The longsword is a rather simple weapon to pick up but has amazing potential for those who can read the monsters’ movements. The longsword’s helm breaker attack is its most damaging move in Monster Hunter Rise. While the move itself was introduced in Monster Hunter World, the helm breaker in Monster Hunter Rise is performed differently.
Like in Monster Hunter World, the Spirit Helm Breaker requires at least 1 charge of Spirit Gauge. The core of longsword is to build Spirit Meter and use the Spirit Combo to increase the Spirit Gauge (none to white to yellow to red) to increase the longsword’s damage output.
Other ways of increasing the Spirit Gauge is by successfully counterattacking with the Foresight Slash (ZR + A) and the Iai Spirit Slash (ZR after the Special Sheathe, which is ZR + B). These moves require you to be hit during the invincibility frames and landing the follow up attack.
Spirit Helm Breaker
Unlike in Monster Hunter World, the helm breaker is performed quite different in Monster Hunter Rise. It is actually tied to one of the new Silkbind moves introduced in Rise, Soaring Kick (ZL + X).
This will use a Wirebug to launch you upwards and forwards, initiating a kick. If the kick lands a hit, the hunter will then be propelled upwards. From there, the hunter can perform either a Plunging Thrust or a Spirit Helm Breaker.
If no button is inputted during the ascent (after the kick lands) or if your Spirit Gauge is 0 (neither white, yellow, or red), then the Plunging Thrust will be performed, turning your Spirit Meter blue and regenerating over time (Spirit Meter is the bar inside the longsword icon that fills up as you attack).
However, pressing the ZR button during the ascent will allow you to perform the Spirit Helm Breaker, consuming one Spirit Gauge in the process.
So, essentially, to do the helm breaker, you press ZL + X to perform the Soaring Kick, the press ZL after you’ve hit the monster and are ascending. Note that because it requires the Soaring Kick to use, if you swap it out with the Silkbind Sakura Slash, you will not be able to use the helm breaker.
Silkbind Sakura Slash is more useful for longsword beginners who have a hard time keeping their Spirit Gauge up, since it’s an easy way to maintain it. However, with enough practice, Soaring Kick is recommended, as that move is the only way to use Spirit Helm Breaker, the longsword’s highest damage output attack in the game.