Riven Build Guide by Tinklenuts

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Tinklenuts

I have a fetish for dogs

Tinklenuts Last updated on November 11, 2013
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Riven, as broken as her blade

Riven is fast, hard hitting and high skill cap. She requires mechanics and a good knowledge of the game. Playing too aggressive without knowing where the enemy jungler is or what levels you can trade at results in a lost lane. Fighting without the intent to kill your opponent and passively farming results in Riven falling massively behind. You must kill your lane partner, lest they break even and scale harder then you.

She is high risk, high reward, and overall potentially game changing. She is the ideal champion for both making plays and diving and/or killing carries in half a second. She is the epitaph of what remains of the melee carry. She is Riven, The Exile.

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A retrospective on her strengths and weaknesses


    - Extremely high damage output.
    - Extremely strong early game.
    - Extremely strong late game.
    - Extremely strong. Period.
    - Can and will 1v2 the top laner and the jungler when fed.
    - Does not require boots due to innate mobility via broken wings and valor.
    - Very easy to gank when harassing.
    - Must all in every trade in order to be effective.
    - Easily countered.
    - Easily destroyed in team fights.
    - Cannot initiate unless you want to build tanky items which then destroys the purpose of Riven's high damage potential.
    - Late game Riven is extremely squishy, regardless of what you built.

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Runic Blade - Passive

Most overlooked and main source of damage is the passive. Players who mash rivens q and w and use up all the broken wings charges without auto attacking in between skills will lose trades hard. The skills only account for half her damage. Her passive stacks up to 3 times and has a 1.5 ad scaling ratio. That alone is enough to win duels even if broken wings and Ki strike are simply used to close gaps. The passive is your bread and butter, without it, Riven would be subpar and most of her damage output would be lost.

In order to utilize Riven's passive most effectively, one should always weave an auto attack in between broken wings and Ki strikes. If you don't, you are wasting her passive, as the procs only stack up to 3 times. This is especially important against champions like Darius and Jax who punish mistakes with basically a lost lane. Don't miss your passive procs, or you lose.

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Laning Phase

Riven is most powerful at level 2 when the enemy does not have all of his defensive or offensive skills at hand. This is when you are able to perform an "all in". From the get go, the second you hit 2 and he is still a minion away from also leveling up, put a point in ki strike, and then:

Ignite >> Q >> Auto Attack >> Q >> Auto Attack >> Q >> Auto Attack >> W >> Auto Attack.

If you landed every hit and passive proc, you have effectively zoned your opponent or outright killed him if ignite and flash was used. The early ignite is for the 5 damage bonus from your summoner mastery. This translates to a good extra 60 damage, the difference between first blood and a forced back on your laning opponent.

The all in has several purposes

    Denying the opponent cs
    Wounding the opponent severely and forcing them to use potions early
    Killing them
    Forcing them to back and thus lose experience and gold

In order to all in effectively, you must note that you have to push wave and start killing minions prior to your opponent. If you don't, they will hit level 2 as well and the all in won't be as effective. In some cases, a level 2 opponent will beat Riven in an outright trade. Champions like Renekton and Darius are able to do this. If they beat you at level 2, you all in at level 1. They have one skill, you have 3 broken wings, so at the very least you can push the advantage from the get go.

Starting with red pot and using it at level 2 can generally result in first blood if practiced enough, Riven is notorious for this at higher elo play. This can be effective against Renekton or Darius, who would naturally beat her in a trade but die because they neglected the red pot, effectively losing a lane that they counter early.

Of course, the level 2 all in is only one phase of the laning period, Riven has much more to offer then simply cheesy strats.

At level 3, you have a point in valor, which serves as your main gap closer and defensive tool. At this point, you can begin using standard harass. Regardless of the match up, her harassment will look like:

E >> W >> Auto Attack >> Q >> Auto Attack >> Q >> Auto Attack >> Q >> Auto Attack >> Disengage

It is worth noting that one should never use her Q to close distance. This will waste damage and have her lose trades hard. If you are using 2 or 3 broken wing dashes in order to get close, you have effectively wasted half of your damage output simply to lose the trade once the skirmish actually begins. Exceptions can include Teemo and Kennen, who will always require at least 1 or 2 broken wings dashes before a Ki strike. and effective trades can begin.

Winning trades is simple. With a Dorans blade start, anyone who goes cloth 5 instantly loses trades. Anyone who goes Dorans shield instantly loses trades. Anyone who does not go straight damage is prone to your aggression. With harass from Riven, you should always come out on top unless their jungler is ganking or they were already ahead.

Last but not least, never stop attacking during the entire laning phase. If you haven't killed your opponent, you should have denied them a huge amount of cs or forced them to back. It's impossible to gauge exactly how far ahead you are, but it's generally a rule of thumb to assume an opponent who has to resort to staying at tower knows they can't trade with you, and basically you can then freeze lane and begin gaining a bigger advantage.

Keep in mind that constant aggression means that you will almost always be on your opponents side of the lane because you push with broken wings. As a result, you will get ganked frequently. Assume the jungler is always at the top bush and keep flash handy. If you are a kill or 2 ahead, and your laner is a level and an item behind, you can attempt a 2v1 and simply snowball even harder. If your flash is down from either a gank or a failed trade, do not be aggressive. Play passive unless you see the jungler ganking a different lane or doing dragon, that is your window of opportunity to either kill or harass. It is advised to buy a ward on your first back.

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Post 6 - Objectives, Roaming and Teamfighting For Towers

Riven kills people really fast at this point. If you are fed, no one can duel you. Period. Her ultimate is such a ridiculously strong steroid that anyone who even gets near you takes like 10 billion damage and gets instagibbed if you have a bloodthirster.

So you presumably either have Bloodthirster and double Dorans or a Brutalizer and Double dorans and a BF sword. What do? If you haven't taken top tower at this point, it's highly recommended that you do it. If you can't, or top was a stalemate, simply shove to his turret to keep him from following you. Roam mid, try to kill someone, then go bot where your real goal is located: dragon.

This is where games are won or lost regardless of how you did. Dragon is the most important aspect of the game, moreso then baron simply because dragon control influences how the rest of the game plays out minutes 1-20. Baron won't matter by then, or it will already be clear who has control over it at that point.

You begin by ganking bot. If anyone dies on their team with no casualties, you can do dragon. This is because if you were smart and shoved or killed top lane tower or the person in lane, it is effectively 5v3 because you ganked a person and top isn't there. At 15 minutes with Riven, it is always ideal to get dragon at this point, because it will dictate not only how you do, but how the rest of the team does. If anyone on the other team attempts to 3v5 contest, you turn and promptly instagib him.

Most of the time in ranked, however, top will call mia and bot will have river warded. As a result, you probably won't get a clean kill like the scenario described above. In this case, begin by shoving bot lane towards tower and pressure. If mid shows up, your mid can push tower and get gold advantage for the team. If the jungler shows up, you can simply stay and pressure until either mid shows up or the tower goes down. Once the tower goes down you can either just start a fight right there or go back top, which is probably getting hammered on at this point.

If you lose top tower while getting dragon or another tower, that's fine. You can always take his later. Dragon, however, is a permanent advantage, and should be prioritized over everything else.

Regardless of what you do, always go back top to farm up and shove lane and try to take tower if you haven't. If you let top farm for too long, they get back into the game if you zoned them, or get further ahead if you haven't, dragon or not. It's never smart to leave the lane completely unattended. Once dragon is up or an opportunity to take another tower arises, you can shove lane and then roam once again.

Bluntly put, Riven is all about mobility, being fast and doing objectives. The reason why dragon should be forced whenever possible is because Riven is insanely strong at the beginning of mid game. So strong that a contested dragon usually results in a couple kills for your team.