Great Axe Abilities and Skill Trees for New World

Last updated on Oct 22, 2023 at 12:30 by Lemoni 2 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Abilities and Skill Trees page for Great Axe. Here, we give you an overview of every ability that Great Axe has. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, how it works in combination with the weapon's other abilities, and whether or not it is worth picking. Then, we go through all the nodes in each skill tree, discussing their viability in the current meta.


Great Axe Gameplay

While this page focuses on assessing the viability of abilities and skill tree nodes, it also gives a bit of advice on how to use them. The gameplay section of our Great Axe guide has additional information regarding the usage of abilities and each of our Great Axe PvP Builds and Great Axe PvE Builds has a detailed gameplay section that explains how to play the build.



  • Charge Charge — 20s CD: Charge 10 meters and deal 120% weapon damage when you reach a target. Press basic attack to stop charging and attack early.
  • Frenzied Momentum Frenzied Momentum — Charge now deals 120 - 140% weapon damage based on how far you traveled.
  • Unpredictable Strike Unpredictable Strike — During Charge you may press RMB to execute a swing attack, dealing 140 - 165% weapon damage based on how far you traveled.

Summary: This ability is great in PvP to add mobility to your loadout, which is typically medium armor. It can be used to escape and survive, or it can be a sneaky way to add quick damage when paired with a light attack and secure a kill.

Crafting Material: Steel Great Axe Charm Steel Great Axe Charm - Refreshing Charge Refreshing Charge: Hitting a target with Unpredictable Strike reduces the cooldown by 30% (54% on weapon).



  • Reap Reap — 18s CD: Extend your axe 5 meters, pulling foes to you and dealing 70% weapon damage and staggering struck foes (Taunt Gem Compatible).
  • The Collector The Collector — Reap range is now 8 meters.
  • Hunger Hunger — Heal yourself for 30% of damage done by Reap.
  • Fatal Attraction Fatal Attraction — After pulling, perform a spin attack dealing 115% weapon damage.

Summary: This is commonly used in a dive-focused light armor build, or a heavy armor support setup. It can be used to lockdown a priority target and deal potent burst damage. It does have some AoE viability and can also be used for a quick heal.

Crafting Material: Starmetal Great Axe Charm Starmetal Great Axe Charm - Crippling Reap Crippling Reap: If target hit with Reap is below 50% health, they are Slowed, reducing movement speed by 31% (50% on weapom) for 4 seconds.



  • Execute Execute — 25s CD: A powerful overhead attack dealing 200% weapon damage. Base damage increased by 50% to foes below 50% health.
  • Unstoppable Greed Unstoppable Greed — Execute gains grit during its attack.
  • Executioner Executioner — Execute has a 100% critical chance against foes below 30% health.

Summary: This is not commonly used, but can be for a high damage PvE setup. It has a long animation and can be difficult to land.

Crafting Material: Orichalcum Great Axe Charm Orichalcum Great Axe Charm - Mending Execute Mending Execute: Gain 30% (49% on weapon) of the damage dealt back as health with Execute.



  • Whirlwind Whirlwind — 30s CD:Spin and attack all nearby foes in a 2.5 meter radius, dealing 50% weapon damage. If you hit a foe, spin again. You can move while spinning.
  • Unending Winds Unending Winds — Whirlwind's maximum number of spins is increased to 7.
  • Gusting Winds Gusting Winds — Whirlwind's movement speed is increased by 100%.
  • Surrounded Surrounded — If you have 3 or more foes around you, deal 30% more damage.

Summary: This is not commonly seen, but it can be a secondary mobility option for Bruisers in medium or heavy armor loadouts. It provides AoE damage and can be used as a great repositioning tool that does not worry about collision like Charge Charge.

Crafting Material: Reinforced Steel Great Axe Charm Reinforced Steel Great Axe Charm - Fortifying Whirlwind Fortifying Whirlwind: Whirlwind hits grant Fortify on self, increasing damage absorption by 6.6% (10% on weapon) and increased slash damage by 6.6% (10% on weapon) for 2 seconds.



  • Maelstrom Maelstrom — 20s CD: Perform a fast, spinning attack that pulls targets within a 2.5 meter radius closer to you. Deals 110% weapon damage.
  • Storm's Reach Storm's Reach — Extends Maelstrom's pull range by 50%.
  • Absorb Absorb — Consumes all projectiles while Maelstrom is active.
  • No Reprieve No Reprieve — Maelstrom does an extra spin attack, pulling in foes and dealing 110% weapon damage. Additionally it gains grit during its startup.

Summary: This is the top damage ability taken on the Great Axe. It has a large AoE radius, can be just as effective on a single target, pulls enemies toward you, and will provide pseudo-immunity through blocking projectiles.

Crafting Material: Reinforced Starmetal Great Axe Charm Reinforced Starmetal Great Axe Charm - Enfeebling Maelstrom Enfeebling Maelstrom: Targets hit by Maelstrom's No Reprieve are Weakened, reducing their attack damage by 14% (25% on weapon) for 8 seconds.


Gravity Well

  • Gravity Well Gravity Well — 30s CD: An upward swing dealing 99% weapon damage and projecting a powerful tear in reality that creates a vortex up to 10 meters away. The vortex pulls foes within 4 meters to its center and roots them for 1 second. Foes within the vortex have their movement speed reduced by 60% due to the intense gravity. The collapsing vortex ends after 3 seconds with a damaging burst dealing 125% weapon damage.
  • Crowded Well Crowded Well — Increase burst damage by 10% for each foe caught in the vortex.
  • Unyielding Unyielding — Allies gain 10% fortify while standing in your well.

Summary: Arguably the strongest ability in New World thanks to its uncapped AoE CC and damage potential. This is a pivotal PvP/War ability that can completely turn a fight. It bursts damage, locks targets in place, and heals. It can perfectly set up a plethora of damage combos for yourself and your allies. In PvE, it helps to group enemies together so they can be quickly bursted down.

Crafting Material: Reinforced Orichalcum Great Axe Charm Reinforced Orichalcum Great Axe Charm - Leeching Path Of Destiny Leeching Path Of Destiny: Gain 34% (52% on weapon) of your damage with Gravity Well back as health, and cast another 4 meter radius burst around you on successful hit that deals 100% weapon damage.


Skill Trees



  • Greed Greed — This is a free damage increase. You will always be light attacking, so it results in a significant amount of extra damage.
  • Executioner's Speed Executioner's Speed — In most cases this is never needed and has minimal up time. You must hit 2 targets for it to activate, which does not always happen. The haste and its duration are not significant enough for this to be taken.
  • Critical Gains Critical Gains — Fantastic self healing option that should almost always be taken.
  • Death's Embrace Death's Embrace — Armor penetration in New World can be weak at times. This does at some extra kill pressure to targets below 50% health. If you have points available, this can be a minimal increase to your build.
  • Keen Edge Keen Edge — This should always be taken. It is basically a free stack of Vicious Vicious. This significantly improve the viability of bonus critical hit chance.
  • Frustration Frustration — You will not often hit players or targets who are blocking. This is more effective in PvE than PvP.
  • Critical Condition Critical Condition — Increased critical hit chance on low health targets is extremely beneficial when trying to secure kills. Thanks to Keen Edge Keen Edge this passive is even better. It is recommended to always take this.
  • Feed Feed — Additional self healing that can stack with Critical Gains Critical Gains. It can help with survivability and it is a generally good option to have in a build.
  • Blood Lust Blood Lust — This ultimate passive is taken mainly by light armor players or those chosing to use Reap Reap. It is meant for players who are not consistently fighting and are hunting down targets. It provide the benefit of a persistent damage increase with additional speed. It is not the commonly taken option, but it is certainly viable in most cases.


  • Mauler's Resolve Mauler's Resolve — Incredibly powerful defensive passive. When combined with Stamina Recovery Stamina Recovery you will always have a full stamina bar when you get hit below 50% health. Since it also has a lower cooldown, it guarantees that almost always you will have escape potential when you are on the verge of death.
  • Heavy Pull Heavy Pull — You do not commonly heavy attack. As such, this is not recommended--and it is not very useful either.
  • Enduring Strike Enduring Strike — Another very strong defensive passive. Thanks to the 300 Strength passive, you will always have grit on your attacks. This results in a constant 12% damage reduction while attacking or using most abilities.
  • Gravity Gravity — While you do have several pull options, the 0.33 second root is not significant for this to warrant being taken.
  • Revenge Revenge — You will not be blocking very frequently, as such the damage increase from this will have very low uptime.
  • Center of Attention Center of Attention — In medium armor this will be active often. If you fight in clumps this is a free damage increase.
  • Crowded Protection Crowded Protection — In medium armor this will be active often. If you fight in clumps this is a free source of damage reduction.
  • Mauler's Fury Mauler's Fury — This is the optimal ultimate passive for medium armor Bruisers. It will stack quickly because every hit will add to its stacks. So, if you light attack and hit 2 targets, you will gain 2 stacks off of one attack. Additionally, abilities like Maelstrom Maelstrom will add to this. If you hit multiple targets this will result in high stacks too. It gives you the most overall damage potential, but it requires you to be a bit more defensive.


  • 22 Oct. 2023: Guide updated for expansion.
  • 09 Feb. 2023: Guide added.
Show more
Show less