All three combat styles have their strengths and weaknesses and it’s fairly obvious at this point how each style plays. Melee is the riskiest but most DPS, Ranged is cheap, decent DPS and easy to use, and Magic is the most versatile in terms of options. In terms of using for bosses, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but nevertheless here’s all the situations where each style has a use at all bosses. First off, we’ll need to go more in depth of which style edges out the other in terms of special qualities.
+ Best DPS out of any style
+ Benefits from scrimshaw of vampyrism to easily no-food majority of bosses
+ Benefits from Statius’s warhammer to make all bosses easy-mode for 1 minute at a high cost
– Lacking in mobility and channeled abilities can be easily interrupted
– Bad tanking style
– Takes the most damage from any boss
+ Cheapest style
+ Best long-distance DPS assuming no debuffs or someone already has them
+ Amazing AoE with mechanized chinchompas
– Can’t do all roles at group PvM effectively
+ Best solo long-distance DPS due to debuffs
+ Best style to do all roles
+ Benefits from Guthix staff to make bosses have less Defence at a smaller scale than Statius’s warhammer
+ Best versatility with debuffs and Seren spells
+ Very good AoE with Ancient Magicks
– Gimped at certain bosses with anti-Magic mechanics
– Most expensive style
With all that out of the way, let’s analyze all relevant bosses and see how each style holds up.
Melee’s high DPS and the lack of risk in GWD1 makes this easily the #1 style. Magic is better if you don’t have maxed out gear with something like T80 weapons though. For Kree’arra, Magic is slightly better due to debuffs, but due to the short nature of the fight, Ranged may be better.
For Hard Mode though, Magic is easily the best for Zilyana and Kree’arra due to debuffs meaning more than they do in normal mode. A Sunshine rotaion allows enough time to DPS down the second phase. Melee is infinitely better at K’ril, but at Graardor it’s a bit tricky. Melee can lead to quicker kills, but it’s also very risky, so using Magic is slower but safer.
Melee. Of course.
Tribridding the first 36 waves to take advantage of the combat triangle is optimal, but for the Jads and Har-aken himself you can do with either Melee or Magic depending on what style you’re most comfortable with.
Ranged. Anything else is just asking to be laughed at.
Here, Melee’s need to travel between artifacts and QBD herself hinders kill speeds, and adding on to more overall damage taken and the softcap that reduces all damage above 5000 by 75% just makes Melee more poo.
Interestingly enough though, both Ranged and Magic are pretty competitive with each other here. Ranged can use dragonbane ammunition, allowing for extremely quick kills with only T80 weapons.
With T90+ weapons and Slayer helmet bonus though, Magic can edge out because of debuffs. Within extreme speed kills however, Ranged with a longer attack range can beat out Magic.
Due to the nature of the fight changing weaknesses randomly throughout the fight, bringing all three styles is optimal. Maining Melee can work, but using Melee/Ranged is best if you don’t want to risk using all three styles at once.
In today’s PvM, the best way to Nex is to do one kill trips using an instance, quickly rebank with Max Guild, then use the portal to run back to your instance so you can forcibly get Nex to only pray Magic instead of rotating between Magic and Ranged. As such, Ranged is best for Nex.
Melee is hindered (even with scythe) due to the softcaps being the same as QBD, and Zaros phase as a whole is just completely anti-Melee in general with a 2000 softcap and constant Melee prayers.
While Magic is still decent, the convenience of not needing to hybrid is a big plus towards Ranged.
Melee is best for all of these bosses except for Gregorovic, where you can actually use either Ranged or Magic instead.
Ranged is more safe, which can outweigh the lack of debuffs, but Magic is still quicker. Melee gets the quickest kills, but at Gregorovic you may run into having your channels canceled all the time when he teleports all over the place. Alternatively, instead of needing Melee everywhere, you can just use Magic instead with debuffs, but that won’t outweigh the lesser DPS.
The same applies for Challenge Mode.
Magic is the preferred style due to being able to debuff with spells, play support by increasing affinity, and tank the best at a good distance, making it truly the best style overall. In addition, Magic has much higher accuracy on scopulus and vitalis over Melee and Ranged, so on scopulus week you should be using Magic.
Melee, while being extremely fantastic DPS on P1-P4, is absolutely trash on P5 due to the lack of Onslaught and getting all of your channeled abilities canceled easily when he gets pushed back. The only saving grace it has is being able to use Statius’s warhammer on P5 to make it just absolutely fly back due to the lack of defense Vorago would have. Otherwise, using Melee as a pure DPS role with no warhammer is more hassle than worth.
Ranged cannot tank as well as Magic due to sagaies (the longest range a 1h Ranged weapon can have) being extremely weak, Ascensions having poor range, and the lessened DPS of using a strykebow, and that’s not getting into the fact that the weaker rotations like Snipe and Rapid Fire taking 1 tick longer than their counterparts can severely lower DPS, especially if trying to squeeze in as much damage as possible before reflects where Ranged starts to fall flat compared to Magic. However, in pure DPS it can potentially be better than Magic due to nightmare gauntlets heavily boosting Snipe and Shadow Tendrils being way better than Smoke Tendrils.
This all applies for Hard Mode as well.
Barrows: Rise of the Six
Ranged is by far the premiere style to use here due to chinchompas. If you can stack the brothers all on top of each other on their side, you can dish out an immense amount of damage and quickly finish your sides in less than 40 seconds. Magic is still good, but with the prevalence of chinchompas the other two styles are comparatively worse. Melee can’t make use of Berserk and Ahrim drains too much stats with Berserk essence, so Melee falls flat here.
Melee is by far the absolute best style to use. With infinitely more accuracy than the other two styles, better rotations, and barely any risk on P1-P3 due to halberds being 2 square range, Araxxor pretty much becomes a punching bag using Melee.
Ranged is also a pretty great alternative for being safe and easy, but that’s only because the alternative, Magic… is just far far worse off.
Magic has comparatively worse accuracy on P4, and the passive effect you get (a bleed) is infinitely more detrimental to success (compared to poison that can be completely negated by Venomblood or antipoison or a stat drain that’s also completely negated by overloads). It also doesn’t help that the biggest thing that contributes to Magic’s supremacy, debuffs, don’t even stick to Araxxor for more than 5 seconds. While they can stick on P4, you still have to deal with getting hit with non-favorable styles unless you MD, and MD prayer flicking isn’t really a lot of fun unless you’re Meleeing.
All styles have a use here.
Melee obviously carries the most DPS and can benefit the team via affinity increases with Statius’s warhammer.
Surprisingly, Ranged can play some minor support at Yakamaru by quickly binding jellies and removing them from play extremely easily with abilities or bolas. Its DPS is also fine for Yakamaru since you can Rapid Fire on stun pool while taking less damage from Yakamaru himself.
While Magic can also easily bind jellies, they have to waste a tick to apply Entangle or Ice spells to stop them, which can get a bit annoying when dealing with singular jellies. However, against a cluster of jellies, they’re neck and neck in terms of stopping jellies dead in their tracks, due to bolas and Ice Barrage being extremely similar in use. Magic can also play immense support via debuffs and Seren spells to boost DPS/tankiness, and Lunars is very good to use if Meleeing or Ranging.
Magic is by far the best and quickest style at Telos. With amazing utility in either Standards for Vulnerability or Ancients for Barrages and Shield Dome with the perfect rotations and AoE needed to deal with all of Telos’s mechanics, there is simply no other option that’s as good.
Melee isn’t bad at 0%-99% enrages, but it just can’t compare with Magic still due to no good AoE, no good DPS under a shield compared to Ranged/Magic, and needing to keep distance at some phases like P5.
Ranged is weak to Telos’s primary style until P3 and P5, and weak to golems which can completely destroy you on P4 and P5. It does have very good AoE with chinchompas, but the lessened defenses can be a deal breaker.
Nex: Angel of Death
Melee can really only get use as a backup tank role to use Statius’s warhammer and do some very good damage on both Nex and minions. As a DPS role, it’s clumsy to use and not efficient at all, especially considering the other two options: Ranged and Magic.
Ranged has chinchompas with its trademark amazing AoE capabilities, while still having very good DPS. Magic slightly wins out in ability rotation like usual, but it also has its own AoE that can really wreck the boss and DPS down everything.