The Rathalos in Monster Hunter: World is much like all the other Rathalos you’ve ever fought – they’re big, angry and hit like a truck. Your first encounter with Rathalos likely left you with a sudden bout of incontinence because it should never have shown up as early as it does. There you are minding your own business stalking Tobi-Kadachi when outta nowhere a fireball streaks past and annihilates poor Tobi. You run, Tobi runs and everyone lives to fight another 20 minutes.
Hopefully this handy cheat sheet helps get you ready for your inevitable showdown – allowing you to craft some of the coolest looking armour in the game!
Flash pods are your friends for this fight. Rathalos spends so much time in the air that it can be a challenge for some of the smaller weapons to hit him (looking at you SnS users). So throw out a flash pod to bring this guy to the ground. Whilst the daze effect is in place he’ll be more reluctant to take to the skies and rain fiery death down upon you.
That doesn’t mean he’s any less dangerous on the ground, his ground moves are just as deadly. However he is a lot easier to manoeuvre around whilst he’s on the ground as most of his mobility comes out in his aerial attacks!
Wings and Dip
Taking out Rathalos’ wings while he’s grounded should be priority. Damage his wings enough and he’ll spend less time in the air, making it that much easier to hunt. He will still take off occasionally but with a pair of shredded wings it’s less frequent and he stays in the air for less time.
Once you’ve made Rathalos’ wings resemble Swiss Cheese it’s time to focus on the tail. Like his wife, Rathian, our boy has an incredibly dangerous tail whip. Luckily it’s not poisoned but with how hard it hits it doesn’t really need to be to cause serious damage. Removing the tail drastically decreases his range, but it does have the disadvantage of shortening the available area for attack while he’s airborne – hence why it’s important to shred the wings first!
In Monster Hunter: World his tail isn’t poisoned, but his claws are! Rathalos’ poison attack is significantly harder to predict than Rathian’s, and it’s far harder to prevent. Breaking Rathalos’ claws doesn’t remove the poison effect but does make it less likely to occur. Any melee hunters attacking around his legs should be wary, the claws are your primary point of attack so you’re in the greatest danger of being hit with it.
Rathalos mostly does his poison claw scratch while hovering. He’ll back up and flutter his wings briefly before coming forward and scratching at anyone unfortunate enough to be underneath him. That’s your cue to get the hell out of Dodge…
Equipping armour with Evade Extender as one of its skills is a huge help, even if it’s only first level. Evade Extender does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing you do dodge further than normal. A lot of Rathalos’ attacks cover a wide area and so dodging out of the way is slightly more challenging. Evade Extender gives you that little extra reach which can make all the difference while dodging fireblasts!
Fire in the Hole!
Rathalos’ fire attacks are more varied than Rathian’s fireball/blast attacks. Rathalos incorporates these into his arsenal too but also adds a sweeping fire attack that leaves the ground alight and some aerial fire sweeps aswell. The fireballs are the hardest to avoid but they are mostly a forward facing attack, so dodging to either side should see you clear.
The fire sweep can be a pain because it leaves part of the ground on fire right in front of Rathalos, restricting your movement around him. Dodging back out of the attack is the best way to avoid getting hit and waiting for the fire to go out or Rathalos to move.
Much like Rathian, Rathalos is also weakest against thunder weapons. Strange that the first encounter with him in Monster Hunter: World is during a Tobi-Kadachi hunt really. Bringing any thunder weapon will help your damage output, water works too but as most monsters have a weakness to thunder then you’re better off crafting one of those. Plus you’re gonna be fighting this guy a lot in order to get the Rathalos Plate and eventually the high rank Rathalos Ruby drops.
Hopefully the above helps a young greenhorn bag their first Rathalos and the many more that will follow!