The Butcher Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Apr 12, 2020 at 18:40 by Derenash 33 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Abilities page for The Butcher. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in The Butcher's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with The Butcher's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play The Butcher efficiently.


The Butcher's Tips and Tricks

  • Butcher's Brand Icon Butcher's Brand should be used wisely, as it is The Butcher's only source of survivability. Do not use it as a source of damage.
  • The Butcher can target enemy minions or mercenaries with Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught to escape enemy Heroes.
  • 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 The Butcher Unstoppable while charging. If timed correctly, he can avoid or negate key enemy abilities.
  • Accumulate as much Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat as possible, but not at the expense of missing team fights or Battleground objectives.
  • Cast Furnace Blast Icon Furnace Blast early so that it explodes just as The Butcher reaches his target, giving the enemy team less time to react.
  • Do not use Lamb to the Slaughter Icon Lamb to the Slaughter on Heroes that have abilities that can easily remove the chain.
  • Roam as much as possible early in the match. This will help The Butcher quickly accumulate stacks of Fresh Meat Icon Fresh Meat.

Fresh Meat (Trait)

The Butcher Fresh Meat
Fresh Meat (D) Diablo The Butcher

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 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.

Fresh Meat is a mechanic unique to The Butcher. Having 200 stacks of Fresh Meat will significantly increase The Butcher's Basic Attack damage and Attack Speed, so it is extremely important that he acquires max stacks as soon as possible. Minions are the and safest source of Fresh Meat, providing 7 pieces per wave. This means that there are always, at a minimum, 21 pieces of Fresh Meat on the map that can be harvested just from enemy Minions. Enemy Heroes provide 20 pieces of meat, so The Butcher will want to spend the early portion of the match roaming the Battleground looking for out-of-position enemy Heroes to gank. Successful takedowns in the early game will allow The Butcher to more easily snowball a match (gather momentum quickly). Until The Butcher has completed the quest portion of the his trait, he will lose 15 stacks of meat every time he dies. This should prevent The Butcher from making completely reckless plays unless he is able to guarantee a positive trade from them, such as picking up a kill before being taken down since he will still attain a +5 overall bonus to his stacks (+20 for kill - 15 for death). The death timer would prevent The Butcher from farming Minion waves for stacks (with each wave being worth 7 pieces), so often times it would be in The Butcher's best interest to not dive for risky kills.



The Butcher Hamstring
Hamstring (Q) Diablo The Butcher
  • Mana: 40
  • Cooldown: 4 seconds

Deal 110 (+4% per level) damage and slow enemies by 50% fading over 2 seconds. The Butcher's next Basic Attack will strike immediately.

Hamstring is The Butcher's primary ability and major source of waveclear. The Slow that it applies is The Butcher's main way of sticking to targets and its short cooldown encourages him to use it as often as possible. Ideally, The Butcher should use Hamstring immediately after a Basic Attack, since it works as an attack reset. Doing so will maximize his damage. However, this can be difficult to implement in practice, and players will usually be better off simply ignoring that aspect of Hamstring until become more familiar with The Butcher's more fundamental mechanics.


Butcher's Brand

The Butcher Butcher's Brand
Butcher's Brand (W) Diablo The Butcher
  • Mana: 60
  • Cooldown: 14 seconds

Deal 37 (+4% per level) 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.

Basic Attacks against Branded Heroes heal for double and extend the duration of the Brand by 0.5 seconds.

Using Butcher's Brand properly is extremely important. Improper use will most often lead to The Butcher dying and his team losing the fight. This is because Butcher's Brand is The Butcher's only source of survivability; he has no other source of healing and no baseline damage reduction or mobility. It should never be used to deal damage. It is crucial that The Butcher marks the correct target at the correct time. This target should always be a Hero, except when The Butcher is recovering health after a fight or in lane, preferably one with low mobility at a time when he will not be crowd controlled. For example, if Butcher's Brand is used on Muradin, he can Slow The Butcher's attack speed with Reverberation Icon Reverberation, Stun him with Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt, and simply jump away with Dwarf Toss Icon Dwarf Toss, all of which are more than enough to keep distance from The Butcher while Muradin is affected by Butcher's Brand. However, if The Butcher marks a Hero like Azmodan, who has no way of disengaging from him, he will be able to freely benefit from Butcher's Brand.


Ruthless Onslaught

The Butcher Ruthless Onslaught
Ruthless Onslaught (E) Diablo The Butcher
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

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 (+4% per level) damage.

Ruthless Onslaught is a powerful ability that mainly functions as an engagement tool. It can be used to quickly cross large distances, Stunning The Butcher's target for 1-second and damaging them upon contact. Since The Butcher is Unstoppable while charging and immune to crowd control, there is very little that enemies can do to prevent him from making contact with them. However, he is still susceptible to damage while charging and will likely be the primary focus of the enemy team the moment he is within range, so it is extremely important that The Butcher has the support of his allies when charging. Be wary of targeting Heroes with blinks and dashes, as they can quickly move to a different position, causing The Butcher to charge down a potentially dangerous path. Always be ready to cancel Ruthless Onslaught mid-charge should circumstances change to favor the enemy.

Note that Ruthless Onslaught causes The Butcher to charge along the shortest route to his target, and the shortest route may not necessarily be the safest. Know the route that The Butcher will take before he charges to avoid inadvertently running through dangerous territory. Ruthless Onslaught can also be used to escape pursuing enemies by targeting minions and mercenaries. Note that some abilities, like Devouring Maw Icon Devouring Maw and Void Prison Icon Void Prison, are able to stop or delay The Butcher from charging.


Lamb to the Slaughter

The Butcher Lamb to the Slaughter
Lamb to the Slaughter (R) Diablo The Butcher
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 90 seconds

Throw a hitching post that attaches to the nearest enemy Hero after a 1 second delay. This deals 171 (+4% per level) damage and causes the enemy to be chained to the post and Silenced for 3 seconds.

Lamb to the Slaughter can be an excellent Heroic. Chaining a vulnerable enemy Hero, such as an Assassin, can completely prevent them from fleeing, giving The Butcher's team an easy kill. 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 are Silenced.

Except in very specific circumstances, The Butcher should always avoid using Lamb to the Slaughter on a Tank, since the strength of this ability is allowing easier access to higher priority enemy Heroes. It can also be used to chain pursuing enemies, preventing them from chasing The Butcher. Slaughterhouse Icon Slaughterhouse, the Level 20 upgrade for Lamb to the Slaughter, is quite strong, drastically increasing Lamb to the Slaughter's effectiveness. It should almost always be chosen at Level 20.

Lamb to the Slaughter's strength is very dependent on the enemies' team composition and whether or not they have an answer to Lamb to the Slaughter. Cleanse effects (for example Intercession Icon Intercession by Whitemane) are especially good counters, since they are targeted, instant, have a low cooldown, and several dedicated Healers have access to them. However, Cleanse alone is not an effective enough counter since this would mean that Cleanse is being used specifically for The Butcher, allowing his allies to use their crowd control without fear of it being removed. Avoid choosing Lamb to the Slaughter when the enemy team has plenty of survivability, such as multiple Tanks and supports, and The Butcher's team has insufficient burst damage to follow up.

Enemy players have access to a wide variety of counters to Lamb to the Slaughter. It is important that you identify these counters prior to choosing Lamb to the Slaughter, as to not take it and have it be ineffective. The following is a list of notable abilities and talents that you should be aware of.


Furnace Blast

The Butcher Furnace Blast
Furnace Blast (R) Diablo The Butcher
  • Heroic
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

After a 3 second delay, fire explodes around The Butcher dealing 500 (+4% per level) damage to enemies.

Can be cast while using Ruthless Onslaught.

Furnace Blast allows The Butcher to kill Heroes, like Assassins and Supports, from full health nearly instantly. When choosing Furnace Blast, a lot of power is invested in the ability, making it very important to avoid large team fights (if possible) when it is unavailable.

Furnace Blast should always be used in combination with crowd control abilities to best ensure that it hits the desired targets. A 3-second delay is quite long, so The Butcher will generally want to activate Furnace Blast before fighting and then use Ruthless Onslaught Icon Ruthless Onslaught to close the distance and stun his target. Furnace Blast should be timed to explode just as The Butcher gets within range of his target, giving enemies the least amount of time possible to respond. Once The Butcher has Bolt of the Storm Icon Bolt of the Storm at Level 20, he can activate Furnace Blast, wait until just before it explodes, and then bolt directly on top of his targets.

Enemy players have access to a wide variety of counters to Furnace Blast. It is important that you identify these counters prior to using Furnace Blast, as to maximize its chance of success. The following is a list of notable abilities and talents that you should be aware of.



  • 01 Sep. 2017: Fresh Meat (Trait) has been updated, Meat from Hero kills reduced from 25 to 20, Meat lost on death increased from 10 to 15.
  • 08 Aug. 2017: Updated Fresh Meat section.
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