Riven Build Guide by Zerosmia
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.
Threats to Riven with this build
|Nasus||This match typically will favor you since you aren't an Auto attack based champion. You weave your attacks between your skills so as long as you go hard level 2 and try to deny him farming his Q you should be fine. However this match turns into a counter for you once he builds armor and gets a good amount of stacks. The early game is your big chance against the dog. Show him the bunny is superior!|
|Singed||Singed, it's time for Riven to get her revenge! Seriously though singed is not a hard match up especially early if you start Q and go W level 2 like usual you will easily beat him in a fight as long as you don't continue to chase him. Brutalizer will help you to beat him early game. If he gets to be too much for you to fight and is winning trades or just going to proxy you should just farm. That's the best you can do. If your jungle decides to converge on him with you while he is doing that though then don't just sit on tower and be like "I GOTTA GET THE MINIONS" if it's going to be an easy kill. Use your better judgement to see what will get you advanced to your next item!|
First thing is first: I very very rarely play ranked, I just don't find it all that enjoyable. However I love Riven and have played her since S2 and while I do not claim that I have perfected her I have figured out a formula that has truly worked with me especially in the most recent patch (5.8). GET ON WITH IT!
So you want to re-enact your favorite scene from "Monty Python and The Holy Grail", but you aren't sure about how. This guide is your answer. Purchase that battle bunny skin and let's get to work!
So here's some things you're gonna have to know about riven ahead of time. Riven is not really all that tanky and in fact range or good CC in lane can absolutely devastate her if you aren't careful. And an enemy stacking armor is bound to be a problem at some point or another if you don't pull ahead, but with my guide hopefully you will find your way of tearing through enemy teams and being the top laner everyone hopes you will be.
Now that we have the basic information out of the way let's move onto the rest of the guide!
Pros / Cons
Rewarding for aggressive play style and harass.
Scales extremely well with AD.
Has two CC abilities as well as a shield and execute!
Building armor against her can really make life difficult.
Fighting a top lane mage or ranged adc could possibly ruin your day.
If you fall behind it's EXTREMELY hard to come back.
If they have enough CC you won't be able to do anything if focused.
Terms & Shorthand
CC: Crowd control. It doesn't mean dealing with multiple opponents. In League, it's like status effects in anything else. Any kind of disable, including a stun, slow, or knock up, falls into this term.
Hydra: Ravenous Hydra
Ghostblade: Youmuu's Ghostblade
Maw: Maw of Malmortius
BT: The Bloodthirster
GA: Guardian Angel
AA: Auto Attack
AD: Attack damage
AS: Attack speed
MR: Magic resist; magic defense
MS: Movement speed
ADC: Attack Damage Carry.
Flash Ignite This is my favorite and arguably the best summoner spells to take on Riven. Ignite gives you tons of kill potential and will really help with heavy sustain opponents. I recommend taking this one 80% of the time in normal games at least. If you are going ranked however...
Flash Teleport While I still feel she is much better with flash ignite, sometimes in ranked you need Teleport for objective control.
These are the only two sets you should ever consider for Riven honestly.
Runes & Masteries
Now I know the argument of the whole "CDR runes are better than MR on riven." While that can be true for some people. I personally have always had better experiences with Scaling MR to be honest. It's really preference, but the AD runes and armor I would say are mandatory for top lane. If you're playing draft pick and you see no real threat to you when it comes to AP or you are just laning against an AD lane opponent then you can run CDR glyphs if you want, but you will need to have a MR item later if they have any AP that could be a threat.
These runes in my opinion are what does best on riven. This is kinda preference too. If you don't like this part you are welcome to change it, but I promise that these will serve pretty well for what you'll be doing! Spell and Blade weaving make riven's damage really great in combination with her play style of utilizing her passive between spell casts. And this mastery setup ensures the most damage output for riven, but once again masteries are kinda preference.
Ever since 5.8 I honestly have lost any will to want Last Whisper for the reason that phage builds into The Black Cleaver. After you attack dealing physical damage (this includes your skills as Riven) reduces the enemy's armor and stacks up to 5 times meaning you can reduce their armor by 25% on top of phage speeding your movement up. The new cleaver is far too good to not use now. Between cleaver and ghost blade you have plenty of cool down reduction so you may as well get either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads for your boots depending on what you need. Ravenous Hydra has many great uses as well on top of sustain and damage it allows you to animation cancel with your skills when you use the active (See Animation Cancelling Section) This build will give you lots of damage, sustain, CDR and chase potential. It's currently my favorite build for riven and I highly recommend it as it really just makes her a monster.
Maw of Malmortius Whether it's you're struggling against an AP carry or they have an extreme heavy AP team this item is a very very good item to have on riven. Gives a good amount of AD and the shield it gives against Magic damage will save you in those situations that you need it to. This would replace The Blood Thirster in those situations.
Mercurial Scimitar Is there a pesky Heavy AP CC champ like Malzahar or a pain in the butt Zed ruining your day? Then this is the item you'll need. The quicksilver sash that builds into it removes any CC/debuffs and yes that includes Zed's ult. This will save you and ruin their day.
Last Whisper While this item was part of Riven's core before 5.8 this item is still very good on her! If you for some reason need this or just don't wanna have ghost blade and cleaver than replace whichever you don't want with this item. It's mostly needed just for when the other team has a tank that is a problem or they are a tanky team in general.
Guardian AngelOh man... their entire team focuses you every fight and you can't stay in the fight. WELL NO WORRIES! Build this glorious winged item and if they make the mistake of focusing you your team will punish them for it as you just wait to revive and get back into the fight. A very great item to have in situations where their team will go out of their way to fight you. Makes your initiations really great too! You will not regret buying this item. However after it's passive is used I would recommend selling it for BT/Maw/Mercurial until GA's passive would be available again.
Abilities & Combos
Runic Blade God this passive. TL;DR version: After you cast a spell your next auto attack will be stronger and this can stack up to 3 times meaning you can have 3 auto attacks consecutively that will have boosted damage.
Broken Wings The most useful skill Riven could ever want. Good for gap closing, strong damage and the third cast is a knock up.
So things to know about your Q and it's proper use. Your Q has 3 casts and you can delay the timing between the casts and each time it's used will add a stack to your passive. The standard combo for your Q casting is Broken Wings>AA> Broken Wings>>AA> Broken Wings>AA. It maximizes the damage you will have in a fight and will most of the time surprise your lane opponent when their health starts to disappear fast.
Ki Burst Awwww yeaaah! Your stun which as a good bit of damage to it as well. It's a very small AOE stun around riven that is VERY useful and is good for helping you escape or a life saver for those close fights depending. While not as useful as your Q is this skill is very nice.
Valor Your shield which I will remind you... *ahem* SCALES WITH AD! The more AD you have the more shield you have from using this. This skill actually is not only a shield, but a dash too and can be used after your basic Q combo as a way to get out practically spot-free from trades. It can be used to gap close as well giving riven even more utility and more survivability.
Blade of the Exile MY SWORD IT FIXED ITSELF! SO OP!
Seriously though this ultimate is what makes riven so scary. On top of it giving you a buff to your attack damage and range it has a ranged active ability in the shape of a cone which does more damage the lower your opponent's HP giving you a huge edge in fights.
Spell combo 1: Blade of the Exile> Broken Wings>AA> Broken Wings>AA> Broken Wings>AA> Ki Burst> Valor>AA Blade of the Exile
Spell combo 2: Valor> Broken Wings> Broken Wings>AA> Broken Wings>AA> Ki Burst>AA> Broken Wings>AA> Blade of the Exile
Harrass Combo: Broken Wings>AA> Broken Wings>AA> Broken Wings>AA> Ki Burst>AA> Valor away
Catch up combo: Broken Wings> Broken Wings> Broken Wings>AA> Ki Burst>AA> Valor>AA OR Valor> Broken Wings> Broken Wings> Broken Wings>AA> Ki Burst>AA x 1 or 2 > Valor Away if it's up again.
Riven's skills can be used to cancel out the animation of her other skills and Hydra can be used to do this as well this is an advanced tactic used to make her all-in quicker and more lethal. For instance if you use use Valor into Blade of the Exile and then another skill or hydra's active it will cancel the slightly annoying length of activating your ult to allow you to just keep going instead of that slight pause. Valor > Ki Burst is a basic animation cancel where if you use it correctly you'll stun an enemy while dashing in or away which is very handy. Experiment around and find what works best for you when it comes to that.
Typical Animation Combo: Valor > Blade of the Exile > Ravenous Hydra > Broken Wings > AA > Broken Wings > AA > Broken Wings > Blade of the Exile > AA if needed.
This is where you shine. If you succeed here the rest of the game you will be relevant. Your goal if you have ignite is to try and get First Blood at level 2 by starting with your Broken Wings and then getting Ki Burst, you will have a stun and a knock up. Couple those abilities with Ignite and your passive between your skills and you will most likely get a very clean First Blood as long as you can catch the enemy in bad positioning or them just being careless. However if it is a champion who stacks armor or is potentially ranged. I would recommend playing it safe and waiting to level 6 before trying to do anything.
This is an interesting phase for riven, if you have been properly farming or have been pulling ahead in lane via being fed then you will be very strong and splitting and keeping up your farm will be NECESSARY to make sure you will be part of late game. Work on objectives and gaining gold any way possible! If you are behind then this is where it starts becoming terrible for you... Riven when behind has such a hard time coming back that it's almost as if you aren't playing the game. You will need to play it safe and if you get into a fight even though some might consider it kill stealing use your Blade of the Exile active to pick up kills to catch yourself up. You gotta pull through!
Depending on how the game has gone for you so far you will be one of TWO things. A crazy killing machine who erases squishy champions like nobody's business or that guy who has essentially become "the second support" that nobody wants a riven to be. When i say that I mean all you are good for is your knock up on your third Broken Wings cast or your Ki Burst. It's still possible to pick up kills and bring yourself a little more up to speed, but trust me when I say it's brutal in this phase if you were shut down.
When it comes to team fights you have two options as riven. You can be the initiator or you can play more like an assassin. If you are initiating I highly recommend being very verbal with your team about what you plan to do or ping when you are going in. If they don't follow up with haste you can still get erased very quickly by the enemy team. If pulled off right though you will be able to win any fight. Sometimes using Flash to get into the middle of the enemy team with a stun and then proceeding to erase their carries will alone win your team the fights. Following that up if you aren't the initiator your goal is to go for the carries like an assassin would so use your Q to close the gap (again you can use flash if you have it) and proceed to lock down and kill the carries to the best of your abilities.
Riven works just like any ADC would really in terms of score and CS, when you fall behind it's extremely hard to catch up. However taking risks every now and then reward you very well! Riven is a prime example of a fighter. She can easily 1v1 most champions in the game thanks to her CC, shield and ultimate. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is don't be afraid and keep a level head and you will do fine. I hope you find this guide of any use despite it being the first one I've ever put out. Enjoy playing the most fun champion in the game and remember to watch out for the Holy Hand Grenade!