New World Great Axe Guide

 The Great Axe is a 2 handed weapon in New World that scales off of Strength.  The Great Axe excels at close-ranged combat and provides good self-healing and crowd control.  This weapon can be used in both the tank and the dps roles.   In this guide, we will discuss the Great Axe's mastery tree,  recommended skills, and techniques to optimize the use of this weapon. 

MASTERY TREES

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

Reaper

The Reaper Skill Tree is focused on mobility and critical strikes.  Charge allows you to close gaps, moving 10m forward and dealing 130% of weapon damage.  When fully upgraded, Charge can deal more damage based on distance traveled and adds a skill shot.  This further increasing damage if you can right-click at the right time.  Execute is the next ability in the Reaper skill tree.  Execute deals 30% more damage to enemies that are under 50%.  Upgrading this ability will add Grit to the attack as well as guarantee a crit strike if the target is below 30% health.  The Final ability Reap is a pull CC that adds self-healing and increased damage with upgrades.  Reap also gives a nod to tanking with Reap being compatible with a Carnelian Gem (taunt).   

The passives in the Reaper tree magnify the Great Axes abilities.   Death's Embrace gives a big boost to damage, by adding 10% armor penetration against enemies below 50%.   The Critical Condition passive increases crit chance to targets below 50% health by 15%.  These two passives combine well with Keen Edge, which increases the amount of critical damage you deal by 15%.  Critical Gain and Feed both give a decent amount of self-healing with Crit damage and damage to target below 30% health. 

The key passive in the Reaper tree is Blood Lust.  Blood lust increases your movement speed by 30% faster and deal 15% more damage to enemies within 15 meters.  This passive is extremely powerful in PVP, allowing Great axe users to track down ranged opponents.  Overall, Bloodlust should perform well as a consistent boost to single target damage. 
Mauler

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 (increased from 5), speed up the attack speed of the ability by 50% and increase the damage by 30% if surrounded by 3 or more foes.   Gravity Well is a ranged ability that allows you to put an AOE on the ground that pulls enemies to the center of the AOE for 3 seconds.  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 20% fortify buff to allies who stand in the Well.   The last ability in the Mauler skill tree is Maelstrom.  Maelstrom is a fast spinning attack that pulls enemies towards you and deals 115% 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 projectiles while the ability is active. . 

The Passives in the Mauler tree are mostly centered around being surrounded by enemies and upgrading your heavy attacks.  Enduring Strike gives you Grit with all Heavy attacks and a 20% damage reduction during the animation.  Heavy Pull allows them to pull enemies towards you.   Gravity upgrades all of your pull abilities to hold enemies for 30% longer (including Gravity Well and Maelstrom).   Center of Attention gives you a 10% increase in damage and Crowded Protection gives you a 10% increase to armor but both require you to be surrounded by 3 or more enemies. 

The Key passive in the Mauler tree is Mauler's Fury.  This passive increases your damage by 5% 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.

Recommended Roles and Mastery Point Assignment

The recommended skills for the Great Axe will greatly depend upon what activity you are participating in and what role you want to perform.  

Tank

Recommended Active Abilities 
  • Reap
  • Gravity Well
  • Maelstrom (Charge)
Recommended Passive Skills
  • Feed
  • Frustration (Critical Gains if Charge is Selected)
  • Maulers Resolve
  • Heavy Pull
  • Enduring Strike
  • Gravity
  • Crowd Protection
Key Passive
  • Maulers Fury (Blood Lust if Charge is selected)

 Reap will be your taunt ability as it can both increase your aggro and pull enemies closer to your location.  When upgraded, Reap can also give you a decent amount of self-healing.   This Coupled with Feed and Crowded Protection gives you a good amount of survivability when combined with heavy armor.   Gravity Well is the next skill you will take as a tank.  Gravity Well has a lot of utility that can help you contain mobs you lose aggro on, serve as a ranged pull, and provides you and your allies with a 20% fortify buff.   The third ability choice will be between Charge and Maelstrom.  Charge allows you to charge into a group of mobs, grabbing initial aggro and give you added mobility when required.  Maelstrom allows you to keep enemies close to you, allowing your allies to more effectively AOE down groups of mobs.  The choice ultimately comes down to what situation you’re in (mobility vs AOE) and which Key Passive you want (since it takes 10 points in a tree to unlock).  Bloodlust can add increase mobility for bosses that require frequent movement.  Mauler's Fury adds a stacking buff that shines when attacking multiple enemies. 

DPS

Recommended Active Abilities
  • Whirlwind
  • Maelstrom
  • Execute
Recommended Passive Abilities
  • Greed
  • Death’s Embrace
  • Frustration
  • Keen Edge
  • Critical Condition
  • Center of Attention
  • Crowd Control
Key Passive
  • Mauler’s Fury

Great Axe DPS provides the "spin to win" playstyle players know and love.  Whirlwind is your primary Damage ability and you will be using it off cooldown in most situations. The key to using Whirlwind to its full potential requires a good tank that can hold aggro and group up enemies.   A Fully upgraded Whirlwind combined with Mauler's Fury can deal massive amounts of AOE damage.  Execute is the next ability to slot.   A fully upgraded Execute used against targets under 30% guarantees a crit. Execute synergizes well with Keen Edge and Death's embrace but when you use it with active stacks of Mauler's Fury, you get one of the most hard-hitting abilities in New World.  To complete this feat, Great Axe users will look to use Execute immediately following a Whirlwind use. The final recommended ability is Maelstrom.  Maelstrom can help you set up whirlwinds and per ability has the 3rd highest damage output on cool down.  Charge could be switched out for Maelstrom but It is worth noting, that if you go with Charge you will most likely lose your ability to unlock Maulers Fury. Bloodlust provides a more consistent damage buff in single target situations but is inferior to Mauler's Fury against multiple targets.  Bloodlust also does not synergize as well with Whirlwind, your primary damage ability.   

PVP

Recommended Active Abilities
  • Gravity Well
  • Charge
  • Reap
Passive Skills
  • Heavy Pull
  • Enduring Strike
  • Critical Gains
  • Keen Edge
  • Feed
  • Critical Condition
  • Deaths Embrace
  • Gravity
Key Passive
  • BloodLust

**Note - Consider adjusting your passives to allow you to take Center of Attention and Crowd Protection for Sieges**

The Great Axe thrives at tracking down and controlling enemies in PVP.  Gravity Well places a Vortex that can help pull your enemies to a location of your choice, setting you(and your team) up for damage. Charge grants you the ability to close the gap on ranged enemies and deals large amounts of damage.  Once in melee range, Reap can help keep your target close while providing a decent amount of self-healing.  The Passives in the Great Axe Tree also play well in PVP providing you with a significant increase to damage output and survivability.
 
For More on the Great Axe, check out our video breakdown of its abilities -
 


-- redbyrd