Bruiser PVP – Great Axe and Warhammer


For this New World great axe pvp build you will be utilizing the great axe and warhammer. It excels at crowd control and dishing out high amounts of AoE damage. You can clear crowds of enemies with a well-placed and well-timed Gravity Well and Maelstrom combination. 


  • Very high burst damage
  • A lot of Crowd Control
  • High AoE Damage


  • Can be kited by ranged
  • Long cooldown on abilities

Mastery Points

Great Axe

For this New World, Great Axe Build you are going to utilize your Great Axe for mobility, increased damage resistance, AoE CC, and big AoE damage. The recommended abilities are:



Gravity Well

Upgrade Maelstrom fully in order to get additional range on the ability, consume incoming projectiles, add grit to the attack, and increase the attack’s damage. Next, upgrade Gravity well to the second upgrade, Crowded Well, to receive the additional burst damage. You will not fully upgrade it so you can take the additional passive, Enduring Strikes.

You will also want to upgrade whirlwind fully in order to take advantage of the additional damage it provides, and to help you proc the key passive, or ultimate in the tree. This ability is going to be used mostly as utility and extra damage as you see fit. You will want to take the perk fortifying whirlwind for the additional mitigation you’ll receive when using the ability.

The remaining passives you take will support additional damage and mitigation.

great axe build


For this New World War Hammer build the Warhammer abilities you are going to take will provide you with loads of damage and additional crowd Control. The recommended abilities for this build are the following:

Wrecking Ball


Path of Destiny

You will want to upgrade Wrecking Ball fully in order to get increased damage mitigation and a larger radius for the CC. Shockwave will be fully upgraded to weaken your target and to expand the radius of the stun. Path of Destiny will also be fully upgraded to take advantage of the stagger and cooldown reduction it provides.

You are not going to be taking a key passive (or ultimate) on the War Hammer. Instead you will utilize the additional points to gain some additional damage and cooldown reduction from the Juggernaut tree.

The remaining passives you take will support additional damage and increased damage mitigation. 

war hammer build


For this Great Axe War Hammer build you will keep it simple. The attribute distribution will be 300 Strength and 300 Constitution. You will want to make your way to 300 Strength for pushing out a lot of damage.

Then, you will push the remaining 300 attributes into constitutions for the additional armor increase and the additional health it provides. You will be in the thick of things quite a lot and will need survivability. A key factor of the 300 Constitution is the addition of gaining GRIT on your Light and Heavy attacks.

An additional thing to note, playing heavy armor is a very viable option for this build as a result of moving the 300 Strength perk to receive Grit being moved to 300 Con. Due to this, heavy Bruiser hasn’t looked better! To continue playing Bruiser with Grit, pivoting to a heavy build with 250 Strength 350 Constitution is advised.


In this section of the New World Great Axe Hammer Build – Bruiser Build, we will break down what equipment you will use. This includes armor perks, weapon perks, and equip weight.

For this Bruiser build, we will be in the Medium equip weight category. This gives you a good balance of damage and mitigation with more dodges. The way to obtain Medium equip weight for this build is the following:

1.) Heavy Chest, Light Pants, (2 Medium, 1 Heavy) Head, Gloves, and Boots

2.) Heavy Chest, Heavy Legs, (2 Light, 1 Medium) Head, Gloves, and Boots

Alternatively, you can choose the Heavy equip weight category, as a result, the entire set consists of Heavy armor pieces.

Barrier to Entry

Obtaining best in slot gear can is very difficult. The below recommendations are what you should shoot for, however, if you’re just getting started with the build you would want 5 piece resilient and the necessary perks of insatiable gravity well and sundering shockwave.

This will allow you to be competitive as you progress into better gear.


Artifact Armor

For this build, we recommend the following Artifact Armor pieces:

  • Nimble Leather Coat – Highly Refreshing: Reduces max cooldowns by 10%.
  • UnyieldingHard Head: PvP Only: Receive 20% less damage from critical hits.
  • Tumbler Shoes – Successfully dodging an attack, gives you 15% empower and 25% fortify for 5s, you are also healed for 200 + 2% of your max hp.

Most of the armor you need to run the Bruiser build will be obtained through crafting or random drops. Below are the recommended perks for your setup:

  • Freedom (4)
  • Elemental Aversion or Enchanted Ward (5)
  • Enfeebling Maelstrom (Preferably on Great Axe)
  • Insatiable Gravity Well
  • Sundering Shockwave (Preferably on the Hammer)
  • Refreshing (Optional)

The bread and butter of this build is the Gravity Well – Shockwave – Maelstrom – Wrecking Ball – Heavy Attack combo. If you can land the entire combo you will likely kill your target or multiple targets if you catch multiple targets in the Gravity Well.

For this reason, refreshing is an excellent perk to have on your armor for this build. Although your light and heavy attacks deal quite a bit of damage and can be utilized, the build still relies heavily on abilities to be off cooldown.

Refreshing is going to be preferred over Refreshing Evasion in order to lower the max cooldowns of all abilities and not just the abilities that are active. However, refreshing move is preferred on your great axe.


Artifact Weapon

For this build, we recommend the Artifact Greataxe, The Abyss. The unique property of the Abyss is the following; Darken Blade: 99% of damage is converted to void, and if higher will scale from Intelligence. This allows you to still run pure Strength, but split your damage to elemental versus other bruisers.

You will ideally want to obtain a Great Axe with Thwarting Strikes on it. You will want to shoot for the following when crafting or purchasing:

Thwarting Strikes, Refreshing Move, Attunement or Enfeebling Maelstrom.

If you do not have the means to purchase a 3 perk legendary then shoot for a Thwarting Strikes with Refreshing Move. 

You will ideally want to slot an Opal in the weapon. However, slotting a Malachite or Emerald would work as well depending on your preference.

War Hammer

You can farm the Blackguard’s War Hammer for this build (If you play the Heavy build). This War Hammer can be obtained from the Tempest Heart Expedition from Vroeg. 

You could also farm the Fury as a second option if you can’t obtain Blackguard’s Warhammer. The Fury drops from the Lazarus Instrumentality Expedition from the final boss, Chardis. 

If you choose to craft the Warhammer you will ideally want to shoot for:

Plagued Strikes, Attunement, Sundering Shockwave


Plagued Strikes, Sundering Shockwave, Thwarting Strikes


Amulet – Shirking Empower, Divine, Health A good alternate option that is farmable is the Blessing of Forefathers Amulet. It can be farmed from the Depths mutation. For an artifact, we highly recommend “Ankh”.

Ring – For your ring, you can farm out Smooth Bone Ring from the Caretaker in Garden of Genesis or get the Champion’s Ring from the PvP Track.

Earring – For your earring, you can farm out the Doom’s Chance from the Lazarus Instrumentality Expedition. “Endless Thirst” is a fantastic choice for an Artifact. Providing increased potion potency at the cost of higher cooldowns.


The types of gems you will depend upon the PVP meta. If in doubt, Onyx in your armor is the best choice since physical damage is the most prevalent damage type in New World. 

For your weapons you will want to slot an opal in both.

Heartgem Rune

The heartgem rune of choice for this New World great axe PvP build is the Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines. You can activate the heartrune and root all nearby targets. This will also weaken and rend enmeis on successful hits. This synergizes very well with your gravity well and maelstrom combos. Alternatively, Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform or Brutal Heartrune of Detonate are both viable.


You’ll want to utilize the following consumables for this build:

Honing Stone

Infused Health Potion

Infused Regeneration Potion

Hearty Meal

Banana Bread

Along with a stat food depending on your attribute distribution from your gear. You can check a full list of consumables by checking out our consumables guide.

How to Use Build

This New World Great Axe pvp build lends itself to an aggressive playstyle. It excels at taking out groups of enemies. You will want to catch your targets in a Gravity Well, and then land your combo.

The combo is Gravity Well – Shockwave – Maelstrom – Wrecking Ball – Heavy Attack. You will want to shockwave after the gravity well to stun your target in the gravity well. The shockwave will also rend targets caught inside. This will allow you to deal more damage with your maelstrom. You can then go immediately into your wrecking ball to continue the crowd control chain. While they are on the ground you follow up with a heavy attack for the finishing blow.

It’s important to manage your cooldowns properly as this build relies on setting up the kills with your CC abilities. However, if you miss your CC don’t be afraid to jump in and utilize your light and heavy attacks to dish out damage as well. 

You can utilize you whirlwind for additional utility and tankiness. You can utilize path of destiny to slow and stagger your targets to set up the combo.

New World Great Axe PVP Build Conclusion

That’s it for our New World Great Axe PVP build guide. Use your cooldowns effectively, dodge, and utilize your grit attacks when playing in heavy, and you’ll be stacking kills in no time!