Great Axe and Greatsword PvP Build for New World

Last updated on Feb 23, 2023 at 12:00 by Lemoni 2 comments

The following is a PvP dive build that will use the high single-target damage of the Greatsword, and the incredible crowd-control and AoE damage of the Great Axe. The main offensive weapon will be the Greatsword, but the Great Axe is still very effective. You will focus on diving into large groups, or clumps of priority targets, and use pulls and roots to group everyone together. Then you will look to put out as much damage as possible!


Greatsword Bruiser - PvP

This build will use a Great Axe as a means of crowd-control and AoE damage, but also for a quick mobility option. It is unlike the typical Great Axe PvP builds because it will be using the Greatsword as its primary source of damage. These two weapons paired together result in incredibly high burst damage potential. It lacks hard crowd-control, such as a stun, but it makes up for that with its plethora of pulls, roots, and incredibly high damage. This is a very mobile build that can completely decimate a backline, or destroy a clump. This build is primarily a light armor PvP dive build, but it could be modified to play in medium.


Greatsword Build

  • Relentless Rush Relentless Rush — This will deal AoE damage primarily, but it is also important to use on cooldown to get its empower effect. Additionally, in PvP this can be used while in Onslaught stance to root a target or it can be used to get out of CC because of its perk effect.
  • Skyward Slash Skyward Slash — This is your primary Rend tool. It also has great single-target and AoE damage.
  • Steadfast Strike Steadfast Strike — This is your pull and lockdown tool. It will lunge a far distance, hit the target, stagger them, and pull them back with the second hit. This is great for securing kills and survivability. It will heal you, and provide cooldown reduction. and heal you.

Great Axe Build

When it comes to Great Axe builds there are several variations. For the purposes of a Greatsword setup, it is best to use the Blood Lust Blood Lust version with Reap Reap to chase down targets and keep them close.

  • Charge Charge — This is an extremely fast option for mobility to escape a fight or chase down a target. It does have collision, even with allies, so it has to be used with no obstacles in your way. This can also be a way to provide a quick burst of damage if used at close range immediately after finishing a light or heavy attack.
  • Reap Reap — This will pull your target from a very far distance away. It is great for enemies who are escaping or to keep several targets in a clump and keep them close. It also offers some quick healing potential through its own passive in combinattion with the various other healing passives. Its perk will also add a slowing effect that makes it difficult to get away after being pulled in.
  • Gravity Well Gravity Well — This is the best crowd-control ability in New World. Much of the PvP META revolves around gathering up targets with this ability and pairing up crowd-control combos. This will pull targets, do great damage, and heal you with its perk. Avoid using it on a single target unless they are prioritized and the cooldown would otherwise be unused for a significant duration.



Traditional Strength builds playing on points with medium armor will use this split. Typically, light armor builds will play with less. While this is true, the Greatsword is a very vulnerable weapon and has many passive damage increases. This will not give you the highest damage output, but it will be more effective.





Slot Perks Gem Weight Attribute Source
Great Axe Runeglass of Ignited Opal Runeglass of Ignited Opal** - Strength Crafted/BoE
Greatsword Runeglass of Ignited Opal Runeglass of Ignited Opal** - Strength Crafted/BoE
Helmet Cut Pristine Onyx Cut Pristine Onyx Light Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Chest Cut Pristine Onyx Cut Pristine Onyx Light Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Gloves Cut Pristine Onyx Cut Pristine Onyx Light Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Pants Cut Pristine Onyx Cut Pristine Onyx Light Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Boots Cut Pristine Onyx Cut Pristine Onyx Light Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Amulet Cut Pristine Opal Cut Pristine Opal - Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Ring Cut Pristine Opal Cut Pristine Opal - Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE
Earring Cut Pristine Opal Cut Pristine Opal - Strength or Constitution Crafted/BoE

*: The ability perks you need to make sure are in your build are Insatiable Gravity Well Insatiable Gravity Well and Relentless Freedom Relentless Freedom. Crippling Reap Crippling Reap is an optional one, but is not needed.

**: Your Opal Runeglass on your weapons can be any variation of elemental damage, the same goes for your Attunement and Chain Damage perks. It is best practice to match your Attunement or Chain with the type of DoT damage your Opal does.

***: Freedom Freedom, Elemental Aversion Elemental Aversion, and Refreshing Refreshing, are all viable options. When using Freedom Freedom you should stack 3 or 5 times. Any combination of these perks is viable.


Gem Optimization

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


Punishing Runeglass

This will increase physical damage dealt by a flat percent, but it has an internal cooldown attached to it. This means that if you swing two light attacks with a Great Axe, only every other swing will have the damage increase. This drastically reduces its effectiveness over time, whereas you could just take normal defensive gems to increase survivability. It can be worth it to put 1-3 of this Runeglass in your gear, but never use a complete set of 5 Punishing Runeglass



Bruisers looking to have higher damage output and burst down multiple targets within a clump should use Brutal Heartrune of Detonate Brutal Heartrune of Detonate. You just need to play safely after activating it.

For a safer alternative that can make you more effective in combat, Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform is great to have some independent burst healing. Otherwise, for max defensiveness, Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform Cunning Heartrune of Stoneform is the better option.


Heartrune Usage

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


Rotation and Priority List


Damage Combo

  • Use Skyward Slash Skyward Slash to Rend and get into Onslaught stance.
  • Use Relentless Rush Relentless Rush to root the target and receive an empower.
  • Heavy attack with Greatsword until the target tries to run away.
  • Use Steadfast Strike Steadfast Strike to pull enemies back, or to use it as a stagger to interrupt targets. This can also be used for a quick heal or potential cooldown reset.


  • Use Gravity Well Gravity Well on clumps of enemies, or on a priority target.
  • Use Skyward Slash Skyward Slash for Rend, AoE damage, and anti-healing.
  • Use Relentless Rush Relentless Rush while in onslaught to root targets.
  • Use Steadfast Strike Steadfast Strike to keep enemies close and prevent escapes.
  • Use Reap Reap to pull enemies toward you and prevent escapes.
  • Use Charge Charge to escape or to secure a kill and chase targets.

Gameplay Tips

When using the Great Axe or Greatsword 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 Great Axe page or Greatsword page.



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



  • 22 Oct. 2023: Guide updated for expansion.
  • 28 Mar. 2023: Updated gear.
  • 23 Feb. 2023: Guide added.
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