Release date 20 November 2012 (Update)
Members No
Skill Magic
Level 2
Type Threshold
Adrenaline −15%
Equipment Any
Cooldown 20 seconds
Reach out with magical force and choke the life from your target over 3.6 seconds, dealing up to 188% damage every 1.2 seconds, initially stunning the target for 3.6 seconds. Combo attack.
Click animation for full size

Asphyxiate is a threshold ability associated with the Magic skill. It requires only level 2 Magic. When activated, the user telekinetically strangles the target, attacking 4 times with each hit dealing 37.6-188% ability damage. The ability deals one hit every 1.2 seconds and the entire channel last for 4.2 seconds. Each successful hit momentarily stuns the target.

Asphyxiate is noteworthy for being one of the most powerful abilities in the game, particularly for a threshold ability. As each individual attack has a chance of dealing up to a high amount of damage (up to about 4k), a high-levelled player could potentially deal over 10000 damage in one use of asphyxiate, particularly if wielding a staff or dual wielding.

The initial hit has a guaranteed stun (similar to destroy), even in case of missing (splashing). This makes it a very potent ability at stunnable bosses and PvP.

Cancelling Asphyxiate

When the asphyxiate icon is at "2 seconds remaining", it is ideal to cancel asphyxiate. Right as the final damage splat and final sound effect goes out, use your next ability.

The timing is the same as Destroy cancelling and Snipe when ranging.

If done correctly, 4 damage splats from Asphyxiate will land (and 4 sound effects), and the damage splat from the next ability will stack 1 tick after the 4th Asphyxiate hit.

Practice this at Lumbridge dummies - cancelling Asphyxiate with Dragon Breath, because it's easier to see. Turn volume up to hear the asphyxiate splat sound effects.

DPS Comparison and Sunshine DPS rotation

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  1. Wild Magic is by far the best pure damage magic ability. It should be used on cooldown, if adrenaline is not needed for Sunshine.  
  2. Asphyxiate should be the second ability following Wild Magic. Channeled. 
  3. Deep Impact when used with the Flanking 3 perk, third. 
  4. Smoke Tendrils is the fourth best magic DPS threshold. Channeled. 
Ability AADPT
Wild Magic 97.2%
Asphyxiate 71.3%
Flanking 3 + Deep Impact 60.2%
Smoke Tendrils 54.4%

Although Flanking 3 + Deep Impact has less AADPT than a perfectly cancelled Asphyxiate, Flanking 3 + Deep Impact only takes one global cooldown (3 game ticks) to cast, while Asphyxiate is channelled. This is an opportunity cost of the damage of a potential basic (Sonic Wave/Dragon Breath/Flanking 3 Impact), with a potential 8% adrenaline gain. You must stand still to Asphyxiate, and it can be cancelled if the target freedoms, you get stunned, or you have to move.

Thus, priority in terms of pure damage: Wild magic > Asphyxiate > Flanking 3 Deep Impact > Tendrils.

An ideal Sunshine threshold rotation, assuming normally perked armour (Biting 3, Impatient 3, Crackling 3, Enhanced Devoted 3):

Planted Feet + Vigour + Sunshine, Enhanced replenishment potion, 2H auto attack, Wild Magic, Asphyxiate, Flanking 3 + Deep Impact, Wild Magic, Asphyxiate, Flanking 3 Deep Impact. Make sure to cancel the Asphyxiates correctly or you may not fit the second Flanking 3 Deep Impact into Sunshine.

Comparison to rapid fire and assault

Rapid fire and destroy are the ranged and melee counterparts of asphyxiate, respectively.


  • 20 seconds cooldown compared to assault's 30 seconds
  • Available for F2P players


  • Similar total damage
  • Similar length



  • As one of the most powerful Magic abilities, use it wisely. Tend to use this ability when your target's freedom is not ready.
  • Use anticipation before using this ability to avoid getting stunned while hitting your target
  • Use wild magic right after Asphyxiate ends to finish off your opponent.
  • If combined with metamorphosis or sunshine, the damage output will be higher than most other abilities.


  • Stunning your target can counter this ability.
  • Reflect could both halve your damage received and damage your opponent, leaving them in a dangerous state.
  • It is possible to use Freedom then run outside the range of your opponent, canceling the remaining duration of the ability.


  • The Asphyxiate ability could be a reference to the Force Choke power from the Star Wars universe, popularized in the films by Darth Vader.
  • Destroy is the melee equivalent of this ability, however destroy requires the player to dual wield, whereas asphyxiate does not.
  • Asphyxiate was known as choke in the test servers for the Evolution of Combat.
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