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7 Votes

The coolest porcupine - updated

October 1, 2014 by Livingston
Comments: 3    |    Views: 41093    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Hit me and I'll hit you back

DotA2 Hero: Bristleback

Hero Skills

Viscous Nasal Goo

4 12 13 14

Quill Spray

2 3 5 7


1 8 9 10


6 11 16


15 17 18

The coolest porcupine - updated

October 1, 2014

Lore and Introduction


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.


Welcome reader to my guide about Bristleback, a powerful tank and ganker that can be played as a semi-carry with wonderful results.
Got to say this is my first guide, so every feedback is welcome!
I'm italian, so I hope I'll write everything in the right way :D

Pros and Cons

[*]High survivability
[*]Good chaser
[*]Highest Intelligence growth than any other Strength Hero (2.8/lvl)
[*]Spammable skills (low cooldowns, low mana costs)
[*]Nice initial damage
[*]Easy to play
[*]Melee attack
[*]Low Strength growth for a Strength Hero (2.2/lvl)
[*]Also low Hit Points
[*]He looses effectiveness in late game if he doesn't farm properly
[*]Hard to master

Skills build explanation


First of all you have to consider your opponents' playing style!
I've found that starting the game with your Bristleback is always a good choice, just as maxing Quill Spray as your priority, but if you're victim of harassment I suggest to leave Viscous Nasal Goo for level 8 and skill another point of Bristleback at level 3/4 (while maxing Quill Spray). This usually can save your day but remember that now you will lack of chasing skills until level 6/8!

This is your chasing tool! Also at first level it decreases both the armor and the movement speed of your opponent by 20% + 3%/stack, and it is spammable (1.5 sec cooldown)! Mind that it can stack up to 4 times on the same target, so at every level you can slow your foes up to 32/44/56/68% and decrease their armor by 4/4/8/8 points.

It only costs 35 points of mana and has a cooldown of 3 seconds...that means only one thing: spam it!
When we talk about this skill we have to focus on few things:
  • The damage is istant after clicking it!
  • The damage is physical, wich means that also units immune to magic can be damaged, but the damage suffers the armor reduction. Anyway items like Vanguard does not reduce the damage from quill spray.
  • The bonus damage for every stack you got on opponents is dealt in an independent way from the base damage. Usually you can reach 90 bouns damage while spamming your Quill Spray. If you want do reach the maximum damage (400) you have to take advantage of Bristleback

This skill turns you in the tank you are! It not only reduces the damage taken (on back or rear), but it can also releases a Quill Spray for free, maxing the damage of your second skill. Mind that it reduces every kind of damage except the reduction of HP! Also beware that it doesn't reduce the damage from towers.
The rear is considered to be within 70° from the back, while the side is considered to be within 110° from the back.

Let's recapitulate: you got two spammable skills ( Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray) and then you got a passive that increases your base damage and your movement speed for every skill used...You're a God!
It stacks up to 5 times and for every level you can improve your movement speed up to 10/17/25% and your damage by 100/125/150!
Other important things to know are:
  • Illusions will benefit from the original's casts
  • Using items does not trigger Warpath
  • Gaining a new charge does not refreshes the duration of the entire skill. Every single charge has his own duration

Items build explanation

Starting with a Stout Shield is good for two reasons: first of all it combines perfectly with your Bristleback, making you quite hard to take down even from the beginning. On the other side it's the starting item for Vanguard, wich you can now turn into Crimson Guard, honestly an amazing item for that low cost.

Go for the Magic Wand (I love this lifesafer) and for the Boots of Speed. After that I usually look for the ring of healt. There are games in wich it's better to build Hood of Defiance instead of Vanguard, 'cause of his magic resistance, but usually you're expected to pick BB when your enemy team has powerfull right clickers.

For the upgrade of the boots I usually take Power Treads, as they gives you that bit of strength you need to fell safer when you're facing someone. Anyway also Tranquil Boots are a good choice, especially when you're being harrassed a lot.

After that I usually rush for the Crimson Guard and Radiance, to max your AoE damage during teamfights. Heart of Tarrasque is a must for tanks, and Assault Cuirass works perfectly with your Viscous Nasal Goo. For the same reason in the early/mid game you can go for a Medallion of Courage.

Don't underestimate the movement reduction from Orb of Venom and last but not least don't forget to buy Town Portal Scrolls and to use it to have more movement and unpredictability in your matchs!

I hope you've enjoyed this guide!

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