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Radiant Hero
22 +2.2
17 +1.8
14 +2.8
26 - 36
Base Stats
Sight Range:
1800 / 800
Attack Range:
Missile Speed:
Attack Duration:
0.3 + 0.3
Cast Duration:
0.4 + 0.51
Base Attack Time:
Magic Resistance:
Turn Rate:
Level Changes
Hit Points:
Spell Amp:
LessMost played asMore

Rigwarl, the Bristleback[edit]

Recommended Roles
Carry Carry Durable Durable Initiator Initiator Nuker Nuker

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.


Viscous Nasal Goo
Ability: Unit Target
No Target
Affects: Enemy Units
Covers a target in snot, causing it to have reduced armor and movement speed. Casts on the same target stack and refresh the duration.
Upgradeable by Aghanim's Scepter to affect all units within range.
Base Movement Slow:
Move Slow Per Stack:
Armor Loss Per Stack:
Maximum Stacks:


Cast Range:
Cast Point:
Scepter Radius:
Scepter Ability:
 3% / 6% / 9% / 12%
 1 / 1.4 / 1.8 / 2.2
 8 (Level 15 talent)
 Changes targeting type to
 No Target

 Affected By:  Blocked by Spell Immunity Blocked by Linken's Sphere and echoed by Lotus Orb Can be Dispelled
Having caught a cold while stuck in the snow, Bristleback turns it to his advantage.
  • Max movespeed slow: 32% / 44% / 56% / 68%.
  • Max movespeed slow: 136%. (Level 15 talent)
  • Max armor reduction: 4 / 5.6 / 7.2 / 8.8.
  • Max armor reduction: 17.6. (Level 15 talent)
  • The goo projectile travels at 1000 speed.
  • Blocked by Spell Immunity and Linken's Sphere.
  • Can be dispelled.
Quill Spray
Ability: No Target
Affects: Enemy Units
Damage: Physical
Sprays enemy units with quills dealing damage in an area around Bristleback. Deals extra damage for every time an enemy was recently struck by a quill. Casts on the same target stack and refresh the duration.
Base Damage:
Damage Per Stack:

Damage Cap:

 20 / 40 / 60 / 80
 30 / 32 / 34 / 36
 61 (Level 25 talent)
An enforcer's honor can be a prickly thing. So can his quills.
  • Quill spray deals damage radiating out from Bristleback at 2400 speed.
  • Cannot be dispelled.
Ability: Passive
Affects: Self
Rigwarl covers his back in spines, causing him to take reduced damage when hit from the rear or sides. Automatically releases a bonus Quill Spray of the current level each time his rear receives a damage amount up to the threshold.
Reduced Damage (Rear):
Reduced Damage (Side):
Damage Threshold:
 16% / 24% / 32% / 40%
 8% / 12% / 16% / 20%
 Affected By:   Disabled by Break Illusions gain part of this ability
Turning his back to a fight might be just the thing.
  • Does not reduce HP Cost or Tower damage.
  • Bristleback's rear is considered to be within 70 degrees from the back.
  • Bristleback's side is considered to be within 110 degrees from the back.
  • For a visual of Bristleback passive reduction areas, see here.
  • The bonus Quill Spray does not cost mana and does not have a cooldown.
  • Illusions gain the damage reduction part of this ability, not the Quill Spray bonus.
  • Disabled by Break.
Ability: Passive
Affects: Self
Every time Rigwarl casts a spell, he works himself into a fury. Movement speed and attack damage increase per stack. Repeated casts stack and each stack has an independent duration.
Movespeed Per Stack:
Damage Per Stack:
Maximum Stacks:
Stack Duration:
 3% / 4% / 5%
 20 / 25 / 30
 5 / 7 / 9
 Affected By:   Disabled by Break Illusions gain this ability
'Temper, temper,' his mum always chided. But in a fight, a temper can come in handy.
  • Maximum movement speed bonus: 15% / 28% / 45%.
  • Maximum attack damage bonus: 100 / 175 / 270.
  • Using items will not earn Warpath stacks.
  • Bristleback visually grows slightly larger per stack.
  • The bonus Quill Spray triggers from Bristleback's passive does not earn a Warpath stack.
  • Illusions benefit from the original's casts and will receive the movement speed bonus.
  • Disabled by Break.

Talent Tree[edit]

Talent Tree
+25 Quill Stack Damage 25 +30 Health Regen
-40s Respawn Time 20 +50 Attack Speed
+225 Health 15 +4 Max Goo Stacks
+2 Mana Regen 10 +8 Strength

Recommended Items[edit]

Standard Build
Starting Items Early Game Mid Game Late Game
Tango Enchanted Mango Ring of Protection Ring of Health Boots of Speed Ring of Basilius Magic Wand Power Treads Vanguard Crimson Guard Pipe of Insight Shivas Guard
Stout Shield Magic Stick

General Strategy[edit]

When it comes to a fight, Bristleback really puts his back into it. Reducing all damage arriving from the rear or from the sides, he wades into battle with barely a care, spraying enemies with damaging quills and slowing snot.


Although his spells seem very weak at first glance, Rigwarl is not to be underestimated. Quill Spray, Viscous Nasal Goo, and Warpath all provide relatively small effects when used only once, but each ability stacks when cast multiple times. Enemies of the Bristleback will soon find themselves covered in goo and shredded by constant quill fire if they aren't careful. Quill Spray deals increasing damage with each cast on the same target, and due to its low cooldown and mana cost it can be very deadly over time. When Rigwarl sees that his enemies are sufficiently weakened, he can move in for the kill with Viscous Nasal Goo. This ability slows the target and reduces their armor, increasing the damage of Quill Spray and Bristleback's physical attack and making it impossible to escape. Furthermore, casting spells puts Bristleback on the Warpath, which increases his movement and attack speeds as he uses his abilities. Bristleback's signature skill, and where he gets his name, is his near invulnerability to attacks that strike his back. All attacks and spells that come from behind him will be heavily reduced and cause additional Quill Sprays.

Skill Build[edit]

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Spell Quill Spray Bristleback Quill Spray Viscous Nasal Goo Quill Spray Warpath Quill Spray Bristleback Bristleback Talent
Level 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 25
Spell Bristleback Warpath Viscous Nasal Goo Viscous Nasal Goo Talent Viscous Nasal Goo Warpath Talent Talent

Early Game[edit]

Mid Game[edit]

Late Game[edit]

Version History[edit]

Balance Patch History
Patch Version Balance Changes[1]
  • Buff Quill Spray AoE increased from 650 to 700
  • Buff Level 15 Talent increased from +200 Health to +225
  • Buff Level 25 Talent increased from +25 Health Regen to +30
  • Buff Level 25 Talent increased from +20 Quill Stack Damage to +25
  • Buff Quill Spray AoE increased from 625 to 650
  • Buff Level 10 Talent increased from +7 Strength to +8
  • Buff Level 20 Talent increased from +45 Attack Speed to +50
  • Buff Level 20 Talent increased from -35s Respawn Time to -40s
  • Buff Quill Spray Max damage from 450 to 550
  • Buff Viscous Nasal Goo Scepter range from 700 to 750
  • Rework Level 15 Talent from +20 Movement Speed to +4 Max Goo Stacks
  • Buff Level 20 Talent from -30s Respawn Time to -35s
  • Rework Level 25 Talent from +4 Max Goo Stacks to +20 Quill Stack Damage
  • Buff Warpath Max Stacks rescaled from 5/6/7 to 5/7/9
  • Nerf Quill Spray now deals damage as it quickly expands outwards.
  • New Added Talent Tree
  • Buff Bristleback damage threshold reduced from 230 to 210
  • Buff Scepter Goo range increased from 600 to 700
  • Buff Added Scepter to Bristleback
  • Buff Viscous Nasal Goo mana cost reduced from 30 to 25
  • Buff Quill Spray max damage increased from 400 to 450
  • Buff Bristleback passive Quill Spray damage threshold reduced from 250 to 230
  • Nerf Bristleback Base Attack Time increased from 1.7 to 1.8
  • Nerf Bristleback movement speed reduced from 295 to 290
  • Buff Viscous Nasal Goo armor reduction rescaled from 1/1/2/2 per stack to 1/1.4/1.8/2.2
  • Buff Quill Spray stack damage increased from 30 to 30/32/34/36
  • Rework Warpath no longer has unique values for the first movement speed stack
  • Buff Warpath movement speed stack bonus increased from 1/2/3% to 3/4/5%
  • Nerf Base damage reduced by 4
  • Buff Attack point improved from 0.4 to 0.3
  • Nerf Viscous Nasal Goo is now dispellable
  • Buff Viscous Nasal Goo cast point improved from 0.4 to 0.3
  • Buff Warpath max stacks increased from 5 to 5/6/7
  • Buff Warpath stack duration increased from 10 to 14
  • Buff Quill Spray hit memory increased from 10 to 14 seconds
  • Nerf Quill Spray damage cap increased from 220 to 400
  • Buff Warpath damage per stack increased from 10/15/20 to 20/25/30
  • Buff Warpath base damage increased from 10/20/30 to 20/25/30
  • Rework Fixed how Quill Spray damage threshold works
  • Nerf Quill Spray damage cap increased from 180 to 220
  • Buff Turn Rate Increased (makes him turn faster)
  • Buff Attack point reduced
  • Buff Cast point decreased from 0.5 to 0.4
  • Buff Quill Spray is no longer blocked by Vanguard, Stout Shield, etc.
  • Buff Warpath damage per stack increased from 4/8/12 to 10/15/20
  • Buff Side damage prevention from 5/10/15/20 to 8/12/16/20
  • Buff Back damage prevention from 10/20/30/40 to 16/24/32/40
  • Buff Warpath maximum stacks increased from 4 to 5
  • Buff Warpath's attack speed increase changed to bonus damage (10/20/30 base with 4/8/12 bonus per stack)
  • Buff Improved Base Intelligence growth by 0.6
  • Buff Improved side angles on Bristleback (90→110)
  • Buff Returned the Bristleback passive Quill Spray release cap back (300→250)
  • Buff Quill Spray manacost no longer goes up per level
  • Nerf Lowered side angles on Bristleback
  • Nerf Increased AutoQuills release requirement on Bristleback from 200 to 300
  • Nerf Reduced Bristleback's strength growth from 2.7 to 2.2
  • Nerf Slightly lowered Bristleback's base armor

See also[edit]

Notable Players[edit]

External links[edit]