Here you will find all of the notable weapons and pieces of equipment, and advice about what is considered the best equipment
Welcome to my melee equipment guide! In this guide I will tell about all the notable melee gear you can get in game. I will not go in too deep in how to get certain items, most of them, especially the custom ones, are on our custom items guides which you can find on this wiki. I expect most readers of this guide have at least little knowledge of gear from (old-school)RuneScape and know that from the regular metals, bronze is the worst and rune is the best, and dragon is even better. I will not include items like this in my guide, but I will sometimes note them as a benchmark, and try to include as many notable items as possible. I will go through various sets, stand-alone pieces and weapons. Too much information? Scroll to the bottom of each section to find a TL;DR.
I will separate sets and independent items in this guide. Note that for most sets, you don't require a full set to have the bonuses shown, unless stated otherwise!
Barrows set require 70 defence to wear and provide very good defensive stats. They consist of a helm, chest and legs. They also have weapons. There are 4 different sets, and combined with their weapons, they have a passive special attack as well. A full set is required for this built-in special attack. Verac's is considered the best barrows set all-round for pvm, due to it giving prayer bonus. Torag's has the absolute best defensive stats. Barrows melee sets do not offer any offensive stats. Dharok's set, combined with it's greataxe, increases your max by every hp you have lost, so the lower your HP, the higher you will hit. Verac's set combined with it's flail has a chance to ignore armour and protection prayers. Guthan's set combined with it's warspear has a chance to heal the player for a portion of the damage dealt. Torag's set combined with it's hammers has a chance to lower the victim's run energy by 25%. Torag's special attack is considered the absolute worst of all of them. The other sets each could provide a perk in certain situations. Despite broken barrows pieces being available (which can be repaired at barrows) contrary to RuneScape, the pieces won't break in combat. All items are tradeable.
Bandos set requires 65 defence to wear, they provide mediocre defensive stats and a bit of offensive stats. It consists of a Chestplate, Tassets (legs) and boots. In most situations, bandos are considered better than barrows sets, due to the strength bonus weighing more than the defensive stats. Bandos boots don't provide strength bonuses, there are many other boots, such as dragon boots, which beats bandos boots because of this. All items are tradeable.
Imbued Bandos is a RuneRealm custom set and requires 70 defence to wear, they provide the same defensive stats as regular bandos but double the strength bonus, this makes them a very good choice for PVMing, many consider imbued bandos as one of the best sets in the game, especially due to their value for money. Bandos imbued can be created by using a bandos imbue scroll, which is dropped by General Graardor, on a regular bandos piece. All items are tradeable.
Justiciar set requires 75 defence to wear and consists of a helm, chestpiece and skirt. It Provides one of the best defensive stats in game, but lacks any offensive stats. It is the best non-custom set in terms of defensiveness. Justiciar drops from the Theatre of Blood. All pieces are tradeable.
Inquisitor set requires 30 defence and 70 strength to wear, it consists of a helm, chestpiece and skirt. It is one of the best non-custom offensive set. It lacks good defensive stats, but it's attack and strength bonuses make well up for that. Because of the 30 defence requirement, it creates a niche for 30 defence pures. Inquisitor pieces drop from the Theatre of Blood minigame. All pieces are tradeable.
Samurai set is a RuneRealm custom made set and requires 70 attack to wear. It consists of a hat, chestpiece, legs, boots and gloves. It has below average defensive stats, but do offer very little attack bonus. When having a full set equipped, your melee attack speed is increased by 1 tick! This special effect makes it one of the best sets in the game! Despite it's lack of defensive stats, the speed increase makes it very strong, and used in a lot of PVM situations. Unless high defensive stats, or hybrid items are necessary, samurai performs good in most situations, making the demand very high. Equipping a full set is required to have the speed boost, individual items do not give any special bonuses. It can be bought from blood money in the blood money shop at home, or bought from other players, as all pieces are tradeable.
Ethereal gear is a RuneRealm Custom made set and requires 70 defence to wear. It offers defensive stats comparable to barrows making it quite a tanky set. When a full set is worn in the wilderness, all damage done to you by monsters is reduced by 40% and players by 10%. These items are dropped from the Ethereal revenant, a custom boss. If you equip the full set against the Ethereal revenant, it's damage against you is also reduced by 40%, despite him not being in the wilderness.
3rd age requires 65 defence to equip and is a very rare expensive melee set. It's stats are a little less good than barrows sets, but it's decent looks and rarity make up for that. It is only available as very rare drops through hard and elite clue scrolls, and it is also tradeable with other players. It is not used a lot in PVMing, but it is certainly a prestige set to have.
Statius armour is a custom added RuneRealm set and can provide the best defence, and one of the best offensive stats in game. Statius set consists of a helm, chestpiece and legs. Statius comes in 6 different tiers, base, and tier 1 till 5. Base tier requires 60 defence to wear, tier 5 99. All sets in-between have different defence lvl requirements. Note that in the table below, Statius helm* is not taken into consideration compared to bandos, as bandos has no helm. Base Statius pieces drop from Crystal monsters, which can be found in the Revenants cave in the wilderness, the Super Donator zone, and the Super Sponsor zone. You can create higher tiers by upgrading the base tiers. 3 base tiers creates a tier 1 piece. 3 tier 1 pieces creates a 2 tier piece. You need 3 helms to create a higher tier helm, you can't mix pieces. A total of 243 base tier armour pieces are required to create a Tier 5 piece, making it one of the most tedious items to get. All pieces are tradeable.
Tier requirement defence attack strength
base 60 defence Better than dragon Good worse than bandos
1 70 defence worse than bandos Better worse than bandos
2 80 defence equal to bandos Better worse than bandos
3 90 defence worse than barrows better worse than bandos (I)
4 99 defence better than justiciar better equal to bandos (I)
5 99 defence Best in game Almost as strong as Vesta T5 Almost as strong as Vesta T5
*Tier 5 helm is the best melee helm in game. Neitiznot faceguard beats Tier 4 in terms of strength, but lacks defence. Tier 3 helm is equal to Magma helm strength and defence, but lacks a bit of offence against Magma helm.
Vesta armour is a custom added RuneRealm set and can provide one of the best defensive, and the best offensive stats in game. Vesta consists of a chainbody and plateskirt. Vesta comes in 6 different tiers. Base tier requires 60 defence to wear, tier 1 70, going up each tier, up to T4 and T5, which both require 99 defence. Base Vesta pieces drop from Crystal dragons, which can be found in the Revenants cave in the wilderness, the Super Donator zone, and the Super Sponsor zone. You can create higher tiers by upgrading the base tiers. 3 base tiers creates a tier 1 piece. 3 tier 1 pieces creates a 2 tier piece. You need 3 skirts to create a higher tier skirt, you can't mix pieces. A total of 243 base tier armour pieces are required to create a Tier 5 piece, making it one of the most tedious items to get. All pieces are tradeable.
Tier requirement defence attack strength
base 60 defence worse than dragon Good worse than bandos
1 70 defence worse than dragon Better equal to bandos
2 80 defence equal to dragon better better than bandos
3 90 defence equal to justiciar better better than bandos (I)
4 99 defence better than justiciar better better than bandos (I)
5 99 defence Best in game Best in game Best in game
Neitiznot faceguard requires 70 defence to wear and offers the 2nd to best strength bonus for helms. It lacks good defensive stats but it's strength bonus makes up for that. It can be created by combining a Neitiznot helm and a Basilisk jaw, which drops from the Ferocious Basilisk, a custom boss. Both the helm and jaw are tradeable.