OSRS Melee Armor for P2P and F2P
It is iconic to have the best-in-slot gear for any MMORPG, although it will cost plenty of GP in the case of OSRS. Unlike a typical MMORPG, armor can be simply bought and equipped by mid-level players that have the minimum Defense skill requirements. In this OSRS Melee Armor guide, we will layout the best armor to use in defensive or offensive situations.
What Armor is Available in P2P?
Just like any other aspect of the game, P2P will have more armor available for low-levels and high-levels alike. As the armor to choose from is quite diverse, the price of armor also varies greatly.
Best In-slot Defense
With the Theatre of Blood update came along the best set of armor in the game, the Justiciar Armor set. It has the highest defense against melee and range while providing a decent Prayer bonus. This was preceded by barrows gear, which had the advantage of degrading and needing repair after 12 hours of use.
For Ironmen, the Theatre of Blood will need to be repetitively completed for the slight chance of receiving a piece of this armor. This is why you rarely see them use anything beyond barrows pieces.
The best pair of boots to go along with all of this would be Guardian boots. Not only are they have a decent strength and prayer boost, but they are also now the best-in-slot for range and melee defense. It is created by combining Bandos Boots with a black tourmaline core, which is dropped from Grotesque Guardians.
For a shield, there is no comparison to Din’s Bulwark, which has the highest of all defensive stats in the game. As it is two-handed and very slow, it isn’t a practical weapon unless doing dangerous skilling. For something practical, the Elysian Spirit Shield has very high defensive stats and a 70% chance to mitigate 25% of the damage taken.
Best In-slot Offense
For the maximum strength bonus, having Bandos Armor Set without the boots would be the first choice. As it costs around 50 million GP, it’s not something obtainable by the average player. If your defensive stats are not so important, you may use the Fighter Torso in place of the Bandos Chestplate as it has the exact same strength bonus.
A secondary option for offensive gear would be the Obsidian Armor set that came out in 2017. The defensive stats are worse than even Rune, but it is a relatively affordable option over Bandos and the full set will give a +7 strength bonus. A mix of Obsidian legs and the Fighter Torso is a common budget setup for mid-level players.
In the helmet slot, you almost always should go for the Serpentine Helmet as it gives the best strength bonus in the game. If you want the best-in-slot crush bonus, you may swap it for the extremely cheap Dwarven Helmet.
The best boots you can get are the red Primordial Boots. They have a +5 strength boost, minor offensive accuracy, and impressive defensive stats. They are upgraded from the Dragon boots, which are a decent secondary option if on a budget.
As for the shield slot, you need to decide between an Averic Defender and the Dragonfire Shield (DFS). The Averic Defender has a +8 strength bonus, very high attack accuracy stats but mediocre defensive stats. The DFS has the second best strength bonus in the game of +7 while being the third best in defensive states.
For gloves, the Ferocious Gloves have the best strength and attack bonus in the game. Since they have no defensive stats and are rather hard to acquire, a pair of Barrows Gloves is suitable to most players.
Defense Against Magic
While these epic sets of armor will defend against physical melee and ranged attacks, magic will penetrate right through them. Peculiar pieces of armor are needed to deflect magic attacks in either PvP or PvM.
For a top and bottom, Karil’s armor set provides the best magic defense while having half-way decent melee defense. If you are on a budget, using Black Dragonhide armor wouldn’t be much of a downgrade with a much lower cost. Either set should be paired with a Dragon Fire shield as defenders have a significant negative magic defense bonus.
For the helmet slot, Karil’s Coif has the best magic bonus. Since you are using melee, it would be more practical to use the Helm of Neitiznot as it has a mix of magic defense and offensive bonuses.
You should always fill your boot slot with something that will give an offensive bonus, like Primordial Boots. Another consideration would be climbing boots as it has a slight strength boost without having a negative magic defense bonus. Technically speaking, Eternal Boots have the highest magic defense but it offers nothing for melee combat.
As for gloves, there is no alternative to Barrows Gloves. It has the second highest offensive stats in the game while having a decent +6 magic defense bonus.
What Armor is Available in F2P?
The armor available in F2P isn’t very exciting. Everything available may be purchased from various town shops, dropped from a few monsters or made by the smithing skill. Although, some people enjoy the extra challenge of being restricted to inferior armor.
In the free version of the game, there are no offensive stats on armor. This makes having full rune the only end-game content available, giving the player the maximum amount of protection possible. This includes the Rune Platebody, which requires the legendary Dragon Slayer quest to be completed.
As the Rune Full Helm and Rune Kiteshield cannot be bought from shops, this is a huge hurdle for ironmen. Instead of getting a very high smithing level, killing the Obor boss repetitively is the easiest way to get both items eventually. Ogress Warriors also have a slight chance of dropping the helmet.
The most expensive variant of Rune armor would be Gilded armor. It has the same exact stats as Rune but it is rare and more fashionable. On occasion, you may find people having high-risk fights with sets of Gilded armor in PvP worlds.
Wrapping Things Up
One thing that’s obvious within this OSRS Melee Armor guide is that cost is the main barrier for gear accessibility. It takes hundreds of millions of GP to have the best-in-slot gear while only a few million would suffice for a setup that is just good enough. Stick to whatever is practical to what your are trying to accomplish and you may eventually be able to afford the best armor available.