Some MMO players prefer to rain down arcane destruction on their enemies, while others like striking silently from the shadows. Some want to support their team with healing and buffs. Then there are those who prefer the direct approach — applying a giant honking weapon directly to the enemy’s face.
If that’s what you like, then New World has the big honking weapon for you: the war hammer. This New World war hammer build guide will provide you everything you need to know about creating and using this ideal weapon.
Let’s get started!
Hit Them Hard… and Hard
The war hammer is all about dealing damage. You’ll generally be either hitting one enemy very hard and ruining their day, or hitting multiple enemies slightly less hard (but still ruining their days).
Either way, the name of the game is “attack and rarely stop attacking” (hey, even you gotta block sometimes). This guide is going to show you the best builds for doing just that.
Juggernaut VS Crowd Crusher
As with all weapons in New World, the meat of the build is going to come from your skills. The war hammer has two skill trees — Juggernaut, which primarily focuses on piling damage onto a single target, and Crowd Crusher, which focuses more on crowd control (and spoiler alert, it can do a really good job of it).
That being said, it isn’t quite as simple as picking the skill tree you want and sticking to it. In this guide, we’ll break down of the main skills and talk about two primary builds — one that’s more focused on solo play, and one that’s a more tanky team build.
The Juggernaut Skill Tree: War Hammer Build Guide
First, we’ll look at the Juggernaut skill tree. The Juggernaut abilities dish out serious damage with big brutal hits. You’ll hit ‘em hard and, while you’re not necessarily fast, two to three slow hits will take down most mob level enemies with no problem.
First on our list is Armor Breaker, a skill as solid as its name is intimidating. Put simply, Armor Breaker is a really big hit with a really big hammer. Armor Breaker penetrates 35% of enemy armor and does 140% weapon damage. This comes at a modest 11.8s cooldown.
On the plus side, it’s a simple ability that does its job really well. All three of its upgrades are very solid as well. The only real downside is that final upgrade, Opening Act, greatly increases the power of the move, but it’s a fifth row skill that takes a lot of investment to full upgrade the skill.
Armor Breaker is a bit of an investment, but well worth it. The skill is solid, but once you get Opening Act, it really takes off. That extra 25% damage to targets with full health is huge. Like the upgrade’s name suggests, you’ll want to start off every fight with Armor Breaker.
Mighty Gavel is a second row skill in the Juggernaut skill tree. If Armor Breaker is how you start a fight, Mighty Gavel is a good way to end it. With this move, you leap forward and deal 170% weapon damage. It comes with a 19.6s cooldown.
Mighty Gavel is one of the heaviest hitting attacks you will find. The first upgrade, Summary Judgement, makes it hit even harder, doing 20% more damage to enemies below 30% health. I was admittedly rather underwhelmed by Might Gavel’s second and third upgrades, though. The boost to stamina damage isn’t bad, but your heavy attack is just better for breaking guards, so it isn’t really worth the skill point.
Mighty Gavel is solid, and Summary Judgement makes it even better. It’s a great follow up to Armor Breaker.
This attack doesn’t hit quite as hard as the other two active Juggernaut skills, but it does knock the enemy down, so that’s a plus. Wrecking Ball hits for 130% weapon damage and knocks down the target. It also has Grit, an ability that reduces stagger from enemy attacks. This comes with a 14.7 second cooldown.
The knockdown and Grit are the big draws for Wrecking Ball. You can drop your opponent and while their getting up smack them with a heavy attack and just watch that health bar go away. It does feel a bit underwhelming, though, and I think Crowd Crusher just gets a better version of the move.
Wrecking Ball is a bit meh compared to Clear Out from the Crowd Crusher skill tree (we’ll get into that shortly). However, it does have some use in the team tank build we discuss later on.
Crowd Crusher Skill Tree: War Hammer Build Guide
The Crowd Crusher skill tree focuses on crowd control. It gives you a couple of AOE options and some decent debuff synergy with its passive skills.
Clear Out is Crowd Crusher’s first row active skill. It’s good for knocking ‘em back and knocking ‘em down. Crowd Crusher does 115% weapon damage in a wide swing that knocks enemies back 4m and has the grit ability. This comes with a 14.7s cooldown.
Knocking down enemies is always a solid move, especially when you have allies who can take advantage of that. Plus the first two upgrades are nice. Just all around a solid knockdown ability. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the final upgrade. I don’t think the hammer strategy needs the movement speed boost it grants.
Clear Out is solid and does its job well. I’d say it’s a better knockdown ability than the Juggernaut’s Wrecking Ball.
Does it get much better than this? No, it does not. Not in the hammer build, anyway. Shockwave creates a 3m earthquake that does 80% weapon damage and triggers a 2s stun on all enemies hit by it. This comes with a deserved 19.6s cool down.
Shockwave is an AOE stun and it has three solid upgrades — there’s not much else you need to say about it. It’s honestly hard to find a criticism of this ability. The cooldown is a bit long, but given that the ability is an AOE that stuns enemies, it’s very reasonable.
Shockwave is easily the best ability the war hammer gets. It is the Ice Pylon of war hammers. Buy it and upgrade the bejesus out of it.
Path of Destiny
Path of Destiny is the third row Crowd Crusher active skill. It’s a linear AOE that does 100% weapon damage in a line to all enemies. It comes with a 21.6s cooldown.
The Seismic Waves upgrade gives Path of Destiny a stagger debuff on hit, which greatly improves the attack. This is good because linear AOEs are generally not as good as other AOEs. Most enemies will surround you and not line up in a nice row.
Overall, it feels meh all around. Could be somewhat useful in the group tank build, but that’s a big maybe.
The Solo Build: War Hammer Build Guide
The solo build is going to draw more from the Juggernaut skill tree. It focuses on targeting enemies and brutally and efficiently taking them down in as few moves as possible.
The war hammer scales off Strength, so that should be your primary attribute you focus on. Go with Constitution next, since it buffs your health.
While this build can work with any armor, I recommend heavy armor. While a more dodgy version of this build would still be viable, if you go full heavy armor, you can just focus on landing attacks and powering through blows with a combination of poise and grit.
The primary skills that this build focuses on are the one-two punch of Armor Breaker and Mighty Gavel. With those two skills as your opener and closer, most enemies will go down right quick. I highly recommend Shockwave as your third active skill, because an AOE stun can come in beautifully clutch.
As for the passive skills, all of the Juggernaut passive skills are great for the build. I’d probably focus on the active skills first and foremost, but all the passive abilities are great. The Outnumbered skill from the Crowd Control skill tree is alright, giving you a 10% boost to your damage absorption when surrounded by two or more enemies. But other than that, the rest are just fine. The healing from Prevailing Spirit isn’t bad, but since it procs off of Crowd Crusher active skills and you’ll only have one of them, it’s not as good as you’d think.
Justice for All is the icing on the cake in this build. When you hit with Mighty Gavel, you can press the light attack button to hit with a bonus attack that does a whopping 220% weapon damage. Need I say more?
The Tank Team Build
This build focuses on drawing in enemies and keeping them in one place, and more importantly, attacking you, so the rest of your team can take them out.
This is the same as the solo build, but flip them. You should prioritize Con over Strength since you’re going survivability over damage.
This build favors a full set of the heaviest armor you can find. You are the tank, after all. This is also where the Taunt Gem Compatible ability comes into play. If you have a Carnelian gem slotted into your war hammer, then your Shockwave skill also inflicts a 6s taunt on all the enemies you hit (just when you thought that move couldn’t get any better).
Unsurprisingly, you want Shockwave and all of its upgrades first and foremost. A circular AOE stun is about as good as it gets for tanks. The other two skill choices are more up in the air. Clear Out is solid, but there might also be a place for Wrecking Ball. I dissed the skill earlier, but its Safety Measures upgrade grants you a 20% damage reduction boost for 7s seconds, which is obviously very solid for a tank.
Aside from all the upgrades to Shockwave (which should be your first, second, and third priority, respectively), I recommend a mix from both skill trees. From Crowd Crusher, the aforementioned Outnumbered and Prevailing Spirit are good choices. Reassurance is a fifth row passive skill that reduces debuffs on the player by 25% when you successfully hit with two light attacks. It has a 5s cooldown. Might be useful.
On the Juggernaut, side I recommend Hardened Steel, a second row passive skill that adds grit to your heavy attacks and 12% damage reduction when you trigger grit. Quick Recovery is a fourth row passive skill that reduces all your cooldowns by 7% when you hit with a heavy attack. It has a 5s cooldown. The other big one is the fifth row passive skill, Power Through the Pain. With this passive skill, you do 35% bonus damage for 1s when you take damage. Great for a tank.
Unsurprisingly, the Crowd Crusher capstone Aftershock is the pick for the tank build. When you hit any enemies with Crowd Crusher skills, you slow them by 20% for 4s. That’s great for keeping the enemies on you and not your party.
Join the High Ground
There you have it. Those are the two main builds I would recommend for the war hammer. Happy squashing, explorer! If you enjoyed our New World war hammer build guide, please leave us a comment below! Be sure to join our newsletter list to stay up-to-date with the latest from New World and beyond.