Best Griffin School Build

Best Griffin School Build - Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By zanuffas
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This post will cover the Griffin School build in Witcher 3. To make the best use of them we will utilize the gear provided by Griffin School. This group of Witchers valued high standards of etiquette and knightly values. Moreover, all of this was accompanied by a high affinity for magic.

Griffin School Armor Build

This build concentrates on destroying enemies using just Signs. No need for melee combat, as you can do everything with a snap of your fingers. Of course, this may be an overreaction, but overall this is not far from the truth.

What makes this build special is that it is effective against any enemy in the game. You have 3 damage dealing signs - Aard, Igni, and Yrden. All of them are perfect for any situation the game throws at you. Of course, we are also concentrating on having very high Sign Intensity

sign build stats witcher 3

These are some crazy numbers. This optimization will also give some defensive options, specifically a very effective Quen sign. With it, at any time in combat, you can create an Active Shield and restore Geralt's HP. To further empower Geralt's combat prowess we will use Griffin School gear. It emphasizes Sign usage and fast stamina regeneration.

If you are looking Sign specific builds take a look at these:

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

Skills allocation

This section covers skills for the Griffin School build.

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.

witcher 3 sign build skills

Name Effect
far reaching aard witcher 3Far-Reaching Aard Increases Aard's range by 3 yard(s).
sustained glyphs witcher 3Sustained Glyphs Increases Sign duration by 10 seconds. Number of alternative mode charges: 9. Number of standard mode traps: 2.
exploding shield witcher 3Exploding Shield Quen shield pushes opponents back and deals damage when it breaks, with a chance for the knockdown.
delusion witcher 3 iconDelusion Target does not move towards Geralt while he is casting Axii. Increases the effectiveness of Axii in dialogues. Reduces Axii casting time. Failed Axii attempts to stagger the target
active shield witcher 3Active Shield Alternate Sign Mode:
Maintaining an active shield no longer drains Stamina. The stamina drain for blocked attacks is unchanged. Damage absorbed by the shield restores the player's Vitality.
aard intensity witcher 3Aard Intensity Increases Aard Sign intensity by 30%.
igni intensity witcher 3Igni Intensity Increases Igni Sign intensity by 30%.
yrden intensity icon witcher 3Yrden Intensity Increases Yrden Sign intensity by 30%.
quen intensity icon witcher 3Quen Intensity Increases Quen Sign intensity by 30%.
shock wave witcher 3Shock Wave Increases the damage dealt by Aard to 300. Damage scales with enemy level
supercharged glyphs icon witcher 3Supercharged Glyphs Enemies under the influence of Yrden lose 30 points(s) of Vitality or Essence per second. Damage scales with enemy level and Sign Intensity
synergy icon witcher 3Synergy Increases bonus for mutagen placed in mutagen slot by 50%.
griffin school techniques witcher 3Griffin School Techniques Each piece of medium armor increases Sign intensity by 5% and Stamina regeneration by 5%.
adrenaline burst witcher 3Adrenaline Burst Increases Adrenaline generation by 5%. Using Signs now generates Adrenaline Points.
focus witcher 3Focus Adrenaline Points increase both weapon damage and Sign intensity

This still leaves one slot that you can pick later in the game. I personally recommend one of them based on your playstyle

Skill Description
magic trap icon witcher 3Magic Trap I suggest getting this skill if you also plan on using Entanglement glyphword on your armor. I personally did not enjoy it as Magic Trap has quite a lengthy casting animation.
pyromaniac icon witcher 3Pyromaniac In case you want to have a 100% chance of success with the Igni sign, this is a mandatory perk. However, as you will have 300%+ Sign Intensity this is not a major problem
puppet witcher 3Puppet
or
axii intensity witcher 3Axii Intensity
I will be honest. I only used Puppet a few times in my all playthroughs. I personally enjoyed just using Geralt's capabilities and jumping into combat, instead of taking control of the enemy.
acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance This is a good choice - it allows using Decoction like Ancient Leshen Decoction and also 4-5 potions uses until max Toxicity

I did not list a mutation. To be honest, any mutation works as all of them are powerful on this build. But here are some options based on what you plan to do

Skill Description
conductors of magic witcher 3Conductors of Magic This one is perfect if you mainly use Igni Sign. It improves damage dealt as this depends on the sword that is equipped. However, for some reason, this is not as effective with the Aard Shock Wave perk.
magic sensibilities icon witcher 3Magic Sensibilities This works perfectly with both Igni and Aard as it gives chance to deal critical damage. Unfortunately, this does not work with status effects like burning and the Yrden trap.
piercing cold witcher 3Piercing Cold If you are mostly using Aard, then this mutation is perfect. It gives the unique effect of freezing enemies. If enemies resist it, Piercing Cold then deals additional damage, usually taking a large chunk of the enemy's health.
adrenaline rush witcher 3Adrenaline Rush Another crazy good mutation that is especially good when fighting multiple enemies. Gives a 30% Sign boost for each enemy at the start of the combat for 30 seconds. The caveat is that after those 30 seconds, Geralt gets a stat penalty.

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 delusion witcher 3 iconDelusion This is a great quality of life skill. It will unlock some additional dialogue options. Moreover, they usually provide additional XP. Later in the game, you can drop it, for another Sign skill
2 exploding shield witcher 3Exploding Shield As Sign build, having your Quen shield explode will be very useful early on. The result is knocked down enemies, that can be instantly killed with Sword... or Igni
3 active shield witcher 3Active Shield I cannot stress enough how important this ability is. It provides a sustained Quen shield that restores HP when hit. This is mandatory on Deathmarch difficulty where you have limited options to restore HP
4 far reaching aard witcher 3Far-Reaching Aard I love this ability, increases Aard's reach and makes combat a bit easier. It will be especially powerful once you obtain Shock Wave per.
5 igni intensity witcher 3Igni Intensity Increases Igni Sign intensity by 30%. This improves burning chance and damage.
6 quen intensity icon witcher 3Quen Intensity Increases Quen sign intensity. This improves shield strength.
7 griffin school techniques witcher 3Griffin School Techniques The crucial ability for Sign build. Each medium armor piece provides bonus Sign intensity and stamina regeneration. More or less you should be using Griffin Armor set through most of the gameplay which is Medium armor.
8 shock wave witcher 3Shock Wave Improves Aard Sign by allowing it to deal bonus damage in addition to stagger and knockdowns. After the next-gen update, the damage also scales making the perk a powerful alternative to Igni.
9 supercharged glyphs icon witcher 3Supercharged Glyphs Taking this skill makes Yrden sign the third Sign that can deal substantial damage to the enemy. once they enter the circle they are constantly damaged. It scales with Geralt level, making it very effective throughout the whole game.
10 sustained glyphs witcher 3Sustained Glyphs As you will now start using Yrden more often, take this upgrade that provides increased duration and allows to create two areas.
11 adrenaline burst witcher 3Adrenaline Burst Because we want to get bonus Sign Intensity from Adrenaline points, we require this perk. It allows Signs to generate adrenaline points. Although we lose Sign Intensity from blue mutagen it will be regained with the next skill.
12 focus witcher 3Focus With this, each adrenaline point provides 20% Sign Intensity. By having this and Adrenaline Burst you lose 30% Sign Intensity from greater blue mutagens. However, once you get 3 adrenaline points in combat you receive 60% bonus - net gain on 30% Sign intensity

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
13 magic sensibilities icon witcher 3Magic Sensibilities The first mutation is a good choice for the build. Use it if you equally utilize Aard and Igni.
14 piercing cold witcher 3Piercing Cold If you mainly use Aard, activate this perk, otherwise take it for progression.
15 aard intensity witcher 3Aard Intensity As a new skill slot is unlocked in the center, I recommend adding this one. It will improve Aard Sign damage and stagger chance.
16 adrenaline rush witcher 3Adrenaline Rush
or
conductors of magic witcher 3Conductors of Magic
If you are using mainly Igni, go for Conductors of magic. If you want to get a high Sign Intensity boost with some risks, take Adrenaline Rush. Otherwise, skip and stay with the previous mutations. Just leave these for progression.
17 1 mutation We take one mutation to unlock the next skill slot
18 Any 4 abilities in the Alchemy tree with 3 levels To further improve the build we need 12 skill points spent in the alchemy tree. This unlocks the third tier of the tree.
19 synergy icon witcher 3Synergy This is a very powerful ability but it requires. It will boost mutagen effectiveness, which will result in much higher Sign Intensity. You will need to move one Sign skill from the sides to the center in order to accommodate Synergy.
20 4 mutations Unlock the next 4 mutations for another skill slot
21 yrden intensity icon witcher 3Yrden Intensity Improves Yrden Sign intensity. This provides bonus duration and some additional damage for Supercharged Glyphs.
22 4 mutations Unlock the next 4 mutations
23 Free slot Now you are free to add one more skill. I recommend these:
  • Magic Trap - if you wish to use Entanglement glyphword for its unique effect
  • Pyromaniac - for 100% burning chance with Igni
  • Pupper or Axii Intensity - if you utilize Axii in the Sign Build
  • Acquired Tolerance - for improved decoction and potion usage

Tactics

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

Switching Signs and general Combat

The main aspect of this build is that it is extremely effective against almost any enemy. However, you need to be agile and switch your most used Sign. For example, using Igni against Ghouls or humans may seem overpowered, however, this changed when you fight an Elemental

sign build igni aard damage witcher 3

As you can see, Igni dealt only 200 damage and was not able to apply burning as the enemy is immune to it. Once I switched to Aard, the situation reversed - each use dealt 8K damage and staggered the enemy

The same is for Yrden. It deals damage on any enemy once you get Supercharged Glyphs. Of course, you should be using it always once you have a 6-piece Grandmaster Griffin set for bonus Sign Intensity.

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

This makes the combat much safer, as every time you are overwhelmed it creates a safe bubble. Moreover, you can still move while using it, giving Geralt a chance to better reposition yourself.

Yrden to control the battlefield

Although we mainly use Igni, Yrden is a mandatory sign. It provides these benefits:

  • Damages enemies (with Supercharged Glyphs upgrade)
  • Slows them down

Once you get Grandmaster Griffin Set with 6 pieces:

  • Increases stamina regeneration
  • Boosts Sign Intensity by 100%
  • Decreases damage taken

With these bonuses having Yrden all the time is mandatory. It will also give more time to react against enemy attacks as they are heavily slowed down.

Another thing to have in mind is that some enemies will be resistant to Aard or Igni. Yrden can still damage them giving significant damage over time.

Equipment

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

Weapons

Steel Swords

Item Description
grandmaster griffin steel sword witcher 3Grandmaster Griffin Steel Sword Needed to have the full Griffin set. Gives a boost to Sign Intensity and bonus experience from humans

Silver Swords -

Item Description
grandmaster griffin silver sword witcher 3Grandmaster Griffin Silver Sword Necessary for the Griffin set. Provides increased Sign intensity, three slots, and bonus experience from monsters.

Weapon upgrades - to be honest I did not find any Runewords to be useful for this Sign Build. you can go for something like Rejuvenation, but I do not think it is worth it against 15% Sign Intensity (although that is not much)

Upgrade Description
greater veles runestone witcher 3Greater Veles Runestone I recommend equipping this rune on Silver Sword. Because monsters cannot be parried it makes much more sense to increase Geralt's Sign Intensity for more effective signs.

Armors

The one and only armor for this Sign build is Griffin School armor.

Item Effects
grandmaster griffin armor witcher 3Grandmaster Griffin armor
  • +24% Sign intensity
  • +19% Resistance to piercing damage
  • +17% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
  • +24% Resistance to slashing damage
  • +26% Resistance to damage from monsters
grandmaster griffin trousers witcher 3Grandmaster Griffin trousers
  • +12% Sign intensity
  • +6% Resistance to piercing damage
  • +9% Resistance to slashing damage
  • +11% Resistance to damage from monsters
  • +33% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster girffin gauntlets icon witcher 3Grandmaster Griffin gauntlets
  • +12% Sign intensity
  • +5% Resistance to piercing damage
  • +6% Resistance to slashing damage
  • +4% Resistance to damage from monsters
  • +12% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster griffin boots witcher 3Grandmaster Griffin boots
  • +12% Sign intensity
  • +5% Resistance to piercing damage
  • +5% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
  • +6% Resistance to slashing damage
  • +4% Resistance to damage from monsters

Armor upgrades - this build has multiple options. I definitely suggest putting Glyphword on the armor. For other armor pieces pick your glyphs based on your most used Signs.

Upgrade Description
greater glyph of yrden witcher 3Greater Glyph or Yrden Increases the effectiveness of Yrden and its alternative version. Boosts shock damage, duration, and slowdown
greater glyph of igni witcher 3Greater Glyph of Igni Increases Igni sign intensity. Improves one of the main signs by increasing burning chance and damage.
greater glyph of quen witcher 3Greater Glyph of Quen Increases Quen sign intensity. Improves one of the main spellsword signs. Increases shield effectiveness.
greater glyph of arrd witcher 3Greater Glyph of Aard Increases Aard sign intensity. The result is the highest stagger chance. Moreover increases the damage of Piercing Cold mutation.
rotation witcher 3Rotation Probably the most powerful improvement specifically for Igni all the enemies around Geralt are hit. With Pyromaniac this makes everyone around you Burn and become immobilized
entanglement witcher 3Entanglement Improve Yrden alternative mode Magic Trap skill. Each hit with lightning will spawn a Yrden circle. This is good for a few reasons:
  • No need to spawn Yrden yourself multiple times
  • Enemies will automatically be inside the Yrden circle, receive damage over time, and get slowed down.
  • Move to the spawned circle to get bonuses of Sign, stamina regeneration, and damage protection

Potions and tonics

Item Effects
superior petris philter icon witcher 3Superior Petri's Philter The main potion that I recommend using in almost all encounters. It increases Sign intensity making them more effective. Also, signs always apply their effects.
superior blizzard witcher 3Superior Blizzard Using this feels like cheating, but it makes combat very easy as time slows around Geralt. Moreover, with three adrenaline points, you can cast Signs without cooldowns.
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 Another potion that can be used to greatly improve health regeneration.
superior maribor forest witcher 3Superior Maribor Forest Increases adrenaline generation and grants one adrenaline point when used. I prefer to use it at the beginning of combat. The toxicity wears off while fighting

Decoctions

The build supports only one 1 decoction. If at the same time, you drink a potion, toxicity will start draining Geralt's HP (unless you take Acquired Tolerance). I personally would not decoctions and just concentrate on potions. However, during mid-game having Ancient Leshen Decoction may prove useful as the Sign build will not have crazy stamina regeneration yet.

Item Effects
ancient leshen decoction witcher 3Ancient Leshen Decoction Each Sign cast increases Stamina regeneration for the remainder of the fight.
+2 Stamina regeneration in combat.
foglet decoction witcher 3Foglet Decoction Increases Sign Intensity during cloudy weather.
+25% Sign intensity
ekhidna decoction witcher 3Ekhidna Decoction I only suggest using it if you have problems with sustaining health. Otherwise, avoid it.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading the post on the Griffin School 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

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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!