Sword and Shield Abilities and Skill Trees for New World
Welcome to our Abilities and Skill Trees page for Sword and Shield. Here, we give you an overview of every ability that Sword and Shield 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.
Sword and Shield 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 Sword guide has additional information regarding the usage of abilities and each of our Sword PvP Builds and Sword PvE Builds has a detailed gameplay section that explains how to play the build.
- Reverse Stab — 20s CD: A stab attack that deals 175% weapon damage and staggers our target.
- Unstoppable Stab — Reverse Stab now has grit.
- Tactician — On a successful hit with Reverse Stab, all other sword cooldowns are reduced by 25%.
Summary: This is a frequently used PvP and PvE ability. It adds incredible cooldown reduction with a spike of damage and its stagger effect is extremely powerful in a crowd-control combo in PvP. Otherwise, this is a great option for PvE tanks since
Crafting Material: Steel Sword Charm - Contagious Reverse Stab: Reverse Stab transfers an active debuff from self to target hit. Reverse Stab deals 10% more damage (15% on weapon).
- Crosscut — 15s CD: Deal 145% weapon damage to all foes within 2m.
- Opportunity — Whirling Blade inflicts a 5% rend for 10s.
- Tactical Strike — Whirling Blade reduces its own cooldown by 10% for each enemy hit.
Summary: This ability can have some viability in PvE, but is commonly not used because it lacks damage and can be difficult to land at times.
Crafting Material: Starmetal Sword Charm - Empowering Whirling Blade: Base damage is increased by 30% (49% on weapon) while performing a Whirling Blade attack if 3 or more enemies are within the radius of the attack.
- Leaping Strike — 18s CD: Leap forward, dealing 150% weapon damage and staggering your target.
- Final Strike — If you hit a foe below 30% health, deal 50% more damage.
- Cowardly Punishment — On successful hit, inflict a 30% slow for 3s..
Summary: This is ability is always used in PvP. It provides unmatched mobility, and a very potent burst of damage when hitting an enemy from behind at the start of a fight. It can also be a fantastic escape option if it is available.
Crafting Material: Orichalcum Sword Charm - Empowering Leaping Strike: Sword attacks deal 17% (31% on weapon) additional damage to targets slowed by Leaping Strike's Cowardly Punishment upgrade.
- Shield Bash — 25s CD: Deals 50% weapon damage, staggering and stunning foes in front of you for 2s. Taunt Gem Compatible.
- Intimidating Bash — Shield Bash causes greatly increased threat and deals 100% more damage.
- Concussive Bash — Shield Bash stun duration increased by 1s.
Summary: This is incredibly powerful in PvP because its stun enables many high damage kill combinations. In PvE, it stuns targets and acts as a taunt to maintain threat.
Crafting Material: Steel Shield Charm - Diminishing Shield Bash: Foes hit by Shield Bash have their non-consumable buff durations reduced by 30% (45% on shield).
- Shield Rush — 20s CD: Rush forward 5m, staggering and pushing back foes. This attack deals 125% weapon damage.
- Improved Rush — On a successful hit, all enemies within 5m are weakened 10% for 10s.
- Intimidating Rush — On a successful hit, all enemies within 5m of you are slowed by 30% for 4s.
Summary: This is ability is great PvP crowd-control combinations to secure kills, otherwise it is a valuable PvE tanking tool that provides a fortify buff and a weaken debuff on enemies.
Crafting Material: Starmetal Shield Charm - Fortifying Shield Rush: After hitting a target with Shield Rush, gain Fortify, increasing damage absorption on self by 19% (33% on shield) for 6 seconds.
- Defender's Resolve — 45s CD: For 8s, reduce the incoming base damage from attackers by 30%. Taunt Gem Compatible.
- Final Countdown — If your health is above 50%, damage reduction is increased by 20%.
- Restoration — When Defender's Resolve ends, heal 15% of your max health.
Summary: This is a great defensive ability that will also function as an AoE taunt. It has a long animation and cooldown, so use only when you absolutely need to, and then reduce its cooldown with Reverse Stab.
Crafting Material: Orichalcum Shield Charm - Accelerated Resolve: Movement Speed Increased by 19% (33% on shield) and incoming healing by 7.7% (13% on shield) for 6 seconds after triggering Defender's Resolve.
- Empowered Stab — You will not heavy attack often, but this is the most optimal pick in the first row of choices.
- Achilles' Heel — This has low value. There are not many occassions where you will hit enemies with the final attack of your light attack combo.
- Precision — Great damage option, this adds a large amount of critical hit chance for free.
- Freeing Justice — This can be awkward to try and make use of. It does only remove one debuff, so it does not have very high value. This is often taken so that you have enough points to get Leadership.
- Mobility — Low value passive, it does not change much since you are very slow while blocking.
- Counter Attack — This has some viability in both PvP and PvE. When tanking, this is up constantly and will help with threat generation. You do not block very often in PvP, but it can be used.
- Opportunist — Free damage increase to enemies affected by slows. Since abilities like Leaping Strike are commonly used, or other slows from your allies, this is a high value pick in PvP.
- Confidence — This has decent value in all environments. In PvP it is great for initial engagements. In PvE it is nice to have occassionaly for a slight boost in damage.
- Critical Precision — This haste buff has a long duration and can be very beneficial when trying to chase down targets or escape.
- Leadership — This is the most commonly used ultimate passive for both PvP and PvE. It not only increases your damage output, but your entire 5-player party's damage as well.
- Sturdy Shield — Great passive defensiveness against physical damage.
- Sturdy Grip — Helps increase the number of hits you can take while blocking in PvP and PvE. This is always a good pick if you take advantage of blocking.
- Defensive Training — Viable option to receive a quick fortify that may help with survival. Often not needed since you can just block damage instead and the fortify becomes less useful.
- High Grip — THelps increase the number of ranged hits you can take while blocking in PvP and PvE. This is always a good pick if you take advantage of blocking.
- One with the Shield — Not an incredibly strong passive. This cooldown reduction is minimal, even when taking multiple hits.
- Final Blow — This can help supplement a small amount of damage and some threat, but it only applies to your third attack in a light chain, making it not very useful.
- Invigorating Bulwark — When using both Shield Bash and Shield Rush, this can be very strong in PvP. It is not needed in PvE.
- Recuperation — Great passive in PvP and PvE to aid with survivability when being healed.
- Defensive Formation — While this does apply a very large damage reduction buff to yourself and everyone in your AoE, it is commonly not needed and is overshadowed by the damage increase from Leadership.
- 16 Feb. 2023: Guide added.
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