The rune defender is the 3rd strongest defender. It is used for its attack bonus and is held in the off-hand in place of a shield. It requires 40 Attack and 40 Defence to wield. The rune defender is dropped by cyclopes on the top floor of the Warriors' Guild after showing an adamant defender or better as the player enters the room.
The rune defender's slash and crush defensive bonuses are the same as a black kiteshield, but its stab defence bonus is slightly less than an adamant square shield. However, it is much more commonly used for its melee bonuses, as it gives the same bonus to strength as the toktz-ket-xil (obsidian shield) and has melee attack bonuses. A rune defender is commonly combined with a dragon scimitar or an abyssal whip for its strength bonus.
The defender is popular among players of higher combat levels due to its offensive stats. It can be considered to be the third best off-hand item for melee training, only beaten by the dragon defender and Avernic defender, and is commonly used in PvP situations as re-obtaining a rune defender is easier than re-obtaining a dragon or Avernic one.
If the player dies below level 20 Wilderness, it will remain in the player's inventory. However, the item will be unusable and must be repaired with 35,000 coins by using the item on Perdu. If the player dies above level 20 Wilderness they will drop 7,800 coins.