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]

Cerberus' Lair map.png

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.

General strategy[edit | edit source]

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

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.

Cerberus can use all three forms of combat against the player, all having a max hit of 23. Cerberus' magic attack is a transparent, almost smooth-looking ball; her ranged attack is also a transparent ball, but spiked. Cerberus' melee attack consists of a bite at the player.

Cerberus also has a unique attack mechanic, where she will attack the player with a magic attack, followed up quickly with a ranged and melee attack regardless of the player's distance from her. They are simply normal attacks, and can be easily blocked by quickly switching your overhead prayers to the corresponding attack. She will use this immediately during the start of the fight, and it has a 40-second cooldown, after which she will use it again.

In addition, a fire wall also blocks the way between Cerberus and the exit when the fight begins. This wall will persist until the player dies; if the player attempts to cross the fire wall when it is up, they will take 5 damage both ways.

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.

Summoned souls[edit | edit source]

A player switching the correct prayers against the Summoned Souls.
A summoned soul using magic
A summoned soul using melee
A summoned soul using ranged

When Cerberus is below 400 Hitpoints, she will occasionally howl Aaarrrooooooo, causing three Summoned souls to appear from behind the archaic skull and attack the player in a west to east succession. The player must either be prepared to take 30 unblockable damage from each spirit, or pray according to their combat style colour:

Each one attacks using a different combat style:

  • Blue is magic
  • Red is melee
  • Green is ranged

The spawn order is random, but the successive attacks always go from west to east. The souls cannot be attacked, and will only attack the player once in their respective combat style. Their attacks will always deal 30 damage regardless of the player's armour bonuses if the player does not use the right protection prayer during their attack sequence. You should have at least 65+ health whenever they appear as it is very easy to get comboed out by the spirits and Cerberus' attacks.

If the right protection prayer is used, 30 prayer points are drained in the absence of 30 damage. Using a spectral spirit shield will reduce the 30 prayer point cost to 15, but will not change the amount of damage dealt; it will remain 30 unless an elysian spirit shield is equipped. Since the three attacks follow up very quickly, the player is most likely to run out of prayer points unless they have 95+ Prayer points without the shield, or 50+ with the shield. Also note that the final spirit will still be protected against if the player does not have the full 15 or 30 prayer points. Instead, your prayer points will simply drop to zero and you will take no damage - you will need to re-pot and pray quickly to avoid damage from Cerberus.

To properly deal with the spirits using prayer, you need to have your first overhead prayer ready for the westernmost spirit when they make their way out. Do not pay attention to their hitsplats or animations - the single most reliable way to know when to switch to the next prayer is when you see the prayer points get deducted. If you switch just as the first spirit's animation is over, the second one will deal damage to you as well - make sure you're ready from the very first one. If the spirits deal too much damage to you, go under Cerberus to heal up and restore prayer.

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.

Area of effect attack[edit | edit source]

When Cerberus is below 200 Hitpoints she occasionally growls Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr, throwing out three exploding markers onto the ground: one under the player and two nearby.

10-15 damage is dealt from the marker if the player is on top of it. Seven damage is dealt if the player is next to a marker. After a short period of time, the markers will explode (dealing more damage if you get hit by them), after which it is safe to go to those tiles again.

Cerberus uses the AoE attack in conjunction with the Summoned Souls, exactly 10 ticks or 6 seconds after summoning the souls. Quickly move under Cerberus, identify the spirits quickly and pray accordingly, as inexperienced players may get killed by the spirits as they try to avoid the markers.

Attack pattern[edit | edit source]

Cerberus uses a strictly set attack pattern and will only use the combo attack, the ghosts and the lava pools on set attacks. Starting from the first attack she does, she will use the combo attack on the first attack and henceforth every ten attacks (1, 11, 21...). She will use the ghosts every seventh attack (7, 14, 21...). She will use the lava pools every fifth attack (5, 10, 15...). If two attacks are due at the same time, the attack executed is determined based on precedence of combo > ghosts > lava. This means that no ghosts will be summoned on the 21st attack as Cerberus does a combo attack, and no lava will be thrown on the 35th attack as Cerberus will summon ghosts. The lava pool attack on the fifth hit will almost always be skipped as Cerberus will be over 200 hitpoints, although if the player does heavy damage at the start of the fight, Cerberus may summon souls on the seventh attack.

If the player does not have enough damage output afterwards, then they are almost certain to have to deal with two sets of ghosts, which will put a heavy drain on supply. Because of this, it is generally better to hit Cerberus below 400 hitpoints after she has done her seventh attack, unless the player is confident in their damage output. The ghosts on the 14th attack will be followed up directly by lava pools if Cerberus is below 200 hitpoints.

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 HP until attack #14, so start counting 3 attacks after his second COMBO before resuming damage. Note that the LAVA & GHOSTS on attacks 25 and 28 are still conditional based on Cerberus' HP, but you will struggle to end the fight before GHOSTS if Cerberus still has over 200 HP at attack 25.

Cerberus Attack Pattern.png

Suggested skills[edit | edit source]


Equipment[edit | edit source]

Melee is the most common method of killing Cerberus with the least amount of money required on equipment.

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 fury.pngAmulet of furyAmulet of glory.pngAmulet of gloryAmulet of strength.pngAmulet of strengthN/A
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[1]Inquisitor's mace.pngInquisitor's maceGhrazi rapier.pngGhrazi rapierAbyssal bludgeon.pngAbyssal bludgeon[1]Zamorakian hasta.pngZamorakian hasta
ShieldAvernic defender.pngAvernic defender[2]Dragon defender.pngDragon defender[2]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[3]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 attackBandos godsword.pngBandos godswordDragon claws.pngDragon clawsDragon dagger.pngDragon daggerSaradomin godsword.pngSaradomin godswordN/A

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Bandos godsword.pngDivine super combat potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Spectral spirit shield.pngGhrazi rapier.pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Prayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Prayer potion(4).pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngTeleport to house (tablet).png
Notes
  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. 2.0 2.1 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.
  3. Players might want to extend their cerberus tasks by using or switching to a Bracelet of slaughter when the boss is almost dead.
  4. 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, allowing the twisted bow to 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.

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 chestplateArmadyl d'hide body.pngBlessed bodyKaril's leathertop.pngKaril's leathertopBlack d'hide body.pngBlack d'hide bodyN/A
LegsArmadyl chainskirt.pngArmadyl chainskirtArmadyl chaps.pngBlessed chapsKaril's leatherskirt.pngKaril's leatherskirtBlack d'hide chaps.pngBlack d'hide chapsN/A
WeaponTwisted bow.pngTwisted bowToxic blowpipe.pngToxic blowpipeDragon knife.pngDragon knife[1]Rune knife.pngRune knife[1]N/A
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 bootsArmadyl d'hide boots.pngBlessed 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.pngBastion potion(4).pngTeleport to house (tablet).png
Prayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).png
Prayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngPrayer potion(4).pngDragon knife.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png
Shark.pngShark.pngShark.pngShark.png

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Notes
  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.