Spell popularity

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.

0.28 Tournament Spell Usage Table

This table below is a compilation of spell usage by all winning characters in the 0.28 Tournament.

  • Spell Name - The name of the spell. It may be truncated, due to the formatting of the morgue files.
  • Total Count - The number of times the spell was cast.
  • Early, Mid and Late count - The number of times the spell was used by characters with XL1-XL9, XL10-XL18, XL19-XL27.
  • Total Games - The number of games the spell was used in.
  • Of the 1157 winning characters, only 739 of them casted any spells.
Spell Name Total Count Early Count Mid Count Late Count Total Games Early Game Midgame Late Game
Agony 948 2 657 289 12 1 12 6
Airstrike 52274 1038 31717 19519 62 20 57 53
Alistair's Intoxication 286 0 65 221 11 0 10 8
Anguish 3754 65 2636 1053 34 4 27 26
Animate Armour 1886 5 635 1246 29 2 18 25
Animate Dead 1191 4 684 503 26 1 21 22
Animate Skeleton 1214 87 704 423 26 13 19 10
Apportation 12052 61 1318 10673 263 7 80 249
Beastly Appendage 1304 996 289 19 34 28 15 8
Blade Hands 2251 0 1626 625 19 0 17 12
Blink 4493 174 1354 2965 263 37 141 247
Borgnjor's Revivification 23 0 0 23 11 0 0 11
Borgnjor's Vile Clutch 88202 0 29234 58968 217 0 125 215
Call Canine Familiar 10812 2711 7408 693 73 64 72 36
Call Imp 5056 3027 1877 152 78 72 58 11
Cause Fear 561 8 362 191 37 2 32 24
Chain Lightning 29034 0 0 29034 55 0 0 55
Confusing Touch 15896 841 9482 5573 56 38 51 32
Conjure Ball Lightning 3432 0 412 3020 31 0 13 30
Conjure Flame 1354 141 962 251 53 28 45 14
Corpse Rot 167 12 98 57 19 6 15 6
Dazzling Flash 2195 87 1612 496 51 15 41 20
Death Channel 4228 0 997 3231 45 0 24 41
Death's Door 199 0 0 199 26 0 0 26
Discord 1730 0 46 1684 28 0 2 28
Disjunction 458 0 0 458 17 0 0 17
Dispel Undead 8059 57 952 7050 82 5 32 80
Dispersal 807 0 305 502 37 0 18 34
Dragon Form 6482 0 1583 4899 52 0 20 49
Dragon's Call 2065 0 143 1922 30 0 4 30
Enfeeble 10291 0 1547 8744 63 0 23 61
Ensorcelled Hibernation 19587 2527 13245 3815 63 35 57 35
Eringya's Noxious Bog 2707 0 1064 1643 34 0 21 31
Excruciating Wounds 150 0 104 46 6 0 2 5
Fire Storm 39291 0 421 38870 80 0 5 79
Fireball 36704 9 19662 17033 78 2 64 73
Flame Wave 3125 96 2521 508 50 19 48 24
Foxfire 31875 11221 18455 2199 68 62 58 27
Freeze 10290 6061 3966 263 75 72 57 11
Freezing Cloud 28474 0 16801 11673 129 0 102 121
Frozen Ramparts 17611 2744 11455 3412 111 80 107 65
Fulminant Prism 16594 1103 13217 2274 88 49 84 51
Gell's Gravitas 2205 24 1549 632 13 5 10 10
Hailstorm 18299 491 11827 5981 71 28 67 54
Haunt 5956 0 219 5737 40 0 7 39
Ice Form 1644 203 1352 89 23 11 22 6
Ignite Poison 18652 150 9536 8966 80 12 64 66
Ignition 41181 0 714 40467 124 0 19 124
Infestation 2657 0 27 2630 35 0 2 35
Inner Flame 8062 278 5599 2185 54 19 49 29
Iron Shot 156441 0 31271 125170 219 0 131 217
Irradiate 59126 6 17031 42089 280 1 183 277
Iskenderun's Battlesphere 4086 0 2759 1327 36 0 31 22
Iskenderun's Mystic Blast 26594 726 15545 10323 97 39 85 85
Leda's Liquefaction 123 2 50 71 10 1 8 9
Lee's Rapid Deconstruction 43713 32 14072 29609 162 3 105 156
Lehudib's Crystal Spear 27418 0 117 27301 127 0 7 126
Lesser Beckoning 2602 0 216 2386 28 0 12 28
Lightning Bolt 10795 0 5462 5333 40 0 34 34
Magic Dart 48386 19966 22228 6192 116 110 90 42
Malign Gateway 2731 0 332 2399 47 0 10 47
Manifold Assault 45204 0 7535 37669 77 0 34 75
Maxwell's Capacitive Coupling 6693 0 213 6480 82 0 8 82
Mephitic Cloud 9161 745 6308 2108 130 62 116 81
Metabolic Englaciation 1153 0 681 472 18 0 14 17
Monstrous Menagerie 5138 0 2036 3102 28 0 10 28
Necromutation 12393 0 0 12393 70 0 0 70
Olgreb's Toxic Radiance 29816 581 17944 11291 101 31 92 86
Orb of Destruction 37558 0 6385 31173 132 0 66 129
Ozocubu's Armour 9810 1271 6107 2432 96 58 84 68
Ozocubu's Refrigeration 75752 0 18571 57181 120 0 65 119
Pain 6302 3083 3080 139 26 25 17 6
Passage of Golubria 6618 6 579 6033 142 1 24 138
Passwall 7006 117 2155 4734 225 23 114 205
Petrify 9891 179 6526 3186 74 22 65 40
Poisonous Vapours 26761 4306 15591 6864 77 54 70 41
Polar Vortex 15261 0 130 15131 100 0 5 100
Portal Projectile 384 1 54 329 26 1 11 20
Sandblast 21927 8348 12119 1460 97 93 83 28
Scorch 49490 13525 30536 5429 120 108 112 52
Searing Ray 13426 4799 8161 466 96 86 89 26
Shatter 71941 0 632 71309 136 0 5 136
Shock 13174 7309 4889 976 41 39 29 10
Silence 1035 0 187 848 47 0 15 43
Simulacrum 724 0 271 453 24 0 14 20
Slow 2065 901 1146 18 47 40 34 7
Spellforged Servitor 10348 0 803 9545 77 0 20 77
Spider Form 585 341 242 2 18 17 12 2
Starburst 28917 0 9862 19055 86 0 65 83
Static Discharge 6286 1538 4022 726 48 40 38 19
Statue Form 28764 0 6098 22666 165 0 87 165
Sticky Flame 5058 66 3643 1349 56 10 52 32
Sting 7661 5061 2394 206 40 37 35 4
Stone Arrow 99429 6892 76683 15854 149 96 144 99
Storm Form 8115 0 1739 6376 55 0 28 51
Sublimation of Blood 18230 1 3205 15024 61 1 28 60
Summon Cactus Giant 6700 2 3583 3115 47 2 37 43
Summon Forest 5246 3 2610 2633 49 1 39 45
Summon Guardian Golem 6831 999 5125 707 63 51 62 26
Summon Horrible Things 2574 0 75 2499 31 0 4 31
Summon Hydra 9770 0 2277 7493 36 0 16 35
Summon Ice Beast 3440 30 2853 557 37 7 35 25
Summon Lightning Spire 18676 615 14340 3721 86 42 79 73
Summon Mana Viper 10030 9 5773 4248 81 2 56 77
Summon Small Mammal 4310 3769 519 22 68 64 38 9
Swiftness 620 15 206 399 64 10 33 51
Teleport Other 423 30 383 10 16 4 16 5
Tukima's Dance 3951 332 2366 1253 51 27 45 15
Vampiric Draining 14375 921 10191 3263 44 29 38 26
Wereblood 6818 253 2065 4500 100 19 47 92
Yara's Violent Unravelling 6550 0 1598 4952 111 0 55 106

Methodology

The 0.28 Tournament had 1160 winning games by 357 players. Due to a server being down, only 1157 morgue files were used to gather these statistics. Of the 1157 games available, 418 games were played without a single spell being cast. Statistics were gathered both for the number of times a spell was cast and the number of games the spell was cast in. A further breakdown into early, middle and late game usage is provided to see how starting spells held up and which spells were sought after.

Casting vs. Non-Casting

A tournament with specific goals can skew the use of spells in a game. Speedruns, aiming for time, will most likely ignore all forms of spellcasting. Meanwhile, those going for a high score would want to pick spells which are near game-breaking. So, for comparison, here are some statistics on the 0.28 Tournament results.

Stat Casting Non-Casting
Games Played 739 418
Average Time 5:56:16 3:57:26
Average Turns 92501 74901
Minimum Time 0:42:40 0:27:44
Minimum Turns 8492* 10553
Maximum Time 54:38:58* 13:48:34
Maximum Turns 507290 200314*

There were some extreme min/max results for single games. These are indicated by an * in the table. The second place values are mentioned here:

  • The minimum turn count for a game with casting was 8492. However, the second shortest turn count in this category was 14875.
  • The maximum time for a game with casting was 196858s (about 54.5 hours). However, the second longest game took only 83560s (about 23 hours).
  • The maximum turns for a game without casting was 200314. However, the second longest turn count was 151422.

Notable Results

  • All 111 available user spells were used in at least six games.
  • 36% (418/1157) of the winning characters did not use any spells, and only 72 games played with the Berserker background. Data seems to suggest that melee only characters are able to compete against spellcasters or hybrid builds. However, this ignores the higher prevalence of real-time speedruns, and the viability / games of those only casting low level utilities.
  • Of the 10 most frequent spells, 6 were at least partially Earth Magic, and 3 were Translocations. Shatter and Crystal Spear trail behind at 11th and 15th, respectively.
    • Irradiate was a dark horse -- it was cast in the most winning games. It also took the number one spot for the most popular mid-game and late-game spells. The runner-ups were Apportation, Blink, and Passwall - all low level, Translocation(-like) spells which are more broadly useful.
  • In total casts, Iron Shot was used 50% more than the runner-up (Stone Arrow). Both are pretty simple spells that deal damage with no resistances.
  • The worst ranking spells are Necromancy:
    • Excruciating Wounds appears in the least amount of games. Possible causes are the unpopularity of 3-rune Necromancy outside of Borgnjor's Vile Clutch, that most Necromancers are taking Kiku's pain blessing anyway, its tedious means of recasting, a natural aversion to melee as a caster, and the inability to be used by Djinn.
    • Borgnjor's Revivification was the least used spell, with less than 1/5th the casts of any other spell. It's too expensive to realistically use in a 3-rune game, which is used intentionally sparingly due to its permanent max HP cost, that is also impossible to use under Necromutation and forbidden by common extended gods The Shining One and Zin.
  • Of the spells introduced in 0.28, Scorch appeared the most, and Anguish appeared the least. It's noteworthy that Scorch appears in 2 distinct starting backgrounds.
  • Of level 1 spells available with a background, Animate Skeleton was cast in the early game the least. Of all spells that you can start with, Ice Form appeared the least (followed by Pain and both Animate spells).

History