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I just fought my Qurupeco, and quite a few of my attacks bounced off him, sending me recoiling back a bit.

What exactly happens with attacks like this? Do they still damage the monster at all? Do they decrease my sharpness more than normal?

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Hitting certain parts of a monsters body will result in a deflective hit if your sharpness isn't high enough. A deflective hit still does damage to a monster, but less than a normal hit does. It also reduces your sharpness more than a normal hit.

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So, essentially, try to get good hits. –  StrixVaria Mar 30 '13 at 0:48
    
I should note I've found conflicting information with regards to damage. In my own experience, and as is also stated in the brady guide, I always thought that a deflective hit did less damage. However, when looking for some numbers on how much of a damage reduction it is online I've found some sources stating a deflective hit doesn't reduce damage, others saying it does, and others again saying that it only reduces damage if your sharpness is yellow or lower. Due to the way hitzones work, and the lack of a damage meter, I'm not really sure how I could reliably test this in-game... –  Wipqozn Mar 30 '13 at 0:50
    
...but based on my own experience in Tri, and the brady guide, I believe that a deflected hit will do less damage. –  Wipqozn Mar 30 '13 at 0:50

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