Introduction To The Great Axe in New World

The Great Axe is a 2 handed weapon in New World that scales off of Strength. The Great Axe excels at close-range combat and provides good self-healing and crowd control. In our New World Great Axe guide, we will discuss the Great Axe’s mastery tree, recommended skills, and techniques to optimize the use of this weapon. 

Great Axe Mastery Trees

The Great Axe mastery tree is divided into two skill trees,The Reaper and Mauler

Reaper Mastery Tree

The Reaper skill tree is focused on mobility and critical strikes. Charge allows you to close gaps, moving 15m forward and dealing 120% weapon damage. When fully upgraded, Charge can deal more damage based on distance traveled. This further increases damage if you can right-click at the right time.  

The next ability, Reap, is a crowd control ability that pulls targets to you. Upgrading the ability adds self-healing and increased damage. This ability is also taunt gem compatible.

Execute is the last ability in the Reaper skill tree. Execute deals more damage to enemies that are under 50% health. Upgrading this ability will add Grit to the attack as well as guarantee a critical strike if the target is below 30% health. 


The key passive in the Reaper tree is Blood LustBlood Lust increases your movement speed by 20% and deals 15% more damage to enemies within 14 meters. This passive is extremely powerful in PVP, allowing Great axe users to track down ranged opponents. Overall, Blood Lust should perform well as a consistent boost to single target damage. 

The remaining Passives in the Reaper tree are centered around increased damage and self sustain.  

Mauler Mastery Tree

The Mauler tree, AKA the spin to win tree, is full of crowd control and AOE damage. 

Whirlwind is a spinning attack that deals 50% weapon damage to all nearby foes with each rotation. This ability requires you to keep hitting a target to perform the next rotation. It can be upgraded to include 7 rotations, speed up the attack speed of the ability, and increase the damage by 15% if surrounded by 3 or more foes.   

Maelstrom is a fast-spinning attack that pulls enemies towards you and deals 110% of Weapon damage. The upgrades to Maelstrom increase the range of the attack/pull, increase the number of rotations of the attack to 2, and allows you to consume all enemy projectiles while the ability is active. Finally, the start-up of Maelstrom gains the Grit passive.

Gravity Well is a ranged ability that allows you to throw an AOE vortex that pulls enemies to the center of the AOE for 3 seconds. Foes who are pulled to the center of the vortex are rooted for 1 second, and have their movement speed reduced. At the end of the 3 seconds enemies inside the AOE take 100% weapon damage. The first upgrade to Gravity Well increases the damage done to enemies by 10% for each enemy caught by the well and the second upgrade, unyielding, adds utility to the ability by applying a 10% fortify buff to allies who stand in the Well.   


The Key passive in the Mauler tree is Mauler’s Fury. This passive increases your damage by 3% with each Great Axe attack for 3 seconds stacking up to 10 times. Whirlwind, especially in a large group of enemies, can provide you with large amounts of Maulers Fury, greatly increasing damage output.

The remaining passives in the Mauler tree are centered around enhancing your pulls, damage mitigation, and increased damage.

Recommended Roles

The recommended roles with the great axe are Tank, DPS, and PvP.

The great axe can be utilized as an option for tanking. The ability, Reap, is taunt gem compatible. The weapon also has very good AOE crowd control with the Gravity Well ability making this a good option for a tank to help alleviate pressure on your DPS and healer.

The great axe deals out quite a lot of damage and has a great AOE damaging abilities. Depending on the expedition you choose to run and the type of monsters you are facing the great axe can be a great option for a DPS weapon. You can check our “Damage Type vs Mob Type” guide for a full list of which weapons are good and bad against certain enemy types.

This weapon is also a very strong melee option for PvP. It dishes out very good damage, has a great mobility option, great AoE crowd control, and some self sustain. Paired with some other hard hitting weapons, like the War Hammer and it’s a great option for a PvP bruiser.

Recommended Weapon Pairings with the Great Axe

The Great Axe scales off of Strength, so pairing the Great Axe with another weapon that scales off Strength is recommended.

War Hammer – The war hammer scales solely off of strength making this a great pairing with the Great Axe. The war hammer is also a strong pairing with the Great Axe when tanking in New World due to the amount of crowd control and taunts that it provides. When pairing it with the tankiness and utility of the Great Axe it makes a great tanking combination. 

Hatchet – The hatchet scales primarily off of Strength and secondarily on Dexterity. It will not benefit as much as the weapons mentioned above damage unless you are pumping points into dexterity also, but can still be a great option to pair with the Great Axe. The hatchet can provide some self-healing and mobility boosts, and will still do quite a lot of damage at close range.

Sword and Shield – The sword scales solely from strength, making this a great pairing with the Great Axe. This will add another set of taunt abilities as well as either blocking defense or AOE damage depending which tree you go down.

Spear – The spear scales primarily off of Dexterity and secondarily off of Strength, making this an ok pairing with the Great Axe as well. The spear can provide you with quite a lot of crowd control options that can help you deal with foes that get too close, and can also provide you with some additional damage over time as well.

You can reference our builds section for specific Life Staff pairings and builds.

Great Axe Perks

Every Weapon Ability in New World has a corresponding Perk that can be found on armor and weapons. Most of the perks scale in power with the Gear Score of the item they are on. It’s important to note that you can only benefit from one instance of a weapon ability perk at a time. You can obtain the weapon perks randomly from drops or you can craft gear with the specific perk on it. You can enhance your chance at obtaining a specific perk by utilizing timeless shards.

Some perks can be applied to both weapons and armor. Other perks can only be applied to one or the other. There are also weapon specific perks for each weapon. Weapon specific perks have increased effectiveness if they are applied to your weapon vs your armor. However, there are situations where you do not want to have the weapon perk on your weapon, but instead on your armor.

You can reference our builds section for specific great axe pairings and builds.

Great Axe Perks & Craft Mods

Weapon Ability PerkDescriptionArmorWeaponCrafting Mods
Refreshing ChargeHitting a target with Unpredictable Strike reduces its cooldown by X% (Max 1 hits).20%40%Steel Great Axe Charm
Crippling ReapTargets hit by Reap are Slowed, reducing movement speed by X% for 4s.27%50%Starmetal Great Axe Charm
Mending ExecuteHeal for X% of the damage dealt by Execute (Max 1 trigger per ability use).33%60%Orichalcum Great Axe Charm
Fortifying WhirlwindWhirlwind hits grant Fortify, increasing armor by X% and Slash damage by X% for 2s (Max 5 stacks).10 % / 8.5 %16% / 13%Reinforced Steel Great Axe Charm
Enfeebling MaelstromTargets hit by Maelstrom’s No Reprieve are Weakened, reducing their attack damage by X% for 8s.16%27%Reinforced Starmetal Great Axe Charm
Insatiable Gravity WellHeal for X% of the damage dealt by Gravity Well (Limit 1 target). On hit, cast another 4m radius burst around you that deals 50% weapon damage.39%80%Reinforced Orichalcum Great Axe Charm

Recommended Great Axe Gems

The type of gem you will want to slot into your Great Axe is heavily dependent upon your build and what you’re trying to accomplish. If you are running as a Tank you might prefer a Carnelian gem for taunting. If you are going DPS you might want Malachite to do more damage against targets with crowd control status effects like Stun. (You can check our quick reference guide for gems for a full list of gems and their effects).  

Enemy types the Great Axe is strong/weak against

With a Great Axe the damage type you will be dealing is Slash. Our Damage Type vs Mob Types Quick Chart guides as a complete breakdown for every weapon. Angry Earth will be the monster most affected by this and is ideal to use against them.

  • Angry Earth : Takes 20% MORE damage from Slash attacks

New World Great Axe Guide Conclusion

That concludes our New World Great Axe Guide. For more on where to level your Great Axe, check out our Weapon Leveling Locations.