The Butcher Talents
Welcome to our Talents page for The Butcher. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of The Butcher's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
The Butcher's Talent Build
|1||? ✘︎ ✓|
|4||? ✓ ?|
|7||? ? ✓|
|13||✘︎ ? ✓|
|16||? ✓ ✘︎|
|20||✘︎ ✓ ? ?|
The Butcher's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Ruthless Onslaught BuildRecommended
The Ruthless Onslaught build contains a healthy blend of survivability, utility, and reliable damage output. The cooldown reduction of Ruthless Onslaught greatly increases The Butcher's roaming and ganking potential while Meat Shield and Enraged mitigate much of the damage he will receive upon engaging his enemies. Lamb to the Slaughter allows The Butcher to lock down and shred a single target (usually an isolated assassin or support), while Slaughterhouse at Level 20 provides an incredible source of multi-target crowd-control.
The Hamstring Build focuses on maximizing damage output by means bolstering the effectiveness of Hamstring at the cost of survivability and utility. This build works well against enemy Heroes who are able to more easily kite The Butcher around by means of movement speed buffs or gap-closers. The increased length of Hamstring from Flail Axe and its reduced cooldown from Invigoration will allow The Butcher to more easily land Hamstring and re-apply the slow portion of the ability. Insatiable Blade and Bolt of the Storm can further assist The Butcher in sticking to his desired target, particularly if you got Furnace Blast.
Level 1 Talents for The Butcher
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 enemy Hero Basic Attack, reducing the damage taken by 75%.
Stores up to 2 charges.
Increases Hamstring damage by 100% to Minions, Mercenaries, and Monsters.
Invigoration has become the best choice for The Butcher in all situations. 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 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 at Level 4 and 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.
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. If The Butcher is concerned with being focused and quickly burned down, both Meat Shield and Enraged should be considered as excellent choices to prevent that.
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. It should be the choice in some games, like in Tomb of the Spider Queen, but only if your team has poor waveclear.
Level 4 Talents for The Butcher
Increases the length of Hamstring by 40%.
Reduces the cooldown of Ruthless Onslaught by 33% upon impact.
Hamstring does 100% more damage to targets affected by a Slow, Root, or Stun.
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 makes it much easier to land 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 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 for Flail Axe's bonus range.
Unrelenting Pursuit greatly reduces the cooldown of 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 early on, which can have a huge beneficial outcome on the remainder of the match.
Cheap Shot doubles Hamstring's damage, causing The Butcher to become an even more threatening presence in close quarters. Unfortunately, Ruthless Onslaught is The Butcher's 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 Jaina and Arthas.
Level 7 Talents for The Butcher
While facing a 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.
When Ruthless Onslaught impacts an enemy Hero, The Butcher gains 50 Spell Armor for 2.5 seconds, reducing Ability Damage taken by 50%.
Insatiable Blade's additional 25% movement speed will help The Butcher stick to his targets to more effectively deal massive amounts of damage and to utilize 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 instead, as Insatiable Blade's self healing will rarely be enough on its own.
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 Uther or Medivh. If this is the case, Insatiable Blade or Victuals should be selected for depending on what the given circumstances call for.
Victuals actually provides The Butcher with an impressive amount of self-sustain when in lane. At 5% 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 or Meat Shield instead.
Level 10 Talents for The Butcher
- 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.
- 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.
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 healers). 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 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 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 those who can place themselves in Stasis like Brightwing or Jaina. 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 is a great option for those playing The Butcher whom wish to bring additional utility to the match at the cost of 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, 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.
Level 13 Talents for The Butcher
Basic Attacks deal 35% of The Butcher's Basic Attack Damage in an area around the target.
Ruthless Onslaught deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 10% of their maximum Health.
After using Hamstring, The Butcher's next 3 Basic Attacks within 5 seconds deal an additional 15% damage.
The AoE damage of 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, is most often unnecessary.
Savage Charge is a great talent if you are not close to the 200 meat stacks at level 13, since the 10% damage will be better than some extra Basic Attack damage. It is a good option when paired with Unrelenting Pursuit.
Brutal Strike is a strong 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 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. This especially holds true when The Butcher is able to fully exploit the Basic Attack reset mechanic of Hamstring after every cast.
Level 16 Talents for The Butcher
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%.
This effect has a 25 second cooldown.
Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes grant 5% increased Attack and Movement Speed for 3 seconds, up to 25%.
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 has already been talented into at Level 4, as the increase in Hamstring's length will become invaluable to striking more mobile targets.
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. 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 15% 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 and is immediately focused by the enemy, especially when combined with the Level 7 Talent Meat Shield. This increase in both damage and survivability makes Enraged the go-to talent option for the the Level 16 tier.
Unfortunately after thoughtful consideration, 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 and the lasting slow of Crippling Slam, Blood Frenzy has no enduring effect should The Butcher fall victim to crowd-control or a Blind.
Level 20 Talents for The Butcher
Furnace Blast explodes a second time 3 seconds after the initial explosion.
Lamb to the Slaughter now chains all enemy Heroes in range.
Basic Attacks deal 20% more damage and Slow enemy Movement Speed by 20% for 1 second.
- Cooldown: 70 seconds
Activate to teleport to a nearby location.
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 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 dramatically improves the power of 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 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.
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. The increase in Basic Attack damage provided by Nexus Blades is strongest when The Butcher is under the effects of Brutal Strike and/or Enraged. Additionally, The Butcher's self-healing when attacking a target marked with 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 or Bolt of the Storm for raw damage output is most cost-effective.
Fires of Hell theoretically should double the damage output of 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.
- 26 Mar. 2021: Updated Talent recommendations.
- 01 Sep. 2017: Level 7 Talent Insatiable Blade (W) has had the bonus healing removed and the increased movement speed increased from 20 to 25%.
- Level 7 Talent Victuals (Passive) has been increased from 4 to 5% per minion death.
- Level 16 Talent Crippling Slam (Q) has had the bonus duration increased from 25 to 30%.
- Level 16 Talent Enraged (Passive) has had the bonus Armor reduced from 25 to 15.
- 08 Aug. 2017: Level 1 Talent Abattoir has been removed. All Talent builds and discussions have been updated accordingly.
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