Kirin are Elder Dragons introduced in Monster Hunter.


Kirin resembles a unicorn, though a closer look reveals that it is covered in scales rather than a coat. Its majestic white mane and hair stand on end, as if charged with static. The monster often crackles with stray electricity.


Kirin can summon lightning to strike attackers or the area around it. When Kirin is threatened or provoked, it can wreath itself in lightning, which is proven to harden it's hide. Kirin has very few physical attacks and relies mostly on lightning strikes as it's main force of attacking foes.


Kirin appear to be relatively peaceful and passive creatures, yet they are quite capable of launching a powerful barrage of lightning attacks on their foes. Using their extreme agility, Kirin can literally run circles around their opponent, getting in close to gore an enemy with their horn, only to quickly dart away and prepare another assault. Kirin are very mobile and can jump and run incredible distances in short amounts of time.


Kirin can be seen in the Tower, Snowy Mountains, Swamp, Old Swamp, Battleground, Old Jungle, the Everwood, Jurassic Frontier, and Coral Highlands.

Game Appearances

Element/Status Effectiveness

Element Effectiveness Status Effectiveness
Fire ★★★ Poison
Water ★★ Sleep ★★
Thunder Paralysis
Ice ★★ Blast ★★
Dragon Stun

Other Non-Subspecies Forms

Hard Core (HC) Kirin

FrontierGen-HC Kirin Render 001.png

In Monster Hunter Frontier Season 10.0, HC Kirin is added. Now its eyes glow blue. It is surrounded by sparks of electricity at all times, is capable of performing a double back kick, a frontal flip that also releases a vast swathe of lightning, a charge so fast it almost seems to teleport and a huge array of new, powerful, and highly accurate lightning attacks.

Thunder Emperor Kirin

MHXR-Thunder Emperor Kirin Render 001.jpg

Main Article: Thunder Emperor Kirin

A Variant of Kirin first appearing in Monster Hunter Explore.

In-Game Description

Monster Hunter Freedom 2 / Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
MHFU-Kirin Icon.png The Kirin is said to glow a faint blue, but so few have seen it that details are scarce. It is apparently capable of calling forth lightning at will. Kirin material is very valuable.
Monster Hunter 4
MH4U-Kirin Icon.png 古龍種に属するが、その生態はほとんど知られていない、幻の生物。 個体数が非常に少なく、目撃情報は極端に少ない。 雷を自在に操り、怒り時には雷を全身にまとうという。 希少価値ゆえに体から採れる素材の価値は高い。
Threat Level (危険度): ★★★★★
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
MH4U-Kirin Icon.png Elder dragons so rarely sighted that little is known of their ecology, though everyone knows of the high prices Kirin parts fetch. It's been said they are one with lightning itself, and that their bodies becomes clothed in pure electricity when they are provoked.
Threat Level (危険度): ★★★★★
Monster Hunter Generations
MH4U-Kirin Icon.png Elder dragons so rarely sighted that little is known of their ecology, though everyone knows of the high prices Kirin parts fetch. It's been said they are one with lightning itself, and that their bodies becomes clothed in pure electricity when they are provoked.
Threat Level (危険度): ★★★★★
Monster Hunter: World
MHW-Kirin Icon.png Kirin are so rarely sighted that little is known of their ecology. It's been said that they envelop themselves in pure electricity when they are provoked.
Monster Hunter Stories
MHST-Kirin Icon.png Lightning-wielding mystical creature. Classified as an Elder Dragon, but its true nature remains a mystery.
Monster Hunter Frontier G
FrontierGen-Kirin Icon.png (?)
Monster Hunter Explore
MHXR-Kirin Icon.png (?)

MH4U Breakable Parts

Horn (x1)
MH4U-Kirin Horn Break 001.jpgIndent08.gifMH4U-Kirin Horn Break 002.jpg


General Notes

  • The Kirin's three part hoof is similar to a Miohippus, an ancient horse with a three toed hoof.
  • The weakest point on a Kirin is its horn.
  • Kirin is likely based on the mystical beast Qilin, which commonly appears in East Asian mythology.
    • Qilin and Kirin are technically the same creature but from different cultures. Qilin has Chinese origin while Kirin has Japanese and sometimes Korean origin. They are chimerical, a mythical animal formed from parts of various animals. Traditionally, Qilin/Kirin is an ox, deer or horse mixed with a dragon which said to bring good luck but is also "said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler".
  • There is no Kirin armor in the original Monster Hunter for the PS2. It was added in Monster Hunter G and Freedom 1.
  • Players are awarded Mane Necklace for their Guild Card when they slay a Kirin.
  • The pattern of the lightning bolts striking around Kirin can be predicted from the way it tosses its head before they strike.
  • Kirin is the smallest Elder Dragon in the history of Monster Hunter.
    • Kirin is the smallest Large Monster in the history of Monster Hunter.
      • This excludes specialty quest monsters, such as the miniature Uragaan and Khezu.
  • Gunners should first focus on making the Kirin sleep due to its low tolerance to said element, then deploy Large Barrel Bombs.
  • When knocked over, Kirin makes a noise simliar to a Kelbi.
  • Kirin is immune to Paralysis.
  • Prior to Monster Hunter Generations, other small monsters are present when Kirin is in an area, unlike other Elder Dragons.
  • Kirin doesn't have its own theme, unlike many other Elder Dragons.

Monster Hunter 1

  • The Kirin can no longer be fought because it was in an online-only quest, and the servers have shut down.

Monster Hunter Freedom 2

  • In Area 8 of the Forest and Hills zone, there is a Kelbi carcass. It is much larger than a normal Kelbi, and has an ear that resembles a protruding horn. This has confused many players, who believe that it is a Kirin carcass. A very similar carcass is also found in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, in Area 9 of the same zone.
  • Kirin gives the least carves of any Elder Dragon, with only two.

Monster Hunter 3

  • There are a couple of Kirin references:
    • Players can order and eat Kirin Butter for status boosts.
    • There is an equipped head piece in the "Arena Free-for-all" for Bowguns which is called Kirin Earring.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

  • When fought in the Everwood, the Tower theme plays.
  • You can now carve Kirin three times, unlike MHFU where you only receive two carves.
  • Its horn can now be broken for the first time.
  • Kirin also gains two new attacks, a backwards kick and a large electrical explosion.
  • In G-rank, it can chain several aimed horn thrusts.

Monster Hunter Generations

  • When Kirin is present on a standard hunting ground, all small monsters are absent.

Monster Hunter: World

  • Kirin's overall physical appearance has been made larger and more defined and it has a notably longer tail and mane.
  • Kirin will limp when weakened.
  • Kirin now has animations when knocked over.
  • Kirin has a new attack where it crates a highlighted lane of cyan light on the ground with gaps in-between. Kirin will "prime" these lanes and have lightning run from one end to the other.
    • The gaps between these lanes are normally safe from the lightning strike, unless hunters stands too close to one side.
  • Kirin's Armor Mode is a separate mode from its rage state and can be nullified with Elderseal weapons.
    • The Armor Mode not only makes Kirin's body harder, but modifies its Lightning attacks to either inflict more damage or have more lightning strikes in a single attack.
  • Like most other Elder Dragons, Kirin's horn can now only be broken when near death and Kirin's corpse can be carved four times.
  • Kirin is the only Elder Dragon that can be slain in Low Rank.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

  • Master Rank Kirin can set its Thunder Lane attack in criss-cross formation, severely limiting the safe zones into small squares.
  • Kirin has a losing Turf War with Rajang and will always get its horn broken in one if it hasn't already.

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