Riven Build Guide by Gorefury
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
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.
- Revised Skills section
- Revised Item section for change in The Bloodthirster
- Revised Items section (again courtesy of SiAreEx)
- Partially revised formatting (special thanks to jhoijhoi for his Making A Guide guide)
- Revised Runes Section
- Revised Masteries Section
- Revised item lineup (courtesy of SiAreEx)
So as my first guide, I'm sure there are many improvements to come. But, I've decided to make this guide because I felt that if i used a guide from mobafire, shouldn't I try to give one back? And so I shall. But first I must admit that I borrowed some ideas from other guides. I had experimented with other builds, even from a different champion. And for that I would like to thank Palthios for his influence from his Garen - Spin to Crit guide and Beeswarm for his Riven - Valor For All guide. I myself have not yet achieved level 30 but so far the build works well for me, I hope you find the same and if not, may I fix it soon after :)
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
I have noticed that Riven's abilities are powerful and have a less cooldown time than Garen as well as it being the only obstacle she has (i.e. no mana). That is why I included three Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction to clear it. Ki Burst can be a real tide turner,so making it as available as possible will help keep enemy champions suppressed , especially in team fights where many of them will be stunned. Don't change these!
I find that Riven to be quite durable, but still a bit squishy. that's why I would include the 9 Greater Seal of Armor and 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to make her less squishy.
I would use 9 Greater Mark of Desolation to give her a sharper edge in a fight, especially against tanks. Armor piercing should be a must for any AD champion. I would recommend keeping these Greater Mark of Desolation.
An alternative to the Greater Seal of Armor could be Greater Seal of Vigor since I find that her lacking in health regeneration, although it might be less effective in game. Instead of Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, if you're not worried about being a bit squishy, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction would reduce cooldown even further for more ability use.
Some useless runes for Riven would be any runes that give mana, energy or ability power. Simply, Riven doesn't use mana or energy, and her abilities don't use ability power. And for that reason, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration , Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration and Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration are useless and not good choices for runes.
Riven is an AD character, so using mastery points in the offense category would be the best choice. I used a slightly modified AD mastery chart, just to accommodate what i feel are Riven's strong points and weak points.
Summoner's Wrath X1 for the summoner abilities that will be used; Exhaust and Ignite will be enhanced.
Brute Force X3 gives champions a damage boost. I don't know any AD build without this mastery.
Alacrity X4 gives champions additional attack speed. Useful for getting the last hit first in a duel.
Sorcery X4 gives champions reduced cooldowns. The build would be self defeating without this, and it's good for Riven, so that she can use her abilities more often.
Weapon Expertise X1 gives an armor penetration boost. This will help with taking down enemy champions, especially if they rely on a high armor build like most tanks.
Deadliness X4 gives more attack power. This should be a no-brainer for anyone going AD offensive. Giving additional AD per level is a great boost, something AD champions should look for.
Lethality X1 gives more critical strike damage. A good bonus for any champion with a critical strike chance.
Vampirism X3 gives life steal. I think this is a mediocre stat, but it does help stay alive in battle.
Sunder X3 gives additional armor penetration. Again, good for anti-tank capabilities.
Executioner X1 gives an attack boost against low health champions. It speaks for itself I think, it helps wrap up the kill faster.
Hardiness X3 gives an armor boost. This makes Riven less squishy against melee attacks, that of which you might be dealing with the most.
Resistance X2 gives magic resistance boost. It's only 2 because I ran out of points to use, but I think that you will encounter magic less frequently than melee. It makes Riven less squishy overall, which is good.
None. I find that utility might help you advance in games, especially newbies, by granting extra movement, gold, mana regeneration, or experience. There is a cooldown perk, but it's too far down the ladder to be available to this build. Also, these perks don't do much in a duel, unless you use mana in a prolonged duel. But Riven doesn't use mana, so that's useless.
Instead of Vampirism X3, if you don't keep life steal, an okay change would be Havoc X3 which increases damage by 1.5%. The problem with this is that Riven won't get much heath back when out on the field from neither heath regeneration nor life steal. A better choice than Havoc would be Vigor X3 which gives a +3 heath regeneration per 5 seconds. It's not bad, but Vampirism will give more heath in the long run, and make you last longer in duels.
Again, same as the runes, anything that gives AP boost, magic penetration, or mana regeneration is utterly useless with Riven. so Mental Force , Arcane Knowledge , Blast , Archmage , Expanded Mind and Meditation are all useless. Don't even consider using them with Riven, no matter the build.
Here is where most of my borrowing comes from I think, of course I learned a lot just by looking at the aforementioned guides. Again thanks toPalthios and Beeswarm for their guides and SiAreEx for his input on the item build. I've also been told by a few of my friends, that this is an off-tank build.
Early Game - level 1-8
So the very first item you should buy, is Doran's blade. It gives great early game stats: Health, Damage and life steal. A great package for a cheap price. If all goes well, you should be able to buy your next three items, Boots of Speed and Doran's Blade X2, by the next time you return to base. Boots of Speed will give you the initial speed boost to chase down fleeing enemy champions, because this early in game catching them under the shadow of their turret is not something you want to do.
The second and third time, you should be able to buy Avarice Blade and The Brutalizer respectively. Both are required for Youmuu's Ghostblade, but getting Avarice Blade first will get you the gold bonus to purchase The Brutalizer quickly. The Brutalizer gives you armor penetration, attack damage and cooldown reduction, all of them good for building Riven. At this point, you should be at or nearing mid game.
Mid Game - level 9-15
By now, you should be into mid game and have racked up a few kills. The next item to get is Ionian Boots of Lucidity, these boots will give you cooldown reduction and additional speed. they're not the best for chasing down other champions, but they do give an additional cooldown bonus.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is the next item, you should be able to get it the next trip back to base. It gives damage, armor piercing, cooldown reduction and additional critical strike chance. Actively, it gives additional movement and attack speed for a short duration a good weapon for mid-game and it wont cost much for the upgrade.
The next item, B. F. Sword gives a great amount of damage, unfortunately it's also quite expensive. You wont get this until later mid-game, but you'll notice a significant difference in damage output.
The last mid-game item you'll buy is Phage. It's an interesting item, increasing attack damage and health as well as giving a chance to slow your enemies. Decent for mid-game, but slowing down enemies won't be reliable until you upgrade it late-game.
Late Game - level 16-18
By now, there should be the inner towers or base towers left. Your next item, The Bloodthirster, will definitely help push to victory, or hold off the enemy champions depending on your situation. It upgrades B. F. Sword for an additional 15 AD and 12% lifesteal, and here is the good part: the more you use it, the better it gets. potentially at full strength, The Bloodthirster will give you a total of 100 AD and 20% lifesteal. Thankfully not all of the bonus is lost upon death, so you should still be strong enough to not need a minion feast in order to get back up.
Here is where Frozen Mallet comes in. Frozen Mallet will definitely help with champions who are trying to run away. This weapon upgrades phage for an additional 2 AD (I know it's not much, but that's not why you get it) 475 health, and the ability to slow your enemies. Unless your attack speed is less than 0.5 attacks per second, which it wont be, then your enemy isn't going anywhere fast. Great weapon against runners.
If the game hasn't finished by now, then it might be a lot longer. So, Atma's Impaler will give +45 armor, good to counter AD building enemies, and extra AD equal to 2% of your HP. Before your next item, that adds up to an additional 53.24 AD. Good amount. After you next item, it comes out to 58.24 AD. better.
Your last item depends on your situation, Trinity Force if you find that your enemies are stacking armor, Zeke's Herald if not. Zeke's Herald will give you a team advantage, giving an aura that distributes 20% attack speed and 15% lifesteal to nearby enemies, this will give a major field advantage in a 5v5 duel. On the other hand, Trinity Force gives a great AD and attack speed boost as well as critical hit chance and movement speed. A good package to deal some damage and a cool active ability that lets you deal 150% base damage and can be used every 2 seconds. But as I said, it depends on the situation.
I designed this build with CDR in mind, but I tried to balance it out with AD and other necessities, and I have SiAreEx to thank for pointing out extreme weak points in my build. But, if you don't want to go for CDR much, there are some good AD choices you can make.
All of these are good AD items, each of them with good passive abilities. Infinity Edge gives a massive AD boost and critical strike damage. Sanguine Blade gives AD and lifesteal with a limited passive AD increase. The Black Cleaver gives AD and attack speed, passively decreasing enemy armor for a short duration. Good against tanks I would say. Tiamat gives AD, health regeneration and splash damage. pretty much a farmers tool.
Anything that focuses on AP, mana or mana regeneration. Again, Riven has no use for any of these, so if you're thinking about trying to get Rabadon's Deathcap, think again. That would be the worst move you could make in terms of item building, a waste of time, space and money. Trinity Force is the one exception to this, due to the other bonuses it gives.
First off, an explanation of each skill might be useful so you know what each skill does exactly and how it might be useful to you.
Broken Wings - This skill is a nice one. Countless times this skill let me finish a kill, the typical scenario of they run away and you catch up and kill. It is really handy when you're trying to get a kill before the enemy reaches their turret space.
Ki Burst - This skill deals damage and stuns. Its a great combo breaker, and it helps save friendly champions from being completely destroyed by skills like Malzahar's Nether Grasp or Fiddlesticks's Drain. You'll also want to maximize this one first because it deals the most damage per blow.
Valor - This skill you will be using to quickly get in and out of battle. It's not very impressive but it gets the job done. It also gives a shield, doesn't last long though in comparison to other abilities. This combination however, is a great way to either buff up or save yourself from a losing fight.
Blade of the Exile - The ultimate skill is a great ultimate ability, it buffs up your AD by 20%, but also has a secondary active ability that can deal up to 240 / 360 / 480 (+1.8 per attack damage) in a shock wave based on missing health. This will come in handy if your target is trying to run away on low health, the damage scales on enemies with lower health.
Here is the skill sequence that I chose. I find that an effective way to use Riven is to maximize her Ki Burst as soon as possible. It doesn't necessarily deal the most damage, Broken Wings deals more overall, but Ki Burst lets you break an enemy channeling ability, like Malzahar's Nether Grasp or Fiddlesticks's Drain. It's also more accurate in terms of hitting them. Broken Wings can leave you jumping everywhere without hitting your target if played in a hurry, but Ki Burst you just need to be in attacking proximity. Be sure to have all three abilities available at level three, and get your ultimate whenever you can.
The second skill to maximize is Broken Wings. The one problem I find with this ability is that it can leave you jumping everywhere like a circus act. To solve this, you need to make sure that you have your target selected or in the direction of your cursor. Regardless, I find myself forgetting this when it comes to using it in a fight.
The last skill you would want to maximize is Valor. Simply, the skill helps you more in catching up to fleeing enemies or getting away from turrets than getting away from others trying to kill you. It would be more useful if the distance increases, otherwise first level is good enough until endgame.
Your ultimate, Blade of the Exile, is awesome indeed. It has 2 activations, the first gives you a 20% AS boost and the second sends out a shock wave that deals damage in a designated direction. Depending on your opponent's remaining health, this can secure kills easily.
This variation is an ok variation. If you know how to use Broken Wings effectively then there shouldn't be much of a problem. Otherwise, stick to the original, I'm sure it will do you good.
You might wonder how someone sequence his skills poorly, and yes it can happen. I used to. First thing, always have all abilities available by level three. This will help you a lot for sure. Second, know what skills should be maximized first. In this case, that would be Valor. Valor in itself is a decent skill, but that's it. Decent. It's a short burst in a direction with a small shield, that's not going to help much when you're trying to take down someone. at best it helps get away from turrets or when you're slowed, but even then Flash does a better job. You should not maximize this skill until the end of the game.
I believe that most effective players use at least one of the above skills, which are great skills. Exhaust lets you catch up to the enemy but also weakens them to inefficiency. Flash helps with any situation, in or out of one. It's the best escape rope you'll find in-game, I would advise against not using it. as for Exhaust, a lazy alternative would be Ignite to let them run off and die. which is just as effective if not more when they run under the shadow of a tower.
So there it is, I hope it helps. Just remember that your comments help improve it, making it better, so don't be shy if you find something wrong with it :) I might add a hall of fame if it turns out to be that good, Something interesting I found on the Garen - Spin to Crit guide. Special thanks to Palthios, jhoijhoi and Beeswarm for their guides :), wouldn't be able to make this one without theirs. :)