The Butcher

Ganking Butcher, A.K.A. ‘The Burstmaster’


While The Butcher‘s popularity may have tapered some in the weeks after his release, his power is none affected. This hero enjoys a wealth of builds, though the Hamstring/Abattoir hybrid build has enjoyed lasting success. While that may be the go-to, The Butcher rewards those who play him with flexibility.

It’s no secret that The Butcher scales into a monumental late-game threat. He is better known, however, for his fearsome early-game presence – when a Butcher’s a roamin’, no one is safe. This build is centered around killing as many soft-bellied opponents as possible. This build is exceptional against a team with 2+ squishy backliners (e.g. Sgt. Hammer, Jaina, Valla), especially when The Butcher has a ganking buddy.

  • Level 1: Invigoration
    • More frequent Hamstrings equals more damage output, more slows, and proccing Brutal Strike.
  • Level 4: Unrelenting Pursuit
    • Cutting any 20 second cooldown by 8 seconds is huge, especially on an ability as potent as Ruthless Onslaught. If a target manages to survive the initial onslaught, or if a second foe shows their face, being able to charge and stun them again is a tremendous boon. In later teamfights, this will allow The Butcher to disengage and then selectively re-enter the fray to get kills. Alternatively, Envenom allows the Butcher to drop even more damage on whatever target he’s singled out.
  • Level 7: Brutal Strike
    • The burstiest of The Butcher’s 7 talents, Brutal Strike is what makes this hero such a, well, brutal ganker. Ruthless Onslaught into Hamstring into a brutalized basic attack is The Butcher’s basic combo, one that will leave squishy enemies at half health or below only a few seconds into the engagement.
  • Level 10: Lamb to the Slaughter
    • Furnace Blast is still a powerful heroic whose AoE burst can greatly augment this build. That said, a Burstmaster Butcher is looking to get frequent picks, and nothing spells doom for a lone player than 4 seconds tethered next to The Butcher. The damage that this heroic applies upon chaining someone is not negligible, either.
  • Level 13: Savage Charge
    • The 13 talent is contested for The Butcher, even with this build. Savage Charge adds the most raw damage to his burst combo, and is especially potent against heroes with high health pools due to it’s percentage-based damage. Against enemies with escapability, however, Crave Flesh may be the better pickup for its applications in chases. Spell Shield is a good pickup if The Butcher is being punished for his aggressive engages with bursty abilities.
  • Level 16: Blood Frenzy
    • Also contested. Blood Frenzy helps The Butcher scale well into the late game, but Enraged excels against teams that abound with crowd control and Crippling Slam makes it near impossible for anyone to escape.
  • Level 20: Bolt of the Storm
    • I heard you like to teleport. And for good reason – staying alive or getting a pick in the late-game can be the determining factor of a match.

So while Abattoir / Hamstring hybrid builds may reign supreme in most games, there are those where quick pick-offs are a possibility. It is in these scenarios that Burstmaster Butch really shines. With a ruthless presence in lanes, a Butcher using this build can help his team snowball into an early victory.