Are you an avowed Slytherin? Do you Witcher 2 fans have a crush on Letho of Gullet? Or do you just flat-out like snakes? Any of these are good reasons to seek out gear from the mysterious Viper School in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Sadly, and perhaps reflective of their secretive ways, there are far fewer diagrams and pieces of equipment from the school to be found out on the Continent. Certainly not enough for grandmaster armorer Lazare Lafargue to be able to forge truly sublime armor in the school’s style.
Still, like any witcher gear, this stuff is solid, and its stats compete with other high-tier items when you acquire them. That’s not even to mention the appeal for fashionistas, collectors, and snake enthusiasts out there. Without further ado, let’s break down how to get your hands on all of the Viper School gear in Witcher 3.
Witcher 3 Viper Silver Sword
Head to the cemetery at White Orchard, just north of the Mill. You’ll encounter a wraith here, so use Specter Oil, Quen, Yrden, and Moon Dust (whichever of these you can deploy, depending on your level and gear). If you don’t manage to kill the wraith, it will retreat into the crypt below. Take the same path, and you will encounter either another wraith or the specter from the graveyard.
Given that this area is accessible very early in the game, you might be facing off against enemies that significantly out-level you. If you’re determined to nab this early game edge, Quen is a great tool to rely upon for absorbing blows, and it’s wise to prioritize dodges and rolls rather than parries when fighting wraiths. When you’ve disposed of your foe(s), loot the joint and stroll away with your new silver sword diagram.
Witcher 3 Viper Steel Sword
You’ll find the diagram for the steel sword west of the Ransacked Village in White Orchard. Here, a bandit camp sits among ruins on a grassy height. Be prepared to take on the likes of wolves in the woods. Beast Oil, Aard, Quen, and well-timed parries will help. At the foot of the cliff on the southwestern edge of the ruins, tumbledown brickwork forms a ramp that leads up and into the camp. Nail a couple of jumps and prepare to dispatch the bandits encamped herein.
For the aforementioned bandits, Hanged Man’s Venom and explosives — crossbow bolts and bombs, especially Dancing Star — will be tactical assets. For those with ordnance scarcity, make good use of Quen, parries, and dodges.
Mark in your notebook that the ledges on the margins of the combat arena can be assets unto themselves. If the fight takes you near a ledge, put a bandit between yourself and the drop, then blast them with the Aard sign. With luck and a little finesse, you’ll send some ruffians cartwheeling towards a doom of broken spines and shattered skulls. When the battlefield has shifted into a charnel scene, enter the shell of a nearby watchtower and loot the chest you find. This done, the steel sword diagram is yours.
Witcher 3 Viper Armor
Now it’s time to acquire the Witcher 3 Viper armor.
All of the Viper School armor diagrams can be found — rather, purchased — at the Borsodi Auction House in Oxenfurt. You’ll need the quest “Open Sesame!” (part of the main storyline) active in the Hearts of Stone expansion to find the individual selling them. During said quest, you’ll need to complete one of the optional objectives — i.e., meeting one of Vimme Vivaldi’s illustrious friends.
One Countess Mignole (who, fun fact, had a tryst with Geralt’s mentor Vesemir in her youth) is an avid collector of witcher gear and diagrams. She’s willing to sell you all of the armor diagrams from the Viper School if you express interest. Those of you who are more accustomed to the other scavenger hunt quests heard that right: instead of acquiring Witcher 3 Viper School Gear Locations / Witcher 3 Viper School Gear Maps from this trade screen, you get the diagrams directly. The tradeoff is that there’s no other place to acquire these diagrams.
It’s also important to note that you won’t get another chance to acquire these diagrams, so be sure to follow this step if getting all of the Viper School gear is important to you. Sharp-eyed readers will also note the striking resemblance to the armor Geralt starts the game with (and which he’s wearing in most promotional material, for most toys/action figures/statues, etc.), if that sounds like another reason to pick these up to you.
The Remaining Witcher 3 Viper School Gear
To complete the “Scavenger Hunt: Viper School Gear” quest and acquire the rest of the equipment, the process is a little unusual compared to other scavenger hunt quests. Instead of the normal process, you need to see the quest “Open Sesame!” and the rest of the Hearts of Stone DLC to their respective conclusions. Like the armor diagrams, the Viper venomous steel sword diagram is in the Borsodi Auction House. Unlike the armor diagrams, the steel sword diagram cannot be obtained by strictly legal means….
Follow the “Open Sesame!” questline to its natural conclusion in the vault of the Borsodi Auction House. Let the players in this tragedy say their piece and help them resolve their differences — you’re just here for the tiny house (it’s a long story) and the steel sword diagram. When all is done, look at your quest item, Maximilian Borsodi’s House, then loot the chest to the left of the house. There you’ll find your diagram.
Now, for the remaining venomous viper sword, you’ll need to endure some Hearts of Stone spoilers. You’ll also need to carry out the optional objectives of the quest “Whatsoever a Man Soweth…” if you want the sword, and it’s worth noting that there is no diagram for the Venomous Viper Silver Sword, just the weapon itself. Without going too much into spoilers, be sure to visit Professor Shakeslock and get the information you need. We’ll pick up when everyone has gathered on the Moon, you’ve sided with Olgierd and used the professor’s insights to your advantage, and after Geralt is deposited in Master Mirror’s world.
Follow the main path and take the first right you can, across a bridge. Enemies will spawn, but nothing’s stopping you from rushing past them (which is wise, given the time limit at play). Continue along the path and take a left at the next fork. Continue to another fork, taking yet another left (while other paths diverge to the left from the main path, wait until a true fork where you can no longer go straight). Continue along this path and then turn right.
At this point, another specter will appear. You may have to dispatch this one, as it spawns near a staircase you must ascend and a gap you must jump. Specter Oil and Quen will be helpful in this endeavor. Otherwise, ascend the stairs, leap across the divide, and claim the sword in the stone. Be prepared for some mockery from one Gaunter O’Dimm.
That rounds out all of the available Viper School gear. If you’re particularly bold, you can acquire Witcher 3 Legendary Viper Armor in NG+ in the same manner you collect them during a normal save.
On the Path
Of course, acquiring the Witcher 3 Viper gear is only the first part of the equation. Then you need to get out there and actually use the stuff. The gear is on par with (or even better than) other mastercrafted witcher gear, and the swords focus on Aard sign intensity, critical hit chance and damage bonus, and chance to poison. Meanwhile, the armor focuses on resistances to things like poison, piercing, slashing, and elemental damage, as well as damage from monsters.
In short, this stuff will be great for mitigating some of the nastiest attacks of certain monsters. It also allows Aard to shine as a wolf-killer (wolves and wild dogs are frequently knocked prone by the sign, opening them up to an insta-kill) and anti-air defense.
Strike Like a Cobra
The Witcher 3 Viper School Gear is both highly functional and nice for people who want a version of Geralt’s starting armor they can use later in the game. And when its usefulness has run its course, you can always put it up on display at Corvo Bianco when you get the chance.
As always, good luck on the Path!