The Sword and Shield is the gold standard for Tank weapon in virtually every MMO game and New World is no different.
There is a lot on offer to you as a Tank when using the Sword and Shield and it’s incredibly hard to replace this weapon for something else, it offers both damage along with damage reduction which makes it the first choice for New World Tanks.
There are multiple different ways you can setup your Sword and Shield abilities to maximise your efficiency for Tanking in New World and it may vary depending on how good you are at Tanking and how good your group are in the content you’re doing.
The Sword and Shield pairs well with almost any other weapon, War Hammer, Spear or even Hatchet for beginners.
Tanking with a Sword and Shield is able to provide a range of really strong benefits. You have the self benefits of reduced incoming damage but there’s also the ability to apply Rend and Weaken to enemies and buff group DPS. Sword and Shield also offers a decent amount of DPS and there are some really useful threat and taunt skills and passives which help you maintain aggro of enemies much more easily.
The most essential part of the Sword and Shield is the Defender section with these must-have abilities:
Shield Rush allows you to charge into enemies and with the passive it also weakens them. It generates a good amount of threat but the main benefit of using it is when you combine it with the Fortifying Shield Rush perk on your shield. When using a Tower Shield you gain 35% fortify for 6 seconds which is just really strong for your self survival.
Defenders Resolve allows you to do an AoE taunt without actually hitting an enemy, it’s just an aura AoE taunt which makes maintain aggro of enemies much easier. It also gives you a large amount of damage reduction so when used alongside the Shield Rush and fortify buff you gain from that, you become almost immortal.
When selecting the final skill there is is one best option and then a more beginner option.
Whirling Blade is the best option due to its ability to apply an AoE 15% Rend debuff to enemies thanks to the Opportunity passive. This can be can maintained with a 100% uptime fairly easily, this will allow your group to inflict more damage on enemies.
Reverse Stab is the more beginner friendly option. You would lose the 15% Rend but with the Tactician passive you reduce the cooldowns of your other abilities by 25%. This means you have much faster access to using Shield Rush and Defenders Resolve.
While Shield Bash offers an additional taunt, it has really low threat generation and very little utilise or benefit outside of that taunt, so generally not worth using.
As a beginner your priority is more towards staying alive and maintaining aggro of enemies, once you are comfortable with this then switching to the more offensive build is better for your group, not only do you provide the Rend but you give your group the Leadership buff which increases their damage.
A stab attack that deals 175% weapon damage and staggers your target.
It’s essential to make sure you have a good setup when using the Sword and Shield. This would include a Tower Shield with Fortifying Shield Rush perk and an Amulet with the Fortified perk, this will buff your survival massively making you close to immortal.