In Japan, Prowler has been colloquially referred to as Monster Hunter’s 15th Weapon.
It started as snarky joke because the Prowler filled the weapon selection screen’s final slot in the game’s demo. In reality though, the Prowler really is a weapon and a very powerful one if you build it right! The Demo’s Prowler build focuses on KO damage and maximizing the Prowler’s effectiveness with Blunt Weapons, but there are better ways to tap into the power of the Prowler. So, let me introduce the builds I used and why I think they’re worth investing in early on.
Prowler – The Boomerang Cat
The Boomerang Cat is the most popular Prowler build in Japan. It is also said to be the only Palico worth investing in if you are going to make use of Prowler Mode – and I largely agree, if you’re looking for effectiveness. No other build matches up to its damage output and utility. First, here’s what you should look for when you’re scouting Palicoes (items listed in Italics are nice to have, but not necessities):
Support Bias: Assisting (if you want utility) or Fighting (if you want to bring the pain)
Target: Large First
Weapon: High Elemental Damage, High Boomerang Damage
Support Moves: Poison Purr-ison, Emergency Escape, Big Boomerangs, Piercing Boomerangs, Mega Boomerang, Dung Bombay, Shock Purr-ison
Palico Skills: Attack Up (S/L), Boomerang Pro, Critical Up (S), Earplugs
Alright, so, the Assisting Support bias builds the Support Gauge the more you use boomerangs to attack – so naturally, it’s the best choice for this build if you prefer utility over pure damage. Big Boomerangs only takes 1 bar of the Support Gauge to use. It increases the size of your boomerangs as well as their damage output. Piercing Boomerangs cost 2 bars of the Support Gauge to use and makes it so that your boomerangs go through monsters and hits them multiple times. These two abilities stack and are the bread and butter of this build!
As for Palico Skills, Attack Up (L) and Boomerang Pro are absolutely essential. Attack Up (L) increases your damage output (Attack Up L unlocks at Level 15, so, use Attack Up S until Level 10 then Critical Up S until Level 15). Boomerang Pro increases Boomerang attack speed and reduces charge time. Earplugs is a nice skill to have if you can get it, because it will let you get in some free attacks while a Monster is screaming in your face.
Emergency Exit is an insane ability. It costs 1 bar of the support gauge, gives you invincibility during the entire animation, heals you, and lets you escape underground to safety for as long as you like. Its utility is unmatched, and if you’re using a Fighting cat, just have an Assisting cat pass it on at the Dojo.
Palico Build 1 – The Trapurr
***IF YOU WANT TO TRAP A MONSTER INSTEAD OF KILL IT, TRAP IT, THEN APPROACH IT WITH YOUR WEAPON SHEATHED AND PRESS A. Prowler’s have free and unlimited Tranq-Bombs***
Puns aside, I stand by this build as one of the best options for a support Palico. It helps you get the most out of your Boomerang Cat and makes it so you don’t have to waste five support gauge bars on using a trap. Here’s what to scout for:
Support Bias: Assisting
Target: Any (although I prefer large first)
Weapon: High Elemental Damage (Blast)
Support Moves: Poison Purr-ison, Emergency Escape, “Go, Fight, Win”, Pitfall Purr-ison, Shock Purr-ison
Palico Skills: Support Boost, Pro Trapper
There’s a lot of synergy here, but let’s cover the Support Moves first. Since this Palico’s focus is trapping, you want to maximize its ability to use trap-based Support Moves. “Go, Fight, Win” makes it so that all of your Support Moves cost 1 less bar to use. This makes it insanely better than Cheer Horn, which just fills some of the Support Gauge for the same cost. That means free Emergency Escapes and easier deployments of traps, ala Poison Purr-ison and Shock Purr-ison.
As for abilities, Support Boost shortens the time between moves. This means more “Go, Fight, Wins” and Traps. Pro-Trapper boosts the amount of time a monster is in the trap, and lowers the gauge consumption. This means even less time between traps and “Go, Fight, Wins”.
Palico Build 2 – The Healurr
Sometimes Emergency Retreat just doesn’t do it. Prowler’s can’t use items and have very, very few options for restoring health – so having a strong healing cat can be really useful on the hunt. Here’s what I’d scout for:
Support Bias: Healing
Target: Small Only/Small First
Weapon: High Elemental Damage (Blast)
Support Moves: True Health Horn, Armor Horn/Cheer Horn, “Go, Fight, Win”, Health Horn, Detox Horn, Ultrasonic Horn
Palico Skills: Support Boost, Health Harmonics, Non-Stick Fur, Negate Paralysis/Sleep/Poison, Earplugs
This Palico is built to pump out healing arts and pump them out fast. Since Healing bias cats build their support gauge by not fighting, I chose Small Only as their target. This keeps them out of the fight with the large Monsters and keeps them from fainting during battle too many times.
True Health Horn is innate to all Healing bias cats and acts like a Mega-Potion for your entire team, but costs a beastly 3 bars to use. The insanely good “Go, Fight, Win” only needs to be on one of your Palicoes, so make it your Healurr or your Trapurr. Health Horn is a medium-level healing move that costs 2 bars to use, 1 with “Go, Fight, Win” active. Detox Horn is great – it removes Stench, Poison, and heals a bit of health. Ultrasonic Horn is useful for Monsters that hide underground – the bane of a Prowler’s existence.
In terms of Palico Skills, Support Boost will shorten the amount of time between healing moves. Health Harmonics boosts your maximum health in tandem to healing, which is nice if you’re not choosing your meals for health boosts. If you don’t want that, consider Non-Stick Fur or Negate Paralysis/Sleep/Poison depending on the situation.
There you have it – three Palico builds that are worth investing in early on! Remember that you can pass 1 Support Move and 1 Palico Skill from one cat to another – so don’t be afraid to recruit a bunch of Palicoes just to pass on moves.