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The Great Axe is a popular weapon in New World, and it is viable in both PvE and PvP. Depending on what sort of playstyle you want to try in New World, you can build as a medium bruiser, a lightweight damage dealer and chaser, or go for something more interesting. There's a lot of flexibility when it comes to weapon pairings for the Great Axe.

Related: New World: Best Build To Level Up Fast

Of course, certain builds and attributes will scale the Great Axe far better than other alternatives. This guide will cover some different playstyles for the Great Axe, the best masteries and active skills to choose, and which weapons work well alongside the CC and damage of the Axe.

We updated this guide on September 29, 2022, ahead of the upcoming Brimstone Sands patch. A lot of players are returning to the game, and a lot of our guides were outdated, almost from a year ago. We've returned to help old and new players alike rekindle their knowledge of the game, and that starts with updated build guides for the various weapons in the game. Let's go!

Great Axe And War Hammer Build

This weapon combination is hugely popular for tankier builds, or for PvP bruisers. If you want to deep-dive into other tank builds, make sure to check out our updated tank bulld guide.

Its utility covers most areas of the game, from PVP to PvE mutations. There are a few options when it comes to playing with the two-handed weapons: a classic Tank build, a DPS build designed for PVP sieges and duels, or a support tank build. There is a lot of flexibility here so make sure you are experimenting alongside our recommended build.

  • Both the Great Axe and War Hammer provide some great CC and damage output.
  • The Great Axe's Charge ability allows you to close gaps between enemies during duels and open-world PVP.

This build is all about PvP, where the Great Axe really excels.

Best Masteries For The Great Axe

Skill Effect Recommended Masteries
  • Description: Pulls enemies in towards you.
  • All three, Storms Reach, Absorb, No Reprieve
  • Description: Charge 10m, dealing 120% weapon damage when you reach the target or press LMB.
    • Cannot be interrupted while using Charge.
  • No masteries! Charge is purely for utility/mobility.
Gravity Well
  • Description: Create a 10m vortex that pulls targets to its center for 3 seconds.
    • The vortex explodes after 3 seconds, dealing 125% weapon damage.
  • Crowded Well: Increase burst damage by 10% for each enemy in the vortex.
  • Unyielding: Allies gain 10% Fortify while in the vortex.

In terms of masteries, you're going to want to almost fill out the Mauler tree, including the Mauler's Fury for its impressive damage scaling, and the two defensive masteries, Center of Attention and Crowded Protection for survivability in the chaos of wars or OPR.

You can experiment with Reap, especially if you are trying to adapt this build for PvE. It's a very reliable AoE skill, decent for 1v1s as well, and is pretty much essential for solo PvE content.

Related: New World: Best Healer Builds

Best Masteries For The War Hammer

Skill Effect Recommended Masteries
Armor Breaker
  • Description: A powerful swing that penetrates 35% of the target's armor and deals 140% weapon damage.
  • Lasting Trauma: Armor Breaker reduces the target's damage absorption by 15% for 10 seconds.
  • Opening Act: Increases Armor Breaker's damage by 15% against targets at full health.
Wrecking Ball
  • Description: Strike the ground, dealing 120% weapon damage and throwing enemies to the ground.
  • Safety Measures: Gain 20% Fortify for 4 seconds on hit.
  • Breathing Room: All targets within 1.5m of the target hit are also thrown to the ground.
Mighty Gavel
  • Description: An overhead leaping attack that deals 160% weapon damage.
  • Summary Judgment: Mighty Gavel deals 20% increased damage to targets under 30% HP.
  • Expedite: After a successful Mighty Gavel attack, gain 30% movement speed for 3 seconds.

Here are the masteries we might pick up for the War Hammer alongside the Great Axe for a preferred tanky PVP build:

  • Armor Breaker - Debuffs galore. Deals damage, can be activated with Grit, which means the attack is unblockable, and its third passive applies "Rend" to your target, which basically makes them easier to kill for a short period of time.
  • Mighty Gavel - The main damage dealing ability for the War Hammer. A jump and a swing. Deals big damage, can slow down your opponents and reduce their stamina, and will grant you haste if you successfully land an attack.
  • Wrecking Ball - Just pick up this ability without its passives. Another solid damage-dealing attack.

You want to leave room for some passives from the Crowd Crusher tree, primarily: Outnumbered, Facilitated Expedition, Concussive Impact, Acceleration. Aim for the ultimate Justice For All under the Mighty Gavel mastery tree.

Best Attributes And Gear

  • Attribute: Strength (300) and Constitution (150+)
  • Armor: Medium weight

A healthy mix of Strength and Constitution is recommended for this build. If you want to tank more, go for more Constitution than strength. Strength will scale the damage of both weapons, while Constitution will keep you alive during long-winded engagements. Medium armor is your best option for PvP as it means you are more mobile. For perks, look for anything that enhances your critical stats, ability cooldowns, and overall health pool.

The current BiS perks for PvP are Resilient, Shirking Fortifications, and Freedom - these are pretty much standard across the board, and while we may see changes in the upcoming Brimstone Sands update, this is what you want to aim for right now!

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