The Ultimate New World Mage Build and Guide for PvE
In this guide, you will find the best mage builds and all the key information for mages in PvE, from explanations of weapon choices to skill trees for each load out, plus guidance on everything from necessary gems to playstyle tips to ideal armor and, if applicable, where to farm each piece.
Check out the PvP Mage Guide.
This guide is brought to you by BagginsTV, in collaboration with Tricks and NWDB.
All information is based on the latest version of New World, and is accurate for the Brimstone Sands update.
Whilst there are a wide variety of Mage builds being run in New World, in this guide we're going to keep it concise and focus on the following weapons: Fire Staff, Ice Gauntlet, and Void Gauntlet.
Using a combination of any two of these weapons alongside having a majority of your stats put into intelligence will effectively make you a "mage" in New World.
If you're struggling on which two weapons to go with, here's a simple breakdown of what each weapons provides to your group:
- Fire Staff is a pure damage weapon, especially good against the Angry Earth.
- Ice Gauntlet is good for high damage with some Slows, Roots and Rend.
- Void Gauntlet offers high damage along with Root, Rend, Empower and Weaken capabilities. It is highly recommended to have a Void Gauntlet user on any team for mutations etc.
You will want 310 Intelligence + 200 Constitution. This will be the attribute ratio we use for any combination of Mage weapons in this guide. You may wish to take points out of Constitution and put them into Intelligence to do more damage, but do so at your own risk!
In order to reach the 300/200 stat threshold, you will need to use Attribute Food. The best (and cheapest) Tier V attribute food you can get is [item_foodintcont5] for an extra +24 Intelligence and +16 Constitution. Pork Belly Rice may also be available for cheap on your server.
Check out the Ability Rotation section for information on these skill trees, including how to cycle [ability_ability_firestaff_fireball], [ability_icemagic_spikes] etc.
Fire Staff Build
Ice Gauntlet Build
Void Gauntlet Builds
Popular when fighting enemies that heal, and in nature mutations.
For any Mage PVE build, we will be using Light Equip Load, as it boosts our damage by 20% and gives us access to the very powerful Dodge Roll. To achieve this we will be using a Light Helm, Light Gloves, Light Legs, Light Boots and a Medium Chest. This maximizes our armor rating whilst still keeping us in a "Light Load".
Perks to Aim For
[perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_fire] + Bane Perk + [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcrit]
You can replace Elemental Attunement with [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance] if needed, but Flame Attunement is very strong and should be your end goal.
[perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_ice] + Bane Perk + [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcrit]
For more support, you can replace Frost Attunement with [perk_perkid_weapon_cdrbasic], as Frost Attunement does not trigger on [ability_icemagic_icestorm] or [ability_icemagic_iceshower].
[perk_perkid_weapon_dmgbasic] + Bane Perk + [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_void]
Abyssal Attunement can be replaced with [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcrit] or [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance] if needed, but Abyssal Attunement is very strong and should be your end goal. [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgbasic] is chosen for the Void Gauntlet as most of our damage comes from the [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_voidblade] ability.
Note: I'm recommending the same elemental attunement as the weapon's damage type to work with mutations. For example, if we put Frost Attunement in our Fire Staff, it would be much weaker during Frost Mutations.
On your armor, you are looking for a relevant Ward Perk and any combination of the following perks: Relevant Ability Perks, [perk_perkid_common_cdr], [perk_perkid_armor_rangedefense_physical], [perk_perkid_armor_rangedefense_elemental], [perk_perkid_armor_dodgesuccess_fortify], [perk_perkid_common_cdrondodge], or [perk_perkid_armor_durdebuff].
Your Amulet should have [perk_perkid_amulet_hp] and a relevant Protection Perk (such as [perk_perkid_amulet_defice] for Frost Mutations), plus any of the following perks: [perk_perkid_common_cdr], [perk_perkid_common_cdrondodge], [perk_perkid_amulet_stamonlow], [perk_perkid_amulet_durempower], [perk_perkid_amulet_durfortify], or [perk_perkid_amulet_removeonlow].
For your Ring, Best-in-Slot is [perk_perkid_ring_maxstamina] and [perk_perkid_ring_dmgice] / [perk_perkid_ring_dmgfire] / [perk_perkid_ring_dmgvoid], alongside any of the following perks: [perk_perkid_common_cdr], [perk_perkid_common_cdrondodge], [perk_perkid_ring_healperdmg], or [perk_perkid_ring_crit].
Best-in-slot for your Earring is [perk_perkid_earring_potioncdr] plus [perk_perkid_earring_healthonpotion], and your choice of [perk_perkid_common_cdr], [perk_perkid_common_cdrondodge] or [perk_perkid_earring_healthregen].
Due to the perk spaces being entirely occupied by the necessary Bane, Vicious, Keen and Attunement perks on our weapons, it's not advised to run any ability perks on the weapons themselves, as it will generally lower your damage. One exception to this is [perk_perkid_ability_voidgauntlet_scream_disease] on your Void Gauntlet, as this does provide a huge amount of disease to combat Nature Mutations.
For the remaining perks, you will want to get as many of these on your armor as possible. Below is a list of ability perks from most important to least important, make sure you have at least a couple of these for the relevant weapons they belong to:
Best Drops to Farm
The [item_questrewardisabella3] contains Mage weapons which have [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcorrupted], [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance] and a Chain Elemental Perk. Whilst not ideal, these weapons can be good to get you started on farming corrupted dungeons to earn [item_umbralshardt1|Umbral Shards] and other, better drops.
However, make sure to open your caches only after you are 590+ gear score in your weapon slots in order to ensure a viable drop.
Outside of farming for random drops in the relevant mutation, getting Attunement on your weapon will require you to buy or craft it.
[item_2hstafffire_firevinebattlestafft5_v2] is a good all-rounder for bringing into any dungeon, but eventually you will want to acquire a Elemental Attunement + Bane Perk staff, but this will work well in the meantime.
As with the Fire Staff, we will need to buy or craft [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_ice] for the Ice Gauntlet to achieve BiS.
Until then, [item_1hgauntletice_evergivingt5_v2] is a strong pick-up that you can use for any Ice Gauntlet related build, and works in both PvE and PvP.
[item_1hgauntletvoid_scourgeofthedepthst5_v2] is close to BiS for Nature Mutation weeks and fighting any other enemies that use healing abilities.
Collecting a full set of the [item_lightchest_wizenedshirtt5_v2|Wizened] will give you a good baseline set to use in most PVE scenarios. Whilst it does use a great set of perks per piece, it does not have any Ward or Ability Perks so you will be looking to upgrade to pieces listed below for the relevant dungeon you are running, such as Tempest being Corrupted Ward, Lazarus being Ancient Ward, etc.
For Corrupted Ward, the [item_lightchest_tempestuousshirtt5|Spectral Tempestuous] set is an amazing set to run in Corrupted Expeditions both normal and mutated. I highly recommend running the quest chain needed to get the Caches which contain it. Again, do not open these until you are 590+ gear score.
For Angry Earth Ward, the [item_lightchest_elitepoi_harbingerrobest5|Harbinger] set has a great set of perks to get you started on farming Mutated Garden of Genesis as a mage. The set does not have Ability Perks however, and you will want to find a Medium Chestpiece, such as [item_mediumchest_bb_boss2_mutt5_v2], to complete this build.
For Ancient Ward, [item_lightfeet_elitepoi_invasionassassint5] and [item_lighthead_elitepoi_invasionassassint5] are good starting pieces for a Mage Ancient Ward set, but you will likely be buying/crafting most of this set to get the relevant ability perks you need.
Unfortunately, there are currently no reliable drops of Lost Ward gear suitable for mages in the game outside of high level mutations, so you will likely need to buy or craft this.
[item_amulett5_thelastprophecy_v2] provides cooldown reduction and can also extend the duration of [perk_perkid_weapon_empoweroncrit], if you're using the perk.
[item_amulett5_soulofmyrkgard_v2] is an Amulet that works especially well in Nature Mutations due to its [perk_perkid_amulet_defnature] perk.
[item_ringt5_bandofoceansoath_v2] is a great fit for the Fire Staff and Ice Gauntlet build.
[item_ringt5_bandofdaemondusk_v2] is a good all-rounder and will slot nicely into any mage PvE build.
As mentioned in the perks section, your best earring will have [perk_perkid_earring_potioncdr], [perk_perkid_earring_healthonpotion], and one of the listed perks.
There are no named items that drop with this criteria, but here are some you can go for if you can't afford one from the Trading Post:
[item_earringt5_teardrop_v2] is a reasonable earring to equip though we won't see much use out of [perk_perkid_common_cdronhit] unless we're in deep with [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_voidblade].
[item_earringt5_m_mut] has [perk_perkid_earring_potioncdr] and [perk_perkid_common_cdrondodge], with a chance that the 3rd perk will roll as [perk_perkid_earring_healthonpotion] when dropped at 600GS.
[item_runedetonatet3c] will be our go-to Heartrune of choice for Mage DPS and in general any DPS build. You can maximize efficiency by activating this rune whilst you're going in close to the enemy to use [ability_ability_firestaff_flamethrower] or [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_voidblade], drop an [ability_icemagic_iceshower], or land a [perk_perkid_ability_voidgauntlet_scream_disease].
A [item_opalcutt4] is the go to socket for Ice Gauntlet, Fire Staff and Void Gauntlet as they allow you to very simply increase your damage by 15% after dodging.
Elemental Conversion gems such as a [item_aquamarinecutt1] will give you a larger increase in overall damage due to the huge intelligence scaling they provide (see General Playstyle section), but by converting our damage we run the risk of playing negatively into a Mutations Element Absorption (Frost Mutations reduce incoming Frost damage by 50%!).
Note: To min-max, you may look to change your Fire Staff and Void Gauntlet gem to a [item_sapphirecutt1] as there is currently no Arcane Mutation, but beware that this will make Fire Staff less effective versus Angry Earth (they take more damage from Fire, so converting your damage weakens you), and Void Gauntlet less effective against Ancients.
You do not want to use a conversion gem in your Ice Gauntlet as this will lower your overall Ice Damage, weakening the effect of [ability_icetempestultimate].
In your armor and jewelry, the best all-round gems to socket will be [item_diamondcutt4] and [item_malachitecutt4] as they provide both Physical and Elemental Damage Absorption, covering you against all types of enemy weapons.
For most standard expeditions this will cover you well, but as you move into Mutated Expeditions you will want to start using gems that reduce your damage vs the specific element of the mutation, such as [item_rubycutt4|Ruby] for Fire Mutations. My advice for specifically taking on Mutations is to socket 3 [item_opalcutt4] into your armor and 2 [item_rubycutt4], [item_aquamarinecutt4], [item_amethystcutt4], etc, depending on the mutation you're going into.
Your jewelry gems can be left as Malachite and Diamond however, as you still want to have some physical damage absorption.
With Runeglass Gems in your weapons, my recommendation is to keep it simple and upgrade the Opal gems to their Runeglass equivalent, using the Element that corresponds to your weapon. So, this means that for a Fire Staff you would want a [item_runeglass_gem_opal_fire], for Ice Gauntlet a [item_runeglass_gem_opal_ice], and for Void Gauntlet a [item_runeglass_gem_opal_void].
Due to the constantly changing cycle of weekly mutations, I think it is currently too expensive to rotate Runeglass armor gems for every fight that you face, and there is no "one size fits all", so I'd recommend just sticking to the rules outlined in Normal Gems (for your armor).
However, if you really wanted to go all out, you could socket a full set of [item_runeglass_gem_opal_fire] into your armor for the 10% total extra fire damage this gives you. Because they are Opal you will still have some elemental damage absorption, but this set will obviously need to be recreated for your Ancient Ward armor, Lost Ward armor, etc, and also will not be viable to use during Fire Mutations.
Tips for Mages
With all weapons, try to keep your stamina under max by dodging every few seconds, so you can keep your Opal gem damage boost active.
Your priorities for the Fire Staff will be to keep [ability_ability_firestaff_fireball] and [ability_ability_firestaff_incinerate] on cooldown whenever possible, and then activate [ability_ability_firestaff_flamethrower]. You may wish to take an extra point into Flamethrower to remove its cooldown, in which case you will remove the point from [ability_passive_firestaff_pyro_burnonlight].
If the fight demands staying at range, prioritize doing Heavy Attacks as these activate more passives from your skill tree.
Ice Gauntlet demands a bit more skill due to the existence of [ability_icetempestultimate].
Generally, you will open with [ability_icemagic_icestorm] to activate Ultimate Chill, [ability_icemagic_iceshower] (if you can, requires melee) to apply the rend from [ability_iceshowershowerslush], and then spam light attacks until the enemy is low enough to get a killing blow with [ability_icemagic_spikes] (if you're using [perk_perkid_ability_icegauntlet_icedrefresh]).
If not using the Iced Refresh perk or fighting a boss enemy, use Ice Spike on cooldown, though ideally after you've hit the enemy with a Ice Storm and/or Ice Shower.
The Void Gauntlet is more straightforward in its priorities: keep [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_nullchamber] down on your team as much as possible, then activate [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_voidblade] and finally [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_scream] or [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_decayingorb] depending on which one you are using.
Orb should be used after your other abilities are on cooldown as you're more likely to trigger [ability_upgrade_voidgauntlet_decayingorb_slowvsdebuff], [perk_perkid_common_cdr], [ability_passive_voidgauntlet_cdroncrit] and [ability_passive_voidgauntlet_bonuscritchanceoncooldown].