Dota 2 Wiki
Strength attribute symbol
Agility attribute symbol
Intelligence attribute symbol
22 + 2.7
17 + 1.8
14 + 2.8
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 20 504 1318 2176 2528
+1 +3.2 +6.98 +10.88 +12.43
Mana 80 248 716 1196 1388
+0.4 +1.1 +3.06 +5.06 +5.86
Armor 1 3.83 8.03 13.03 14.87
Magic Resist 25% 26.4% 30.32% 34.32% 35.92%
Damage Block 16 (50%)






Attack Rate 0.56/s 0.65/s 0.79/s 0.96/s 1.02/s
Attack Range Melee 150 (400)
Attack Speed ▶️ 100 (1.8s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.3 + 0.3
Projectile Speed Instant
Move Speed ▶️ 295 (Nighttime 325)
Turn Rate Takes 0.175s to turn 180°. 0.9
Collision Size 27
Bound Radius 24
Vision Range (G) 1800 (Nighttime 800)
Gib Type Goo
Internal npc_dota_hero_bristleback
Takes reduced damage when facing away from enemies.
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 attacks while peppering foes with constant barrages of Quill Sprays. From his nose he blows Thick Gobs of Snot, slowing and covering opponents in goo. When it comes to a fight, he really puts his back into it. 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.
Viscous Nasal Goo
Viscous Nasal Goo
Quill Spray
Roles: Carry Carry Durable Durable Initiator Initiator Nuker Nuker
Complexity: Hero Complexity
Adjectives: NicePecs, Nose
Legs ( 2 )


Bristleback minimap iconRigwarl, the Bristleback
▶️ "It was a barkeep that got me into this mess. Yeah, I think I'll pay em a visit when this is done."
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.
Rigwarl, BB


Viscous Nasal Goo
Viscous Nasal Goo icon
Covers a target in snot, causing it to have reduced armor and movement speed. Multiple casts stack and refresh the duration.
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 650 (Talent 900)
Max Stacks: 4 (With Aghanim's Shard 6)
Base Armor Reduction: 2/2/3/3
Armor Reduction per Stack: 1.5/2/2.5/3
Base Move Speed Slow: 15%
Move Speed Slow per Stack: 3%/6%/9%/12%
Hero Duration: 5
Creep Duration: 10
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Increases stack limit by 2.
Modifiers [?]
Having caught a cold while stuck in the snow, Bristleback turns it to his advantage.

  • 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.
  • For how much bonus armor and movement speed Viscous Nasal Goo reduces up to 4 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 6) stacks on each level, please refer to the chart below.
    • Reduces affected targets' armor by 8/10/13/15 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 11/14/18/21) at max stacks.
    • Reduces affected targets' movement speed by 27%/39%/51%/63% (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 33%/51%/69%/87%) at max stacks.

Quill Spray
Quill Spray icon
No Target
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: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 700
Base Damage: 25/45/65/85
Stack Damage: 28/30/32/34 (Talent 48/50/52/54)
Damage Cap: 500
Stack Duration: 14
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Grants the Hairball ability.
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Toggling Autocast on swaps this ability out with Hairball icon Hairball. Their cooldowns are separate.
An enforcer's honor can be a prickly thing. So can his quills.

  • 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 of 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 damage cap, additional passive procs from Bristleback ability icon Bristleback are required.
  • The damage cap can be reached with 18/17/15/14 (Talent 11/11/10/9) stacks.
    • To reach it, 13/12/10/9 (Talent 6/6/5/4) passive casts are required without considering cooldown reduction sources.
    • The damage cap can be reached with 7/6/4/3 passive casts.
    • TALENT
      With the stack damage increasing Talent talent and Bristleback ability icon Bristleback Aghanim's Scepter icon Ability Upgrade, Quill Spray can reach its damage cap without any passive casts.
  • Quill Spray checks how many stacks units have first and deals damage based on that, then increases the number of stacks.
    • The first hit only deals the base damage.
  • For how much damage Quill Spray deals with a certain amount of stack on each level (before reductions), please refer to the chart below.

Bristleback ability icon
(Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Enemies)
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Physical
Bristleback takes less damage if hit on the sides or rear. If Bristleback takes 275/250/225/200 damage from the rear, he releases a Quill Spray of the current level.
Passive Component
Rear Angle: 70°
Side Angle: 110°
Rear Damage Reduction: 16%/24%/32%/40% (Talent 24%/32%/40%/48%)
Side Damage Reduction: 8%/12%/16%/20% (Talent 12%/16%/20%/24%)
Damage Threshold: 275/250/225/200
With Aghanim's Scepter Cast Animation: Instant Cast Animation (DOTA_ABILITY_BEHAVIOR_IMMEDIATE) 0+0
With Aghanim's Scepter Cast Range: Global
With Aghanim's Scepter Effect Delay: 0.5
With Aghanim's Scepter Number of Quill Sprays: 6
With Aghanim's Scepter Spray Interval: 0.35
With Aghanim's Scepter Spray Angle: 45°
With Aghanim's Scepter Self Move Speed Slow: 40%
Cooldown symbol
  With Aghanim's Scepter 24
Mana symbol
 With Aghanim's Scepter 100
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade:
Adds active ability to Bristleback. Bristleback rotates towards the targeted direction and, after 0.5s, forcefully ejects 6 sequential Quill Sprays in a tight conical pattern out of his back every 0.35s. Bristleback's facing is locked during this time, he is disarmed, and his speed is reduced by 40%.
Disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Does not disable the damage accumulation counter.
Partially usable by illusions.
Illusion Notes:
The incoming damage reduction works for illusions.
Does not proc passive Quill Sprays.
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Quill Spray icon Quill Spray must be drafted as well for them to passively proc.
Turning his back to a fight might be just the thing.
Bristleback Bristleback angles

Bristleback ability icon Bristleback's angles visualised.

  • A visual effect and sound play whenever his back receives damage if Bristleback has learned Quill Spray icon Quill Spray.
    • 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.
    • Reduces all damage types Bristleback receives, except from damage flagged as HP removal (e.g. Sunder icon Sunder).
    • When taking rear damage, his effective health increases by 19%/32%/47%/67% (Talent 32%/47%/67%/92%).
    • When taking side damage, his effective health increases by 9%/14%/19%/25% (Talent 14%/19%/25%/32%).
  • Checks the damage source's current position and compares it to Bristleback's facing angle on each damage instance.
  • Passive Quill Spray icon Quill Sprays based on its current level proc when Bristleback's back (not sides) collectively receives 275/250/225/200 damage (after all reductions).
    • Passive procs do not interrupt Bristleback's channeling abilities.
    • If Quill Spray is not learned, no quills are procced.
    • The damage counter accumulates damage from the 3 damage types, but not from HP Removal sources or from the no-reflection flag (e.g. Blade Mail icon Blade Mail).
    • The damage counter has no time limit and only resets once a passive spray occurs.
    • Any exceeding damage is accumulated, a single damage instance can trigger multiple passive Quill Spray procs per damage threshold.
    • These sprays are independent of the cooldown, they do not trigger the ability's cooldown and work while on cooldown.
    • They do not cost mana or proc on-cast effects either.
  • Grants 1 Warpath icon Warpath stack per passive proc.
  • Adds an active component to Bristleback, with the passive effects still present.
    • Upon cast, Bristleback is disarmed and rotates gradually with a turn rate of 5 until its back completely faces the targeted direction.
    • 0.5 seconds after cast, Bristleback launches 1 Quill Spray icon Quill Spray based on its current level per 0.35-second intervals up to 6 sprays, for a total duration of 3.5 seconds.
    • The complete area of effect is 274.89, a circular sector staring from Bristleback current position.
      • expr
        (θ / 360°) × 700
    • Grants up to 6 Warpath icon Warpath stack per cast.
    • Successive casts do nothing but wait till the current active instance is finished.
    • Gets interrupted only when hexed. Other disables like stuns, taunts, cyclones or fear may change the direction sprays are fired at.
    • Keeps spraying when hidden by any source.
  • The following effects are applied on Bristleback while the spray is active:
    • Reduces Bristleback's turn rate to 0.
    • While active, all of Bristleback's abilities, including item abilities, do not require facing the target to cast, as long as the target is within the cast range.
  • Quill Spray notes fully apply. If it is not learned, no sprays are launched.
    • However, the other ability effects on Bristleback are still applied.

Hairball icon
Coughs a quill-packed hairball towards the target location. Erupts at the location, hitting enemies in with Viscous Nasal Goo and stacks of Quill Spray.
Cast Animation: 0.1+0.6
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 1000
Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 700
Number of Viscous Nasal Goo: 2
Number of Quill Sprays: 1
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Can be disjointed.
Viscous Nasal Goo notes fully apply.
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Viscous Nasal Goo icon Viscous Nasal Goo must be drafted as well for it to get applied.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Requires drafting Quill Spray icon Quill Spray to be unlocked.
Toggling Autocast off swaps this ability out with Quill Spray. Their cooldowns are separate.

  • The hairball travels at a speed of 1200.
  • Upon reaching the targeted area, 1 Quill Spray icon Quill Sprays are released and all enemy units within 700 radius is targeted by Viscous Nasal Goo icon Viscous Nasal Goo based on its current level respectively.
    • Enemies in the Fog of War are also hit by the Viscous Nasal Goo as well as the Quill Sprays.
      • Viscous Nasal Goo does not target invisible units.
    • Viscous Nasal Goo projectile will only hit once, but deal 2 stacks on target.
    • Both Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray notes fully apply.
  • The Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray released are based on the current level respectively.
    • If neither is leveled, the ball does nothing upon reaching the targeted area.
  • 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.
  • The Viscous Nasal Goo icon Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray icon Quill Spray applied is based on Bristleback minimap icon Bristleback's current ability level when acquired.

Can be used by illusions. Disabled by Break. RW
Warpath icon
Bristleback works himself up into a fury every time he casts a spell, increasing his movement speed and damage.
Max Stacks: 8/10/12
Stack per Ability Cast: 1
Attack Damage Bonus per Stack: 15/20/25 (Talent 33/38/43)
Move Speed Bonus per Stack: 2%/3%/4%
Stack Duration: 16/18/20
Can be used by illusions.
Illusion Notes:
Illusions gain a stack whenever Bristleback gains one.
Does not benefit from the flat attack damage bonus.
Modifiers [?]
'Temper, temper,' his mum always chided. But in a fight, a temper can come in handy.

  • Does not trigger on active item abilities, on abilities with 0 cooldown, or on abilities which do not trigger on-cast effects.
  • Bristleback's model size increases and more particles fly around him the more stacks he has.
  • Grants at most 120/200/300 (Talent 264/380/516) attack damage and 16%/30%/48% movement speed bonus.
  • Each stack places a new buff on Bristleback, with each buff duration independent of the other.
    • The number of stacks can be seen on the status buff icon.

Viscous Nasal Goo Calculations[]

Level Viscous Nasal Goo icon Viscous Nasal Goo Armor Armor and Movement Speed Movement Speed Reductions at nth Stack
1 2 3 4 5 Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 6 Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Level 1 3.5
Level 2 4
Level 3 5.5
Level 4 6

Quill Spray Calculations[]

Quill Spray icon Quill Spray Level Number of Stacks for Max Damage (500)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Level 1
25 53 81 109 137 165 193 221 249 277 305 333 361 389 417 445 473 500
25 73 121 169 217 265 313 361 409 457 500
Level 2
45 75 105 135 165 195 225 255 285 315 345 375 405 435 465 495 500
45 95 145 195 245 295 345 395 445 495 500
Level 3
65 97 129 161 193 225 257 289 321 353 385 417 449 481 500
65 117 169 221 273 325 377 429 481 500
Level 4
85 119 153 187 221 255 289 323 357 391 425 459 493 500
85 139 193 247 301 355 409 463 500


Hero Talents
+18 Warpath icon Warpath Damage Per Stack2512% Spell Lifesteal
+20 Quill Spray icon Quill Stack Damage20+25 Health Regen
+8%/4% Bristleback ability icon Bristleback Back/Side Damage Reduction15+250 Viscous Nasal Goo icon Goo Cast Range
+1.5 Mana Regen10+25 Attack Speed

Recent Changes[]

Main Articles: Changelogs, Old Abilities and Hero Lore
  • Reduced Bristleback ability icon Bristleback damage threshold from 300/275/250/225 to 275/250/225/200.
  • Reduced Quill Spray icon Quill Spray damage cap from 550 to 500.
  • Increased Bristleback ability icon Bristleback damage threshold from 225 on each level to 300/275/250/225.
  • Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard upgrade:
    • Hairball icon Hairball
      • Reduced cast range from 1500 to 1000.
      • Increased cooldown from 10 to 13.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon Tango keeps Bristleback healthy in lane.
  • Enchanted Mango icon Enchanted Mango gives passive health regeneration and burst mana when needed.

Early game:

  • Magic Wand icon Magic Wand 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.

Mid game:

  • Phase Boots icon Phase Boots gives armor and further assists in Bristleback's ability to chase.
  • Vanguard icon Vanguard 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 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 Crimson Guard icon Crimson Guard.
  • Eternal Shroud icon Eternal Shroud is a good choice when the enemies rather rely on magical damage.
  • Solar Crest icon Solar Crest provides survivability with armor and attributes. The mana regeneration also helps with casting spells.

Late game:

  • Lotus Orb icon Lotus Orb 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.
  • Shiva's Guard icon Shiva's Guard is another large 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.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon Heart of Tarrasque grants a huge amount of 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.

Situational items:

  • Heaven's Halberd icon Heaven's Halberd 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 evasion, status resistance, and strength increase can add a lot to Bristleback's survivability.
  • Crimson Guard icon Crimson Guard 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.
  • Pipe of Insight icon Pipe of Insight 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.
  • Radiance icon Radiance 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 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.
  • Octarine Core icon Octarine Core increases his damage output by lowering Quill Spray's cooldown time.
  • Assault Cuirass icon Assault Cuirass 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 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.

Dota Plus Progress[]

Main Article: Hero Challenges

Relics track a hero's actions and statistics, and display in-game notifications when a milestone is reached. They are only available to Dota Plus subscribers.

Relics Voice Lines
Relic Rare icon
Kills With Four Quill Spray icon Quill Spray Stacks
Relic Rare icon
Bristleback ability icon Bristleback Triggered Damage
Relic Rare icon
Max Warpath icon Warpath Stack Duration
Relic strength icon
Quill Spray icon Quill Spray Stack Damage
Relic strength icon
Blade Mail icon Blade Mail Damage
Relic strength icon
Radiance icon Radiance Damage
Relic strength icon
Slows Leading To Kills
Relic strength icon
Crimson Guard icon Crimson Guard Damage Blocked
Relic strength icon
Pipe of Insight icon Pipe of Insight Damage Blocked
Relic strength icon
Triple Kills
Relic strength icon
Mega Kill Streaks
Relic strength icon
Kill Assists
Relic strength icon
Plus Hero Badge 1
Plus Hero Badge 2
Plus Hero Badge 3
Plus Hero Badge 4
Plus Hero Badge 5
  • ▶️ Who's squealing now, eh? Ha, aha ha heh.
Plus Hero Badge 6
  • ▶️ Oy, oy, oy, save some of that keg for me, will ya, lads?



  • 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. [1] As well, his hero title shares the name of a large quillboar tribe in "World of Warcraft". [2]
    • 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.[1]
    • According to Lycan minimap icon Lycan's response ▶️ "A boar is a wolf's natural prey", one of Bristleback's early designs resembled a boar.
  • A silhouette of what appears to be Skywrath Mage minimap icon Skywrath Mage can be seen in Bristleback's splash artwork, seemingly still having a beta model/texture.



  1. Bristleback response: ▶️ "My tusks just got sharper."