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You can now battle new Elder Dragon Lunastra in Monster Hunter World

Say hello the Empress of Flame.

Monster Hunter World is now home to a new Elder Dragon, in the form of Lunastra, the Empress of Flame.

Lunastra is an old-favourite in the Monster Hunter universe and the female counterpart to Elder Dragon Teostra, who's been in World since launch. Lunastra takes things up a notch, however, and Capcom notes that "her capacity to alter the environment around her is unmatched. Stay awake and alert to her burning blue fire at all times if you want to survive." Cool drinks might be wise.

Cover image for YouTube videoMonster Hunter: World – Lunastra Free Update

Notably, Lunastra is the first creature in Monster Hunter World that's able to bond with another to perform more advanced moves. Lunastra can join forces with Teostra in order to unleash particularly devastating attacks, and "you'll want to get a full hunting party stocked up on Lifepowders if you want to stand a chance against this power couple", says Capcom.

Incidentally, to mark her Monster Hunter World debut, Lunastra has been given her very own version of the classic Teostra theme. The original is one of my very favourites from the earlier games, and the remix (which you can hear in the video below) is a lovely surprise.

Cover image for YouTube video

Lunastra's carvable parts can be used to craft new armour and weapons at The Smithy; three weapon paths are available, with the latter two created by combining materials from the Nergigante and Xeno'jiiva. Interestingly, these new weapons are the first to carry an armour skill, and are imbued with the likes of "Guts", enabling you to withstand an attack that might otherwise send you back to base on a cart.

Finally, Monster Hunter World's latest update also paves the way for new and ultra-powerful Tempered Elder Dragons, known as Arch-Tempered Elder Dragons. So there should be plenty to keep hunters busy for a good while yet.