Monster Hunter World: Iceborne not only introduces a menagerie of new monsters to fight, it also reworks several that previously made an appearance in the base game. The first handful of these you go up against include the Viper Tobi-Kadachi, the Coral Pukei Pukei, and the Nightshade Paolumu, each having their own unique twist.
For those concerned that Capcom has simply wheeled in last year’s beasties and given them a skin change, don’t fret. While not completely different from your pinky, fluffy Paolumu, this supercharged Nightshade version comes tagged with some interesting quirks, forcing hunters to change up their existing strategies.
Water element weapons are recommended for the Nightshade Paolumu fight, with fire also being moderately effective. However, you should shelve your dragon weapons and avoid the rest unless you have no other appropriate tools in your Master Rank arsenal.
As for ailments, Nightshade is the slumber king so trying to put them to sleep as you main strategy won’t stick. It has no other particular weaknesses you can exploit, so get ready to employ those core monster hunter skills.
For the most part, you’ll weave in and out of the Paolumu’s regular attacks as it alternates between its aerial and grounded states. Iceborne’s newly introduced Clutch Claw can be particularly handy in this fight, letting you grapple the Paolumu’s mid-flight and potentially bring it tumbling down to ground.
Living up to its name, the Nightshade Paolumu loves nothing more than envelope careless hunters in a numbing haze. It will drop clouds of sleep gas with several of these lingering at once. These take a while to clear, meaning the Nightshade Paolumu can effectively deny players access to small patches of the environment unless they’re packing sleep proof gear or gems. Those short on sleep resistant decorations can head all the way down to low rank and stick on some Radobaan armour, but prepare to be very careful without that Master Rank tier armour defence.
If you’re not immune to the sleepy stuff, try to engage it in larger, more open areas. While it can be tempted to pursue the Paolumu through tight corridors, you’re more likely to stumble into one of its gas clouds.
While easy to spot and avoid, the monster will often use its strange sucking power to create a giant vacuum. This will also move the clouds of sleeping gas from their original positions if the Nightshade Paolumu is close enough. Being put to sleep isn’t too much of an issue, though a couple of follow up attacks could scratch off one of your three lives if you aren’t careful.
The only other major damage dealer is the Nightshade’s dive-bombing. When its air sac is full, it will occasionally fly up into the air, exhaling as it plummets towards you. Like many of the flying wyvern’s attacks, it’s easy to anticipate.
As with most of Iceborne’s fights, endurance is just as important as your damage dealing capabilities. These new monsters are all tagged with noticeably bigger health bars so expect first encounters to last around half an hour until you’re able to upgrade your weapons some more.