With the 4.0.4 patch in New World the Frigid Dawn armor became craftable in the gypsum kiln and I was able to finish out the gear set I've been wanting to try for a while with my heavy armor firestaff + sword and shield (FS/SnS) build.
New World Buddy Link: Click Here
Build summary: high defense with high damage (relative to heavy armor builds) focused on the use of Flamethrower to pressure opponents. High CON combined with lifesteal, improved potion healing, and fortify.
How I play it:
PvE: flamethrower on. Repeat. It's that simple.
PvP: the key to success with the build is understanding how your opponent feels pressure. Stacking up 5x burn stacks + landing a big fireball at point blank range can make folks panic. Burn out and leaping strike let's you close in for the kills. However, getting to the point where you can stack that pressure takes some practice.
This build is not going to net a ton of solo 1v1 kills unless you have a stubborn opponent that sticks around. This build however will win a surprising number of 1vX situations because enemies often have a level of comfort in having you outnumbered but flamethrower and fireball let you hit multiple targets. I've had multiple fights in Outpost Rush (OPR) where it started 1v1 and I could not close the kill out only to have it turn into a 1v2 and get both kills because players stop trying to run away until its too late.
However, solo is not where this build shines. It works best in group play; whether just 3v3 or in war or OPR. The best strategy is to follow close behind other heavy players; especially those that lay down a lot of crowd control, stuns, or disruption. You don't want to be directly in the clumps but just on the edge flamethrowing in.
Another strength of this build due to it's defense and high health pool is pushing through frontlines into backlines. In OPR fights emerge on the roads often and can stalemate if no one pushes the other sides backline. Unlike light ranged builds that tend to skirt the sides to get at the backline the heavy flamethrower can burn out through the frontline right into the backline. This will end in death if your team doesn't follow but many times the initial burn out damage is enough to get backline players to scatter like cock roaches.
With firestaff remember that Inferno does extra damage up close so while its enticing to lob that fireball at a distance to start a fight it is much better to save that fireball to get a quick burst of damage up close. Many of my kills come from turning off flamethrower and sticking a fireball in their face. Fireball is also great for getting folks running away at low health.
Since we have lifesteal and divine to improve it you can "race" other flamethrowers. Heavy, medium, and light flamethrowers are all over the place and nothing is more satisfying than winning that race. Flamethrower enjoyers are a stubborn lot; we always assume we're going to win the flame race.
Don't underestimate the sword either. A well timed leaping strike can change a fight or get you out of a sticky situation; just keep in mind it will track to the nearest enemy and not always just leap where you expect it to. Leading off with a shield rush and three light attacks can stack debuffs in your opponent before pulling out the flamethrower. A rended target from the light attack chain can be cleaned up quick with a big ole' fireball and some flamethrower action.
The bane of the build is anything that has multiple interrupts. If you can't keep flamethrower going you are at a disadvantage. In group combat you have to be aware of disrupt builds which will shut you down. If you are expecting to get disrupted make sure to end flamethrower so you don't get interrupted with it active and suffer the cooldown. You can end flamethrower by dodging or other actions and then turn it back on. It takes practice; the transition to on/off with flamethrower is not as smooth as other abilities in the game.
Attributes: 300 INT / 300 CON - due to so many magnify pieces this is the only stat split possible.
- Void Darkplate chest (artifact)
- Frigid Dawn for head, legs, hands, and feet
- Key armor perks
- Critical Retribution
- Accelerating Flamethrower
- Fortifying Burnout
- Inferno (firestaff artifact)
- Upgraded perk is Flame Attunement; may try a full Lifesteal build in the future with leeching on it
- Sword / Shield
- Empowering leaping strike
- Ruby conversion gem (otherwise damage is super low)
- CON or INT depending on other pieces
- Amulet perks: Divine and Health are key
- I opt for Fortified to maximize fortify duration from the rest of the build. Fortify goes a long way in this game.
- Ring perks: Fire damage
- The rest is open to your playstyle; I prefer the leeching for the extra health back. Invigorated Punishment I am not sold on but I spent A LOT of gold on this ring so I'm using it!
- Earring: Endless Thirst (artifact) with Regenerating upgrade
Embedded build from NW Buddy