Riven Build Guide by SwiFtSluG
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
Threats to Riven with this build
|Dr. Mundo||Ignite is obviously needed in this lane IF you are looking to kill him. He can not trade with you early, he can not q you because you can just shield it and he is very bad at trading compared to riven. Try to all in him at level 2 and you snowball really hard after that. Usually everytime your ultimate and ignite are up, its a free kill. Rush armor penetration and cdr and this lane should be a breeze.|
Hello! My name is SwiFtSluG and I am a Diamond League of Legends player. I've been playing League of Legends since season 3, playing mostly top lane.
I started playing Riven in preseason 4, I always wanted to play her when her shield was still 2.5 secs but she was always banned. But then, Riot decided to nerf her e and her base health regen and she started to stop seeing the bans. Although many players gave up in Riven after the nerfs, I still find her to be extremely strong and fun to play. I was plat 3 in season 3 and I eventually started to main Riven and I made it to Diamond.
In this guide I try to explain my successful playstyle with Riven and how to defeat her weaknesses.
Pros / Cons
+ High Damage
+ Snowballs very hard
+ High Mobility
+ No Costs on any abilities
+ Strong Laner
+ Amazing late game with the ability to carry
+ Very versatile
+ Can turn around fights even with less than 200 hp
Riven is a very scary, high damage, high mobility champion. She is a very strong and safe top laner that can snowball very easily. If she snowballs very hard, she can force a lot of pressure to the top lane sometimes bringing the whole enemy team to deal with her. If she isn't dealt with in teamfights, she can destroy backlines in split seconds.
- Tricky playstyle
- Hard to master
- No Sustain
- Very susceptible to CC
- Predictable Moves
Although Riven is a strong and safe laner, her kit provides no sustain and can be poked out of lane very easily. She is a champion where if she falls behind, she can become very useless. Even when behind, she has to build damage because if she builds tank, she is useless and doesn't accomplish her main job of killing backlines.
This is the best summoner spell for Riven. Flash is needed often for making aggressive, flashy plays in teamfights. It is also helpful for chasing, or dodging skillshots that would have essentially gotten you killed or shutting your damage down.
This is the second best summoner spell for Riven. It is used to add on to your all in damage, reduce healing for some champions such as mundo and aatrox. Since your job as riven is to kill, it helps do a lot of damage combined with flash to all in.
This summoner spell is used when you have a lane where you know you will be poked out and you know you will need to recall early, gain an experience lead, or if you are playing ranked teams where you know you will need it to help turn around fights at bot/dragon. When using teleport make sure to teleport to a turret as it reduces the cooldown more than if you were to teleport to a minion/ward. Also keep in mind, if you have a jarvan or thresh on your team, you can teleport to jarvan's standard or thresh's lantern.
The most used Rune Page for Riven. 9x Armor penetration Marks, 9x Armor seals, 6x Cooldown Reduction, 3x Magic Resist Glyphs and 3x Attack Damage quintessences. I take Armor penetration marks because with Riven, a lot of people tend to build armor to decrease your overall damage input, so cutting into that armor helps a lot with your dps. I take 9x armor seals so I am not completely squishy in fights, you need a little defense or you will just straight up die with Riven. I usually tend to take flat cooldown reduction glyphs but that only leaves you with 35% combined with items runes and masteries. The 3 magic resists glyphs obviously just help you with general survivability from AP mids and AP supports that deal a lot of damage. Taking 3x Attack Damage quintessences makes it easier to last hit and you aren't just left with flat armor penetration with no extra Attack Damage.
2/3x Lifesteal Quintessences- Lifesteal helps to sustain in lane because Riven has no general built-in sustain so taking this compared with a Dorans Blade will hep you stay in lane.
9x Attack Damage Marks- Attack Damage Marks may take away your armor penetration but it helps a lot with last hitting and you should take this if you are planning to take lifesteal as it makes you gain more life everytime you auto attack. Also if your laning opponent is squishy and isn't going to build armor such as zed you can take this.
9x Scaling Cooldown Reduction Glyphs- Taking 9x scaling cooldown Reduction glyphs is nice to take if there is no ap on the other team or if that ap is not that much of a damage threat. Taking 9x scaling cooldown reduction glyphs lets you reach 40% Cooldown Reduction
In the first tier of offense you want to take the cooldown reduction over the attack speed as most of Riven's damage comes from spells. Also Cooldown reduction brings a lot of defense believe it or not because of Riven's very powerful shield. Taking expose weakness spell weaving and blade weaving all work very well together especially because of Riven's abilities. You will get a lot of spells and auto attacks off which helps you do extra damage just because of how the masteries work. Taking brute force and martial mastery just helps you have extra attack damage which leads to more burst. I drop 3 points into executioner as it helps burst people even at half hp. I take warlord because you get a lot of attack damage items, so you get a lot of bonus attack damage. I take devastating strikes and havoc to complete the offense tree.
In the defense tree taking block and unyielding are very good masteries that provide a lot of extra laning power and makes your trading power a lot stronger. Choosing recovery over enchanted armor is a lot better because of how bad Riven's hp regen is and also because you do not get a lot of defense items so getting an extra 5% wont make a difference. And obviously veterans scars and juggernaut provide a lot of health and is better than the jungling masteries Tough skin and bladed armor.
Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do a bonus 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 % of her total attack damage on her next autoattack
Things to keep in mind-
-The extra damage does not become applied to critical strikes from Riven.
-Runic blade stacks will expire after 5 seconds if the stacks are not being used or if the stacks are not being added.
-The Bonus damage from runic blade benefits from Lifesteal.
-Runic blade charges are not used while attacking structures and they do no extra damage.
-When you trade or go for a kill, make sure to expend all of your stacks between ability usage for maximum damage output.
Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes that will damage all enemies nearby for 10 / 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 (+40/45/50/55/60% total attack damage) physical damage. This ability can be activated a second time within 4 seconds, and a third time within 4 seconds of that. On the third activation she will also knock up nearby enemies and have a larger radius of damage. All three strikes will deal the same amount of damage.
Things to keep in mind-
-Broken wings' dash speed is about equivalent to 475 movement speed. At a certain movement speed (approx. 550) just moving is faster than using broken wings.
-Broken wings does not proc on-hit effects
-Broken wings has about a 0.5 cooldown between casts
-The 3rd proc of Broken wings can be used to jump over some walls and terrain blockers such as anivia's wall.
-Different from most multiple cast spells, broken wings' starts to cooldown after the first activation instead of the last activation. You can use this buy waiting for the last second possible to use the the activations and your q will be up again quickly.
-Broken wings can be used to cancel your windslash animation by casting broken wings immediately after windslash
-Broken Wings's direction can be easily changed by hovering over enemies
Riven deals 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 0.75 seconds.
Things to keep in mind-
-You can use ki burst to cancel blade of the exile's animation
-You can use ki burst to cancel an auto attack animation
-Ki burst does not proc on hit effects
-Ki burst can be used right after the knock up from broken wings for maximum CC.
Riven dashes towards the cursor and gains a 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 / 210 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) shield for up to 1.5 seconds.
Things to keep in mind-
-Valor cannot be used to pass through impassable terrain. Although, temporary terrain such as Anivia's wall, Jarvan's cataclysm, and Trundle's Ice pillar can be passed through with valor.
-Valor cannot be casted while stunned,snared,rooted,binded etc.
-Valor dashes towards wherever your cursor is. Use this to your advantage and quickly position yourself for a wall jump.
-Valor can be used to cancel many animations (More information later on in the guide)
Blade of the exile
Riven's sword reforms, gaining 20% bonus attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and autoattacks for 15 seconds. She is also granted the ability to use Wind Slash once for the duration.
Riven can activate the ability to emit a shockwave in a long cone in front of her that deals a minimum of 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) and a maximum of 240 / 360 / 480 (+1.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all units hit based on their missing health.
Things to keep in mind-
-Wind slash cannot be used until 1 second after blade of the exile has been cast.
-Wind Slash has a 0.25 second casting time
-Valor, your shield dash range does not increase after blade of the exile is cast
-Casting Blade of the exile has a 0.5 second animation cast which immobilizes you, so make sure to cancel this animation so you do not lose trail of your opponent.
-You gain extra range on the impact of your w q and auto attacks.
-Windslash is an execute, meaning it does more damage the lower hp your enemy is, so make sure to use this at the end of your combo when they are low hp.
The general and most used skill sequence for Riven is Q>E>W>R. Make sure that regardless of whatever abilities at level 1, level 2, and level 3, that you have 1 point into all of your skills.
In matchups that are easy or when you are looking to all in and dish more damage, you can get ki burst level 2 to maximize all in dps ability.
There are certain matchups where you will need to play a little bit differently to survive. These are mainly ranged champion or certain melee champion matchups. You get a point into valor, level 2 or even level 1. (Generally you take valor level 1 against most ranged matchups and certain melee matchups such as pantheon with his massive q poke)
Before I talk about what kind of items you are supposed to build, I will explain what stats you need to prioritize on Riven and why.
This is the most important stat for Riven. All of Riven's abilities scale with Attack Damage so this is the most important stat to prioritize for Riven. Attack Damage goes so far with Riven. Not only does it provide you with high damage, it provides you with great defense as it increases the amount of damage your shield absorbs. Even if you are behind in lane, look to build damage on Riven.
Lifesteal is important for Riven as she has no built in sustain. She needs lifesteal to keep her health points up so she can have more sustain in lane and in teamfights. The more health you have, the more presence you have as well.
Cooldown Reduction is a stat that compliments all of Riven's strengths. Having low cooldowns means you get to cast your spell's more often, which means you do more damage, have more mobility and have more shields.
Armor penetration is very important for Riven. Most teams build armor when Riven starts getting fed so building armor penetration helps negate the armor they build and allows you to dish out more damage.
Long Sword and potions
This is the standard laning start for Riven. Due to Riven's garbage health regeneration, it is hard to survive lane with only 1 potion. Also, long sword gives 10 Attack damage which is more than a doran's blade so you have more overall presence in the lane. A trick that I like to do is recall and buy a fourth potion to have more sustain in the lane. Make sure you use your q or e skill to get to lane without missing a minions worth of gold/experience.
Dorans blade and 1 potion
I myself do not really like this start. But I do still sometimes use it combined with lifesteal runes to have sustain in lane. But this start compared to longsword and 4 potions is quite bad due to just having a lot more potions with a longsword start.
Elixir of Fortitude and potions
This is a great start if you are going to NEED kills in this lane. An elixir of fortitude gives a lot more kill pressure than a dorans blade ever would. But you have to keep in mind, this is a 350 Gold investment, so if this doesn't work you wasted a lot of gold. Also, similar to the long sword start, you can back and buy a fourth potion to have more overall sustain.
Dorans shield and one potion
This start is good against some melee champs and most ranged champions. It takes away a lot of the auto attack harass and gives you a little bit of health regeneration to cope with your lack of potions.
Last whisper, Ravenous Hydra and The Brutalizer is your bread and butter core build. These are the 3 main items that gives you kill potential. It gives you a good mix of all the important stats to kill the enemies.
Although I wouldn't recommend this item before maxing out on CDR and getting your core build, look to build this item if you would like to build more damage. In past experiences, the shield seems to be kind of useless, as you can not charge it up in most teamfights.
The Black Cleaver
One out of the two possible upgrades from The Brutalizer. Build this item for the little health boost it gives you and for reliable damage output.
I myself, personally am a huge fan of this item. It gives 4 stats, armor penetration, attack damage, critical chance, and cooldown reduction. A critical chance stacked with your passive hurts A LOT. Although the best part about this item is the little boost of movement speed and attack speed that already adds to your auto attack damage and your very high mobility.
Defensive Armor Items
This item makes it very hard for ad carries to kite you. Also it adds a lot of health and armor that adds a lot to your survivability. Also the active slow helps you chase enemies or even peel if you have to.
This item is great to get if you are the only melee threat, are about to enter an important teamfight or if you're just getting completely blown up in teamfights.
Defensive Magic Resist Items
Grants an ability shield that you may need. Some champions have 1 ability that can completely shut you down, such as morgana's dark binding, ahri's charm, veigar's stun etc. Also it brings great survivability by giving you some magic resist and health.
I recommend this item over Banshee's Veil in most scenarios because it grants great defense against an ability power heavy team. Additionally, it grants you more cooldown reduction if you are not capped at 40% yet and has an added bonus extra healing from your lifesteal items.
Maw of Malmortius
This item is one of the more stronger defensive items that Riven can get. It brings extra ad which adds to your shield that you already have. If you are worried about magic damage, the your shield and the extra magic shield will keep you healthy and happy.
This is a great item to remove slows, stuns, taunts, charms or any form of CC. It also takes away very big damage threat such as zed's death mark or fizz's shark. This can also take away exhaust that shuts down Riven pretty hard as her damage is split in half.
Boots and Enchantments
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
In almost every game, this is the type of boot you will want. It provides you with cooldown reduction. Cooldown reduction provides you with more spells. More spells mean more damage and mobility.
This is really the only other type of boot you will ever get on Riven. It provides you with tenacity which takes away a lot of the CC. Avoid getting these unless you need to purchase them.
This is the best enchantment on Riven because it reduces the cooldown on your favorite thing on Riven, Flash! :D More flashes means you get to do more Boxbox's! I mean, more plays.
This is only bought if you need to roam around base quickly to defend or if you need to get somewhere quickly. Avoid buying these but buy them if you must.
Making your build (Different for each game)
Start with any of the starting items listed above. But choose accordingly. Example: if you are facing a lane bully such as nidalee that does a lot of auto attacking you will want a doran's shield to negate a lot of that damage.
Getting the core started
After your starting build, you will obviously want to start building your core. The Brutalizer is a very strong early game item, but if you are behind it isn't the greatest item to purchase first. You will obviously want to purchase your boots in here somewhere.
When slightly ahead or even: Brutalizer>Ionian Boots of Lucidity>Ravenous Hydra>Last Whisper
When Behind: Ravenous Hydra>Last Whisper>Ionian Boots of Lucidity>Brutalizer (Or you can switch the order around with brutalizer and Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
When Snowballing out of Control: Brutalizer>Ravenous Hydra> Last Whisper> Youmuu's Ghostblade> Ionian boots of Lucidity.
Finishing off Strong
At this point in the game you should have about 4 items completed. Ravenous Hydra, The Brutalizer, Boots, and Last Whisper. At this time you have to decide if you need more defense or if you can build more offense. If you have enough offense and need defense, decide what item you are gonna buy. Do they have a strong APC? If so buy a magic resist Item. Are you getting blown up? Build a GA. Is there a big AD threat? Build an omen and etc. If you decide to build more offense, finish your brutalizer or get a BT. Make sure to enchant your boots and trinket.
The Laning Phase
The laning phase is probably one of the most if not, the most important part of Riven's game. Riven is a very lane dominant champ and this is usually where she starts to get out of control. If you play your laning phase well with Riven, and win the laning phase, later on you will 99% of the time have a huge impact in the game.
Early in the laning phase you would usually start with broken wings, and try to hit level 2 before your laning opponent does without pushing it TOO hard. If your opponent started with a dorans shield or cloth armor try your best to avoid trading until level 2.
Now you are level 2. My favorite classic move. The level 2 cheese. This is when your opponent is near the creep you need to hit level 2 and as you go in to q and hit the creep and the enemy, you pop your red pot, level up w while you hit him with your first q and auto attack ignite w, q auto attack q auto attack and he is dead. Keep in mind that this cheese has been overused in the past and most people will not fall for it.
Due to Riven's overall nature of just doing aoe to the minions while trading, your lane is now starting to push. You have 2 choices here, keep slow pushing and when your enemy comes to farm punish him, or push it all the way to tower and reset the wave. Eventually when you push it all the way, go to place your trinket ward. When you are on blue side you should tend to ward the tri bush and on purple side you will want to ward the river bush as that is most likely where the junglers will cross paths.
Once you have reset the lane, the enemies minions should be starting to push towards your tower and you should look to freeze. Your enemy will have to overextend for minions and you can punish them for that by fighting or getting a gank from your jungler.
Depending on what champion it is, after turning level 6 you get a huge power spike and you can cheese by q'ing in right as the last creep is about to die level ult up and combo and all in. This will lead into a snowball.
If you completely destroy the laning phase consider whether you want to take tower and roam and help your team, or deny as many creeps as you can and keep on dominating the top lane so you can snowball even harder.
Teamfighting with Riven will take a while to get used to. It can be quite difficult getting used to. There is one thing that you need to keep in mind when teamfighting with Riven. Your main objective. That objective is to kill the backline. It's not to peel for your ad carry, soak up damage, to cc key targets. It's to do damage.
The most reliable way to kill a backline is with flash. Keep sneaking around as much as you can until you see a favorable position to flash engage stun and kill the backline. Although, you can not just go willy nilly with your flash. If they have exhaust or a lot of cc you will just die straight up. As a Riven player, you must work around it. If getting into the backline is not possible, just stay with your team and kill whoever jumps in.
Tips and Tricks
The Wall Jump
Lets start off with the most simple and popular thing known to Riven players. The wall jump. Ever since patch 3.8 was released, Riven has had the ability to jump over certain walls and terrain using the third activation of Broken Wings. While some jumps are harder than others, and this does take a little bit to master, this trick is actually quite easy to pull off.
Valor Animation Cancelling
You can cancel any activation of Broken wings with valor by simply activating broken wings right after casting valor. This can also be used to cancel Blade of the Exile's long cast animation. Simply cast Blade of the Exile after casting Valor.
Cancelling windslash animation
This is used if you need to chase and you CAN NOT afford to lose any time whatsoever.
Simply use windslash at the same time during a broken wings activation.
Cancelling the animation on tiamat/hydra
If you have ever bought these items I am sure that you have noticed that these items have their own little pesky animations that take a little time to cast. But luckily for you, Riven can cancel this animation time! Just simply cast Ki Burst and tiamat/hydra at the same time and you will see Ki Burst's animation while the aoe particles are shown from tiamat/hydra.
Using Tiamat/Hydra to take away Ki Burst's cast time
Although this is more of a chasing/damage combo it is used to gap close and stun without losing any movement. Use your tiamat/hydra during the animation cast of valor and ki burst right after immediately followed by a broken wings>auto attack>broken wings>auto attack>broken wings>auto attack. This is one of your most damaging combos as Riven.
The Flash Annihilation combo
This combo is THE combo that wrecks backlines in teamfights, and it isn't even that hard! Just simply charge up your 3rd activation of broken wings, Youmuu's, e, r, flash, q, w,hydra r. This should kill any squishy unless you have been exhausted.
The Quick Combo
This combo is mainly only used to kill jungle creeps or stationary targets. This combo can be difficult to use and master. This trick allows you to attack faster than you could usually attack by interrupting broken wings' animation.
To accomplish this task, you must broken wings a target, give Riven a quick movement command away from the target and really quickly auto attack the target again and you repeat this again 2 more times with the 2 more activations you have of broken wings. This requires quick hand movement and if you cannot do it, it is not worth it when you mess up but it can come clutch in fights.
I hope you learned a lot about Riven and why I love her so much! If you have any questions add me on LoL. IGN: SwiFtSluG. Server: NA. If you are confused on some of the tricks msg me and i can show you or you can search up riven players such as boxbox doing them! Thanks for reading! Also, PM me and let me know if you would ever be interested in me streaming! Enjoy Riven and GL HF!