This article is about the Highmaul boss. For other uses, see The Butcher (disambiguation).
BossThe Butcher
Image of The Butcher
Gender Male
Race Ogre (Humanoid)
Level ?? Elite
Reaction Alliance Horde
Location Highmaul
Status Killable

The Butcher is the second boss of Highmaul in Nagrand.


Adventure Guide

Born in the fetid Underbelly of Highmaul, this ogre may have once had a proper name, but it is 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.


The Butcher attacks relentlessly, hacking at his foes with his dual implements of destruction. His main abilities seek to target large clumps of enemies, and positioning is key to handling and overcoming his attacks.

Dps icon.png Damage Dealers

  • Players in melee range must form clumps of varying sizes throughout the fight to manage the Butcher's Cleave and allow Gushing Wounds to fade.
  • Players at range must clump in order to survive the Butcher's Bounding Cleave sequence.

Healer icon.png Healers

  • Groups that are struck by Cleave suffer periodic damage from Gushing Wounds, which can stack.
  • All players in the raid suffer Physical damage when the Butcher begins his Bounding Cleave sequence.

Tank icon.png Tanks

  • Heavy Handed causes the Butcher to attack the player closest to his current target with a copy of all of his melee attacks. These attacks can be mitigated and avoided as usual. If another player is not close enough, the second attack will trigger on the primary target.
  • The Tenderizer will always hit. It cannot be dodged or parried, but it can be blocked.
  • The Cleaver will only apply its damage over time effect if the attack successfully lands on its target.


The Butcher

  • Tank AlertAbility butcher heavyhanded.png  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. 
  • Tank AlertInv axe 64.png  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. 
  • Tank AlertInv mace 52.png  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. 
  • Tank AlertMeat Hook — The caster pulls in their target with a meat hook. 
  • ImportantAbility butcher cleave.png  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. 
  • Ability butcher whirl.png  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. 
  • Ability butcher gushingwounds.png  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. 
  • Healer AlertFrenzy — After the Butcher reaches 30% health remaining, he Frenzies. While Frenzied the Butcher deals 10% more damage and attacks 30% faster. 

Night-Twisted CadaverHeroic Difficulty

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.

  • DeadlyPaleobomb — The caster explodes, inflicting 150,000 Physical damage to all enemies within 8 yards. This damage ignores armor. 
  • DeadlyPale 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%. 


The Butcher encounter is a very simple single-phase fight that is frequently compared with Patchwerk; it has very few mechanics and the main challenge of the encounter is an extremely tight enrage timer necessitating very high DPS from all members of the raid.


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Normal / Heroic

Preparation / Managing Cleave

Prior to the pull, the raid leader will generally assign three groups, two of which will stack separately in melee range to soak Cleave, the third will stack at range to bait in Bounding Cleave and the fourth will contain the two tanks.

The only major mechanic of the fight to be managed by the DPS is Cleave which applies the debuff Gushing Wounds. If any member of the raid reaches five stacks of this debuff they will instantly die. The normal strategy for the fight is to have two groups assigned to stack in melee, which will stack on the boss's backside behind each of his feet, one group on the side of the left foot and the other on the side of the right foot.

Cleave hits the largest clump of players near him so these groups must contain at least 3 players to ensure Cleave will not inadvertently hit the tanks. In order to control the flow of stacks onto the raid and ensure stacks will fall off, the raid leader must assign two "trigger" characters, one for each group, that will move in and out of their respective stack points to force the boss to either target their group or target the other group. For example, if Group 1's trigger is John and Group 2's trigger is Mary, when it's Group 1's turn to soak Cleave John will stack with his group and Mary will move out of her group, causing the Butcher to hit Group 1 with all of the Cleaves, then when it is Group 2's turn to soak Cleave John will move out of his group and Mary will move into hers, forcing the Butcher to use Cleave on Group 2 instead. Prior to the Frenzy, the groups should be alternating at 2 stacks, but after the Frenzy the Butcher's increased attack speed will require alternating on 3 stacks.

Hunters are particularly desired for their ability to act as triggers as moving into and out of their group is generally not a DPS loss, though other mobile ranged DPS or healers can be used as well if qualified hunters are not available. Melee DPS can act as triggers if the groups are far enough apart that it creates a gap that the trigger can move into without having to stop attacking the boss.

Ranged DPS / Healers

Any ranged DPS or healers not assigned to a melee group to soak cleave should stack up at a designated point far away from the boss to bait in Bounding Cleave. When he knocks the whole raid away, they should quickly move back to their stack point to ensure they get hit.

Healers should have their strongest healing cooldowns for when the Butcher hits 30% and begins to Frenzy. This is also the point that the group should generally use [Heroism], [Bloodlust] or similar abilities.


The Butcher has three tank mechanics in addition to his fairly powerful melee attack. Heavy Handed will copy his attacks onto the nearest target within 5 yards of his primary aggro target; if there is no other target within 5 yards of his current tank he will instead hit the tank twice. This necessitates the two tanks stacking on top of each other for the entire fight, but also not with any of the melee DPS as Heavy Handed can hit a non-tank as well which will probably cause a death.

His second tank mechanic is the Cleaver, which applies a stacking DoT on the tank. While this ability will simply need to be healed through for some tanks, avoidance-oriented tanks like Brewmaster Monks and Guardian Druids should use their avoidance cooldowns (e.g. [Elusive Brew], [Savage Defense]) to attempt to dodge this ability, as it can be avoided and if avoided it does not apply its DoT.

His third tank mechanic is the Tenderizer, a single-target nuke which applies a debuff that increases damage of successive Tenderizers. The tanks should swap at 2 stacks of this ability and have a cooldown ready for reducing the damage of the second one.

While not a tank mechanic per se, the Butcher's Frenzy is very remniscent of Patchwerk and the boss will start doing increased damage and start attacking quite a bit faster, so having major defensive cooldowns ready for the 30% mark is essential for surviving the last minute of the fight.


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Related Achievements


Come here, you scrawny grabbers!
All crunch and no meat!
Come and get it!
Bounding Cleave
Get the blood flowing!
Time for the meat grinder!
Just a slice off the top.
I will break you!
Killing a player
  • So juicy!
  • Give it to us raw... and wiggling!
Looks like meat's back on the menu!
Gonna make a Pale stew.
Unused quotes
  • Lanky gave me a little runs!
  • Get off! You ain't worth eating!
  • Smash!

Objective of


Patches and hotfixes

  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2015-01-08): Pale Vitriol should now correctly be reapplied to Hunters under the effects of Deterrence on Mythic difficulty.
  • Warlords of Draenor Hotfix (2014-12-17): The Butcher now has a chance to drop a  [Green Winter Hat].
Ended with closing of Feast of Winter Veil on January 2.

External links