New World Healer Build 2023 - The Ultimate Guide for PvP
In this guide, you will find the best healer builds and all the key information for healing 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 Healer Guide.
This guide is brought to you by BagginsTV, in collaboration with 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.
Baggins' video guide is up to date with Season 3. The written guide rework is a work in progress.
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!
Life Staff + Rapier
This is the most common PVP healing build, as Rapier provides a lot of utility and escape to keep you away from those looking to hunt healers down.
Life Staff + Void Gauntlet
This is another build that can work in PVP, and has a multitude of ways you can play it. In this guide, we’ll be covering the more aggressive "off-healer" spec which focuses on dealing damage, but also provides some healing to your team too - most effective in small-scale PVP.
Note: There are many other variations of healing builds you can run in PVP, such as Ice Gauntlet + Life Staff or Warhammer + Life Staff, but to keep this build concise we will focus on the two builds listed above.
- 310 FOC + 200 CON — This is the standard build for Life Staff + Rapier.
Note: You may choose to go 350+ Focus and 150 Con, but you are much more susceptible to dying.
- 200 INT + 150 FOC + 155 CON — This is the ideal build for Life Staff + Void Gauntlet. 200 Intelligence allows you to push good damage whilst sustaining mana via the "dodge gives mana" bonus, 150 Focus gives us +20% extra healing to still be able to do some healing, and 150+ Constitution gives us the survivability we need to stay in melee with the Void Blade.
Note: In order to reach the above stat thresholds you will need to use Attribute Food. The best (and cheapest) attribute food you can get is Slow-Roasted Bear Flank with Root Vegetables for an extra +24 Focus and +16 Constitution, or the Stuffed Venison Tenderloin for +24 Intelligence and +16 Focus for the Void Gauntlet build.
The classic PvP healer tree. If in doubt, this should be your main tree when healing against other players.
Note: Some may opt to take Light's Embrace with the Inspire upgrade over Divine Embrace, as it provides Stamina with every heal. Whilst this can be useful in 3v3 Arena, Divine Embrace provides much larger heals, and if you have Refreshing Divine Embrace it often has a shorter cooldown too.
Damage Dealer Build
Built to compliment the Void Gauntlet Damage build.
This build is focused on best utilizing the Rapier’s defensive abilities.
Note: We are not using the Rapier to deal damage with this healing build. It is used to keep yourself out of danger from nearby enemies by using any combination of a dodge, Riposte, Fleche and Evade. Do not spend time doing Light or Heavy attacks with the Rapier - that is not what this build is designed to do.
Damage Dealer Build
Focuses on damage dealing and disabling.
Note: The general idea of this build is to throw down your Sacred Ground, Beacon and Orb of Protection next to your target, then switch to the Void Gauntlet, activate Void Blade, Petrifying Scream and then Orb of Decay to slow their escape or burst some damage.
Light Equip Load is the classic. Due to the large boost in outgoing healing it provides and the huge benefit of the Quick Roll, you should be sticking to a Light Equip Load for all healing.
The best way to achieve this whilst maximizing your armor rating is to equip a Light Helm, Light Gloves, Light Legs and Light Boots, and a Medium Chest.
Perks to Aim For
Since Void Gauntlet is usually used in damage-orientated Healer builds, you'll be looking for Putrefying Scream and an Attunement Perk, as well as your choice of Keenly Empowered, Vicious, Keen, Keen Speed or Enchanted.
Your armor pieces should have Resilient, as well as any combination of Refreshing, Relevant Ability Perks, Freedom, Physical Aversion, Elemental Aversion, and Shirking Fortification. You should also make sure to have one count of the Shirking Energy perk, and this should specifically be on your Legs piece.
Your Amulet should have the Health and Stamina Recovery perks, plus your choice between Fortified, Slash Protection, Thrust Protection, Shirking DoT Cleanse, or Divine. It should be noted that Divine is your best choice for the third perk if you are running Void Gauntlet.
Having Hearty, Sacred, and Refreshing on the ring is ideal, but the third perk can be any one of the following: Keen Awareness, Leeching, Refreshing Evasion, or Void Damage. However, Void Damage instead of Refreshing for the third perk is also great if you are running Void Gauntlet.
You'll want to have Refreshing Toast, Healthy Toast and Refreshing is BiS, but the third perk alongside Refreshing Toast and Healthy Toast can be any one of Regenerating, Nimble, Refreshing Evasion, or Refreshing Ward.
As mentioned in the section above, it will help you as a healer to acquire certain Ability Perks on your Armor and Weapons.
Due to the way weapon swap mechanics work (any perks on a weapon are only active whilst you have the weapon drawn) it may be best to aim to have your main healing ability perk on your Life Staff and pick up the other ability perks on your armor.
Every other Life Staff, Rapier and Void Gauntlet perk is best to have on your armor. Some recommended armor ability perks to include on your armor as a healer are Mending Protection, Fortifying Sacred Ground, and Keen Beacon, as well as Refreshing Fleche if you are running Rapier, or Voracious Blade if you are running Void Gauntlet. Diminishing Orb, while not mandatory, is also an option.
Best Drops to Farm
- Glowing Lifecrystal Staff is BiS for the Standard Healing Build.
- Staff of the Throne is a great Life Staff in large scale PVP fights, but requires you to swap Divine Embrace for Beacon in the Standard Healing Build.
- Oread's Anger and Will of the Ancients are both Life Staves with no ability perks on them, but are very easy to acquire and will help you as a beginner PVP healer.
- Rapiers with Constitution or Focus stats alongside Sundering Riposte and Keen Speed do not exist as a drop, so you will have to buy or craft one.
- Scourge of the Depths is our best bet for Putrefying Scream Void Gauntlets, but does not have an ideal set of perks, so you may look to buy or craft one.
- Sagacious Pants are a great Leg piece to use, despite not having resilient, as they still provide some other great perks.
- Cleric's Cowl is a nice headwear item you can farm relatively easily, and will be effective if facing many Bow or Musket users.
- Dragatacht is a great Chest Piece that can be purchased from the PvP Track rewards.
Note: Other named PvP items can be obtained from the PvP rewards track, provided your track Level is 5 or higher. They’re not perfect, but can be used to fill out any lacking areas within your PvP armor.
- Droplet is probably the easiest amulet to farm for and has a good set of perks, especially for those running Void Gauntlet with their Life Staff.
- Champion's Amulet provides both Health and Stamina Recovery but the third perk, Shirking Empower, does not benefit Rapier users much.
- There are no named rings that drop with Hearty and Sacred on them, so you will have to buy or craft yourself a ring for PvP healing.
- There are also no named earrings that drop with Refreshing Toast and Healthy Toast on them, so you will have to buy or craft yourself an earring, as well.
- Stalwart Heartrune of Stoneform is going to be our best option for PvP healing as it provides CC Immunity for the duration it’s active, as well as increasing our damage absorption and providing us with additional healing. You can use this anytime you’re in danger and don’t have potions or Rapier abilities to get you out of trouble.
- Brutal Heartrune of Grasping Vines is also a viable option for the Void Gauntlet damage-healing hybrid, as it provides great brawling potential by rooting your enemy, increasing the damage they take via rend, and reducing the damage they do to you via weaken.
The Cut Pristine Diamond is the go-to gem for Lifestaff as it’s the only gem that increases our outgoing healing, provided we’re at full health.
In your Rapier, Cut Pristine Amber will be our best option although it doesn’t matter much, as we’re not looking at the Rapier as a damage option.
In the Void Gauntlet, Cut Pristine Opal will provide us with the most consistent damage boost, provided you can dodge before every attack chain.
With Armor and Jewelry, you generally want to maintain a balance of Physical and Elemental damage absorption so you’re not weak to one particular damage type. Cut Pristine Diamond and Cut Pristine Malachite offer a good balance of both.
Note: If you notice you’re facing off against one particular type of weapon way more than others, it is advised to socket 2 to 3 gems against that damage type. For example, during the release of Brimstone we are going to be going against many Greatswords which do Slashing Damage, so slotting some Cut Pristine Moonstone will help us stay alive.
Socketing a Runeglass of Energizing Diamond into your Life Staff will decrease your outgoing healing by 3%, however the pros likely outweigh the cons here as more stamina means you’ll be able to dodge and stay alive longer, meaning more healing for your allies.
In general, using the Energizing version of each of the recommended Normal gems listed above will be your objective. However, for Void Gauntlet Damage builds, using Leeching Runeglass in your armor and weapon may be more beneficial, as standing in your Sacred Ground whilst attacking a target using Voracious Blade and Leeching Agony will provide a massive amount of Lifesteal, keeping you in the fight for much longer.
Tips for Healing
The biggest recommendation when it comes to healing in New World is to set up your Target Group Member healing keybinds. Removing the Cycle Target Up / Down keybind might be daunting, but once you’ve built the muscle-memory to select group members quickly, you will find you’re able to react to damage and heal teammates much faster.
Note: Make sure to only bind keys for members 2 to 5, and completely remove the binding for member 1. Target Group Member 1 is you, and there is already a keybind for this (default CTRL, re-bindable under Target Self) which makes it much harder to fumble and self-heal by accident.
As a follow on to rebinding your healing, a great idea (if you want to) is to invest in a new peripheral for your PC - specifically, an MMO mouse. A gaming mouse with at least 4 thumb buttons on the side of it allows you to bind your Target Group Member options to these side buttons for the quickest possible reactions.
If you need to quickly heal yourself, hold down CTRL before casting the ability, this will place the heal on yourself. This only works with the targetable abilities - Divine Embrace, Light's Embrace, and Sacred Ground.
If a healing target is out of your line-of-sight but you need to heal them, you can instead start casting a heal on a party member who’s in sight, then press your keybind to select the group member who is out of sight, and the heal will end up casting on them. This is easier to do with Divine Embrace / Light's Embrace due to their cast time, but can be done with Sacred Ground if you’re very quick.
Make sure to set up a keybind for toggling group mode on and off, as this can help you in large-scale PVP fights to heal any of your nearby allies (group mode off) then go back to healing your specific team (group mode on).
Before using any heal, try to always dodge to activate Bend Light and, if possible, land a Heavy Attack to activate Intensify. This will increase your healing by up to 50% (based on your number of stacks of Intensify) which can make a huge difference.
For those of you running standard healing builds with Void Gauntlet, do not spend time attacking with the Void Gauntlet. Unless you’re trying to push extra damage (such as when an expedition boss or the Outpost Rush Baroness is near to death), Void Gauntlet should only be swapped to in order to use one of its abilities, after which you should swap back to Life Staff ASAP.
Don't rely purely on Life Staff abilities. By using the Life Staff's Light and Heavy attacks on both enemies and teammates, you can reduce your cooldowns via Refreshing Move and Revitalize, as well as provide a pretty substantial amount of healing with Blissful Touch, so the more time you spend with the Life Staff in hand, the more effective a healer you are.
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