[Top 5] New World Best Mutator Builds that Are Fun to Play

Five New World players posing in front of Lazarus Instrumentality
Five brave souls pretending like they didn't wipe on every miniboss in the Lazarus Mutator

New World’s latest patch recently dropped and brings Mutated Expeditions to Aeternum. Mutated Expeditions, or Mutators, are extra-challenging versions of endgame dungeons such as Garden of Genesis or Lazarus Instrumentality. Players must run a standard version to “attune” themselves to each expedition, and are rewarded with a Mutated Expedition Tuning Orb. These orbs are good for one run of a Mutator, and players are scrambling to obtain as many of these as they can.

Why? Because compared to your normal endgame dungeon, Mutated Expeditions drop an absolutely ludicrous amount of loot, and will reward groups that finish the run with a new resource: Umbral Shards. Players may use these shards to bump up their items' Gear Score and characters’ Expertise to the new maximum of 625.

What is a Mutator?

Anyone familiar with World of Warcraft’s Mythic+ dungeons will feel a familiarity running Mutators since they are essentially the same thing. Players run a timed, more difficult version of a known dungeon, and if they complete it within the time limit they unlock the next difficulty level. As you run higher level Mutators, loot drops more frequently and there are more Umbral Shards to be earned based on your performance (e.g. player death count, objectives completed, speediness, etc.).

More modifiers are added to the mix as you ascend Mutator difficulty as well. Modifiers make monsters in these expeditions stronger by granting them keywords, such as Explosive or Leeching, which adds the ability for them to explode upon death or heal themselves as they attack players, respectively. This means players must employ new strategies to survive and progress through these once-familiar expeditions, especially at higher difficulty levels.

Many groups have met their end or have failed to make time due to a lack of coordination, communication, or simply playing inefficiently. Sometimes their Gear Score is simply too low, since Mutator monsters exponentially scale their damage if players are noticeably far below the recommended level. 

The following builds should help your Mutator dungeoneers conquer these challenges, even if slightly below the recommended Gear Score.

Lifestaff and Void Gauntlet Mutator Build

First up, we’ve got the Lifestaff and Void Gauntlet build for all you healers struggling to keep your party members alive during mutated boss fights. As we’ve seen from this first week in Lazarus, Cilla has been a bit of a hump for novice groups to get past with her high damage combos and hard hitting spells. This build focuses on granting allies Fortify, amplifying healing, and extending buff durations with the Lifestaff.

The Void Gauntlet provides some secondary healing abilities, but also some strong damage buffs to help your party soldier through combat a bit faster.

Fortify is absolutely necessary with how quickly mutated bosses can delete your party members, and reducing incoming damage is more valuable than raw healing since these bosses can sometimes one-shot your non-tank party members. This build is great for all Mutators and is not specific to one expedition.

What this build is good for:

  • Healing and buffing party members to survive “bursty” damage
  • Targeted Fortify on single or multiple party members with Orb of Protection
  • Party-wide heals and buffs with Sacred Ground, Oblivion, Orb of Decay, and Essence Rupture
  • Big single-target heals with Light’s Embrace

Lifestaff Mastery

Void Gauntlet Mastery

Build Details:

  • 250 Focus and 200 Constitution for ideal stats
  • Lifestaff passives that increase healing, extend buff durations, and reduce cooldowns
  • Void Gauntlet passives that reduce cooldowns in the Decay tree

Link to the build: https://nwcalc.org/?st=1-5,2-5,3-5,4-5,5-5&w1=41&s1=2,4,20,23,26,31,21,27,28,32,35,24,36,38,9,8,12,16,17&w2=3822&s2=21,25,29,32,30,34,37,36,26,24,38,1,3,6,7,11,15,9,17&k1=4,20,28&k2=7,21,30

Warhammer and Spear Mutator Build

Next up, a damage build with a major focus on crowd control (CC) effects. At lower Mutation levels, your Weapon Masteries won’t need to be terribly optimized. However, as you ascend the ranks you’ll notice Leeching and Lifestealing mobs become a huge problem. Mini-bosses will heal themselves as they deal Void damage to your party, making them very difficult to take down.

The Warhammer and Spear combo fixes this problem by CC-locking these vampiric nuisances into oblivion; they cannot drain your health if they are constantly being stunned, staggered, and flattened.

This takes some communication and coordination with your party, since you don’t want to overlap your potent area of effect (AoE) stuns from Sweep, Shockwave, or Wrecking Ball. You’ll want to alternate these abilities as best you can while maximizing damage during their cooldowns, which theoretically allows you to kill chain-stunned enemies who are unable to take action. 

This build also features two forms of Rend, which should be stacked on as many enemies as possible to amplify their damage taken.

These two weapons are particularly good in Lazarus since Ancient-type enemies take extra damage from Strike and full damage from Thrust, damage types that  the Warhammer and Spear dish out respectively.

Note: Corrupted enemies in the Dynasty Shipyard expedition reduce Strike weapon damage, but the Warhammer is still useful for its AoE CC effects despite this. Corrupted monsters also take extra Thrust damage, so the Spear would be the main form of damage in that expedition, while the Warhammer would be the most used in Lazarus Instrumentality.

What this build is good for:

  • Incapacitating enemies while simultaneously dishing out damage to them
  • AoE stuns from Shockwave, Wrecking Ball, and Sweep
  • Single-target CC from Vault Kick and Perforate
  • Stacking Rend from Armor Breaker and Perforate passives

Warhammer Mastery

Spear Mastery


Build details:

  • 250 Strength and 200 Constitution for ideal stats
  • Warhammer passives that amplify heavy attacks, upgrade active abilities, and reduce cooldowns
  • Spear passives that amplify damage and enhance light attacks
  • Option for Spear users to switch upgraded Sweep for upgraded Skewer if group needs more damage and less CC

Link to the build: https://nwcalc.org/?st=1-5,2-5,3-5,4-5,5-5&w1=35&s1=1,4,8,20,23,27,31,11,14,18,2,3,7,10,17,12,29&w2=379&s2=20,22,23,27,26,29,33,30,32,37,38,3,7,11,15,6,10,34,24&k1=1,11,23&k2=7,23,29

Greataxe and Hammer Mutator DPS

This build is meant to help players mix in strong CC from the Warhammer with massive Slash damage from the Greataxe, which is a strong combination when cutting through the Garden of Genesis expedition. The Warhammer build is identical to the previous, and the idea is once again to alternate your stuns with your fellow hammer bros and deal as much damage as you can with the Greataxe on incapacitated enemies.

The big difference here is the Greataxe kit, which brings a strong root and Fortify in one package via Gravity Well on top of stronger AoE damage when compared to the Spear.

Angry Earth monsters also take extra Slash damage and reduced Thrust damage. The Spear remains a potential option for more CC, but you’ll want to hack them down quickly with a Slash weapon like the Greataxe, lest they survive your stun-locking and fight back. Warhammer’s Strike damage is reasonably strong as well, as Angry Earth mobs take the full percentage from that damage type.

What this build is good for:

  • Incapacitating enemies while simultaneously dishing out damage to them
  • AoE CC from Shockwave, Wrecking Ball, and Gravity Well
  • Applying Rend with Armor Breaker
  • Massive multi-target damage with Greataxe swings and Maelstrom
  • For getting into the thick of a fight or escaping with Charge

Greataxe Mastery

Warhammer Mastery

Build Details:

  • 250 Strength and 200 Constitution for ideal stats
  • Greataxe passives that amplify critical strikes, light attacks, and heavy attacks
  • Warhammer passives that amplify heavy attacks, upgrade active abilities, and reduce cooldowns
  • Charge can be replaced with another Greataxe active ability

Link to the build: https://nwcalc.org/?st=1-5,2-5,3-5,4-5,5-5&w1=1362&s1=21,24,28,31,29,33,37,25,36,35,38,2,7,5,4,9,11,13,16&w2=35&s2=1,4,8,20,23,27,31,3,7,11,14,18,10,2,12,17,22,26,29&k1=21,29,4&k2=1,11,23

Lazarus Mutator Tank Build

The first tank build on our list is optimized for Lazarus Instrumentality but is also effective in Dynasty Shipyard. The Sword and Shield mastery trees are specialized to mitigate as much incoming damage as possible, but also to inflict numerous debuffs on mobs like Rend and Slow. There is also a bit of utility in spamming heavy attacks with this build, as they’ll remove debuffs, grant Empower, and deal Thrust damage, which hits hard in Lazarus and harder in Dynasty.

Yes, the Warhammer makes another appearance because, well, it’s just that good. The big difference in this build is that we opt for Clear Out instead of Wrecking Ball, as the additional Fortify passive grants you and party members some extra tankiness. It’s also a strong CC, just make sure you don’t have the gear perk to send foes flying too far.

Establishing aggro with this build won’t be difficult. You’ll have access to two AoE taunts and a single-target one when your weapons are gemmed with a Carnelian. If you have aggro and your Rend abilities are on cooldown, the Warhammer will contribute some significant damage for the group against the Ancient-type enemies of Lazarus. As mentioned before, you’ll contribute most of this damage with heavy attacks from your Sword when running the Dynasty Shipyard expedition; the Warhammer is only used for its active abilities.

What this build is good for:

  • Holding aggro on single targets and crowds, disrupting and debuffing
  • Taunting mobs off of party members with Shield Bash, Defiant Stance, and Shockwave
  • Stacking two types of Rend with Whirling Blade and Armor Breaker
  • AoE CC from Shockwave and Clear Out
  • Reducing party damage taken from Clear Out’s Fortify and Defensive Formation

Sword and Shield Mastery

Warhammer Mastery

Build details:

  • 250 Constitution and 200 Strength for ideal stats
  • Sword and Shield passives that mitigate damage taken, reduce stamina drain from blocking attacks, and add utility to light and heavy attacks
  • Warhammer passives that amplify heavy attacks, upgrade active abilities, and reduce cooldowns
  • Option for fully upgraded Shield Rush instead of Whirling Blade to reduce mob and boss damage with a debuff. Would also make the build have great synergy with Invigorating Bulwark

Link to the build: https://nwcalc.org/?st=1-5,2-5,3-5,4-5,5-5&w1=37&s1=1,6,22,23,30,33,37,24,20,31,25,36,38,2,5,10,28,3,7&w2=35&s2=21,24,1,4,8,20,23,27,31,33,32,3,7,10,12,17,2,29,26&k1=1,23,30&k2=1,21,23

Genesis Mutator Tank Build

Look familiar? The Sword and Shield build is nigh identical to the previous, though Thrust damage from heavy attacks won’t see much use here since Angry Earth mobs are resistant to it. 

Instead, you’ll be using light attacks much more often since they inflict Slash damage, which Angry Earth creatures take more damage from. To take some advantage of this we’ve moved one point from Freeing Justice to Opportunist, since your light attacks will inflict Slow and will benefit from this new passive frequently. The crucial passives and actives are chosen once again for maximum, attention-grabbing tanking.

The Hatchet brings some extra Slash damage and much-needed utility to the group. This build assumes your other party members are on top of their CC chains, so that you can further amplify their damage through a strong Rend from Rending Throw. Most notably, vampiric mobs will have their self-healing reduced by 30% from Infected Throw, which can land in an AoE. 

This is a massive help towards tackling the highest difficulty Mutators, and the Hatchet could be paired with other weapons or roles for this potent debuff. Berserk serves as another AoE taunt, which wraps up the Hatchet as a strong secondary weapon for Genesis tanks.

Important to note that if your group does not have enough CC, it’s probably best to whip out the Warhammer instead of the Hatchet and contribute some yourself with the previous tank build.

What this build is good for:

  • Holding aggro on single targets and crowds while inflicting powerful debuffs
  • Taunting mobs off of party members with Shield Bash, Defiant Stance, and Berserk
  • Stacking two types of Rend with Whirling Blade and Rending Throw
  • Inflicting Disease on Leeching and Lifestealing monsters and bosses, reducing their healing by almost a third

Sword and Shield Mastery

Hatchet Mastery

Build details:

  • 250 Constitution and 200 Strength for ideal stats
  • Sword and Shield passives that mitigate damage taken, reduce stamina drain from blocking attacks, and add utility to light attacks
  • Hatchet passives that amplify damage

Link to the build: https://nwcalc.org/?st=1-5,2-5,3-5,4-5,5-5&w1=37&s1=1,2,5,6,3,10,12,20,22,25,24,28,31,23,30,33,37,38,36&w2=43&s2=20,23,22,30,32,33,37,2,5,10,13,17,1,3,6,9,14,16,19&k1=1,23,30&k2=2,20,30

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Of all his passions that have flourished and faded, video games have stuck with Alex since the beginning, much to his parents' chagrin. It's only natural that he shares his obnoxious opinions on them.
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