Diablo 4 players are using a trick from 1997 to kill The Butcher

Diablo 4 - The Butcher concept art
(Image credit: Blizzard)

The return of The Butcher, for me, is one of Diablo 4's high points. His randomized attacks are surprising, terrifying, and yes, frustrating for an awful lot of players. The good news for those having trouble taking him on is that there does appear to be one fairly reliable way to do it—it's called cheese.

As a number of redditors have pointed out, The Butcher isn't the most agile guy in Sanctuary. He moves with a surprising quickness, but he also has a tendency to get hung up on things. He's also not great at opening doors. In practical terms, what this means is that if you can get him stuck in a doorway, like a one-demon Three Stooges, you can lay a beating on his ass with impunity.

Butcher spooked me in HC at level 15 before passives. Door saved me. from r/diablo4

Is this an honorable way to fight? No, of course not, and if you have a problem with that then you're free to double back, get him loose, and then throw hands in the middle of the ring. But if your goal is simply to get the job done, well, as far as I'm concerned this is the way to do it.

And quite frankly, I do think it's a legitimate approach to taking him down. Boss fights are inherently unfair—after ramping up gently through conventional mobs you're suddenly fighting an overpowered beast with abilities you've never seen before and a mile-long health bar—and that makes unfair responses perfectly valid. In case there's any doubt, this applies to all boss fights, everywhere. Boss fights are bullshit.

It doesn't have to be a doorway, either. Shrines work nicely:

This steroid demon (THE BUTCHER) got stuck on a shrine. LMAO from r/diablo4

So do locked doors:

The Butcher spawned behind a locked door, and I felt no remorse cheesing him from r/diablo4

If a ladder's nearby and you have some ranged attacks in your arsenal, you can just leave and then hammer him from on high:

I discovered the butcher's ultimate weakness: elevation. from r/diablo4

Confusion seems effective:

You heard of butcher and elevation, now get ready for collision detection from r/diablo4

And yeah, taking advantage of clipping errors sometimes works too.

Fresh meat? Not me, bro. from r/diablo4

It's all variations on a theme, the theme in question being that The Butcher is a big dumbass and we'd be silly not to take advantage of that. (He is trying to cut us up into little pieces, after all.) What makes this particular brand of cheese so special is that it hearkens back to the OG Butcher, who as Icy Veins pointed out had the same sort of problem with doors and walls. He's a big, beefy boy, but he's definitely not the sharpest cleaver on the block.

Here's what it looked like back then:

Note that when I say that this is a "reliable" way to kill The Butcher, I mean that it works if you can make it happen. Making it happen is a whole different thing. Your best bet is to run around in tight spaces and slam doors in his face whenever possible: It's a risky strategy, because if you're not careful you could run into a gang of regular mobs, at which point things get really hairy, or you might let the big boi get a little too close and eat some pain for your trouble.

Been cheesing butcher since diablo 1,why not now? from r/diablo4

I don't know if there's any way to fix this, and given that the Killer B has been struggling with doorknobs for nearly 30 years now I think we should just accept it as part of the character at this point—"the lore," as some people would say—and let him be. More important, though, is that as long as the big fella is a big klutz, you shouldn't feel bad for taking advantage of it: He's a very bad demon, and so it's okay that very bad things happen to him.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.