I Geralt. Me smash!
Hot on the heels of playing around with the Cat School gear and exploiting the light attack build to its maximum potential, here is how I would go about playing with swords while tanking and hitting things really, really hard.
Without a doubt, this build requires the Bear School armour and swords for the best results, as the gear gives you improved damage and critical hits when using heavy melee attacks.
Many players will undoubtedly ask where the hell the Bear School stuff is. Well, the short answer is that the first level of the gear is hidden in the Skellige Isles. The second part to the answer is that you cannot use it until level twenty. That is a decent span of time to wait.
However, it is, in my opinion (and it is only an opinion) the best looking of the three vanilla armour sets. The recent free Wolf School gear set that dropped as a free DLC looks even better though, and in my second playthrough, I am using that plus a third, more jack of all trades build.
Now, the Bear School gear is actually quite sturdy and gives you a lot of armour, which is useful against later enemies. You can actually survive more than a few hits with this stuff. While it does not make Geralt anywhere near to invincible, you will be able to wade into a group of enemies, slice and dice, and still emerge with most of your health.
Runes and Glyphs
The steel and silver swords for the Bear School can be upgraded three times. You can stick a lot of weapon runes in them. If you spend the time, and a considerable amount of gold, you will be able to put runes in them. Personally, I would add freeze runes in all those slots. Or, if you prefer, you can add the burning runes in there and watch everyone panic and take damage over time.
In the yellow tree, you will obviously want to pick the Bear School skill, which gives even more bonuses to heavy attacks. The other thing you will want to get is Rage Management. This skill allows you to cast Signs, which are really useful with this build, with your adrenaline points rather than relying solely on your stamina regeneration, which will be very slow here.
The vast majority of your skill points will also be spent in the red tree, with Deflecting Arrows as a key useful skill to pick up.
Obviously, you will want to go all the way into the most expensive tier of Heavy Attack skills, but I would also be mindful that the light attacks are still useful, and actually keep Whirl as a secondary skill to pin down parrying opponents.
You will also really want to use Axii a lot, which gives you one free hit against a stunned enemy, and luckily the first tier of Axii will be enough to help increase stun and slow chance.
The heavy attacks themselves take a reasonable amount of time to wind up and hit, so you will want some distance or distraction to allow that wind up.