The most recent list of spell popularity, from the 0.11 tournament, can be found here; it looked at 473 winning characters in all, 346 of which used spells. Not surprisingly, the most popular spells among winners were invariably utility spells of some sort, with the top 3 spells appearing in over half of the total ascensions in the tourney. The top ten spells among winning games were:
- Blink : 272 ascensions
- Apportation : 265 ascensions
- Flight : 248 ascensions
- Swiftness : 236 ascensions
- Repel Missiles : 231 ascensions
- Haste : 224 ascensions
- Regeneration : 164 ascensions
- Control Teleport : 162 ascensions
- Summon Butterflies : 151 ascensions
- Controlled Blink : 91 ascensions
These are all spells which are useful to any character. Most are also low-level, meaning even mostly-melee characters may choose to pick them up, and they do not require much skill investment to get a good power or much MP to use.
Other notable results include:
- The most popular direct-damage spell was Orb of Destruction, appearing in 64 ascensions, followed by Iron Shot, appearing in 57.
- Summonings are considerably less popular than Conjurations. The most popular non-utility summoning spells were Haunt and Shadow Creatures, tied at just 22 ascensions each.
- Fire Storm was the most popular of the level 9 spells, appearing in 43 ascensions. Ice Storm was the least, only appearing in 20.
- High-powered Hexes are very unpopular. Mass Confusion appears in all of 3 ascensions, and Metabolic Englaciation appears in only one.
One thing to keep in mind with this list, however, is that it only reflects the endgame utility of spells. Most MR-resistible spells start to massively lose utility by Zot and particularly in places such as Pandemonium or Hell. Thus, most players will have forgotten them by this point. That doesn't mean the spells aren't worth using before those points. Therefore, while this list should be taken as a list of spells that are useful to know for the endgame, it should not be taken as a list of spells to avoid simply because not many people ascend with them. Agony only appears in 11 ascensions and Ensorcelled Hibernation in 17, yet these spells are incredibly useful about until one reaches the Vaults.