I finished up the 3 elder dragons after Nergigante, then the final boss Xeno’jiva, to complete the main campaign. I won’t go into the hours taken, since there were times I just left the PS4 on… but my guess is around 20.
Of those 4 last dragons, none were the challenge of Nergigante.
Kushala Daora is a nuisance as there are tornadoes everywhere and getting into melee range is a challenge. Flash Pods work wonders. Fun little fight, but a ranged attacker will shine here. The final “nest” zone is chaos, which is great!
Teostra is a fire dog, that has explosions everywhere. Extremely aggressive and lots of damage over time due to the fire. The final bit in his lair is a hectic run to avoid all sorts of explosions. Cool drinks are mandatory to offset the heat HP drain. It’s quite a lot of fun.
Vaal Hazak is an undead dragon in the Rotten Vale – plenty of Effluvium around. There’s no way to avoid it, and you need to bring Nullberries to revers the 50% HP debuff. He is rather weak and slow compared to the other two.
Xeno’jiva is a massive dragon, the largest by far. Melee really only has a decent chance hitting the front paws. It acts more like a mobile cannon, continually shooting beams from it’s jaws. Deadly beams. It eventually goes crazy and starts leaving fire spots on the ground, and when it rears up on the hind legs, it will generate a large 1-shot AE. In fact, as a general rule whenever any dragon goes on its hind legs, run away. Flash Pods don’t work here, and this thing has twice the HP of any other dragon. Easy battle, just very long. And sharpening the weapon can be a pain.
Closing out after 10 minutes of cutscenes, you unlock a higher HR (level), the ability to meld (use items to make other items, randomly) skill gems, the ability to use two utility devices (now you can always use the Bandit Mantle), and more quests.
I’m far from done with MHW. It feels like the rest of the game opened up for fun, and I can finally see what I want to focus on as end-game. Plus, many of earlier challenges are seemingly a lot easier. My character’s power increase is part of that, but the sheer skill development required to beat some of the tougher monster (looking at you Nergigante) has honed my reflexes to a high degree.
I have two builds I want to try – one that’s crit (affinity) based for my dual blades that requires high sharpness, and another for raw single damage for my switch blade. It’s neat to see so many skills available to try, though I fully understand the grind to get the appropriate decorations (skill gems) to finalize the build. I’d guess a solid 40 hours or so before I consider this game “complete”. Very rare for any game to hit that mark nowdays.