Bow and Rapier PvP Build for New World

Last updated on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:00 by Lemoni 5 comments

The Bow and Rapier are one of the most frequently seen weapon combinations in New World. You are an elusive ranged-damage assassin with an arsenal of tools to help you escape while also bursting down enemies. It is very strong and a necessary part of many War compositions.


Bow Rapier - PvP

The Bow is an incredibly strong PvP damage weapon that can be played in any content. It is an easy weapon to learn, but it is difficult to master its techniques properly. This is by far one of the strongest weapon combinations there is.


Bow Build

  • Rapid Shot Rapid Shot — High damage cooldown that launches three quick shots and staggers targets which opens up a vulernability window to secure kills or interrupt casts.
  • Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot — High damage ability that can be weaved into another heavy shot. This will go through multiple targets. Try to finish off kills with this ability.
  • Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow — Great damage option that can be weaved into another heavy attack to potentially one shot squishy targets. This shot fires off quickly and can be used as a source of empower or an execute.

Rapier Builds


Flourish and Finish

Use this if you prefer to have a burst damage option. At times, this can be significantly better for players using Dexterity builds. It acts similarly to Riposte Riposte by staggering the target, and it has a follow up ability that can deal damage or be quick mobility. This can be a great way to pick up quick kills on low health targets.



Use this if you prefer to have a survivability option with Riposte Riposte. This ability can be easily at times if used incorrectly. Nonetheless, it will give you a moment of invulnerability and will certainly save your life at times.




This is the most optimal damage split for a bow in PvP combat. In Wars it may be best to go with 150 Constitution, or if you are just wanting to be a bit more defensive.





Slot Perks Gem Weight Attribute Source
Bow Elemental Damage Gem*** - Dexterity Crafted/BoE
Rapier Runeglass of Ignited Opal Runeglass of Ignited Opal*** - Dexterity Named Drop*****
Helmet Elemental Damage Runeglass** or Sighted Runeglass*** (Moonstone or Onyx) Light Dexterity Crafted/BoE
Chest Elemental Damage Runeglass** or Sighted Runeglass*** (Moonstone or Onyx) Medium Dexterity Crafted/BoE
Gloves Elemental Damage Runeglass** or Sighted Runeglass*** (Moonstone or Onyx) Light Dexterity Crafted/BoE
Pants Elemental Damage Runeglass** or Sighted Runeglass*** (Moonstone or Onyx) Light Dexterity Crafted/BoE
Boots Elemental Damage Runeglass** or Sighted Runeglass*** (Moonstone or Onyx) Light Dexterity Crafted/BoE
Amulet Cut Pristine Emerald Cut Pristine Emerald - Dexterity or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Ring Cut Pristine Emerald Cut Pristine Emerald - Dexterity or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Earring Cut Pristine Emerald Cut Pristine Emerald - Dexterity or Constitution Crafted/BoE

*: The ability perks you need to make sure are in your build are Penetrating Rapid Shot Penetrating Rapid Shot, Refreshing Penetrating Shot Refreshing Penetrating Shot, and Empowering Explosive Arrow Empowering Explosive Arrow.

You may use Rapier perks for more utility, but these are often overshadowed by defensive armor perks.

**: Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion or Freedom Freedom, are viable third perk options. You can interchange any of these perks along with Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion.

***: Dex players will often use an elemental damage gem that matches the Attunement perk on their weapon. This will still deal significant damage because of the primary scaling with base weapon damage. The gem will then split that value by 40% and scale with Intelligence or Focus (Nature). Since you then use an elemental damage Runeglass and perk on your Ring, this will increase the elemental damage dealt by the weapon, its Attunement, and its DoT effect. This also avoids some players increased resistances to Thrust and Physical damage sources.

****: Technically, if you have a maximum 15 stacks of Mortal Empowerment Mortal Empowerment, then you reach empower cap due to passives. The elemental damage bonuses on Runeglass count toward this cap. As such, only when you are at 15 stacks, it is a damage increase to use Sighted Runeglass, such as Runeglass of Sighted Emerald Runeglass of Sighted Emerald, since this is a flat damage increase. This is a very marginal top end damage increase that applies when you are at very high stacks. For all purpose content, it is better to pursue elemental variants.

*****: You can use any Rapier you would like with a Bow, but to properly optimize your build it is best to get one that rolls with Refreshing Evasion Refreshing Evasion. You have many options, but Icicle Icicle is a BoE option that can be found on the trading post with very strong perks.


Gem Optimization

For more specific information on optimizing your gems in PvP and PvE please refer to our dedicated guides.



When playing with a Bow you have great damage output, as such, use a defensive Heartrune. Either Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform or Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform are great options that will keep you alive through defensive buffs and crowd-control immunity.


Heartrune Usage

Your Heartrune will be used similarly in PvP and PvE scenarios. As such, please refer to our Bow guide or Rapier guide for tips on how it can be used most effectively.


Rotation and Priority List

  • Open on a target with a heavy shot into a Explosive Arrow Explosive Arrow immediately after.
  • Use Rapid Shot Rapid Shot to do damage quickly or potentially stagger a target.
  • Weave a heavy shot into a Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot when trying to finish a target.
  • Shoot heavy or light Bow shots at low health targets to secure kills, or to apply damage pressure.
  • Use Flourish and Finish Flourish and Finish to secure kills on targets who are pushing you.
  • Use Evade Evade, Fleche Fleche, and Riposte Riposte as ways to escape danger and reposition.

Gameplay Tips

When using the Bow or Rapier in PvP and PvE there are many similar aspects that go into gameplay decisions and rotations. To learn more about how you can improve your gameplay, use certain secondary weapons, or additional information on specific abilities, please refer to the Gameplay section of the Bow page or Rapier page.



For more information on the most frequently asked Bow or Rapier questions please refer to the FAQ section of the Bow, or Rapier, for answers on PvP and PvE topics!



  • 22 Oct. 2023: Guide updated for expansion.
  • 23 Feb. 2023: Guide added.
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