War Hammer Weapon Guide and Builds in New World

Last updated on Nov 19, 2021 at 20:40 by DonTheCrown 4 comments

A two-handed weapon that dishes out massive crowd control and bonks. With different Abilities to knockdown, knockback, stagger, or stun foes this weapon provides a lot of options for crowd control. The War Hammer is great for controlling the battlefield in both PvE and PvP.


War Hammer Patch 1.1 Changes

With Patch 1.1 of New World having been released on the 19th of November, we have prepared patch notes with commentary for the War Hammer weapon. Please follow the link below for more information.


War Hammer Overview

The War Hammer is a two-handed weapon that scales with Strength. It deals Impact damage with its basic attacks and most skills. This weapon is great at keeping several enemies locked down while wailing away on them with attacks. The War Hammer has four different Abilities that each provide a different type of crowd control and has some moderate self-healing. With the capability to apply Rend through Armor Breaker Armor Breaker and Sundering Shockwave Sundering Shockwave, the War Hammer can bring some serious damage to tanky foes.


War Hammer Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Many crowd control options
  • +Some self-healing
  • +Able to apply Rend with Armor Breaker Armor Breaker
  • +Strong against Angry Ancients and Angry Lost
X Weaknesses
  • -Melee
  • -Slow attacks that can be interrupted without Grit
  • -Shorter reach with Basic Attacks than Great Axe
  • -No Movement Skill
  • -Conditional damage and healing
  • -Weak against Corrupted

War Hammer Attributes

The War Hammer scales only with Strength, so we highly recommended that you focus on obtaining as much Strength as possible on both gear and with your Attribute selection. Constitution is a decent secondary Attribute but only Strength will increase the damage you do. The 50-Strength breakpoint will increase the damage of your Light Attacks by 5% and the 100-Strength breakpoint will increase your heavy attacks' damage by 10%. Once you reach endgame and are able to have 300 Strength, you will have Grit during Light and Heavy attacks, which is incredibly useful for avoiding crowd control.


In PvE, the War Hammer shines by dealing out damage while crowd controlling groups of foes. We recommend using Armor Breaker Armor Breaker, Wrecking Ball Wrecking Ball, and Shockwave Shockwave for maximum effectiveness. If you are playing solo, Clear Out Clear Out can be fine but it is rather disruptive to group play due to displacing foes.

Path Of Destiny Path Of Destiny can be okay when pulling large groups of foes, due to the healing from Prevailing Spirit Prevailing Spirit; however, the stagger is so minor that it is hard to capitalize on it by the time your ability animation is over. To see what weapons best pair with the War Hammer, check out our Weapon Combos section below.

We recommend taking the following Mastery Points:


In PvP, the War Hammer can crowd control foes and knock them around. Much like for PvE we recommend using Armor Breaker Armor Breaker, Wrecking Ball Wrecking Ball, and Shockwave Shockwave for maximum effectiveness. Clear Out Clear Out can be useful in wars to clear out capture points, especially when paired with Repulsing Clear Out Repulsing Clear Out.

Armor Breaker Armor Breaker is incredibly fast and helps make tanky targets melt. While Aftershock Aftershock looks appealing, the Juggernaut tree just has so many good Masteries it makes it hard to justify dropping them for this.


War Hammer Abilities

The War Hammer, like all other weapons, has six abilities; however, you can only use three abilities at any give time on your action bars. While you can spend Mastery Points on more than 3, it is a waste of points since respeccing is rather cheap to do.


Armor Breaker

Armor Breaker Armor Breaker — A Powerful swing that penetrates 35% of the target's armor and deals 140% weapon damage. This Ability is incredibly fast, making it a good follow-up to Basic Attacks. In PvP, this is extremely difficult to avoid if executed at melee range.


Mighty Gavel

Mighty Gavel Mighty Gavel — An overhead leaping attack that crushes down on enemies, dealing 160% weapon damage. This Ability has the potential to be amazing, but feels somewhat lacking right now. In PvE, the area of effect just does not feel large enough and in PvP the base ability is too telegraphed and easily avoided.


Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball Wrecking Ball — Strike the ground around a target with Hammer dealing 120% weapon damage and flattening enemy. This Ability has a quick animation that knocks foes down. With Breathing Room Breathing Room, this Ability can knock down clumped foes.



Shockwave Shockwave — Slam the Hammer into the ground causing a 3-meter radius AoE earthquake that deals 80% weapon damage. Applies Stun to all impacted targets for 2 seconds. It is important to note that Stun in New World will be broken on taking damage, so make sure you follow up this Ability with a big hit. This Ability is also somewhat telegraphed, making it easy to be dodged in PvP.


Clear Out

Clear Out Clear Out — A wide swing that knocks enemies back 4 meters to create distance, and deals 115% weapon damage. This Ability is fast and hits several foes in front of you; however, displacing foes in a group is typically more bad than good for your group.


Path of Destiny

Path Of Destiny Path Of Destiny — A powerful ground strike that erupts a linear wave of energy in front of the player, dealing 110% weapon damage to all targets in its path. This Ability is LOUD! You crack the ground sending out several small rings of damage. This Ability okay for dealing a bit of damage to enemies, but does not really do all that much damage.


War Hammer Mastery Overview

Like all other weapons, the War Hammer has two Mastery trees. You can spend Mastery Points in either tree but must have a Mastery from the preceding row to select deeper Masteries. Likewise, if a Mastery has a vertical line connecting it to a Mastery above it then you must first select the higher Mastery in order to unlock the lower ones. These linked-together Masteries typically support abilities which are denoted by a square-shaped icon.

While you can unlock all six abilities at once, you will only be able to place three abilities on your action bar at a time. It is unwise to invest in more than three abilities because it is easy to respec. The Ultimate Mastery point will unlock once you spend 10 Mastery Points in its tree. You are unable to add additional Mastery Points, respec your Points, change your action bar, or unequip your weapon while any Ability is on cooldown.


Juggernaut Tree

The Juggernaut tree focuses primarily on Heavy Attacks and dealing with tankier foes. Power Through Pain Power Through Pain is a notable Mastery here, that provides a large damage buff when you take damage, which happens a lot in melee range. Exhaustive Attacks Exhaustive Attacks is nice because it pairs well with Concussive Impact Concussive Impact to make your Abilities always increase the damage you do against foes. Its Ultimate Mastery, Justice For All Justice For All, empowers Mighty Gavel Mighty Gavel to give it a second damaging swing.


Crowd Crusher Tree

The Crowd Crusher Tree focuses on Light Attacks and some supportive Masteries like Prevailing Spirit Prevailing Spirit and I Can Do This All Day I Can Do This All Day. Prevailing Spirit is a great Mastery if you are using any Crowd Crusher Abilities for large heals against multiple foes. Its Ultimate Mastery, Aftershock Aftershock, slows those affected by your crowd control but only for a limited time.


War Hammer Perks

Every Weapon Ability in New World has a corresponding perk that can be found on armor and weapons. Most perks scale in power with the Gear Score of the item they are on. You can only benefit from one instance of a Weapon Ability perk at a time. These can be rare to find on gear and are mostly just a bonus.

  • Empowering Armor Breaker Empowering Armor Breaker — If Armor Breaker breaks a block, the next attack within 5 seconds deals 28% additional damage. This Perk is not all that great because you do not want to break blocks with Armor Breaker. You want to apply Rend which does not get applied if you get blocked.
  • Refreshing Mighty Gavel Refreshing Mighty Gavel — Mighty Gavel kills reduce this ability's cooldown by 19%. This perk is nice if you are using Mighty Gavel. Generally any Perk that reduces cooldowns is a decent Perk and this one is no different.
  • Penetrating Wrecking Ball Penetrating Wrecking Ball — Wrecking Ball penetrates 19% of the target's armor. Penetrating armor increases the damage your Ability depending on how much armor your target has. If you are using Wrecking Ball then this is a good Perk to increase the damage of this Ability.
  • Sundering Shockwave Sundering Shockwave — Shockwave applies Rend, reducing target's damage absorption by percentage for 10 seconds. This Perk is tremendously powerful because Rend increases the damage foes take. This Perk is wonderful and we recommend taking it whenever you can.
  • Repulsing Clear Out Repulsing Clear Out — Clear Out now knocks targets back an additional percentage. This Perk is nice for PvP if you are trying to clear foes off of control points but besides that it is more detrimental than helpful. Especially in group PvE content using Clear Out can cause your allies to miss their attacks and this Perk only pushes foes even more out of position.
  • Leeching Path Of Destiny Leeching Path Of Destiny — Heal for 28% of the damage dealt from Path Of Destiny. This Perk is great if you are using using Path of Destiny for the extra health sustain.


Starting off, we grab Armor Breaker Armor Breaker, Exhaustive Attacks Exhaustive Attacks, Wrecking Ball Wrecking Ball, Outnumbered Outnumbered, and Shockwave Shockwave to set up a nice 3-Ability kit. Use Armor Breaker at the end of your first attack to partially animation-cancel the backswing and get more fast damage in. Use your Abilities aggressively to crowd control your foes so you can kill them without taking much damage.

Next, take Safety Measures Safety Measures and Power Through Pain Power Through Pain to make you deal even more damage when you are hit. Acceleration Acceleration is great for reducing your cooldowns on every Light Attack, making it so you can spam your Abilities even more. Then take Indomitable Indomitable and Lasting Trauma Lasting Trauma to apply Rend with Armor Breaker.

Concussive Impact Concussive Impact increases your damage against anything you have hit recently with any of your Abilities. Prevailing Spirit Prevailing Spirit allows you to heal from your Shockwave. Frailty Frailty and Meteoric Crater Meteoric Crater help to make your Shockwave hit in more enemies. Epitome Of Bonk! Epitome Of Bonk! is great for increasing the damage of all your Basic Attacks.

Breathing Room Breathing Room makes Wrecking Ball even more effective at knocking down groups of foes. Hammer Time Hammer Time makes Heavy Attacks increase your overall damage. Hardened Steel Hardened Steel grants Grit and reduces incoming damage during Heavy Attacks. Guarded Sprint Guarded Sprint as the final point helps you take less damage while gathering up foes or closing the gap with ranged foes.

For more information about leveling strategies, please refer to our dedicated guide.


War Hammer Combinations

  • Great Axe — The Great Axe is a good partner for the War Hammer. Use the Great Axe to close the gap and then Stun and Knockdown your foes to your heart's content. Since the War Hammer deals Impact damage, it also helps cover for the Great Axe's weakness against Ancient-type foes. The main downside of this combo is that you will have two slower-attacking two-handed weapons that have limited ranged potential.
  • Hatchet — The Hatchet does a great job providing health sustain through Berserk Berserk, which allows you to heal up out of combat. Feral Rush Feral Rush can also root enemies so you can catch slippery foes. You can also make the Hatchet a throwing weapon which adds a ranged option to your setup. One downside is that both weapons have relatively short ranged melee attacks making it difficult to Backstab-crit against bosses with another melee present.
  • Life Staff — While somewhat of a strange option at first glance, the Life Staff can be a strong weapon to pair with the War Hammer. For this setup you would scale Focus instead of Strength and then use an Amber Amber gem to change some of the damage scaling to Focus. The Life Staff is the healing weapon in New World and it benefits from War Hammer's crowd control and disruption. While this combination does less damage than a pure Strength setup, it is incredibly difficult to kill.

What Attributes does the War Hammer scale with?

The War Hammer scales solely with Strength.


Can I Use the War Hammer without Scaling Strength?

Yes, you can convert up to 50% of a weapon's damage to elemental to allow it to scale with Intelligence or Focus, based on the gem used.


Where do You Get the War Hammer?

You can get your first War Hammer either from killing enemies or from chests. If you do not find one then you can craft it for yourself at the Forge. We recommend crafting a War Hammer after completing your "craft a weapon", introduction quest if you have not yet found one. For more information about crafting, check out our Crafting guide.



  • 19 Nov. 2021: Added link to Patch 1.1 War Hammer changes.
  • 29 Sep. 2021: Guide added.
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