Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

Bristleback is one of the most popular heroes in Dota 2 due to his tanky capabilities that are unrivaled in the game. Not even many strength heroes have the same capacity for defense as him. This is also why he can be tough to play against or fight. Worry not, as this article will tell you all about the Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2.

As indicated by his name, any damage he receives on his back or on the sides is reduced severely. To the point that the damage barely scratches his overall HP pool. This hero is highly durable and possesses high physical damage. With a versatile itemization, he can be played in multiple ways as deemed fit by the player.

Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

Every hero has their weaknesses, though. If Bristleback’s ability gets disabled, he becomes genuinely vulnerable. His lack of a hard disable makes it challenging for him to fight enemy heroes. 


Rigwarl, also known as Bristleback, is a melee strength hero. He specializes in using simple yet effective spells to fight his enemies. This makes him an easy hero to play with, especially for beginner players in Dota 2. 

Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

His first ability, Viscous Nasal Goo, is a target ability that can affect multiple heroes simultaneously. It reduces their armor and lowers their movement speed. What makes this ability is that this spell can stack on itself. Lowering the enemy armor enough for Bristleback’s normal attacks to have a high impact on their health.

Quill Spray is Bristleback’s AoE damage move. It allows him to damage enemy heroes in a wide area around him. The ability can also stack, and each time the same opponent is hit by Quill Spray they receive additional damage. The stack duration lasts for 14 seconds.

Bristleback is the third, and passive ability, reducing side damage by 20% and rear damage by 40%. Interestingly, if the damage threshold crosses 210, then Bristleback automatically releases Quill Spray, damaging opponents around him. 

Lastly, Bristleback’s ultimate ability is Warpath. This lets him utilize his spells to increase his own attack and movement speed. This means that every time he casts an active spell, this ability will provide him with the relevant buffs. The move can also stack up to provide Bristleback with an edge against his enemies. 


As strong as Bristleback’s ability is, it still has its counters. There are certain heroes in-game that can melt down Bristleback despite his incredible damage reduction. Below is the list of Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2. 


Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

Silencer is a Ranged Intelligence Hero. He is one of the Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2, as his range allows him to kite the hero and force him to purchase Regen. This makes for a tough early game start, even for Bristleback. 

Arcane Curse works wonderfully against a hero such as Bristleback as it stacks on him each time he uses an ability. Since Bristleback will always spam Quill Spray, he would take a lot of health damage from this spell. 

Mana issues are something that Bristleback has to face early on due to the majority of his abilities being low cooldown spells. Against Silencer, this problem becomes even more prominent as he can use Glaives of Wisdom to permanently and temporarily steal mana from Bristleback. Rendering him powerless when he cannot use Viscous Goo or Quill Spray. 

Additionally, Last Word and Global Silence completely throw off Bristleback’s momentum as they silence him for a long duration of time. This renders Bristleback vulnerable as he has little choice but to retreat when silenced. 

Faceless Void

Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

Faceless Void is a hard carry melee hero. He specializes in close combat and dealing heavy amounts of damage in a short duration of time. As such, Time Dilation allows Faceless Void to extend the enemy heroes’ ability cooldowns all the while decreasing their attack and movement speed. This works perfectly against Bristleback, who has very low ability cooldowns.

Additionally, Faceless Void can use Time Walk to either escape or chase after Bristleback. This move is unaffected by Viscous Goo and its movement speed reduction, Which means that Bristleback has no way to stop Faceless Void from using it. 

His ultimate ability Chronosphere allows him to freeze Bristleback in place for up to 5 seconds. This is more than enough time for Faceless Void’s allies to reposition themselves to attack Bristleback from the front. Thus rendering Bristleback’s damage reduction useless and having a shot at killing him. 


Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

Timbersaw is a tanky hero, much like Bristleback himself. He can go toe to toe with him and fight him on a fair and level field. Reactive Armor gives him additional Regen each time Timbersaw takes a hit. This is the perfect ability against Bristleback’s Viscous Goo and Quill Spray. Each time they are cast, Timbersaw will simply gain more regen and can shrug off the damage.

Whirling Death allows Timbersaw to deal damage to Bristleback and take some of his attributes. This reduces Bristleback’s strength gain by 15% and has him lose some of his tankiness, making him more vulnerable to attacks. 

Additionally, Timbersaw has high mobility as he can use Timber Chain to escape Bristleback. Thus rendering Viscous Goo useless on him. With the right positioning, it can also damage Bristleback and allow Timbersaw to engage with him in a battle. 

Chakram further deals damage to Bristleback, and if he’s rooted, it can deal a sufficient amount of damage to him. This makes Timbersaw one of the Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2.



Viper is a ranged agility hero. Much like Silencer, he can use his ranged attacks to kite Bristleback and deal damage to him before he has a chance to get close to him to counterattack. Using Poison Attack, he can slow down his attack and movement speed while continuing to deal damage against him.

Silver Edge also helps lower down the armor of enemy units, using this Viper can reduce the much-added sustainability and defensive capability of Bristleback. Rending him far more vulnerable and susceptible to damage. Viper Strike can severely cripple Bristleback while Viper has his armor down. 

Lastly, Nethertoxin disables all passive in the AoE that it’s cast in. This can also work against Bristleback’s passive ability. Meaning that he would be able to use his damage reduction ability, so all attacks would deal the same amount of damage to him regardless of their position. 

With the right combination, this is more than enough for Viper to kill Bristleback single-handedly. Items like Rod of Atos only further ease this process, making him unstoppable and a violent threat against Bristleback.

Legion Commander

Best Bristleback Counters in Dota 2

Legion Commander is another great hero to fight against Bristleback. Her Press the Attack ability dispels Viscous Goo and its effects from her. Additionally, the HP regen and Lifesteal from Moment of Courage is enough for her to stand her ground against Bristleback.

Duel forces Bristleback to face Legion Commander and fight her face to face. This forces him to take full damage from her since he is locked down. Legion Commander’s allies can use this chance to attack him from an angle such, that it’s enough to kill Bristleback. If Legion Commander wins enough duels and has sufficient damage, she can easily handle Bristleback herself in the late game.

Bristleback is a strong hero, and his damage reduction ability only adds to that overall tankiness. However, you can counter the hero and disable his passive ability using the right draft. This makes Bristleback the same as any other hero allowing you to win your games and increase your MMR. 

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