Best Metamorphosis Build - Complete Guide

Best Metamorphosis Build - Complete Guide - Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By zanuffas
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This post will cover the best Metamorphosis build in Witcher 3. It is one of the mutations available with the Blood and Wine DLC. This creates a unique gameplay style where you can activate decoctions without gaining any toxicity as long as you apply critical effects.

Metamorphosis Build

The build utilizes the unique effect of the mutation by allowing to randomly activate 5 decoctions without gaining any toxicity. This is a very powerful option as otherwise you would need 250 total toxicity (which is not possible to reach) and could not use any additional potions.

metamorphosis witcher 3

How does this all play out?

Metamorphosis activates when your hits do a critical effect - critical hit, Sign effect (burning, knockdown, etc.), or bleeding.

With this build, we maximize the critical hit chance, via Killing Spree skill, potions, and gear choices. So at high levels, it will be easy to reach 100% crit chance. On top of that Crippling strikes will give another way of applying a critical effect - bleed.

Moreover, we will take Delayed recovery, which will allow sustaining potions and decoctions indefinitely as long as you have high enough toxicity. This also covers Metamorphosis's biggest weakness that decoctions last only 120 seconds.

delayed recovery description witcher 3

Of course, these skills are not enough and you will need to collect decoction and potions recipes throughout the game. They are essential in allowing the Geralt to take full control of the battlefield. Here is how your status effects will usually look like during the combat

metamorphosis build potion effects witcher 3

That's in total 12 potion effects! If this looks exciting, let's go into the details

The Build is tested on New Game+ and Deathmarch difficulty.

Skills allocation

This section covers skills for the Metamorphosis build. I personally do not use heavy attacks very often. Due to this, I did not pick Rend and Sunder Armor, however, you can definitely add them.

Before using the build you may want to reset your skills. Witcher 3 allows you to reset skill points with Potion of Clearance. During Blood and Wine DLC, you will get special mutations. You can reset mutations using Potion of Restoration.

metamorphosis build skills witcher 3

Name Effect
muscle memory witcher 3Muscle Memory Fast attack damage increased by 30%.
resolve witcher 3Resolve Adrenaline Point loss upon taking damage is lowered by 100%.
precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows Increases chance of landing a fast attack critical hit by 12% and fast attack critical hit damage by 75%. The higher critical chance will allow faster activation of Metamorphosis mutation
crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows Increases chance of landing a strong attack critical hit by 12% and strong attack critical hit damage by 75%. 
whirl witcher 3Whirl Spinning attack that strikes all foes in the surrounding area.
Maintaining the attack consumes Stamina and Adrenaline.
Consumes 50% less Stamina and Adrenaline
razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus Instantly gain one Adrenaline Point when entering combat. The Adrenaline Points generated by sword blows are increased by 30%.
crippling strikes witcher 3Crippling Strikes Fast attacks now also apply a Bleeding effect. Affected enemies lose 150 Vitality or Essence points per second. Duration: 5 seconds. It will also improve the Metamorphosis activation chance as enemies start to bleed.
acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance Every known level 1, 2, or 3 alchemy formula increases maximum Toxicity by 0.5
delayed recovery witcher 3Delayed Recovery Potion effects don't wear off until potion Toxicity falls to 55% of the maximum level.
synergy icon witcher 3Synergy Increases bonus for mutagen placed in mutagen slot by 50%.
hunter instinct witcher 3Hunter Instinct When Adrenaline Points are at their maximum, critical hit damage against the targeted enemy type is increased by 100%.
killing spree witcher 3Killing Spree If Toxicity is above 0, each opponent killed increases critical hit chance by 30% for the duration of that fight. With this ability, it will be easy to make the critical chance to reach 100%
cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques Each piece of light armor increases critical hit damage by 25% and fast attack damage by 5%.
metamorphosis icon witcher 3Metamorphosis
Applying critical effects to opponents activates a random decoction for 120s with no Toxicity cost. The maximum number of decoctions that can be activated simultaneously by the mutation is 5. Witcher Senses help you see better in dark places

Getting these skills still leaves slots open for either combat, alchemy, or signs. Here are some good choices:

Name Effect
active shield witcher 3Active Shield Allows the creation of a sustained shield that restores HP when Geralt is hit.
exploding shield witcher 3Exploding Shield Knockbacks enemies when Quen's shield is destroyed
delusion witcher 3 iconDelusion An extremely useful Quality of Life skill that unlocks new dialogue choices. It also decreases Axii casting time
fleet footed witcher 3Fleet Footed Decreases damage received during dodge animation to 0 (a.k.a. invincibility frames)
protective coating witcher 3Protective Coating Sword oils protect against enemies which you are fighting. Increases survivability

Detailed Skill Progression

This covers detailed progression for the build as many players will not be high level to have 50+ skill points. So follow the abilities as you progress for maximum effectiveness.

If you are below level 11, I suggest following early game build guides

Order Skill Description
1 muscle memory witcher 3Muscle Memory Fast attacks are the bread and butter of most combat builds, especially early in the game. This will improve Geralt's damage with them
2 resolve witcher 3Resolve This serves two purposes - unlock the next tier of skills and negate any adrenaline loss from damage. It will become more important as you progress through the game
3 precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows Increases fast attacks critical chance and damage, further improving Geralt's DPS with them
4 acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance At this stage you should already start getting some decoctions and potions, using this perk we will increase Geralt's maximum toxicity. With it, you can chug more potions and start having your first decoctions enabled.
5 cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques With this build, I recommend going all in on fast attacks, due to this we take this ability to improve your critical hit damage and overall attack for each light piece you wear.
6 crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows Mainly take it for progression
7 whirl witcher 3Whirl This perk is a beast. This will probably be your main damage dealer in almost all encounters. It requires some practice but allows one to hit enemies in 360 degrees constantly. Of course, Whirl consumes stamina and Adrenaline, so have that in mind when using it.
8 razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus Grants instant Adrenaline points, allowing you to reach the maximum 3 points much faster.
9 crippling strikes witcher 3Crippling Strikes Allows fast attacks to apply bleeding effect, substantially increasing the DPS on longer encounters. Of course, you may skip this for a later time and concentrate on the next skills that will provide even more damage.

At this point, I recommend having all of the places of power collected. You will need a lot of skill points to fully progress through the build and unlock other skill slots.

Order Skill Description
10 Any 3 abilities in the Alchemy tree with 3 levels This will use up 9 skill points, but it is necessary to unlock the next tier of perks.
11 synergy icon witcher 3Synergy A very powerful perk that will improve mutagen effectiveness by 50%. This means that Metamorphosisbuild will reach even higher attack power.
12 delayed recovery witcher 3Delayed Recovery The second most important skill for the build. It will make potions activate indefinitely as long as Geralt has 55% Toxicity from potions. It is a very powerful ability, as you can use something like Superior Blizzard all the time.
13 hunter instinct witcher 3Hunter Instinct This is a very powerful skill. Because you will be generating adrenaline points very fast, your critical hit damage will be increased by 100%
14 toxic blood witcher 3Toxic Blood Take for progression
15 euphoria witcher 3Euphoria Taking for progression but it can be used as Mutation until you unlock Metamorphosis.
16 killing spree witcher 3Killing Spree Because Metamorphosis build will always have above 0 toxicity, this will ensure that you can easily increase the Critical hit chance during combat.
17 cat eyes witcher 3Cat Eyes Taking for progression
18 metamorphosis icon witcher 3Metamorphosis The main mutation of this build. It will allow activating 5 decoctions at the same time without any toxicity penalty. Moreover, with the Delayed Recovery perk, they can be active indefinitely.

Continue getting new mutations to unlock the additional 2 skill slots. Use those to fit with your preferred abilities that I have mentioned in the skill list of the build

Tactics

In this section, I would like to share some tips on how to best play Metamorphosis build in Witcher 3

Potion management

This is a very important part of the build that ensures the maximum effectiveness of the build. Before starting combat or at the start of the encounter you should drink enough potions to reach toxicity at about 60% - 80%. You should note that this includes only a light green bar, and dark green is disregarded

toxicity decoctions and potions witcher 3

With this, the Delayed Recovery perk will activate. I recommend the last potion consumed to be Superior Blizzard. This ensures that it stays on once Delayed Recovery is active.

As time passes the potions will start blinking, meaning that their duration has expired and they are only active thanks to the perk. As more time passes check your potion toxicity. Try to sustain it above 55%, otherwise, the potions and decoctions effects will disappear.

I recommend checking the equipment section for the best potions to use with the Metamorphosis build.

Note: Superior Blizzard will deactivate if Geralt enters the dialogue.

Metamorphosis and Decoctions

The build requires some sacrifices from the player. Unfortunately, you should only craft or keep those decoctions that you wish to be activated by the mutation effect. However, even if you crafted some of the unnecessary, there is a workaround. You can drop the decoctions and make them disappear

witcher 3 drop item

If you wish to use the dropped decoctions again you will have to craft them. This can be problematic as some mutagens are very rare. So have this in mind.

I recommend checking the equipment section for decoctions that I recommend having to utilize the Metamorphosis effect best.

Combat

The most overpowered thing about this build is that it can use Superior Blizzard indefinitely. It is probably the most powerful potion in the game as it slows time and makes combat a breeze

superior blizzard potion slows time witcher 3

As you can see it is very easy to avoid enemies and predict their movement patterns. Even the hardest boss fight is easy. However, I haven't touched on another important part of this potion. It negates any stamina usage if Geralt has 3 adrenaline points.

witcher 3 superior blizzard infinite sign casting

This is crazy! You can infinitely cast signs and throw enemies around the battlefield without any cooldowns. Moreover, Whirl will also not drain stamina. However, this will negate any effects of Ekhidna Decoction, but I think it is a small price to pay.

Quen Active shield to restore health

If you are playing on Deathmarch, it is not so easy to restore health. However, with upgraded Quen - Active Shield you can easily restore HP from enemy hits

witcher 3 quen active shield health restore

As you can see, with a few hits from the enemy Geralt was able to restore 2/3 of HP. Moreover, this ability is very good at slowing down the combat to evaluate your situation.

Equipment

Here is my suggested gear for the Metamorphosis build in Witcher 3

Weapons

Steel Swords - all of the choices provide a bonus critical chance. This will make activating Metamorphosis easier

Item Description
Toussaint knights steel sword witcher 3Toussaint Knight's Steel Sword This is the most powerful steel sword in the game. Iris may compare to it in terms of damage, however, this has no confusing mechanics and pure high-damage stats
viroledan blade steel sword witcher 3Viroledan Blade A decent sword with a +75% critical hit damage bonus. It can only be crafted

Silver Swords

Item Description
aerondight witcher 3Aerondight This is the most powerful sword in the game. Each attack raises its charge, resulting in higher damage. However, it requires some grinding for it to be at peak effectiveness. Moreover, to add a rune or runeword to it you will need to add sockets at runewright
gesheft witcher 3Gesheft A very powerful silver sword that gives a +100% Critical hit damage bonus and a +15 Critical hit chance.
ami silver sword witcher 3Ami A strong sword in the game, but the weakest option out of the listed ones. The big drawback is that not many enemies have high armor to make use of +300 armor piercing

Weapon upgrades

Upgrade Description
severance witcher 3Severance Increases the reach of Rend and Whirl. Makes combat much easier, especially with Whirl. To be honest, I think this upgrade is the only thing you will need
greater chernbog runestone witcher 3Greater Chernobog Runestone Increases the attack power of the weapon. The good option before obtaining Severance

Armors

It is quite tricky to pick a perfect armor set. You can optimize for very specific attacks:

  • Highest DPS with fast attacks
  • Last hit of Aerondight
  • Highest DPS with strong attacks
  • etc.

However, I would like to offer a few general options that will work in the most game encounters

The first one would concentrate on maximizing damage output. Of course, the big drawback is that this armor selection can take a maximum of 3 hits before Geralt dies. I also give an option of Grandmaster Forgotten Wolven Armor. It is a good choice as it gives a 20% attack power increase and bonus adrenaline generation which is important for the Metamorphosis build.

Item Effects
grandmaster feline armor witcher 3Grandmaster Feline Armor +22% Attack Power
+12% Resistance to piercing damage
+17% Resistance to slashing damage
+17% Resistance to damage from monsters
+46% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster forgotten wolven armor witcher 3Grandmaster Forgotten Wolven Armor +20% Attack power
+20% Adrenaline Point gain
+18% Resistance to piercing damage
+22% Resistance to slashing damage
+30% Resistance to damage from monsters
+30% Resistance to elemental damage
Nilfgaardian guardsman's gauntlets witcher 3Nilfgaardian Guardsman's Gauntlets +5% Resistance to piercing damage
+5% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+5% Resistance to slashing damage
+5% Resistance to damage from monsters
+50% Critical hit damage bonus
grandmaster feline trousers witcher 3Grandmaster Feline Trousers +11% Attack Power
+5% Resistance to piercing damage
+7% Resistance to slashing damage
+7% Resistance to damage from monsters
+16% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster feline boots witcher 3Grandmaster Feline Boots +11% Attack Power
+5% Resistance to piercing damage
+6% Resistance to slashing damage
+6% Resistance to damage from monsters
+6% Resistance to elemental damage

A more versatile option that increases adrenaline generation, higher toxicity, and can sustain more damage, allowing for more mistakes. Grandmaster Ursine Armor will greatly buff all physical resistances making the combat easier. Manticore armor is also a decent choice due to its resistance compared to what was offered before and its toxicity bonus.

Item Effects
manticore armor witcher 3Manticore Armor +5 Maximum Toxicity
+19% Resistance to piercing damage
+24% Resistance to slashing damage
+28% Resistance to damage from monsters
+25% Critical hit damage bonus
grandmaster ursine armor witcher 3Grandmaster Ursine Armor +22% Adrenaline Point gain
+26% Resistance to piercing damage
+25% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+32% Resistance to slashing damage
+46% Resistance to damage from monsters
Nilfgaardian guardsman's gauntlets witcher 3Nilfgaardian Guardsman's Gauntlets +5% Resistance to piercing damage
+5% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+5% Resistance to slashing damage
+5% Resistance to damage from monsters
+50% Critical hit damage bonus
manticore trousers witcher 3Manticore Trousers +5 Toxicity
+9% Resistance to slashing damage
+8% Resistance to damage from monsters
+33% Resistance to elemental damage
+5% Critical hit chance
manticore boots witcher 3Manticore Boots +5 Toxicity
+5% Resistance to piercing damage
+6% Resistance to slashing damage
+4% Resistance to damage from monsters
+25% Critical hit damage bonus

I personally prefer this one as it makes the game a bit more relaxing as you explore. Moreover, as you progress the DPS difference becomes insignificant especially once all potion, decoction, and gear bonuses activate.

Armor upgrades

Upgrade Description
levity witcher 3Levity Doesn't matter which set you pick, you want all of your gear to count as light. That is the only way to get the critical stats bonus from the Cat School Techniques perk.
Your preferred Glyph for signs Go for the Glyphs related to the signs you use. I personally use Quen most of the time with this build so adding Greater Glyph of Quen is the way to go.

Potions and tonics

Using potions is the key to using the Metamorphosis build. They are necessary to reach 55% toxicity for delayed recovery. Here are my recommendations:

Item Effects
superior blizzard witcher 3Superior Blizzard This potion is mandatory for the build. You will easily generate three adrenaline points for infinite stamina. Delayed recovery will ensure that you have slowed time permanently. More or less you can become invincible with this setup
superior petris philter icon witcher 3Superior Petri's Philter This is a very important potion. Because it will allow us to always apply sign special effects. This guarantees the metamorphosis effect and stacking of 5 decoctions
superior thunderbolt witcher 3Superior Thunderbolt This is the most recommended potion to use. It will improve attack power and grant 100% critical chance during storms.
superior tawny oil icon witcher 3Superior Tawny Owl As Rend and Whirl rely on Stamina, this is another potion that will improve Geralt's combat prowess by allowing him to use those attacks more often
superior white raffards decoction witcher 3Superior White Raffard's Decoction I recommend having this potion in the quick slot. It instantly restores 100% HP and grants immunity to damage for a short period of time
superior swallow witcher 3Superior Swallow Increases HP regeneration. Use it as an alternative to Troll Decoction when dealing with high Toxicity. This way you will have an additional decoction slot for Metamorphosis
superior maribor forest witcher 3Superior Maribor Forest Increases adrenaline generation and grants one adrenaline point when used.
superior black blood witcher 3Superior Black Blood I recommend drinking this potion when fighting vampires and necrophages. It is made specifically for these encounters and the Metamorphosis build can drink multiple potions.

Decoctions

Here are the decoctions that I recommend having in inventory for this build. The Metamorphosis will use these as a pool and activate one randomly each time a critical effect happens. So be sure to check not to have something like Nekker Warrior Decoction in the inventory, which is mostly useless.

Item Effects
ekimmara decoction witcher 3Ekimmara Decoction This decoction is the main one for survivability. It will allow you to regenerate HP every time Geralt hits an enemy.
katakan decoction witcher 3Katakan Decoction Thanks to this decoction you will raise Geralt's critical hit chance by 10%. This will greatly improve overall DPS.
alghoul decoction witcher 3Alghoul Decoction Increases adrenaline generation until the first hit from the enemy. This is important as Hunter Instinct will activate sooner, and you can use Whirl for longer. Moreover, more adrenaline points result in higher damage.
succubus decoction witcher 3Succubus Decoction Attack power grows during the fight by up to 30%. Very useful in prolonged encounters or boss fights.

Here are some optional decoctions that you can include in the inventory.

Item Effects
wyvern decoction witcher 3Wyvern Decoction Use this together with Quen. It increases the attack power for each successfully landed blow until Geralt gets hit by the enemy. This one might be tricky if you get hit often and just wastes decoction space.
doppler decoction witcher 3Doppler Decoction Increases damage when attacking from the back. This can be quite easy when Superior Blizzard is activated. However, I still keep this optional, as Whirl usually makes you go head-on, and doing anything else can decrease DPS.
ancient leshen decoction witcher 3Ancient Leshen Decoction Each Sign cast increases Stamina regeneration for the remainder of the fight.
+2 Stamina regeneration in combat.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading the post on the best Metamorphosis build in Witcher 3. I covered all essential parts to be effective - skills progression, recommended gear, tactics, and general tips.

If you have any questions or suggestions leave a comment below

Discussion

Anonymous

You mention not having more useless decoctions in your inventory, so can is there any way I can get rid of the useless ones like stash them or something.

Hey! Yes I explain it in "Metamorphosis and Decoctions" section under Tactics. Generally, you need to drop them by dragging the decoction on the "Drop" icon in the inventory screen. Have in mind, that to craft them again you will need to re-obtain mutagens

Anonymous

Ah that's what that was I remember being confused for why there was the circle around the drop icon I was looking into builds pretty late at night so I must have missed this thanks!

Anonymous

Is it possible to do a similar build with flood of anger?

Hey!

Optimizing for Flood of Anger would require a separate build. However, if using this one as a template I would do these things:

  • Equip Ursine armor, and maybe even Ursine swords. You want as much adrenaline generation as possible

  • Take Flood of Anger and Rage management. You can remove Crushing blows from skill slots to include those skills earlier

Hope this helps!

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Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!