Hard mode strategies for Commander Zilyana

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Invasion plans.png
This article is a hard mode strategy guide for Commander Zilyana.
Information on mechanics, setups, and tactics is on this page. For the normal mode strategy guide, see here.

Introduction[edit | edit source]

In hard mode, Zilyana's health is lowered from 60,000 to 50,000. Unlike the other generals, she has two phases, so she still has the same 100,000 health pool like them. When she reaches 0 health in the first phase of the fight, Zilyana will be rejuvenated by Saradomin's power, and cannot be attacked until this animation finishes, which is indicated with her settling back onto the ground. Her bodyguards, if slain, will usually respawn once this occurs.

She gains two new abilities in the second phase:

  • Lightning: Zilyana will occasionally send lightning at players in the arena, dealing anywhere from 200-1700 hard typeless damage every two ticks. The lightning appears to have no set pattern.
  • Ultimate Death: Upon reaching 0 health, Zilyana will collapse on the ground, with a bar filling over her. A bar will fill over her head in ten seconds; if not killed by then, she will restore 50% of her health and yell This isn't over!, resuming combat as normal. To kill her in this state, she must be hit with an ultimate ability; basic and threshold abilities deal no damage to her.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

The first phase is similar to the standard fight. Zilyana's affinities to Melee and Magic are slightly modified, with a 5 and 10 increase respectively. Her Defence level remains the same as in normal mode. It is recommended to use Magic when fighting Zilyana in Hard Mode, as this ensures maximum accuracy.

In the second phase, Zilyana can add lightning to her attack, which deals 200-1700 hard typeless damage each tick. Zilyana performs this after a specific amount of attacks have been performed; the first batch appears after two auto-attacks, while the second appears roughly 8-10 auto-attacks later. Each player gets lightning, though it randomly bounces around the chamber. The lightning despawns when Zilyana is killed. Zilyana only performs this attack when she attacks her target, although the random bounce means that in solo encounters, the player can simply move out of the affected area.

After reaching 0 health in the second state, Zilyana needs to be killed with an ultimate damage-dealing ability; Berserk and Metamorphosis will not count, because these don't deal damage to the target. Onslaught can be used with any combat style and finishes off Zilyana in this state while draining only 25% adrenaline.

Alternatively, if the player is ranging, an eldritch crossbow's special attack and using any ability while under its effects will also kill off Zilyana in this state.

Ranged[edit | edit source]

The player should attack Zilyana while running around the room, reducing the amount of times she hits the player and for rangers/magers it will allow Fragmentation Shot and Combust to hit for two times the damage as long as she moves around. Ranged users should use Deflect/Protect from Melee, while Magic and Melee users should use Deflect/Protect from Magic. Both styles can use Soul Split to restore lost health.

Recommended action bar setup for rangers:

  • Corruption Shot.png
  • Needle Strike.png
  • Fragmentation Shot.png
  • Piercing Shot.png
  • Binding Shot.png
  • Ricochet.png
  • Rapid Fire.png
  • Snap Shot.png
  • Bombardment.png
  • Deadshot.png
  • Anticipation.png
  • Freedom.png
  • If using a 2h crossbow, Needle Strike should be swapped for Dazing Shot.

Rapid Fire is best used at the start of the kill as moving around terminates it due to being a channelled ability. It is not recommended to use this on the second phase as Zilyana is more likely to hit harder and summon lightning tiles. Snipe is also a channelled ability, but can be used while moving (and have its accuracy increased by 25%) if Nightmare gauntlets are worn.

Onslaught and then Deadshot should be saved for the finishing blow.

Magic[edit | edit source]

Recommended action bar setup for mages:

  • Corruption Blast.png
  • Concentrated Blast.png
  • Combust.png
  • Wrack.png
  • Impact.png
  • Chain.png
  • Wild Magic.png
  • Asphyxiate.png
  • Metamorphosis.png
  • Tsunami.png
  • Anticipation.png
  • Freedom.png
  • If using a staff, Concentrated Blast should be swapped for Sonic Wave.

Cast Vulnerability on Zilyana as soon as she spawns; it persists through her phase change.

Metamorphosis is useful as it boosts the player's magic damage by 62.5% for 15 seconds even while moving.

Asphyxiate is best used at the start of the kill as moving around terminates it due to being a channelled ability. It is not recommended to use this on the second phase as Zilyana is more likely to hit harder and summon lightning tiles.

Onslaught and then Tsunami should be saved for the finishing blow.

Melee[edit | edit source]

The player should attack Zilyana using the hit and run tactic to minimise damage taken. This is vital during the second phase as for every hit she does has a chance to summon lightning in the room. Debilitate is useful as it reduces Zilyana's damage inflicted by 50% for 10 seconds - meleers take more damage than any other style so this is recommended.

It is not advised to use Berserk as Zilyana can hit up to 2800 in a single hit while in Berserk mode, possibly leading to a short and deadly trip for the player.

Recommended action bar setup for 2h melee:

  • Cleave.png
  • Sever.png
  • Smash.png
  • Dismember.png
  • Slice.png
  • Quake.png
  • Hurricane.png
  • Assault.png
  • Slaughter.png
  • Pulverise.png
  • Debilitate.png
  • Anticipation.png
  • Freedom.png

Onslaught and then Pulverise should be saved for the finishing blow; the latter restores 50% of the player's adrenaline upon killing a target.

Recommended action bar setup for dual wielding melee:

  • Decimate.png
  • Sever.png
  • Havoc.png
  • Dismember.png
  • Slice.png
  • Assault.png
  • Destroy (ability).png
  • Flurry.png
  • Overpower.png
  • Debilitate.png
  • Anticipation.png
  • Freedom.png

Onslaught and then Overpower should be saved for the finishing blow.

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Recommended equipment for Ranged
SlotItem (most effective → least effective)
HeadSirenic mask.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sirenic maskSirenic maskSuperior Morrigan's coif.png: RS3 Inventory image of Superior Morrigan's coifSuperior Morrigan's coifRefined anima core helm of Zamorak.png: RS3 Inventory image of Refined anima core helm of ZamorakRefined anima core helm of ZamorakAnima core helm of Zamorak.png: RS3 Inventory image of Anima core helm of ZamorakAnima core helm of ZamorakPernix cowl.png: RS3 Inventory image of Pernix cowlPernix cowl
NeckReaper necklace.png: RS3 Inventory image of Reaper necklaceReaper necklaceAmulet of souls.png: RS3 Inventory image of Amulet of soulsAmulet of soulsFarsight sniper necklace.png: RS3 Inventory image of Farsight sniper necklaceFarsight sniper necklaceSaradomin's murmur.png: RS3 Inventory image of Saradomin's murmurSaradomin's murmurAmulet of ranging.png: RS3 Inventory image of Amulet of rangingAmulet of ranging
BackCompletionist cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Completionist capeCompletionist capeTokHaar-Kal-Xil.png: RS3 Inventory image of TokHaar-Kal-XilTokHaar-Kal-XilMax cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Max capeMax capeAva's alerter.png: RS3 Inventory image of Ava's alerterAva's alerterCape of Accomplishment.png: RS3 Inventory image of Cape of AccomplishmentCape of Accomplishment (Ranged or Defence capes are recommended for their perks)
BodySirenic hauberk.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sirenic hauberkSirenic hauberkSuperior Morrigan's leather body.png: RS3 Inventory image of Superior Morrigan's leather bodySuperior Morrigan's leather bodyRefined anima core body of Zamorak.png: RS3 Inventory image of Refined anima core body of ZamorakRefined anima core body of ZamorakPernix body.png: RS3 Inventory image of Pernix bodyPernix bodyAnima core body of Zamorak.png: RS3 Inventory image of Anima core body of ZamorakAnima core body of Zamorak
LegsSirenic chaps.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sirenic chapsSirenic chapsSuperior Morrigan's leather chaps.png: RS3 Inventory image of Superior Morrigan's leather chapsSuperior Morrigan's leather chapsRefined anima core legs of Zamorak.png: RS3 Inventory image of Refined anima core legs of ZamorakRefined anima core legs of ZamorakPernix chaps.png: RS3 Inventory image of Pernix chapsPernix chapsAnima core legs of Zamorak.png: RS3 Inventory image of Anima core legs of ZamorakAnima core legs of Zamorak
Main handAscension crossbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Ascension crossbowAscension crossbowShadow glaive.png: RS3 Inventory image of Shadow glaiveShadow glaiveDeath Lotus dart.png: RS3 Inventory image of Death Lotus dartDeath Lotus dartAttuned crystal chakram.png: RS3 Inventory image of Attuned crystal chakramAttuned crystal chakramChaotic crossbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Chaotic crossbowChaotic crossbow
Two-handed weaponSeren godbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Seren godbowSeren godbowNoxious longbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Noxious longbowNoxious longbowDecimation.png: RS3 Inventory image of DecimationDecimationWyvern crossbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Wyvern crossbowWyvern crossbowAttuned crystal bow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Attuned crystal bowAttuned crystal bow
Off-hand weaponOff-hand ascension crossbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Off-hand ascension crossbowOff-hand ascension crossbowOff-hand shadow glaive.png: RS3 Inventory image of Off-hand shadow glaiveOff-hand shadow glaiveOff-hand Death Lotus dart.png: RS3 Inventory image of Off-hand Death Lotus dartOff-hand Death Lotus dartOff-hand attuned crystal chakram.png: RS3 Inventory image of Off-hand attuned crystal chakramOff-hand attuned crystal chakramOff-hand chaotic crossbow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Off-hand chaotic crossbowOff-hand chaotic crossbow
Off-hand weaponVengeful kiteshield.png: RS3 Inventory image of Vengeful kiteshieldVengeful kiteshieldAttuned crystal deflector.png: RS3 Inventory image of Attuned crystal deflectorAttuned crystal deflectorEagle-eye kiteshield.png: RS3 Inventory image of Eagle-eye kiteshieldEagle-eye kiteshieldElysian spirit shield.png: RS3 Inventory image of Elysian spirit shieldElysian spirit shieldArmadyl buckler.png: RS3 Inventory image of Armadyl bucklerArmadyl buckler
Ammo/SpellAscension bolts.png: RS3 Inventory image of Ascension boltsAscension bolts / Araxyte arrow.png: RS3 Inventory image of Araxyte arrowAraxyte arrowWyvern spines.png: RS3 Inventory image of Wyvern spinesWyvern spinesRoyal bolts.png: RS3 Inventory image of Royal boltsRoyal boltsN/AN/A
GlovesNightmare gauntlets.png: RS3 Inventory image of Nightmare gauntletsNightmare gauntletsSwift gloves.png: RS3 Inventory image of Swift glovesSwift glovesAscension grips.png: RS3 Inventory image of Ascension gripsAscension gripsPernix gloves.png: RS3 Inventory image of Pernix glovesPernix glovesArmadyl gloves.png: RS3 Inventory image of Armadyl glovesArmadyl gloves
FeetFlarefrost boots.png: RS3 Inventory image of Flarefrost bootsFlarefrost bootsPernix boots.png: RS3 Inventory image of Pernix bootsPernix bootsArmadyl boots.png: RS3 Inventory image of Armadyl bootsArmadyl bootsSilverhawk boots.png: RS3 Inventory image of Silverhawk bootsSilverhawk bootsGlaiven boots.png: RS3 Inventory image of Glaiven bootsGlaiven boots
RingAsylum surgeon's ring.png: RS3 Inventory image of Asylum surgeon's ringAsylum surgeon's ringRing of death.png: RS3 Inventory image of Ring of deathRing of deathArchers' ring (i).png: RS3 Inventory image of Archers' ring (i)Archers' ring (i)Sixth-Age circuit.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sixth-Age circuitSixth-Age circuit / Onyx ring (i).png: RS3 Inventory image of Onyx ring (i)Onyx ring (i)Archers' ring.png: RS3 Inventory image of Archers' ringArchers' ring
AuraReckless aura.png: RS3 Inventory image of Reckless auraReckless auraSharpshooter aura.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sharpshooter auraSharpshooter auraDark magic aura.png: RS3 Inventory image of Dark magic auraDark magic auraInspiration aura.png: RS3 Inventory image of Inspiration auraInspiration auraInvigorate aura.png: RS3 Inventory image of Invigorate auraInvigorate aura
PocketSuperior scrimshaw of cruelty.png: RS3 Inventory image of Superior scrimshaw of crueltySuperior scrimshaw of crueltyIlluminated god book.png: RS3 Inventory image of Illuminated god bookIlluminated god bookSuperior scrimshaw of ranging.png: RS3 Inventory image of Superior scrimshaw of rangingSuperior scrimshaw of rangingScrimshaw of cruelty.png: RS3 Inventory image of Scrimshaw of crueltyScrimshaw of crueltySign of life.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sign of lifeSign of life / Sign of death.png: RS3 Inventory image of Sign of deathSign of death

Inventory[edit | edit source]

Supreme overload potion (6).pngSupreme overload potion (6).pngSuper prayer renewal potion (6).pngSuper prayer renewal potion (6).png
Super restore (4).pngPack yak pouch.pngEnhanced Excalibur.pngPack Yak scroll (Winter Storage).png200
Super restore (4).pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.png
Super restore (4).pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.png
Super restore (4).pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.png
Super restore (4).pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.pngRocktail soup.png
Air rune.png1000Fire rune.png1000Rocktail soup.pngTeleport to house.png

The following is only a recommendation.

  • Food: Rocktail soup > Rocktail > Shark
  • Prayer restore: Prayer potions and prayer renewal
  • Combat potions: Overloads > Extreme potions > Super potions
  • Adrenaline potion
  • Runes for your best spell, if using Magic
  • Familiar: Bring a beast of burden, and summon a healer once it is empty.
    • Beast of burden: Pack yak > Spirit pack pig (tier 3) > War tortoise > Spirit terrorbird
    • Healer: Unicorn stallion and scrolls > Bunyip > Fire/Ice/Moss titan and scrolls
  • Emergency teleport, also used to leave the chamber