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.
|Rigwarl, the Bristleback|
|Play "It was a barkeep that got me into this mess. Yeah, I think I'll pay em a visit when this is done."|
|Role:||Carry / Durable / Initiator / Nuker|
|Lore:|| 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.
|Voice:||TJ Ramini (Responses)|
- The goo travels at a speed of 1000 and can be disjointed.
- 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 with certain amount of stacks on each level:
- Level 1: 1/2/3/4 ( /5/6/7/8) armor and 23%/26%/29%/32% ( /35%/38%/41%/44%) movement speed.
- Level 2: 1.4/2.8/4.2/5.6 ( /7/8.4/9.8/11.2) armor and 26%/32%/38%/44% ( /50%/56%/62%/68%) movement speed.
- Level 3: 1.8/3.6/5.4/7.2 ( /9/10.8/12.6/14.4) armor and 29%/38%/47%/56% ( /65%/74%/83%/92%) movement speed.
- Level 4: 2.2/4.4/6.6/8.8 ( /11/13.2/15.4/17.6) armor and 32%/44%/56%/68% ( /80%/92%/104%/116%) movement speed.
- Treats creep-heroes as heroes.
- Interrupts Bristleback's channeling spells 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 Bristleback are required.
- The cap is reached with 19/17/16/15 ( 11/10/10/9) stacks. So to reach it, 14/12/11/10 ( 6/5/5/4) 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.
- This is how much damage Quill Spray deals with a certain amount of stacks on each level (before reductions):
- Level 1: 20 / 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200 / 230 / 260 / 290 / 320 / 350 / 380 / 410 / 440 / 470 / 500 / 530 / 550 ( 20 / 75 / 130 / 185 / 240 / 295 / 350 / 405 / 460 / 515 / 550)
- Level 2: 40 / 72 / 104 / 136 / 168 / 200 / 232 / 264 / 296 / 328 / 360 / 392 / 424 / 456 / 488 / 520 / 550 ( 40 / 97 / 154 / 211 / 268 / 325 / 382 / 439 / 496 / 550)
- Level 3: 60 / 94 / 128 / 162 / 196 / 230 / 264 / 298 / 332 / 366 / 400 / 434 / 468 / 502 / 536 / 550 ( 60 / 119 / 178 / 237 / 296 / 355 / 414 / 473 / 532 / 550)
- Level 4: 80 / 116 / 152 / 188 / 224 / 260 / 296 / 332 / 368 / 404 / 440 / 476 / 512 / 548 / 550 ( 80 / 141 / 202 / 263 / 324 / 385 / 446 / 507 / 550)
- A visual effect and sound play whenever his back receives damage. Taking damage from the sides only plays the visual effect.
- Bristleback takes less damage from all damage types except from damage flagged as HP Removal.
- When taking rear damage, Bristleback's effective health increases by 19.05%/31.58%/47.06%/66.67%.
- When taking side damage, Bristleback's effective health increases by 8.7%/13.64%/19.05%/25%.
- Checks the damage source's current position and compares it to Bristleback's facing angle on each damage instance.
- Passive Quill Sprays proc when Bristleback's back (not sides) collectively takes 210 damage (after all reductions).
- 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 e.g. 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 when Quill Spray is not learnt.
- Passive Quill Spray procs do not cost mana, have no cooldown and are independent from the active Quill Spray's cooldown.
- Using items does not trigger Warpath.
- Bristleback's 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 90/168/270 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.
|+25 Quill Spray Stack Damage||25||+30 Health Regen|
|10% Spell Lifesteal||20||+50 Attack Speed|
|+4 Max Goo Stacks||15||+225 Health|
|+2 Mana Regen||10||+8 Strength|
- Health regen and mana regen are added as bonuses and do not benefit illusions.
- Upgrading health increases maximum health capacity and keeps the current health percentage.
- The spell lifesteal stacks additively with that of Octarine Core.
- Tango keeps Bristleback's healthy in lane.
- Stout Shield mitigates damage from lane harassment.
- Ring of Protection raises armor, cutting down early damage received.
- Enchanted Mango gives passive health regeneration and burst mana when needed.
- Ring of Health builds into both Vanguard and Hood of Defiance and can be picked up in the Side Shop, letting Bristleback weather almost any harass in lane.
- Boots of Speed gives valuable movement speed.
- Soul Ring provides you with virtually unlimited mana, as well as builds from the Enchanted Mango you bought.
- Magic Stick and Magic Wand are great on Bristleback, as he wants to be in a fight for as long as possible, 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.
- Power Treads are the boots of choice on Bristleback, as they make him tankier and increase his attack speed, which goes well with Warpath.
- 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, and especially against teams with summons ( Enigma, Visage, etc) or dominated creeps ( Enchantress, Chen). 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. Builds into a Crimson Guard.
- Hood of Defiance, as opposed to Vanguard, is a much stronger choice when the enemies rather rely on magical damage. It upgrades into a Pipe of Insight.
- Solar Crest provides survivability through armor and evasion. The mana regeneration also helps with casting spells.
- Blade Mail 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.
- 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 as well as the strength increase can add a lot to Bristleback's effective health.
- Lotus Orb further bolsters defense with armor and health regeneration. Echo Shell can also dispel silences that plague Bristleback, while reflects many targeted spells back to enemy casters. The mana and mana regeneration also helps him to continuously cast Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray.
- 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.
- Crimson Guard is built off of a Vanguard, which is also a good item on Bristleback, and is an item any team should have one of if up against a physical damage heavy lineup.
- 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.
- 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 grants a huge amount of health and gives you significant regeneration when not in a fight against heroes. 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.
- 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.
- 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 Lycan's response (Play A boar is a wolf's natural prey), Bristleback was originally designed to be boar-like.
- A silhouette of what appears to be Skywrath Mage can be seen in Bristleback's splash artwork, seemingly still having a beta model/texture.
- Bristleback response: Play My tusks just got sharper.