How to play Batrider
March 9, 2018
There is no such thing as harmony among the creatures of the Yama Raskav Jungle. By bite, or claw, or pincer, or hoof, even the slightest sign of weakness means a swift death. They say the Rider was just a lad cutting chaff in his family's field when he was taken, swept up by a massive morde-bat looking for take-out. But this boy had a better idea, and wriggled his way from his captor's grip, onto the beast's back, and hacked it down with his tools. Emerging from the bloody wreckage and intoxicated by the thrill of flight, the boy realized he'd found his calling. The boy grew, and every summer he'd return to his family's field, often setting out into the bush seeking to reclaim that first thrill of facing death in the form of jaws or a fatal fall. The years went on, but his fire only grew stronger. He studied the overgrowth, plunging deeper with each expedition, until finally he found his way to the caves at the heart of hostility. They say the Rider, on the eve of a scorching summer night, had nothing but a rope, a bottle of liquid courage and a burning determination to feel the skies once more, when he plunged inside....
This is the second guide I've ever created and I wanted to start with a short introduction about myself and the hero featured in this guide, Batrider
I've been the Community Manager of DOTAFire since March 4th 2014 and I've started playing Warcraft III's DotA map back in 2007. In 2012 I've joined DOTAFire and a month later I've received a Steam invitation to play DotA 2 BETA, at the time you needed an invitation to play so I had to wait for a while to get one. :D
Right now I have over 3.500 hours played and I'm trying my best to climb up my MMR, currently sitting at about 5.000 MMR. I've used to play competitively years ago in some amateur 6.000 - 7.000 MMR teams and didn't focus too much on ranked matchmaking at the time, so hopefully whenever I have the chance to play I'll be able to improve more!
Alright, let's go back to Batrider
, one of my favorite heroes to play. Batrider
is one of the strongest single target initiators in the game. He can go behind the enemy lines, grab a hero and quickly retreat towards his team together with his prey. Besides his ability to snatch heroes, he's also strong in the laning phase since he's dominant in the offlane and he can efficiently farm the forest camps in case he's getting pressured out of his lane.
Usually we can see Batrider
picked in professional matches way more than in public matches. This happens because Batrider
requires communication and quick response from your teammates, but with good decision making, positioning and game awareness, you should be able to set the pace of the match and lead your team to victory using Batrider
Pros & Cons
When to pick Batrider?
- Strong initiator
- Great at clearing neutral stacks
- Pretty durable
- Good mobility & escape
- Difficult to play against
- Doesn't have very long cooldowns
- Low attack damage
- Low movement speed
- Item dependent
- Requires coordination & communication
- Requires game sense & map awareness
- Tends to get focused by enemy heroes
Taking all of the above into consideration, you should pick Batrider
when you're in need of an initiator that can hold a target under control. However, make sure to watch out for his counters, usually heroes like Vengeful Spirit
, etc. can be quite problematic for Batrider
I've mentioned the heroes above because Batrider
's ultimate is very important and it should not be interrupted. Do your best to avoid such heroes that can interrupt your ultimate or lock you down when you're using your Flaming Lasso
. Whenever you're using your ultimate, it is ideal that you and your team to immediately kill the target that you've lassoed. This way you can continue the rest of the team fight with an advantage since one hero is already dead, but if that's not the case, then you can contest objectives such as Roshan or enemy structures.
Of course, don't forget about the laning stage! Make sure to check what heroes have been picked so far before picking Batrider
. He's the strongest against melee heroes since they have to come close to Batrider
in order to damage him, and that's going to hurt them badly. If the enemy has 2 support heroes that can disable you and pressure you out of the lane, you can still pick Batrider
since he can efficiently farm the jungle, but you're not going to be able to fight against the enemy carry as long as the supports are around.
Skill & Item Build
- Sticky Napalm
- Flaming Lasso
- Sticky Napalm
- Sticky Napalm
- +6% Spell Amplification
- Sticky Napalm
- Flaming Lasso
- +300 Health
- Flaming Lasso
- +50 Movement Speed
- +8s Firefly
Let's talk about the skill build displayed above. I like to start with one point in Firefly
because it allows Batrider
to easily move through terrain and obstacles, this is great because you can scout for the enemy heroes, you can plant wards or destroy the enemy wards, and you can even try to steal the enemy's bounty rune if they don't have enough disables to take you down.
Moving on, we're going to max out Firefly
first because it's the best damage output that we've got and it's great for clearing jungle camps and for dominating the lane. In combination with a few Sticky Napalm
stacks, it can be really dangerous and hard to escape for the enemy heroes.
I've discovered recently that it's really strong to put a point into Flamebreak
at level 4. Against melee heroes it proved to be the most efficient, since I've almost always been able to get at least 5 stacks of Sticky Napalm
on them, at which point I have the chance to initiate using my Firefly
and be even more dangerous thanks to Flamebreak
. Even if it's only 1 point into Flamebreak
, at level 1 it deals 25 damage per second for 4 seconds, but for each Sticky Napalm
stack it deals even more damage per second.
Let's take a scenario for example, you're against a melee enemy hero and you've got at least 5 stacks of Sticky Napalm
active on them. You activate your Firefly
once you're close to them and start chasing them down while still casting Sticky Napalm
when you have the chance. Moving on, you can cast Flamebreak
to knock them back into your Firefly
and take extra damage. If you have Flamebreak
and Sticky Napalm
both at level 1 and you have at least 5 stacks of Sticky Napalm
active on your target, then you're going to deal 75 damage per second for 4 seconds using your Flamebreak
, which means a total of 300 possible damage with 5 stacks at only level 4. You can get in even more damage at higher levels with more stacks, it's up to you to take advantage of the mistakes done by your opponent (out of position, having too many stacks, trying to fight you in melee range and so on).
Moving on, you're going to max Sticky Napalm
next and Flamebreak
the last, since all you need in the early game is only one level and the utility you get from the knockback. Not much to say here, it's just the skill order that brings the most efficiency and damage.
Of course, always put a point into your ultimate whenever you have the chance!
Alright, let's move on to Batrider
's talents and which options are the strongest.
At level 10 we have to choose between +5 armor and +6% spell amplification. The bonus armor is nice but you are going to get more armor anyway from other items and teammate auras. The +6% spell amplification, however, is going to make your abilities even more stronger and effective, great option early in the game!
At level 15 we have a rather simple choice between +300 health and +2s Flamebreak
burn duration. Since Flamebreak
already serves it purpose without other additions, I believe picking the extra +300 health bonus is way better here since it makes you harder to kill and it enables you to stay alive more in fights and even while initiating.
Now it's getting even more exciting! At level 20 we have the option to pick +50 movement speed or +15% Cooldown Reduction. Since I enjoy roaming the map and setting up kills for my team, like Batrider
should always do when his Flaming Lasso
is off cooldown, the cooldown reduction is a very useful pick here. You're going to have a lot of mobility from items like Blink Dagger
, Force Staff
, Drums of Endurance and so on, meaning that the +50 movement speed isn't that great against the cooldown reduction bonus. Shorter cooldowns, more lassos! Feel free to get the extra +50 movement speed if you like it and want more mobility though!
And now the final pick, the level 25 talent! We have to pick between +8s Firefly
Duration and -13s Flamebreak Cooldown. In my opinion, I don't think the Flamebreak
cooldown reduction is that great at all, it can make the fight very chaotic and that won't be good for every fight. Instead, the bonus 8 seconds for Firefly
are really awesome since you have more time to spread your Firefly
, deal damage and even initiate!
Let's begin with the starting items:
Boots of Speed
Since Batrider's base movement speed is slow, buying Boots of Speed as the match begins fixes this issue while enhancing Batrider's potential to escape, chase and even get kills.|
Should provide you with sufficient health regeneration until you have gold to purchase Tranquil Boots.|
Mana regeneration is exactly what you need in the early game! Even if you're on the lane or in the jungle, this should be enough to allow you to spam your abilities in the early game.|
That's everything to say about the starting items, let's discuss further the core items:
The most efficient pair of boots for Batrider! It grants health regeneration and good movement speed, sustaining you in lane and increasing your mobility, great!|
A wonderful item to always keep you up and running. Provides you with some extra stats and can save you in a lot of situations if you have enough charges. Good on Batrider, good against Batrider!|
The item that enables Batrider to be a fearful initiator. Timing is essential and this item should be picked up as soon as possible. It can be used to initiate and escape or simply as extra mobility. Blink, lasso, kill, repeat!|
More mobility and more potential! Greatly increases the strength of your initiations since you can blink in, lasso an enemy and use Force Staff to drag your prey even farther. Don't forget that you can also use Force Staff to help your teammates or to get your enemies out of position!|
That's all about the core items, let's move on to the situational picks:
Drum of Endurance
If you're having a tough time getting your Blink Dagger and staying alive in team fights, you can consider picking up this item. It offers some really good stats, mana regeneration and a movement speed aura that's great both for you and your allies. Make sure to use the endurance active ability whenever your team needs it!|
Rod of Atos
Stats, stats, stats! Besides the great amount of stats, you get an extra 2 seconds disable at your disposal which can be very useful in various situations. Pick this up when you're looking for more mana, health and control.|
If you're against heroes with multiple targeted abilities that stop you from being effective in fights or when initiating, make sure to pick this item up. Don't forget that you can use Linken's Sphere ability on your allies as well!|
This is a good item choice against heroes that deal heavy physical damage. If you're getting targeted by heroes like Phantom Assassin for instance, make sure to pick this item up. It also provides you with some extra stats which is always welcomed.|
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
In most matches you can pick up this item as a core item, but I don't do it every match since other items might be more important depending on the match situation. However, the extra movement speed, mana regen and disable are always great to have! Pick this up after buying Force Staff if you don't need any other item urgently.|
And to sum it up, let's talk about the luxury items that are mostly bought in the late game:
Boots of Travel
The highest movement speed you can get from any boots plus the ability to teleport to allied structures and units. This is great since you can be where and when your team needs you. Be creative and map aware, because Boots of Travel enables you to have a greater dominance and presence over the map.|
Scythe of Vyse
Rarely seen because it's very expensive, the Scythe of Vyse is a great boost to mana and mana regen while providing a strong 3.5 seconds disable. Always great to have but very difficult to farm for. Usually it's better to go for a Shiva's Guard instead, but up to preference.|
This item is usually the second luxury item that's built on Batrider. It provides a lot of armor and extra mana, an aura that greatly slows the attack speed of the enemies, and an active area ability that deals damage and applies a slow to the movement speed of the enemies hit.|
Black King Bar
This item is usually the first luxury item that's built on Batrider since it grants spell immunity making you almost impossible to stop when initiating. Always a great choice! Take care against abilities like Savage Roar, Black Hole and so on, there are many counters even to Black King Bar!|
I don't like Batrider's ultimate upgrade too much and Aghanim's Scepter is pretty expensive. Only pick this up if you really like it, if you don't need another important item and if the enemies are playing close to each other.|
You've picked Batrider
, you got your starting items and the match begins! What now?
Preferably it's great to have a support buy you an Observer Ward
that you can plant around your lane. Usually it's great to pick a spot where you can see what the enemy supports are doing and to see if you're getting ganked or not. Make sure to set the Observer Ward
when the enemies don't have vision of you! If they see the spot of the Observer Ward
, they can easily remove it using a Sentry Ward
. This happens more often than you think, be cautious!
If the enemy supports don't have enough disables to keep you under control and pressure you out of the lane, try your best to get as many last hits as possible and to harass the enemy carry. As mentioned before, if the enemy carry is melee, that's a great advantage for you and you can even get a kill. Since you've started with Boots of Speed
, take advantage of your extra movement speed and apply pressure using your abilities and attacks. We've had an example earlier with the Sticky Napalm
stacks, that applies in many matches and you should be very aware when you can go in for the kill. Usually wait for at least 5 Sticky Napalm
stacks and you can go in with Firefly
. Make sure you have enough mana for all of your abilities! Also, please check your target to see if they have a Magic Stick
or Magic Wand
, these items are a counter to Batrider
and can turn the tables when you're planning to initiate!
Some times you're going to be against carries that are hard to kill such as Juggernaut
. In this case, you can focus the supports anyway since they're easier to kill and since the carry is most probably going to focus on farming instead. Same technique, gather stacks, set up the fire and start chasing!
On the other hand, let's say that you're against heroes that can lock you down and get you killed. In this scenario you get pressured out of the lane and you cannot return to it without getting killed. Have no fear, Batrider
is great at adapting to such situations! Grab every bounty rune that spawns near your lane and always get some stacks for yourself when you're doing so. If you have nice supports that communicate, ask them nicely to get some stacks for you so you can catch up and get a well timed Blink Dagger
. Same way with the neutrals too, get some good stacks of neutrals before and then use your Sticky Napalm
about 5 times before starting up your Firefly
. You'll be able to clear multiple camps at once, even some ancients pretty quickly. Use this farming capability to your advantage and be creative!
Ah, you've finally farmed enough for your Blink Dagger
, the most satisfying moment! The earlier the timing, the stronger it's going to be the impact of the item! Once you've picked up Blink Dagger
, you can start roaming the map and setting up kills for the team. I tend to focus on the mid lane since shutting down or at least slowing down the enemy mid's progress can greatly impact the outcome of the match, but you can pretty much set up a kill on anyone as long as your team is not getting killed. Always make good trades and smart decisions! Don't initiate if you don't have clear vision of the enemy heroes, play safe and carry your team!
Moving on, you're going to have even more items now, at least Force Staff
for instance. This is going to increase the success and strength of your initiation even more! Keep roaming around the map and playing with your team. Whenever you see your teammates ready and an enemy out of position, blink in and lasso them right into your team for the easy pick off!
There are going to be some great games that look impossible to lose, but please keep being careful and playing smart, don't overextend and don't get yourself killed without your team getting at least a kill of the same value as you!
When you're dealing with a siege, either if it's your base under siege or the enemy base, always take advantage of your positioning and the mistakes done by the opponents. For instance, if you're defending, grab an enemy hero that's out of position and drag them right under your towers and team. Kill them quickly and the enemy team will be forced to either engage and fight 4 vs 5 or simply retreat, giving you time to farm and catch up. Let's say you're the ones that are preparing to siege the enemy base, in this case you follow the same concept, wait until one enemy hero is out of position, blink in, use your lasso and pull them right to your teammates. Use the terrain to your advantage, you can fly over it and almost all heroes cannot deal with that as good as you!
Thank you for reading!
Thank you for reading my guide!
Thanks you for reading and please let me know what if you have any question or suggestion!
I hope you've enjoyed my second guide and I'll make sure to keep this guide updated as soon as the patches are released.
Good luck and have fun lassoing!