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Not to be confused with Royal Rat Authority.

The Royal Rat Vanguard is a boss in Dark Souls II.


The Royal Rat Vanguard is fought in the Grave of Saints, past the second bonfire.

This location is also very useful to farm souls before killing the boss, as the smaller rats continue to spawn and grant a fair amount of souls each. It should be noted that killing the boss will stop rats from spawning in the area as when the boss was alive.


The Royal Rat Vanguard has a very similar appearance and size to the rest of the rats fought in the room. However, it has a prominent crest of hair on its back.


The Royal Rat Vanguard is one of the many loyal subjects of the Rat King, and serves as a test to prove the Bearer of the Curse's worthiness to him.


Upon entering the fog gate to this room, there will be no health bar at the bottom of the screen, nor seemingly any enemies. Shortly after, though, many normal rats will attack the player. They are easy to kill, but can swarm the player easily and stunlock them. The indestructible rat statues in this room also block movement. It is best to keep moving to avoid being trapped, and only stopping to attack so that each attack can damage multiple enemies. They can cause poison buildup with their attacks, so bringing Poison Moss, Dragon Charms, or Common Fruit will help greatly.

Although the normal rats spawn endlessly, after killing 10 rats, the boss' health gauge will finally appear, and the boss will fall into the room. It looks very similar to the rest of the rats though can be found in the crowd by looking for a rat that's slightly bigger than the rest and has a mane over its body. It does not have much health, though, and is thus easily killed with a powerful weapon. The other rats spawn endlessly but killing multiple rats in one go can give you some momentary breathing room.

It is a good idea to keep a close eye on the Vanguard once spotted, as this can help with finding it amongst the melee. The actual boss does much more damage and can cause more poison buildup than the rest of the rats.

If the player has access to either Firestorm or another high-damage AoE spell, it is highly recommended that they attune it for use during the fight. A long-range weapon can be used to attack the Vanguard from a distance but the player must keep an eye on the positions of the remaining rats at all times. A good example of an AoE spell to use is Soul Appease, as it will almost always one-shot most of the rats present in the arena as well as do a large amount of damage to the boss itself, making the boss battle incredibly easy.

Also, if the player possesses the Ring of the Evil Eye (A +1 version is obtained in the deep pit) this fight becomes easier as you can kill the rats and regain health rapidly if you have a high enough damage weapon.

Once The Vanguard is defeated, the remaining rats exit from the arena.

Boss information[]


The boss itself and the normal rats share the same attacks.

  • Rearing Bite: The rat rears back and bites. Inflicts poison buildup.
  • Lunging Bite: The rat leaps forward and bites. Inflicts poison buildup.


All Rats in the game have the below stats except that physical defense changes slightly, and the Mongrel Rat has only 50% poison resistance.

All rats except the boss have 30% curse resist. The boss has 100% curse resistance.

Physical Defenses
Physical Defense Strike Defense Slash Defense Thrust Defense
345 0% 0% 0%
Elemental Defenses
Magic Defense Fire Defense Lightning Defense Dark Defense
30% 10% 30% 30%
Poison Resist Bleed Resist Can be Backstabbed Can be Parried
70% 30% No No
(Stats are from Param Studio and are not estimated)


Item Boss Soul
Royal Rat Vanguard Soul
Rat Tail
Rat Tail
Drop Rate Guaranteed Guaranteed


  • Since the player will likely be killing a lot of rats, it's best to be prepared for if the player's weapon breaks as the durability will be worn down rather quickly.
  • By using a Bonfire Ascetic on the Grave of Saints bonfire, Grave Entrance, the Royal Rat Vanguard can be respawned.



Dark Souls II How To Beat Royal Rat Vanguard

How To Beat Royal Rat Vanguard


Dark Souls 2 — Royal Rat Vanguard by Motoi Sakuraba
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