Last Updated: August 02, 2022 Reading Time: 8 min

New World Sword and Shield Guide

Introduction

The Sword and Shield in New World is a versatile weapon providing the ability to both dish out damage and tank a ton of damage. The Sword and Shield scales primarily off of strength but dexterity also contributes. It has some very good damage reduction abilities making this the premier weapon choice for tanking in New World. For more, continue reading our New World Sword and Shield Guide.

General information

The Sword does a combination of slash and thrust damage. The sword has a 3 hit combo light attack chain. Light attacks from the sword deal 100% slash damage, and the end of the 3 chain light attack combination deals 105% slash damage. Your heavy attack with the sword deals 120% thrust damage, and the charged heavy attack deals 160% thrust damage.

You can’t light or heavy attack with the shield, but there are abilities that make it possible to deal damage with your shield. When dealing damage with the shield you will deal strike damage to your target.  

In this guide we will go over the sword and shield mastery trees, recommended abilities for different scenarios, and tips to optimize the use of the sword and shield.  

For a complete list of changes for the Sword and Shield, you can check out our Sword and Shield change log.

Sword & Shield Mastery Trees Mastery Trees

The Sword and Shield mastery trees consist of the Swordmaster and Defender trees. 

Swordmaster Mastery Tree

The Swordmaster tree focuses on dealing damage and is a solid choice in both PvP and PvE. The three active abilities in this tree are Reverse Stab, Whirling Blade, and Leaping Strike. The key passive in this tree is called Leadership.

Reverse Stab

Reverse stab is a high damage dealing attack, dealing 175% weapon damage to your target. Once the ability is upgraded you also gain grit, making the attack unstoppable, which is incredibly strong, and you will gain cooldown reduction on the ability once it is fully upgraded. 

Whirling Blade

Whirling Blade is a spinning AOE ability that deals a decent amount of increased weapon damage to enemies within 2 meters. This ability also causes rend (reduction in your targets armor) when upgraded, and cooldown reduction for each enemy hit when fully upgraded. The decent damage, rend, and AOE, making this ability a strong ability in most situations. 

Leaping Strike

The last ability in the Swordmaster tree is Leaping Strike. When using Leaping Strike you’ll leap forward 6 meters and if you land the ability you’ll hit your enemy with increased weapon damage. When upgraded, this ability can serve as an execute dealing 50% more damage to enemies under 30% health, and has some CC tacked on to the ability when fully upgraded in the form of a slow if you hit your target in the back. 

Key Passive

The Key passive in this tree is called Leadership and will increase the damage of all members in your group by 10% when holding your sword. 

The remaining passives in the Swordmaster tree focus heavily on dealing increased damage, and a passive that increases movement speed, and one that applies a slow. 

Defender Mastery Tree

The Defender Tree is focused around using your shield to do damage, CC your opponents, and mitigate damage. The abilities on this tree coupled with the strong blocking from the shield make the sword and shield the premier tanking weapon in New World. The three active abilities in this tree are Shield Bash, Shield Rush, and Final Stand. The Key passive in this tree is called Defensive Formation. 

Shield Bash

Shield bash is taunt gem compatible (causes a 2 second taunt to all enemies hit), and applies a strong stun to your enemy. When upgraded this ability generates significantly more threat, making it a strong taunting option, and increases the duration of the stun. 

Shield Rush

The next ability in the tree is Shield Rush. Upon use you will rush forward 5 meters and knock back your enemy and deal increased weapon damage. The forward rush makes this a decent option as a small gap closer in PvP, and the upgrades to this ability enhance its use as a tank. Upon upgrading the ability all enemies within 5 meters will weaken (reduction in damage output) and slow applied to them. 

Final Stand

The last ability in the Defender tree is Final Stand. This ability is also taunt gem compatible, and will cause a 6-second taunt to all enemies within 8 meters. The AOE taunt makes this a very strong option for tanking, but that’s not the only reason it’s strong. When Final Stand is activated you will gain 30% damage reduction for 8 seconds, and when upgraded you will receive an additional 20% damage reduction if your health is above 50%. On top of the significant amount of damage reduction you receive you will also receive some nice self healing when the ability ends when it’s fully upgraded. 

Final Stand is the strongest tank ability in the game providing 50% damage reduction, a self heal, and an AOE taunt. 

Key Passive

The Key passive in the Defender tree is Defensive Formation. This passive will reduce damage to all other allies within 2 meters by 30% while blocking. Another very strong option for you when taking on the tank role. 

The remaining passives in the tree focus heavily on additional damage reduction and increased threat generation, again making this the ideal tank setup. 

The Sword and Shield is used primarily by Tanks in PVE. Most Tank Builds combines the Sword and Shield with the War Hammer or Great Axe to keep aggro while providing CC and Mob grouping for your group.

In pvp, the Sword and Shield is currently used to set up combos with the Blunderbuss and hatchet.

The Sword scales primarily on strength and secondarily on dexterity. Pairing the sword with other weapons that scale from the same attributes is recommended. The recommended pairings for the sword in New World are the following:

  • Great Axe – The great axe scales solely from strength, making this an easy pairing with the sword. The great deals quite a lot of damage, and provides some mobility that the sword is lacking. The great axe also provides you with additional movement speed with the Blood Lust passive making this a great choice to track down enemies, Gravity Well them, stun them with your sword, and finish them off. 
  • War Hammer – The war hammer scales solely off of strength making this a great pairing with the sword and shield. The war hammer is also a strong pairing with the sword and shield 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 sword and shield it makes a great tanking combination. 
  • Hatchet – The hatchet scales primarily off of strength and secondarily off of dexterity making this an excellent pairing attribute wise with the sword and shield. When pairing these two together you can also have a very powerful combination when utilizing leaping strike into shield bash stunning your target. From there you can go behind the enemy and utilize your Feral Rush ability to root the target and then continue to apply heavy damage with the hatchet.  

How to Level the Sword & Shield in New World

In order to effectively level the sword it’s recommended to take abilities that do high Area of Effect Damage. This will allow you to group mobs together and quickly kill them for fast weapon experience.

It’s recommended that you start by putting a point into the Whirling Blade ability. This will increase your damage by a significant amount to groups of enemies. You’ll then want to take the first upgrade of whiling blade that will allow you to apply rent to the enemies. This will help you clear them much faster. From there you’ll want to take Reverse stab and then Shield Rush the defender side of the tree. 

Next you’ll want to begin upgrading your activate abilities and begin putting additional points into your passive abilities. It’s recommended that you take:

  • Unstoppable Stab
  • Precision
  • Empowered Stab
  • Achilles Hill
  • Opportunist
  • Tactician
  • Confidence
  • Counter Attack
  • Leadership
  • Sturdy Shield
  • Defensive Training
  • Improved Rush
  • Final Blow
  • Intimidating Rush
  • Recuperation

The overall strategy is to train a group of mobs, get them lumped together and utilize your Whirling Blade to deal a lot of damage and your Reverse Stab to reduce your cooldowns. You can utilize the shield rush for additional damage, knockbacks on the groups of enemies, and to weaken them for reduced damage which can be helpful when you are burning down large groups of enemies.

Sword & Shield 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.

The Ability perks for the Sword in New World are as follows:

Weapon Ability PerkCrafting Mods
Diminishing Shield BashSteel Shield Charm
Fortifying Shield RushStarmetal Shield Charm
Accelerated Defiant StanceOrichalcum Shield Charm
Contagious Reverse StabSteel Sword Charm
Empowering Whirling BladeStarmetal Sword Charm
Empowering Leaping StrikeOrichalcum Sword Charm

A few good overall recommendations for Sword and Shield would include:

– Opal: +X% damage while your stamina is not full
– Carnelian (only when PvE tanking): Taunts are active. You generate additional threat

Enemy types the Sword & Shield is Strong / Weak Against

The sword deals slash damage with light attacks, and thrust damage with heavy attacks. Therefore, the sword’s light attacks are strong against the Angry Earth enemy types, but heavy attacks with the sword will do reduced damage to that mob type. Heavy attacks with the sword are strong against both corrupted and beast with the light attacks being neutral against those enemy types. The shield performs strike damage but can only be utilized by using the abilities from the defender side of the tree. Strike damage is strong against Ancient and Lost enemies, and weak against Corrupted and Varangian enemies. You can check our Damage Type vs Mob Type Quick reference guide for a full list of damage type vs enemy type strengths and weaknesses. 

New World Sword and Shield Guide Conclusion

That Concludes our New World Sword and Shield Guide. For more on where to level your Sword and Shield, check out our Weapon Leveling Locations.

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