Pure Combat skill Build - Destroy Enemies

Pure Combat skill Build - Destroy Enemies - Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By zanuffas
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This post will cover the combat build in Witcher 3. The idea behind this is fairly simple - use only combat skills to create a build that could easily finish the whole game

Combat Skill Build

As you can guess the idea is simple - use combat skills to create a build. However, I will also offer an alternative version that can cast Signs effectively. If this sounds like nonsense just skip it

The good thing is that by using combat skills we greatly improve our attack power from mutagens. Moreover, I will still include some General skills as they provide good benefits and empower what we already have. The aim is to utilize the bleed mechanic with Wolven armor and Crippling Strikes. Moreover, we can support this with strong attacks.

witcher 3 combat build high damage

As you can see the combat can be initiated with a Strong attack to weaken the enemy. After that use Rend or fast attacks to mutilate them. Regarding mutations, I will only use those, that provide combat skill slots.

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

Skills allocation

This section covers skills for the combat 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.

combat build skills witcher 3

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. It will make dodging the most effective way to avoid enemy attacks.
resolve witcher 3Resolve Ensures that no adrenaline points are lost for the build. This is the key to its success as it will improve the damage dealt
muscle memory witcher 3Muscle Memory Improves fast attack damage, as they are one of the two primary ways the build deals damage
precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows Improves fast attack critical damage and critical chance
arrow deflection witcher 3Arrow Deflection A good improvement skill that allows deflecting enemy arrows. You can switch it with another skill if you take the Deflection glyphword on armor.
undying witcher 3Undying Taking as the quality of life skill. It allows resurrecting in case you die, by consuming adrenaline points
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
whirl witcher 3Whirl Alternative to Fast attack mode. You will need to hold down the attack button to keep the sword spinning 360 degrees around Geralt. Unfortunately, without Severance runeword enemies can easily hit you.
counterattack witcher 3Counterattack A great ability that will utilize adrenaline points when you counter an enemy. They will be used to knock them down and improve damage.
sunder armor witcher 3Sunder Armor By using a strong attack Geralt can weaken the enemy's protection. You can use it to increase damage from the next hits
crippling strikes witcher 3Crippling Strikes With the Combat build, we will use the Bleed effect to deal additional damage.
deadly precision witcher 3Deadly Precision Because we maximize adrenaline points, they will give a 6% chance to instantly kill an enemy.

I do not take any crossbow abilities. I think without some additional investment in general skills and mutations they are not worthwhile.

General Skills

Name Description
cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques This is an outlier to the build, but I think it would be too good to miss it. The great thing about it is that it gives a 25% bonus critical damage for each light armor piece. This greatly improves the Combat build's DPS.

Mutations

Name Description
bloodbath witcher 3Bloodbath Bloodbath is a great mutation that gives 5% bonus damage for each hit. The big drawback is that it takes many hits for it to reach its potential. Moreover, you cannot get hit during that time as the bonus damage goes back to 0%.
metamorphosis icon witcher 3Metamorphosis This is more of an alchemy mutation, however, it also works with combat skills. I think this is the best contender for this build. It will activate a decoction (up to 5 total) from the inventory for 120 seconds. Check the equipment section for recommended decoctions
adrenaline rush witcher 3Adrenaline Rush Note: this ability is bugged at the time of writing, please check patch updates.

It is a great power, that gives a large boost for damage at the start of the combat. However, once the first 30 seconds pass, you lose some damage, for each enemy that is still alive. This requires you to be bold in your combat

Alternative build with Signs - skill allocation

The alternative version of the combat build incorporates signs. You may ask what kind of combat build is this. Well, the one that uses combat skills as the developers gave this option. So if you are interested in trying something exotic, try out this alternative combat build version.

combat build witcher 3 signs

The idea is that we use sacrifice some bonus attack power from mutagens and try to accumulate adrenaline points as fast as possible. Once adrenaline points are full they are used to cast Signs without needing any stamina. Moreover, the Signs are empowered with 300% Sign intensity

With the alternative version, we will change a few things. First, remove these perks

Name Description
crippling strikes witcher 3Crippling Strikes We will not rely on bleed with this build variation
deadly precision witcher 3Deadly Precision because we constantly expand adrenaline, this ability will not be as strong
undying witcher 3Undying
OR
cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques
I suggest picking one. If you remove Cat School Techniques, then do not take Levity glyphword on armor and go for something like Elation.

Undying is also not a good contender as you will constantly be expending adrenaline points.

Then add these skills:

Name Description
flood of anger witcher 3Flood of Anger This is the main power that allows the combat build to use Signs. It gives 300% Sign intensity and upgrades Signs with all the skills
rage management witcher 3Rage Management Signs can be cast using adrenaline points. This can be used together with Flood of Anger
adrenaline burst witcher 3Adrenaline Burst By using Signs you can now generate adrenaline. Moreover, adrenaline generation is increased by default.

Mutations

Name Description
conductors of magic witcher 3Conductors of Magic This is not mandatory, but I suggest giving a try to this mutation. It will empower Signs based on 50% of your sword damage.

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 This is the shortest way to unlock Whirl, which will make the combat easier. This would be the core of the build and now we can start building around it
2 resolve witcher 3Resolve
3 strength training witcher 3Strength Training
4 precise blows witcher 3Precise Blows
5 whirl witcher 3Whirl
6 arrow deflection witcher 3Arrow Deflection I recommend taking these survivability skills. They will make combat against bandits and other enemies easier
7 fleet footed witcher 3Fleet Footed
8 razor focus witcher 3Razor Focus We further progress with new abilities that improve damage and adrenaline generation. Moreover, you can now start the first hit with a strong attack to active Sunder armor.
9 crippling strikes witcher 3Crippling Strikes
11 cat school techniques witcher 3Cat School Techniques
12 crushing blows witcher 3Crushing Blows Finalize improvements on the Strong attacks
13 rend witcher 3Rend

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
17 deadly counter witcher 3Deadly Counter Unlocking first of the recommended mutations for the build. You can use it all the time or while unlocking the next ones
18 bloodbath witcher 3Bloodbath
19 sunder armor witcher 3Sunder Armor Use this attack to weaken the enemy, before activating fast attacks.
20 adrenaline rush witcher 3Adrenaline Rush
Or
cat eyes witcher 3Cat Eyes
If you wish to use Adrenaline rush, get it otherwise take Cat Eyes and unlock Metamorphosis.
21 metamorphosis icon witcher 3Metamorphosis
22 counterattack witcher 3Counterattack Finish the build by taking additional combat abilities. They will not provide any major improvements overall
23 4 mutations
24 deadly precision witcher 3Deadly Precision
25 4 mutations
26 undying witcher 3Undying

Tactics

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

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 Combat 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

Mixing attacks

The build is most effective when you combine Strong attacks, fast attacks and grenades. The good thing about Strong attacks, is that once you get Sunder armor they reduce enemy damage protection by 30%. This is a perfect opener to engage in combat with any monster

witcher 3 combat build tactics

After that, you can follow up with more strong attacks, rend, whirl, etc. All of them will deal increased damage.

Another good thing is that use the Wolven set and Crippling strikes for maximum effectiveness with Bleeding. It is good on prolonged fights, like Cockatrices, Wyverns, etc. Bleed chips away at the HP every second.

Equipment

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

Weapons

We have multiple sword options for the build. We can go for Witcher item sets, which can give improvements. Moreover, you can go for relic weapons that concentrate on DPS maximization.

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.
viroledan blade steel sword witcher 3Viroledan Blade Provides a +75% critical damage bonus. Unfortunately, armor piercing is not as useful.
Grandmaster Wolven steel sword witcher 3Grandmaster Wolven Steel Sword The wolven sword is perfect for the combat build. It gives decent stats and specifically improves the bleeding mechanic. Use it if you want to have six piece wolven set bonus
grandmaster ursine steel sword witcher 3Grandmaster Ursine steel sword Take this sword if you did the alternative build version with Sign usage. Unfortunately, you will sacrifice some DPS but this will improve adrenaline generation.

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.
Grandmaster Wolven silver sword witcher 3Grandmaster Wolven Silver Sword A perfect sword that covers everything the build needs - Sign Intensity, Adrenaline point gain, Critical Hit chance and Bleeding chance. Use it if you want to have a six-piece wolven set bonus
grandmaster ursine silver sword witcher 3Grandmaster Ursine silver sword Take this sword if you did the alternative build version with Sign usage. Unfortunately, you will sacrifice some DPS but this will improve adrenaline generation.

Weapon upgrades

Upgrade Description
severance witcher 3Severance Increases the reach of Rend and Whirl. Makes combat much easier, especially with Whirl.
elation witcher 3Elation The runeword works better with an alternative combat build version. It gives 1 adrenaline point after killing an enemy. This allows for fast point generation
greater chernbog runestone witcher 3Greater Chernobog Runestone Increases the base attack power. Use it until you can obtain runewords
greater perun runestone witcher 3Greater Perun runestone Increases adrenaline point generation. A good option for alternative combat build

Armors

For the combat build, I recommend Wolven armor. We will utilize its bonus effect of Bleed stacking.

Item Effects
grandmaster wolven armor witcher 3Grandmaster Wolven Armor +25% Adrenaline Point gain
+20% Resistance to piercing damage
+17% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+24% Resistance to slashing damage
+31% Resistance to damage from monsters
grandmaster wolven trousers witcher 3Grandmaster Wolven trousers +11% Attack power
+11% Sign intensity
+9% Resistance to slashing damage
+11% Resistance to damage from monsters
+33% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster wolven gauntlets witcher 3Grandmaster Wolven gauntlets +11% Sign intensity
+5% Resistance to piercing damage
+6% Resistance to slashing damage
+6% Resistance to damage from monsters
+12% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster wolven boots witcher 3Grandmaster Wolven boots +11% Attack power
+5% Resistance to piercing damage
+5% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+6% Resistance to slashing damage
+6% Resistance to damage from monsters

However, if you are going with the alternative version, then Ursine armor is the way to go.

Item Effects
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
grandmaster ursine gauntlets witcher 3Grandmaster Ursine Gauntlets +11% Adrenaline Point gain
+6% Resistance to piercing damage
+6% Resistance to slashing damage
+6% Resistance to damage from monsters
+6% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster ursine trousers witcher 3Grandmaster Ursine Trousers +11% Adrenaline Point gain
+6% Resistance to piercing damage
+11% Resistance to slashing damage
+16% Resistance to damage from monsters
+25% Resistance to elemental damage
grandmaster ursine boots witcher 3Grandmaster Ursine Boots +11% Adrenaline Point gain
+6% Resistance to piercing damage
+5% Resistance to bludgeoning damage
+6% Resistance to slashing damage
+6% Resistance to damage from monsters

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.
rotation witcher 3Rotation I love this glyphword that greatly improves the Igni sign. use it with an alternative version of the combat build
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 igni witcher 3Greater Glyph of Igni Take this to improve the Igni sign for an alternative combat build version.
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.

Potion

I can recommend many potions for this build, unfortunately, you will be able to use only two of them before reaching high toxicity. Otherwise, you can risk the HP regeneration and chug two more before reaching 100%.

Item Effects
superior blizzard witcher 3Superior Blizzard Use this potion in tough encounters. It slows down time. It makes avoiding enemy attacks easier. Moreover, you can use it to charge up Rend.
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 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 HP restoration potion. Use it together with Superior White Raffard's Decoction to ensure that you can survive long encounters with combat build

Decoctions

You can only use one decoction with this build, this will leave 50 toxicity to be used for potions. However, Geralt will instantly incur an HP regeneration penalty

Item Effects
ekimmara decoction witcher 3Ekimmara Decoction With this decoction, you will regenerate HP with each hit. It is perfect for countering the adverse effects of high toxicity.
katakan decoction witcher 3Katakan Decoction The most simple and effective decoction. Gives a straight 10% critical chance increase.
water hag decoction witcher 3Water Hag Decoction This is a very powerful decoction that can greatly improve DPS. However, for it to be effective you need to have your HP at maximum. Moreover, you will not be able to use any potions with it.
wyvern decoction witcher 3Wyvern Decoction Accumulates additional attack power for each successful hit. You will lose it all if you get hit. For this reason, use the Quen sign.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading the post on the Combat 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!