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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

How to Unlock the Mutations Tree in Blood and Wine

Nathan Garvin

Information about how to unlock the Mutations tree in The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine. How to develop new Mutations and unlock extra ability slots.

(1 of 2) To unlock the Mutations tree you’ll need to make use of Professor Moreau’s research.

To unlock the Mutations tree you’ll need to make use of Professor Moreau’s research. (left), After which you’ll be able to spend Ability Points and Greater Mutagens to unlock new mutations. (right)

How to Unlock the Mutagen Upgrade Tree

By the time you reach Blood and Wine, the four base skill trees will be showing their limitations. By the time Geralt’s level is in the mid-30s, You’ve likely unlocked the most useful skills, and have run out of the twelve slots you have to equip skills in. Given that you could easily hit level 45+ in Blood and Wine, this is a bit of a bother. At least, if you care about progression aside from new weapons and [armor sets]. Fortunately, there’s a solution, you can unlock a new skill tree in Blood and Wine - the Mutations tree. To do this you must complete the quest Turn and Face the Strange, which you can start just by heading into the square near The Gran Palace signpost in Beauclair, where a messenger scamp will deliver a letter to you. It’s a bit involved, so check out the linked page for more details.

(1 of 2) You can craft Greater Mutagens via the alchemy menu,

You can craft Greater Mutagens via the alchemy menu, (left), and use them (along with Ability Points) to unlock new Mutations. (right)

How to Unlock New Mutagens

Once you take advantage of Professor Moreau’s research, however, you’ll get access to a new, albeit somewhat simple tree populated with twelve new mutation slots (six Basic Mutations and six Advanced Mutations). They’re split into the three color-coded branches found in the base ability tree - Signs (blue), Combat (red) and Alchemy (green). Basic Mutations have only one color (and hence require only one Mutagen color to unlock) while Advanced Mutations are a combination of two or three trees (and require two or three Mutagen colors to unlock). Unlocking any mutation will earn you the Weapon W achievement/trophy.

Investing in these new Mutations requires the expenditure of a varying number of Ability Points (gained by leveling up and drawing from Places of Power) and Greater Mutagens (created by combining lesser mutagens via the Alchemy crafting menu). The first three Basic Mutations require two Ability Points and one type of Mutagen, while other Mutations may require three or four Ability Points, two or three types of Mutagens (varying amounts of each) and other Mutations (you must purchase Toxic Blood before you can purchase Euphoria, for example).

(1 of 2) Every mutation you develop will level up the Strengthened Synapses mutation,

Every mutation you develop will level up the Strengthened Synapses mutation, (left), which will unlock new ability slots. (right)

Blood and Wine Skill Tree

Here is a list of all the Blood and Wine skill tree mutations Geralt can unlock and equip in this DLC expansion.

Skill Tree Description Requirements Type
Adrenaline Rush At the start of combat, sword Attack Power and Sign Intensity increase for 30 seconds by 30% for each foe after the first foe. Once it wears off, Sword Attack Power and Sing Intensity drop 10% for each participating foe after the first (cannot exceed 70%). Requires Piercing Cold, Bloodbath, 5X Ability Points, 3x Greater Blues, 2x Greater Reds. Combat, Signs.
Bloodbath Each fatal blow dealt with a sword dismembers the enemy or activates a finisher. Each blow dealt by a weapon in melee combat increases Attack Power by 5% until combat ends (max 250%). The bonus is lost if you take damage, excluding toxicity damage. Requires deadly Counter skill, 3x Ability Points, 3x Greater Reds. Combat
Cat Eyes Crossbow damage is now increased from 107 to 992, depending on the type of crossbow equipped. Crossbow critical hit chance increases by 50%, and bolt may stun or knockdown opponents. Enemies hit with a crossbow bolt while on full hp lose 15% vitality. requires Bloodbath and Euphoria, 5x Ability Points, 3x Greater Green Mutagens, 2x Greater Red Mutagens. Alchemy / Combat
Conductions of Magic When drawn, magic, unique and Witcher Swords increase Sign damage dealt by 50% of their own damage. Requires Piercing Cold, 5x Ability Points, 3x Greater Blues, 2x Greater Reds. Sign, Combat
Deadly Counter Sword attacks deal 25% more damage to human opponents immune to counter attacks and monster. IN other scenarios, if the attacker’s vitality is less than 25%, counter attacks immediately trigger finisher moves. 2X Ability Points, 2X Greater Reds. Combat.
Euphoria Each Point of Toxicity increases your damage dealt by swords and sign intensity by 0.75% (max 75%) 3x Ability, 3x Greater Greens. Alchemy
Mutated Skin Each Adrenaline Point decreases damage received by 15% (max 45%). 5x Abiity Points, 3x Greater Green, 2x Greater Reds. Alchemy / Combat.
Magic Sensibilities Signs can deal critical hits. Their critical hit chance and damage increase with Sign Intensity. Opponents killed by critical hit Signs explode. 2X Ability Power, 2X Greater Blue. Signs.
Metamorphosis Applying critical effects to opponents activates a random decoction for 120 seconds with no toxicity cost. The max number of decoctions that can be activated simultaneously by the mutation is three. Witcher Senses also improve darkness vision. Requires Cat Eyes skill, 7X Ability Points, 3x Greater Greens, 2x Greater Reds, 2x Greater Blues. Alchemy, Combat, Signs.
Piercing Cold When the Aard sign is cast, it additionally has a 25% chance of freezing opponents. Opponents knocked down and frozen simultaneously die. Opponents not frozen take additional damage. Requires Magic Sensibilities, 3x Ability Points, 3x Greater Blues. Signs.
Second Life When Vitality eaches 0, you become temporarily invulnerable and regenerate 100% Vitality. Effect may only occur every three minutes. Requires Adrenaline Rush skill, 7x Ability Points, 2x Greater Blue, 3x Greater Reds, 2x Greater Greens. Alchemy, Combat, Signs.
Toxic Blood Each time you are injured in melee combat, the attacking opponent receives damage in the amount of 1.5% of damage dealt for every point of your toxicity level (max 150%) 2 Ability Points, 2x Green Greater Mutagens. Alchemy

How to Level Up the Strengthened Synapses Ability and Unlock New Ability Slots

As you purchase Mutations you’ll level up the “Strengthened Synapses” ability - the large node at the center of the Mutations tree. The higher the level of Strengthened Synapses, the more new ability slots you’ll unlock on the main tree; you’ll level up Strengthened Synapses after purchasing your first two Mutations, earning you one new ability slot, and will continue to unlock another ability slot every two Mutations purchased thereafter (two ability slots at four Mutations, three ability slots at six Mutations and finally four ability slots at eight Mutations).

These new ability slots allow you to equip more abilities from the main trees, and are located in the middle of the traditional twelve ability slots. Just keep in mind two things; first, mutagen bonuses don’t apply to these abilities and second, you can only equip certain types of abilities to them, based on what Mutation you have activated at the time. If you have an alchemical Basic Mutation activated - say Euphoria - you’ll only be able to equip alchemy abilities in these new slots. If you activate a combat-related Basic Mutation you’ll only be able to equip combat abilities. If you activate an Advanced Mutation, you’ll be able to pick a mix of abilities, varying depending on the Mutagens used to unlock said Mutation. You can only have one Mutation active at a time, and while it would seem like these new ability slots would be ideal for general abilities (since they don’t contribute to Mutagen bonuses), they can’t be placed here due to their lack of ability tree affiliation.

Fittingly, this is a fine place to shovel Ability Points for the rest of Blood and Wine, and with only twelve Mutations, it’s hard to go wrong. If you’ve invested heavily in Alchemy (highly recommended), then it’s easy to recommend the Euphoria Mutation, which will massively boost your sword damage and Sign Intensity based on your Toxicity level (the upper limit varies depending on your current maximum Toxicity). Simply chug a decoction and enjoy a massive boost to your combat stats for the decoction’s duration.

Trophy/Achievement Icon

Weapon W

Developed a mutation.

Trophy icon
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    CD Projekt
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, Switch, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    24 June 2015
  • Last Updated
    18 July 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin (Haeravon)

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You are Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster-hunter known as a Witcher. You’ve fully regained your memories since your miraculous revival and escape from the Wild Hunt, and have cleared your name of the false accusations of regicide. In the wake of the assassination of Foltest, king of Temeria, the north have been rent by warfare as Nilfgaard launches its third major invasion, and the northlands have been united under the insane king Radovid. Overshadowing these petty politics is the mysterious return of Ciri - Geralt’s adopted daughter, who is now being pursued by the Wild Hunt.

The guide offers the following:

  • A full walkthrough that’s more than just a listing of quests-it’s an “ideal chronological order” that will get you through the whole game and allow you to see and do everything the game has to offer.

  • Side quests, including monster contracts and treasure hunts for obtaining powerful Witcher sets.

  • Descriptions of decisions, quests, and events that influence the various endings of the game.

  • Crafting and Alchemy information.

  • General strategies on how to take down foes large and small, monstrous and humanoid, boss or mundane.

  • Information on how to complete all the Gwent quests and obtain all the Gwent cards, including detailed Gwent strategies.

  • Trophy/Achievement information.

MASSIVE UPDATE: 7th September 2016 ongoing

  • Added DLC quests “Fool’s Gold” and “Scavenger Hunt: Wolf School Gear”.
  • Organisational changes in the Velen section of the walkthrough to reflect the increased level of Griffin School Gear.
  • Organisational changes throughout the walkthrough to provide a “no skulls” path through the game.
  • Added Death March difficulty tips and commentary throughout the guide.
  • More XP reward numbers included.
  • Walkthrough now includes additional information based on patch changes.
  • Various typo and grammar fixes.
  • Added DLC pages for Blood & Wine, Heart of Stone
  • Lots more quality of life improvements

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