Riven Build Guide by Riven Mai Waifu
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Hey, I'm Riven Mai Waifu and this is my Riven guide for her Mid lane. I'm a Platinum Riven main and used her to get me each of my tiers so far. I think that a lot of people stopped playing Riven after the nerfs to her Broken Wings, however, despite this, I personally feel that Riven is still an extremely strong pick in solo queue.
I think that Riven is strong due to her kit, it allows for tons of outplays to be made, but more on that later. Riven's kit, once mastered, is extremely rewarding, beacuse of this, there are tons of Riven only mains on NA and EUW who are all help in high regard, for example, BoxBox, Best Riven NA etc. In fact, Riven was so popular that NA held a "Best Riven NA" tournament (Megazero won).
21-9-0 are the best masteries for Riven. I use this page for every single matchup. 21 points in offense because damage is extremely important on Riven, personally I think that full tank Riven is really bad, and boring, but anyways, and cooldown reduction so you can hit 40% cooldown, with the items that I build you cap out 40% easily which is extremely important as it puts all of your skills onto extremely low cooldowns.
9 points are put into defense because Riven doesn't benefit too much from the Utility page and the defensive page allows Riven to have a safer laning phase.
Marks: 8 or 9 AD marks are best as they help with last hitting in lane, and damage. They are better than armor penetration as Riven has huge AD scalings and AD marks increase your damage more than any others. I personally take a 1% crit mark as well because it gives the potential for a crit. If you do land a crit it can win your lane easily and it is always unexpected, making it really good in my opinion at least.
Seals:I take 5 health seals and 4 armor seals due to the nerfs on armor seals and buffs to health seals. A mix of armor and health is best as pure armor isn't as effective and nor is pure health, this is because due to Riven being a melee champion it is expected to be auto'ed frequently in lane, and whilst the damage is not huge, it does stack up, making armor a must-have.
Glyphs: I take 6 cooldown reduction glyphs and 3 magic resist glyphs, the cooldown glyphs help early on and allow you to cap out at 40% CDR easily. Magic resist is taken as mid lane is filled with AP mages.
Quintessences: AD quints are best on Riven as they provide the most damage both early and late due to her large scalings of pure AD.
Broken Wings is Riven's bread and butter skill, it allows you to animation cancel her auto attacks, walljump and knockup. It gives Riven tons of mobility and damage allowing her to roam and kill her enemies effectively. In all scenarios Broken Wings is maxed first.
Ki Burst versus Valor
Both skills are good and as a general rule of thumb, if you cannot catch your opponent or you need to roam max Valor, otherwise max Ki Burst, this is because your stun goes on a shorter cooldown and provides a good amount of damage allowing you to kill your lane opponent faster, however this is useless if you cannot catch your lane opponent, so a good time to max Valor is against someone who also has lots of mobility, or even against someone who is skill-shot heavy and you're not confident on dodging them. Valor is also good if you're top or bot lane is losing hard and you're ahead and you need to roam.
Blade of the Exile
Take a point in this whenever you can as its such an amazing skill. You can also use Valor -> Blade of the Exile to cancel the animation of Blade of the Exile. Wind Slash can be used right before your 3rd cast of Broken Wings or even during/right after to ensure that the damage hits.
Using and landing Wind Slash is extremely important as it does tons of damage, sometimes its best to use Wind Slash when you can definitely hit it so the damage goes off, you don't always need to save it as a finisher.
For example: Use it during your Ki Burst or 3rd Broken Wings to stop champions such as Kassadin, Yasuo, Zed etc. from juking it.
If you started with Longsword its best to try and get Tiamat as a first item if your lane opponent doesn't buy any armor. Otherwise, The Brutaliser is a good first item to buy. Tiamat allows for a large power spike as it is essentially a fifth ability. It can also be used in-between your own abilities, for example Valor -> Tiamat, or Tiamat -> Ki Burst.
The active of Ravenous Hydra can also be used to cancel different ability animations which is very handy in trades and duels. It can also help you win 2v1's due to the additional AoE damage.
After you have Ravenous Hydra the next item to get is Youmuu's Ghostblade as it allows you to gap-close and it gives you amazing stats, it allows auto attack animation cancelling to be soo much easier and allows you to easily stick to your opponent. Finish your boots after this, either Mercury Tread's or [[Ionian boots of lucidity[[
Last Whisper is best to get next as it allows you to shred tanks and gives you tons of damage.
The Black Cleaver should be bought if you need more damage or you can't shred tanks fast enough.
If there is a fed AP carry then Banshee's Veil is the best item to get imo, its much better than Spirit Visage due to the shield and unless its something like a Twisted Fate then Mercurial Scimitar should not be needed.
If there is a fed AD carry then Randuin's Omen will work wonders, or even Thornmail in extreme cases.
If you feel like you have enough damage from Ravenous Hydra, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Last Whisper then its good to buy 2 defensive items for a much safer game, however sometimes you cannot afford to do this so The Black Cleaver is needed.
Pros / Cons of Riven Midlane
. Extremely rewarding if mastered
. Strong roaming
. Easy to snowball
. Huge power-spike at level 6
. Kit allows for huge outplays
. Shes mai waifu <3
. Quite hard to catch up if you fall behind
. Requires good knowledge and positioning in team fights
. Can be countered easily(I've had to play against Renekton, Garen and Quinn mids =/)
Personally, I think Riven's laning is quite strong, I always aim to try and go aggressive at level 2 or 3, or even level 1. Due to Riven's dashes it allows her to easily escape ganks or gap close or roam, this makes her an extremely effective mid laner, and especially good at solo queue as she can impact all lanes.
If you are against someone who can harass easily at level 1 it can be extremely rewarding to start with Valor instead of Broken Wings. This is because it will minimise the amount of damage you take at level 1 and can allow you to fight at level 2.
If you start with Broken Wings and all in the enemy AP mid laner at level 1 or have a heavy trade with him/her then you can easily kill them at level 2-3. Overally, if both you and the enemy mid laner take fatal damage and you are both on the same amount of health its worth for you provided you started with Longsword as you would have x3 health potions whilst they would only have x2 health potions (provided they started with Doran's Ring.
As Riven you should try to snowball your lane or other lanes as much as possible, even if you need help, thats okay, if you can't get anything from your lane, push out and roam. If you can't roam then just do your best to stay even, if your 30 CS ahead but 0-0-0 thats fine! You don't have to be 10-0 to carry, CS advantage is extremely important and Riven can get ahead just from item advantage. You should always aim to have 10 CS per minute, in other words, 200 CS t 20 minutes.
Grouping is quite a delicate matter with Riven. If the enemy is packed full of CC then it might be best to split and then rotate with your team or to look for catches instead of diving right into a CC fest, however you can still group and fight with your team, just try and wait for all the fatal CC to be used and then dive in!
If the enemy team has small amounts of CC then you can just assassinate their AD carry or AP carry, if you use Youmuu's Ghostblade the extra stats will allow you to burst and kill the enemy carry.
The fastest way that I've found to assassinate a carry is to Youmuu's Ghostblade -> Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> Auto -> Wing Slash. The 2nd auto should kill the carry but if he lives Wind Slash will definitely do the job. This is under a team-fight scenario, if you are 1v1ing a carry then simply Valor/ Broken Wings/ Youmuu's Ghostblade to gap close and autoing whenever possible and then using Ki Burst/ Wind Slash whenever needed.
When everyone is level 17-18 and they are all full build, or almost full build, it is extremely important that you either:
. Peel for your carry
. Kill the enemy carry
This is where Riven is a lot more reliant on the enemy carries mis-positioning or mistakes. Often, you will have to Flash in order to gap close which is why distortion boots are the best enchantment on Riven.
It's also extremely important for Riven not to dive into a field of CC so its generally good to come into a fight late, or, after the CC has been used.
- Picture will be added later -
Riven's 3rd cast of Broken Wings enables her to jump over walls, this can be used for gap closing flashes, escapes and just more mobility. You can use Valor to line yourself up for your 3rd cast of Broken Wings so that you don't miss your jump.
Auto Attack Animation Cancelling
Auto attack animation cancelling is when you use a cast of Broken Wings to cancel the auto attack animation. This results in you dealing damage over a faster period of time. The best way to do this, is that whenever you hear the sound of Riven's auto attack, you immediately use Broken Wings. This is probably the easiest way toe auto attack cancel, in my opinion anyway. You can also do it visually but I find that auto attack cancelling audibly is a lot easier to get the hang of; eventually it becomes habit and the only way to get good at this is through experience and it eventually becomes a habit to cancel auto attacks.
Start with: Longsword x3 Health Potion and start with Broken Wings and grab Ki Burst at level 2. Consider maxing Valor against Talon so that you can counter roam, try and always have vision on the river so that Talon can't roam effectively. This favors you ez pez lemon sqez.
Talon is weak early and will most likely start with his Rake, after he uses it or even before it you can go aggressive and jump on him with Broken Wings. You should aim to kill him at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 and all-in him at level 6. Your Valor negates his Rake harass and if you max Valor 2nd you can roam as much as him. If you fight him at 6 try to ensure you don't get juked by his invis by his Shadow Assault and you can cancel Wind Slash in the 3rd Broken Wings cast so that damage is ensured meaning that you can burst him faster.
At level 6 the best way to fight him would be:
Valor-> Blade of the Exile-> Ki Burst-> Broken Wings->Auto Attack-> Broken Wings->Auto Attack-> Broken Wings-> Wind Slash and he should die.
The idea is that he gets bursted, Ki Burst lasts 0.75 seconds which is enough to Broken Wings -> Auto -> Broken Wings and then the 3rd cast of Broken Wings knocks up Talon and Wind Slash does the final blow before he can respond; however this requires you to auto attack animation cancel and requires some practise. This combo should do around 1000 damage at level 6, not including the % health damage from Wind Slash or the AD given from runes, so including them it should be more than enough to kill Talon.
Start with: Doran's Blade x1 Health Potion or Longsword x3 Health Potion if less confident. Consider buying Randuin's Omen as a defensive item late game, if Yasuo starts with Steel Tempest then you start with Valor, otherwise start with Broken Wings
I'd say this favours you slightly however it is very skill based. You can jump on him at levels 2 and 3. Its best to save your 3rd cast of Broken Wings for his Sweeping Blade so that it gets interrupted and he gets knocked up. You can also use Ki Burst to interrupt it, however I would start with Valor to negate his Steel Tempest damage. If he starts with Sweeping Blade start with Broken Wings and jump on him.
Use your skills conservatively so that you always have outs to him if he decides to jump on you. Remember that he cannot fight without minions as he has much less dashes and try to use that to your advantage.
After level 6 you should win all fights with him, if you wait for his 3rd cast of Steel Tempest to go down you can jump on him as it will be hard for him to get his stacks back up before he dies.
Start with: Valor Doran's Blade x§ Health Potion, only start Longsword if you're not confident in dodging his Razor Shuriken with your Valor. Skill based but favors you slightly.
Try to Valor his Razor Shuriken as much as possible in lane, amd try to coordinate jungle ganks to when his Living Shadow is off cooldown. If he uses it to Shadow Slash -> Razor Shuriken and then jumps to his shadow, don't be afraid to go on him, even if you Valor'ed most of the damage.
I would max Ki Burst after Broken Wings in this matchup just so that you have guaranteed damage after he Death Mark's you. Whenever he uses it, its important to save your Ki Burst until hes just used Death Mark so that you can just Valor or Broken Wings out of his range so that his Death Mark does minimal damage.
If you intend to fight him just use Blade of the Exile instantly so that you get the bonus damage, and try to use Wind Slash -> 3rd cast of Broken Wings just so that the damage is guaranteed to land and that he doesn't juke it with his Death Mark.
3.8.14 - Made guide and created it
4.8.14 - Yasuo + Zed + Talon matchups, auto attack animation cancelling.
Summary + Future plans
Thanks for reading my guide and all feedback is greatly appreciated :), and if you like it please upvote :)
I plan to add more mid lane matchups and to keep this updated on patches and mid lane meta changes.