Riven Build Guide by Aquilegia
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
|NOTE: THE CHEAT SHEET IS RELEVANT, BUT THE INFORMATION WITHIN THE GUIDE IS NOT. I WILL UPDATE IT WHEN I HAVE THE TIME.
Hi there! I'm Aquilegia, and this is the first guide I've written. Riven is my favorite champion by far, but from what I've seen, I don't feel like most people use her to her full potential.
I think she is best played as a tanky DPS with high burst damage. You have to be kind of aggressive in order to do well, but she can crush the competition from early to late game. She also has great built-in escape mechanics, so it's hard to die as her unless the entire team focuses you.
I'd much prefer constructive criticism in the comments than a downvote. c: And if you like this guide, then be sure to upvote it! Thanks to everyone for 3 million views and the 90%! All the support means a ton! <3
Pros & Cons
+ High burst
+ AoE knockup & stun
+ High mobility
+ Wonderful farmer
|- Cooldown dependant
- Countered by CC
- No built-in sustain
- No ranged harass
s p a c e s p a c e
You really want to max out your offensive capabilities in the offense tree just like an ADC, but focus on the cooldown reduction aspect instead of putting points into crit masteries (crits aren't really that great for you since crits don't boost Runic Blade hits). Make sure you don't take Summoner's Wrath if you aren't picking up Ignite! Most of the points here are common sense and should max out your AD offensive side. I guess the most important point here is Executioner since it goes so well with Blade of the Exile's Wind Slash. Sorcery is a must-have. Other than that, this tree should all be common sense.
I'm proud of my defense tree. It's concise but gives perfect benefits for you! Perseverance really aids you since you don't have any built-in sustain, and your health regen was nerfed a little. When the going gets tough you're able to keep going with a few points in there. I get a tiny bit of resistances and a lot-a bit of health, which makes a huge difference in-game. Usually, it's the difference between first blood. So yep! That's the route you should take in my opinion. :)
This setup follows a 9/21 layout. If you want more defense, take a mastery page that follows something similar to this. You can always substitute points in other masteries in the Defense tree if you don't like some of the ones I've taken here. However, if you are going this route, Tenacious and Relentless should be your main focus for Riven, considering CC hits her especially hard.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
| Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage //
The choice here is deciding on how much you want your damage output to be during your early-game. All of Riven's abilities scale off of her bonus AD, so if you have a lesser amount of this to start off with, you're going to do lesser damage. Personally, I try to get an edge on the enemy as quickly as possible so I can keep that edge. AD Quints aid you best in this endeavor.
| Greater Mark of Attack Damage //
I pick Greater Mark of Attack Damage over other marks to give Riven all of the bonus AD she can get for her abilities. We basically have the same reasoning for our marks as our quints; Riven needs bonus AD to have the strongest early-game possible, to gain a lead and sustain that lead as quickly as possible.
| Greater Seal of Armor //
I think the armor runes are the safest choice for a top-laner, especially since the top lane is full of AD bruisers. These runes stick with you throughout the entire game since your armor stat scales up per level. Opt for armor seals for a little defensive bonus. It will more than likely aid you against your lane opponent, and then carry into a later part of the game when you have to face the enemy ADC and the other potential AD champions they can bring to the table.
| Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist //
Since you don't typically fight an AP caster top, scaling MR glyphs are best to have the highest defense later on against an AP mid or jungler. These are more efficient since your MR stat doesn't scale up per level. These are a solid choice for most games. Near the end of the game, you have about 20 more MR than flat glyphs can give you, so these are a better pick if you're playing a normal game.
|greater quintessence of armor penetration can help you out a LOT since you deal purely physical damage, and enemies WILL stack armor against you. Be careful when buying armor pen runes, since Riven scales off of bonus AD and not total, and her early-game potential might get destroyed if left with no bonus AD. You should take these quints if you want armor pen and you have a page with Greater Mark of Attack Damage.||greater quintessence of armor penetration|
|Greater Quintessence of Life Steal really helps you out with sustain. Riven has no built-in sustain like Garen or Nasus or Cho'Gath, so opting for these quints might be best if you want to stay in lane longer. I also like to build a lot of lifesteal items on Riven, so these quints will stack wonderfully with a build that I would choose, for example, or help me out if I don't have room to build any lifesteal because I have too much need for defense. Be sure to take Greater Mark of Attack Damage with these, though, because Riven still needs her bonus AD.|
|greater mark of armor penetration is basically like the quints: they inevitably aid you since your enemies will stack armor against you (if they're smart), since you deal only physical damage. If you want to go this route, make sure you take Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage since Riven still needs her bonus AD. This setup is actually my second favorite, I just prefer the most early-game-friendly rune setup.||greater mark of armor penetration|
|Greater Seal of Scaling Health can help you gain defense against burst damage, especially if you're going against an AP caster top. These plus flat magic resist glyphs are ideal against any bursty AP caster, which will occasionally find their ways into the top lane. I'd suggest to have more resistances against sustained damage, but these are ideal for burst damage.|
|Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is a perfect option for Riven. She is an AD caster, and she really relies on all of her abilities. She's cooldown dependent, so adding these glyphs can really help you out with dealing damage. You're sacrificing magic resist here, so this route goes for max offense. I don't typically recommend these because of the defensive sacrifice, but if you're intent on wrecking face, definitely take these.|
|Greater Glyph of Magic Resist are glyphs I pick when I'm facing an AP top. Your minuscule bonus from scaling glyphs early-game won't aid you that much against a champion that deals magic damage. I'd suggest keeping a set of these glyphs handy for whenever you're forced to fight an AP champion top, and then switching them out when you need to.|
|Flash is a spell that can be used offensively or defensively. If you're being chased, you can simply Flash away or over a wall and the enemy can't get to you anymore! If an enemy is getting away, and just needs one more autoattack, then you Flash up and strike them down. It's a great spell for every case and that's why I take it. It helps you in every situation. Tower dive someone? Kill them and Flash out. Big fight? Flash in and stun. Fight go badly? Flash out when the enemy team comes to pick you off.|
|I usually choose Ignite as well, even though it has no defensive benefit. It can be the difference between getting a kill or getting killed yourself. Generally, I throw this in the middle of the fight, when I know if I can get a kill. This is great because of the DOT it deals and it kills healing effects. If Soraka wants to ult and help, it won't be as effective. If Master Yi wants to Meditate, it won't have as much of a benefit. However, Riven has a great defense against Ignite. Just Valor and have your shield save you. I usually go with Ignite because it's great DOT that kind of has the same effect as Grievous Wound.|
|Ghost can help you get to a lane faster, or keep up with someone after they Flash. It has a shorter cooldown than Flash does, so you might take this one over it. I used to prefer it. It's all on what you want to see in your game.|
|Exhaust is another wonderful spell. I love this one, because it can be used offensively or defensively. Slowing someone can secure you the kill to ensure that they don't get away, and exhausting them can lessen the damage they deal. It slows so YOU can get away if you need to. I've been considering taking this over Ignite in my games, but I have yet to do so unless I'm support.|
|Teleport is another good choice for top. It's popular, and it helps you return to your lane faster if you like roaming. It's great if you have a Teemo on your team and he places mushrooms everywhere; you can Teleport to them and gank a lane. You can also do this with wards. However, I feel like Teleport loses its effectiveness after the laning phase. I don't pick it because it doesn't assist during fights.|
| Runic Blade // P
Riven's abilities charge her blade for 5 seconds, causing her to do 20/25/30/35/40/45/50% of her total attack damage as bonus physical damage on her next basic attack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, and can only expend one at a time.
Her charges should never go to waste. While throwing your abilities, you need to autoattack in the mix, between different skills. This makes her damage output incredible. Using these stacks in the middle of your Qs or Ws is a perfect idea and it puts the hurt on enemies, from early to late game. Using a solid combo, even at level one, can kill the enemy or get you first blood with Qs and autoattacks.
| Broken Wings // Q
Riven strikes out in front of her in a short line. This ability may be reactivated 2 additional times.
This is Riven's bread and butter. It can be used to deal heavy damage or it can be used as an escape. The three jumps are a great way to get away from enemies if you're being chased, or to catch up to fleeing enemies to kill them. It also has a knockup that can manipulate your enemies' positions and stop channeled abilities. But the main strength of this skill comes from the fact that it has amazing scaling off of Riven's AD, and it gives you three charges on her blade from her passive. You can use this to initiate, to chase, or to get away. Broken Wings is a great farming tool because of its AoE. It can also travel through walls and impassable terrain on the third activation.
| Ki Burst // W
Riven's sword emits a burst of runic energy that shocks nearby enemies, dealing (50/80/110/140/170 +100% bonus AD) physical damage and stunning them for 0.75 seconds.
Riven has ridiculous scaling on her W. All of her bonus attack damage is added to the base damage of this ability. It stuns enemies for a short duration, but Riven's combos can easily be set up during this time. Her stun can stop channeled ults like Katarina's Death Lotus. It is a great way to initiate a fight, and it can stop enemies from escaping as well as chasing. If you're tower-dived, activate Ki Burst, and then take care of them. This ability adds a lot of utility to her kit and can make for some surprising plays.
| Valor // E
Riven does a quick dash in the direction of your cursor and becomes shielded, blocking up to (70/100/130/160/190 +100% bonus AD) incoming damage for 2.5 seconds.
This is a shield that Riven has with as great of scaling as Ki Burst, and it dashes her forward. It's a wonderful escape tool, but it also helps initiate fights. If she dashes in, she absorbs the initial harass from her enemies, and you can stun them and get off your other skills and charges. I mainly use this skill to step over traps from enemies, to escape, to dodge, to chase, and to initiate. It scales so well off of AD, so if you find yourself in need of some defense, it's okay to build her offensively. Her shield gets stronger if you do this, so the best defense is a good offense.
| Blade of the Exile // R
Riven's weapon surges with spiritual energy for 15 seconds, granting her 20% extra Attack Damage, increased range (75) on her damaging spells and attacks, and the ability to use Wind Slash once.
Wind Slash: Riven fires a shockwave that deals from (80/120/160 +60% bonus AD) to (240/360/480 +180% bonus AD) physical damage to all enemies hit, increasing based on how much health they are missing.
This is Riven's ult. It is INCREDIBLY powerful, especially the activated ability, and it wipes out escaping champions easily. With Riven's ult, almost no one should escape from fights. It deals a LOT of damage to anyone with low health, even though it does almost nothing to those with full health. The passive of this skill helps with pushing towers or taking Baron, but it also helps during fights. 15 seconds is a long time, so you can activate this at the beginning of a teamfight and deal extra damage and gain some range with your abilities, and then fire Wind Slash to secure kills on people running away. The scaling is wonderful. Another great thing about her ult is that its cooldown is incredibly low, so you should pop it every teamfight, when you are going for a kill in your lane, while you're pushing hard on a tower, or when you're taking Baron/Dragon.
|Your Q, Broken Wings, should be maxed first because of its damage output. Broken Wings may have a smaller amount of scaling than her other abilities, but it has a higher damage output when you account for each hit, and the 3 charges it gives you on Runic Blade. While it has a static cooldown, you won't be in too much pain if you are auto-attacking between skills (like you are supposed to do), as the cooldown starts from the first time you use the ability rather than after the final strike.|
|Ki Burst should be maxed second, which enables you to have a shortened cooldown and extra damage. It is some of Riven's hard CC so it is very precious to be utilized correctly: to disengage, to engage, or to stop channeled abilities. One thing that I used to have trouble with is estimating the range of this ability. It goes off in a small circle around Riven, but judging how small that circle is can be difficult when you first play her. You can easily get the hang of it, though. I typically use this after Broken Wings in farming as a way to kill the creeps/monsters after dealing most of the damage.|
|Valor should be the final skill you maxed, considering that it is used for utility more than anything else, and Riven should focus on damage. As mentioned previously, Valor is great for stepping over traps, escaping, chasing, initiating, and dodging. It's good for negating damage from Ignite or Teemo shrooms, and it also helps with things like a Karthus ult. Valor can be a lifesaver, but it can fulfill that role at any level. Max it last to focus on your damage dealing abilities first.|
|Many Riven players choose to do this. I choose to do it when I am scared of my enemy and I don't feel comfortable harassing with a full-force combo. This is a great defensive order while still maintaining damage. Maxing Ki Burst over Broken Wings helps you because you can spam Ki Burst earlier in ways you weren't able to before, since its cooldown isn't static, and your stun causes a lot more damage. Ki Burst gives you a lot of damage on its own with its 1 to 1 scaling on her bonus AD. If you feel like the enemy won't remain in place to be hit by all three of the times you activate Broken Wings, then maxing Ki Burst first is what you should do.|
|This maxing order helps you keep up in damage, potentially against someone who is hard to deal with, while giving you a strong shield and leaving Broken Wings as a tool for mobility rather than damage. This is probably your best option for whenever you need defense, as you will still have some damage but a great amount of defensive power.|
There are many other skill orders to choose from, as you can max Riven's abilities in any order, really. These listed are simply the most effective and the others won't be listed.
There really isn't much to explain. You need to be sure to utilize your passive, and autoattack between skills. Riven's skills can be used in all sorts of orders, and none are really wrong, but the most important part is to utilize Runic Blade. AUTOATTACK BETWEEN SKILLS!
|Riven's basic combo is surprisingly easy. You dash in with Valor, autoattack, stun with Ki Burst, autoattack, activate Broken Wings three times with autoattacks in the mix, and then autoattack a little bit to dispel your remaining charges from Runic Blade before deciding to run or dash away with Valor again. This can usually secure you a kill or deal MASSIVE damage to your enemy. I'd suggest doing this as soon as you feel like you have a true advantage or when you're going in for the kill.|
|Valor in, autoattack, Ki Burst, auto attack, and then use your 3 dashes from Broken Wings to retreat. This method is best when you max Ki Burst. You should do this to deal some damage without having to fully engage your enemy.|
|Valor, then activate Broken Wings a few times to hop away a bit more. When chasing, it's good to do the same thing until you can catch up and stun them with Ki Burst, there you then activate your other abilities in order to kill them. Be wary not to chase too far into the fog of war, or you might face some other full-health champions.|
The times you should pop Blade of the Exile are as follows: when you engage for a kill, when doing Baron/Dragon, when entering teamfights, when your jungler comes to gank, when pushing towers, when ganking. It has a very short cooldown, so using your ult for extra damage at all opportune points is a very smart move. There really isn't any consequence in "wasting your ult" since it'll probably be back up soon.
||Cloth Armor + Health Potionx5 is a great choice, especially if the enemy you're facing deals AD. They most likely will, considering that you're in the top lane. With this start, you have plenty of sustain and some defense against your enemy. You should take this when you're facing a champion that deals heavy AD, or when you don't feel confident against your enemy.|
sight wardsight ward
|Rejuvenation Bead + sight wardx2 + Health Potionx4 is a start that brings sustain to the max. Health regen, potions, and wards to zone your enemy are all fantastic to have. This is my favorite start because of how much sustain and lane presence it offers. Rejuvenation Bead aid Riven's regen nerf, sight wards allow you to zone your enemy and push safely, and Health Potions keep in you in-lane after taking damage. I'd go this way if you feel semi-confident or unsure about your enemy. I'd also go this route when facing an AP champion top.|
||Elixir of Fortitude + Health Potionx3 is a starting option that's becoming more and more popular, but it was nerfed most recently. I've never personally started this way, but I've seen it as a cute trick for first blood, or for coming out on top in early skirmishes. What I think this start aims for is to secure an engagement, then pop your elixir when you're low on health so you can safely take care of the enemy and kill them. You still have 3 pots to keep you up in-lane, so this is a hyper-aggressive start when you feel very confident.|
If you need help with knowing your enemy, see the Matchups section. :)
|Riven is already relatively mobile all by herself, so you can afford to purchase offensive items like The Brutalizer and a Tiamat before upgrading to tier two boots. You have 4 dashes PLUS Flash. So, pick up Boots of Speed quickly for a small buff to your mobility before you head into damage items. They're going to last you a long time.|
|Next chance you get, buy The Brutalizer to help snowball the lane. It gives you armor pen, which you're going to need since you do ALL physical damage. A smart opponent will stack armor against you. It also gives you CDR, which is fantastic since you rely on your abilities so much. The AD is really nice, too. This item might not seem like much, but it tides you over for a long time.|
|Next comes a Tiamat to add a huge AD steroid to your kit, which will work fantastically with The Brutalizer. Your abilities should be doing a lot of damage at this point, even though you only have like 85 bonus AD (runes included). You will have some sustain with the health regen, and the AoE will be your best friend, especially when farming.|
||Doran's Bladex2 can also be taken at this point in time if you don't have enough money for a Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra when you recall to base, but a Vampiric Scepter is a smart buy as well. Either choice works well enough to tide you over til you can purchase Ravenous Hydra.|
|Your boots are a pretty easy pick. I almost always go with Mercury's Treads on Riven. CC shuts her down pretty hard, since it saps her mobility, and it's always nice to have MR. Ionian Boots of Lucidity are also an option, but I typically don't recommend them because of the defensive benefits I like to see from boots. These are an awesome pick for Riven because of the great cooldown reduction. These are certainly not out of the question, and will help Riven deal more damage. I just prefer boots that keep the damage off you.|
|When playing Riven, you should rush Ravenous Hydra and it should be your first completed item. You crave the raw AD like no other. It has more base AD than The Bloodthirster, so it's a safer bet. You also get incredible AoE, health regen, and an extra active to deal more damage. Its active resets her autoattack counter, so it's fantastic for getting off Runic Blade. The lifesteal also grants you a whole bunch of lane sustain that you didn't have before, since you don't have any built-in mechanics for it. You'll be hitting really hard now.|
|Your next item should be Last Whisper. It gives you percentage-based armor pen, which you need for all of your attacks. Not entirely sure why, but the Ravenous Hydra + Last Whisper combo is really strong on Riven right now. Since you're doing all physical damage, having the flat armor pen from The Brutalizer plus the percentage armor pen of Last Whisper really shreds your enemies apart.|
|Your next item should be The Black Cleaver. It gives you flat armor pen which you need for all of your attacks, AD, cooldown reduction since you're ability based, health for tankiness, and an incredible passive that gives you a stacking percentage-based armor pen, triggered by all of your attacks; you deal purely physical damage. This item is mandatory since your opponents will stack armor against you, and it works so well with Last Whisper. Its rework is PERFECT for AD casters like Riven. I'd say even it's more core than The Bloodthirster.|
|Warmog's Armor is up next. The health is pretty much where our tankiness comes from. At this point, you should probably decide on whether or not you want to build Locket of the Iron Solari, Guardian Angel, or Warmog's Armor. All 3 have their tanky benefits for this item slot. We pretty much have a lot of damage on the table with Ravenous Hydra, Last Whisper, and The Black Cleaver. What we need NOW is survivability to give us time to deal all that damage. Warmog's is generally going to be your best option. Health is more valuable than resistances now, so GA can be taken if you're having a problem with being focused down, or whenever it gets around to late-game and a death puts you out for over a minute. Locket should be taken when your whole team needs help, or when your jungler/support hasn't picked it up.|
|After Warmog's Armor, you should pick up The Bloodthirster. I pick up this item a lot later than before because I like Riven to have more security in gaining her stacks, since building it first is a huge gamble on damage. It's too expensive and not always worth it, especially if you find yourself dying a little. But as icing on the cake, it's perfect. The raw AD is necessary for more damage from you, and this damage is sure to deliver with all of the armor pen you've built. It gives you a whole lot of lifesteal as well, so your sustain should be incredible. With late-game farming, your stacks are assured.|
|Maw of Malmortius is a great defensive item for Riven. It gives you a bit of AD while packing in a lot of MR. Its passive is incredible against champs like Fiddlesticks or Karthus, and it makes you pack a punch once the going gets tough. This item is extremely helpful if you're dying to the AP carry or if you're facing someone like Teemo top.|
|Mercurial Scimitar also gives you a great defensive edge with a Quicksilver Sash activation. It boosts your mobility a whole lot, which is fantastic for Riven, and gives you a large amount of AD as well. Take this against Malzahar and Warwick, but it also works wonders against team comps with heavy cc in general.|
|Spirit Visage is more helpful because it actually grants you health regen so you benefit more from its passive! This helps most with sustained magic damage. The cooldown reduction is fantastic and the passive can really crank up your nerfed health regen.|
|Banshee's Veil is now one of the strongest MR items in the game (imo) with its removed mana, spell shield, and heavy regen when taking damage. So it's actually a viable, un-wasted buy for you, now! Take this when you're struggling against burst magic, as it's the most potent defense against it.|
|Ninja Tabi are the select boots for armor. I'd suggest taking these when you're struggling against any attack-based character, but especially when the enemy ADC is wrecking your team hard and you need a little defense against them. Or when the enemy team is all AD apart from the support.|
|Randuin's Omen is another tanky item that helps with disabling AD carries. Health, armor, and passive/active to utilize. The active is great for you as it shuts down enemy mobility, where you can capitalize on your own, and the passive is helpful if you're being focused by the enemy ADC for whatever reason.|
|Guardian Angel is another item that makes you somewhat tanky, but health has become more valuable in this game than resistances. A lot of Riven players use this item. It gives armor and MR, and its passive is pretty awesome. GA is a good item for Riven if you need to get the focus off of you. It will definitely keep you around longer if that's your problem (which it should be -- you're so fed the enemy team should keep trying to shut you down). Also, late-game, when a death removes you from the match for over a minute, this item is critical.|
|Ionian Boots of Lucidity are perfect for when you're snowballing out of control. You are cooldown-reliant, so these boots will enable you to keep dishing out damage in a faster period. I mostly like to see defense from my boots, so I don't typically go for these unless I'm playing, like, bot games. But if you feel confident enough, definitely go this route. You won't be disappointed.|
|Frozen Mallet is a decent item, but doesn't really have a place in Riven's best build these days. It adds a little AD and a lot of tankiness, but the passive is what gives it is strength. When you're facing someone with incredible mobility, it's a good idea to take this to try to shut them down. Also good if you need a little more tankiness to stay around longer. It's just a little too useless and a little too expensive to take every game.|
|Locket of the Iron Solari is a great option for Riven. Only pick it up if your team is lacking one. It gives you a whole bunch of tankiness and it aids your team as a whole. You should definitely pick this up when your team is struggling, but maybe not when you don't need it. It gives you health, resistances, and CDR, so it may find itself replacing Warmog's Armor or Guardian Angel. Don't pick this up if someone else has already purchased it.|
|zeke's herald can help a lot, actually. Riven doesn't waste a single stat on this item, but I feel like other items are much better. CD reduction, health, AD, AND lifesteal are all valuable stats that Riven can definitely gain benefit from. It also helps out your team with an aura. This is a great item and you should take it if you feel like your team needs some help, too.||zeke's herald|
Riven typically has a very exciting and active laning phase. This is where she's known for her dominance, so it's a part of the game where you always have to be on your toes. Riven has the ability to stomp and crush her opponents, so the player has to be aware of all opportunities for harass and kills. You also need to focus on farming and zoning the other player out of farm, as well. Playing Riven takes a whole lot of effort and awareness, so sharpen those senses!
Farming is relatively easy. You can probably get the most out of it by using Runic Blade procs mixed with your abilities to take down creeps in AoE. Ki Burst is also a great skill to use for freezing the lane and farming it up. There are some champions that Riven can't deal with very well, but not many. In those instances, you should place all of your focus on farming. Otherwise, you're going to move on to thinking about harassing. There are a whole lot of ways to do this. The quickest and easiest is to use Valor to get into range and to absorb initial damage, autoattack, Ki Burst, autoattack, and then the dashes from Broken Wings to retreat. This mostly works best if you max Ki Burst. The other, all-in form of harass is to dash in with Valor to protect yourself, autoattack for the Runic Blade proc, Ki Burst to lock them down, autoattack, and then using all 3 Broken Wings on the enemy with autoattacks. Make sure all of your charges are dispelled, and then run away, OR use Valor to dash away if it's up again.
These are kinda just basic combos that work well off of experience. Feel free to experiment and use your skills in any order! Riven is a very versatile champion. She can use her abilities in any order she wants to and NONE are wrong (except using Wind Slash at the very beginning of a fight). This is mostly because she profits off of all of it. Runic Blade is proc'd after every ability she uses, so you'll always have a little umfph of damage. Did you accidentally Valor instead of Broken Wings in a fight and it cost you the kill? NO BIG DEAL! Use Runic Blade to deal that last chunk of health.
This is a really short video that I captioned and stuff (first video I've ever taken, mind you) to help with understanding how to play Riven by showing you. I kinda yell at the end in triumph so watch out for loudness. :c I also look a little derpy but I was just focused. This is mainly getting kills on Jayce with the help of Udyr. Make sure to watch it in 1080p! (and yeah I was listening to a little dubstep in the background)
You should be wary of ganks, but also somewhat confident in the fact that you will more than likely get away, so long as you aren't ridiculously overextended. You have 3 dashes from Broken Wings and a dash from Valor, plus Flash and a stun with Ki Burst to disengage if necessary. Riven has a strong AoE capability and is naturally defensive with her shield, so you might be able to turn the tides of your gank, especially if you're tower dived. Ki Burst isn't a stun for nothing! Utilize this and your AoE if you have to fight. You have a strong chance of coming out on top. Just be sure you don't engage in a 2v1 unnecessarily. Be 100% positive you have the upper hand before attempting such a feat.
So to wrap this up, your laning phase should be made up of consistent engages/harass paired with a focus on zoning and farming. Push if you can and try to win your lane quickly, not just wrack up kills. Many Riven players feed off of their lane opponent but neglect their team, and end up failing in turning a won lane into a won game. Make sure you're a huge team player, which means ganking and finishing up your laning business as soon as possible. Riven is a great teamfighter and teamplayer; don't neglect it.
You're top, so you'll probably see the second most ganks. It's very, very important that you keep your lane warded. There are roles that are able neglect warding because others are able to do it for them. You probably won't be one of the people receiving any free wards. While laning, I highly suggest keeping 2 wards in your inventory at all times to replace the ones that die out ASAP.
Here's a handy diagram I made to roughly outline where wards should be placed on the map. Now, you don't always need a Vision Ward to cover your booty in the top lane, but it will really help out your jungler. This, in turn, helps out YOU. Sacrificing a bit of gold to purchase a Vision Ward can be the difference of a few kills. You never know. Your enemy will probably be warding just like you, so be sure to counter ward and keep theirs out. Again, it's really important for you and your jungler.
Another thing about warding: if you don't have the money, you don't HAVE to. You are very mobile. 4 dashes and a Flash, plus a stun that allows you to disengage. I wouldn't exactly recommend that you never ward, but I would highly recommend to not stress about it. Ask your jungler to ward for you if need be. They'll probably be happy to do so!
Riven is naturally talented at ganking. She's ridiculously mobile, so she can get to lanes fast. She's able to use her abilities freely to do so (4 dashes!) without consequence since she doesn't have any mana. She's also fantastic at closing the gap with these dashes and securing kills with Blade of the Exile's active. She's wonderful at AoE ganks and for controlling the enemy while dealing a great amount of damage. She's also able to soak a good bit, as well. Post-level 6 ganks are vital to your team, which is something you really have to keep in mind. Don't just feed yourself or whatever. Try your hardest to turn a won lane into a won game.
Your job will most likely be ganking mid, since bot is a little too far away. You can certainly head there and back if you have Teleport, but otherwise, I think you'll be wasting too much time and your enemy will gain a whole lot of free farm. Stick to mid and you'll probably be alright.
When you're going to gank, use your 3 dashes of Broken Wings as soon as you start heading mid. This gives you a great amount of mobility and you'll be able to get there faster, but also have Broken Wings back up when you're ready to start fighting. After this, dash with Valor and run until you're in the brush beside mid. Ping or chat to them that you're going in, then charge in with Flash or Valor. Activate Blade of the Exile if you're already 6. Use Broken Wings and an autoattack, then stun the enemy with Ki Burst and autoattack again and Ignite for the 5 bonus AD + true damage. After this, keep using your charges of Broken Wings with Runic Blade procs to deal the most damage. Make sure you use up as many procs as possible. Don't spam spells and horde charges. Once they've only got 2-3 bars of health left, press Blade of the Exile again to unleash Wind Slash. This should secure you the kill, but you can let your middle have it if they need it, too. Remember to be a teamplayer. That's the most important part.
Once you hit level 6, ganking becomes your strong suit. You now have a finishing move that increases your AD by 20%, which is kind of a lot. Your range is also increased, which can help you snag kills that you wouldn't normally be able to obtain. At this point in time, you need to concentrate on keeping your lane pushed up, ganking, and killing your lane opponent. Just keep in mind that you need to always be a team player and you can't stay top and farm champions. You need to help your team out as a whole. There's a reason Riven does massive amounts of damage and is considered OP, but doesn't have a single positive win ratio against any champion.
I whipped together this diagram a while back to help out with knowing when to gank. It doesn't apply to you as a whole, but the concept is what's important. Gank when the enemy is pushed up to your tower, but not when your ally is practically dancing on the edge of the enemy base. Don't overextend and don't gank when your allies are overextended. You can probably get quite a few successful ganks mid if everyone meets in the middle. And remember that a gank with no kill is not a failed gank. If you zone the enemy out of cs or push them out of lane, then it's just as much of a success.
Riven has a whole lot of AoE and a whole lot of damage, so her teamfighting presence is really strong. You're able to soak damage, but not as much as other offtanks or plain tanks, so it's best to know your limits. The relaxing part about teamfighting with Riven is that you don't have to engage them. But you should follow up your allies as soon as possible. You have a fantastic ability in doing so.
Keep an eye out for when an engage is made so that you can follow up by using Valor to get into range as soon as possible. Out of everyone on your team, it's probably smartest that you're the second person to rush into a fight. The first should be your tank/initiator, and the second should be you. You're fairly tanky, so keep that in mind, but don't fully rely on it. Your role in teamfights will probably be a little stressful. You need to deal as much AoE damage as you can, preferably going after the enemy carry, while keeping as much damage as you can off of your own carry. Ki Burst is great for peeling, and the knockup from your third Broken Wings helps a lot, too.
Whenever a teamfight happens, your goal is to tap Blade of the Exile quickly and then dash in with Valor as soon as you can. Broken Wings into the carry if you can, then Ignite them (or the next best person) and autoattack. Stun as many people as you can with Ki Burst and then autoattack whoever you're focusing. If you need to save your stun for a channeled ability, then keep it up, or keep up your 3rd jump of Broken Wings to interrupt it. Broken Wings and autoattack until your cooldown comes up, then keep using Valor and Ki Burst with the procs from Runic Blade until the fight is over. Tap Wind Slash whenever someone is low, or save it for when multiple enemies are low to deal MASSIVE damage to the enemy team and potentially ace them. You can also activate Wind Slash when someone is running away. Your cone goes a long way.
Remember your role as best you can. Spread AoE, peel, soak a little damage, and go after the enemy carry if possible. Be as disruptive as you can possibly be, since you have the abilities to do so. Your shield will be precious in many fights, and your AoE execution of an ult can be the difference between your team getting an ace or getting aced.
TIPS & TRICKS
Here's a concise list about things to keep in mind when playing Riven.
- Put a lot of harass and pressure on your lane opponent. This is your time to shine.
- Gank and be as much of a teamplayer as possible
- Try to stomp out the competition, but don't get stupid
- Make sure to peel when necessary
- Use your abilities to escape and chase (4 dashes!)
- Save your 3rd Broken Wings or Ki Burst for channeled abilities
- Toss Ignite as soon as possible for the 5 bonus AD
- Activate Blade of the Exile as soon as you're going in for a kill. You'll deal way more damage.
- WIND SLASH IS AN EXECUTE, NOT SOMETHING YOU THROW TO START OFF A COMBO
- You should've sprung for that blade warranty
|Green = Easy||
Yellow = Moderate
Red = Difficult
||Akali is a relatively easy champion to deal with pre-level 6. As Riven, you are able to deal more damage to her early on, so harassing at the beginning of the game is key. Her Twilight Shroud is essentially useless against you because you can stun her in it. As a tip, Akali normally travels to the outer edges of her circle, so avoid attacking the center. Make sure to use Valor to dash and negate the early harass from Mark of the Assassin. Post-level 6, however, you should be careful. Akali can effectively burst you down once she gets her ultimate. A way to counter this is to stun her with Ki Burst as she uses Shadow Dance and then Valor away.|
||Cho'Gath has becoming increasingly harder for Riven to deal with. In this lane, you should be hyper-aggressive, but extremely mobile. You can deal a lot of damage to him level one with your Broken Wings and autoattack combo. All you have to do in this lane is dodge Rupture and Feral Scream with your Valor and Broken Wings and you can easily take him down. Try to keep him from gaining too much sustain, so punish him. But dodge his abilities.|
||Darius is rather tough to deal with, but you will probably win your lane if you’re smart. He is a bit more tanky than you are, and his burst is about the same as yours. Hemorrhage is quite the bother, as well. Darius is stronger than you 1v1, so it's smart to only engage when your jungler comes around. The best thing to do is Valor to dash around and avoid his Decimate and Apprehend. It is best to keep him pushed up to your tower while you farm under the turret. If he steps within range, use Ki Burst to stun him and then dash away with Valor or Broken Wings, with autoattacks if you feel comfortable. Playing passively and relying on your jungler are the keys to winning your lane. Play it safe and tower hug.|
||Beating Fiora in-lane comes from valuable ganks and EARLY harass. As time goes on, Fiora becomes harder and harder to deal with. She also has a far greater sustain than you. The best way to fight her is to avoid engaging while she has Riposte up. After it's on cooldown, you can reengage to deal some damage. Whenever she activates Burst of Speed, use Ki Burst and then Valor away to waste the time she has on her E. Be mindful of using your ult whenever she has Blade Waltz up, too. Activating Wind Slash while she is invulnerable is a very costly mistake. Don't use Ki Burst on her when she ults, either, for the same reasons. Ganks from your jungler are very precious because she has no secure escapes.|
||Gangplank is alright to deal with because Riven easily negates the damage done from Parrrley with Valor. After Valor goes on cooldown, it's smart to stay safe and out of range for Gangplank to hit you. Once you hit level 3, you can start using your Valor, Ki Burst, Broken Wings combo on him. But if he uses Remove Scurvy and Raise Morale as soon as you stun him, back off. He will be forced to waste mana without doing much damage. After your skills are off cooldown, you can reengage. It's also smart to go in on Gangplank if he's out of mana. Also use common sense: don't fight in his ult.|
||Unfortunately, Garen is kind of hard to deal with when you're playing Riven. 1v1s will almost never go in your favor if he knows how to play, so you need to rely on your jungler for ganks and help. The way to win the lane is to try to outfarm him and dodge his skills with Valor while stunning him at opportune points with Ki Burst. It's a great idea to get out of Judgment at all times. Use Broken Wings and Valor to do so. The way to win is to get ahead in CS and with assistance from your jungler.|
||The only problem Riven faces with Irelia is her true damage. It's best to not engage on Irelia when she has Hiten Style active. The good part about this lane is that Riven outshines her in every way. The lane will be easier early on, but around level 9, it becomes increasingly more difficult. Just make sure you don't get stupid when she has Hiten Style up and honestly, you should be alright.|
||Fighting Jax can be a little tricky, but the key to winning is to make sure he doesn't land Counter Strike. If you engage on him at all when his stun misses, he won't be able to compete. Try to make him waste mana if he spams Leap Strike and Empower. Be careful, though, because Jax can deal a lot of damage. It's smart to Valor away from Counter Strike, so keep that in mind. Get him down below half-health before you decide to really engage for a kill.|
||Jarvan IV is a relatively normal lane. Don't be TOO aggressive; be patient, unlike most lanes. Go ahead and poke to get his health down, but don't go all-out in engages each time to you want to deal damage. Luckily, Cataclysm is useless against you. You can use Valor and Broken Wings to escape it.|
||Jayce is just annoying. His mix of abilities is bothersome, and his Thundering Blow / Acceleration Gate in hammer form is what can kill you. The knockback is hard for you to deal with, and you will have problems if he maxes this first. It's just best to play it safe and rarely engage unless you have some sort of CLEAR advantage or jungler around. His ranged attacks are annoying. You should make sure to dodge To The Skies! / Shock Blast when he is in cannon form. Use Valor or Broken Wings to avoid it.|
||Kayle can be hard to deal with because she has ranged abilities and you don't. The best way to deal with this is to let her push as hard as she can early on, but then retaliate against her once you get all of your skills at level 3. Hard. Harass her by using your combo and then immediately retreating into the bush so that she can't hit you back with Reckoning or Righteous Fury. Just abuse the bush and you can win the lane. Only ask for a gank when you're level 3 or above, because otherwise, you probably won't do much. Once you’re on her, though, she won’t be able to handle it if you go in for the kill.|
||The best way to win against Kennen is to be safe and patient. Farming and turret hugging are your two biggest concerns in this matchup. Post level 3, you can start harassing him, but only if he messes up by getting under tower range or something like that. Make sure you use his energy and cooldowns to your advantage. You should engage on him if his energy is at half or lower so that he's unable to use Lightning Rush to get away from you. Do the same if that skill is on cooldown. Ganks should help under the same circumstances when he can't get away.|
||The thing about Lee Sin is that winning your lane is incredibly dependent upon the player's skill. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to dodge his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike. His dash and Dragon's Rage are pretty annoying in-lane. Just be sure not to engage when he has the debuff from Tempest / Cripple active, and you can probably win the lane. If you're asking for a jungle gank, ask them to come after a minion wave so that Lee Sin can't use Safeguard / Iron Will to shield away.|
||Mordekaiser gets increasingly harder to fight against as time goes on, so the best chance you have is to abuse him early game and try to get first blood. Do not take too much damage, though. At levels 2 and 3, commit to fighting him. If he starts with Cloth Armor, wait until level 3 to begin engaging on him. Ganks are crucial, because post-level 3, Mordekaiser becomes insanely hard to deal with and pumps out incredible amounts of AoE. Be smart and safe against him if you're getting into the middle of the game.|
||All you need to worry about with Malphite is shielding his harass. If you do, he can't do much to you at all. Don't engage when his attack speed debuff is on you. Post-level 6, you should begin to be careful. He can burst for a LOT, surprisingly enough, with his ultimate. Keep these things in mind, wear down his shield, and you will be good to go.|
||Dodge Nidalee's spears. That's all you really need to succeed here. Use Valor to dash out of the way if you need to. Let her push up to your tower, then begin pushing back once you reach level 3. You have an advantage on her 1v1 once you reach level 6. The best way to get a lead on her is to reach level 6 first, then engage on her as soon as you reach 6. She won't be able to deal nearly as much damage as you and she won't be able to take the punishment. Also, keep in mind that the best way to dodge the spears is running to the left or right of them, NOT AWAY.|
||Main concern: deny CS. This lane is one where you should put a lot of pressure on your enemy constantly so he can't farm up his Siphoning Strike. I wouldn't roam around too much in this lane, even though Riven is great with this. You cannot let him catch up to you or get any CS. The only other thing you really have to worry about is Fury of the Sands, so be careful when diving since his ult gives him some HP. Soul Eater gives him passive lifesteal, so buy potions if you need to to keep up in sustain. Wither shouldn't be a problem for you; you have 4 gap closers.|
||Olaf can be a very strong enemy. You mainly have to dodge his axes with Valor and Broken Wings and you'll be good to go. He has mana and you don't, so this is a great advantage. Don't get too close to him or he'll cast Reckless Swing (you can normally guess when he's about to do this because he runs towards you), but if he does, shield his true damage with Valor. You should also be careful about fighting him while Vicious Strikes is active; in other words, DON'T DO IT. Using all of these strategies, Olaf will ideally blow all of his mana, and then you have the clear advantage.|
||Valor is a pretty key skill here since you have a lot of spears to dodge. Open your combo at him after you've shielded his and you'll do very well. Always ward against the jungler when laning against Pantheon. His stun makes him strong for ganking. You also have greater scaling than he does, and you will do more and more damage against him as time goes on.|
||While you might find it hard to kill her, you can definitely win the lane. Valor is an important skill to utilize properly in this lane, so you need to practice with it or have a good idea of how it works before going into this matchup. Your main harass is this: Valor up to her and then stun her with Ki Burst, using autoattacks between these skills. She's probably going to activate Devastating Blow to get back at you, but hopping away with Broken Wings leaves her with wasted mana. Keep an eye out for when she uses her Q on minions, and then fully engage on her since she doesn't have as much damage as she should. Riven is very, very mobile, so it's unlikely that Poppy will land Heroic Charge on you. If it is going to happen, however, a cute thing to try is to use Valor towards/into her as she charges. You won't be smashed against the wall and it'll catch her off guard.|
||Renekton is really annoying because he has almost the same kit as you do, but with more sustain. Watch his rage and NEVER engage on him when it's in the red. But you should ALWAYS engage when he has low rage or after he's blown his combo, which is a combination of his Slice and Dice and Cull the Meek/ Ruthless Predator and Slice and Dice back to safety. Play more defensively than offensively and zone him out of cs. Try to freeze the lane under your tower. Be careful of his ult: it's more powerful than yours, but all of your other skills outscale his. Try to bait out his skills by shielding Cull the Meek, and lure him into activating Ruthless Predator before jumping away with Broken Wings. Ganks are really precious here, but ask for them when his ult is down. Otherwise, you probably won't get the kill.|
||Rumble can be really annoying, but you can use your mobility to your advantage and win the lane. You are very powerful against him in early levels, so like Akali, you really need to abuse his advantage. You should constantly dash around him with Valor and Broken Wings to avoid damage from Flamespitter, since he won't be able to really hit you with it. Also: when he uses his ult, immediately dash (with Valor or Broken Wings) or flash behind him and keep on trucking. His DPS will not be as much as he needs and you will most likely win your duels. Ask for ganks to shut him down in the earlier levels.|
||Shen is more annoying/beefy than anything else. He probably won't leave his lane, but he probably won't kill you, either. Therefore, you should mainly focus on farming: denying and out-csing him. He can stack armor against you, which really sucks, but that's all he has against you. Basically you should just ask for early ganks for an advantage, then stick to small harass and killing minions.|
||Keep him in-lane and away from creeps. That's your only concern here. He really can't do much while his shield is down, so use this to your advantage, and abuse him early on before his shield gets very strong. If you keep him punished in the smaller levels, he'll be crippled later on.|
||This lane is relatively easy for Riven to compete with, although many would beg to differ. As always against a Singed, your main focus is to shut him down pre-level 6 and to deny cs. With Riven's abilities, you're able to compete with him throughout all stages of the game, unlike most people. You have high mobility and great scaling, so he shouldn't be able to punish you all that much unless he stacks armor. Be sure to bait his Fling, countering it by using Ki Burst and an autoattack before using Valor or Broken Wings to escape. Valor is really important here: it's incredibly powerful against his poison. Always ask for a gank to shut him down.|
||You can only really start dealing damage to Shyvana once you reach level 3. You can let her push until then, but you should begin to retaliate afterwards. Punish her as hard as you can from levels 3 to 6, because once she hits 6, she has a surprising amount of burst and is a very strong duelist. Ask for ganks at this point in time (between levels 3 and 6) to really shut her down.|
||Talon excels in bursting down squishies, which is something you aren't. You can outdamage him 1v1 since your damage is more sustained and his is burst, plus you have Valor to negate some of the damage he does. All you really have to worry about is dodging his Rake with your Valor and you should be good to go. Early ganks (pre-level 6) will be very productive as he'll only have Rake as an escape. cutthroat is a huge struggle for you, though. Silences suck.|
||Punish him as hard as you can before he hits level 6. (This is a recurring theme for most champions, isn't it?) Keep in mind that you should fight him when his Fury bar is next to empty, and never engage when it's full. Early ganks are also your best friend. Once he hits level 6, just remember his ult's cooldown, which is 130 seconds. Your main focus, post-level 6, is to pop his ult and then use those 2 minutes of its cooldown to your advantage. Your ult comes off cooldown almost a whole minute before his does, so go all out, waste his ult, and then come back before it comes back up to beat him down. Be sure to mind his crits, though. They can get out of hand.|
||Alright so this lane is the most annoying thing EVER. I feel bad because whenever I get the chance, I personally counterpick Riven by playing Teemo. He's very hard to deal with. He's mobile, he has incredible, DPS, and it's just unfun all around. His blind hinders your DPS since it disables your passive, which is a big part of Riven. His poison can completely wreck you. Just try to keep up by purchasing Oracle's Elixir when you can, and after you hit level 6, you can easily win all duels.|
||Coming soon because rework.|
||Alright so Vladimir really isn't all that bad. I prefer this matchup to most others, honestly. Wait until level 3, shielding his harass the whole time, and then engage on him. You'll probably be surprised by your vastly superior DPS. Don't let him bait you with his pool, and NEVER use your ult on him while he's pooled, and you should be okay.|
||Fighting against Warwick is a relatively straight-forward matchup. He's very keen on sustain, so you need to punish him as much as you can with harass and try to keep up in sustain yourself. Try reaching level 6 before he does to secure a kill, but otherwise, be careful of diving when he hits 6. You can get first blood against him, especially with the help of your jungler.|
||He can do a surprising amount of damage, so you need to watch out for that. His ult is similar to yours in that he has a very, very short cooldown. The best way to win the lane is to bait his Crushing Blow and then running away from it, using your mobility to your advantage. After his Q is wasted, engage on him. You should win most duels this way. If you want a gank, make sure it is EARLY before he takes Decoy. He will have a higher damage output and will shred your armor.|
|Yorick is one of the most annoying poke champions that you can fight. He has very strong sustain, so harass isn't really much of an option here. You need to go all out on him during each engagement, but make sure you don't take too much damage from his poke beforehand. Wait until level 3 to do much of anything to him. Once you hit 6, he really can't compete with you. Just keep up your combo and be sure to abuse him 1v1 in duels.|
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