It was already a graceful weapon with a beautiful, sweeping, elegant moveset and now – impossibly – it’s even better. The big new move (one that we know of, at least; there may be more) is something called an Iai slash – pronounced ee-ai; I legit thought it was “Lai” the first few times around – and you need to see it for yourself. Here’s the tweet:
— Monster Hunter (@monsterhunter) May 28, 2019
It’s gorgeous. It looks functionally similar to Foresight Slash but seems just so, so, so much more powerful. And even if it isn’t, it still looks lethal. What isn’t clear from the video is if you need to go into the stance and the iai slash (I’m gonna use it in lowercase so it’s clearer) triggers automatically when the Hunter’s hit, or if there’s some timing involved in triggering the counterstrike. But, what’s even cooler is that after the iai slash, the Hunter goes into Helm Breaker without sheathing her sword.
That’s my only gripe with the longsword; the obligatory sheathing after certain moves. It punctuates combat weirdly, adding a break in the middle of combat when it doesn’t feel like there should be one – and, for me, has always detracted from what is otherwise a very, very fluid weapon. Hopefully the video indicates that the annoying obligatory sheathing is going away. More likely, though, is that the iai slash can be woven into the middle of combos, in the way that Foresight can be used immediately after an attack, allowing for a smoother transition from meter building into Helm Breaker.
But again, this is just me guessing at this point because all the information we have is what’s in the video. More soon, hopefully.