Path of Exile’s melee classes experience a surge of popularity in the Legion league


The third week of Path of Exile’s Legion league has begun, and as is the custom, Grinding Gear Games has posted a new dev blog taking a look at the class-usage statistics for the league thus far. In the all-levels bracket, the Duelist tops the chart with 11.72% of all characters created, followed by Witch, Slayer, Shadow, and Marauder. This marks the first time that Duelist has been the number-one class pick “in quite a while,” and the devs note that “except for the Scion, the base class picks are fairly even.” The effect of the melee combat rework that GGG introduced alongside Legion is also evident here, but it’s even more obvious when you take a look at the statistics for class usage at higher levels.

For characters level 70 and higher, Slayer reigns supreme with a whopping 25.63%, with Trickster (a popular choice “due to the synergy between Essence Drain/Contagion builds and the Legion mechanic,” the devs note) trailing behind at 16.12%. Berserker takes third place with 8.35%, and Gladiator comes in at 6.41%, making the top four spots of the list — and over 50% of the total level 70+ characters — primarily melee-oriented classes. The level 90 and up bracket is similar, with the top four spots taken by the same four classes, albeit in different distributions, with Slayer and Trickster racking up 36.7% and 20% representation, respectively.

The Hardcore league shifts this around a bit, with Trickster overtaking Slayer at 24% and 23%, respectively, but melee classes remain popular, while classes that have been popular in the past couple of leagues — such as Elementalist, Hierophant, and Juggernaut, among others — are markedly less represented in Legion. Of course, the league is still relatively young, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the meta remains melee-centric throughout or non-melee characters make an unexpected comeback. If you want to hear more about the Legion league but don’t feel like diving into it yourself just yet, you can live vicariously through our very own MJ, who gave her impressions of the league in the latest Wandering Wraeclast.

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