Ultimate Sword And Shield Guide (Updated Up To Patch 1.3.4)
- Taunt Mechanics
- Builds For Sword And Shield
- Sword And Shield Active Skills
- Equipment Perks
- Weapons To Combine With
The Sword offers many strong defensive options, and it’s the best weapon for tanking; besides, only Shield can block ranged attacks.
The Sword and Shield combo can be built for either DPS or tank roles, depending on what players prefer or what a party requires. The Sword levels a bit more slowly than the purely DPS-focused weapons.
The light attack is slashing, the heavy attack is a thrust, and the abilities using shields are strike damage. This is great since it can be used effectively in every dungeon.
Sword and Shield scale with Strength and Dexterity. If you’re going to use this weapon to deal damage, you’d focus on obtaining Strength unless you want to mix it with some sort of Dexterity weapon.
50 Dexterity is also good for damaging to gain +5% Crit Chance with all Weapon types.
Constitution is the main and the only Attribute for tanking. Even if you’re going to play as a DPS, you need at least 50 to gain +20% of the effectiveness to all health consumables or 200 breakpoints for a 20% armor increase.
When you hit level 60 and close to 600 Gear Score and Voidbent Armor, you’ll have some options with putting points into Strength and use +40 Constitution food (Roasted Rabbit with Seasoned Vegetables) to make faster dungeon runs.
Taunt forces PvE foes to focus on you. But enemies will frequently finish up any animations or attacks they are already performing against other targets first before turning their attention to you. If the taunt worked, you’ll see the border around the enemy’s health bar will turn red.
Shield Bash and Defiant Stance can taunt, but only if you have a Carnelian Gem socketed in your Sword. The damage you are dealing also increases your Threat. Use everything to maximize the threat since your role as a tank is to keep all mobs on you and not let them damage other players in your group.
Builds For Sword And Shield
There are two build options for players who like to use the Sword and Shield in New World, one that relies on offensive DPS-based gameplay and another that focuses on playing as a Tank. Most tank builds rely on Reverse Stab since if you hit 4 enemies with it, you’ll constantly refresh all cooldowns except the Reverse Stab itself.
Another important thing is Mobility use. Combining it with Sure Footing weapon perk you can move 53% faster when blocking. The following builds don’t use this skill because not every encounter needs it, but you can take it if you want. For example, on the first Eternal Pool boss this combination is very useful.
1. This tanking build is made for hard tanking situations with heavy incoming damage:
Here you don’t have Shield Bash with additional taunt and crowd control, but instead, you have Improved Rush, an ability from Shield Rush tree, which gains 10% weakens to all enemies within 5 meters for 4 seconds. Synergizing it with a Tactician, you can constantly reduce all incoming damage by 10%. It also synergizes with an equipment perk, Fortifying Shield Rush, to get an additional Fortify, which is always nice.
The basic attack is going to be started off with a heavy attack, two light attacks, then you could block and hit them with the Shield Rush. Next, use the Reverse Stab to refund your cooldowns if needed, or use Defiant Stance if it’s not on a cooldown.
2. If you do want more crowd control and, more importantly, more taunt abilities, you can use this build with Shield Bash:
Since this is a defensive build, it doesn’t have haste or damage options. You can take One With The Shield or Concussive Bash instead of Final Blow.
3. Of course, you can just grab every skill in Defender tree, for example, for solo bosses or PvP where you cannot fully realize the potential of Reverse Stab cooldown reduction or if you don’t like to use it:
4. To run Arenas and Expeditions fast you need an aggressive support tank, having pretty much of defense and offense, and a panic button Defiant Stance in addition, for example:
You can switch between Achilles’ Heel, Confidence, Mobility in Swordmaster skill tree and Defensive Training, High Grip and Final Blow in Defender skill tree depending on what you need most.
It might perform pretty well in a group due to Leadership buff, giving high AoE damage resetting the ability cooldowns with Tactician (that’s why you don’t need Tactical Strike). But this build is definitely not recommended for solo playing since it has neither damage of pure DPS weapons nor the surviving of tank builds.
5. If you’re playing as a tank in a ranged group and do want Leadership since Defensive Formation is not so useful, you can take it for the price of reduced Stamina damage:
Of course, you can take Sturdy Grip instead of Defensive Training or Freeing Justice instead of Counter Attack for PvP.
Sword And Shield Active Skills
Reverse Stab is the hardest-hitting skill for the Sword and Shield. But the most useful thing in it is the passive ability, Tactician, which reset all your cooldowns for 25% (except the Reverse Stab itself) with a successful hit. Another passive, Unstoppable Stab, adds Grit to this skill and lets you skip some boss mechanics in dungeons. This applies multiple times with multiple enemies, so you can basically fully reset your cooldowns by attacking 4 enemies at once. Usually, this can be the core skill of the whole build:
Pretty nice AoE skill with high damage, useful in PvE for DPS builds. The quick animation and Grit make it also useful in mass PvP:
Leaping Strike might be useful for the duels, even with patch 1.1 and patch 1.4 changes. It’s a short range to where you’d almost have to be on top of someone to land the hit. It deals okay damage with the upgrades, but the usefulness of the weak slow is questionable. The leaping and attacking portions of this ability have separate properties for their homing and movement since patch 1.4:
It’s your main aggro tool as a tank. Taunts all foes for 6-seconds if you have a Carnelian Gem equipped in your Sword. There’s almost no circumstance where you wouldn’t run this skill. It’s a very quick stun, which helps you set up for huge backstab damage in both solo PvE and PvP. It only gets stronger when upgraded:
Knocking back foes generally only causes issues for the rest of your group. But this skill has a great passive ability, Improved Rush, which gains 10% weakens to all enemies within 5 meters for 4 seconds. Synergizing it with a Tactician, you can constantly reduce all incoming damage by 10%. It also synergizes with an equipment perk, Fortifying Shield Rush, to get an additional Fortify, which is always nice:
In PvE, this skill lets you do your job as a tank with little worry. You’ll get to shrug off a huge portion of incoming damage, which makes this ideal to use against large groups where that extra defense is necessary. Taunts all foes within 8 meters for 6-seconds if you have a Carnelian Gem equipped in your Sword:
In PvP, however, the short duration combined with the insanely long cooldown make this great to use when you’re anticipating heavy damage, like a Hatchet rushing you with Berserk or other similar situations. Otherwise, it falls short as your opponent can just choose not to interact with you during this skill and, then, you have a long wait before it back up.
Heavy armor offers the best protection and +20% length of the crowd control debuffs for the price of lower mobility. Of course, you can wear light or medium armor for some content where you need extra mobility, like farming resources, or making low-level quests, for example:
Also, you can combine different types of armor, light with medium, staying under 13 kg, or medium with heavy, staying under 23 kg. You can change your armor type by simply replacing 3 parts.
Maxed Medium Armor 22,9 lbs build (1L + 2M + 2H): Heavy Chest, Light Pants, 2 Medium and 1 Heavy piece.
Alternative Maxed Medium Armor 22,9 lbs build (2L + 1M + 2H): Heavy Chest, Heavy Pants, 1 Medium, and 1 Light piece.
Maxed Light Armor 12,7 lbs build (4L + 1M): Light Head, Medium Chest, Light Gloves, Light Pants, Light Boots.
Maxed Light Armor 12,6 lbs build (3L + 2M): Light Chest, Medium Pants, 1 Medium and 2 Light pieces.
If you need more in-depth information, how tankier you would be wearing a certain kind of armor of a certain Gear Score, feel free to use the New World Calculator by Mixed Nuts.
|Head||1,5 lbs||2,6 lbs||4,7 lbs|
|Chest||3,5 lbs||6,2 lbs||11,0 lbs|
|Gloves||1,5 lbs||2,6 lbs||4,7 lbs|
|Pants||2,0 lbs||3,5 lbs||6,3 lbs|
|Boots||1,5 lbs||2,6 lbs||4,7 lbs|
|Shields||2,7 lbs (Round)||5,4 lbs (Kite)||11,0 lbs (Tower)|
Look for Armor with Constitution or with Strength and Constitution.
The Shield offers an additional equipment slot, and all of the Attributes on both the Sword and the Shield are half of what you would get from the same Gear Score Weapon of a different type.
Sword and Shield’s combo also grants you 6 total Perks, 3 on every item. You will only gain Attributes and Perks from your Shield when you hold it in your hand.
Shields have damage numbers on them because this is what is used to calculate the damage dealt by Shield Bash and Shield Rush. Shields are also heavy and will affect your equipment load while it is equipped.
There are three types of shields: Round, Kite, and Tower:
Block stability shows how much Stamina damage mitigation you will have when blocking with this weapon. Round Shields all have block stability of 30%, Kite Shields has 40%, and Tower Shields has 50%.
So, if you are looking to maximize the damage you are doing with your Shield-specific skills for either PvP or sheer threat generation, then you want to go with Round Shields. If you want to have an easier time absorbing damage, you will want to use a Tower Shield.
Since Sword and Shield is basically a tanking weapon, the only option is Cut Pristine Carnelian.
If you’re a tank, this is the one you must have.
If you want to play as a DPS, for various situations and builds you can use in your Sword:
Can be used for both tanking and damaging since you’ll get hit pretty often.
Fits more for group play since you have only stun:
Blocking and dodging require Stamina – so this one can be used depending on build and preferences:
This will help you to execute enemies running away:
Fits more for a group play:
If you’re mostly fighting against one enemy type, for example, farming something, you can use to convert your damage:
Corrupted refers to enemies covered in a black and/or red glow. Corruption Breaches are the most common source of Corrupted enemies.
Angry Earth enemies are nature-themed enemies mutated with bark-like skin and similar nature-themed traits.
The Lost are glorified citizens and spectral enemies that inhabit most of Aeternum’s ruined towns, farms, and cemeteries.
Beast refers to any of the wild animals that roam around the New World’s various zones. Wolves, Bears, and Lynxes are just a few enemies that fall under this category.
For Armor gems, if you’re already level 60 and farming chests or mobs for gear, you need a Lucky Gem:
For other situations to provide generic damage absorption:
1. Sword and Shield Skill Perks
These perks can be found on armors and weapons but often slotted on Armor as Weapons have access to better perks overall:
This can be a strong option for PvP if you choose to run Reverse Stab. It doesn’t have much if any use in PvE though, since most enemies in PvE don’t really debuff you too often outside of Disease or a DoT effect:
This Perk is situational. If you are using Whirling Blade for heavy AoE situations, you can take it:
It only increases your damage against foes that you hit in the back with Leaping Strike, which is not a great skill on its own. You can take it if you use the Leaping Strike, but this is not that great at all:
This Perk is occasionally nice as it allows you to reposition foes. However, if playing with melee DPS, might cause them to have to reposition themselves as well.
In PvE, the only niche application this has is to push weaker mobs away from you and stun outside of your attack range. This means you take less damage, and they can stay stunned for the full duration while you continue to hit the boss:
Gaining Fortify is always nice because it reduces the damage you take. In PvE, even as a DPS, using Shield Rush generally means knocking most enemies out of your range. It’s a decent effect if you’re already using Shield Rush, but doesn’t make Shield Rush a particularly strong skill.
In PvP, it has a bit more value, as any retaliation from an enemy will deal less damage. It’s also not rated highly due to the short duration, which does mean they can space you out until the effect ends:
In PvP, it can help you to avoid foes or catch up with them. The Haste effect is generally unnecessary in PvE as most enemies will be coming to you after using Defiant Stance:
Pretty useful perk for tanking, especially in AoE situations.
2. Armor Perks
Refreshing and Resilient can be a useful universal choice depending on your secondary weapon:
3. Weapon Perks
These skills fit mostly for tanking:
Nice perk for a Shield since you’ll be using block as a tank pretty often:
Up to +15% more threat generation, which is very important for tanking:
More Fortify is always great:
Refreshing Move helps a great deal with getting more skill rotations out:
You can also go for Lifestealing if you want to gain health back on hit:
Sure Footing works great with Mobility, and can be useful on certain encounters where you have to move fast while blocking:
Those fit more for damage dealing but remember that your damage also increases your threat level, so these perks can be used in tank builds too.
Rogue and Vicious increase your damage heavily, as you’ll almost always be dishing out backstabs in group play:
Keenly Jagged is a nice choice to apply one more debuff:
Alternatively, you can use Enchanted or Keen and get plenty of damage that way as well:
For PvP against healers, you can use Plagued Crits or Plagued Strikes. The maximum amount of healing decreasing is 24% for GS 600 weapons.
Plagued Crits require lowering the target’s health to 50% first:
Plagued Strikes don’t require anything but a heavy attack, but in PvP, it can be easily dodged, so both options are pretty situational:
Plagued Strikes can be combined with Trenchant Crits or Trenchant Strikes for more damage:
Or Trenchant Recovery for surviving:
4. Amulet Perks
Slash Protection and Thrust Protection cover most PvE and PvP incoming damage:
Divine will give you more healing and Health – more HP. Everything is simple here:
Fortified Recovery grants a fairly strong 30% Fortify for 5 seconds when hit below 50% health but has a 90 cooldown for effect:
5. Earring Perks
Purifying Toast and Refreshing Toast are both great utility options for open-world PvP where health consumables tend to be used more. These all also help in PvE:
You can also grab Refreshing here if you don’t manage to get it on your armor.
Regenerating is especially useful for tanking:
As a tank, you want as many threat generations as you can get.
Nimble helps the somewhat excessive use of Stamina from this build by boosting Stamina Regen slightly:
6. Ring Perks
Refreshing is a decent Utility with the lowered cooldowns, but that’s also available on armor:
Thrust Protection can be useful against Bow and Musket users:
Hearty will add you enough Stamina for one more additional dodge or shield block:
You can also go for Leeching if you want to gain health back on hit:
For damage dealing, you can also use on your Ring:
Keen Awareness is a strong option for higher burst damage potential:
Slash (for light attacks):
Thrust (for heavy attacks):
Strike (for shield attacks):
Damage is a small damage boost in general. The choice mostly depends on your secondary weapon.
Blood Letting works great with Keenly Jagged on your weapon:
In this chapter, you can find information about endgame consumables because you don’t really need most of them on low levels. You can easily find the low leveled versions of them because the names only differ by one word, except food.
1. First of all, you need Health Regeneration Food:
And Regeneration Potions:
2. Attribute Food.
As a tank, you might want to increase your Constitution. This food gives you an option to put 40 points from Constitution to another Attribute.
You can use food with both Strength and Constitution bonuses to increase your damage.
Constitution / Strength combination with more Strength is also available.
Also, you can use Strength food to maximize your DPS.
To find more food, for hybrid builds please check our Cooking Guide.
3. Powerful Honing Stone will increase your damage and, as a result, threat level. They can be bought or crafted at Smelter if you reach 170 Weaponsmithing level.
4. Powerful Gemstone Dust can be also bought or crafted at level 170 Jewelcrafting.
5. Powerful Oakflesh Balm can be bought or crafted at 170 Armoring level as well.
6. Powerful Incense requires 170 Furnishing level to craft. Otherwise, it can be bought for cheap from the Trading Post.
7. Weapon Coatings give a 15% damage bonus against certain types of enemies. These coatings are usually used in dungeons, where you’re fighting mostly against enemies of the same type, for example:
8. Ward Potions increase your damage absorption against certain enemy types. They can help you mitigate heavy incoming damage.
9. Absorption Potions can help you not only in dungeons but also in PvP against mages. They increase absorption by 15% against certain types of elemental damage, for example:
10. Corruption Tincture and Blight Tincture remove afflictions and give 97,5% resistance to these afflictions for 5 minutes.
11. Infused Encumbrance Potion will help you a bit with bringing your sack to the nearest warehouse. It lasts 3 minutes and increases the Encumbrance Limit by 100.
I know that feeling, bro, even one Flint or Green-Wood must not be discarded.
For more Potions, you can check our Arcana Guide.
Weapons To Combine With
- Great Axe scales primarily with Strength and does a great job of gap closing and getting close to foes. It also has a taunt that heals you in Reap. But both these weapons deal mostly Slash damage, so both will be weak when fighting Ancient-type foes.
- Hatchet. The Hatchet does a great job providing health sustain through Berserk, which allows you to heal up out of combat. Feral Rush can also root enemies so that you can catch slippery foes. You can also make the Hatchet a throwing weapon, which adds a ranged option to your setup. One downside is that both weapons have relatively short-ranged melee attacks.
- War Hammer has enough crowd control abilities. Armor Breaker allows you to get a quick attack off that applies a powerful Rend; you can combine that with the Sundering Shockwave perk, and you can easily hit the 30% Rend cap. With these two weapons, you can switch between attacking and defending in a pinch. This weapon is strong against Ancient-type foes, which covers up for Sword’s inherent weakness against them. One downside would be that you have no movement ability, and it’s neither the hardest hitter nor the tankiest tank.
- Life Staff. Paladin-like build where you can tank and heal at the same time. Although being in a Light Equipment load does provide benefits to healing, you can still heal in Heavy Armor. This combination is all about throwing down persistent heals like Beacon and Sacred Ground and then tanking with the Sword and Shield. The downsides of this combination include no movement skill and not really having much damage because you trade it for maximum durability.
- Spear. This combination is mostly about tanking and applying Rend for your DPS to increase overall damage. Vault Kick can taunt foes and stun them, but since stuns and knockdowns are broken on hit, you cannot rely on this crowd control in group content besides as a temporary peel. The main problem with this combo is that you would not have any movement Abilities.
- Void Gauntlet can be an amazing supporting weapon for a tank since Oblivion and Essence of Rupture don’t go away when you swap your weapon. By casting these skills and switching to Sword and Shield, you’ll get 20% Empower to you and your allies, 15% of target’s weakening, 20% recovering of your damage as health, or just get unlimited block regenerating +30 Stamina per second; nothing in New World can hit you hard enough to break the block.
A primarily defensive weapon, the Sword and Shield combo is designed purely to protect your allies, whether in PvP or PvE. It can be used for damage dealing but has pretty low damage.
As a tank, you need only Constitution. As a DPS, you need Strength.
Usually, players prefer heavy armor.
Every weapon has its own preferences and can change your Sword and Shield build. You can use War Hammer for crowd control, Hatchet for PvE farming, Great Axe for mass PvP, or Life Staff build to become an unkillable paladin.