Riven Build Guide by Apothema

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Apothema

Broken Excalibur

Apothema Last updated on September 16, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello everyone and welcome to my Riven guide.

She's only released this day, so please bear in mind that this guide can change later on.

I've seen people build her like a carry class, which she's not. I do agree that some carry items work on her, but this not bring out her full potential.

Please try out this guide before downvoting.

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Pros / Cons


- The first not-so-OP-champ-at-release, imho.
- Great poking abilites.
- Great in teamfights.


- Takes practice to use her at full potential.
- Gets focused easily.

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Mark of Desolation = Armor pen is always good.
Seal of Attack Damage = That little extra AD works well
Glyph of Attack Speed = Great in combination with her passive
Quintessence of Desolation = Again armor pen for that great poking capabilities

Viable Alternatives:
Mark of Attack Damage = If you want extra AD
Mark of Attack Speed = If you want extra AS
Seal of Armor = If you need extra AD defenses
Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist = If you need extra AP defenses
Glyph of Magic Resist = If you need your AP defenses early game (I prefer /lvl)
Quintessence of Attack Damage = Great alternative for Desolation runes
Quintessence of Attack Speed = Extra AS is always nice.

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I go for 9/0/21 masteries.

Good Hands = Less time dead, what more is there to say?
Perserverence = That extra HP regen is really helpfull
Awareness = More exp is quicker lvling
Greed = Extra gold is very nice
Utility Mastery = Longer blue, red and Baron buff
Quickness = Increased movement
Blink of an Eye = CDR on Flash
Intelligence = CDR on your abilities
Presence of the Master = CDR on all your summoner spells

Deadliness = Better crit chance
Cripple = Improved Exhaust
Sorcery = CDR on your abilities
Sunder = Armor pen

I chose this mastery build solely for her CDR. If you use this in combo with the item build I provided, you'll get 39% CDR which is really needed imo.

It's needed to use her to her full potential. Most of her skills have a CDR of around 6 sec, having 39% CDR will give those abilities a CDR of 3.66 seconds.

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Starting items

Doran's Blade, Doran's Shield, Brawler's Gloves + Health Potion or Boots of Speed + Health Potion

Buy the blade in normal team compositions or for the nice poke. Shield when you're up against an AD lane.

The Brawlers are intresting for that fast Avarice into Youmuu's.

Use Boots when you're solo laning so you can't get ganked easily.

Core items

Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Youmuu's Ghostblade

The boots and the Ghostblade are used for that extra CDR.

Against heavy AD:

Thornmail, Randuin's Omen, Sunfire Cape and Atma's Impaler

Thornmail for obvious reasons. The Omen gives you extra regen, CDR and an acitve you can use.
The cape gives you a nice passive as well as the extra HP.

The Impaler will be your offensive item

Against heavy AP:

Hexdrinker, Force of Nature, Wit's End and The Bloodthirster

Hexdrinker and Wit's end increase your dmg output as well as giving you a nice magic resist bonus. The force of nature gives you extra HP regen and resist.
The Bloodthirster is your offensive item

If everything is going good:

Phantom Dancer, The Bloodthirster, Guardian Angel and Frozen Mallet

This gives a nice dmg output when your team is doing very well.

Frozen mallet will be your defensive item as well as a fully stacked Bloodthirster.

Guardian Angel is used for that needed resist

Other viable items that can be used:

Banshee's Veil
Infinity Edge
Last Whisper
The Black Cleaver

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Summoner Spells

I use Exhaust and Flash

Exhaust is used for securing your kill, while flash can be used as an offensive or defensive spell.

Other viable options:

Ghost = If you prefer this over Flash, be my guest
Ignite = If you need a DoT, or if you know Exhaust isn't good enough
Teleport = If you want to be able to gank other lanes
Heal = If you want some lane sustainability

Non-viable options:

Clarity = You don't have mana.
Fortify = You're not the tank
Revive = Not needed if you know how to play.
Smite = This is not a jungling guide
Clairvoyance = You're not the support
Rally = Never used it.

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Skill Sequence

I max out her Broken Wings out first, then Ki Burst and then Valor. Ofcourse you level up her Blade of the Exile whenever possible.

If you think you're getting focused way to hard, then level up Valor first. This will give you some survivability throughout the game.

The combo I use is: Blade of the Exile -> Valor to initiate -> Broken Wings -> Basic Attack -> Broken Wings -> Basic Attack -> Broken Wings -> Basic Attack -> Ki Burst -> Basic attack -> Basic Attack.

When you get hit hard, use Valor whenever possible

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Like any champ, Riven needs to farm.

Try lasthitting minions as best as you can, while still poking at the enemy champions.
If you do start poking, then make sure your partner is doing so aswell. Otherwise you'll get focused like hell, and possibly die.

If you both start poking, then make sure you're poking the same champion. You might get a kill or even a double kill if you and your partner are good at it.

If your lane isn't getting pushed, you might want to jungle or gank another lane.
Jungling is really helpfull to get that extra gold, while ganking might win you the game if you're doing it right. Make sure you know what to do and when to do it.

Ofcourse team talk is key in any match, even if you don't know them.

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I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read through this guide. I hope you like it and if you have any suggestions, please let me know. :-)

Please try out this build before downvoting it, thank you.