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New World Great Axe Guide: Builds & Gameplay Tips

New World: Weapon Guides & Builds
New World Great Axe Guide: Builds & Gameplay Tips
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From choosing the correct build and perks to upgrading your skill tree and socketing gems, our guide helps you master the Great Axe in New World.

New World Great Axe Guide: Builds & Gameplay Tips

New World allows players to equip two types of weapon, each with its own Mastery tree and skills.

The Great Axe is a weapon that builds on the player's Strength stat, and affords some pretty relentless damage.

Our guide suggests a build that suits both PvP and PvE play.

How to get a Great Axe

In New World, there are various ways to obtain a Bow.

  • Dropped by mobs or found in crates
  • Purchased through the it in the Trading Post
  • Crafted by Weaponsmiths

Which weapon to pair with the Great Axe

Should you opt for the Great Axe as your main weapon, be aware that you'll perform the role of a kind of control tank, albeit not defensive. This weapon is good at regrouping opponents before unleashing destructive abilities.

Our two choices for secondary weapons perform different roles. One makes it possible to perform a more classic tank-like role in protecting your allies, while the other will grant you full control when facing a lot of enemies.

Sword & Shield

The Sword & Shield pairing uses the same Strength stat focus as the Great Axe. Equipping the sword, you'll take on a tank role focused on protection, augmented by Defiant Stance. This is very useful for PvE content.

Shield Rush and Shield Bash will also serve you well in PvP battles, allowing for a greater degree of control.

We recommend the Defender tree's active abilities if you use the Sword & Shield as a secondary weapon:

Shield Rush - New World
Shield Bash - New World
Defiant Stance - New World

War Hammer

Unlike the Sword & Shield, the War Hammer draws its strength from crowd control through its Shockwave ability. It's an ideal weapon if your goal is prevent your opponents from acting. 

Given it also uses the Strength stat, it synergises well with the Great Axe.

Should you use the War Hammer as a secondary weapon, we recommend active abilities from both the Juggernaut and Crowd Crusher skill trees.

Mighty Gavel - New World
Wrecking Ball - New World
Shockwave - New World

The best build for the Great Axe

Credit: newworld-builder - New World
Credit: newworld-builder

Our guide focuses on builds that offer ideal balance between the PvE and PvP sides of the game.

It is intended for players who don't wish to waste resources when it comes to allocating skill points.

Charge

Upgrade this skill twice.

Charge 10m, dealing 120% weapon damage when you reach a target or press LMB. Cooldown: 20.0 seconds. This ability has Unstoppable (you cannot be interrupted when performing this ability).

Upgrade

Frenzied Momentum: Charge now deals 120 - 140% weapon damage based on how far you traveled.

Unpredictable Strike: During Charge, you may press RMB to execute a swing attack dealing 140 - 165% weapon damage based on how far you traveled.

Execute

Upgrade this skill twice.

A powerful aerial attack dealing 200% soul damage. Deals 300% weapon damage against enemies with less than 50% health.

Upgrade

Unstoppable Greed: Execute gains Grit during the attack, making the attack unstoppable.

○ Executioner: Execute critical hits 100% of the time vs foes below 30% health.

Gravity Well

Upgrade this skill twice.

Throw an axe to create a vortex that pulls foes to its center for 3s. Ends with a damaging Burst dealing 125% weapon damage. Range 10m. Cooldown: 30.0 seconds.

Upgrade

Crowded Well: Increase burst damage by 10%5 for each foe caught in the vortex.

Unyielding: Allies gain 10% Fortify while standing in your well. (Fortify reduces damage.)

Passive Tree Build

Greed

Light attacks with your Great Axe give you 5% damage for 5s (max 3 stacks.)

Executioner's Speed

Hitting 2+ targets with a single Great Axe light attack swing grants 3s of 20% Haste (You move faster.)

Death's Embrace

Great Axe attacks against foes below 50% health: penetrate armor by 10%.

Frustration

After one of your attacks is blocked gain 15% damage for 10s. (max 1 stack.)

Critical Condition

Great Axe attacks against foes below 30% health: critical 15% more often.

Feed

Great Axe attacks against foes below 30% health: heal you for 10% of damage done.

Blood Lust

You move 30% faster and deal 15% more damage when looking at a foe within 15m.

Heavy Pull

Heavy attacks with a Great Axe pull foes closer to you.

Enduring Strike

Adds Grit to Great Axe Heavy Attacks, and grants a 15% damage reduction while the Heavy attack Grit is active. (Grit is an added stagger resistance that stops attacks from being interrupted by reactions)

Crowded Protection

While holding a Great Axe gain 10% damage absorption when 3 or more foes are within 4m.

Why did we choose this build? 

The Great Axe is a weapon of control, so you shouldn't skimp on attacks that surprise your opponents.

Launching Gravity Well and then following up with Charge will take advantage of your passives and deal a significant amount of burst damage. Execute is the cherry on the cake for when your enemies are low.

Gameplay changes depending on which secondary weapon you choose. The War Hammer is built for more sustained crowd control, while the Sword & Shield combo aids allies, particularly through Defiant Stance.

Stat point allocation

New World

Going 50/50 between Strength and Constitution for the Great Axe will allow you to be flexible in what playstyles have available, whether DPS or tank. 

Ultimately it's up to you which way you lean with this build -- if you have no interest in tanking, feel free to put more points into STR, and vice versa if you want to be a meat shield.

How to improve your Great Axe

Equipment that provides Strength is important in taking full advantage of the Great Axe, while Constitution provides increased survivability.

For your gem slots, you'll want to load up on Strength as a priority.

How to level up the Great Axe

New World

Levelling up equipment is pretty easy in New World -- the more you use the weapon, the more experience it will gain. 

Be mindful that the weapon doesn't gain experience if you don't use it, so even if you bring it out for a single hit, you'll benefit from the XP. 

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