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A Killer New World Build: Strongman Hatchet and Great-Axe

A Fun Build for New World

In the land of Aeternum, a new player can feel overwhelmed with the number of options they have for their playstyle. There are so many combinations of builds one can utilize on their journey. To keep things simple, in this guide we will be going over a fun and easy-to-master build in New World: The Strongman Hatchet and Great Axe Build.

What to Wear

Prior to weapons, we need to discuss armor. Armor plays a massive role in how your character functions. It doesn’t just provide protection, but also determines how fast or slow you are during combat. There are three armor weights a player can choose from: Light, medium, and heavy. Each weight tier has a bonus:

Light: While wearing light armor, your dodge is a quick roll that covers a lot of distance. It is less protective, but you gain a 20% damage and healing bonus

Medium: While wearing medium armor, your dodge is a quick hop. It’s not quite as far as the dodge roll with light armor but provides a decent balance between protection and mobility. While in medium armor, you gain a 10% damage bonus and crowd-control debuffs you apply last 10% longer. You also gain a 10% healing bonus.

Heavy: While wearing heavy armor, your dodge is a slow sidestep. Heavy armor limits mobility but provides the best protection. Your block stability is increased by 15% and crowd debuffs you apply last 20% longer.

Players however are not limited to wearing one type of armor at a time; they have the option to mix and match. Players can balance their armor weight through various light, medium, and heavy pieces to maintain damage output while also assisting in the mitigation of damage. For this build, its most beneficial to either run a light or medium armor load. To maximize mitigation and damage output players can wear:

Light setup:

  • Light Head
  • Medium Chest
  • Light Gloves
  • Light Pants
  • Light Boots

Pros of this setup: More damage output (20%), more mobility (Dodge Roll)

Cons of this setup: Less damage mitigation

Medium Setup:

  • Heavy Head
  • Heavy Chest
  • Medium Gloves
  • Light Pants
  • Medium Boots

Pros of this Setup: Good damage output (10%), longer crowd debuffs (10%), and more damage mitigation than the light armor setup

Cons of this Setup: Less mobility (Quick hop dodge), lower damage output than light (-10%)

It really does come down to player preference on which armor build they want to use. I personally go with the medium build; I feel it provides a lot more protection in both PvE and PvP situations and is truer to the style that this build is meant to be played.

If your armor has gem slots, I advise using Diamonds for each piece of gear, as they provide both physical and elemental resistances (Resistance % depends on the level of the Gem).

Understanding What We’re Building

Now that we have our armor equipped (or not, take your time and enjoy the game!) we can shift our emphasis to the main aspects of this build. The Hatchet / Great Axe build focuses on survivability and damage. It’s fantastic for solo play or if players are having a difficult time traversing through Aeternum on their own. It shines in expeditions, group play, and PvP. It can be considered a fantastic “all around” build for New World. Using Hatchet on our front bar, it’s ideal for the 1v1 situations to deal incredible damage. Hatchets have some of the best damage perks in the games. When a player is faced with multiple enemies, the Great Axe comes into play. The Great Axe has wide horizontal swings that can hit multiple enemies with perks that can AoE down large groups as well.

Allocating Attributes

You want to focus on the proper attributes for this build. Both Hatchet and Great Axe scale with the strength attribute, so you will want to put most of your attributes here, ideally up to 250. While great Axe does not directly benefit from dexterity, it can be beneficial to get 50 points in the dexterity attribute; this will give additional hatchet damage and provide a 5% crit chance. To increase survivability, you will also want 50 points in the constitution attribute. This will provide a small increase to health, as well as make health consumables 20% stronger.

Weapons and Passives

For weapon skills, thankfully there isn’t a large variation for PvP or PvE content. This setup can be used for both. As hatchet is our main 1v1 weapon, we’ll start with these skills:

Hatchet Skills – Berserker Tree:

Berserk: Triggers a “Berserk” mode that increases all damage by 20% while active. Active for 12 seconds. Cooldown triggers once Berserk Ends. Great for 1v1 burst damage.

Berserk Passives:

  • On the hunt: Increased movement speed by 20% while in berserk mode
  • Berserking Refresh: While berserk is active, heal a portion of your health back every 4 seconds to a max of 30% of HP
  • Berserking Purge: Removes all crowd control effects from player when Berserk is activated
  • Uninterruptable Berserk: While in Berserk your attacks are uninterruptible, and you can’t be staggered

Feral Rush: A Sprinting melee attack that causes player to leap forward hitting twice. The first hit deals 115% weapon damage and the second deals 130% weapon damage. Fantastic for gap closing opponents in both PvE and PvP

Feral Rush Passives:

  • Dispatch: If a target is below 30% health, FR deals 20% more damage
  • Crippling Strikes: If FR hits a target in the back it causes root, immobilizing the target for two seconds

Raging Torrent: Perform 4 fast attacks each dealing 90% weapon damage. Another great burst of damage

Raging Torrent Passives:

  • Aggressive Approach: Hitting a target with RT generates haste, increasing movement speed by 20% for 6 seconds
  • Final Blow: Press light attack at the end of raging torrent to deal a final attack dealing 120% weapon damage

Additional Berserker Tree Passives:

  • Enraged Strikes: If target is below 30% health, light and heavy attacks deal 20% more damage
  • Against all Odds: Increase base damage by 10% for every enemy within 5 meters of a player
  • Frenzied Purge: When hitting an enemy while your health is below 30% remove all bleed, burn, and poison DoT effects from you
  • Accumulated Power: After 3 successful light attacks against the same target; gain empower granting a 30% damage increase for 3 seconds or until the next attack
  • Relentless Fury: After a successful heavy attack; gain 30% damage increase for 3 seconds or after 4 attacks
  • Fortifying Strikes: Hitting the same target with 3 light attacks grants fortify, increasing damage absorption by 15% for 3 seconds
  • Defy Death: This is the capstone in the Berserker Tree, and arguably one of the most powerful abilities in New World. When a player receives lethal damage, avoid death: Reduces HP to 50 and gain immortality for 3 seconds (75 second cooldown)

Hatchet – Throwing Tree Passives:

  • Aimed Throw: Replaces block with aimed throw, that deals 95% weapon damage. Hold right mouse button to enter aimed stance, and left click to throw your hatchet. Each throw consumes 20 stamina. This ability is perfect for hitting PvP targets that are fleeing, or doing a little bit of up front damage to approaching enemies from range.

Moving on to our great axe, you’ll find these skills useful in tackling large groups:

Great Axe Skills – Reaper Tree

Reap: Extends axe 5m pulling foes to you and dealing 110% weapon damage. Perfect for pulling in multiple foes or a foe trying to escape.

Reap Passives:

  • The Collector: Reap range is now 8m
  • Hunger:Heal Yourself for 30% of damage done by Reap
  • Fatal Attraction:After you pull, do a spin attack dealing 115% weapon damage

Additional Reaper Tree Passives:

  • Frustration: After one of your attacks is blocked, gain 15% damage for 10s
  • Keen Edge: Critical damage increased by 10%
  • Feed: Great axe attacks against foes below 30% health heal you for 10% of damage done
  • Greed: Light attacks with your great axe give you 5% damage for 5 seconds (max 3 stacks)
  • Death’s Embrace: Great axe attacks against foes below 50% health penetrate armor by 10%
  • Critical Condition: Great axe attacks against foes below 30% health critical 15% more often
  • Blood Lust: The capstone for the Reaper Tree, you move 30% faster and deal 15% more damage when looking at a foe within 15 meters.

Great Axe – Mauler Tree

Maelstrom: Fast spinning attack that pulls targets closer to you and deals 110% weapon damage. Another tool for keeping enemies close, activate to ensure no one can escape your grasp!

Maelstrom Passives:

  • Storms Reach: Extends the reach of Maelstrom pull by 50%
  • Absorb: Consumes all Projectiles while Maelstrom is active
  • No Reprieve: Maelstrom does an extra spin attack dealing 110% weapon damage

Gravity Well: Throw an axe to create a vortex that pulls foes to its center for 3 seconds. Ends with a damaging burst dealing 125% weapon damage. Range of 10 meters. An ability to keep foes in place once you have pulled them in.

Gravity Well Passives:

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

Additional Mauler Passives:

  • Mauler’s Resolve: If you get hit while holding a great axe and below 50% health, gain 40 stamina
  • Enduring Strike: Adds Grit to Great Axe Heavy attacks, and grants 20% damage reduction while the heavy attack grit is active. (Grit is an added stagger resistance that stops attacks from being interrupted)

 If one or both of your weapons have a slot to include a gem, I would highly suggest a cut emerald for more damage against low health targets.

Important Points

Some final tips to remember for this build (and I had to learn this the hard way…)

  • Berserk and Defy death are only active while you are holding the hatchet! If you activate Berserk, and switch to Great Axe during, Berserk will cancel and you will have to wait for the cooldown to finish before activating again. Same goes with defy death; if you are holding your Great Axe, and get smacked with lethal damage, Defy Death will not trigger and you will, well, die.
  • If you’re approaching a crowd of enemies, lead with your Great Axe AoE abilities to corral the herd
  • Hatchet is your best tool for 1v1 with combining Berserk and Defy Death

I hope you have as much fun as I do when playing this build. Enjoy yourselves and happy adventuring!

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