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I have attempted to slay the mighty Hallowed Jhen Mohran a couple times now and the expedition has always ended in failure due to our boat taking too much damage. Every time we've had about 10 minutes left in the quest in the second stage of the fight. I'm looking for tips on how to prevent this from happening and I have a few questions about the boat mechanic.

  • Which of Jhen's attacks damage the boat?
  • Do the boat damaging attacks all do the same amount of damage to the boat?
  • How much "health" does the boat have?
  • In addition to the above questions, what are some things to keep in mind during this fight?

Some further background: I only have the 3ds version so going online is unfortunately not an option. I either hunt solo or with 1 other friend. Typically I take the ballista binder, but I am still learning the attack patterns so I must admit I miss quite a few of the opportunities. I use gunlance and lance and my friend uses switch axe. At this point we've build up our arsenal enough to have a g-rank weapon of each element and rarity 9 armors.

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There's no way to tell exactly how much health the boat has. But, you can get an idea of where it's at by checking your quest status.

I'm going to answer for both Jhen and Hallowed Jhen. The fights are basically the same, just the first phase pattern is different.

First things first: get to know Jhen's patterns. He does the same thing in the same order in the first phase. Throughout the whole fight, it's usually a good idea to assign a single person to interrupt him. There are two ways to do so:

Interrupts

  • The Ballista Binder. This recharges quicker than the gong, but can only be used by one person, and you have to be on a ballista to use it.
  • The ship gong. There's a small switch at the base of the mast that you can hit. Anyone can use it, but you need to be careful, as it recharges slower than the binder does.
  • Breaking a part will also cause a flinch, but don't count on those. If it happens, great, but part durability has a bit of randomness to it, so there's no guarantee you'll know exactly when it will happen.

Alternate the use of these items. The main things that can damage the boat in the first phase are:

  • His body check. There are two versions of it, one just hits it, and the other he really winds up, and covers something like 75% of the boat. The small one is pretty common, and can be allowed. You know the big one is coming when you can see his back spikes tilted towards you.
  • Frontal ram. This usually happens before he jumps over the boat, and he'll be under the sand. You expect him to actually jump, since that's how regular Jhen goes, but nope. He'll try to smash into the side of the ship with his tusks.

Both of these can be interrupted, and you shouldn't use either the gong or the binder until he either does the frontal ram, or the big body check. The small body check happens too often to waste an interrupt on.

There's one more way to interrupt him, but you need to wait until he goes way out in front of the ship to be able to use it, and that's the Dragonator. The button to activate that is on the front of the ship, on the raised section. When he's in front, he'll launch a couple rocks at you, and then go back under the sand. He'll come back up in front of the ship, dive back down, and surface right in front. The timing is pretty generous, but once he goes under the sand the second time, that's when you should hit the switch. He'll come back up to land on the ship, and that's when the Dragonator spears him.

Throughout the first phase, interrupting those attacks will spare your ship the majority of his damage. You can't stop everything, but the idea is to stop enough so that you either run out of time or kill him.

In the second phase, the only attack that damages the boat is his giant landing on the boat. Anything at all can interrupt that, but if you use the gong to interrupt him as he's coming back down, he'll flip over and allow you to carve inside his mouth.

Damage maximization

Beyond just saving the ship, you can also cause more damage; phase two starts once you've dealt a certain amount of damage, and the quicker that happens, the less time Jhen has to damage the ship.

Regular Jhen is weak to Dragon damage, and Hallowed Jhen is weak to Fire. For regular Jhen, if you happen to have an ancientshard weapon upgraded to the max, those are usually your best bet. For Hallowed, Miralis weapons work extremely good. They tend to provide the most fire element.

Of course, if you're using a slower weapon like the hammer, then element plays a backseat to straight up raw damage, but there's a few ways you can bump up your damage.

Pre-battle prep

  1. Artillery Novice/Expert - This will increase your cannon and ballista damage. If you're using Crag ammo, or Gunlance shelling, it'll increase that, too. It doesn't seem like much, but with the amount of ballista and cannon ammo you can go through, it will seriously pay off. It even replenishes between phases!
  2. Felyne Bombardier - Same thing as the Artillery Armor skill, except it doesn't affect Gunlance shelling. I believe it also stacks with the Armor skill. You can guarantee this skill in the food list by Frying a Vegetable and a Drink.
  3. Bombardier - Increases barrel bomb damage. Since you get a few free ones, this will make them explode harder.
  4. Felyne Pyro - Same thing as the Bombardier armor skill. Barrels go bigger boom.
  5. Speed Gatherer - This lets you grab your cannon and ballista ammo quicker. And that means you can use them more often.
  6. Pro Transporter - Those cannonballs are heavy! You move faster carrying them with this.

Speed Gatherer + Pro Transporter do absolute wonders for cannoneering. I believe you can just about fire two cannonballs in the time it takes someone without the skills to fire one. Add in Artillery Expert as well, and you'll be putting out a ton of damage.

Battle techniques

  1. During the first phase, focus on the cracks on his back. Once those break, attacking inside there will maximize the amount of damage you do.
  2. Drop the anti-dragon bombs on his tusks. It doesn't matter where you put them, they'll do the same amount of damage regardless (so long as they're on him), but breaking the tusks means you'll be taking less damage from them.
  3. During phase two, his weakest point is in his mouth. That's accessible for a couple carves (or just straight up damage), by interrupting his belly slam with the gong as he's coming down.
  4. Outside his mouth, his underbelly is weak, but very problematic to attack, as you're most vulnerable to everything he does there.
  5. In phase two, as soon as he comes close enough to the ship, use the Dragonator. It does incredible amounts of damage, and doesn't need to be used to interrupt, as his belly flop isn't done that often. The gong and binder are fine. The sooner you use it, the sooner it can recharge, and you can use it again.
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  • I find that in the second stage he belly slams the boat repeatedly even when both gong and binder are on cooldown. The dragonator repels him, but he quickly makes his way back. Is there another to keep him out of reach of the boat? Nov 28, 2014 at 20:32
  • It's pretty random. Sometimes he'll belly flop twice in a row, and sometimes, he won't do it at all. The trick is to save the interrupts for only the attacks that will damage the boat. That way, when all your interrupts are recharging, your boat has enough health to take a hit or two.
    – Frank
    Nov 28, 2014 at 20:42

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