The Sword and Shield lend themselves perfectly to a tank build. These are the first weapons you'll get in New World, which means you can start stacking mastery points right from the start of the game.
Thanks to the versatility of the Sword's Defender tree, you can pair the weapon with many others if you're looking for a solid tank build. You come equipped with Taunts, CC, and methods to buff you and your allies in PVE events and dungeons. Here's our best build guide on how to get the most out of the Sword.
Updated October 10, 2021, by Harry Alston: We're updating this guide to include more information about the powerful Sword and Shield combination for use in large-scale PvP. Having solid tanks on the frontline can really make the difference in faction warfare and sieges.
Sword And Shield Basics
The Sword, and by extension, the Shield, is the go-to weapon for a tank build in New World. It's the Defender tree that does it. If you're using the Sword to deal DPS, then fair enough, but its real strength lies in its defensive and taunting capabilities.
The Tank is almost singlehandedly the most important player during early game PVE Expeditions. Go for the defensive build and you'll almost always get yourself a spot in open PVE groups. Here's what you need to know about the abilities.
Best Abilities For The Sword
Taunts, defensive capabilities, and debuffs. The Sword is the ideal tank weapon.
The very first ability you'll pick up, Shield Rush sends your playing rushing forwards. It knocks back enemies and deals a percentage of your weapon damage. However, it's really the secondary passive perks that make this a reliable tool for tanks: Improved Rush weakens enemies, and Intimidating Rush slows enemies. Perfect.
Shield Bash is your main CC in the early game and also provides you with taunt capabilities as soon as you factor in a Carnelian Gem. With a Carnelian gem in your sword, Shield Bash stuns and then taunts enemies hit by the ability, great for drawing aggro in PVE.
Defiant Stance reduces incoming damage and acts as a taunt. It's one of your most valuable abilities as a tank, granting you extra damage reduction and instant health regen via the Restoration passive perk.
Is The Sword Valid For A DPS Build?
This is something players have experimented with over the course of the various Betas, and the general consensus is that, really, if you want to deal damage, the Sword and Shield just aren't it.
That's not to say there's no place for the weapon in PVP builds, but there are other weapons that can deal more consistent damage than the Sword. You'll need a secondary weapon that can deal damage to make up for the Sword's deficit.
Sword And Shield PvP Build
Coming up against a Sword and Shield user in the open world can be a bit of a frustrating experience. The large health pool and defensive abilities make it hard for even extremely DPS-heavy builds (Bow, Fire Staff, Rapier, etc) to deal much damage. Check out our support builds guide for more information on how to play with this combo.
There are a few different combinations that have seen use: the Life Staff and Sword and Shield build provides so much sustainability that you can survive most encounters, whereas the Great Axe CC build alongside the Sword provides a sort of tanky, utility-based build that is ideal for large-scale PvP.
Best Weapon Combinations For The Sword And Shield
There have been lots of interesting tank builds to come out during the first couple weeks of New World. We've covered this in greater detail in our full best tank build guide, but here's a short summary of some of the best weapons to pair with the Sword.
Sword And Great Axe
The Great Axe emerged as something of a hero during the Open Beta, especially after the Hatchet received its nerfs. This build pairs the defensive capabilities with the AOE damage output of the Great Axe. One of the best Sword combinations out there right now.
- Here's our best Great Axe build guide.
Sword And Spear Build
The Spear is a fun weapon and is an extremely valid pick-up for either PVP or PVE. It saw use as both during the Open Beta. This is a tanky DPS build that leans heavily into the CC of the Spear.
- Here's our best Spear build guide.