Alchemy Combat Build

Alchemy Combat Build - Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By zanuffas
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Welcome to our detailed guide on creating an exciting and unique Witcher 3 combat alchemy build. Alchemy is a unique mechanic in the game that allows crafting potions. You can use them on Geralth to improve its combat prowess at the cost of increased toxicity. Once it reaches a certain threshold the Witcher will start suffering severe effects which drain HP little by little

Alchemy Combat Build

The build idea crafting an intriguing blend of alchemy, combat, and bomb usage. This means that we will sacrifice some combat aspects but will be able to create something unique. If you are looking for top-tier and most powerful alchemy builds look at Metamorphosis build or Euphoria build

The cornerstone of our Witcher 3 alchemy combat build lies in maximizing toxicity to fuel enhanced combat abilities. We will delve deeply into the alchemy skill tree, taking full advantage of its power to manipulate toxicity and its effects to our advantage.

In addition to this, our build leans heavily on potion usage, tying seamlessly into the alchemy theme. We won't forget about combat though, incorporating key combat skills to guarantee formidable DPS. Dive in with us as we engineer a battle strategy that skillfully harnesses toxicity and high DPS in this unique way

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

Skills allocation

This section covers skills for the Combat Alchemy build. This is an important aspect of the game as it decides your play style and what bonuses Geralt gets for your core stats and actions

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.

General Skills

Many of the alchemy tree skills are left untaken. Unfortunately, they do not provide direct improvements to the build. For example, Heightened Tolerance sounds great, but we will lose the effect of Endure Pain.

alchemy build skills witcher 3

Name Effect
acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance Every known level 1, 2, or 3 alchemy formula increases maximum Toxicity by 0.5
steady aim witcher 3Steady Aim Time is slowed a further 50% while aiming bombs.
endure pain witcher 3Endure Pain Increases maximum Vitality by 30% when Toxicity exceeds the safe threshold
protective coating witcher 3Protective Coating Adds 15% protection against attacks from the monster type the oil targets
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%.
cluster bombs witcher 3Cluster Bombs Upon detonation, bombs separate into explosive fragments. Number of fragments: 5
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.
cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques Each piece of light armor increases critical hit damage by 25% and fast attack damage by 5%.
metabolic control witcher 3Metabolic Control Increases maximum Toxicity by 30 points. 

Regarding mutations, I recommend one of these two. They are both extremely powerful, and you can always start with Euphoria. However, Metamorphosis potential is unlocked once you have a limited amount of decoctions, and throw away those that do not provide any benefits.

Skill Description
euphoria witcher 3Euphoria Each point of Toxicity increases damage dealt by swords and Sign Intensity by 0.75% (maximum based on total toxicity Geralt has)
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

Regarding combat skills, there are two options

Combat Skills

I suggest choosing one type of attack that you will use with the build. This way you can maximize its damage and effectiveness.

Strong Attacks

Name Effect
strength training witcher 3Strength Training Strong attack damage increased by 30%.
resolve witcher 3Resolve Adrenaline Point loss upon taking damage is lowered by 100%.
crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows Increases strong attack critical hit chance by 12% and strong attack critical hit damage by 75%.
rend witcher 3Rend Deals additional damage in proportion to the Stamina consumed. Ignores enemy Defense and increases critical hit chance by 60%. Adrenaline Points increase total damage by 33%
razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus Instantly gain one Adrenaline Point when entering combat. The Adrenaline Points generated by sword blows are increased by 30%.

Fast Attacks

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%.
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%.

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

Generally, I suggest getting Combat perks at first. While you are low-level, there will not be many recipes that you could utilize with Alchemy.

Order Skill Description
1 muscle memory witcher 3Muscle Memory
or
strength training witcher 3Strength Training
  • Fast Attacks - take Muscle Memory to increase their damage
  • Strong Attacks - take Strength Training.
2 resolve witcher 3Resolve Although we take it for progression, later on, this skill becomes mandatory as you will not want to lose any adrenaline points during combat. Early on this may seem trivial.
3 precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows
or
crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows
  • Fast Attacks - take Precise Blows to increase their damage
  • Strong Attacks - take Crushing Blows
4 acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance The first alchemy skill for this build. We did not take it earlier, because for it to be effective you need to gather a decent amount of alchemy crafting recipes. This will increase your total toxicity pool, allowing you to drink more potions
5 steady aim witcher 3Steady Aim I hope by this time you have already used Grenades. This is a quality-of-life improvement that will make targeting easier by slowing down time.
6 3 points in combat skills We need 3 points in the combat tree to unlock the next tier of abilities Of course, you could postpone this and rather get additional alchemy skills. However, I think Whirl or Rend is a game-changer for this build.
7 whirl witcher 3Whirl
or
rend witcher 3Rend
  • Fast Attacks - take Whirl, this will allow hitting enemies in a 360-degree arc, but drains stamina
  • Strong Attacks - Rend, consume stamina to increase the alternative Strong Attack power.
  2 points in alchemy skills You are to spend two additional points to unlock the next tier of alchemy abilities.
8 protective coating witcher 3Protective Coating Although this ability does not increase offensive stats, it improves damage protection. On Deathmarch this can be a game changer as two hits may instant kill Geralt. Be sure to use the correct oils against the monster you are fighting
9 endure pain witcher 3Endure Pain The ability synergizes well with the next one - Delayed Recovery. The alchemy build should always have high toxicity, at least above 50%, and counteract it with Superior Swallow. Endure Pain will take advantage of that and further increase Vitality by 30%
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 delayed recovery witcher 3Delayed Recovery The most important skill for the build. It will make potions active indefinitely as long as Geralt has 55% Toxicity from potions. It is a very powerful ability, as you can use something like Superior Blizzard or Superior Swallow all the time.
11 razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus The ability grants adrenaline points at the start of the combat. Mix this together with increased adrenaline generation, Superior Maribor Forest and you can easily get 3 adrenaline points for increased damage.
12 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.
13 killing spree witcher 3Killing Spree The alchemy build should always have toxicity above 0. With that in mind taking this ability is mandatory. Thanks to it you can easily reach 100% critical chance.
14 toxic blood witcher 3Toxic Blood Take for progression
15 euphoria witcher 3Euphoria The mutation is one of the options for the build. Geralt becomes stronger the higher toxicity he has. This makes using potions and decoctions necessary.
16 cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques Provides additional critical damage and improves fast attack damage. In case you use Heavy attacks, you would think that Bear School Techniques are better. However, 100% critical damage (if all pieces are light) is much better as you have Killing Spree and Rend, which ensure an almost 100% critical chance.
17 cat eyes witcher 3Cat Eyes Taking for progression
18 metamorphosis icon witcher 3Metamorphosis Another alternative for the build. With it, you can activate 5 decoctions from the inventory. With the Delayed Recovery perk, they will be active indefinitely.
19 metabolic control witcher 3Metabolic Control I could say this is an optional skill in case you are with Metamorphosis, but it is extremely useful on Euphoria mutation. It will allow drinking an additional potion and increase the total toxicity pool
20 4 mutations To unlock the next slot we need additional 4 mutations
21 cluster bombs witcher 3Cluster Bombs This will make bombs extremely powerful by releasing multiple fragments to hit everyone in a wide area.
22 4 mutations To unlock the next slot we need additional 4 mutations
23 hunter instinct witcher 3Hunter Instinct Another powerful ability that has maximum effectiveness thanks to the Resolve perk. Increases critical hit damage by 100% once you have 3 adrenaline points.

Tactics

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

Grenades

The build can effectively use grenades with the two skills we take - Steady Aim and Cluster Bombs. Of course, you need to decide which of them to use in what encounter. For example, when fighting multiple enemies Norther Wind is extremely powerful

norther wind freeze witcher 3

And now you can move in and take down each frozen enemy. Attack them from the back for maximum damage. Of course, you can deal extremely high damage with grenades, for example, Grapeshot:

grapeshot cluster witcher 3

So having grenades in the arsenal is extremely helpful as they make any encounter multiple times easier.

Metamorphosis and Decoctions

If you went with the Metamorphosis mutation, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, is that you need to activate critical effects like Burning, Critical hit with swords, knockdown with Aard, etc. Second, decoctions are activated only from the ones you have in the inventory. For the ones that you do not need, drop them. 

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 best utilize the Metamorphosis effect.

Euphoria

If you went with Euphoria, I recommend activating only one decoction and filling the rest of the Toxicity with potions. For potion management with Delayed Recovery check the next section. Overall you want to have as high Toxicity (total and filled) as possible.

I recommend Ekimmara Decoction for health stealing or Katakan Decoction for maximum DPS with Alchemy Build.

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 potion 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 Alchemy build.

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

Equipment

Here is my suggested gear for the Alchemy Combat build in Witcher 3

Weapons

Steel Swords

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
iris steel sword witcher 3Iris I recommend this Steel sword if you use heavy attacks. It has a unique ability to discharge its energy for an extremely strong attack.
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

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
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

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 Combat Alchemy build.

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 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

For the Metamorphosis mutation, I suggest having only these in inventory. For Euphoria, mutation activate only one, that you prefer.

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 enemy hits. This is important as Hunter Instinct will activate much faster, you can use Whirl for longer. Moreover, more adrenaline points result in higher damage.
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.
succubus decoction witcher 3Succubus Decoction Attack power grows during the fight by up to 30%. Very useful in prolonged encounters or boss fights.
ekhidna decoction witcher 3Ekhidna Decoction Only works with signs and Rend.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading the post on the best Combat Alchemy 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

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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!