantial and your animation commitment is far lower, allowing you to squeeze in shots before the next attack.
As the tank, your responsibility is to hold Enmity throughout the fight by attacking Behemoth’s head (Especially in areas 1, 2, and 4 where Behemoth can cast tornadoes) and move Behemoth into a position where your team can farm free damage without the risk of getting hit. While you should try to deal damage where possible, your primary objective is to keep Behemoth from running around destroying comets and otherwise being a pain behind. This means you should place yourself around halfway between the center of the arena and a wall, such that Behemoth is not facing any of your comets. Generally speaking in SOS somebody should volunteer for the role by taking Enmity in Area 1 (this indicates to me the player is confident in their ability to do the job, and I will expect them to do so in subsequent areas unless told otherwise in chat).
As a tank, you should be running Health Boost 3 to prevent one-shots as well as a guard (and guard up) for shield weapons or Evade Window/Extender for non shield weapons. Behemoth’s attack tempo is very high and getting hit is inevitable, so you can consider adding Divine Blessing to potentially reduce the damage you take.
As the DPS your job is simpler, whack the monster till it dies (but not in the head, because Enmity is bad for you). Most of Behemoth’s attacks start on the right side of his body, so positioning yourself on the left side will afford you better DPS uptime as his left arm is not constantly off slapping your tank in the face as well as more time to react to the Tail Spin attack, since Behemoth rotates counter-clockwise. Hammer Bro’s should go for the back legs, as the hitting zone is higher which means you do more damage. However, it is also your responsibility to make sure the tank doesn’t die. If the tank eats a heavy attack and is defenseless on the ground, you may need to snap off a life powder to keep Behemoth’s follow-up attack from killing the tank. Additionally, you may need to remove Enmity from the tank if he or she is struggling, more details later.
Any DPS build is fine except for one thing…RUN HEALTH BOOST 3! Behemoth may be targeting the tank but his attacks have massive hitboxes so you will inevitably get hit at some point, the tank is there to reduce the odds of that happening, not prevent it outright.
Death by Ecliptic Meteor
Ecliptic Meteor is the first time a new hunter will encounter what I’ll call “MMO mechanics” or mechanics for short, things you have to work around in the encounter or you WILL die.
Like a traditional MMO Behemoth will call down attacks from the heavens to deal massive damage to players that are not doing mechanics properly and this generally leads to party wipe or individual death. In areas 2, 3, and 4 for normal behemoth and in areas 1, 2, and 4 for Extreme (assuming you meet Area 3’s Damage Check) Behemoth will drop one or more Comets which are used to protect hunters from Ecliptic Meteor, which is triggered at a health threshold and is followed by a transition to the next arena (Area 4 of Extreme Behemoth is the exception here, which will be another section). This attack covers a massive area (roughly two arenas on the map in radius) and will instantly cart any hunter not shielded by a Comet (I’ll talk about Jump later). You cannot i-frame this ability, you cannot panic-dive it, and you cannot block it (stop trying to block it, lance players, you can’t).
How does one prevent this seemingly inevitable demise, you may ask.
It’s rather simple actually, take shelter behind a Comet. This sounds simple but people find themselves very far out of position quite often, resulting in the Ecliptic Meteor being the leading cause of death that I’ve noticed. If you do not have Enmity you should position yourself such that you can quickly reach a comet (within about 10 seconds, including the time it takes to sheath your weapon). The exact procedure for what you should be doing depends on your weapon and whether you have enmity or not as certain weapons may need to stand closer to the comets to safely reach them.
If you are the Designated Tank: You have it the worst, because you are most likely going to be furthest from the comets. Count the comets carefully and slowly start rotating towards one after the last comet is dropped:
- A2 has 3 comets
- A3 has 4 comets
- A4 has 2 comets
- A1 has 2 comets
- A2 has 1 comet
- A4 has 1 comet per Ecliptic
If you are a DPS: You have it easy, just make sure you know where the comets are and run when the prompt “Behemoth is casting Ecliptic Meteor” appears in the notifications.
Actually Terribad Comet Placement
The second leading cause of death is actually an extension of the first. When Behemoth drops a comet it chooses one player at random and gives a short delay before dropping the comet on the player’s current position. This gives you a few seconds to adjust the location of the comet. Unfortunately, this also gives people a few seconds to put comets in the absolute worst places possible.
Placing comets up against walls is pretty bad, but I’ve seen people run into different areas of the map while they have the comet tracking them, which is honestly even worse because their teammates think they can run from one end of the arena to the other and don’t even try to jump the Ecliptic. Don’t be like them, please. Here’s how to intelligently place comets.
When you get graced with being the target of a comet, disengage immediately from beating up Behemoth and try to bring the comet down between the center of the arena and a wall. This allows people to get behind it comfortably and should keep it out of Behemoth’s collateral damage area. Additionally don’t clump all of the comets on one side of the arena if possible, aside from making it easy for Behemoth to kill all of them with one misplaced attack the comets can create a wall that prevents hunters from getting behind them, which is a sad way to die to Ecliptic. If you’re the tank just stay where you are and rotate a bit to move the behemoth away from the comet that just landed where you were standing.
The FF14 Emote
Upon completing “The Legendary Beast” aka the Behemoth Repel quest that serves as the tutorial for the fight you are given the Jump emote. Aside from looking cool, it serves a very important purpose that simultaneously makes it really powerful and a deathtrap. If you’re good, you can use it to bypass the Ecliptic Meteor without needing to hide behind a Comet, this is most commonly used when a tank position poorly and cannot reach a Comet in time or if all of the Comets are destroyed it is the only way to prevent a party wipe. The timing on the emote to successfully bypass the Ecliptic is around a quarter of a second, and if you fail, you die. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people leave the safety of a Comet to try to look cool, and end up dying because they aren’t as good as they think (or they just have a lag spike, or mess up, or whatever). The Emote should be bound to a shortcut in case you really really need it, but should be considered a last resort. If you wish to practice your timing, you can jump from behind a comet and remain safe even if you fail (if you succeed you land approximately where Behemoth’s head is and deal up to around 500 damage).
Proper use of the Emote requires a lot of situational awareness, when the Ecliptic is being cast you need to decide between trying to make it to a Comet and trying to Jump it, trying to make it to a Comet then Jumping if you can’t get to safety in time prevents you from concentrating on getting the timing right and you’re very likely to Jump late and die.
Death by a Thousand Tornadoes
Charybdis, aka tornadoes aka nadoes is a spell that Behemoth has access to in areas 1, 2, and 4. Behemoth casts a tornado on a player much like a comet (placing it firmly in the “mechanics” category of death causes), however, the cast speed is much higher on Extreme. Tornadoes are not usually too scary on their own but left unchecked you will quickly find yourself unable to move around the map without getting knocked over and there are several locations where tornadoes are incredibly dangerous. Note the cast time of Charybdis is substantially faster on Extreme. The safest course of action against Charybdis is almost always to run towards the nearest wall so the tornado does little more than shrinking the arena a bit.
- Chokepoints i.e. the paths leading into each arena
- The Arena Center
- Near Comets
Chokepoint tornadoes are easily the most dangerous to a party, as the confined space may prevent hunters from rejoining the fight if they die or have to farcaster. While not getting into the arena doesn’t sound like a big problem there are two reasons why this is absolutely lethal. A lot is going on in the fight and people may lose track of the number of comets that were dropped. If a player is trapped outside the arena when Ecliptic Meteor comes…well they’re dead, and since they’re coming back into the arena it’s likely to assume they already died before so you’re now on your last cart if you haven’t lost anyone else to one of the other million ways to die to Behemoth.
The less catastrophic but equally dangerous situation is Behemoth taking an interest in the people that are being blocked off by the tornado. These hunters have very little room to evade and likely don’t have their shield weapons drawn, and probably won’t see Behemoth coming until it’s too late. Suddenly a monster with a behind larger than a Disney mom is sharing this already cramped space and you can guess how well that will end when Behemoth decides to Tail-Spin.
A tornado in the center of the arena presents a substantial obstacle for your DPS hunters as they will struggle to attack Behemoth’s unobstructed sides without tripping literally everyone (looking at you Longsword mains) or getting hit by collateral damage but is not in itself too lethal.
Tornadoes near comets are the ultimate Heavy Sigh generators, you run to safety and you get behind the comet, except you take one too many steps and get kicked away by the knockback and thus die to Ecliptic. Try really hard to place comets away from tornadoes, and keep tornadoes away from comets.
Death by Bad Positioning
If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve survived almost all of Behemoth’s MMO mechanics! Unfortunately, this one is something only you are responsible for and there’s really nobody else to blame. I see this rather commonly when players have weapons that don’t really do well vs Behemoth’s back half, i.e. Longsword, Insect Glaive, and Bow to name three but almost all non-blunt weapon users have done this at some point.
So picture this: You’re doing your super high DPS combo ’cause your tank has Enmity and he’s got Behemoth in a great spot and all of a sudden you die to ground explosions or a meteor or a simple swipe from one of Behemoth’s huge forelegs. Clearly, your tank screwed upright?
Wrong. While the tank has Enmity, anywhere in front of Behemoth is a no-DPS zone. Just because Behemoth is attacking the tank doesn’t mean you can’t get hit by the huge hitboxes. Additionally, you can trip your tank and cause him or her to die. If you want to get those really big damage numbers attack the front legs from the side where you don’t risk yourself or your tank.
It’s entirely possible for the tank to get teammates killed too, so don’t go thinking just because you have Enmity you get a free pass. If you position poorly you can cause Behemoth to destroy your comets, and even if you’re a l33t programmer who can jump all the Ecliptic Meteors, your teammates may not be able to do so. Additionally, if you’re running around like a headless chicken Behemoth is gonna do a ton of damage to your teammates who assume they’re relatively safe, not to mention reducing their DPS uptime.
The Pin Attack
In Area 3, Behemoth has access to a pin ability when no party member has Enmity. This attack has a very obvious windup and can be avoided with a single roll (though it is a little tight) and cannot be blocked by any shield weapon even with Guard Up. When pinned the target loses a substantial amount of health upfront, is inflicted with Bleed, and after being bullied a little by Behemoth will gain Enmity. If this attack doesn’t kill a player outright, it is highly likely they’ll take a second hit and die. Once you get hit with this attack it is largely up to your team to save you so instead of describing how you should save yourself from this attack, I will instead describe how you save a teammate.
When you see your teammate get pinned you should immediately sheathe your weapon and prepare to help your teammate out of the situation.
If the targeted player is your designated tank you should ONLY heal with life powder/Dust of Life as necessary. The tank will have a bleed on him or her for a while until an opportunity arises to cure it (by crouching while stationary) and unless you happen to have Wide Range and Astera Jerky (which you should have if you have Wide Range) there’s little you can do on that front aside from continuing to heal with life powder if required.
If the victim is not your designated tank you have to remove Enmity from that player if they’re not capable of doing the job. There are two methods of doing so and one is superior to the other. The less favored way of removing Enmity is to shoot a Flash Pod towards Behemoth, this will cause it to lose Enmity and make several attacks that may not be targeted at anyone (This is a Cause of Death, but rare enough that I won’t include it). This can be dangerous because Behemoth becomes substantially unpredictable and can cause a lot of damage very quickly. The much safer method is to use a Smoke Bomb. Yes, that thing you never knew existed until this very moment. Because your teammate is going to be thrown into a relatively predictable spot you can get there and drop the smoke bomb before Behemoth roars at your incapacitated teammate. Your teammate will gain enmity, and may even get attacked once, but it will disappear and the tank will be able to start building up enmity again and the team will be back in gear.
Flash Spamming and Dragon Pods
Aight, we’re clear of the really big killers now, this is purely me being petty.
Please, for the love ‘o God, stop flash spamming. Charybdis cast animation is the perfect time for a tank to grab Enmity and flash spamming just causes Behemoth to run around like a headless chicken, making the tank’s life absolutely miserable. Just run the tornado to a wall so it’s out of the way. Also, don’t flash unless it is literally the only way to keep the tank from dying (it never should be). If you get hit while the tank is doing his or her job, back off and heal up, don’t flash Behemoth ’cause all that will do is cause it to come right at you instead or spam more tornadoes.
For those that don’t know, hitting Behemoth with 5 Dragon Pods will instantly get Enmity for the person who landed the fifth pod If you’re not coordinating and you’re not ready to tank, put the dragon pods away and let the tank do it, if you are doing slinger burst combos don’t even pick them up.
Extreme Behemoth Tank Busters and Special Mechanics
Congratulations if you’re still alive you shouldn’t have to worry too much about dying to Behemoth in SOS. However, Extreme Behemoth has a few tricks that come as a nasty surprise when you make the step up.
Extreme Behemoth has two “Tank Busters”, an MMO term for an ability that bosses have that is specifically designed to put pressure on the tank directly and the healer indirectly.
The first of these abilities will show up in Area 2 and 4, the dreaded lightning spam. For some reason, Extreme Behemoth absolutely loves to spam 5-6 “Thunderbolt” abilities in a row. This ability is a burst of electricity to inflict Thunderblight (Increases elemental damage taken) in an area in front of Behemoth followed by three parallel lines of lightning bolts centered on the target’s position. This attack does a substantial amount of damage through shields and consumes a lot of stamina to block. When spammed multiple times the tank may run out of stamina and die. If you see more than two or three Thunderbolt casts in the notification window you should throw a life powder or two at your tank so he or she doesn’t die if they run out of stamina.
The second tank buster appears in areas 3 and 4. Behemoth attacks with a stomp followed by a shoulder bash. The first hit inflicts bleed and can oneshot players without upgraded armor or lacking health boost 3 while the second hit inflicts more actual damage. When blocking with a Guard 5 Lance shield you will lose approximately half of your HP to the chip damage if running Health Boost 3, without a health boost + the health bonus from the food you are likely to die from this attack. In area 3 this attack only targets players with Enmity but in area 4 Enmity is not required.
In addition to the tank busters Extreme behemoth features overall improved damage output, and the real killer: Defense Down. All meteor attacks will inflict Defense Down on anyone that is hit, which will turn most of Behemoth’s moveset into one-shots even with Health Boost 3. Meteors will target 3 players at a time in all areas if there is no Enmity active and there are three Ecliptic Meteors in Area 4, with only one Comet each.
Area 3 of Extreme Behemoth is another MMO mechanic, the damage-check. You have a limited amount of time to get Behemoth to transition to Area 4 before it begins spamming Ecliptic Meteor without dropping Comets until either the party dies or enough damage is caused to transition to Area 4.
Well, that’s pretty much it, the solutions to the most common ways people die to Behemoth in SOS. There really isn’t much more to say other than be careful of the high attack pressure and make sure to have max potions, life powders, and the ingredients to craft more of them on the fly (crafting shortcuts advised). Armed with this knowledge you will hopefully find yourself dying to Behemoth less and conquering the Eorzean beast in no time! If you’ve seen any new, creative means of dying in this awesome fight feel free to leave them in the comments below.