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Bristle's Mango Lassi Build

September 11, 2015 by Tirolone
Comments: 28    |    Views: 120346    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

All good items Rigwarl can have

DotA2 Hero: Bristleback

Purchase Order

Starting Items

Core Items

Against magical damage

Ways to help with mana issues

Against physical damage

Agressive path

Hero Skills

Viscous Nasal Goo

2 12 13 14

Quill Spray

1 3 5 7


4 8 9 10


6 11 16


15 17 18


NOTE: This guide isn't pretty. If you don't like ugly writing, please don't read.

Hello and welcome to my Bristleback guide. Im Tirolone, you can look me up in doto as Goku or Tirolone.

Firstly, if you never played Bristleback and are looking for some initial help or item build, this is not the guide for you. There are plenty other good Bristleback guides in dotafire to satisfy you in this way ok, for example the guide named Scratch my back?, by fabioisonfire. There you go, a nice colourful guide, easy to read, giving you everything you need to know in order to start with Bristleback. My intention with this guide is to talk about things I didn't find in other guides.

However, the guide structure in dotafire requires item and skill builds, and in fact it's good to put one here so I can talk from that.

In this guide I write about all the possible items I ever succesfully used for Bristleback, but not focusing on a specific item build. I recently celebrated my 400 matches with Bristleback, and let me tell you, I don't have a unique formula for this fellow. And I think I should never have. This is due to his item versatility in-game.

He and his team can, most of the time, benefit from a Hood of Defiance early on, so I putted it in the core items section. However, the players' capacity to change plans about items to purchase is essential with Bristleback, as it is with most heroes, actually. I will further discuss this matter in the Item Build chapter.

As I was saying, I don't intend to focus on item builds, but in playability. This is because I see a lot of people talking about how some heroes with fewer active abilities are 'noob heroes', although it's so hard to see a good Bristleback, Viper or Wraith King in DotA. I believe the reason for that is that there is so much more to this game than master the hero skills and item builds. Thats the whole reason I wrote this guide, to talk about other things. After all, there are many item build focused guides here already, as I said before.

Bristle Thinking: To tank or not to tank?

As the title suggests, this chapter purpose is to make you think about the essence of this hero. Bristleback is, after all, a porcupine. And a porcupine is an animal that uses its defense mecanism to stay alive. That being said, you must turn your back to enemies' harass! The more and better you manage to do that, the better you are with this hero. Not only your life depends on it, but also your damage dealing potential, because Bristleback allows you to passively Quill Spray for every 250 damage you take from the rear, so let's make use of it.

But being a porcupine is more complex than that. When I started playing as Bristleback, I thought that if I'm a porcupine, perhaps it's better if I take the harass instead of my allies, right? That's why me and you may think it's better to purchase armor and magic reduction instead of evasion and a Black King Bar, because if you evade attacks you won't Quill Spray passively, and if you got magic immunity the enemies will hit your allies instead of you. Right?

On the other hand, I eventually came across some teamfights in which I simply couldn't tank all that damage. The old porcupine way of life, that tank-and-leave-with-low-life-and-allow-my-team-to-kill-them-all playstyle wouldn't fit. So, In that case, I had to think differently. Maybe I should get a Black King Bar, and try to kill the squishy heroes before dying. I'm talking about that game in which you are no longer the glorious killer, you went from early killer to tank. (Because Bristleback doesn't empower as much as carriers do through the game)

So, there comes a time when you realize there are different porcupines in life, and you gotta decide which one you wanna be. And if you can play both, perhaps you will be able to choose one way or another as an adaptation for a specific match.

Another aspect of the porcupine is its danger. To illustrate the danger aspect, I used that image you can see at the start of this chapter.

There's an "ona pintada" (a small brazilian tiger) dealing with a porcupine. The thing is, for the little tiger, that encounter isn't actually a fight you see, it's just fun. For the porcupine, on the other hand, its performance will determine its life or death.

My point here is that Bristleback isn't a carry, and shouldn't deal with other carrys, because he doesn't fit there. But Bristleback can help an allied carry get a kill, save a hurt ally, kill a squishy support hero, slowing, intimidating with the potential damage from Quill Spray, and so on...

That being said, I don't think of Bristleback as a potential carry, but as a hero to be sacrificed in order for the team to achieve victory. And that's the whole point of the picture there, I imagine that "ona pintada" getting some quills on its mouth and paws, and thinking to itself "oww man, that pig sure looks tasty, but I think I'll try something softer for breakfast next time". It's not a real danger for the carrys, but they know it's not good to be around Bristleback for too long, because it can give some trouble.

After they released that compendium item for Bristleback, I've seen many players trying to make a true carry out of Bristleback. And it's duable, they wreck early and mid game, depending on the enemies it goes against. But I don't think Bristleback benefits as much as a carry does from items, so I avoid doing the carry role. More and more, I started assuring my carry mate get the kills instead of getting them, also leaving some ancients hurt for them to finish. That's a porcupine I believe to be greater.

Starting Items and Laning Play Style

In this chapter I describe how I like to lane. I'm sorry it is an ugly text block, but I couldn't manage to do any better in this case. If you wanna know how I lane, read. If you have your own laning way and are fine with it, skip this chapter.

My play style as Bristleback involves detecting noobs on the lane early on. Why? Because if a noob is discovered soon, he can become a victim, a source of farm, a feeder, perhaps during the whole game. And let's be honest, we all want fairplay but preying on the weak is a wonderful way to farm.

So, those items serve me very well for this purpose. Basically, I have a Stout Shield, that diminishes creep and hero harass, one Tango for the healing and two Enchanted Mango, for healing and mana issues.

That's why this build is called Mango Lassi Build, because of a typical Indian drink called Mango Lassi, which I like very much! Here goes an image of the drink, as well as a Mango Lassi Recipe, if you fancy for it!

But why so many Enchanted Mango you wonder? Thing is, most people know that when a Bristleback comes Quill Spraying at level one, he probably won't have enough mana to actually kill you, unless he's got company.

But if you have a Enchanted Mango to spend, well... Sir, let me tell you, it's splendid to have a double kill at level one or two. Thats when you detect the noobs. If an enemy receives a Quill Spray from you and stays in the lane, and doesn't backs off, that's the first warning you have of his noobness. In that case, start chasing and right clicking and quillin (no Viscous Nasal Goo if you are level one, right) until he dies.

Sometimes the enemy is so noob that he thinks he can kill you. Sometimes he's got company and in that case you need plan B for noob detection, which is even more fun.

It's a form or art really, what takes place in that case. Requires some practice, and it's not suited for the weak-hearted. Basically, you need to encourage the enemies to kill you, backing off and advancing again with a Quill Spray and a right click, over and over again. If you're lucky enough to get two noobs on the lane, you can actually get a double kill.

Another nice thing that can happen is you may get one noob only, but the other one is a lifesaver, you know? hahaha! Bristleback loves the lifesavers! That can also get you a double kill, ok.

Now, if you got no noob on the lanes, that's something Bristleback is great at finding out too. If the enemy receives one Quill Spray and backs off, making it impossible for you to give him a second quill until the first one expires, well... they know your deal. In that case, those starting items are also very good, because you can suggest your lane partner to go help the carry allied hero, making a trilane, and with the Tango and the two Enchanted Mango you can heal enough to hold the hardlane alone.

In that case, as you probably won't kill anyone (unless they noob right! remember, you got area of effect early game, this is neat!), you can use your mana to farm, last hitting with Quill Spray.

You can also scare them away with Quill Spray, and also get the passive ability, Bristleback, to take less damage in case they are smarties.

I'm sorry to write about playability in the starting items section, but as I said, this guide focus playability. I'll do this all the time. Closing the starting items section, I just wanna say that I don't think those items are very good for Bristleback ok, I'm just saying that it works for me, so if you choose to try this way, I think it can get the job done if you play this style.

Core Items

About the core items, I chose Power Treads and Hood of Defiance. Well... I've been using various builds, and sometimes it works. The thing is, although the items vary a lot, Power Treads and Hood of Defiance tend to be the most frequent items I purchase.

As I was saying in the introduction, it's important to notice that Bristleback is a versatile hero, so while playing as Bristleback one shouldn't try to get a single build to use in all matches, because then this player wouldn't be using a nice aspect of Bristleback, which is his flexibility for different in-game necessities.

By In-game, I mean that not only by thinking about the picks should Bristleback players adapt their build, but also during the game. For example, it is possible that if you Bristleback against a team filled with magic damage dealers, and you go for Hood of Defiance instead of Vanguard on the early game, your Hood or Defiance proves itself less worthy than a Vanguard would. But why? Due to these in-game variables, which can be hard to predict. For instance, in the example I created, filled with magic dealer enemies, theoretically Hood of Defiance would be a good choice, but maybe these magic dealers suck, and you won't actually need an early Hood. In that case, you could save cash for a more suitable item. In that case sometimes I rush an Assault Cuirass (if the game allows), in my opinion a fundamental item for Bristleback. But like I said before, things CAN change, those lame magicians can start giving you trouble, and you may eventually need that Hood of Defiance, even a Pipe of Insight maybe. And so on.

Another Item I often use as core is a Medallion of Courage, because it helps me with mana, gives some armor, which is always a good thing for Bristleback, gives opportunity for a kill, with an armor debuff, and perhaps the most important part, it leads you to Solar Crest, which is a very piece of equipment for our dear Porcupine, as will be described later. In the past months I've been purchasing more and more often the Medallion of Courage, not finishing the Hood of Defiance, staying with only the Ring of Health for a long time.

In rare cases, I purchase a Ring of Health, but don't need Vanguard or Hood of Defiance. In that case I often get a Void Stone, because Perseverance is a nice item do carry. It will solve all your mana issues, and can be disassembled.


So, about the boots. Ive seen every boot with Bristleback, every one of them.

My experience is: If you can, get Power Treads. You can change it to Intelligence to replenish some mana, change it to Strenght to tank and heal, and it gives you attack speed, which is very nice for this hero.

You can also get Arcane Boots, I get it sometimes. When? Well, when you realize your team will benefit from your Arcane Boots, and you don't have Crystal Maiden nor Keeper of the Light in your team to give you mana, and you know you wont be able to build up as semi-carry because there are too many carriers in your team already. And if the plan works, if the mana you give yourself and your allies help them, and you achieve some kills, you can even get Guardian Greaves, which is also nice for a Support/Tank Bristleback.

Now, about Phase Boots. Its great to have the extra damage, it costs a little less than Power Treads, and it gives you a move speed boost. The thing is, the move speed boost from Phase Boots doesn't stack with the move speed boost from your ultimate. As sometimes I tend to use Quill Spray to run faster, Phase Boots can be used effectively to save mana. If you aren't in a fight, use Phase Boots. Even if you're chasing someone, you can use it before Viscous Nasal Goo. When you get near a foe, Viscous Nasal Goo him up and start Quillin and hittin. Then, you must count on your ultimate charges.

I've also seen some people using Tranquil Boots, but I never used it, so I can't really say anything about it ok. Sorry.

About Boots of Travel, It's very nice for late game. That's because Bristleback tend to get weak in comparison to other heroes at the late game, so if you feel you can no longer do much good in teamfights, with Boots of Travel you can defend and take towers with ease instead of fighting heroes.


As soon as possible, if possible even before Power Treads or Arcane Boots, I try to get a hold on a Ring of Health, to stay alive.

Morbid Mask also works for some players, but as I described before, my play style includes less hitting and more Quill Spray and running back and forward, so the health regeneration over time, specially in early game, is more suitable for me than lifesteal. After all, when you hit for lifesteal, you're facing the enemy and not using your Bristleback block potential. From the Ring of Health, most of the time I build up either a Hood of Defiance or a Vanguard.

When I started playing Bristleback, there was no Crimson Guard. That, and the fact that Bristleback generally suffers more from magical damage in the early game, made me go for Hood of Defiance more often than for Vanguard. After Crimson Guard, Vanguard became a more interesting option, once you can turn it into a stronger item instead of selling it after it becomes insignificant. In other words, I'm saying that although I try to be versatile and think about the game needs, most games I Purchase a Hood of Defiance with the Ring of Health.

Look at the damage you are taking and may take in the near future to choose between the Hood of Defiance or Vanguard, or who knows, a Linken's Sphere or even a Battle Fury ?? (I saw a Bristleback wreck the house with Battle Fury once! Strange as hell, but anyway, we're all free, right)

To choose between those, you can simply look at the enemies picks, and think about each skill they got, paying attention to the source of damage those skills inflict. My playing experience tells me that even if you got little magical damage sources from your enemies, a Hood of Defiance won't be a total waste. It's easier for a Vanguard to be a little off than the Hood of Defiance.

But it is surely a hard choice to make, because a Crimson Guard can also be a very nice item for the team. Maybe my preference for Hood of Defiance is due to the fact that I like to initiate teamfights, giving the enemies chance for a skill (I show up, use Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray, then quickly turn around and tank the skill with Bristleback).

But it depends, when the enemy harass is mostly physical, Vanguard is excellent. Let's say I chose a Hood of Defiance instead of a Vanguard for 75% of the matches. And you may suggest, why not take both? Well, you can, and sometimes it's a good option. But it can be a waste of time and money. Many games in which I purchased both Hood of Defiance and Vanguard, I tanked a lot but did no damage at all, and had no mana at all. So, here's your problems, you also need mana and attack speed, not just health and damage block, unless you choose to go a full tanker Bristleback.

In that case, you may very well get Arcane Boots, Vanguard, Hood of Defiance, Platemail, then Pipe of Insight or Crimson Guard, or both, then Assault Cuirass] or [[Shiva's Guard, or/and Guardian Greaves ok, whatever suits you best.

Mana Issues

Bristleback needs mana. If he can't Goo or Quill, Bristleback time is out.So, let's think about mana items that go well for Bristleback.

When I get a Crystal Maiden on my team (hello beautiful gf!)I usually get something that gives me 25% or 50% mana regen and that's about all I need. Another hero that can help is Keeper of the Light, but he must use his skill to replenish your mana, and some players let me down sometimes because they dont read chat messages or dont give a sh** about your mana.

The reason I started with the Enchanted Mangos was my lack of mana during the first levels, as the early game is a powerful moment for Bristleback. I encourage everyone to try different mana sources for Bristleback and tell me about it.

Anyway, when you got no mana assistance, you will need items that give from 75% to 100% mana regeneration. 150% regen is enough to spam Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo without probIems, but if you learn how to save mana, 75% is enough. In this guide I put many item options for mana because generally I purchase items that give me more than just mana regen or mana pool or intelligence, because we got only 6 slots right..

One of my favorite mana solvers is Medallion of Courage into Solar Crest, because it gives me so much things I need, for a not-so-high cost. The issue here is that in many cases you can save mana if you want. Of course that if you can spam Quills and Goo all match long, that will grant you more farm and kills. But for this section, I'll put my foot down that Bristleback needs from 50% to 100% mana regen from items.

You can get items that grant you mana pool or intelligence, instead of only mana regen. I don't know how much intelligence you will need to have enough mana regen though. Some items have more mana than you need, such as Shiva's Guard. It's a very nice item, but that 2700 Mystic Staff can be hard to farm in some situations, and isn't quite my aim for Bristleback. When I need armor and mana, I usually go for Solar Crest, not Shiva's Guard.

Defense Options

Bristleback already has his passive ability, called Bristleback, that gives him a lot of damage reduction, 40% when he receives damage from his back and 20% from the sides.

Thing is, some players don't get much armor for him because of that passive ability. My way of playing Bristleback, however, involves getting more armor, because I like to tank. With more armor, I can do my Bristleback dance (going back and forth while spamming his two active abilities and hitting whenever possible) for a longer time before dying, and that gives me enough time to stack many Quill Spray charges on the enemies, dealing lots of damage.

That's why I ask myself which are the damage sources and if those sources are magical, physical or pure, and work my items from that analysis.

Against physical damage I make armor and evasion. For that purpose, my favorites are Solar Crest and Assault Cuirass. As Vanguard doesn't scale as much, i only go for it when necessary. Solar Crest, however, grants that beautiful active ability, granting evasion and armor for allies, or taking armor from enemies as well as making them miss some hits. And Assault Cuirass is good all match long, for you and for your allies. Let me describe other sources of damage, and then I'll get back with these two TOP items for Bristleback ok?

Against magical damage I make Hood of Defiance, Black King Bar , Pipe of Insight, Linken's Sphere, which solves mana issues and gives you the possibility to protect your allies from magic for some time, and also items that give me health, such as Heart of Tarrasque.

Against pure damage, all one can do is boost the health pool, so Heart of Tarrasque and Satanic (if you fancy for some lifesteal) can be a good choice.

Now, as my Bristleback is a tanker Gimli, I'll write a little more about those armor items and how they play for me ok.

For armor, the items I choose depends on the situation. If I feel that I could kill someone early game with some help, and no one is helping, I go for Medallion of Courage.

If I need a little mana regen and little armor in the begining, I buy a Ring of Basilus. Helm of the Dominator can also be nice, because it gives armor, life regen, that creep control, that can be used to debomb techies, or as a living ward, or for stacking and pulling creeps. Anyway, it's a nice item that can be upgraded into Satanic later. I don't purchase Helm of the Dominator nor Satanic oftenly, but I've seen it working and It does the job ok. Just not as much for my play style.

But of course, the master of defense AND offense is the Assault Cuirass. It gives attack speed, which is amazing because Bristleback ultimate ability already gives him damage and move speed. That ultimate, along with the armor and move speed debuff from Viscous Nasal Goo, makes Bristleback one step from becoming a great mid game killer. And that step is getting attack speed. So, as Assault Cuirass gives attack speed, armor, an armor aura for your allies and an armor debuff for the enemies... Damn, enough reading man, just get an Assault Cuirass and lets wipe the floor with the enemies guts!!!

Talking a little about my preferences, I usually purchase Plate Mail to solve my early and mid game armor needs, and later on decide whether I'll purchase an Assault Cuirass with it (most games, because it's a perfect item for Bristleback), or keep the Plate Mail for some time and later on, purchase a Lotus Orb with it (an item that fits perfectly my play style and definitely solves mana problems, BUT can be bad if you dive too much to get it working and die too much in the process of trying to look berserker). hehe that's me!

A good thing to do is to use Lotus Orb mainly in your teammates, to remove a negative effect, such as a stun from Mirana. You should use Lotus Orb agressively on yourself only if you got a high tanking capacity already. And of course, there's the basic nice way to use it, which is using on yourself as a defense mechanism.

Blended Items

Some items (my favorites from the list I made in the item build list) gives Bristleback many things he needs at once. Those items are more frequently chosen because they solve or help solving more than one of Bristleback problems.

And while a carry hero don't have to worry much about expenses, Bristleback generally should do so, and those items I call Blended Items work for him that way. Let's put those Blended dears here then:

Hood of Defiance grants Bristleback that much needed health regen for the early game, as well as magic damage reduction (remember that a tanker should almost always worry about magic damage, because many physical damage dealer heroes also have magic damage skills, while magic nukers usually don't have significant physical damage sources). And why no lifesteal early on? Because it leeches only a percentage of you attack damage, and that's not much until mid game or so. And I like to dive for the kill early, very early! By early I mean from level 1 to 11. Then I start to get a little careful, because the enemies are pissed and strong. Or... they are pissed and dead, in that case you break the throne hueheue

Another blended item for Bristleback is Solar Crest , because it gives you evasion, armor, mana regen, can be used to remove armor from an enemy to ease a kill, be used in a physical damage dealer enemy to make him miss its attacks for a short duration, and can also be used to give armor and evasion to an ally. So, it's a very versatile item. If Solar Crest granted attack speed too, it would be the perfect item for Bristleback. But don't worry, you have five more slots to solve that :)

Another blended item is Vladmir's Offering , giving you and your allies various auras, helping with mana regen, life regen, armor, lifesteal, and giving a damage boost. It's a good item to get for Bristleback, even for me that don't trust lifesteal very much for Bristleback. It goes nice with the Mango Lassi Build ok, I don't buy it too often but its legit.

And of course, again, as a godly blended item, Assault Cuirass. It gives armor, an armor aura, takes armor from enemies also in an area of effect, and gives aura attack speed. Fits like a glove.

Octarine Core

Hey, here we go, as k-zio asked, and PR30 commented about the item, I'll talk about it a little.

By the time this item appeared in DotA 2, everybody wanted to use it for every possible hero. And many people started using it with Bristleback as well.

Today, as PR30 suggested, I played a match using the build he suggested, being Power Treads, Vanguard and then Octarine Core, and well, it was kinda nice!

So, after all, I changed the way I thought about Octarine Core, and here's what I think now:

As PR30 said, Octarine Core is a way to be more useful in the late game. However, it's not awesome to get asap, and it doesn't make Bristleback an excellent hero for late game, because Bristleback isnt supposed to carry. So, in late game, he's just a semi-carry, even with the purple ball :(

I didn't like to rush the item right after Power Treads and Vanguard, because I had no mana at all to kill heroes, so the only thing I could do was FARM! And I don't like to avoid teamfights and farm when I play Bristleback, unless it's extremely necessary. So I generally get something for mana, such as Medallion of Courage.

So, I don't think I will rush Octarine Core with Bristleback, ever again.


PR30 has got a point: Octarine Core helps Bristleback in the late game!

So, If you went tank or support all match long, and have a Solar Crest or Assault Cuirass you can just get an Octarine Core, before the Radiance or Skull Basher, to get more into the late game.

You will get even tankier, and spam even more Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo. I usually go for Power Treads, Solar Crest, Assault Cuirass, then Heart of Tarrasque, then game is over. If it's not, I try to get Radiance before we break the throne.

But now, thanks to PR30, I will sometimes purchase Octarine Core instead of Heart of Tarrasque, and repeat the process in a large number of matches, to get a better view of this item with Bristleback.

Basically, before Octarine Core there was no way to upgrade the Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo, so Bristleback players used his abilities to kill a lot before the late game, so that they could get some expensive carry items that goes well with tankers, such as Radiance. Now, with Octarine Core, Bristleback can get lower cooldowns from his abilities, getting him a little more into the late game.

Thank you PR30, for your constructive suggestion!

Agressive Path

When Bristleback is able to work his way through the early game succesfully, he can try to purchase some agressive stuff to get him into the path of the semi-carry.

Surely he isn't a hero that benefits from the costy items as much as a carry, and that's why I often prefer to buy items that helps the other allies kill and farm. In other words, my Bristleback style involves killing more in the early and mid game, to get my low cost core items ( Power Treads, Hood of Defiance and Solar Crest, for example) and then help my allies achieve victory. But many things can happen in a match.

For example, sometimes the carry is too nuked and killed a lot, and get no farm at all. Sometimes Bristleback is, at the mid game, the most capable hero to achieve a kill, after all. In this case, it may be a good idea to purchase an agressive item.

If your team needs a stun, Skull Basher can be a good choice. If you are already doing fine as you are, don't need anything in particular, but are afraid of dying with too much money in your wallet, Sange and Yasha can be a good choice.

Radiance is a good item, if you are kinda tanky already. And recently they added an evasion rate of 17% for Radiance, making it an even more Bristly item.

If you got some health regen already or lifesteal, Armlet of Mordiggian can be a good choice, it turns you into a Frenzy Bristler!

Desolator is also nice, because it stacks with your Viscous Nasal Goo, helping you killing easily, and helping your allies killing too. It also helps breaking towers. When I get Assault Cuirass, I like to get Daedalus after, because it makes me hit fast and hard!

Butterfly is another blended item, that grants evasion, attack speed, some damage and a move speed buff. People sometimes don't like it when I try to get Butterfly on pub games, but it actually works ok. Try and tell me about it. IMPORTANT: I'm not saying that if you're playing semi carry Bristleback you should get Butterfly ok, all I'm saying is that you shouldn't close your eyes for the items that give you things you may need, because you may come across a match that "asks" for an unusual item , and if that happens, if you have your eyes shut for different builds, you will always be less than you could be as a player.

And, if you went straight through the agressive path, like vampires, got damage, atack speed and a Helm of the Dominator, Satanic is the item of choice for you, because it will give you a big health pool without taking you off the frenzy berserker's path.

Using your abilities

Firstly, let's talk about Quill Spray. I like to get it at level one, then at level three, and max it as soon as I can, because it's his bread and butter (in the playing style described here).

Quill Spray can be used to scare enemies that are aware that if you stack many charges of Quill Spray in them they will take high damage. It can also be used to farm, if you can spare the mana. But let's not forget the main purpose of this skill, which is DAMAGING and KILLING.

So, when you play Bristleback, you don't simply spam Quill Spray like an idiot ok, you use it wisely, considering your mana pool, the number of stacks on your enemies, and the opportunities those stacks grant you.

Sometimes it's wiser not to use Quill Spray at all, and only use Viscous Nasal Goo instead, for example, when you know the enemy can't escape in the next seconds and no one else will come to aid this enemy. In that case, you slow him down and kill him with your right clicks.

Situation number two (the porcupine who knows its place): If you can't spare the mana for both the Quill Sprays AND the Viscous Nasal Goos, or when some carry ally is going for the kill, in that case it's better to just slow and remove armor from the enemy with Viscous Nasal Goo, giving the kill to the carry, as he will make better use of the money than you.

About Viscous Nasal Goo: It gives an armor debuff and a move slow on the enemy, so it's a very valuable skill for the team. And there comes the detail... As I just described, usually, in the early and mid game (which is Bristleback shining time, Bristleback won't have enough mana to spam both Viscous Nasal Goo AND Quill Spray, so you must decide if it's more important to slow and armor debuff the foe or deal some more damage.

And at last, but not less important, a nice porcupine must know how to use his back! Bristleback It's simple: When you see someone will nuke you, turn around to block some damage from it. You can also farm neutral camps standing with your back turned to them while they hit you, releasing passive quills and taking almost no damage (after you got some tanky stuff, such as Medallion of Courage or Vanguard or Hood of Defiance

That makes Bristle a very team dependant hero as well, as should be with every hero in dota2, in my opinion. And that gives Bristleback the chance to ease the game for the carriers. That's what the play style described here is all about. If you eventually get farmed, it's all good, but that's not the main objective. If you like to farm go play Anti-Mage


Basically, Bristleback can do anything in the laning phase. He can solo offlane, help a threelane protect the carry and get some kills for the carry, and also go mid, because he can do some harass, stay alive, and those extra levels will give him a very nice advantage for the early game kills.

Buuuut, as everyone else, he needs company!

Here goes some companions I already tested and aprooved:

Crystal Maiden is everything my Bristleback needs.

Here are some reasons:

she gives so much mana regeneration from Arcane Aura that a mere Ring of Basilus will do the job for Bristleback;

Frostbite is a nice stun/nuke, perfect for Bristleback to achieve an easy kill early on, because he still needs some damage and may not have enough mana for Viscous Nasal Goo enough times to make the enemy slow enough;

Her ultimate, Freezing Field, slows and deals damage, and Bristleback also have slow and damage from his abilities. Combined, the enemies get very slowed and take a lot of damage. It's amazing.

this zombie is also very porcupine friendly, because:

His Tombstone slows the enemies, so that more Quill Spray can hit them;

Also, Decay removes strenght from them, consequently life, leaving it much easier for the porcupine to finish them off.

Specially during the laning phase, Undying may choose to get a nice and easy double kill with Bristleback. All he has to do is take Decay at level one, then Tombstone at level two. Try to use Decay on two heroes simultaneousy if possible, then Bristleback starts using Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo (only if necessary, because you may need all the mana you have for Quill Spray) and place the Tombstone near them, what will slow the injured enemies, securing that Bristleback will finish them off. It's amazing.

The dear purple monkey also drink and drive with the Pubking, guys! here's why:

he has a nice Paralyzing Cask, that near enemy creeps can bounce and stun again, and again! That's about all Bristleback needs to kill someone early on (even better with a spare Enchanted Mango, of course!)

Witch Doctor can also use Maledict to boost all damage dealt, so in those cases when Bristleback can't finish the dude, purple monkey does it like Rebecca Linares!

Voodoo Restoration is also perfect because Bristleback is a tanker and dives a lot, so some healing is very handy for him.

That's it for now, dotafire community.. Soon I'll post more changes, such as more allies, an enemies section, more item reviews, and much more!

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