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Riven Build Guide by Embracing

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Embracing

Reverent Riven, an In-Depth Riven Guide by Embracing

Embracing Last updated on November 23, 2013
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

I. Introduction

Hello all and welcome to my Riven guide. This will be my fourth guide and hopefully my most in-depth guide, as it based on my most-played and favorite champion, Riven.

Riven I believe is currently one of the stronger top-laners out there right now with her four dashes, which ensures safety and potential aggressiveness in lane, AD-based shield, which makes her one of the best candidates in the game for building an AD-Caster build, and an AD execute ult, which, all in all, allows for easier snowballing.

Riven is also very versatile. She is generally always able to change accordingly to the enemy team comp depending on what they build. She also fits in most team compositions quite well.

Most importantly,
She's very fun to play.

This guide will be focusing on my views on how this champion should be built and played. I believe the information listed below is optimal if not sub-optimal on Riven.

Before I get into the details of this guide, I know some of you may be wondering. Who is this RosePhoenix guy and why should I listen to what he says?

Well first of all, I was 1840 elo player (10 elo ***) on NA in season 2and currently am a Diamond 4 player on CN as well. Elo is generally good credibility for determining a player's average skill.

Of course, I am not perfect. I personally don't even think I've discovered every single trick there is to Riven yet. Don't blindly follow this guide and listen to everything this guide says. Use this as a reference to your own understanding. Learn stuff from it, don't memorize stuff.

That's all I have to say.

Without further ado, let's begin.


Guide Top

II. Riven's Lore

In Noxus, any citizen may rise to power regardless of race, gender, or social standing - strength is all that matters. It was with committed faith in this ideal that Riven strove to greatness. She showed early potential as a soldier, forcing herself to master the weight of a long sword when she was barely its height. She was ruthless and efficient as a warrior, but her true strength lay in her conviction. She entered battles without any trace of doubt in her mind: no ethical pause, no fear of death. Riven became a leader amongst her peers, poster child of the Noxian spirit. So exceptional was her passion that the High Command recognized her with a black stone rune sword forged and enchanted with Noxian sorcery. The weapon was heavier than a kite shield and nearly as broad - perfectly suited to her tastes. Soon after, she was deployed to Ionia as part of the Noxian invasion.

What began as war quickly became extermination. Noxian soldiers followed the terrifying Zaunite war machines across fields of death. It wasn't the glorious combat for which Riven trained. She carried out the orders of her superiors, terminating the remnants of a beaten and fractured enemy with extreme prejudice. As the invasion continued, it became clear that the Ionian society would not be reformed, merely eliminated. During one bitter engagement, Riven's unit became surrounded by Ionian forces. They called for support as the enemy closed in around them. What they received instead was a barrage of biochemical terror launched by Singed. Riven watched as around her Ionian and Noxian alike fell victim to an unspeakably gruesome fate. She managed to escape the bombardment, though she could not erase the memory. Counted dead by Noxus, she saw an opportunity to start anew. She shattered her sword, severing ties with the past, and wandered in self-imposed exile - on a quest to seek atonement and a way to save the pure Noxian vision in which she believed.

''There is a place between war and murder / in which our demons lurk.''


Guide Top

III. Pros / Cons

spa
Pros


+ Extremely mobile
+ Not hard-countered by any champion
+ Great snowballing potential
+ Two disrupts
+ Extreme potential if mastered
+ Build complements her kit
space
space
Cons


- Cannot 100-0 enemies late game
- Has a hard time dealing with high armor laners
- Susceptible to long range kites
- Extremely weak against CC
- One-dimensional build
- Reliant on attacking to sustain in teamfights


Guide Top

IV. Masteries

Masteries
1/5
4/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
2/5
2/1
1/1
3/5
1/1

Opting for high offense and slight defense, I believe this setup is the optimal setup for Riven.
Offense Tree
space
Summoner's Wrath - Extra boost in AD after Ignite usage

Deadliness - AD to boost Riven's damage and shield

Sorcery - Slight bit of CDR to help your cooldowns

Butcher - Extra point used for last hitting

Alacrity - AS to speed up your AA a bit and is required for Weapon Expertise

Destruction - For pressure and pushing

Weapon Expertise - Percentage ArPen to deal with armor

Havoc - Extra damage output from spells

Brute Force - AD for last hitting and damage

Sunder - Flat ArPen to deal with armor

Executioner - More damage to finish enemies
Defense Tree
Resistance - MR to deal with enemy AP laners (Get this when against AP laner)

Durability - More health during mid game to survive dives and engages

Hardiness - Armor to deal with enemy AD laners (Get this when against AD laner)

Veteran's Scars - Early game health to boost early game laning
space


Guide Top

V. Runes


Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
This is a general rune page against a standard AD top laner. Explanations and other viable runes will be listed below.
Marks
Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9
M
A
R
K
S
spa
  • Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: ArPen marks that scale great throughout the game. Scale better the more AD you have. Greater for burst damage due to the fact that Riven's abilities have quite high base damage.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: AD marks that increase your early game harass, engage potential, defense, and generally let's you win the lane early on. Helps a lot since all of Riven's abilities scale with AD.
spa
M
A
R
K
S
Seals
Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Seal of Attack Damage
9
S
E
A
L
S
spa
  • Greater Seal of Armor: Armor seals that provide you safety against enemy laners and minions during lane phase. CORE!
spa
S
E
A
L
S
Glyphs
Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Attack Damage
9
G
L
Y
P
H
S
spa
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Flat MR glyphs against magic damage laners or junglers.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Scaling MR glyphs against enemy physical damage laners to deal with enemy AP mid and late game.
  • Greater Glyph of Attack Damage: AD glyphs for extra damage burst because Riven isn't highly reliant on defensive runes.
spa
G
L
Y
P
H
S
Quints
Runes

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
Q
U
I
N
T
S
spa
  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: AD quints for early game lane dominance. No exceptions. Riven doesn't lose lane so you should always aim to win it, which is why AD quints are optimal.
spa
Q
U
I
N
T
S


Guide Top

VI. Summoner Spells

These are the two summoner spells I recommend to take. Explanations and other viable spells will be listed below.
spa
Ignite:
Ignite supplies you with extra damage, generally giving you that last bit of damage needed to kill an enemy. Riven uses Ignite really well because Riven's playstyle and build opts for killing in lane and in teamfights. After using Ignite you also get 5 AD from the mastery Summoner's Wrath , which is a nice addition. Keep in mind that Ignite also reduces healing effects, which means that you should use this before the enemies heal / sustain themselves in a skirmish or duel.
spa

spa Flash:
Flash let's you land kills you would've missed in lane and in teamfights and also let's you escape in sticky situations such as a level two jungler gank at top lane. Since Riven's playstyle generally opts for going all in or engage-disengagement, Flash would be the best spell for surprise and for disengagement. Also a great finisher to chase enemies with.
spa

spa Heal:
Heal is a great spell when used together with Ignite to ensure lane control. Though you lose your ability to make extreme plays lead better teamfights, you are able to completely dominate your lane in certain scenarios.
spa

spa Exhaust:
This is a highly situational summoner spell to take. Exhaust's primary uses are for shutting down carries and for safety in lane. I would only take this if I was going hyper-aggressive against a super weak enemy laner along with Ignite for maximum aggression, or if my team needed a shutdown in a premade and I didn't mind sacrificing some of my lane potential.
spa


Guide Top

VII. Skillset


----
These are Riven's abilities, including the innate passive. Explanations and descriptions of these abilities will be listed below.

spa
Runic Blade [PASSIVE]:
An extremely strong passive that produces most of Riven's damage output. This allows Riven to win trades easily early on. Remember to optimize damage output by placing an autoattack between every ability usage.
spa

spa Broken Wings [Q]:
Great ability to scale distance, deal damage, clear minion waves, and stack your passive. This ability allows Riven to escape ganks and chase up to enemies easily. Remember that the third use of Broken Wings is a mini-knockback.

There is an extremely potent skill a player can learn when playing riven with this combo. If you've seen streamers play Riven before, their combos always seem much faster than what a normal QAAQAAQAA looks like. This is because they properly cancel their ability animation in between.

To optimize harass in lane, remember to autoattack in between every Broken Wings use if you are in range. However, later on in the game you will have little chances to harass after every Q you use, so most times you will have to use all two Broken Wings to scale distance and use the third to knock the enemies back. You can use this strategy to stall the enemy target until your team follows up with a chain-CC.

One thing I like to do later on in the game is to use Flash to the enemy target immediately after the third Broken Wings is pressed. The enemy will be knocked back and will be temporarily stalled.
spa
spa Ki Burst [W]:
Main type of CC in the game. Most of Riven's early burst and harass will come through this ability. Early game you can use this just like you play Renekton; you dive in, Ki Burst and harass, and then dive out. Later on in the game this will be your main method of stalling the enemy while waiting for your team or prior to a disengagement out of a fight.

New players will often have trouble pulling off surprise Ki Bursts, so take your time to learn the timing on this ability. Wasting this spell can lead to bad trades or even death. I generally never miss any of my Ki Bursts, which is something you should also aim to do.
spa

spa Valor [E]:
A great ability for mitigating harass in lane and for surprise dives. Early game you can use this ability to get to a minion and last hit it to soak in the damage an enemy will potentially deal. You can also use this to scale distance to reach the enemy laner and combo it with your other abilities to harass.

Note that this ability is instant, unlike Broken Wings which has a small animation that enemies can predict. What this means is that enemies will not be able to react as fast to this ability as fast as you can Valor and Ki Burst them.

This ability also cancels the delay animation when Blade of the Exile is used, meaning you can use this ability immediately after you use Blade of the Exile to make sure enemies do not run away after you use Blade of the Exile.

Also, using the third Broken Wings after this ability instantly applies the knockback and damage, rather than you having to wait for Riven to land after she jumps. Not sure if it's intended, but it helps Riven's ability to chase.
spa
spa Blade of the Exile [R]:
Great AOE AD execute AND steroid with an extremely low CD that allows Riven to kill enemy champions that decided to stick around too long. This ability comes in two parts: the first use, Blade of the Exile for the steroid along with the delayed animation, and the second use, Wind Slash for the AOE cone execute. One small thing most people don't notice is that after using Blade of the Exile, your autoattack range is increased to 200, and your abilities Broken Wings and Ki Burst have a larger radius. This helps a lot with chasing and damage during a teamfight.

In my opinion there are two possible times when you should use this ability.
  • Use before you engage when you're ready to 100-0 the enemy with one round of abilities:.
  • Use after all your abilities are in cooldown when you're unable to 100-0 the enemy and are ready to chase down the enemy.

Remember. Although this ability has a low CD, you shouldn't be spamming this whenever you can. Normally this ability should be used to score kills, steal buffs, or push off minion waves when necessary. Just like Ki Burst, don't waste this ability. Missing Wind Slash can lead to death for you. To increase accuracy, try to anticipate the enemy's abilities and spells. (Eg: Against a Vladimir I would wait until he uses his Flash and / or Sanguine Pool)
spa


Guide Top

VIII. Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
> > >


The above sequence is a generic skill sequence to follow. However, depending the lane matchup and how the game goes, the sequence will be altered.

Level One
spa Broken Wings [Q]:
I get this ability in most situations when I am sure the enemy cannot out-damage me at level one, which most champions cannot.
spa Valor [E]:
I get this ability in situations where the enemy has ranged harass (eg: Gangplank) or if the enemy can out-damage me at level one.
Level Two
spa Broken Wings [Q]:
I get this ability at level two if I started out with Valor.
spa Ki Burst [W]:
I get this ability at level two if I started out with Broken Wings and am looking to dive at the enemy and force a trade at level two that I am sure I can win.
spa Valor [E]:
I get this ability at level two if I started out with Broken Wings and am looking to passive farm at level two.
Level Three
spaspa
I get the remaining ability I did not get at level one and two to optimize survivability and mobility in lane.
What do I max?
spa Blade of the Exile [R]:
Of course, always get your ultimate whenever you can. The increased damage and cooldown helps way more than any other ability does.
Otherwise, look to the following:


[Q]
>
[W]
>
[E]

This sequence is the most commonly seen and used sequence in the current meta due to it matching with Riven's playstyle. Though you miss out on lower CDs, maxing Broken Wings allows for insanely strong all-in trades against enemies who cannot out-trade you easily. Generally great against all melees. Always aim to hit most of your Broken Wings when following this skill order. Use Valor and Ki Burst to initiate.




[W]
>
[E]
>
[Q]
I follow this sequence in situations where I cannot out-trade the enemy by going all-in. Maxing Ki Burst is generally most efficient as it allows you to win most trades and control the lane early on. Maxing Valor after would be more suited for a defensive playstyle.




[W]
>
[Q]
>
[E]
I follow this sequence in situations where I am focusing on small burst harass in lane. I max Ki Burst as it is most suitable for untradable harass, and I max Broken Wings after for even more damage for dueling. Maxing Broken Wings second makes you lose some ability to engage-disengage, but it greatly increases your ability to go all-in and net kills successfully.



[E]
>
[W]
>
[Q]
Although I generally do not ever recommend following this sequence, if you are new to Riven and are having trouble with laning and kiting, feel free to max your abilities like this. However, if played right, you will never need to max this ability to be able to put yourself on equal grounds with the enemy. Generally, if I am having trouble with the enemy laner's harass, I will put a few points, generally two or three points, into Valor until I know I'm able to win trades again, but keep in mind that a well-played Riven never loses lane.


Guide Top

IX. Items

Starting Items

SPACE- Elixir of Fortitude + 4 Health Potions:
REALLY strong snowball build. The red pot is used when you are low (gives instant health) or when going all in and needing extra damage. Pots are good for sustain as well. Riven has one of the strongest level one all-ins so startind red pot is a great start.

SPACE- Doran's Shield + 1 Health Potions:
Great defensive start. Doran's Shield helps against ranged auto-attack harass greatly, and the health and health regen make laning a lot smoother.


SPACE- Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions:
A safer starting item setup against heavy AD laners and / or junglers. I would pick these items if I know I am against a hard lane, such as Lee Sin or Darius. The cloth armor can be easily built into Ninja Tabi, and also helps a lot versus AD laners.
SPACE Doran's Blade:
Start with Doran's if you're ready to play super aggressive and dominate your lane. This is a really risky way to start the lane, because if you get zoned out in lane, you are forced to sit back with no methods of sustaining, while with pots you are able to passive sustain. Also, with low mobility, you will also have trouble with jungler ganks, which means that you will be unable to push the lane far.
Early Game Items
SPACE Doran's Blade:
Provides great early game sustain, health, and damage to help you win your lane, but doesn't build into anything. Get if you need it. Else just get vamp.
SPACE The Brutalizer:
VERY strong cheap early game item that is all a champ even needs for damage. This item, which builds into The Black Cleaver allows for a lot more damage potential to enemy squishies. This item will force enemies to purchase armor or result in their carries dying.

SPACE Hexdrinker:
A great cheap anti-caster early game item that also builds off into Maw of Malmortius. Get this if you're having trouble against an enemy AP laner. This item will not be core because the effects of Hexdrinker fall off later however, so only get it if you really need it.
Boots
SPACE Mercury's Treads:
Great boots that provide CC Reduction, something a Riven does best with. Get these boots always against an AP and if you're able to manage enemy damage against an AD. As said previously, Riven has problems dealing with CC, so getting Mercury's Treads will greatly increase your ability to engage and disengage later on in teamfights. If you are having trouble with CC from the enemy jungle and / or enemy laner, these boots will resolve your problems.
SPACE Ninja Tabi:
Armor and physical damage mitigation boots. Generally rush this against a hard AD laner you're having trouble with or know you're going to have trouble with. Prioritize this second after Mercury's Treads; if you can manage your lane, get Ninja Tabi. Rushing an early Ninja Tabi is also a great strategy that counters many AD top laners for an extremely cheap price. If you feel that you don't need to worry about the teamfights and want to focus on laning, grabbing Ninja Tabi will be optimal against AD top laners.

SPACE Ionian Boots of Lucidity:
Snowball boots that provide a massive amount of CDR. Get this when you don't need to worry about your defenses and when you're snowballing your lane super hard early on. With these boots you are able to play hyper-aggressively and either zone your enemies or harass your enemies to hell.
Core Items
SPACE The Bloodthirster:
Gives massive amounts of AD and lifesteal. Provides everything Riven needs in mid game. The massive AD helps Riven because she's focused more on damage rather than tankiness, and the lifesteal helps her sustain in lane and duel a lot better. It's viable to run AD on Riven because her kit allows her to do a little trick I like to call engage-disengagement which I will explain later in the playstyle section.

SPACE The Black Cleaver:
This item exists for AD casters. Allows for an insanely strong early game item, The Brutalizer, to be built into an extremely strong burst item. Riven utilizes all of the stats extremely well and there are no negatives to buying this item.
SPACE Ravenous Hydra:
This item singlehandedly makes Riven an AOE beast. With extra AD your waveclear becomes even more godlike, and your cleanup potential in teamfights becomes ridiculous. Every part of this item helps.
SPACE Last Whisper:
Percentage ArPen which works best against armor stackers. Grabbing this item will let you shred even tanks down with your skills in teamfights and skirmishes. There will always be enemies grabbing armor so you will always need to get this item to further increase your damage output.
Viable Items
SPACE Guardian Angel:
Balanced resists and an extremely strong passive to let you dive in enemies in many situations where you couldn't without GA. GA is a very strong item for any situation, although the introduction of The Black Cleaver actually lessened the possibility of such an item appearing due to most circumstances where you'll want to be aiming for a Last Whisper to deal with armor or aiming for a Randuin's Omen to deal with the carries.
SPACE Maw of Malmortius:
MR, shield, and AD. This is an item perfect for any bruiser to get when the enemy AP carry has presence in a fight. The shield helps a LOT against ANY sort of magic damage. Also very efficient as it builds off of Hexdrinker, a great early game anti-caster item. The AD scaling off of missing health is also another great addition to your arsenal. Though it may not be seen much in teamfights, the extra AD helps a great deal in skirmishes and duels. This item is core when against a dual-AP composition.
SPACE Randuin's Omen:
Armor, health, a MS AS debuff, and a great slowing active. This item is the perfect anti-AD carry item. The active let's you stall their team and the passive also helps zerg the enemy AD carry with ease. Also is a great item when escaping, as the slows will stop the enemies from chasing while you run away. This item greatly helps your engage-disengagement ability.
SPACE Another The Bloodthirster:
Even more AD and lifesteal for you to destroy the enemies. You can stack The Bloodthirsters earlier on when snowballing well, generally after your Last Whisper or even possibly Guardian Angel. However when not snowballing you generally will not buy this item.
Items Not To Get
SPACE Frozen Mallet:
You won't be focusing on peeling enemy bruisers off your carry in every fight and will not need your team to follow you in teamfights when you're bursting down enemy carries. Unnecessary stuff in this item means you shouldn't get it. People think "Oh since Riven's a bruiser Fromal seems like a great investment," but in reality FroMal is in most ways inferior to Warmog's and also provides way less. The slow is unnecessary and only used against enemies who chose to overextend and get outpositioned. Riven's Q and W are honestly enough for catching people off guard, so why get this if you can get health through Warmog's? Honestly overrated and a stupid item to choose.
SPACE Youmuu's Ghostblade:
This item gives too little good stats. Even if you do build The Brutalizer you won't be upgrading it into this because Riven does not use the stats this item gives well besides the CDR. No champion even uses this item well nowadays anyways.
SPACE Atma's Impaler:
This item is my largest pet peeve. The resistances this item gives is sub-optimal. You won't even be needing the armor it gives. The AD it gives is also minor. There are many other efficient items if you want AD. Riven doesn't use crits either. Stats that are suboptimal = don't buy.


Guide Top

X. Playstyles


In my opinion, there are a multitude of ways to play Riven throughout the game that all depend on how the game is going. Listed below are the playstyles I believe Riven uses depending on each scenario.
Generic Goals During Teamfights and Skirmishes
With Riven you should be primarily focusing on bursting down enemy carries. With four dashes you are able to easily reach their carries. If possible, always aim to dive in enemy carries and do as much damage as you can.
If your team's front line is weak and enemy bruisers are raping your carries, your secondary aim would be to peel the enemy bruisers off your carry. Randuin's Omen helps a lot with this. After you peel them off, you either focus the bruisers if your carries are having problems still afterwards, or jump back in to focusing the carries.
Playstyle I. Engage-Disengaging
This playstyle is a standard Riven playstyle. This playstyle advocates waiting for a teammate to initiate, going in second to burst someone down, and once you get low and know you're in danger, backing out of the fight with your abilities or Flash. Immediately after this enemies will be injured and will change their focus on to different targets. At this time you wait for your CD's to refresh or for their CD's to be used and go back in the fight to burst someone else again. Rinse and repeat.
This is the most effective playstyle because enemies cannot sustain themselves well enough against your sustained burst. You will soak in damage, bounce out, and come back in sustaining yourself with your massive amounts of lifesteal.
Playstyle II. Kiting
One big concept that separates the bad Rivens from the good is the concept of kiting in melee range. Of course many would ask "But how can you kite at melee range?" The concept is quite simple. Against other melees you can use your Broken Wings and Valor to go in, then walk out or use one ability to walk out and bait the enemy to chase or make sure he can't use his abilities. This concept is quite common and is really useful for either refreshing your cooldowns or forcing enemies off.
Playstyle III. Cleaning Up
This playstyle is just as its name suggests. You wait until your team starts fighting, position yourself in a spot close enough to be able to reach the enemies, and then go in after you notice enemy abilities are on cooldown. Ideally you can hit 3 people with your full combo, which is pretty much more than enough to nuke most if not all of them. Then you just go ham and kill them all or push for objectives.


Guide Top

XI. Skill Combinations

Initiative Lane Harass
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[W]
+

---


[AA]

+
[E]

Use this when you're in lane. When an enemy tries to get close to farm minions or sticks around trying to harass you, you use this. Go for autoattacks between abilities because that optimizes your damage output with your passive.
Counter-initiative Lane Harass
[E]
+

---


[AA]

+
[W]
+

---


[AA]

+
[Q]

Use this combination when the enemy laner is coming near you to harass you. This combination forces a small trade in your favor as the enemy's harass will get soaked in by your shield while on the other hand you poke him with a mini combination of your autoattacks and Ki Burst.
All-in Lane Harass
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[W]
+

---


[AA]

+
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[Q]
+
[E]

Use this when you're going all in to harass the enemy. When an enemy laner is severely outpositioned and you know you want the trade, use this harass combo. This combo lets you chase up to the enemy and do your damage before he reaches his tower, assuming he is retreating from you after you start harassing (if he isn't and you know you can win him go for the kill)
Chasing Down Low HP Target(s)
[Q]
+
[Q]
+
[E]
+
[D/F]
+
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[W]
+

---


[AA]


Use this combination when chasing down low HP enemy target(s). The first two Broken Wings and the Flash are used to scale distance, while the third Broken Wings is to knockback the enemy to stall them so you can follow up with a stun and continue chasing / land a kill.

Maximum Damage
[R]
+
[D/F]
+
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[W]
+

---


[AA]

+
[Q]
+

---


[AA]

+
[E]
+

---


[AA]

+
[R]

This combo maximizes your possible damage output in a single rotation of bursts. The thought process behind it is simple. You start off with Blade of the Exile for the AD steroid, Ignite to counter heals and deal damage, Broken Wings, Ki Burst, and Valor with autoattacks in between for optimal damage, and Blade of the Exile again to execute the enemy.

Initiation Against Outpositioned Enemy/ies
[R]
+
[E]
+
[D/F]
+
[W]

This is the combination you use when you suddenly find outpositoned enemies and want to initiate a fight on them as quick as possible. The Valor + Flash + Ki Burst is a long range instant stun, which immediately catches enemies off guard and is a perfect way to initiate.


Guide Top

XII. Lane Matchups


Medium
riven Akali:
Against an Akali top you will try to play passive early game. Try your best to avoid harass early on, as Akali's early game is strong. Once you get to level three you can attempt to harass when the opportunity arrives. Both Akali and Riven have insanely strong level 6's so pushing heavily and reaching lvl 6 before means you can go all-in at lvl 6. Your Ki Burst counters her Twilight Shroud really hard, so take that to your advantage and abuse that.

Easy
riven Cho'Gath:
Cho'Gath is a really simple lane with Riven. He has no mobility at all and is very squishy early on. His only effective method of reacting to your engage is his Rupture, which can be easily dodged and anticipated. Try to force engagements at level 1 and 2 and force him out of lane. This is a very one-sided lane.

Hard
riven Darius:
Darius is one of the hardest lanes for Riven at top. His Hemorrhage gives him more sustained damage than you and his Decimate and Crippling Strike does more burst to you. What this means is you can't engage him easily. A Darius lane forces you to use all your abilities to their fullest extent. The two weaknesses he has are that he has no escape at all and that his burst is slower than yours. When you go in for harass you have to make sure he doesn't grab you after your stun duration is over. Try to bait Apprehends and Decimates out and call for jungler ganks. Also, against Darius it's best to grab an advantage at level one by farming wraiths / wolves with the help of your mid lane before you go to lane. Once he walks towards a minion go all-in on him and then play aggressive after. Also, his mana costs are relatively high, which means you can waste his mana by sheilding his Q's.

Medium
riven Fiora:
Fiora is a very weak laner early on but eventually comes out really difficult to engage at later levels. Abuse her weakness to your advantage and play hyper-aggressive early. When harassing try your best to bait out her Ripostes and Burst of Speeds. Avoid harassing with when she uses Riposte. Grabbing extra armor early on can help a lot against Fiora. Consider using Greater Glyph of Armors.

Easy
riven Gangplank:
The trick to laning against Gangplank is to bait out his spells. At levels one and two, you should be using Valor every time he Parrrleys. You can go all in at level three. Always try to bait out his spells, especially his Remove Scurvy. You do not want to full-on engage when he has his spells up. Without his spells he is rather weak however. Later levels when he ults to try to kill you get out of his ult and turn back on him.

Medium
riven Garen:
This matchup is actually very difficult to win if Garen runes properly, but due to the fact that Garen falls off harder than Riven does, you actually don't need to worry that much about winning lane. The primary objective against a Garen is to outfarm him. At level one, your Broken Wings outtrades his Decisive Strike pretty substantially. You get Ki Burst at level two to ensure safety against his Judgement. The key to successfully transitioning to mid game or even possibly winning lane against Garen is to bait out his Judgements and engage on him after. You immediately start winning lane after you get past your early game with successful farms.

Hard
riven Irelia:
This is one of the matchups I dislike the most even though it isn't as hard as it seems. Irelia is rather weak in early levels which you can abuse to your advantage, but she has that really annoying true damage which means you are unable to fully engage on her as she can just turn back and counter-engage on YOU, which makes things a lot worse. What's even worse is that she scales better than you and starts winning lane the more the game progresses. To win this lane you need to play near perfect in lane early on and not make any mistakes. If you can shut her down early you win the lane. Generally you'll want to go all-in at level 6 when you're the strongest and kill her or force her back.

Hard
riven Jarvan IV:
Since Jarvan IV's strengths at top lane are early level auto-attack harass, all you need to do it hold off and poke around when possible. His EQ combo is dodgeable, and if he traps you in his ult you can counter-engage on him. Always kite around against Jarvan IV. Early game his combo is ridiculous to deal with and his Q becomes a pain in the *** to deal with later on so you have to find the right opportunity to initiate.

Medium
riven Jax:
Jax's kit isn't that great against Riven. Early on Jax cannot deal with surprise burst that well, so abuse that to your advantage and poke him around. You can win trades, but if you engage on him when he has full health you're probably going to come out with less health or even possibly none. Baiting out his abilities is also great and let's you poke him with free harass. However Jax scales extremely well so do note that.

Hard
riven Kayle:
This is another hard matchup that you can get as Riven does not do well against a ranged kiter like Kayle. Kayle's sustained and burst damage is insanely high, but one weakness that she has is that her harass can only affect you if she can click on you. What this means is that you should be playing passive for the first few levels and start harassing her and retreating to the brush. The brush abuse is insanely effective against Kayle as if she can't click on you, she can't retaliate. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage.

Hard
riven Kennen:
One of the harder matchups for Riven. Kennen is mobile while also being ranged. He also has insane poke with no costs with his energy system. This means that he can kite you around easily. Try to let the minions push to your turret early and farm under turret. The trick to winning this lane is to wait for the opportunity where he wastes his Energy Rush or when he gets too close to you. Once he does either of them, go all-on on him. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage.

Medium
riven Lee Sin:
Nerfs screwed him big time. Avoid forcing engages when he uses his Tempest / Cripple, but otherwise he should be an easy matchup. You can dance around in minions while engaging him so he can't Q you. Note that his E does magic damage as well. If you dodge his Q, you win a trade.

Medium
riven Malphite:
This matchup is very very similar to the Gangplank match-up. Shield his harass early and start harassing him when you're able to. Abuse the fact that his mana pool is low and bait his harass out. Even if his armor is high when you engage on him, he can't do anything to you without mana. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage.

Easy
riven Mordekaiser:
This guy is extremely weak early on with no form of sustain and no mobility. You can zone him out starting at level one and if he comes too close just go all-on on him. Play hyper-aggressive on him and he cannot handle you at all. He has no way of retaliating to your harass. The only thing to be careful about is when he's level six. Do not get overaggressive as his ult heals him for quite a decent amount. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage.

Medium
riven Nasus:
This matchup is very one-sided. Nasus has absolutely no way of retaliating to your harass. Zone him out and stop him from farming. The only things to watch out for are his farms. Ensure that he cannot farm up as if he does, your team will have a hard time dealing with him.

Medium
riven Nidalee:
This matchup should be played just like a Kennen matchup except that she has no other reliable poke besides her AAs and that she has a heal. Just avoid all harass early and go all in when she goes aggressive trying to harass ( Valor into her) Try not to let her hit 6 before you do, as if she does, you will have a harder time trying to kill her. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage.

Hard
riven Olaf:
This is another hard lane for Riven as Olaf's true damage is quite a bother. Abuse the fact that he has to use mana for his pokes and sustain by harassing and poking him off. The more the game progresses the worse it gets for you as he can just stack armor and deal true damage, so you should aim to win the lane earlier. When he tries to Reckless Swing you, shield it and counter-harass him.

Harder
riven Pantheon:
This lane is actually a harder Malphite / Gangplank lane ever since the release of The Black Cleaver. Pantheon's Spear Shot spam is manageable at level one because of your shield but at later levels it greatly outdamages your shield and has a much shorter cooldown. Use the bush to your advantage during lane phase because he cannot spear you without clicking. One small trick is when he uses his jump on you while you're using Broken Wings you can still scale distance and then be stunned. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage.

Hard
riven Renekton:
This lane is just like a Garen lane except Renekton has a larger radius on damage. This lane is difficult because Renekton can outdamage you and harass you through bursts. He can also stop your initiative dives if he wants to just with his Ruthless Predator. Same as Garen, if you want to win your lane you should pull the game to mid and late. One thing different though, is that Renekton will be constantly pushing. This means that you should be last hitting at your tower. At level one you can outtrade him significantly.

Hard
riven Rumble:
This lane actually isn't so hard, but I placed it under hard because of the fact that he just starts to regain lane presence after level four. Abuse his early level disadvantage and harass him as much as you can. You can engage on him early and still come back with decent amounts of health. During engages try to dash around him to minimize damage taken from his Flamespitter. Try to shut him down early.

Medium
riven Shen:
This lane is actually pretty easy to pull off, but the problem is that you can't kill Shen and he has a global ultimate, which makes things a lot trickier. His sustain is irritating and so is his poke, but you can sustain his poke out. The trick to winning this lane is to capitalize on his mistakes. It's very punishing for Shen if he's outpositioned in lane and you abuse that. Remember you can interrupt his ultimate with your 3rd Broken Wings or Ki Burst.

Medium
riven Singed:
This is actually quite an easy lane, but I placed it as medium because it's very punishing if you make one mistake. This is like a Cho'Gath lane except Singed has his Poison Trail which can get quite irritating if you don't save your Valor. Harass him like mad when you can to win the lane, but make sure to NOT make any mistakes and give this guy a kill. If Singed gets an early catalyst the protector against you you won't be able to engage on him easily.

Hard
riven Teemo:
This little guy gives Riven one of the harder lane matchups. His laning style is like Kennen but more irritating due to his Blinding Dart that prevents you from engaging on him. Focus on harassing if you get into range. The trick for this lane is to know when you should engage and when you shouldn't. If he's kiting you, don't engage on him. If you're able to get near him without being kited around, blow your full load on him and keep chasing him down. Just like any other ranged champion, if you are able to gapclose without using too much spells, you can deal a great amount of damage. Do note that Teemo is quite useless outside of lane.

Hard
riven Trundle:
This lane would actually be rated medium if not for the fact that his AD debuff from Rabid Bite completely ruins you. Against Trundle you can't engage on him early or mid as his debuff is too much to handle. Focus on harassing Trundle down through small bursts and try to bait his Rabid Bite as much as possible. Only engage on him when you know you're going to win. His ultimate Agony is insane for dueling and heals him for a LOT. Trundle is relatively useless outside of lane, however.

Medium
riven Tryndamere:
This lane is actually quite simple. Tryndamere's presence comes from his ultimate, which only comes after level six and has quite a long cooldown. Focus on harassing him down early, but keep in mind his fury level before engaging him. After level six bait out his Undying Rage and kill him when Blade of the Exile is up (Your CD is one minute shorter than his).

Hard
riven Udyr:
This is one of the harder matchups as Udyr shuts down most of the AD champions with his Tiger Stance. At level one, depending on what he starts, your full combo will do more damage than his Tiger Stance proc. However do note that his one autoattack with Tiger Stance is a crazy nuke. Wait passively until level three and start pulling off your harass combo. Udyr cannot retaliate to sudden rapid harass as well, so focus on harassing and waiting for the opportunity to come. Once you hit level six you gain a huge advantage over him as he does not have an ultimate. Abuse this to your favor.

Medium
riven Vladimir:
As Vladimir is ranged, picking Valor would shield against his harass. Vlad gets more and more annoying as levels progress, so the trick to dealing against him is to go all-in on him before he gets items. When fighting Vladimir you always have to keep note of his items. When he has low items you can seize the opportunity to go all-in. Remember to not use your ultimate when he pools though.

Medium
riven Wukong:
This lane is quite easy as your all in really counters Wukong's Decoy. All you need to do to win this lane is just to bait out his Crushing Blow and then engage on him after it goes on cooldown. You can also harass him really easily early on with your combo as he can't retaliate to it at all. Good Wukong players however can use Decoy extremely well which causes problems for any player. Just note that Wukong has high burst but low sustain so pokes will force him out easily.

Medium
riven Yorick:
This lane is quite annoying as that's just how Yorick is. Shield all his harass early on and start trying to harass him at level three. The problem with harassing him is that you have to find times where you can chunk him down with your harass, because if you deal minor damage to him, he'll sustain it back up easily. Yorick also has mana problems, too, so abuse that in your favor. Try to force engages on him as he can never win you on a one-on-one engage.


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XIII. Early Game


Early game should be focused around farming minions and forcing an all-in. Riven has one of the strongest level 1's in the game. Against low armor enemies you can even flash in and QAAQAAQAA + Ignite to kill him. When the enemy laner is vulnerable to easy harass and trades, you should almost always harass him out. When you know the minions aren't going to do a lot of damage to you, you can go all-out and start chasing him down. Of course, farming will still be a priority. Try to aim to achieve 180 cs by 20 minutes. Also count in other factors such as forced backs and kills that you spent time on. One key skill that separates the good Rivens from the great is the balance of harassing and farming. It takes time to learn how to balance, so if you aren't good at it, don't give up and keep trying.

Once you hit level six, you reach a turning point. Grabbing kills will be a lot more easier with your ultimate. If the enemy is low enough, diving will be extremely easy. A small trick I like to do after level six is get the enemy laner low enough, bait the enemy jungler to come gank, and grab a double kill off of that by insta-bursting down the enemy laner and using your combos to kill the jungler. Little to no champions can duel with Riven at level six ( Renekton can :x).
Continue to farm and try to get The Bloodthirster ASAP.

Warding is also an essential part of laning. On top lane if you're on blue side there are two key places you need to ward - one in the tribush and one by the baron river, while if you're on purple side there is one place you need to ward - the baron river.
You'll generally want to ward for safety early on as the jungler plays a key part in laning phases. However, as the game progresses warding becomes more of a tool for aggression. For example, warding the enemy red so that you can steal it when it's up.

Also keep in mind the time when you'll want to kill top tower. There's a common misconception that destroying the top tower extremely early is good. In reality, destroying top tower early will only leave you zoned out from the minions once the lane is pushed. Leaving the top tower alive early is a lot better because the tower denies your minion XP from the opponent early on if they are forced back or decide to roam.

Now since destroying top tower early is bad, when should we destroy it?
Generally you'll want to be destroying top tower when you want to push for group objectives together with your team or if you feel like your other lanes are having trouble and wish to roam around more. By destroying top tower you are letting the enemy top laner farm, but you are also leaving the rest of the map 4v5. Essentially you want to destroy the top tower when you want to pressure the enemy.


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XIV. Mid Game


I believe mid game starts for Riven once she gets her Ravenous Hydra. Once you get that item, run back top lane and farm the forty stacks up. Riven's damage output during this transition is extremely strong, too. Once The Bloodthirster is stacked, your global presence can be greatly increased. Try to find opportunities where you can roam and get kills around the map when possible. Otherwise start farming for your Guardian Angel. Wards help a lot when you're looking to roam. If you're doing well you can aggressively ward the enemy red, and either steal it when it's up or grab a kill off the enemy jungler while he takes red. If the enemy mid laner is roaming off to their blue when you're purple, you can go try to do the same and get kills.

One important note to keep in mind is that enemy champions with abilities on CD do little to no damage to Riven. As you get more experienced you will know which 1v2 or even 1v3 situations you can win.

As the game progresses, roam more and more. Secure Dragon when possible and aim to make plays for your team or even for yourself by abusing your mobility with the long distance engage combinations.


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XV. Late Game


Late game starts when the AD carries on both sides start to deal massive damage. Riven loses her ability to 100-0 enemy champions late game because of enemy protection. At early game and mid game you serve as a "Fighter" role, but at late game you serve as an "Assassin" role, as you lose your ability to soak in damage. You will always try to find chances to enter the fight when enemies are clumped, nuking down multiple targets.

Always remember to position yourself correctly and never ever waste cooldowns when unnecessary. Early through mid game is more forgiving if you misuse an ability when roaming, but late game is when it truly matters. One wrong move and you'll get bursted down. Even Guardian Angel won't save you. Never roam around when not having a clear objective and always secure Baron buff. Baron buff can change the tides of a whole game. Play well, do your best, and win the game.


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XVI. Jungling


21/9/0

Masteries
4/5
3/1
4/1
3/1
1/1
2/5
3/
1/
1/5
4/1
2/1
1/5
1/1

R>Q>W>E

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Jungle Riven is also a great pick if you have a tanky top laner such as Malphite and if you're against relatively squishy enemies. Jungle Riven excels at early ganks while also having great early jungle clears. Jungle Riven's playstyle is similar to laning Riven. At first what you'll want to do is something similar to what Alistar does in the jungle - gank a lot early. Then you'll transition into a pseudo-carry.

There are two standard routes I follow.

Blue Route (If Purple Side)

  • Start at blue golem and get a good leash from teammates and do go SMITELESS
  • Go to red lizard and get him down to an executable health before using Smite or use Smite to start off if you know enemies won't contest. Care for enemy jungler steals as purple side is extremely vulnerable to enemy counterjungling at your red.
  • Gank a lane if gankable, else farm.
  • Head back to base and buy items.

Red Route (If Blue Side)

  • Start at red lizard and get a good leash from teammates.
  • Go to blue golem and clear the camp.
  • Gank a lane if possible, else farm wraiths and wolves.
  • Head back to base and buy items.


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XVII. Laning Mid

lawl lol


lol
Mercury Treads
lol
lol
lol

21/9/0

Masteries
1/5
4/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
2/5
2/1
1/1
3/5
1/1

R>Q>W>E

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Mid lane Riven is actually a great counterpick to many standard AP Mids out there. She also counters melees such as Zed and Kassadin super hard. She adds on exceptional roam-ganks with her four dashes and also has insane dragon control with her damage and ultimate. You generally want to pick Riven mid when you have another AP at top lane, such as Rumble, Vladimir, or Kennen.

The playstyle of mid Riven changes a bit as you are not able to pull off full-on harasses (mid lane is shorter than top), but the general concepts will still be the same. Since Riven does great against squishies and mid lane has all the squishy casters, your harass will generally make up for the mid lane distance problem. Shoving lane is also extremely safe as you have 4 dashes to use to escape. Paired with your insane mobility, aggressive junglers like Lee Sin benefit and can easily counterjungle.


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XIX. Conclusion


That's it for my Riven guide. I have spent over 20 hours on this guide with formatting and typing, and I really hope this guide has shown you a whole new perspective on how to play Riven.
Thanks to:
  • jhoijhoi for the awesome guide on making guides! You can find it here!
  • Wintermond for providing helpful feedback!
  • TheMcDanee for the amazing banners. If you like any of his artwork please go support him!

Last but not least thank you for reading this guide. I hope you all have a great time with Riven! If you have any questions or feedback feel free to leave a comment or message me personally! I will respond to it ASAP.

Thanks a bunch!
/signed RosePhoenix