Best Great Sword Builds In New World

Quick Links

  • Great Sword Overview
  • Great Sword And Great Axe PVE Leveling Build
  • Great Sword Tank Build
  • Great Sword And Bow "Dance" Build

New World's new expansion, Brimstone Sands, is now live. We've built this Great Sword guide from our time with the PTR and the full release of the patch.

The Great Sword has been uniquely designed to be a very versatile weapon, with an even 80% damage scaling for both Strength and Dexterity. There is also a unique Stance system that we will go into detail below. This guide will primarily cover some of the most fun weapon pairings, and how this weapon might fit into some archetypal New World builds we've covered before.

Great Sword Overview

The Great Sword is very versatile, although some strong weapon pairings we've already seen include the Bow, Warhammer, Hatchet, and Sword and Shield.

This variety is possible because the Great Sword scales equally with Strength and Dexterity – one of the first weapons in the game where this is the case.

Here are some key aspects of the Great Sword you should keep in mind:

– The Great Sword has excellent Stamina regen.

– The Great Sword's Defiance tree means you really should focus on Blocking, possibly more than any other weapon than the Sword and Shield.

– The Great Sword is a great leveling weapon as it can be used alongside many other weapons, as well as providing lots of sustain for solo content.

The Great Sword Stance System

Like other weapons in the game, the Great Sword has two mastery trees: Onslaught and Defiance. However, there is an extra mechanic included in these trees: stances.

  • Onslaught: When you activate any skill in the Onslaught tree, you will gain the Onslaught Stance for 10 seconds. This means you will deal an extra 20% damage for 20 seconds, but also take an extra 20%. Heavy attacks also charge faster but cost 10 stamina.
  • Path of Defiance: Activate any skill in the Defiance tree, and you'll gain the Path of Defiance Stance for 10 seconds. This means you'll take 20% less damage, but you'll also deal 20% less damage. Heavy attacks block incoming attacks.

So as you can see, these two stances are primarily very straightforward in a split between offense and defense. This leaves even more versatility for the sort of build you want to go for. Here's a look at some of our favorite combos so far.

Great Sword And Great Axe PVE Leveling Build

This has been the stand-out offensive pick so far for PVE and leveling in New World. What makes the Great Sword and Great Axe so interesting is that you've got the sustainability of the Great Sword with the utility of the Great Axe, including AoE.

Great Sword Trees, Abilities, and Masteries

  • Relentless Rush – This is a decently strong AoE ability that hits multiple enemies, but it's the Adaptive Rush perk that makes it so strong. When you are in Defiance stance, the ability will heal you for 15% of the damage inflicted. This is great for soloing content.
  • To get into Defiance stance, you will need to take at least one ability in the Defiance tree. We recommended either Steadfast Strike (brings more sustain to the table with its life steal), or Roaring Rupture, for its AoE and Fortify.

We've got more info on the Great Axe in our dedicated Great Axe build guide.

It's important to remember the "chain" concept with the Great Sword's basic attacks. The weapon is primarily an auto-attack weapon. Each attack deals sweeping/AoE damage, except for the first Heavy Attack, which has a much smaller radius. Practice your rotation to maximize damage.

Great Sword Tank Build

The Great Sword also finally provides some more variety when it comes to tank builds in New World. For the past few months, the Sword and Shield and Hatchet build has ruled the roost.

Hopefully, with the Great Sword's defensive stance, we might see some more unique ways to play as a tank – including tanks that can block multiple attacks while also doing some substantial damage in return.

  • You could run the Great Sword with the Sword and Shield. Blocking with the Great Sword and other abilities retain and rebuild Stamina, allowing you to block longer with the Shield.
  • Alternatively, you could pair the Great Sword with something else like the Hatchet, Warhammer, etc, based on the expedition/content you are trying to complete.
  • Medium is recommended, although Heavy can work in certain PvP and PvE settings.
  • For PvE, you want to go 200 Strength and the rest into Constitution. Balance this if you want more survivability. For PvP, you can take Strength/Dex/Constitution. Something like a 200/150/100 split at max stats.

The Defiance stance tree for the Great Sword has abilities that are ideal for a tank build, such as Calamity Counter which provides block, a counterattack with stagger and knockback, and reduced Stamina damage.

Great Sword And Bow "Dance" Build

The Great Sword and Bow might not provide the best balance of damage, but the Stamina regen from the Great Sword means you can zip and "dance", hence the name of the build, around your opponents in PvP.

  • Pick up Cross Cut, Relentless Rush, and Calamity Counter on the Great Sword. The stamina regen/blocking from Calamity Counter is an excellent defensive ability that can be used while you're waiting for cooldowns on your bow.

Cross Cut can be difficult to hit all three slices of the blade – you might want to swap this out for Skyward instead. Experiment for yourself.

  • Penetrating Shot, Evade Shot, and Explosive Arrow, although you can change these up depending on your playstyle. Empowering Explosive Arrow is a must-have – you can read more about the best perks for the Bow in our Bow build guide.
  • Light armor is preferred for small-scale PvP like arenas. However, if you do get caught in close range, you are very squishy.
  • There is a variation of this build where you focus Dexterity for main Bow damage and go Light Armor. The alternative is a Medium armor build that focuses on Strength for using the Great Sword as the primary weapon. Welcome to New World – there is so much variety here it's really up to you to experiment with your own playstyle.

In Summary

Overall, the Great Sword is an incredibly potent weapon in the current Brimstone meta. We expect that there will be tweaks further down the line, but for now you can experiment widely with the weapon and find a style that suits you.

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