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New World Hatchet Guide

Updated as of the latest patch on 07/20/21

The Hatchet is a 1-handed weapon in New World that scales primarily from strength and secondarily from dexterity. It allows for very quick close quarters attacks making it an excellent option for an aggressive melee playstyle. You can also throw the axe to gain a tactical mid range advantage over your opponent in both PvP and PvE. 

The hatchet deals slash damage with light attacks dealing 100% damage, the fourth (and last) attack of your light attack chain will deal 105% damage, heavy attacks deal 120% damage, and your charged heavy attack deals 160% damage. 

In this guide we will go over the hatchet’s mastery trees, recommend abilities for different scenarios, and tips to optimize the use of the hatchet. 

Mastery Trees

The Hatchet mastery trees consist of the Berserker tree and the Throwing Tree. 

Berserker

The berserker tree focuses on a fast paced melee playstyle. The 3 active abilities in this tree consist of Feral Rush, Berserk, and Raging Torrent and the Key passive is Defy Death.

Feral Rush is a sprinting melee attack that allows you to leap forward a short distance and hit your target twice. The first hit deals 115% of your weapon damage and if you land the second hit you’ll do 130% of your weapon damage, making this ability a hard hitting ability. As you progress through the Feral Rush skill you’ll have the option to take the abilities dispatch and crippling strikes. These abilities will add execute damage which will deal 20% more damage to targets below 30% health, enhancing the damage even more,  and if you hit your target in the back you will root the target immobilizing it for 2 seconds. 

Berserk is the staple ability of the hatchet. When you use this ability it will trigger berserk mode for 15 seconds. While you're in berserk mode ALL attack damage will be increased by 20%. VERY IMPORTANT: If you swap weapons after initiating berserk mode then berserk mode will end. It does not carry over to your other weapon. 

Berserk is also taunt gem compatible, meaning that you can equip a carnelian gem into the hatchet’s gem slot and when you use the berserk ability it will taunt all enemies within an 8m range. 

As you progress deeper into the berserk ability you’ll also gain 20% movement speed while in berserk mode, gain some self healing every 5 seconds while in berserk mode, remove all crowd control upon triggering the ability, and your attacks will become uninterruptible while in berserk. 

The third ability under the Berserker tree is Raging Torrent. Activating this ability will perform 4 very quick attacks that each deal 90% of your weapon damage. As you progress this ability you will gain haste (increased movement speed by 20%) when hitting someone with a raging torrent strike, and  if you can time a light attack at the end of the ability you’ll be able deal an additional attack that deals 120% weapon damage. 

The Key passive for the Berserker tree is called Defy Death. When you take Defy Death you’ll be able to avoid death once every 75 seconds. Upon receiving damage that would have killed you, you will instead be reduced to 50 HP and gain immortality for 3 seconds. 

The passives in the Berserker tree are heavily focused towards enhancing your damage output, and reducing cooldowns and removing negative status effects on yourself when your health is below 30%. 

Throwing

The throwing tree is focused around mid-ranged hatchet throws that deal damage and apply debuffs to your target. This tree is highly focused on maintaining the debuffs in order to obtain additional benefits when using your abilities on a target with an existing debuff.
 
The three active abilities on this tree are Rending Throw, Social Distancing, Infected Throw, and the key passive in this tree is called Persistent Hinderance. 

Rending Throw deals a small amount of increased weapon damage to your target if hit, as well as, applies rend to your target for 10 seconds. Rend reduces your target’s damage absorption by 10%. As you upgrade this ability, the Rend is made more potent if you hit a target more than 8 meters away, it deals more damage if your target already has an active debuff, as well as reduces the abilities cooldown. 

Social Distancing is an ability that allows you to throw an axe and dodge backwards creating a distance between yourself and your opponent. If you land the throw it also deals increased weapon damage and slows your target. The first upgrade to the ability increases your movement speed for 3 seconds If you land the throw and the target already has an existing debuff. The final upgrade to the ability enhances the slow effect making it more effective. 

The third ability in the Throwing tree is called Infected Throw. If you land this throw you’ll do 150% of weapon damage, as well as, apply both disease and weaken to your target. Disease reduces a target's healing efficiency by 30% and weaken reduces the target’s damage by 10%. As you upgrade this ability you’ll increase the duration of both disease and weaken on target’s below 30% health, and the final upgrade creates a 3 meter disease AOE on impact that lasts for 3 seconds. 

The key passive, Persistent Hinderance, extends all hatchet debuff durations by 30% on successful throwing axe hits. This allows you to hit a target and maintain your debuff so you can gain the additional benefits mentioned above when hitting a target with an existing debuff already applied. 

Recommended Roles & Abilities

The recommended skills for the hatchet depend on what activity you are participating in and what role you wish to have within that activity. The hatchet can be effective as both a DPS and Tank weapon in PvE, and is a great choice for melee PvP. 

DPS
Recommended Active Abilities:
  • Berserk
  • Raging Torrent
  • Rending Throw

Recommended Passive Abilities:
  • Enraged Strikes
  • Against All Odds
  • Frenzied Purge
  • Accumulated Power
  • Relentless Fury
  • Fortifying Strikes
  • Critical Throw

Recommended Key Passive:
  • Defy Death

Berserk is a must have for any hatchet build, especially a DPS build. The increased 20% damage is a must have for maximum damage output. It’s recommended that this ability be fully upgraded to take advantage of all the berserk ability has to offer. You will not only receive some decent self healing, the ability to remove CC effects on activation, and increased movement speed, but you’ll also receive the ability to use your other abilities without them being interrupted while in berserk mode. This will help you obtain maximum DPS output with the hatchet. 

Raging Torrent will pair well with both the increased damage you will receive from Berserk and the rend that will be applied to your target from rending throw, allowing this ability to pump out quite a bit of single target DPS. It’s recommended that this ability be fully upgraded in order to receive the additional strike from raging torrent for maximum damage output. 
Rending throw is taken solely for the rend that it applies. It’s recommended that you only upgrade into the second tier of the ability, Targeted Strike for the increased rend that it will apply. This will leave you with 1 more point that should be utilized for the “critical throw” passive. Critical Throw is taken for the increase critical strike chance for all attacks. 

Once Berserk is activated, rend is applied, you can then use your raging torrent for maximum damage. 

The other recommended passives are going to help significantly increase your damage and will synergize well with the recommended active abilities, allowing for maximum DPS. 

Tank
Recommended Active Abilities:
  • Berserk
  • Rending Throw
  • Infected Throw

Recommended Passive Abilities:
  • Frenzied Purge
  • Fortifying Strikes
  • Desererate Refresh
  • Refreshing Throws
  • Boot and Rally
  • Adrenaline Rush

Recommended Key Passive:
  • Persistent Hinderance
As a tank using the hatchet you’re going to want to take the Berserk ability for a number of reasons. This is the only hatchet ability that is taunt gem compatible, and it will allow you to receive some self healing and remove debuffs that are applied to you. It’s recommended to fully upgrade the berserk ability. 

Rending Throw is taken for the Rend debuff that it applies. This is taken as a tank support ability that will allow your party to pump out more damage to your targets. It’s recommended to fully upgrade this ability. 
Infected throw is also taken for the debuff that it applies. It will apply 2 debuffs to your target, disease and weaken. Disease will reduce your targets healing, and weaken will reduce your enemies' damage output. 

The Key passive Persistent Hinderance is taken to allow you to keep your debuffs on your target for a longer duration to allow for maximum DPS and reduced damage from your target for your entire party. 

The other recommended passives are going to help you reduce your cooldowns of your abilities, gain fortify which will make you tankier for a duration, and the Boot and Rally passive will help you regenerate stamina.  

PvP
Recommended Active Abilities:
  • Berserk
  • Feral Rush
  • Rending Throw

Recommended Passive Abilities:
  • Enraged Strikes
  • Against All Odds
  • Frenzied Purge
  • Accumulated Power
  • Relentless Fury
  • Fortifying Strikes
  • Critical Throw

Recommended Key Passive:
  • Defy Death
The recommended abilities for the PvP build are much like the DPS build mentioned above with the exception of taking Feral Rush over Raging Torrent. It’s recommended that you fully upgrade Feral Rush. 

Feral Rush is going to be taken over Raging torrent for the execute damage and the CC that it provides. Coupled with the speed boost from berserk, the quick dash that comes with Feral Rush can serve as a small gap closer during PvP.

This is very much an aggressive in your face PvP weapon. You can use the hatchet to dish out a ton of damage and keep continuous pressure on your enemy. The Berserk ability provides a boost in movement speed, as well as some self healing so if needed you can use it to kite around your enemy, regain some health, and then jump back into the aggressive play style.



-- BDLG