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Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Malzeno fight walkthrough, weaknesses, and tips

How to defeat the flagship monster of Sunbreak, Malzeno

Want to know how to beat Malzeno in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak? Malzeno is the flagship monster of the new Sunbreak expansion and introduces some new mechanics to the series. Those mechanics (endgame spoiler alert!) are also extremely relevant to Sunbreak’s post-game content, so Malzeno serves as a nice sampler of what’s to come (end spoilers). Malzeno bridges players from Master Rank 4 to 5 and into the hardest monsters the game has to offer, like Rajang, Bazelgeuse, and the Elder Dragons. Defeat Malzeno and take that next step into Sunbreak’s endgame with this guide.

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Malzeno fight walkthrough

Fighting Malzeno hinges around managing the Qurios and Bloodblight, a new ailment (or if you play your cards right, buff) for players to deal with. Qurios are the leech-butterfly hybrids that you have seen flutter around Malzeno in cutscenes throughout the Sunbreak story. Many of Malzeno’s vampiric attacks use Qurios to apply a new ailment called Bloodblight to the player, which you will see represented with a pinkish-red icon over your health bar.

While a player is afflicted with Bloodblight, all incoming healing is significantly reduced. However, Qurio-afflicted players will also regenerate health when they damage Malzeno. So, in keeping with the theme of many Sunbreak monsters, the best defense becomes a good offense. If you are afflicted with Bloodblight, chug a potion to get yourself out of one-shot range then press the attack. You will heal faster and more efficiently by damaging Malzeno than by pounding more potions.

Throughout the fight, Malzeno shifts between two forms. At the start, Malzeno has lighter scales and fewer Qurios floating about. Upon transforming, Malzeno gains a dark aura and will have more Qurios surrounding it. Many basic attacks like the wing-spike stab and tail thrust are used twice in a row in this form and will punish players for lazy dodges. The more-vampiric Malzeno also has more energy attacks that apply Bloodblight and Dragon Blight, including a large downward blast that is a near-guaranteed one shot. Malzeno can even teleport around the battlefield, disappearing into mist before reappearing nearby with a deadly attack at the ready.

Malzeno's hitzone values according to the in-game Hunter's Notes in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Malzeno weak spots and elemental weaknesses

Malzeno’s main weak spots are its head and the spiky ends of its wings. Blunt and Slashing damage also fare well against the tail and torso, but Shot damage struggles. Bow and Bowgun players will need to stick to headshots as much as possible.

As for elements, Fire does alright but Dragon is the real star. If you put together a Gore Magala weapon before fighting Malzeno, it will do wonders here. All other elements struggle. Ice does well against the head but is ineffective elsewhere. Malzeno is also completely immune to Water and Thunder elements, so they’ll do you no good for this hunt. Malzeno is even immune to most statuses and has no real ailment weaknesses, so stick to raw and dragon damage if you can.

How to beat Malzeno: top tips for success

Here are our top tips for victory over Malzeno.

Use Bloodblight to your advantage

While the healing penalty from the Bloodblight status is certainly problematic, you can actually use it to your advantage. The on-hit healing Bloodblight provides is significant, and can sustain you through many of Malzeno’s lower-damage tail and claw swipes. If you can get in close and stay there, you can pump out a lot of damage without worrying too much for your own safety. Heavy-hitting attacks still pose a threat, but Bloodblight allows players to shrug off smaller hits with ease.

It's a marathon, not a sprint

All offense all the time sounds fun of course, but things are never quite that simple. Master Rank monsters are all fairly beefy, but Malzeno has a truly massive health pool, especially for this stage in the game when your weapons aren’t yet maxed out. You need to be aggressive to burn through all that health in the time allotted, but you also need to stay alive. It's tempting to never retreat while affected by a Qurio, but maybe don’t dive in front of any teleport slams.

The longer the fight drags on, the more chances Malzeno gets to use particularly dangerous attacks like that teleport slam. Inevitably, you and your team are going to faint a few times on your first try. I normally advocate for offensive food skills that can shorten a fight and reduce the number of times such attacks are used, but no amount of extra damage will quite do the trick for your first swing at Malzeno. So, consider eating for skills like Moxie and Insurance that can save you a faint and help grind out this marathon hunt.

Malzeno roars in its true form

Stay down to avoid double-hitting moves

As we mentioned in the walkthrough section, Malzeno has a few attacks that turn into two-hit combos in its enraged form. This isn’t exactly unprecedented, as many monsters have similar power-ups in Master Rank. However, Malzeno’s one-two punches are particularly quick, and punish players for relying on certain habits.

If you instantly Wirefall (direction plus your dodge roll button) after getting hit with the first of two wing stabs, the second one is just about guaranteed to skewer you. If that happens, you’re almost certainly dead. The same applies to the tail stab move, with which Malzeno flies into the air before thrusting its tail forward like a stinger twice. You have a bit more breathing room there and can get out by Wirefalling in the right direction, but it's still dangerous. If either of these attacks hit you, just stay down to avoid the second hit.

That's everything you need to know to hunt Malzeno! Malzeno's armor has some great skills for late-game, so plan to revisit this fight a few times. To help you get to Malzeno, we've got guides to other key monsters including Garangolm and Lunagaron. If you're looking for sub-camp locations throughout Monster Hunter Rise, our list of sub-camp locations has the entire base game and the new Sunbreak maps covered. The old maps are heavily featured in Sunbreak too, so make sure to track these camps down. We've also got a guide to unlocking all Switch Skills in Sunbreak and the base game to help you customize your loadouts.

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