Below you will find advices related to all battles against the strong enemies encountered in main quests. The descriptions contain suggested tactic and information about opponent's weaknesses.
- Dettlaff / The Beast of Beauclair - first encounter
- Wight - Spoon Collector
- Alpha Garkain
- Wicked Witch
- Big Bad Wolf
- Cloud Giant
- Dettlaff / The Beast of Beauclair - second encounter (final boss)
The duel with Golyat starts after you reach Toussaint during The Beast of Toussaint main quest.
Take some time to learn the basic attacks of the golyat. The strongest attack of the monster is a whirlwind during which the beast is trying to attack all the people around it. Another powerful attack of the golyat is hitting the ground with its melee weapon. The hit is powerful enough to create a shockwave which can stun Geralt or even knock him to the ground.
Before starting the battle with the golyat, first check if Geralt has ogre oil in his inventory. In addition to that, set Quen as the active sign. The tactic is as follows: activate the Quen shield, wait for one of the slow attacks of the golyat, quickly run towards him after he fails his attacks and perform few attacks of your own. Quickly jump away after that so that the golyat won't have time to respond to this attack. Don't worry about other people who attack the monster, they cannot die.
The encounter with The Bruxa of Corvo Bianco takes place during The Beast of Toussaint main quest. More specifically, it happens after you reach the basement of the Corvo Bianco Vineyard.
Once you regain control of Geralt, try drinking the Black Blood elixir thanks to which some of the damage dealt by bruxa will "return" to the enemy. In addition to that, make sure that Geralt uses the vampire oil on his sword. Bruxa is very agile and it will force you to be constantly on the move so that the enemy cannot surprise attack you.
Yrden sign can be very helpful in defeating bruxa. Remain in the magic circle after it activates and wait for bruxa to appear. Use the fact that the circle will weaken her and start attacking her. If you want, you can also use the Moon Dust bomb, but melee attacks should be efficient enough. Repeat the described procedure until the bruxa is finally defeated.
Important - A battle with a stronger type of bruxa will also happen at the beginning of The Night of the Long Fangs main quest. The duel will have same rules and you can use the same tactic as in the above described duel.
Shaelmaar is a powerful creature which you must face during The Beast of Toussaint main quest. The battle with this monster will take place on an arena in the Tourney Grounds.
Shaelmaar is a tricky opponent. The monster deals high damage and his thick armor successfully blocks most regular attacks. Similarly as in the case of other duels with strong monsters, devote some time to prepare yourself for the battle - check if Geralt has Samum bombs in his equipment and relic oil. Instead of the recommended Aard sign you should focus on using Quen thanks to which each attack of the monster (especially the random ones) will take away much less of Geralt's health.
Important - aim for a swift resolution of the duel; you cannot allow the energy bar of Palmerin, who is helping Geralt, to be completely depleted. Luckily, Palmerin isn't a weak ally and you don't have to lure the monster away from him at all cost.
The best way to defeat the shaelmaar is to position yourself at the edge of the arena and wait for the opponent to start rolling towards you. Jump away just before he hits you (or rely on Quen). The enemy will fall on his back, as shown on the above picture. That's when you can attack him with the sword, which will deal very much damage to the monster. Most of the duel will look similar. The only exception is the situation when the boss losses 2/3 of its health. The shaelmaar will bury himself in the ground then and start throwing small rocks at you. You should move away to a safe distance and wait for this attack to end.
Dettlaff / The Beast of Beauclair - first encounter
The first encounter with Dettlaff, The Beast of Beauclair, happens after you start the main quest Blood Run.
What's very important, you don't need to defeat Dettlaff at all cost. If Geralt loses all his health points, the game won't end in failure but a cutscene will be triggered instead.
If you are ambitious and/or your Geralt is strong enough, you can try defeating Dettlaff. In that case, prepare vampire oil and some Black Blood potion. During the battle you should also use the Quen sign. Similarly as in case of the past encounter with bruxa, always keep moving - not only run around the room, but perform dodges as well. Look for openings to deal some damage to Dettlaff, either when he prepares an attack or after he bounces off Quen. This tactic is time-consuming, but effective if you don't make any serious errors. If you manage to win the duel, as reward you will receive 1000 additional experience points.
Wight - Spoon Collector
The Wight is a monster Geralt has to take care of during the La Cage au Fou main quest. The monster can be found in the Trastamara Hunting Cottage. After finding it you must decide to attack it, or select the wrong dialogue option (either first or the second) while consuming the brew. Only then the Wight will retreat to the main room of the basement where you will be able to fight with the monster.
The Wight (Spoon Collector) isn't a difficult enemy, although it has its own health bar shown at the top of the screen, hence it's treated as a boss enemy by the game. The monster relies on melee attacks, but Geralt will be able to easily block them, or outright dodge any of them by side-stepping. Dodges are also useful when dealing with the second type of attack of the monster. The Wight will vanish from the battlefield and move underground. When it happens try to follow its movement and prevent it from getting close to Geralt. The monster can grab the protagonist and deal damage - this attack cannot be interrupted or defended against when it starts.
You can prepare yourself for the encounter by applying the necrophage oil on the sword. When the battle starts, the best tactic is to use the Igni sign repeatedly, which is extremely effective at setting the boss on fire. This in turn will expose it to Geralt's attacks. Continue using the mentioned sign and melee attacks and the boss should soon by lying dead on the ground.
Alpha Garkain is a boss which Geralt must defeat if you start the main quest Blood Simple in which you help Orianna. Tracking Garkain is one of the most important parts of this quest. Geralt will find the monster hanging under a bridge.
You should prepare yourself well before fighting this monster. Similarly as when facing other vampire creatures, use vampire oil and prepare the Black Blood potion. In addition to that, you can equip Moon Dust or Samum bombs and some medicaments against poison. Set Quen or Igni as active Witcher Sign. Quen will help you in avoiding damage if you don't manage to dodge one of the attacks. Igni will allow you to successfully burn the garkain and make him vulnerable to further attacks.
Try spending some time on learning garkain's attacks. In addition to fast attacks with upper limbs the beast has two unique abilities. The first one is a very high and fast jump after which it attacks with its crawls when returning to the ground. You can avoid this attack by jumping to the side at right time. The second unique ability is creating shockwave that can stun Geralt and make him a vulnerable target. If you see that the monster is preparing to use that ability, try moving away from it as fast as possible. Thanks to that the wave won't reach you.
Look for opening to attack after each of his unsuccessful attacks. It might be even easier if you use Igni sign - if garkain is set on fire, he becomes vulnerable for a moment and you can attack him with no fear. Try making it impossible for the boss to hit you because he can poison Geralt. If that happens, you must quickly use antidote or at least some stronger healing items.
Wicked Witch is a boss which Geralt must defeat if he decides to complete the mind quest Beyond Hill and Dale... about finding Syanna in the fairy land. The encounter with the witch will occur soon after starting the exploration of the area, before the first conversation with Syanna.
Before you start fighting the opponent, use relict oil on your silver sword. In addition to that, first take core of the new archespore so that later it won't interrupt you.
By default the witch will fly on its broomstick above the hut and it will be surrounded by a magic barrier. Witch's main attack is spilling acid - you must avoid it by jumping to the sides or moving back from the endangered area. Otherwise Geralt will receive some serious damage. Notice that before using the acid attack the witch lowers its flight and deactivates the barrier. Use it to take it to the ground - you can use the crossbow or Aard sign for that.
After the witch lands on the ground, focus only on attacking the Broom. Destroying it will make it impossible for the witch to fly above the battle arena. From now you can attack the witch in traditional way - start with using Igni, then perform a few hits with the sword and finally jump away before the witch will be able to answer Geralt's attacks. Repeat this until you kill the opponent.
Big Bad Wolf
Big Bad Wolf is one of the unique monsters which Geralt must defeat while in the fairy land in the Beyond Hill and Dale... quest. The confrontation with the wolf will occur while searching for magic beans needed for leaving the fairy land. You will find him at the Granny's house and the battle with him will start when Syanna will put the Red Riding Hood costume on.
The duel with Big Bad Wolf isn't too hard to win despite the fact that he has longer health bar like every boss. Before starting the battle you should use beast oil on your silver sword. When the duel begins, dodge whenever the beast attacks and then perform your own hits. Syanna will be helping Geralt in defeating the wolf. You don't have to worry about her, she can't die. Defeating the Big Bad Wolf equals obtaining the Red Bean.
Longlocks is one of the unique monsters which Geralt must defeat while in the fairy land during the Beyond Hill and Dale... quest. The battle with this monster will occur while searching for the magic beans needed for leaving the fairy land. Longlocks can be found at the top of the tower.
Defeating Longlocks shouldn't be very troublesome. Before the combat starts, use wraith oil and set Yrden as active Witcher Sign.
Once the fight starts, use Yrden sign to set the magic circle. Attack the Longlocks whenever she appears inside the circle. In the meantime dodge and block her attacks. After some time skeletons will join the fight. Use area attacks to quickly get rid of a group of skeletons and use the fact that Longlocks won't attack when they are around (she will resume her attacks after the summoned skeletons are killed).
Cloud Giant is one of the unique monsters which Geralt must defeat while in the fairy land during the Beyond Hill and Dale... quest. The confrontation with this giant monster will occur in the final phase of exploration of the area, just before planting the magic beans.
The battle with the Cloud Giant is very similar to the fight with the goliath at the beginning of the Blood and Wine expansion. Before the fight starts, use ogre oil and set Igni as active sign. Once the duel starts, move through the arena and don't let the size of the opponent fool you - one of his special abilities is to move from place to place. Don't attack the giant in the regular way. Instead of that, try to always position yourself near the cages which were recently struck by lightning.
Wait for the giant to also get close to the charged cage and jump away in the last moment from his attack. With a bit of luck the monster will miss and hit the electrified cage (as shown on the above picture). Once that happens, act quickly - set the giant on fire with Igni sign and perform a few strong attacks with your sword. Once the boss regains full strength, move away from him and look for another electrified cage. Repeat the steps until the giant is dead.
Dettlaff / The Beast of Beauclair - second encounter (final boss)
The second battle with Dettlaff can happen in the final phase of the main plot and in that case it is considered as the final boss of the game. More specifically, you can encounter the Beast of Beauclair after starting the Tesham Mutna main quest. Geralt will be forced then to defeat Dettlaff in combat. The only exception is if Dettlaff murdered Syanna after returning from the fairy land (the medium game ending). In that case you can decide whether to kill him or let him walk away.
What's very important about the battle with Dettlaff is the fact that the fight won't start until you enter the arena where after the cutscene Regis and Dettlaff will be fighting each other. You can use that to save your game, use vampire oil, equip Black Blood and other useful potions and select the sign for this battle. It is recommended to use Quen which can be used for protection from some attacks of Dettlaff or to set the ground for counterattacks.
After you move forward a cutscene will start during which Regis will be removed from the fight. Because of that Geralt will be forced to defeat Dettlaff without the help of the friendly vampire.
The first part of the duel is the simplest one, but it doesn't mean you can't watch out during it. Try completing it without using potions and other valuable supplies, they will be much more needed later. Start with moving through the arena and waiting for opening to weaken Dettlaff. You can perform 1-2 quick attacks after his failed attempts or look for opportunities to parry his attacks (for example the stronger one). It will make him lose the balance and will give Geralt a chance to deal some damage to him. Optionally you can switch to Igni for this phase of the battle. Successfully using this sign can temporarily leave Dettlaff vulnerable to sword attacks.
After Dettlaff losses about 1/4 of health a short cutscene will start during which Dettlaff will transform into a flying creature. It will be a signal to start the second phase of the battle.
The second phase of the battle is the hardest and once you reach it you must change your tactics completely. While in the flying beast form, Dettlaff will obtain a few new abilities which you should learn very well. The first one is the attack from the air. It is fast, but the boss signals it very clearly and it will give you a chance to jump away. If you feel strong enough, you can use Aard when the boss ends his attacks. This action must be performed with perfect timing to succeed. If it does succeed, then Dettlaff's attack will be stopped and he will be taken to the ground.
The next ability of Dettlaff is very dangerous. He is able to summon a group of bats and then send them at Geralt. You must react to these attacks correctly or otherwise Geralt will lose plenty of health points or he will die. Don't count on Quen shield to save you from the bats. When you notice the boss summoning the bats, move quickly to the opposite end of the arena. Jump to the side only after the bats start flying towards Geralt and they are nearby. You can't move away too quickly or too late.
Further in this phase of the battle on the arena some pillars of blood will appear on the arena. Don't get close to them - Geralt can be imprisoned inside and in addition to receiving damage he will become vulnerable to Dettlaff's other attacks.
You should attack Dettlaff only when he lands on the arena - an example situation like that is shown on the above picture. When that happens, try performing the strongest attacks, but don't overdo with their number - 4-5 should be enough. Jump away from Dettlaff after finishing the combo and prepare to defend from new wave of his attacks (described above).
You won't miss the moment when the third and final phase of the battle starts. Geralt will destroy Dettlaff's wings and he will be moved to a new arena which looks like insides of a giant living organism. During this phase you should perform as many dodges as possible and keep away from Dettlaff. Don't attack him. Instead of that, look for opportunities to hurt the large organs on the edges of the arena - one of them is shown on the above picture.
Perform 2-3 attacks after getting close to an organ (before Dettlaff reaches Geralt) and immediately move to the next one. Remember to have Quen sign active in case that Dettlaff manages to reach and attack you in time. Destroying all organs will take away the rest of Dettlaff's health. All that's left for you to do is to run towards him and finish the vampire.