Saturday, March 30, 2013

Guide To BristleBack

Guide for BristleBack Dota2

Basic Statistics

Strength Agility Intelligence
22 + 2.2 17 + 1.8 14 + 2.8


Advanced Statistics

Range 128 Damage 52-62
Movement Speed 295 Armor 3.38
base attack time 1.7 Sight Range 1800 / 800
Attack Animation 0.4 / 0.3 Casting Animation 0.4 / 0.51

Introduction to BristleBack

Although his spells seem very weak at first glance, Rigwarl is a bad hero to underestimate.
Quill Spray, Viscous Nasal Goo, and Warpath all provide relatively small effects when used only once, but each ability stacks when cast multiple times. Enemies of the Bristleback will soon find themselves covered in goo and shredded by constant quill fire if they aren't careful.
Quill Spray deals increasing damage with each cast on the same target, and due to its low cooldown and mana cost it can be very deadly over time.
When Rigwarl sees that his enemies are sufficiently weakened, he can move in for the kill with Viscous Nasal Goo.
This ability slows the target and reduces their armor, increasing the damage of Quill Spray and Bristleback's physical attack and making it impossible to escape.
Furthermore, casting spells puts Bristleback on the Warpath, which increases his movement and attack speeds as he uses his abilities. Bristleback's signature skill, and where he gets his name, is his near invulnerability to attacks that strike his back.
All attacks and spells that come from behind him will be heavily reduced and cause additional Quill Sprays.
Engaging a strong Rigwarl who is facing away is almost always a pointless exercise.


Viscous Nasal Goo

Covers a target in snot, causing it to have reduced armor and movement speed. Casts on the same target are cumulative

Level Mana Cost Cooldown Casting Range Area of Effect Duration Allowed Targets Effects
1 30 1.5 600 N/A 5 seconds Enemy units -1 armor , 20% and +3 slow acast
2 30 1.5 600 N/A 5 seconds Enemy Units -1 armor 20% and +6 slow acast
3 30 1.5 600 N/A 5 seconds Enemy units -2 armor , 20% and +9 slow acast
4 30 1.5 600 N/A 5 seconds Enemy units -2 armor , 20% and +12 slow acast

The Nasal Goo Skill is used as a chasing power of BristleBack. Its main advantage is used as an aggressive skill / chasing skill. It has a % slow and a negative armor buff. Its slow is pretty significant in team fights. Nasal Goo as a skill is often underestimated however it is also important to know when to skill it and level it up.

It might be used defensively while running (especially for a slow) but really it isnt that effective while running . We should take into account the casting time and the time wasted in actually turning to cast it.

Notes :

  • Stacks Maximum of Four Times.
  • Cancels healing Salve Though it does no Damage
  • Has a slight casting animation and hence can be stopped
  • useful Even in Late game as the Slow is a percentage slow

Quill Spray

Sprays enemy units with quills dealing damage in a 625 AoE. Deals 30 extra damage for every time the unit was struck by a quill in the last 10 seconds.

Level Mana Cost Cooldown Casting Range Area of Effect Duration Allowed Targets Effects
1 35 3 N/A 625 10 Seconds Enemy Units 20 direct Damage , 30 stacking damage
2 35 3 N/A 625 10 Seconds Enemy Units 40 direct Damage , 30 stacking damage
3 35 3 N/A 625 10 Seconds Enemy Units 60 direct Damage , 30 stacking damage
4 35 3 N/A 625 10 Seconds Enemy Units 80 direct Damage , 30 stacking damage

Quill Spray is an important skill of BristleBack.

It can be used to stack upto 4 times.
Each spray does some amount of damage which stacks with every spray
  • Damage Type : Physical
  • Has a Cap of 400 Damage
  • This damage is not reduced by damage block abilities (such as Vanguard, Kraken Shell, etc.)
Note :

  • Quill Spray is Physical Damage . So it damages Magic Immune Units.
  • Quill Spray is Not targetable. So it will damage invisible nearby units.
  • Quill Spray does not interrupt the previous order. So if you are walking and you press quillspray you will continue walking.
  • Quill Spray does instant damage in an AOE of 650 regardless of animation. So if you see an enemy hero with low hp running you should spam your quill spray ASAP.
Cap of Damage Dealt = 180


BristleBack covers his back in spines, causing him to take reduced damage. Automatically releases a quill spray whenever his rear receives 250 damage.

Level Mana Cost Cooldown Casting Range Area of Effect Duration Allowed Targets Effects
1 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 16% reduced from rear, 8% from sides
2 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 24% reduced from rear, 12% from sides
3 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 32% reduced from rear, 16% from sides
4 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 40% reduced from rear, 20% from sides

Note :

Bread and Butter skill of BristleBack
  • Bristleback's rear is considered to be within 70 degrees from the back.
  • Bristleback's side is considered to be within 110 degrees from the back.
Notes :
This is the Bread and Butter skill of BristleBack. The proper usage of this skill is what differentiates a good BristleBack player from a Bad one. Let me try to explain to you how this skill works. Basically BristleBack will take reduced damage as long as damage is on his back(hits him from behind). What about damage from heroes such as mirana starfall or zeus bolt. The damage reduction will take place only if BristleBack is facing away from him.

BristleBack works as a pseudo Heal. What this means is that it will first heal you and then apply the damage. (at least in Dota 1 it was such). For more details please Click here.

The 250 damage calculated for quill spray is AFTER the reduction applies and the counter is reset whenver quill spray is released. So even if u take 300 damage and quill is released, the extra 50 damage is discarded and not added to the next stack of damage. You have to take 250 damage again to release the quill. If u take 249 damage, the quill will not be released since it is not greater than or equal to 250.

BristleBack Does not reduce damage from towers.


Everytime BristleBack casts a spell, he works himself into a fury. Movement speed and damage increase on repeated spell casts.

Level Mana Cost Cooldown Casting Range Area of Effect Duration Allowed Targets Effects
1 N/A N/A N/A N/A 10 Seconds Self 20 damage/5% MS Base + 20 damage/1% MS Stack
2 N/A N/A N/A N/A 10 Seconds Self 25 damage/5% MS Base + 25 damage/2% MS Stack
3 N/A N/A N/A N/A 10 Seconds Self 30 damage/5% MS Base + 30 damage/3% MS Stack

  • Stacks upto 5 Times
  • Illusions will benefit from the original cast
  • Using Items does not trigger Warpath
  • It is an important skill which synergizes with The third skill of BristleBack.
  • The movement speed and damage bonus are extremely good in team fights


  • Reason for the Guide

First BristleBack is NOT Axe. Axe's role is totally different than BristleBaack. BristleBack needs to stay alive during the entire teamfight
to be able to deal maximum damage. BristleBack is not the Best Tank hero. There are better tanks. Centaur , Axe, etc. BRistleBack needs to stack his quill spray
over a period of time. He needs to be able to be there to cast his Nasal Goo.
if you go inside 5 heroes , stack for 3 times and then instantly die STOP cribbing. cause thats not how BristleBack is supposed to be played
The main thing you need to keep in mind with regards to BristleBack is the positioning. You need to know when togo in and when to come out of the fire.
Its very important that you keep an eye on the teamfight. Even when you are out you need to constantly spam your spray.

Some Points about BristleBack

  • BristleBack does not DPS
  • BristleBack can chase well
  • BristleBack can Gank well
  • BristleBack is a teamplayer
  • BristleBack has no Mana Problems
  • BristleBack is not the best tank hero



  1. Very Good Tank hero (though not best tank hero)
  2. Very Good Stats Gain
  3. Good intelligence for a strength hero
  4. You cannot just ignore him in team fights
  5. Good Base Damage
  6. Excelllent Chaser


  1. No stuns / Disables
  2. Average strength Gain
  3. Poor Casting Animation
  4. Requires good skill and positioning to play

Item Build

There are various progressions to an item build. For myself i will list the item build that i use. If u think somethings wrong please let me know :)

  1. 2* Ironwood Branch
    2 * 53

  2. Stout shield

  3. Tangoes

  4. Healing Salve

  5. Boots of Speed

  • Belt of Giant Strength

  • Gloves of Haste

  • Ring of Health

  • Vitality Booster

  • ChainMail

  • Broadsword

  • Robe of Magi

  • Belt of Giant Strength

  • Ogre Club

  • Sange Recipe

  • Talisman Of Evasion

  • Reaver

  • Vitality booster

  • Heart Of Tarrasque

  • Sacred Relic

  • Radiance

  • Hyperstone

  • Chainmail

  • PlateMail

  • Assault Cuirass

  • Skill Build

    1. Nasal Goo
    2. Quill Spray
    3. QUill Spray
    4. BristleBack
    5. Nasal Goo
    6. Warpath
    7. Quill Spray
    8. Nasal Goo
    9. Quill Spray
    10. Nasal Goo
    11. Warpath
    12. Nasal Goo
    13. BristleBack
    14. BristleBack
    15. Warpath
    16. Stats
    17. Stats
    18. Stats
    19. Stats
    20. Stats
    21. Stats
    22. Stats
    23. Stats
    24. Stats
    25. Stats


    Early Game

    BristleBack early game is a good farmer. His base damage for last hitting is pretty good. Also you can harass quite a lot with your Quill Spray. Quill Spray requires very less mana and due to its relatively short cooldown it is very much spammable. The first Level you should take Nasal Goo .Viscous Nasal Goo (VNG) is a valuable tool early on, because it can be used to permaslow an enemy hero for an early kill, or to permaslow an enemy hero chasing your ally.

    Yes you should get yourself a

    Why nasal goo you ask ? Well its a defensive spell at Level 1. quill Spray wont really save u at level 1 from anything. :) Radiance is a must on Bristleback, in order to make him the tank that he is. After all, what good is 3000 HP and 30 armor if nobody attacks you? If you constantly immolate the enemies then they will have incentive to get rid of you. Besides the immolation helps a lot in farming and pushing, which are Bristleback's roles. But in order to farm radiance its necessary that you get some good amount of free farm. If your radiance is getting delayed a lot, then its no use to make radiance. A cheaper but maybe more effective BladeMail Should Suffice.

    BristleBack does not need Levels as much. yes he can gank and he is a nice ganker with the nasal Goo. But according to me there are better gankers in game. (eg : Zeus / TA / Balanar). BristleBack works really well if there are heroes around him. His almost permanent Slow along with other slows/ disables make for one hell of an aggressive attack. Quill Spray also can be used really well defensively.

    Mid Game

    BristleBack Should have his items ready by now.This is your time to help out the team. By now your INT growth should be taking over your mana pool, and you will be able to spam your spells He can go well into teamfights now. His Nasal Goo would be a constant irritant to enemies. THe stacking of the Quill Spray along with the negative armor (plus support from his own teammates) would be a really nice way to gank and kill of others. BristleBack should be very wary of his own position. He should tank and later come out and go in again. He needs to be present throughout the team fight in order to inflict maximum damage to enemies. His goo is really nice to chase down enemy heroes. his goo can also be useful defensively as it has a decent enough slow.


    Late Game

    Once in late game you will have all your items. Preferably have a Boots of Travel too. BristleBack is a very good tank late game. Because all he needs to do is turn the back to you ?:)
    His team should be having another carry who can deal massive DPS in short amount of time. BristleBack absorbs a lot of damage from enemy units. That is why teams get wary of initiating on him. He can go Radiance / Desolator / Assault to deal maximum damage.
    BristleBack late game is a force that not many can stand up to. BristleBack's abilities.

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