Try This Fun Witcher 3 Cat Eyes Crossbow Build

Crossbows seem like an afterthought in Witcher 3. Aside from grounding the Griffin at the start of the game and occasionally one-shotting drowners underwater, I don’t remember using it often.

But there is a viable crossbow build in Witcher 3, courtesy of Demonphoenix. While you’ll need to complement it with signs and sword attacks, the build uses the crossbow to deliver solid damage, impressive utility, and crowd control. Warning: this build is quite fun to play! 

Recommended level: 35+ / Total skill points needed: 70~

  • General: Steady Shot | Trick Shot
  • Combat: Arrow Deflection 2/2 | Lightning Reflexes 1/1 | Resolve 3/3 | Undying 3/3 | Cold Blood 3/3 | Anatomical Knowledge 3/3 | Crippling Shot 2/2 | Razor Focus 3/3 | Deadly Precision 2/2 | Crippling Strikes 3/3
  • Signs: Yrden Intensity 3/3 OR Pyromaniac 3/3 | Supercharged Glyphs 3/3
  • Alchemy: Delayed Recovery 3/3 | Synergy 3/3
  • Mutagens: Greater Red x4
  • Mutation: Cat Eyes — Crossbow damage is increased, +50% crossbow critical hit chance is increased by 50%, 15% Vitality damage to full health enemies, bolts pierce and knock down or stun opponents. 
  • Ideal Gear: Ursine Crossbow/Forgotten Wolven armor/Grandmaster Griffin boots + gloves + pants/Viroledan Blade/Aerondight

You can start using this build as soon as you unlock the Cat Eyes mutations, which should be around 30-35. It works perfectly fine on Death March difficulty, so it’s not gimmicky.

The crossbow is the star of the build. All shots will disable monster abilities for 30 seconds and either stun or knock enemies down, which is pretty useful. You’ll also occasionally one-shot enemies thanks to Deadly Precision. 

Whenever you aim your crossbow, time will significantly slow down, making it easy to avoid damage and pinpoint your shot.

The build includes four skills that you can choose between:

  • Choose between Pyromaniac or Yrden Intensity. Pyromaniac gives 100% burn chance (for crowd control) but you can drop it for Yrden intensity if you’re using superior petri’s philter potion, because it will make your Igni always burn.
  • Another choice is between Arrow Deflection and Magic Trap. If you don’t like using arrow deflection, you can use the magic trap skill instead.

You’ll want the Ursine crossbow for this build. The rest of the gear matters less, but the ideal setup is Forgotten Wolven armor (with eruption rune), three pieces of Griffin armor (for the 3/6 grandmaster bonus so you can double cast signs), and Viroledan blade and Aerondight (both with elation rune) for your swords.

If you don’t have these yet, you can use the Wolven, Feline, or Forgotten Wolven swords instead.

Here’s your basic rotation: 

  • Put up Quen -> crossbow shot for the stun/knockdown -> sword attacks -> occasional Igni, Yrden, or Quen, rinse and repeat
  • Against single enemies, you can also just spam crossbow shots if you prefer
  • Igni is best against multiple enemies for crowd control
  • Yrden can be used in both single and multi-enemy fights
Exploding bolts are a lot of fun against multiple enemies.

We also recommend picking up exploding bolts and equipping them when fighting many enemies. As for potions, run superior swallow, petri’s philter, and blizzard potions for best results.

This build is quite fun to play because you get to use your whole Witcher arsenal and constantly slow down time for crossbow shots.

Check out Demonphoenix’s video to see the build in action with more details.

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