Understanding Old School Runescape Zerkers

            Old School Runescape has been around since I was a young kid, which is to say a really long time. The way people have learned to understand and play has really changed over time. With the amount of content, its really not hard to make a character that's good, if not great, at everything, a jack of all trades. But as people start to understand, and master, the fastest methods to advance and level up and how the mechanics interact with one another then we start to see certain character builds develop. Pures are a build based around master one particular set of skills and not others. Sometimes a pure build is based around a particular blend of mechanics to maximize stats, sometimes it comes from a player wanting to personally challenge themselves.  Regardless of your motivation, we want you to fully understand what you are getting into when you choose to buy Old School Runescape accounts, specifically zerkers. We are going to take a closer look at one of the more mechanically driven pures, the zerker pure.

            A zerker pure is a subset of combat pure, a type of character build based around maximizing combat skills and minimizing the defense skill. Why minimize the defense skill? Doesn’t make a lot of sense on the surface, since defense allows you to take more hits and wear better armor, overall the thing keeping your character alive and kicking. Well, the trick in keeping the defense low means that you have an upper hand in PVP combat. With a high offense but low defense, your level will appear low but you will actually hit much harder than the average character of your combat level, meaning you will be able to end fights quickly and decisively.

            That is the bare essentials of what a pure build is, but there are actually almost limitless variations on this type of build. We are going to talk specifically about one of these variations, the zerker pure. The zerker pure gets its name from the Berserker Helm, as it is a build constructed around this specific piece of armor.  This helm costs about 78,000 gold coins, which is a relatively cheap price.  If you don’t have the gold, you can either farm it yourself or buy OSRS gold from our website.

            Normally pures of this nature aren’t armor focused since their defense stays so low that there is little they have the stats to wear, but the zerker pure doesn’t follow this trend. In fact, zerker pures have some of the highest defense requirements for a non-defense focused build. The Berserker Helm requires 45 defense to wear but provides very high combat stat buffs to compensate for the investment that the player needs to make outside of combat skills.


           The other advantage of investing in a higher defense build for the zerker pure is that they now have the stats, unlike other PVP focused builds, to finish certain difficult quests like Recipe for Disaster. This means the character will have access to equipment, like the Barrow Gloves, that other pures simply don’t.

            A lot of advantages to going with a Zerker build, but, unsurprisingly, this means it is one of the harder pure builds to optimize. In order to obtain this pures namesake, you have to finish The Fremennik Trials quest line and that will give you the ability to wear the Berserker Helm, not the helm itself. After that, you need to either need to purchase the helm from Skulgrimen's Battle Gear for 78K gold or win it in the Barbarian Assault minigame. The latter is certainly more cost-effective but you have very slim chances of claiming the Berserker Helm as a prize. The guarantee of the equipment essential for this pure build is likely worth the price. Finally, you need to have a defense of 45 to wear this helmet, but chances are once you get your hands on the helmet you have this or are close to it.

            Now, all of this is a fun and interesting way to play OSRS, and we would be remiss to not mention that a lot of people think making a zerker pure a very satisfying way to play. Additionally, many argue this is a statistically advantageous way to play OSRS, specifically when it comes to PVP. This, however, is not a universally held opinion, and we think we should let you know about the bad with the good before you go running off to start a new account for this type of build.

            Some theorize that pure builds only have a slight advantage in lower and mid-tier PVP and that this advantage is eventually mitigated when they oppose players with high tier balanced gear. Many players also specifically point out that the theories based around the advantages of a pure build are just that, theories, that no players actually know the specific mechanics of how attack and defense function in OSRS and that most of it is just guesswork.

            Others still propose that the advantage pure builds have over others is purely ostensible, that the high amounts of damage look more impressive than the more consistent attacks that balanced players produce. One big hit looks better than five small hits, even if their damage is the same. This, however, is often met with the counter-argument that in OSRS it is much easier to heal those smaller hits in combat than it is to recover from the bigger, more devastating attacks.

            Either way, it is most important to note that much of the pure strategy is based in player observation, which can easily be biased, rather than hard statistics. Pure builds definitely have their naysayers and critics, but seem to deliver enough results that this style of play persists in OSRS and is considered a standard method of play.

            We can’t help but take a moment to note something we mentioned earlier, that some forms of pure builds provide little to no mechanical benefit and exist simply for the sake of enjoying the game in a new or different way. This is, arguable, how the zerker build works as well. Even if the theories or assumptions of how the combat mechanics work aren’t accurate, players who use these build still do so to have fun and experience OSRS in a way they find entertaining. Due to this entertainment value, players can expect to receive top price when they sell Runescape accounts that contain a zerker pure.  We don’t think that players can really aspire to much more than that, enjoying the game for the sake of the game. 

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