Blunderbuss Guide and Builds for New World
Welcome to our guide for Blunderbuss, a weapon in New World. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play with this weapon in both PvE and PvP.
The Blunderbuss is a unique weapon that scales primarily with Strength and uses Intelligence for secondary scaling. It deals a variety of mixed damage including physical Thurst damage, and abilities that will deal magical Fire damage. It is the first hybrid weapon of its kind. Generally, this weapon will be used in close quarters combat, but it will be used by both frontline bruisers, and backline assassins due to the strength of its builds. When used properly this will apply immense damage pressure. At times it can be awkward to use because of its hit registration and it can be hard to master because the player needs to aim its shots. In all, this is a powerful weapon for burst damage, AoE damage, and anti-heal debuffs. It is most frequently seen in PvP and not seen often in PvE.
Blunderbuss Strengths and Weaknesses
- Incredible burst damage
- Valuable anti-healing debuff potential
- Strong defensive passives for survival
- Mixed damage sources that result in more effective damage
- Can be very mobile when used properly
- One of the more difficult weapons to master
- Awkward reload animation
- Hit registration can be cofusing
- Minimal PvE value
- One of the more difficult weapons to master
- Uses ammo
The Blunderbuss builds in the current META primarily rely upon your choice of Ultimate. In most cases Double Down will be the best option and results in fantastic ability output. There are a few niche scenarios in which Unload can be beneficial, but more often than not, even in burst damage focused builds, the cooldown reduction passives are fantastic.
Double Down Cooldown Reset
- Net Shot — When combined with Exhaustive Net Shot this is a powerful CC ability that will slow a target and make them vulnerable to exhausting themselves and being easily taken down. It will deal a moderate amount of damage but allow you to quickly close gaps. It can also be a fantastic source of mobility if you use this while walking backwards so that you can escape enemies.
- Azoth Shrapnel Blast — This is the Blunderbuss's highest damaging ability. This should always be used immediately after firing off a basic attack so that you can deal a potent burst of damage. It has incredible range, AoE potential, and when used in combination with a regular shot it can take away a significant amount of health. It should also be used on clumps of enemies to take advantage of the bomb it leaves on the ground after being used.
- Splitting Grenade — Aim to use this on Gravity Well or other clumps of enemies. It will deal a great amount of initial burst damage, but it can also leave a devastating damage over time effect that lasts 10 seconds and can stack up to 3 times depending on how many of the bombs hit the target. This is the greatest source of AoE damage on the Blunderbuss.
This is the more common build option paired with an Ice Gauntlet due to its ability to cycle through cooldowns quickly. It is very strong not only because of its burst potential, but its ability to anti-heal, debuff enemies, and lock down targets.
Unload Burst Build
- Claw Shot — This can be used to root enemies in place for a moment and offer a free window of damage. It has a decent range that will allow you to close gaps, and can be canceled as long as you fire your weapon. This can be strong to root enemies who are trying to run away, pull yourself to them, and attempt a kill combo. It can also be great to support allies, if they are fighting a target you use this ability and cancel it to root the enemy from a range to help your team. In a pinch, this can rarely be used survival. If you fire it at an enemy outside of a Gravity Well you can pull yourself out. This can also be used on friendly players using Entombed.
This variant is most commonly used for builds that are looking to capitalize on the sheer damage ouput of a well placed aimed shot in combination with an Azoth Shrapnel Blast. It is important to ability weave in a build like this. That means using an ability, immediately firing a basic attack, using another ability, and firing again, to take advantage of Unload.
This build is best used in single-target backline dive builds that want to quickly deal as much damage as possible and escape. It is not always the best option when paired with an Ice Gauntlet, but you may use this if you prefer. It is important to try and immediately fire your Blunderbuss right after using an ability. For example, you could approach a target and fire a Net Shot while moving toward them so you do not activate the movement component of the ability. Then as soon as you have hit that you can shoot, then immediately use Claw Shot, then shoot, and then use Azoth Shrapnel Blast. The animation is longer on this ability so it is hard to instantly shoot after using it, but then you still have 6 seconds to fire off a final empowered shot. This combination when used correctly can take down an entire health bar.
For more detailed information on Ice Gauntlet usage and other aspects of its gameplay, please refer to our Ice Gauntlet guide.
When using this build you will most likely be in medium armor and playing this similarly to as if you were using a Void Gauntlet. This build in combination with the Blunderbuss will allow you to be a defensive frontline bruiser with far more damage output. You will lose some CC and Utility, but you have great AoE and burst pressure along with a plethora of debuffs, like healing reduction. The primary ability in this build is Ice Shower and making sure that cooldown is used properly is fundamental to its success.
This is the optimal build when seeking high burst damage with Ice Spikes and it best with a light armor loadout. In additional to high burst, you have great sustained AoE damage through Ice Storm. This pairs great with the Blunderbuss to offer two burst weapon options that can completely decimate light armor targets or healers. It still has great AoE output, and can apply anti-healing debuffs and damage over time effects. The Blunderbuss also offers great defensive passives, primarily through fortify buffs, that will also keep you alive when playing lower Constitution.
For more detailed information on War Hammer usage and other aspects of its gameplay, please refer to our War Hammer guide.
The War Hammer has two similar setups to the Ice Gauntlet, you can play a light or medium loadout depending on your preference and role. In medium, you can play a defensive frontline bruiser equipped with all of the fantastic crowd-control options of the War Hammer. Every ability, especially Shockwave and Wrecking Ball offer massive AoE stun and crowd-control pressure. On top of that Path Of Destiny also staggers and interrupts enemies, and applies a slowing debuff. No matter what ability hits a target they will always be affected by Aftershock on top of the crowd-control effect.
This weapon combination also opens up a unique opportunity for a backline assassin build because of how easily you can lock down a single target. By chaining a Wrecking Ball and then Shockwave, you can then swap to your Blunderbuss fire an aimed shot at the target's head and chain it right into an Azoth Shrapnel Blast to one shot most light armor targets. You can choose either Blunderbuss build, but for the most utility the Double Down will be preferred and offer more opportunities for one shotting players and also have AoE pressure.
In most Blunderbuss builds you will focus your scaling solely on your Blunderbuss and disregard your second weapon. For example, in medium Blunderbuss and Ice Gauntlet builds you will still allocate points toward Strength and use your Ice Gauntlet simply for CC.
This is the default build for medium armor loadouts with both Ice Gauntlet and War Hammer. Both of those weapons will not be your primary source of damage, they are simply they are for crowd-control and setting up your Blunderbuss. If you wish to have more point presence, you can play with 200 Constitution by dropping to 150 Strength.
Max Damage - Light
If you want max damage while playing with light armor, specifically with a War Hammer or with an Ice Gauntlet that prioritizes Blunderbuss damage. You can play with 150 Constitution and lower your Strength to be more defensive, or to better suit an Ice Gauntlet.
This is the optimal attribute split if you want to do more damage with your Ice Gauntlet and prioritize Ice Spikes as your main damage. The basic Blunderbuss shots and Azoth Shrapnel Blast will still be very effective.
- Plagued Splitting Grenade — (Weapon) In any build where you choose to use Splitting Grenade you will be needing to run this perk on your Blunderbuss for incredible AoE anti-healing potential. You can hit entire clumps and reduce their incoming healing by 24% for a long duration.
- Leeching Shrapnel Blast — (Armor) For fantastic self-sustain this perk is a great utility option if you can fit it into your gear. The Blunderbuss already has amazing defensive passives, but this will also give you self-healing frequently.
- Exhaustive Net Shot — (Armor) When running this ability it its an incredibly strong CC tool. It should specifically be used in a light armor assassin build which will alow you to lock down targets with a lack of mobility. Nonetheless, in most cases this will make most players misjudge their stamina regeneration and they will exhaust themselves and make them more vulnerable.
- Enchanted — The majority of the burst damage coming from the Blunderbuss is from its basic aimed shots. Having enchanted on your weapon will make every pellet fired hit for more damage.
- Flame Attunement — This is a great damage boost when scaling Fire damage. This will proc only once, not on every pellet, when doing basic aimed shots. It will also add extra damage to all of your abilities when they hit.
- Resilient — When possible, aim to have five stacks on your armor set for PvP, every piece should have this.
- Freedom — This will allow you to play more aggressively by reducing the duration of crowd-control. You should play with either 3 or 5 stacks.
- Elemental Aversion — Use this perk instead of Shirking Fortification in Season One. It will give elemental damage reduction from weapons like the Fire Staff.
- Refreshing — This can be an optional third perk when you want a source of cooldown reduction in your build. This can be great when paired with all of the cooldown reduction passives on the Blunderbuss.
- Invigorated Punishment — This will be the preferred option in a medium armor build, or for more consistent damage in a light armor build.
Mortal Empowerment vs. Invigorated Punishment
In most light armor builds, or ranged builds, it can be very strong to snowball kills with Mortal Empowerment, and drastically increase your damage potential. This is the case for Blunderbuss and War Hammer builds in light armor. But for other light builds that can do very high burst damage, such as Blunderbuss and Ice Gauntlet, the weapons have many sources of persistent damage or DoT effects. In some cases, even though an ability deals the final blow, the damage calculation may register that a persistent damage source, or DoT, dealt the final blow. Mortal Empowerment will not stack if those technically kill the target, making it inconsistent and not worth using in some builds.
When making this decision you also have to think about your likliness to be killed. If you are playing a light armor build, or one that is frequently diving into melee, you have high chances of dying. At that point if you lose your stacks, it is a wasted perk, especially if this happens multiple times, or in the middle of building stacks. As such, it may be more advantageous to use Invigorated Punishment.
TLDR: If you are medium armor, want more consistent damage, or you have a high chance of death, Invigorated Punishment is the better option. If you want to snowball and have insanely high damage, you have a pocket healer, you are a dedicated ranged build, or you simply do not care and want to gamble, Mortal Empowerment is the better option.
- Elemental Aversion — This perk is a viable alternative in PvP as well, but is overshadowed by other PvP options. It provides great defense in mutated expeditions to help mitigate magical effects.
- Physical Aversion — Only projectiles that do physical damage will be mitigated by this perk. As such, it can be useful in PvE as another potential option. It also provides a small amount of PvP value, but Elemental Aversion and enemy ward perks are certainly more defensive options.
- Corrupted Ward — Use this in Dynasty Shipyard, Tempest's Heart, and The Depths, for damage reduction against Corrupted enemy types.
- Angry Earth Ward — Use this in Garden of Genesis for damage reduction against Angry Earth enemy types.
- Ancient Ward — Use this in The Lazarus Instrumentality, The Ennead, and Starstone Barrows for damage reduction against Ancient enemy types.
- Lost Ward — Use this in Barnacles & Black Powder and The Amrine Excavation for damage reduction against Lost enemy types.
- Health — This is the standard pick for all builds, it is free health that will add to the defensiveness of your kit.
- Stamina Recovery — This is a backpocket save when being focused and taking heavy damage. You will receive a burst of stamina that will allow you to potentially get a quick dodge that can save your iife and continue the fight.
- Slash Protection — This acts as a third perk slot that provides more defensiveness against Greatswords, Great Axes, Hatchets, and Swords.
- Invigorated Punishment
- Fire Damage — In any build that focuses on Blunderbuss damage you will want to have this for the most damage scaling possible.
- Hearty — This is necessary for any light armor build. If you are playing as a medium bruiser, this should be dropped for Refreshing.
- Refreshing Toast — On any earring this perk is a must-have. It allows you to use more health, mana, and regeneration potions by lowering your potion cooldown. It is fantastic for quick self-healing in a pinch.
- Purifying Toast — This perk is a must have in many frontline setups. This can be used to remove slows and roots, or it can take off unwanted debuffs or damage over time effects.
- Regenerating — This is free healing over time that can be taken for survivability over Refreshing.
Minor Heartrune of Grasping Vines is best for builds using medium armor and are focused heavily on point presence and crowd control. Typically more defensive builds will be using this, but it still can be a great option for light armor builds to more easily land Ice Spikes or a Blunderbuss shot.
There are three viable upgrade options:
- Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines
- Stalwart Heartrune of Grasping Vines
- Cunning Heartrune of Grasping Vines
Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines is the best pick to make sure that enemies caught in the rooting effect are vulnerable to high damage bursts because of the rend it applies. Enemies caught by CC will be easier to kill for your allies. Alternatively, when using something like Ice Spikes the rend effect can add to your burst potential.
Minor Heartrune of Detonate should be used for light armor builds where you are prioritizing burst damage.
There are two viable upgrade options:
Brutal Heartrune of Detonate makes you more vulnerable, but will result in a massive AoE burst of damage. This is best in more defensive builds or for light armor builds where you play with more risk.
Cunning Heartrune of Detonate is an interesting choice that can be taken for builds using Ice Spikes or a Blunderbuss. This will increase your outgoing damage and can be great for adding more burst potential to your Spikes. It will detonate for less damage, but it can be used to dive a target and finish them off.
If you are looking for a more defensive option, Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform will be best. This will be typically used by medium armor players looking to push through chokepoints into the Fort in Wars, or just to be able to hold points more effectively. It is very effective in a light armor build too.
Heartrune Usage Tips
Save your Vines for when there are multiple targets stacked on top of one another. Preferably the targets will already be under some kind of CC effect, or exhausted and unable to dodge out of them. It is best paired with something like Gravity Well or Shockwave.
Try to avoid using Brutal Heartrune of Detonate while you have low health or are being focused on. The goal is to start the ability and wait a short duration and attempt to dive in right as the ability detonates so you can catch enemies off guard and not be bursted down.
You can activate your Detonate and then use Entombed. It will not deal damage unless you are out of the Tomb, but if you pop out right before it detonates, this can be a great way to stall out large groups of enemies.
When using Detonate try to time it right as you hit an enemy with another burst damage weapon ability, like Ice Spikes or Azoth Shrapnel Blast. This can result in a kill even when the target is full health.
Take advantage of down time to charge your heartrune. For instance if you are far away you might as well continue to try hitting targets at range. Alternatively, you can use target dummies or objects to your advantage for additional charge. Also, be sure to always be hitting as many enemies as possible with your cooldowns. Ice Storm and Splitting Grenade will result in a high amount of recharge from persistent damage and damage over time effects.
Your heartrune will charge fast. While it is obviously beneficial to hold for times where there are large clusters of enemies. Do not wait too long and continue to waste your cooldown when you would have had the time to get another one recharged. Get familiar with how quickly you can get it back online and do not hesitate to use it to secure high priority kills.
A Heartrune in PvE is significantly different than PvP. This will charge incredibly fast due to the sustained damage output on targets mixed with damage over time effects and supplemental healing. When using something like Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines this is best used on large numbers of enemies instead of single target. It also has great single target value due to its rending effect on a bosses. The same logic applies to Brutal Heartrune of Detonate. This explodes for a large amount of damage, so taking advantage of this on as many enemies as possible is advantageous. Alternatively, using this as many times as possible on a boss is fantastic for free damage.
Gems and Consumables
For more detailed information on how to properly use Gems in your Blunderbuss builds, please refer to our comprehensive Blunderbuss Gem guide.
Remember, Runeglass can only be slotted into armor pieces that are not jewelry items, and weapons.
The best gem for burst damage on the Blunderbuss will be a Runeglass of Ignited Opal.
When using a War Hammer and hybrid scaling, it will be most optimal to use Runeglass of Ignited Ruby in the War Hammer to maximize its damage.
In PvP combat your optimal resistance distribution is going to prioritize Slash resistance, then Physical, and lastly Elemental. This is the standard for any build where you will frequently be in melee range.
To hit a 20 (Slash)/10 (Physical)/7.5 (Elemental) resistance setup you will need:
- Runeglass of Ignited Onyx x5 & Cut Pristine Opal x3 + Slash Protection on Amulet
In PvE combat, more specifically mutators, elemental resistance is the main concern. With that being said, the Blunderbuss is not commonly used in PvE content. It is outpaced by other damage options, but it does have some tanking utility.
You can use the following gems in your gear:
- Elemental Resistance Gem x8 + Amulet Protection Perk (Based on mutator elemental effect.)
For more information on how to manage your cooldown hotbar, what consumables to use, what foods should be eaten, or tips on how to be more effective with your consumables in PvP and PvE, please refer to Blunderbuss Gem guide.
Rotation and Gameplay
Ability Priority List
- Use Net Shot to initiate combat, CC a priority target who is escaping, or to escape something like a Gravity Well
- Use Splitting Grenade on clumps of enemies, or priority targets. This can be reactivated to provide burst damage or drop it at a specific location.
- Ability weave Azoth Shrapnel Blast on clumps or to quickly execute priority targets. Always shoot then use your ability right after to weave two high damage bursts.
- Aim down sight for tighter bullet spread, and use basic shots while targeting the head.
- When out of ammo, swap weapons, then swap back to instant reload (See FAQ).
Secondary Weapon Priority List and Build Rotation
To learn how to use your second weapon properly, and complete rotation, please refer to our PvE and PvP build pages:
Whenever you fire a basic shot, you should always quickly aim down sights and shoot to have the tighest pellet spread. This will land more pellets in a concentrated area and more easily get max headshot damage. This will make it easier to take advantage of its range that is commonly overlooked. If you are close enough and do not have the time, you can hipfire, it is just not optimal.
With most Blunderbuss abilities it is crucial to weave a quick basic shot right before or after to add additional burst damage, or cancel animations. For example, whenever you use Azoth Shrapnel Blast, you should fire before using it because it has a long recovery animation. But, for abilities like Net Shot or Claw Shot, you should shoot immediately after if the target is close enough to maximize damage output. This concept is incredibly important when using a Unload build.
You technically never have to reload your Blunderbuss. After firing one shot, or using all available shots, you can instantly reload your weapon by swapping to your secondary. You cannot instantly swap back, you must wait for the second weapon's unsheathing animation. For example, the Ice Gauntlet will come out on your hand and your wrist will quickly move forward on your character. As soon as that happens, you can swap back to your Blunderbuss and it will have all of its bullets ready again.
This makes it possible to never take passives related to max ammo capacity or reloading. While it may only save marginal amounts of time, the benefit is you do not have to go through the incredibly slow animation and reduce your movement speed. You can be active an taking advantage of your second weapon.
Splitting Grenade Usage and Aiming
Splitting Grenade can be awkward at times. You do have to arc your shots so that it can be focused on ranged players, or just to get it to go a significant distance. So getting comfortable with it will take practice. Once you are comfortable, you can simply determine where you can place your grenades by reactivating the ability so that it drops down immediately. This can be advantageous when trying to hit enemies hiding behind cover or terrain, or if you miscalculate your aim.
If timed correctly, Splitting Grenade can be great for burst damage combos. If you have a target who is exhausted, CC'd, or is just unaware, you can quickly shoot your grenade at them and reactivate it to drop the split grenades at their feet. You can then combine this with a basic shot and an Azoth Shrapnel Blast, or an Ice Spikes, to result in a potential instant kill.
Net Shot Mobility
When using Net Shot it will move you backwards a significant distance if you are standing still or move backwards right before it is used. Even if you are rooted you can attempt to move backwards, use the ability, and this will allow you to get out of dangerous situations like Gravity Well and Ice Shower. This adds great mobility to any build that is often unexpected. Additionally, when pairing this with Double Down and Fast Hands, you can get near back to back Nets for extra movement.
Proper Cooldown Management
As a Support you have some incredibly impactful cooldowns like Splitting Grenade or Ice Shower. Recognize when there is an opportunity to properly use each of these abilities. For example, try to save your major CC for large clusters of enemies or high priority targets. It is okay to freely use these cooldowns, but do not waste them when you know there is a major fight incoming.
Also be cognizant of how you can reduce your cooldowns to get them back up. On a Blunderbuss you will have cooldown reset windows with Double Down, but you will also get reduction when using abilities, and a large amount of reduction when hitting with a basic shot due to headshot cooldown reduction and multiple per pellet hit cooldown reduction passives.
Effective movement is incredibly important in a build like this, especially when playing in medium. Do not panic and use your entire stamina bar and exhaust yourself, as it may result in death. You can take advantage of jumping, diving (going prone while moving), and changing direction by quickly moving your mouse or taking advantage of quick inputs on your movement keys.
There are many movements in New World that will stagger you in place for a moment when quickly changing direction. If you move left and right or if you jump left and right you will notice there is a moment where you will be standing still. To prevent this you will need to use a key input while your character is in the animation. For example, if you hold your left directional key and jump then right before you land you hit your right directional key and jump, you will quickly jump left and right. If you simply run left and right using your directional keys your character will respond similarly. To avoid this you can move left and then right before you pivot to go right, hit the backward directional key and instantly follow up with your right directional key. If you continue doing this back and forth you will avoid the sliding animation.
Ice Gauntlet Usage
When choosing to use an Ice Gauntlet as your secondary weapon it will prioritize cooldown management to provide CC availability through Ice Shower or Ice Storm. These abilities should be used with purpose and intent in order to secure the most kills for your team, or to properly take down large packs of enemies. The alternative build chosen when using this secondary will emphasize Ice Spikes usage. It is important to understand how Ice Spikes should be aimed at your target's feet and to the right in order to hit them three times.
To learn more about ability usage and the intricacies of the Ice Gauntlet, please refer to our Ice Gauntlet guide.
War Hammer Usage
When deciding to use a War Hammer builds, you will need to get comfortable with opportunistic cooldown usage. Do not just waste valuable crowd-control cooldowns on a low health target who will surely die. Save them for large clumps or priority targets, like healers. If you do play as a backline assassin with it, this still holds true--but you will be prioritizing high value targets with your cooldowns. You will generally be able to kill low health targets without wasting anything and just firing basic shots.
Please refer to our War Hammer tips for more on this playstyle.
FAQ - Blunderbuss
Refreshing vs. Refreshing Evasion
- Refreshing — Reduces max cooldowns by 2.9% per stack
- Refreshing Evasion — Reduces active cooldowns by 0.74% after exiting the dodging animation
Refreshing is best for builds that have many sources of passive cooldown reduction. For something like the Blunderbuss, it has a plethora of cooldown reduction passives, like Double Down. This results in massive cooldown reduction since it will take 50% off your max cooldown and not its reduced cooldown. When just starting out, you can use Refreshing Evasion to quickly build an end game set that is cheaper and function, but it is not as optimal and will more frequently result in you exhausting yourself. In all, Refreshing is the better option for Blunderbuss.
What Gem Do I Use In My Blunderbuss?
The Blunderbuss uses a Runeglass of Ignited Opal since all builds will take advantage of its damage increase right before doing a kill combo. The reason you do not use a Fire gem like Runeglass of Ignited Ruby is because your Blunderbuss will properly scale with both Strength and Intelligence.
Should I Be Doing More Damage?
When playing any medium build that is focused on being a support player for CC, you will never be at the top of the leaderboard. This role is not damage focused by any means. You are a defensive role that has the sole purpose of providing CC to your allies so that they can pick up kills. While you will surely do large amounts of AoE damage, your goal is not to be the one doing burst damage to kill and enemy, rather you are effectively using cooldowns to secure large numbers of kills. With that being said, most Blunderbuss build variants will offer higher damage output than other CC builds.
Is a Blunderbuss Worthwhile as DPS?
In all honesty, most players choose alternative weapons that will translate into builds for other expeditions or other build types, or simply because other weapon options are just better for output. It is difficult to use weapons like this due to its ammunition and reloading. For more consistent output you could simply just keep swinging a melee weapon and close your eyes. With a Blunderbluss you have many idle windows, and you do have to aim slightly. On top of this, it is difficult to use in Mutators at times due to rotating mutated effects that could drastically reduce Fire damage taken.
- 28 Mar. 2023 (gems page): Updated PvE Gems.
- 28 Mar. 2023 (perks page): Updated perk tiers for Season One.
- 28 Mar. 2023 (this page): Updated perks, gems, and heartrunes.
- 27 Jan. 2023 (PvP builds page): Guide added.:
- 27 Jan. 2023 (PvE builds page): Guide added.:
- 27 Jan. 2023 (gems page): Guide added.:
- 27 Jan. 2023 (perks page): Guide added.
- 27 Jan. 2023 (abilities page): Guide added.:
- 27 Jan. 2023 (this page): Guide added.:
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