Monster Hunter World – Fatalis Guide for Return to World

A collection of pointers for newer players still struggling with this fight.


This is a bit late, but seeing as return to world is still technically ongoing and the playercount is still pretty high, I figured I’d do a quick write up on some things I’ve learned over the course of 300~ Fatalis kills. Some solo, some co-op. This isn’t going to be extremely high effort, but if I feel like it, I’ll update it at some point with pictures and maybe gifs to illustrate things a little better.

General tips

Things that are more universal:

If you have gourmet vouchers, eat for Felyne Acrobat

Felyne Acrobat greatly increases the speed at which you recover from a “flying knockback”, AKA when you’re fully knocked to the ground. This is a lifesaver and an absolute must for me personally.

Fatalis’ attacks are primarily RAW dmg (divine blessing is your friend)

Yes, you heard that right. If you’ve ever tried to stack fire res as high as possible and yet it feels like it does very little, this is why. Obviously you don’t want negative res if you can help it, but loading up on it isn’t going to do a whole lot for you. You would be FAR better off building for Divine Blessing secret, which will make the fight so much more bearable in general.

Don’t constantly run from Fatalis. Do not sit on artillery pieces in general

Despite what you may inherently believe, Fatalis is a lot more dangerous the farther away from him you are. Almost all of his attacks can be avoided by sticking close to him. This is an issue I don’t see super often but it does occur enough to mention it; Not only are you eating away at your very limited time by scrambling like a headless chicken, but, as I’ve said, you’re just putting yourself at further risk. Especially so during phase 2 & 3.

Likewise, please do not sit on or constantly run for artillery pieces. It is not worth the huge damage/time loss, and again, nor the inherent danger of it. Fatalis’ AI will specifically target anyone further out, and it will 100% prioritize people near cannons or using the ballistae. Speaking of…

The cannon opening is a waste of time

Honestly, some people will disagree with this one, but it’s true. Unless you are REALLY struggling and just want to get past phase 1 so you can fire an SoS, there is zero reason to do this. Not only are you wasting time, but you are much better off saving the knockdown for the start of phase 2. Why? Well:

Fatalis won’t be enraged at the start, ergo loss of damage from no Agitator,

Depending on weapons, you and or your teammates will be losing out on even more damage due to them not being charged up completely (LS, charge blade, etc).

Smoke is powerful. Abuse it

Before I get into this one, please, for the love of god: Stand in smoke at the start of phase 2. Do NOT just run around doing nothing while Fatalis flies.

Now, this one isn’t as easy to work with in pub SoS unless you have an experienced team. But it is do-able, and if multiple people are throwing smoke bombs down at opportune times, you can achieve a lot of free openings. If you are concealed when Fatalis targets you, he will stop and look around for two head turns, or a few seconds. Likewise, if you are concealed while he targets you and is in the air, it will force him to land. Always drop a smoke when he is flying around.

Set up your hotbar/radial menu for quick access to vital items & bring crafting mats

The amount of people I see manually scrolling through their item bar for things like max pots, or not having mats to craft more, is kind of insane. You should always, if possible, be bringing things to make:

Max/ancient potions
Smoke bombs
Healing dusts

Bind smokes, dusts and pots (or mega potions if you really cannot afford otherwise) so you can both make more of them and access them quickly.

Don’t spam dragon pods

You aren’t helping by constantly flinching Fatalis. You should only be doing this if you know for absolute certain an attack is going to cart you or someone else, or he’s doing one of his “time waster” attacks (slithering across arena, downwards stream of fire, etc).

Your dive gives you massive amounts of i-frames. Use it

The dive, or ‘superman dive’, can absolutely save your life more often than not. It is activated by running away from Fatalis, while positioning your camera behind you to look at him as you go. This makes you completely invulnerable until the animation ends when you stand back up. It is especially useful if you get caught out by:

The wide cone breath (the one he does when on his hind legs, not the one where he flies up into the air on one side of the arena) dive this one twice and you should survive if you have enough HP,

The charged fireball attacks,

The 360 breath attack in phase 3,

and, well, basically any of his longer attacks.

It might be a good idea to keep a Farcaster ready on your hotbar for dire situations

This isn’t something I’ve seen anyone else ever mention, but it helped me out a lot when I was still new to the fight. If you have all of your important stuff mapped to the relevant menus, you can keep a Farcaster selected on the hotbar incase you end up in a situation you know is going to cart you. Don’t be too liberal with this one as it does lose you quite a bit of time, but the option is there if you need it. Note that you can’t Farcaster during any of the transition Novas. You can technically do it right before Fatalis flies off, but it requires very precise timing.

Fatalis’ attacks

Phase 1

I want to start this off real quick by going over the arena wide ‘Nova’ attack that he does during phase transitions. The first two CAN NOT be survived out of cover. You have to take cover behind the rubble, and during the second transition the barricade at the back of the fort. Likewise;

The barricade can be held open for just a bit longer than you think would be safe. If you practice the timing, it is possible to close it right as the flames would’ve made it through and still survive. A good thing to work on, since people tend to get caught by the takeoff wind pressure on far sides of the arena.

Also, the phase 3 Novas CAN be survived (any after the barricade nova) if you have broken the head twice and are at full HP when the final, big tick of damage hits you.

The charged fireball

Can be survived in one of three ways, depending on how much time you have;

Sheathing your weapon and diving,

Rolling/running into this hind legs (this window is tight, you need to be all the way under him),

Just getting out of the way if you’re far enough to start with.

The downwards breath attack

There are two things you can do if you get caught out by this one;

Sheathe and dive twice,

Clutch claw onto his head or torso. You do not need to sheathe your weapon before you can use the claw.

The wide cone breath & the backwards/forwards sweeping breath attacks

Both of these are two of your best damage opportunities as long as you are in position when they start. Again, if you get caught out by either, just dive them and you should be fine.

The bodyslam

This attack comes out when either a damage threshold is hit while he is on his hind legs, or a player stays clutch clawed onto him too long (sometimes happens instantly if unlucky lmao). Not much to say about this one, it’s one of the few attacks I think is actually poorly designed. Depending on the angle and how quick you are, sometimes letting go of the claw will send you far enough to avoid it. There are also ‘safespots’ under him near the hind legs, but I wouldn’t chance it and just get out of the way if possible. The hitbox for this attack is deceptively big so always make distance. You can even be hit from his backside if you’re too close.

^ All of these attacks are still present in the other two phases, and the same methods can be used to survive them. Take note that they will do far more damage as you progress, however, unless you achieve both head breaks.

Phase 2

Is pretty much just more of the same.

Phase 3

This is where things get more dicey. Especially if you haven’t broken the head at least once. Full power attacks are basically always going to one-shot regardless of your skills, armor or defense rating. Breaking Fatalis’ head twice will reset his flame attack values back to phase 1 levels.

The 360 breath attack

You want to stand underneath him on the opposite side of the head. This attack is one of the better damage openings, but the sweeping flame can very easily hit you if you are even an inch too far out, so be careful with this one. As always, dive it right before the sweep hits you if you’re caught out. If he drags you underneath his head during this one, you *can* quickly run to the other side if you have enough time. if not, sheathe and dive.

The triple charged fireball

This one is a bit tricky but not too bad. The hitbox is honestly way bigger than it has any right to be, but as long as you are standing directly underneath him, you won’t be hit. One thing to note about this one is the third shot comes out much faster than the first two, which can make diving all three difficult or sometimes impossible.

Chest pin

This attack cannot be blocked in any way. If he targets you with it, just move out of the way. You have plenty of time to do so. If a teammate gets pinned, either flinch Fatalis with dragon pods to free them, or pop whatever AoE healing you have when Fatalis begins the chewing/throwing animation. If they have enough HP they should survive, if barely.

Weapon specific tips

Honestly there are too many to list here. If you want to learn all of the openings and quirks of your weapon of choice for this fight, go watch speedruns and pay close attention to what they do. I’ll put a few general things of note here, though:


Pretty much all of Fatalis’ attacks (bar a select few) can be Foresight Slash’d. Some require you to sling yourself in certain directions to avoid follow up damage, and some have hitboxes that linger long enough to hit you anyway (360 breath). The Iai counter works against most everything too but the timing is obviously very, very tight. Regardless, with practice, LS can be extremely aggressive depending on attack pattern rng.


Best weapon bar none for breaking the head if you can get all of the openings down (and there are a lot for this weapon). There are plenty of guides on youtube that showcase how to go about playing this one. My personal favorite and one that helped me the most would be this one by mirabxreas:

Lance, Gunlance

So, with Guard 5+Guard up, both the Lance and Gunlance can block every attack Fatalis does except for the Nova transitions and the phase 3 chest pin. This includes blocking attacks for teammates, such as during the wide cone breath. However, even with Divine Blessing 5, you can and most likely will take a lot of chip damage, especially towards phase 3. This sort of setup (DB5+Guard5+Guardup) is helpful for anyone really, really struggling with this fight, but it’s more of a crutch than anything and can very easily end up with you being chipped to death.


The big meme ZSD spam nonsense you’ve probably seen recommended a thousand times by youtubers is kind of a trap. Only the final explosion does any respectable part damage; If you spam this, especially in SoS where the break thresholds are much higher, you may end up just getting everyone killed by pushing to phase 3 too quickly. The damage is huge but head breaks take priority 100%.


As I’ve said multiple times, this isn’t an all in one comprehensive guide to fully taking on Fatalis. This is more so written to combat the main issues and confusion I’ve noticed are most prevalent with SoS players. I’ll update this overtime to add more things I’ve likely forgotten, but in the meantime, you’re welcome to comment any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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