How to Beat Fatalis in Monster Hunter World (Return to World Event)

For newcomers grappling with this battle, here’s a compilation of tips. Although it’s coming a bit late, considering the Return to World is still underway and the player base remains robust, I thought it’d be helpful to share insights gleaned from approximately 300 Fatalis takedowns—some solo, some in co-op. While this won’t be overly elaborate, I may revisit and enhance it later with visuals like pictures and perhaps gifs to offer clearer explanations.

General Tips

Things that are more universal:

Opt for Felyne Acrobat if you possess gourmet vouchers.

Choosing Felyne Acrobat significantly accelerates your recovery from a “flying knockback,” also known as being fully knocked to the ground. This skill has saved me countless times and is absolutely essential in my opinion.

Prepare for primarily raw damage from Fatalis’ attacks (Divine Blessing is invaluable).

Indeed, it’s true. Despite your efforts to max out fire resistance, you might find it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference. This is because Fatalis deals primarily raw damage. While avoiding negative resistance is wise, focusing solely on fire resistance won’t provide much protection. Instead, prioritize building for Divine Blessing Secret, which significantly improves your survivability throughout the fight.

Stay close to Fatalis; avoid excessive running and artillery use.

Contrary to instinct, Fatalis poses greater danger the farther you are from it. Most of its attacks can be dodged more effectively by remaining nearby. While this might not be a common mistake, it’s worth noting. Continuously fleeing wastes precious time and increases your vulnerability, particularly during phases 2 and 3.

Similarly, refrain from spending excessive time on artillery pieces. The damage output doesn’t outweigh the risks involved. Fatalis’ AI targets individuals further away, particularly those manning cannons or using ballistae. Which brings us to the next point…

Using the cannon at the beginning is inefficient.

Some may disagree, but it’s a fact. Unless you’re really struggling and just want to breeze through phase 1 to send out an SOS, there’s no justification for it. Not only does it waste time, but it’s far more beneficial to save the knockdown for the start of phase 2. Why? Well:

  1. Fatalis isn’t enraged initially, resulting in a loss of damage from the absence of Agitator.
  2. Depending on the weapons used, you and your teammates may lose out on even more damage because they aren’t fully charged up (e.g., longsword, charge blade, etc.).

Utilize Smoke Bombs effectively.

Before diving into this tip, please, for the sake of all that’s holy: Stand in the smoke at the onset of phase 2. Don’t just wander around aimlessly while Fatalis takes flight.

Now, this strategy isn’t as straightforward in public SOS unless you have a skilled team. However, it’s achievable, and if multiple players toss smoke bombs strategically, it can create numerous openings. When concealed and targeted by Fatalis, it will pause and scan for a couple of head turns or a few seconds. Similarly, if hidden while targeted and while Fatalis is airborne, it will force it to land. Always deploy a smoke bomb when it’s airborne.

Organize your hotbar/radial menu for swift access to essential items and bring crafting materials.

It’s baffling how many players manually sift through their item bars for essentials like max potions or lack the materials to craft more. Always, whenever feasible, bring items for:

  • Max/Ancient Potions
  • Smoke Bombs
  • Healing Dusts

Bind smoke bombs, healing dusts, and potions (or mega potions if there’s no alternative) so you can craft more of them and access them swiftly.

Avoid excessive use of Dragon Pods.

Constantly staggering Fatalis with dragon pods isn’t helpful. Reserve their use for situations where you’re certain an attack will cart someone or when Fatalis is executing one of its “time-wasting” attacks (e.g., slithering across the arena, unleashing a downward stream of fire, etc.).

Make the most of your dive’s extensive invincibility frames.

The dive, often dubbed the ‘superman dive,’ can be a lifesaver in many situations. To execute it, run away from Fatalis while positioning your camera to face him. This renders you completely invulnerable until the animation concludes and you stand up again. It proves particularly handy when you’re caught off guard by:

  • The wide cone breath (not the one where Fatalis takes flight on one side of the arena, but the one executed on its hind legs; diving twice should ensure survival if you have sufficient HP)
  • The charged fireball attacks
  • The 360-degree breath attack in phase 3
  • Essentially any of its lengthier attacks

Consider keeping a Farcaster readily available on your hotbar for critical situations.

This tip isn’t commonly mentioned, but it greatly assisted me during my early encounters with Fatalis. By ensuring all essential items are easily accessible on the relevant menus, you can keep a Farcaster selected on the hotbar for moments when you’re certain you’ll be carted. However, don’t overuse this tactic as it significantly eats into your time. Nonetheless, it’s a valuable option to have in emergencies. Note that you can’t Farcaster during any of the transition Novas. While technically possible just before Fatalis takes flight, it demands precise timing.

Fatalis’ attacks

Phase 1

Let’s begin promptly by discussing the arena-wide ‘Nova’ attack that occurs during phase transitions. The first two cannot be survived without taking cover. Seek refuge behind the rubble initially, and during the second transition, behind the barricade at the rear of the fort. Additionally:

You can keep the barricade open slightly longer than you might initially think is safe. With practice, it’s possible to close it just as the flames would have breached it, enabling survival. This timing is crucial as individuals often fall victim to the takeoff wind pressure on the far sides of the arena.

Moreover, the Phase 3 Novas can indeed be survived (any occurring after the barricade nova) if the head has been broken twice and you’re at full HP when the final, significant damage hit occurs.

The charged fireball

Survival options for this include:

  • Sheathing your weapon and diving,
  • Rolling/running beneath his hind legs (note the tight window),
  • Simply getting out of the way if you’re sufficiently distant to begin with.

The downward breath attack

If caught off guard by this move, you can:

  • Sheathe and dive twice,
  • Clutch claw onto his head or torso. There’s no need to sheathe your weapon before employing the claw.

The wide cone breath & the backward/forward sweeping breath attacks

Both present prime opportunities for inflicting damage, provided you’re properly positioned when they commence. If caught off guard by either, a well-timed dive should suffice for survival.

The bodyslam

This attack triggers either when a damage threshold is reached while he’s on his hind legs or if a player remains clutch clawed onto him for too long (sometimes occurring instantly if unlucky). There’s little to add about this one; it’s among the few attacks I find poorly designed. Depending on the angle and your speed, releasing the claw might propel you far enough to evade it. There are also ‘safespots’ beneath him near the hind legs, although it’s safer to avoid and get out of the way if possible. The hitbox for this move is deceptively large, extending even to his backside if you’re too close.

All these attacks persist in the other two phases, and similar survival tactics apply. Note, however, that they inflict significantly more damage as the battle progresses unless both head breaks are achieved.

Phase 2

Is pretty much just more of the same.

Phase 3

As things escalate, particularly if you haven’t managed to break the head at least once, the stakes become much higher. Full-power attacks are virtually guaranteed to be fatal, irrespective of your skills, armor, or defense rating. Breaking Fatalis’ head twice will revert his flame attack potency to phase 1 levels.

The 360 breath attack

Position yourself directly beneath him, on the opposite side of his head. While this maneuver offers a significant damage opportunity, the sweeping flame can easily catch you if you stray even slightly. Exercise caution with this move. As always, dive just before the sweep reaches you if caught off guard. If he pulls you beneath his head during this attack, you can swiftly move to the other side if time permits. Otherwise, sheathe your weapon and dive.

The triple charged fireball

This move requires a bit of finesse but isn’t overly challenging. The hitbox is surprisingly larger than expected, but if you remain directly underneath him, you’ll avoid it. Note that the third shot is considerably faster than the first two, making evading all three shots difficult or sometimes even impossible.

Chest pin

This attack cannot be mitigated in any manner. If targeted, simply maneuver out of the way; you’ll have ample time to do so. If a teammate falls victim to the pin, either disrupt Fatalis with dragon pods to free them, or activate any area-of-effect healing abilities when Fatalis begins the chewing or throwing animation. With enough HP, they should survive, albeit barely.

Weapon Specific Tips

To comprehensively understand the nuances and optimal strategies for your chosen weapon in this fight, I recommend observing speedruns and closely analyzing their techniques. However, I’ll highlight a few general points worth noting:


Most of Fatalis’ attacks (with a few exceptions) can be effectively countered with Foresight Slash. However, some require precise positioning to evade follow-up damage, and others have lingering hitboxes (such as the 360 breath) that may still catch you. The Iai counter is also effective against most attacks, although the timing is extremely tight. With practice, the Longsword can adopt an aggressive approach, depending on the randomness of attack patterns.


Arguably the most effective weapon for breaking the head, provided you master its numerous openings. There are several guides available on platforms like YouTube that illustrate the optimal way to wield this weapon. Personally, I found mirabxreas’ guide particularly helpful in refining my Greatsword technique.

Lance, Gunlance

With Guard 5 and Guard Up, both the Lance and Gunlance can block every one of Fatalis’ attacks, except for the Nova transitions and the phase 3 chest pin. This includes shielding attacks for teammates, such as during the wide cone breath. However, even with Divine Blessing 5, you’re likely to sustain considerable chip damage, especially in phase 3. This setup (DB5+Guard5+Guard Up) can be a valuable crutch for those struggling with the fight, but it’s important to note that it can also lead to being chipped to death.


The popular tactic of spamming Zero Sum Discharge (ZSD) is somewhat deceptive. Only the final explosion deals significant part damage; excessive spamming, particularly in multiplayer where break thresholds are higher, may prematurely trigger phase 3, potentially resulting in team wipes. While the damage output is substantial, prioritizing head breaks is paramount.


As reiterated multiple times, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive guide covering every aspect of facing Fatalis. Instead, it’s focused on addressing the primary issues and common sources of confusion I’ve observed among SOS players. I intend to refine and expand upon this over time to include additional insights I may have overlooked. However, feel free to ask any questions you may have, and I’ll endeavor to provide the best answers possible.

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