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New World: Greatsword Weapon Guide

It’s been a while since we’ve done a New World weapon guide, but the recent Brimstone Sands expansion brings a brand new weapon with it — the greatsword! With that in mind, let’s take a look at all the new skills and stats to see if the New World greatsword really is all that great.

Let’s get started!

Greatsword Active Skills Overview

Before we go over the best builds and how to utilize the greatsword in New World, we’ll cover each of the active skills on this new weapon. If you’re confused about the terms Onslaught and Defiant Stance, don’t worry. We’ll cover those in depth in the Builds section later on!


Crosscut - New World Greatsword Guide
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Crosscut is the first-row active skill in the Onslaught skill tree. With this move, you deliver swift attacks that can really lay on the DPS. You attack three times in quick succession for 110%, 130%, and 160% weapon damage, respectively. Once the skill ends, you enter Onslaught Stance. This comes at a 14.7s cooldown.

This move is solid DPS, And there’s not much more to say. You hit hard, fast, and often. Keep in mind that the last hit is a more slow-moving overhand strike that can be a bit hard to connect compared to the first two quicker attacks.

Overall, however, it’s a great DPS move that’s well worth grabbing for some fast damage.

Relentless Rush

Relentless Rush
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Relentless Rush is the second-row active skill in the Onslaught skill tree. Spin to win!

Dash forward and spin, inflicting a 20% slow for 4s on a hit across two hits. The first hit does 110% weapon damage, and the second hit does 120% weapon damage. It is worth noting that this move cannot backstab, but does trigger Onslaught Stance. This comes at a 19.6s cooldown.

This move boasts decent damage, and the status effects can be solid. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to hit with and feels kind of clunky. I wasn’t overly impressed, if I’m being honest, but it’s definitely worth picking up in the right build (which we will get to later).

Skyward Slash

Skyward Slash - New World Greatsword Guide
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Skyward Slash is the third-row active skill in the Onslaught skill tree. Have you ever wanted to hit your enemies with an uppercut, but with a sword instead of your fist? Well, now you can!

Strike upwards for 80% weapon damage and stagger your enemy. On a hit, apply two stacks of rend – 5% plus one additional stack if you are in Onslaught Stance. When the skill ends you enter Onslaught Stance. This comes at a 17.7s cooldown.

The status effects on this skill are nice, and the upgrades are even better. It does feel a bit lackluster without the upgrades, but it’s worth investing the skill points to fully upgrade it.

Calamity Counter

Calamity Counter
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Calamity Counter is the first-row active skill in the Defiance skill tree. You want a counter attack? Well, now you’ve got a counter attack. Calling it “calamity” might be a bit melodramatic, though.

You block for 2s and reduce incoming stamina damage by 90% while doing so. After the 2s, you attack all enemies in a 4m radius. This counter attack will deal 100% weapon damage, and depending on the number of times you block with it, it will cause different effects to the enemy. Once will stagger enemies, twice will stagger them for longer, and three times will cause knockback.

If you reactivate the skill or hit light attack, you can counter sooner. You enter Defiant Stance when this ability ends. This ability has grit and comes with a 19.6s cooldown.

Calamity Counter is a nice defensive ability with decent debuffs. The timing can be a bit tricky sometimes, so while it’s perfectly fine, you might have a better time with other options.

Roaring Rupture

Roaring Rupture - New World Greatsword Guide
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Roaring Rupture is the second-row active skill in the Defiance skill tree. If you need help when surrounded by enemies, then this is the skill for you.

Stab the ground, creating a 4m shockwave that does 120% weapon damage and grants you 8% fortify for 5s per enemy hit (to a maximum of three stacks). This move has grit and generates 200% threat. You enter Defiant Stance when the skill ends. This comes with a 19.6s cooldown.

Roaring Rupture is great for when you’re surrounded by enemies. You can lay on a bit of damage and get a nice defensive buff. There’s not much bad to say. I mean, it’s no Shockwave, but that’s not really much of a complaint. Overall, it’s a great defensive option that’s definitely worth picking up.

Steadfast Strike

Steadfast Strike
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Steadfast Strike is the third-row active skill in the Defiance skill tree. It restores stamina, staggers enemies, pulls them in, generates threat, slices, dices, has Bluetooth…

You stab your opponent then pull the blade out for a two hit move that restores 20 stamina per hit. The first hit does 70% weapon damage and staggers, while the second hit does 120% weapon damage and pulls the target 1.5m towards you.

This move generates 150% threat and enters you into Defiant Stance once the skill ends. This all comes with a 17.7s cooldown.

The move does a lot and the damage isn’t terrible across the two hits. The upgrades are really nice, too. There’s nothing really bad to say here! It’s well worth picking up, and you should definitely take a stab at it.

DPS Build for the Greatsword in New World

DPS Build for the Greatsword in New World
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

The first build we will look at for the greatsword in New World is a fairly straightforward DPS build that mostly focuses on the Onslaught skill tree. This build makes use of the Onslaught Stance mechanic.

Most of your skills will trigger the Onslaught Stance, which will cause you to deal 15% more damage, take 15% more damage, and charge your heavy attacks twice as fast. However, those heavy attacks will also cost 10 stamina each.


Unsurprisingly, the greatsword scales off of Strength, so feel free to go ham on stacking Strength. As always, some Constitution won’t hurt (in fact, it will do the opposite). However, if you want to go pure DPS, you can solely focus on Strength.


This build can go either Heavy or Light armor, your choice. I personally prefer Heavy armor so you can get a bit of tanking and mostly focus on attack, attack, attack. If you want to go Light armor to try and dodge more, that’s also a viable option.

The light armor route means that, if successful, you can mitigate the 15% extra damage you take in Onslaught Stance by dodging the enemy attacks outright. However, since your heavy attacks will now cost you stamina as well, dodging can be a bit of a nonbo (opposite of combo).

Active Skills

First, you want to pick up Crosscut. Crosscut is just too good of a source of DPS to pass up. The skill really speaks for itself.

The second skill you want for this build is Skyward Strike. It’s alright on its own, but if you grab the first upgrade, you get a second hit — almost tripling the damage of the move!

For the final skill, we depart from the Onslaught skill tree to grab Steadfast Strike from the Defiance skill tree. It is a third-row active skill, so it does require two points spent on Defiance passive skills before you can even buy it, let alone upgrade. However, I think the cost is well worth it, as the move provides a lot of useful effects.

Passive Skills

After upgrading your active skills, Heavy Blade, Keen Posture, and Aggressive Shift are the standout passive skills, in my opinion.

Heavy Blade gives your charged heavy attacks 15% armor penetration, which is nothing to sneeze at. Keen Posture gives your first attack within 5s of entering Onslaught Stance an additional 100% crit chance, which is another way to pile on the damage.

Finally, Aggressive Shift causes you to enter Onslaught Stance when you land a charged heavy attack. This is especially nice, since your Steadfast Strike would typically put you into Defiant Stance, which is not where we want to be in the DPS build.


Unrelenting Onslaught
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Unsurprisingly, Unrelenting Onslaught is the pick. It’s useful, and we just won’t have the points to unlock Undying Defiance anyway.

Tank Build for the Greatsword in New World

Tank Build for the Greatsword in New World
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

You probably saw this coming, but the second build I will recommend for the greatsword in New World is a tank build, which focuses primarily on the Defiance skill tree. This build makes use of the Defiant Stance ability. This is a mirror to the Onslaught Stance ability.

It reduces damage taken and dealt, by 15%. Furthermore, while charging heavy attacks, you automatically block incoming strikes. This is very useful, but keep your stamina gauge in mind so you don’t get an unfortunately timed guard break.


For this build, you want a much more even mix of Strength and Constitution. You should go with a two to one ratio, probably in favor of Constitution, but Strength is also a valid choice.


No question, the best choice is to go all in on Heavy armor to maximize your defense. With all of your fortify and healing skills, this will make you a true walking fortress that will rarely go down in battle.

Active Skills

This might be a bit controversial, but for my build, skip right over Calamity Counter and go for Roaring Rupture. Not only does Roaring Rupture generate threat, but it is also an AOE that grants fortify — a must-have for this tank build.

Next is Steadfast Strike. It grants solid buffs/debuffs and also generates threat. If you upgrade it, then it also heals you, too.

Finally, you will want to grab Relentless Rush. I’m not normally the biggest fan of this skill. but if you get the Adaptive Rush upgrade, then while you are in Defiant Stance, Relentless Rush will heal you for 15% of the damage dealt. This makes it a great addition to the tank build.

Passive Skills

Aside from upgrading your active skills, Perfect Vigilance, Wary Posture, and Guarded Shift are the stand-outs to me.

Perfect Vigilance reduces your damage by 20% and gives you fortify for 3s when hit while at full health. With your great defensive abilities as well as your self-healing, this ability will proc a lot.

Wary Posture reduces all damage taken by 25% for 5s after entering Defiant Stance. This is unquestionably a great ability. Finally, Guarded Shift enters you into Defiant Stance after guarding for 2s. Always good to have additional ways to enter your stance.


Undying Defiance
Image: Amazon Games via HGG / Joel Stadler

Undying Defiance gives you great additional healing, making you even harder to bring down. It is clearly the only choice for a capstone ability.

Join the High Ground

There you have it — our New World greatsword build guide. Turns out it is a weapon worthy of its name after all! Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more New World content and other gaming news!

Happy stabbing, slashing, and cleaving, explorer!


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