If you have completed Dragon Slayer II, you get access to a lot of new content. Most of this content is known for how much profit it can bring in. Killing rune dragons is no exception to that. While they are the strongest out of the chromatic dragons, they are no-boss monsters and can be defeated quite easily at higher levels.
There are a couple of ways that you can kill them, and I am going to discuss the best ones in this guide. I am also going to take a deep dive into what the monsters drop, and some strategies to max out your profits. Of course, for the AFK play style player base – of which I am part of – I am going to tell you how I kill them.
This guide assumes you are not starting with a 0 GP bank. While it is possible to kill them with only a couple of k´s of gear. Yes, you can kill them with very little money, but it is not going to be effective or fun. You do not need a slayer level for this monster, but it is locked behind some of the most difficult quests and requirements in OSRS.
Where to find them and what to look out for when killing rune dragons
Where to find rune dragons
There is only one place where you can find the rune dragons. This is the Lithkren Vault, a new place in OSRS that is only accessible after the completion of the Dragon Slayer II quest.
You can easily reach it by using a digsite pendant. If you do not have this teleportation, you can search in the Varrock museum in the rubble pile till you find one. The vault does not have just rune dragons, there are adamant dragons too. The adamant dragons are okay money, but not nearly as good as the rune dragons are.
Going to the Lithkren Vault is only a good idea if you have the pendant. Walking there is going to be way too far and will take you almost as much time as just grinding for the pendant in the Museum.
Rune dragon mechanics
Rune dragons are pretty strong monsters. This is mainly because you can not protect yourself 100% with prayer. They have multiple attacks that can hit you. There is a dragon fire attack, a normal melee attack, a normal ranged attack, and a normal magic attack. They also have 2 special attacks.
Their first special attack is based on electric shocks. They fire two bolts of these and they follow the player. For a few seconds, they deal 4 to 7 damage to your hit points per game tick. That is a massive amount of damage. The only way to amend this huge amount of damage is by wearing insulated boots. This will more than half the damage you receive from it. You can also run away 5 to 6 squares to avoid getting hit.
The second attack is unavoidable. It is a missile-based attack that hits even through the ranging prayer. When they hit, the rune dragon will heal itself for 100% of the damage that they have dealt with the player. Getting hit high with this attack is going to cost you a lot of hitpoints and will make your fight with the dragon even longer. Having a high defense bonus is going to be crucial.
What is it all about – the rune dragon drops
Since the only reason you have to kill and grind these are the drops, this is going to be where I focus most of my attention. I will also take into account that a lot of ironmen are doing this for alchables and that there are dedicated accounts – rune dragon alts – that are built just for doing these monsters for the drops. That being said, let’s dive into the rune dragon drop table.
One rune dragon kill is worth about 34k. That is amongst the highest numbers for non-boss monsters. This includes their very drops. Without these drops, they are still worth 33k on average. That is an amazingly consistent moneymaker. If you kill just 15 per trip, you walk away without half a mil with minimum effort spent.
100% drops of the rune dragon
- Dragon bones: To nobody’s surprise, dragons drop dragon bones. These are worth around 1.8k depending on the current market rates. You should not pick those up, as they take way too much inventory. You can pick them up and bury them if this would not take too long. That would give you 72 prayer exp.
- Runite bar: About 35% of the money per drop is due to their 100% drop rate of the runite bar. You should always pick these up unless you have a very good reason not to. They are worth 12k each and is going to fill most of the inventory space of your backpack. Oftentimes people will forget to pick them up or have no inventory space.
Weapon and armor drops
- Rune platebody: The rune plate body is their most common rune drop armor-wise. It drops on average once every 14 kills. This is amazing, as the plate body is worth 38k each. It also alchs for that price, so it is very stable in price.
- Rune longsword: They drop this sword about once every 16 kills on average. This is worth 18k and is a nice drop to get. They add up over time, and you should pick them up.
- Rune mace: These rune maces get dropped once about every 18 kills. They are worth less than the runite bar you always get, so pick up the bar and not the mace if you do not have the inventory space. The mace is worth only 8k.
- Rune scimitar: The rune dragon is one of the only monsters that drop the rune scimitar. One of the others is the fire giant. You should kill fire giants if you are a low-level account that wants a scimmy. However, if you need one fast and are higher level, you will get them once in 18 kills on average. They are worth about 15k each which is pretty nice but below the average drop worth.
- Rune Warhammer: The rune Warhammer is worth more than most people think. They are worth 26k on average, and you get them about once every 18 kills. They alch cost the same price so they bring in quite some money and add up.
- Rune plate legs: one of the other main moneymakers here is the rune plate legs. They drop once in on average 21 kills and are worth 37.5k each. You can alch them for the same money.
- Dragon plate legs: If you want to get dragon armor drops, this is one of the best monsters there is. They drop once in 127 kills on average, which is the best number out of all non-boss monsters. A dragon plate legs drop is worth 161k and alchs for about that much. If you kill rune dragons a lot, you will have a nice stack of them in very little time.
- Dragon plate skirt: They also drop the plate skirt very often. They are also worth 161k and have the same drop rate as the dragon plate legs. These two form your main money makers dragon armor dropwise.
- Dragon med helm: If you want to get yourself the most iconic dragon armor drop out of all, you will probably have to go to the rune dragons if you want it fast. They drop it once in about 127 kills, which is great.
Rune and ammunition drops
I would not bother with this drop if you are running out of inventory space. They do add up if you pick them up, but with only a 1k average value per drop, it is not worth it in my opinion.
If you are an ironman, rune dragons are one of the best places to get your Wrath runes. They drop them about once in every 16 kills, and they drop 30 to 50 of them. They are worth 11k to 19k depending on how many you get.
Getting there is always nice if you are a noob, but not when you are at a higher level. They drop 75 to 150 of them at once, but that is not enough to make them worth it. If you have the inventory space, you can pick them up.
The rune dragons here drop 50 to 100 death runes, which is very nice for ironman who need a steady supply of them for ancient magic spells. They have a one 18 drop chance and are worth around 9 to 18k per drop.
TIP: Bring a rune pouch! A rune pouch can hold 3 types of runes and uses only one inventory space. This way you can pick up all the runes and you will not lose any money on this.
Herbs and other drops
The herb drops here just aren’t that good in my opinion. Most of the time they are not worth it to pick them up. It is a good idea to pick up the ranarrs and the snapdragons to make sure you have enough super restores and prayer potions in your bank.
Noted grimy ranarr weed:
Pick them up if you are an ironman. They drop once in 63 kills on average, so not a reliable source.
Noted grimy snapdragon:
Pick them up if you are an ironman. They drop once in 63 kills on average, so not a reliable source.
Noted grimy torstol:
I wouldn’t bother with this. It is only worth 7k per drop. Even as ironman they aren’t that useful.
Rune and dragon javelin heads:
The rune javelin heads drop about 20 to 30 at once and the rarity depends on if you completed monkey madness II or not. If you have not, they will drop once in 8.5 kills. If you have finished the monkey madness quest you will be able to get the dragon javelin heads as a drop. The heads will drop 30 to 40 at a time and are worth quite some money. Every drop will give you 28k to 40k in worth. Rune dragons drop dragon javelin heads about once in every 25 kills on average, which is amongst the best drop rates in the entire game.
Noted cut dragonstone:
Worth about the same as the rune bar drop. If you have the inventory space, you can pick them up.
Noted runite ore:
They drop these notes. You can get 2 to 5 ores at a time. This will be worth about 22k to 56k per drop. Since they drop these about once in 21 kills on average, you will make a decent amount of money over time with these.
Dragon bolts (unf):
A very decent drop to get, but only one in 127 dragons drop them on average. If you are an ironman rune dragons are one of the best ways to get dragon bolts (unf).
The tertiary drops
Clue scroll (elite):
Rune dragons are a very good source of getting elite clue scrolls, they have a drop rate of 1 in 300. This goes up when you have done the elite combat achievements. Then it will be 1 in 285.
This is one of the unique drops that rune dragons have. These were worth over 10 mils a couple of months ago, but they have dropped in value pretty hard. They are worth about 600k. For ironman, this is an important drop, as you need it to make the dragon crossbow.
Dragon metal lump:
This is a one in 5000 drops at the rune dragons. If you have the dragon metal shard, and a dragon chainbody you can make a dragon plate body. If you want to make it yourself, you will need 90 smithing.
One of the iconic drops in Runescape. These are only worth 2m now and have a drop rate of one in 5000. I would not count on getting this, but it is nice to get it. It is one of the better monsters to kill for a draconic visage if you are an ironman.
What stats do you need to kill the rune dragons?
You are going to need some serious stats to kill these effectively. They are one of the best moneymakers in the game and are intended for the higher-level players to kill. While these are just suggestions, and you can have lower stats, I would not recommend it. You won’t have a good time doing so.
- Attack: If you want to melee them and hit them often you are going to need 90+ attacks.
- Strength: When you hit, you are going to want to hit high, 90+ strength is going to give you that power.
- Defense: this is one of the places where your defense is extremely important, 90+ is strongly advised.
- Magic: if you are going to use magic here you will need to be around 94+, using magic is not that advised. See the FAQ.
- Ranged: Ranging these is pretty hard, so you will need a (very) high level to do it well. I advise you to be 90+.
- Prayer: No debate about this, you are going to need piety or rigour to fight these dragons and make good money an hour, you need 70+ prayers.
Best and worst melee gear you can wear to kill them
I am going to assume you are not on a slayer task. Otherwise, wear the slayer helmet (i) on a trip with full bandos.
- Head slot: The justiciar faceguard is by far the best item to wear on the head slot if you wear it as a set. So you should take full justiciar. The best of the worst items here is the helm of neitiznot. The drop is pretty huge between those, too, so you will take a lot more damage.
- Necklace slot: The amulet of torture is going to help you hit through their massive defensive stats. A nice alternative is going to the amulet of glory. It gives some defensive stats but doesn’t give a lot of good bonuses.
- Cape slot: The infernal cape is going to be the best here, the fire cape is fine too. If you have an Ardougne cloak 3 or a skill cape that is going to be a good worst option. At the very least you should bring an obsidian cape.
- Chest slot: To get the set effect of justiciar you need to wear the faceguard, chestguard, and the legguards, so you will need to wear the chestguard to get the full effect as your best in the slot. The worst of the best is going to be the Torag plate body, some will tell you obsidian is the worst of the best, but that would make your trip even shorter.
- Legs slot: You will need to wear the justiciar legguards to get the set effect. This is going to give you a massive defense bonus. The best of the worst of the leg slot is the verac’s plateskirt. This is pretty decent armor and is going to give a prayer bonus.
- Weapon slot: The dragon hunter lance is the best melee weapon by far you can take here. This is due to the fact it has the dragon bane ability, which increases your damage and accuracy against dragons. The best of the worst weapons is the dragon sword. I would strongly suggest you save up for at least an abyssal dagger.
- Shield slot: You are going to need the avernic defender to hit them accurately and often, another good and best of the worst option is the Dragonfire shield. It gives good bonuses and a nice defense bonus and strength increase.
- Ranging slot: Here you need to bring either Rada´s blessing 4 as your best slot, or a normal god blessing.
- Gloves slot: The best gloves you can wear are ferocious gloves, they will give a lot of extra attack bonuses for a decent price. The best of the worst is the regen bracelet. This will give nice bonuses and give you some healing during the fighting.
- Boots slot: Just bring the insulated boots. You are going to regret bringing anything else. It is not worth it to dodge the electric shocks every time. If you want to try hard, you can bring your prims.
- Ring slot: The berserker ring (i) is going to be the best slot here to wear. You can either wear the ring of suffering or the brimstone ring as a worst in the slot.
- Special attack weapon: Your special attack weapon should be the dragon claws if you can afford them. A good alternative is the dragon Warhammer or the Bandos godsword.
Inventory for melee
You should bring the digsite pendant, a house tab, your special attack weapon, a DEVINE super combat potion, an extended super anti-fire, and 3 to 4 prayer potions. A great option is bringing a rune pouch for drops, or for casting a vengeance skill. You will also need one-click tele and great food.
Best and worst melee ranging you can wear to kill them
- Head slot: The best headslot to bring here is the armadyl helmet. If you are going budget, avoid ranger helmet is going to be fine if you use the elite void top set.
- Necklace slot: The best amulet for ranging is going to be the necklace of anguish. The amulet of glory is going to be just enough to kill them, as the worst best in the slot.
- Cape slot: The ava´s assembler is a great option as the best in slot here. If you for some reason don’t have it yet after dragon slayer 2 then the ava’s accumulator is going to be decent here as well.
- Chest slot: In the chest slot, the Armadyl chestplate is going to be the best of all. If you are ranging on a budget, the elite void top is going to be the best.
- Legs slot: The armadyl chainskirt is the best in slot here for ranging legs. You should wear the elite void robe if you are on a budget.
- Weapon slot: Since the dragon hunter crossbow is a dragonbane weapon it is going to be the best here by far. The dragon crossbow is going to be your best budget option here.
- Shield slot: The shield slot should have the Dragonfire ward in it if you want maximum gear. The anti-dragon shield is going to be just enough here if you want to range them.
- Ranging slot: The ranging slot is going to be diamond dragon bolts (e) there are going to be great. The runite bolts are going to be pretty effective here too.
- Gloves slot: Barrows gloves are still the best in slot here for ranging. If you are doing ranging with an elite void set you need to bring the void knight gloves!
- Boots slot: Bring the insulated boots, though since you are ranging you could get away with blessed boots or pegasian boots too.
- Ring slot: In the ring slot you should have the archer’s ring (i), if you are on a budget the brimstone ring will be decent too.
Inventory for range
In your inventory, I suggest you have the following: You will need a Digsite pendant and house tabs as your teleport. You need a DIVINE-ranging potion to do the best damage. Get an extended antifire or an extended super antifire if you are not using an anti-Dragonfire shield. Take 3 to 4 prayer potions and take a rune pouch with you to cast vengeance or high-level alchemy for your drops. The rest should be decent food. At least sharks.
Frequently asked questions about killing rune dragons
Question: can you use magic to kill rune dragons?
Answer: Yes, you can. The rune dragon is weak to magic. However, your defense bonus is pretty horrible if you are wearing mage armor. You are going to have a pretty hard time killing them. You should have at the very least a nightmare staff as your weapon to do decent hits. It is recommended you do them with range or melee if you have the stats for that.
Question: What do you pray against rune dragons?
Answer: If you are fighting them with melee – which is the best method – praying magic is going to be the best thing you can pray. This is the attack you are weakest against, due to the low magic defense bonus of melee armor.
If you are fighting them with ranging, I suggest you pray range. This will help you get hit less, and your magic defense bonus is going to protect you from most magic attacks.
Question: Do rune dragons drop a dragon full helm?
Answer: If you want a dragon full helm, you won’t find it at the rune dragons. The mithril dragons drop them, though. The rune dragons have dragon limbs as their unique drop. This is used for the dragon crossbow.
Conclusion: Rune dragons are a consistent (and fun) money printer
Rune dragons are an amazing moneymaker and are very consistent in their GP an hour. If you need some quick cash, and you are at a high level, you should check them out. Fighting them in a very high defense armor like justiciar makes them pretty AFK.
The value of an average rune dragon kill is very stable. Due to the high alch drops, you will always be around 30k a kill. The only downside is that you need very good gear and very high stats to do them effectively.
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