Every league, we look at a range of different statistics to help generate a snapshot of the metagame of the league. These stats help us make future development decisions. They're also interesting, however, and we like sharing interesting stats with you. Today we're looking at the most-used skills in Bestiary.

First up, this is a list of every skill gem, in order of most to least used, across all of Bestiary, regardless of level. This does not include skills that are tied to a specific item -- only skill gems.

  • Leap Slam
  • Herald of Ash
  • Molten Strike
  • Flame Dash
  • Shield Charge
  • Ancestral Protector
  • Hatred
  • Blood Rage
  • Whirling Blades
  • Summon Ice Golem
  • Raise Zombie
  • Burning Arrow
  • Herald of Ice
  • Fireball
  • Summon Stone Golem
  • Double Strike
  • Viper Strike
  • Heavy Strike
  • Ancestral Warchief
  • Blink Arrow
  • Spectral Throw
  • Summon Lightning Golem
  • Blade Vortex
  • Orb of Storms
  • Frost Blades
Spoiler

  • Clarity
  • Enduring Cry
  • Glacial Hammer
  • Cleave
  • Sunder
  • Summon Flame Golem
  • Decoy Totem
  • Summon Raging Spirit
  • Split Arrow
  • Barrage
  • Purity of Elements
  • Portal
  • Freezing Pulse
  • Flesh Offering
  • Vaal Haste
  • Summon Skeleton
  • Scorching Ray
  • Herald of Thunder
  • Desecrate
  • Contagion
  • Cyclone
  • Lightning Warp
  • Lightning Tendrils
  • Frost Bomb
  • Ice Shot
  • Arctic Armour
  • Frostbolt
  • Righteous Fire
  • Frenzy
  • Tornado Shot
  • Ethereal Knives
  • Ground Slam
  • Wither
  • Flame Totem
  • Magma Orb
  • Molten Shell
  • Vigilant Strike
  • Siege Ballista
  • Shrapnel Shot
  • Glacial Cascade
  • Blade Flurry
  • Anger
  • Convocation
  • Immortal Call
  • Fire Trap
  • Vulnerability
  • Essence Drain
  • Arc
  • Flammability
  • Raise Spectre
  • Rallying Cry
  • Reave
  • Discipline
  • Blight
  • Firestorm
  • Wrath
  • Ball Lightning
  • Vaal Grace
  • Warlord's Mark
  • Caustic Arrow
  • Enfeeble
  • Tectonic Slam
  • Vitality
  • Purity of Fire
  • Lightning Arrow
  • Flicker Strike
  • Haste
  • Vaal Summon Skeletons
  • Dual Strike
  • Spectral Shield Throw
  • Grace
  • Puncture
  • Despair
  • Assassin's Mark
  • Spark
  • Summon Chaos Golem
  • Detonate Dead
  • Rain of Arrows
  • Kinetic Blast
  • Frostbite
  • Volatile Dead
  • Vaal Lightning Trap
  • Temporal Chains
  • Poacher's Mark
  • Infernal Blow
  • Vaal Reave
  • Riposte
  • Projectile Weakness
  • Elemental Weakness
  • Detonate Mines
  • Storm Call
  • Searing Bond
  • Lacerate
  • Bear Trap
  • Rejuvenation Totem
  • Elemental Hit
  • Unearth
  • Ice Nova
  • Wild Strike
  • Determination
  • Charged Dash
  • Lightning Strike
  • Bone Offering
  • Vaal Clarity
  • Vaal Discipline
  • Frost Wall
  • Conductivity
  • Bodyswap
  • Flameblast
  • Dark Pact
  • Animate Guardian
  • Phase Run
  • Tempest Shield
  • Cold Snap
  • Purity of Ice
  • Static Strike
  • Vengeance
  • Blast Rain
  • Lightning Trap
  • Animate Weapon
  • Punishment
  • Reckoning
  • Sweep
  • Purity of Lightning
  • Spirit Offering
  • Bladefall
  • Storm Burst
  • Ice Crash
  • Cremation
  • Devouring Totem
  • Earthquake
  • Vortex
  • Conversion Trap
  • Abyssal Cry
  • Vaal Fireball
  • Fire Nova Mine
  • Freeze Mine
  • Vaal Double Strike
  • Smoke Mine
  • Vaal Cold Snap
  • Mirror Arrow
  • Vaal Storm Call
  • Flame Surge
  • Vaal Arc
  • Shockwave Totem
  • Vaal Burning Arrow
  • Incinerate
  • Shock Nova
  • Ice Trap
  • Vaal Molten Shell
  • Ice Spear
  • Vaal Ground Slam
  • Vaal Ice Nova
  • Vaal Cyclone
  • Vaal Spark
  • Vaal Detonate Dead
  • Vaal Spectral Throw
  • Vaal Rain of Arrows
  • Vaal Lightning Strike
  • Discharge
  • Power Siphon
  • Vaal Glacial Hammer
  • Vaal Power Siphon
  • Vaal Lightning Warp
  • Explosive Arrow
  • Arctic Breath
  • Dominating Blow
  • Vaal Righteous Fire
  • Vaal Flameblast
  • Vaal Immortal Call
  • Vaal Breach


Looking strictly at this list, it seems clear that fire is a popular damage type to build around. It's also clear that, at least while levelling, the ability to traverse small gaps via Flame Dash and Leap Slam is highly valued.

The most popular Vaal skills are both auras, with the great majority of Vaal skills being hardly used. Many of these skills have received nerfs since their release (four years ago!), while very few have received buffs. This is something we're keenly aware of and hope to have more news about in the coming weeks.

Since this list includes characters of all levels, it is polluted to some degree by mules and other low-level characters that for whatever reason don't necessarily provide an accurate snapshot of the meta. For that, let's look at the top 10 skills from each version of Bestiary for characters of level 70 and greater.

BestiaryHardcore BestiarySSF BestiarySSF HC Bestiary
Leap SlamShield ChargeLeap SlamShield Charge
Shield ChargeSummon Stone GolemShield ChargeSummon Stone Golem
Blood RageEnduring CryBlood RageLeap Slam
Summon Ice GolemLeap SlamSummon Stone GolemBlood Rage
HatredBlood RageFlame DashEnduring Cry
Ancestral WarchiefFlame DashAncestral WarchiefFlame Dash
Whirling BladesDecoy TotemHatredAncestral Warchief
Herald of AshAncestral WarchiefHerald of AshDecoy Totem
Summon Stone GolemOrb of StormsSummon Ice GolemOrb of Storms
Flame DashRighteous FireSummon Lightning GolemDesecrate

Whether you're playing Solo Self-Found or not, the utility skill choices are of extremely similar popularity, with the actual determining factor being whether you're playing Hardcore or not. On Standard versions of Bestiary, Leap Slam is the movement skill of choice, closely followed by Shield Charge. Hardcore players, however, put a lot of value on the survivability that a shield can provide, and may be playing builds that don't allow for Leap Slam, pushing Shield Charge to the top.

Seeing the same names cropping up over and over again in these lists is not a major cause for concern as, with the exception of Righteous Fire in 10th place on the HC Bestiary list, every skill fills a utility or non-build-specific role.

The most interesting takeaways to be had from this list is the difference that being able to trade may make to your golem choice. Standard Bestiary players tend to run Ice Golem, indicating a preference for attacking or crit builds, while the SSF Bestiary players opted for Stone Golem, a build-agnostic defensive choice. The prominence of Ancestral Warchief and Blood Rage across all versions of Bestiary reinforces that we're in the midst of a primarily attack-based meta.

Let's see how these lists change when you look at characters above level 90:

BestiaryHardcore BestiarySSF BestiarySSF HC Bestiary
Shield ChargeShield ChargeShield ChargeShield Charge
Blood RageEnduring CryBlood RageEnduring Cry
Leap SlamSummon Stone GolemLeap SlamBlood Rage
PortalBlood RageAncestral WarchiefLeap Slam
Summon Ice GolemFlame DashSummon Stone GolemAncestral Warchief
Ancestral WarchiefDecoy TotemFlame DashSummon Stone Golem
Whirling BladesLeap SlamWhirling BladesFlame Dash
Vaal HasteOrb of StormsEnduring CryDecoy Totem
Enduring CryRighteous FirePortalOrb of Storms
Flame DashAncestral WarchiefOrb of StormsRighteous Fire

Once players are deep into the endgame, it's interesting to see that Shield Charge becomes more popular.

Vaal Haste, the 44th most popular skill across all characters regardless of level, makes it to #7 among high-level Standard Bestiary characters. Interestingly, it replaces Herald of Ash, which no longer appears on any of the lists at this high level.

Portal makes an appearance in both versions of Standard Bestiary, topping out at #4 on the trading league. It doesn't appear at all on any Hardcore lists, since a portal does you no good if you're dead there.

We'll be talking more in the future about which skills are undergoing reworks. In the meantime, we hope you found this as enlightening as we did.
Posted by
on
Grinding Gear Games
dank
cool
It is totally fail from GGG that warchief a god damn totem attack skill seems to be the most used damage skill... So fun and interactive eh?
I've been trying to get a two handed physical only damage build for the past six years (I paid in during the 0.9 beta days) and I've yet to find a combination, but in each and every one of them, I've put Leap Slam usually on my middle button, because between the potential for mass kills at low, low, low levels, it really is that good as a mobility skill when Soloing.
Interesting :)
This is really cool!
(Steam)MickeyDankMouse
(Xbox)MickeyDankMouse
https://steamcommunity.com/id/MickeyDankMouse/
-MickeyDankMouse™-
B U R N I N G A R R O W
I wonder if shield charge is too good or if all other movement skills are crap.
IGN: Noshei or Silvannn
oh nice, I love statistics
Please reply to your whispers for items... Even if you are mapping, in a rotation, in uber lab, or if its sold. Thank you. :D

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