Although there are many options for skill builds in Witcher 3, some skills really stand out from the rest. These skills are especially important if you’re playing on Death March difficulty where every small advantage counts.
Although no skill in Witcher 3 is truly “required,” the ones we’ll discuss below are very good options that most builds end up taking.
Cat/Griffin/Bear School Techniques (1/1) – you should pick one of these skills if you’re set on which type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) you’re going to wear throughout the game. The bonuses you get are simply too good for one skill point.
Gourmet (1/1) – this passive skill allows food to regenerate your vitality for 20 minutes, which is pretty big when playing on Death March difficulty, especially early on when you don’t have much gear or skills.
Acquired Tolerance (3/3) – This skill raises your maximum toxicity by the number of level 1 alchemy formulas you’ve learned. Considering you will be picking up lots of formulas throughout the game, maximizing skill is very much worth it, so you will be able to use more potions/decoctions before maxing out your toxicity bar. This skill also works wonders together with the popular Euphoria mutation.
Synergy (5/5) – Increases bonus for equipped mutagens by 50%. This skill essentially gives you lots of additional signs intensity, attack power, or vitality, depending on which mutagens you use. Even if you’re not putting any points in the Alchemy tree, if you play Witcher 3 far enough (especially NG+) it’s worth it to invest points in Alchemy just for synergy.
Active Shield (3/3) – this is by far the most useful Sign upgrade and should be picked up pretty much no matter what build you’re going for. This gives your Quen sign an alternate version which allows you to hold a sustained shield that both blocks damage and also heals you at the same time. This skill is absolutely invaluable, especially on Death March difficulty.