Skills Ranking and Tier List | The Witcher 3

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Best Early Game Skills and Builds

Skill Build - Banner.jpg
This is a tier list of the skills viable for different builds in the game The Witcher 3. Read on to learn more about the effects and synergies of skills that works on different builds.

Skills Ranking and Tier List

Pure DPS (Critical) Build

Skill Build - Pure Combat.jpg
This build focuses on building up Adrenaline Points quickly from fast attacks, while increasing your bonus critical hit damage for the maximum damage output.

Tier Skill Strengths
S Cat School TechniquesCat School Techniques Branch: Combat
・Drastically increases the damage of your fast attacks and critical hits.
Fleet Footed 1/5Fleet Footed Branch: Combat
・Main defensive tool to increase survivability.
・Negates all incoming damage while dodging.
Precise Blows 1/5Precise Blows Branch: Combat
・Increase the chance of landing critical hits.
Increase the damage of critical hits.
Bonus Adrenaline Points gain.
A
Muscle Memory 1/5Muscle Memory Branch: Combat
・Best way to increase the base damage of your fast attacks and Adrenaline Points gain.
Crippling Strikes 1/5Crippling Strikes Branch: Combat
・Applies Bleeding to enemies hit with your fast attacks for a few seconds.
Extra DPS for enemies with high Vitality.
Razor Focus 1/5Razor Focus Branch: Combat
・Boosts your Adrenaline Points as soon as you enter combat.
Additional Adenaline Point Gain.
B
Deadly Precision 1/2Deadly Precision Branch: Combat
・Can instantly kill enemies depending on your current Adrenaline Points.
It has a long cooldown of 15 seconds.
Whirl 1/5Whirl Branch: Combat
・Continous attacks that deals high damage but slowly drains your stamina and Adrenaline Points.
Undying 1/5Undying Branch: Combat
・Additional tool that can help you survive fights longer.
Best skill to invest your skill points on combat branch to unlock better skills.
Battle FrenzyBattle Frenzy Branch: General
・Optional skill if you want to get 100% Critical Chance.
Works well with Razor Focus and other Adrenaline Points source.
Slightly reduces the damage output of your fast attacks.
C
Counterattack 1/3Counterattack Branch: Combat
・Optional skill depending on your play style.
Deal increased damage with your counter attacks.
Attack is the Best DefenseAttack is the Best Defense Branch: General
・Alternative source of Adrenaline Points during combat.
Requires only 1 Skill Point.

Best Skills, Runestones and Glyphs for Pure DPS Build

Pure Sign Build

Skill Build - Pure Sign.jpg
Pure Sign build mainly uses its increased sign intensity and maximizing the status effect inflicted by signs, while utilizing your stamina regeneration and consumption.

Tier Skill Strengths
S Delusion 1/3Delusion Branch: Sign
・Gives you more options when selecting dialogues.
・Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Melt Armor 1/5Melt Armor Branch: Sign
・Permanently weakens the armor of enemies hit.
Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Puppet 1/3Puppet Branch: Sign
・Extremely useful against 2 or more high level enemies and force them to attack each other.
・Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Rage ManagementRage Management Branch: General
・Allows you to cast signs even at low stamina using Adrenaline Points.
・Helpful when using roll to escape enemy attacks.
A
Aard Sweep 1/3Aard Sweep Branch: Sign
・Increases the area of effect of Aard but reduces the chance of knocking-down on lower levels.
Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Pyromaniac 1/5Pyromaniac Branch: Sign
・Drastically increases the chance to apply burning.
Additional source of damage when fighting against enemies with high vitality.
・Increased Stamina regeneration.
Igni Intensity 1/5Igni Intensity Branch: Sign
・Increase the damage output of your primary skill against enemies.
Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Aard Intensity 1/5Aard Intensity Branch: Sign
・Increases your Aard Intensity and the chances of Knocking-down the enemy.
・Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Gorged on PowerGorged on Power Branch: General
・Versatile skill and helps you keep the one bonus sign intensity from any Place of Power.
B
Griffin School TechniquesGriffin School Techniques Branch: General
・Works well with Griffin Equipment Set to drastically increase your Sign Intensity.
Adrenaline BurstAdrenaline Burst Branch: General
・Effective with Rage Management to continously cast Signs with Adrenaline Points.
Exploding Shield 1/3Exploding Shield Branch: Combat
・Excellent defensive tool to increase your survivability against enemies.
C
Domination 1/3Domination Branch: Sign
・Situational skill that can only be helpful when fighting against multiple high level enemies.
・Increased Stamina regeneration in combat.
Firestream 1/3Firestream Branch: Sign
・Optional skill that only works on certain situations.
・High damage output but makes you vulnerable to attacks.

Best Skills, Runestones and Glyphs for Pure Sign Build

Combat and Alchemy Hybrid Build

Skill Build - Combat Alchemy.jpg
This build focuses on utilizing the high defense of heavy armors to increase survivability and improving the effectiveness of mutagens to increase its damage.

Tier Skill Strengths
S Strength Training 1/5Strength Training Branch: Combat
・A must have skill because of its ability to drastically increases the damage of your strong attacks.
Synergy 1/5Synergy Branch: Alchemy
・Maximizes the effeciveness of your mutagens to give additional Vitality and Attack Power.
Bear School TechniquesBear School Techniques Branch: General
・Increases your maximum Vitality for survivability and increases the damage output of your strong attacks.
A
Heightened Tolerance 1/5Heightened Tolerance Branch: Alchemy
・Allows you to drink more potions and decoction to buff your attacks and increase your defense even at high toxicity without any negative effects.
・Also adds more duration for your potions for longer fights.
Acquired Tolerance 1/3Acquired Tolerance Branch: Alchemy
・Increases your maximum toxicity cap and allow you to drink more potions and decoctions.
・Makes your potions last longer.
Refreshment 1/5Refreshment Branch: Alchemy
・Makes all of your potions heal an extra 25% of your maximum vitality for more survivability.
B
Crushing Blows 1/5Crushing Blows Branch: Combat
・This ability works best on this build because your primary attack will be strong attacks.
It gives your strong attacks a chance to critical hit and deal more damage.
Also provides a bonus Adrenaline Points gain.
Undying 1/5Undying Branch: Combat
・This ability makes you almost impossible to die because of its ability to instantly refill your Vitality to maximum upon dying.
・Rarely used because of your high vitality and defense.
Resolve 1/5Resolve Branch: Combat
・Prevents you from losing Adrenaline Points upon getting hit by the enemy.
This will maintain your damage at maximum even when taking damage.
Can be skipped if you play more cautiously.
Sunder Armor 1/5Sunder Armor Branch: Combat
・Ranked lower because of its high ability point requirement.
Can be effetive against strong enemies with high defense.
C
Razor Focus 1/5Razor Focus Branch: Combat
・Gives additional Adrenaline Points from your sword attacks.
High Ability Points Requirement.
Poisoned Blades 1/5Poisoned Blades Branch: Alchemy
・Not required but can also slightly increase your damage output when using oils.
・Gives additional potion duration time.
Metabolic ControlMetabolic Control Branch: General
・Best alternative to Acquired Tolerance and only requires 1 skill point.

Best Skills, Runestones and Glyphs for Combat and Alchemy Hybrid Build

Combat and Signs Hybrid Build

Skill Build Combat Sign.jpg
This build utilizes both sword and signs in dealing damage and maximizing the bonus damage received from Adrenaline Points generated by both your sword and your signs.

Tier Skill Strengths
S Flood of Anger 1/5Flood of Anger Branch: Combat
・Utilizes your Adrenaline Points to maximize the effectiveness and intensity of your Signs.
Razor Focus 1/5Razor Focus Branch: Combat
・The best way to generate Adrenaline Points in the game to maximize your damage output.
FocusFocus Branch: General
・Makes your sign intensity benefit from the Adrenaline Points you accumulate during combat.
A
Resolve 1/5Resolve Branch: Combat
・Main tool to maintain your Adrenaline Points at high percentage even after taking hits.
Adrenaline BurstAdrenaline Burst Branch: General
・Another useful skill to quickly generate more Adrenaline Points during combat.
Griffin School TechniquesGriffin School Techniques Branch: General
・Drastically increases your Sign Intensity and Stamina Regeneration for combat.
B
Undying 1/5Undying Branch: Combat
・Gives you an additional tool for survivability while adding more points to Combat branch to unlock better skills.
Melt Armor 1/5Melt Armor Branch: Sign
・Weakens your enemies defense making your sword attacks more effective.
Delusion 1/3Delusion Branch: Sign
・Optional skill to take to invest more points to Sign Branch and unlocking more dialogues for the story.
C
Muscle Memory 1/5Muscle Memory Branch: Combat
・Gives your fast attacks more damage and gain more Adrenaline Points in each attack.
Strength Training 1/5Strength Training Branch: Combat
・Boosts the damage of your strong attacks and generate more Adrenaline Points.
Pyromaniac 1/5Pyromaniac Branch: Sign
・Optional skill that can increase you damage output when hitting them with Igni.

Best Skills, Runestones and Glyphs for Combat and Signs Hybrid Build

The Witcher 3 Related Links

Beginner
See All Beginner Tips & Guides

Completing the Story
Controls and Techniques Difficulty Level Differences
Does Dialogue Matter? How to Fast Travel
Most Important Side Quests for the Story Romance Guide
List of Endings and How to Get the Best Ending What is Enemy Upscaling?
Things to Know Before Starting Witcher 3 What is New Game+?
Should You Simulate a Witcher 2 Save File? Which Version to Buy?
Fighting Like a Pro
Combat Guide and Tips Sign Tier List
Healing During Battle & Meditation Is Repairing Weapons and Armor Worth It?
What are Adrenaline Points? How to Fight on Horseback
How to Fight Underwater What is Toxicity?
What are Mutations What are Mutagens
Leveling Up & Getting Beefy
How to Level Up Fast Place of Power Locations
Best Character Builds Best Early Game Skills and Builds
Skills Ranking and Tier List Top Five Best and Most Useful Skills
How to Get Magic Acorn How to Reset Ability Points
Best Death March Build and Tips for Survival Max Level and Level Cap for Geralt
Obtaining Weapons & Armor
Best Early Game Weapons and Armor The Best Weapons, Armor and Equipment Sets
How to Upgrade Weapons and Armor Most Rewarding Side Quests and Contracts
Witcher Gear Locations Where to Find Blacksmiths and Armorers?
Which Trophy is the Best? Best Crossbow and Bolts
Managing Money & Items
Managing Your Inventory Best and Worst Items to Sell
Where to Sell Junk Where to Find Ingredients and Crafting Materials
Should You Loot Everything? How to Dismantle Items
How to Make Money Fast Can You Cook Food?
What Items to Buy From Shops -
Just for Fun
List of Hairstyles Best Looking Armor for Geralt
How to Get Paintings How to Win Horse Races

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