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The Butcher Talents

Last updated on Apr 03, 2016 at 18:39 by Srey 9 comments

Table of Contents

The Butcher Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing The Butcher in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

The other pages of our The Butcher guide 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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Invigoration Block Chop Meat Abattoir
4 Flail Axe ? Unrelenting Pursuit Cheap Shot
7 Insatiable Blade Victuals ? Meat Shield
10 Furnace Blast Lamb to the Slaughter
13 Cleaver Savage Charge Brutal Strike
16 Crippling Slam ? Enraged Blood Frenzy
20 Fires of Hell Slaughterhouse Nexus Blades ? Bolt of the Storm

2. Common Talent Paths

Lamb to the Slaughter Build: a healthy blend of survivability, utility, and reliable damage output

Hamstring Build: focuses on maximizing damage output at the cost of survivability and utility

3. Level 1 Talents

Invigoration Block Chop Meat Abattoir

3.1. Descriptions

Invigoration Icon Invigoration causes Hamstring Icon Hamstring to have its cooldown reduced by 1 second and refund half of its Mana if it hits an enemy Hero.

Block Icon Block causes you to generate 1 stack of Block every 5 seconds, up to a maximum of 2. Block stacks are consumed by individual enemy Hero Basic Attacks, reducing each of them by 75%.

Chop Meat Icon Chop Meat increases Hamstring Icon Hamstring's damage to minions and mercenaries by 100%.

Abattoir Icon Abattoir decreases the amount of Fresh Meat lost upon death from 10 to 5. Even after having completed the quest portion of Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat, Abattoir causes enemy Heroes to continue to drop Fresh Meat. This bonus Fresh Meat will further increase The Butcher's Attack Damage and cannot be lost upon death.

3.2. Recommended

Abattoir Icon Abattoir is a solid talent that provides multiple benefits to Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat, an integral mechanic to The Butcher's kit. The reduction in Fresh Meat stacks lost upon dying will not only help prevent The Butcher from falling behind should he be regularly targeted by ganks, but will also reduce the amount of risk involved in forcing more aggressive plays. The unlimited amount of bonus Fresh Meat stacks The Butcher can attain from Abattoir causes him to become a more and more dangerous threat the longer the match goes on for. Although Abattoir reduces the amount of stacks lost upon death, it is still advised to play on the safer side during the early game. This will help ensure The Butcher can finish the Fresh Meat quest as soon as possible. The sooner the Fresh Meat quest is finished, the sooner The Butcher can begin stacking permanent bonus Fresh Meat stacks from enemy Hero deaths.

Invigoration Icon Invigoration's is a talent that is most viable when selected for alongside other talents that benefit The Butcher's Hamstring Icon Hamstring. The Mana refund on Hamstring provided by Invigoration will allow The Butcher to stay in the Battlefield much longer, as he will be able to more often cast Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand to keep him himself nice and healthy. The reduced cooldown on Hamstring will provide a decent increase to the Butcher's damage output (especially in conjunction with Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot at Level 4 and Brutal Strike Icon Brutal Strike at 16). The cooldown reduction will also increase the uptime that enemy targets will be under the slow effect of Hamstring, making it somewhat easier for The Butcher and his allies to stick to Heroes attempting to flee or kite them.

3.3. Not Recommended

Block Icon Block provides The Butcher a relatively weak defensive mechanic that really only negates 1.5 Basic Attacks worth of damage every 10 seconds. This damage mitigation is incredibly underwhelming, especially at the cost of being unable to talent into Invigoration Icon Invigoration or more importantly Abattoir Icon Abattoir. If The Butcher is concerned with being focused and quickly burned down, both Meat Shield Icon Meat Shield and Enraged Icon Enraged should be considered as excellent choices to prevent that.

As of the Alarak patch update, Chop Meat Icon Chop Meat no longer causes Minions to drop additional stacks of Fresh Meat after being struck with Hamstring Icon Hamstring. Although Chop Meat still causes Hamstring to do much more damage to Minions, it was previously a viable Talent option simply because of the bonus Meat the Minion's would drop. Chop Meat currently is only beneficial in providing The Butcher with easier waveclear, something The Butcher was never really in desperate need of in the first place. Until Chop Meat is able to provide The Butcher with more than a little faster waveclear, it is best to leave this one alone.

4. Level 4 Talents

Flail Axe ? Unrelenting Pursuit Cheap Shot

4.1. Descriptions

Flail Axe Icon Flail Axe increases the range of Hamstring Icon Hamstring by 40%.

Unrelenting Pursuit Icon Unrelenting Pursuit reduces the cooldown of Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught by 33% upon impact.

Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot increases Hamstring Icon Hamstring's damage by 100% against targets that are Rooted, Slowed, or Stunned.

4.2. Recommended/Situational

Each one of The Butcher's Level 4 Talent options can prove beneficial to his overall success, however deciding on which is the “best" ultimately depends on the situation at hand. That is why the following three talents are all considered to be both “recommended" and “situational".

Flail Axe Icon Flail Axe makes it much easier to land Hamstring Icon Hamstring, as its standard length is relatively short. Flail Axe is also a great choice against teams consisting of Heroes who have an easier time kiting The Butcher, such as ranged assassins or  supports. Flail Axe also pairs wonderfully with Crippling Slam Icon Crippling Slam at Level 16 should The Butcher still find himself having a difficult time locking down specific targets. Ultimately, Flail Axe is a great choice when utilizing the Hamstring Build if players are willing to sacrifice the damage output of Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot for Flail Axe's bonus range.

Unrelenting Pursuit Icon Unrelenting Pursuit greatly reduces the cooldown of  Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught, assuming The Butcher is able to make contact with his target. This can be surprisingly difficult against some team compositions, primarily those with mobile damage dealers and strong frontlines. However, Unrelenting Pursuit's should be chosen to greatly increase The Butcher's roaming and ganking potential. Effective rotations and ganks early on in the match will guarantee The Butcher should finish the quest portion of Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat early on, which can have a huge beneficial outcome on the remainder of the match. This increase in overall map presence is why Abattoir Icon Abattoir synergizes beautifully with Unrelenting Pursuit, as The Butcher will be able to maximize his Fresh Meat stack gains by traveling from lane to lane.

Cheap Shot Icon Cheap Shot doubles Hamstring Icon Hamstring's damage, causing The Butcher to become an even more threatening presence in close quarters. Unfortunately, Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught is The Butchers only ability with crowd control that Cheap Shot will be able to utilize. Therefore Cheap Shot is only recommended when The Butcher has allies that will be able to apply reliable and consistent apply crowd-control to his target, such as http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/jaina-build-guide and http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/arthas-build-guide.

5. Level 7 Talents

Insatiable Blade Victuals ? Meat Shield

5.1. Descriptions

Insatiable Blade Icon Insatiable Blade increases the healing from Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand from 75% to 100%, and from 150% to 200% versus Heroes. Insatiable Blade will also cause The Butcher to move 20% faster when facing a target marked with Butcher's Brand.

Victuals Icon Victuals restores 4% of The Butcher's Health every time he is nearby an enemy Minion when they are killed.

Meat Shield Icon Meat Shield causes The Butcher to take 50% reduced Ability Damage for 2.5 seconds after striking an enemy Hero with Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught.

5.2. Recommended

Insatiable Blade Icon Insatiable Blade is a great way to further increase the strength of The Butcher's already powerful self-healing. The additional 20% movement speed will also help The Butcher stick to his targets to more effectively deal massive amounts of damage and to utilize Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand's full duration. Unfortunately, one of The Butcher's greatest drawbacks is his difficulty surviving the initial focusfire of the enemy team. If this is the case, then The Butcher should look to talenting into Meat Shield Icon Meat Shield instead, as Insatiable Blade's self healing will rarely be enough on its own.

Meat Shield Icon Meat Shield is The Butcher's strongest source of overall damage mitigation. Like previously mentioned, this talent helps to alleviate some of The Butcher's difficulties in surviving an enemy teams initial damage, especially when facing off against a burst composition. Meat Shield might prove redundant should The Butcher be paired with an ally who is already able to mitigate a large portion of the damage The Butcher will receive upon initiation, such as http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/uther-build-guide or http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/medivh-build-guide. If this is the case, Insatiable Blade Icon Insatiable Blade or Victuals Icon Victuals should be selected for depending on what the given circumstances call for.

5.3. Situational

Victuals Icon Victuals actually provides The Butcher with an impressive amount of self-sustain when in lane. At 4% Health per Minion, a single wave of enemy Minions will replenish almost a third of The Butcher's total Health. This talent is very useful when being poked by enemy Abilities while sieging or defending fortifications. This talent is best utilized on smaller Battlegrounds where much of the action takes place very close to or within lanes, such as Tomb of the Spider Queen or Dragon Shire. It is important to remember (and cannot be emphasized enough) that one of The Butcher's greatest drawbacks is his difficulty surviving enemy focusfire after having initiated on a Hero. If this is the case, The Butcher may be better off talenting into Insatiable Blade Icon Insatiable Blade or Meat Shield Icon Meat Shield instead.

6. Level 10 Talents

Furnace Blast Lamb to the Slaughter

6.1. Descriptions

Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast causes flames to erupt around you after 3 seconds, dealing massive damage to all nearby enemies. Furnace Blast can be cast while using Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught.

Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter throws a hitching post at a targeted location. After a 1 second delay, the hitching post chains the closest enemy Hero, damaging and Silencing them and forcing them to stay within a small radius around the post for 3 seconds. Invulnerable and Unstoppable will suppress the chain effect, but will not remove it. Stasis effects do not remove the chain.

6.2. Recommended

Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast deals an immense amount of AoE damage to all targets caught within its vicinity. The Butcher is able to single-handedly take down most squishier targets (such as assassins, supports, and certain specialists). The 3-second delay on Furnace Blast can be difficult to manage, and it is recommended to cast Furnace Blast either before or during Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught to ensure it connects with the intended target(s). Furnace Blast should be timed to explode just as The Butcher gets within range of his target. This minimizes the amount of time enemies have to respond to Ruthless Onslaught's stun and Furnace Blast's damage. Players should consider choosing Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter as their Level 10 Talent should the enemy team consist of a Hero or Heroes whom can readily mitigate Furnace Blast's damage, such as http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/uther-build-guide with Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield or those who can place themselves in Stasis like http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/brightwing-build-guide or http://www.icy-veins.com/heroes/jaina-build-guide. Before talenting into Furnace Blast, make sure to keep an eye on the enemy team's Talent selection to look for ways that it could be rendered useless.

Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter is a great option for those playing The Butcher whom wish to bring additional utility to the match at the cost of Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast's raw damage output. In the late-game, a well placed Lamb to the Slaughter post brings with it serious match winning potential. Vulnerable heroes, such as those overextended or simply out of position, will find themselves chained down and easily picked off. It is important to note that Lamb to the Slaughter prevents chained Heroes from escaping with dashes, blinks, gap-closers, and all other types of mobility spells since they will be Silenced for its entire duration. Lamb to the Slaughter becomes drastically more powerful at Level 20 when combined with Slaughterhouse Icon Slaughterhouse, which will Silence and lockdown all enemies caught within its' radius. The Butcher should always attempt to coordinate any additional crowd-control his allies might posses, in order to maximize their overall efficiency.

7. Level 13 Talents

Cleaver Savage Charge Brutal Strike

7.1. Descriptions

Cleaver Icon Cleaver causes Basic Attacks to deal 35% of their damage to enemies in an area around the target.

Savage Charge Icon Savage Charge causes Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught to deal bonus damage equal to 10% of the target's maximum health on impact.

Brutal Strike Icon Brutal Strike causes the next 3 Basic Attacks within 5 seconds of using Hamstring Icon Hamstring to deal an additional 15% damage.

7.2. Recommended

Brutal Strike Icon Brutal Strike is by far the strongest Level 13 talent option in terms of both damage output and utility. As a match progresses and more and more Fresh Meat is collected, The Butcher will begin causing obscene amounts of damage with his Basic Attacks. Brutal Strike will not only further increase this damage, but because Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand healing is based off of Basic Attack damage, Brutal Strike will increase the overall self-healing The Butcher can receive during the Brand's duration. Although the duration of Brutal Strike is 5 seconds, (assuming The Butcher is able to stick to his target) he should be able to easily land all 3 Basic Attacks between every cast of Hamstring Icon Hamstring. This especially holds true when The Butcher is able to fully exploit the Basic Attack reset mechanic of Hamstring after every cast.

7.3. Not Recommended

Although Savage Charge Icon Savage Charge at first appears to be an enticing option, it is important to recognize that the 10% damage is based off of the targets maximum Health. Ideally The Butcher should be casting Savage Charge on more vulnerable targets with lower health pools in order to quickly focus them down, thus diminishing the raw damage value Savage Charge provides. Unfortunately for Savage Charge, 10% of a targets Health is a rather underwhelming quantity, especially when compared to the damage output and healing provided by Brutal Strike Icon Brutal Strike. Brutal Strike also will have a much greater impact on longer teamfights and skirmishes beyond their initial engagement, as its availability is dependent on the relatively short cooldown of Hamstring Icon Hamstring compared to that of Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught.

The AoE damage of Cleaver Icon Cleaver simply feels out of place in The Butcher's kit, as his primary objective is to isolate and burn down individual targets. Unless forced to do so by some external means, enemy players will rarely position close enough to one another for Cleaver to do any additional damage in group engagements, as grouping like that could make them very susceptible to other more dangerous AoE abilities. Cleaver's only reliable benefit is providing The Butcher with faster waveclear which, stated previously in regards to Chop Meat Icon Chop Meat, is most often unnecessary.

8. Level 16 Talents

Crippling Slam ? Enraged Blood Frenzy

8.1. Descriptions

Crippling Slam Icon Crippling Slam causes Hamstring Icon Hamstring's slow to no longer fade out, and increases its' duration by 25%.

Enraged Icon Enraged causes The Butcher to become enraged for 10 seconds after taking damage that reduces his Health below 50%. While Enraged The Butcher's attack speed is increased by 40% and he becomes Resistant, reducing all damage taken by 25%.

Blood Frenzy Icon Blood Frenzy causes Basic Attacks made against enemy Heroes to increase The Butcher's Attack and Movement Speed by 5% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

8.2. Recommended

Enraged Icon Enraged is a great talent that provides two incredibly strong bonuses to two completely different but equally important aspects of The Butcher's play-style. First off, the massive 40% increase in Attack Speed will not only dramatically increase The Butcher's damage output for an impressive 10 second duration, but it will also increase the self-healing generated by him through attacking a target marked with Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand. The more The Butcher is able to attack a target affected by the Brand, the longer the Brand will exist on that target, ultimately giving rise to a potential for huge Health returns. Meanwhile, The Butcher will be able to enjoy 10 seconds of a 25% reduction in all damage taken. Enraged will make The Butcher incredibly difficult to take down once he has engaged on a target with Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught and is immediately focused by the enemy, especially when combined with the Level 7 Talent Meat Shield Icon Meat Shield. This increase in both damage and survivability makes Enraged the go-to talent option for the the Level 16 tier.

8.3. Situational

Crippling Slam Icon Crippling Slam is a talent that should only be considered when locking down a specific target is more important to The Butcher and his allies than both damage and damage mitigation. It is important to remember that regardless of how long The Butcher is able to stick to a target for, it means nothing if he is easily killed or unable to do enough damage to kill his target. Crippling Slam is most effective against targets that are able to more effortlessly kite The Butcher and his team, such as ranged assassins or supports. Crippling Slam tends to work best when Flail Axe Icon Flail Axe has already been talented into at Level 4, as the increase in Hamstring Icon Hamstring's length will become invaluable to striking more mobile targets.

8.4. Not Recommended

Unfortunately after thoughtful consideration, Blood Frenzy Icon Blood Frenzy proves to be a very weak talent option. The Attack Speed increase of Blood Frenzy is only generated when attacking enemy Heroes, which means that The Butcher cannot begin to start taking advantage of this talent until he has already entered combat. The duration of the stacks is also incredibly short, as The Butcher may often times find himself unable to land a Basic Attack for over 3 seconds should the target begin to kite him around. And unlike the damage reduction of Enraged Icon Enraged and the lasting slow of Crippling Slam Icon Crippling Slam, Blood Frenzy has no enduring effect should The Butcher fall victim to crowd-control or a Blind.

9. Level 20 Talents

Fires of Hell Slaughterhouse Nexus Blades ? Bolt of the Storm

9.1. Descriptions

Fires of Hell Icon Fires of Hell causes Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast to explode a second time 3 seconds after the first. The second blast functions identically to the first.

Slaughterhouse Icon Slaughterhouse causes Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter to chain and Silence all enemy Heroes within range of the hitching post, instead of just the nearest.

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades increases the damage of your Basic Attacks by 20%, and causes them to reduce the movement speed of your target by 20% for 1 second.

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is an activatable talent that instantly teleports you to the targeted location. Bolt of the Storm has a 70-second cooldown.

9.2. Recommended

Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is an incredibly strong talent that brings with it a multitude of opportunities for counter-play and epic play making of your own. It is an extremely flexible talent that has a variety of different uses, such as catching fleeing enemies, disengaging (which is not possible for The Butcher without it), and avoiding potentially debilitating abilities. Bolt of the Storm also compliments Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast beautifully, allowing The Butcher to bolt in just before it explodes, nearly guaranteeing that it strikes its targets, even after they may have been attempting to flee.

Slaughterhouse Icon Slaughterhouse dramatically improves the power of Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter by affecting all enemy Heroes caught within its grasp, not just the one closest to its placement. This talent alone can potentially lead to multiple easy kills when used offensive and may provide The Butcher's team with a clutch late-game peel should they be caught in a compromising position for whatever reason. Unless the mobility provided by Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm is deemed absolutely mandatory, or The Butcher feels perfectly confident in the amount of utility he and his team already possesses, Slaughterhouse should be the go-to pick when available.

9.3. Situational

Nexus Blades Icon Nexus Blades should only be considered when The Butcher is looking to completely maximize his damage output. The slowing effect of Nexus Blades is somewhat redundant as most often the target of The Butcher's focus will already be under the slowing effects of Hamstring Icon Hamstring. The increase in Basic Attack damage provided by Nexus Blades is strongest when The Butcher is under the effects of Brutal Strike Icon Brutal Strike and/or Enraged Icon Enraged. Additionally, The Butcher's self-healing when attacking a target marked with Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand becomes almost comical. However, it is important to reiterate that Nexus Blades is only effective when The Butcher's allies are able to provide enough utility to the match that trading the benefits of Slaughterhouse Icon Slaughterhouse or Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm for raw damage output is most cost-effective.

9.4. Not Recommended

Fires of Hell Icon Fires of Hell theoretically should double the damage output of Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast, however the 3-second duration between explosions makes Fires of Hell too unreliable to be a viable talent option. It most often will be quite difficult for The Butcher to regularly land his second cast of Furnace Blast, as most means of crowd-control will have been exhausted to ensure the first cast's hit. Also, should the enemy team be paying attention to talent selection (like an experienced player would expect), they will most often be anticipating the second explosion of Furnace Blast and will do what they can to position themselves accordingly.

10. ChangeLog

  • 13 Sep. 2016: Alarak patch update.
    • Entire Talents page updated to include full rework.
  • 27 Apr. 2016: Patch 17.4 update.
    • Chop Meat bonus damage to Minions and Mercenaries increased from 50% to 100%.
    • Insatiable Blade bonus Healing from Basic Attacks increased from 25% to 50%.
    • Unrelenting Pursuit cooldown reduction decreased from 40% to 33%.
    • Furnace Blast cooldown reduced from 90 to 80 seconds.
    • Furnace Blast damage increased from 456(+4% per level) to 500(+4% per level).
    • Moved Chop Meat from Not Recommended to Recommended
  • 04 Apr. 2016: Dehaka patch update.
    • Targets affected by Lamb to the Slaughter are now Silenced for the ability's duration.
    • Lamb to the Slaughter duration reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds.
    • Lamb to the Slaughter cooldown increased from 60 seconds to 90 seconds.
    • Lamb to the Slaughter's chain and Silence effects will now be removed if the target becomes Invulnerable or Unstoppable.
  • 18 Nov. 2015: Removed a mention of Zeratul's Focused Attack talent, which has been removed in the Cho'gall patch.
  • 07 Sep. 2015: Savage Charge bonus damage now deals 10% of the target's maximum health, rather than 15% of the target's current health.
  • 22 Aug. 2015: Updated talent description for Bolt of the Storm to account for Kharazim's patch. No changes in talent recommendations.
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