So you want to make Geralt an absolute powerhouse? Then you’ve come to the right place. Most overpowered builds are constructed from a combination of abilities from the alchemy and combat skill trees, with a couple of general abilities thrown in there as well. If you’re partial to using signs, don’t fret just yet, it’s still possible to run an OP sign build as well in The Witcher 3.
The general goals with OP builds are to boost Geralt’s toxicity threshold so he can consume more decoctions and choose passive abilities that build off each other. You’ll chiefly want to gear ability combos towards accruing DPS and quickening vitality and stamina regeneration.
Witcher Decoctions Are Essential
Tank and melee builds generally run best with three primary decoctions. First, there’s Water Hag, which increases DPS when Geralt’s at maximum vitality, making it a favorite amongst many OP builders. Ekimmara is essential, regenerating vitality as Geralt doles out damage. And Arachas reduces damage taken based on Geralt’s inventory weight, which should often be nearly full if you’ve been looting properly.
Switching out a fourth decoction is also possible with the right abilities equipped. Or you can stick to three and leave room to pop some potions during battle if need be. However, the need for potions usually isn’t that great in OP builds, unless it’s something like Cat to help you see in the dark.
Sign Builds rely on vitality and stamina regeneration. When running a sign-heavy hybrid build, switching out Water Hag for Ekhidna is strongly recommended since it regenerates vitality as Geralt uses Stamina. If you’ve slotted the abilities to allow you to pop four decoctions at once, gulp down an Ancient Leshen, which causes sign casting to increase stamina regeneration. These two play fabulously off of each other. Depending on what you’re up against, swapping out one of the other decoctions for Night Wraith increases Geralt’s maximum vitality with each enemy slain. This makes Ekhidna and Ekimmara exceedingly useful when fighting groups, as your vitality cap just keeps going up.
Go-To Abilities For All Builds
At this point, if you’re looking into OP builds, you’re likely aware that the abilities are categorized into four sections: Combat, Signs, Alchemy, and General. There are some common OP abilities that will prove useful with any build, namely in the Alchemy and General categories.
For alchemical abilities, you’ll want to include ‘Heightened Tolerance’ and ‘Acquired Tolerance.’ Those two abilities alone allow Geralt to consume three decoctions at once. ‘Killing Spree’ boosts critical chance when Geralt’s toxicity is any higher than zero, which means it pairs well with the Tolerance abilities. However, this skill can become a moot point when other ability and enhancement combos come into play (which we’ll discuss in a minute). ‘Hunter Instinct’ then stacks well on top of Killing Spree, giving critical damage a 100% boost.
‘Synergy’ is widely considered one of the game’s best abilities, boosting slotted mutagen bonuses significantly. This perk substantially affects the vitality bonus of green mutagens and raises the DPS and sign intensity boosts from red or blue mutagens another 20%.
As for General abilities, those switch out a little more depending on if you lean towards signs or melee. However, ‘Metabolic Control’ is consistent throughout most builds. Paired with Heightened and Acquired Tolerance, these three abilities allow Geralt to have four decoctions coursing through his system at one time.
The Euphoria mutation is hands down the best skill you can research after unlocking the additional mutation tree in Blood and Wine. Each toxicity point raises DPS and sign intensity by .75% up to a maximum of 198.75%. If you’re maxing out your toxicity threshold with decoctions thanks to the aforementioned abilities, this mutation is going to make your outgoing damage skyrocket.
Sign usage is pretty limited in most OP melee builds except for keeping Quen active and one-off basic casts. Geralt’s swords, on the other hand, are going to deal obscene damage.
Starting with alchemy abilities, ‘Protective Coating’ protects Geralt from 25% of damage dealt out by enemy types that are targeted by the oil currently applied to the sword he’s using. Granted, you will have to remain conscious about what oil is applied and when it runs out.
For combat abilities, tank builds will want to stick to the strong attack chain, equipping each ability in the strong attack column. Many OP builders like maxing out the ‘Resolve’ ability to keep their Adrenaline Points up as they can be used in many different ways.
Hybrid builds will want to balance fast and strong attack abilities to ensure flexibility in changing tactics. If you have the points and skill slots to spare, definitely try to incorporate the fast skill ‘Whirl’ and the strong skill ‘Rend.’
Melee Build Gear
Armor will depend on what sort of melee build you’re going for as well. The Ursine Grandmaster set has added Quen bonus effects, which is a huge boon to tankier builds. The Feline Grandmaster Armor is more versatile with bonuses that allow strong and fast attacks to play off each other. This is great for more well rounded, or melee-heavy hybrid builds.
As for weapons, the Aerondight Silver Sword is almost unanimously referred to as the best sword in the game. It increases damage with each blow, and it’s guaranteed to strike with critical damage once fully charged. Not only that, but a strike at full charge permanently increases the weapon’s damage!
Toussaint and Toussaint Knight’s Steel Sword are among the best steel swords before New Game+. Really, you can use the best steel sword you can get your hands on. Just be sure to imbue it with a powerful Enhancement.
Runes and Enchantments are more widely varied as to which will be most beneficial for your build. If you’ve incorporated the Rend and Whirl combat abilities into your build, then Severance is going to really make their incorporation worthwhile. This enchantment applied to Geralt’s swords expands the attack range of both those combat abilities.
Deflection applied to a chest piece reflects all arrows, which is extremely useful for any build. Invigoration is pretty OP, too. It transforms vitality regeneration into extra damage when at full health so that not a single bonus is wasted (and this could be beneficial for sign builds as well).
The Levity enchantment, which makes all four armor pieces act as light gear, pairs well with the Cat School Techniques ability on the general tree. That’s because the ability increases critical chance by 25% for every piece of light armor, giving you a guaranteed 100% chance to deal critical damage. Pair that with the Severance enchantment on Geralt’s weapons and the Hunter’s Instinct ability of +100% damage, and Geralt will be an unstoppable force with his swords, all while still wearing heavy armor if you so wish. Or use the Feline Armor and save room on your armor for a different enchantment. Either way, this is where the alchemy ability, Killing Spree, is no longer necessary as you don’t need a critical chance stat higher than 100%.
Sign builds largely rely on staying out of the enemy’s attack range. Luckily there’s little need for close-quarter combat. Being able to cast signs constantly minimizes the requirement to use Geralt’s swords. Although you can tailor sign builds to balance swordsmanship as you please.
Relying heavily on signs makes Eruption a great enchantment to incorporate in your armor set. It magnifies Igni’s effectiveness by causing enemies it kills to combust and subsequently ignite other nearby foes. This means less work for Geralt with the bonus of a splendid fireworks display!
The Euphoria mutation is still extremely beneficial to sign builds as it buffs sign intensity all the more and makes swords a viable tactic when need be. You’ll want to use a lot of the alchemy abilities suggested earlier that are applicable for most builds. You’ll especially want to incorporate the Tolerance and Metabolic abilities as you’ll likely need to rely more heavily on decoction or potion usage.
Getting into sign abilities, you’ll want to slot anywhere from five to nine active abilities of your choosing — nine abilities maximum if you want to run a sole sign build. Or five to six sign abilities, leaving you the option to add a couple of combat abilities if you want to go for a sign-heavy hybrid build.
Enhancing each sign’s basic stat is recommended but not necessary if you find you’re not utilizing one in particular. You’ll need to pick and choose between the alternative forms in the second tier, so get a feel for what signs you lean towards the most. Whether or not you like using Yrden, its alternative Magic Trap form is undeniably useful and highly recommended.
Even though we’re talking sign builds, you really shouldn’t sink points into sign abilities past the second tier as they’re all just general buffs for the specific signs. There are better ways to max out sign intensity through different abilities, gears, decoctions, and other means.
Sign Build Gear
As for gear, the Griffin School Grandmaster set is going to be a sign build’s go-to. The gear provides set bonuses that buff Geralt’s sign usage and provides benefits to staying within a Yrden circle. Chiefly, staying within Yrden’s radius grants stronger sign intensity and decreases incoming damage. However, you’ll need the full Griffin School set, including swords, for the Yrden bonus to apply.
Alas, OP levels of skill-building aren’t possible until the late game due to the copious amount of ability points required. Whatsmore enchantments aren’t accessible until the Heart of Stone Expansion, and grandmaster witcher gear can’t be crafted until Blood and Wine. There are still some tough enemies in both expansions, so priming Geralt beforehand and polishing off his build with grandmaster gear and enchantments ASAP will be a boon to your gameplay. The real fun begins when you go back for a second round in New Game+. Any of these OP builds will have Geralt unleashing sheer devastation wherever poor unwitting souls dare challenge him.
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- The Witcher 3
Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.
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