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5E D&D's Top Magic Items

D&D Beyond has shared a data dump of the most popular magic items, weapons, and armor used by characters on its platform. They did this in April last year, so this is an update.

Amor hasn't changed, except for a tiny shifty at the bottom end where spiked and padded switched places. The top three are still leather, shield and chain mail. The top places are taken by 'starting gear', and as we know most DDB characters are low level.

Weapons have a shifted a little more, but not by much. The top 10 is still the same list, with a couple of items shifting positions. Daggers, shortswords, handaxes, and light crossbows rule the roost here.

When it comes to magic items, there's a greater shift again - but still, it's not a lot. Bag of holding is the clear leader, followed by ring of protection, cloak of protection, and boots of elvenkind.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


Isnt DDB ran by a different company than WotC? Whose collecting all the data, for what and is it even accurate/meaningful; what is it measured against? Is just hyperbole like the old toothpaste commercials, 9 out 10 dentist recommend brushing with Crest! As opposed to brushing with what, 💩?
 

tommybahama

Adventurer
Whose collecting all the data, for what and is it even accurate/meaningful; what is it measured against?

Presumably active character sheets stored on their website. If you just create a character and never make changes to it then they can exclude them. But if you make minor changes in equipment over time, adjust the HP or hit dice, track spell use, use the rest buttons, etc., it is more likely an active character sheet and gets included in the statistics.
 

Presumably active character sheets stored on their website. If you just create a character and never make changes to it then they can exclude them. But if you make minor changes in equipment over time, adjust the HP or hit dice, track spell use, use the rest buttons, etc., it is more likely an active character sheet and gets included in the statistics.

Thanks. Kind of what I was thinking. For an example I have a few sets of characters from two campaigns that arent used anymore, so Im guessing they probably get excluded if a certain amount of times goes by.
 

Olrox17

Hero
Leather being at the top is very strange. Many characters can afford studded leather at level 1, and pretty much all of them can buy it at level 2. What’s going on? Are people willingly taking a -1 to armor class for some reason?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Isnt DDB ran by a different company than WotC? Whose collecting all the data, for what and is it even accurate/meaningful; what is it measured against? Is just hyperbole like the old toothpaste commercials, 9 out 10 dentist recommend brushing with Crest! As opposed to brushing with what, 💩?
It's just stuff they think you might find interesting.
 


Id considered this as well but was wondering if there was a reason behind it.
The reason behind releasing this type of data is that it garners publicity and discussion about their product. You know, advertising.

--
I'm curious how the popular magic items line up with (f they do) the popular adventure modules. i.e. are the magic items popular because they are found in the popular adventures, or not?
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Isnt DDB ran by a different company than WotC? Whose collecting all the data, for what and is it even accurate/meaningful; what is it measured against? Is just hyperbole like the old toothpaste commercials, 9 out 10 dentist recommend brushing with Crest! As opposed to brushing with what, 💩?

This question comes up fairly often, and they have addressed it.

They are a licensee of D&D martial form WotC. They collect their data from over 30 million characters that have advanced and a few other filters to separate played characters from theoretical builds.

Now, sure you can get a lot of games that run for month or three and a lot of characters still have starting equipment. One game I'm in right now we got thrown in jail at 3rd, escaped, but are still using things like chain mail because we were able to get it and we have no funds even though we are 6th level. Other games have everyone already equipped with magic items. Starting equipment isn't a disqualifier.

Now, there is a selection bias of people who use D&D Beyond. The freelyh released rules are free, the parts you normally have to buy books for costs money. But with 30 mil characters this isn't suffering from a small sample.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Since I'm gonna start playing DND for the first time ever this year, I must be a complete noob on WHY the dagger is top weapon.

I'm guessing because it is often a second equipped weapon for two weapon fighting and is a weapon that can be used by any class and is often a favored melee weapons for rogues and wizards.

Its also versatile - you can use it as both a melee and ranged weapon.
 

aco175

Hero
I was thinking that the word top magic item would mean what people wanted over what the site had people pick. Seems like when I play AL and all I can get is a bag of holding or a potion on healing. Of course, this would be the number 1 chosen, but maybe not top wanted.

Still nice to see the stats and what others are playing or choosing, but taken with a grain of salt.
 


kenmarable

Adventurer
I'm guessing because it is often a second equipped weapon for two weapon fighting and is a weapon that can be used by any class and is often a favored melee weapons for rogues and wizards.

Its also versatile - you can use it as both a melee and ranged weapon.
Yep, plus in D&D Beyond “equipped” is a misnomer since it isn’t really used as “thing I’m currently holding” so much as “thing I want listed in my actions.”
 

BadEye

VP of Tabletop @Fandom | D&D Beyond/Cortex
Leather as the most popular armor, not even Studded Leather which is an inexpensive upgrade that should be available before level 3...

I'm pretty sure most of the characters that these statistics have been collected from have never been played.
Incorrect, at least with the "reasonable" filtering we do to determine whether a character is"active" (have they adjusted hit points, taken rests, leveled up on different dates than when they were created, etc.)

With 23M+ characters in the dataset, and the surprise these kinds of things seem to have amongst the more "hardcore" parts of the community, I hypothesize many players aren't as interested in "optimization" as we perhaps think, and leather and chainmail suits them fine.

That's just my take though.
 



Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
These figures smack of "builds not played" rather than stuff people use at the table.

Which has already been addressed. In this thread as well many other preceding DnDBeyond threads. If you are going to throw around an accusation, try to make sure it's not one that has already been examined and found incorrect multiple times
 

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