GOW Ragnarok: BEST Kratos Skills [Early Game]

My list of the best beginner skills in God of war ragnarok for both the Leviathan axe and Blades of Chaos

While the combat is certainly polished and more challenging than ever, you can get away by learning some of the best skills for the Leviathan Axe and Blades Of Chaos in God Of War Ragnarok, which are two of Kratos’ main weapons that you will be using in the game.

Key Takeaways

Leviathan Axe offers 28 different skills, some of the best are mentioned below:

  • R1: Glacial Rake (Ice shard attack, crowd control)
  • Passive: Extinguish Flames (Extra damage to burning enemies)
  • R2 during Frost Awakening: Frozen Ascent (Launches light enemies, inflicts frostbite)
  • Hold Triangle: Frost Awakening (Activate)
  • Hold R2: Serpent’s Snare (Charged attack, grabs and throws enemies)
  • Hold R1 while aiming: Vengeful Sickle (Spinning axe throw)

Blades of Chaos has 26 different skills, some of them are mentioned below:

  • Chaotic Rampage (Flurry of close-range slashes, heavy burn damage)
  • Passive: Vaporize Frost (Extra damage to frosted enemies)
  • Hold R2: Rising Chaos (Launches enemies into the air)
  • Hold Triangle, press R1: Scorched Sweep (Crowd control, timed attacks)
  • Hyperion Pull, hold R1: Hyperion Grapple (Hurls Kratos toward enemies, grants invincibility)

GOW Ragnarok Best Skills Summary And Comparison

The new skills tree also includes the “Skill Labor” mechanic, where you can work on specific skills and consistently use them during battle to unlock their mod customization, which I will mention in detail in its section of the guide. So without further delay, let’s discuss the five Best skills in God Of War Ragnarok for both the Leviathan Axe and the Blades Of Chaos.

Here’s a brief look at the comparison between the Best Kratos Skills:

KRATOS SKILLSBEST FORWEAPONTYPECOSTREQUIRED LEVEL
Glacial RakeThe Best Axe Melee Skill For Frost BuildupLeviathan Axe Melee750 XP1
Extinguish FlamesThe Best Axe Skill On Burning EnemiesLeviathan Axe Technique250 XP1
Frozen AscentThe Best Axe Skill For Juggling EnemiesLeviathan Axe Technique750 XP2
Serpent’s SnareThe Best Axe Skill For Hurling EnemiesLeviathan Axe Melee1000 XP2
Vengeful Sickle 1The Best Axe Skill For Multiple HitsLeviathan Axe Ranged500 XP1
Chaotic Rampage 1The Best Blades Skill For ST DmgBlades Of ChaosMelee750 XP1
Vaporize FrostThe Best Blades Skill On Frozen EnemiesBlades Of ChaosTechnique250 XP1
Rising ChaosThe Best Blades Skill For Juggling FoesBlades Of ChaosMeleeN/A1
Scorched Sweep 1The Best Early Blades Skill For BurnBlades Of ChaosTechniqueN/A1
Hyperion Grapple 1The Best Blades Skill For Closing DistanceBlades Of ChaosRanged750 XP1

The Best Leviathan Axe Skills

best leviathan axe skills
The Leviathan Axe (image credit: eXputer)

The Leviathan Axe returns in God of War Ragnarok and can be imbued with ice attacks to apply frost status to enemies. Charging it with the Triangle button activates Frost Awaken mode for frost attacks and new moves. Here are some essential early-game skills and mechanics for the Leviathan Axe:

  • Freezing Throw: Hold R1 and aim to throw the Axe, which can explode on impact or deal continuous frost damage.
  • Glacial Whirlwind: Press and hold R2 to charge and perform a powerful spinning attack.
  • Frost Flurry: Repeatedly press R1 after a light combo finisher to perform a devastating frost attack.

These skills enhance the Axe’s versatility and combat effectiveness in the early game.

1. Glacial Rake

The Best Axe Melee Skill For Frost Buildup.
God of war ragnarok best skills
Glacial Rake (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Leviathan Axe Melee 750 XP 1
DESCRIPTION Enables Leviathan Axe to rip ice on Light Attack mode so it strikes shards with high Frost.
  • Why I Chose This: Glacial Rake is unlocked fairly early and remains helpful throughout with its high frost buildup.

The Glacial Rake skill in God of War Ragnarok is a must-have for the Leviathan Axe. Holding R1 during an attack allows Kratos to perform a ground sweep, dealing AoE icicle damage and applying a high Frost buildup to enemies. This skill is crucial for elemental combat and should be your top pick when starting the game.

  • Unlocked pretty early and remains useful throughout.
  • Quick successive attacks that deals high frost buildup.
  • Relatively low HP dmg.
  • Short range, effective only in front of Kratos.

2. Extinguish Flames

The Best Axe Skill On Burning Enemies.
God of war ragnarok best skills
Extinguish Flames (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Leviathan Axe Technique 250 XP 1
DESCRIPTION Leviathan Axe makes bonus damage-dealing attacks.
  • Why I Chose This: If you frequently switch weapons, then Extinguish Flames is your best companion as it enables unique combos with high dmg.

While on the subject of elements, it is a no-brainer to pick up Extinguish Flames as your next skill, or even the first skill, for that matter, alongside Glacial Rake. As shown in the image above, the ability of the skill grants you the power to deal bonus damage against enemies who are inflicted by the burn status element, which can be applied from the Blades of Chaos or any other source, such as flame pots scattered around the arenas.

I will explain more about how you can apply the Burn effect from the blades in its section but simply keep in mind that weapon switching and applying elements is the key to winning against challenging mini-bosses and large foes, so picking up Extinguish Flames should become your first priority just like Glacial Rake.

  • Highly increases the dmg of Axe on burning foes.
  • Pairs well with the Blades of Chaos.
  • Burning upgrades of Blades is essential for efficient use.
  • Not effective on burning resistant enemies.

3. Frozen Ascent

The Best Axe Skill For Juggling Enemies.
GOWR Frozen ascent
Frozen ascent (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Leviathan Axe Technique 750 XP 2
DESCRIPTION On Heavy mode, Leviathan Axe slashes upwards and sends chilling waves, so enemies are applied with high frost during Frost Awaken. 
  • Why I Chose This: Frozen Ascent lets you utilize the Frost Awaken effect and launch your enemies, causing high frost and leaving enemies vulnerable to more dmg.

The Frost awakening skill I mentioned previously adds a whole new layer to the Leviathan Axe, as it allows you to deal with a plethora of new attacks which can trivialize foes in a heartbeat. The move can be activated while your Axe is in Frost Awakening skill as Kratos is able to launch weak foes upwards into the air for a combo, plus he can apply high frost damage onto them with ease.

The skill is pretty efficient if you’re looking to deal a strong blow to a mini-boss and additionally dish out Frost buildup. Furthermore, if multiple enemies are grouped together, you are able to launch them into the air at the same time, providing a strong crowd-clearing artillery for the Leviathan Axe.

  • Lets you use a powerful attack that can launch many foes.
  • Utilizes the Frost Awaken effect and causes immense frost buildup.
  • Needs to charge the Frost Awaken effect before the attack can be executed.
  • Effectiveness diminishes against larger enemies.

4. Serpent’s Snare

The Best Axe Skill For Hurling Enemies.
GOWR Best leviathan axe skills
Serpent’s Snare (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Leviathan Axe Melee 1000 XP 2
DESCRIPTION Inflicts massive damage to the enemy on Heavy Attack, followed by creating Frost explosions on impact rendering further area damage.
  • Why I Chose This: Serpent’s Snare throws away enemies and further deals high dmg in an AoE where they fall, making it a great skill for escaping surrounded situations.

Unlock the Serpent’s Snare skill for the Leviathan Axe in GOW Ragnarok to send enemies flying in any direction, potentially killing them instantly. Weaker enemies explode on impact, dealing frost damage to nearby foes. During the wind-up animation, you can steer the camera to launch enemies off the map for quick kills. Particularly effective against Grim enemies in Svartalfheim.

  • Helps in surrounded situations by throwing away enemies.
  • Enemies recieve AoE damage upon landing.
  • Cannot be used efficiently in single target situations.
  • Not effective on larger foes and bosses.

5. Vengeful Sickle I

The Best Axe Skill For Multiple Hits.
God of war ragnarok vengeful sickle
Vengeful Sickle 1 (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Leviathan Axe Ranged 500 XP 1
DESCRIPTION Holding Light Attack will charge up the Axe until it starts spinning and rendering multiple slice hits to the target.
  • Why I Chose This: Vengeful Sickle allows you to charge normal attack and throw your axe to an enemy to grind him at place. 

The Leviathan Axe in GOW Ragnarok offers satisfying moves, from chopping enemies in half to launching them into the air with an uppercut. The Vengeful Sickle lets you throw the Axe by holding R1 and continuously deal frost damage to enemies. You can also choose Freezing Throw with R2 for an explosive impact. The choice between them is up to you.

  • Deals multiple hits to enemies, staggering them.
  • Can also freeze enemies due to multiple hit count.
  • Initial charge is required and is highly single-target.
  • The number of hits is low, needs upgrades.

The Best Blades Of Chaos Skills

God of war ragnarok best blades of chaos skills
Blades of Chaos (image credit: eXputer)

The Blades of Chaos, iconic weapons from Kratos’ past, return in GOW Ragnarok. They offer powerful sweeping attacks and the ability to apply flaming attacks for extra damage. The Blades can also be used for added maneuverability, pulling enemies closer or propelling Kratos. They serve as a grappling hook for quick arena traversal. Here are some top abilities for the Blades of Chaos in the game.

1. Chaotic Rampage 1

The Best Blades Skill For ST Dmg.
Chaotic rampage gowr
Chaotic rampage (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Blades of Chaos Melee 750 XP 1
DESCRIPTION A flurry of high damaging hits is rendered to a single enemy on press holding Light Attack
  • Why I Chose This: Chaotic Rampage I is perfect for dealing with bosses and larger foes with its exceptionaly high ST dmg.

The Chaotic Rampage skill lets Kratos unleash a rapid series of slash attacks with the Blades of Chaos, inflicting a strong burn status effect on the target. I suggest you to use it for single-target damage, but be cautious in chaotic battles as it can leave you vulnerable. Ideal for boss battles or against big foes.

  • Deals multiple hits of high dmg to a single foe.
  • Animation can be cancelled with dodge.
  • Further high dmg is locked behind upgrades.
  • Highly single target attacks.

2. Vaporize Frost

The Best Blades Skill On Frozen Enemies.
gowr vaporize frost
Vaporize frost (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Blades of Chaos Technique 250 XP 1
DESCRIPTION Blades of Chaos makes bonus damage-dealing attacks on all frosted foes
  • Why I Chose This: Vaporize Frost allows great pairing of Blades of Chaos with Leviathan Axe, due to its increased damage on frozen enemies.

As you can already guess by the name of the skill, it will allow the Blades Of Chaos to work in conjunction with the Leviathan Axe, as you can deal bonus damage against frosted enemies. So it is advised that you pick the following skill up as soon as possible so that you can constantly use the Leviathan Axe for Frost damage and use the Blades of Chaos on the main lines for extra DPS on a boss battle or challenging enemy.

  • Pairs well with Leviathan Axe for increased dmg.
  • Easy and cheap to obtain.
  • Blades hits break frozen enemies very quickly.
  • Freezing enemies is essential for maximum dmg.

3. Rising Chaos

The Best Blades Skill For Juggling Foes.
god of war ragnarok best blades of chaos skills
rising chaos (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Blades of Chaos Melee N/A 1
DESCRIPTION Launches nearest opponents into the air via Blades of Chaos’s upward-swinging action
  • Why I Chose This: Rising Chaos leaves enemies susceptible to dmg, making it efficient in dealing with smaller foes.

The original God of War Games had a stellar combat system that had you perform godly combos using the Blades of Chaos as Kratos tore through his enemies both on the ground and in the air. While GOW 2018 and Ragnarok can’t provide that exact same feeling, there is no better way to relive the nostalgia again than by using Rising Chaos right off the bat, as you can use it to launch enemies into the air by pressing the R2 button.

Launch enemies off the ground using the skill and continue to mash away at them at your leisure while they’re dangling helplessly like ragdolls. If you’re someone who loves weapon switching, then I suggest you to consider using the Leviathan Axe immediately after activating the skill for some style points too.

  • Is an innate ability of Chaos Blades.
  • Leaves enemies susceptible to more dmg.
  • Considerably low HP dmg.
  • Not that practical on larger foes and bosses.

4. Scorched Sweep 1

The Best Early Blades Skill For Burn.
gowr scorched sweep
scorched sweep (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Blades of Chaos Technique N/A 1
DESCRIPTION Pressing Light Attack with Flame Whiplash will apply a decent burn effect with a slash action. 
  • Why I Chose This: This skill lets you deliver a strong sweep that can effectively burn everything in front of you and also has high stagger dmg.

To activate Flame Whiplash with the Blades of Chaos, hold down the Triangle button. This move makes the Blades spin in a perpendicular motion, and after a few seconds, they become engulfed in flames, allowing you to unleash fiery attacks on your enemies. With the Scorched Sweep skill, you can inflict moderate burn status on foes, or when the blades are fully charged with flames, pressing R1 scorches the ground ahead, engulfing any enemies caught in the flames. It’s an effective crowd-clearing ability.

  • Deals high dmg and burn application.
  • Can be acquired very early and remains effective.
  • You have to charge the Flame Whiplash first.
  • Leaves you vulnerable to dmg while charging.

5. Hyperion Grapple 1

The Best Blades Skill For Closing Distance.
best blades of chaos skills
Hyperion Grapple (image credit: eXputer)
WEAPON TYPE COST REQUIRED LEVEL
Blades of Chaos Ranged 750 XP 1
DESCRIPTION Launches Blades of Chaos forward to apply a high stun effect to all grounded enemies while the airbornes are slammed back to the ground. 
  • Why I Chose This: Hyperion Grapple can stun your targets and can also effectively close distance between Kratos and enemies.

Using the Hyperion Grapple, Kratos is able to aim and swing the blades at his enemies and use them to launch himself toward them like a cannonball, dealing high stun damage.

Furthermore, if you use the skill while aiming at an airborne enemy, Kratos will instead slam the enemy into the ground. But I must state that the ability of the skill may only work on weaker or nimble enemies, so mini-bosses or other challenging foes are out of the equation.

  • Makes airborne enemies helpless by slamming them on ground.
  • Stuns impaled enemies and effectively closes distance.
  • Leaves you vulnerable to dmg against non-stunned enemies.
  • Only affects a single enemy and has low range.

How Skill System Works In God Of War Ragnarok

god of war ragnarok skill labor
The skill labor system (image credit: eXputer)

In God of War Ragnarok, you can unlock and enhance skills by using them in combat. Skills have three tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. At the Gold stage, you can customize them with Mod Tokens for additional benefits. Mods vary by skill, and you can freely switch between them for 1000 XP.

For example, you can apply the Element Mod token to Glacial Rake for extra Frost buildup. Check your skill progress in the Skills tree, and the game will notify you when you reach a new threshold, encouraging you to use and enhance your favorite skills. This adds depth to the game’s Action RPG elements.

Other Honorable Mentions

There are some other viable options to consider when choosing a Kratos Skills in GOW Ragnarok. However, I did not include them in my top list due to individual factors:

  • Permafrost (Blades of Chaos): It only applies the Frost status effect to a single enemy, which can be less effective against groups.
  • Blazing Explosion (Blades of Chaos): A decent option, but its range is limited compared to the other skills I selected above.
  • Frozen Breach (Leviathan Axe): Despite dealing significant AoE damage, its animation is relatively slow, leaving you vulnerable if not used strategically.

My Recommendations For Kratos’ Skills

Kratos’ Skills are divided among the three weapons that he uses. I would recommend investing in the Glacial Permafrost, Furious Immolation, and Violent Maelstorm for the axe, blades, and spear. These really boosted my aggressive playstyle and allowed me to use permafrost and immolation meters more offensively.

God of Wae
My Hours in God of War Ragnarok (PSN ID: ELiTExNoGuns)

And honestly, aside from these three skills, it really comes down to the weapon that you enjoy using. Since you can only purchase a limited number of skills at first, it is recommended that you do so for the weapons that are fun to use for your playstyle.


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Haris Umer is a Guides Writer on eXputer who can be seen torturing himself by playing FromSoftware’s offering of Souls games. He speaks about games with overwhelming passion, which readers can spot in his guides. Haris has been avidly playing video games for 15+ years now. You can learn more about his gaming experience through his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors In Medicine And Surgery.

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