Hatchet PvP Guide

Introduction

New World MMO’s hatchet is an extremely versatile and powerful 1-handed axe with one of the most well known weapon abilities in the game, Berserk. With a high damage potential and decent gap closing in the form of On The Hunt and Feral Rush, the hatchet can pose a serious threat to players that the hatchet user is fighting in the open-world, as well as in instanced wars, and dueling scenarios.

Weapon Abilities

Berserk

Berserk is a staple ability in almost all hatchet builds across all content. In its most basic form, the Berserk ability gives hatchet players a flat 20% damage bonus. As a player begins to add on its 4 passives, the ability’s power level swells tremendously:

Passives

  • On the Hunt
    • Increases movement speed by 20% while in Berserk mode.
  • Berserking Refresh
    • While Berserk is active, gain a portion of your health back every 5 seconds. Amount of health gained increases the longer Berserk is active.
  • Berserking Purge
    • Triggering Berserk removes all Crowd Control effects (stuns, slows, roots) from the player.
  • Uninterruptible Berserk
    • While in Berserk, your attacks are uninterruptible during Berserk and you cannot be staggered.

With a duration of 15 seconds, and a cooldown of only 15 seconds (starting after Berserk ends), Berserk has an amazing up-time (~50%). This up-time paired with an amazing set of passive abilities makes Berserk a go-to choice for most players.

Feral Rush

Feral Rush is the hatchet’s one true gap-closer, or catch-up mechanic. In order to be the most successful, hatchet players should use Feral Rush in combination with a dodge to maximize its distance, or use Feral Rush as a burst ability up-close if trading with their opponent.

Passives

Raging Torrent

Raging Torrent is the hatchet’s main burst damage ability. With an impressive 480% weapon damage after all 4 strikes and the Final Blow passive, Raging Torrent is amazing for driving down an opponent’s health bar. For greater impact, a hatchet player should try using Raging Torrent when they know that their opponent has no stamina and can’t move away from them in a meaningful way.

Passives

Playstyle

This hatchet build boasts an incredibly high melee damage potential if the player can stay close to their opponent and trade abilities, light attacks, and heavy attacks effectively. It will be important to not spam attacks and abilities in this build since light and heavy attacks synergize well together through passives like Accumulated Power and Relentless Fury. Weaving light and heavy attacks in between Feral Rush and Raging Torrent while having Berserk up as much as possible will be crucial to maximizing the damage of this build.

Berserking Refresh is a passive that should change how the hatchet user plays this build. If the hatchet player is facing an opponent who has little to no healing or is another melee user, the healing generated from this passive is enough to warrant dodging and kiting the opponent, giving the passive ample time to heal a significant portion of health.

Since this melee hatchet build relies on being close to the opponent at all times, player movement and mobility is vital and enemies that have advanced knowledge of movement mechanics in this game paired with a light armor set-up can be difficult to eliminate. In order for a hatchet user to have the best chance of staying up close and personal with their foe, the user should become familiar with advanced mobility mechanics themselves. 

Here are some quick tips to get a player started:

  1. Do not dodge to approach an opponent. Dodging to approach an opponent will leave a hatchet player at a dodge disadvantage and will leave the player in a catch-up position. Instead, a hatchet player should use the On The Hunt passive under the Berserk ability to simply run up to their opponent. If the opponent dodges away, the hatchet player should immediately follow with a dodge of their own.
  1. Dodges can be animation canceled with abilities. Using Feral Rush after a dodge and before the recovery animation will give the gap closer the most distance and best possible chance at striking the opponent.
  1. With the passive Crippling Strikes, Feral Rush will root an opponent if they are hit in the back. This will help with opponents attempting to kite you. BE AWARE of when you do root your opponent. Try to follow this root with a full Raging Torrent.

Attribute Distribution

The hatchet primarily scales off of the Strength attribute at 0.9X and secondarily scales off of the Dexterity attribute at 0.65X. This means that for every point in Strength, the hatchet will gain 0.9 weapon damage, and for every point in Dexterity, the hatchet will gain 0.65 weapon damage. Since the hatchet is a melee weapon, it will be imperative that this attribute distribution has an ample amount of Constitution since melee weapon users are more likely to be hit with abilities. You will also need an appropriate amount of strength and dexterity to be able to eliminate your opponents. In a 500 attribute total build, the recommended attribute distribution is:

  • 150 Strength
  • 150 Dexterity
  • 200 Constitution

This attribute distribution will give you these attribute bonuses:

Strength

  1. 50: +5% damage to melee weapon light attacks
  2. 100: +10% damage to melee weapon heavy attacks
  3. 150: +50% stamina damage from melee weapon light and heavy attacks
  4. 200: +10% damage on stunned, slowed, or rooted enemies

Dexterity

  1. 50: +5% chance to critical hit

Constitution

  1. 50: All health consumables +20% stronger
  2. 100: Increase max health by 10% of physical armor
  3. 150: 10% reduction to crit damage taken
  4. 200: +20% increase to armor
  5. 250: 80% damage reduction when at full health

Weapon Ability Perks

Weapon Ability Perks are generated perks that can be found or applied to:

  • Weapons
  • Chests
  • Helmets
  • Gloves
  • Pants
  • Shoes

These weapon ability perks augment the power level of a weapon ability in a positive way. Currently, each weapon has 6 ability perks available to players, one for each active ability. Below are all of the weapon ability perks currently available to the hatchet and pertain to this build.

Energizing Feral Rush
Gain 18 stamina for each successful hit with Feral Rush.

Keen Berserk
Increase Crit Chance by 14% while under 50% health HP while berserking.

Refreshing Torrent
Every hit of Raging Torrent reduces all Hatchet cooldowns by 4.6%.

Unfortunately, in their current state, these particular hatchet ability perks aren’t very great compared to the current general weapon perks. Refreshing Torrent is decent, however, hitting all Raging Torrent attacks is not likely in PvP and general perks like Vicious, Enchanted, and Keen would all make better stand-ins. Keen Berserk seems good at face value but understanding the requirements in order to take advantage of the 14% increased critical chance:

  • Must be below 50% health.
  • Must have Berserk active.

Compared to Keen (+11% critical chance with no active requirements) the perk seems fairly underwhelming.

Apart from weapon ability perks, there are an abundance of general perks that players can find or place onto their equipment that will affect their weapons in PvP. For recommendations on which general perks you should use to accompany your weapon ability perks, check out the PvP Perks and Gems Guide.

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