Hellhounds have been forever in Runescape. They first came to the scene almost 20 years ago, and they are very often given as a slayer task to mid and high-level players. Their most famous drop – and one of their only ones – is the hard clue scroll. They are one of the most reliable sources in the game to get this item.
They also have a very strong boss monster that you can kill instead of the regular hellhounds. This boss is named Cerberus, a very strong end-level monster with very expensive drops.
In this guide, I am only going to talk about your average dog next door hellhound. There is plenty to talk about because players have been strategizing killing these monsters for almost 20 years now. A little side notes: Hellhounds had an update that made most of the guides on this monster a bit outdated, so read this one for the latest info on how to kill them effectively.
The best places to find and kill hellhounds
Stronghold Slayer Cave – I think this is one of the best, if not the best, places to kill them quickly. It is accessible pretty early on in the game, and there are many spawns of hellhounds there. The best thing about this place is that you can cannon them here. Cannoning hellhounds in a multi-combat zone is going to be a pretty amazing experience. They have low defense and pretty high hit points, so you won’t be disappointed with the amount of exp you are going to get here in an hour.
Catacomb of Kourend – This is my favorite place to kill them WITHOUT a cannon. You can find 9 spawns of hellhounds here for you to train on, and it is pretty AFK if you do it right. The main reason for me to kill them here is the fact you can get totem pieces and shards here. It is also almost never crowded here and resetting the agro is very easy. Just run a bit past the altar in the middle of the catacombs and go back.
Taverley Dungeon – This is going to be a very nostalgic trip if you have played Runescape in the past. This was the first place where hellhounds were introduced in the world of Runescape. You can safely spot them behind the rocks here and use a cannon to kill them quickly. There are 13 spawns here that you can kill. You should not forget to bring an anti-poison potion here, as you can get poisoned by the spiders you have to run past.
Wilderness Resource Area & Wilderness slayer cave – I am just going to mention these in case you do wilderness slayer. If you do so, odds are you are going to come across a task that is going to have you kill these. If you have one, you should go to either one of those two places. Just be aware, while you can use a cannon, doing so is going to be pretty dangerous. If you die you are going to lose a ton of money if you bring loads of cannonballs and cannon pieces.
What do hellhounds drop?
Hellhounds are worth a lot more than they used to be 19 years ago. However, they are still pretty low money per kill. They are worth about 500 to 600 coins per kill on average. The average hellhound kills if you are on a Konar task is worth 1.5k. This difference is due to the brimstone keys being worth quite a bit of money. They open the chest behind the slayer master named Konar.
Vile ashes – These ashes are a pretty new drop. Hellhounds used to drop only regular ashes, however that has changed into this as their 100% drop. They give 25 prayer experiences when you scatter them. If you choose to offer them via the demonic offering spell, you are going to get 75 experience. They are worth around 425 coins depending on the market prices. I would recommend you to just leave them on the ground, picking them up is going to be a waste of your time.
Smoldering stone – Yes, the hellhounds have a 4.3 mil drop. No, you should not try and grind for it. They drop this on average once every 32 700 kills. You are better off spending those hundreds of hours doing another monster if you want to make money. The stone is also dropped by the hellhound boss named Cerberus. He drops it at a much higher drop rate. You can use the stone to upgrade the dragon axe, harpoon, and pickaxe.
Hard clue scroll – They are going to be your most reliable source of hard clues in the entire game. They have a chance of dropping them 1 out 64 kills. Those are some of the best numbers in the game. However, if you do the hard combat achievements, it will only take you on average 60 kills. If you kill them in the wilderness wearing a ring of wealth (i), the numbers are even more in your favor. Then your odds of getting one are 1 in 32 and 1 in 30 if you did the hard combat achievements.
Brimstone keys – These keys only drop when you get hellhounds as a slayer task from the slayer master named Konar. They have a one in 95 chance of being dropped, which isn’t bad at all. These keys can give you up to 500k in loot at once if you are a bit lucky.
Strategies for killing Hellhounds
Major update! Hellhounds now count as a demonic creature. This means everything that has an effect on demons will work against them. Hellhounds are pretty strong. They are above level 120 combat, and they hit pretty high and accurately. Their defense, however, is almost non-existent. Killing them with melee and range is very easy.
If you want to kill them, you should either kill them in single combat with your best armor and high healing food. The other option, the one I prefer, is using your protect from melee and killing them in multi-combat. The best way to do this is in the Catacombs of Kourend. There, you are going to be able to kill them pretty quickly without a cannon. If you can use a cannon, use one if you want the task to go by fast.
Killing hellhounds with melee
I am going to tell you what the best weapon and armor options are. I will also give some alternatives that might be handy and cheaper if you do not have the best in slot gear.
Head slot – If you are on a slayer task, use your slayer helm (i) as the head slot. This is by far the most effective option you have. If you are not, and you just want to get the clues as soon as possible, you will need to use a Neitiznot faceguard. If you do not have the requirements, or the money, a normal helm of neitiznot will also work.
Necklace slot – The best kind of necklace you can bring here is the amulet of torture. If you do not have one, an amulet of glory or fury will work here too.
Cape slot – The best cape you can bring here is the infernal cape. A fire cape or an Ardougne cape 4 is going to be a very good alternative if you are going to use prayer, and you want to do some decent damage.
Chest slot – If you are not fighting them with melee prayer enabled, then you should use a bandos chestplate as your chest armor. If you are fighting them with prayer, you should use the proselyte armor for the prayer bones. However, the bandos chestplate also gives some bonus to your prayer, so you can use it if you have prayer potions to burn.
Legs slot – In the leg slot, you should use bandos tassets for its prayer and strength bonus. There is also the option of using the proselyte legs if you are using a melee prayer. You can still use the bandos tassets if you are using prayer, as they give a (small) prayer bonus
Weapon slot – This should be the best weapon you have. You need to have DPS above anything else here to kill them effectively. The grazier rapier is the best weapon you can use here to kill them. However, if you are on a budget, a whip is also a good option to kill them. To be complete, the arclight is pretty close to the DPS of a rapier. At the lower levels of strength and attack, its DPS is even higher than the rapier. Still, I do not think you should use it here. This will waste a lot of shards that could be used much better somewhere else.
Shield slot – Here the avernic defender is going to be great. It gives massive attack bonuses and will make sure you hit almost every single hit on them. This is a pretty expensive option, so you can also use a dragon defender or a rune one. The defense of the hellhounds is so low, you won’t have much trouble killing them with less optimal gear in this slot.
Ranging slot – I would suggest you take either a Rada´s blessing (4) or any other god blessing. That will help you save some prayer points while fighting these monsters. A Rada´s blessing (4) has a plus +2 prayer bonus, so it is a bit better than the regular god scroll with a +1 bonus.
Gloves slot – If you have them, then the ferocious gloves are going to be the best here. You can also use the barrows gloves here without any issue. Another decent option is the regen bracelet or the combat bracelet. These are going to give you the bonuses needed to kill off the hellhounds pretty easily.
Boots slot – In my opinion, primordial boots are a waste of money if you are on a tight budget. If you only have dragon boots at your disposal, that is more than enough to have a good time killing hellhounds.
Ring slot – There is only one real option here. The berserker ring (i) is going to give you up to two extra max hits which are amazing. If you are on a very tight budget, you could use a warrior ring (i). These work pretty well too but are an obvious drop in quality compared to the berserker ring.
Special attack weapon – I think the best weapon here if you are trying to save some money or food, is the saradomin gods word. The godsword will heal your hit points with 50% of the damage you do on your special attack, and your prayer points with 25% of the damage you hit during your special attack. If you want to do damage, the best option here is going to be the dragon claws, they will hit these hellhounds very hard. A budget option, which is still very good in my opinion, is the dragon dagger.
Killing hellhounds with ranging
You can kill hellhounds with ranging too, however, you will need to use prayer or safespot them. Fighting them head-on with the weak defense bonuses ranging armor has in Old School Runescape is going to end badly.
Head slot – If you are on a slayer task, use your slayer helm (i) as the head slot. This is by far the most effective option you have. If you do not have a slayer helm, you should use the armadyl helmet. It is the best slot item for ranging off tasks. You can also use a god coif if you can not afford the helmet.
Necklace slot – There isn’t an amulet that comes close to the amulet of anguish. Using it here is going to do wonders for your experience in an hour. If you do not have an amulet of anguish, a great second option is the amulet of fury. If you are on a (very tight) budget, an amulet of glory will work too, but you will notice the difference in exp an hour.
Cape slot – The best item you can wear is the ava’s assembler. Not only does it give you a nice bonus in your attacking stats range-wise, but it is also going to save you a lot of ammo (and money) in the long run due to it picking up 100% of the ammunition. The other options you have are the ranging skill cape or ava’s attractor. These are going to work pretty well too here.
Chest slot – The armadyl chest plate is a great option here to use. You are going to increase your exp an hour by quite a bit using the armadyl chest plate here. It is by far the best in slot for the chest to use. If you do not have an armadyl chest plate, your second option is going to be a blessed d’hide body. A black d’hide body is going to help here too.
Legs slot – The armadyl chain skirt is the best option to wear here. It has an amazing ranging attack bonus and adds a bit of a prayer bonus. Your second option is going to be the blessed d’hide chaps. Of course, here too you can use the black d’hide chaps.
Weapon slot – There is only one good option here, the blowpipe. If you are not going to use one, don’t bother using ranging. There is the possibility to use the armadyl crossbow, but the difference in exp an hour is pretty big. The blowpipe is also a whole lot cheaper than the crossbow. I would use at least mithril darts. However, if you have the money, adamant and rune darts are going to be very effective here too.
Shield slot – You are not going to use a shield here if you use the blowpipe. If you do go against my advice and use an armadyl crossbow here, then the twisted buckler should be the shield of your choice. It gives a decent bonus in both attack and defense.
Ranging slot – If you are using a crossbow you should have at least rune bolts to kill them effectively. If you are using a blowpipe I suggest you either use Rada´s blessing (4) here or any god blessing you have. These will give you a handy little prayer bonus.
Gloves slot – Strange enough, after all these years, the barrows gloves are still the best slot item for ranging. If you do not have these, you should just use your blessed d’hide vambraces or regular vambraces. This is going to give a bit more ranging accuracy, however by this combat level you should strive for barrow gloves.
Boots slot – In the boots slot, you will need pegasian boots for the optimal accuracy and damage per second. If you do not have pegasians or ranger boots, blessed d’hide boots are going to be the second best option here. If you have an extremely tight budget, you can always use snakeskin boots here. They will still give a decent ranking bonus despite only being 20 gp each.
Ring slot – The best – and only decent ring – to wear here is the archer’s ring. This is going to give you a +4 bonus if you use the regular version. If you use the superior imbued version, you are going to get a +8 bonus. This will make quite the difference in your exp an hour, so try to get one if you are going to go for a high-ranging level.
Your inventory when fighting hellhounds
Cannon – If you are going to a multi-combat zone where you can use cannons, you should bring one. Also, make sure you have a good thousand or so cannonballs to be able to fire the cannon the entire trip.
Potions – Are you using ranging? Bring 2 or 3 divine-ranging potions. If you are using melee, bring the same amount in divine combat potions. You should also use prayer potions here. Even if you are not going to use melee prayer, it is useful to have them increase your bonuses. If you are going to use prayer, you should bring about 10 prayer potions.
Food – if you are using prayer, you should not bring any. If you are not using prayer, you should bring your best food or at least sharks.
FAQs about killing hellhounds in old school Runescape
Question: What stats and weaknesses do hellhounds have?
Answer: Hellhounds are at least combat level 122, depending on where you kill them. This combat level makes them pretty strong. They definitely can not be killed easily if you are a low level not using a protection prayer.
Their attack stats are pretty high and their hit points are 116, so they are powerful, have a nice hitpoint pool, and hit very accurately. However, their defensive stats are completely worthless. They have a +0 (nothing) defense stat in stab, slash, crush, magic, and range.
This means they are weak to as good as every attack you throw at them. You can easily finish them off with ranged or melee. If you are using prayer, you should just focus on getting the maximum damage per second.
Question: Should I block hellhounds in Old School Runescape?
Answer: Whether you should block these monsters or not fully depends on your goals in OSRS and your playing style. They are a very common task from the higher level slayer masters, so you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve with slayer and how you want to train it. Slayer points to block tasks are valuable, and you can only block a limited amount of tasks, so don’t take the decision lightly.
If you are doing monsters for high-value drops, you should only block hellhounds if you are not going to do clues. If you are going to do clues, hellhounds will give you a chance to give you items like third age robe tops. These are worth tens of millions of GP.
Hellhounds are a good option to do if you are going for a maximum exp an hour. If you do, you should cannon them and use prayer while in your best in slot melee gear. You will easily get 50 to 70k slayer exp doing this.
If you love playing AFK as I do, then you should kill them in the catacombs of Kourend. You can AFK there for a couple of minutes by using prayer. You also have a pretty easy way to reset your agro by just running past the altar and return.
Question: Can I fight something else instead of normal hellhounds on my slayer task?
Answer: Yes, you have two options. The first option is fighting the skeleton hellhounds vet´ion throws at you when he changes form. These are a lot stronger than the regular hellhounds you face in old-school Runescape. Moreover, you can only find these past level 20 wilderness, so it is pretty dangerous to kill these with your slayer helmet and other great gear. It is a pretty fun way to do a couple of kills of your slayer task and make money at the same moment by killing vet´ion.
The other option is the hellhound boss, Cerberus. This counts as a hellhound and is a great option if you want to kill something else besides the regular hellhounds you normally fight in osrs. Cerberus is a pretty hard boss, and you need 93 slayer to be able to fight him. Luckily, you get rewarded quite well if you kill this monster. You have the odds of getting amazing drops like the primordial crystal. These are worth millions a piece, so they are an amazing drop to get and well worth it to go out of your way for if you want to fight something else and make money.
Conclusion: Hellhounds great exp and great for clues, horrible for drops
Hellhounds have been around for a long time, and their drop table looks pretty different than when they were released in 2002. However, they still are almost completely useless if you want to make money with the drops. They do shine as the number one monster to kill if you are a clue hunter. You have a huge chance of getting a scroll in under 10 minutes, killing these monsters.
If you want to get exp, the hellhounds are pretty decent monsters. They have a very low defense, a decent amount of hitpoints, and you can often find them in multi-combat zones. Since they are found in multi-combat zones, you can often use the cannon to kill them very quickly. If you want a more AFK experience, you should go to the catacombs of Kourend. Here you can easily melee them and keep them aggressive towards you.
As a last note, be aware that there has been an update which made the hellhounds demonic creatures. This made demonbane weapons (very) effective on them. If you are below 90 attack and strength, the Arclight is going to be the best in slot weapon here. It does cost a lot of valuable shards to use, so I would not recommend you use it and just use the rapier or whip.