Want to know what the best New World war hammer builds are for PvP and PvE? There’s plenty of choice when it comes to building your New World character, and we’ve tested quite a few different options since the new MMO game launched. Magic weapons, particularly the life staff, are seeing lots of use, but there are plenty of viable alternatives for those who prefer melee attacks.
When it comes to damage, the war hammer doesn’t occupy the top spot in our New World weapon tier list, but it plays a significant role as a support to bolster the effectiveness of other weapon types. We have two different kinds of war hammer builds for you: one which focuses on healing your teammates in PvP, and a second that helps the rest of your expedition team by tanking enemy damage in PvE.
If you’re still deciding which weapon to level up first, we have several build guides to help you out. For fans of melee combat, we’ve put together the best New World great axe build, best New World hatchet build and the best New World rapier build. We also have DPS build configurations for the best New World fire staff build if you prefer to use magic.
The best New World war hammer PvP build
The best PvP build for the war hammer is the war hammer and life staff. This is a hybrid build that focuses on healing allies and damaging enemies separately, rather than using weapons that synergise into one strategy like tanking or being the main DPS of the team. Make sure that your equipment uses the cut pristine amber. It’s a tier five New World gem that converts 50% of damage into the Nature element, which is based on your focus stat.
Speaking of focus, this is the primary attribute you should be spending your points on, as it boosts the effectiveness of your life staff. After spending around 200 points in focus, you are free to spend the rest of your points on either strength or constitution, depending on your preference. Your equipment load should be light.
The war hammer tree abilities we recommend are:
- Armor Breaker – inflicts damage and rend against a single target. Rend helps your teammates inflict more damage for a short time.
- Mighty Gavel – another great DPS option for the war hammer, especially if your target is low health. The Justice For All passive allows you to repeat the attack if you perform a basic attack during the Mighty Gavel.
- Shockwave – a good source of AoE damage that also weakens any enemy within the seven-metre range.
The best life staff abilities are:
- Sacred Ground – this is your primary self-healing method and will also help with stamina. Others can use the Sacred Ground healing area if they need to.
- Light’s Embrace – use this on your allies; it will heal for more health if they have buffs. Most builds have passives that grant buffs, so you should heal more effectively.
- Beacon – fire one of these at a target to create an area-of-effect heal. In addition, the Speed of Light passive gives affected allies the haste buff, which is a good combo with Light’s Embrace.
The best New World war hammer PvE build
The best war hammer PvE build is war hammer and sword. This is a variation on the best New World tank build and both will work great in expeditions. Your main job with this build is to taunt enemies to keep them fixed on you; in order to do this reliably, there are certain skills and passives you need to take. Ensure your sword is equipped with a Carnelian gem to activate the secondary ability of a few skills.
Stat distribution is key to making this build work. Maximise your constitution to get the most out of your equipment and passive skills. The rest of your stat points should go into strength to bolster your healing capabilities as you hit enemies with some of your attacks. Your New World gear should be heavy armour with a big focus on physical resistance, as the passive you get from having at least 100 points in constitution gives you 10% of your physical resistance to your health. Since you’ll be blocking most of the time, a decent tower shield is also essential.
The war hammer abilities we recommend are:
- Armor Breaker – though this may look like an offensive skill, it’s best used as a support skill to debuff bosses using the Lasting Trauma passive which inflicts the rend status to reduce the enemy’s damage absorption.
- Shockwave – this skill is best used after applying taunts with the sword skills. It reapplies the taunt status in a seven-metre radius while also applying stun and weaken.
- Path of Destiny – good for provoking enemies to attack you and will also inflict stagger if you get the Seismic Waves passive.
For the sword, take the following abilities:
- Shield Bash – while it only hits a few enemies, it can reapply the taunt status and temporarily stun some of the more bothersome enemies in front of you.
- Shield Rush – knocking down enemies helps, but the main point of using this skill is to inflict weaken and stun to all enemies hit.
- Defiant Stance – this is your main way of inflicting taunt on enemies in the room. With the Restoration passive, it significantly reduces incoming damage and heals you for 15% of your maximum health at the end of the eight-second skill duration.
Shield Rush is perhaps the most optional of the sword abilities, as you could also use Whirling Blade with both of its linked passives to apply the rend status ailment and give you a 10% cooldown reduction for every enemy hit by the skill. Thus, if you have ten enemies surrounding you, you can keep spinning until they perish.
Those are the best war hammer builds in New World. If you plan to test your hammer against other players, you may also be interested in our New World PvP guide, especially if you’re trying out PvP for the first time. We also have a New World beginner’s guide for new players, and our New World leveling guide can help you level up as quickly as possible.