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Hydra is an Enemy in Dragon's Dogma.


"Even the bravest man would surely gasp at the sight of the great, demonic serpent that is the hydra. The black scales that cover its body seem to beckon ill luck and the body that stretches well over a hundred feet splits at last into four horrible heads.

The trouble lies in the fact that those four heads each possesses a mind of its own and will act against you independently if you approach it as an enemy. Even one of the heads would be a formidable enemy, so it is probably easy to imagine the threat that four can pose when attacking simultaneously.

The hydra has great size and dreadful strength, but its intelligence is on par with its reptilian appearance. In the end, its destructive tendencies and various attacks are nothing more than the result of base instinct.

The hydra possesses such horrifying life force that it can even regenerate its heads if they are cut off once.
―Capcom official description

Information and Stats

General Info

Type Monster / Boss
Experience gained 16,000


Health Attack Defence Magick Attack Magick Defence Weight
100,000 2,700 240 1,000 240 48,000 kg

Damage Taken

Slash Bash
110% 50% 60% 30% 30% 60% 10%


Attack Type Description
Charge Phys A powerful charge that knocks foes over.
Neck Smash Phys If a neck, is being climbed, that head will smash itself to the ground.
Head Strike Phys A head smash that stabs the ground.
Tail Whip Phys Spins around and whips enemies with its tail. Has long reach.
Miasma Spit Mag/Status Sprays up to four jets of deadly miasma that have long range and linger on the ground for a time after being sprayed. Causes Poison. Poisoned prey will not be able to struggle when the Hydra attempts to devour them.
Devour Spec

Attempts to swallow the Arisen or a pawn; players who fail to free themselves (wiggle the L-stick) when swallowed will die if they are not freed before reaching the main body. Pawns swallowed and not freed in time cannot be revived and must be re-hired.

Solo Arisens who fail to free themselves will die instantly and do not get to see themselves sliding down the Hydra's throat.

Solo Arisens poisoned by Miasma Spit will not be able to struggle to free themselves and will be instantly killed by being swallowed.  

Item Drops

The first time each of the four heads is cut off, the decapitated head(s) will dissolve into a random reward drop of Hydra's Lifeblood, Poison Hydra Fang, Hydra Gallstone or Black Hydra Scale. A regrown head does not drop treasure or potions.

Normal Hydra Rate Neck/Head Destroyed Rate With Drake, Wyrm, or Wyvern Tear Rate
Poison Hydra Fang 25% Poison Hydra Fang 25% Wakestone 60%
Black Hydra Scale 49% Black Hydra Scale 7% Wakestone Shard 40%
Hydra Gallstone 10% Hydra Gallstone 3%
Rift Cluster 4% Hydra's Lifeblood 50%


Striking at the head, preferably with cutting weapons may remove a head, leaving an uncontrolled stump .. searing the stumps with Fire delays regeneration.

An alternative way to destroy a Hydra head is by using a powder barrel; when thrown at the right moment, one of the Hydra's heads will swallow it and then shooting or striking the bulging throat will trigger an explosion. If done correctly, the head that swallowed the barrel will both take massive damage from the explosion and cauterize the wound to prevent regeneration.

By cutting off all four heads of the Hydra before each can regenerate, the Hydra’s body will collapse, becoming immobile and highly vulnerable. During this time, adventurers should take advantage of its collapse as the Hydra will take more damage from any attack on its neck stumps, making it an easy kill. However, it will regenerate at a high speed in this state, so one should inflict as much damage as possible - A hydra will regenerate one full health bar in the de-capitated state when regenerating, whilst an Archydra will regenerate two full health bars.

The Hydra faced in the Encampment does not die when the Arisen takes its head in the early game; it flees. The Hydra can be fought later during the Post-Game in the Frontier Caverns as part of the quest "A Challenge". After the quest is complete the Frontier Caverns Hydra will respawn after three days like all boss monsters.

Offensive tactics

  • Weak to Fire: Permanently and temporarily fire enchanted weapons, fire-based spells, and items causing fire are all effective.
  • Weak to edged weapons; swords & daggers can cut off its heads.
    • Attacks nearer to the head are more effective.
  • After cutting off a head, setting the stump on fire will delay the regeneration of the head whilst the stump is ablaze.
  • Attacking a dead stump seems to inflict more damage than attacking the other heads.
  • After one of the heads initiates a "head butt" strike, the head will be temporarily at ground level - use this opportunity to decaptitate with a strong physical attack, or to mount the snake near to the neck, and then attack.

Climbing tactics

Vocation-specific tactics

Hydra at the Frontier Caverns03:49

Hydra at the Frontier Caverns

A Strider with a Dragon's Ire bow demonstrating Downpour Volley's effectiveness against a Hydra.

Hydra slain, Arisen undamaged. No buffs, curatives or Wakestones. Hard mode02:57

Hydra slain, Arisen undamaged. No buffs, curatives or Wakestones. Hard mode. 2 Masterful Kill counters (D)

An Assassin demonstrating Masterful Kill against a Hydra at the Frontier Caverns.

  • Rangers : Hydra Husk not only does much greater damage than other longbows, but also is especially effective at severing heads.
  • Sorcerers : Bolide and related spells are the most effective - each head acts as a separate target for the meteors.
  • Mages and Sorcerers : For fun, cast a Brontide based spell and wait for a head to eat you. Canceling the spell will unleash multiple tongues of Levin's lightning into the Hydra's mouth. This may cut off the head that swallowed the Arisen. Even if it fails to cut off the head, the Hydra will spit out the Arisen.

Defensive tactics

  • Avoid the tail area. Striking the tail inflicts no damage, but tail whipping can inflict great harm to the Arisen.

Pawn Bestiary Knowledge


Tis' but a flesh wound!

  • Hydra Tactics - Grant knowledge for the whole Hydra family
  • Hydra Strategy Vol. 1 - Advises using a sword to sever the heads.
  • Hydra Strategy Vol. 2 - Suggests searing the stump (using Fire attacks) to prevent regrowth of a severed head
  • Throw an explosive barrel into a mouth and shoot the bulge to make it explode
    • If the pawn has this knowledge, they will say "shoot the bulge in the neck" when the Hydra swallows a barrel. Knowledgeable pawns will also shoot the bulge, if their vocation permits.
  • Have all 4 heads cut off at the same time

In addition to witnessing these techniques, it is necessary for Pawns to participate in killing 7 Hydras either with their own Arisen or while travelling with others.

Explosive barrel advice

Throwing an explosive barrel in the Hydra's mouth and then shooting the barrel with an arrow will decapitate a head, but can be difficult to do, and is required for the Pawn Bestiary Knowledge.

To illustrate, after sufficient attacks (lightning is especially useful), a Hydra's head can be stunned, with its head swaying slightly above the ground and its mouth opening for about 15 seconds. During this moment, grab an explosive barrel, walk close to the head, and throw it towards the opened mouth. The head will immediately swallow it, bulging the throat as the barrel moves down slowly down the neck over about a minute and a half. During this time, attacking the bulge with an arrow will explode the barrel, tearing off the head and sealing the wound with flame.

  • The simplest way to observe a barrel throw is at The Encampment during the Hydra encounte in the quest A Rude Awakening . Be sure to choose a vocation that can shoot arrows.
    1. When the Arisen reaches The Encampment, remove weapons from Pawns, or release them into the Rift so they are less likely to decapitate one of the four heads and complete the quest.
    2. Wait , observe the battle but do not attack
    3. The Hydra will eventually coil itself in front of the northern gate, and a cutscene will show Mercedes throwing an explosive barrel to the Arisen who will then toss it towards the Hydra. After the cutscene, the Arisen must shoot the barrel in the Hydra's neck.

Witnessing the 'barrel throw' at least 2 to 3 times is required for the bestiary knowledge. The encampment hydra encounter can be repeated quickly by switching difficult to hard mode and back (resetting the game progress but not losing character development) This is repetitious, but Mercedes' assistance in the cutscene is much easier than throwing the barrels manually when fighting the Hydra or Archydra.

NB When shooting the neck, be sure to use the Come! command (Down on the D-pad), to ensure pawns are close enough to witness the event and gain bestiary knowledge.

Related quests



Official artwork

  • It takes 1 minute and 40 seconds for the Hydra to slide a swallowed Arisen or pawn from mouth to main body, with the prey going through five stages as they pass down the Hydra's neck.
    • During the Hydra encounter in the Encampment the soldiers are not be able to free themselves, and quickly slide down the Hydra's throat.
    • The Hydra in the Frontier Caverns will also attempt to swallow the Goblins. Unlike the soldiers in the Encampment, the Goblins have the chance to free themselves, but always fail. The swallowed Goblin will disappear immediately after the Hydra swallows it instead of sliding through its throat.
  • After losing half of its health, the Hydra will take on a bloody appearance.
  • The Hydra is known from ancient Greek Myths as a many headed serpent-like water monster.  In the myth the hydra regrew two heads for every one cut off. It was fought by the hero Heracles, first with flaming arrows, and then with a hand weapon, in the course of the battle discovering its ability to grow many heads. Using advice to burn the stump of each severed head, he successfully defeated the monster. In another version of the story he used the Hydra's own poison to cauterize the wounded stumps. See Lernaean Hydra


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