The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt received its best and last expansion with Blood and Wine, but there's a boss you'll deal with that could be a real problem unless you're prepared for him. Here's a rundown of how to kill the Shaelmaar in Blood and Wine.
Finding the Shaelmaar
You'll come across this beast during the Beast of Toussaint main story quest, which is early on in the Blood and Wine expansion. He's a bit unpredictable when it comes to movement, but you'll be able to figure out where to hit it if you pay attention.
Palmerin, a fellow knight, will lend his assistance when it comes to facing the Shaelmaar, but you'll have to put in a pretty good amount of effort to bring it down. If he does get knocked down, don't worry – he basically survives in the end.
Prepare to Battle the Shaelmaar
Now comes the strategy you'll want to use when it comes to bringing down the Shaelmaar in Blood and Wine. It can't see, using vibrations to detect your position on the map. You can use this to your advantage, making noises to distract it with signs or bombs.
For example, the Aard Sign, Samum Bombs and Relict Oil are perfect for getting its attention and sending it scrambling another way. However, it has a thick shell, and if it even senses it's under attack, it'll duck away into this shell like a turtle.
The key is getting to its underside. The Aard is a great way to stun the creature, although this won't expose said underside. Instead, you'll want to watch out for its attacks, including a rolling maneuver and a ground strike that creates a shock wave sent in a straight direction. When it does this, be prepared to dodge three successive strikes, as they'll come in a row.
What you'll want to watch out for is the rolling attack. It'll curl up into a ball, back up a little bit, and roll your way. Dodge its attack, and it should strike the wall on the other side. This will expose its belly for several seconds, giving you the ideal time to hit it with everything you've got. Sword strikes are okay, but try to utilize your Aard sign or Samum bomb to hit it with hardest. It'll eventually get back up, so be sure you're at a safe distance when it does.
It'll get down to about the halfway point on its health bar and introduce a new move at this point, where it digs into the ground and lets loose with a wave of energy. Try to stay as far from it as possible as it does this, as the wave will barely hit you as a result. It'll then re-initiate its rolling attack, hitting the wall and exposing itself again. Hit it a few more times like this and the Shaelmaar will be done for, concluding your opening boss battle with Blood and Wine.
Once it's out of energy, you can make the choice to either kill it or spare it. The choice is yours, though the story will continue either way, so make the call for yourself, and then proceed with the Beast of Toussaint quest.
Be sure to check out our other strategies for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, including these Wild Hunt beginners' tips, as well as our full The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Guide and Walkthrough.