God of War Ragnarok is a combat-heavy game that features dozens of new ways to dispatch your enemies. While the Blades of Chaos are probably more iconic, the modern version of the God of War franchise has clearly designated the Leviathan Ax as Kratos’ primary weapon.
Fortunately, Kratos’ ax is a dynamic weapon that provides both deeply satisfying ranged attacks as well as powerful melee maneuvers. But of course that begs the question, which of the many skills associated with the Leviathan Ax are the most potent? Well, that’s exactly the question we’re here to answer.
10/10 Frost Awaken II
The Frost Awaken skill gives you the ability to imbue your ax with the Frost effect, which will gradually freeze your enemies. However, the standard Frost Awaken is terribly slow, making it difficult to use mid-fight. As you progress through the skill tree, you’ll be able to unlock more ways to imbue your ax in the form of the various Frost Awakens. So why did we choose Frost Awaken 2? Of all the Frost Awakens that you unlock, that’s clearly the worst, right?
Well, true. The best of the bunch is Frost Awaken 3 – which lets you reload your weapon quickly after throwing the ax (as opposed to Frost Awaken 4, which forces you to pause your combo mid-melee to recharge). But while charging Frost Awaken while running, it’s not pretty as useful as charging it off from an ax throw, it’s still a quick way to activate the buff. And here’s the thing… you can unlock this skill early in the game. You’re going to be mostly done with Ragnarok by the time you’re able to use Frost Awaken 3 or 4. So we think Frost Awaken 2 wins simply because you’re going to be using it for most of the game’s runtime.
9/10 Freeze throw II
Freezing Throw 2 takes Kratos’ iconic ax throw and steps it up a notch. It is undoubtedly a powerful attack, but it is also extremely slow. It’s certainly not something you’re going to be able to use all the time. but, there are a couple of things that make it stand out. First, it will apply Frost to multiple enemies if they are grouped together. Second, it does an excellent amount of damage.
You won’t want to use it against bosses, but when you’re fighting waves of enemies, it’s a consistently valuable attack. And as for the speed issue, well, if the enemy starts charging you before the attack is ready, you can just drop it early and get the weaker version. This means there is little in the way of downside for Freezing Throw 2.
8/10 Whirlwind Sweep
The Whirlwind Sweep is a skill that allows Kratos to enter a secondary stance. When he does, the combination of light attack axes will cause the ax to circle around him. This is undoubtedly a fantastic crowd control attack to go to when surrounded by enemies. It also does a respectable amount of damage.
But while we think Whirlwind Sweep is certainly awesome, it has a downside: you enter the stance by pausing for a full second after using an ax attack. So you have to use this attack quite carefully. Additionally, the Whirlwind Sweep combo requires some sharp timing. So while this is a great move for your repertoire, it also requires a bit more technique than most of Kratos’ other skills to be used effectively.
No disrespect to Whirlwind Throw, but we personally prefer the horizontal coverage that we get from Whirlwind Sweep.
7/10 Frozen fracture
There are many great attacks in Kratos’ arsenal that require him to be in Frost Awakened state. But while all of these are pretty good, their reliance on the polished state drags them down a bit. Also, they immediately remove all of the aforementioned buffs, which is a bit of a bummer.
But among many Frost Awakened dependent attacks, our favorite is Frozen Breach. This attack is extremely fast, making it useful for disrupting enemies. It also hits all around Kratos, making it extremely useful in a pinch. As you unlock more skills that make it easier to enter the Frost Awakened state, you’ll be able to work this attack more often. Around the middle of the game it became an absolute staple for us.
6/10 The snare of the serpent
Of all the moves in the game, this is probably our favorite. Not only is this a very damaging attack, but it also turns enemies into frost bombs. That’s right, when you first unlock this move, if you land a fully charged heavy attack on a light enemy, you’ll be able to throw them at others and they’ll erupt in an icy blast upon contact with the ground.
This is an incredible crowd control attack. If there are light enemies around, you can use this to throw them at other baddies, dealing damage and applying the Frost effect. The only problem is that it’s not quite as effective when used against heavier enemies. Instead of grabbing them and throwing them, it just deals two powerful blows. Still good, but not nearly as good when some of the heavier enemies will resist being staggered by this heavy attack.
5/10 Leviathan’s Fury
Once you unlock this attack, it will almost certainly become your most used rushdown moves immediately. Frost Rush is perfectly fine, but in exchange for being a bit slower, Leviathan’s Fury is simply worlds better. Not only does it do more damage, but it also more easily bounces enemies into the air. On top of it all, it applies to Frost.
Leviathan’s Fury should not be used mindlessly. You will be locked into this attack, meaning you won’t have to take backsies. Once you’re committed, the attack comes out. Don’t take that as a condemnation of the attack. Leviathan’s Fury is a staple in Kratos’ kit and will typically be your go-to attack when charging at your opponents.
4/10 Glacial Rake
Glacial Rake is performed by holding R1. It sends a wave of ice cubes directly at your opponents. This is great for a number of purposes. Not only does it keep them in place for a longer period of time, but it also deals a large amount of Frost to your opponents.
While Glacial Rake is great for one-on-one encounters, it has decent spread, and can hit multiple enemies at once. Although they must be quite clustered together. Even better, this skill is available early on, and it never really loses its potency. Especially when you want to use that Frost effect in a flash.
3/10 Extinguish flames
It’s hard to overstate how potent this skill is for people looking to chain attacks together across Leviathan Ax and Blades of Chaos. After purchasing this incredibly cheap skill, you will deal extra damage when attacking an enemy that has been set on fire.
Naturally, setting enemies on fire is something that many of your Blades of Chaos attacks do. So your enemies will often have the Burn effect on them. The Extinguish Flames skill is here to encourage you to switch often. Once you get the rhythm of that fighting style down, you’ll find this to be a cornerstone of combat in God of War Ragnarok.
2/10 Storm back
Returning Storm is an absolute gift when unlocked. Unarmed combat is a fantastic way to stun, but it’s not much for damage. So it can be a bit of a pain to include your unarmed attacks in combat.
However, The Returning Storm allows you to perform your combo and then finish it off with a huge ax attack that does excellent damage, applies Frost, and returns the ax to you. It just makes it so that the melee combos can be implemented seamlessly. Once you’ve unlocked the Returning Storm, you can throw your ax at an enemy, run up, pound them with your fists, and then finish off your melee combo with a powerful ax attack. It’s certainly an amazing skill that helps you synergize between the different types of attacks.
1/10 Vengeful Scythe
Finally we come to the big boy. The Vengeful Sickle is actually an attack you can unlock from the very beginning. You will then be able to unlock Vengeful Sickle 2 at level 2 and make it even more powerful (it’s not really a distinct move, it just enhances the original). And, more than anything else, you desperately want to make sure you have this unlocked right away.
What it does is turn your charged ax throw into a multi-hit combo attack. Not only does this deal very respectable damage, but it will lock them down, naturally giving you an opportunity to transition into your Blades of Chaos attacks. If you time it right, you’ll whip them with your blades, as they’ll still be hacked by your axe. This attack is the best way to switch to another weapon. It is incredibly powerful, and you should use it from the beginning of the game to the end. It is that good.
Next: God Of War Ragnarok, Beginner Tips