Cerberus is a level 318 hellhound boss who resides in her lair, deep beneath the Taverley Dungeon in the cave entrance in the north-east part of the hellhound area, which is found beyond the poisonous spiders. Defeating Cerberus requires a Slayer level of 91, along with a task of hellhounds or Cerberus herself. In the event of a hellhound or elite clue scroll task, wild pies may be used to boost the player's Slayer level.
As the Guardian of the River of Souls, Cerberus protects the souls of the departed from whatever troubles they may face on their journey by the Citizens of Arceuus. Despite her important task, Cerberus longs to escape her post, and has successfully done so on multiple occasions, although with each attempt she was quickly captured and returned. Cerberus has killed many adventurers who have stumbled into her lair, with one of her more recent kills dropping a damaged soul bearer which the Arceuus Elders inspected and eventually discarded when they could not repair it.
Cerberus drops three different crystals: the eternal, pegasian, and primordial crystals which are used to upgrade the infinity, ranger, and dragon boots to the eternal, pegasian, and primordial boots respectively, which boast best-in-slot bonuses for the feet slot. She can also drop the smouldering stone at a much better rate compared to her lesser brethren, along with the jar of souls and the hellpuppy pet.
A dwarf multicannon cannot be set up inside Cerberus' Lair; if attempted, players will receive the message: You cannot place the cannon here, it would melt.
70+ Strength (85+ recommended)
70+ Prayer (Piety, 74+ Rigour)
76 Magic and completion of A Kingdom Divided (if using thralls; 80 for Death Charge)
Cerberus' Lair is a dungeon that borders between the River of Souls and the rest of Gielinor. It is inhabited by Cerberus, a three-headed hellhound, who guards the River of Souls, preventing the living from entering, and the dead from escaping. The lair is also inhabited by the Key Master, who is tasked with preventing Cerberus from escaping the iron gates that hold it.
The lair may be accessed via a cave entrance in the north-eastern section of the hellhound area within the Taverley Dungeon. This leads to the Key Master, who guards three iron gates that lead to Cerberus. He will only allow players who are assigned hellhounds or Cerberus as a slayer task to fight it.
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.
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:
1. 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.
If using the 80 agility shortcut, you can attack a nearby Skeleton just before crossing the shortcut. Since the area is single-way combat, the poison spiders will not attack you as you were recently in combat with the skeleton, allowing you to safely pass without the risk of getting poisoned. Alternatively, sip an antipoison potion before heading towards the dungeon.
2. 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.
Cerberus attacks with all three forms of combat:
1. Melee: Cerberus bites the player. This attack will only be used if the player is standing within melee range.
2. Ranged: Cerberus stands on her hind legs and kicks out with her front legs, firing a translucent spiky ball.
3. Magic: Cerberus lowers her head and fires a smooth black ball.
All of these attacks can deal up to 23 damage, and can be prayed against to nullify all damage. The order in which you must protect is Magic, Range, Melee.
1. This attack is initiated as her first attack and is repeated after every ten attacks in sequence.
2. She uses a magic, ranged and then melee attack 2 ticks after one another. This melee attack will be executed regardless of distance, and does not act as a projectile.
3. As with her standard attacks, these can deal up to 23 damage and can be fully blocked by prayer.
1. This attack only starts when Cerberus falls below 400 health, and is used every seventh attack.
2. This attack is indicated with her howling Aaarrrooooooo, causing three Summoned Souls to appear from behind the archaic skull. They cannot be harmed.
3. Each one attacks using a different combat style, from west to east:
Red is melee
Blue is magic
Green is ranged
4. The souls attack once each time they are called in by Cerberus.
5. The souls come in a randomized order so it is important to identify the order to pray in.
5.1. If the attack is not protected against, it will deal 30 damage, unless otherwise from an elysian spirit shield, which reduces it to 22 damage.
5.2. If the attack is protected against, it will drain 30 prayer points instead. A spectral spirit shield causes this to be reduced by 50%, meaning 15 prayer points are reduced for each attack.
5.2.1. Having the required prayer to block the attack is not required - the attack is still blocked with insufficient prayer points, but the player's prayer will be drained completely as a result.
5.3. In order to block the attack, it must be prayed against before the spirit attacks.
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.
A summoned soul using melee
A summoned soul using magic
A summoned soul using ranged
1. This attack is initiated when Cerberus reaches below 200 health, her howling Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr and is used every fifth attack.
2. Three lava pools are deployed when this attack is initiated – one on the player's location, and two at random parts of the area.
3. The pools have a 3x3 AoE (1 tile from the centre).
3.1. Standing in its radius when it is spawned deals 10 damage.
3.2. Standing directly on a pool deals 15 damage every two ticks.
3.3. Standingadjacent to a pool deals 7 damage every two ticks.
3.4. AntifireProtection will reduce the prolonged damage taken if you stay within range of the pools, as demonstrated by the table below.
4. The pool targeted at the player is not instant at a distance, but is for those in melee distance.
5. After a few seconds, the lava pools will dissipate, making the tile safe to stand on once more.
6. If Cerberus is killed, the lava pools will stop dealing damage.
Cerberus has a special attack pattern that determines how she uses her attacks.
As mentioned in each attack section, Cerberus' mechanics are initiated after the following, quickly summarized here:
1. The triple attack is performed as the first attack, then after every ten normal attacks.
2. The summoned souls attack is performed every seventh attack, but only after Cerberus has under 400 hitpoints.
3. The lava pools are deployed every fifth attack, but only after Cerberus has under 200 hitpoints.
If the attacks end up overlapping with each other (e.g a triple attack and summoned souls on attack #21), Cerberus will instead prioritize the attacks in the following order:
Triple attack > Summoned Souls > Lava pools
There is also a small chance that Cerberus will not use the summoned souls or lava pools special attacks when she is supposed to, and will use a regular attack instead.
This serves as a barrier to prevent the player from killing Cerberus.
It does not disappear unless the player dies fighting her.
Moving over the fire wall deals 5 damage each time the player passes through it.
Cerberus is unattackable when she first spawns, only becoming so when she stands up.
If no players are in her chamber, she will return to her idle stance, fully restoring all lost hitpoints.
While fighting Cerberus, it is recommended to activate Protect from Magic.
For the most kills per hour, the player should be on the Arceuus spellbook for thralls and bring a book of the dead. If using melee, you can optionally bring soul and death runes for Death Charge for more frequent special attacks but less space for supplies. Runes to cast Ward of Arceuus can be considered as well, although beware the spell will not reduce damage inflicted by Summoned Souls or by standing in lava pools. Otherwise, no spells are needed and you do not need to bring any runes. If you are suiciding supplies into the room for longer trips, bring alch runes.
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. As a demonic creature, she is also weak to Arclight, which should be set to stab if it is used. Despite her resistance to ranged, ranged weapons can still be extremely effective against her, in particular the twisted bow.
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.
It is recommended to deal damage as quickly as possible while taking note of Cerberus' attacks. The most common cause of death is the lava pool and soul combo, regardless of which one comes first. For example, during attacks 14 and 15, Cerberus will summon souls first, then follow up this attack with lava pools. The pools usually disorient players as they try to avoid them and eat up, forgetting about the souls who can deal heavy or fatal damage in the process. Simply count Cerberus' attacks and deal with the spirits as highest priority. Ranged users usually have an advantage over melee users since the targeted pool is not applied on the same tick Cerberus initiates the mechanic, giving them more time to move away from the pool and granting their full attention to the incoming souls. Melee users will simply need to count the attacks and try to avoid running into any other pools in place.
The summoned souls are the most tedious part of the fight, as they cause heavy, unavoidable damage/drain; an unblocked hit deal 30 damage, while a blocked one drains 30 prayer instead, which can significantly cut into profits and supplies. Having a spectral spirit shield halves the drain to both prolong trips and increase overall profit. While very expensive and only particularly useful for melee users, an elysian spirit shield can reduce the damage each soul from 30 to 22.
It is recommended to start each Cerberus kill standing underneath her and attacking her from there. This will significantly delay her first combo attack. Be aware that Cerberus may wander out from on top of you before you can attack her and in this situation the delay will not occur.
A slower but less resource intensive strategy (particularly for ironmen who don't have a spectral spirit shield 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 (~56 seconds) 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 hitpoints until attack #14, so start counting 3 attacks after her second combo before resuming damage. Note that the soul and lava mechanics on attacks 25 and 28 are still conditional based on Cerberus's hitpoints, but you will struggle to end the fight before souls if Cerberus still has over 200 HP at attack 25.