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Dragonfire is the fiery breath attack used by dragons, hence the name. It can deal considerable damage to players without an antifire potion in conjunction with an anti-dragon shield or dragonfire shield, often hitting into the 50s.
An adult dragon can deal up to 60 damage to players without the proper equipment. Regular armour doesn't offer any additional protection from the flames. However, there is a chance that one will "resist some of the dragonfire". As such, the amount of damage negated is usually small, however, and even then it can hit up to 40+ damage.
Normal chromatic dragons (green, blue, red, and black) only use close ranged dragonfire attacks, meaning that the dragons will only use it if the player is in melee distance from the dragon. Stronger dragons, like the King Black Dragon, brutal dragons (green, blue, red and black), Elvarg and metal dragons, have long-ranged dragonfire, and use it in both close or long-ranged combat situations. The King Black Dragon is even able to use different kinds of dragonfire, each with a different effect, including freezing, poisoning and stat-reducing. Baby dragons cannot use dragonfire.
The skeletal wyverns don't use dragonfire, instead, they use an ice-type breath which is even more dangerous. It can reduce the stats of a player and prevent them from moving.
There are several methods to protect oneself against dragonfire.
- Protect from Magic – one way to protect yourself is by using the protect from magic prayer, which offers more or less the same protection as wielding an anti-fire shield. It should be noted, however, that this prayer will only offer protection against chromatic dragons (excluding the King Black Dragon). Protect from magic will offer no protection from metal dragons' dragonfire attacks, therefore it is strongly adviced to bring either an anti-dragon shield or dragonfire shield along with antifire potions.
- Antifire potion – another way to protect yourself from dragonfire is the antifire potion. This potion offers protection for 6 minutes and can be made by those with 69 herblore using a lantadyme herb and dragon scale dust on a vial of water. However, the potion doesn't offer good protection against dragonfire and it's not advised to use in battle as your only protection. An anti-fire potion is instead used in combination with an anti-dragon shield or dragonfire shield, causing the bit of protection the shield doesn't offer to be offered by the potion, providing full protection to the player. Antifires and an anti-dragon shield is often used against the King Black Dragon, metal dragons or other stronger dragons.
- Antifire mix – two doses of antifire can be mixed with caviar to create an anti-fire mix, which, next to its normal effect, also heals 6 hitpoints of the player.
- Anti-dragon shield – the third, and much more useful way, is using an anti-dragon shield. An anti-dragon shield reduces the damage from dragonfire down to around 3, making it the most used way of protection. This shield can be obtained during the Dragon Slayer quest and thus players must have started this quest in order to increase their chance against a dragon greatly. This shield does not provide protection from the icebreath of skeletal wyverns.
- Dragonfire shield – Those with 90 smithing have the ability to upgrade their anti-dragon shield to a dragonfire shield using a draconic visage. Alternatively, it can be traded between players. The draconic visage is an extremely rare drop from stronger dragons like metal dragons and the King Black Dragon. The visage is not dropped by any chromatic dragons except black dragons. A dragonfire shield can be charged with dragonfire. Each dragonfire attack provides the shield with one charge, and each charge improves the shield's defence bonuses by 1. The shield can carry up to 50 charges. Players can also discharge the shield. A dragonfire shield also offers protection from the icebreath of skeletal wyverns.