New World Guide: War Hammer Tank Build

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A player using a war hammer ,posed in front of the full moon.

In New World, there's a wide variety of weapons at your disposal. Powerful DPS weapons are numerous, but the War Hammer is unique in that it has a fantastic dedicated area of effect (AOE) weapon mastery tree. This allows for smart players to create truly fantastic tank builds capable of holding the attention of packs of enemies at once.

This guide will break down our AoE tanking war hammer build, including the mastery tree you should focus on, the attribute and stat focus, the gear you want to keep an eye out for, and the gems are perks you'll want.


Read More: New World System Requirements - Can You Run It?

Mastery Tree

As was briefly explained in the intro, war hammers come with a fantastic AoE tree called Crowd Crusher. This tree provides multiple abilities that can impact hordes at enemies at once. Clear Out is a massive swing that sends opponents flying backwards, Shockwave is a large AoE slam that stuns enemies within a 3-metre radius, and Path of Destiny is an ability that hits all enemies within a line of the player. All of these, when used together, allows a player to not only deal handsome amounts of damage to crowds of foes, but also knock around and stun them. With upgrades throughout the mastery tree, this becomes an even greater threat.

Juggernaut, the other tree, also has its fair share of awesome abilities. However, it doesn't really fit into what this build is trying to achieve. If you have attribute points left over, invest them in some early passives in the Juggernaut tree.

Invest your weapon mastery points into the Crowd Crusher tree as a priority. Once you've filled it out, take passives from the Juggernaut tree.

Attributes and Stat Focus

A War Hammer user, fending off multiple enemies at once.

As a tank build, constitution is your main focus as you'd expect. Not only is every milestone in the attribute tree for constitution useful for tanks, but each and every point provides a little extra survivability. Don't worry about your damage output, as the war hammer will still be able to knock out enemies as long as its gear score is high for your level.

Your second focus should be strength, as that is the sole attribute that scales the damage of your war hammer. If we were building a DPS build with the weapon this would be your initial focus, and it still remains important even as a tank for all manner of content. Once you've hit max constitution, feel free to invest any additional points into strength as you see fit.

Your focus should be:

  • Constitution 300 (max)
  • Strength


A character screen, showing the heavy armour benefits.
You don't have to go too far over the boundry into heavy armour to recieve the important boost it provides.

As a tank, heavy gear is what you want. Since you have no real need for the damage boost provided by light and medium gear, you can happily take the 15% buff to outgoing crowd control and additional block stability. That crowd control buff is the real prize as a war hammer user, since your kit is filled with plenty of opportunities to apply them.


In regards to armour you want, armour with "Of The Knight" in the title is what you should really keep an eye out for, as it provides majority stats in constitution while also providing a little extra boost to strength. However, if you'd like to focus only on constitution, perhaps because you're close to a major milestone, armour with the "Of The Sentry" provides solely constitution, making a piece of this type of gear crucial to boosting up your HP pool.

Gems and Perks

A picture of a taunt gem, and what it does.
There's little else more important for a tank to have in PvE than one of these gems.

For the war hammer tanking, there's only really one gem you'll want on your weapon. That gem is:

  • Carnelian - Enables taunting.

With a taunt gem installed in your weapon, you generate additional threat from enemies which allows you to keep aggro even when other players are attacking them at the same time. As a tank, it's crucial and unreplaceable - so be sure to have a taunt gem handy if you get a significant upgrade for your weapon.

When it comes to war hammer specific perks, the best one that you'll want on your weapon if possible is Sundering Shockwave. This makes your gigantic AoE attack apply Rend, reducing hit enemies' damage absorption and therefore making them venerable to additional damage. It's not a necessary addition to your kit, but your damage-dealing friends will thank you for having it!


Other defensive perks you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Despised: Gain a small amount of additional threat. Found on earrings.
  • Hated: Generate more threat. Found on main-handed weapons, two-handed weapons, and shields.
  • Fortified Recovery: When you're hit below half health, gain fortify for a short amount of time. Found on amulets.
  • Health: Gain additional maximum health. Found on amulets.
  • Blight Resistance: Grants resistance against blight. Found on armour.
  • Corruption Resistance: Grants resistance against corruption. Found on armour.
  • Freedom: Slows, stuns, and silences expire earlier. Found on armour.
  • Invigorated: Weaken, disease, rend, and exhaust on you expires quicker. Found on armour.
  • Vigor: Burns, bleeds, and poisons expire faster. Found on armour.
  • (Damage Type) Ward: Increases (damage type) absorption. Found on armour and trinkets. Can be equipped especially for an enemy you knows deals a particular type of damage.
  • (Damage Type) Protection: Take less damage from (damage type). Found on amulets. Can be equipped especially for an enemy you knows deals a particular type of damage

Using all the information we've provided, you should have no issue creating a powerful war hammer AoE tanking build in New World! If you like the war hammer, the musket might also be right up your alley, so check out our musket build while you're here.