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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Combat Skill Tree Quick Reference Guide

Want to know all about the Combat skill tree in Witcher 3? Then check out this guide for tips on combat!

Combat in The Witcher 3 is fast and sometimes difficult. You can die in the blink of an eye if you aren't careful. This is why it is important to pick the right skills to fit your play style.

I'll help you by explaining all the skills and ranks available in the combat skill tree as well as some tips on picking the right ones. Check out the guides on the Alchemy and Signs skill trees, or the Beginner's guide for more tips.

This guide will cover everything about the combat skill tree including:

  • Fast Attack - Skills using your fast melee attacks.
  • Strong Attack - Skills using your strong melee attacks that ignore armor.
  • Defense - Skills using the Wolf School techniques.
  • Marksmanship - Skills using your crossbow.
  • Battle Trance - Skills using adrenaline points.
  • Tips and Fast Attack Focused Archetype - What to look for overall when focusing on Fast attacks in combat.

Fast Attack - Fast melee attacks

witcher 3 fast attack skill tree

Muscle Memory - Increases Fast attack damage
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 1
  • Rank 1 - Increases Fast attack damage by 5%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Increases Fast attack damage by 10%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Increases Fast attack damage by 15%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Increases Fast attack damage by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Increases Fast attack damage by 25%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Precise Blows - Increases Fast attack critical hit chance and damage
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 2
  • Rank 1 - Increases Fast attack critical hit chance by 2% and critical hit damage by 15%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Increases Fast attack critical hit chance by 4% and critical hit damage by 30%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Increases Fast attack critical hit chance by 6% and critical hit damage by 45%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Increases Fast attack critical hit chance by 8% and critical hit damage by 60%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Increases Fast attack critical hit chance by 10% and critical hit damage by 75%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Whirl - Spinning attack that hits all enemies in the area
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 3
  • Rank 1 - Maintaining the attack costs stamina and adrenaline points. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Costs 20% less stamina and adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Costs 30% less stamina and adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Costs 40% less stamina and adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Costs 50% less stamina and adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Crippling Strikes - Fast attack now causes bleeding
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 4
  • Rank 1 - Bleeding enemies lose 25 vitality or essence per second for 5 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Bleeding enemies lose 50 vitality or essence per second for 5 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Bleeding enemies lose 75 vitality or essence per second for 5 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Bleeding enemies lose 100 vitality or essence per second for 5 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Bleeding enemies lose 150 vitality or essence per second for 5 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +5%.

Strong Attack - Strong melee attacks that ignore armor

witcher 3 strong attack skill tree

Strength Training - Increases Strong attack damage
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 1
  • Rank 1 - Increases Strong attack damage by 5%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Increases Strong attack damage by 10%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Increases Strong attack damage by 15%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Increases Strong attack damage by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Increases Strong attack damage by 25%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Crushing Blows - Increases Strong attack critical hit chance and damage
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 2
  • Rank 1 - Increases Strong attack critical hit chance by 2% and critical hit damage by 15%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Increases Strong attack critical hit chance by 4% and critical hit damage by 30%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Increases Strong attack critical hit chance by 6% and critical hit damage by 45%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Increases Strong attack critical hit chance by 8% and critical hit damage by 60%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Increases Strong attack critical hit chance by 10% and critical hit damage by 75%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Rend - Deal extra damage based on stamina used. Adrenaline points increase total damage by 100%
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 3
  • Rank 1 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 10%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 30%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 40%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 50%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Sunder Armor - Reduces enemy resistance
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 4
  • Rank 1 - Reduce enemy resistance by 5%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Reduce enemy resistance by 10%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Reduce enemy resistance by 15%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Reduce enemy resistance by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Reduce enemy resistance by 25%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.

Defense - Wolf School Defense Techniques

witcher 3 defense skill tree

Arrow Deflection - Deflect arrows while parrying
  • Ranks: 3
  • Tier: 1
  • Rank 1 - Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - If timed right, deflect arrows back to attacker. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Reflected arrows deal double damage. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
Fleet Footed - Damage received while dodging is reduced
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 2
  • Rank 1 - Reduces damage received while dodging by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Reduces damage received while dodging by 40%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Reduces damage received while dodging by 60%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Reduces damage received while dodging by 80%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Reduces damage received while dodging by 100%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Counterattack - Causes the next attack after a successful counterattack to deal 30% more damage per skill level
  • Ranks: 3
  • Tier: 3
  • Rank 1 - Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Now is a critical hit with a chance to knockdown based on adrenaline points. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Adrenaline point gain +3%.
Deadly Precision - Each adrenaline point adds a 1% chance to instantly kill an enemy
  • Ranks: 2
  • Tier: 4
  • Rank 1 - Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Adrenaline point gain +2%.

Marksmanship - Skills using the crossbow

witcher 3 marksmanship skill tree

Lightning Reflexes - Slows time down even more when aiming with a crossbow
  • Ranks: 3
  • Tier: 1
  • Rank 1 - Slows time by an additional 15%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Slows time by an additional 30%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Slows time by an additional 45%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
Cold Blood - Each crossbow attack adds adrenaline 
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 2
  • Rank 1 - Adds 0.04 adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Adds 0.08 adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Adds 0.12 adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Adds 0.16 adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Adds 0.2 adrenaline. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Rend - Deal extra damage based on stamina used. Adrenaline points increase total damage by 100%
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 3
  • Rank 1 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 10%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 30%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 40%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Ignore enemy defense and increase critical hit chance by 50%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Crippling Shot - Critical hits with crossbow disable monster special abilities
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 4
  • Rank 1 - Disables for 5 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Disables for 10 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Disables for 15 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Disables for 20 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Disables for 25 seconds. Adrenaline point gain +5%.

Battle Trance - Skills using Adrenaline Points

witcher 3 battle trance skill tree

Resolve - Lowers amount of adrenaline lost when getting attacked
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 1
  • Rank 1 - Lowers by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Lowers by 40%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Lowers by 60%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Lowers by 80%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Lowers by 100%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Undying - Adrenaline points restore vitality if it reaches 0
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 2
  • Rank 1 - Amount restored is based on how many adrenaline points are available. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Restores by an extra 25%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Restores by an extra 50%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Restores by an extra 75%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Restores by an extra 100%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Razor Focus - Instantly generates adrenaline points when entering combat and increases adrenaline points generated by sword attacks
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 3
  • Rank 1 - Gains 1 point when entering combat and increases points from sword attacks by 5%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Gains 1 point when entering combat and increases points from sword attacks by 10%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Gains 1 point when entering combat and increases points from sword attacks by 15%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Gains 1 point when entering combat and increases points from sword attacks by 20%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Gains 1 point when entering combat and increases points from sword attacks by 25%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.
Flood of Anger - Uses adrenaline points when casting Signs to upgrade the Sign to the highest level
  • Ranks: 5
  • Tier: 4
  • Rank 1 - Consumes 3 adrenaline points and increases Sign intensity by 25%. Adrenaline point gain +1%.
  • Rank 2 - Consumes 3 adrenaline points and increases Sign intensity by 50%. Adrenaline point gain +2%.
  • Rank 3 - Consumes 3 adrenaline points and increases Sign intensity by 75%. Adrenaline point gain +3%.
  • Rank 4 - Consumes 3 adrenaline points and increases Sign intensity by 100%. Adrenaline point gain +4%.
  • Rank 5 - Consumes 3 adrenaline points and increases Sign intensity by 125%. Adrenaline point gain +5%.

Tips and Fast Attack Focused Archetype

Fast Crit

  • Muscle Memory
  • Resolve
  • Undying 2
  • Arrow Deflection
  • Precise Blows
  • Rend
  • Razor Focus
  • Crippling Strikes
  • Cat School Techniques
  • Adrenaline Burst

This build focus on fast attacks and crit damage, with a little survivability.

  • Undying has 2 points because you need it to get to tier 3. You can also max it out for increased survivability.
  • Rend gets you more damage and crit chance, even though it is in the strong attack tree.
  • Cat School increases crit damage and fast attack damage for each piece of light armor equipped, so focus on getting light armor.
  • Attack power and crit mutagens are helpful.
  • Thunderbolt is a good potion to use.

That's it for my Combat skill tree guide for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of your own Combat builds. Please visit The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Master Guide List for more tips and guides related to the game.

Published May. 22nd 2015

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