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New World Builds: Great Axe and War Hammer | Whirlwind Guide

New World Build Guide for the Great Axe and War Hammer. This Whirlwind Great Axe and War Hammer Build focuses on dealing insane AoE damage, while also crowd controlling and containing enemies and players alike. This is a PvE and PvP Build that is not only good for Questing, and PvP, but also for Expeditions, and does some of the highest AoE DPS in New World. If you’ve been looking for a good Great Axe and War Hammer Build, then this Guide is for you. You should also try our Musketeer Build!

New World Builds: Great Axe and War Hammer | Whirlwind Guide

The way this Build woks is that you’ll use Path of Destiny to attack enemies at a distance before closing and engaging your prey. You’ll use Gravity Well to trap and pull targets together, and then use Charge to get you into melee range. You’ll then use Maelstrom to AoE all enemies, before swapping to your War Hammer and popping both Shockwave to Stun targets, and Clear Out to send them all flying.

This combo is absolutely deadly, and should more or less work the same in Expeditions and in PvP. This Build is obviously better in medium to large group battles, but it works effectively in 1 0n 1 and smaller PvP as well, because the Great Axe and War Hammer are such strong Weapons.

Great Axe and War Hammer Build Attributes

Both the Great Axe and War Hammer scale exclusively off the Strength attribute, so that’s what you’ll want to focus on for maximum damage. However, you will be in melee range, meaning you will be hit quite often when using this setup so it’s also good to add some Constitution in order to survive enemy and player attacks.

I like to distribute my Attribute points in a 2:1 ratio of Strength and Constitution, meaning for every 2 points I drop into Strength I also drop a point into Constitution. This helps ensure you survive while taking some punishment so you can keep on swinging. Note that you may have a ton of Constitution from your Armor, and you may not need to invest quite as many points into Constitution if you do, just try to keep Strength around double the value of Constitution.

Great Axe and War Hammer Build Skills

The Skills you’ll want for this Build are more or less the same no matter what type of content you are playing in New World, so you don’t need to move them around much. However, it is optimized a bit more towards the PvP side of things, and you could swap out Gravity Well for Reap if you’re more into PvE, since it’s another solid AoE that can heal you and deals better damage than Gravity Well.

Great Axe Skills

Charge – This Skill is your gap closer, and is a must for PvP, and better than you’d think in Expeditions. You can use this to get in range of enemies after you Gravity Well them, or to help gain ground on fleeing opponents. It’s also exceptionally good at getting you back to Bosses that may have moved or knocked you away, so you can continue DPSing ASAP.

Gravity Well – This Skill throws an Axe that creates an orb that slows and damages enemies and players caught in it. It can keep enemies grouped up so you can AoE them down, and it can stop players from escaping in PvP. You’ll get far more kills by slotting this Ability when fighting, whether in small or large battles, so it’s definitely worth having 95% of the time.

Maelstrom – This is your best AoE Skill, and once upgraded it hits two times in a rather large AoE very quickly. What’s great about this Skill is that you don’t need to aim, so if you’re fighting a particularly mobile enemy (or player), and you’re having a hard time hitting them, you can use this Skill to get them without really having to aim your attack. Use this on groups of enemies for best results.

War Hammer Skills

Path of Destiny – What I like about this Skill is that it gives your Build some range, which can be used to soften up targets before you get in range, or to finish off fleeing players that are low on Health. Range is the biggest weakness of this Build, so adding just a little bit goes a long way.

Shockwave – This Skill does a medium sized AoE that Stuns and deals damage to all enemies around you. This is fantastic in both PvE and PvP scenarios as it not only deals damage, it prevents you and your fellow party members from getting hit. Ideally you’d use this after Maelstrom, and then use Clear Out to further CC enemies.

Clear Out – This Skill sends enemies in a rather wide arc flying backward and deals damage at the same time. I like to end my rotation with this Ability because it allows me to single out a target, and creates some separation if a lot of enemies (or players) are right on top of you. It’s also another AoE of sorts, so you can deal a lot of damage in one attack.

For passives you really just want to look for things that increase your overall damage. However, you’ll absolutely want to take the Blood Lust Skill as soon as you can because it allows you to catch players in PvP much more easily, and also increases your damage in both PvE and PvP. If you cannot catch enemies in PvP you will lose out on a lot of kills.

Great Axe and War Hammer Build Weapons

When it comes to Weapons you’ll obviously need a Great Axe and Hammer, and you want to look for those that are going to deal the maximum damage, don’t just look at the Gear Score. Since both these Weapons scale only with Strength, you want to find versions of these that provide this attribute.


You’ll also want to look for Crit Chance, and Light Attack and Heavy Attack damage, as it’s not always possible to hit enemies in the back to get guaranteed Critical Hits, and you will Light and Heavy Attack often. If you get a Gem slot, consider slotting an Emerald for increased damage against low Health enemies, or a Jasper for increased damage after you’ve taken consecutive hits.


Great Axe and War Hammer Build Armor

When it comes to Armor you’ll be looking to find the best Heavy Armor you can use. Faction Reputation is not hard to get, and comes with a lot of good bonuses, so consider using this early on when you haven’t run any Expeditions yet.

You want Heavy Armor for this Build because you will get hit quite a lot, and it will allow you to get healed through the damage when doing Expeditions and PvP. Heavy Armor has much more protection than either Medium or Light Armor, so you’ll want to wear a full 5 pieces if you can.


Look for bonuses on the Armor that increase your Strength, Constitution and Damage Absorption. Anything that further reduces damage is also good, like lowered Critical Damage, etc.

Final Tips

Unlike Builds that use Ranged Weapons, you can’t attack from a distance in PvP. The best possible scenario for you is to get into melee range undetected, and you can often use the landscape to shield your approach and catch other players unawares. Ranged Builds have a tough time dealing with this Build in melee, and if you can descend on players before they see you, you’ll have even more success.

Remember to use Charge when closing the gap on fleeing enemies. Sometimes you’ll need to use it 4 or 5x to catch someone, but you’ll be able to if they don’t have any Abilities that improve their speed as well. This single Skill will get you more kills than just about any other.

A great axe-wielding player is leaping in to attack their opponent, who stands bracing with a shield. They are fighting in front of a huge shattered obelisk.

Make sure to lead with Gravity Well so that players and enemies are stuck when you begin your attack. This will help to improve your damage, and is something you should get in the habit of ASAP. Note that when in melee range if you use this Ability, you can actually hit players and enemies with the axe as you swing upward dealing damage on its initial cast.

Lastly, don’t forget to repair your Equipment. You’ll take a beating with this Build so you’ll need to repair more than some other Builds. Make sure to do this whenever is needed for best results. You can click the repair all button on the bottom of your inventory to do this quickly.

Stay tuned for more New World Build Guides, and be sure to check out the New World Wiki for more information about the game.

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