Holy warriors, champions of light, defenders of the weak, and protectors of justice. Can I get a Deus vult?! That’s right, in this New World guide we are going to talk about how to build a paladin, one of the most beloved archetypes in tabletop role-playing games and MMOs alike.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking – there are no paladins in New World. After all, New World doesn’t even have a class system. True, true. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still play a paladin in New World.
A Paladin in All But Name
In role-playing terms, the paladin has come to be known as a holy warrior. They wear heavy armor, most often wield a sword/shield or some heavy weapon like a big hammer (occasionally mixing it all together). Paladins also wield their divine power to heal/shield themselves and allies. Above all else, they are dedicated to fighting evil and championing all that is good in the world.
While there is no player option that says paladin anywhere in New World, it’s easy to meet all of the requirements to successfully role-play and build like one. In this guide, we are going to go everything you need to know to be the best holy champion you can be and make your deity/deities proud!
Best Faction for a Paladin
You begin the game shipwrecked and are given some starting quests that set you up with the basics of playing the game. These quests will funnel you into a starting settlement. If you follow these quests, you will quickly reach level ten.
Once you’ve done so, the next time you enter that starting settlement, you will be given a quest to join one of the three factions – The Covenant, The Marauders, or the Syndicate. To anyone familiar with New World, it is unsurprising that we will be choosing the Covenant as our faction here. They are after all the strong religious group of New World.
Meanwhile, the Marauders are a warrior faction who care about individual strength and freedoms, and the Syndicate are magical/mundane scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of New World. None of which are particularly paladin-like. All this is to say that the Covenant is your clear choice for a faction.
Prydwen – A Paladin’s Home
Prydwen is the capital in the Monarch’s Bluffs territory. If you really want to dive deep into the role-play, you should make this your home base. At the very least, you should start doing the main story quests here. This Arthurian style city needs you to help the knights protect the people, providing great role-playing opportunities to build the tale of your paladin in New World.
Becoming a Soul Warden
In New World, you encounter zombies and skeletons abound to fight. Slaying the undead is a great role-play opportunity for any paladin, but that’s small time compared to the Soul Wardens.
Upon reaching level twelve, you can get a quest titled “The Old Man Who Cried Corruption.” This will have you find an old fisherman named Yonas Alazar, east of the Corinth capital in the Windsward territory. This part may contain some mild spoilers for the main story quest, so read at your own (potential) peril.
Yonas Alazar is the quest NPC who starts you on a long, and I do mean long, quest chain to become a Soul Warden. You’ve probably encountered corruption before in game. Even if you are not actively involved in this main quest-line, I bet at some point you were walking through the woods – minding your own business, exploring, on a quest, or just hunting that sweet, sweet iron on your compass map.
When all of a sudden, the forest turns into the mouth of hell itself for no explained reason. Sound familiar? Well that’s corruption. You’ve got your red and black color scheme, cool enemies, and ominous black pools. Incidentally, if you stand in those black pools, you start losing corruption resistance and will eventually take damage.
Conveniently, the Soul Wardens fight corruption, and you can too!
As you progress through the quest chain Yonas offers you, you will complete various rituals and become a Soul Warden in truth. You will also get a shiny new tool called an Azoth staff, which you can use to purge corruption.
You literally get the ability to make those hell mouths I mentioned before disappear by cleansing them with your Azoth staff. You can see how this fits in super nicely with the paladin role-playing we are doing.
How to Build a Paladin in New World
Okay, we’ve got some great role-playing opportunities for playing a paladin all set. I know that a lot of you are thinking about the builds though. Role-playing is great and all, but how do you mechanically build a paladin in New World already?
Again, this is pretty straightforward. I am going to break this up into two different, but similar builds. One is better suited to group play and the other for solo play.
The Group Paladin Build
This is going to be a full on tank build that makes use of defensive options and healing to really protect you and your team. This has you front and center, generating threat, and taking all the hits.
We want to start out with an even split between strength, constitution, and focus for this build. Since you get three points per level, this works out well. Eventually though, as you level up, you’ll increase the number of points you get to four per level.
That bonus point can go into any of the three attributes, your choice. You could drop the strength for more constitution and focus to maximize healing and defense. However, having the strength feels much more paladin like to me.
For this build, we are going with the heaviest armor we can get. Maximize that defense and really feel like the holy knight you are. We also need Carnelian gems that we can slot into your equipment to make use of the Taunt Gem Compatible weapon ability.
This increases the threat you create, so as to ensure enemies target you and not your squishier allies. Keep in mind you have to slot the Carnelian gem into your weapon, not your armor, to get this crucial bonus.
As for weapons, we are going to wield the sword and shield and paired it with the life staff. Below I am going to get into the main skills for each weapon.
The Sword and Shield
Here we are going to focus pretty much exclusively on the Defender skill tree. You want all three of the active skills and their upgrades ideally.
Shield Rush moves you forward 5m, staggering and pushing back foes. It does 125% weapon damage and gives you grit, a status effect that reduces stagger. It has a 19.6s cooldown.
What we’re here for is the stagger, pushback, and grit. Damage is nice, but our goal primarily is to take hits and heal allies.
Shield Bash does 50% weapon damage and staggers/stuns enemies for 2s. It also has grit and comes with a 24.5s cooldown.
Same case as above, we really like those debuffs. Every good tank needs a way to stun enemies.
Defensive Stance reduces the damage you take from attackers by 30%. This lasts for 8s. You also get the standard grit package as well as the Taunt Gem Compatible ability. It has a 44.2s cooldown.
The cooldown on this ability is quite steep, but man is it worth it. It doesn’t get much tankier than a 30% damage reduction for 8s. Pair this with your heavy armor, other defensive options, and the life staff to ensure you and your allies will never go down (or rarely at least).
Unsurprisingly, we are picking up the Defender capstone Defensive Formation for this build.
The Life Staff
Personally, I prefer the healing options that the life staff has to offer over the protection options. As such, I am going to focus on the Healer skill tree here for this build. However, if you prefer to add some protection options for flavor, that is entirely your prerogative.
Divine Embrace heals your target for 120% weapon damage at a cost of 25 mana. This comes at a 5.9s cooldown.
This is your best option for a single target burst heal. The mana cost is a bit high, but if you don’t have the time to wait for a HOTs effect to maximize your healing, you’ll be glad you equipped Divine Embrace.
Sacred Ground sets a 3m radius circle on the ground where you target. The circle lasts 12s and heals 16% weapon damage ever second to each ally in the circle. This costs 15 mana and has a 19.6s cooldown.
Conversely, if you do have the time to wait, a HOTs effect like Sacred Ground can be just as nice as a burst heal like Divine Embrace (actually even nicer). Of course the downside to Sacred Ground is that it takes time for the full healing, and you or your allies have to stay within the radius of the skill in order to benefit from it. But if well placed and well timed, Sacred Ground is incredible value.
Splash of Light heals yourself and all allies within 100m for 60% weapon damage for 15 mana. It has a 14.7s cooldown.
Splash of Light is the combination of Divine Embrace and Sacred Ground to round out your healing package. You get burst healing, and yes, it is only half as strong as Divine Embrace’s burst healing. However, it is an AOE like Sacred Ground to offset the reduced healing.
With these three skills you should be set for all your healing needs.
The Solo Paladin Build
This build is going to be very similar to the group build above. The attribute and equipment recommendation are going to be the exact same. I would also recommend building the life staff as I describe above.
The difference here is that we are going to swap out the sword and shield for the war hammer. Let’s take a look at how to optimize the war hammer to be a relentless force for justice.
For this build, we will want a mix of skills. It won’t be just a matter of picking a skill tree and sticking to it. Instead, we’ll be picking abilities from both the Crowd Crusher and Juggernaut skill trees.
Start off by grabbing Shockwave from the Crowd Crusher tree. Shockwave hits all enemies in a 3m radius for 80% weapon damage and staggers/stuns them for 2s. This ability has grit and comes with the Taunt Gem Compatible ability. It has a 19.6s cooldown.
Now, I’ve raved about Shockwave in other guides and for good reason. Shockwave is an AOE stun, which is always great to have and can get you out of some tight spots. Grab and upgrade it immediately. You won’t be sorry that you did.
Next up is Armor Breaker from the Juggernaut skill tree. Armor Breaker does 140% weapon damage, ignores 35% of the target’s armor, and comes at an 11.8s cooldown.
This skill is just solid damage. Not much more to say about it. This skill hits ‘em hard, and that’s what you need in solo play.
Finally, we come to Mighty Gavel from the Juggernaut skill tree. With Mighty Gavel you leap towards your enemies and deal 170% weapon damage. This comes at a 19.6s second cooldown.
This ability is alright on its own, but once you fully upgrade it, you get the Juggernaut capstone – Justice for All. With this capstone, if you press the attack button after hitting with Mighty Gavel, you get a second hit for 220% weapon damage. You can obviously see how strong this skill becomes once fully upgraded.
With this build, you’ll have the damage, healing, and utility to be a true solo paladin and a force to be reckoned with in New World.
Join the High Ground
Follow these steps to build your paladin in New World and deliver justice to the wicked and helpless alike. Can I get another Deus vult?!
Let us know how you feel about our guide in the comments below! If there’s anything we can do to improve it, we’ll do so. And make sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more New World and other gaming content!
Enjoy purging corruption and fighting for light and righteousness. Your noble path as a paladin begins now explorer!