Batrider, despite all his success in the pro scene, has had a very consistent low winrate for pubs. Currently it hovers around a 45% winrate, which is not that fancy. Let me explain some ideas that you might disagree with off the bat, but bare with me here.
The Blink Dagger
The entire purpose of Blink Dagger on Batrider is to that it allows you to get effective pick-offs against the enemy team. Chuck a force staff into the mix, and it becomes an incredible repositioning tool where you can jump in and pull out. We know this, but what offset does this cause? If you’ve read a project I’ve been working on called ZTC, you’ll be familiar with my theory that nothing is really innate, and instead every game you chose a path to build a hero. For example, by rushing Blink Dagger on Batrider you emphasis the initiation characteristic for your hero. The problem is that we have come to the point in the game, where people are only familiar with this one Batrider path; an emphasis on Initiation by rushing Blink into Force. Batrider no longer has any popular alternate builds. Which is interesting, cause not only did it never used to be this way, but the hero can do multiple things really well. Initiation is simply one of them.
Two Years Ago
Two and a half years ago in a Reddit discussion on Batrider, the very top comment in the thread contained this:
Item wise, I just go bottle -> boots -> hood/vit -> treads/manaboots (depends on needs of team) -> blink. Order can be switched around a bit, and he is a very flexible hero. Blink isn’t always necessary, especially if you have another initiator like clock, but as a luxury item is outstanding.
The top comment contains the idea that Blink Dagger is amazing, but isn’t always necessary. Which is something that Batriders seem to forget as time goes on, as heroes change and the meta shifts; that heroes are versatile. I tend to find that there is only 2 core items in the game, BoTs on Tinker, and boots on everyone. As incredible as Blink + Force is on Batrider, as successful as it has been in the pro-scene, it is not the only way to play the hero.
Breaking it Down
If you break it down, the Blink/Force build is entirely about Flaming Lasso. The problem is that the hero is more than one ability, and like every hero in the entire game, they can have success by emphasizing different parts of the hero. I think this is where his winrate problem stems from, the fact that people don’t understand the nature of heroes and builds. Blink Batrider relies on team co-ordination above any other. He generally needs to heavily coordinate with his team in order to get a successful pick off. Which is something that doesn’t really exist in pubs. In the pros, where everyone is on the same page, and people actually know and trust each other, this works wonders. It’s logical that his bad winrate stems from people being unable to reach the full potential of the build, because of the massive difference between pubs and pros.
What Else Can You Do?
Even if you disagree, you should try building Batrider rushing a different item. Firefly does an insane amount of damage, and it can easily do over 100 damage per second. While the turn rate slow is actually unmatched by anything else in the game. Having the tankiness to deal out consistent slow and damage is a viable option. One of my alternate builds is to get a fast Mekanism, I can easily get it under 10 minutes and it is one of those items that has a very high impact when you have it that early – and is great and making your teammates do better.
Suddenly you have great team heals, and are able to an incredible amount of damage, since you have considerably more EHP. I still get a Blink Dagger, because it is a strong item on him, but I recognize that the hero is more than one thing. I get it eventually, later in the game. In fact in the 2 and a half years old Purge Plays video below, he gets Vanguard > Pipe > Blink. A much more teamfight orientated build, which was very popular back then. You tank up in order to let your massive magical damage and turn rate slow destroy in a fight, and then later on get some initiation items. His Lich had a Mek this game, and he also briefly explains his thoughts about blink in relation to tank items.
A Good Dota-er Never Forgets
The Blink build works great in certain environments, but I often think it’s not the best for pubs. Be more versatile with your early game Batrider items, and sure there will be a lot of haters, I’ve been flamed so many times over the years for doing things that were different, but now they are considered normal. Because Dota trends change massively every year. Dragon Knight was never a mid in pubs until people did it in the pro scene, and now sidelane DK is something I rarely ever see, but is a long way from terrible. Be more flexible, have an open mind. Dota trends and builds change every year, Batrider Mek is a perfectly fine path to take, especially if your team has people already emphasizing initiation. Just some food for thought.