New World War Priest Build: War Hammer and Life Staff

Written By hacktheminotaur
The AOE King! Massive Damage combined with amazing defense and self-heals!

Build Introduction

The War Priest Build for New World is a Heavy Armor, War Hammer and Life Staff combo that offers a balanced approach to gameplay, including Massive AOE and Single-Target Damage, plus amazing Healing and Survivability. This build can solo multiple enemies at once and can even handle enemies above the player’s own level, elite mobs and bosses!

Best Attributes

The core attribute needed for the War Priest is going to be Strength. Strength in New World is the primary attribute for the War Hammer, letting your basic attacks and skills do as much damage as possible. Maxing out your Strength also unlocks many powerful melee passives including increased light attack and heavy attack damage.

Putting points into Constitution is also recommended for increasing your Maximum Health, especially early on in the game. Having at least 50 points in Constitution results a fantastic healing perk great for all builds that increases the effectiveness of your potions. Eventually, you will want at least 100 Constitution for the bonus Health Perk as well.

As a secondary Attribute, some Focus will also be useful for improving the healing potential of this build. An alternate method of setting up this build also involves investing primarily into Focus as your main stat and then slotting an Amber Gem into your War Hammer to convert a portion of the damage to Nature Damage.

Armor Choices

New World has a detailed Armor Weight and Equip Load system. For increased survivability and defense in the game your best choice by far will be Heavy Armor for every piece on your character. Heavy Armor pieces in New World have the best overall Physical and Elemental Resistance ratings, letting us stand our ground for longer and against larger groups of enemies.

Heavy Armor builds have the following passive bonuses in New World.

Heavy Equip Load

  • 15% Bonus Block Stability
  • 20% Bonus Crowd Control Duration
  • Shortest Dodge Distance: the Dodge Slide
  • Highest Physical and Elemental Resistance

As you can see, Heavy Armor passives are perfect for absorbing damage due to the increased Block Stability. You will also benefit greatly from the maxed out Resistances. The main downside to using Heavy Armor in New World is that your Healing and Damage is decreased, however we can mitigate this to a large degree through Skills, Attributes and Perks.

Armor Attributes

Remember, when looking for gear pieces for this build try to find those with a bonus to the Strength Attribute. Some additional armor pieces with Focus or Constitution will be fine as well.

    Armor Sets

    Some Armor Sets you will want to look for include the Soldier set if you want to take a Strength-based approach or the Sage if you want to take the Focus-based approach.

    Primary Weapon

    The Primary Weapon for the War Priest Build is the War Hammer. This weapon allows for massive AOE and single-target damage as well as great crowd control and passive healing.

    For the recommended Gem on this build, Cut Emeralds do very well. Emeralds give your attacks a significant bonus when the enemy drops below 30% Health, which is great for finishing off opponents faster.

    More information on Emerald Gems can be found here.

    Secondary Weapon

    The Secondary Weapon for this Build is going to be the Life Staff. This weapon is a fantastic choice for any solo build in New World due to its many heal over time effects that will continually heal your character, even after switching back to the War Hammer.

    War Hammer Skills

    The War Hammer Skills we’ve selected for this build are centered around big AOE Damage and Crowd Control.

    Click each skill name below to learn more about that skill and its upgrades or dive into our complete New World War Hammer Guide.

    Skill #1

    Clear Out

    A wide swing that knocks enemies back 4 meters to create distance, deals 115% weapon damage.

    Cooldown: 15.0

    Weapon Tree: Crowd Crusher

    Tier II

    Skill #2


    Slam the Hammer into the ground causing a 3.0 meter radius AOE earthquake that deals 80% weapon damage. Applies Stun to all impacted targets for 2 Seconds.

    Taunt Gem Compatible: If you have a Carnelian gem equiped in your war hammer, This ability cause a 6s taunts when it hits. (Taunt causes monsters to focus only on you.)

    Cooldown: 20.0

    Weapon Tree: Crowd Crusher

    Tier II

    Skill #3

    Path Of Destiny

    A powerful ground strike that erupts a linear wave of energy in front of the player, dealing 110% weapon damage to all targets in its path.

    Cooldown: 22.0

    Weapon Tree: Crowd Crusher

    Tier III

    Life Staff Skills

    The Life Staff skills we’ve selected for this build allow for amazing Area Effect healing over time, keeping us alive in difficult encounters.

    Click each skill name below to learn more about that skill and its upgrades or dive into our complete New World Life Staff Guide.

    Skill #1

    Orb Of Protection

    Shoot out a light projectile that grants 10% Fortify for 20s, heals an ally for 10% of weapon damage, and deals 146% weapon damage when it hits an enemy. (Fortify reduces incoming damage.)

    Costs 16.0 Mana.

    Cooldown: 10.0

    Weapon Tree: Protector

    Tier I

    Skill #2


    Shoot out a light projectile that deals 146% weapon damage to enemies, attaches to it's target and heals all nearby allies for 20% weapon damage each second for 10s.

    Costs 16.0 Mana.

    Cooldown: 35.0

    Weapon Tree: Protector

    Tier II

    Skill #3

    Sacred Ground

    Create an area on the ground that lasts for 15s and heals 20% weapon damage every second.

    Costs 15.0 Mana.

    Cooldown: 20.0

    Weapon Tree: Healing

    Tier II

    Combat Basics


    Usually it’s best to start with a Heavy Attack to enabled the Empower buff, then follow up with Shockwave for the stun and debuff on enemies. From there, another Heavy Attack to charge up Empower again, followed by Clear Out and then more Heavy Attacks. If facing enemies you can use Path Of Destiny for some solid AOE damage and healing.


    To effectively Solo tougher enemies and survive on this build you will need to utilize all of your Life Staff healing Skills. Start a fight by casting by Orb Of Protection and Beacon on an enemy for the heal over time effect. Next, switch to the War Hammer and begin using your active skills which also heal you back for a percentage of the damage dealt once you’ve unlocked the Prevailing Spirit Passive. You can then switch back to the Life Staff and use Orb Of Protection combined with Sacred Ground.

    Important Passives

    Passive Skills in New World are extremely important! The more passives you unlock, the more  potential damage, healing and survivability your character has access to.

    War Hammer

    • Prevailing Spirit
    • Hammer Time
    • Hardened Steel
    • Contemption
    • Quick Recovery
    • Power Through Pain
    • Epitome Of Bonk!
    • Outnumbered

    Life Staff



    You’ll want to start this build off with a basic food option such as Light Rations or Travel Rations. This food is helpful at all times, whether you are in a group or playing Solo as it slowly restores your Health over time. Keep in mind you can also consume this food for a faster heal over time for a few seconds if you are not getting hit.


    For Potions, Weak Health Potions will be fine at first, but you will eventually want to upgrade these to Common Health Potions and Strong Health Potions. Strong Health Potions especially can be a real life saver.

    More New World Builds

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    Spear & Life Staff Solo Leveling Build: The Templar

    Fantastic Passive Healing plus Great Damage and CC! This build can EASILY Solo most content in New World, even at LOW Levels!


    Bow / Hatchet Solo Build: Hunter

    Easy ONE-SHOT Kills plus MASSIVE Melee Damage! This Bow / Hatchet Build for New World Can Do It ALL!


    Sword And Shield / Hatchet Tank Build: META TANK

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    Life Staff / Ice Gauntlet Healer Build: Frost Cleric

    Great Group Healing and Crowd Control make this the Perfect Healer Build for Expeditions and Group content in New World!


    Sword And Shield / Fire Staff Solo Build: Battlemage

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    Sword And Shield / Great Axe Build: Brawler

    This build offers a great combination of AOE damage, crowd control, defense, and mobility, letting you stand up to multiple enemies at once with ease.


    Hack The Minotaur (HTM) is a professional Gaming Blogger and Youtube Creator with decades of experience in Gaming. Hack is the owner of - an Elder Scrolls focused site for character builds and guides, and now - your source for upcoming RPG news, builds, guides and more!

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