The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 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. He has several phases that repeat.
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. 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.
Cast Quen, then make your way over to Nithral and deliver two or three 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.
Once you have defeated him, 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.
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 three or four 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 1 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.