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Riven Build Guide by Riven Mai Waifu

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Riven Mai Waifu

"A Sword Mirrors Its Owner" - Riven Mid

Riven Mai Waifu Last updated on May 27, 2015
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Table of Contents
Guide Top

Patch 5.9

As of patch 5.9 Rivens missile speed on her ult got reduced to 1600 and her base movement speed was also reduced to 340. As of these nerfs I have stopped playing Riven, in my opinion shes completely gutted mid lane as it was already hard enough playing her. If any changes come along I will update the guide (changes to make her viable again) but please note that currently I wont be updating (unless mid lane meta shifts dramatically). She may still be good toplane even in tank meta with tp roam distortion rush but mid lane, imo is very unviable (will test still on smurfs etc and will update guide if my opinion changes)


Guide Top






Table of Contents
General Pre-Game In-Game Advanced Tactics
Introduction
Pros & Cons
Changelog
Summary
Runes
Masteries
Summoner Spells
Abilities
Itemization
Matchups
Gameplay
Strategies




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Hey, I'm Riven Mai Waifu and this is my Riven guide for her Mid lane. I'm a Diamond 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. These are my Riven stats, the kda isnt too great but thats because KDA doesn't always win games^^
Spoiler: Click to view
And my smurf with good KDA and Win rate :) (Plat 2-ish)
Spoiler: Click to view

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).



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Pros
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+ Extremely rewarding if mastered
+ Strong roaming + burst
+ Easy to snowball
+ Huge power-spike at level 6
+ Kit allows for huge outplays
+ Shes mai waifu <3
Riven
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The Exile
Cons
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- 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 =/)
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Why play Riven? Well its simple, Riven is, once mastered, an extremely fun champion to play, but she is also extremely effective for carrying. She can impact all lanes with her mobility from Broken Wings and Valor and can easily burst an ADC even when you're both full build and you've built 2 defensive items. The best part is, after bursting an ADC you're still around to do damage providing you've positioned correctly making Riven a huge threat in any game.
LOL
C o n s
Sadly, Riven has quite a high skill-cap and, depending on your skill with her, she is very CC sensitive. Furthermore, if you don't know how to play as her when behind (taking risks, drags, roaming etc.) then you won't be too useful until late game.
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Q U I N T E S S E N C E S
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Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: AD quints are best on Riven as they provide the most damage both early and late due to her large scalings of pure AD.

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: Lifesteal is a viable alternative, 3 lifesteal quintessences or 2 lifesteal quintessences and 1 AD quintessence if you feel like you need the sustain, however imo 3 AD quintessences are best because of the huge damage it gives you early and late!
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M A R K S
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Greater Mark of Attack Damage: 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.

Greater Mark of Critical Chance: 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.
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S E A L S
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Greater Seal of Health + Greater Seal of Armor:
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.


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G L Y P H S
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Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction + Greater Glyph of Magic Resist:
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, this is because it gives you 5% cooldown, Youmuu's Ghostblade and The Black Cleaver add on another 20% = 30% (another 5% from masteries) Lastly, to cap out the 40% Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Magic resist is taken as mid lane is filled with AP mages.
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Skill priority

RIVEN
>>
>

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Build

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Start:
Rush:
Offense:
Defense:

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Runes

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Basic:
x3
x8 x1
x5 x4
x6 x3

Viable:
x2/3

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Masteries

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Summoner Spells

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Matchups

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COUNTERS:
EVEN:
FAVORABLE:
SYNERGY: Fenrir






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Rune Page

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21-9-0 are the best masteries for Riven. I use this page for every single matchup.

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Offense

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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.


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Defense

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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.





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Flash


K
Flash is good because it allows you to surprise engage, gap close and escape, take this always!

Ignite


K
Ignite gives you the most kill pressure in lane letting you snowball.



These are the most effective spells for Riven in the middle lane. You could consider Heal and Teleport but these take away your kill & snowball potential.



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Ability Sequence

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Skilling order
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
[[[[Broken Wings
[[[[Ki Burst
[[[[Valor
[[[[Blade of the Exile
0 Q W E Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W


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Ability Explanation

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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.




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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, it can also be swapped with Youmuu's Ghostblade if you don't need to assassinate the AD/AP Carry (ie your team does enough damage) as you're tankier so you can just peel for your AD carry or do sustained damage, this is also good as it removes armor making it easier for your AD carry to do damage on tanks.

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. The best defensive stuff imo are Randuin's Omen and Mercurial Scimitar. Randuin' Omen lets you fight ad carries a lot more easily and is especially useful against AD mids as well. Mercurial Scimitar is really helpful against a Twisted Fate as if he yellow cards you in a fight you are most likely dead. Its also good against champions like Zed etc. Zhonya's Hourglass is good against AD casters such as Talon and Zed. Even with late reaction time you just need to activate it 0.5 seconds after Zed ults you (0.1 for Talon) and you avoid their ult damage. If you can afford to only buy 1 defensive item, always buy Mercurial Scimitar, purely because of the active being amazing if you can use it correctly. Guardian's Angel is once very 5 minutes whilst Mercurial Scimitar is ever 1.5 mins and it also gives AD, this makes it much more effective on Riven.




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Ahri
Start With: Longsword x3 Health Potion and start with Broken Wings whilst taking Valor at level 2. Max Valor over Ki Burst so you can counter roam and dodge skill shots. Ahri is very skill shot reliant and you can dodge her Orb of Deception and Charm with Broken Wings and Valor. This is average and is dependent on skill.

You can jump on Ahri as soon as she uses her Charmm however consider getting an early Hexdrinker due to her burst. If she tries to roam you can counter roam or punish her by pushing out. With Broken Wings you can dodge all of her skill shots, even at level 1.

Once Ahri's Charm is down you can fight her easily, you should try and do some damage onto her at level 1, 2 and 3. If Ahri takes her Fox-Fire at level 2 then you should try and all-in her. Something you can do is try and all-in at level 1 because even if it fails and you both live she will (assuming she started with Doran's Ring) only have x2 Health Potions whilst you will have x3 Health Potions meaning that you'll have more health and you'll be able to kill her at level 2.
Another tip is that you can interrupt her Spirit Rush (the dash) wish your Ki Burst and 3rd cast of Broken Wings, so that if you time it right you can interrupt her dashes making her less able to outplay you.


Lissandra
Start with: Longsword x3 Health Potion. Similarly to Syndra you will want to take Hexdrinker early. ******edly easy but stupid matchup imo. Take Valor first, then Broken Wings.

Unless she severely misplays she cannot be killed. She has Ring of Frost when you jump on her and Glacial Path to get away. Just try to farm and then roam, max Valor after Broken Wings and try to gain dragon control or kill for your botlane. If you have to stay in lane with her, try to burn her mana by using Valor towards her.
Valor negates her Ice Shard harass so you should just farm up and roam. Her ult Frozen Tomb also allows her to play very safe. Use Wind Slash when she is stunned or knocked up if you do try and all in her, depending on your skill at animation cancelling it will decide on whether or not she dies.


Syndra
Start with: Longsword x3 Health Potion and start with Broken Wings and grab Valor at level 2. Easy matchup once you know how it works, always, always rush Hexdrinker. Once you get it she can't kill you until level 16.

I can't stress how important the first 2 levels are in this matchup, they basically decide whether you win the lane or lose it. The idea is, rush level 2 then jump on her. This should allow you to chunk her and give you an easier time laning. At level 2, you should go in as soon as you hit level 2 using Valor to extend your range, her Dark Sphere is quite easy to just dodge by walking once you get used to it. If you hit level 2 at the same time, jump on her and Valor in an unorthodox direction and start hitting her. Her Scatter the Weak is quite easy to dodge with Valor or Broken Wings and she doesn't have much harass outside of Dark Sphere and auto attacks due Force of Will's high mana cost.

At level 6 she gets her ultimate Unleashed Power, if you haven't denied or gotten a kill on her early then you're still even with her, you should have a Hexdrinker at this point, you can just jump on her if she mispositions. If she wastes Scatter the Weak or Force of Will just go jump on her. When she's at 70% health you can flash -> Ki Burst -> Valor (IMPORTANT: Use Valor to go behind Syndra so she can't escape without flash) -> Blade of the Exile -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> Wind Slash -> Dead Syndra.
You also have much more mobility so you should max Valor and push out then roam due to her having much less mobility.


Talon
Start with: Longsword x3 Health Potion and start with Broken Wings and grab Ki Burst at level 2. Consider maxing Valor 2nd over > Ki Burst 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.

Yasuo

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.

Zed

Start with: Valor Doran's Blade 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 or Living Shadow. Whilst in lane you can gank/fight whilst his Living Shadow is on cooldown, it has a really long cooldown so this should be quite easy to take advantage of.




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AKA - Riven Mechanics
Walljumps
Spoiler: Click to view


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.
The red lines on the map indicate where you can 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.
Example of AA Cancelling:
Sorry for low quality, my laptop is quite low end but this is probably the fastest AA cancel Ive seen.


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Laning

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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. Also, due to her kit it lets her fight early on, whereas other champions would be much weaker (due to the triple cast of Broken Wings), so its important to be quite aggressive when playing Riven.

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, generally you should try and aim to do this if the opposing midlaner ia weak early. 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 per 20 minutes.


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Grouping/Sieging

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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 there is something that the enemy saves for you Mercurial Scimitar is definitely worth the investment as it will let you stop the cc instantly!

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 -> Wind 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.


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Late Game

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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
OR
. 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. If you're aiming to kill their squishies then its good to Flash in on them when their all bunched up so that you can AoE Stun them and Wind Slash them along with autos and Broken Wings which should burst them all to at least 10% hp if not more.



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Note: Minor changes will not be written in
6.8.14 - Guide created with code
7.8.14 - Changed some code + added summoner spells
9.8.14 - Added in Wall jump map
11.8.14 - Added Cloth armor as a defensive item in honour of Vapora's loss in his Talon vs Riven 1v1.
13.8.14 - More notes on defensive items.
14.8.14 - Added Ahri matchup and changed wording in Talon matchup for greater clarity.
25.8.14 - Added Syndra and Lissandra matchup.
7.9.14 - Added video on AA cancelling.
1.12.14 - Taking a pause on updating the guide due to the new season changes etc. Once season 5 roles around I will start testing again and updating the guide.




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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.
  • Fixing some coding stuff later on.
  • A big thanks to Foxy Riven for helping me with the coding and pictures :)


If you want to contact me just comment here or you can add me on league (message me on mobafire first) or even follow me on twitch to let you know when I stream (www.twitch.tv/rapture__)