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The Butcher Strategy, Tips, and Tricks

Last updated on Jun 29, 2015 at 23:52 by Srey 11 comments

Table of Contents

The Butcher Image

General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimally play The Butcher in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. Everything you need to know is explained, from general gameplay to specific tips and tricks.

The other pages of our The Butcher can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Srey is Rank 1 in Hero League and a top 10 player on Hotslogs. He played for Happy Faerie Dragons, formerly the top amateur team on the North American server. With the team having now disbanded, he is bringing together a new team, which he hopes will compete at an even higher level. You can watch his stream to see how he plays The Butcher (and other heroes).

1. General Strategy For The Butcher

The Butcher's power spike occurs at Level 10 with the acquisition of your Heroic, which is generally Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast, but that is not to say that he is weak during the early and late game. He excels at roaming and ganking enemy Heroes during the early game, rather than laning statically, as this will also help you to quickly aquire Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat stacks from multiple lanes (and potentially enemy Heroes). As with all Heroes, you should always avoid dying, but this is especially important when playing The Butcher, who will be additionally set back with the loss of Fresh Meat. Dying shortly before objectives become active will leave you without time to collect Fresh Meat, putting you (and your team) at a significant disadvantage.

The Butcher is most at home when fighting in small skirmishes, rather than full on team fights, where you would be overwhelmed by damage and crowd control. Skirmishes allow you to better take advantage of Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand, by providing you with more flexibility in its use. Once you acquire Blood Frenzy Icon Blood Frenzy at Level 16, you become much more effective at pushing lanes, giving you the option of backdooring enemy Structures if the enemy team is otherwise indisposed.

2. When Not Team Fighting

The most important and difficult aspect of Heroes of the Storm is performance in team fights, since this is often where games are decided. That said, team fights usually take up a relatively short amount of time, with the rest of the game being spent performing other tasks. In this section, we will walk you through what you should be doing outside of team fights as The Butcher.

In order of priority, you should:

  • Take map objectives;
  • soak an empty lane for experience, but not if someone else on your team with better waveclear can soak instead;
  • gank overextended enemies;
  • take Mercenary Camps;
  • push whatever lane your allies are already pushing the hardest.

Map objectives almost always have the largest impact on the game. If you ignore these, then not only do you miss out on objectives that the enemy takes, but the enemy team also benefits from these objectives. On some maps, team fighting is synonymous with taking objectives, like on Sky Temple or Dragon Shire, but Garden of Terror, for example, does not always promote fights between both teams. The Boss Mercenary Camp on some maps constitutes a map objective. However, sometimes it is best to give up a map objective and to simply keep pushing, but the only time you might want to consider doing this is if it is obvious that you will be unable to contest the objective.

Your goal outside of team fights is to gain as much of an advantage over your enemies as possible, and in Heroes of the Storm, this means soaking experience from minions. If there is a lane without an allied Hero in it, you need to go to it, so that the experience from minions does not go to waste.

The Butcher excels at ganking and it is something that you should look to do whenever you can. Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught is a great way of reaching your target, but be wary of using it if your target is near their base, since you do not want to find yourself under enemy Towers.

If there are no map objectives to take, lanes to soak, or enemies to gank, take the Mercenary Camps. They provide a small amount of XP and a significant amount lane pressure. Taking the Mercenary Camps on the enemy's side of the map is risky, and it should only be done if you certain that the enemy team cannot, or will not contest. The Butcher is fantastic at soloing Mercenary camps, especially the Ogre (easy) camp.

If you have already taken all that the map has to offer, it is likely that most, if not all of the lanes are pushing in the direction of your enemy. This pressure should be capitalised on. Push a lane with your allies to destroy the enemies' base.

3. Team Fighting

When playing The Butcher, you will have rely almost solely on Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught to engage fights, as it is your only engage tool. Waiting for it to become available before attempting to engage is highly recommended. Regardless of whether you are using Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast or Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter, your primary target in team fights should always be a vulnerable enemy Hero, like Valla or Zagara, who can be killed off quickly. When using Furnace Blast, activate it early, timing it so that it explodes just as you reach your target with Ruthless Onslaught, giving them as little time as possible to respond. If your target has full health to begin, you will likely not be able to completely kill them, especially if their Support is able to assist them, making it very important that you communicate your intentions to your team, allowing them to follow up.

Use Hamstring Icon Hamstring whenever it becomes available in fights since it has a low cooldown and helps you to lockdown targets with its Slow. Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand should be used early rather than late, as crowd control can completely prevent you from using it. If you are simply trying to survive, branding a Tank can be perfectly acceptable, since Butcher's Brand is essentially only there to provide you with life, rather than dealing damage.

4. Summary of Tips and Tricks

  • Use Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand wisely, as it is your only source of survivability. Do not use it as a source of damage.
  • You can target enemy minions or mercenaries with Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught to escape enemies.
  • Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught should be used primarily as a gap-closer, rather than as damage or crowd control.
  • Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught makes you Unstoppable while charging. If timed correctly, you can avoid or negate key enemy abilities, such as Uther's Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm.
  • Accumulate as much Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat as possible, but not at the expense of missing team fights or objectives.
  • Cast Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast early so that it explodes just as you reach your target. This gives the enemy team less time to react. You can also use Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm to blink on top of enemies just before Furnace Blast explodes, guaranteeing that it hits.
  • Do not use Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter on Heroes that have abilities that can easily remove the chain, such as Tassadar, unless their respective ability is not available. Do not choose Lamb to the Slaughter if the enemy team has multiple ways of removing it.
  • If you are playing The Butcher, try to have your allies play with Heroes that synergise well with him, such as Abathur, Uther, and Tyrande.
  • Do not be the first to engage a team fight, unless the enemy team is at a disadvantage or you get catch an enemy out of position. Otherwise, you will generally be killed instantly.
  • The Butcher is very effective at capturing mercenary camps alone, including the Boss. Be very careful when soloing a boss. If the enemy team knows you are doing it or runs into you accidently, the results can be disastrous.
  • The Butcher is an excellent ganker, especially on larger maps with more space to use Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught. Roam as much as possible early. This will also help you to build up your supply of Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat.
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