[Top 15] Dota 2 Best Items for Bristleback

Best Items for Bristleback
Pick the right items, for dominance pre-15 minutes.

With these items, you may not be the most powerful, but you'll definitely, one the harder to kill or injure.

    As a Melee Strength Hero, Bristleback or Rigwarl is one of the only few powerful, yet simple to play heroes in Dota 2. His button-smash abilities can be really annoying in 1v1 situations where in most cases all an opponent should do, is teleport back to safety, only to return and take Bristleback on with the additional assistance.
    You’ll do great using Bristleback aggressively as a support during the beginning and a core/carry towards the end.

15. Phase Boots

Chase down your foes, let them know who's in charge.

    It’s always a good idea to be a little more aggressive with Bristleback. Simple because of how annoying his Quill Spray can get and how often he can use it because of low mana usage. What makes Bristle even more annoying early game is when you can’t outrun him and he ‘Quills’ you back to your fountain. The movement speed and the armor will help you stay strong in your lane until you’re strong enough to terrorize other lanes. 

What Makes Phase Boots Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Additional Movement Speed
  • Ability to Move Through Enemy Units
  • Additional Armor
  • Additional Damage

Item Details (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Grants +15% Movement Speed
  • Grants +18  Damage (Melee)
  • Grants +12 Damage (Ranged)
  • Grants +4 Armor
  • Reset timer 8 seconds
  • +22% Increased Movement Speed on Melee Heroes (Active)
  • +10% Increased Movement Speed on Ranged Heroes (Active)
  • Active for 3 Seconds (Can turn faster and move through enemy units)
  • Total Cost is 1480 Gold


Assert early-game dominance with strong regen points and armor from this item.

    Bristleback is a tank, and the best way to play him is like one right from the beginning and this ‘1980’s demonic mask looking item’ will help him get stronger and stay longer at the front with its extra health, HP regeneration, and damage-blocking capabilities.

What Makes Vanguard Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Makes an early-game Bristleback stronger and harder to kill.
  • High HP Regeneration keeps you longer at the front.
  • Passive damage block helps in team fights or solo fights.

Item Details (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Grants +250 Health
  • Grants +7 HP Regeneration
  • Grants 50% chance to block 70 damage from incoming melee attacks
  • Grants 50% chance to block 35 damage from incoming ranged attacks
  • Total Cost is 2150 Gold

13. Pipe of Insight

Get your entire team a little high on strength and morale with this item.

     Supporting your team-mates is mostly a good choice, even if you’re a hero that’s going to carry the team. But it’s rather best if you focus on your roles, and tanks are kind of supports as well, which s why this item should be a great addition to your inventory, for at least the beginning of the game; Remember, this isn’t a passive item, so keep your trigger finger ready on that shortcut button. If you don’t have a shortcut button for your inventory. Why not?

What Makes Pipe of Insight Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Costs Less
  • Provides Early-game HP Regeneration
  • Provides Protection from Magic
  • Great for team fights

Item Details (As of Patch 7.23e)

  • Grants +8 HP Regeneration
  • Grants 30% Magic Resistance
  • Grants +3 to All Attributes
  • Active ‘Barrier’ blocks 400 magic damage to nearby allies.
  • Lasts 12 seconds
  • Radius 1200
  • Total Gold Cost is 2900

12. Hand of Midas

Although this doesn't offer you protection, it will offer you what's most important to buy it - Gold.

    An unorthodox item and an often underestimated investment, the Hand of Midas is an item that most people only look at as an item for extra gold. And to be honest, if you play Bristleback, you should see it that way too. The faster you make your hero ‘unkillable’ the closer you are to invincibility with Bristleback.

What Makes Hand of Midas Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • It’ll help you get last-hits more effectively in the lane, or in the jungle.
  • Every confirmed last-hit will deliver WAY much more gold & XP.
  • If you decide to farm in the jungle, you’ll probably enter in as a cub and come out a lion in under 10 minutes.
  • It can be used throughout the game, keeping your coffers full and your items more advanced.

Item details (As of patch 7.23)

  • Provides +40 Attack Speed
  • Kills a non-hero target for 160 gold
  • Gives you 1.85x bonus XP
  • Reset timer is 90 seconds
  • Total Cost is 2250 gold

11. Blade Mail

Give back to the enemy a taste of their own damage.

    Nobody likes hitting Bristleback because that generally translates into a bad decision with his ‘auto quill spray from his Bristleback passive’, but when more than 2 players might take you on, it’s always a good strategy to stay ready for them with a Blade Mail. Why this item though? Simply because it’s cheaper and offers better protection during the early-mid stages of the game. How is it better protection? Well, who would want to slap you and then get slapped back at the same time by their very own hand?

What Makes Blade Mail Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Makes attacking a Bristleback an even worse decision, especially when alone.
  • Stay longer in fights, get a little more ‘courageous’ for 4.5 seconds before you turn your back and let them eat some quill.
  • Works equally well against physical or magic damage.

Item Details (As of Patch 7.23e)

  • Grants +22 Damage
  • Grants +6 Armor
  • Grants +10 Intelligence
  • Duplicates any damage that is taken & sends it back to the attacker.
  • It can be active for 4.5 seconds.
  • Mana Cost 25
  • Reset timer 25
  • Total Gold Cost - 2200

10. Crimson Guard

Stronger together, that what makes a team 'unkillable'.

     CHARGEEEEE!!!...into battle with this fancy looking body armor (that won’t show on your character) but will help you lead your team to an advantageous fight with an extra layer of protection apart from your Quill Spray. With it’s added bonuses for yourself and your team, this is a great item to push the enemy lines with. As a team.

What Makes Crimson Guard Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • A ton of attribute bonuses.
  • Big on armor bonus & HP regeneration.
  • It has an active & passive mode, both of which block enemy attacks up to 70.
  • It is relatively cheaper since it has to be purchased in parts.

Item Details (As of Patch 7.23e)

  • Provides +250 Health
  • Provides +10.5 HP Regeneration
  • Provides +6 Armor
  • Provides +3 All Attributes
  • Can be activated to give heroes an added form of protection for 12 seconds
  • This works within a radius of 1200
  • Chance to block 100% damage up to 60 when activated and 50% block damage up to 70 when it isn’t activated
  • Only one crimson guard can be used at a time for the heroes for up to 46 seconds. (time can overlap if more than one is used)
  • Bonuses won’t be stacked.
  • The reset timer is also 46 seconds.
  • Total Gold Cost - 3800

9. Shiva’s Guard

Super-Cool protection with something extra for defense

    A great item to use mid-battles or to push the enemy behind, the Shiva’s Guard unleashes a cold wave of fury that damages and slows enemy movement and attack speed, making them more vulnerable. Imagine running from a Bristle slower than you normally can because of the cold damage, Nasal Goo, etc. while Bristle happily hops and jumps around you spraying his ‘Quill’ all over you.

What Makes Shiva’s Guard Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Superior Item for late-game team-fights.
  • Possess ‘Area of Effect’ Magical Damage.
  • Opponents in most cases will avoid a fight when the Shiva’s Guard’s magic ultimate is activated.

Item Details (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Grants +30 Intelligence
  • Grants +15 Armor
  • Grants 200 Magical ‘Slow-Explosive’ Damage
  • Reduces Movement by 40% for 4 seconds.
  • The Radius of Effect is 900
  • Passive - reduces enemy attack speed by 45
  • Passive Radius is 1200
  • Mana Cost is 100
  • Reset Timer is 30
  • Gold Cost - 4750 Coins

8. Heart of Tarrasque

Massive health-point boost and health regeneration.

     Anyone or everyone invests into a ‘Heart of Tarrasque’ for one and only one (okay maybe two) reasons. Stay alive longer, present a scarier HIt-Point bar. However, the Heart will only work splendidly well on heroes that need to be alive for longer to really make a difference. Fun fact - If it gets way too hard to kill your Bristleback, your opponents will just start to ignore you and head straight for the Ancient. Sad no? All that time on items and strategy, for nothing.

What Makes Phase Boots Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Massive HP regeneration allows you to kite opponents and stay in battle for much longer.
  • CAN BE STACKED! For added HP and HP regeneration/second.
  • It’s a passive item.
  • You’re going to be a lot harder to take out.

Item Details (As of Patch 7.23e)

  • Grants +45 Strength
  • Grants + 400 Health
  • Grants +50% Health Regen Amplification
  • Grants +10 HP Regeneration
  • Grants Passive Health Restoration every 7 Seconds
  • Total Cost is 5200 Gold
  • Restores 5% of max health per second
  • Regen rest timer is 5 seconds from Roshan or Melee heroes
  • Regen rest timer is 7 seconds from Ranged heroes

7. Octarine Core

With this, Bristleback's spells will be twice as more potent in-game.

    This needs no explanation, but here’s one anyway for all those who don’t know much about Bristleback or this item. So here’s a short explanation. This item reduces the time taken by abilities or skills to be available again, thus reducing the already low refresh-time of Bristleback’s abilities, therefore making him even more potent in the heat of battle.

What Makes Octarine Core Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Reduces the cooldown on abilities
  • Provides spell-lifesteal
  • Makes Bristleback a bigger threat in fights.

Item Details (As of patch 7.23)

  • +25 Intelligence
  • +425 Health
  • +425 Mana
  • Reduces the Cooldown of Spells by 25% (passive)
  • 25% of spell damage is returned to the caster as health
  • 5% spell lifesteal against creeps
  • Total Cost is 5900 Gold

6. Black King Bar

Stay protected from powerful disables, stuns & more magical disadvantages.

     Survivability is always important for a core/tank-like Bristleback. This is why attention must also be given to the amount of magic damage the enemy can dish out. Too much magic damage can punish Bristle before he even reaches the enemy hero, but with this item, you can hippity-hoppity skip and jump happily towards your unsuspecting, soon to be ‘Pummeled, Slowed & Quilled’ opponent.

What Makes  Black King Bar Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Complete immunity against magic spells.
  • Enemy magic heroes will dislike you a lot.
  • It provides extra stats apart from ‘active’ magic protection.

Item details (As of Patch 7.23e) 

  • Provides +10 Strength
  • Provides +24 Damage
  • Duration Reduces After Every Use from 10 seconds to 9/8/7/6/5
  • Reset Timer is 70 Seconds
  • Total Cost is 4050 Gold

5. Desolator

A single attack with this on yourself and your enemies will feel a lot more pain.

    Desolator? What? WHY?! Hear me out. Post achieving your ultimate, you’re going to last longer and hit harder, why not make your hits even more powerful and the enemy A LOT more vulnerable at the same time? With every strike, you’re going to reduce their armor for 7 seconds. (Always 7 seconds in total) and with weaker armor, your attacks and Quill spray are both going to do a hell lot more damage.

What Makes  Desolator Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Reduces enemy armor making them weak and soft enough to be attacked by an entire team.

Item Details (As of patch 7.23e)

  • +50 Damage
  • Attacks reduce armor by 7 for 15 seconds
  • Total Cost is 3500 Gold


4. Radiance

Extra damage that works best as insurance for when you're constantly low on mana.

    As if it wasn’t already difficult to handle Bristleback with his Quill, right? So let’s take that difficulty up a notch and give Bristleback a radiance. Stack-up its damage with Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo, and you’ve got yourself a Digital bully in Dota 2.

What Makes Radiance Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Added Area of Effect Damage.
  • Great for Team Fights.
  • Makes enemies miss 17% of their strikes, thus helping Bristle to last longer.

Item details (As of patch 7.23)

  • Grants +65 Damage
  • Enemies are burned with 60 magical damage per second.
  • While within the radius of effect, enemies also miss 17% of their attacks.
  • Illusions with radiance cause 35 magical damage per second.
  • The radius of effect is 700
  • Total Gold Cost is 5150

3. Assault Cuirass

The perfect combination of armor and attack speed.

    Staying strong with Bristleback can also be a task if you don’t have the right items in your inventory. Yes, he has protection, but that’s only at the back. Add more armor to his defense and you’re building an unkillable hero. This item will also be a boon to your team-mates. So woohoo!

What Makes Assault Cuirass Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Great for team fights with a positive buff for allied units.
  • It has negative buffs on enemy units.

Item Details (As of patch 7.23)

  • Grants +30 Attack Speed
  • Grants +10 Armor
  • Grants +5 All Attributes
  • Grants +25 Attack Speed and +5 Armor to nearby Allied Units & Structures
  • Decreases Nearby Enemy Unit and Structure Armor by 5
  • Radius 1200 Units
  • Total Cost is 5200 Gold 

2. Abyssal Blade

A stun is always helpful especially if it helps you survive longer and kill easier.

    Why is an Abyssal Blade here? Because it’s SUPER-AWESOME NOW! With the latest update, you can teleport to the enemy and stun them. That’s a blink, stun combo like no other. Get this item if you want to wreak havoc on softer support units.

What Makes Abyssal Blade Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • It is now a great initiation device.
  • Blinks to enemy location and stuns.
  • It has passive bash (stun) abilities.
  • Has a 50% chance to block 70 damage from incoming melee attacks and 35 for ranged.
  • Stun damage is now physical and not magical, will pierce through Spell Immunity.

Item Details (As of patch 7.23)

  • Grants +25 Damage
  • Grants +250 health
  • Grants +10 HP Regeneration
  • Grants +10 Strength
  • Stuns for 2 seconds (active)
  • Range 600
  • Stuns for 1 second (passive)
  • Mana Cost 75
  • Reset Timer 36 seconds
  • Gold Cost - 6650 Coins

1. Aghanim’s Scepter

Enjoying your game? Looking for some fun? Try this for team dominance.

     A great option for late-game team fights, since Bristleback’s Nasal Goo, reduces Armor and movement speed, therefore giving your team an upper hand in a fight followed by an immediate back-hand to the enemy’s plans. 

What Makes Aghanim’s Scepter Great for Bristleback (As of patch 7.23e)

  • Viscous Nasal Goo will be an AoE (Area of Effect Ability) and will affect all other enemy units in range. (Range - 825)

Item Details (As of patch 7.23)

  • +10 All Attributes
  • +175 Health
  • +175 Mana
  • Upgrades the ultimate and/or some abilities of heroes
  •  Total Cost is 4200 Gold


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Chris is a professional writer & a competitive gamer that has one rule. 'If it moves, shoot it', & then make a meme about it. That's probably why he loves FPS games with friendly fire 'on'.
Gamer Since: 1998
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Currently Playing: DOTA 2
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