Cerberus/Strategies

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A player takes on Cerberus in her lair.

Cerberus is a high level Slayer boss. A Slayer level of 91 is required to inflict damage and a slayer task of Cerberus or hellhounds. Wild pies can be used to boost the player's Slayer level, but only if they have a minimum of 86 Slayer.

It is the only monster to drop primordial, eternal and pegasian crystals, which can be attached to the Dragon boots, Infinity boots and Ranger boots respectively, providing best-in-slot boots for Melee (the Primordial boots), Magic (the Eternal boots), and Ranged (Pegasian boots).

In addition, it is also able to drop a Smouldering stone, which when combined with a dragon axe, pickaxe or harpoon to turn them into their respective infernal counterparts; the infernal axe, pickaxe and harpoon.

How to get there[edit | edit source]

A map of Cerberus' Lair

Cerberus' Lair can be found in Taverley Dungeon, at the hellhounds' area. There will be a small opening that players can crawl into to enter the lair.

Effective ways to get to Taverley Dungeon include teleporting to Falador and using the wall shortcut near the West bank, only a short run from the dungeon entrance, or moving one's Player-owned house to Taverley, exiting via the house portal and running south.

There are two ways of navigating the dungeon:

  • Players can go around the long way to reach the hellhounds area. This will require a dusty key.
    • Alternatively, players can crawl through a pipe shortcut (70 Agility) or run through mysterious flooring (80 Agility). Regardless of the shortcut used, it negates the need of bringing a dusty key on every trip. Both obstacles can be boosted with a Summer pie, meaning that you only need 65/75 Agility to use the shortcuts with the assistance of the pie. Drinking an antipoison potion is useful in case the poison spiders nearby manage to poison.
  • Use a Key master teleport, which teleports players straight into the lair. These can only be obtained from Cerberus herself (cannot be traded), in quantities of three and at a rate of 1/64.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Attack Styles[edit | edit source]

Cerberus attacks with all three forms of combat:

  • Melee - Cerberus bites the player. This attack will only be used if the player is standing within melee range.
  • Ranged - Cerberus stands on her hind legs and kicks out with her front legs, firing a translucent spiky ball.
  • Magic - Cerberus lowers her head and fires a smooth black ball.
    • All of these attacks can deal up to 23 damage, and can be prayed against to nullify all damage.

Triple Attack[edit | edit source]

  • This attack is initiated as her first attack and is repeated after every ten attacks in sequence.
  • She uses a magic, ranged and then melee attack 2 ticks after one another. This melee attack will be executed regardless of distance, and does not act as a projectile.
  • As with her standard attacks, these can deal up to 23 damage and can be fully blocked by prayer.

Summoned souls[edit | edit source]

A player switching the correct prayers against the Summoned Souls.
  • This attack only starts when Cerberus falls below 400 health, and is used every seventh attack.
  • This attack is indicated with her howling Aaarrrooooooo, causing three Summoned Souls to appear from behind the archaic skull. They cannot be harmed.
  • Each one attacks using a different combat style, from west to east:
    • Red is melee
    • Blue is magic
    • Green is ranged
  • The souls attack once each time they are called in by Cerberus.
  • The souls come in a randomized order so it is important to identify the order to pray in.
    • If the attack is not protected against, it will deal 30 damage, unless otherwise from an elysian spirit shield, which reduces it to 22 damage.
    • If the attack is protected against, it will drain 30 prayer points instead. A spectral spirit shield causes this to be reduced by 50%, meaning 15 prayer points are reduced for each attack.
      • Having the required prayer to block the attack is not required - the attack is still blocked with insufficient prayer points, but the player's prayer will be drained completely as a result.
    • In order to block the attack, it must be prayed against before the spirit attacks.

Note: As of the patch notes of 16 March 2017, if Cerberus is killed when the spirits are summoned, they will despawn upon attempting to attack the player. Note that any spirits that attack just as she dies will still damage the player, so pray accordingly if this happens.

Lava pools[edit | edit source]

  • This attack is initiated when Cerberus reaches below 200 health, her howling Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr and is used every fifth attack.
  • Three lava pools are deployed when this attack is initiated – one on the player's location, and two at random parts of the area.
  • The pools have a 3x3 AoE (1 tile from the centre).
    • Standing in its radius when it is spawned deals 10 damage.
    • Standing directly on a pool deals 15 damage every two ticks.
    • Standing adjacent to a pool deals 7 damage every two ticks.
    • Antifire Protection will reduce the prolonged damage taken if you stay within range of the pools, as demonstrated by the table below.[1]
  • The pool targeted at the player is not instant at a distance, but is for those in melee distance.
  • After a few seconds, the lava pools will dissipate, making the tile safe to stand on once more.
Anti-fire protection against lava pools
Protections Used Max Hits
Anti-dragon shield.png Protect from Magic.png Super antifire potion(4).png Names Adjacent Direct
N/A N/A N/A None 7 15
Anti-dragon shield.png Anti-dragon shield 6 12
Protect from Magic.png Protect from Magic 7 15
Antifire potion(4).png Antifire potion 7 15
Super antifire potion(4).png Super antifire potion 5 11
Anti-dragon shield.png Protect from Magic.png Anti-dragon shield
Protect from Magic
6 12
Anti-dragon shield.png Antifire potion(4).png Antifire potion
Anti-dragon shield
6 12
Anti-dragon shield.png Super antifire potion(4).png Super antifire potion
Anti-dragon shield
5 11
Protect from Magic.png Antifire potion(4).png Antifire potion
Protect from Magic
6 12
Protect from Magic.png Super antifire potion(4).png Super antifire potion
Protect from Magic
5 11
Anti-dragon shield.png Protect from Magic.png Antifire potion(4).png Antifire potion
Protect from Magic
Anti-dragon shield
6 12
Anti-dragon shield.png Protect from Magic.png Super antifire potion(4).png Super antifire potion
Protect from Magic
Anti-dragon shield
5 11

Attack pattern[edit | edit source]

Cerberus has a special attack pattern that determines how she uses her attacks.

As mentioned in each attack section, Cerberus' mechanics are initiated after the following, quickly summarized here:

  • The triple attack is performed as the first attack, then after every ten normal attacks.
  • The summoned souls attack is performed every seventh attack, but only after Cerberus has under 400 hitpoints.
  • The lava pools are deployed every fifth attack, but only after Cerberus has under 200 hitpoints.

If the attacks end up overlapping with each other (e.g a triple attack and summoned souls on attack #21), Cerberus will instead prioritize the attacks in the following order:

  • Triple attack > Summoned Souls > Lava pools

There is also a small chance that Cerberus will not use the summoned souls or lava pools special attacks when she is supposed to, and will use a regular attack instead.

Fire Wall[edit | edit source]

  • This serves as a barrier to prevent the player from kiting Cerberus.
  • It does not disappear unless the player dies fighting her.
  • Moving over the fire wall deals 5 damage each time the player passes through it.

Auto-healing[edit | edit source]

  • Cerberus is unattackable when she first spawns, only becoming so when she stands up.
  • If no players are in her chamber, she will return to her idle stance, fully restoring all lost hitpoints.

General strategy[edit | edit source]

While fighting Cerberus, it is recommended to activate Protect from Magic.

For the most kills per hour, the player should be on the Arceuus spellbook for thralls and bring a book of the dead. If using melee, you can optionally bring soul and death runes for Death Charge, though this is 2 fewer inventory spaces for supplies. Otherwise, no spells are needed and you do not need to bring any runes. If you are suiciding supplies into the room for longer trips, bring alch runes.

As a hellhound-type boss, Cerberus has high offensive stats (220) but has a low Defence level (100). She is weak to melee attacks, primarily crush-based ones. She is slightly resistant to stab attacks and resistant against slash, magic and ranged attacks. As a demonic creature, she is weak to Arclight, which should be set to stab if it is used. Despite her resistance to ranged, ranged weapons can still be extremely effective against her, in particular the twisted bow.

Upon spawning, Cerberus cannot be attacked; rather, she only has an examine option as she is sitting. Once she detects a player in the arena, she will stand up to confront the intruder and become attackable. If no players are present inside, she will return to the centre of her chamber and her attack option will be removed, which will also restore all of her health if damaged.

It is recommended to deal damage as quickly as possible while taking note of Cerberus' attacks. The most common cause of death is the lava pool and soul combo, regardless of which one comes first. For example, during attacks 14 and 15, Cerberus will summon souls first, then follow up this attack with lava pools. The pools usually disorient players as they try to avoid them and eat up, forgetting about the souls who can deal heavy or fatal damage in the process. Simply count Cerberus' attacks and deal with the spirits as highest priority. Ranged users usually have an advantage over melee users since the targeted pool is not applied on the same tick Cerberus initiates the mechanic, giving them more time to move away from the pool and granting their full attention to the incoming souls. Melee users will simply need to count the attacks and try to avoid running into any other pools in place.

No Ghosts Strategy[edit | edit source]

A slower but less resource intensive strategy (particularly for ironmen who wish to conserve supplies, or hardcore ironmen who want to avoid dealing with the lava pools and ghosts at once), the player can hit Cerberus to just above 400 hitpoints and wait until the 14th attack which ensures no ghosts will appear until the 28th attack. This will reduce prayer potion usage to about two doses per kill if prayer flicking is used while waiting for the 14th attack. It is recommended to put on defensive gear, such as a Dinh's bulwark, and step away from Cerberus while waiting for the 14th attack to minimise damage taken while waiting. If you make a mistake and bring Cerberus' health below 400 before attack #14, you can safely reset the fight by walking back over the entrance flames.

Here is a summary of Cerberus' attacks leading up to Attack 28. You can practice this rotation by counting from the checkpoint special attacks (Combo, Lava, & Ghost attacks). For example, you want to keep Cerberus above 400 hitpoints until attack #14, so start counting 3 attacks after her second combo before resuming damage. Note that the soul and lava mechanics on attacks 25 and 28 are still conditional based on Cerberus's hitpoints, but you will struggle to end the fight before souls if Cerberus still has over 200 HP at attack 25.

Cerberus Attack Pattern.png

Suggested skills[edit | edit source]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Recommended equipment for Melee
SlotItem (most effective → least effective)
HeadSlayer helmet (i).pngSlayer helmet (i)Black mask (i).pngBlack mask (i)N/AN/AN/A
NeckAmulet of torture.pngAmulet of tortureAmulet of blood fury.pngAmulet of blood furyAmulet of fury.pngAmulet of furyAmulet of glory.pngAmulet of gloryAmulet of strength.pngAmulet of strength
BackInfernal cape.pngInfernal capeFire cape.pngFire capeArdougne cloak 4.pngArdougne cloak 4Ardougne cloak 3.pngArdougne cloak 3N/A
BodyInquisitor's hauberk.pngInquisitor's hauberkBandos chestplate.pngBandos chestplateTorag's platebody.pngBarrows bodyFighter torso.pngFighter torsoProselyte hauberk.pngProselyte hauberk
LegsInquisitor's plateskirt.pngInquisitor's plateskirtBandos tassets.pngBandos tassetsTorag's platelegs.pngBarrows legsObsidian platelegs.pngObsidian platelegsDragon platelegs.pngDragon platelegs
WeaponScythe of vitur.pngScythe of vitur[2]Inquisitor's mace.pngInquisitor's maceArclight.pngArclightGhrazi rapier.pngGhrazi rapierAbyssal bludgeon.pngAbyssal bludgeon[2]
ShieldAvernic defender.pngAvernic defender[3]Dragon defender.pngDragon defender[3]Spectral spirit shield.pngSpectral spirit shieldDragonfire shield.pngDragonfire shieldN/A
Ammo/SpellRada's blessing 4.pngRada's blessing 4God blessing.gifGod blessing / Rada's blessing 3.pngRada's blessing 3/2N/AN/AN/A
GlovesFerocious gloves.pngFerocious gloves[4]Barrows gloves.pngBarrows glovesDragon gloves.pngDragon glovesRune gloves.pngRune glovesN/A
BootsPrimordial boots.pngPrimordial bootsGuardian boots.pngGuardian bootsDragon boots.pngDragon bootsRune boots.pngRune bootsN/A
RingBerserker ring (i).pngBerserker ring (i)Ring of suffering (i).pngRing of suffering (i)Ring of the gods (i).pngRing of the gods (i)Ring of wealth (i).pngRing of wealth (i)N/A
Special attackDragon claws.pngDragon clawsBandos godsword.pngBandos godsword[5]Dragon dagger.pngDragon daggerSaradomin godsword.pngSaradomin godswordDragon mace.pngDragon mace

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Dragon claws.pngDivine super combat potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Spectral spirit shield.pngInquisitor's mace.pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Shark.pngShark.pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Soul rune.png100Death rune.png100Book of the dead.pngRune pouch.png
Fire rune.png16000Blood rune.png16000Cosmic rune.png16000
Notes

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Jagex. JagexAsh's Twitter account. 4 August 2021. (Archived from the original on 3 November 2021.) JagexAsh: "It won't help against the initial hit, but that kind of potion/shield can reduce the ongoing damage if you stay in the flame."
  2. 2.0 2.1 When using a two-handed weapon, it is advisable to bring a one-handed weapon if using the spectral spirit shield as it cannot be worn with a two-handed weapon. This is to deal extra damage when the Summoned Souls are present.
  3. 3.0 3.1 It is advised to use the defender during the fight and only switch to the spectral spirit shield when Summoned souls are about to spawn.
  4. Players might want to extend their cerberus tasks by using or switching to a Bracelet of slaughter when the boss is almost dead.
  5. Bandos godsword is more efficient than dragon claws if using a scythe of vitur but not Inquisitor's armour. If not using a scythe dragon claws are likely better.
  6. The amount of prayer/super restore potions depends if the player has a Spectral spirit shield or not.

With Rigour, ranging is generally faster and safer than melee. As she possesses a Magic level of 220, the Twisted bow can be used on her with devastating effect. Cerberus does not move in to attack players with melee, meaning that players are only subjected to magic and ranged attacks outside of the triple attack mechanic. Ranging also allows players to quickly avoid the lava marker attack since it does not appear instantly when launched at a distance. The Bow of Faerdhinen is also effective, but slightly worse than the Toxic blowpipe if using rune darts or better. Crystal armour should be worn if using the Bow of Faerdhinen.

Recommended equipment for Ranged
SlotItem (most effective → least effective)
HeadSlayer helmet (i).pngSlayer helmet (i)Black mask (i).pngBlack mask (i)N/AN/AN/A
NeckNecklace of anguish.pngNecklace of anguishAmulet of fury.pngAmulet of furyAmulet of glory.pngAmulet of gloryAmulet of power.pngAmulet of powerN/A
BackAva's assembler.pngAva's assemblerRanging cape.pngRanging cape or Max cape.pngMax capeAva's accumulator.pngAva's accumulatorAva's attractor.pngAva's attractorN/A
BodyArmadyl chestplate.pngArmadyl chestplateCrystal body.pngCrystal bodyBlessed body.gifBlessed bodyKaril's leathertop.pngKaril's leathertopBlack d'hide body.pngBlack d'hide body
LegsArmadyl chainskirt.pngArmadyl chainskirtCrystal legs.pngCrystal legsBlessed chaps.gifBlessed chapsKaril's leatherskirt.pngKaril's leatherskirtBlack d'hide chaps.pngBlack d'hide chaps
WeaponTwisted bow.pngTwisted bowToxic blowpipe.pngToxic blowpipeBow of faerdhinen.pngBow of faerdhinenDragon knife.pngDragon knife[1]Rune knife.pngRune knife[1]
Ammo/SpellDragon arrow 5.pngDragon arrowAmethyst arrow 5.pngAmethyst arrowRune arrow 5.pngRune arrowRada's blessing 4.pngRada's blessing 4 (only with blowpipe)God blessing.gifGod blessing / Rada's blessing 3.pngRada's blessing 3/2 (only with blowpipe)
GlovesBarrows gloves.pngBarrows glovesDragon gloves.pngDragon glovesRune gloves.pngRune glovesCombat bracelet.pngCombat braceletN/A
BootsPegasian boots.pngPegasian bootsRanger boots.pngRanger bootsBlessed boots.gifBlessed bootsSnakeskin boots.pngSnakeskin bootsN/A
RingRing of suffering (i).pngRing of suffering (i)Archers ring (i).pngArchers ring (i)Ring of the gods (i).pngRing of the gods (i)N/AN/A
Special attackToxic blowpipe.pngToxic blowpipeSaradomin godsword.pngSaradomin godswordN/AN/AN/A
Toxic blowpipe.pngSpectral spirit shield.pngDragon knife.png500Divine bastion potion(4).png
Prayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Prayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngBook of the dead.pngRune pouch.png
Fire rune.png16000Blood rune.png16000Cosmic rune.png16000

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Notes

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 When using a two-handed weapon, it is advisable to bring a one-handed weapon if using the spectral spirit shield as it cannot be worn with a two-handed weapon. This is to deal extra damage when the Summoned Souls are present.
  2. The amount of prayer/super restore potions depends if the player has a Spectral spirit shield or not.