As a professional monster slayer, Geralt has a wide variety of creatures, spirits, and other monstrous manifestations to cut through. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt tasks both Geralt and Ciri with fighting werewolves from time to time and it’s not always the easiest of contracts. With a potent regeneration ability, fast movement, and deadly strikes, werewolves require you to come prepared and think quickly during a skirmish.
This guide will cover the basics when it comes to fighting werewolves in The Witcher 3, something that players who are newer to the monster-slaying trilogy might have trouble with. The process of prep work, reading your in-game bestiary, crafting bombs, and oils, however, will give you an edge against any creature in the game; smart preparation will apply to other fights, just with different circumstances.
Cursed oil, Moon Dust, and Igni: How to find and prepare to kill a werewolf
Do: Read up on werewolves in your bestiary. Every monster in the game has an unlockable bestiary entry. Depending on which quest you’re on, the game will add werewolves to this menu option. This should happen once Geralt determines that a werewolf is the likely creature behind a specific mystery.
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There’s some nice lore material to read through in the entry, but the main function of the bestiary is to tell you which bombs, oils, and signs are most effective in combat. For werewolves, you want to prepare Moon Dust bombs and Cursed oil. Devil’s puffball bombs are also handy, but Moon Dust will temporarily stop a werewolf from healing itself.
You’ll craft these items in the alchemy menu. Don’t forget to use the “Pin” option, indicated with a button or keybind at the bottom of every recipe. This will highlight ingredients in shop menus so you know exactly what to get.
Using Signs to beat a werewolf
Do: Use Quick Casting. The Witcher 3’s recent next-gen update added a new way to cast Signs and it’s way faster and more powerful as a result. When fighting a werewolf, speed is essential, so you should consider using this alternate casting method.
Quick casting, once enabled in the settings, let’s you hold down RT/R2 and hit a face button to instantly cast a sign. On PC, instead of matching face buttons, there are matching number keys you can just press to cast a Sign.
Do: Use Yrden. All the time. The Yrden sign will slow down enemies, and for fast monsters like werewolves, this is a godsend. One great tactic is to move in, strike, roll back, cast Yrden and let the werewolf walk through the magic trap to slow it down and follow up with a couple more strikes.
Depending on the environment you’re fighting in, this might be easier said than done. But if you can get a werewolf into this loop, you’ll take their health down fast enough to be ahead of their regeneration ability—possibly without the use of Moon Dust. Yrden will also give you some breathing room to aim a bomb or two. Speaking of which…
Do: Spam Igni (but watch your stamina). Werewolves don’t like fire, and Geralt can cast a spell that deals fire damage. How convenient is that? Fire can do some serious damage to a werewolf, but it’s not a get-out-of-death-free-card. Feel free to plan your Igni strikes liberally, but not at the cost of well-timed blade strikes, bomb throws, and uses of Yrden and Quen.
Read More: What You Should Know About ‘Next-Gen’ Witcher 3’s New Casting System
Given a werewolf’s susceptibility to Igni, and the effectiveness of Yrden in slowing them down, quick casting will let you juggle between these two spells much faster than was possible before the update.
How to deal more damage and stop a werewolf from healing itself
Don’t: Stand in one place for too long. Werewolves attack and move fast, so you want to make a few strikes (sometimes one strike is all you’ll have time for) and then dodge back.
If you can get in a quick casting of Quen, which will grant you a shield, you’ll have a nice buffer in case you didn’t dodge at the right time (and if you’ve leveled up Quen, it can even deal damage to an enemy when Geralt’s struck).
Don’t: Spam bombs (or take too long to throw them either). While the crossbow isn’t really that great of a ranged weapon in The Witcher 3, bombs can make a life or death difference. For werewolves, Moon Dust bombs will stop their regeneration.
One likely place you can buy the formula for Moon Dust is from the herbalist’s hut just northeast of Oxenfurt in the Velen & Novigrad map region, but you may find better luck at other vendors throughout the game.
LB/L1/Middle Mouse will bring the camera down to Geralt’s eyeline, letting you aim your throw. If you just tap it, you’re likely to miss the werewolf. But if you take too long to aim, the werewolf is likely to land a few strikes. Take a moment to center the reticle on the werewolf and throw the bomb not a moment too late.
Don’t: Forget to oil your blade. Werewolves fall under the “cursed” category of monsters in The Witcher, that means Cursed oil stings ‘em real bad. Having oil on your blade, which you apply in your inventory will deal extra damage with each successful strike. The game randomizes which vendors will have the formula for this oil, so be sure to check in with any herbalists or alchemy suppliers you spot on the map.
You don’t need to craft oils every time you want to use them. Once crafted, you’ll find them in your inventory, ready to be applied to deal some extra damage.
Werewolves present a number of unique challenges with their speed and regenerating health, but with the right tactics and preparations, it’s all in a day’s work for a witcher. Other creatures will have their own unique challenges, but like werewolves, all monster fights benefit from a bit of prep work, identifying which Signs, bombs, and oils in the bestiary are most effective.