I’m very much a believer in #noexpwaste. But growing up, it was hard to obtain those Gielinor gains at school (During computer lab or study hall, of course). Both my middle and high school banned the website. The boys always managed to find a new proxy website to get around the ban, but some loudmouth always ended up getting the proxies shut down before long. It took me until my senior year before I realized I could download the Runescape client onto a USB and play it that way.
So for most of my primary education years, Old School Runescape was a no-go during school hours. But that didn’t stop me from mapping out my Runescape road to success. I couldn’t play Old School RS, but I could still access the Wiki. Specifically, the bestiary.
There are monsters in Runescape like the fire giant, and I looked through the bestiary pages for all of them. I wanted to see if there were any under-the-radar monsters with valuable drops with solid drop rates. Maybe there was a hidden gem of a combat training monster with great exp/hour rates. If they existed, I’d find them.
I browsed through the bestiary in alphabetical order, and it wasn’t long before I came across the Ankou.
Ankous are a well-known monster in Runescape, especially amongst F2P players. They’re one of the strongest foes you’ll come across in F2P and arguably a final boss of sorts in the Stronghold of Security (Since you need to pass through a chamber full of them and their bones to reach the last reward chest in the pseudo quest).
Everyone will come across these guys sooner or later. And since completing the Stronghold Slayer Cave is usually one of the first things people recommend new players who want to be a Slayer Master do, you’d be wise to know all about them. That’s where I come in. Let’s do a deep dive into Gielinor’s Ankous, shall we?
What Is An Ankou?
The Levels 75, 82, and 86 versions of the Ankou were released in Runescape on the 4th of July in 2006. Levels 95 and 98 Ankou came out in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Ankou’s are undead skeletal ghosts with bright red eyes and a Vice City aura hue around their entire bodies. They have a below-average attack speed of 4 and use Crush-style melee attacks. They have a respectable max hit a range of 8-10. While fairly potent offensively, their defenses are pretty poor, and you can effectively kill them with a decent combat level of either Melee, Ranged, or Magic.
Members will receive Ankou assignments as mid-level Slayer tasks from the Slayer Tower pretty often. You can receive Ankou Slayer tasks from Vannaka, Nieve/Steve, Krystilia, Duradel, and Konar.
While Ankou’s are Slayer monsters, you don’t need to be on task to kill these greater demons.
Where Can I Find Ankou’s In OSRS?
There are five locations across Runescape where you can find Ankous.
Stronghold of Security: Sepulchre of Death
Ankou’s reside on the bottom floor of the Stronghold of Security. The Stronghold is in the center of Barbarian Village, south of Edgeville, East of Falador, and West of Varrock. If you have a Skull Sceptre, you can teleport straight there.
To reach the bottom floor of the Stronghold, you’ll need to progress through the first three levels by passing through gates and answering security questions. These questions are simple with common sense answers about account safety, like don’t give out your password or click on suspicious email links.
After finishing the Stronghold for the first time, you will gain access to level portals. There are found in the first room of each level and warp you to the final chamber. From there, climb down to the Sepulchre of Death until you reach the Ankous.
You will find Ankou’s in three different chambers down here. The southwest chamber of the Sepulchre of Death is the best place if you want to safe spot Ankous. There’s a safe spot behind a group of skeletons as soon as you enter the chamber.
The Forgotten Cemetery
The Forgotten Cemetery is in Level 30 Wilderness northwest of Edgeville. If you’re in a P2P world, you can get here quickly via several teleports.
If you have at least 60% Arceuus favor, 71 Magic, and have access to the Arceuus spellbook, you can use the Cemetery teleport to warp straight here. If you’ve completed Desert Treasure, have 68 Magic, and access to the Ancient Magicks spellbook, you can use the Dareeyak Teleport spell. It will transport you about 7 Wilderness levels south of the Forgotten Cemetery. If you can’t use either of those teleports, you can use the Burning amulet to skip some of the walking distance. You can teleport to the Bandit Camp or Lava Maze and walk northwest or southwest to reach the Forbidden Cemetery.
You can use the space behind the coffin in the southwest part of the Cemetery as a safe spot. Be careful since this is a Wilderness area, and you may run into PKs. You will sometimes slip into Level 31 Wilderness, where you won’t be able to teleport.
The Forgotten Cemetery is an appropriate name for this place, as it’s a largely forgotten relic of Runescape. Killing an Ankou in the Wilderness is a medium task for the Wilderness Diary, so there’s that at least.
Stronghold Slayer Dungeon
The Stronghold Slayer Dungeon is one of the more convenient locations to kill Ankou’s in more ways than one. So long as you’re on a Slayer task, that is.
Located beneath the Tree Gnome Stronghold, you can get here quickly and easily by using a Slayer ring. Once in the dungeon, head to the far east to find a cove of Ankous.
The Stronghold Slayer Dungeon is the only non-Wilderness place where you can kill Ankou’s using a Dwarf Multicannon. If you want to get an Ankou Slayer task over with safely and quickly, the Stronghold Slayer Dungeon is your best option.
You can also safe spot Ankou’s down here by luring them to the edge of their tile range and using Ranged or Magic to kill them. I don’t recommend doing this, as it’s very inefficient. If you want to safe spot, go to the Stronghold of Security.
Catacombs of Kourend
The Catacombs of Kourend are beneath Great Kourend, with five entrances scattered around the kingdom. The easiest way to get here is to use the Xeric’s Talisman and the Xeric’s Heart teleport. Before you can do so, you must complete the Architectural Alliance miniquest. If you haven’t done it yet, teleport to Xeric’s Glade and run from there.
The Kourend Castle teleport requires Level 69 Magic and will teleport you to the Kourend Castle courtyard close to the main entrance of the Catacombs. You gain access to the Kourend Castle teleport by reading the book Transportations incantations in the Arceuus Library.
Once in the Catacombs, head south past some ghouls and cyclops to reach the Ankous. There are a bunch of them down here, so this is an ideal spot for bursting. Like the Stronghold Slayer Dungeon, you can safe spot here, but it’s not worth the effort.
Wilderness Slayer Cave
The final and most dangerous place to find Ankou’s is the Wilderness Slayer Cave.
To get here, use a Burning amulet to teleport close to the entrance of the Wilderness Slayer Cave and run the rest of the way there. The Ankou’s are in the bottom left corner of the cave near the Ice giants.
You can use a Dwarf Cannon here, making it the fastest spot for killing Ankous, alongside the Stronghold Slayer Dungeon. If you’re trying to get the most profit out of killing Ankous, the Wilderness Slayer Cave is the best location if you’re on Slayer task (More on this later).
It’s also the riskest location of them all, being a Wilderness multi-combat area where PKing clans notoriously prowl. Be extra careful if coming here.
Where Should I Kill Ankous?
If you’re a F2P player, your best option is the Stronghold of Security. There’s no reason to risk being in the Wilderness at the Forgotten Cemetery.
If you’re a P2P player, you should kill them at the Stronghold Slayer Dungeon or Wilderness Slayer Cave since both locations allow the use of a Dwarf Multicannon.
If you don’t have access to a Cannon yet or prefer bursting, the Catacombs of Kourend are the ideal place for you. The Catacombs are the second best place to kill them for loot after the Wilderness Slayer Cave.
What Combat Levels Should I Have When Fighting Ankous?
If you plan to use Melee against Ankous, I recommend Level 60 melee stats across the board. If you want an extra safety net and plan on using Prayer, 43 Prayer is mandatory for Protect from Melee.
Since multiple locations allow for safe spotting, Magic and Ranged recommendations are much more generous. For Ranged, I recommend at least Level 50 for a Magic shortbow. For Magic, you can get away with just 39 Magic thanks to the effectiveness of the Crumble Undead spell. If you want to burst them down, you need at least 62 Magic and must complete Desert Treasure.
What Gear Should I Use Against Ankous?
No matter which combat style you choose, I recommend using a Salve amulet. If using Melee, just a Salve amulet (e) will suffice. If using Magic or Ranged, get a Salve amulet (ei). The former increases Attack and Strength while facing undead monsters by 20%. The latter does the same but also increases Ranged and Magic damage and accuracy by 20%.
These bonuses do not stack with your Black mask or Slayer helmet bonuses, and the Salve amulet is generally the superior buff when fighting undead monsters.
As for the rest of your gear, it doesn’t matter too much. Ankou’s are equally susceptible to Melee, Ranged, and Magic, so bring your best gear. If you plan on going down the Prayer route with Melee, use some Proselyte or Initiate armor. A Cannon is the fastest way of killing Ankous and is what I recommend the most. Cannonballs aren’t too expensive these days either.
If you’re on a tight budget or want to spend as little GP and supplies as possible, Crumble Undead is the best budget option for dealing with Ankous. The Slayer staff is cheap and is one of the few Staves in the game that can autocast Crumble Undead, so go with that. For those bold enough to use one in the Wilderness, the Viggora’s chain mace is arguably the best melee weapon while in the Wilderness. Combined with a Cannon, Wilderness tasks go by very fast.
If you’re on Slayer task and want to speed things up, consider bringing an Expeditious bracelet or two. If you’d like to train Prayer, you can use the Ectoplasmator and Bonecrusher combo.
Bring a bit of food if not using the Prayer method or at a Wilderness location. Better safe than sorry.
What Drops Can I Get From Ankous?
Ankous’ F2P drop table is pretty barebones. You can expect regular drops of small amounts of law runes, adamant arrows, and noted drops of rune essence and mithril ore. If you’re killing Ankou’s at the Stronghold of Security, they will drop the Left skull half at about a 1/33 chance. You will need this to create the complete Skull Sceptre. You can also use it to charge an imbued Skull Sceptre. If you want to make a little money from those skull half drops, you can use a chisel to break them down into bone fragments that you can sell on the Grand Exchange.
P2P is where Ankous’ drops get a little more interesting. In P2P worlds, Ankou’s regularly drop death and blood runes in stacks of 11 and 10, respectively. They will also drop Pure Essence alongside Rune, but Pure is just as worthless as Rune in 2022. The real money from Ankou’s comes from their tertiary drops, which are dependent on location. If making money from Ankou’s is your goal, you want to kill them in the Wilderness Slayer Cave while on task for Krystilia or in the Catacombs of Kourend.
If on assignment for Krystilia, your assigned monster has a chance of dropping Larran’s keys. If you kill your assigned monster in the Wilderness Slayer Cave, the drop rate of these keys is improved significantly. Larran’s keys open up Larran’s small and big chests. They contain items worth up to several million GP. The big chest is riskier to open but has a better average GP value per opening and has a chance of dropping Dagon’hai robes, whereas small chests don’t. Wilderness Slayer Cave Ankou’s have other additional drops unique to that location, like rune arrows. They will drop larger quantities of blood and death runes, but oddly at worse rates than their non-Wilderness counterparts.
If you kill Ankou’s in the Catacombs of Kourend, Ankou’s will potentially drop dark totem pieces and ancient shards. If on task for Konar, your assigned Ankou may drop Brimstone keys which open up the Brimstone chest next to Konar. The average loot value from opening up a Brimstone chest is just above 100K, with the most valuable drop being around 735K.
Ankou’s have laughably bad drop rates for both herbs and seeds, so don’t expect much of those. They have access to the gem drop table, but that’s nothing worth writing home about in 2022. You can potentially get hard clue scrolls from Ankous, but the drop rates are terrible (Even if in the Wilderness with an imbued Ring of Wealth).
Should I Fight Ankous for Experience Gains Or Profit?
For P2P players, I would say no and no.
For F2P players, I would say no and not.
Ankou’s offer okay at best Slayer experience and decent Combat experience. Compared to F2P, the Combat experience is incredible. Compared to other P2P monsters, it’s nothing special.
For P2P players, most of the Ankous’ loot value doesn’t even come from them. It’s entirely dependent on if you’re fighting them in the Catacombs of Kourend (For potential loot not exclusive to Ankou’s) or if or Slayer assignment from Krystilia or Konar. And since there’s no Slayer level requirement to kill Ankous, they don’t get a buffed drop rate for Brimstone keys. So even on Konar assignments, they aren’t too great. Without tertiary drops, Ankou’s are pretty mediocre profit-wise. A low-tier monster like Chaos Druids would be a better option.
The story gets even worse for F2P players. It’s a topic I’d like to delve into sometime, but many aspects of F2P Runescape have not aged well. Ankou falls into that category.
Back in the days when OSRS was just Runescape, Ankou’s were great. They were arguably the best combat money-making method in F2P. But adamant arrows were the primary moneymakers from Ankou’s in F2P, and the value of adamant arrows has dropped off a cliff. And with it, the Ankou’s profitability. Mithril ore was worth a good amount back then but is pretty worthless now.
As for experience gains, Ankou’s aren’t bad, but they aren’t great either. Ankou’s hit pretty hard through Rune armor, F2P’s best-in-slot Defense gear. Without Prayer potions, F2P players can’t use the Prayer training method for very long. If it’s high-end F2P experience gains you want, you’re better off training on spiders in the Stronghold of Security one floor up.
Question: Should I skip/block Ankou’s as a Slayer task?
Answer: No. Only skip a monster if it’s presently impossible for you to do, or it’s one of the usual suspects of awful tasks like metal dragons. Ankou’s are pretty mid and boring to do but not nearly worth a block slot.
Question: Should I prioritize getting a Skull Sceptre?
Answer: I would. More teleport options are more teleport options. I recommend getting a Skull Sceptre imbued and some spare skull halves from Ankou’s in the Stronghold of Security to recharge it when needed.
Question: Should I use Bracelets of slaughter while on Ankou Slayer tasks?
Answer: I suppose you could argue Bracelets of slaughter are worth using on any Krystilia task for more chances at Larran’s keys, but I vote no. Bracelets of slaughter are ideal for boss tasks like Cerberus for Hellhounds or monsters you can only fight while on Slayer task.
All empires must fall, and no kings rule forever. Ankou’s never ruled P2P, and their status as F2P royalty has long since passed. As a result, Ankous are more or less a monster that’s just kind of there in the world of Runescape.
If Jagex wanted to be bold and revive Ankou as a monster, they could give them Ankou outfit pieces as ultra-rare drop items. Or better yet, make a boss Ankou that can drop them. If Yu-Gi-Oh can have a King of the Skull Servants, Gielinor can have a King of the Ankous.
Or maybe I’m just wishful thinking out loud, and Ankous will remain largely irrelevant in OSRS. That’s probably it. Ah well.
Here are other interesting readings for you:
- Smoke Devil OSRS Guide : The Mutant Cousin Of Dust Devils
- Bone Voyage OSRS Guide
- Fossil Island OSRS Guide
- Tears of Guthix OSRS Guide
This article was updated on 11/03/2022 by the Rune Fanatics editorial team. Our goal at Rune Fanatics is to provide the most up-to-date relevant quest information, walkthroughs, and tips. We updated some of the article text to give you better, more relevant information.
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