A melee assassin with a penchant for brutality, the Butcher cuts through enemies with his auto attacks, sadistically pursuing those who flee from him. Early game, his charge and low-cooldown slow make him an excellent roaming ganker. This is especially true once he has full stacks of blood and a few talents under his (probably human leather) belt. Late game, his high auto attack speed and damage turn him into a miniature Dragon Knight, cleaving foes and razing structures with abandon.
Though susceptible to being bursted down, his Butcher’s Brand ability allows him to stand toe to toe with anyone fool enough to hold their ground. Once heroic abilities roll around, The Bucher can choose to add either AoE burst damage or crowd control to his kit. Overall, the Butcher is a threat throughout the game and rewards a ruthless, cunning playstyle.
Advanced Build Guides:
Nearby Minions drop 1 and Heroes drop 3 Fresh Meat when they die, which you can pick up to gain 1% bonus Attack Damage. Can hold up to 25 Meat. All Meat is lost on dying.
This trait makes The Butcher’s auto attacks sing once he’s built up his stacks of Fresh Meat. It also renders him less useful immediately after dying, forcing him to kill minions or heroes to regain his stacks. This can be a real problem in the late game if all the lanes are pushed in and no waves are available. If talented towards, Fresh Meat makes The Butcher one of the most fearsome attack damage carries around.
Cooldown: 4 seconds
Deal 240 (50 + 10 per level) damage and slow enemies by 49.92% fading over 2 seconds. Your next Basic Attack will strike immediately.
With a 4 (potentially 3) second cooldown, decent damage, and a crippling slow, this is The Butcher’s spammable damage outlet and chase mechanic. Hamstring can be upgraded to have longer reach, a stonger slow, and much more, making it a sort of Swiss Army cleave. Once in the fray, a Butcher player should be looking to slam this down whenever it’s off cooldown.
Cooldown: 14 seconds
Deal 80 (32.5 + 2.5 per level) damage to an enemy and cause your Basic Attacks against them to heal you for 75% of the damage done for 5 seconds. Healing doubled versus Heroes.
Butcher’s Brand makes this hero an unstoppable duelist and scary teamfighter – getting a few of this assassin’s meat-fueled attacks off on a branded target can spike him back up to full life. This ability calls for a bit of finesse in staying on the branded target, as only attacks against them will restore health. Do not cast this on a low HP target, as they will likely die before you can get maximum use out of the heal. Butcher’s Brand has a 14 second cooldown – wasting it is a good way to get leveled in teamfights. Try to cast it on a target who doesn’t have a method of escape and who tends to stay near the front line, and strive to draw out any blinds/evasion before casting this on a target.
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Charge at an enemy, becoming Unstoppable and gaining Movement Speed. If you reach the target, they are stunned for 1 second and take 260 (70 + 10 per level) damage.
Once The Butcher sets his sights on a target, there is little room for escape – Ruthless Onslaught allows him to chase down a single target, stunning and damaging them upon impact. This ability is key to mastering The Butcher, as it allows him and his team to single out squishy, problematic enemies. Knowing who to charge and when it’s advantageous to charge them is what separates a Butcher player who survives battles from a kamikazee pilot. When it comes to ganking, try to leverage your bulky model in front of the enemy’s escape after charging them and between Hamstrings.
Cooldown: 90 seconds
After a 3 second delay, fire explodes around you dealing 1000 (335 + 35 per level) damage to enemies.Can be cast while using Ruthless Onslaught.
A burst of AoE damage straight from hell, Furnace Blast gives The Butcher an AoE presence that can swing fights. The 3 second delay and build-up sprite, however, make it a highly telegraphed move, allowing canny teams to disperse out of its way. Being able to activate it before / during charging mitigates this somewhat, allowing Butchers with solid timing or a team with strong CC to deal insane damage.
Lamb to the Slaughter
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Throw a hitching post that attaches to the nearest enemy Hero after a 1 second delay. This deals 375 (90 + 15 per level) damage and causes the enemy to be chained to the post for 4 seconds.
Nothing spells death for a lone enemy like being immobilized for four seconds, especially against the likes of The Butcher. This heroic deals surprising single-target damage as well as trapping an enemy within a small radius, allowing for easy pickoffs on fleeing or unsuspecting enemies. A strategic Butcher can use this to zone out an enemy healer or tank in a fast-moving teamfight, straining the cohesion of the enemy formation. While Furnace Blast brings more damage and teamfight potential to the table, higher level players will be able to minimize its damage – Lamb to the Slaughter is a good bet if you think it will be difficult to land a Blast, especially since Lamb has a much less punishing cooldown timer than its fellow heroic.
Level 1 Talents
The Butcher has a straightforward time with his tier one talents. If the enemy team has some overwhelming attack power, so much so that you’re worried about surviving long enough to make an impact, choose Block. In almost every other situation, Invigoration seems correct – having Hamstring on a 3 second cooldown is what grants this assassin such great sustained damage and chasing abilities. Victuals and Chop Meat don’t make enough of a difference as the game wears on, and The Butcher is looking to get stronger with every minute that passes.
Level 4 Talents
Recommended: Flail Axe
This talent is especially potent in conjunction with Invigoration, as it allows you to consistently hit heroes with Hamstring‘s much-extended range. If you feel that you would like additional utility and ganking power over increasing Hamstring‘s range, Unrelenting Pursuit is another viable option, as it effectively reduces Ruthless Onslaught’s cooldown by 8 seconds. Envenom adds additional burst damage to The Butcher’s kit, but it is usually worth it to build up his other abilities instead. Cheap Shot generally takes too much setup to get consistent value out of, but is worthwhile if you can coordinate with a heavy CC team.
Level 7 Talents
Recommended: Brutal Strike or Abbatoir
Tier 3 of talents is a bit trickier, and you should evaluate your personal playstyle preferences and your situation before choosing it. Brutal Strike is a great skill in that it supplements The Butcher’s burst , allowing him to do a lot of immediate damage after charging someone down. If a player wants to build more towards attack damage, perhaps because of an allied Abathur or Uther, Abbatoir is worthwhile for the 10% additional attack damage and, later on, attack speed boosts. Final Assault and Insatiable Blade generally don’t pull as much weight as these other two talents.
Level 10 Heroics
The choice between Furnace Blast and Lamb to the Slaughter is still rather contested. While Furnace Blast brings The Butcher tremendous teamfight potential, a skilled and responsive enemy team can easily disperse and mitigate its effectiveness. That said, it can be timed with Ruthless Onslaught and friendly crowd control to burst enemies down in a decent area. Lamb to the Slaughter is the less popular pick, but no less effective at what it does; landing a post on a lone enemy hero is more or less a death sentence for them.
Level 13 Talents
Recommended: Crave Flesh or Savage Charge
This is when the Butcher’s power level starts to really pick up. Crave Flesh is an excellent option, as it speeds you up as long as you have a Butcher’s Brand active, allowing you to effectively chase your target and sustain off of them. Savage Charge, on the other hand, is best picked when your opponents have some hearty health pools, and adds additional burst damage to The Butcher’s kit. Savage Charge is definitely worth a pickup if you took the earlier talent that reduces Ruthless Onslaught‘s cooldown.
Level 16 Talents
Recommended: Blood Frenzy
With auto-attacks like The Butcher’s, any boost to attack speed is a huge boon – Blood Frenzy boosts his attack speed by 1% for each of his stacks of fresh meat, for a boost of up to 35% (if Abbatoir is taken as well). Even if not talented towards attack damage, a Butcher should still be swinging his cleaver around in fights, as Hamstring alone doesn’t make him a powerhouse.
The other two talents in this tier provide more niche utilities. Enraged is a good choice against teams with a lot of CC, as it allows you to easily wade through it once you drop below half health; the 10 seconds of attack speed are nice as well. If a Butcher has taken a back seat in the damage role and has become more of a ganker through Relentless Onslaught and Hamstring, or just wants an insane slow, then Crippling Slam will prove a serviceable talent as well.
Level 20 Talents
Recommended: Bolt of the Storm
It is hard for any hero to reasonably turn down Bolt of the Storm, especially one as landlocked as The Butcher. It grants him initiation, chasing, and ganking capabilities that are previously beyond him, and makes it so those last few minutes aren’t as easily skewed by a death or missed kill. At the highest level of play, you should be taking this ability.
That said, The Butcher’s other storm talents are not to be discounted – Nexus Blades makes a brutal final touch to his AD carry side, and boosting either of his heroic abilities yields favorable results. When it comes down to it, a Butcher should be able to feel out what their final talent choice should be by the course that the game has taken.