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How To Beat Royal Rat Vanguard in Dark Souls 2

How To Beat Royal Rat Vanguard in Dark Souls 2

The Royal Rat Vanguard is a gank boss fight in Dark Souls 2. The fight can be a handful if you don’t know where to turn your attention at the right time. Instead of getting yourself swarmed by these dirty rats, it is best you go through this boss guide and make this already easy fight even more breezy.


Fighting Royal Rat Vanguard in Dark Souls 2

Royal Rat Vanguard in Dark Souls 2

This boss fight will catch you off guard as there is no visual indication of any kind that you entered a boss arena. The arena will be filled with rat statues and standard rat enemies. You will begin cutting them down and after you have dispatched 10 of them, a boss health will appear below with the name Royal Rat Vanguard.

The funny thing is, if you didn’t notice the boss enter the arena you probably won’t even recognize which is the boss. The only way to identify the boss rat is that it is slightly larger (barely) and has a mohawk-type hair on its back.

Other than that, there is nothing special about the boss. His attacks are standard rat attacks with the addition of poison build-up upon hit.

The real trouble lies in the endless pouring of the regular rats. They will overwhelm you if you are not careful. Not to mention, the statues in the arena will make bobbing and weaving harder.

The boss is squishy AF and can be killed in just a few hits.

Here are some tips and tricks to consider when facing Royal Rat Vanguard in Darks Souls 2:

  • The boss and all the rats are weak to all kinds of physical damage type.
  • Fire deals the most damage to the rats.
  • They are susceptible to Bleed too.
  • The boss will inflict poison with each hit so don’t forget to keep some Poison Moss, Dragon Charms, or Common Fruit to cure it.
  • The Royal Rat Vanguard will always enter the arena from the entrance gate. You can use this information to trap him as soon as he appears.
  • You only have to defeat the boss rat hence you can leave the rest.
  • You can use the other rats to farm souls if you want.
  • The sheer number of rats can easily corner you leading to an early grave. Additionally, the rat statues will be a nuisance too while retreating.
  • AOE spells and wide horizontally swiping weapons are perfect for this fight.

Boss Strategy

Royal Rat Vanguard Boss strategy

When you enter the arena, quickly kill 10 rats and run to the entrance fog gate. Wait for the boss to jump down and start whaling on him. As soon as the rest of the rats close in, start running to the other side. Make sure to lock on to the boss only and ignore the other rats.

Your main focus is to either carve a way through the rats to the boss or circle around the swarm of rats and hit the boss only. Both of these things are extremely easy if you just equip a few things.

If you have Firestorm, Soul Appease, or any other lethal AoE spell available, equip it in your spell slots for the fight. These spells when used, will not only clear the rat swarm but also end up hurting the boss too.

If you are a melee build then a long-reaching weapon with horizontal swipes will do the trick like a Halberd. Utilize the swipes to take out multiple rats at once. Spam attack at the boss and the fight will be over before you know it.

Even shorter swinging weapons will work too if you can catch the boss alone where he lands. I took out 90% of the boss’s HP with a short mace before I used up all of my stamina.


Royal Rat Vanguard and his minions all share the same moveset in Dark Souls 2. There is nothing fancy about the boss’s attacks:

BiteHe rears and bites in front. Builds up poison if lands. Other Plagued Rats cause Petrification buildup. Dodge to the side or backward. Can be blocked too.
Lunge BiteJumps forwards towards you and tries to bite. Will apply the same status effect as the previous attack. Jump to the side before he lands on you.

Rewards for Defeating Royal Rat Vanguard

Rewards for Defeating Royal Rat Vanguard

Striping the Royal Rat Vanguard of his nobility will shower you with the following rewards in Dark Souls 2:

  • Royal Rat Vanguard Soul
  • Rat TailCovenant Item
  • 11,000 Souls

I recently wrote a guide on Mytha, Baneful Queen, and called FromSoft lazy for designing her so generically. Now I will have to give that honor to this boss. Royal Rat Vanguard is by far the laziest boss design in Dark Souls 2. The fact that you can’t even discern the boss from the mob of rats says a lot.