Mutations are one of the biggest novelties introduced by Blood and Wine. They are powerful unique abilities that vastly enhance Geralt's already impressive skills. The mutations are not available by default and to gain access to them you will have to find the secret laboratory of Dr. Moreau, located in the ruins inside the Valley of the Nine. The side quest Turn and Face the Strange is associated with reaching the lab. In order to unlock this quest you must wait until Geralt gets approached by a messenger bearing a letter from Yennefer. The messenger should appear shortly after the completion of the main quest Blood Run. Snoop around Beauclair until you see a short scene showing your encounter with the messenger.
The letter will inform Geralt of Professor Moreau and his lost workshop. You must now complete the Turn and Face the Strange quest, which was described in detail in a separate chapter of this guide. At the end of this quest, Geralt will enter the casket-like object shown in the picture above. Using Professor Moreau's equipment will enable you to acquire mutations.
Open the character screen where you spend skill points received through leveling up. Then select the mutations icon (or press C) to open a new screen. You can now unlock mutations from a total of twelve available in the expansion. In order to obtain a specific mutation (more specifically - to carry out research that will result in discovering it), Geralt must have free skill points (the ones received for obtaining new experience levels) and have enough greater mutagens in his inventory.
Once a mutation is researched, you must activate it. What's very important, you can't have more than one mutation active simultaneously. Because of that you should always select an active mutation which suits your current needs (for example the requirements for combat).
One passive mutation called Strengthened Synapses is developed while you obtain new active mutations. The passive mutation becomes stronger as you buy new active mutations and it unlocks additional slots for skills in the character tab. Requirements for unlocking new slots are as follows:
- First new skill slot - Researching two mutations.
- Second new skill slot - Researching four mutations.
- Third new skill slot - Researching eight mutations.
- Fourth new skill slot - Researching all twelve mutations.
List and descriptions of mutations
1) Magic Sensibilities - One of the "starter" mutations. It unlocks the possibility to deal critical damage with Witcher signs. Chance for dealing critical damage and the strength of critical hits increases as the intensity of the sign increases. In addition to that, opponents killed by critical damage from a sign are exploding. It is a good mutation if you like to use Witcher signs during the combat. However, it is important to have many signs-related skills in the active slots when you use this mutagen. Thanks to that the overall sign intensity will be higher and thus the mutation will be more effective.
2) Deadly Counter - One of the "starter" mutations. It allows dealing 25% more damage with sword to humans who are resistant to counterattacks and to monsters. In other cases a counterattack can automatically trigger a finisher if the health bar of the attacker is shorter than 25%. You will gain the most of this mutation if you depend on counterattacks in melee combat since in that case Geralt can count on both statistic bonuses coming from this mutagen.
3) Toxic Blood - One of the "starter" mutations. When Geralt is hit during a melee combat, the attacker will automatically receive damage equal to 1.5% of damage dealt multiplied by number of toxicity points. Using this mutation can be very helpful when fighting stronger opponents who deal large number of damage. However, you must remember to keep toxicity on high level so that you gain more profits from this mutagen.
4) Piercing Cold - This mutation improves the Aard sign and gives it a 25% chance for freezing the opponent. If the enemy is frozen and knocked over on the ground, he will die instantly. If he is not frozen, then he will receive very high additional damage. These improvements greatly improve effectiveness and usefulness of Aard sign. What's more, since it provides you with a few different bonuses, you don't need to hope for a single specific one. Take interest in this mutation if you use Aard sign frequently and most of all if you face an opponent whose weakness is this sign.
5) Conductors of Magic - Thanks to this mutation damage dealt by Witcher signs will be increased by 50% of damage of your active sword. In order to receive the bonus Geralt must use a magic sword, unique sword or one of the Witcher gear swords. You can gain the most from this mutation if you use a very good weapon which deals massive damage. Because of that it is best to wait with activating this mutation until Geralt obtains one of the best swords available in the game.
6) Adrenaline Rush - At the start of the battle this mutation increases the strength of attacks and intensity of Witcher signs by 30% for 30 seconds per each opponent except for the first one. Further in the battle the attack strength and sign intensity is reduced by 10 percent per each opponent except for the first one. You should use this mutation during encounters in which Geralt must defeat many opponents. Only then you will feel the difference provided by this mutation and you will be able to easily eliminate groups of enemies.
7) Second Life - As the name of the mutation suggests, it protects Geralt from dying. When the protagonist loses all his health points, he becomes temporarily invulnerable and his health is fully regenerated. The mutation can activate only once every three minutes. Despite this limitation it is very useful. If you play on one of higher difficulties, you should unlock it as quickly as possible. On lower difficulties you should activate it before each harder battle (for example against a boss).
8) Bloodbath - This mutation guarantees that each final hit performed with sword cuts of opponent's limb or activates a finisher. In addition to that, each successful melee attack increases the attack strength by 5% till the end of the battle. The bonus stacks for as long as Geralt won't receive any damage from opponents. You should consider using this mutation in battles when you must defeat slower enemies and the ones who have more trouble with hitting you (even with a weak attack). Otherwise each hit will reduce the bonus from this mutation.
9) Cat Eyes - The mutation greatly increase the crossbow damage and increase the chance for a critical hit performed with that weapon by 50 percent. In addition to that, the bolts can penetrate and stun the opponents and the health of hit opponent who had full strength is reduced by 15%. You should take interest in this mutation if you use crossbow in combat frequently. However, you should use it only after Geralt obtains one of the best crossbows available in the game or after he gets some unique set of bolts.
10) Metamorphosis - Due to this mutation using critical effects on opponents activates a random potion for two minutes. It happens without affecting the current toxicity level. Up to three potions can be active simultaneously. In addition to that, the mutation automatically lightens up darker locations. You can consider using this mutation, but only if you greatly improved alchemical abilities of the protagonist.
11) Euphoria - This mutation increases the damage dealt with a sword, and the power of signs by 0.75% for each point of poisoning. Consider activating this mutation, if you constantly keep Geralt's poisoning level on a high level, because only then you will notice the boost to the statistics.
12) Mutated Skin - This mutation lowers the damage received by 15% for each adrenaline point. Consider using this mutation if you are playing on one of the higher difficulty levels, or you are planning a fight with a strong enemy.