This guide will offer several tips to help players defeat the Shaelmaar boss in the Witcher 3. This creature is encountered early on in the Blood and Wine expansion, and can be tricky for those who aren’t prepared for its moves. Follow our advice for beating the Shaelmaar and emerge as the arena victor.
This guide covers just a tiny area of the overall game, so head over to our Witcher 3 guides walkthrough hub, to find everything you need to know to make it through every quest in the whole game.
Witcher 3: How to Defeat the Shaelmaar
During an arena battle, you will fight the Shaelmaar alongside another knight errant named Palmerin. He will deal a bit of damage to the creature, but ultimately you will need to do most of the work. Don't worry if Palmerin falls during battle. He'll be fine.
The Shaelmaar is blind, and thus can only sense you through vibrations. The key to the Shaelmaar fight is to try to attract the creature toward you by making noise. You will need to use signs or bombs to direct the creature’s attention. The Shaelmaar is vulnerable to the following:
- Oil: Relict
- Bombs: Samum
- Sign: Aard
The Shaelmaar has a pretty thick shell and will turtle-up into a defensive position when being attacked directly. To deal any significant damage, you must find a way to have the creature expose its soft underside. Aard will briefly stun the creature, but you still won’t be able to do much to the Shaelmaar even while it’s stunned.
The Shaelmaar’s primary move set consists of a rolling attack and a ground strike that sends out a shock wave in a straight line. When the Shaelmaar does the ground strike, it usually will smack the ground three times in a row. Dodge to the side to avoid each shock wave.
The Shaelmaar’s rolling attack can actually be used to your advantage. If you see the creature curl into a ball, back up toward the arena wall and be ready to quickly dodge as it rolls toward you. It will only stop rolling once it hits something, so you want that thing to be the wall and not you. When the Shaelmaar hits the arena wall, it will fall on the ground belly-up for a few moments. This is your time to strike. Use Aard or toss a bomb to divert its attention toward the wall, and be ready to attack while it writhes on its back.
When the Shaelmaar reaches about half health, it will incorporate a new move that involves digging into the ground and emitting a damaging wave. Move away from the creature when this happens in order to avoid its area of effect. Continue to trick the Shaelmaar into crashing on the wall, and the critter will fall in no time.
Should You Kill it or Let it Live?
Once you defeat the Shaelmaar, you must decide whether to kill it or spare its life. Go with your gut on this one. Afterward, the Beast of Toussaint quest will continue.
If you’re in need of some Grandmaster quality Witcher Gear for the journey ahead, we suggest checking out our guide on how to find the Manticore Gear set in the Witcher 3.