Sword and Shield Bruiser PvP Build for New World

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

The following is a PvP backline dive build that will use the crowd-control of the Sword and Shield and complementing it with the Great Axe for both damage and additional crowd-control. This build can catch many players off guard with its quick mobility and engagement potential. It can effectively sneak into a backline and setup large clumps of enemies, or it can take a target one on one to get them in a CC chain that will surely result in a quick kill.


Sword and Shield 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 take advantage of the engage potential of the Sword and Shield. You can quickly leap into combat, stun a priority target, and unleash an aresenal of Great Axe abilities to completely lockdown and burst a clump of enemies. The Sword and Shield can also be a way to secure a one on one kill with its ability to chain crowd-control abilities together.


Sword and Shield Build

  • Leaping Strike Leaping Strike — This will be used to initiate a CC combo, or to just get yourself into combat. It will deal a large amount of damage if you hit an enemy from behind, and add a slowing effect. This can also be used for a quick escape.
  • Shield Bash Shield Bash — This is needed for any chain CC combos. It is powerful ability for locking down a priority target, or interrupting abilities due to its quick casting speed.
  • Shield Rush Shield Rush — This will provide a stagger that initiates a CC chain and quick damage. It also will add an AoE slowing effect. So when used on a clump, it can result in great utlity to secure several kills.

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. You can play with this for more survivability, or you can choose to go down to 150 Constitution.





Slot Perks Gem Weight Attribute Source
Great Axe Runeglass of Ignited Opal Runeglass of Ignited Opal** - Strength Crafted/BoE
Sword Runeglass of Ignited Opal Runeglass of Ignited Opal** - Strength Crafted/BoE
Shield - Round Shield Strength or Constitution 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 Empowering Leaping Strike Empowering Leaping Strike. Both Fortifying Shield Rush Fortifying Shield Rush and Crippling Reap Crippling Reap are optional and not necessary.

**: 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 Sword guide for tips on how it can be used most effectively.


Rotation and Priority List


Damage Combo

  • Use Leaping Strike Leaping Strike to initiate combat, preferably hit the target in the back.
  • Use Shield Rush Shield Rush to stagger the target and slow them.
  • Use Shield Bash Shield Bash to stun the target and set them up for your Great Axe.
  • Swap to Great Axe and use Gravity Well Gravity Well.
  • Use Reap Reap to keep them close if they try to escape.
  • Light attack with Great Axe.


  • Use Leaping Strike Leaping Strike to initiate combat or for an escape to reposition.
  • Use Gravity Well Gravity Well on clumps of enemies, or on a priority target.
  • Use the CC chain in the damage combo listed above.
  • Use Shield Rush Shield Rush to stagger or for an escape.
  • Use Shield Bash Shield Bash to setup combos and lock down priority targets.
  • 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 Sword 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 Sword page.



For more information on the most frequently asked Great Axe or Sword questions please refer to the FAQ section of the Great Axe, or Sword, 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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