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Last Updated: June 27, 2022 Reading Time: 11 min

New World War Hammer Guide


In our New World War Hammer Guide, we will walk you through the War Hammer Mastery Trees, Recommended Roles, and More!

General information

The War Hammer is a 2-handed weapon in New World that scales solely from strength. It excels at crowd control, and although the swings are slow it can dish out decent amounts of damage. It also has an ability that is taunt gem compatible making this a viable weapon to use for tanking in New World. 

The war hammer has a 2 swing light attack chain and deals strike damage. Light attacks deal 100% strike damage, heavy attacks deal 130% strike damage, and charged heavy attacks deal 170% strike damage. 

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

For a complete list of changes for the War Hammer, you can check out our War Hammer change log.

War Hammer Mastery Trees

The War Hammer mastery trees consist of Juggernaut and Crowd Crusher.

Juggernaut Mastery Tree

The Juggernaut tree focuses on armor penetration and hard-hitting abilities. The three active abilities in this tree consist of Armor BreakerMighty Gavel, and Wrecking ball. There is not a separate key passive for this tree. Instead, the Mighty Gavel ability can be further enhanced.

Armor Breaker

Armor Breaker is a hard-hitting melee attack that penetrates a portion of your target’s armor and deals an increased amount of weapon damage. As you progress through the upgrades to this ability you will be able to add grit to the ability, making the attack unstoppable. The 3rd upgrade to Armor Breaker adds rend to the attack which will reduce your target’s damage absorption by 20% for 10 seconds, and if the ability is fully upgraded you will gain increased damage against targets with full health making this ability a very strong opener.

Mighty Gavel

The staple ability in the Juggernaut tree is Mighty Gavel. When activated you will leap into the air and crush down on your target dealing a large amount of damage. The first upgrade to the ability is an execute component. You will deal increased damage to targets under 30% health. As you progress further into this ability you gain increased stamina damage to your target, and will gain haste that will increase your movement speed for a short duration. 

The juggernaut tree does not have a key passive but is instead replaced by an additional upgrade to Mighty Gavel once the ability is fully upgraded. If fully upgraded you will also gain a second attack that deals 220% weapon damage. Making this a potent damaging ability. It’s important to note that this upgrade works just as any other key passive, you will still have to have 10 abilities in the tree unlocked prior to unlocking the final upgrade to Mighty Gavel. 

Wrecking Ball

The third ability in the Juggernaut tree is Wrecking Ball. This ability strikes the ground around your target and deals increased weapon damage. Although this ability does not do quite as much damage as the other 2 in the tree you will also gain fortify as a second upgrade to Wrecking Ball. Fortify will increase your damage resistance for a short duration. The final upgrade will allow you to knock down enemies within 1.5 meters of the target. 


The remaining passives in the Juggernaut tree focus on additional armor penetration, reducing cooldowns, and increasing overall damage output by adding things such as grit to your war hammer heavy attacks. 

Crowd Crusher Mastery Tree

The Crowd Crusher tree is heavily focused around crowd control. The three active abilities in this tree are Shock WaveClear Out, and Path of Destiny and the key passive is Aftershock


The Shockwave ability is taunt gem compatible, making this a useful ability when tanking. Upon activating Shockwave you will slam your hammer into the ground and cause a 3 meter radius AOE earthquake. It will deal some damage, but more importantly will apply a short stun to all the targets impacted. The 2nd upgrade to the ability will also cause it to apply weaken to the targets affected by the ability. Weaken will decrease the damage dealt from the target’s attacks for a short duration. Upon fully upgrading the ability the radius of shockwave will also be increased. 

The taunt gem, along with the AOE stun and weaken status effect make this a solid choice to slot as a tank ability. 

Clear Out

Clear Out is an ability that swings wide and will knock back enemies in the path of the swing. It also deals slightly increased weapon damage. Upgrading this ability will grant fortify which will increase your defense for 4 seconds for all friendlies within 6 meters of you. Upon further upgrading you will also receive a reduced cooldown for Clear out, and will be granted haste which will increase your movement speed for a short duration.

Path Of Destiny

The third ability in the Crowd Crusher tree is Path of Destiny. Upon activating the ability you will create a linear wave of energy in front of yourself that will deal a small amount of increased weapon damage to all targets in the path of the wave. This is a straight line in front of your character, not a radius AOE ability. Once upgraded Path of Destiny will also stagger all the targets in its path. 

Key Passive

The key passive in the Crowd Crusher tree is called Aftershock, and synergizes well with the other abilities in the tree. If you take Aftershock your targets will also be slowed every time they are affected by another Crowd Control ability. 

The remaining passives in the tree are centered around increasing mitigations, reducing debuffs on yourself, and reducing ability cooldowns. 

War Hammer Recommended Roles & Abilities

The recommended role when using the War Hammer is tank. Although it is capable of pumping out some good damage, there are better DPS options when performing PvE activities. However, it can be used as a back bar option for DPS if you wish to have some utility options at your disposal. The recommended abilities for Tank and PvP are below. 


Active Abilities

  • Shockwave
  • Clear Out
  • Wrecking Ball

Passive Abilities

  • Epitome of Boink
  • Hardened Steel
  • Outnumbered
  • Resurgence
  • I Can Do This All Day
  • Guarded Sprint
  • Prevailing Sprint
  • Acceleration

Key Passive

  • Aftershock

Wrecking ball is taken on the Juggernaut tree for the additional Fortify you will gain when upgrading the ability. This will increase your damage resistance for a short duration making you much tankier. It’s recommended that this ability be fully upgraded. 

Shockwave is a very strong tank ability. You will use this ability to taunt and stun your enemies,  as well as, apply weaken to them which will reduce the damage dealt from the target for a short duration. 

Clear out is also taken in order to knock enemies off of your healer and DPS, as well as provide your party with fortify, increasing their defense for a short duration. 

The Key Passive Aftershock is taken for additional CC to your targets. 

The passive Epitome of Boink and Hardened Steel are taken primarily to allow you to spec into the activity ability Wrecking Ball on the Juggernaut tree. 

The other passives recommended will increase your tankiness, provide you with a slight amount of self healing, and help reduce the time that debuffs are active on your character. 


The abilities you take in PvP are going to really depend on what type of role you want to play when engaging in PvP, as well as the other weapon you are going to have equipped. 

During a Siege you may want to play more of a tank / supportive role with a ton of CC to allow your team to capture points and dish out more damage. This could hold true in Outpost Rush as well. The below recommendations are general recommendations for PvP with the War Hammer, focusing on damage.

See our builds page for more specific builds that may fit your playstyle depending on which activity you are engaging in. 

Active Abilities

  • Armor Breaker
  • Mighty Gavel
  • Shockwave

Passive Abilities

  • Epitome of Boink
  • Exhaustive Attacks
  • Hammer Time
  • Contemption
  • Power Through Pain
  • Hardened Steel
  • Outnumbered

Key Passive

  • Justice for All

Armor Breaker should be upgraded fully and used as an opener in combat to do increased damage to targets with full health. This will be a strong damage opener, and will also apply rend for a short duration for your follow up attacks. 

Shockwave is taken primarily for the AOE stun and should be upgraded fully to receive the benefits of applying weaken to your target as well as gaining a bigger AOE for the ability making it more forgiving to use. 

Mighty Gavel is a very big damage ability and can act as an execute to targets under 30% health once upgraded. Once upgraded fully this ability will do big damage to your opponent. You will also gain haste which will increase your movement speed for a short duration.

Open with Armor Breaker, stun with Shockwave, and smash your opponent with Mighty Gavel for tons of damage. 

The passives taken focus on increasing your overall damage, with 1 passive on the Crowd Crusher tree being taken to increase your overall mitigations. 

Recommended Weapon Pairings with the War Hammer

The War Hammer scales off of Strength. Pairing the War Hammer with another weapon that scales off Strength is recommended.  

  • Sword and Shield – The sword scales solely from strength, making this a great pairing with the war hammer. This will add another set of taunt abilities as well as either blocking defense or AOE damage depending which tree you go down.
  • Great Axe – The great axe scales solely from strength, making this an easy pairing with the war hammer. The great axe deals quite a lot of damage, and provides some mobility that the war hammer 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 war hammer, and finish them off. 
  • Spear – The spear scales primarily off of Dexterity and secondarily off of Strength, making this an ok pairing with the war hammer as well. The spear can provide you with quite a lot of crowd control options that can help you deal with foes that get too close, and can also provide you with some additional damage over time as well.

You can reference our builds section for specific Life Staff pairings and builds that other players in the community are using. 

How to Level the War Hammer in New World

As you level the War Hammer, 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 faster weapon experience.

With the War Hammer you will want to stick with the Crowd Crusher skill tree while leveling. Unlocking the 3 abilities in the tree; Clear Out, Shockwave, and Path of Destiny. After having those attack abilities I will then pick up Outnumbered since I should always have a lot of enemies around me and this will give me a lot more survivability. Seismic Waves for Path of Destiny helps with control and you are basically set to do your AoE grind.

After gathering up the enemies you wish the slaughter, you will want to open with Shockwave for AoE damage and to stun them in place. Once stunned move a little away and use Path of Destiny for yet more AoE damage and crowd control. Afterwards move make sure you are close enough for Clear Out. With Clear Out being a knockback ability you want to use it last or as sparingly as possible. The notable part about the ability is that it will help with survivability if its ever needed. 

War Hammer 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 mods. Additionally you can enhance your chance at obtaining your perk with the right stats by using the timeless shards.

It is recommended that you apply the specific weapon perks to your armor because these perks can be applied to either the weapon the perks pertain to or any piece of armor. There are other perks, such as, enchanted and vicious that can only be applied to weapons. So, your perk slots for your weapons should be reserved for the perks that can only be applied to weapons. 

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

| Ability Perk Name         | Crafting Mod Item                      |
| Repulsing Clear Out       | Reinforced Starmetal War Hammer Charm  |
| Sundering Shockwave       | Reinforced Steel War Hammer Charm      |
| Leeching Path of Destiny  | Reinforced Orichalcum War Hammer Charm |
| Empowering Armor Breaker  | Steel War Hammer Charm                 |
| Refreshing Mighty Gavel   | Starmetal War Hammer Charm             |
| Penetrating Wrecking Ball | Orichalcum War Hammer Charm            |

Recommended War Hammer Gems

The type of gem you will want to slot into your War Hammer is heavily dependent upon your build and what you’re trying to accomplish. If you are running as a Tank you might prefer a Carnelian gem for taunting. If you are going DPS-PvP you might want Malachite to do more damage against targets with Crowd Control status effects. If you are going DPS-PvE you will likely pick the Opal for the highest uptime.  (You can check our quick reference guide for gems for a full list of gems and their effects).  

The Opal is a universally recommended choice due to the uptime of the damage increase you’ll receive.

Carnelian: +X% more threat with Taunt abilities would be used if Tanking in PVE

Enemy types the War Hammer is strong/weak against

With a War Hammer, the damage type you will be dealing is Strike. Our Damage Type vs Mob Types Quick Chart guide as a complete breakdown for every weapon. Ancients will be the monsters most affected by this and is ideal to use against them. Corrupted and Varangian are resistant to Strike. The Lost also take extra damage from Strike. 

  • Ancients: Takes 20% MORE damage from Strike attacks
  • The Lost: Takes 10% MORE damage from Strike attacks
  • Corrupted:  Takes 15% LESS damage from Strike attacks
  • Varangian:  Takes 15% LESS damage from Strike attacks

New World War Hammer Guide Conclusion

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

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