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But how do you increase the limit?
The skill handicraft will raise the sharpness of your weapon. Otherwise, higher tier weapons simply get sharper.
handicraft only increase the amount but not the maximum of your weapon
This may be confusing to some. Handicraft extends the gauge to the right if there is a space. So any weapons with a space in their gauge will benefit a lot from handicraft, such as Holy Sabers, becoming much better than their usually inferior base stats otherwise would imply. Meanwhile, weapons that are colored in throughout their gauge, like the Nergal varieties, will see zero benefit from
Handicraft.
Does that mean handicraft doesn't bring sharpness to the next level?
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Handicraft does, but you need a few levels of it and the right weapon.
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What switch axes have purple sharpness.
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None, if it hold up to previous MH titles. To get purple sharpness you need to get a weapon with white sharpness and then get a skill to increase it even more (forgot the skill though...). That is, unless they changed it on me.
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Purple tends to be exclusive to G rank, which is not in this game. They may add it as an expansion pack down the road.

Even white sharpness is fairly rare in high rank without Handicraft.
What weapons/items have or give sharpness above green and where are they farmed?
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Above green? Literally all of them and literally everywhere. No really, just keep upgrading things and you'll hit blue.
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My Legiana Long Sword's base Sharpness is White, and most rarity 5 or above have a Sharpness at either an extended green or above green
Odogaron for the sharpest, but lowest base damage weapons, diablos for the dullest, but highest base damage. Everything else is somewhere in the middle.
this mechanic makes the diablos set bonus (increase attack when weapon loses sharpness) really dumb ... or am i missing something here?
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That bonus is more of an off set. Normally, DPS falls as your sharpness decreases. With that bonus, you DPS will remain somewhat constant even has your sharpness decreases.
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Diablos set are for hammer mains in my opinion
There is no purple sharpness in MHW, someone should remove it from the chart.
We still have yet to get the "G" rank monsters (or whatever the MHW version is) and we still have a number of monsters that are coming as a free dlc. So pump your breaks kid.
You are dumb the chart is literally right above you and there is no purple in that chart at all....
probably because it got removed between FEB 10 and FEB 14 thanks to this comment? oh? oh look at that! someone changed the chart just between FEB 10 and FEB 14! how wonderfull is that?
I made a build with handicraft 4 or 5 working fine on diablos weapons with a rare decoration that grants polish effect after sharpening, so you can keep white sharpness indefinitely. Otherwise the odagaron set effect has the same bonus. The gem in question is the sharp gem I received on a tempered elder dragon quest (Val hazaak hr50) so while you can't extend the sharpness past the meter, it doesn't matter if you just sharpen every once in a while you can maintain white
Also, critical hits consume more sharpness.
Just tested this using critical draw, weakness exploit, and critical eye. No crits I did consumed more sharpness than normal hits.
Critical hits consume no sharpness
Yes, critical hits consume normal sharpness, unless one has the bonus from the teostra set which makes critical hits consume consume no sharpness.
What is with weapons sharpness gradually reducing of their own accord, even when sheathed?
They dont lose sharpness when sheathed. Attacking and blocking reduce sharpness as well as things like switch axe's discharge.
Ive had this same problem as well. Apparently bone weapons start gradually losing durability after they reach 2/3 sharpness, and iron weapons lose it after it hits 1/3