Butcher – Heroes of the Storm Guide

Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard’s word in the MOBA genre, and today we’re taking a look at the melee assassin character The Butcher. The Butcher is taken from the Diablo franchise and was added into the game on the 30th of June 2015. He’s currently sitting at 625 gems or 7,000 gold to unlock, and has seen some pretty dramatic changes, especially to the functionality of his “Meat” quest.

When The Butcher was introduced to Heroes, his Meat quest looked dramatically different than it does today:

The Butcher’s in-game model.

Fresh Meat – 2015-06-30

Nearby Minions and Heroes drop meat when they die. Pick up meat to gain a 1% bonus to Basic Attack damage, up to a maximum of 25%. All meat is lost upon death.

Fresh Meat – Current Patch

Upon dying, nearby enemy Minions drop 1 Fresh Meat and enemy Heroes drop 20 Fresh Meat. Fresh Meat can be picked up to gain 0.5 bonus Attack Damage per Meat. The Butcher loses 15 Fresh Meat upon dying.

Quest: Collect 200 Fresh Meat.

Reward: Gain an additional 125 Attack Damage and 25% increased Attack Speed. Heroes continue to drop 10 Fresh Meat, Minions no longer drop Fresh Meat, and Fresh Meat is no longer lost on death.

You can see with the shift that the Fresh Meat trait has undertaken that The Butcher has changed from a generic melee assassin with a unique-ish trait, to a character that is defined by their quest as being a “snowball”, “win-more” hero. It’s given The Butcher an identity of a late-game, quick-play monster.

Today we’re going to look over The Butcher’s abilities, his Talents, what he excels at, and when he isn’t so great.

Using The Butcher

Like I mentioned, The Butcher excels as a late-game hero. His potential to burst down entire teams and strike fear into enemy players just grows and grows the longer the game is played. Naturally, this is offset by his requirement to build his quest, and a slow and squishy early game. You’re going to be vulnerable early whilst you build up Meat, and you’re not going to be clearing waves of enemies quickly either.

As such, early Butcher looks like playing safe, collecting Meat conservatively. I say this because The Butcher is punished extremely hard for dying, more so than most heroes. Not only is your time lost, but your stacks and your potential to build stacks is taken away. If you find an enemy Butcher is unable to get themselves into the game, then they’ve certainly had a rough early game and couldn’t snowball into a strong character.


  • Hamstring

Deal 110 damage and Slow enemies by 50%, fading over 2 seconds. The Butcher’s next Basic Attack will strike immediately.

The Butcher launching a Hamstring attack!

Hamstring might seem pretty simple on the surface. A simple way of dealing area damage in front of The Butcher, helping him clear waves and slow down enemies. But its usefulness is found in combining it with his other abilities. Being able to instantly heal off a branded foe with the instant basic attack cannot be underestimated, and dealing the damage and slowing enemy heroes will help you as a follow-up and secure kills after charging at an enemy.

  • Butcher’s Brand

Deal 37 damage to an enemy and Brand them for 4 seconds. The Butcher’s Basic Attacks against the Branded target heal him for 75% of the damage done.

The Brand provides The Butcher with an insane amount of sustain, especially once his basic attacks are empowered with a finished quest. What I will say about the Brand is that it has the ability to surprise you. At face value, you can see that the sustain is there, but the sheer ability that it provides is in sticking in fights, and the ability to man-fight and rip through enemy HP bars. Remember, you’re not only healing through the brand, you’re healing by dealing damage. Once your quest is done, no one is going to want to man-fight you. They’ll come in groups, and even then, they’re going to want to bring everybody.

The Butcher applying his signature brand.

Need some sustain in the lane or around the map? You better believe the brand can be applied to mobs to get the healing benefit. Disappear from a fight when low-health, heal up with the brand elsewhere, then charge back in at your foes with a full HP bar – it’ll drive them nuts.

  • Ruthless Onslaught

Charge at an enemy, becoming Unstoppable and gaining Movement Speed. If The Butcher reaches the target, they are Stunned for 1 second and take 119 damage.

Butcher marking an enemy for the charge in.

Easily the most recognizable ability in the game. When you hear that signature sound, you know that someone has been caught out, and their health bar is about to be exploded.

See an enemy pushing up too far, getting too brave? Dive in with RO and make them regret that decision. See an enemy backline squishy healer or assassin that could do with a good pounding? Charge in. They won’t stop you. Explode their damage or healing and the rest will sort itself out.

Be careful not to be too ambitious with this ability in the early game though, as this will lead to your death and the slowing of your quest. Never forget that the ability can be cancelled if you decide the advantage has flipped or your decision has turned into a poor one.

Preserve the meat, get your quest done, then hunt them down with RO.

  • Fresh Meat

Upon dying, nearby enemy Minions drop 1 Fresh Meat and enemy Heroes drop 20 Fresh Meat. Fresh Meat can be picked up to gain 0.5 bonus Attack Damage per Meat. The Butcher loses 15 Fresh Meat upon dying.

Murky providing some Fresh Meat.

Quest: Collect 200 Fresh Meat.

Reward: Gain an additional 125 Attack Damage and 25% increased Attack Speed. Heroes continue to drop 10 Fresh Meat, Minions no longer drop Fresh Meat, and Fresh Meat is no longer lost on death.

The benefits here are some of the most potent in the game quest-wise, and it’s easy to see why the augmentation has become a part of The Butcher’s signature baseline. Be sure to keep your teammates in the loop on how your quest is coming, because a large portion of the team’s damage will come online once you finish it and engagement will be infinitely different once you’ve attained the 200 stacks.

Heroic Abilities

  • Furnace Blast

After a 3-second delay, fire explodes around The Butcher, dealing 500 damage to enemies.

Can be cast while using Ruthless Onslaught.

This first Heroic Ability option gives The Butcher a huge amount of nuke potential. And as the tool-tip suggests, the ability can be cast whilst you’re running towards a foe charging with RO. Start the charge and cast your heroic during the run; that way when you collide with your foe, the Furnace will explode and delete the target enemy’s HP bar and those of any enemies unlucky enough to be caught in the blast.

The Furnace exploding!

It may not provide any utility, but combined with The Butcher’s other abilities, it gives him a frightening capability to easily solo-kill enemies.

  • Lamb to the Slaughter
Lamb locking down a slippery hero like Illidan, before the kill!

Throw a hitching post that attaches to the nearest enemy Hero after a 1-second delay. This deals 171 damage and causes the enemy to be chained to the post and Silenced for 3 seconds.

You don’t need skill, or to even aim, to use this. It just attaches to whatever’s nearby, prevents its escape, and enables you to whale on them with your attacks as much as you want. It’s fantastic lockdown, and is perfect for heroes that can slip away from The Butcher after the charge ends. Something like Tracer, this is a fantastic counter to. Enemies wont be able to counter you with their abilities or escape; they’re essentially dead. You can keep them around, apply your brand to heal up some health whilst dealing damage, or allow your teammates to explode the chosen target.


Level 1:


If Hamstring hits a Hero, half of the Mana cost is refunded and the cooldown is reduced by 1 second.


Every 5 seconds, gain 75 Physical Armor against the next Hero Basic Attack, reducing the damage taken by 75%.

Stores up to 2 charges.

Chop Meat

Hamstring does 100% more damage to Minions and Mercenaries.

Level 4:

Flail Axe

Increases the length of Hamstring by 40%.

Unrelenting Pursuit

Reduces the cooldown of Ruthless Onslaught by 33% upon impact.

Cheap Shot

Hamstring does 100% more damage to targets affected by Slow, Root, or Stun.

Level 7:

Insatiable Blade

While facing the branded enemy, The Butcher’s Movement Speed is increased by 25%.


Every time a nearby enemy minion dies, The Butcher heals 5% of his maximum Health.

Meat Shield

When Ruthless Onslaught impacts an enemy Hero, The Butcher gains 50 Spell Armor for 2.5 seconds, reducing Spell Damage taken by 50%.

Level 13:

The Butcher’s Cyber Oni Ivory skin.


Basic Attacks deal 35% of The Butcher’s Basic Attack Damage in an area around the target.

Savage Charge

Ruthless Onslaught deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 10% of their maximum Health.

Brutal Strike

After using Hamstring, The Butcher’s next 3 Basic Attacks within 5 seconds deal an additional 15% damage.

Level 16:

Crippling Slam

Hamstring’s Slow no longer fades out, and the duration is increased by 30%.


While below 50% of his maximum Health, taking damage causes The Butcher to become Enraged for 10 seconds, gaining 40% Attack Speed and 25 Armor, reducing damage taken by 25%.

Blood Frenzy

Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant 5% increased Attack and Movement Speed for 3 seconds, up to 25%.

Level 20:

Fires of Hell

Furnace Blast explodes a second time 3 seconds after the initial explosion.


Lamb to the Slaughter now chains all enemy Heroes in range.

Nexus Blades

Basic attacks deal 20% more damage and Slow the target for 1 second.

Bolt of the Storm

Activate to teleport to a nearby location.

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ProgramFounding Writers
AuthorLuke Cowling
GameHeroes of the Storm


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