I’ve been looking at people recently and I think this is a good question to ask: What’cha wearing?
Many people would be surprised to know that what they’re wearing isn’t as good as they think for what they’re fighting, some of it may actually be bad.
One of the most common items I see people wearing is the Obsidian shield, or TokTz-ket-zil. Now I admit, this is a pretty good shield, however most of the people wearing it are fighting melee based enemies. The main reason people seem to wear this shield for is its +5 strength bonus. This shield costs about 320k, you can buy a rune kiteshield which has slightly better melee defense for about 52k. If the Obsidian shield is being worn for Strength bonus then you can go to the Warrior’s guild and earn yourself as many Rune Defenders as you want for free while gaining decent combat experience. Rune Defenders give a +5 strength bonus, comparable to the Obsidian shield’s +5 bonus. The nice thing about Rune Defenders is that they not only had reasonable defence and strength bonus, but also add attack bonuses. They add a whopping 20 Stab, 19 Slash, and 18 Crush. However they also reduce your Magic and ranged by -3 and -2 respectively, so they’re not the best shield for using magic.
The Obsidian shield is just one case. I’ll mention the all time best defence, the best defence for a reasonable price, and the best defence for cheap.
Note: I’m only going to talk about items that will last for a reasonable period of time, so I will not mention PvP World rewards because they only last an hour. Sorry PvP fans.
Torag’s and Guthan’s helms both provide +55 Stab, +58 Slash, +54 Crush, -1 Magic, +62 Ranged, and +15 Summoning. These two hold the record for highest defence which lasts for a reasonable amount of time. At about 475k for the Torag’s helm, it’s pretty decent even considering the 60k repair fee after 15 hours of combat. The Guthan’s helm is a fair bit more expensive, costing about 1.8 million. Only buy the Guthan’s helm if you plan on using the rest of the set, otherwise stick with Torag’s.
The Dragon med may sound weak, but it’s actually fairly good since the price dropped months ago. It gives +33 Stab, +35 Slash, +32 Crush, -1 Magic, +34 Ranged, and +10 Summoning, pretty decent for the 70k it costs.
F2Ps should still stick with their trusty Rune Full helm. It’s defence is only slightly worse than the Dragon Med at +30 Stab, +32 Slash, +27 Crush, -1 Magic, +30 Ranged, and +7 Summoning, which is very good considering it only costs about 20k.
Of course if your doing a Slayer assignment you should always use your Slayer Helmet, which gives nearly equal defences as the Rune Full at +30 Stab, +32 Slash, +27 Crush, +0 Magic, +30 Ranged, and +7 Summoning and also gives a 10% damage bonus against slayer tasks.
The nice thing about amulets is that you rarely have to change them. The best amulet all around for defence is the amulet of Fury, which gives +15 to all defences along with +10 to all attacks, +8 bonus to strength and +5 bonus to prayer. The downside to the fury is that it’ll set you back nearly 3 million, costing 2.7 million.
If you’re not exactly made of money then the gnomes have your neck wear. After completing the Tree Gnome Village quest you are given a Gnome Amulet of defence, which adds +13 to Stab, Slash, and Crush. Unfortunately it doesn’t do anything else, but those defences are pretty decent considering it’s completely free.
F2Ps should still use their amulet of Power. Unfortunately Jagex hasn’t given them anything better. It’s +6 to all attacks, defence, and strengths makes it a very worthwhile piece of jewelry for F2Ps.
For now the Fire Cape from the Tzhaar Fight Caves still holds the record for best defence. It gives +11 to all defence, along with +1 to all attacks, +4 strength bonus and +2 prayer bonus. The annoying thing about this cape is that it requires the defeat of the Tztok-Jad, one of Gielinor’s most dangerous known monsters.
Another accomplishment reward is a cape of accomplishment. Nowadays it’s not too hard to get a level 99 skill (depending on which you choose) so in some cases this might be easier than killing the Jad. It will add +9 to all defences and, if trimmed, will add an additional +4 to prayer. Not only do you get good defences and prayer bonuses, but you also get to show off your great skills. Not a bad combo.
Of course the Obsidian cape adds the same +9 to all defences but costs about 210k and you have nothing to show for it except a black and grey tinted cape with red trim.
Another good yet rare cape is the Cape of Legends. This used to be an extremely honorable cape. Now it’s merely used to finish a white outfit. It gives +7 to all defences and costs less than a thousand. The catch is that you have to complete the Legend’s quest (which isn’t hard).
Unfortunately F2Ps still have to use a normal cape. But that’s not too bad considering they’re free. Just poke a highwayman a few times and he’ll be glad to give you his cape.
Ahh, body armor. One of the most crucial parts of a player’s clothing. Dharok’s, Torag’s and Guthan’s platebodies currently hold the record for highest melee defence at +122 Stab, +120 Slash, +107 Crush, -6 Magic, +132 Ranged, and +60 Summoning. The Torag’s platebody is relatively cheap, at only about 215k. The Dharok’s body is slightly more expensive at around 235k. Though it’s not too much more, I’d go with Torag’s instead of Guthan’s which costs about 260k, unless you like the look.
The Third age plate and the Dragon platebody are about tied for second place. Due to the Third age plate costing over 72 million I won’t talk much about it. The Dragon platebody gives pretty decent defence at +109 Stab, +107 Slash, +97 Crush, -6 Magic, +106 Ranged, and +50 Summoning. However it costs close to 12 million, so unless you like the look I’d suggest buying the 55 Torag’s plates instead. Or better yet, buy one Torag plate and recharge it over 195 times!
Y’all are probably going to faint at this fact: The Bandos chestplate is only better than Torag’s in one place, ranged defence. And to further add to that, it is only better by one point! The Bandos Chestplate costs about 13.3 million. Whereas we’ve already heard that the Torag’s plate only costs 215k. Do you know how many times you could recharge a Torag’s plate for 13.3 million? Over 218 times!
You might be surprised to know that the Granite platebody is actually cheaper than the Rune Platebody, costing only around 52k versus the 58k of the rune plate. It gives decent defence at +87 Stab, +84 Slash, +79 Crush, -6 Magic, +97 Ranged, and +45 Summoning. The Rune platebody gives slightly less than that at +82 Stab, +80 Slash, +72 Crush, -6 Magic, +80 Ranged, and +40 Summoning. For the money, the granite is better all around.
F2Ps will still have to use the Rune platebody unfortunately. Sorry guys 🙁
Even nettles can hurt, so you need to wear good gloves. Dragon Gauntlets hold this record at +14 Stab, +15 Slash, +15 Crush, -1 Magic, +14 Ranged, and +14 Summoning, along with a nice +3 strength bonus. The most annoying thing about these is that you have to recharge them at Reggie in the Fist of Guthix area every now and then.
Second to these is without a doubt the ‘Barrows’ gloves from recipe for Disaster at +12 Stab, +12 Slash, +12 Crush, +6 Magic, +12 Ranged, and +6 Summoning, along with a hefty +12 strength bonus. Some would debate that these are the best gloves to wear when fighting nearly anything and honestly, I’d have to agree. But since this is about melee defence they are only in second. These gloves never break like their supposed barrow armour cousins. However they do require the completion of all of the Recipe for Disaster mini-quests and about 25k to buy them. Overall, they’re definitely worth it.
Third to these are the Rune Gauntlets from Fist of Guthix at +10 Stab, +11 Slash, +11 Crush, -1 Magic, +10 Ranged, and +10 Summoning, along with a +2 strength bonus. And (drum roll please) they’re free to play! These are great gloves for F2Ps, the downside is they still have to be recharged every now and then SO unless you love playing Fist of Guthix I suggest only using them against big monsters like Lesser demons, or Elvarg or something.
There isn’t really any ‘best’ ring for melee defence. Either the Warrior or Berserker rings would take this record. The warrior ring adds +4 Slash defence and an equal amount to your Slash attack, whereas the Berserker ring adds +4 to Crush defence, with an equal addition to your strength bonus. The Warrior ring is about 140k, whereas the Berserker ring is about 1.9 million. If you buy either go for the Warrior. Honestly, 4 strength bonus doesn’t make 1.8 million worth of difference.
I’d suggest neither of them. I myself use the Lumbridge achievement diary reward ring because it gives me 30 free low alchs, 3 free teleports to the Falador cabbage patch, and 150% free run energy (in three charges) every British day, and that’s not even mentioning the passive chance of creating extra air runes at the air altar.
Use whatever ring you want. If you can’t choose, a ring of life is always a healthy choice.
It really ruins your day when a dragon bites your legs off, adds some pepper and salt and then has a hero’s legs snack before killing you completely, so proper legwear is a must. Torag’s and Dharok’s platelegs hold this record also at +85 Stab, +82 Slash, +83 Crush, -4 Magic, +92 Ranged, and +30 Summoning. At a cost of only about 390k and 310k each respectively, these are by far the best defence for your money.
Third age platelegs take second but since they’re only slightly better than Bandos tassets and cost about 61 million I won’t talk about them much. The Bandos Tassets give +71 Stab, +63 Slash, +66 Crush, -4 Magic, +93 Ranged and +25 Summoning along with +2 strength and +1 prayer bonus, however they cost about 11.4 million so I wouldn’t suggest using them. You could recharge the Dharok’s legs over 135 times for the same price.
Dragon platelegs hold a reasonable third place at +68 Stab, +66 Slash, +63 Crush, -4 Magic, +65 Ranged, and +20 Summoning at a cost of only about 645k. With no strings attached, these are the most reliable and most durable legwear for your money. Of course if you’re a Lady you would prefer a skirt, which has exactly the same defences but costs less. Guys, please do not wear skirts. They may be cheap but they look ugly on male characters and you can get better defence and look alot better for only a little more if you buy Dharok’s platelegs. Save yourself the disgrace – buy platelegs!
Rune Platelegs are still the best for F2Ps. Historical and enduring, these won’t let you down in combat and only cost about 50k, while providing decent defence with +51 Stab, +49 Slash, +47 Crush, -4 Magic, +49 Ranged, and +15 Summoning.
A largely overlooked aspect of defence, boots actually provide a reasonable amount of defence and other statistics.
If Torag had boots, I’m sure they’d beat these. But since he doesn’t (Hmm, Shoeless Joe Torag sounds interesting…Oh, nevermind) the Bandos boots take first place and hold the record for best defence boots at +17 Stab, +18 Slash, +19 Crush, +0 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +15 Summoning as well as a nice +1 prayer bonus. The annoying thing is that they cost around 880k, which makes their nice stats not look so nice.
Dragon boots take second just barely behind Bandos at +16 Stab, +17 Slash, +18 Crush, +0 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +15 Summoning. The decisive note about these two boots is not only their cost (Dragon boots only cost about 250k) but also their extra bonuses. Dragon boots add +4 strength bonus but no prayer bonus. As we’ve seen above, Bandos boots add +1 prayer but no strength bonus. The +1 prayer only helps when you’re using prayer, and most of the time you won’t be (and if you’re using prayer you don’t need the extra defence from the Bandos boots, you could wear white boots instead, but that’s another article). The +4 strength bonus will usually add about 1 point of damage on average (depending on your strength level and a few other things). 99 times out of 100 that extra possible point of damage is going to help you more than that +1 prayer bonus.
Rune boots come in third at +12 Stab, +13 Slash, +14 Crush, +0 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +10 Summoning. The nice thing about them is not only their low price of about 54k but also their +2 strength bonus. It’s not much, but with other strength bonuses it can be useful.
The Fighting boots and Fancy boots from the Stronghold of Security are the best boots for F2Ps at +1 Stab, +2 Slash, +3 Crush, +0 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +0 Summoning. Though they’re a bit tough to earn for some players, they are the best boots for F2Ps or low level members who don’t want or can’t wear anything better.
Now I finally get to dethrone that obsidian shield! Mwuhaha!
Well, it’s actually a good shield. But it’s not even worth talking about in comparison to the top three.
The Fully charged DragonFire shield easily holds the record with +70 Stab, +75 Slash, +72 Crush, +10 Magic, +72 Ranged, and +67 Summoning. Not only does this shield absorb dragon fire and let you throw it back at non-dragons, but it also gives a whopping +7 strength bonus! The downside to this is that it costs about 17.4 million to buy. Overall, I’d say this is fairly worth it if you’ll be meleeing Black, Mithril, Steel, or Iron dragons without prayer. However if you just want reasonable defence, go with a crystal shield.
The Third age, Divine, and Elysian shields all have reasonable defence at around 60+ each, unfortunately they cost an arm and three legs.
The Crystal shield is the best defence which won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It gives +51 Stab, +54 Slash, +53 Crush, +0 Magic, +80 Ranged, and +70 Summoning when full. The unfortunate thing about the crystal shield is that it will wear down. However, it wears down much, much slower than a piece of barrows or fist of Guthix equipment. Instead of per time, it wears down per hit. A full or new crystal shield can withstand 2,500 hits. Note: This is hits, not damage. If you get hit for 30 points of damage once it will only count as one hit. But if you’re hit for 1 thirty times it will count as thirty hits. The crystal shield costs 750k when it’s first recharged and the price goes down by 150k each time until the price is 150k. Unfortunately this means it costs 2.1 million, not counting the cost of the crystal seed.
Taking third is the Dragon Square shield. However a Blessed, Arcane, and Spectral spirit shield pretty much ties with it. Those are rather hard to come by so I won’t mention them. The Dragon square shield gives +50 Stab, +52 Slash, +48 Crush, +0 Magic, +50 Ranged, and +50 Summoning. It only costs about 735k, which isn’t too much considering this shield doesn’t require repairs. It also shows that you’re a member of the Legend’s guild.
F2Ps still have to use their trusted (hopefully not rusted) rune kiteshield. Giving +44 Stab, +48 Slash, +46 Crush, -1 Magic, +46 Ranged, and +40 Summoning and only costing about 50k, it’s a very good shield even for members to use. It’s the cheapest shield for the defence. Would you believe that I’ve never used a rune kiteshield? I’ve never even owned one. I’ve never gotten one from all the level 3 clue scrolls I’ve done and I never bought one. Surprising, eh?
You’d be surprised to know that many weapons add defence. The king of these is the Toktz-mej-tal at +10 Stab, +15 Slash, +5 Crush, +15 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +0 Summoning. It also has a nice +55 strength bonus and +5 prayer bonus. At about 122k, it’s not too bad if you want just melee defence.
Second to this is the Darklight at +0 Stab, +3 Slash, +2 Crush, +2 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +0 Summoning. The interestingly useful thing about darklight is that it not only acts as a rune longsword against demons but it also has a special attack, Weaken. This attack lowers the opponent’s Attack, Strength, and Defence by 5%. If the opponent is a demon it is lowered by an additional 5%, for a total of 10%.
Thirdly is the ‘longsword’. Any type will do, but I’d suggest Dragon or Rune. All longswords add +0 Stab, +3 Slash, +2 Crush, +0 Magic, +0 Ranged, and +0 Summoning.
Well that about sums it up for melee defence. I hope this has helped open your eyes to the true best defence armor. I’d like to remind you, though, that these lists are based solely on what is the best melee defence. Some items only give good melee defence and nothing else so you may not want to use that when fighting certain enemies. I suggest you always look up what you’re fighting and see what it’s weak and strong to and see what kind of attack it uses and dress accordingly.