The Caretaker from Heart of Stone is easily one of the most difficult boss fights in The Witcher 3. Upon the first encounter, he seems virtually invulnerable to everything Geralt throws at him.
What makes the Caretaker so difficult is his multiple regeneration tactics and his wild attacks that can be exceedingly difficult to dodge. So today, we’re covering how to cut the Caretaker off from his regenerative sources and the most effective ways to take him out.
Offensive signs don’t do much against the Caretaker himself, so you’ll want to rub Geralt’s sword down in relict oil to maximize its effect. The Protective Coating ability would be an additional benefit here as it will protect you from the Caretaker’s grievous blows. Ideally, you don’t want to get hit by this master of regeneration at all, as each blow he lands will revitalize him.
The Caretaker regains a load of health from causing damage, so you’ll need crafty footwork to avoid being struck. Along with precise dodges and rolls, you should always have Quen active to ensure the Caretaker can never draw energy from landing a hit on Geralt.
Three Main Abilities
Aside from his general aptitude for regeneration, there are three active abilities the Caretaker will use to his full advantage throughout the battle.
Keep just out of his shovel’s range, and when you see the greenish-blue cracks appear in the ground, roll behind him. This will put Geralt in a prime position to strike him several times in the back while his shovel is embedded in the ground.
As you see another greenish-blue glow start to form around him, dodge away. You can simply dodge back a step rather than roll away because after he discharges this next burst of energy, he will take a moment to regain his strength. This gives Geralt an additional opening to strike him once more from behind as long as Geralt didn’t dodge too far out of range. Or try pelting him with a Northern Wind bomb as he catches his breath. This freezes him in place effectively, giving Geralt ample time to land several more blows.
These things are a pain, no two ways about it. On your first playthrough, you may not even realize what they are good for as they don’t seem to be attacking Geralt and sort of just putz around like zombies.
As it turns out, they serve as another source of regeneration for the Caretaker. Once Geralt has managed to whittle his health down, the Caretaker will summon a group of these passive shades. They will start ambling towards him, paying Geralt no mind, but it’s imperative that Geralt takes them out before they reach their summoner.
Phantoms only take one strike to kill, so take them out as quickly as possible, and above all, do not let the Caretaker hit them. Upgraded Yrden trap helps take them out swiftly. As for strategic positioning, Hazzador on YouTube recommends engaging the Caretaker near the house or gazebo rather than in the middle of the map. This keeps the Caretaker furthest away from the phantoms, meaning they can’t reach him as easily, giving Geralt more time to take them out.
This attack is a bit trickier to dodge while still leaving Geralt an opening to counterattack. What you need to do is wait a little distance ahead for the Caretaker to charge you, then sidestep just as the shovel is about to make contact. The Caretaker will charge past, stopping just a few paces ahead, where he’ll need a moment to regather his strength. If Geralt positioned himself correctly, he should be able to reach the Caretaker in one or two steps and get a couple of strikes in before dodging another explosion of greenish-blue energy. Smacking him with another Northern Wind bomb is a viable tactic to buy Geralt a longer opening here as well.
Once you have his pattern down, defeating the Caretaker is a lot less daunting. As long as you’ve learned to avoid his attacks and swiftly dispatch his phantom sacrifices, bringing the Caretaker down becomes more of a rhythmic process rather than an insurmountable challenge. However, he will always remain one of the creepiest encounters Geralt’s ever had to face.
NEXT: The Witcher 3: How To Make The Most Of Post-Game
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Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.
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