Monster Hunter World Iceborne: Blackveil Vaal Hazak weaknesses and tips

One of the scariest monsters to stumble across in Monster Hunter World's first official expansion, Iceborne, is the Blackveil Vaal Hazak, a variant of one of the base game's most unsettling hunts.

The regular Vaal Hazak is gross enough. It rests under piles of decaying corpses, uses corpses as a shield of sorts, and seems to be half-decomposing itself. It also has the horrifying ability to literally suck the life force out of nearby creatures, kill them, and then raise them as zombies that are controlled by whatever strange chemical or disease it emits from its entire body. Variant monsters have been around for a long time in the Monster Hunter franchise, typically changing strategies, elements, weaknesses, and more from their baseline counterparts. So when we hunters, including ourselves, found out that the corpse-wielding Vaal Hazak was getting a variant, well, that's exciting, isn't it? But how can you make the closest thing Monster Hunter has ever had to a horror movie even more unnerving?

Capcom's answer to that question, it appears, is fungus. The Blackveil variant of the Vaal Hazak (which is coincidentally lighter, whiter shade when compared to the base version) is still half-decayed and still has the strange connection to corpses, but now, it's also covered from head to toe in toxic spores which provide a neverending stream of harmful effluvia and also provide the Vaal Hazak with a sort of protection. In other words, it went from zombie Elder Dragon to plant zombie Elder Dragon, and who doesn't like plant zombies? Well, Joel from The Last of Us probably doesn't, but it still does look very cool.

Those spores, as it turns out, are also the key to defeating it. If you target an area covered in them you can break them off, halting the flow of toxins and making that area vulnerable. That's essentially how you'll want to plan around bringing it down, but you can get even more specific by targeting the head before anything else. Why? Because, at Master Rank, you need every tool and trick in the book to knock out even the simplest of monsters, and that means you're going to be burning through a lot of Flash Pods. That obviously goes double for a Master Rank hunt for an Elder Dragon like the Vaal Hazak, but while spores cover its face, it's totally immune to Flash Pods. So break that bad boy first, or you're going to have a difficult time immobilizing it even for a brief moment.

Then, it comes down to standard Vaal Hazak strategies. Take Effluvia Resist decorations and run with a health regen armor set to combat the slow drain on your health bar. When you go to Master Rank, a lot of your health regen builds will be rendered obsolete, and if you haven't had time to get a new set, just make sure you at least have recovery decorations included somewhere in your build. Its weaknesses are few and far between compared to the original Vaal Hazak, who had a really difficult time with Dragon and Fire. This Vaal Hazak doesn't technically have any weaknesses. On the other hand, it's resistant to everything, and only Fire, Dragon, and Blast damage it a normal, average amount. So you'll still want to run those weapons, but they aren't technically weaknesses, they're just not horrible against it like everything else will be. Get used to that in Master Rank, things don't play as nice as they used to, not even the Pukei-Pukei.