Sword and Shield is the best weapon route if you plan to tank for any PvP War or Expedition in New World. It features a decent amount of damage, with a much more vigorous defense, giving any enemy plenty of difficulty during combat. When you have a healer at your back, you’re unstoppable, but you’ll need to have a few friends by your side to bring some damage to the table.
Best Sword and Shield build in New World
There are two trees you can level up for Sword and Shield: Swordmaster and Defender. Swordmaster has a handful of abilities that make the build do some viable damage and provide you the opportunity to jump straight into the fight. But the Defender tree turns the class into a walking tank, capable of rolling with any of the hits someone takes, and remain standing in a fight.
- Reverse Stab – Have your character turn around and deal a backward stabbing attack, doing 175% weapon damage.
- Whirling Blade – An AoE attack that damages enemies within two meters surrounding your character, dealing 145% weapon damage.
- Leaping Strike – Jump six meters in front of you, dealing 135% weapon damage to a target.
Recommended active abilities: You want to pick Reverse Stab for the most effective attack in this tree. The attack has the most potential damage output of the choices, and it doesn’t move your character around too much, keeping you firmly in front of your allies. Whirling Blade and Leaping Strike can be effective, but when using the Sword and Shield, your job is to remain in a single location and defend your allies. With Whirling Blade, you can do that, but the damage output is not as high as Reverse Stab. Leaping Strike moves you around, causing you to break your line of defense.
Recommended passive abilities: You want to grab Achilles Heel, Unstoppable Stab, Mobility, Opportunist, and Tactician. There are only a handful of practical passive abilities that you should learn from this tree, with most of your points going into Defender.
- Shield Bash – Slam your shield against a target dealing 50% weapon damage, stunning them for two seconds.
- Shield Rush – Rush forward and slam your shield against a foe, sending them five meters back and dealing 125% weapon damage.
- Defiant Stance – Reduce the amount of incoming base damage done to you by 30% for eight seconds.
Recommended active abilities: For the Defender, we highly recommend grabbing Shield Bash and Defiant Stance. With Shield Bash, you’ll be using your shield to attack a foe and stunning them, which is always an effective tactic to prevent an enemy from escaping. With Defiant Stance, it’s going to make your character extremely tanky, giving them time to withstand the onslaught of attacks of another player or elite enemy, granting your healer more time to heal you.
Recommended passive abilities: In the Defender tree, you want to grab Sturdy Shield, Elemental Resistance, One with the Shield, Final Blow, Recuperation, Intimidating Bash, Concussive Bash, Defensive Training, Final Count Down, and Restoration. The Shield and Sword weapon set is a highly effective tank, with plenty of ways to keep itself alive and allow the healer plenty of room to do damage during an encounter.
Overall, the Shield and Sword weapon set is hands down the best tank in New World. It isn’t easy to beat given how much defense it can stack up, resistances, and how it can partially heal itself during an encounter. Tanks in MMOs are a must, and nothing beats the Shield and Sword.