Way of the Exile
Offensive items (Read notes)
Example build (Read notes)
Pros & Cons
Skill Order |
Early Game |
Splitpushing or teamfights?
Tips & Tricks
How to win games
RRUSH: RNEXT 3: .
A rune is an enhancement that the summoner provides for their champion before a match on a field of justice begins to augment the champion's abilities.
Runes can only be purchased from the Riot Store with Influence Points. Runes cannot be purchased with Riot Points. Each rune grants a small bonus in a specific category, which stack upon each other to grant larger bonuses.
Glyphs, marks, and seals stack up to 9 for increased effect, and quintessences stack up to 3.
Below I talk about what runes to use as Riven, the first rune talked about for each section will be the most viable and optimal rune for Riven, however I do mention alternatives but most of the time you wont want to or need to use them as they aren't as good as the first rune mentioned. The reason I talk about these alternatives is because you may see a pro using them and wonder why, however I still believe that the runes I mention first are the best for Riven in most situations.
|Flash is key on most champs as it allows for you to engage or disengage. Especially on riven as a good flash third q and w can win a team fight if it lands on their carries. You can use flash to escape, chase and even reposition in a teamfight. Flash also allows you to punish your enemies when they are grouped up late game because Riven deals a lot of AOE damage very quickly making it possible to burst a whole team if done correctly.|
| Teleport is amazing on Riven as it lets you snowball other lanes more easily, it's very important to make sure your teleport isn't interrupted by enemy CC so make sure to put yourself in a position where your teleport can't be interrupted, E.g. your side's jungle. A strat I like to do is rush 6 before the enemy bot lane hits 6 and then ask my bot lane to deep ward, I TP in, get a double kill and then force dragon. Use Teleport when in a difficult lane in order to get a free back or just pressure another lane instead, in order to be truly successful with teleport you have to use it pro-actively, use it to make plays when you feel the enemy bot lane is in a disadvantageous position, don't just use it to counter-gank use it to also create ganks! The below spoiler explains how to make good TP plays and why you should do so.
Click to view Huni TP play!
|Ignite is epic on riven as it's great for early aggression which Riven thrives off. Use ignite for securing kills or just adding to your damage in a combo.|
In the end what you pick is down to your personal preference and your opinion of the matchup, whether it is too hard or the enemy bot is very immobile and would be vulnerable to Teleport ganks. In lower elos like plat 4 and below, taking Ignite may prove more successful than Teleport.
Runic Affinity vs Secret Stash vs Assassin : As Riven you won't be holding buffs for that long unless you're jungler so you don't need runic affinity. Secret Stash is good and gives each pot you use 30 extra healing whilst the damage boost from assassin is a negligible 2%. The benefits of Secret Stash are much more noticeable than the benefits of Assassin .
Merciless vs Meditation : Riven doesn't use mana so Merciless wins.
Bandit vs Dangerous Game : Bandit is really good and if used by a player that fully takes advantage of the easy gold generation, especially in a melee matchup, you can rack up a lot of gold very quickly and thus reach your power spikes more easily however I prefer dangerous game as its more tailored to my play style and its just amazing in teamfights as it can be the difference between winning or losing. Dangerous game is an S+ tier mastery and has saved me countless times.
Precision vs Intelligence : I prefer intelligence because it allows you to make more plays since your CDs are lower and Riven loves CDR especially since you get a more spammable Valor and more mobility from your spells having a lower downtime. Precision is okay but it was nerfed in 6.1 so it's not as strong as it used to be.
Thunderlord's Decree : Simply the best keystone in game for Riven vs squshies, everyone and their nans run it and there's no reason not to run it. The burst it gives you really synergises with Riven's playstyle as it makes assassinations that much quicker and it makes laning phase easier since you can proc it faster than most champs especially with Q -> W -> Auto which procs thunderlord's and then you can E -> Q away to avoid retaliation.
Explorer vs Tough Skin : Both do very little but I prefer Tough Skin because the decreased auto attack damage you take from enemy champions can rack up and in very rare cases it will decide whether you live or die during laning phase.
Runic Armor vs Veteran's Scars : Runic armour is nice on Riven as it boosts her Valor shield size and as riven you like to build lifesteal so you benefit even more however I prefer Veteran's Scars because I believe Riven needs it early especially since she has quite low base HP compared to other top laners and is very squishy. I've grown really comfortable with using Veteran's Scars and it has saved me countless times early game.
Insight vs Perseverance: I prefer Insight on Riven because I like the lower cooldowns on my summoners especially my flash as late game some team fights will be dependent on whether I have flash up or not so being able to lower its cooldown is a really valuable stat.
Fervor page Vs Tanks:
Don't run this page Vs Trundle as he will outtrade you in long trades even with Fervor or Gnar and Ekko as both are fairly squishy early.
On Riven maxing Valor second is amazing due to the relatively low cooldown you get at max rank and 45% CDR. This allows you to tank more during team fights and pull off more amazing plays at low HP. Maxing Valor second is great due to the fact Riven's offence is also her defence, with the amount of AD you're building it would be a waste not to max a shield which scales with 100% bonus AD as soon as possible.
Alternative skill order:
In some lanes you can choose to max Valor first if you find yourself getting bullied, this works especially well against ranged champions and even Olaf or Darius. As you improve with Riven you'll tend to max Valor less often as you get more experienced with Riven's matchups and her limits. You'll begin to feel the increased survivability isn't worth the loss of damage because maxing Valor first results in you not reaching your potential damage as Broken Wings' AD scaling increases with it's level.
|Runic Blade Riven gains a charge every time she uses an ability. This charge can stack up to three times and each of her basic attacks consumes an available charge to deal 25% - 50% (based on level) AD bonus physical damage. This is why it is so important to autoattack between each ability as Riven.|
|Broken Wings Riven dashes towards the target nearest the cursor, lashing out. Broken Wings can be cast two more times within 4 seconds, with the timer resetting after each cast. Each cast gives you one Runic Blade charge and the third cast damages all enemies around Riven in an increased radius, this knocks them up, and can also be used to pass over certain terrain. Each cast also resets Riven's autoattack timer and can be animation cancelled if you click on the ground straight after casting, this is why Riven can do the fast Q combo. This combo is covered later in this guide.|
|This is an AOE stun that lasts for 0.75 seconds it scales with 100% bonus AD and is blocked by spell shields.|
|Valor Riven dashes towards the cursor gaining a shield. The shield lasts for 1.5 seconds and scales with 100% bonus AD. It can't cross impassable terrain but it can cross player created terrains such as Cataclysm and Crystallize. It can not be used whilst Riven is immobilised. Valor can also be used to cancel all of Riven's other abilities, e.g. E -> R which removes her ultimate cast time and E -> R2 which masks Wind Slash's cast time.|
|Blade of the Exile Riven reforms her sword for 15 seconds. This grants Riven 75 extra attack range, 20% extra AD as bonus attack damage and also increases the area of Broken Wings and Ki Burst. Riven also gains the ability Wind Slash which allows her to unleash a wave of energy in a cone, this ability is an execute and does more damage the lower the targets HP (maximum damage at 25% HP). After Blade of the Exile is activated Riven must wait 1 second before she can use Wind Slash.|
RIP 2009-2015, You will not be forgotten. 750/750 Tear of the Goddess fully stacked.
Right now Long Sword completely outclasses Doran's Blade and here's why, by opting to use Long Sword your effective health is 220 higher(280 if biscuit is taken for both) than Doran's Blade start, this is really helpful right now on Riven this season as her laning phase is worse as the new masteries synergise less with her kit compared to other top laners. This makes the Long Sword start compulsory for Riven.
I do understand that Doran's Blade offers better duelling stats but these stats are truly only effective in a perfect kill lane, however this is rarely the case due to jungler interference and passive laning. Lets say you get ganked and lose a chunk of your HP and you chose to start Doran's Blade, you only have one HP pot to sustain yourself, lets say that heals you to 70% HP and your opponent is at 70% but started long sword. This difference in number of pots means any trade you undertake will most likely put you at a disadvantage, this will result in you getting zoned from CS due to your opponent having kill pressure as you are lower HP so the lifesteal on Doran's Blade becomes useless because you can't hit minions.
By starting Doran's Blade you also put yourself in a 450g deficit as it doesn't build into anything. So if you're unable to abuse your increased duelling capabilities and kill the enemy laner you're at a disadvantage when it comes to building your core items and thus reaching power spikes, big or small such as Caulfield's Warhammer, Phage or The Black Cleaver.
Attack Damage - All of Riven's abilities scale with AD thus making it the most important stat for her. Riven works on the basis of weaving autos between every ability whilst utilising Valor to stay alive and by building AD you further enhance your offensive and defensive capabilities.
Cooldown Reduction - AD and CDR are Riven's favourite stats and if you aren't building them then you're doing something wrong. CDR boosts Riven's damage potential, mobility and survivability, lower cooldowns let you use your abilities more often which means you can deal more damage, shield more and are more mobile.
Armour Penetration - As Riven you'll be building so much AD that eventually people will start building armour to counteract that. Building armour pen helps negate some of the effectiveness of that armour and even if they don't build armour lowering base armour gives more damage than building AD.
My item build accompanied with my runes and masteries are designed to maximise Riven's damage whilst providing her with all the stats listed above and more.
The Core Build:|
Currently Riven's core items and you want to be building these most games as it gives you great damage and burst, good armour pen and low CDs.
|The Black Cleaver - Riven's core item, you'll want to build it in most of your games. The 20% cdr allows you to reach 45% cdr cap with ease and the movement speed boosts per auto and per kill makes it a lot easier to reach mobile carries. The 300 HP boost makes riven even more durable, the % TOTAL armour reduction makes 1v1ing tanks much easier and helps AD champions on your team deal even more damage. Normally you'll build Caulfield's Warhammer first however if you're against a lot of true damage or a hard match-up Phage can be a potential first buy.|
|Ravenous Hydra - This makes Riven a strong duellist, splitpusher, trader and wave clearer. It also gives a good amount of hp regen, even though it got more expensive to build it's still worth it and essential for an effective assassin playstyle.|
90% of the time you want to upgrade last whisper to Lord Dominik's Regards as Riven synergises extremely nicely with the 15% bonus physical damage increase due to the fact it simply gives you more damage on your auto attacks and abilities and as Riven you'll be building a lot of AD anyways so this 15% increase heightens your damage even further. However sometimes Mortal Reminder may prove better in some cases such as when they have a Dr. Mundo or a Swain due to grievous wounds limiting their heals by 40%.
|The Bloodthirster - Great item on Riven just due to the amazing 20% lifesteal that really complements Ravenous Hydra. As you get even more increased lifesteal from the active and passive of hydra. The shield of the BT is also nothing to be laughed at as it can act as a buffer for when you get caught out and in combination with Valor it makes you quite tanky.|
|Guardian Angel - Great item, helps you stay alive late into a fight, it acts as a deterrent for people trying to focus you, it also provides armour and magic resist which strengthens Riven's shield and also increases her effective HP. This item can be built as the 4-6th item depending on how badly you're getting focused. Riven's Valor synergises very strongly with resists this is due to the fact shields in general are treated as additional health effectively therefore they benefit from the users armour and magic resist.|
Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi - The one you pick depends on the enemy team comp. Mercury's Treads if the enemy team has alot of CC or multiple AP threats. Pick Ninja Tabi if they have alot of autoattack reliant champions or fed AD champion(s).
Death's Dance - Good item on Riven currently especially due to the fact that it gives 75 AD now, one of the few AD items in game that do so. All the stats given work well with Riven's kit however I rarely build it as I prefer items that have specific strong points and areas in which they excel, given that may only be 1 or 2. For me Death's Dance doesn't quite make the cut as it has okay damage reduction, good life steal, 10% CDR and 75 ad, all really nice stats but it has no clear field in which it excels above other items. For example in terms of damage Youmuu's Ghostblade far surpasses this item as a power spike even though it has 10 AD less it easily makes up for that with 20 extra armour pen, a rare and more valuable stat, especially coupled with the 65 AD it also gives.
Youmuu's Ghostblade - Very AMAZING item on riven as it makes her a even more dangerous duellist and it allows her to expel more auto attacks combined with her passive more easily. It also allows her to chase down priority targets. Tbh the particles are also KAWAII(cute). Currently I build Youmuu's Ghostblade after the The Black Cleaver as both items compliment each other heavily offering a deadly combination of armour pen, AD and movement speed.
When really ahead-
The Black Cleaver -> Ionian Boots of Lucidity -> Tiamat -> The Bloodthirster or Lord Dominik's Regards
When even or slightly ahead-
The Black Cleaver -> Ionian Boots of Lucidity -> Ravenous Hydra -> Mercurial Scimitar or Lord Dominik's Regards
When really behind-
The Black Cleaver -> Ionian Boots of Lucidity -> Ravenous Hydra -> Guardian Angel or Sterak's Gage
||Renekton, Oh man is he annoying. The best thing to do is to start longsword 3 pots and all in level 1 with a full Broken Wings auto combo as he will only have his Cull the Meek, if he doesn't die but is relatively low you can bully him till he next recalls. However, if he starts Ruthless Predator play safe and farm as best as you can backing off when his fury bar is full and start harassing him when you reach 5. You can slowly lower his HP bar in order to cheese him at level 6 with a quick all in. If you see a Renekton picked, DONT pick Riven unless you are smurfing or really confident in the matchup. In this lane warding is essential in order to survive the inevitable ganks as Renekton will snowball off a kill and can easily coordinate ganks with his jungler due to his empowered Ruthless Predator stun.|
||Pantheon, This lane is truly hell till 6 as his Spear Shot CD is much lower than your Valor CD. After 6 though you outscale him hard as this is your big power spike and his ult doesn't help him duelling. From 1 to 5 you should play passive and ask for ganks, after that show the Spartan who's boss. In order to play passive you need to know when to give up cs as the HP you can lose potentially from getting that CS is not worth the gold you gain. I recommend taking Valor level 1 and Ninja Tabi can be useful in this lane. Make sure to abuse the bushes in order to make yourself untargetable whilst waiting to last hit in order to reduce the poke you take.|
||This matchup is somewhat skill based and can be easy depending on how Kennen plays it, however it is in his favour early. Start Valor and longsword 3 pots, focus on last hitting and stand behind minions in order to minimize the poke you take. If you see Mark of the Storm stacking on you move back and wait for it to run out so that you don't get stunned. Avoid initiating on him if he has Mark of the Storm stacked on you, even only once as that can result in him winning the trade heavily. At level 3 you stand a decent chance against him now that you have all your skills however do not try to fight him if you are below 65% HP especially if he has ignite. Go for short trades in order to bait out his Lightning Rush, make sure to wait for his stacks to wear out before re-engaging, once his Lightning Rush is down go for an all out trade however make sure you have enough health before doing so. When disengaging use the bushes in order to stop him autoing you and thus reducing the disengage damage you take. Hexdrinker or Quicksilver Sash can prove very valuable in this lane. At level 6 you need to engage frequently with short trades like at level 3 however be careful if he activates Slicing Maelstrom and make sure you leave the area as quickly as possible. Eventually you will be able to burst Kennen, however you must do it before he can proc his stun as he may be able to turn the engage around on you.|
||Going even with Dr. Mundo generally puts your team at a disadvantage due to how hard he scales with tanky items, for this lane I'd rush The Black Cleaver first to combat some of this tankiness. What I do is manipulate minion waves and position myself in a way that Dr. Mundo's Infected Cleaver hits my minions whenever we fight 1v1, however it's important for Riven to keep an eye out for the HP of the minions in front of her so that if one dies you can disengage as soon as possible. A good Dr. Mundo may decide not to fight you 1v1 when minions are nearby so that his Infected Cleaver isn't wasted, what I do is engage and quickly follow up with Ki Burst then a Broken Wings which takes me behind Dr. Mundo once the stun wears out giving me a high probability of dodging his next Infected Cleaver. I then carry out a normal Broken Wings auto combo and disengage when I feel his next Infected Cleaver is coming up. My tactic against Dr. Mundo is just going in for quick trades really minimising his window to retaliate whilst using my minion waves to my advantage. When I do get ahead of a Dr. Mundo generally they just start farming with Infected Cleaver, I just deny them CS and extend my lead by using Valor to tank the Infected Cleaver. Don't fight Dr. Mundo from level 1 to 2 as he will out trade you.|
||This lane is pretty easy as long as you don't let him cheese you from level 1 to 2. Farm till level 3 making sure you stay behind your line of minions so that if he jumps on you he will draw minion agro. At level 3 trade him when he tries to cs and don't fight him if he has 3 or more stacks, also don't chase him when he's heading towards a bush as he can turn that chase around on you. At 6 you win hands down unless you somehow manage to misplay the lane, be careful if he is running Exhaust as that will hinder your ability to trade try to bait him to use it. This can be done through short trades which really abuse your low cooldowns. Getting Ninja Tabi can also help in this lane. When Rengar reaches 6 be careful as he can coordinate ganks with his jungler and gank any lane including yours! Make sure to signal when he is missing.|
||Similar to the Nasus lane, you need to stop him hitting CS so that he can't build up his fury. As soon as you walk into lane carry out a normal Broken Wings auto combo and then zone him as a result of you winning the trade. The trade is easy as he should have no fury, make sure not to push by just last hitting so that he can't heal off minions under tower. Rush Youmuu's Ghostblade so that you can run when he uses Undying Rage in order to waste time. Combo him every time he tries to CS so that he can't build up sufficient fury to be a threat to you. Ignite him a few seconds into his Undying Rage so that he can't somehow survive by healing with Bloodlust. Rushing Ninja Tabi can be useful in this lane as Tryndamere is auto attack reliant. Make sure to deny him as he will kill you eventually if he is allowed to farm and scale.|
||Pretty easy lane, you need to avoid getting poked by his Undertow. Don't fight him at level 1 as he can win the trade, before you fight him make him use his Undertow to try and poke you and dodge it either by side stepping or using your Broken Wings. If he does miss, engage on him and zone him away from his axe so that he doesn't get his Undertow cooldown decreased and it should be easy to out trade him at level 1 as he'll only have autos left. At level 2 take Valor and repeat the steps above this time when you engage on him use your Valor to block his Reckless Swing true damage as he most likely got it second, if he didn't the trade is even easier. At level 3 you can kill him if you were able to successfully dodge his axes and trade him appropriately. At 6 it's really easy to bait out his Ragnarok by using your 2 forms of crowd control early into a trade he may use Ragnarok thinking you've committed, you can just Valor away and re-engage when it's down or you can decide to all in him if he's low enough. If this lane is too hard you can max Valor and pretty much nullify his damage.|
||You can actually bully him from level 1 to 3, you just have to run every time he uses Decisive Strike and fight him when it's down. It may help if you know how to fast combo so that you can get damage down on him before his Decisive Strike comes back up. Try to ask for ganks early and if the Garen is running Ignite make sure you play safe and don't die even if it involves missing CS. At 6 Garen can be killed easily if you've made sure to trade him often enough to get his HP low for an all in, make sure you are not next to Garen if your HP is lower than 60% as he can easily all in you especially if he has Ignite. Make sure to trade Garen frequently so that he can't use Perseverance to regen to full HP.|
||Don't fight Jax level 1 as he can easily out trade you and once you get chunked the lane is lost from that point onwards. Take Valor second and if he engages on you use it to disengage. At level 3 you still can't fight him and the most preferred scenario would be for him to engage on you, Valor away and force him to try and fight you in your minion wave make sure to stun him in your minions. He'll probably activate Counter Strike straight after Leap Strike make sure you've saved your Broken Wings to run away because if he stuns you it's over and you will lose that trade unless you are already ahead. When Counter Strike is down this is your opportunity to trade Jax relentlessly because you will come out ahead if you combo properly. He can't out-trade you without Counter Strike and since it has such a high CD early your window to bully him is quite big.|
||Don't fight Irelia level 1 as she will out damage you very easily with Equilibrium Strike and once you get chunked the lane is lost from that point onwards. Take Valor second and if she engages on you use it to disengage. At level 3 you can start winning trades, it's really helpful if you know how to fast combo because you have to combo her before she can stun you with Equilibrium Strike. Try to trade her when she's hitting minions at the front of your minion wave since you're in a good position to retreat to your minions after trading her quickly and the best case scenario is when you Valor whilst she stuns you so the Valor animation still goes off, this puts you safely in your minion wave and if she tries to engage she will draw minion agro. Trading her in short bursts is key to winning this lane, Broken Wings -> Ki Burst -> auto -> Broken Wings -> auto and then Valor away. If she then engages on you use your 3rd Broken Wings to knock her up in your wave and run away still your CDs are back up. Also stay away from low HP minions as she can use those to gap close to you and don't fight her if she has Transcendent Blades and you don't have Blade of the Exile because she'll win the trade, especially with Sheen. Assume she always has her ultimate up if yours isn't up, unless she just used it since its cooldown is much lower than yours.|
||Pretty easy lane, you fight him level 1 and make sure to establish a zone around your creeps in order to stop him farming. Level 1 as soon as he goes for a last hit with his Siphoning Strike, do the standard Broken Wings auto combo in order to chunk him and make him respect your presence. However you do need to be careful about early ganks as he can easily set up ganks using Wither. DO NOT PUSH THE LANE, this means instead of autoing minions often in order to kill them faster you just last hit. Nasus excels at farming under tower and he wants you to push, make sure not to take your tower early aswell as that can give him breathing space to catch up, this is really bad, trust me. If you do not deny Nasus he will kill you and it will only get worse from there. Rush The Black Cleaver in this lane and your level 6 destroys his level 6 if you deny him properly. Nasus will eventually get stronger than you, that's why you need to end the game as soon as possible and denying him prolongs his power spike increasing the time you have available to end the game.|
||Farm to level 3, play passive and start Valor if you are unable to handle Flamespitter harass, stand behind minions so that if he does decide to harass you with Flamespitter he will push the lane and make himself vulnerable to a gank. At level 3 you complete out trade him and he has very little ability to escape you, make sure to dodge his Electro-Harpoon as the slow can hinder your ability to engage on him. After you build a lead Rumble may attempt to farm like a Dr. Mundo and just use Electro-Harpoon, deny him CS by blocking them with Valor. At 6 Rumble is easy to kill as The Equalizer has little effect on you since you can dash out of it with relative ease.|
The plan is simple, win lane win game! If you're up as against a relatively difficult lane, like a Irelia(depends on skill of enemy laner) or Renekton, focusing on farming and you will eventually out-scale them. Experienced Riven players will find a way to get first blood.
You're ahead and see the jungler coming to gank? Kill them both.
This is especially possible when the enemy jungler is squishy or under levelled compared to you, you are ahead of the enemy laner, both champions lack strong CC, the enemy laner just blew his main cooldowns or you have your jungler nearby able to counter-gank and you are confident you can win the 2v2.
Ward spots for top laners:
Green wards, never forgotten.... but never used RIP.
The general rule is to ward the bush closest to the enemy jungle, you should usually ward at around 3:15 as junglers will generally finish their first clear around that time, however some junglers may take different routes in order to bypass your wards so be careful and sometimes ward both bushes. Lane ganks are harder to spot but below I explain how the behaviour of an enemy champion can sometimes tell you a gank is coming. E.g. they start spamming taunts.
Dealing with ganks:
Top lane is very prone to ganks and as a result you need to be able to read enemy champion movements. For example, you're up against an Irelia, all game she's been focusing on farming but suddenly she moves towards you with here W active and instinctively you move backwards into your minion wave, if she continues chasing their jungler was most likely there, with this info you should attempt to play passive for like 20 seconds and not waste your Q. Better safe than sorry. Sometimes if you're unable to read enemy movements you can fake aggression whilst making sure not to put yourself at risk and see how they react, this can sometimes bait the enemy jungler to come out and then you can simply back off, this method is risky if both champions have a form of CC however.
Dealing with getting dived early:
With the increasing number of tanks played top lane, early level dives are now a scary and real threat to laning, they're quite hard to predict as you wouldn't expect to be dived at level 5 but changes in your opponents playstyle can often provide a hint.
|Let's say a level 5 Malphite pushes his wave into your tower, however instead of staying back so that he isn't vulnerable to ganks from your jungler he stays close to the pushed up minion wave, that itself is a hint that you may be dived and he's pushing in order to hit 6 early, alone he wouldn't be a problem if you are at suitable HP(75%+) but his jungler is mostly likely there in the bush closest to your tower. As soon as you notice an enemy laner is aggressively pushing and essentially preparing for a dive when they do not have the damage to actually kill you by themselves, ward the bush closest to your tower.|
If you do see the jungler, stay away from your tower for as long as you need to unless you believe you can 2v1 or burst the enemy jungler before they can kill you, however this is risky as a Malphite could simply ult you or a Shen could simply taunt you limiting you ability to react. Sometimes the enemy jungler will decide to wait for as long as it takes in order to kill you, if that happens your team should be able to capitalise on the lack of jungle pressure on the other lanes.
Level 1 and 2:
Currently Riven's level 1 is quite weak compared to a lot of other top laners due to her synergising less with masteries so it's very important to try and reach level 2 as quickly as possible without pushing the lane, this can be done by making sure your minions die roughly as quick or slightly slower than your opponent's minions. Level 2 requires you to kill all the minions in the first wave and one minion from the second, if your lane opponent tries to fight you level 1 you should try and back off making sure not to take any damage if possible and if they are persistent force them to fight in your minion wave. The only exceptions to this rule would be if they were playing a champion like Nasus or Illaoi, where you can easily out trade them level 1.
If you reach level 2 before the enemy laner and they are playing a melee champion, take Ki Burst second and engage on them as soon as possible. Since you're level 2 and they're level 1 the trade goes heavily in your favour and from that you can establish a zone and stop them from to CSing. If they choose not to respect the fact that you are level 2 and they are level 1 it's possible to cheese them by throwing Ignite into your assault and if they Flash away you can also Flash to finish them off or just wait till next time they get in range of your flash or Broken Wings then you can all in them knowing they won't be able to flash away.
As Riven it's very important to hit level 2 first as that can sometimes decide the lane however if your opponent hits 2 first you should stay at a distance where you can not be attacked by them but you can still gain exp from dying minions.
|In some lanes your kill pressure will still be low even if you reach level 2 first as your opponent may be too tanky to be cheesed. At this point taking Valor second may prove more viable than Ki Burst because you can shield potential harass and also force someone like a Malphite to expend their mana so trading with them becomes easier eventually.|
It's very key as Riven to farm to level 3 as that is a important power spike. At that moment in time you need to look at the minion waves and also your enemy's cooldowns and from that you can judge if it's time for you to engage.
If they have a wave building trim the wave before you fight because if you do engage within or next to that wave you may lose the trade heavily due to taking too much damage from minions. If they used a main spell to farm, engage and make sure to escape before that CD comes back up. It's very important to capitalise when the enemy laner's spells are on cooldown due to being used to farm as their potential damage or utility is lowered making any trade that occurs more likely to go in your favour.
At level 3 you should have all your abilities and due to being resourceless this allows you to engage frequently, this lets you wither your opponent down till you are able to all in them.
Laning vs ranged champions:
In these lanes bushes become your best friend, use them in order to stop yourself getting harassed too much. You also need to learn to give up CS as it's just not worth the amount of poke/damage you would get back, starting Valor level 1 can really help when trying to CS because you can activate it and CS whilst tanking an auto with your shield, this is great because you can CS and block poke at the same time. You should also CS when they are CSing or after they have used an important cooldown because they are less likely/unable to auto-attack you in those moments. Try to co-ordinate ganks with your jungler especially if they have no mobility as that generally results in a kill if done well. Riven can also CS quite well under tower by utilizing her passive, Qs and W to pick up CS that you would otherwise lose. You can also max E if you find yourself unable to cope with the poke however I rarely do this due to reason stated earlier in my abilities section.
2 standard harass combos at level 3:
Long trade -
Valor -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> auto -> Ki Burst -> auto -> Broken Wings -> auto -> escape with 3rd Broken Wings or attack with it if you think you can continue to out-trade them with autos or use your 3rd Q as a free disengage via the knockup. Experienced Riven players will use this combo to harass but it will be much faster as they will be carrying out the fast Q combo which involves issuing move commands after each cast of Broken Wings, this combo is faster however if you miss an auto your DPS will drop significantly giving you lower DPS than the standard Riven combo. When you decide to use Ki Burst is really up to you, if you know they can escape then use to early to guarantee some damage gets on to your enemy and if they can't escape you can use it as a disengage tool at the end of your normal Q auto combo.
Valor -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> Click on the ground -> auto -> Ki Burst -> auto -> Broken Wings -> Click on the ground -> auto -> escape with 3rd Broken Wings or attack with it.
Short trade -
Broken Wings -> Ki Burst -> Auto -> Valor + Broken Wings away. Short sweet combo, synergises very nicely with TLD.
I use this combo in most matchups especially against champions that will out trade you in long trades such as Trundle and Fizz. When done quickly enough it leaves little to no room for counterplay and can also be performed on opponents under tower. This combo lets you chip your opponent down little by little until they are low enough to all in.
Harassing an enemy under tower:
Riven is very strong at harassing an enemy champion that is trying to farm under tower, the main purpose of this is to lower their HP for maybe a potential dive and disrupt their farming so that miss CS. The combo varies and it depends on your level of comfort with Riven, you can do small stuff like Ki Burst -> auto -> Valor- Broken Wings(escape) or you can do stuff like Auto -> Broken Wings -> Ki Burst -> Auto -> Valor- Broken Wings(escape), the tip here is just being as fast as possible and making sure to only harass when the enemy is hitting ranged creeps as you will only take one tower shot, which you can block with ease using Valor. Make sure to harass behind your pushed up minion wave in order to make sure they draw aggro if they are able to retaliate with an auto and also be careful if the enemy champion has a stun E.g. Irelia or Renekton because if you fail the combo you will get stunned and possibly die as a result of tower shots.
When to push:
As Riven you should try generally to not push your lane too hard early as that can make you vulnerable to ganks and even allow the enemy laner to freeze. In order for a push to happen your opponents minion wave needs to die faster than yours or vice versa, as a result the speed of a push can be controlled. You should only really push when the enemy laner is dead, you want to set up for a dive(in this case slow push by killing the caster minions in a wave), you want to roam mid or you want to back soon. In these cases it's very important to push in a way that makes sure the lane eventually resets, meaning both the enemy's minions and yours will meet again in the middle of the lane. This is done by making sure your minions hit the enemy tower and die before your enemy's next minion wave makes it to them and since minions spawn identically on both sides of the rift both minion wave will meet in the middle of the lane.
However, it's not always bad to push early as it allows you to pressure the enemy laner especially if you know where the enemy jungler is as that means it's safe to push, this puts the enemy in a reactive position thus allowing you to be proactive and make roams to capitalise on this pressure.
In some matchups such as Nasus and Tryndamere pushing will prove detrimental as they excel in farming under tower and they can out-sustain your harass, pushing gives them the opportunity to get back into the game so its best to zone them and not push but freeze and make them lose CS.
How to dive:
Level 6 all in:
In most/all lanes try to hit 6 first by killing minions faster than your opponent(whilst getting the gold ofc). Riven excels at level 6 all ins just due to how mobile she is and how quickly she can close the gap between her and the enemy laner, this can catch people off by surprise and give them little time to react, her mobility comes from the fact her kit has 4 dashes. Make sure to monitor your exp bar and when you think you are a creep away from level 6 position yourself closer to the enemy laner in an advantageous position for the upcoming level up and then proceed to cheese them. My favourite combo for this would be E -> R -> Q -> W -> auto -> ignite -> R2 -> Q. If done quickly enough there is little room for retaliation.
Do you think that Renekton is in range for my all in combo? (Answer in spoiler)
Click to view answer!
Tips for early game:
You should always try to take the enemy tower as early as possible as that provides your team with global gold which can help develop item advantages. After you take the enemy tower you also become free to roam, make sure to push your minion wave as close as possible to the enemy's tier 2 tower before you roam as you don't want them to take your tower whilst you roam. Try to roam mid and flank their mid laner from behind and then try to take mid tower, if that doesn't work you can deny the enemy jungler by taking his camps or waiting for him to come clear a camp and kill him a few seconds into his clear, by doing this you create picks which makes objectives such as dragon and towers less contestable for the enemy team as they are down one man thus resulting in any potential team fights being 5v4 and less in their favour.
During mid game most ADCs are at their weakest so use this to your advantage and kill them when possible, after 5.22 this is less of the case as ADCs are now the big bosses of league however my statement still holds true as they can only get stronger from then so try to shut down the enemy ADC as early as possible. If you are behind it is key that you roam mid or bot as you can snowball from kills from other lanes.
Riven can do a fizz/zed and 'hide on bush' and burst the next enemy champion to walk by, you call this the "Rivstajib". This strategy is quite viable as it can open up objectives just as towers, baron and dragon. The general combo for this would be Blade of the Exile -> auto -> Hydra/ Ki Burst -> auto -> Wind Slash/ Broken Wings, if they are not dead yet which they should be if they are a squishy, you can finish them off with a normal Broken Wings + autos combo.
|Late game can be tricky for Riven as she doesn't scale as hard into the late game as an ADC would. Riven is not the tank, it's not your job to peel, you can and should at times but you are not required to, your job is so reach the carries and take them out before they can have a say in the fight. Flash can be useful to break the enemy front line, remember to Ignite the ADC in order to minimise the effect of their Heal. Whilst waiting for an opportunity to break into the enemy backline make sure to provide as much peel as you can for your ADC as they can also carry the fight as well as you can with proper protection.|
Generally as Riven you should split push when you're ahead of your enemy laner or your team is behind. This is in order to draw people top, this opens up objectives for your team such as towers and dragon which can put your team back into the game.
As Riven you want to team fight either when the enemy team lacks CC, your team has a team fight comp e.g. Ori, Amumu, Braum.., when most of your team is ahead or when you have suitable vision control so that you can pull off flanks without risk of being ambushed and collapsed on by the enemy team, by flanking the enemy team's CC is less of an issue as their backline is open to you (later I discuss how to flank).
As Riven you should use your extreme mobility and damage to catch your enemies in their jungle, this can then result in a tower, dragon or even baron.
Team fighting as riven is pretty straight forward as a concept. Get to the backline and kill the carries. However in reality it can be quite hard, against a competent team this will become near impossible with things such as exhaust, gap closing ADCs and CC/slows. To team fight as riven you must be able to build according to the enemy team. If they have a fed Fiddlesticks/alot of CC for example it is best that your build a Mercurial Scimitar and Mercury's Treads this makes you adapted to the team fight to come. If they have a fed AP carry or full ap team, a Maw of Malmortius can help negate some damage. If they have a fed AD carry or AD champion buying a Randuin's Omen or Dead Man's Plate as your defensive item can be very beneficial.
As Riven if you're planning to play the assassin role you need to stay behind your frontline but slightly in front of your back line or flank. Why? So that you're able to quickly transition to protecting your carries or being a carry yourself. You generally want to protect your carries when the enemy frontline still has CC up that would otherwise disrupt you if you tried to enter the enemy backline. There's no point in trying to kill the enemy backline if the frontline will just focus you instantly with their CC which will result in your death and you having no impact in the teamfight. Timing is crucial on Riven, once the important CCs are on cooldown it is now time for you to go past your frontline and enter the enemy back line in order to do what Riven does best, assassinate.
By positioning in the middle of your team you get some protection whilst being able to protect the backline and you can easily reach important targets as the teamfight progresses. By protecting your carries you will still be killing important targets as the enemy will be trying to kill your carries so you hit them with the ultimate form of CC, death.
If your carries are too behind and aren't worth protecting even slightly then you can also flank. Here timing is key, you need to make sure you go in when major CCs are down and slip into the enemy backline as quickly as possible using the element of surprise to assassinate their carries. All that flanking really means is getting behind you opponents and engaging on them where they will least expect it, timing is so important because when you flank if you enter the teamfight too late your team may already be dead by then and if you enter to early you may just get CC'd and blown up, you should try to enter the moment the enemy frontline is distracted and use their main CCs on your teammates. Flash is really usefully when trying to flank, when flanking you don't need to always flank from behind you can also flank from the side! Hiding in bushes, that aren't warded of course, can be very useful when trying to flank as your presence is concealed whilst in that bush so when you do flank they are less likely to expect it. The combos sections has combos that can help during a flank to maximise your burst and the element of surprise.
Why it went so well:
1. He anticipated the flash Tibbers so that as soon as Annie flashed he was able to reposition so that he wouldn't get hit.
2. Bushes - He dipped in and out of the bushes so that Annie couldn't target him thus reducing the risk of crowd control.
3. Positioning - He made sure he was never in a position to take free hits from their ADC.
4. Timing - He went in after he knew Annie had used her stun and Rammus had also used his taunt, he focused Rammus as he was the closest to him and with his build he could shred Rammus' armour for his team mates as well. He chose not to dive for Annie initially as he knew Rammus would interfere and they could chain CC to kill him.
5. He quickly gets out of MF's ultimate rendering it useless and then goes on to focus Annie.
6. He flashes Janna's tornado in order to position himself close to MF and stun her, so that his team can catch up and help lock her down.
Riven can wall jump with the 3rd part of her Q, it may be difficult at first to learn but can be easily mastered with a bit of practice. Wall jumps can be used offensively to engage and defensively to escape chases and ganks.
Map of all wall jumps:
Spoiler: Click to view
Riven can also use her 3rd Broken Wings to cut corners and it's the same mechanic that lets her wall jump. It's a really useful thing to know how to do and can really catch an enemy by surprise. The video below demonstrates a corner cut, this one goes further than expected and works due to the fact that Riven had Blade of the Exile activated beforehand thus increasing her Broken Wings range.
Using 3rd Q to cancel enemy champion abilities:
If timed carefully Riven's 3rd q can stop shyvanas ultimate and even Trist's rocket jump.
For stopping shyvanas ultimate its all about using your 3rd Q moments before impact, here is an example of boxbox doing it: Here!
As for the Trist example its all about stopping her whilst she's rocket jumping but still within range of your 3rd Q and its much harder to do than the previous example. Here!
Riven Mechanics guide:
1) Q cancelling:
Simply putting it this is the core mechanism behind Riven’s ability to fast combo. Riven’s Q applies damage before the animation is actually over and by inputting a move command during the animation itself you can essentially shorten the duration that you are locked in Broken Wings for. However, his mechanic doesn’t just apply to the fast combo, it applies to every instance in which Broken Wings is used thus allowing you to speed up every combo slightly.
2) AA cancelling:
This is a basic skill that most players use even without thinking about it sometimes. When you auto attack the damage is applied before the auto attack animation ends so this results in the end chunk of the auto attack animation being useless. You can remove this end animation using move commands, Tiamat/Hydra active and all of Riven’s abilities.
3) Input Buffering:
My favourite use of this mechanic is Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst. This works due to the fact that the first spell used has a cast time, and by pressing any spell afterwards it automatically becomes queued, so as soon as the first spell is cast the next one is cast straight away essentially at 0 ping. This is the same basis on which Tiamat active + Ki Burst works.
4) Double casting:
Riven’s Valor lets her cast two spells simultaneously if both keys are pressed at the same time shortly after pressing Valor. There’s a specific timing involved so make sure to practice this on your way to lane and in customs to get a feel for it. My favourite use of this mechanic is Valor -> Auto -> Ki Burst + Broken Wings, really high dps combo that can also proc Thunderlords due to the auto being added before the double cast.
Here is a clip of challenger Riven main Adrianaries performing a flawless flash double cast combo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brRLEXU5bdA.
Breakdown: Valor -> Flash -> Auto -> Ki Burst + Broken Wings, normally you’d think someone would be able to react and flash away since you lead in with an auto but Adrian limits this by already right clicking on the Kayle this preps the auto attack so it goes off instantly as soon as he is in range.
5) Valor animation cancel:
To put it simply Riven can use all her abilities during Valor’s animation therefore making you able to remove cast times such as Blade of the Exile and Wind Slash.
H = Ravenous Hydra active
/ = Use the second skill straight after the first.
Valor -> Ki Burst or Valor -> H/ Ki Burst
Valor -> Blade of the Exile or Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Broken Wings
Wind Slash -> Broken Wings
Auto -> Wind Slash
Auto -> H
Valor -> Broken Wings
Valor -> Wind Slash, Use - Mask Wind Slash cast animation.
Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst, Use - Stun and activate ult at the same time, very useful.
Valor -> Ki Burst+ Broken Wings, Use - Nice HIGH dps combo, you can even auto after valor it's just important that you Ki Burst+ Broken Wings 0.25 - 1.5 seconds after casting Valor and at the same time. This is what is referred to as the double cast combo.
Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Flash -> 3rd Broken Wings -> Auto -> H+ Ki Burst -> Auto -> Wind Slash/ Broken Wings, Use - Burst out of position targets or a cluster of enemy champions.
Wind Slash -> Ki Burst -> H or Wind Slash -> Ki Burst, Use - Release ultimate active whilst opponent is stunned, if done properly your ult can't be dodged.
Valor -> Auto -> H -> Ki Burst + Broken Wings, Use - Good fight starter when you don't have ultimate, utilising double cast for maximum damage output.
Valor -> 3rd Broken Wings+ Ki Burst, Use - Not really useful because you are stacking cc which is bad but it looks nice x).
Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst -> Broken Wings, Use - Nice fight starter, offers quick burst.
Valor -> Wind Slash or Blade of the Exile -> (auto) -> Ki Burst+ Broken Wings, Use - Double cast burst combo w/ ultimate.
Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Flash -> H(optional)+ Ki Burst -> Auto -> Wind Slash -> Broken Wings, Use - Flashy combo and highest DPS combo. Video footage
This video showcases most of the combos and animation cancels above and what they should look like when executed properly:
Riven fast combo:
This combo is difficult and requires a lot of practice for new riven players. You have to Auto - Q - Move, three times very quickly. The Q is used to cancel the auto animation whilst the move cancels the Q animation. Riven's damage actually applies before her animations end and that's why this is possible.
Riven CC chaining:
As Riven you have 2 sources of CC and as a result you should try to chain your CC with your team-mates CC as this can turn the tides of a team fight and completely immobilise a key target. Lets say you have an Amumu on your team and he engages and uses Curse of the Sad Mummy, an AOE stun, you as Riven should watch for when the stun duration is about to end and follow up with Ki Burst in order to increase the duration for which the enemy stays stunned for.
Riven curved Q:
Really simple in theory but not so easy to pull off consistently without practice, my friend 404 Broken Blade taught me this mechanic. What you have to do is Valor but as soon as you do so use Broken Wings whilst making sure your cursor is on the target. It all has to be a fluid motion so there's no room for error.
Streams to watch:
Best Riven NA
Hi its viper
Wards, buy a lot. I know this may sound like generic advice but you'll be shocked by the amount of people that say they buy tons of wards but really don't, I know because I was one of those people. Vision really is key at all elos, not buying wards because you think your elo doesn't need them is silly and can hinder your climb. Wards can create amazing picks and stop the way too common back doors late game. Buying 2-3 wards a game is a good start but eventually you want 4+ wards per game. A huge mistake though is buying wards early in lane when you are even as that can lead to you losing trades as you can create a deficit in items.
Accept you are being carried and hold on for the ride. Most of my games I play the role of a carry top lane and there are cases where I go even or lose lane. In these cases my team is sometimes far ahead. I have two choices now, farm up and catch up or run around the map trying to make plays. A long time ago I would've opted for the second option which mostly lead to losses, I realized this and changed quickly. The first option is safer and better in the long term.
Baron. During my stay in silver baron was the most hotly contested objective ever, even more contested than the actually nexus... Generally the team that got baron always won. I noticed as soon as my team would get an objective and recall we would come back to see the enemy had got baron. At first I thought of that game as a small outlier, till it kept happening frequently. Then I formulated a plan which involved me pulling out my inner shot caller. After every team fight that lead to an objective I would tell my team as we recalled "Let's group/push top side guys to def baron in case they try to sneak it". I must say that one line increased my win rate drastically.
Whenever you gain an advantage you should always look for how that can transfer into an objective, in order to remember this always ask yourself 'What next?' after you gain any advantage even small ones. For example lets say I chunk my enemy laner so he has to recall and loses out on a big minion wave, What next? I can take down their tower since I have so many minions around it I'll have enough time. Small advantages such as baiting the enemy laner to use their exhaust can result in an objective because next time you fight you'll be dealing 100% of your damage resulting in you picking up a kill most likely and then being able to push and take their tower.
Late game Riven becomes really good at taking Baron due to how much raw AD you'll have especially when your autos are empowered by Runic Blade. During the late game make sure to capitalise on the enemy making wrong decisions such as grouping to take dragon(if it's not 5th dragon) or sending someone bot to clear a wave. You can use this incorrect decision to easily take down baron with your team-mates in a few seconds, with baron pushing becomes much easier and your chance of winning increases drastically too.
Communication wins games:
Talk a lot. But also know your limit and don't trash talk. I might be one of the most social/talkative league players ever and I am proud of that. In game I make sure my team knows what's up and the possible outcomes of any engage. Sometimes team mates aren't so fond of this but they still listen. One game I was the only person that won lane and as a result the game seemed one sided. Then I told my team to group mid and go into their jungle for a pick. 4 seconds later their cait walks by, skarner ult, chain cc, dead with a long death timer. We proceeded to take the mid inhib and end the game. A win create by simple team cohesion.
Be the grown up. Don't let the troll ruin your game, you man up and take one for the team. E.g. I was first pick, I called mid, last pick said give me mid or I troll, my 3 teammates back me and said respect pick order, last pick continues to say mid or troll. What did I do? I went top and gave him mid. we load up in game and to my surprise I check his stats and see that he is a blatant smurf, we won that game, hard. My team then thanked me for letting him go mid and I felt really good on the inside. Being nice to even trolls has it's perk. I do not condone people acting like that but it's an unavoidable part of League.
Riven is a high skill, high risk and high reward champ which when mastered can carry any game. To truly become good at Riven you must practice, watch streams and know her match ups in and out. If you have any questions don't hesitate to PM me.
The people that have helped me get this far:
List of people that have helped me write this guide
Surrender@20 for the images of Riven's abilities