Rigwarl, the Bristleback, is a melee strength hero famous for his array of synergistic, simplistic, and yet effective spells with low mana costs and cooldowns. Though each cast of his spells has relatively weak potency on its own, their instances have a cumulative effect, making the Bristleback quite deadly the longer he stays alive in a fight; this is directly reflected in his ultimate, Warpath, which powers up his movement and attack damage based on the number of spells he recently cast. He is able to increasingly slow his enemies down and reduce their armor with Viscous Nasal Goo and hit them with a barrage of Quill Sprays, making him an effective chaser when ganking enemies. His low strength gain makes him seem less tanky than most strength heroes at first glance, but his signature Bristleback passive substantially reduces all damage he takes from the sides and especially the rear, making him very difficult to bring down if he's facing away from his enemies. In the right hands, Bristleback is a powerful ganker in the early stages of the game, and a powerful hard carry in the later stages depending on how much farm he gets.
- The goo travels at a speed of 1000.
- Places one debuff on the enemy. This debuff gets stronger when it gets refreshed with successive casts.
- A number on the icon shows how many times the debuff was refreshed, including the first cast.
- This is how much armor and movement speed Viscous Nasal Goo reduces up to 4 ( ) stacks on each level:
- Level 1: 3.5/5/6.5/8/ armor and 18%/21%/24%/27%/ movement speed.
- Level 2: 4/6/8/10/ armor and 21%/27%/33%/39%/ movement speed.
- Level 3: 4.5/7/9.5/12/ armor and 24%/33%/42%/51%/ movement speed.
- Level 4: 5/8/11/14/ armor and 27%/39%/51%/63%/ movement speed.
- Treats creep-heroes as heroes.
- Interrupts Bristleback's channeling abilities upon cast.
- The quills spread at a speed of 2400 and take 0.29 seconds to reach maximum range.
- The quills do not form a ring. They affect every enemy within the expanding area of effect, so it cannot be avoided by blinking towards Bristleback.
- The effect is centered at the cast location, it does not follow Bristleback.
- Places one debuff on each hit enemy and a stack debuff on each cast on each hit enemy.
- The first debuff shows the number of stack debuffs on the status icon. The stack debuffs are hidden.
- The stacks' durations are independent from each other. Successive casts do not refresh previous stacks' durations.
- With the current cooldown and stack duration, it can be stacked up to 5 times. To reach the cap, additional procs from are required.
- The cap is reached with 20/18/17/15 ( ) stacks. So to reach it, 15/13/12/10 ( ) passive casts are required (not considering cooldown reductions).
- Checks how many stacks units have first and deals damage based on that, and then increases the number of stacks. This means the first hit only deals the base damage.
- A visual effect and sound plays whenever his back receives damage if Bristleback has learned
- Taking damage from the sides shows no effect.
- Applies generic incoming damage reduction on Bristleback. Stacks additively with other sources of generic incoming damage manipulation.
- The reduction affects all damage Bristleback takes that is not flagged as HP removal.
- When taking rear damage, his effective health increases by 19%/32%/47%/67%.
- When taking side damage, his effective health increases by 9%/14%/19%/25%.
- Checks the damage source's current position and compares it to Bristleback's facing angle on each damage instance.
- This means on damage over time effects (i.e. ), damage of an instance is only reduced when within the right angle.
- Damage from , is reduced when facing away from them, since they are their own source.
- Passive after all reductions).
proc when Bristleback's back (not sides) collectively takes 210 damage (
- The damage counter has no time limit. It only resets once a passive spray occurs.
- Any exceeding damage is completely ignored, meaning that if an enemy deals an instance of 420 damage, the passive triggers only once.
- Does not count damage which has the HP removal or the no-reflection flag.
- Passive quills do not proc if Quill Spray is not learnt.
- Passive Quill Spray procs do not cost mana, have no cooldown, are independent from the active ability's cooldown, and do not trigger .
- Requires to be unlocked.
- The hairball travels at a speed of 1200.
and released are based on the current level respectively.
- If neither are leveled, the ball does nothing upon reaching the targeted area.
- Checks for their level upon projectile impact.
- Once the hairball reaches the center of the area, every enemy within the radius gets targeted by Viscsous Nasal Goo.
- Since Quill Spray travels faster than Viscous Nasal Goo, the quills always hit enemies before the goo does, so the quills do not benefit from the armor reduction.
- Does not trigger on active item abilities, on abilities with 0 cooldown, or on abilities which do not trigger on-cast effects.
- The passive procs of do not trigger Warpath either.
- Bristleback's model size increases and more particles fly around him the more stacks he has.
- Stacks up to 5/7/9 times, meaning it can give at most 125/210/315 ( ) bonus attack damage and 15%/28%/45% movement speed.
- Each stack has its own duration, successive spell casts do not refresh the duration of previous stacks.
- Only the first cast's buff is visible in the HUD. This buff has a number on it, showing the current amount of stacks.
Quill Spray Damage Calculations
|+24Damage Per Stack||25||13% Spell Lifesteal|
|+20Stack Damage||20||+20 Health Regen|
|+20 Attack Speed||15||+200 Health|
|+2 Mana Regen||10||+15 Damage|
- This attack damage talent is added as bonus attack damage.
- Does not benefit illusions and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.
- The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.
- Increased stack duration from 16 on each level to 16/18/20.
- Increased health regeneration from 0 to 0.25.
- Reduced base movement speed slow from 20% to 15%.
- Increased stack duration from 14 to 16.
- Reduced radius from 900 to 800.
- Reduced max stacks from 8 to 7.
- Increased cooldown from 1.5 to 1.75.
- Reduced radius from 950 to 900.
- keeps Bristleback healthy in lane.
- gives passive health regeneration and burst mana when needed.
- gives valuable movement speed.
- helps to sustain in the lane and builds into both and .
- provides you with virtually unlimited mana and synergizes well with .
- keeps Bristleback in the fight, giving him a chance to potentially use up charges twice for very large amounts of healing, and every two charges will grant him enough mana for an extra Quill Spray or Viscous Nasal Goo.
- gives armor and further assists in Bristleback's ability to chase.
- is a decent alternative to solve the mana issue Bristleback has in the early game. It can be disassemble later to build and .
- damage block is deducted from the full attack damage, before any damage reduction (such as from armor or the Bristleback ability) takes place. It builds into a . is one of a few strong early to mid-game pickups on Bristleback. It is best against teams that have a large amount of physical damage. Note that the
- , as opposed to Vanguard, is a much stronger choice when the enemies rather rely on magical damage. It upgrades into a or .
- provides survivability with armor and attributes. The mana regeneration also helps with casting spells.
- is a strong utility item on Bristleback, turning his into an AoE slow and armor reduction with high cast range and no cast point. Bristleback will get a full Warpath stack and high damage output, allowing him to run at max movement speed at all times while having his damage increased considerably.
- further bolsters defense with armor and health regeneration. Echo Shell can also dispel silences that plague Bristleback, while reflecting many targeted spells back to enemy casters. The mana and mana regeneration also help him to continuously cast Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray.
- armor item, and it fixes any mana issues Bristleback can have. The active ability also gives Bristleback more presence in teamfights, damaging and slowing enemies in a huge area. is another large
- health and gives you significant regeneration. It helps in siege situations, where you can soak up lots of damage and then wait a short time to be back at full health. The immense health boost allows Bristleback to use the passive Quill Spray to their full potential, as he can tank significantly more, retreat to heal up and then repeat. grants a huge amount of
- is a hybrid pickup of damage and defense. It is strong against teams with high amounts of burst damage, either causing the enemies to take the damage themselves as well, or forcing them to not use their burst damage, giving Bristleback some time to deal with them.
- evasion, status resistance, and strength increase can add a lot to Bristleback's survivability. is a strong pickup if you're not the hardest carry on your team or the enemy team only has one physical damage dealer that it can be used on. The
- is built off of a Vanguard, which is also a good item on Bristleback, and is an item any team should have if up against a physical damage heavy lineup.
- is built off of a Hood of Defiance, which is also a good item on Bristleback, and is an item any team should have one of if there are any dangerous nukers on the enemy team.
- gold into an offensive item, it can be the best item to snowball the rest of the game by farming quickly and dealing massive area damage in teamfights. However, if you get this item at the cost of being tanky, this is a terrible item to pick up. is great on Bristleback if you can get it early in the game after a couple of items to tank up. This is basically a get-more-ahead item, as if you're hard to kill despite putting so much
- increases his damage output by lowering Quill Spray's cooldown time.
- physical damage, and the attack speed greatly increases his attack damage output thanks to Warpath. It also is a great pickup if there are other carries on your team which rely on physical attacks. has amazing synergy with Bristleback, as it is one of the few items that can increase the damage of his Quill Spray. It also increases his and his team's tankiness against
|Roles:||Carry Durable Initiator Nuker|
|Playstyle:||The enforcer at a local pub, Rigwarl's never failed to collect a tab. That is, until he met one tough customer from the north. For the first time in his life, Rigwarl felt the need to train. His thorny back deters attack while peppering foes with constant Quill Sprays. From his nose he blows thick gobs of snot, slowing and covering opponents in Viscous Nasal Goo. With every volley and every sneeze, Rigwarl works himself into a fury, adding rage to each blow as he goes on the Warpath in search of a rematch.|
- In DotA, Bristleback's hero model was a quillboar, having a much more boar-like appearance. His loss of boar-like features in Dota 2 was likely made to distinguish him from the quillboar race in the Warcraft universe.  As well, his hero title shares the name of a large quillboar tribe in World of Warcraft. 
- Beta information revealed that Bristleback's original name was supposedly to be "Bristlebog", probably to avoid conflict with the aforementioned Bristleback tribe in World of Warcraft.
- According to an unused voice response, Bristleback was originally designed with tusks.
- According to ▶️ A boar is a wolf's natural prey), one of Bristleback's early designs resembled a boar. 's response (
- A silhouette of what appears to be can be seen in Bristleback's splash artwork, seemingly still having a beta model/texture.
- Bristleback response: ▶️ My tusks just got sharper.