This guide is for those of you playing low level pubs (like myself). By low level I mean there's very little cooperation between players, rather than no individual skill. If you typically don't get the hard lane to yourself or are paired with non-supports in the laning phases then you might wanna try this build out.
There are basically two ways to build Bristle: The Vanguard way and the 'alternative to Vanguard way'. I've put examples of these builds in 'build 2' and 'build 3' above.
The items that makes Bristle a beast is Assault Cuirass and both these builds delay that item for far too long.
Why AC's amazing on bristle?
Treads and Arcane boots are really expensive and delay your Assault Cuirass. The armour and heal from Tranquils make you nice and tanky. It's the cheap alternative to getting a ring of health... whether you plan on putting it in a Hood of Defiance or a Vanguard. Whilst your Tranquils are on you can still use quills to last hit.
A single bracer provides 114HP and 39 Mana. So two of these bad boys gives you 228 HP which is quite close to the 250HP you get from a Vitality Booster, but wait, there's more!!! The 39 Mana is perfect for Bristle's low cost spells, Goo using 30 and Quill Spray using 35. Two Bracers are also 50 gold cheaper than a Vitality booster and add 18 to your attack... which is nice. The buildup is also really nice. Cheap. Easy. There just really isn't much of an argument.
The problem with choosing Tranquils over Treads is the lack of attack speed it provides so we need to get this item ASAP. This usually isn't too hard as you've probably gotten a kill or assist at this point. You definitely shouldn't have died unless you were taken out by a really good gank. Before reaching level 6 you will have around 1000HP, 8 armour, a stout shield and one level in Bristleback (the ability, not the hero)... you are not easy to kill.
I think I've already sufficiently explained the benefit of an AC on Bristleback, but seriously... Bristle getting an AC should be like Tidehunter getting his Blink Dagger or Antimage getting his Battlefury.
Once you've gotten Chainmail or Platemail you can sell your Stout Shield.
Black King Bar
Obviously BKB isn't essential to every hero in every game BUT on strength carries/semi-carries it is AMAZING. Even if you don't use it all that often it still adds a lot to your attack and health, so why not.
Heart of Tarrasque
Obviously once you've gotten this item your are a tank through and through, so it's pretty much your end goal, BUT depending on your opponents picks you may want to delay Heart and buy one of the items listed below first.
Evasion is really nice for surviving those hard hitting right clickers, and Disarm hurts them like a silence hurts intelligence heroes.
Hood of Defiance/Pipe of Insight
If you are facing crazy amounts of magic damage that comes from the likes of glass cannons such as Zeus, Skywrath and Leshrac then you need this item. Otherwise Bristleback (the ability) reduces magic damage and in most situations you should be okay. If the team needs it and you see that nobody else on your team is a good carrier of the item or able to afford it then go for it.
This is NOT a definitive guide for Bristleback. I actually just wanted to put the build up, but I felt like some of the items needed explaining. Try the build, if it doesn't work then downvote this guide to oblivion. It's unlikely I'll change anything to do with the build as it's kind of experimental, making it similar to a generic Bristle build defeats the point.
Feel free to point out any Dota mechanic mistakes, spelling errors or areas of confusion.
Thanks for Reading
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