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Alchemy Guide

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition

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Alchemy Guide

Alchemy in the Witcher series is a major game mechanic that can make or break some of the toughest fights in the game. Alchemy is also one of more complicated mechanics with its many different potions and varieties that serve as buffs instead of traditional healing potions. And that's only the potions, we still have bombs to consider.

This will no doubt confuse many gamers who are used to alchemy in the Elder Scrolls game.

I like to say that alchemy in the Witcher is more like WoW's version, which will be familiar to many of you raiders, but for the more casual rpg fan this more like 'buffs' in the most loosest sense.

Namely alchemy's major focus is on giving you an edge over a particular fight by increasing a certain selection of your stats to match which fighting style is needed for the encounter. The potions are the meta of the game on Hard+ difficulty, and should be used at all times during Act 1 to better level your power with the more monstrous creatures. These potions will also aid you before you level in one of the three paths on your character stats, allowing you to be a better sign-caster or melee fighter than you should be.

Alchemy Basics:

Alchemy creates three varieties of enhancements for Geralt: bombs, oils, and potions.

Bombs are weapons that can be thrown like daggers and should be used to engage enemies at range during the early game before combining them with traps.

Oils are a blade-coating that gives extremely powerful bonuses. When dealing with a large number of a certain type of enemy: insects, undead, humans, be sure to coat your weapon in an oil that compliments the situation.

Potions are the majority of products you'll use for alchemy. These potions tend to focus on either Geralt's resistances, such as poison, or his two primary bars: health or vigor. Health-potions should be carried a plenty by most gamers, Swallow being the most helpful in a majority of circumstances. Vigor potions are primarily for sign-users (mages) or if you're in a massive group fight and require addition vigor to parry.

To create any of these items requires ingredients. Now, there are about thirteen different ingredients, so I won't get into them all but I will tell you about the basics of keeping you stocked up for alchemy.

:Gathering basics:

1. When entering a new area, always pick from every plant in your path. This will give you a feel for what each plant offers for your alchemy. Each plant offers different ingredients that often overlap (Ceredium can be found in nine different plants and monster parts).

2. Never forsake monster parts. These are absolutely necessary for crafting as well as Alchemy. Always loot monsters for everything they have, even if it means you have to drop some plants.

3. For potions you use alot of, memorize which ingredients. A monster part that offers alot for your mats should be farmed when you find a large gathering of them.

Buffing Alchemy 101: Potions

Potions are the most common use for alchemy. They serve as buffs and give you a chance to max-out your build's benefits and cut down on the cons for a price. This is the longest list. Each potion applies something called :Toxicity:, some are more toxic than others. This means that your limited by how many potions you can ingest. Because of this, weaker versions of a potion can be better than a stronger version if you use the right combinations. Toxicity is limited at 100, the toxicity value for each potion is last number.

Also, you can only drink up to three potions.

Cat
Cat Aether Vermilion Hydragenum Allows seeing in total darkness and through walls. Decreases damage dealt.*The damage decrease is only %10. Use this for dark areas of the game instead of the flare bomb.
5 min 25
Healing brew
Healing brew Rebis Vitriol Aether Caelum Accelerates vitality regeneration.*Plot potion, don't drink it.
10 min 25
Gadwall
Gadwall Rebis Vermilion Caelum Sol tw2.svg Aether Increases vitality regeneration at the expense of vigor and damage dealt.*Used as a plot potion. I don't use this since though it seems like a tank potion, you lose vigor which is used by melee to block additional damage.
10 min 40
Tawny owl
Tawny owl Vitriol Vermilion Quebrith Fulgur tw2.svg Increases vigor regeneration.*This is the go-to potion for range-builds. This allows you to cast signs for a long period of time. You can also use it as a melee potion to increase your melee block.
10 min 25
Wolf
Wolf Rebis Aether Hydragenum Increases chance of causing critical effects, for Igni incineration and for Aard knockdown.*This is the damage potion for a range-build. It allows you to wipe out rooms or deal heavy single-target damage with an Igni blast.
10 min 25
Rook
Rook Vitriol Vermilion Hydragenum Increases sword damage.*A primary potion for melee-builds, and nobody else. This stacks with the Whirl oil and Falka's Blood.
10 min 25
Swallow
Swallow Vitriol Aether Caelum

Increases vitality regeneration.*An extremely useful potion for all builds. It allows you to heal during battle and has saved me enough that I always keep a spare no matter my build. It is the first potion you get.

10 min 25
Golden oriole
Golden oriole Rebis Vermilion Caelum Increases all resistances.*Used as a tank potion. This potion will save you against many foes on Dark mode, especially insects in Act 1 that apply a liberal amount of poison around.
10 min 25
Tiara
Tiara Hydragenum Aether Quebrith Decreases vigor loss when blocking at the expense of vitality and damage dealt. *This is another tank potion though I'd only recommend it if you're fighting large groups of humans and prefer to block rather than evade.
10 min 40
Stammelford's philtre
Stammelford's philtre Vitriol Aether Hydragenum Fulgur tw2.svg Increases Sign power at the cost of vitality.*The glass-cannon potion. By using this you max your ranged damage by blasting opponents with signs, your lost health can be supplemented with dodging or the Quen sign.
10 min 30
Maribor forest
Maribor forest Rebis Vermilion Caelum Sol tw2.svg Increases vigor at the expense of vitality and chance of causing critical effect.*Situational, the vigor increase works well with endurance fights that require a lot of blocking or casting. But the decrease to critical effects makes this a potion I seldom use.
10 min 40
Lapwing
Lapwing Rebis Aether Caelum Fulgur tw2.svg Considerably increases vigor regeneration at the expense of vitality and resistances.*BAZAM your vigor is unlimited. You can now blast everything while having the resistance of kleenex tissue.
10 min 40
Virga
Virga Vitriol Caelum Quebrith Increases damage reduction at the expense of resistances and chance of causing critical effects.*A tanking potion made for fighting humanoids. Use this if fighting major groups of humans but don't use this against status enemies like insects.
10 min 30
White Raffard's decoction
White Rafford's decoction Vitriol Vermilion Hydragenum Sol tw2.svg Increases vitality at the expense of damage dealt.*This is another endurance potion that can be coupled with Maribor Forest as a two-potion survival combo. 10 min 50
Brock Brock Vitriol Aether Quebrith Caelum Significantly increase chance of causing critical effects while reducing all resistances.*A potion you can use in a range build or heavy melee damage build for maximum dps. With this you will focus primarily on dodging damage instead of blocking.
10 min 50
Petri's philtre
Petri's philtre Rebis Aether Quebrith Increases Sign damage.*A range potion with no drawbacks besides the heavy toxicity. Use this as a primary damage potion as a ranged-build with a focus on signs.
10 min 50
Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt Quebrith Quebrith Hydragenum Hydragenum Significantly increases damage dealt at the expense of Vitality and its regeneration.*A dps potion I only use with a dodge-focus build. Never get hit, and never block when you drink this potion. This damage is for both signs and melee, but will damage you if you get hit by a status effect or hit at all for that matter.
10 min 50
Mongoose
Mongoose Rebis Aether Fulgur tw2.svg Provides protection from the *spoiler* toxic mucus.*Plot potion that makes poison laughable.
10 min 25
Visionary's potion
Visionary's potion unknown Spoiler. 5 min 50
Anabolic steroids
Anabolic steroids unknown Spoiler.


 

Coating Alchemy 101: Oils

Coatings are something you should always place on your blades. It doesn't ruin your toxicity, and many of them are extremely deadly against certain enemy. Coatings only apply their effect if the blade hits the enemy. But all builds will eventually engage foes in melee so don't neglect these.

Necrophage oil Necrophage oil
Hydragenum Sol tw2.svg Vitriol Quebrith
Increases damage to necrophages.*Very useful, this oil increases damage to Undead which play a major role in the last two acts, especially the second. In act one you shouldn't worry about making this.
Hanged man's venom Hanged man's venom
Caelum Sol tw2.svg Vitriol Quebrith
Increases damage to humanoids.*Always have some of this, humanoids are universally your most common opponents. This venom makes many fights easier, especially against a certain boss.
Specter oil Specter oil
Rebis Hydragenum Aether Caelum
Increases damage to wraiths.*This is different from Necrophage oil. This oil damages ghosts and you should USE it. When you first encounter specters they will be significantly more threatening than many of the enemies and will be a threat even to the end of the game. Always have a spare on this...
Brown oil Brown oil
Rebis Hydragenum Vermilion Caelum
Increases chance of causing critical effect: bleeding. *This oil really depends on your build. It's primarily a ranged oil in my opinion. A bleed effect will continually damage while you blast with signs. Traps and bombs further compliment this with stacking damage debuffs.
Falka's Blood Falka's Blood
Vitriol Vermilion Caelum Quebrith
Increases maximum sword damage.*This oil is melee-only. It increases your crit damage significantly, and should be used if you use a crit-heavy build. if you don't carry about crits as melee, use Whirl and compliment it with status/stun bombs.
Whirl Whirl
Vitriol Aether Rebis Caelum
Increases sword damage.*My go-to oil. It increases your average damage and is the most useful oil for a general situation as a melee build. A range-build shouldn't concern itself with this and instead use Brown oil for their primary oil.
Arachnid oil Arachnid oil
Rebis Quebrith Hydragenum Vermilion
Increases chance of causing critical effect: poisoning. *Don't combine this with Devil's Puffball, the effects don't stack. Don't use this against poison-resistant enemies. I use the bombs or traps for poisoning and use Brown for a damage-over-time oil.
Insectoid oil Insectoid oil
Hydragenum Rebis
Increases damage to insectoids. *Extremely useful in Act 1 not so in the others. Make a few for act 1 and don't bother with it after that. Undead will replace insects as the most common monsters.

 

Weaponized Alchemy 101: Bombs

Bombs make just about any gamer giddy, and Witcher 2 offers an armory of different bombs to be used. For the purpose of this guide I will describe the bombs, their uses, and tips. To equip a bomb you simply have to place it in your pocket slots like daggers.

Samum Samum Aether Rebis

Stuns and immobilizes all enemies in range. *This bomb is one I dislike very much. It fails to do as advertised for many enemies. It's your first bomb and is still somewhat effective against humans.

Grapeshot Grapeshot Rebis Caelum After detonating wounds all enemies in range with shrapnel. *This bomb is my go-to for eliminating groups. It does decent damage to humans and blows Nekkers and other group creatures to ***. By combining it with traps, you can handle most groups without ever having to swing a sword.
Devil's puffball Devil's puffball Caelum Quebrith Releases a cloud of poison gas.*It is an amazing debuff bomb for humans. Against the Undead the poison won't tend to work and many insect creatures have massive poison resistance too. If you're fighting large groups of elves, humans, or dwarves, this bomb is a perfect companion for a range-build Geralt.
Dancing star Dancing star Vitriol Aether Explodes with fire and wounds enemies.*A very useful bomb for damaging overall. It is the perfect damage bomb and I tend to combine them with my swordwork, making them my most used bomb.
Dragon’s dream Dragon's dream Aether Vermilion Releases a cloud of flammable gas.*This is a VERY difficult bomb to use at times. I combine it with my igni-sign like in the original Witcher 1 but it still remains one of the clunkiest bombs in the Witcher 2. You can damage yourself with this very easily, but it does do decent damage to all enemies.
Zerrikanian sun Zerrikanian sun Rebis Vitriol Blinds and immobilizes all enemies in range. *My favorite bomb for a melee build. This thing replaces Samun immediately and does exactly as advertised now. It is especially deadly to humanoids, which will be a major opponent by the time you acquire this bomb's recipe.
Flare Flare Vermilion Caelum Illuminates the surrounding area when detonated.*Redundant. Use the Cat's eye potion before this bomb.
Stenchbulb Stenchbulb Hydragenum Aether Releases a foul-smelling cloud that decreases the statistics of all enemies within it.*This is a debuff bomb, very useful against enemies immune to Devil's Puffball.
Red haze Red haze Aether Caelum Hydragenum Releases a cloud of psychoactive gas.*A crowd-control bomb that turns everyone against each other and you. Use this as a range-build to wipe out groups without having to use a sign.