A Combat pure is a character whose combat stats are specifically trained in order to optimise performance in player-versus-player scenarios (Wilderness, Duel Arena, etc.), often prioritising offensive stats whilst maintaining a low combat level. For instance, someone with 70 Attack and 70 Strength and only 1 Defence would be considered a pure (more specifically, a Whip pure). Though the concept of a pure most commonly refers to an account with high offence and low Defence, there are other types of pures, including "Berserker" pures, "Barrows" pures, and even Defence pures. Still, considering the diversity of PvP-oriented accounts, there are almost countless variations—some accounts are primed to work specifically with particular weapons.
Types of combat pures
The most well-known form of pure, a one-Defence pure is a character designed solely with player-versus-player combat in mind. The idea is to train the account to have high offensive stats and a low Defence level while maintaining a low combat level to give it leverage over most accounts of a similar level. One-Defence pures may also exist merely for the satisfaction of hitting unusually high at low combat levels. The levels of these accounts vary wildly, though many are within the 50-90 combat level range.
A Defence pure is an account that maintains a low combat level but has an extremely high Defence level in place of high Attack or Strength levels. However, since others have a large window of opportunity to escape from Defence pures due to their weak attacks and are also generally annoyed by the pure's high Defence, Defence pures are seldom considered viable for player killing and are instead usually created for the sake of vanity. The combo used to slay opponents in PvP combat often includes the use of the Dragonfire shield's special attack combined with the stacking venom damage from the Serpentine helm (until it was nerfed).
An Obsidian pure (also called an "Obby mauler" or simply "mauler") utilises the Tzhaar-ket-om, a weapon that only requires 60 Strength to wield. This permits the pure to maintain an Attack level of 1, substantially lowering their combat level. These pures are usually also 1 Defence and lower in combat level than the usual One-Defence pure, but occasional higher Defence variants do exist. Getting 60 Strength along with 60 Defence is also another good PvP combat pure due to the release of Obsidian armour.
Granite maul pure
Similar to its Obsidian counterpart except with higher Attack, a Granite Maul Pure (also called a "G mauler" or simply "mauler") utilises the Granite maul, a weapon that requires both 50 Attack and 50 Strength to wield. These pures are usually also 1 Defence and lower in combat level than the usual One-Defence Pure, but occasional higher Defence variants do exist.
The Black pure is an account designed for 10 Defence, which allows for the use of black armour and the ability to wear a Black mask/Slayer helmet. Rarely seen throughout the Wild, the black pure can use low-cost armour and a wide array of weapons while being deadly at the same time, examples being the Dragon dagger and the Abyssal whip combination. The small Defence boost is noticeable and can still benefit in small fights, which could overtake a One-Defence pure. Their levels are slightly higher than those of One-Defence pures, but they still vary. Most people with this build of account are typically PvMers who like a challenge or like the ability to be strong in the Wilderness as well. In P2P, this build is usually passed up for 13 Defence.
13 Defence pure
The 13 Defence pure is essentially a black pure, sacrificing a small amount of offence for slightly more effective defensive gear. However, the Defence levels on these accounts are not due to training, but are instead usually a consequence of the 2,000 Defence experience gained from completing Nature Spirit, a requirement for a subquest of Recipe for Disaster. The completion of this subquest provides access to adamant gloves, which provide slightly better bonuses than combat bracelets.
Having 20 Defence, an Initiate pure utilises the Prayer and Defence bonuses of Initiate armour. Their armour gives a noticeable Defence boost and allows for more efficient use of prayers during combat, which also happens to make training more convenient. Their combat levels are usually higher than those of their 1 Defence counterparts. Initiate Pures also benefit from their ability to equip armour with Magic bonuses, such as Mystic robes and Enchanted robes.
A Rune pure is a pure that has 40 Defence mainly so it can wear Rune armour and other stat-boosting equipment such as fighter torsos and rune defenders, as well as the ever-useful dragonhide bodies and coifs. 40 Defence is also one of the requirements for completing the Lunar Diplomacy quest, which unlocks access to the very useful Vengeance spell. Rune pures are also extremely popular in free-to-play PvP; in F2P, the idea behind this type of account is that a player can wear the highest armour available to them while remaining as low of combat as possible. However, F2P rune pures often also have Attack capped off at level 40 for rune weaponry, making their combat level even lower. Many rune pures are within the combat level 70-110 range. In P2P, this build is usually passed up for the Berserker or Void builds, as they trade a combat level or two for massive benefits in the form of the Fremennik helmets or Void armour, respectively.
A Berserker pure (also called a "Zerker" or "Zerk") is near identical to a rune pure except with 45 Defence for the sake of wearing a Berserker helm or a Fighter hat, which gives better stat bonuses than the Rune full helm, and also with the ability to complete all subquests of Recipe for Disaster, which allows the player to get Barrows gloves, the best gloves in RuneScape. Their levels are virtually identical to those of rune pures.
A Void pure is a pure that utilises the combat bonuses of the Void knight armour to achieve very high hits. Void pures are most often Ranged-oriented due to the already high hits of the Rune crossbow and Dark bow coupled with the damage and accuracy boosts of Ranged Void knight armour. Melee-based Void pures are less common, and Magic-based Void pures are virtually nonexistent (since spells usually have fixed max damage). Another benefit to this style of pure lies in its ability to risk very little wealth in comparison to many other pures. Void knight armour is untradeable; rune kiteshields can be made untradeable through the use of Construction and Crafting (heraldic kiteshields, also called painted kiteshields). While their Defence is similar to those of rune or berserker pures, they usually have lesser Melee levels, making their combat levels slightly lower. Many Void pures are within the combat level 70-100 range.
A Mage Pure is typically a One-Defence pure that specialises almost exclusively in Magic. This type of pure is extremely strong at low-level PvP because of the fixed max damage that most spells deal regardless of one's Magic level. Most commonly, pures of this nature will use Ancient Magicks or the Flames of Zamorak spell with a Toxic staff of the dead, although some opt to use the Slayer Dart spell. Being more effective at lower levels, these accounts are often within the combat level 40-60 range.
A Mage tank is a character with massive Defence, fairly high Hitpoints and Magic levels. Although once popular in RuneScape Classic and early RuneScape 2, these account builds are rarely used due to the low defensive bonuses of magical armour, reliance on far-casting and Magic adopting more of a supportive role, and its inefficiency to combo out or finish off opponents unless using Melee or Ranged.
A Range Pure is typically a One-Defence pure that specialises in Ranged combat. Most range pures also level Attack and/or Strength to heighten their combo potential with weapons such as the Granite maul or Dragon dagger.
A Range tank is a character with high Ranged and Defence levels. Their Defence allows them to participate in high level PvP, wearing Barrows items and utilising Ranged and often high-level Magic, through the use of spells like Vengeance. Their Attack and Strength levels are usually low. The levels of these accounts vary somewhat, most being in the combat level 70-110 range.
A Dragon pure is an account that has 60 Defence and/or 60 Attack to use Dragon equipment. The most common setup is a Dragon scimitar as a primary weapon because of its Strength bonus and speed and the Dragon dagger (p++) as a secondary weapon for the special attack. With the addition of Dragon claws, it can have devastating consequences for an opponent.
A Barrows Pure is an account that has or has very near 70 Defence mainly for Barrows equipment, such as Dharok's, and ideally 70 Prayer for the ability to use Piety. This is combined with overall high Attack and Strength for maximum damage; combat level is generally not monitored as seriously, and it is common for these accounts to max out everything but Defence and Prayer. 94 Magic is ideal as it allows use of the useful Vengeance spell, though Ranged is rarely put to use outside of team PvP activities or PvM situations. These accounts are almost always within the combat level 100-120 range.
Commonly suppressed skills
The most frequently suppressed skills combat pures keep as low as possible as not to affect their combat level are Defence, Prayer, and Hitpoints. The debates on whether it is wise to forgo the benefits of each and all of these skills are as old as the concept of pures itself. Ultimately, it is a matter of preference for each player, keeping in mind that the "purer" they are in this offensive sense, the more dynamic PvP combat will become, and the higher the chance is that fights will end with a kill rather than with a combatant fleeing (for good or for bad). It is worth mentioning that only the most radical pures insist on keeping all of the above skills at their extreme minimum once above a certain level, and will gain Hitpoints experience while fighting other players. Such experience can be gained through experience lamps or activities like Pest Control.
Below are a few considerations along these lines.
Defence is by far the most commonly suppressed skill. While like all skills, it has its pros and cons, most pures generally agree that the cons outweigh the pros. Some pures choose certain levels, including 10, 13, 20, 40, 42, or 45 Defence to have immense power compared to main accounts of the same level. The Rune Pure, for example, can obtain armour that has nearly the same Strength bonus as a maxed account with 99 Defence.
Pros of having high Defence
- If your Defence level is high, you won't have to buy as much food for PvP or PvM situations. Also you can train on higher level monsters much more easily.
- The higher your Defence level, the less likely you will get hit. This will enable you to tank easier in team PvP situations. Low-Defence pures have an extremely difficult time tanking because of their lower defensive stats.
- You will be able to wear better armour with higher defensive stats. This will make you even less likely to get hit.
Cons of having high Defence
Being a Defence pure mainly has two big cons. These are that if you have low offensive stats, it will be harder to level up (getting less XP per average hit), which makes creating a high-levelled Defence pure very time consuming. Also, if you have low offensive stats as a Defence pure, it is harder to win a 1v1 fight, as you will hit very low on your opponent, while the opponent might have methods like using a Ring of recoil, Vengeance, Verac's armour or another method that could hit through Defence.
Many players believe that offensive pures with minimal Defence have a factual advantage over balanced players of the same combat level due to game mechanics (i.e. the formulas that determine who gets hit how often and how hard, etc.). The general success of such pures in low and mid level PvP seems to endorse this theory. However, the precise game mechanics regarding Attack and Defence are unknown. Some players believe that the success of offensive pures is solely due to the factors mentioned above and have little to do with combat Attack/Defence mechanics, arguing that the fact that armour generally gives a good deal more Defence bonus than weapons of the same material give Attack bonuses suggests that balanced players should have a slight edge, profiting from the larger bonus. Some even believe that their success merely ostensible, hyped by the fact that most players are more quickly impressed by an unusually high hit than by someone blocking five attacks in a row.
Prayer is also a skill that is often neglected as much as possible by pures. There are various 'milestone' levels that pures usually stop at, often due to quest requirements or useful prayers.
Low-level pures, like range pures, who risk little and don't carry a +1 usually try to keep their Prayer level at base—this has the benefit of keeping combat level extremely low, but deprives these accounts of useful benefits like Ava's accumulator and Ancient Magic due to quest experience from Priest in Peril and The Restless Ghost.
This is the lowest Prayer level that an account can have while still being able to obtain Ancient Magic and Ava's accumulator. The Accumulator adds Ranged bonus and allows a PKer to risk less ammunition on death—this can be useful when using expensive weapons like Dragon darts or Dragon bolts (e). Ancient Magic is extremely useful for mid and deep Wilderness PKing, and also allows low and mid level pures to rush or PJ fights with Ice Blitz combos.
Level 25 Prayer grants access to the Protect Item prayer—usage of this prayer is the only way to protect an item on death while skulled. For this reason, most pures in the 65-75 combat bracket tend to at least have 25 Prayer in order to utilise a valuable item, like an Amulet of fury or a Toxic blowpipe, without risking it. Rarely do PKers in this combat bracket have the Prayer level to use Smite in order to PK these valuable items.
Level 31 Prayer grants access to Ultimate Strength, which grants a 15% Strength boost. Most pures who choose to get Protect Item skip 25 Prayer and get 31—the minor amount of combat levels is worth forgoing for the massive Strength boost that Ultimate Strength provides.
Level 43 Prayer grants access to Protect from Melee, the last of the protection prayers. Protection prayers are extremely useful for any PKer—they protect from rushers and PJers, make the Fight Caves immensely easier, allow 1-Defence pures to tank more easily, and they allow PKers to survive much longer while Deep Wilderness PKing. Most pures choose to stop at 44 or 45 instead—the added combat level is negligible and gives access to Eagle Eye and Mystic Might, the 15% level boosters for Ranged and Magic, respectively.
This is generally the final stopping point for 1-45 Defence pures. Level 52 Prayer grants access to Smite, a prayer that allows you to drain your opponent of their prayer, shutting down their Protect Item prayer and forcing them to drop their +1 if they die. This prayer is extremely useful when your opponent has a lower Prayer level than you, but pures generally don't have the offence to use Smite effectively until the 75-80 combat bracket. For this reason, it is rarely seen in low and mid level PKing due to the combat level sacrifice required to obtain it over 31 or 25 Prayer pures. Additionally, the Barrelchest anchor, a popular combo weapon with 60 Attack pures, requires level 50 Prayer to obtain. Zerker pures who participate in "tribridding" often choose to get 55 Prayer for access to the normal Spirit shield, a useful shield for hybrid combat.
These Prayer levels grant access to Piety, Rigour, and Augury, all massive boost prayers to Melee, Ranged, and Magic, respectively. Since all of these prayers require 70 Defence, however, these are only seen from Barrows pures and ranged tanks in the pure combat brackets.
A hybrid (or brid) is a player who fights with more than one point on the combat triangle. Hybrids tend to switch gear according to the combat style they plan on using at particular times. Tribriding (or tribridding) is when a player utilises all three combat classes. The latter is commonly utilised at Dagannoth Kings.
These pures will mostly focus on having two or three high combat skills and low other combat skills. This way, their combat level will remain low, and they will be able to change style and keep hitting quite high.
Good hybrids organise accordingly and take full advantage of their F-keys. Based on a planned combat style as well as any incoming damage to tank when necessary, hybrids often switch prayer and gear, namely a weapon, body armour, shield and leg armour. When frozen, it's best to focus more on tanking and trying to return a bind or freeze on the opponent. Black dragonhide armour can help ward off magical attacks whilst attacking, but beware of the opponent's attack style and overhead, and adjust accordingly. Also, special attacks are generally used to finish off opponents, so special attacks should never be wasted.
The combat triangle means that Magic hits high on Melee, Melee hits high on Ranged, and Ranged hits high on Magic. Also, it works the other way for most cases, as Ranged has high Magic Defence, Melee has high Ranged Defence, but only Magic doesn't have high Melee Defence, but is able to bind/freeze Melee, and the Melee won't be able to attack the mage.