[Top 10] Dota 2 Bristleback Counters That Are Powerful (Best Heroes Against Bristleback in Dota 2, Ranked)

Bristleback has quite literally been a thorn in the side for every other hero in the game in the recent meta. He takes no damage while dealing quite a ton of damage and neutralizing his foes! Often considered to be an obnoxious laner, he is hated with passion by millions of dota players all over the world. But just like every other hero, there are a million different ways to counter him.

To assist you in picking the right heroes, we have compiled this list of the best 10 Bristleback counters in the current meta. These heroes are extremely relevant to the patch and hence make the mighty Bristle look like a puny porcupine.

10. Grimstroke

This doomed artist has more than pain in his artwork, he paints with the blood of his slain foes. Grimstroke is primarily played in the support role and he is known for dealing high AoE magic damage and disabling his enemies. His silence can quickly be combined with Ink Swell ability, which is a great way to initiate on his foes! His ultimate prevents them from escaping away or using any spells, essentially providing his team a way to beat down on him and secure the kill!

Why is Grimstroke a great counter to Bristeback? 

  • Phantom's Embrace silences Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray.
  • Ink Swell stuns Bristleback and gets allies in position faster with increased movement speed to attack his front, countering his passive ability.

Items to Buy on Grimstroke

  • Aghanim’s Scepter
  • Ghost Scepter
  • Glimmer Cape
  • Ethereal Blade
  • Force Staff


9. Anti-Mage

This charismatic warrior has a bone to pick against the mages. His hatred for the arcane arts is unmatchable. He is the Anti-Mage! He has what you need to counter most mage heroes, mana break! An early game AM can effortlessly decimate his enemies' mana and make him buy mangoes or Soul Ring to compensate. This will slow down their farm while AM is known to farm at a faster pace, allowing him to get ahead in the net worth charts. If he hits his right timings, there is no way you can counter him easily.

Why is Anti-Mage a great counter to Bristlebak? 

  • Mana Break removes both a percentage and flat amount of your mana, preventing you from using abilities in the lane.
  • Blink Anti-Mage has very high mobility with this skill, and can easily escape from you since you have no way to prevent his blink. He can also use this offensively to get in front of you during fights.

Items to Buy on AM

  • Black King Bar
  • Manta Style 
  • Abyssal Blade
  • Battlefury
  • Eye of Skadi
  • Butterfly 



8. Faceless Void

Not all can master Faceless Void the way he has mastered manipulating time. His ultimate can quickly turn the game around for good or for worse! The hero requires immense practice and patience. Void is heavily picked in the high-ranked games, not all enemies can match his efficient and fast-paced farming skills. He works best if paired with heroes that supplement his Chronosphere ultimate ex. Kunkka, Invoker, Skywrath Mage. His mid-game potential is unmatched because all he needs to brawl is his ultimate and a few items!

What makes Faceless Void a great counter to Bristleback?

  • Time Dilation prevents Bristleback from spamming his low-cooldown abilities, greatly reducing his damage and effectiveness.
  • Chronosphere allows allies to reposition and hit Bristleback from the front, bypassing his defensive bonus from behind.
  • Bristleback has no way to prevent Void from using Time Walk.

Items to buy on Faceless Void

  • Mjolnir
  • Black King Bar
  • Butterfly
  • Eye of Skadi
  • Monkey King Bar
  • Satanic


7. Doom

Doom is back in the meta! This demon has sent countless of his enemies to the realm of hell, this also includes Pudge. His abilities ensure nothing but pain and agony to him, his fearful presence wins him wars, he is the almighty Doom! He is known to farm the jungle effortlessly right from level one but can also lane effortlessly against Pudge. His high base armor provides him sustain while fighting or laning against him. While he can jungle and offlane, Doom can also be played as roaming support, ganking and catching his enemies by surprise!

What makes Doom a great counter to Bristleback? 

  • Infernal Blade deals with scaling damage and is useful against high-health targets such as Bristleback.
  • Doom disables Bristleback's low cooldown abilities, preventing him from triggering Warpath. Aghanim's Scepter, also breaks Bristleback's passive, rendering him more vulnerable.

Items to buy against Pudge

  • Shadow Blade
  • Blink Dagger
  • Shiva’s Guard
  • Black King Bar
  • Refresher’s Orb


6. Necrophos

Necrophos has plagued Bristleback, corrupting his immunity with his rancid spells. He is one of the most hated heroes in the current patch. Necrophos is a very annoying laner, thanks to his passive. His abilities provide him with immense healing while dealing damage to the fierce porcupine. He can ensure they aren’t seen on the battlefield for a long time with his ultimate, which drives lots of players to rage and quit!

Why is Necrophos known as a counter to Bristleback? 

  • Reaper's Scythe and Heartstopper Aura deal percentage-based damage, ignoring Bristleback's high health.
  • Heartstopper Aura's HP removal does not trigger Bristleback's passive.

Items to buy on Necrophos

  • Radiance
  • Guardian Greaves
  • Eternal Shroud
  • Lotus Orb
  • Aghanim’s Scepter


5. Legion Commander

This war commander has slain more foes than anyone else on this list. Her grit and vigor have resulted in abilities that make her invincible. She leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the battlefield. Legion Commander is known to lock BB down and deal some serious damage to him. She is a nuisance right from the first initial levels, AoE damage and lifesteal allow her to sustain and deal damage in the lane as well as in the jungle. If you get enough Dual damage, you just might one-shot the enemy support! 

What makes Legion Commander a great counter to Bristleback? 

  • Moment of Courage passive provides up to 85% lifesteal with a 25% chance.
  • Duel makes Bristleback fight Legion Commander face to face, forcing him to take full damage.
  • Press the Attack dispels the slow from stacks of Viscous Nasal Goo.

Items to buy on Legion Commander

  • Blink Dagger
  • Black King Bar
  • Blademail
  • Heaven’s Halberd
  • Desolator


4. Slardar

Hailing from the deep seas in the menacing Slardar. His looks are quite enough to scare his foes away, his crushing spells and damage pierce through Pudge’s armor. Slardar is quite underestimated in the current patch, due to a few minor buffs but he is the right fit against Pudge as he has reliable stuns and his mechanics aren’t complicated either. He can escape with Sprint, initiate with Slithereen Crush, and even track Pudge with Corrosive Haze, giving vision of his whereabouts and reducing armor under the track effect. 

What makes Slardar a great counter to Bristleback? 

  • Guardian Sprint allows Slardar to outrun Bristleback, even when slowed by Viscous Nasal Goo.
  • Corrosive Haze's armor reduction makes Bristleback much less tanky.

Items to buy against Bristleback

  • Blink Dagger
  • Shadow Blade
  • Aghanim’s Scepter
  • Black King Bar
  • Aghanim’s Shard
  • Assault Cuirass


3. Silencer

Silence is one aspect that counters Bristleback the most. And well, Silencer… you know it’s kind of self-explanatory. Having spells that silence or prevent them from using any items makes him very powerful against Timbersaw. The best part is that laning is not fun for Timbersaw against a Silencer, frequent right-click damage, and low CD spells shove him out of the lane! 

Why is Silencer a great counter to Bristleback? 

  • Arcane Curse stacks every time Bristleback uses an ability, forcing him to stop spamming his abilities or take heavy health degeneration.
  • Glaives of Wisdom steals intelligence both permanently and temporarily, causing mana issues for Bristleback.
  • Last Word and Global Silence stop Bristleback from using his abilities altogether.

Items to Buy on Silencer

  • Scythe of Vyse
  • Hurricane Pike
  • Silver Edge
  • Black King Bar
  • Aghanim’s Scepter


2. Viper

The venomous Viper knows no bounds and is on the same list when it comes to the most hated heroes in the game. League players can benefit from playing this hero as they get to know about the basic DPS mechanics along with the advantage of having multiple different items builds according to the game. Melee heroes despise him as he makes your presence and impact disappear from the game! The break applied from Nethertoxin quite literally ruins the game for most heroes with strong passives.

Why is Viper a counter to Bristleback? 

  • Nethertoxin disables Bristleback's passive.
  • Viper Strike and Poison Attack slow down Bristleback's movement speed so he's unable to get out from Nethertoxin.

Items to Buy on Viper

  • Kaya and Sange
  • Aghanim’s Scepter
  • Rod of Atos
  • Dragon Lance
  • Blade Mail


1. Timbersaw

Other than hating trees for a living, Timbersaw loves hating on melee strength heroes like Bristleback, something that he is himself! Apart from this, he is quite a dominating force against melee heroes, his immense damage can not be negated very early into the game. Timber can triumph undoubtedly if he is put in a 1v1 matchup against most strength and melee heroes, the strength disparity damage is just intense and the nuke damage is why he is considered to be one of the best in the business. 

Why is Timbersaw a great counter to Bristleback?

  • Whirling Death deals damage as well while reducing 15% of Bristleback's strength, which reduces Bristleback's tankiness.
  • Reactive Armor can sustain through multiple Viscous Nasal Goo and Quill Spray stacks.
  • Timber Chain makes it hard for Bristleback to slow down Timbersaw with Viscous Nasal Goo.

Items to Buy on Timbersaw

  • Eul’s Scepter
  • Pipe of Insight 
  • Crimson Guard
  • Blade Mail
  • Lotus Orb


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After spending 11,352 hours, slaying Eldwurms and winning the mid lane, Sid is still awfully bad at Dota 2
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