From the outset, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt never hesitates to throw tough opponents in Geralt’s path. From wild beasts, to treacherous bandits, the witcher’s travels are never without risk of death. But, the game doesn’t throw a real boss at players until the encounter with Nithral of the titular Wild Hunt. This is a fight that will test even the bravest of warriors, and is not one to be trifled with.
Nithral is encountered at the end of the Wandering in the Dark story quest. He is a member of the Wild Hunt which should immediately let players know that this will be a tough fight. Like the Griffin boss encounter from the first part of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Nithral has two phases that repeat. But, it must be noted that each phase completely changes the required approach, so players must be able to adjust on the fly in order to take Nithral down quickly. Before getting started, meditate beforehand so that Geralt starts the battle at full health. Have the Quen sign equipped, and your silver sword ready. It’s a good idea to have more than one silver sword if possible. There are a lot of enemy encounters leading up to the Nithral fight so being able to swap out a damaged one if need be is a great advantage.
Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to enter phase one of the battle. Luckily, Geralt doesn’t have to fight alone since Kiera Metz, a sorceress who Geralt knows from the past, is fighting alongside him throughout the entire quest. Use that to your advantage and stand back as she distracts Nithral so that Geralt can put to use all that he has learned during The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt so far. Cast Quen, then make your way over to Nithral and deliver 2-3 heavy attacks. Nithral is very quick when it comes to counter-attacking, so Quen will ensure that you receive very little damage as you dish out a bit of your own. Once you get your attacks in, immediately back away. This boss is very powerful and can easily kill Geralt in just a few swings.
Once Geralt’s stamina is full again, cast Quen and repeat the attacking pattern. Players won’t have to worry about Nithral targeting them since Kiera is more than happy to hold his undivided attention as Geralt catches a breather. Continue until Nithral’s health bar is completely depleted, which is when things get interesting. Once “defeated” Nithral will go into his second phase, which is something he will do twice during the battle, meaning you actually have to beat this particular The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt boss 3 times in order to claim victory.
Upon “defeat” Nithral will drop to one knee and trigger a freezing field around his body before teleporting to the center of the room and opening a rift. Out of this rift will appear Hounds of the Wild Hunt. Small, wolf-like creatures that are both quick and deadly. The good thing is that they are incredibly weak against the Igni sign, so players are going to want to immediately switch away from Quen once Nithral takes a knee. Once that is done, prepare to move quickly because summoning beasts isn’t all this second phase is about. Nithral will regain his health for as long as the Hounds of the Wild Hunt are alive. This means the quicker you slay them, then the easier it will be to bring Nithral to his knees again.
Once the rift appears, have Geralt make a dash and cast Igni once an enemy appears. Once a Hound is burning, a few quick attacks will quickly kill it. There are 3-4 summoned each time so stay on the portal to slay them before they spread out. If done quickly, Nithral will be at around half health when he stands back up, transforming the battle from one of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s most difficult early bosses, to an easily manageable one.
When Nithral regains his composure, switch back to Quen and repeat the phase one steps. Be patient, use heavy attacks only, and he will once again fall to your blade with ease. He will trigger phase 2 one more time, so go on the offensive so you can quickly go into the last round. After a few more casts of Quen, Geralt and Kiera will emerge victorious from their first direct encounter with The Witcher 3‘s Wild Hunt.
As long as you remain patient during phase one, and switch to a speedy offense for phase two, this boss battle should go by with ease. Remember, only use Quen on Nithral, the other signs will have no effect on him so it’s not worth wasting your time and stamina. Also, never panic. If the boss gets a good hit off of you, just retreat and heal as Kiera does all of the distracting.
So there you have it, the first major boss in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt taken down with ease. How did you do in your battle? Was it everything you hoped it would be? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. And for more guides, tips, tricks, and information regarding The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt be sure to check out our trusty, ever-expanding wiki.