An archer fighting a drake in Dragon's Dogma 2
Image via Capcom

How to Beat Drakes in Dragon’s Dogma 2

Drakes are some of the most fearsome enemies in Dragon's Dogma 2, but beating them is incredibly rewarding.

Want a real challenge in Dragon’s Dogma 2? Learn how to beat drakes with any amount of pawns on your team. If you’re unprepared — and even if you are — these not-quite-dragons will end you faster than you can pull out a healing potion. Here’s how to take them down.

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Defeating Drakes in Dragon’s Dogma 2

Drakes have access to powerful magic that gets more powerful the longer the fight goes on. If you’re under-leveled, under-geared, or both, a single attack will kill you and your pawns. And if you aren’t comfortable with the topple and grappling mechanics, don’t expect to do much damage to their seven massive health bars.

The main secret to killing a drake: Do enough damage in a short enough period of time to make it reveal its heart, then attack the heart enough to expose it. Also, don’t try to fight drakes head up until you’re at least level 30 and have mastered, at least, one vocation.

You’ll also want enhanced weapons and armor from areas outside of Vernworth and its surroundings. The gear you can get from the Checkpoint Border Town is the baseline for what you should be rocking if you want a fighting chance against a drake — or at least that’s what my casual brain says.

In any event, here are all the attacks you need to watch out for.

Drake Attack 1: Bite

After drawing back its head, the drake will bite the area in front of it. The hitbox is a bit bigger than the drake’s actual mouth model, and the attack moves from your right to your left, but you can avoid it by running under the drake’s chest.

Drake Attack 2: Tail Swipe

As the name suggests, the drake swipes its tail in a 180-degree arc behind it. I can’t tell you how many times I was caught behind a drake and took a tail to the face. I should mention, if this attack hits, it will hurt. Like almost all of the drake’s attacks, being directly underneath its torso avoids the tail swipe.

Drake Attack 3: Hover into Slam

If the drake ever flaps its wings and starts to take off, one of two things is about to happen. It will either fly away or stop flapping and come slamming down on top of you. This attack can easily one shot almost any character under level 30 if they’re not ready for it, and it’s one of the only moves that isn’t made safe by being under the dragon — for obvious reasons.

Drake Attack 4: Claw Swipe

Like the tail swipe, the drake crosses the area in front of it with its claws, dealing moderate damage (by its standards). So long as you’re just below the drake’s sternum, you’ll be fine. Dodging helps, too, if you have the ability.

Drake Attack 5: Grab

The drake’s grab startup animation looks a lot like its claw swipe, but it’s a tad slower, with a longer windup. Get caught by the drake and it will toss you around like waste paper, and yes, this attack can one-shot lower-level characters.

Drake Attack 6: Grounded Fire Breath

I’m going to cheat here and put three different attacks in one entry because they’re all grounded. The first sees the drake keep its head close to the ground and spit out fire directly in front of it, and the second has it spew fire in an arc in a 180-degree arc. Both are easy to dodge and punish by being at the dragon’s neck or chest. The third attack has the drake rear up on its haunches and spews fire in a smaller arc closer to its body. The same avoidance strat applies.

Drake Attack 7: Flying Fire Breath

While the drake could do a fly-by attack here. It chooses to spew fire in a shallow arc almost right below its flying body instead.

Drake Attack 8: Lightning

The drake’s got three magic spells at its disposal. One of them is an advanced lightning spell that, once charged, sends out almost a dozen bolts in quick succession that track you and your pawns. If you see this spell coming, which you can by the purple incant with the right white center, you can either start running or try to knock the drake down. Otherwise, prepare to take some pain.

Drake Attack 9: Silence

This spell’s incant looks a lot like the lightning one, but the center is black rather than white. Once cast, the drake selects several spots on the ground near you and your pawns that will receive the silence radius. These radii don’t track as well as the lightning spell does, so you can easily get out of dodge before the spell lands. If you do get hit and are playing a casting class, the drake has said, “No, you’re not.” Silence robs you of access to your skills, only allowing your vocation’s basic abilities like Magick Bolt.

Drake Attack 10: Fire Mines

This brightly colored fire spell creates several fire-element mines in the area around the drake that explode after a short duration. They’re easy to avoid by running around, and I can’t say I’ve ever actually been hit by one, but if one does catch you, it’ll sting.

Drake Attack 11: Stamina Draining Scream

After taking in a big breath, the drake lets out a yellow-tinged scream that fills the air around it with an awful energy. If you’re caught in the radius, you’ll be knocked on your behind and be completely out of stamina. Your pawns will suffer the same fate if it hits them. If you want to avoid this attack, run away as soon as the drake starts craning its neck upward.

Drake Attack 12: Meteor

The meteor spell is a drake’s ace in the hole and a spell only cast when it has three or fewer health bars left. The incant is bright orange, and unlike its other spells, the drake needs to create several incant orbs to get the spell off. If it does, start running. There are six meteor strikes that will hit you and your pawns in quick succession, and they have the best tracking of any of the drake’s spells. Even with a character pushing level 50, I found this attack putting me and my pawns either on the ground or close to it.

The Best Party Composition to Defeat a Drake

I highly recommend fighting drakes with a full party of four, specifically with a Mage, Sorcerer, Thief, and fourth flex melee class. Hitting a drake’s exposed heart is by far the best way to damage it, as are any Sorcerer ultimate spells. Your Mage can keep everyone healed up, and the Thief can easily cling to the dragon’s chest and wail on its heart. Also, the more you can knock the drake on its side, the better, though doing so requires a lot of damage to its wings and limbs in a very short span of time.

Those reasons, among others, are why it took me until around level 45 to be comfortable fighting drakes on relatively even footing. It’s possible to do it at a much lower level if you’ve the skill and the gear, but don’t expect to be able to easily farm them until you’re late into the Dragon’s Dogma 2 midgame at least.

For more content like this, check out our Dragon’s Dogma 2 guides hub.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.