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Dota 2 bristleback.png
Rigwarl the Bristleback
Base stats and attributes
Strength 22 + 2.2
Agility 17 + 1.8
Intelligence 14 + 2.8
Base damage 30-40
Move speed 295
Armor 3.38
Level 1 16 25
Hit Points 568 1153 1951
Mana 182 692 1316
Damage 48-58 79-89 121-131
Armor 3 7 12
Sight Range 1800/800
Attack Range 128
Missile Speed N/A

"It was a barkeep that got me into this mess. Yeah, I think I'll pay 'em a visit when this is done. "

Bristleback is a Strength hero that is usually played as a carry or an initiator. He has a bunch of weak but extremely spammable spells, which lets him stack debuffs on his foes quickly. His two active abilities are Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray. The former slows and lowers armor while the latter does low damage, though both have very short cooldowns and have stackable effects. Bristleback also have an ability named after himself, which reduces damage and automatically deals out Quill Sprays if hit from behind, making it difficult to kill a fleeing Bristleback. His ultimate, Warpath, synergizes with his active abilities, making him stronger which each case within a certain timeframe. Durable and deadly, Bristleback is a hero that can turn his back to fights, and still come out as the victor.


Viscous Nasal Goo[edit]

Dota 2 bristleback viscous nasal goo.png
  • Ability: Target Unit
  • Affects: Enemy Units
  • Duration: 5
  • Armor Loss: 1 / 1 / 2 / 2
  • Base Movement Slow: 20%
  • Slow Per Stack 3% / 6% / 9% / 12%
  • Stack Limit: 4
  • Mana Cost: 30
  • Cooldown: 1.5

Viscous Nasal Goo launches phlegm at the targeted unit, slowing it and reducing its armor. Additional casts on the same target will slow it further and refresh the debuff's duration. With a cooldown of just 1.5 seconds, it is extremely spammable, so it is easy to rack up multiple stacks. The slow and armor loss prevents your enemy from escaping, as well as making them easier for you and your allies to kill.

Quill Spray[edit]

Dota 2 bristleback quill spray.png
  • Ability: No Target
  • Damage Type: Physical
  • Radius: 625
  • Quill Base Damage: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80
  • Quill Stack Damage: 30
  • Stack Duration: 14
  • Maximum Damage: 400
  • Mana Cost: 35
  • Cooldown: 3

Quill Spray shoots out quills around you, dealing damage in an area of effect. The spell does poor damage, but consecutive hits on the same unit within 14 seconds will increase the damage dealt. As Quill Spray has a short cooldown, that means it will quickly get stronger. The Quill Sprays released by your passive Bristleback skill also counts toward stack damage, letting you do even more.


Dota 2 bristleback bristleback.png
  • Ability: Passive
  • Side Damage Reduction: 8% / 12% / 16% / 20%
  • Back Damage Reduction: 16% / 24% / 32% / 40%

Bristleback reduces the damage you take from beside and behind you, as well as automatically releasing a Quill Spray of the current level once you take 250 damage to your back. The damage reduction means that you have a better chance to escape when low on health, as enemies will likely be facing your rear. You can also take advantage of it in direct combat by positioning yourself so that more damage will be dealt from behind.


Dota 2 bristleback warpath.png
  • Ability: Passive
  • Base Damage Bonus: 20 / 25 / 30
  • Damage Per Stack: 20 / 25 / 30
  • Base Movement Bonus: 5% / 7% / 10%
  • Movement Per Stack: 1% / 2% / 3%
  • Stack Duration: 14
  • Max Stacks: 5 / 6 / 7

Warpath increases you movement speed and damage every time you cast a spell, an effect that stacks with consecutive casts. Since your spells' short cooldowns and spammable nature means you will be using them a lot within a short time, you can quickly gain more damage and speed. The speed helps you chase down enemies while the damage makes it easier to defeat them.

Skill and Item Builds[edit]

Suggested Skill Build[edit]

Suggested Item Build[edit]

Starting items[edit]

Early-game items[edit]

Core items[edit]

Luxury/Situational items[edit]







Skill synergies[edit]

Hero synergies[edit]

Countering Bristleback[edit]