February 21, 2019
Batrider is currently the least popular hero among lower ranked players. Numbers below 1% just don’t show up on the meta report, so don’t be alarmed, he isn’t completely absent in the MMR levels lower than two thousand. But you must agree, this list makes a good point.
And it’s not very different in the higher ratings either. Batrider is being picked 6% of the time, whereas the most popular hero, Juggernaut, is picked 33% of the time.
But what makes such an unpopular hero so interesting for us?
Before the patch 7.21 kicked in, Batrider’s winrate was looking awful. It barely reached 45% in all ranks, and he wasn’t really present in the professional scene either.
But once the patch came out, we started to see a positive change. A change that only took place three weeks after the patch was rolled out.
During the third week of February, the hero had the biggest spike in his winrate growth. In a combined effort from the players in Divine and Immortal ranks, it was finally brought up to 50%.
It’s a laughable figure, by the standards of the current meta, but it is a huge achievement for someone who’s just crawled out from the bottom.
7.21 brought a buff for this hero, by adding a movement speed bonus upon the use of his Firefly and decreasing its cooldown, although the latter was balanced out by a shorter duration.
All in all, these changes made Batrider a lot more mobile. It became a lot easier to be aggressive during the early game, and to move around the map later on.
Batrider that had a good start is one of the least pleasant enemies you can encounter during the midgame. His flying vision and the ability to pass over terrain help him make sure that no one feels safe, regardless of their current position. Once he takes off, Batrider soars straight into the fight, where he can deal more than enough damage to enemy heroes, whereas the new movement speed bonus prevents his enemies from breaking away.
Professional players noticed the Batrider and his evident revival earlier than their high-ranked colleagues. Less than a week into the patch, Batrider had already started appearing in the matches played during the European qualifiers for the eleventh season of Dreamleague. Vega, Alliance and the new mix called Kaban, that is being led by DkPhobos, all of them were often using this hero in his usual offlane role. When these teams clashed together, Batrider was becoming one of the hottest topics in terms of picks and bans.
Big teams from Europe were soon to catch on, leading to Team Secret and NiP outplaying their opponents by snatching the new start from under their noses.
But this was only the beginning of Batrider’s pro-league adventures. During the next qualifiers, this time for the Starladder ImbaTV Minor, the only thing that stopped Kaban from dominating their opponents were the bans thrown at this hero. After their loss in the first match, OG weren’t going to let Phobos play his signature pick anymore. In the final match, they have actually banned Batrider during the first phase, just to be sure.
Another team that was aware of Phobos and his intents were the Alliance. They have learned from their mistakes, so Kaban were forced to play without Batrdier for the time being.
In the end, that leads to them losing the series, and getting disqualified as a result.
But still, the latest results aren’t really flawless. His winrate for the tournament matches played since the release of the patch 7.21 is barely reaching 50%, which is pretty similar to what is currently happening in the public matches.
The current meta is just filled with heroes Batrider doesn’t like. Lifestealer and Juggernaut are the most popular carry heroes of the past two weeks, and they simply don’t feel his heat during the laning phase. And it is the laning phase that sets up the rest of the match for Batrider.
But there is still hope. In later stages of the game, Batrider can ignore the built-in spell immunity that these two have, preventing them from splitpushing as safely. Even quick reflexes won’t save you from his onslaught.
So even the strongest of his opponents can be tackled quite easily, as long as you yourself know what you are doing.
Batrider is for the brave
Playing Batrider is a very tough thing to do. There’s a whole ton of different counterpicks, and there are also many items that can make his life miserable. But he is still playable. Even more than that, sometimes, which is evident from the current state of things in the higher levels of play.
To help you deal with this uneasy task a little better, we’ve prepared a whole series of videos about Batrider and his gameplay. In them, you can find everything you need to know, starting from the matchup tips, and ranging to the macro decision tips for the midgame. And then, to top it all off, we are going to review a couple of matches played by our dearest friend, Alexander “DkPhobos” Kucheri. If anyone really knows their stuff when it comes to playing a good offlane, that’d be him.
Make sure to keep an eye on the videos we release on our website. Watch them, learn new things, and put them to use. It’s time to bring Batrider back into the meta before someone else beats you to it.