Monster Hunter: World gives you a ride-or-die (ride-or-faint?) companion in your palico. While you build yourself increasingly devastating weapons, you’ll also craft new weapons and armor for your palico (our favorite is the ladybug outfit because, come on).
Your palico deploys a piece of equipment during a fight. By default, your palico will use a vigorwasp spray, which provides a welcome healing boost. As you become more comfortable with the game and hunting monsters becomes less taxing, you might want to swap out that vigorwasp spray for a more specialized tool.
We’ve already discussed the other equipment you can find for your palico, but this guide is going to focus on finding what we’d argue is the most useful: the plunderblade. The plunderblade lets your palico gather extra monster parts during a fight, cutting down the time it takes for you to craft your next set of armor or that shiny new weapon.
Finding the plunderblade
To find the plunderblade, you’ll first have to find and befriend the Plunderers of the Rotten Vale. You’ll need to progress the main story past the 14th assigned quest, Into the Bowels of the Vale. This gives you access to the lower areas of the Vale.
Area 13, the Lynian Researcher and the odogaron
Look for the Lynian Researcher in area 13 of your map. If he’s not there, you can try seeking him out in other areas of the New World and befriending other grimalkyne tribes. You can also try filling some of the requests of the other Commission Researchers (the Piscine Researcher and his very fine hat and the Endemic Life Researcher). Doing these quests for them or befriending the other tribes is (probably) optional, but they’ll fill your time while you wait for the Lynian Research to show up.
Before you set off to find the Plunderers and the Lynian Researcher, make sure you have at least one (but preferably several) pieces of raw meat in your item pouch. After you speak to the Lynian Researcher, wander off for a minute. You have to wait until an odogaron drags a corpse down to this area. You don’t have to fight the odogaron, thankfully, or even be around when it comes back. You just have to wait for it to drag a meal back to the area. (Anecdotally, this has to be a legiana corpse.)
Area 15, the Plunderer grimalkyne and the plunderblade
Once everything is in place — the Lynian Researcher and the odogaron’s meal — you’ll spot a Plunderer grimalkyne when you return to the area in front of the Lynian Researcher. The grimalkyne will run off when you approach, though. Talk to the Lynian Researcher again or just check your map — there’ll be a new icon for the Plunderers in area 15.
When you get there, you’ll spot the grimalkyne again, but he’ll run off when you get close. Your palico will make a couple of comments about how hungry he looks, then it’ll suggest you leave some meat for it.
Place a chunk of raw meat on the ground by hitting the use button like any other item. Drop it where the palico was standing in the middle of the room, then back off — the mouth of the tunnel you came through is a safe distance. The grimalkyne and his friends will come down from the cliffs and eat the food you left.
This time when you approach, you’ll all be friends. The Plunderers will give your palico a plunderblade and teach it to speak to girros. Speaking to girros is a neat party trick, but the plunderblade is what’s really impressive here. It lets your palico carve monster parts from a monster during a fight (rather than having to wait to carve them off a corpse). This makes it a great tool for farming and grinding monster parts to build armor. As your palico levels up with the plunderblade, it’ll grab more and better materials.
When and why to use the plunderblade
Switching to the plunderblade is not for the ill-prepared. Giving up the training wheels of the vigorwasp spray means not having a near-constant source of healing and completely changes the tone of monster hunts. It means a much heavier reliance on the potions in your item pouch. But all that extra monster loot is a really appealing incentive.
The purpose (and results) of the plunderblade are what should determine when you use it. It’s there to give you extra monster parts, so if that’s not what you’re after, use something that makes your life easier instead. If, however, you’re in the middle of a grind for new armor or weapons, the plunderblade is invaluable. Your palico (and any Plunderer grimalkyne you happen to convince to join you) bringing in extra pelts, fangs and claws cuts the length of your grind considerably.