The Butcher Boss Guide

Born in the fetid Underbelly of Highmaul, this ogre may have once had a proper name, but it’s since been long forgotten. Abused and beaten from his earliest days, the hardship only strengthened his body even as it broke his mind. Now there is not an ogre in Highmaul who will not give him a wide berth as he hacks away at slaughtered carcasses to pass his days.

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The encounter against The Butcher is a single-phase fight.

You will only face The Butcher, no other adds ever taking part in the fight.

The main theme of the encounter is the fact that The Butcher regularly attacks and debuffs the largest group of players located in his melee range, and that after a certain number of debuff stacks, these players die.

This means that throughout the fight, your raid will be using multiple groups of designated players to make sure that no one group will ever be killed.

Overall, The Butcher has a small number of abilities, and none of them are very complex.



  • The two tanks should stand within 5 yards of each other (preferably on top of each other).
  • Perform a regular tank switch to deal with the debuffs applied by The Cleaver Icon The Cleaver and The Tenderizer Icon The Tenderizer.
  • Make sure not to interfere with the positioning of the clumps of players who are soaking Cleave Icon Cleave.


  • Watch out for the increased damage on a tank that has been tanking the boss for a longer period of time. Also keep in mind that both tanks will take damage at the same time.
  • Watch out for additional damage after The Butcher reaches 30% health.


* DPS the boss.


  • Be mindful of your assignment in groups, with regard to Cleave Icon Cleave, especially if you are assigned to move in and out to alter the size of your group's clump. Tanks are excluded from this.
  • When the boss casts Bounding Cleave Icon Bounding Cleave, make sure not to stack together with any other players unless you are specifically assigned to do so.


The strategy for the fight against The Butcher revolves heavily on your raid setting up two groups of players to handle  Cleave. Aside from this, your tanks will need to perform regular tank switches, and have a relatively precise position, and lastly, your raid will have to handle The Butcher's  Bounding Cleave.


 Tanking The Butcher

There are three constraints that your raid's tanks are subject to during this encounter.

  • The off-tank must stand within 5 yards of the tank currently tanking The Butcher. This needed to counter The Butcher's Heavy Handed 
  • The tanks will need to perform a tank switch whenever the number of stacks from The Cleaver and  The Tenderizer on the active tank are too high.
  • The tanks will have to make sure that they are not too close to any clump of players that is meant to be hit by Cleave, so as to avoid the  Gushing Wounds 

Giving more specific information is difficult. There is no ideal or highly recommended tanking position, though somewhere in the center of the arena is better because it gives your raid more space to work with.

Likewise, it is difficult to say at how many stacks of the debuffs your tanks should perform a switch. This will depend greatly on the damage that the boss does, the gear of the tanks, and the ability of the healers. Regarding these debuffs, it is worth mentioning that the tank can try to reduce the number of stacks applied by  The Cleaver by using active mitigation to attempt to avoid some applications. This will result in less overall damage, and can make things safer, but it cannot eliminate the need for a tank switch, since the debuff applied by  The Tenderizer cannot in any way be avoided.

The tanks should be able to remain perfectly still for the entire duration of the fight (with The Butcher walking back to them after charging players following a  Bounding Cleave), so interfering with the positioning of the groups of players assigned to handle the  Cleave is not really something that the tanks need to be too concerned about, as long as they do not move around erratically.


Handling Cleave


As stated above, The Butcher will use  Cleave every 5 seconds throughout the fight, targeting the largest clump of players in his melee range. This applies a bleed effect called  Gushing Wounds to these players. The damage of Gushing Wounds was not very problematic on the Beta. The problem comes from the fact that when Gushing Wounds reaches 5 stacks, affected players are instantly killed. We will outline the best way to handle Cleave, and then explain it in more detail.

  • Set up two groups, each containing enough players to make sure that they can all survive the damage of Cleave (remember that it does massive damage split between all affected players).
  • Have the groups clump together in The Butcher's melee range, away from one another.
  • Increase or decrease the sizes of the clumps as needed (by having ranged DPS players or healers move out of or back into the clumps), in order to force The Butcher to attack the group of your choice. Force The Butcher to switch which group he attacks before the group reaches 5 stacks of Gushing Wounds.

The size of the groups you form depends on your raid's size. The groups should contain all of the melee players, and as many ranged DPS or healers as needed to ensure that there are enough players in a given group to survive the damage. The groups should be of the same size, for simplicity's sake.

Once you have created these equal groups, each group should have a player assigned to moving out of the clump (and away from the other clump or the tanks, so essentially just backing away from the boss) when the stacks of  Gushing Wounds reach a high number (we advise doing this at 4 stacks). We will give you an example below, assuming that you have two groups of 6 players each.

  1. Players 1-6 of Group A start the fight clumped together next to The Butcher, while players 1-5 of Group B do the same, with player 6 of Group B standing at range. This will cause Group A to be targeted by The Butcher's Cleave.
  2. When Group A reaches 4 stacks of Gushing Wounds, player 6 of Group A moves away from the clump, and player 6 of Group B moves into Group B's clump. This will force The Butcher to cleave Group B.
  3. When Group B reaches 4 stacks of Gushing Wounds, player 6 of Group B moves away from the clump, and player 6 of Group A moves back into Group A's clump. This will force The Butcher to attack Group A again.
  4. Repeat this cycle until The Butcher dies.

Keep in mind that in addition to the above, you will have to take into account The Butcher's  Bounding Cleave. We explain this in detail below.


Bounding Cleave


When  Bounding Cleave is cast, The Butcher will charge the largest clump of players and Cleave them, also applying  Gushing Wounds to them. Remember that The Butcher knocks back all players a few seconds before he picks a clump and charges it. The risk is that, in the chaos, your raid members will form unintentional clumps containing players assigned to the normal groups. If this happens, these players will gain extra stacks of Gushing Wounds (or, if they have 4 stacks already, they will die), greatly complicating your strategy.

To handle this, you will most likely want to use a third group of players, whose only purpose is to quickly stack up when Bounding Cleave happens, in order to attract The Butcher to them. Obviously, this requires that none of these players be part of the other two groups, and that no other raid members accidentally form a larger clump (thus attracting The Butcher to that group instead).



When The Butcher reaches 30% health, he goes into a frenzy and deals slightly more damage with his attacks. In addition to this, however, he also attacks 30% faster and gains Energy 50% faster.

Despite the fact that The Butcher casts  Bounding Cleave every 30 seconds instead of every 60 seconds at this time, the strategy remains unchanged (the backup group will not retain the stacks of  Gushing Wounds, since it only lasts 15 seconds). Your raid will simply be more prone to dying, and you will need to use every ability and cooldown in your arsenal to finish off the boss before your raid dies (and before the hard enrage timer is triggered).



  • Heavy Handed — All of the Butcher's standard auto attacks trigger a second attack on the next closest target within 5 yards. If no target is found, the primary target is struck again.
  • The Cleaver — The Butcher's Cleaver cuts its victims down to the bone, causing them to bleed profusely over time. This effect stacks. This attack will not apply its bleed component if it is avoided.
  • The Tenderizer — The Butcher's Tenderizer hits his current target for significant Physical damage and increases the damage taken by further attacks made with the Tenderizer by 50%. This attack always hits.
  • Meat Hook— The caster pulls in their target with a meat hook.
  • Cleave — The Butcher targets the largest clump of players in melee range and strikes them for massive Physical damage. The damage is split between all targets in the clump. Victims of Cleave are afflicted with Gushing Wounds.
  • Bounding Cleave — When the Butcher reaches 100 Energy he begins the Bounding Cleave sequence by knocking all players back, then charging to a clump at range and cleaving targets within that clump.
  • Gushing Wounds — The Butcher's blade causes the victim to bleed profusely for Physical damage for 10 sec. (LFR) or 15 sec (Normal, Heroic and Mythic). If the victim reaches 5 stacks they will perish instantly.
  • Frenzy— After the Butcher reaches 30% health remaining, he Frenzies. While Frenzied the Butcher deals 10% more damage and attacks 30% faster.

Night-Twisted Cadaver

In Mythic Difficulty, Night-Twisted Cadavers will spawn and walk towards The Butcher in a final, vain attempt to slay him. When the Cadaver reaches The Butcher or when they walk near a player, they will Explode, leaving a pool of Pale Vitriol behind for the duration of the encounter.

  • Paleobomb— The caster explodes, inflicting 150,000 Physical damage to all enemies within 8 yards. This damage ignores armor.
  • Pale Vitriol— Standing in the remains of the Pale Orcs causes the player to suffer 67,500 Shadow damage every second and to take 100% more damage from the Butcher's Cleave attacks. Victims are also slowed by 30%.

Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp

When The Butcher reaches 30% health.