The Diablo 4 Beta’s most dangerous enemy is an old, familiar face

As Diablo 4’s first public beta weekend begins, players will discover their favorite builds, explore the various towns and dungeons found in the first act of Blizzard’s fantasy RPG game, and learn how to complete some of its toughest Enemies and bosses fought. But a surprise appearance catches many Diablo 4 players unprepared when one of its most iconic foes stalks from the shadows to claim fresh meat from veterans and newcomers alike.

While the various boss fights you’ll encounter throughout the beta, like the Den Mother and X’Fal the Scarred Baron, can certainly demolish your character in moments, there’s one particularly deadly foe that can lurk in the many dungeons that has the element of surprise in the back. And no, we are not talking about Diablo 4 error code 316719.

The Butcher of Diablo 4 can appear as a random boss encounter in any of the game’s dungeons, and is perhaps the most terrifying sight to be encountered in Diablo 4’s dank basements and dusty corridors. Armed with his trademark giant meat cleaver and a meat hook, he can toss any unfortunate victim right into his claws to jonk them. The butcher can turn you into a meaty mess in moments.

As if his weapons weren’t scary enough, The Butcher has the ability to charge you down at frankly breathtaking speed, and can stun adventurers on the spot to seal their fate. He’s already one of the most dangerous opponents in the beta, but that’s even more the case because you probably won’t see him coming. Blizzard’s Twitter account says, “Sorry to everyone who got slaughtered during the beta. But it will happen again. And again. And again.”

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The Butcher first appeared in the original 1996 Diablo, has since appeared as an end-of-act boss in Diablo 3, and rears his starved head again in Diablo Immortal. Diablo 4’s Butcher is scary enough for a standard character, but especially so for the brave souls who play hardcore. Apex Legends streamer Chris Covent tweeted, “In a classic Diablo move, I lost my first Hadcore character to The Butcher,” and it is him not alone.

No matter which of the Diablo 4 classes you play, The Butcher is a menace. However, the general consensus from the community seems to be that the caster generally feels strongest outside of the gate, while the barbarian’s need to stay in melee range doesn’t align with enough early-game survivability. Of course, there’s every chance that players will change as they level up, or that Blizzard will rebalance things for the full release.

I have a murder on The Butcher to my name, but that wasn’t anything to brag about – rather, I was lucky enough to encounter him for the second time, just moments after picking up the Conduit Pylon buff that puts you in transforms a teleporting lightning death. By the time it was depleted, The Butcher was down to less than 10% health and I was able to ping him from relative safety with my ranged rogue build. The less said about my first encounter with the gigantic demon the better.

Diablo 4 Beta - Screenshot taken just after a character dies from The Butcher, a giant demon with a cleaver and a meat hook.  The text on the screen reads:

Make sure you’re ready for the next Diablo 4 open beta weekend and full release date by checking out the Diablo 4 system requirements. If you need more loot after that, we’ve picked out the best games like Diablo on PC in 2023 to keep up the rarities.


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