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Disambig This article is about the location in the Hamlet. For the DLC, see The Butcher's Circus.

Butcher's Circus menu

The campaign can wait. For now, carnage calls!
~ The Ancestor, on entry to the Butcher's Circus

The Butcher's Circus is a location added in The Butcher's Circus DLC.[1] It is separate from single-player content, and has little impact on the player's save file. The player gains access to the Butcher's Circus either from the main menu, or from accessing it from the Hamlet while they are playing a save file with that DLC enabled. This feature is currently exclusively online; offline functionality and bots are an expected addition in future updates.

At the Butcher's Circus, the player can partake in player-versus-player battles for glory and prestige. A lot of the single-player mechanics have been rebalanced and standardized to even out the playing field; this includes a standardized pool of "Ringmaster" Trinkets exclusive to this mode made available for all players.

[ | ]


Banner designer (Steam preview)

A new coat of arms for a most deserving champion.
~ The Ancestor, after customizing the banner

The player can customize their banner, which is displayed during the matchmaking loading screen. They start off with a basic setup, and can unlock more banner parts as they progress through the Prestige levels. Other parts can also be earned through achievements or objectives like killing bosses; entering the Butcher's Circus from a save file with those objectives already accomplished will unlock those parts immediately.

Rank[ | ]


Rank display

A new league, a new crop of craven adversaries.
~ The Ancestor, after a rank-up to a higher league

Victories against other players in the Butcher's Circus earns skulls for the player, and losses will cause the player to lose skulls. A flawless victory may yield more than one skull; a crushing defeat may lead to loss of multiple skulls. After the player has earned enough skulls, they advance up the ranks, and the game will match them against better opponents. Higher leagues will require more skulls to advance. Losing all of the skulls will cause the player's rank to downgrade, but a player cannot go down a league (e.g. Veteran to Apprentice) from losing. The player begins in Novice III; the max rank is Darkest I. Reaching higher leagues will award the player banner parts to display their achievements.

At the end of a season (projected to be 6 weeks long) the player would receive a unique banner piece based on their highest rank during that season. The rank from which they begin the following season will also be based on their highest achievement.

Prestige[ | ]

A cacophony of bloodthirsty delight. Praise well-earned!
~ The Ancestor, after a victory

Fighting your way through the Butcher's Circus lets you earn Prestige. Your Prestige level is separate from your rank and does not decrease at all. Earning Prestige lets you unlock more Trinkets to use for your party, and at certain milestones adds Banner parts to show off your achievements. You can view future Prestige Rewards in the Prize Box.

Completing a battle will net you Prestige. If you are victorious, you get 15 Prestige, with 1 less for each of your heroes that died in battle. If you were defeated, you get 8 Prestige, with 1 bonus for each enemy you've slain in the process. As Prestige can still be earned from the combat tutorial, you can repeatedly fight the tutorial to test new teams, raise your Prestige level, and slowly unlock new trinkets at higher levels.

The maximum Prestige level is 75. After obtaining your final Ringmaster Trinket at level 69, the requirements to advance to the final Prestige levels will dramatically increase.

Party Setup[ | ]

BC roster

Hero roster and party selection

Before you begin, you have to set your party up. Left-clicking a hero portrait from the top lets you choose their skill loadout and pick their Trinkets. Right-clicking brings up a more detailed information window displaying their resistances.

Clicking the plus sign just above your party display (added 29 Jul 2020)[2] opens the party builder, which lets you save your current party (and their skills and Trinkets) and name them. You can store up to five separate parties and load them up for a convenient switching of strategies.

Once you're ready, click "Fight" to begin matchmaking.

The skull on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen lets you re-play the combat tutorial, after you've first completed it. You can earn Prestige, unlock Trinkets and banner parts, and progress achievements while re-fighting the tutorial.

Combat Mechanics[ | ]


Combat in the Butcher's Circus (Steam preview)

The rabble thrills to the spilling of blood!
~ The Ancestor, while matchmaking

The Butcher's Circus has drastic differences in combat from the base game, beyond the fact that you are fighting against other players instead of AI-controlled monsters; turn order has changed to be less random, and heroes are reworked to provide balance.

Turn Order[ | ]

Instead of a dice roll to determine turn order, there will be a coin toss that determines which player will go first. The winner of the coin toss gets to choose which hero acts first, while the loser gains a team-wide +15 DODGE buff for the entirety of the first round. The player now has control over which hero they want to make an action. Clicking on their hero will simply display their information - clicking and holding for long enough will allow the player to assume control.

After the chosen hero acts, the play passes to the other player and they get to choose which hero acts. This continues until all remaining heroes have acted, then a new round will begin.[3] The player who won the coin toss always acts first, but as Heroes are slain, the player with fewer Heroes may begin getting the first turn.

Hero Corpses[ | ]

Slain heroes will leave corpses, rather than disappear from combat after being slain. This allows the player to maintain some semblance of their original party formations, and reminds them of the horror that the Circus brings.

Stress Damage[ | ]

Stress is introduced into the Circus as a unique way of slaying opponents. Due to the strength of the healing abilities provided by the Vestal, Occultist, Crusader and Flagellant, players will need to pay special attention to the Stress mechanic in order to escalate battles. Heroes can still inflict stress through critical hits, but some abilities are designed to always induce Stress.

Stuns and Dazes[ | ]

Stuns are still powerful in the Circus, but still grant a 50% stun resist to the target after their turn has been skipped. Dazes, on the other hand, are a new status effect that works somewhat similarly. Dazing a hero will force them to act after all non-dazed heroes, effectively forcing players to choose them last in a round. If a hero is Dazed after they have already acted in a round, they will still be forced to go last in the next round. Both Daze and Stun use the target's Stun resistance to check if they get resisted, and wear off after the target takes their turn. Several skills that used to Stun in the main game now instead inflict Daze to reduce the ubiquity of this ailment.

Other Changes[ | ]

  • There is no Torch meter, and as such, no abilities that would affect the light level. The Torch indicator is instead used to reflect how long a player has left to decide on their action for the turn.
  • Consumable items such as Rations and Bandages cannot be used in any capacity. Your ability to deal with enemy effects is now dependent on your heroes' skills.
  • All heroes have level 5 equipment and abilities, but no quirks.
  • Heroes generally have a higher initial Deathblow resistance, usually at around 75%. However, each time a Hero survives a hit at Death's Door, this resistance is lowered by 15%, stacking cumulatively until hero is healed or dies.
    • The cap on Deathblow resistance seen in the campaign is removed, and as such can go past 87%
    • Due the Flagellant's immunity to Death Door Recovery, this does not apply to him.
  • Resistances to DoTs and other debuffs have been lowered. Heroes that are strong against Blight are often weak to Bleed, and vice versa.
  • Bleed and Blight do not trigger Deathblows.
  • All heroes are available as "contestants," but only one of each hero can participate.
    • DLC heroes require their respective DLC in order to be used.
  • Once either player is down to their final Hero, the survivor will receive +10 ACC, +10 Deathblow resist, and +10% damage until the end of the match
  • Base Virtue chance is 0%, but can still be buffed by skills and trinkets
    • At 200 stress, a Virtuous hero will suffer a heart attack like non-Virtuous ones.

Hero Alterations[ | ]

Many of the heroes' abilities and stats have received various changes to fit the PVP nature of combat. All changes are assumed from their Level 6 counterparts in the main campaign, but they only apply to the PvP mode

General Changes[ | ]

  • Most ability ACC, HP, DMG, and DODGE across the board has been lowered
  • The chance to inflict effects (Bleed/Blight, Debuff, etc.) has been set to 100% unless otherwise stated
  • SPD is not present in the Butcher's Circus, and as such abilities no longer affect it
  • All Damage modifiers against certain enemy types (For example, the Crusader’s Smite having increased damage against Unholy enemies) has been removed
  • Self-marking abilities (or other abilities that normally mark teammates) no longer do so (for example, the Leper’s Withstand), with exception to the Flagellant’s Suffer.

Specific Changes[ | ]


  • Wicked Slice
    • Added a +20% chance to Death Blow
  • Pistol Shot
    • Damage vs. Marked increased from 50% to 70%
  • Point Blank Shot
    • Added a +30% chance to Death blow
  • Grapeshot Blast
    • Removed Crits Received Debuff
    • Inflicts +15 stress
  • Tracking Shot (Renamed to Vendetta)
    • Self buff changed increased to 30% DMG from 20%
    • Inflicts -30 Dodge debuff (130% chance)
  • Open Vein
    • Removed Bleed Resistance Debuff


  • Wicked Hack
    • Added +30% chance to Death Blow
  • Iron Swan
    • Lowered crit mod from 9% to 7%
    • Added +40% chance to Death Blow
  • Barbaric YAWP! (Renamed to Terrifying YAWP!)
    • Removed Stun and self-debuff
    • Inflicts +20 Stress
    • Inflicts -15 ACC debuff
  • Breakthrough
    • Causes Daze to self for 1 round
  • Adrenaline Rush
    • Cures Debuffs along with Blight/Bleed.
  • Bleed Out
    • Can now target Rank 2
    • Reduces Death Blow resist by -20%
    • Causes Daze to self for 1 round

Grave Robber

  • Pick to the Face
    • Removed DMG Mod
  • Lunge
    • Removed bonus damage against blighted enemies
    • Added +20% chance to Death Blow
  • Flashing Daggers
    • DMG Mod raised from -33% to -20%
  • Shadow Fade
    • Buffs stress dealt by 50% for 1 round
    • Buffs chance to Death Blow by 20%
  • Thrown Dagger
    • Removed DMG Mod
    • Removed bonus damage against blighted enemies
  • Poison Dart (Renamed to Panic Darts)
    • Removed Blight Resist Debuff
    • Inflicts +30 stress
  • Toxin Trickery
    • Cures Debuffs
    • Dodge buff increased to +15


  • Mace Bash
    • Inflicts Daze for 1 round
  • Dazzling Light
    • Inflicts +8 stress
  • Divine Grace
    • Heal increased from 8-9 to 11-14
    • Clears Horror
  • Illumination
    • Inflicts +15 stress
  • Hand of Light
    • DMG Mod increased from -50% to -30%
    • Buffs chance to Death blow by 15%


  • Adder’s Kiss
    • DMG mod added for -20%
    • Blight lasts for 5rds instead of 3
  • Impale
    • DMG mod lowered from -60% to -70%
  • Expose
    • Crits received debuff increased from +10% to +20%
    • Inflicts +20 stress
  • Captivate
    • DMG mod lowered from -25% to -30%
    • Blight lowered from 5pts/rd to 4pts/rd; duration increased to 4 rds
    • No longer has bonus damage vs. marked
    • Inflicts Daze for 1 round
  • Serpent Sway
    • Buffs DODGE by +15

Plague Doctor

  • Noxious Blast
    • Blight reduced from 7pts/rd to 6pts/rd
    • No longer inflicts debuff
    • Inflicts +20 stress
  • Plague Grenade
    • Blight reduced from 6pts/rd to 5pts/rd
    • Inflicts +8 stress
  • Blinding Gas
    • No longer stuns
    • Debuffs -20 ACC
    • Inflicts +25 Stress
  • Invigorating Vapors
    • Buff ACC +10
  • Disorienting Blast
    • Inflicts Daze instead of Stun for 1 round
    • Inflicts +30 stress


  • Gets 10% base PROT
  • Crush
    • Now inflicts Debuff -10% PROT
  • Rampart
    • Inflicts Daze instead of Stun for 1 round
  • Bellow
    • Debuff changed to -20% DMG
    • Inflicts +12 stress
  • Defender
    • Buffs guarded ally for +30% PROT, +50% Bleed and Blight resist while guarded
  • Retribution
    • Riposte DMG mod increased from -40% to -20%, also add +4% CRT
  • Command
    • Buff adjusted to +20 ACC and +4% CRT
  • Bolster
    • Reduces Stress taken buff from -20% to -15%


  • Sacrificial Stab
    • Added +40% Death Blow chance towards Afflicted enemies
  • Abyssal Artillery
    • Inflicts +8 stress
    • Causes Horror 8pts/rd for 3 rounds
  • Weakening Curse
    • Inflicts +30 stress
  • Wyrd Reconstruction
    • Heal increased from 0-22 to 0-24
    • Chance to Bleed reduced from 85% to 50%
  • Vulnerability Hex
    • Inflicts +30 stress
  • Hands from the Abyss
    • Completely Removed and replaced with Stygian Embrace
  • Stygian Embrace
    • Heal 1-2
    • Stealth’s target
    • Buff target for +50% stress dealt while Stealthed
    • Cannot target self with this
  • Daemon’s Pull
    • Cause Horror 10pts/rd for 3 rounds


  • Gets +10% base PROT
  • Hew
    • DMG mod increased from -50% to -40%
  • Purge
    • Self ACC buff increased from +5 to +10
  • Revenge
    • Damage taken Debuff reduced from +25% to +15%
  • Withstand
    • No longer buffs Move resistance
  • Solemnity
    • Healing buffed from 12 to 22
    • Stress healed buffed from -7 to -15
    • Can only be used 2 times per battle
  • Intimidate
    • Inflicts +25 stress


  • Gets +15% base PROT
  • Smite
    • CRT mod increased from 4% to 8%
  • Zealous Accusation
    • DMG mod increased from -40% to -30%
    • Inflicts +20 stress
  • Bullwark of Faith (Renamed to Bullwark of Light)
    • PROT buff reduced from +30% to +20%
    • Now affects entire party
  • Battle Heal (Renamed Rally to the Flame)
    • Heal range adjusted from 5-6 to 4-6; can only target another ally
    • Cures Debuffs
    • Heals the Crusader for 4HP and cures Debuffs for him
  • Inspiring Cry
    • No longer heals HP
    • Stress heal increased from -8 to -25
    • Buffs Virtue chance by 15%


  • The Flagellant's party-wide stun effect on death is not present.
  • Punish
    • No longer debuffs Bleed resistance
    • Inflicts +12 stress
  • Rain of Sorrows
    • No longer debuffs Bleed resistance
    • Bleed reduced from 5pts/rd to 4pts/rd
    • Inflicts +12 stress
  • Exanguinate
    • Self-debuff changed to -50% healing skills.
    • Causes Daze for 1 rd to self
  • Reclaim
    • Restoration increased from 4pts/rd to 6pts/rd
  • Redeem
    • Self-debuff changed to -50% healing skills.
    • Causes Daze for 1 rd to self
  • Endure
    • Stress heal increased from -14 to -30
    • Self-stress increased from +6 to +20
  • Suffer
    • Stress taken buff increased from -20% to -40% taken
    • Death blow resistance buff increased from 6% to 10%


  • Gets +5% base PROT
  • Sniper Shot
    • DMG vs. Marked reduced from 100% to 50%
    • DMG mod increased from +0% to +25%
    • Added +30% chance to Death Blow against Marked enemies
  • Suppressing Fire
    • Inflicts +12 stress
    • Debuff changed to +25% stress taken and -25% stress dealt
  • Bola
    • Now can only be used from position 1-3
    • Moves Arbalest backwards one space
  • Blindfire
    • Can now bypass stealth
  • Battlefield Bandage
    • Cures bleed
    • Does not buff healing received
    • Healing increased from 4-5 to 7-9
  • Rallying Flare (Renamed to Illuminating Flare)
    • Now clears debuffs as well as Stun/Daze and Marks
    • No longer has chance to heal stress

Bounty Hunter

  • Mark for Death
    • Debuffs Death Blow resistance by -30% instead of PROT
  • Uppercut
    • Inflicts Daze instead of Stun
  • Flashbang
    • No longer stuns
    • Inflicts -25 DODGE debuff
  • Finish Him
    • Inflicts +30% damage to Dazed targets
    • Has +50% chance to Death Blow
  • Caltrops
    • Can only be used once per battle
    • Attacks all ranks
    • Has 150% chance to bleed for 2pts/rd for 25 rounds.
    • Has 150% chance to inflict Debuff for +5% stress taken for 25 rounds


  • Transform
    • No longer stresses out teammates
    • No longer heals self
    • On transformation to Beast form, inflicts Horror to entire enemy team, 8pts/rd for 3 rounds.
    • Transformation buffs Move Resistance +40%
    • On transformation back to Human, Daze for 1 round
    • Can be used four times in battle instead of twice
  • Manacles
    • Can be used from Rank 1
  • Beast’s Bile
    • Inflicts +12 stress
    • Activates Riposte; -80% DMG, inflicts Blight
  • Absolution
    • Healing increased from 5 to 13
    • Stress heal increased from -10 to -25
    • Can only be used twice in a battle
  • Slam
    • Can now bypass and break guard
    • Causes target to not be able to be guarded for 2 rounds
    • No longer debuffs target


  • Festering Vapors
    • Attacks all four ranks
    • DMG mod reduced from -75% to -80%
    • No longer debuffs Blight Resistance
    • Blight reduced from 4pts/rd to 2pts/rd
    • Inflicts +8 Stress
  • Get Down! (Renamed to Take Cover)
    • Stealths self for 2 rounds
    • Buff changed to +20% Death Blow resistance
    • Can only be used three times per battle
  • Flashpowder
    • Inflicts +20 stress
  • Fortifying Vapors (Renamed to Rejuvenating Vapors)
    • Now gives Restoration to entire party (3pts/rd for 3 rounds)
  • Protect Me
    • Ally buff increased from +8 DODGE to +10 DODGE


  • Aimed Shot
    • DMG vs. Marked enemies reduced from +100% to +50%
    • Has bonus +30% chance to Death Blow against Marked Enemies
    • Damage modifier increased from +0% to +25%
  • Buckshot
    • Now can only be used from position 1-3
    • Moves the Musketeer backwards by 1
  • Sidearm (Renamed to Quickdraw)
    • Has +30% DMG when acting First
  • Patch Up
    • Healing increased from 4-5 to 7-9
    • Healing received buff reduced from +38% to 25%
  • Skeet Shot (Renamed to Ranging Shot)
    • No longer clears Marks or stuns
    • Stress heal buffed from -3 (67% chance) to -12 (85% chance)
    • Buffs party for +10 ACC and -10% Stress Taken


  • All Finale DMG buffs changed +40% for all moves
  • Dirk Stab
    • Has +10% chance to Death Blow
  • Finale
    • Can Bypass Death’s Door
      • This means that if the damage takes the target below 0HP, they instantly die without going to Death’s Door
    • Causes Daze for 3 rounds
  • Solo
    • Inflicts +12 stress
    • Can be used 4 times per battle instead of 2
  • Slice Off (Renamed to Mortal Wound)
    • No longer bleeds the target
    • Debuffs Death Blow resistance by -20%
  • Battle Ballad
    • Buff changed to +20 ACC
    • Can only be used once per battle
  • Inspiring Tune
    • Heals -30 Stress instead of -12


  • Hound’s Harry
    • DMG mod reduced from -75% to -80%
    • Bleed reduced from 3pts/rd to 2pts/rd
    • Inflicts +12 stress
  • Cry Havoc
    • Stress healed increased from -6 (74% chance) to -15 (88% chance)
  • Guard Dog
    • Buffs targeted ally for -70% Stress taken while guarded and +50% Debuff resist while guarded
  • Lick Wounds
    • Heal reduced from 8 to 5
    • Gives Restoration 4pts/rd for 3 rounds

Strategy[ | ]

  • Mousing over the enemy heroes displays their equipped Trinkets and chosen skills. You can gather information about your opponent this way, even while it's not your turn. Use it to plan ahead and predict the enemy's actions.
  • Area-attack skills can shave down multiple enemies' health at once, forcing the opponent to pick between multiple members to save when healing. They can even push past Guards and Stealth to get Deathblows where possible.
  • Movement abilities are very useful here. Forcing an enemy into a position where they can't use their skills will mean a turn wasted on repositioning. Conversely, having attack skills that reposition your heroes makes your team less susceptible to shuffles.
  • While DoTs do not trigger Death's Door checks, they can be useful for dealing with high PROT teams or countering any Restoration effects.
  • Stress is powerful! A unit turning Afflicted loses substantial resistances across the board. Even without going for heart attacks, multiple Afflictions in the party can create just as much disruption as they can in the campaign. A Hero forced to pass their turn from their Affliction can make a great difference in the fight.
  • Daze forces an enemy to act last. If you daze an enemy healer, you can safely get the rest of your team to focus down a weakened party member before they can heal them out of Death's Door.
  • Pay attention to skills with increased Deathblow chance. You'll spend fewer turns trying to ensure someone stays dead.
  • Unless you're dealing with enemy Jesters packing Finale, you can get away with your heroes being on any amount of health above 0. No matter how little HP is left or how big a hit they take, they will still need to take at least one more hit to die.
  • It's perfectly okay sometimes to forgo healing a dying party member in favor of securing another Deathblow. Who knows - the dying party member could still cling on to life despite the odds.

Hub Hamlet
Dungeons Old Road MiniScrollpip Ruins MiniScrollpip Warrens MiniScrollpip Weald MiniScrollpip Cove MiniScrollpip Darkest Dungeon
DLC Locations CourtyardThe Crimson Court DLC MiniScrollpip FarmsteadExclusive to The Color of Madness DLC MiniScrollpip Butcher's Circus

Info Butcher's Circus
Heroes Abomination MiniScrollpip Antiquarian MiniScrollpip Arbalest MiniScrollpip Bounty Hunter MiniScrollpip Crusader MiniScrollpip FlagellantThe Crimson Court DLC MiniScrollpip Grave Robber MiniScrollpip Hellion MiniScrollpip Highwayman MiniScrollpip Houndmaster MiniScrollpip Jester MiniScrollpip Leper MiniScrollpip Man-at-Arms MiniScrollpip Musketeer Exclusive to The Musketeer DLC MiniScrollpip Occultist MiniScrollpip Plague Doctor MiniScrollpip ShieldbreakerExclusive to The Shieldbreaker DLC MiniScrollpip Vestal