Critical damage build - one hit kills!

Critical damage build - one hit kills! - Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By zanuffas
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This post will cover the best Crit Build in Witcher 3. As you can guess, we will be trying to optimize critical chance and critical damage to create a DPS monster

Critical damage Build

This is the build for those that want to maximize their Critical hit damage and overall DPS. We will do this by choosing appropriate skills and gear with critical chance and critical damage stats. Moreover, this will be supplemented by alchemy skills, potions, and decoctions. The last two are extremely important as you will need to use only a few specific ones.

witcher 3 crit build

With everything maxed out, you will be able to take out guards with a single hit. This is the scariest build that you can get. Of course, the big caveat is that you will die from two hits. So, something like Quen is mandatory.

If you are ready to take the risk and want to challenge yourself with the Critical damage build, please continue. Otherwise, I check other witcher 3 builds for safer options

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

Skills allocation

This section covers skills for the Critical damage build. Be sure to reset skills to be able to allocate skill points as suggested

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.

crit build witcher 3 skills

Combat Skills

Name Description
strength training witcher 3Strength Training As the strong attack is one of the core damage types for this build 30% damage increase from this skill is mandatory
crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows Improves strong attacks' critical damage and chance.
fleet footed witcher 3Fleet Footed This skill will increase damage via mutagen bonuses and provide improvements to dodging. This ability will make dodging the most effective way to avoid enemy attacks.
muscle memory witcher 3Muscle Memory Improves fast attack damage, as they are one of the two primary ways the Crit build deals damage
precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows Improves fast attack critical damage and critical chance
resolve witcher 3Resolve (optional) Although I take this skill, it is optional. It decreases any adrenaline loss from taking hits. Of course, with this build, you should be avoiding any hits, but sometimes stuff happens
razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus Will instantly grant 1 adrenaline point at the start of the combat increasing Geralt's damage. Moreover, it improves the adrenaline generation rate
rend witcher 3Rend Alternative mode for Strong attacks. Use generated adrenaline points and stamina pool to release a single powerful hit. With it, you can reach some crazy high numbers. However, you are exposed to enemy damage while charging so be careful
sunder armor witcher 3Sunder Armor This skill will encourage starting combat with enemy by using a Strong attack to reduce their damage resistance.
whirl witcher 3Whirl Alternative to Fast attack mode. I personally do not prefer it for this build as you are easily exposed to enemy hits and specifically archers. However, I still take it, to get damage bonus from mutagens

Alchemy Skills

Name Description
acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance A crucial skill for Critical damage build. It ensures that for each alchemy recipe you unlock, Geralt's toxicity increases by 0.5
heightened tolerance witcher 3Heightened Tolerance Although I generally do not take this one, for Crit build it is important. Heightened Tolerance will allow using two decoctions and two potions without activating Toxicity negative effects. This way we can get bonus damage from increased health regeneration.
synergy icon witcher 3Synergy A very powerful ability that increases mutagen effectiveness by 50%. This is essential to maximize the attack power of the Crit build
hunter instinct witcher 3Hunter Instinct Increases Critical damage by 100% once adrenaline reaches 3 points. This will greatly contribute to the build's damage output. However, it may take some time to accumulate these points in combat, which could make it sometimes redundant
killing spree witcher 3Killing Spree Generally, with Katakan Decoction you should already have a 40%+ critical chance. To reach one hundred, you will need to kill 2 enemies in the encounter for this skill to activate and get an additional 60%.

General Skills

Name Description
cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques Increases fast attack damage and critical damage by 25% for each light piece of armor. It will come in especially handy once you activate Levity runeword


Name Description
euphoria witcher 3Euphoria The main mutation of this build. It plays an important role as it provides an instant damage boost compared to other mutations. For example, Bloodbath requires hitting multiple times for the bonus to activate. Metamorphosis also, moreover, there are more decoctions to use that would provide extremely high damage boost, that we will not be using.

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 First, let's unlock combat skills that will be extremely helpful throughout the game. Taking them early will make fights a bit easier.
2 resolve witcher 3Resolve
3 strength training witcher 3Strength Training
4 precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows
5 rend witcher 3Rend
6 razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus
7 acquired tolerance witcher 3Acquired Tolerance The first alchemy skill. It will help with increased toxicity.
8 cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques These abilities will help in combat. Cat School Techniques is best used with light armor, for this, equip Feline armor.
9 crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows
10 fleet footed witcher 3Fleet Footed
11 heightened tolerance witcher 3Heightened Tolerance By improving the alchemy tree further you will be able to increase attack power from mutagens and take more potions before toxicity hits.
12 spend 6 skill points in alchemy
13 synergy icon witcher 3Synergy

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

Order Skill Description
14 toxic blood witcher 3Toxic Blood By unlocking Euphoria you will get bonus damage from having toxicity. Toxic blood is only taken for progression, otherwise, it is useless in our case.
15 euphoria witcher 3Euphoria
16 sunder armor witcher 3Sunder Armor Now we unlock the last skills for the build. If you do not use Whirl, take Killing Spree and Hunter Instinct earlier. They will provide a large boost to overall DPS.
17 2 mutations
18 whirl witcher 3Whirl
19 4 mutations
20 killing spree witcher 3Killing Spree
21 4 mutations
22 hunter instinct witcher 3Hunter Instinct


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

Potion and decoction management

To best utilize the Crit build there are some specific caveats, specifically Toxicity. Your goal is to have Toxicity at 60-80%, as close to the top.

crit build toxicity limit witcher 3

The main reason is that Euphoria provides a bonus to damage based on Toxicity. However, the question is why not go to 100%?

If you go above 80% Heightened Tolerance stops working and you start incurring health damage. This is a problem because then Water Hag decoction and Replenishment (runeword on your sword) stop working. This will lose some valuable damage that the build needs

critical damage build sword stats witcher 3

Generally, you should be able to use two decoctions and two potions:

  • Katakan Decoction
  • Water Hag Decoction
  • Thunderbolt potion
  • Swallow potion

With these, we maximize the build's possible damage. The big caveat is that critical damage build is extremely fragile.

Quen Sign

This is the main survivability action that you will use. Quen is very powerful because it guarantees that any single hit you take does not do any damage. Believe me, with this build, a single hit can be extremely deadly.

The good thing is that Quen does not require any Sign intensity investment for it to be effective. You should ALWAYS use Quen with Crit build in any combat encounter. In case you have problems maintaining it (getting hit often), you can get Fleet Footed early, to improve dodging and avoid more hits


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


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 Critical damage build uses Strong attacks and this sword perfectly complements it. Moreover, the HP drain can be counteracted with Superior Swallow
viroledan blade steel sword witcher 3Viroledan Blade Provides a +75% critical damage bonus. Unfortunately, armor piercing is not as useful.

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 mighty silver sword that gives a +100% Critical hit damage bonus and a +15% Critical hit chance. It is more powerful than Aerondight when it is not charged.
ami silver sword witcher 3Ami Gives a 75% critical damage boost. Otherwise, it has normal stats

Weapon upgrades

Upgrade Description
invigoration witcher 3Invigoration This upgrade is the most important for this build I think. It will use the bonus HP regeneration from Superior Swallow to further improve DPS.
severance witcher 3Severance Increases the reach of Rend and Whirl. Makes combat much easier, especially with Whirl. However, with this build, you would sacrifice bonus adrenaline generation which is extremely important.
greater chernbog runestone witcher 3Greater Chernobog Runestone Increases the base attack power. Use it until you can obtain runewords


These armor pieces are chosen to maximize Geralt's Critical damage. Both of the suggested armors are good. Manticore armor is a bit better in my opinion.

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
new moon armor witcher 3New Moon Armor +30% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+35% Resistance to slashing damage
+20% Critical hit damage bonus
+5% Critical hit chance
+10% Bonus gold
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
new moon trousers witcher 3New Moon Trousers +10% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+15% Resistance to slashing damage
+20% Critical hit damage bonus
+4% Critical hit chance
+5% Bonus gold
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 - there are multiple options here as it depends on your playstyle

Upgrade Description
levity witcher 3Levity This is the most important upgrade for armor. It will make all pieces count as light ones. This way Cat School Techniques bonus will be applied to provide bonus critical damage.
greater glyph of mending witcher 3Greater Glyph of Mending Provides bonus HP regeneration. This is a decent quality of life improvement. However, the bonus is very low and in reality, works well only outside of combat.
greater glyph of quen witcher 3Greater Glyph of Quen The Glyph will provide a bonus to Quen's duration. Otherwise, there is no real benefit as the shield will still block only 1 hit.

Potions and tonics

I will split this into two categories - primary and optional. The first are the ones that boost damage and help critical damage build. The latter gives some survivability, but you will have to sacrifice DPS.


Item Effects
superior thunderbolt witcher 3Superior Thunderbolt This potion is very important for the build. It increases attack power. Moreover, when there is a thunderstorm, the critical rate is 100%. This increases DPS by 30-40%
superior swallow witcher 3Superior Swallow Using it will improve survivability and improve damage. The attack power boost comes from ensuring maximum HP with Water Hag Decoction and Invigoration


Item Effects
superior white raffards decoction witcher 3Superior White Raffard's Decoction This potion is great to have on hand. It restores HP and provides a few seconds of invulnerability. Just have in mind, that by using it you will probably reach high toxicity and incur an HP regeneration penalty.
superior blizzard witcher 3Superior Blizzard Another potion that I recommend having. In case you see that encounter is too difficult switch it with Superior Swallow or Superior Thunderbolt to gain time slowing effect.


Item Effects
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.
water hag decoction witcher 3Water Hag Decoction Using Superior Swallow you can ensure 100% HP. With it, the damage is greatly boosted while you maintain it.


Thank you for reading the post on the best Critical 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


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!