5 Votes

Bringing Home the Bacon

April 4, 2013 by ASCIISyaeZ
Comments: 1    |    Views: 6003    |   

Hero Build

DotA2 Hero: Bristleback

Purchase Order

Early Game




Hero Skills

Viscous Nasal Goo

10 12 13 14

Quill Spray

1 3 5 7


2 4 8 9


6 11 16


15 17 18

Rigwarl, Blower of Snots


This is a guide for Rigwarl, the only hero who is awesome enough to be used for bacon. Mmm, bacon. Bacon is awesome, and logic would dictate that whatever produced the aforementioned bacon would be awesome as well, and this is most certainly the case. Nonetheless, Rigwarl's potential is frequently squandered, and in a case like this, who really wants to share bacon?

Advantages and Disadvantages

Because if **** were simple, it wouldn't be complicated.


    Very good chaser

    Very strong 1v1 hero, especially against melee

    Few "natural" counters as the game goes on

    Strong AoE presence from mid game on

    Solid starting damage

    Highest Intelligence growth of any Strength hero

    Strong survivability...when back is turned

    Blows snots on people



    Melee hero

    Starting stats are fairly average across the board

    No disable

    Only real escape mechanism is running

    Strongly countered in lane by the simplest of items

    Slow base movement speed

    Low Strength growth for a Strength hero (only Io, Dirge, Rexxar and Razzil are as low or

    Hit Points are low, especially for a Strength hero

    Have to kill him to make bacon

Hammer This Section Into Your Head

Rigwarl is not a ****ing tank. Rigwarl is predominantly a carry.

There are two types of people in the world: people who are smart enough to realize this (ie, me) and ******s (which may or may not include you). DotA players often mistake survivability for tankability. They see Rigwarl has a skill that increases both his HP regen and his armor reduces all damage when his back is turned and they **** themselves over the possibility of pairing that with a Vanguard! OMFG IMBA!

While it's true that Rigwarl can be used in such a role (as can any other hero, to be honest), his skills give him a very different role.

Let's wade into this slowly. Let's cast Rigwarl as a tank and compare him to Axe and Centaur Warchief, as both heroes are commonly picked as tanks first. Ignoring choice of footwear, let's look at the HP of all three heroes with an item or two that they would almost always have at Level 11. With two Bracers, Rigwarl has 1214 HP. With a Magic Wand and one point in Stats, Axe has 1195 HP. With just a Magic Wand, Centaur has 1594 HP. At first glance, this would seem to indicate that with a couple Bracers, Rigwarl is pretty comparable to other, more commonly picked tanks.

But wait! Bristleback has, well, Bristleback! Assuming you took it to Level 4, this would give Rigwarl a maximum of 1699 EHP! Maybe the great Zotmaster is wrong after all!

Except as far as tanking goes, the Bristleback skill is largely irrelevant. Sure, the damage reduction is great, but you only get it when you're not facing an enemy. Were you to keep your back turned the whole time - and were the enemy team to be stupid enough to attack you from behind without moving to a more advantageous position - all you would be able to do is Quill Spray. Sure, the damage adds up, but it starts off as a very insignificant amount and this shuts you out from using Viscous Nasal Goo or even attacking. With that simple logic in mind, it should be clear that this is not truly the intended purpose of Bristleback. Well then, what is?

Consider the things a tank needs to be able to do. 99% of the time, this means initiate and immediately start some ****. To this end, Axe and Centaur commonly use Dagger to Blink into the middle of the fray. To further this end, both pack AoE disables: Axe's not only increases his armor, but forces enemies to attack him, which helps him deal damage with Counter Helix. Centaur's stun is 2.75 seconds at level 4, which is considerable. Were you to buy a Dagger with Bristleback and Blink in, you'd have two options: you could either fire off a Quill Spray for somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 damage, or blow snots on a single enemy, lowering his armor but dealing zero damage. Whoopty-****ing-do. Simply put, Rigwarl is not an initiator. This should be an immediate red flag.

Even so, initiating is not enough. Tanks have to provide the enemies an incentive to try to punch through their higher HP and armor. Axe doesn't give them a choice: like it or not, when Axe's disable goes off, the enemies will attack Axe. Even after that, if Axe targets heroes, it triggers creep aggro, and they can trigger Counter Helix as well, which increases Axe's damage output. Centaur also has a trick up his sleeve: namely, Double Edge. A 400 point nuke is nothing to sneeze at: especially when it's a 400 point nuke with a ministun that's on a mere 12 second cooldown. Simply put, Centaur's potential burst damage alone makes him a threat. Even better, as he gets attacked, he has scaling damage by way of Return. Without items, Bristleback has Quill Spray and that's about it. True, Quill Spray becomes significant over time, but if that's all Bristleback is bringing, he can largely be ignored in favor of scarier heroes. This is another immediate red flag.

Okay, enough with the pig bashing; after all, since I'm writing a guide about him, clearly he can do something well. Indeed he can: when it comes to chasing down fleeing heroes, it's no contest. Axe might be able to hit with a Culling Beard before the hero runs away, but beyond that, he has to hope to get lucky with Dagger (which includes being lucky enough to be able to use it in the first place). Same deal with Centaur: it's not a particularly good situation. Rigwarl, on the other hand, absolutely ****ing shines in this situation. Not only does he have Viscous Nasal Goo to slow enemies down, but each time he casts a spell, he gets faster. With two spells with a low mana cost and cooldown, clearly it's Rigwarl's job to spam. And as he does so, he moves faster and faster and hits harder and harder. That's not the job of a tank. Rigwarl's AoE presence - especially combined with a Radiance - adds up to a significant damage output. His speed allows him to stay mobile, avoiding retaliation as he applies constant pressure via spammable spells. And then when the battle breaks off and heroes try to run for it, Rigwarl can gun them down.

Remember how I said the intended purpose of the Bristleback skill wasn't to tank? This is where the ability really comes into play. Okay, you've chased down the hero and clubbed him like a baby seal. What now? Well, you're likely facing retaliation. You have no disable and no escape mechanism other than running. So, you run. And now that your back is turned, Bristleback is there to save your ***. And that, my friends, is Bristleback's lovely synergy: strong AoE presence via ever-increasing damage, spell spamming to reduce enemy armor and speed while increasing his own speed, and then damage reduction while retreating to live to tell about it.

All this having been said, being flexible is what DotA is all about. With that in mind, there actually can be particular situations where tanking is in Rigwarl's best interests. This mostly depends, however, on team composition. If you have one of the proverbial "hard carries" - Phantom Assassin, Troll Warlord and Faceless Void obviously come to mind immediately - playing more of a supporting/tank role will probably yield better results. Don't underestimate your own damage output, though: with just a Radiance and Quill Sprays, Rigwarl can do upwards of 1000 DPS in team fights. That having been said, Mortred can do that much in a single swing and in such a case, she's almost certainly the better carry. Your job is then to farm up your Radiance as usual and just try to draw as much fire as you can. But even so, you're not "tanking" by soaking up damage: you're tanking by drawing fire and running interference. At the most, Rigwarl is a hybrid carry/tank that leans heavily toward the former.

Quod erat demonstrandum, *****es.

The Skinny on the Fat

Strength 22 + 2.2

Agility 17 + 1.8

Intelligence 14 + 2.8

Attack Animation 0.6 / 0.3

Damage 52 - 62

Casting Animation 0.5 / 0.51

Armor 3.4

Move Speed 295

Missile Speed Instant

Attack Range 100 (melee)

Sight Range 1800 / 800

Skill Build

1 - Quill Spray/Bristleback
2 - Bristleback/Quill Spray
3 - Quill Spray
4 - Bristleback
5 - Quill Spray
6 - Warpath
7 - Quill Spray
8 - Bristleback
9 - Bristleback
10 - Viscous Nasal Goo
11 - Warpath
12 - Viscous Nasal Goo
13 - Viscous Nasal Goo
14 - Viscous Nasal Goo
15 - Stats
16 - Warpath
17-25 - Stats

Item Build

Without question, immediately buy yourself:

As a melee hero who doesn't pack the highest HP, two sets of Tangoes are an absolute must. Spend the rest of your gold on some combination of the following:

If you have absolutely no idea what you're doing, buy yourself two Circlets and turn them into Bracers. Buying Gauntlets to work toward an Urn is also an option, but the best overall starting build is definitely three Branches and a Quelling Blade. The Branches give good early stats and set you on the path toward a Magic Wand, and the Quelling Blade helps ensure that you get as many last hits as humanly possible. Rigwarl absolutely needs a Radiance to be relevant, and the Quelling Blade helps make sure you get there.

Core Build

Rigwarl's core is pretty simple, with only very slight alterations:

Simply put, Magic Wand is too good. It does everything you want it to do without getting girls pregnant. A couple charges keeps you in lane longer and guarantees you'll be able to cast the spell you need.

Obviously, you'll need Boots, but Rigwarl is fairly unique in that any of the three main choices of footwear are viable on him. Treads is generally the preferred choice as it's cheap to build, provides much-needed HP and is the only one that allows your damage to scale. That having been said, Phase Boots are fairly cheap as well and give the highest boost to speed when you activate them. However, casting your spells removes the buff, making this less-than-optimal. Boots of Travel, on the other hand, give a huge movement speed bonus and allows you to Town Portal to your heart's content. That having been said, they're by far the most expensive option and you absolutely need to get Radiance ASAP. Unless you're farming unusually well, I recommend sticking with Treads.

You may have noticed I didn't mention Arcane Boots in the above paragraph. Sure, Arcane Boots seem cool, but in reality they're like the kid who used to always steal my crayons when he thought I wasn't looking. He turned out to be gay.

Rigwarl is also a great candidate for an Urn. The Strength bonus, of course, is always welcome. More than that, the mana regeneration is especially good on Rigwarl. As he levels up, Rigwarl gets a fairly large mana pool thanks to his high Intelligence growth, and the higher your mana pool, the better percentage-based regeneration gets. Also never underestimate the power of its charges. Having your own portable Healing Salve machine can be incredibly powerful, enabling you to quickly recover from ganks. Remember, you're carrying: you need to farm your *** off.

Radiance comes straight out of the "no ****" files for Rigwarl. It not only turns a decent farmer into an excellent one, but enables you to deal large amounts of damage and piss people off just by being there. It's effective against images, invisibility, backtalk, you name it. Spam your spells, boost your speed, and light **** on fire.

The big surprise, however, is the Orb of Venom. At a measly 450 gold, it transforms Rigwarl from a good chaser to a ******edly awesome chaser. What's better than a stackable slow? A big slow that disables Dagger! As long as you can manage a single melee attack every four seconds, you can pretty much make sure that an enemy hero can never escape unless you let him.

Remember, though, you're almost always going to be the carry. Your job is to get into a position to carry. Therefore, depending on the lineup - or whether or not you have a teammate who can do it better - you may require a detour:

Hood is solid and keeps you from having to retreat quite so often. Nonetheless, your job is to build yourself up and spam your spells, and this is a diversion from that.

Bracers are also always a consideration. If you are doing poorly, stacking one or two Bracers to enhance your survivability is always a welcome addition.

Remember, you need Radiance...unless your life depends on it, in which case you might need a Hood or a Bracer

Then What?

For the most part, Rigwarl can whup enough *** with just the above items without even needing an actual Orb effect. Nonetheless, if you're trying to pull your best Leoric impression (by balling out of control), the following may be up to your speed:

Assault Cuirass is a pretty logical followup. More attack speed is good, more armor is great, and less armor for your enemies is even better. Depending on how much anti-Armor you have on your team, however, the other items may be much better for you.

At first, seeing Heart as an extension might seem like a curious pick. After all, I laid out why Rigwarl isn't really a tank. However, there's more to it than meets the eye. Huge amounts of HP and damage are obviously very good. However, Heart also has great synergy with Bristleback. Remember, Bristleback is there to help you chase people down and live to tell about it. Once you use your superior speed to get away, Heart is there to get you back to fighting shape in no time. Less than a minute later, it's like you never even felt it. After farming your core, this is almost always the first luxury you should get.

As for a Skadi, well, why the **** not? You're already getting an Orb of Venom. Skadi has great stats all over the place. And I assure you: if you play Rigwarl to his potential, it's entirely possible to have your entire core and any two of these three items. If you can't win at this point...well, at least you know you're a tasty meal.

Farm Your Ass Off

Always remember: odds are, you're carrying. As such, 100% of your efforts should be dedicated to getting into a position to take over the game as quickly as possible. Farm, farm, farm. Let your teammates babysit, ward and gank. Unless there's a damn compelling reason (such as your teammates setting up a gank for you), farm that rice! If you really want to go hog wild, why not set yourself up to make it possible?

The Piggy Dance

Rigwarl's combination of high speed and lowering the speed of his opponents allows for some extremely cheap (and funny) possibilities.

While I can't make a video for you (since I forget to save replays and I have the artistic talent of a blind schizophrenic), the concepts are easy enough to follow and hey, practice makes perfect, right?

As I said before, your job is to isolate and eliminate. To further that end, or to simply run interference, all one needs to do is spam your spells. While doing so, you go faster and faster while they go slower and slower. Simply dance out of their range and let your Radiance and Quill Spray damage do the trick. With such simple tactics, you can easily frustrate most melee heroes (and hard carries, even) to no end, rendering them largely ineffective! Ursa's DPS doesn't mean a damn thing if he can't close on you. Even carries with a fairly short attack range (such as Harbinger) can be stymied in this way. While this doesn't work with all heroes (Nightstalker at night, anybody?) it's effective enough that it creates a lose-lose situation: either way, you win.


I would like to state that i did no part in writing this guide, all of the above are taken from a guide from playdota.com, all i intend is to port this wonderful guide over to dotafire.com so that it is accessible too all DotA 2 fans out there.

Credit for writing this guide goes to Zotmaster from playdota.com

Thank you for viewing and i hope you enjoyed the guide.

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