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Bad against...[edit]

Anti-Mage icon.png
  • Mana Break icon.png Mana Break quickly depletes Bristleback's low mana, denying him the ability to spam Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo.
Doom icon.png
  • Infernal Blade icon.png Infernal Blade deals scaling damage and is useful against high health targets such as Bristleback.
  • Doom ability icon.png 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.
Enchantress icon.png
  • Nature's Attendants icon.png Nature's Attendants provide a good source of healing, countering Quill Spray during the early game.
  • Impetus icon.png Impetus' pure damage works well against Bristleback's tankiness.
Faceless Void icon.png
Faceless Void
  • Time Dilation icon.png Time Dilation prevents Bristleback from spamming his low-cooldown abilities, greatly reducing his damage and effectiveness.
  • Chronosphere icon.png Chronosphere allows allies to resposition and hit Bristleback from the front, bypassing his defensive bonus from behind.
Keeper of the Light icon.png
Keeper of the Light
  • Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak greatly hinders Bristleback's chasing abilities as well as damage output.
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
  • Duel icon.png Duel makes Bristleback fight Legion Commander face to face, forcing him to take full damage.
  • Press the Attack icon.png Press the Attack dispels the slow from stacks of Viscous Nasal Goo.
Lion icon.png
  • Mana Drain 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 icon.png Finger of Death deals high damage to Bristleback, and only triggers his passive once.
Necrophos icon.png
Outworld Devourer icon.png
Outworld Devourer
  • Outworld Devourer's heavy pure damage output penetrates Bristleback's tanky items.
  • Sanity's Eclipse 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 icon.png Eye of the Storm melts Bristleback's armor, and makes him much less tanky.
  • Static Link icon.png Static Link can completely drain Bristleback's bonus damage from Warpath.
Silencer icon.png
  • Arcane Curse icon.png Arcane Curse stacks every time Bristleback uses an ability, forcing him to stop spamming his abilities, or take heavy health degeneration.
  • Glaives of Wisdom icon.png Glaives of Wisdom's pure damage cuts through Bristleback's tanky items.
  • Last Word icon.png Last Word and Global Silence icon.png Global Silence stops Bristleback from using his abilities altogether.
Slardar icon.png
  • Guardian Sprint icon.png Guardian Sprint allows Slardar to outrun Bristleback, even when slowed by Viscous Nasal Goo.
  • Corrosive Haze icon.png Corrosive Haze's armor reduction makes Bristleback much less tanky.
Timbersaw icon.png
  • Whirling Death icon.png Whirling Death deals damage as well while reducing 15% of Bristleback's strength, which reduces Bristleback's tankiness.
  • Reactive Armor icon.png Reactive Armor can sustain through multiple Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray stacks.
  • Timber Chain icon.png Timber Chain makes it hard for Bristleback to slow down Timbersaw with Viscous Nasal Goo.
Viper icon.png


  • Axe Axe forces Bristleback to turn around with Berserker's Call icon.png Berserker's Call, allowing allies to attack him without fear of his passive.
  • Terrorblade Terrorblade's Sunder icon.png Sunder is not affected by the Bristleback damage reduction.
  • Batrider Batrider's turn rate slow from Sticky Napalm icon.png Sticky Napalm makes it harder for Bristleback to keep his back towards the enemy.
  • Heroes who deal single instance burst damage will only proc Bristleback once: Lina Lina, Lion Lion


  • 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 removes Bristleback's passive, 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.

Good against...[edit]

Arc Warden icon.png
Arc Warden
  • Bristleback need not worry about charging into Magnetic Field icon.png Magnetic Field, and quickly clearing up Arc Warden's summons and Tempest Double icon.png Tempest Double with Quill Spray.
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
Chaos Knight
  • Quill Spray quickly destroys Chaos Knight's Phantasm icon.png Phantasms.
Huskar icon.png
  • The damage from Burning Spear icon.png Burning Spear can be reduced by turning away from Huskar.
  • Bristleback can bait Huskar into using Life Break icon.png Life Break on him, then turn around and receive very little damage.
Jakiro icon.png
  • Macropyre 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 icon.png Eclipse will trigger Bristleback's passive repeatedly in a short time, dealing tremendous damage to Luna and her teammates.
  • Luna's general lack of burst damage makes it hard 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, and Bristleback can still turn his back when rooted with Earthbind icon.png Earthbind.
Phantom Lancer icon.png
Phantom Lancer
  • Quill Spray cleans up Phantom Lancer's illusions in no time.
  • Phantom Lancer's complete lack of burst damage makes it nearly impossible for him to kill Bristleback during chases.
Pudge icon.png
  • Bristleback is one of the hardest heroes to gank with a Meat Hook icon.png Meat Hook and Dismember icon.png 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 icon.png Cloak and Dagger's bonus backstab damage is rendered irrelevant against Bristleback.
  • Smoke Screen icon.png 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.
Rubick icon.png
  • Bristleback's abilities are nearly useless for Rubick to Spell Steal icon.png Spell Steal, as he does not gain the bonuses from Warpath.
Sand King icon.png
Sand King
  • Quill Spray will hit Sand King inside Sand Storm icon.png Sand Storm, damaging him and putting Sand King's Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger on cooldown, preventing him from escaping.
  • Epicenter icon.png 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 Venomancer, Arc Warden Arc Warden

Works well with...[edit]

Crystal Maiden icon.png
Crystal Maiden
  • Arcane Aura 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 icon.png Freezing Field.
Dazzle icon.png
  • The extra time from Shallow Grave icon.png 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.
Drow Ranger icon.png
Drow Ranger
Keeper of the Light icon.png
Keeper of the Light
  • Chakra Magic icon.png Chakra Magic's cooldown reduction allows Bristleback to Quill Spray twice in a row.
Outworld Devourer icon.png
Outworld Devourer
  • Essence Aura icon.png Essence Aura's mana restoration allows Bristleback to Quill Spray almost indefinitely.
Skywrath Mage icon.png
Skywrath Mage
  • Concussive Shot 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 icon.png Mystic Flare.
Venomancer icon.png
  • Venomancer's numerous movement speed slows stack well with Viscous Nasal Goo.
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