As in, defeating the HR7 boss that unlocks your Hunter Rank. Up until that point, every quest I cleared was cleared by myself, even the ones in the party hall. I prepared quite a bit for the final boss by raising my armor's defense to over 550.
So my armor choices throughout my runthrough...
So at the beginning, I chose to use a Jaggi + Yian Kukku mix. I got Attack+(Big) with just my armor. This was enough to get me through the early part of the game.
Next on, using a +4 Attack charm, swapped parts a bit adding in Kizami's arm and the Bunafu(? the flying bug's) leg, which gave me Razor Sharpness (after adding accessories). At this point, my skills were Attack+(Big) and Razor Sharpness. Very satisfied with this result.
I used this armor set for quite a while, updating them to their high rank version, until I reached HR6 and gained access to the next armor set I wanted to create. That was this image below...
Using the Seltas armor as a base, my skills became:
I especially wanted to use the new skill Hero's Shield, which completely negates any attack that does minimal damage. This means those pesky little monsters and foot stepping are all negated!
Though I did lose firepower.
I added Destroyer because I wanted to easily destroy monster body parts to get their materials.
Gunnery works well with the Charge Blade, which was what I was maining.
Razor Sharpness because Sharpness+ was unattainable.
Weapon-wise, I chose the original Belta(?) Charge Axe at first. I switched around for a while, ending with the Seregios Charge Axe, because it has white sharpness without any skill as well as relatively high attack power and sharpness recovery for long battles (which is unavoidable because of the solo-ing in party quests)
So yeah, used that armor set up to the point of defeating the HR7 boss. My HR rank was 52 when I unlocked it. Actually less than I thought...