Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Witcher - Talents - Yrden

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Yrden takes a bit more planning and tactics to use, but is an exceptionally useful sign. It has a lot of quirks:
  • It stays until another Yrden trap is placed (a powerup Yrden blast does not dispel a placed Yrden trap) or it runs out of charges. If you reload a game, it typically disappears from sight, but it is still there.
  • Enemies generally head in a straight line toward you so it's easy to lure them into a Yrden trap.
  • It gives off a purplish light. If you don't have Cat or don't want to waste one in a small dungeon, you can place a Yrden and stay near it to fight your enemies.
  • The power-up is a single hit wide-area hit that only starts powering up AFTER the usual start-up time. It is very easily interrupted so you want to have a Quen barrier up if you can manage it.
    • Because it is so slow, you might want to just forget about trying to use it and save your Silver and Gold Talents instead of buying Expert, Specialist, and Master upgrades.
    • A powerful combination is Powerup Quen -> pull enemies -> Powerup Yrden -> Igni if you can afford the Endurance cost.
  • The power-up Yrden has very wide range at high levels. Because it affects a circular field, line of sight is not required. You could therefore hide behind a structure and hit targets behind it. 
  • There are a lot of incapacitating upgrades.
    • Get as many as you can so that each time the enemy is hit, there is a chance at at least one of the effects will affect them. Remember that Yrden lasts until its charges run out or you cast another. If an enemy is hit by Pain or Blinding, you can just wait (and recover Endurance) until they recover and walk into your Yrden again. Or, if your Yrden is running out of charges, you can take the opportunity to place another Yrden.
    • Poison is a particularly powerful damage-dealer as it works on percentage of health.
    • Blinding Sign is one of the few ways to inflict the Blind status and thereby let you use the Sinister I-III upgrade on Fast Silver.
Yrden is great to use when the enemy is too dangerous to engage in melee. Lead them to walk into your Yrden a few times and continue to weaken them with Igni. Between the two, if that doesn't kill the enemy, hit them with Aard when they are weakened. Typically a weakened enemy will not be able to walk through a Yrden, but will instead be pushed back, forcing them to walk through it again.
Silver level Yrden is powerful enough that Gold level Yrden is probably not necessary.

All the way through to the late game, Yrden remains a very powerful way to keep even bosses at bay, hurt them badly, or even finish them off.

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