You can equip Geralt with loads of various armor and weapons in The Witcher 3. Usually, this is done based on the bonuses a particular piece provides, but some players may pursue their armor and weapons’ good looks above all else. After all, a few extra damage or defense points become negligible with all the skills, decoctions and other stuff as you progress. Besides, wearing armor designed for melee specialists won’t prevent you from becoming a capable Sign caster, though magic is still most efficient with the Griffin school set.
At some point, completing Scavenger Hunt quests will reward you with decent gear belonging to specific witcher schools: Viper, Feline, Ursine and others. It’s a good idea to choose one of those to wear instead of standard armor: not only can armor sets from different schools boast good defense, but they also provide specific buffs. You get Sign intensity from the Griffin school gear or Fast attack damage from the school of the Cat. Another great feature is that all schools allow upgrades. You’ll be able to gear up your favorite armor set and weapons of your favorite school as you level up. Upgrading often brings new buffs: a Superior Griffin Silver Sword (level 26) has +15% Sign intensity and +25% Critical damage bonuses, while the Enhanced version (level 18) only has +10% Sign intensity and no Critical damage bonus.
Among the most popular sets in The Witcher 3 are Wolf and Griffin armor and weapons. They do have something in common: both sets are medium armor (by default, each piece of medium armor increases Sign intensity by 5% and Stamina regeneration by 5%), provide additional Sign intensity bonus and various resists: elemental, monster, slashing etc. Let’s overview the differences between the Wolf and the Griffin.
Pros and Cons of the Griffin Gear
- Highest possible Sign intensity bonus: up to 97%
- No Attack power bonus
- No Adrenaline Point bonus
- Good Crit Damage bonus: up to 50%
- Crit Chance bonus of up to 10%
- Piercing resist up to 35%
Unique Bonuses: Griffin Gear
3\6 pieces: “After casting a Sign in its standard mode, the next Sign cast within 3 seconds will be cast in standard mode without using Stamina.”
6\6 pieces: “The size of Yrden traps is increased by 40%. While you are within an Yrden trap, Stamina regeneration is increased by 5/s and Sign intensity by 100%, and damage is reduced by 20%.” Note that it means incoming damage and not the damage inflicted by Geralt.
The full set bonus is particularly good versus arachnomorphs, enabling you to easily trap and punish the agile beasts. Incoming damage reduction is also great against anyone and anything. Combine the Griffin set with Entanglement enchantment from Hearts of Stone expansion for ultimate power. With Entanglement, the alternative mode of Yrden (Magic Trap that shoots projectiles) creates a standard Yrden circle every time it hits enemies.
Pros and Cons of the Wolven Gear
- Good Sign intensity bonus: up to 44%
- Attack power bonus of up to 22%
- Adrenaline Point bonus of up to 44%
- No Crit damage bonus
- Good Crit Chance bonus: up to 22%
- Piercing resist up to 29%
Unique Bonuses: Wolf Gear
3\6 pieces: “Up to three different oils can be applied to a sword at a time.”
6\6 pieces: “Bombs are thrown without any delay.”
While the armor itself focuses on melee combat and Signs, its set bonuses are great for alchemists. It makes Wolven gear a perfect choice for characters using all skill trees, a viable strategy in the Witcher 3. Note that the full set bonus doesn’t allow you to throw a single bomb faster. Instead, it reduces the delay between bombs when tossing them in a row.
Both sets offer armor rating of 509, 22% Bludgeoning resist, 45% Slashing resist, 54% Monster resist, and 45% Elemental resist. Besides, there is a 20% Monster experience bonus and 15 sockets for upgrades (Glyphs).
Griffin gear is a perfect fit for mages. Igni and Aard will become especially deadly: the higher your Sign intensity, the more often you set enemies ablaze with Igni, making them unable to move and inflicting severe percent damage; with Aard, you can knock enemies down, which allows for a quick finishing move to end the fight before it starts. Knockdown works even against some tough creatures like water hags, but only if you have enough Sign intensity.
In any case, it’s an excellent all-around choice for a capable Sign caster or a strong fighter. Actually, you can be both with this set. Wolven armor is also suitable for witchers favoring the Alchemy skill tree: with Fixative at level 3, blade oils don’t wear off, and the Wolven gear lets you have up to 3 blade oils active at the same time. The oils are deadly at high levels and can also help you a lot against tougher opponents in the early game if you invest some skill points into Poisoned blades. Poisoned enemies suffer percent damage over time, much like the burning effect of Igni.
If you don’t like the way a particular set looks but enjoy its buffs, dye it. Dyes are a feature of the Blood and Wine expansion. They can be bought from merchants in Toussaint or looted from fallen enemies or chests throughout the world. A wide range of colors is available: black, white, orange, gray, turquoise, brown, green, blue, yellow, pink – you name it.
If you combine sword fighting and Signs, both armor sets got you covered with their bonuses. For a pure caster playthrough of The Witcher 3, stick to the Griffin if you don’t mind the looks.