DotA2 Bristleback Skill Build Guide

Dota2 BristlebackDotA2 Bristleback (Rigwarl): Never one to turn his back on a fight, Rigwarl was known for battling the biggest, meanest scrappers he could get his hands on. Christened Bristleback by the drunken crowds, he waded into backroom brawls in every road tavern between Slom and Elze, until his exploits finally caught the eye of a barkeep in need of an enforcer. For a bit of brew, Bristleback was hired to collect tabs, keep the peace, and break the occasional leg or two (or five, in the case of one unfortunate web-hund). After indulging in a night of merriment during which bodily harm was meted out in equal parts upon both delinquent patrons and his own liver, Bristleback finally met his match. “Your tusks offend me, sir,” he was heard to drunkenly slur to one particularly large fellow from the northern wastes whose bill had come due. What followed was a fight for the ages. A dozen fighters jumped in. No stool was left unbroken, and in the end, the impossible happened: the tab went unpaid. Over the weeks that followed, Bristleback’s wounds healed, and his quills grew back; but an enforcer’s honor can be a prickly thing. He paid the tab from his own coin, vowing to track down this northerner and extract redemption. And then he did something he’d never done before–he actually trained, and in so doing made a startling discovery about himself. A smile peeled back from his teeth as he flexed his quills. Turning his back to a fight might be just the thing.

Bristleback Overview

Faction: The Radiant
Primary Attribute: Strength
Attack Type: Melee
Role(s): Initiator, Durable, Escape, Semi-Carry

Bristleback Stats

STR: 77 at 25 (22 + 2.2/level)
AGI: 62 at 25 (17 + 1.8/level)
INT: 84 at 25 (14 + 2.8/level)
Health: 1556 at 25
Mana: 1053 at 25
Damage: 48 – 58
Range: 128
Armor: 3.38
Movement: 290

Bristleback Skills

Viscous Nasal Goo Viscous Nasal Goo (Active)
Targetting Method: Unit | Allowed Targets: Enemy Units
Covers a target in snot, causing it to have reduced armor and movement speed. Multiple casts stack and refresh the duration.
Range: 600
Duration: 5
Armor Reduction: 1 / 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2
Movement Speed Reduction per Cast: 20% and +3% / +6% / +9% / +12%
Mana Cost: 30 Cooldown Time: 1.5


  • Can be disjointed.
  • Stacks a maximum of 4 times, meaning it can at most reduce armor by {4/5.6/7.2/8.8} and movement speed by {32%/44%/56%/68%}.
  • Each recast on the same target refreshes the duration of all current stacks on it.
Quill Spray Quill Spray (Active)
Targetting Method: Instant | Allowed Targets: Enemy Units
Sprays enemy units with quills dealing damage in an area of effect around Bristleback. Deals bonus damage for every time a unit was hit by Quill Spray in the last 14 seconds.
Radius: 625
Duration: 14
Base Damage: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80
Stack Damage: 30 / 32 / 34 / 36
Damage Cap: 400
Mana Cost: 35
Cooldown Time: 3


  • Quill Spray damage is not reduced by damage block abilities. (such as Vanguard, Kraken Shell.)
  • Stacks are independent, not refreshing, which means that normally Bristleback can deal at most (14 seconds duration / 3 seconds cooldown) 120 bonus damage. To reach the damage cap, additional Quill Sprays from Bristleback passive are needed.
  • The stacks cannot be removed by Purge or other buff removing abilities such as Kraken Shell.
  • {13/12/12/11} stacks are required to reach the 400 damage cap, which so require {9/8/8/7} sprays from Bristleback (which takes {2500/2250/2250/2000} damage taken from the rear), since only 4 stacks can be achieved with Quill Spray alone.
  • Has an instant cast time.
Bristleback Bristleback (Passive)
Targetting Method: None | Allowed Targets: Self
Bristleback takes less damage if hit on the sides or rear. If Bristleback takes 250 damage from the rear, he releases a Quill Spray of the current level.
Reduced Damage (Rear): 16% / 24% / 32% / 40%
Reduced Damage (Side): 8% / 12% / 16% / 20%


  • 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.
  • When taking rear damage, Bristleback’s effective health will be increased by {19.05%/31.58%/47.06%/66.67%}
  • When taking side damage, Bristleback’s effective health will be increased by {8.70%/13.64%/19.05%/25%}
  • Damage reduction (and Quill Spray triggers) are calculated by comparing the location of the damage instance’s source to Bristleback’s orientation. This applies to damage over time ticks as well.
  • The amount of damage considered towards buff removal proc is the one actually done to Bristleback, and is reset after a passive Quill Spray from Bristleback occurs.
  • Passive Quill Spray proc does not cost mana.
  • Bristleback’s Quill Spray proc does not work against towers.
  • Ability is disabled by Doom and Chronosphere.
  • Animation shows Quill Spray procs even if the Quill Spray is not learned, but it does no damage.
Warpath Warpath (Active)
Targetting Method: Unit | Allowed Targets: Enemy Units
Bristleback works himself up into a fury every time he casts a spell, increasing his movement speed and damage.
Stack Duration: 14
Stack Bonus Damage: 20 / 25 / 30
Stack Bonus Movement Speed: 3% / 4% / 5%
Max Stacks: 5 / 6 / 7


  • Bristleback’s Illusions will receive the bonuses.
  • Stacks up to 5/6/7 times, meaning it can give at most 15/24/35% movement speed and 100/150/210 attack damage.
  • Using items does not trigger Warpath.
  • Gaining a stack of Warpath does not refresh the duration of previous stacks, i.e. each stack has its own duration.
  • Quill Spray triggers from Bristleback do not trigger Warpath.

Bristleback Skill Build Guide

  1. Viscous Nasal Goo (1)
  2. Quill Spray (1)
  3. Quill Spray (2)
  4. Bristleback (1)
  5. Quill Spray (3)
  6. Warpath (1)
  7. Quill Spray (MAX)
  8. Bristleback (2)
  9. Bristleback (3)
  10. Bristleback (MAX)
  11. Warpath (2)
  12. Viscous Nasal Goo (2)
  13. Viscous Nasal Goo (3)
  14. Viscous Nasal Goo (MAX)
  15. Stats (1)
  16. Warpath (MAX)
  17. Stats (MAX)

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