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The Warring Bruiser: A New World Great Axe and War Hammer Build Guide for PvP


In this build guide, we will explore the powerful combination of the Great Axe and War Hammer weapons in New World. Known as the “Warring Bruiser,” this build focuses on dealing massive damage in PvP encounters. Whether you’re engaged in wars or other PvP content, this build is designed to be highly effective. Please note that this guide is up-to-date for Patch 1.9.2.


The Warring Bruiser build is centered around dealing damage and excels in group fights. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes incredibly fun and can dish out tons of damage. However, it’s important to note that this build is highly popular in PvP, which means acquiring the best-in-slot (BiS) gear might be expensive. But the investment is worth it, as it will make you a devastating force on the battlefield.

The Great Axe

The Great Axe is the cornerstone of many Bruiser builds due to its high damage potential and crowd control abilities. With the Warring Bruiser build, the Great Axe will be your primary weapon for dealing damage. The three main skills utilized in this build are Charge, Maelstrom, and Gravity Well.

  • Charge serves as a mobility skill, allowing you to quickly disengage when your health is critical.
  • Maelstrom is an area-of-effect burst skill that can take down multiple foes simultaneously.
  • Gravity Well functions as an opener skill, pulling opponents into tight groups, maximizing the effectiveness of both Maelstrom and Shockwave from your War Hammer.

To optimize damage and survivability, the passive tree for the Great Axe focuses on maximizing damage output while providing additional defenses. Passives such as Crowded Protection, Enduring Strike, Critical Gains, Feed, and Mauler’s Resolve enhance your defenses and sustain. Offensive passives like Center of Attention, Mauler’s Fury, Greed, Keen Edge, and Critical Condition capitalize on favorable conditions to boost damage.

Notably, Mauler’s Fury provides a significant damage boost and is a key passive in this build. Given the focus on grouping opponents and overwhelming them, you will often have a high or maximum stack of this passive, resulting in even greater damage output.

Defensive passives like Enduring Strikes and Mauler’s Resolve provide damage reduction during Grit and an extra stamina boost, respectively, offering additional survivability in challenging situations.

To delve deeper into the Great Axe’s skills and passives, refer to our comprehensive Great Axe Weapon Guide. This guide provides in-depth information and suggests build options for leveling.

The War Hammer

The War Hammer is renowned for its reliable crowd control capabilities. In the Warring Bruiser build, it serves as the secondary weapon and is primarily used for crowd control and area-of-effect damage. The key skills for this weapon are Armor Breaker, Shockwave, and Path of Destiny.

  • Shockwave is the star ability of the War Hammer, allowing you to follow up on the Gravity Well from the Great Axe and stun foes, preventing them from escaping the Gravity Well.
  • Path of Destiny covers a wide area, staggering foes and dealing damage while also granting a significant health recovery through Prevailing Spirit.
  • Armor Breaker serves as a decent filler ability when opponents are stunned, and Maelstrom is not yet ready on your Great Axe.
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The Skill Tree for the War Hammer focuses on maximizing its crowd control potential by combining debuffs such as Aftershock and Exhaustive Attacks with the weapon’s area-of-effect capabilities. Passives like Concussive Impact, Power Through Pain, and Epitome of Bonk enhance the weapon’s damage potential, while Prevailing Spirit, Hardened Steel, and Outnumbered bolster its defensive capabilities.

Power Through Pain significantly boosts the damage of your area-of-effect abilities, resulting in strong AoE damage when combined with the additional crowd control effects. Concussive Impact further enhances damage against debuffed enemies.

Among the defensive passives, Prevailing Spirit enables your AoE attacks to leech health, providing additional sustain during intense battles. Hardened Steel strengthens your defenses during Grit, and Outnumbered offers damage resilience when facing multiple foes.

For a comprehensive understanding of the War Hammer’s skills and passives, consult our War Hammer Weapon Guide. This guide provides detailed information and suggests leveling builds.

Stats and Gearing

Now let’s discuss how to set up and gear your character for this build. We will cover armor choices, attribute points, and gems.

Armor Choices

The Warring Bruiser build utilizes Medium Armor, striking a balance between offensive power and mobility. Light armor is too frail defensively, while Heavy armor sacrifices too much damage. However, in Wars, you can opt for Heavy Armor if you prefer a more defensive playstyle, although it may hinder your mobility compared to Medium Armor.

Attribute Points

To optimize this build, allocate 300 points to Constitution and 200 points to Strength. This configuration ensures that all your attacks benefit from Grit, which is essential for both damage and defense.

Most importantly, Grit enables multiple passives to enhance your damage output and survivability.


When it comes to gems, this build requires precise tuning, and we have two setups to consider—one expensive and one more affordable.

In the expensive setup, we focus on Void damage and utilize six Abyssal Runeglass Gems. For your Great Axe, use an Abyssal Amethyst to convert a significant portion of its damage to Void, while adding an additional Void Damage-over-Time (DoT) effect. Fill your armor slots with Abyssal Runeglass variants of the defensive gems.

For the War Hammer, slot an Arboreal Malachite, which adds another DoT effect during your rotation and boosts its damage since you can consistently apply crowd control effects.

To maintain a balanced set of defensive stats, use a mix of defensive gems for your armor and accessories—4 Pristine Onyx, 3 Pristine Opals, and a Pristine Moonstone. This setup grants a 12% resistance to Slash, 8% resistance to Thrust and Strike, and 7.5% resistance to all elements when using Runeglass gems. Additionally, you gain an extra 10% Void Damage or 5% Melee Damage. Please note that the exact values may vary slightly depending on the gems used.

If the expensive setup is not viable for you, consider the cheaper setup. Swap the Armor Gems to Punishing Runeglass, which tends to be more affordable overall. Additionally, choose your preferred Elemental DoT Effect with an Opal for your Great Axe.

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For in-depth information on Runeglass gems, refer to our Runeglass Gem Guide, which covers everything you need to know about crafting and using them.

Perk Options

Perks play a vital role in New World’s weapons, transforming ordinary skills into powerful threats. The selection and placement of perks can significantly impact how a skill is utilized.

Some rare named gear in New World can have unique perk combinations that surpass any crafted gear or provide alternative options for creating a great gear piece. We have noted these notable items in their respective sections following the general perk layout.


For the Great Axe, prioritize a Scarab-crafted weapon that possesses Refreshing Move and Thwarting Strikes. This perk combination is commonly available and relatively affordable. Refreshing Move helps reduce cooldowns, while Thwarting Strikes increases the damage of all your attacks due to the 300 Strength bonus.

The ideal third perk for the Great Axe is Abyssal Attunement, which scales up with the Abyssal Runeglass setup. If you’re not pursuing the Void Setup, consider perks related to Chain Element for additional area-of-effect damage or Enfeebling Maelstrom to boost its power.

Regarding the War Hammer, focus on damage with Sundering Shockwave and Thwarting Strikes as the primary perks. A third perk related to Elemental Attunement or Elemental Chain is ideal for extra damage or area-of-effect capabilities.

Notable Weapons

It’s worth noting that Thwarting Strikes and Refreshing Move are crucial for the Great Axe and are better crafted or found on someone who can craft them, as they do not appear on any named weapons.

For a decent two-perk War Hammer, consider Batheqet’s Cudgel. This War Hammer contains Sundering Shockwave and Thwarting Strikes as the primary perks, with Ancient Bane as a third perk. While it may not be the perfect PvP item, it can serve as a decent placeholder until you find better gear.

Batheqet’s Cudgel drops from “Batheqet of the Cudgel” in Heliopolis, located in the Brimstone Sands.


For the Amulet, prioritize Stamina Recovery, Health, and Slash Protection. These perks enhance your defenses against other bruisers and slash weapons. Stamina Recovery functions like an additional Mauler’s Resolve, restoring a considerable amount of stamina during critical moments and enabling extra dodges. If you can only obtain two perks, prioritize Stamina Recovery and Health.

For the Earring, aim for Regenerating and Refreshing as the main perks, although other perks can also be viable. The extra sustain and shorter cooldowns provided by these perks are essential for this build.

Regarding the Ring, Invigorated Punishment, Slash Damage, and Leeching are the best perks. Invigorating Punishment and Slash Damage significantly boost your damage output.

Notable Accessories

There is one notable accessory—Doom’s Chance Earring. It offers Regenerating and Refreshing, our two best perks, as well as Refreshing Toast, which reduces potion cooldowns for even more sustain.

You can obtain the Doom’s Chance Earring as a drop from “Alluvium Marl, the Caretaker” in the Garden of Genesis Expedition.

While not completely BiS, the Champion’s Ring and Champion’s Amulet obtained from PvP rewards can serve as decent placeholders until you acquire better gear. However, obtaining these rewards requires considerable effort and grinding.

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The Champion’s Ring provides Invigorating Punishment (GS 600+), alongside Hearty and Keen Awareness. Invigorating Punishment is the primary perk we care about since critical hits are less impactful against targets stacked with Resilient. The extra Stamina from Hearty can be useful for an additional emergency dodge in certain situations.

The Champion’s Amulet offers two of our ideal perks: Stamina Recovery and Health. When it becomes Legendary, it also gains Shirking Empower, which may not be perfect but provides a nice bonus until you acquire better gear.


When it comes to armor, the baseline perks you should aim for across all your pieces are 4 stacks of Resilient, 4 stacks of Shirking Fortification, and Insatiable Gravity Well. Resilient mitigates critical hits, offering crucial defense against powerful attacks, while Shirking Fortification provides a significant boost to your defensive capabilities.

For those pursuing BiS gear, strive for 5 stacks of Resilient, 5 stacks of Shirking Fortification, 3 stacks of Freedom, Insatiable Gravity Well, and Enfeebling Maelstrom. Achieving maximum stacks for Resilient and Shirking Fortification empowers you with exceptional defense. Enfeebling Maelstrom debuffs opponents with Enfeeble, reducing their damage output.

If your Great Axe already has Enfeebling Maelstrom as a third perk or lacks Sundering Shockwave on your War Hammer, consider using Leeching Path of Destiny in its place.

Notable Armor

Regular Pants, despite being light armor, are phenomenal gear pieces for PvP. These pants feature a combination of Resilient, Shirking Fortification, and Refreshing perks—making them excellent choices for bolstering your defenses. Additionally, they come with Constitution as a set bonus, which complements the two primary stats of this build.

You can obtain Regular Pants as a drop from Heka of the Crossroads in Heka’s Cauldron Point of Interest in the Brimstone Sands.

Skill Rotations and Combos

This build does not heavily rely on complex combos. Instead, the primary skill rotation involves performing the following sequence or using basic Light attacks:

  1. Dodge (if using Opal instead of Amethyst in Great Axe)
  2. Gravity Well
  3. Shockwave
  4. Dodge (if using Opal instead of Amethyst in Great Axe)
  5. Maelstrom

The goal of this skill rotation is to maximize burst damage on multiple targets. Begin with Gravity Well to group opponents and create clumps. Switch to your War Hammer and utilize Shockwave to stun foes and apply Sundering Shockwave, which boosts the damage of your subsequent Maelstrom.

If you have an Opal in your Great Axe instead of an Amethyst, dodge before casting Gravity Well to trigger the Gambit effect, which increases damage while your Stamina is not full. Repeat this dodge before using Maelstrom to maximize its damage potential.

Special Thanks

This comprehensive build guide was created in collaboration with vRiddler, an experienced New World PvPer who has played since launch and participated in every meta on the EU servers. vRiddler sourced information from other experienced PvP players and company members from top EU companies.

We hope this guide provides everything you need to excel with the unique weapon pairing of the Great Axe and War Hammer. At, we offer a wealth of useful New World guides, and we frequently publish additional content. Stay up-to-date with all things New World by checking out our news and updates coverage.

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