The Ultimate New World Mage Build and Guide for PvP
In this guide, you will find the best mage builds and all the key information for mages in PvP, 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 PvE 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.
If video guides are more up your street, then all the information can also be found in my YouTube video right below.
If you're more of a reader, however, or are looking for all the handy links and item info pages all in one place, then read on!
There are a variety of different viable Mage builds out there which utilize Ice Gauntlet, Fire Staff, Void Gauntlet, Rapier and even Blunderbuss. In order to keep this guide concise we will be looking at two particular Mage Builds today: Ice Gauntlet + Void Gauntlet, and Fire Staff + Ice Gauntlet.
Fire Staff & Ice Gauntlet
This is your most "classic" mage build using two weapons that scale entirely off of Intelligence. This build is for those who want to deal high amounts of damage and act as more of a "carry", and excels in small-to-mid scale PVP.
Ice Gauntlet & Void Gauntlet
This is a build that can be played in a few different ways, but for this guide we will be showcasing it as a "support" build, still capable of doing large amounts of damage but your primary focus will be slowing and de-buffing the enemy, and buffing your team.
It is mostly used in large scale PVP, such as Wars.
You will want 310 Intelligence + 200 Constitution. This will be the attribute ratio we use for both builds in this guide.
If you wish, you may go 210 Intelligence + 300 Constitution instead to extend the duration of your CC, which is useful for the support build, but your damage will be significantly lowered.
In order to reach the 300/200 stat threshold, you will need to use Attribute Food.
The best (and cheapest) attribute food you can get is [item_foodconintt5] for an extra +24 Constitution and +16 Intelligence.
Fire Staff & Ice Gauntlet Build
This build ignores [ability_passive_firestaff_firemage_ultimate], as the build centered more around small scale PVP, so you're often on the move and cannot benefit from standing in it.
Ice Gauntlet & Void Gauntlet Build
This build avoids [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_voidblade] and the [ability_icetempestultimate] passive as it is more support orientated, and focuses on passives and abilities that keep us alive, or assist our teammates.
For the Fire Staff + Ice Gauntlet 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 Equip Load overall.
For the Ice Gauntlet + Void Gauntlet build, we will be using Medium Equip Load for the increased armor rating and increased CC duration. To achieve this we will be using a Heavy Helmet, Heavy Chest, Medium Gloves, Light Legs and Medium Boots, again to maximize armor rating and just stay in the medium equip load threshold.
Perks to Aim For
[perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_fire] + [perk_perkid_weapon_bleedoncrit] + [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance] or [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcrit]
These perks are all to benefit the power of [ability_ability_firestaff_flamethrower]. [perk_perkid_weapon_disease_onlowhp_crit] could also be used for more anti-healing, in place of Keen, Vicious or Keenly Jagged.
For [ability_icemagic_spikes] builds: [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance] + [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcrit] + [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_ice] for [ability_icemagic_spikes]
For Support builds: [perk_perkid_ability_icegauntlet_deadlyfrost] + [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_ice] + [perk_perkid_weapon_cdrbasic]
Note: Ruinous can be used in War/OPR for big bonus damage to Doors/Turrets in conjunction with [ability_icetempestpass1]. If you like the idea of having a anti-siege swap weapon, try finding/crafting a gauntlet with [perk_perkid_weapon_siege] + [perk_perkid_weapon_cdrbasic] + [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_ice].
[perk_perkid_ability_voidgauntlet_scream_disease] + [perk_perkid_weapon_disease_onlowhp_crit] + [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance]
These perks all help us achieve the "support" playstyle by reducing incoming healing on the enemy, making them easier to take down.
Your armor should have [perk_perkid_armor_defcritdmg] plus any combination of the following:
- Relevant Ability Perk
- [perk_perkid_common_cdronhit] can be used if you are running a Medium build.
Your amulet should have [perk_perkid_amulet_hp] and [perk_perkid_amulet_stamonlow], plus your choice of:
- Protection Perk
- [perk_perkid_common_cdronhit] can be used if you are running a Medium build.
For your Ring, you will want [perk_perkid_ring_maxstamina], [perk_perkid_ring_dmgice] / [perk_perkid_ring_dmgfire], plus any one of:
Best-in-slot for your Earring is [perk_perkid_earring_potioncdr] and [perk_perkid_earring_healthonpotion], alongside [perk_perkid_common_cdr] or [perk_perkid_common_cdrondodge].
Again, if you are running a Medium build, then you can also consider using [perk_perkid_common_cdronhit] for the third perk. [perk_perkid_earring_healthregen] and [perk_perkid_earring_staminaregen] are not terrible 3rd perks to take, but do not prioritize these over any Refreshing Perk.
Other than in your Ice Gauntlet + Void Gauntlet Support build, you don't want to look for perks on your weapons, but instead on your armor. The ability perks that I would recommend getting on your armor include:
[perk_perkid_ability_icegauntlet_icedrefresh] doesn't do much at all for the build in PVP so avoid going for pieces with this perk.
You may wish to take [perk_perkid_ability_icegauntlet_healingtomb] for extra survivability, but note it is your base health not max/current health it heals you from.
And as mentioned above, you do want to get Ability perks on your weapons when running the Support build. Specifically, you want to have [perk_perkid_ability_icegauntlet_deadlyfrost] on your Ice Gauntlet and [perk_perkid_ability_voidgauntlet_scream_disease] on your Void Gauntlet, as the increased potency of these perks being on the weapon is desirable for this build.
The reason we do not run ability perks on our weapon as a Fire/Ice Mage is because the Fire Staff functions largely as a "damage" weapon, so we're looking for perks that improve its damage potential. Whilst some of the ability perks achieve this, none are strong enough when placed on the weapon vs the armor to outweigh the damage boost of [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_fire], [perk_perkid_weapon_dmgcrit] and [perk_perkid_weapon_bleedoncrit]. The same can also be said for the Ice Gauntlet when running it for maximum damage.
Best Drops to Farm
Outside of farming for random drops in the relevant mutation, getting Attunement perks on your weapon will require you to buy or craft it.
That said, [item_2hstafffire_firevinebattlestafft5_v2] and [item_2hstafffire_wildfiretorcht5] are both good Fire Staves to pick-up whilst you're working your way towards a [perk_perkid_weapon_attunement_fire] staff.
[item_2hstafffire_expanset5_v2] is a strong option if you're looking for some more utility as it provides anti-heal.
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 either build featured in this guide.
[item_1hgauntletice_frostwallt5_v2] works well for the Ice Gauntlet + Void Gauntlet support build by giving you extra cooldown reduction on the powerful [ability_icemagic_iceshower] ability.
[item_1hgauntletvoid_scourgeofthedepthst5_v2] has 2 of the 3 perks you're looking for on your Void Gauntlet, and works as a great alternative whilst you're working on obtaining a [perk_perkid_ability_voidgauntlet_scream_disease] + [perk_perkid_weapon_disease_onlowhp_crit] + [perk_perkid_weapon_critchance] Void Gauntlet.
Equipping a piece of the [item_lightchest_wizenedshirtt5_v2|Wizened Set] can work for your build, but not more as you need to stack as much [perk_perkid_armor_defcritdmg] as you can. In particular, the [item_lightfeet_wizenedshoest5_v2] can be a good fit as they have [perk_perkid_legs_dodgesuccess_stamina], a perk that can only be obtained on the leg slot.
[item_lighthead_protectivecowlt5_v2] is a light helm you could farm for, but it may be better to spend the time searching for it on acquiring gold and buying something similar from the Trading Post.
[item_lightlegs_regularpantst5_v2] or [item_lightlegs_hellishleggingst5_v2] both work for the leg slot in either build featured in this guide. The Regular Pants in particular are very strong as they have 3 Best-in-Slot perks.
For the rest of your PVP mage gear, you will likely have to craft or buy it. The PVP rewards track can provide some good filler pieces whilst you're working on better gear though.
[item_amulet_pvp_namedt5] can be picked up from the PVP rewards track after you reach level 5 and has a great set of perks for all builds featured in this guide.
[item_amulett5_thelastprophecy_v2] provides cooldown reduction, and can also extend the duration of [ability_passive_voidgauntlet_empowercloserange] and [perk_perkid_weapon_empoweroncrit], if you're running this perk.
[item_ringt5_bandofoceansoath_v2] is a great fit for the Fire Staff + Ice Gauntlet build, and will allow your [ability_icemagic_spikes] to hit even harder.
[item_ringt5_surgeonsring_v2] is perfect for the Ice Gauntlet + Void Gauntlet support build by providing additional chances to activate [perk_perkid_weapon_disease_onlowhp_crit] and extend the duration of the Diseased healing de-buff. It doesn't have [perk_perkid_ring_maxstamina] but that is fine for the build as Medium equip load gets access to three dodges by default.
[item_ring_pvp_namedt5] is a good all-rounder that works in any of these builds.
On most servers you should be able to pick-up a [perk_perkid_earring_healthonpotion] + [perk_perkid_earring_potioncdr] earring for a few hundred gold. There are no named drops that contain both perks currently, although the [item_earring_pvp_namedt5] comes from the PvP Rewards track and has 2 out of the 3 perks we're looking for.
For Fire Staff + Ice Gauntlet, you can go more defensive with a [item_runestoneformt3b] to provide some CC Immunity and extra healing to yourself, or go more offensive with the [item_runedetonatet3c].
Note: You can activate the Detonate whilst inside [ability_icemagic_entombed], and pairing it with [ability_icemagic_iceshower] will better allow you to confirm its damage to the enemy.
For Ice Gauntlet + Void Gauntlet, the new Cunning Heartrune of Bile Bomb will be our most supportive PVP Heartrune as it reduces enemy movement speed, incoming healing and stamina regeneration in a 3.5m radius. Dropping this onto the point or clumps of enemies will give your team a huge advantage in engagements.
A [item_opalcutt4] is the go to for Ice Gauntlet to maximize the damage [ability_icestormpunishingstorm] and [ability_icetempestultimate] gives us (we want to be doing as much Ice Damage as we can).
Fire Staves benefit the most from a Cut Flawed Elemental Gem, such as [item_rubycutt1], due to the Intelligence scaling calculation of Tier 2 conversion gems.
Despite imparting burn, which does not benefit from the conversion gem, [ability_ability_firestaff_fireball], [ability_ability_firestaff_flamethrower] and a direct hit from [ability_ability_firestaff_burnout] will all deal more damage with a Cut Flawed Gem than with a [item_opalcutt4] (though your burns will be weaker).
For the Void Gauntlet taking a [item_opalcutt4] is also advised as the damage-over-time effects from [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_nullchamber] and [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_decayingorb] do not work with elemental conversion gems, so the extra damage they provide is largely wasted.
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. However, if you do find you're facing off against largely bows and muskets, socketing a couple of [item_emeraldcutt4] will help against this.
In your Fire Staff, [item_runeglass_gem_opal_fire] is a powerful choice as the Burn effect can activate with hits from your [ability_ability_firestaff_flamethrower], allowing you to stack large amounts of damage in a small period of time.
The only Ice Gauntlet ability that can activate [item_runeglass_gem_opal_ice] is [ability_icemagic_spikes], as DoT attacks will not trigger it, and it's usually the case that you want to load the damage upfront instead of over the 2 second window, so sticking to a normal [item_opalcutt4] is still the best option here.
Like with Ice Gauntlet, Void Gauntlet will only activate [item_runeglass_gem_opal_void] on your [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_decayingorb] initial hit (it does work with [ability_ability_voidgauntlet_voidblade] if you're using it, though) but unlike the Ice Gauntlet, we don't care as much for "spike" damage, so taking an extra damage-over-time effect on our Orb bursts will provide increased damage on large groups of enemies.
As runeglass gems are more expensive and require more materials to make, my best advice is to stick to [item_diamondcutt4] / [item_malachitecutt4] and slot in [item_moonstonecutt4] / [item_emeraldcutt4] or any other damage type ward you see fit.
However, if you're wanting to push your build to the strongest it can be, [item_runeglass_gem_diamond_fire] or [item_runeglass_gem_diamond_ice] in every armor piece will increase the damage of your Fire Staff or Ice Gauntlet by 10% (2% per armor piece).
Tips for Mages
A good chunk of this guides' information was provided by Tricks. Check out his YouTube or Twitch channel for all the playstyle tips and tricks you need.
Further information on Intelligence conversion gems can be found on Morrolan's website.