• Great axes are best used for clearing large groups of enemies
  • The weapon can also be specialized for single-target DPS scenarios
  • Great axes are great for large-scale PvP engagements 

One of the two Strength-based heavy weapons in “New World” is the Great Axe. This weapon class is great for dealing with groups of enemies thanks to its wide cones of attack and its variety of area-of-effect skills.

The Great Axe is a popular weapon for both PvE and PvP, but oftentimes, it can only specialize in one or the other. With the proper skill builds and gear setups, the Great Axe can be a formidable weapon that can carry players well into the endgame.

Here’s a quick overview of the Great Axe’s abilities as well as some high-synergy ability builds to help players get started.

New World's PvP features a skill-based system with ability-oriented combat, manual dodging and stamina management New World's PvP features a skill-based system with ability-oriented combat, manual dodging and stamina management Photo: Amazon Game Studios

Great Axe playstyle and skill trees

Great axe basic attacks are wide, horizontal slashes that can hit multiple enemies at once. This weapon is also slow compared to the others, though not as slow as the War Hammer. Due to these, Great Axe DPS against single targets can feel a bit slow, trading speed for powerful single hits.

Players can choose between the Reaper and Mauler skill trees, which specialize in single target and AoE attacks, respectively.

Reaper provides players with a long-distance gap closer as well as a slow but powerful attack that deals more damage against low-health enemies. Meanwhile, Mauler is designed for area damage with a variety of spinning attacks and passives that buff players who are surrounded by enemies.

Great Axe builds

Running a bit of both skill trees is ideal for the Great Axe as it gives it the most flexibility to adapt to most scenarios. Here’s a sample build that’s great for tank/DPS roles in Expeditions:

  • Active Skills
    • Maelstrom
    • Gravity Well
    • Reap
  • Priority Passives
    • No Reprieve
    • Crowded Well
    • Enduring Strike
    • Revenge
    • Crowded Protection
    • Mauler’s Fury

This build can help players tank groups of enemies while dealing reliable area damage. Reap is used to taunt targets and drag them away from party members.

For PvP, players will want to prioritize mobility and either burst damage or crowd-control depending on the scale of a fight.

  • Active Skills
    • Maelstrom
    • Gravity Well
    • Charge OR Execute
  • Priority Passives
    • Blood Lust
    • Unstoppable Greed (if taking Execute)
    • No Reprieve (if taking Maelstrom)

Gravity Well will prevent targets from escaping while giving the wielder a chance to hit Execute. Meanwhile, Maelstrom is used to pull enemies closer while dealing significant damage. Execute can be replaced with Charge as the former can be hard to land, while the latter can help players catch up to fleeing enemies more easily.