Rathalos/ Rathian hunting guide
 Hunting the Rathalos and the Rathian
Hello dear hunter. Having faced the rathalos' wrath full on, with nothing but a hope that maybe you will last longer than the last time you tried, you have
probably cursed it, cursed yourself and cursed your lack of strength. Worry not. When you're done reading this guide, I GUARANTEE that you will last at least
10 minutes longer, if not slay the beast, on your first try.
 The essentials
Before any hunt, there are things a hunter must consider before embarking on a quest. Things that if omitted will have fatal consequences when you face the
monster. These things that no hunter should omit are:
That's right, the holy 2 that you should always look at before a quest. In this case, the environment we will focus on is the forest and hills area, because
this is where most red rathalos and rathian quests (joint) take place there. Rathian quests happen in the jungle, however there's no need for hot drinks as
unless you weaken the rathian enough for it to be near death, you won't need to enter any caves. You will consider the following:
- Know the area well?
Ask yourself these questions. For the first one, since the area has no cold caves or hot zones, you won't need cold/hot drinks. Don't take any. Save the
space in your item bag for more important things. For the second question, you will need to consider the following:
- Status inflictions
- Ability to dodge
- Elemental weakness
- Physical weakness
- Additional traits
Now let's take these step by step:
- status inflictions
- Since rathalos and rathian are both capable of inflicting the 'poisoned' status, you will need to take an adequate number of antidotes.
- ability to dodge
- Because both rathalos and rathian can be a pain once they start the charge, until you become proficient at fighting the two, pick the armour with the
highest defence. We won't focus much on skills in this guide, as being able to beat a monster with no skills means you will be able to beat it with any
additional helpful effects armour may give you even easier.
- elemental weaknesses
- Rathalos and rathian are both weakest to the dragon element, followed by the ice element, hence weapons with those two elements would be your weapons of
choice, however high raw damage is all that's needed to take care of this monster.
- Physical weaknesses
- Both rathalos and rathian take most damage on their heads. This will be the primary focus of attacks. They also leave themselves open quite often (rathian
more so) allowing time to land good hits on the head.
- Additional traits
- The rathalos and the rathian can both roar, when entering rage mode or when you first encounter them. This will stun you for approximately 4 seconds. This
time can be slightly reduced by mashing the X button. You will want to retreat when smoke starts billowing from the monsters mouth and they prepare to roar.
This way, you'll have a better chance of avoiding a charge or a fireball that may follow. Both are also susceptible to flash bombs and shock/pitfall traps.
 Weapons of choice
Although the rathalos can be taken down with any kind of weapon, one of the easier is the hammer, due to its high mobility and immense raw power. Any hammer
with high damage and good sharpness will do.
 Summing up the items needed
Below is a recommended list of items to take on a rathalos/rathian quest:
- 10 potions
- 10 mega potions
- 5 well-done steaks
- 5 flash bombs
- pitfall trap
- 10 antidotes
- 10 paintballs
- 10 herbs
- 10 blue mushrooms
This should have you set up well against a rathalos/rathian, so why don't we move on to the monster itself.
 General Rathalos/Rathian behaviour
At the start of the quest, both rathalos and the rathian are most likely to be found in area 4, 3, 5 and occasionally 9. Head to area 3, and from there to
area 4. When you weaken it enough for it to limp, it will fly away to area 5 and go to sleep. NOTE, a sleeping monster takes 3x the damage, so land a
superpound on its head when you catch it sleeping! Both of the monsters like to charge a lot so be on a lookout and never stand directly in front of it. In the
jungle quests, the rathian will be found in area 3 and will retreat to sleep in area 8.
The rathalos, unlike the rathian, is known for its frequent flying and air attacks. This can work to your advantage. The following is the list of rathalos'
- Charge: very common, rathalos charges at you at a medium speed with slight homing active. Run to the right and dodge a second before colliding.
- Air triple fireball: Rathalos takes into hair, hovers above the ground and shoots 3 fireballs in your direction. Avoid by staying close to rathalos'
- Air poison claw swipe: Rathalos lashes out at you with his claws, dealing tremendous damage and poisoning you. Avoid by staying close to its shadow.
Rathalos will make a screeching noise just before attacking.
- Retreat fireball: Rathalos flies a few metres backwards whilst spitting out a fireball at the ground. Roll to the right or backwards to avoid.
- Standing fireball: Rathalos spits a single fireball whilst standing. Rathalos will turn slowly after landing before performing this attack. Roll to the side
- Standing triple fireball: Rathalos spits 3 fireballs in quick succession each aiming in a slightly different direction towards you. Roll to the side twice to
- Poisoned somersault tail swing: Rathalos flips in midair lashing out with its tail. The range is deceptively big for what appears to be a small attack.
Roll back twice for good measure.
- Tail swing: Rathalos swings counter-clockwise, hitting you with its tail. Stay on the right side to easily avoid the attack, roll to the right, or
underneath the tail (needs precise timing) to avoid.
- Bite: Rathalos makes a sweeping bite. Roll/ run to the right to avoid.
 Rathalos attack strategies
The key to attacking rathalos is knowing when to strike and being precise. There are a few openings I will describe in this section. The main form of attack
will be a fully charged superpound on the head. You will want to stay moderately close to rathalos at all times with the hammer charging until it’s fully
charged. Hit when:
- Rathalos is landing: After spitting fireballs, rathalos will slowly descend from the sky. Position yourself about a roll away from the shadow, in the
direction the fireballs came from and charge. When rathalos' tail touches the ground, wait a split second and release. If successful you will have landed a
fully charged hit on the head. This also works when rathalos descends after a poisoned claw swipe.
- When rathalos spits a fireball on the ground: With the hammer charging as rathalos is spitting the fireball, the instant he's about to finish, position
yourself on your right, a roll's distance from his head and release from the side. This will result in a fully charged hit to the head.
- When rathalos is taunting: When rathalos stops to growl and shake his tail, release a fully charged blow and roll away instantly.
- When rathalos is knocked out: After a few hits to the head (yellow sparks will show after each successful hit), rathalos will fall to the ground with yellow
stars spinning around its head. This gives you the opportunity to unleash 3 triple pounds (hit the triangle button 3 times) on his head, TWICE. Don't
supercharge, as the damage from 6 regular hits will stack up to be higher and you will only get to pull off two superpounds.
There are other opportunities to strike that you might discover for yourself, but these are the safest bet, so get comfortable with them and look for more
and more openings as you get experienced. Keep it safe: It’s okay to run to a different zone to heal, and it’s okay to attack once every 3 minutes, the hammer
will get the job done.
The rathian prefers to stay on the ground unlike its male counterpart rathalos, hence you will get more chances to land strikes. Because both share most of
their attacks, I will briefly outline the differences:
- No air fireballs. Instead, rathian will shoot triple fireballs frequently from the ground, leaving it open to superpounds on its head.
- No air poisoned claw swipe: Instead, the rathian seems to favour the poisoned tail midair flip, which is just as deadly.
 Rathian attack strategies
The rathian is in many ways easier to fight than a rathalos, due to it staying on the ground and repeating the same attacks over and over. Standing in front
of it will often cause it to shoot fireballs which leaves it open to attacks. Use the same tactic as on rathalos' ground fireball. Rathian gives you more
time to prepare and position, however don't stand close when it’s shooting fireballs, as each one flies at a different angle and the explosion at rathian's
mouth can catch you. Another opening for attack is when its landing from midair flip tail attack. Position yourself as you would for rathalos' descent,
however you will need to start charging sooner as rathian descends from a smaller altitude, giving you less time to charge your hammer. Release as its tail
'sinks' into the ground at descent.
 Additional tips
- Rathian as well as rathalos can be both baited into charging into traps, which will give you time to score triple hits on the head, increasing the chances
of a knockout which in turn scores you more free hits. Only set traps when rathalos is descending from the air/ when rathian descends from a midair flip or
is shooting triple fireballs away from you.
- Stay to the right, as tail swings are easier avoided this way; all it takes is a roll to the right, since they will come (90% of the time) from the left.
- Play it safe- there's no point in taking chances with poorly timed attacks, 50 minutes is plenty of time, and it doesn't take a great amount of hammer
strikes to weaken rathalos/rathian.
And finally, keep your head. Don't let it intimidate you. YOU're the HUNTER. They are YOUR PREY.
Enjoy the hunt!
Any queries or questions e-mail TenguMT at [email protected] ;-)
Related Threadsrathalos/rathian guide - last post by @ Mar 7, 2012
my rathalos and rathian plate guide - last post @ Sep 28, 2012
Rathalos/Rathian ruby - last post by @ Jun 10, 2009
If you want to get a rathalos/rathian plate read this - last post by @ Apr 30, 2011
Pink Rathian Kills off Azure Rathalos - last post by @ Jan 14, 2010