I am really tired of losing to BristleBack every time. This hero is really very tank and if he survives long enough in a gank, he call kill every one alone. Even when i spectate a few international games, i always see BristleBack surviving most of the time. Is there a way to kill him easily? I am sure some items and heroes should be able to handle him easily.
By no means is this an exhaustive list, but here are a few suggestions:
- Anyone with pure damage has an edge. Bristle tends to build his defences to maximise his damage reduction, but pure damage ignores these. He'll still get reduction from turning his back but it can still be a lot of damage going through. OD, Silencer, Timbersaw and Pudge are good examples; Enchantress tends to be a bit too squishy since Quill Spray ignores Untouchable.
- Draining his mana can hurt him a lot in the mid-game, as he won't be able to keep Quill Spray and Warpath up for speed and damage. OD steals int in a fight and drains mana with his ult and Silencer steals int permanently (both from far enough away to avoid trouble), while KotL drains mana and limits his mobility. Lengthy silences can also help accomplish this.
- Lowering Bristle's strength causes him to lose health without the "damage" being reduced. Timbersaw can do this with Whirling Death, and Slark can do it repeatedly on hit (although Slark will need to be doing well already to withstand Quill Spray).
- Doing damage that scales with the target's HP also ignores a lot of his tankiness. Necrophos' ult can kill Bristle from 1/4-1/2 health, depending on his facing (and often Bristle faces forward until he gets lower), saving half the effort of killing him. Doom's Infernal Blade can lead a fight well to lower Bristle's HP. AA's Ice Blast prevents his healing, but more importantly reduces the kill threshold to a percentage of his health.
- Holding him in place or forcing him to change direction allows your team to get in front of him and deal with him. Axe and Legion Commander can force him to face them for a little (and Culling Blade doesn't care about damage reduction). Pudge or Bane both have relatively long disables that force him to stand still, allowing the team to deal damage from the front.
- Break disables Bristleback, negating his damage reduction. Anyone who builds Silver Edge can do this (e.g. Legion), or Doom/Shadow Demon can if they have Aghanim's.
- To a lesser degree, stuns, slows and turn rate slows (such as Sticky Napalm) prevent Bristle from using his mobility (mostly from Warpath) to manoeuvre around a fight, allowing a team to position around him without him being able to turn his back easily.
- In a similar vein, being mobile lets you get in front of Bristle even if he tries to turn away. Timbersaw is good at this.
- Finally, armour reduction or damage amplification such as Medallion of Courage or Shadow Demon's Soul Catcher are helpful (if not a direct counter), helping to maximise any damage that does go through, despite reductions.
You may have noticed a few heroes show up multiple times and have multiple features that help against Bristleback, such as Silencer and OD. Indeed, according to Dotabuff's stats, Bristleback currently has the worst win rate against the following heroes:
- Legion Commander
As an extra note, always buy a magic wand against Bristleback. His rapid casting provides lots of charges that can really swing a lane or a fight against him.