OSRS Rune Dragon Strategy Guide

18.02.2024 - 10:53:38
Game Guides , Runescape

OSRS Rune Dragon Strategy Guide

In OSRS, rune dragons are an excellent source of money, materials, and combat experience. However, there are no pushovers in the game. In fact, they're some of the fiercest enemies you'll ever face. If you don't prepare well, it's easy to be overwhelmed by these dragons. But worry not, we're here to help you extinguish them as easily as possible.

What Are OSRS Rune Dragons?

Rune dragons are metal dragons in OSRS. If you're playing through the quests in the game, you'll come across rune dragons for the first time during Dragon Slayer II. In the quest, you'll be tasked with fighting one during Zorgoth's Assault. Once you complete the quest, you can begin fighting rune dragons in the eastern chamber of the Lithkren Vault.


Zorgoth made rune dragons as a side project after being inspired by another dragonkin in Gielinor, Forcae. In the game's lore, rune dragons are made by infusing dragon eggs with various metals. Forcae made metal dragons as a solution to the infertility of their kind. On the other hand, Zorgoth simply wanted to breed metal dragons for war.

Where To Find Rune Dragons

You can find rune dragons in the eastern chamber of the Lithkren Vault. To get here, you'll have to get back there by using the rowboat from the quest. This will be located on the west side of Fossil Island. Alternatively, you can get there after completing the quest, then take a digital pedant and use it on a machine located north of where you fought the rune dragon. You can unlock a teleport straight to Lithkren from here.


Rune Dragon Preparation

While they're not bosses, rune dragons can be pretty ruthless for the unprepared. Having the right combat levels and equipment will help make the battle a lot easier on your end. If you're struggling beating these dragons, here's a quick preparation guide.


  • Attack 90+
  • Strength 90+
  • Defence 90+
  • Magic 94+ (optional)
  • Ranged 90+
  • Prayer 70+
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Recommended Melee Build

In hindsight, taking on a dragon with melee doesn't seem like a good idea but if you've trained your melee high enough, this is the easiest way to fight them. 

If you possess base 90 Melee stats and wield either Osmumten's Fang or a Dragon Hunter Lance, opting for melee when facing off against rune dragons proves to be a dependable choice. However, should you lack such superior weaponry, magic or ranged attacks might yield better results. Given the rune dragon's penchant for accurate and potent assaults, it's advisable to equip yourself with gear like Bandos, Justiciar, or Barrows equipment, coupled with the simultaneous activation of Protect from Magic and Piety to mitigate incoming damage. Additionally, employing Vengeance proves invaluable for countering their healing ranged attacks. Keep a vigilant eye for any purple hitsplat numbers appearing on the dragon, signaling the opportune moment to activate Vengeance.

  • Head:

    • Slayer helmet (i) (on task)
    • Torva full helm
    • Justiciar faceguard
    • Neitiznot faceguard
    • Helm of neitiznot
  • Neck:

    • Amulet of torture
    • Amulet of fury
    • Amulet of glory
  • Back:

    • Infernal cape
    • Fire cape
    • Ardougne cloak 4
    • Ardougne cloak 3
    • Strength cape (t)
  • Body:

    • Torva platebody
    • Bandos chestplate
    • Justiciar chestguard
    • Torag's platebody
    • Fighter torso
  • Legs:

    • Torva platelegs
    • Bandos tassets
    • Justiciar legguards
    • Verac's plateskirt
    • Obsidian platelegs
  • Weapon:

    • Dragon hunter lance
    • Osmumten's fang
    • Ghrazi rapier
    • Zamorakian hasta
    • Abyssal dagger
  • Shield:

    • Avernic defender
    • Dragon defender
    • Dragonfire shield
  • Ammo/Spell:

    • Rada's blessing 4
    • God blessing / Rada's blessing 3/2
  • Hands:

    • Ferocious gloves
    • Barrows gloves
    • Dragon gloves
    • Rune gloves
    • Regen bracelet
  • Boots:

    • Insulated boots
    • Primordial boots
    • Dragon boots
    • Guardian boots
    • Bandos boots
  • Ring:

    • Ultor ring
    • Berserker ring (i)
    • Brimstone ring
    • Ring of suffering (i)
    • Treasonous ring (i)

Special Attack:

  • Voidwaker
  • Dragon claws
  • Osmumten's fang
  • Dragon warhammer / Bandos godsword


  • Voidwaker (special weapon)
  • Digsite pendant or mounted one in POH with House tabs
  • Extended super antifire or Extended antifire (if using Dragonfire shield)
  • Divine super combat potion, Super combat potion, or Super set
  • Prayer potions (4)
  • Food (Sharks / Manta rays / Anglerfish / Karambwan)
  • Divine rune pouch with Dust, Fire, Nature, and Law runes for High Alchemy and Teleport to House
  • One-click teleport (optional)

Recommended Ranged Build

If you're not comfortable getting up close and personal against these dragons, then the best option would be to start using Ranged.

For this, you'll need at least level 90 in Ranged and a dragon hunter crossbow. The passive effect of this weapon makes it a lot easier to circumvent the melee attack of the rune dragons. Alongside that, you can also bring Armadyl or Karil's equipment, as well as Protect from Missiles and Rigour. You can also use Eagle Eye if you want to.

You can also use Vengeance to deal with the healing Ranged Attacks that can penetrate Protect from Missiles. Once you see numbers with a purple hitsplat, that’s the time to use Vengeance.

  • Head:

    • Slayer helmet (i) (on task)
    • Masori mask (f)
    • Armadyl helmet
    • Helm of neitiznot
    • Void ranger helm
  • Neck:

    • Necklace of anguish
    • Amulet of fury
    • Amulet of glory
  • Back:

    • Ava's assembler
    • Ranging cape
    • Ava's accumulator
  • Body:

    • Masori body (f)
    • Armadyl chestplate
    • Karil's leathertop
    • Ancient d'hide body
    • Elite void top
  • Legs:

    • Masori chaps (f)
    • Armadyl chainskirt
    • Karil's leatherskirt
    • Ancient chaps
    • Elite void robe
  • Weapon:

    • Dragon hunter crossbow
    • Zaryte crossbow
    • Armadyl crossbow
    • Dragon crossbow
  • Shield:

    • Dragonfire ward
    • Twisted buckler
    • Anti-dragon shield
  • Ammo/Spell:

    • Diamond dragon bolts (e)
    • Diamond bolts (e)
    • Runite bolts
  • Hands:

    • Zaryte vambraces
    • Barrows gloves
    • Dragon gloves
    • Rune gloves
    • Regen bracelet / Void knight gloves
  • Boots:

    • Insulated boots
    • Pegasian boots
    • Ancient d'hide boots
  • Ring:

    • Venator ring
    • Archers ring (i)
    • Ring of suffering (i)
    • Ring of the gods (i)
    • Brimstone ring


  • Divine ranging potion (4) or Ranging potion
  • Prayer potions (4)
  • Extended antifire (1) or Extended super antifire (if using a shield without dragonfire protection)
  • Digsite pendant or mounted one in POH with House tabs
  • Food (Sharks / Manta rays / Anglerfish / Karambwan)
  • Rune pouch with runes to cast Vengeance or High Level Alchemy
  • One-click teleport (optional)
  • Teleport to house (tablet)

Recommended Magic Build

Rune dragons are pretty scary but at least they're pretty vulnerable against Magic. It's not as effective as using dragonbane weapon but it's the best option you have when dealing with rune dragons without the right Ranged and Melee setup. One of the most important skills for this setup is Protect from Missiles.

  • Head:

    • Slayer helmet (i) (on task)
    • Ancestral hat
    • Virtus mask
    • Ahrim's hood
  • Neck:

    • Occult necklace
    • Amulet of fury
    • Amulet of glory
  • Back:

    • Imbued god cape
    • God capes
    • Ardougne cloak 4
    • Ardougne cloak 3
    • Infernal cape / Fire cape
  • Body:

    • Ancestral robe top
    • Virtus robe top
    • Ahrim's robetop
    • Bloodbark body
    • Mystic robe top
  • Legs:

    • Ancestral robe bottom
    • Virtus robe bottom
    • Ahrim's robeskirt
    • Bloodbark legs
    • Mystic robe bottom
  • Weapon:

    • Harmonised nightmare staff
    • Sanguinesti staff
    • Trident of the seas/swamp
    • Slayer's staff (e) (on task)
  • Shield:

    • Elidini's ward (f)
    • Ancient wyvern shield
    • Arcane spirit shield
    • Elidini's ward
    • Book of darkness / Anti-dragon shield
  • Ammo/Spell:

    • Rada's blessing 4
    • God blessing / Rada's blessing 3/2
  • Hands:

    • Tormented bracelet
    • Barrows gloves
    • Dragon gloves
    • Regen bracelet
  • Boots:

    • Insulated boots
    • Eternal boots
    • Infinity boots
  • Ring:

    • Magus ring
    • Brimstone ring
    • Seers ring (i)
    • Ring of suffering (i)


  • Saturated heart
  • Prayer potions (4)
  • Extended antifire (1) or Extended super antifire (if using a shield without protect)
  • Digsite pendant or mounted one in POH with House tabs
  • Rune pouch with runes to cast the spell of choice
  • One-click teleport (optional)
  • Teleport to house (tablet)
  • Food (Sharks / Manta rays / Anglerfish / Karambwan)
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OSRS Rune Dragon Guide

As long as you have the right gear, rune dragons aren't that hard to deal with. The difficulty of the fight isn't because they're hard hitters, it's because they deal often. You can't dodge each and everything that these beasts throw at you. Of all their attacks, two that you should really be worried about are dragon fire attack and ranged attack.



Upon starting the fight, rune dragons will attack using an electric shock that fires two bolds that deal around 4-7 damage per tick. This is a small amount of damage at a glace but it will whittle away at your life rather quickly. The best way to reduce the damage taken from this attack is by using insulated boots that can reduce it by 50%. Still, it's best to just avoid the attack entirely.

Rune dragons will also use Life Leech and this is an attack that's basically impossible to avoid. You'll have to make sure that your defenses are at their best when they use this attack. It's not ust because you'll have to stay alive though. This particular attack can heal the dragon significantly if you're not careful. Multiple Life Leeches can basically reset the dragon's health so make sure that you have your defenses up at all times.

Money-Making Guide

An average rune dragon kill, given that you get its unique drops, results in 38,706.52. Without the unique drops, the average kill value stands at 36,221.00 which is still relatively big.

Assuming you make 9 kills per trip with 5 trips per hour, and do around 45 kills per hour, you're looking at major profits already. However, your hourly profit may be different based on your efficiency. You might struggle to make around 45 kills per hour during your first foray into this but don't worry, you'll find a sound strategy for dealing with rune dragons as you go.

If you're at a lower level and with basic equipment, you can still manage 33-38 kills per hour, while those operating at maximum efficiency can achieve 55-60 kills. The best strategy for farming rune dragons include moderate attention, utilizing melee, combat stats of 90+, and the prayers Piety and Protect from Magic. Recommended gear includes Justiciar armor, a Dragonfire Shield, and a Dragon Hunter Lance, averaging 45 kills/hr.

The first special attack comprises two small electric bolts homing in on the player, dealing 4-7 damage per tick, reduced to 1-2 per tick with insulated boots. The second special attack is a ranged strike that bypasses Protect from Missiles and activates the Life Leech effect from enchanted onyx bolts, allowing the dragon to heal itself for 100% of the inflicted damage.

Even standard attacks prove perilous, frequently hitting in the 20s and 30s, posing a genuine threat if not adequately managed. Thus, maintaining sufficient attention to heal or teleport out is crucial. Effective rune dragon combat necessitates Protect from Magic, insulated boots, and gear/supplies protecting against dragonfire.

Using defenders boosts gp/hr, offsetting the cost of extended super antifires, though many opt for a Dragonfire Shield coupled with extended antifires due to superior defensive bonuses. Similarly, employing Bandos armor with a Helm of Neitiznot yields higher gp/hr, yet most players prefer Justiciar armor for its set effect and superior defenses. The use of anglerfish as food is uncommon but allows for longer periods of inattention, albeit at a higher cost compared to cooked karambwan, which require more frequent consumption. Over time, anglerfish can amount to millions more GP in expenses.

Estimates for kills per hour and associated methodology:

  • 35+ kills/hr (1,354,728 gp) with 90+ Attack, Strength, Defence, Barrows equipment, Amulet of Fury, Abyssal Dagger, Dragonfire Shield, and Piety.
  • 40+ kills/hr (1,548,260 gp) with max Attack, Strength, Defence, Justiciar armor, Amulet of Fury, Zamorakian Hasta, Dragonfire Shield, and Piety.
  • 45+ kills/hr (1,741,793 gp) with max Attack, Strength, Defence, Justiciar armor, Amulet of Fury, Dragon Hunter Lance, Dragonfire Shield, and Piety. Ideal for low-intensity money making.
  • 50+ kills/hr (1,935,325 gp) with max Attack, Strength, Defence, Justiciar armor, Amulet of Fury, Dragon Hunter Lance, Dragon Defender/Avernic Defender, and Piety.
  • 55+ kills/hr (2,128,858 gp) with max Attack, Strength, Defence, Bandos armor + Neitiznot Faceguard, Amulet of Torture, Dragon Hunter Lance, Avernic Defender, and Piety.
  • Add 5 kills/hr if on a Slayer task.

For those with budget constraints:

  • Utilize Pray Preserve and Super Combat Potion(2)/Super Strength(2) + Super Attack(2)/Super Potion set instead of Divine Super Combat Potion(2).
  • If possessing a Rune Pouch, stock it with Law Runes + Dust Runes to cast Teleport to House instead of using a house tab.
  • Employ a Holy Wrench to potentially conserve a dose of Prayer Potion/Super Restore.

Rune Dragon Rewards

Fighting rune dragons are rewarding as they are challenging. Whether you're grinding for combat XP or farming gold, you're bound to get something for your efforts. Here are the drop rates for rune dragons in OSRS.

Adamant javelin201/8,1281,180
Brimstone key11/50Not sold
Chaos rune75-1501/18.147,650-15,300
Clue scroll (elite)11/300Not sold
Death rune50-1001/18.1410,000-20,000
Dragon bones1Always4,067
Dragon javelin heads30-401/25.425,170-33,560
Dragon limbs11/8001,576,228
Dragon med helm11/12758,704
Dragon metal lump11/5,000611,163
Dragon platelegs11/127161,143
Dragon plateskirt11/127161,089
Dragon spear11/45,76337,629
Dragonstone1 (noted)1/8,12811,335
Draconic visage11/8,0003,142,281
Grimy avantoe1 (noted)1/50.83,441
Grimy ranarr weed1 (noted)1/63.55,911
Grimy snapdragon1 (noted)1/63.57,148
Grimy torstol1 (noted)1/84.673,561
Law rune451/8,1285,805
Loop half of key11/806.5; 1/8009,909
Nature rune671/5,41911,926
Nature talisman11/34,679139
Rune 2h sword11/5,41937,870
Rune arrow30-401/15.882,520-3,360
Rune arrows421/8,1283,528
Rune bar11/3,25112,374
Rune battleaxe11/5,41924,347
Rune bolts (unf)20-401/12720,180-40,360
Rune javelin51/104,038; 1/52,832865
Rune javelin heads20-301/8.467; 1/12.711,520-17,280
Rune kiteshield11/16,25631,858
Rune mace11/18.148,060
Rune med helm11/16,25658,704
Rune platebody11/14.1138,370
Rune platelegs11/21.1737,750
Rune scimitar11/18.1414,841
Rune spear11/17,16112,008
Rune warhammer11/18.1424,571
Runite bolts (unf)20-301/11.553,300-4,950
Runite ore2-5 (noted)1/21.1722,190-55,475
Shield left half11/34,322; 1/3,98265,208
Silver ore100 (noted)1/8,1287,500
Steel arrow1501/8,1285,400
Tooth half of key11/806.5; 1/80010,848
Uncut diamond11/52,019; 1/26,4162,079
Uncut emerald11/6,502; 1/3,302483
Uncut ruby11/13,005; 1/6,604894
Uncut sapphire11/3,251; 1/1,651237
Wrath rune30-501/15.887,260-12,100
Wrath talisman11/127348

Slay Those Dragons

Rune dragons are challenging for a reason. The rewards acquired from beating them can make you rich quickly in OSRS. With a sound strategy and the right equipment, you'll be able to take out these dragons with ease.

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