Paul is very knowledgeable about "Old School Runescape," with a maxed Ironman as well as a maxed regular account!
How to Max Your Ironman in Old School RuneScape: Efficiency Guide and Grinding Tips (PVM)
Welcome to my Old School RuneScape Ironman guide. I will assume you have played OSRS before and know the basics of the game and how it works. Before we get into the guide, there are a few things I must say.
- Firstly, I update this guide as regularly as I can; that being said, there are often things I may miss, so please let me know in the comments if you feel I have missed something!
- Secondly, this guide is written with the 'end game' defined as being at a fully maxed combat PVM account with all the uniques required for Raids 1 and 2.
- Finally, I will frequently say 'get 99 . . .' in the guide—putting 100+ hours of grinding into a single line. The most important part of Ironman Mode is enjoying yourself! So don't feel you need to max your skills in the most efficient order; the guide will have a lot of room for change according to what you want to do with your account. Make sure you are always enjoying it!
What if I Just Want to Max My Account?
If your goal is to max your account, then all I would add is to make sure you always do your Herb Runs and your Birdhouse Runs! You can easily get 99 hunter entirely through Birdhouses, and you'll wish you had done your Herb Runs when you come to max after having finished PVM.
Make sure you always do as many Clue Scrolls as you can, too! You could get lucky with Ranger boots and not have to grind them out, and a lot of best-in-slot items come from clues, too, like Blessed D'hide, Blessings and more!
Starting Out: Early Game
You've made your account, completed Tutorial Island, and changed your character into an Ironman—Hardcore, Ultimate or Regular. Now that you've spawned in Lumbridge, the whole world is teeming with possibilities, and it can be overwhelming to know what to do!
Early in the game, you have several options for where to go straight away. There are three very popular early grinds that many players choose to do, in addition to one that's less popular but still worth considering. However, these are by no means necessary for the rest of the guide. These are the options:
Head to Wintertodt
Go to Wintertodt to get a high Firemaking level. This gives you lots of loot crates, which can be very useful in the early game for Ironmen!
Head to Barbarian Fishing
Getting 99 Fishing here will give you around 73 in Strength and Agility, effectively zero timing both of these skills to a fairly high level!
Level Thieving to 99
This gives over 10m GP, as well as allowing you to never fail Master Farmers—the best way of obtaining Herblore seeds! You can get around 20 Ranarr seeds per hour here. That's roughly 120 4-dose Prayer potions!
Train Mining at the Motherlode Mine
Achieving 99 mining gives you roughly 26k gold ore, 30k mithril ore, 20k adamant ore and 3k rune ore. Smithing the gold will give you around 1.4m Smithing exp! Then you can smith Mithril platebodies, yielding 18M when alched, as well as 400k Magic experience.
This is obviously a long grind, so many choose to unlock Kingdom of Miscellania before beginning—this is usually used to gain extra coal, allowing you to smith all your ores! A lot of Ironmen unlock the dragon pickaxe before heading here to improve the experience rates.
Also, with the introduction of Prifddinas, specifically the Zalcano boss, lots of Smithing exp can be banked without needing to mine it yourself—so mining can be leveled in a much faster way, such as 3-ticking granite!
Head to Wintertodt
If you choose to go to Wintertodt first, there are a few requirements. Firstly, you will need 50 Firemaking, and you will also need some warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold of Wintertodt. Beginning in Lumbridge, thieve men until you have 200gp, then head just south of Lumbridge Castle to buy a steel axe from Bob's Brilliant Axes.
Read More From Levelskip
Next, you should chop regular trees and light the logs until 15 Firemaking/Woodcutting, then repeat with Oak logs until 30 Firemaking/Woodcutting. Then head west to Draynor Village and do the same with Willow logs until you reach 50 Firemaking.
Where to Find the Clue Hunter Outfit Pieces
The next step is to acquire the Clue Hunter Outfit as this counts as warm clothing in Wintertodt. The locations of the places are shown in the screenshots below. Head to each of them (Client of Kourend must be done to get to Kourend) and dig with a spade to get the piece.
Once you have obtained the Clue Hunter Outfit (note that you only need four pieces, not the whole set) and have 50 Firemaking, you're almost ready to begin Wintertodt.
- Thieve Cakes: At 10 Hitpoints, you will be taking minimal damage, but you will still need some way to heal! When in Ardougne, head to the Cake Stall in the market and thieve cakes and bread until you have around 400 cakes (or as many as you want). This should get you to the 90s in Firemaking, and you can always come back here at any time to get more!
- Buy a House: Now you're ready to head to Wintertodt. It is a very good idea to buy a house first as this will allow you to gain Construction experience in Wintertodt! You can thieve silk in Ardougne after 20 Thieving and sell it back to the Silk Trader after 5 minutes to gain the 1,000 coins required to buy a house.
- Collect Planks: Also note that you can head to the Barbarian Outpost and collect regular planks to get your Construction level up before you start. This will give you even more experience from Wintertodt! Personally, I would recommend getting to level 50 Construction and then soloing Wintertodt. This will get you around 74 Construction, which is a massive bonus so early in the game for Ironmen!
Grinding in Wintertodt
Then simply head to Wintertodt and start grinding! Each 500 points will give you a roll on the loot crate, which grants seeds, ores, logs, herbs, coins, runes and pieces of the Pyromancer's Outfit, which you should wear immediately for bonus experience (it counts as warm clothing).
You also have a chance to receive the Tome of Fire, Dragon Axe and the Phoenix pet! The Tome is a brilliant item for Ironmen, and some choose to stay at Wintertodt until they get it (sometimes getting upwards of 20 million experience).
As soon as you have achieved all that you want from Wintertodt, it's time to move on in the guide!
Note: Don't open your crates until you need them, as higher skilling levels give better loot!
Head to Barbarian Fishing
This is probably the second most popular early game grind to kickstart your ironman account. Barbarian Fishing until 99 will net you around 73 in both Agility and Strength! That gets an incredible grind out of the way early, and by completing your Graceful Outfit, you will be nearing 80 Agility already!
There are a few requirements for Barbarian Fishing, of course. They are listed below:
- 15 Agility: You should get this in Draynor Village in the early stages of your account. It won't take very long at all!
- 15 Strength: You can get this easily by doing the Waterfall Quest early on. Alternatively, you can kill some chickens around Lumbridge; this will also help you get some feathers for fishing!
- 48 Fishing (58 recommended): This allows you to catch leaping trout (leaping salmon), and you should get this in the Barbarian Village just west of Varrock. It's worth it to cook the fish you catch here for some brilliant cooking experience, as there is an everlasting fire right beside the fishing spots! You will need a fly fishing rod and a good amount of feathers to fish here as well, which you can buy from the Port Sarim fishing shop.
- Feathers: You need bait for Barbarian Fishing, and feathers are the easiest to get (from the Port Sarim fishing shop). For 99 Fishing, you will need around 1m gp worth of feathers, so most Ironmen choose to do some Wintertodt or Thieving first to make the money needed. Alternatively, you can bring a knife and cut up the fish you catch into roe and fish offcuts, which can be used as bait. This reduces the amount of feathers required and gives a good amount of cooking experience!
Once you have everything you need, you can head to the Barbarian outpost and begin Barbarian Training at Otto's Grotto. He will give you a heavy fishing rod, which will let you begin training!
One way to drastically increase your exp per hour is to use 3-tick fishing. This allows you to have a chance at catching a fish every 3 ticks instead of every 5 ticks! The idea is to begin a 3-tick action, then quickly start fishing—the fishing will only take 3 ticks as a result. Once you have caught a fish (or 3 ticks have passed and you haven't caught a fish), do your 3-tick action again and repeat! Some 3-tick actions are as follows:
- Adding swamp tar to a clean guam, marrentil or harralander with a pestle and mortar in your inventory to make their respective tars. Note that if you don't fish in time or make a mistake, the herb will turn into the tar and cannot be turned back, so you may need several herbs and lots of tar (it takes 15 tar per herb). Also, you should only have one clean herb in your inventory at a time; otherwise, a menu will appear asking how many herbs you wish to turn into tar—ruining the 3-tick action.
- Adding kebbit claws to any vambraces (requires 32 crafting and 23 hunter)
- Using a knife on teak or mahogany logs
- Best Method: Using a knife on any of the caught fish in your inventory, then eating roe or caviar. This will not only act as a 3-tick action, but it also provides cooking experience and a chance to receive fish offcuts, which can be used as bait over feathers. This reduces cost and improves experience, but it's slightly random in nature and requires strict tick timings. I have included a video below demonstrating!
Level Thieving to 99
Thieving is great in the early game because you don't need any high-leveled gear for it, unlike Mining or Woodcutting (where you can improve experience rates by getting the Dragon or Crystal equipment).
Start off in Lumbridge and simply pickpocket men until 5 Thieving. You can use this money to buy a steel axe from Bob!
Next, you should head to Ardougne and thieve from the Cake Stalls on the eastern side of the marketplace. This will get you a good amount of early food as well, whether it's for Wintertodt or not. The picture below shows a safe spot!
Head to the fruit stalls in Hosidious house in Kourend. This requires 15% Hosidious favour, but you can get this fairly quickly by pushing the ploughs around in the nearby fields. There are two locations, which are shown in the picture below.
- The one nearer to the bank is good for banking the Golovanova Fruit Tops, which can be used to make Botanical Pies later in the game for a +4 Herblore boost—a very useful item.
- The stall to the east is better if you choose to drop everything, as there are no guard dogs here. It may also be worth banking the strange fruits you pick up; they restore 10 run energy, which can be very useful in the early game!
From here, you should begin Blackjacking bandits in Pollnivneach. This gives the fastest experience and really good gp per hour; you will earn around 5m from getting 91 Thieving here using the Rogue's Outfit (this doubles any loot you receive while Thieving)!
First, you will need to complete The Feud quest, which will give you a blackjack, then the method is simple:
- Get a bandit into a secluded location (inside a house with no other bandits, usually).
- Right-click Knock-out.
- If you fail, keep trying to knock him out; otherwise, he will become aggressive, and you will have to go upstairs in a house to reset aggro.
- Once he is knocked out, Pickpocket him two times.
Types of Bandits
There are 3 types of bandits in Pollnivneach:
- Bearded Pollnivnean Bandits (45–55)
- Pollnivnean Bandits (55–65)
- Menaphite Thugs (65–91)
It is recommended to go and get the Rogue's Outfit at 50 Thieving, as this will double all the loot you receive!
Another consideration is food. You will need a way to heal; luckily, jugs of wine can be bought from Ali the Barman in south Pollnivneach for very little gp, allowing you to stay here indefinitely!
Here there are a few options!
- Pyramid Plunder: Firstly, you could go to Pyramid Plunder! At 91 Thieving, this is the fastest experience in the game, but the big benefit here is the chance to get the Pharaoh's Sceptre. You need one of these to build the Ancient or Occult Altar in your Player-Owned House, and another is needed for a Master Clue requirement. Most Ironmen do this until they have two Sceptres!
- Ardy Knights, Ardougne: Next, you can go to Ardougne and Thieve Ardy Knights. This makes a good amount of money and is very AFK. Take a break at some stage to do the Ardougne Medium Diary, as this will give you an extra 10% chance to not fail a pickpocket. With this diary, you stop failing Ardy Knights at 95 Thieving, so many Ironmen stay at Menaphite Thugs or Pyramid Plunder until 95 before coming here!
- Master Farmer, Hosidius: Head to the small house in northern Hosidius with a Master Farmer in it. With the Ardougne Medium Diary done, you will stop failing Master Farmers at 94 Thieving! This will give you a great amount of seeds to start your account, but it yields significantly less experience per hour (around 120k) than the other methods. As stated before, you will gain around 20 Ranarr seeds per hour here!
Train Mining at the Motherlode Mine
This is a less common early-game grind than the ones mentioned before, but it's still very useful, and you should consider doing it to a high level (if not to 99). Hardcore Ironmen use this method a lot more often, since the only way to get a Dragon Pickaxe is to enter the Wilderness, which is too risky for most HCIM. But normal Ironmen should consider grinding out the Dragon Pickaxe before going for 99 to improve the experience rates!
Benefits of This Grind
All the benefits of MLM are shown in the screenshot above:
- Loads of ores, Smithing exp, and cash
- Plenty of gems, which are really useful for early-game teleports and late-game Lava Runes/Recoils for Zulrah
- 30k gold bars. By crafting these into gold bracelets, you will also get almost another 5m gold profit in alchs (after buying the nature runes), as well as 2m magic exp and 750k crafting experience! This is an insane amount of experience to get in the early game, though it may take you a while. Keep in mind that you should hang onto a good amount of gold bars for making jewellery in the future as well!
How to Play Efficiently After the Early Grinds
So you've done whatever grinds you wanted to do above! Maybe you've done all of them or none of them—it doesn't really matter. The next step in this guide is setting up the infrastructure to play efficiently. This means, basically, a lot of questing.
There are a few things you'll want to unlock prior to questing.
Full Graceful Outfit
Before you begin running around the map, you should get your hands on the Full Graceful Outfit. You can get this by completing laps of any Rooftop Agility Course and picking up the Marks of Grace which spawn along the way. Note that the Canafis course from level 40–60 Agility has the best rate of Marks. Once you have collected 260 Marks, you can head to Grace, under the Burthorpe Pub, to buy your outfit.
The full Graceful Outfit gives you a weight reduction of -25kg, and wearing the full set also improves your run restoration rate by 30%! It is also a requirement for a Master Clue step, so if you're going to get one anyway, it is well worth getting it before questing, especially since you won't unlock Stamina Potions until at least 72 Herblore!
Another really important unlock before you begin questing is Protection Prayers. The usual way to get 43 Prayer is to get a Staff of Air and loads of Mind Runes, then head to underneath Taverley Dungeon to cast Wind Strike on the Blue Dragons there. You will need 50,339 experience for 43, which is about 100 Dragon Bones.
If you use them on the Wilderness Chaos Altar, this gives a 50% chance to not use a bone—meaning each bone is worth, on average, 576 experience! Also note that you should look out for a Mithril Axe drop from the Blue Dragons; this is used for a quest in the future!
Note: For Hardcore Ironmen, you will have to do the Priest in Peril quest to unlock Canafis, and then use the Ectofunctus, requiring around 200 Dragon Bones!
Main Questing Goals
The long-term goal is to get the Quest Point Cape. This gives the closest free, unlimited teleport to a fairy ring until you get one in your POH. But in achieving the Quest Cape, there are several main goals that you should aim for along the way:
- Unlocking Kingdom of Miscellania to begin getting resources
- Unlocking the Dragon Scimitar
- Unlocking extra herb patches and equipment for Herb Runs
- Unlocking the Ancient and Lunar Spellbooks
- Unlocking Fossil Island to begin Birdhouse Runs
- Unlocking Barrows Gloves
- Completing Dragon Slayer 2, Monkey Madness 2 and Song of the Elves
All of these are important steps in an account's development, and once these are all complete, you can pretty much begin the Slayer grind (or whichever mid-game grinds you wish to pursue).
Before I go on with the guide, now is a good time to mention Achievement Diaries. Every diary gives you something really useful on your account. For instance, the Ardougne Cape is one of the best items you can get early in the game; when coupled with the Explorer's Ring, these two items give you quick access to two herb patches!
You should do Diaries whenever you can. You will also get Experience Lamps as a reward for completing them! You get 2.5k for an easy diary, 7.5k for a medium diary, 15k for a hard diary and 50k for an elite diary (except for the Karamja Diary, which gives slightly less). It's up to you what you use these lamps for, but most Ironmen choose Herblore (as tempting as it is to put it in Runecrafting), as Herblore is one of the hardest skills for Ironmen to train.
Diary Requirements by Difficulty Level
The requirements for all the diaries of each difficulty level are shown below.
Now, the most important thing is to open up your account by completing loads of quests! A list of some of the most important quests is shown below. Aside from these, the Old School RuneScape Wiki has a very good page showing the optimal order to complete quests. This order minimizes the amount of skilling you will have to do.
The guide frequently says to use skill lamps on specific skills; however, as an Ironman, you should be using these on Herblore and training other skills where required in the guide.
Priest in Peril
Mort Myre Swamp
Fairytale Parts 1 and 2
Tree Gnome Village
The Grand Tree
The Fremmenik Isles
Helm of Neitiznot
Monkey Madness 1
Rune Platebody/Green D'hide Body
The Slug Menace
Recipe for Disaster
Throne of Miscellania
Extra 5 workers for Managing Miscellania
Once you have achieved the Quest Point Cape, congratulations! The early game is as good as finished. Now begins the mid-game, filled with Slayer, Herblore, Crafting and more grinds.
Watch the videos below to get started on your Birdhouse Runs and Herb Runs!
At this point, you've reached the mid-game, you have Birdhouse Runs up and running, and you are doing your Herb Runs whenever you can. Now the grind is as follows:
- Grind Slayer to 85,87 for the Abyssal Whip and Trident of the Seas
- Support your gear by grinding Crafting for Zenyte Jewellery/Fury/Glory
- Get a Fire Cape
- Get a Fighter Torso
- Get a Rune Pouch
- Get a Dragon Defender
- Get a Black Mask
- Unlock Piety
This section will outline some of the major goals of the mid-game and how to achieve them!
Gear Up for Slayer
At this stage, I assume you have gotten the Quest Point Cape and have been doing Herb and Birdhouse Runs, so hopefully you have a good amount of Super Attack and Strength potions made for this grind. Before we get into the actual Slaying, we have to gear up. The following section outlines the best gear for each armour slot.
You should have unlocked the Helm of Neitiznot from the Fremmenik quest line. This will be your best-in-slot melee helm until you unlock the Slayer Helm! If you haven't gotten this yet, then use a Berserker Helm.
Use the best Ardougne Cape you can until you have good enough gear to get the Fire Cape.
This is one of the main slots for improvements as an Ironman. In the early game, your best amulet will be the Amulet of Strength (or the Amulet of Power if you want slightly more defensive bonuses). As time goes on, by leveling your Crafting, you will be able to get the Amulet of Glory and then the Amulet of Fury. Eventually, your Crafting will be high enough to craft the Zenyte Jewellery. There is more information about Crafting later in the guide!
Use any Blessing you get from clue scrolls. This is the best-in-slot melee forever due to the +1 prayer bonus.
The weapon slot is simple for Ironmen: As soon as you finish Monkey Madness 1 and have 60 Attack, you want to use the Dragon Scimitar all the way up until 85 Slayer (or less if you boost), when you can get the Abyssal Whip! If you need to do some melee before 60 Attack, you should have at least 40 from questing, so you can use a Rune Sword bought from the Champions' Guild after Dragon Slayer.
Here you should try and get the Fighter Torso as soon as possible; this gives the maximum strength bonus and is the best-in-slot piece until you get the Bandos Platebody later in the game.
You can get this by doing the Barbarian Assault minigame; there are plenty of guides out there. You will need a team for this. Luckily, there are plenty of Ironman Clan Chats with other people looking to unlock it as well. Alternatively, there is a clan chat called BA Services where you can pay 40m to get the Fighter Torso (you will have to pay with a main).
The best item here is the Dragon Defender. Once you hit 130 total Attack + Strength Level, you can enter the Warriors' Guild; here, you can perform activities to gain Warriors' Guild Tokens, and you can use these to gain time in a room with Cyclopes. These drop the defenders from Bronze to Rune, and once you have got them all, you can head downstairs to the dungeon to kill higher leveled Cyclopes for the Dragon Defender.
This is the best-in-slot piece until you get a Dragonfire Shield or an Avernic Defender, though both of these items are very late game (unless you get a lucky Visage drop early on).
Here the best option is Obsidian Legs, though these cost around 100,000 Tokkul, which for an Ironman means buying 11,111 Chaos runes and selling them to the Tzhaar Rune Shop; this will cost about 1m gp bought from the Mages' Guild!
If you don't have the money for this, your best option is to buy Rune Platelegs and eventually upgrade to Barrows Legs from the Barrows Minigame. These offer more defence than the Rune Platelegs, but they don't have a better offensive bonus.
The best gloves in the game are the Barrows Gloves, which you can buy for 130k once you have finished Recipe For Disaster. If you can't do these quests for whatever reason, the next best item is the Combat Bracelet. However, this has arguably higher requirements than Barrows Gloves, as you will have to get a Dragonstone and get the required Crafting and Magic levels!
For Ironmen, the best boots to begin with are Climbing Boots, which you can buy from Tenzing northwest of Burthorpe after the Death Plateau quest. Once you hit 83 Slayer, you can kill Spiritual Mages for the Dragon Boots, which will be your best-in-slot piece until you eventually upgrade them to Primordial Boots after 91 Slayer.
Most Ironmen will begin by using the Explorer's Ring for the Prayer bonus. As soon as you can, you should upgrade this to a Berserker Ring, which you should also imbue at Nightmare Zone. There are plenty of low-level guides for solo killing Dagannoth Rex—just take Ibans blast, plenty of Super Antipoisons and some food, and you should have your best-in-slot ring in no time.
Many Ironmen also slay with the Ring of Wealth until they get the Shield left half drop from monsters. The Berserker Ring (i) is the best-in-slot ring for the rest of the game!
Grinds to Do While Slaying
Now that you know about which gear is best, it's time to start slaying! Always use the best Slayer Master you can—a lot of Ironmen now use Konar to get good supplies from the Brimstone Chest. Usually, it is best to use Chaeldar, Neive and then Duradel as soon as you have the required level!
I will outline what to do with Slayer Points below, but first, here are some grinds/unlocks you should focus on as you level Slayer!
1. Black Mask
At level 58 Slayer, you will be able to travel to Mos Le Harmless (after completing the required quests) and begin killing Cave Horrors for a 1/512 chance of obtaining the Black Mask. This will give you a 16.67% boost to Melee accuracy and damage while on a Slayer Task. You can also head to Nightmare Zone and imbue it for 1.25m points, which gives an additional 15% boost to Ranged accuracy and damage, as well as Magic accuracy and damage!
Eventually, you will be able to upgrade this to the Slayer Helm, which holds the Black Mask and its bonuses as well as incorporating all the head-slot Slayer gear, such as Earmuffs, Face Mask, Nosepeg, Spiny Helmet, etc.
After you have done King's Ransom and the Knight Waves Training Ground, you will have access to the Chivalry and Piety Prayers, requiring 60 and 70 Prayer, respectively. At some stage, you should grind out 70 Prayer using any Ensouled Heads you have, as well as camping blue or green dragons to get enough bones. Ironmen can use the Wilderness Altar for effectively double experience, but HCIM should stick to a Gilded Altar or the Ectofunctus.
3. The Mage Training Arena
This is a slightly different grind; you should come here anyway to get Bones to Peaches for the Lumbridge Diary. While not necessary, you should also get Infinity Boots, the Master Wand and the Mage's Book whenever you can, as these are three of the best Magic items in the game.
The boots and wand are both needed for the best-in-slot items, while the Mage's Book is only surpassed in stats by the Ancient Wyvern Shield and Arcane Spirit Shield, which are two very late-game items.
This should be a grind you are always chipping away at! You should use the Superglass Make spell in the Lunar Spellbook to turn Giant Seaweed and six Buckets of Sand into Molten Glass used for glassblowing training. To get your sand, you should head to the desert quarry and mine sandstone. Put it into the sand grinder and pay 50 coins per bucket to have it automatically made!
Giant Seaweed can be farmed by planting Seaweed Spores in the underwater patches on Fossil Island. You can sit around on the ocean floor here waiting for the spores to spawn; it's a bit slow, but overall it's faster than grinding a Brine Sabre and killing Lobstrosities.
5. Imbued God Cape
At some stage, head to the Mage Training Arena in the Wilderness and complete both minigames to unlock the Imbued God Cape. This is the best-in-slot Magic cape in the game! Hardcore Ironmen will often risk their status to get this cape, though make sure you do it late at night to avoid PKers!
Get the Rune Pouch
One of the big items for an account is the Rune Pouch. It allows you to hold 16,000 each of three types of runes in one inventory slot. You can buy this for 1,250 Slayer Points, or you can buy it for 1,200,000 Bounty Hunter points.
Earning Points and Emblems
You get BH points by handing in Mysterious Emblems, and the best way to get these as an Ironman is through Wilderness Slayer. Wildy Slayer tasks can sometimes be quite challenging, as they don't take your combat level into account when assigning tasks. As a result, you get vastly increased Slayer Points from each task—25 to be exact—with the usual bonuses for 10, 50, 100, 250 and 1,000 tasks.
The drop rate of the Emblems is fairly rare, but most Ironman will have enough Emblems (24) by the time they reach 50 tasks, giving a very nice points boost. Another thing to consider is that for each of the tasks Bear, Skeleton and Spider, you can kill the respective bosses in the Wilderness for a vastly improved Mysterious Emblem drop rate, as well as a good chance at the Dragon Pickaxe and the respective Rings.
Any Hardcore Ironmen will usually get the Rune Pouch through Slayer Points, though this may take a considerable amount of time if not point boosting (nine tasks at Turael, one at the highest level Master).
Grind to 87
The above pretty much covers all of the preparation around Slayer. The next step is to simply grind out to 87 Slayer. Most players will end up grinding all the way to 93 for the Occult Necklace or to 95 for the Dragon Hunter Lance. But wherever you stop, you will need to make sure you use your Slayer Points wisely.
Recommended Unlock Order
The order in which you unlock things should be:
- Superior Monsters (Bigger and Badder Perk)
- Broader Fletching
- Slayer Rings
- Slayer Helm
- Block List
- Unlock Lizardmen Task for chance at Dragon Warhammer
- Herb Sack
- Rune Pouch
Your block list will be different for everyone, depending on your preferences, but it should generally include these monsters:
- Hellhounds (unless 91 Slayer for crystals)
- Black Demons (unless going for Zenytes)
- Kalphite (unless doing KQ for supplies)
- Fire Giants
- Suqah (unless using Duradel)
- Anything else you really dislike
Then just start Slaying! Do your burst tasks like Nechryaels, Dust Devils using Expeditious Bracelets, and extend them if you can. Use Super Attack and Strength potions all the time (Divine Potions are very good, too), and learn to Prayer flick; it will be very useful as an Ironman! Once you have your Whip and your Trident, you can move on to the late game.
From this point onwards in the guide, you will have been playing the game for a long time, and so the guide will be significantly less descriptive. You will already have a significant knowledge of how the game works and how certain grinds are carried out.
The main goal now is to get the best-in-slot gear in the game to take on the Chambers of Xeric and the Theatre of Blood. Of course, it is not necessary to do this—you can grind 99 Slayer and then continue to max your other skills, but most Ironmen will get the best-in-slot gear for their account.
Continue doing your Herb Runs and Birdhouse Runs, and get ready to finish your account!
The next few bullet points are important things you will need to consider in the late game, though they can be carried out at any stage—or slowly chipped away at as you grind out the PVM gear.
- 83 Construction: At some stage, you should put some Miscellania workers onto Teak Trees to get enough logs for 83 Construction. You can use the Mythical Cape Rack training method after Dragon Slayer 2 to get 123 exp per Teak Plank instead of 90—this is very popular with Ironmen! At 83, you can boost with spicy stews and use the Crystal Saw to build all the Max Gear in your Player-Owned House, including the Fairy Ring, Spirit Tree, Occult Altar, Ornate Jewellery Box and the Ornate Rejuvenation Pool (requires 10 Anti-venoms). This is a huge upgrade and makes your POH the go-to spot to get around, resupply and reset your stats!
- 90 Herblore: This is almost a requirement for Chamber of Xeric, as it allows you to make the highest level potion within the Chambers. It will also allow you to make Super Combat Potions and Anti Venoms, which are very useful for high-leveled PVM. It could be 90+ Slayer until you have enough herbs for this, so just make sure you always do your Herb Runs, and keep as many workers as you can on Herbs in Miscellania!
- 93 Crafting: This allows you to +5 boost with stews to make the Amulet of Torture, which is the best-in-slot offensive melee amulet! A lot of players will rush to 99 Crafting early to unlock the Crafting Cape, which is the closest teleport to a bank chest that's also free and unlimited. It will massively speed up a lot of endgame content!
- Pest Control: You will have to grind out Full Void at some stage, so it's better to do it earlier to get some good Range levels, but make sure you are at 100 combat to use the elite lander! You will need 1,650 Pest Control Points for the full Elite Void plus all the Helmets! That is 330 games, which will take around 12–14 hours.
- Ava's Assembler: After Dragon Slayer 2, you have to ability to kill Vorkath for a chance to receive Vorkath's Head. You can use this to make Ava's Assembler, which is the best-in-slot Range Cape. It is a 1/50 drop rate, but you are guaranteed to get it on the 50th kill!
Zulrah: Now or Later?
With all that in mind, you now have a choice! Ironmen will eventually have to grind out Zulrah; some choose to do it now, and some choose to do it at 93 Slayer, after they have unlocked the Occult Necklace for an extra 10% Magic damage boost. I will assume you do it at 93 Slayer, but if you want to do it now, then feel free. Getting the Blowpipe early and upgrading the Trident are great unlocks, and the chance at an onyx is great for crafting those Zenytes!
Whether you have completed Zulrah or not, the next thing to do is to keep Slaying! The goal here is to get 93 Slayer for the Occult Necklace (and then do Zulrah, if you haven't already). You will also focus on a few more things at this stage of Slaying.
Many players choose to kill the Abyssal Sire when they get Abyssal Demon tasks at this stage. The requirements are not very high at all, though it's a slow and tedious kill. The main benefit of doing this is obtaining the Abyssal Bludgeon; this is the best-in-slot crush weapon you will have for most of the game. It's really useful for the Kalphite Queen, and it's the best item to use at Cerberus!
This is the worst grind in the game for Ironmen. You should unlock the ability to get Lizardmen tasks at some stage, and then complete the Kourend and Kebos Hard Diary to unlock the ability to use the Slayer Helm instead of the Shayzien Helm when killing Shamans. Use a Rune Crossbow and the best Range gear you have, as well as Shayzien boots, gloves, top and bottom. Upgrade to the Blowpipe if you have it.
Hopefully, you can get lucky and get the Dragon Warhammer during the Slayer grind. If not, you will have to get it later on.
Again, you should not block Black Demons until you have all four Zenyte shards! You should have no problem getting them by the time you reach 93 Slayer, as Black Demons are a fairly common task. If you do somehow go really dry, though, just finish them off afterwards whenever you need another BIS Zenyte item.
After you have got the Trident drop from regular Cave Krakens, you should switch to killing the Kraken Boss deeper into the Kraken Cove. This has a much better drop rate of the Kraken Tentacle, which is used to upgrade to the Abyssal Whip, and it's one of the best items in the game for the Melee Mainhand.
Once you have a Tentacle, it's recommended that you block Kraken tasks—unless you wish to grind to get 10 more Tentacles to upgrade the Trident to hold 25k Charges instead of 2.5k!
At 91 Slayer, you unlock the ability to slay Cerberus while on a Hellhounds task. You should unblock Hellhounds and start doing Cerberus as soon as possible to get the Primordial, Eternal and Pegasian Crystals. These are used to upgrade the Dragon Boots, Infinity Boots and Ranger Boots into the best-in-slot boots for each combat class.
Hopefully, you will have gotten lucky and received Ranger Boots from a Medium Clue by this stage. If not, you have a few options:
- Go to Camp Dagannoth in the Catacombs of Kourend. You will get just under two Medium Clues per hour and a lot of herb seeds, as well as good amounts of Ancient Shards and Dark Totems. This is a slower but more AFK method.
- Start catching Eclectic Implings in Puro-Puro. These drop Medium Clues at a 1/25 rate, and you can get through around 10 clues per hour if you're good. However, this is a more click-intensive and sometimes frustrating method.
Once you have all three Crystals, you can block Hellhounds again. I would recommend hunting the Ranger Boots after 93 Slayer, since you could get lucky between 91–93!
At 93 Slayer, hopefully you have some points saved up! You should skip tasks until you get a Smoke Devil assignment, and then head to the dungeon south of Castle Wars to try and get the Occult Necklace. The Thermonuclear Smoke Devil drops it at a rate of 1/350, while the regular Smoke Devils only drop it at a rate of 1/512. Therefore, it is recommended to kill the Thermonuclear Smoke Devil until you get it, then continue barraging Smoke Devil tasks from then on.
This next stage of the account is to Slay until 95 for the Dragon Hunter Lance. In doing so, we do a few things:
- Unlock Aviansies as a task for Kree'arra
- Unlock Boss Slayer
- Unblock Greater Demons (if you have them blocked)
Gear to Grind Beforehand
While Slaying to 95, you should get a lot of Slayer tasks which allow you to go to certain bosses and grind out gear. Before we start doing that, though, we need to polish up the account's gear to make sure we are fully prepared to boss!
If you don't have any gear mentioned before, grind it out now:
- Do Barrows now to get as much gear as you need. Ahrim's and Karil's are the best for Mage and Range at Zulrah, while Verac's is a very good armour set, too. Most Ironmen will finish Barrows to make the bank look complete.
- Once you have Ahrim's and Karils, grind out Zulrah for all the uniques. Make the Trident of the Swamp.
- Get the Dragon Warhammer using the Blowpipe.
- Get any more Zenytes that you need and craft the jewellery.
- You should have the Kraken Tentacle by now.
- Get your Ranger Boots.
- Head to the Dagannoth Kings to get the Archer's Ring and the Seer's Ring, then imbue these at Nightmare Zone.
At this stage, you're ready for team raids! If you have joined a clan or know a group of people you can raid with, then go ahead! This is the stage of the game where the Augury and Rigour Prayers are so useful for bossing.
If you plan on Raiding until you get these prayers, then you may well get quite lucky and get a really good item:
- If you get a Twisted Bow, then you can try and do the Inferno relatively easily. Alternatively, you can use this to kill Kree'arra to get Armadyl Armour and then attempt the Inferno.
- If you get the Dragon Hunter Crossbow, then this is as good as the Dragon Hunter Lance for killing Olm in the Chambers of Xeric, so it may be worth your time just staying here until you get all the items that you want!
Whether or not you unlock Rigour, at this stage you have the best gear for killing Commander Zilyana in the Saradomin God Wars Dungeon. (If you are not comfortable attempting this without Rigour, no problem! You can come back here once you have unlocked it.)
Here you should use the Blowpipe/Rune Crossbow and Stamina Potions, skirting around the room until you kill the boss, then focusing on the minions. There are plenty of guides out there, but you should kill Saradomin until you get the Armadyl Crossbow and the Saradomin Godsword. These two items are extremely useful both for Raids and for the Inferno.
The image below shows the best gear to bring to Saradomin GWD.
Now you will also have everything you need to complete the Bandos God Wars Dungeon. You should stay here until you have Full Bandos, including the Bandos Godsword. Most Ironmen will get two pairs of Bandos Boots as well: One can be turned into Guardian Boots, and the other is used for a Master Clue step.
Again, there are plenty of guides out there on how to kill Bandos, but the general idea is to stay under him, come out, hit him twice, then go under him again for a hit. The Bandos armour is the best Melee armour in the game, so this is a vital upgrade for late-game PVM.
The gear most commonly used is shown below.
Now you should go on to kill K'ril Tsutsaroth, the Zamorak GWD boss. Here we are only really looking for the Zamorakian Spear—though, again, most Ironmen get two: one for the Dragon Hunter Lance, and one for the Hasta for use at the Corporeal Beast. Other good drops are the Staff of the Dead, the Steam Battlestaff (which is only dropped by K'ril) and the Zamorak Godsword.
A good gear setup is shown below, but upgrade pieces where you can to improve Defence and then DPS. Also note that you will mostly be killing K'ril on task while Slaying to 95.
Since you have unlocked the Aviansies task, you should get a lot of opportunities to go and kill Kree'arra during your 95 Slayer grind. Assuming you didn't get lucky with a Twisted Bow, any time you get a task, you should hunt Black Chinchompas (or Red if you're a Hardcore Ironman) until you have enough to complete the task, then head to the GWD and kill! Note you should only bring as many Chinchompas as you will use in one trip, since if you die you will lose them all.
Armadyl God Wars Dungeon gives Armadyl Armour, which is the best Ranged armour in the game, as well as a chance to get the Armadyl Godsword!
There are many guides out there for Armadyl. The strategy is to stand in a certain square, then you can lure the Melee minion, one other minion and Kree'arra onto one square. By attacking one of the minions with the Chinchompas, the damage will roll against their defence level instead of Kree'arra's, meaning you will do much more DPS against the boss!
Good gear for this dungeon is shown below.
The above covers all of the grinds you should be doing on your way to 95 Slayer. Once you get 95, you may or may not have completed all of these; if not, then finish them up off-task (you should have enough experience to do it off-task by now). Otherwise, you could continue with the guide and head back there after making some upgrades, such as Rigour or other Chambers of Xeric drops.
Alchemical Hydra Boss
Once you have 95, the next big grind is to get a Hydra Task and start killing the Alchemical Hydra Boss. Here you are looking for the Hydra Leather to make the Ferocious Gloves, along with the Hydra Claw to make the important Dragon Hunter Lance. This is one of the best items in the game for killing Olm in Raids, and once you have it, you are pretty much finished with Slayer (until you grind 99).
Final PVM Grinds
At this stage, you are done with almost all PVM. The only things left to do are to:
- Complete Chambers of Xeric
- Complete Theatre of Blood
These grinds will take you many hours, but with the gear you have attained, solo Raids 1 are fairly simple. There are many guides; the best is probably by Woox (see the video below), though there are plenty more in-depth guides.
For the Theatre of Blood, it's essential to have a team. You should hopefully have joined a clan by now or found a few in-game friends you can raid with.
Many players will max before completing the Theatre of Blood, since none of the gear in Raids 1 or 2 will speed up maxing, apart from damage boosts for the last four levels of Slayer.
At this stage, we have achieved what the guide set out to achieve: You pretty much have maxed PVM gear.
Hopefully, you got lucky somewhere along the way with a Visage. If not, it's best to camp Vorkath for it and the Ancient Wyvern Shield. You'll also get a ton of supplies, which will help towards maxing.
Grinding Your Skills
At this stage, you will be very knowledgeable about the game, and you will know how to max all of your skills. Hopefully, you have kept doing your Herb Runs, and you should have reached 99 Hunter from Birdhouse Runs and catching Chinchompas long ago. Prayer will be the hardest to max, unless you went dry at Vorkath and Hydra.
All that's left is to grind out the skills and max. But at this stage, you have the absolute best fashionscape to do it in!
Other Things to Do
Try out the Corporeal Beast for some Spirit Shields. I didn't include it in the guide, as it's usually thousands of hours of grinding for most people. But it's something all maxed Ironmen will end up doing anyway.
If you haven't completed the Inferno, have fun attempting it! You'll beat it eventually.
You've Almost Made It!
Enjoy the road to maxing—you've come so far!
Thanks for reading my guide. If you have any questions or feel that I've missed anything, then let me know below!
© 2019 Paul Laselle