Wraith and Wattson have increased their pick rate, while Octane and Ash have decreased.
For the better part of the first year of Apex Legends, it was difficult to find a squad that didn’t include a Wraith player. That’s altered in recent seasons, with new characters and buffs pushing Wraith off her throne over extended periods of time.
Wraith, on the other hand, appears to be back on top.
📈 For the first time since season 9*, Wraith is the most picked legend! Octane falls back to the 2nd place.
Side effect of the Winter Express LTM or meta change? 👀
*ignoring new legends launch pic.twitter.com/cPROm4JsyA
— Apex Legends Status (@_ApexStatus) December 11, 2021
Apex Legends Status, which monitors the status of Apex’s servers as well as legend pick rates and player information, announced that Wraith recaptured her crown this weekend. For the first time since season nine, she surpasses Octane as the most popular legend in the game. She’s gained even more ground since Apex Legends Status initially proclaimed her as the most popular legend, now with an 11.5 percent pick rate.
For the longest time in Apex’s history, Wraith was by far the most popular legend in the game—and it’s easy to see why. She has a cool character design, an ability that allows her to comfortably escape danger, and an ultimate that allows teams to glide invulnerably into difficult-to-reach areas. Wraith was one of the most useful characters in the game in terms of abilities, as well as one of the most enjoyable to play. That’s a difficult combination to overcome.
Wraith’s enormous popularity and strength prompted Respawn to tone her down in a variety of ways, including making her Into the Void ability take longer to activate and decreasing the distance her Dimensional Rift could travel. These nerfs, combined with buffs to characters like Octane and the usual spikes in pick rates for new characters, caused Wraith’s popularity to plummet from her once lofty perch.
Wraith, on the other hand, is still quite good. And none of the characters that have briefly succeeded her have ever been able to match the distinct imprint she has left on the game. Octane and his jump pads are fast and entertaining, but they don’t have an escape strategy. Similarly, new legend Ash’s portal can be utilized quickly and scales far higher heights than Wraith’s portal, however it can only be used in one direction. As a result, more and more players have returned to Wraith as one of the game’s premier characters due to her skill at getting into and out of trouble.
Notably, Ash’s pick rate has witnessed the typical fall of a new legend as the season has progressed, but she still retains a high choice rate as the game’s fifth-most popular character. Ash’s release has been the polar opposite of Seer’s, who began his life in Apex so strong that he needed a nerf within weeks of the season’s premiere. The mere mention of the nerf caused his pick rate to plunge, and he is currently one of the least-used heroes. In comparison, Ash appears to be in a relatively good position in the game. The only change Respawn has made to her is to increase the volume of her portal. Aside from that, she appears to have found the sweet spot between being a useful character and being extremely overpowering.
Wattson was the other large movement in pick rate during the last week. While her buffs and new heirloom haven’t made her a must-play character, her popularity has increased by 62%. She now has a pick rate of 3.8 percent, placing her in the midst of the pack of legends that includes Lifeline (seventh most popular at five percent) and Mirage (15th most popular, 3.2 percent).
Legend pick rates are volatile and can be influenced as much by special character events and cosmetics as they are by how useful a character is. Wraith’s longevity, on the other hand, is even more astounding. Her popularity has remained constant despite new nerfs, legends, and seasons. And it doesn’t appear that this will change anytime soon.