Riven Build Guide by Furber
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Not Updated For Current Season
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***Updated as of 10/3/11***
I recently purchased Riven and proceeded to play her in dominion. At first I was a bit skeptical of her, the forums generally said she was a bit underwhelming. I've won 11 of the 15 games I've played with her so far, placing first at least 6 times. Not only is Riven a good pick in dominion, she is fun as hell to play. In this guide, I will tell you what I know so far of this champion. It will continue to be updated as I learn more about her.
Relatively short CDs (once you get a bit of CDR)
Has small but quick CC's that can be used to interrupt channels like Kat's ult
Great AD scaling makes for an awesome Late Game
Lacks ranged damage unless you ult (although this damage is quite impressive)
Short gap closing moves, as opposed to something instant like Audacious Charge
If you do not direct your abilities well, she is somewhat hard to control
Her sword is broke :(
*More will be added to this guide as I play Riven more*
Passive: Runic Blade.
Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do 5 / 7 / 9 / 11 / 13 / 15 (+0.5 per bonus attack damage) bonus physical damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, and will only expend one at a time.
Riven's passive is a good addition to her damage output. Like champions such as Lee Sin, you will want to auto attack in between using abilities to maximize your damage output. However, it is not always necessary in order to get a kill. If you feel like an enemy will escape you if you spend too much time trying to get your auto attacks in, then you might be better off using your abilities quickly to kill your enemy.
This passive usually brings up the thought of 'trinity force'. However, it doesnt work out well. The cool down on the sheen element of Trinity Force is too long for it to be effective on Riven. I choose instead to focus almost entirely on Attack Damage, which is the most helpful stat for Riven, as opposed to get a well rounded item like Trinity Force.
Q: Broken Wings
Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes that will damage all enemies nearby. This ability can be activated a second time in the next x seconds, and a third time after that. On the third activation she will also knock nearby enemies back and have a larger radius of damage. All three strikes will deal the same amount of damage.
Cooldown: 13 seconds
Range of Dash: 250
Physical Damage Per Strike: 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+0.7 per bonus attack damage)
Broken Wings is Riven's main combo attack. This ability can be used for many things.
It's primary use is Damage. This ability should always be used while you are fighting another champion. It deals good damage, and in an AoE so if there is more than one enemy, you can potentially hurt them both. It scales well with Attack Damage too, so you should definitely be sure to use it in fights. Remember, if you want to maximize damage, you need to auto attack in between uses of Broken Wings. That way your Runic Blade passive will kick in and help you do good damage in a fight. It is also good to stagger Broken Wings' 3 combo uses so that CD wont be as long when you finish the 3rd use of Broken Wings. This ability will become especially powerful when you Ult, so be sure to use it frequently once you use Blade of the Exile.
Broken Wings also serves as one of Riven's Gap Closing abilities. You can use this ability to get yourself closer to the enemy if they are out of your reach. Gap Closers are absolutely essential for fighters like Riven. Champions such as Xin, Garen, and Renekton all have abilities to get them closer to their opponents. Xin uses 1 long dash, Garen uses his speed boost, and Renekton has 2 short dashes. For Riven, using multiple combos to get to your enemy will sacrifice their damage output for gap closing. You have to make sure once you get to your opponent, you'll have something to use to fight him. I usually try to make sure the knock back is ready to use, or hits the opponent that I'm closing in on. It's also a really good idea to use Valor to help gap close, but that is an ability that I will explain later.
If your enemy is running away from you and you are having trouble catching up, Broken Wings is a great ability for Chasing. Much like gap closing, you'll use this ability to catch up to your enemy and strike him/her down. Remember that your third hit will provide some CC, so if your chasing Kassadin and you don't want him to teleport away, CC him with your third hit and hopefully you can kill him before he has time to Rift Walk away.
Broken Wings is a great ability for Escaping. When used in addition to Valor, you can avoid a gank or get away from a pursuing enemy. So far it has proved to be a very reliable escape mechanism for me. Always remember that the sooner you try to escape, the better, so if you see a gank coming out to get you, move quickly and don't hesitate. Spam Broken Wings and Valor in the opposite direction from your opponents and hopefully you'll make it out alive.
In dominion, it is very important to be able to Move around the map quickly. Whenever you are out of combat, spam BW as much as you'd like to get where you're going faster. I usually end up being one of the first to reach the top point in dominion because I can use little dashes like and to move quicker than my allies.
For Farming, Broken Wings is a great tool. Being an AoE, you can spam it at groups of minions to get them all low, then auto attack for last hitting. However, I've found a way to farm that in my opinion, works better. Using broken wings to last hit minions instead of auto attacking can be more reliable, since it does good damage and can be used instantly. You can also use Ki Burst to help farm in addition to .
One of the great things about Riven is her great ability to Interrupt. When you fight some one like Kat, it is very important that you stop her Ult, or you're most likely going to lose the fight. You can use the third use of Broken Wings, which knocks enemies back, to interrupt things like and . Ki Burst, being a stun, can also interrupt enemies. Through using these abilities often in battle, you can wreck channeled abilities.
When you start the match, it is always fun to spam Broken Wings around the little starting circle just For *****. Having no cost of any kind, if you just feel like messing around and spamming all of your abilities, be my guest.
W: Ki Burst
Riven deals physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 0.5 seconds.
Cooldown: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 seconds
Radius of AoE: 300
Physical Damage: 50 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)
Ki Burst is an important part of Riven's kit. Being an instant Stun + damage, KB can be used for a quick burst of damage, and the stun can be important in a 1v1 situation. Also, remember that it is AoE, so if you run into a group (though be careful you don't explode instantly) you should use KB to interrupt and stun people around you.
One problem with Ki Burst is its extremely short range. You have to be in melee range for this ability to work, so make sure you are right up next to enemies when you use it, or it will do nothing.
KB is good for trying to stop enemies from running away from you. In addition to hurting them, the stun could buy enough time for you to finish them off before they Flash or something. Remember that Broken Wings helps this too.
I choose to level up BW and KB neck and neck to keep a balanced damage between them. I feel like if you're maxing KB, when you fight enemies that are smart enough to keep a little distance from you will not take any damage form it. Late game Ki Burst can do some really nice damage, and as I've mentioned, the stun is essential to Riven's kit.
Riven dashes towards the cursor and gains a shield for up to 2.5 seconds.
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Shield Strength: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)
Valor is extremely important for Riven. If not for valor, she would struggle fighting other champions, especially 1v1. First, I will explain the importance of the Shield element.
You should always start the fight with Valor, so that your shield can absorb initial damage. Also, if you use it first, you will be more likely to be able to use it again to block even more damage during the course of a battle. Keep in mind that Valor's shield gets better the more AD you have, so essentially you will be turning AD into defense. Although you can use Broken Wings to approach an enemy, you should make sure you use Valor as well, for the shield.
Whenever you are nervous about checking a bush, rush into it with Valor so that if there is an enemy, you will be shielded and ready to fight. Also if there is imminent incoming damage like a Karthus ult, you should shield to reduce the damage it will deal to you. Also good for tanking a bit of turret damage if you catch turret aggro.
Now I will discuss the dash element of Valor.
Valor can be used in addition to Broken Wings for gap closing. I think the dash may be slightly longer than each individual dash of Broken Wings, but it's probably an insignificant amount. Unfortunately, you cannot use Valor to dash through terrain. To be honest, I'm not sure why they implemented this. Pretty much every other dash move can, it's not like allowing Riven to do it too would make her broken or anything, oh well.
You can also use Valor for evading a skill shot. Always remember: Dodge perpendicular to the skill shot, not backwards, and you should successfully evade it. Not only would Valor hopefully help you dodge the skill shot, but if you do get hit by the skill shot, the shield might block it.
R1: 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.
Cooldown: 75 / 60 / 45 seconds
Riven's Ult comes in two parts. The first one is a passive that you gain for the duration of the ult. It is a huge AD boost, as well as range increase on her abilities and auto attacks. This makes for an incredibly powerful ult, a huge combat boost that can make the difference between you getting ganked by two people and dieing, or being ganked by two people and getting a double kill.
You should always be sure to use this ability when the fight starts, rather than later. You'll want to make as much use of the ult as you can, so usually you'll use it, rape the **** out of a few guys, one or two might try to make it out alive, but you cut them down with Wind Slash.
Note: Apparently there isnt an icon for wind slash on mobafire atm, so for now you'll be seeing it written twice, but once they add the icon it will be fixed.
R2: Wind Slash
Riven can activate the ability to emit a shockwave in a long cone in front of her that deals physical damage to all units hit based on their missing health.
Minimum Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)
Maximum Damage: (25% health or lower): 240 / 360 / 480 (+1.8 per bonus attack damage)
Missile Speed: 2200
Wind Slash is an awesome ability. It is Riven's form of ranged damage output, and it's a damn good source of damage output. Remember, this ability is somewhat of a finisher move, so you should not use it to start a fight. If you're fighting someone and it's looking like a close fight, Wind Slash should ensure that you dominate the fight. Lots of times I end up smacking people in the face at point blank with this ability, but it is also great for catching runners. You have to act fast though, and lead well, or you could miss. You should also try to position yourself so that your Wind Slash hits multiple enemies. I once had a team fight that we were losing, but my Wind Slash turned the fight completely around and we aced them because I hit 4 enemies with Wind Slash.
If you find yourself without a target to use Wind Slash on at the end of your ult, you might as well just throw it at your team mates for *****. Maybe throw it at minions or something, or throw it in a bush and who knows, you may kill a low HP enemy that was hiding. Riven's ult is only half of its usefulness if you forget to use Wind Slash, so make good use of it.
These summoner spells are in order of most recommended to least recommended
Cleanse: Good way to defend yourself against CC. I take this because it's very important to not get CC'd a lot as Riven. Her abilities are pretty good for escaping before you get CC'd, but once you do get CC'd, it's hard to get out. Cleanse will let you get out of any CC except for Suppression ( , , , ). There are also items you can take that can do the job of Cleanse. QSS Acts as a super cleanse on a lower CD. It can get you out of everything, suppression included. Merc Treads will give you CC reduction, but remember that you will still be CC'd, where Cleanse will get you right out.
Ghost: Great for escape / chase. Also just helps to have good mobility in team fights. Flash is a good alternative. It can also be used if you need to respond quickly, like going to take a point or defend a point.
Exhaust: Great for shutting down champions. You can use it to help yourself escape, or prevent some one from escaping. The damage reduction helps a lot too, good for shutting down ppl like Tryndamere. As good as Exhaust is, I choose not to get it because, quite frankly, it's a really gay summoner spell. It's pretty much auto-win 1v1. I choose cleanse now over it because it is a counter to Exhaust (which practically everyone is getting now because it's so damn good). Not saying you can't get it, but I choose Cleanse instead.
Flash: Another great escape, and good chasing ability. I prefer Ghost on Riven though. Remember Flash can be used over walls, which can be great for escaping.
Ignite: Good for getting that extra little damage in to get a kill. Also counters ppl like Mundo and Swain.
Clarity: LOL (no mana champ=no clarity)
Clairvoyance: Mmmm...neh. This is more of a support Summoner Spell. I'm actually not even sure if you can use it it dominion, I don't see much need for it.
Teleport: Not particularly great on Riven. Again, I'm not entirely sure if you can even use this in dominion, I'll have to check on that.
Heal: Heal is not too good of a spell, CD is way too long. Although it does heal you, the amount it heals you can be somewhat negligible considering how infrequently you can use it.
garrison: I havent had a chance to use this spell, so I dont really know how well it would go with Riven. It's good when fighting around points.
Revive: No. The biggest problem with Revive is the long-*** cool down. I see people try to use it in Dominion, but it really doesn't work.
Rally: Rally isnt in dominion
Smite: Nope, no jungling in Dominion
I go 21 into Defense, this helps her be a little tougher, since she's not as bulky as some other bruisers can be. 6 in offense for a little CDR, and a little crit stuff. Then I put the rest of the points in some utility for the decreased death timer. Masteries are all personal preference. You can also choose to go all in offense.
I would like to start by saying Runes are completely personal preference. I better not see a downvote about runes, or I'll know it's just a troll.
You can choose Armorpen or AD marks, I prefer the armorpen
You can choose AS or dodge seals, I'm still a little in between on these. Any other suggestions for what Seals to get would be appreciated
You can choose Flat CDR or CDR/level, I guess MR glyphs would be good too. I prefer the flat CDR runes.
For quints, anything from ArmorPen, straight AD, quints of swiftness, CDR quints, HP quints. All of those would work well.
In dominion, you start out with a lot of money. There are many different combinations of items you can buy at the start. Feel free to choose your own, but I prefer to take Boots of Speed (it's very important to have good MS early on). Then I either get a
Prospector's Blade for good early AD, a bit of Life Steal and some HP. Or I get a head start on my Brutalizer and build 2
Long Swords. Then, with the rest of my money, I buy 2 to 5 hp pots, depending on if I got the Prospector's Blade or the Long Swords.
To start the match out, you should have:
Once you get back to buy stuff, hopefully you will have enough money to buy Ionian Boots of lucidity. I take these boots because CDR helps Riven. Other choices of boots include , , or . After that, buy your
Brutalizer. This is important to grab early on because it gives you helpful stats like AD, Armor Pen, and CDR. I choose to wait on upgrading this to a Youmuu's Ghostblade because I feel that the other stats Ghostblade gives are not as necessary for Riven. Instead I set my eyes on what I like to call, the B.F. Sword items. These are heavy AD items, and since Riven really needs to stack AD, I don't fool around too much with things like stacking Crit or getting a lot of AS. AD and some anti-armor stats are what I go for as Riven to maximize my damage.
The first B.F. Sword item I go for is The Black Cleaver. This item is incredible for Riven. It gives her a great early boost of AD, just enough AS so she's not auto attacking like a sloth. One of the best things about this item is the Armor Shredding passive. Each Runic Blade auto attack will shred the enemies armor, which causes your following abilities/auto attacks to deal even more damage.
Now your build should look like this:
Here is where I will start splitting the build into 3 different parts. I will put the far sides of both DPS and Tanky build, and then a good mix of both.
Next I build a little bit of defense as well as more offense. I build a Phage for some HP and AD. Also the little slowing passive is helpful too. You can either turn this into an Entropy for lots more AD. It also has a good active ability that you should use often. It acts as a short lasting Red Buff. If you want to stay tankier, you can build it into a Frozen Mallet. This will build your HP up a lot. After that I build a Vampiric Scepter which you will later turn into a Sanguine Blade. This will give you some good lifesteal, and you can sell your Prospector's Blade at this point. Next, I build a Giant's Belt to keep my HP up. If you want to keep building DPS, go ahead and get the Sanguine Blade. If you want to keep building tanky, get a Negatron Cloak if you need MR, or a Chain Vest if you need Armor instead of the Vamp Scepter. This will give you good mit to add to your plentiful HP (Keep in mind that HP means NOTHING without good Mitigation).
Now I am going to color code the DPS Build, the Tanky Build, and the Tanky/DPS Build. That way it will hopefully be easier to follow along.
As of now, if you are building straight DPS, you should have:
If you are building Tanky, you should have:
If you are building Tanky/DPS, you should have:
Next, for the DPS build, I am going to buy an Infinity Edge. This item gives a very nice boost to AD, and it will improve your crits a lot. Now, when Runic Blade Crits, it will do an *** load of damage. After that, I turn my Brutalizer into
a Youmuu's Ghostblade. This will improve your AD, Armor Pen, and Crit Chance. It also gives you a helpful Active ability which you can either use with the active of Entropy, or you can use it when the active of Entropy is on Cool Down.
Your end DPS build should look like this:
Next, for the Tanky build, I build either a Sunfire Cape if I need Armor, or I build a Force of Nature if I need MR. And then I build which ever of the two I did not get first. The Sunfire Cape will not only greatly improve your defense, but also it gives you a little AoE Damage around you. The Force of Nature will greatly improve your MR, and it also gives you awesome health regen. The Movement Speed increase also helps you a lot in dominion. Once you've got those two items, you should be very hard to take down, but you should still have good damage output with the Black Cleaver and Brutalizer (which you can turn into a Youmuu's Ghostblade now if you want to. Or you can consider selling it for another tanky item like Guardian Angel).
Your final Tanky build is:
Next, for your Tanky/DPS build, I build the Sanguine Blade for a great boost of AD, and good life steal too. After that, I build the Giant's Belt into a Sunfire Cape. This will provide great defensive stats, so that in addition to dealing great damage, you will be bulky and you won't explode instantly in a fight. If the enemy team is largely composed of AP damage, you should build a Force of Nature instead of the Sunfire Cape. As I mentioned before, FoN gives great MR, hp regen, and MS. Last, you upgrade your Brutalizer into a Youmuu's Ghostblade. As mentioned before, it gives you good stats and a helpful active that can be used or before/after you use the active of Entropy. Personally I find this build to be the most common one that I build. In my opinion, it is the perfect mix of damage and bulk.
Your final build for Tanky/DPS is:
Playing in Dominion Mode
I typically don't go bot lane, I feel like she belongs with the 3 others that go top. Typically you'll be the first one to get to top, assuming you are spamming BW and Valor. Try not to just charge into the whole enemy team, it can be tempting because of your AoE's, but i guarantee you'll be Exhausted and killed fast. Wait until your team mates are ready to commit to a fight, then you can rush in. Remember, try to identify which enemy has the most early game damage output. If you see some one like
, go straight for her first. Remember not to over pursue though, as this can lead to death. After that I usually continue going top. Remember that it's imporant to not only take the top point, but also defend it. When defending, recall that you have no ranged harass abilities. Wait for the enemy to try to start capping the point, then you can charge them. Remember though someone like
can push you back and roll away from you. You will not be able to chase these champions well, so if you find yourself being kited to hell, retreat back to your point.
For great general dominion strategies, go to the Teamwork and Strategies section of this guide
All credit for this goes to Zemiazas
*I will add more as I play more with Riven*