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Welcome to my guide on the Barrows activity. Over the course of my RuneScape career, I have ran through this activity hundreds of times, and I wish to share the knowledge I have gained from it.
Overview[edit | edit source]
In Morytania, near the village of Mor'ton, six unnaturally powerful warriors were laid to rest during the God Wars. Rather than slumbering peacefully, however, the brothers, known as the Barrows brothers, are eternally bound to the earth to serve as guardians for an ancient icon hidden deep within the catacombs beneath their graves (this icon plays a part in The Temple at Senntisten, but is more or less unrelated to the activity itself). In order to play the Barrows activity, you must break into the tombs of each of the six brothers and defeat them in single combat. One of the sarcophagi is actually a hidden tunnel that leads into the catacombs, where the treasure, including much sought-after Barrows equipment, is kept.
Each of the brothers is powerful and should not be underestimated, though this guide will give you everything you need to know to defeat them.
Requirements, recommendations and restrictions[edit | edit source]
Strictly speaking there are no actual skill requirements to do Barrows, though as each of the brothers has a high combat level, it is advised to have 70+ in the combat skills you plan to use (though as shown below, it is possible to successfully do Barrows with as little as 50 Magic). When fighting Dharok you need either 43 Prayer, 70+ Constitution, or an awful lot of skill with binding spells.
You must have completed Priest in Peril to have access to Morytania. Additionally, a number of quests provide useful rewards for Barrows:
- Completing In Search of the Myreque allows you to use the secret passage behind the bar in Canifis that leads into Mort Myre and is very convenient for quickly reaching the Barrows
- Completing In Aid of the Myreque gives you access to Burgh de Rott, which contains the bank that is geographically closest to the Barrows
- Fairy rings provide an optional, but nice, mode of transportation. You must start Fairy Tale II - Cure a Queen and complete a small amount of it for access to the fairy ring network
- Completion of Desert Treasure unlocks the Ancient Magicks spellbook, which contains a number of useful offensive spells. Additionally, it lets you set one of the portals in your POH to Canifis, which is useful for banking and returning to the Barrows
Setups and strategies[edit | edit source]
Magic works very well at Barrows. Four of the six brothers are melee brothers, which means they are quite naturally vulnerable to Magic. In addition, Karil, the Ranged brother, is weak to Magic despite the fact that he shouldn't be. In my experience, Magic actually works better than melee on him. Only the Magic brother, Ahrim, has a high resistance to Magic attacks, though if you are an exceptionally strong mage you can still kill him with Magic.
Below is a list of suggested setups tailored to your Magic level. I have personally used each of these at various times.
50+ Magic[edit | edit source]
Iban Blast is an incredibly potent spell considering the level required to use it. It can hit up to 250 damage maximum, which outclasses both Strength and Ranged at level 50. Additionally, it's only 925 coins for each cast. However, the downsides are that you must equip Iban's staff to use it, you only get 120 casts until you must recharge the staff, and you have to have completed Mourning's End Part I to be able to efficiently recharge the staff with teleport crystals. If you have these requirements, you will be able to do Barrows runs at a much lower level than many other players, although it may be slower and more awkward for you.
You will often hear Magic Dart recommended from others as a good spell for Barrows, and I concur, though with a little hesitation. Its maximum hit increases as your Magic level increases, which means that at 50 Magic it will hit 150 naturally; at 99 Magic, it will hit up to 199 naturally. Although it only costs 389 coins per cast, its max hit is a little on the weak side. This can be partially alleviated by using a staff of light, which requires 75 Magic but can be used to cast Magic Dart and grants a +15% bonus to damage. Not only are mind runes dirt cheap, but you're likely to get back at least some of the runes you use for the spell from the chest, reducing its overall cost. If you are okay with hitting a little less in exchange for a cheaper run, Magic Dart may be for you.
70+ Magic[edit | edit source]
Ice Burst is a fairly decent, albeit slightly expensive, spell for Barrows. It hits up to 220 per cast and freezes the target for 10 seconds, which is exceptionally useful against the melee brothers. Each cast costs 2090 coins.
80+ Magic[edit | edit source]
Claws of Guthix enhanced with Charge and a Void knight mace is the most cost-effective way to use Magic at Barrows. Your max hit is 330 and the spell costs Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". coins for each cast. Additionally, Claws of Guthix lowers the target's Defence, which is nice. Even with a Guthix staff instead of a Void Knight mace, this method is adequate. Note that you need a Guthix cape equipped in order to take advantage of Charge.
94+ Magic[edit | edit source]
If you really feel like devastating the Barrows brothers with some nasty spells, then Ice Barrage is the way to go. Its normal max hit is 300 damage, and it freezes the target for 20 seconds, which ought to be more than enough time to kill a brother. It is expensive, at Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". coins per cast, although you will be using fewer casts overall as Ice Barrage kills the brothers quicker.
95+ Magic[edit | edit source]
Fire Surge is certainly aesthetically pleasing, but it's pretty strong as well: 280 damage maximum. At 3,089 coins per cast, it is the cheapest and most powerful of the surge spells. It is not quite as efficient as Claws of Guthix and Charge, but you get to use whatever weapon and cape you want.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
When choosing a set of equipment, keep in mind that Magic accuracy does not need to be as high as possible, as the Barrows brothers (aside from Ahrim) are quite weak to Magic. Melee defense is somewhat important for the tunnel monsters and a few of the brothers (Guthan and Torag, specifically).
The above, combined with the possibility that you may be using more than one combat style, means that Void Knight equipment is my first and foremost recommendation for armor. The balanced robes of the Void Knights give bonuses to all defensive categories and no offensive penalties, so you can use any styles you like while wearing it. Wear a Void mage helm while using Magic against the brothers, and switch to a ranger or melee helm when using Ranged or Melee, respectively.
|Best||Void mage helm||Arcane stream necklace||God cape||Broad-tipped bolts||Staff of light||Arcane spirit shield||Elite Void top||Elite Void bottom||Void knight gloves||Infinity boots||Seers' ring|
|Better||--||Amulet of fury||Ardougne cloak 3||--||Void knight mace||Mages' book||Void knight top||Void knight robe||--||Mystic boots||Explorer's ring|
|Good||--||Amulet of glory or stole||Soul Wars cape or skillcape||--||Ancient staff or master wand||God book or blessed spirit shield||--||--||--||Swanky boots I guess :S||Ring of slaying or ring of life|
The brothers[edit | edit source]
Below are detailed analyses of each of the Barrows brothers.
Ahrim the Blighted[edit | edit source]
Ahrim, the eldest brother, uses Magic. His Fire Wave can hit up to 200 damage rather accurately, and he will lower your Attack, Strength and Defence through a combination of curse spells and the special effect of his equipment set, which lowers Strength. (In fact, in my experience, he spends more time throwing curses than Fire Waving, which makes him a bit less of a threat.) He is weak to stab attacks and Ranged, and Protect from Magic will block all damage from his Fire Waves, though not the effects of his curses.
Killing[edit | edit source]
Being a mage, Ahrim has a high Magic resistance. It is possible to mage him, but you need an awful lot of accuracy; I only started doing it when I hit 99 Magic. As he is weak to Ranged, it helps to bring a rune crossbow and some broad-tipped bolts with which to kill Ahrim. This is, however, somewhat dependent on your armor setup. If you are using Void equipment, you can simply bring the Ranged helmet and not have any trouble. Ahrim's robes, however, give an attack penalty towards Ranged, making it less efficient to use Ranged in them.
Ahrim can also be killed with melee if you have a good weapon. Godswords work rather well for this purpose, though I suppose an abyssal whip is okay as well. You can melee him even if you're in mage robes, because they don't give an attack penalty to melee.
Dharok the Wretched[edit | edit source]
Next in line is Dharok, a powerful warrior with an enormous greataxe. In my opinion Dharok is the single most dangerous brother, and here's why: The special effect of his equipment set is that the more damage he takes, the higher his maximum hit rises. Once he falls below 10% maximum life points, he can hit up to 680 with his slow melee attacks. Protect from Melee completely blocks his attacks, which is why I nearly always recommend fighting Dharok first, while you still have plenty of Prayer to use against him. Dharok is weak to Magic attacks.
Guthan the Infested[edit | edit source]
In some ways, fighting Guthan can be somewhat frustrating. His set effect allows him to heal when he deals damage, although this only happens randomly. Wielding a warspear, his maximum hit is 240, and he can be fairly accurate, which means his healing special may trigger multiple times during a fight. Protect from Melee ensures that he deals no damage and therefore does not heal at all, making the fight much easier. Additionally, Guthan is very weak to Magic; his defense towards spells seems to be lower than the other melee brothers.
Karil the Tainted[edit | edit source]
Number two on my list of most dangerous Barrows brothers, Karil is a ranger who attacks with a powerful crossbow that can deliver hard and rapid hits. While fighting him, I always use Protect from Missiles to block what might otherwise be an awful lot of damage. (The chance that I'll meet Karil in the tunnels is the reason I always bring a prayer potion.) His maximum hit is 210, but he can hit high often, even though strong melee armor. His set effect drains Agility, which doesn't really matter until you hit the tunnels, as your run energy won't recharge as quickly. The one upshot to fighting Karil is that despite being a ranger, he is about as weak to Magic as his melee bretheren, so you don't have to bring melee gear to fight him if you don't want to (though you certainly can).
Torag the Corrupted[edit | edit source]
I rarely worry about Torag when fighting him. His special attack is nearly useless- it drains a little bit of run energy that you quickly recharge- and although his maximum hit is 230, he rarely hits, if at all, players with decent Defence. His accuracy is so terrible that you don't even have to pray against him, which is why I always leave Torag for last. Nonetheless, keep some food on hand just in case he manages to sneak through a hit or two with his double warhammers. Like the other melee brothers, he is weak to Magic.
Verac the Defiled[edit | edit source]
Verac is the youngest brother, but by no means the weakest; in fact, I would count him as the third most dangerous brother. He attacks with a flail and can hit through just about anything: Armor, Defence, the staff of light's special attack, and even Prayer. These things still reduce the likelihood of taking damage from him, however, so it is still worth it to defend against him. His maximum hit is 240, and unfortunately, he seems to be a bit less weak to Magic attacks compared to the other melee brothers. The only surefire way to kill him without getting hit is to bind him in place, then mage him from a distance (my favorite method).
The Barrows area[edit | edit source]
The Barrows activity takes place in a burial ground in Morytania. Six large mounds of earth mark the crypts of the six brothers, which are small rooms that contain the coffins in which the brothers rest. One of these coffins contains a tunnel which leads into a network of catacombs beneath the tombs. These tunnels are inhabited by monsters, including skeletons and crypt rats.
Walkthrough: Single-Run Trips[edit | edit source]
This particular walkthrough is designed for players who are new to Barrows, as well as players who are not using binding spells. It gives you my preferred order for killing the six brothers, then has you teleport out after looting the chest in order to refresh yourself, bank, and return to the activity for another round. If you are experienced with the Barrows activity and/or are using binding spells, you may wish to read the second walkthrough below, which involves making multiple runs through the activity before banking.
You will need:
- All of your standard items as detailed above
- A prayer potion
- A one-click teleport
- Extra food or druid pouches
- Begin in Canifis, which is best reached with the Kharyrll portal in your house. Bank if necessary. Ensure that you have full prayer points and health.
- Take the secret tunnel behind the bar into Mort Myre. Run south, cross the bridge, continue south, and take the swamp boaty to Mor'ton.
- Cross the bridge here and run to the entrance of the Barrows area. Stand on top of the northeasternmost mound and prepare yourself: Turn on run, set quick-prayers, cast Charge, etc etc. When you're ready, dig into the tomb.
- Note that one of the six tombs will contain a tunnel, rather than the spirit of a brother. When you discover this, skip the crypt and move on to the next one on the list.
- Fight Dharok using Protect from Melee, which will nullify his colossal hits. Dharok is fought first because he is the most dangerous, and you want to be sure you have enough prayer to survive his attacks. After you've killed Dharok, exit his tomb and move to the southern-center mound, then dig.
- Fight Karil using Protect from Missiles. Karil is fought second because he too is capable of causing a lot of damage. Remember that his attacks will drain Agility even through prayer, but this is not much of a threat. Once Karil is dead, exit his tomb and run north, to the center mound. Equip your Ranged or melee equipment and dig.
- Fight Ahrim using Protect from Magic. Against Ahrim, protection prayers are actually quite optional, as he tends to cast curses more often than Fire Wave. Nonetheless, it's likely that you'll be out of prayer, or almost out of prayer, by the time this fight is over, so you may as well use it. After killing Ahrim, re-equip your Magic gear and dig at the northwestern mound.
- Fight Verac. He will hit you even through armor and prayer, though if you have some prayer points left, Protect from Melee lowers his max hit. After he's dead, dig at the southeastern mound.
- Fight Guthan. You will probably be out of prayer now, but try to avoid drinking a dose of potion unless he really starts to massacre you with hard and accurate hits (which is possible but unlikely, especially if you kill him quickly). His special effect randomly heals him when he deals damage, so try to kill him swiftly. Afterwards, dig at the southwestern mound.
- Fight Torag. Lack of prayer will probably not be a problem here, as Torag's accuracy is quite low. He may still hit you, however, so keep your HP above 300 or so just to be safe.
- Return to the tunnel crypt and enter the hidden tunnel within the tomb. You will now be in the catacombs, in one of the corner rooms. Make your way through the tombs, avoiding or killing the monsters that spawn as you open the doors. The final Barrows brother may randomly spawn when you open a door; if this doesn't happen, he will appear when you open the chest at the end.
- If your tunnel brother is Ahrim, Verac, Guthan or Torag, you ought to be able to kill them in the same manner in which you would in their tombs. Pound on them and keep your health up.
- If your tunnel brother is Karil or Dharok, you want to drink a dose of prayer potion (this is the chief reason why you brought it), turn on Protect from Missiles or Protect from Melee respectively, and slug it out with them. Your prayer will drain quite quickly in the catacombs now that you've ratcheted up a bit of kill count, so you may need an extra dose of prayer potion.
- When you reach the puzzle door, stand directly in front of it and, if necessary, kill whatever is attacking you. If you stand on the two squares in front of the door, no new monsters will be aggressive to you; this lets you complete the door's puzzle in relative peace.
- Rack up a bit of kill count, if you haven't already, before you open the chest. I usually do this by killing the monsters that spawn as I open doors (though I avoid skeletons as they're just a pain in the neck). I aim for a kill count of six, meaning six monsters in addition to the six Barrows brothers, but you can go higher if you like. A higher kill count will let you earn bolt racks from the chest and increases the rune rewards.
- Open the chest and teleport out (make sure your inventory isn't so full that something falls on the floor). Recharge prayer, return to Canifis, and repeat from step 1.
Walkthrough: Multi-Run Trips[edit | edit source]
This method of doing Barrows involves beginning a new run immediately after the completion of the old one. Since you will be at the Barrows for an extended period of time, you'll need to bring extra supplies, including more runes, prayer potions (at least one dose for each run) and some food. Enhanced excalibur is extremely helpful as it is a recurring source of health and gives a nice Defence boost.
As you will be spending more time in the tunnels, you might want to wear some equipment with heavier melee defense bonuses. For example, consider a shield (spirit shields are great here because they don't give a Magic attack penalty) or Ahrim's or virtus robes.
As this method is much easier to do with binding spells, this walkthrough assumes that you use them.
What you do:
- Reach the Barrows by your preferred method. I take the secret tunnel from Canifis and the boaty to Mor'ton, as usual.
- Move to Karil's mound and prepare yourself: Refresh prayer, use the enhanced excalibur's special, etc.
- Dig and kill Karil with Protect from Missiles.
- Move to Ahrim's mound and kill him with Protect from Magic or a prayer that boosts your offensive style of choice.
- Dig into Dharok's tomb and kill him. If you are not praying (and if you're only using one dose of potion per run and using the prayer on Karil and Ahrim, you won't be), you must be extremely careful with binding Dharok, lest he break free and hit you extremely hard. If you're casting Ice Barrage, you will probably be safe, as it hits very hard and freezes for 20 seconds. On the other hand, Entangle, the best binding spell in the standard spellbook, will bind Dharok for 15 seconds; this is roughly enough time to bind him, move away, and cast four spells at him before he breaks the bind and moves back up to you. If you can hit at least 300, killing Dharok within four casts is possible, although somewhat unlikely. If you fail to kill him before he breaks free, you may take an awful lot of damage from his attacks. I have devised two possible solutions to this:
- Summon Dharok on one side of the coffin, bind him, then move into a position that allows you to place the coffin between Dharok and yourself once he breaks free. You can then wait a few seconds for his immunity to binding to wear off, bind him again, and resume attacking him.
- Summon Dharok and deal him roughly 300 points of damage (alternately one or two good hits with your spell), then bind him and move away. With his health reduced, you have a greater chance of being able to kill him while he's still bound. The disadvantage here is that he gets a few free attacks at the beginning, but his max hit is only in the 200s before he starts taking damage, though this is still preferable to taking 600+ from a full-strength attack from Dharok's axe.
- Note: If you're using Ice Burst or another binding spell that lasts less than 15 seconds, consider killing Dharok after Karil so you have some prayer left over to tank his attacks for a bit.
- Now kill Verac, Guthan and Torag in the same manner as fighting Dharok. However, as these three are much less dangerous than Dharok, you don't have to exercise as much caution when binding them. Simply summon them, bind them, then move away and attack them with your offensive spell of choice.
- The tunnels are handled in more or less the same fashion as in the single-run trip walkthrough. Pray against Karil if necessary and bind the melee brothers. Tunnel monsters can and will attack you if you bind a melee brother and move away from his attack range; keep Auto-Retaliate off and they shouldn't be a problem. If you get Dharok as your tunnel brother, you will not be able to hide behind a sarcophagus while you wait to bind him again, so consider the second alternate strategy or simply praying.
- Once you've achieved some kill count and opened the chest, retrace your path through the catacombs and exit via the hanging rope, then leave the tomb to appear back outside. Repeat from step 2 as necessary.