As a melee assassin, the Butcher has eye watering damage, powerful life steal and an awesome charge for engaging in fights. In many ways he plays similarly to Thrall and as one of my favourite Heroes in Heroes of the Storm, The Butcher easily surpasses his Orc counterpart. With two powerful Ultimate abilities and a skill to sustain himself in any 1 on 1 fight (arguably the best in the game thanks to Butcher's Brand) he's incredibly strong. Like many melee assassins, he does require clever play as diving too deep, too early, will see him die quickly. Despite that, if you can master your positioning he's more than capable of carrying you and your team to the finish line. 

Guide Updated: -01 September 2016



Amazing damage early game thanks to his trait.

Fairly easy to kill if focus fired or chain-CC'd

Incredible burst potential with Hamstring > Butchers Brand > Basic Attack

Requires good positioning to ensure he doesn't die quickly 

A very powerful Ultimate that's brilliant at stunning and separating out enemy team members 

Relies heavily on his stun to reliably kill opponents

Excellent at laning due to his healing on Butcher's Brand

Can be punished easily if he uses Onslaught too early


Fresh Meat (Trait)– With the large damage boost it provides, you’ll want to get to your max stacks of Fresh Meat as quickly as possible, both at the beginning of the game, and after dying. While Heroes drop the most meat, minions and mercs are the quickest and safest ways of stacking up. A Butcher with a low Fresh Meat count is not nearly as intimidating as one who’s on max stacks. Be sure to always have maximum stacks and if you die, head straight to lane to get back on your feet. With recent changes to Fresh Meat, death isn't anywhere near as punishing (you only lose 10 upon death) but you still need to maintain as many as humanly possible. With the "quest" being to achieve 125, it takes some time but it should be your primary focus. 

Hamstring (Q) – This is your primary ability, as well as your source of waveclear. Due to the relatively low mana cost and very low cooldown, you shouldn’t be afraid to spam Hamstring. It’s worth noting that it does function as a reset on your basic attack, meaning your maximum damage will come by using this ability right after a basic attack. Of course, this can be easier said than done sometimes, so don’t go too far out of your way to attempt this.

Butcher’s Brand (W) – As your only form of sustain/survivability, proper use of Butcher’s Brand is extremely important. You can use it on a minion to heal up in lane, but during team fights, it’s critical to choose your target carefully. Make sure you’re applying the Brand to an enemy Hero that doesn’t have an easy way to escape, or a way to prevent you from getting to them. This will ensure you can stay healthy during the fight and continued attacks against the same target refresh its duration. 

Ruthless Onslaught (E) – This is your engage tool, and it’s quite a powerful one. If you’re using it during a team fight, make sure your allies are going on with you, or else you’ll quickly be focused down. Given that this is a targeted ability, and you’re Unstoppable while charging, there’s very little that can prevent you from reaching your target. Just watch how the game paths you, as it will always choose the shortest distance. If the enemy blinks away, or anything else happens that makes the pathing unfavorable, be ready to press E again to cancel the ability.

Lamb to the Slaughter (R) – If there is a single priority target on the enemy team that your team absolutely has to get to, Lamb to the Slaughter can be an excellent choice. When attached, the hitching post will completely immobilize your target for 4 seconds (while silencing them!). Not only is the duration enormous, but it pretty much gaurentees that whoever you catch is going to die. Used on a Support Hero, it's almost always a gaurenteed kill. 

Furnace Blast (R)  – If you’re able to land it, the damage of this Heroic is absolutely massive. With that said, the trick is actually hitting multiple targets with it due to the 3 second delay. Being able to use it in conjunction with Ruthless Onslaught can help with that, as can charging up before blinking in with Bolt of the Storm (if you choose to go with that Talent.) If you choose Furnace Blast over Lamb to the Slaughter, try to avoid team fighting when it’s on cooldown, as a lot of your power will be tied to this choice of Heroic abilities. Be sure that you engage an enemy with Onslaught and only near the point of impact - taking account of the 3 second cast time - should you cast Furnace Blast. 


Level 1: Block

Against a basic attack heavy composition, Block is invaluable. Reducing damage from 2 basic attacks by 75%, it will save your life and significantly improve your sustain in any team fight.  

Variable: With Heroes of the Storm revolving so much around poke and sustain, Invigoration is a must. Reducing the mana cost of Hamstring if you hit a Hero and reducing its cooldown by 1 second allows you to not only keep using it in a team fight, but keep the enemy team slowed.

Level 4: Unrelenting Pursuit

The Butcher relies almost entirely on Ruthless Onslaught so having its cooldown reduced by 33% upon impact with a target allows you to use it again after a very short space of time. Unrelenting Pursuit also allows you to switching targets quickly during a team fight due to it reducing the skill cooldown so much. 

Level 7: Meat Shield

The Butcher is very squishy and once he dives into combat, he's often the first target players will seek to kill. Gaining a Spell Shield that reduces all incoming ability damage by 50% for 2.5 seconds, upon impact of Onslaught, and thanks to Meat Shield, is amazing. It's huge survivability and combined with Block, allows you to withstand lots of damage.

Level 10: Furnace Blast or Lamb to the Slaughter

I prefer Furnace Blast over Lamb to the Slaughter because it's particularly strong mid to late game when players group up, as opposed to solo laning. Having said that, Lamb to the Slaughter is also amazing late game when it allows you to trap all those caught in the radius. There's no right or wrong here - it depends entirely on your play style and your teams synergy. Lamb to the Slaughter is great if you lack a Hero on your team who's capable of holding an enemy in place or if there's a particularly high value target that need.

Level 13: Brutal Strike

The Butcher is all about basic attacks, so gaining a 15% increase on your next three after using Hamstring is huge. If you're maximum meat stacks and when level 20 (thank you, Nexus Blades!) you deal so much damage. Brutal Strike is amazing.

Variable: Taking Savage Charge is a good alternative as it allows you to make maximum use of Ruthless Onslaught and its reduced cooldown. Dealing damage based on someones maximum health is amazing, even more so when it's 10%. 

Level 16: Enraged

Due to how CC heavy some enemy Heroes are (Uther/Brightwing/Jaina) taking Enraged is an excellent way of further increasing your survivability. Although it only activates at 50% health, it triggers fairly often to the point where you'll have 25% damage mitigation at almost every team fight. The 40% attack speed bonus also makes you absolutely terrifying. 

Level 20: Nexus Blades

Nexus Blades provides s a 20% boost to your damage output and your basic attacks slow targets that you hit. I've been hitting players for over 600 per basic attack thanks to this talent and it's especially eye-watering with Blood Frenzy. 

Variable: It's likely you'll often be focused as The Butcher so Bolt of the Storm is a brilliant variable for escaping when you're under pressure. 


The Butcher is amazing at fighting other heroes because his Butcher's Brand provides so much healing against them. You can pretty much go toe to toe with anyone, regardless of their damage output. As usual, the chart below details the Heroes you should be focusing on and beating. 



Brightwing:  Easy to kill as long as you bait him enough so he can't Polymorph you and flee. Sometimes it's unavoidable at which point just use Ruthless Onslaught, Hamstring and your basic attacks. 


Illidan: I was expecting Illidan to be challenging for The Butcher but he's actually really easy, thanks to Butcher's Brand. Bait him with Onslaught, keep him snared and just smack him in the face. 


Jaina: Although you can Ruthless Onslaught onto her, she'll quickly slow you and use Blizzard on herself. If she has Ring of Frost, she'll use that too (in an emergency). The best you can do is try to burst her as quickly as possible, with Lamb to the Slaughter if possible. 


Kael'Thas: Gravity Lapse, eye watering damage and Pyroblast can be a real headache for The Butcher. Fortunately his Gravity Lapse doesn't last long and if you have Butcher's Brand, you can catch up to him. 


Tychus: His grenade can knock you back, he deals loads of damage from his Trait and his mobility from Overkill can cause you real problems. 


Tracer: You can't use Ruthless Onslaught against her due to her Blink and Recall while she moves so quickly you'll never - ever - get near her. She's impossible to fight against as Butcher. 


Valla: A stun from her ultimate, an escape and high ranged basic attack damage make Valla a huge threat. If she has her Vault available, Ruthless Onslaught is pretty useless. 




This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your The Butcher play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here. 

1. Try to position yourself so that you can use Onslaught to reach a squishy target during a team fight. Be sure that once you reach that target, you've got a clear exit and are in range of your healer.

2. Butcher's Brand provides incredible healing against Heroes. You shouldn't worry about 1 v 1ing anyone. 

3. You have no reliable escape until you obtain Crave Flesh. Even then it's high risk. Use walls and minions as your targets so you can charge away with Onslaught. 

4. You can pre-arm Furnace Blast so that it detonates as you charge with Onslaught. Furnace Blast takes 3 seconds to charge, so time your skills so that it explodes when you're in the middle of a pack of enemy heroes. 

5. If you've taken Invigoration you should never not be using Hamstring, especially with the extended reach. It's group potential is amazing.

6. To get your Fresh Meat stacks quickly, pair with a specialists or Valla to quickly gather what you need before moving onto another lane. 

7. If you have died, your first priority should be maximising your Fresh Meat stacks again. The quickest and easiest method is minion farming.

8. The Butcher is amazing at taking camps, even early game, because of Butcher's Brand. Make use of this potential. 

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Heroes of the Storm Game Page.

Last Updated: Sep 01, 2016

About The Author

Burnell 1
Lover of all things MOBA, Lewis splits his time between Heroes of the Storm, Paragon and SMITE.