Dota 2 Wiki

Bad against...[]

Anti-Mage icon.png
  • Mana Break removes both a percentage and flat amount of your mana, preventing you from using abilities in the lane.
  • Blink Anti-Mage has very high mobility with this skill, and can easily escape from you since you have no way to prevent his blink. He can also use this offensively to get in front of you during fights.
Doom icon.png
  • Infernal Blade deals scaling damage and is useful against high health targets such as Bristleback.
  • Doom disables Bristleback's low cooldown abilities, preventing him from triggering Warpath. With Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, it also breaks Bristleback's passive, rendering him more vulnerable.
Faceless Void icon.png
  • Time Dilation prevents Bristleback from spamming his low-cooldown abilities, greatly reducing his damage and effectiveness.
  • Chronosphere allows allies to reposition and hit Bristleback from the front, bypassing his defensive bonus from behind.
  • Bristleback has no way to prevent Void from using Time Walk.
Grimstroke icon.png
  • Phantom's Embrace silences Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray.
  • Ink Swell stuns Bristleback and gets allies in position faster with increased movement speed to attack his front, countering his passive ability.
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  • Sharpshooter deals massive damage to Bristleback and applies a high duration disable on his passive.
  • Bushwhack and Scurry can be used to easily kite Bristleback.
Legion Commander icon.png
  • Duel makes Bristleback fight Legion Commander face to face, forcing him to take full damage.
  • Press the Attack dispels the slow from stacks of Viscous Nasal Goo.
Lion icon.png
  • Mana Drain is a headache for Bristleback to deal with during the laning stage, as it denies him the ability to get last hits with Quill Spray.
  • Finger of Death deals high damage to Bristleback, and only triggers his passive once.
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Outworld Destroyer icon.png
  • Sanity's Eclipse only triggers Bristleback's passive once, and deals high damage against Bristleback's low intelligence.
Razor icon.png
  • Eye of the Storm melts Bristleback's armor, and makes him much less tanky.
  • Static Link can completely drain Bristleback's bonus damage from Warpath.
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  • Arcane Curse stacks every time Bristleback uses an ability, forcing him to stop spamming his abilities, or take heavy health degeneration.
  • Glaives of Wisdom steals intelligence both permanently and temporarily, causing mana issues for Bristleback .
  • Last Word and Global Silence stops Bristleback from using his abilities altogether.
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  • Guardian Sprint allows Slardar to outrun Bristleback, even when slowed by Viscous Nasal Goo.
  • Corrosive Haze's armor reduction makes Bristleback much less tanky.
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  • Whirling Death deals damage as well while reducing 15% of Bristleback's strength, which reduces Bristleback's tankiness.
  • Reactive Armor can sustain through multiple Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray stacks.
  • Timber Chain makes it hard for Bristleback to slow down Timbersaw with Viscous Nasal Goo.
Viper icon.png
Weaver icon.png
  • Shukuchi gets Weaver in front of Bristleback, negating the protection from the Bristleback passive.
  • Weaver's mana break talent depletes Bristleback's mana pool, preventing him from spamming abilities.



  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick gains many charges due to Bristleback's constant usage of Quill Spray, giving its holder an advantage in lane.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge disables Bristleback's passives, taking away both his tankiness as well as his damage output.
  • Solar Crest icon.png Solar Crest reduces Bristleback's armor greatly, allowing teammates to beat him down quickly.
  • Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass' armor aura reduces Quill Spray's area damage significantly.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll provides an easy means of escape from Bristleback, as he has no disables.
  • Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel reduces health regen and wears Bristleback down with percentage-based damage.
  • Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade burns Bristleback's mana, which lessens his ability to spam Quill Spray.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter and its upgrade Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade provide protection against Quill Spray, and Bristleback's only means of dealing damage are through Quill Spray and basic attacks. In addition, he doesn't like purchasing dispelling items like Nullifier icon.png Nullifier and Manta Style icon.png Manta Style.

Good against...[]

Broodmother icon.png
  • Quill Spray destroys spiderlings, and hits Broodmother even when she's regenerating in her webs. This makes Bristleback one of her hardest counters in lane.
Chaos Knight icon.png
  • Quill Spray quickly destroys Chaos Knight's Phantasms.
Huskar icon.png
  • The damage from Burning Spear can be reduced by turning away from Huskar.
  • Bristleback can bait Huskar into using Life Break on him, then turn around and receive very little damage.
Jakiro icon.png
  • Macropyre's frequent damage ticks causes Bristleback to activate repeatedly, resulting in free damage as long as Bristleback faces away from Jakiro.
Luna icon.png
  • Multiple instances of damage from Eclipse will trigger Bristleback's passive repeatedly in a short time, dealing tremendous damage to Luna and her teammates.
  • Luna's damage burst may be high, but it will not be enough for her to take down Bristleback.
Lycan icon.png
  • Lycan's wolves deal little damage to Bristleback, and are easily killed by Quill Spray, even when they're invisible.
  • Lycan's lack of burst damage makes it very hard for him to kill Bristleback, especially when his back is turned.
Meepo icon.png
  • Quill Spray usually hits Meepo's clones, although Bristleback cannot turn his back when rooted with Earthbind.
Phantom Lancer icon.png
  • Bristleback's tankiness and damage reduction from the rear makes him very hard for Phantom Lancer to chase and finish off, due to his lack of burst damage.
  • Quill Spray quickly destroys Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Bristleback's passive costs no mana, meaning that it will continue to trigger even if Phantom Lancer drains Bristleback's mana with Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade.
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  • Bristleback is one of the hardest heroes to gank with a Meat Hook and Dismember combo, and attempts to do so sometimes backfire on Pudge.
Riki icon.png
  • Quill Spray will hit Riki even when he is invisible.
  • Cloak and Dagger's bonus backstab damage is rendered irrelevant against Bristleback.
  • Smoke Screen does not stop Bristleback's passive from activating.
  • Due to Bristleback's natural tankiness, he is an ideal Gem of True Sight icon.png Gem of True Sight carrier, directly countering Riki's invisibility.
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  • Bristleback's abilities are nearly useless for Rubick to Spell Steal, as he does not gain the bonuses from Warpath.
Sand King icon.png
  • Quill Spray will hit Sand King inside Sand Storm, damaging him and putting Sand King's Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger on cooldown, preventing him from escaping.
  • Epicenter's numerous damage ticks will trigger Bristleback's passive repeatedly during teamfights.


  • Heroes with damage-over-time abilities will not only proc Bristleback's passive continuously, they will also do little harm to him when he is facing away from the source: Venomancer minimap icon.png Venomancer, Arc Warden minimap icon.png Arc Warden

Works well with...[]

Crystal Maiden icon.png
  • Arcane Aura helps Bristleback use Quill Spray more often during the laning stage, allowing him to harass and last hit better.
  • Viscous Nasal Goo works well with Crystal Maiden's slowing abilities, keeping enemies in range of Quill Spray and Freezing Field.
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  • The extra time from Shallow Grave allows Bristleback to get off a few more Quill Sprays due to its low cooldown, and potentially change the outcome of a fight.
  • Bad Juju's armor reduction improves Quill Spray's damage output.
Drow Ranger icon.png
Keeper of the Light icon.png
  • Chakra Magic's cooldown reduction allows Bristleback to Quill Spray twice in a row.
Skywrath Mage icon.png
  • Concussive Shot's slow stacks well with Viscous Nasal Goo, keeping targets in range of Quill Spray, as well as making it harder for them to move out of Mystic Flare.
Venomancer icon.png
  • Venomancer's numerous movement speed slows stack well with Viscous Nasal Goo.