Paul is very knowledgeable about "Old School Runescape," with a maxed Ironman as well as a maxed regular account!
I'm going to begin this guide by laying out a few initial things that you should know.
How to Get There
To get to the Theatre of Blood, the quickest way is to use a Drakan's Medallion, which you can receive from completing the A Taste of Hope quest in Morytania. Click on the quest name to get to the quest guide on the Wiki!
In order to complete the raid, the gear that you use is crucial. As a first point, check out the image below to understand the minimum gear required to complete the Theatre of Blood. If you don't have at least what is shown below, most teams won't take you with them.
That being said, not all of the items are necessary. Some teams will be able to accomodate certain setups if you make things known to them beforehand, just make sure that you communicate. This will also make it easier to find teammates in the future as you build a network in the community.
Some things not mentioned in the above photos but equally important are:
- You should have both Augury and Rigour unlocked.
- Your Toxic Blowpipe should have rune darts+ in it.
- Your magic level should be at least 94 for freezing.
- Your melee and range stats should all be 90+.
- You should aim to upgrade your melee gear to bringing a 4 way switch into Bandos Chestplate, Tassets, Ferocious Gloves and a Serpentine Helm/Neitiznot Faceguard as soon as possible.
Once you have sorted your gear, you are ready to begin finding a team.
Finding a Team
Finding a team is often the most daunting part of learning ToB. Luckily, there are several things you can do:
- Go to world 416. This is the standard world for finding teams to raid with. In the beginning, your aim should not be to complete the raids - it should be to survive as long as possible and learn as much as you can during each room. Doing this will set you up for success in the long run, as getting carried through early kc can lead to players not really understanding the rooms as well as they should. I've seen plenty of people with hundreds of kc who play as if they have <10 kc.
- Go to the We Do Raids discord server. This has dedicated channels set up to help people find team mates with similar kill counts. This helps especially as learning with people similar to you is much better. You can learn from their mistakes as much as you learn from your own, and having a team of players in consistent roles will help to generate some understanding between you.
Once you've got your team, and you gear, pre-pot a supercombat potion, range potion, imbued heart, anglerfish and enter the raid. Check out the sections below for a breakdown of each room.
Read More From Levelskip
The Maiden of Sugadinti
The core features of this room are:
- The Maiden will attack every 10 ticks. Every few attacks she will throw out blood splats which you will need to move out of the way of. If these hit you they will deal 10-20 damage per tick and heal her for a part of that damage. It will also spawn a blood spawn which will travel around the room damaging anyone it hits.
- When the Maiden is at 70%, 50% and 30% health, she will spawn between 3-10 Nylocas at the sides of the rooms. If these reach the Maiden, they will heal her for 150 hp each, and increase her max hit significantly. Therefore, the two freezers will be focused on switching gear before these health thresholds and ensuring they are frozen.
- The freezers should also freeze any blood spawns that have spawned, and the players should kill these so that they don't get in the way later.
To go more into detail, the roles in this room can be broken down into:
- South mage
- North mage
- South DPS
- North DPS
As described above, the north and south mage will switch into gear just before 70, 50 and 30% health and get ready to freeze the nylocas. There is quite a bit of efficiency to be gained here however, as the 3rd and 4th rows of nylocas (see below image) will stack up, and can be caught by one mager, rather than both magers having to get all of their 3rd and 4th rows themselves.
Maiden Nylocas Positions
The nylocas are often referred to as crabs, which I will now do throughout the rest of the guide. On the above picture, you can see a red square, as well as the locations of the spawns of all crabs. When they spawn, the crabs will start pathing towards the red square next to Maiden. North and south mage should freeze N1, N2, S1 and S2 as soon as possible.
Then north mage should freeze the 3rd row of crabs (N3 + S3) all together in the red square.
Then south mage should freeze the 4th row of crabs all together in the red square.
After this, both mages (but specifically south mage) should continue ice barraging the stack (or blood barraging for health) to kill them all. When there are only one or two left, other players can help finish them off as the magers get back into their gear ready to freeze again.
This is essentialy the whole room. Just repeat the process 3 times and try and share out tanking Maiden equally. She will target whoever is closest to her, so step back to force her to attack someone else if you are low on health.
The Pestilent Bloat
Bloat is one of the easiest rooms in the Theatre if you pay attention, but things can also go wrong very quickly. My advice for this room is to concentrate at all times, as even looking away for a second can get you caught. The core principles of this room are as follows:
- Bloat will walk around the central pillar of the room. While it is walking, all damage is halved and any player in Bloat's line of sight will get 'flied' for 10-20 damage per tick, and this damage spreads to any other players in that player's line of sight. This is very dangerous, so players should stay out of Bloat's line of sight at all times.
- Eventually bloat will go down, signified by the lights on his back flashing, and standing still. Then everyone can run to attack Bloat (you should aim to do Chally spec - 5 whip hits/4 scythe hits - chally spec on the first down, then 6 whip hits/5 scythe hits - chally spec on the subsequent downs.
- Then bloat will stand up again and either walk or run around the room. Again, it will 'fly' anyone in line of sight, but now, additionally, pieces of meat fall from the roof, which will stun players and deal 30+ damage when caught. This will often lead to players also getting flied, and so it is crucial that you avoid these. A dark shadow will appear on the ground where they are going to fall, so it is recommended that players unequip the elite robe void bottoms, as these are large and can obscure the view. Alternatively, RuneLite users can use the entity hider plugin to hide themselves and other players.
The room is as simple as that. Just concentrate and don't get hit. For players who want to learn more advanced techniques, research into flinching, or learn to tick-eat the stomp to get in some extra hits. It can also be worth doing a BGS spec before the first down (noting that although the damage will be halved, and you will lose health getting flied, the defence reduction will be for the full amount, before it was halved).
The Nylocas room is one of the easiest to learn, one of the most fun, and one which has an incredibly high skill ceiling, meaning you can always learn something new about this room.
Essentially, waves of different nylocas will enter the room, which can only be killed with their respective styles:
- white = melee
- blue = mage
- green = ranged
The waves are always the same however! So you can learn them over time and get very good at a specific role.
In this room, you should have:
- 1 mager (usually the south mage from the Maiden room)
- 1 ranger
- 2 meleers.
One of the two meleers should switch to mage to help out nearer the end of the waves, unless you have a very good mager. Over time, you will learn your roles off by heart, and know when you can switch to other styles to help out. After 20 waves of nylocas spawns, the room cap will increase, meaning twice as many can now spawn. Try and focus hard now, just keep hitting your colour and try not to lose ticks running around not hitting anything. Look at the pillars' health bars and focus those pillars that are low. Communicate with your team!
Once all of the waves are dealth with, heal up to max, restore your stats, and pot up for the boss. This is just a large nylocas that will rotate through the same three styles as above. It can deal extremely high damage if you don't pray correctly against it, so make sure your priority is:
switch prayers > switch gear > attack boss.
If you follow that order, you shouldn't take much damage and should do absolutely fine.
For those seeking a greater challenge, there are images which show the timings and locations of the spawns, try and learn these off by heart. You can also find the best times to switch to other styles and 'pre-fire' on crabs coming down the runways before they switch styles.
Sotetseg is a giant dark beast who can attack with three different attacks:
- First, Sote can attack you with melee if you are in melee range. Players should always stand in melee range and pray melee, as the attacks are very inaccurate.
- Secondly, Sote can choose to attack you with a mage attack, if this happens, Sote will fire a small red ball towards you, you should switch to protect mage and the attack will not deal any damage. It will however split into another mage ball (red) and a ranged ball (dark grey). These attacks will then fire off to two other players, so make sure you are aware of not only the attacks coming from Sote, but also the attacks bouncing from other players.
- Finally, Sote can fire a large ball of energy that can be shared amongst players. Players should all meet at the front of Sotetseg, in the middle, and the damage will then be shared between them before players return to their positions.
- Every 33.3%, Sotetseg will teleport players to the beginning of the maze. One player, in the underworld, will step on the tiles in the maze, and players in the overworld will be able to see the tiles they have stepped on. If players step on the wrong tile, large damage will be taken. Also, if players are not quick enough, then a tornado spawns which will traverse the maze, and damge the player for large hitpoints if it reaches them. Therefore, a balance between speed and accuracy is required.
To start the room, players should decide on speccing order. Typically, the roles are:
This means that 12 will spec on phase 1 and phase 2, etc. and Fill will spec if any player misses their spec on any phase. The phases are separated by the two mazes that spawn at 66.6% and 33.3% health.
Try to focus on looking at other players as well as Sotetseg in this room. Build awareness of what is going on around you. To learn efficient maze solutions, use this maze trainer tool to practice. I'd recommend mastering this before you even enter the Theatre of Blood.
Xarpus is a very simple room in principle, but it can also be perfected over time as you learn more and more advanced techniques. As this is a beginners guide, I will only cover ranging Xarpus. But note that meleeing, using whip, Scythe and learning to 5t Scythe are much better DPS, and so you should aim to learn these as soon as possible.
The principle here is as follows:
- In phase 1, Xarpus will spawn exhumes which heal her and raise her defence, you should spread out and stand on these to stop her from healing.
- Once exhumes stop spawning, Xarpus is about to stand up. You should be in your melee gear ready to DWH spec and BGS. Once you have specced twice, run to a corner of the room and put your ranged gear on. The blowpipe can reach Xarpus from everywhere in this room.
- Begin attacking Xarpus, move 2 tiles away when she turns to look at you directly. You do not need to move otherwise. It's a mistake I see a lot of learners make is moving whenever they see poison coming towards them. It's not going to hit you unless you've already done something wrong. Only move when Xarpus looks at you, then stand still until she looks at you again. This makes the room very easy.
- Once Xarpus reaches 30% health, she will turn one more time and let out a Screeeech. When she does this, she is beginning phase 3. Switch into your melee gear and get ready to attack her. She will turn to face one corner of the room at a time for 8 ticks. When she does this, if you attack her while stood in the corner of the room she is facing, your damage will be reflected onto you, plus 50 more damage dealth, this will often mean that you die! You should be able to get 2 whip hits in before she turns again, and you can move around her to get ready to move into the corner she is currently staring at (since when she turns, she will turn away from that corner, meaning you can definitely attack her from that corner).
This room also requires a degree of concentration, though it only really begins to get hard once you get a scythe. In this case, you will want to learn to melee walk, then learn to 5t melee walk, and also learn how to time scythe in the last phase, using 2-2-1-2-1. As this is a beginners guide, I will not be covering these, but there are plenty of guides out there which go into great detail on these.
Once Xarpus is defeated, ensure that one player on the team picks up the Dawnbringer staff found on the floor by the exit!
Verzik is where most player begin to really struggle. The fight is long and, I'll admit, hard for a first time player. The only way to improve at this room is by getting this far and getting the chance to practice.
To begin with, phase one sees Verzik sit on a throne at the front of the room. Once players initiate the fight, they will be able to get 4 whip/staff hits in before they must run behind one of the pillars. The room typically goes like this:
- Players look at the orb order in the top left of the screen, this is the order that they will spec on Verzik. Make sure the first player has the staff equipped and has clicked the spec bar, this player will initiate the fight with Verzik.
- Once player 1 initates the fight, everyone should be spam clicking verzik with their melee gear, player one will spec with the staff twice, then equip their melee weapon and drop the staff, they can then get two whip hits on Verzik before needing to run behind the first (west) pillar.
- Player two hits verzik twice with their whip, then picks up the staff and specs twice also. If this is slow, it might be helpful to spec once, then run back and spec for the second time on the way to the pillar.
- Player two should then equip their whip, and drop the staff behind the first pillar. All other players should have finished their 4 attacks on verzik and begin running to hide behind the first pillar also.
- Player 3 then picks up the staff, specs twice, then drops it behind the pillar.
- Player 4 then picks up the staff, specs twice, then drops it behind the pillar.
- All the time, anyone who is not interacting with the staff should be meleeing Verzik twice, then running back behind the pillar to hide. You can click on Verzik to attack from behind the pillar when her legs appear to be the farthest apart they can go, alternatively, as she claps her hands.
- After player 4 has specced twice. Player one picks up the staff and specs once.
- Continue cycling through the players in order until everyone has got all 3 of their specs done.
- Verzik should hopefully be dead by now, but if not, just continue meleeing, while one player holds the staff and auto attacks verzik (doing 3/4 attacks each rotation).
- Note that you may have to switch pillars as the first one will be destroyed after 6-8 attacks from Verzik. Then move to the eastern pillar.
Soon Verzik should be dead, and she will begin moving to the centre of the room ready to start phase 2.
On phase 2, Verzik will launch a ranged attack at you every 4 ticks, and will also send out blue lightning attacks every 5th attack.
The range attack will deal big damage if it hits you, but you can simply move out the way of it.
The mage/blue lightning attack will deal very big damage if it bounces around to every player on the team, so ensure you have 2 players east and 2 players west of Verzik, since then the ball will try to travel through Verzik, where it will be absorbed and thus no damage will be dealt.
This phase is about rhythm, you want to attack every 4 ticks, and step back when she fires the range attack, so that you can attack her the next tick, be dragged back in one tile, and the range attack won't hit you. The best way to get to grips with this is also by using this trainer. I would highly recommend you are very comfortable with this rhythm before entering ToB.
Throughout this phase, Verzik will also spawn crabs:
- One purple crab which must be hit with a poison weapon (tentacle whip, trident of the swamp or blowpipe) to kill it and stop it from healing Verzik.
- Several other crabs which will lock onto a player and head towards them. Players should wait till these get close (2-3 tiles away) then run away from the crab as it will 'pop'. When they pop, the closer you are, the more damage you will be dealt, so it is a skill to learn where to drag these to and pop them (you don't want to pop them right next to your teammate!)
Once you get Verzik to 35% health in this phase, she will spawn 2 red crabs, one on either side and start healing any damage which she receives fro 16 ticks. Players should kill these crabs (or get them very low health) and then start attacking Verzik again. You will go through several rounds of this until you finally get Verzik to zero health, beginning phase 3.
How to Tank Verzik on Phase 3 (Tick Perfect)
Once phase 3 starts, you are nearly there. This phase is about raw coordination, teamwork and staying calm.
One player will be designated as the tank, their job is to step away from, or under, Verzik at the right time so that she doesn't perform a melee attack. Watch the video above to find out how to do this perfectly.
When Verzik attacks, she will glow blue, which means you should pray mage, or she will stay green, which means you should pray range. This phase will go in a continuous cycle of 4 regular attack - special - 4 regular attacks - special. Luckily the special attacks go in a set order, so you can prepare for each one in order, as described below.
- The first special attack is crabs. Verzik will spawn some crabs around the room, exactly the same as in phase 2. They will lock onto a player and these can be either frozen in place, or popped. I would recommend freezing at first, before you become more comfortable with popping them.
- Second, is webs. Verzik will walk to the centra of the room and begin spinning around, firing webs in the direction of anyone she sees. You can either switch to your mage gear and trident Verzik from around the outside, or learn to web run. This is a more advanced strategy but well worth learning.
- The third special attack is yellow pools. Here, 4 yellow pools will spawn around the room and an orb will be fired at each player. Everyone needs to find their way to their own unique yellow pool to avoid being hit for 50+ damage. Then Verzik can be attacked again.
- Finally, a large green ball will be fired at a random player. This will hit 73 damage, but can be bounced by standing within a 5x5 square around another player. This will mean you take no damage, and the player you bounce it to can either tank the ball (for less than 73 damage) or bounce it again to further reduce the amount it hits.
These special attacks will then continue in the same order until Verzik is dead.
After verzik reaches 20% health, tornados will spawn, one for each player, which chase the player and heal verzik if they reach the player. This is undoubtedly the most difficult part of the fight.
Players should equip their claws or chally, and use all their special attacks on Verzik to try and finish her quickly. The aim of this stage is to avoid your tornado at all costs, while still damaging Verzik as much as you can. Try and click deliberately away from your tornado but still in the direction of Verzik.
Many players will die at this stage, but this is the best opportunity to learn more about the boss and get familiar with the mechanics. Plenty of practice at this stage will improve you greatly.
More advanced strategies include the pog tank, which is incredibly useful if you plan to do Hard Mode Theatre of Blood in the future, but has limited usefulness in regular ToBs. Again this will not be explained in this beginners guide.
If you manage to defeat Verzik, congratulations, you've done incredible to make it this far and can look forward to improving your skills vastly in the future. Hopefully this has given you enough to get started, but I'd definitely recommedn watching some video guides to supplement what is written here. Specifically, Xzact's One Minute ToB Guides are a great resource. I've tried to hint at more advanced strategies for each room as well, so definitely look those up if you're interested in learning a bit more and improving. Feel free to ask any questions below if you want anything explained in more detail, or want pointed in the right direction for some further information. I'll get back to you as soon as I can!
Thanks for reading, and good luck!