Riven General Guide by Tzole1925
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
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."
Excerpt from the poem, "Scarlet Shon-Xan"
"What is broken can be reforged!"
"Violence to end the violence."
"To serve the greater good."
"A necessary strike."
"It must come to pass."
"For those who were lost."
"So much death."
"They've crossed the line."
"Burdens of the past."
"Choose your own path."
"A sword mirrors its owner."
"What conflict awaits?"
"So long I've wandered... "
"Learn from your mistakes."
"My hands are stained."
"My spirit is not lost."
"How should I proceed?"
Upon using Blade of the Exile
"I am awakened."
"There is no other way."
"They cannot go unpunished!"
"The time for talk is over."
"I know my purpose."
"A moment of clarity."
"No more hesitation."
"Leave doubt behind."
"No looking back."
"Sacrifices must be made."
"A broken blade is more than enough for the likes of you!"
Taunt when using Blade of the Exile
"You are beyond redemption!"
(Sighs) "I knew I should have sprung for the blade warranty."
Joke when using Blade of the Exile
"This is why I spend so much time sheath shopping."
Date: 9 September, 21 CLE
The weight Riven carries seems to hang in the air around her. The remnants of her Noxian armor are tarnished, they speak of her absence from duty. The broken sword she carries is, in itself, so massive that imagination falters to conceive of the blade’s original size.
The echo of battle lingers with her. It smolders in her eyes, tenses in her grip, and coils in her step. It never leaves her. She is there now still, in the midst of it, as she enters the marble doors.
Riven’s fingers played along the edges of her blade’s runic inscription – an idle habit, long deprived of meaning. Her thoughts went where they often went in darkness: to dark memories. She gritted her teeth. There was nothing quite so cutting as the recollection of a guilty mind.
She twitched, involuntarily, as the scene of her death unraveled before her.
A damp fog yawned across the valley floor sheepishly, as though reluctant to conceal the horrors of the day. The gagging stench would have betrayed its effort, had not the smell so thoroughly permeated the Ionian countryside. Death was now a permanent resident of the somber isle, and its purchase grew with every passing hour. After so many similar fields, Riven no longer took account of it.
Dusk was settling as the company marched on, the stamp of their boots thick and dull crossing the grimy stretch. Riven’s own boots were becoming stained a deep brown by the mud. She felt a pang of nausea as she realized it wasn’t rainwater that dampened the soil.
She forced the thought out of her head. There would be more fields, more fogs, more harrowing muck – she could process it all later. “Focus is essential,” her drill instructor used to bark. “A lot happens in the chaos of battle, but you can only accomplish one thing at a time.” Now it was marching.
Fury Company had trudged for days to catch up with the rest of the 42nd Standard, and the dreary trail through the Zaunite Melters’ aftermath was... messy. War was all about casualties, but the rising number of civilian losses was staggering. The High Command had expected the peace-loving Ionians to roll over and surrender in the face of Noxus’ military juggernaut. Instead the resistance was fierce and unrelenting. For a society that preached pacifism, the Ionians didn’t hesitate to get their hands dirty.
Riven was impressed.
This was a particularly grim scene. The Coeur Valley was one of the few passageways through which the Melters could cross the foothills of northern Shon-Xan. The Ionians had made a desperate stand there that morning, hoping to stem or slow the pace of Zaun’s death machines. It was a telling failure for Ionia. They hadn’t even managed to scramble half the forces Noxian intelligence had predicted, and ample countermeasures were taken long before the Melters attempted the pass. Still, for such a meager resistance, Riven couldn’t help but notice the abundance of Noxian uniforms littered amongst the dead.
A day or two behind, the Noxian cleanup effort was requesting reinforcements.
Riven’s attention was drawn to the path by the sound of advancing footsteps. Someone was approaching the group from the front. Riven raised her blade high, halting the company and eclipsing herself beneath it. It was a true Noxian weapon, built to instill fear at sight alone.
The figure emerged from the fog. It was a girl, a couple years older than Riven, stumbling as she walked. Her clothes were torn and matted with blood. When she saw the company, her eyes went wide.
“No no no no no,” she muttered. “No more, please.” She fell to her knees and started weeping.
Riven ordered two men to retrieve the girl. Handling civilians was a chore that had wearied the men over the past several weeks. They’d been trained to kill soldiers in battle, not to dispatch helpless bystanders. Ionia didn’t even have a standing military.
Only the strong survive, Riven reminded herself.
The two soldiers reached the girl and stood to either side, each silently hoping the other would take the lead. Riven was about to intervene when the girl made a quick motion and a thin red mist appeared in front of her. The two soldiers crumpled, dead before they hit the ground.
“Ambush!” Her warning was lost amongst the cries of her soldiers. On all sides of the company, corpses were rising, weapons in hand, and charging into their ranks. Except they weren’t dead. Their eyes were very much alive with hateful resolve. Riven remembered the intelligence reports: less than half the expected opposition. It was a trap. The Ionians had planned this all along.
Already the rear guard was overtaken. Riven screamed for the unit to collapse to a defensive formation. The army needed to be warned. She drew a distress flare from her belt and fired into the darkening sky. Pale green light illuminated the entire valley.
One of the Ionians leapt out at Riven. She slashed upward, bisecting him lengthwise. The Ionians had the advantage, but Riven wasn’t one to surrender. If they could defeat her in combat, they deserved this victory. The strong would prevail.
The remaining Noxian soldiers tightened their ranks, backs to each other. Nearly half the company was already dead or dying. The Ionians were taking their time now, savoring the growing Noxian despair.
They were surrounded and outnumbered. Her men were tired, demoralized. The Ionians, by contrast, were fueled by their hate. She wondered how long they had lain there, amongst the bodies of fallen friends, waiting for this moment. She tightened her grip on the sword. One way or another, she would end this.
A blinding ball of light erupted thirty feet in front of her, sending Ionians flying. Riven spun, looking for a source, just as another explosion hit the edge of the Noxian circle. Riven’s ears were ringing, all she could hear was her heartbeat. Noxian and Ionian soldiers were in chaos, some fighting, some running, some… clawing at their skin.
And then she realized it. The Melters had opened fire on them.
Only the strong survive, she repeated… but that was meaningless here. Nobody would survive. By all rights, the Ionians should have won this fight, but they too would die. How did this follow the Noxian way?
As she fled the cursed valley, explosions rocked the ground around her. Soldiers on both sides were subjected to horrific, unspeakable deaths. Something changed in her then. The conviction with which she charged boldly to war had evaporated, and without it she was… lost.
The memory neared its conclusion. Though she’d relived it a thousand times over, Riven never understood why that day went the way it did. She didn’t know why Noxus depended on Zaun’s horrific techmaturgy instead of its own military. She didn’t know why she didn’t see the ambush coming. She didn’t know why she survived. “Why do you want to join the League, Riven?” Behind her, the weeping girl stood, matted in blood, tears running down her cheeks. But the voice was out of place.
“This isn’t right…” Riven started, but the valley around her was melting away. This was some kind of trick.
“Why do you want to join the League, Riven?”
“What are you-”
“Why do you want to join the League?” Impatience.
“I don’t know!” Riven spat. She was stung by the invasion of her mind. She’d lived with this memory for years, but it was something she wouldn’t, couldn’t share. She took a deep breath, “I fought for something once, but it was a lie.” Spoken in her own voice, the words hurt to hear. “I still love Noxus, I never stopped. But now… I want to fight on my own terms.”
“How does it feel, exposing your mind?”
Riven let the question turn in her mind. So many times she wanted to confide in someone, to let someone else shoulder the burden. But telling the story – even watching it through her own eyes – didn’t ease the pain. It was hers alone, and some things could never be shared.
“Exposed or not, it changes nothing.”
Then the girl was gone, and she was alone in the Institute. Her broken sword glowed dimly at her side. The illusion was invasive, but she’d almost forgotten the former heft of her sword. As if in response, a faint green outline played out from the shard, tracing the blade’s former curve. She felt a sudden wash of reassurance. Perhaps she wasn’t so lost after all.
Riven was designed by Xypherous.
Original Splash Art
Original Redeemed Riven Splash Art
Redeemed Riven concept
Battle Bunny concept
Champion Sneak Peek
Announcement made in the Sneak Peek by Average Gatsby:
If there's anything that we've learned over the course of the years here at Riot Games, it's that it pays to be prepared for any eventuality. Take this next champion for instance. Riven, the Exile, is here to show you that you can still be a badass even if your sword's been broken. Now take a moment to appreciate what she could probably do with a complete weapon, because you just might find out!
Announcement made in the Sneak Peek by Morello: Greetings Summoners!
With Riven on the horizon, I wanted to take a few minutes and give you all a sneak peek into some of her gameplay and mechanics.
Riven is a flow-based fighter who performs aggressive combo attacks to decimate her opponents. This often involves her stepping forward into her sword swings to chase down cowardly enemies who might try to escape or utilize their ranged attacks to avoid direct combat. This highly mobile fighting style makes her a really aggressive, momentum-based character.
Her signature ability is Broken Wings, a 3-part combo slash that causes her to step forward and slash nearby enemies. On her 3rd hit, Broken Wings unleashes a nova, knocking nearby enemies back. While performing the three-hit Broken Wings combo is powerful in its own right, more veteran Riven players will find great opportunities to mix in her Ki Shout to deliver a short stun (for her to follow up with more devastation) or move into an even better position with Valor.
Her ultimate, Blade of the Exile, allows her to reform her broken sword, restoring her former power and allowing her to activate Wind Slash, a powerful shockwave that slices the air itself to cut down enemies that are out of reach.
We're excited about Riven because she draws some heavy inspiration from fighting games, utilizing combos that can be interspersed with other abilities to change timing and effect as needed. This flow and feel is something we feel will appeal highly to aggressive players who want to make split-second decisions on when to deal damage and when to sacrifice damage in favor of additional utility effects.
Fixed a bug where Riven could get locked out of moving during her third cast of
Blade of the Exile's allied ultimate HUD indicator will now remain green
until the shockwave cast is used.
1)Movement speed reduced to 320 from 325.
2)Base health regen reduced to 10.4 per 5 seconds from 12.
3)Health regen per level reduced to 0.9 per 5 seconds from 1.0.
4)Broken Wings base damage increased to 30/55/80/105/130 from 30/50/70/90/110.
5)Ki Burst base damage reduced to 50/80/110/140/170 from 50/90/130/170/210.
Blade of the Exile:
1)Tooltip updated to display how much attack damage you will gain.
2)It has been clarified to state that it scales off total attack damage,
not bonus attack damage.
1)Fixed a bug that caused her to stop moving after certain commands.
2)Fixed a bug that caused Ki Shout and Broken Wings to temporarily leave dead
unpathable minions behind.
3)Fixed a bug that caused her collision radius to be improperly calculated.
1)Now counts as an attack command when you use it to lock-onto a target.
2)Slightly extended duration of collision ignoring with minions after using
September 20, 2011 Hotfix:
1)Attack speed per level increased to 3.5 from 2.9.
2)Base armor increased to 15 from 12.
1)Bonus attack damage ratio increased to 0.7 from 0.6.
1)Cast time reduced to 0.25 from 0.5.
1)Shield strength increased to 60/90/120/150/180 from 40/70/100/130/160.
2)Cooldown reduced to 10/9/8/7/6 seconds from 11/10/9/8/7.
1)Cast time reduced to 0.25 from 0.5.
2)Projectile speed increased to 2200 from 2000.
1) Broken Wings: Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword
slashes. This ability can be activated up to 3 times in a short period.
2)1st/2nd Use: Deals damage to a small area in front of her
3)3rd Use: Jumps into the air and slams downward, causing a larger impact nova that
deals damage and knocks nearby enemies back.
4)Ki Burst: Riven damages and stuns nearby enemies.
5)Valor: Riven dashes forward and gains a shield for a short duration.
6)Blade of the Exile (Ultimate): Riven's sword reforms, giving her a percentage
multiplier on her total attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities
and basic attacks and the ability to use Wind Slash once.
7) Wind Slash: While Blade of the Exile is active, Riven can reactivate the ability to
emit a large shockwave that deals damage to all units hit based on their missing life.
8)Runic Blade (Innate): Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do bonus
damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, but only expends one
at a time.
Broken Wings - Riven lashes out in a series of strikes. This ability can be reactivated three times in a short time frame with the third hit knocking back nearby enemies.
Riven strikes out in front of her in a short line. This ability may be reactivated 2 additional times.
1st Use: Slashes forward, dealing 30/55/80/105/130 (+) physical damage to all units she comes in contact with.
2nd Use: Slashes forward, dealing 30/55/80/105/130 (+) physical damage to all units she comes in contact with.
3rd Use: Leaps into the air and slams the ground dealing 30/55/80/105/130 (+) physical damage and knocking nearby enemies away from the point of impact.
Riven will target the unit your cursor is hovering over, or if no targets are present, Riven will simply strike the direction she is currently facing.
Broken Wings is an auto-targeted dash ability that sends Riven a short distance forward in the direction of your cursor (unless clicking directly on the broken wings icon, in this case she will dash in the direction she is facing), dealing physical damage to enemy units in her path. This ability may be used up to three times, with the third cast also dealing a knockback effect to enemies hit. If the cursor is pointed at an enemy unit, Riven will dash towards the target instead of at the cursor. If the cursor remains above the enemy while casting additional broken wings, riven will not dash past target enemy.
1)Broken Wings does not proc on-hit effects.
2)Broken Wings procs spell vamp and Rylai's slow similarly with all area of effect
spells and abilities with diminished effect.
3)Broken Wings pops spell shield.
4)Broken Wings will not damage Black Shield but the knock-back from the third
hit is negated.
5)Broken Wings' dash speed is roughly equivalent to 475 movement speed.
At 550 movement speed, however, simply moving is faster than using Broken Wings as a
method of faster travel.
6)Broken Wings resets the attack timer after the animation has played.
7)Broken Wings does not allow Riven to travel through terrain or walls.
8)Broken Wings has a 0.5 second cooldown between each activation.
9)Unlike most abilities that consist of multiple casted components, Broken Wings'
cooldown will start upon the first activation instead of after the last activation.
Ki Burst - Riven emits a Ki burst, damaging and stunning nearby enemies.
Riven's sword emits a burst of runic energy that shocks nearby enemies, dealing 50/80/110/140/170 (+) physical damage and stunning them for 0.75 seconds.
Ki Burst is a point blank area of effect ability which deals physical damage and briefly stuns enemy units in a radius around Riven.
1)Ki Burst does not proc on-hit effects.
2)Ki Burst procs spell vamp and Rylai's slow similarly with all area of effect
spells and abilities with diminished effect.
3)Ki Burst pops spell shield.
4)Ki Burst will not damage Black Shield but the stun is negated.
Valor - Riven steps forward a short distance and blocks incoming damage.
Riven does a quick dash in the direction of your cursor and becomes shielded, blocking up to 60/90/120/150/180 (+) incoming damage for 2.5 seconds.
Valor is a dash ability which causes Riven to charge towards the cursor, gaining an absorption shield directly after the dash that lasts up to 2.5 seconds.
1)Valor cannot be used while Riven is snared. This prevents Riven from shielding
herself when disabled.
2)Valor cannot be used to dash through terrain or walls, but does go through
temporary terrain such as Anivia's Crystallize,Jarvan IV's Cataclysm,
or Trundle's Pillar of Filth.
Blade of the Exile - Riven empowers her keepsake weapon with energy and gains attack damage and range. Additionally, during this time, she gains the ability to use Wind Slash once, a powerful ranged attack.
Riven's weapon surges with spiritual energy for 15 seconds, granting her 20% extra Attack Damage (+0.2), increased range 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 (+0.6) to 240/360/480 (+1.8) physical damage to all enemies hit, increasing based on how much health they are missing.
Blade of the Exile is a self-target ability which consists of two parts. After the first activation, Riven gains an attack damage bonus and extended range on her autoattacks and abilities for 15 seconds. During this time she may also activate Wind Slash once.
Wind Slash is a pass-through conic skillshot that deals physical damage to all enemy units hit. This damage scales to the percentage of health that an enemy is missing, and maximum damage is dealt when an enemy is at 25% health or less.
1)Wind Slash does not proc on-hit effects.
2)Wind Slash procs spell vamp and Rylai's slow similarly with all area of effect
spells and abilities with diminished effect.
3)Wind Slash pops spell shield.
4)Wind Slash will not damage Black Shield.
5)The range bonus applies to Broken Wings and Ki Burst.
6)The range on Valor is not boosted.
7)Wind Slash has a one second delay after Blade of the Exile is activated before
it can be cast.
8)Wind Slash has a 0.25 second casting delay.
Runic Blade (Innate): Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do 5 / 7 / 9 / 11 / 13 / 15 (+0.5 per bonus attack damage) bonus physical damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, and will only expend one at a time.
Runic Blade is a passive ability which activates whenever Riven uses a champion ability, granting her a stacking buff for a short duration. Her next autoattack will consume the buff, dealing bonus physical damage.
1)Runic Blade may stack up to 3 charges at once, and are expended one at a time.
2)Runic Blade stacks will expire if no charge are expended/added.
3)The bonus damage from Runic Blade does not apply to Riven's critical strikes.
4)The bonus damage from Runic Blade benefits from life steal.
1)Riven's Broken Wings locks onto the champion your cursor is over at the time of cast. If you want to move past your opponent, make sure that your cursor is past your opponent as well.
2)Riven lacks a source of healing or strong defense and must compensate with burst combos. Lead into fights with Broken Wings and Ki Burst, while using Valor to escape and absorb counter-harass.
1)Autoattacking in between each Broken Wings will allow the most amount of sustained damage as you consume Runic Blade stacks to deal extra damage.
2)Since the skill produces three charges, which is exactly her maximum, you may wish to complete it to initiate a fight with her knockback, following up with auto-attacks and her other skills.
3)Blade of the Exile lasts for 15 seconds so use it at the start of the fight instead of the end of the fight
4)While Blade of the Exile is active Riven's attack range with basic attack will increase from 125 to 200 - that is the highest range of all melee champions.
5)Using Broken Wings in conjunction with Valor will give you small boosts of mobility as they move you forwards a bit. This is a very efficient way to move around the map, as your moves cost nothing. Broken Wings, however, allows you to click on the mini-map and use it to continue moving, while Valor will cancel your move actions.
6)Broken Wings can also allow you to chase an enemy and with the knockback may also allow you to get close enough to land your Ki Burst.
7)Remember that Broken Wings and Valor give you some mobility boosts for fleeing, but they can't pass map terrain. You can, however, dash through terrain generated by abilities like Anivia's Crystallize, Jarvan IV's Cataclysm, Trundle's Pillar of Filth or, if timed right, even Veigar's Event Horizon.
8)Be aware that Wind Slash has a cast time and a travel time as well, so you shouldn't waste it on enemies who are just about to leave its range. Try using smart cast to save precious seconds in aiming the ability.
9)Wind Slash deals maximum damage to multiple opponents at or below 25% maximum health, therefore use Wind Slash to finish off enemies who are fleeing or decide to stay.
10)Riven is an all-around strong champion in top solo lane due to her ability to avoid ganks with her mobility, her no-mana costs, and her instant cast shield. Play aggressively and use your E to shield your way through harass.
1) Riven entire kit benefits from bonus attack damage. Building heavy attack damage items will help maximize her damage.
2) Riven benefits heavily from cooldown reduction which will allow her to use all her moves more frequently.
a)With this being said items like The Brutalizer are good items for her.
3)Having a way to slow the enemy or speed yourself up is mandatory on Riven.
a)However, Riven is very good at dealing damage while chasing as(unknown embed type)Broken Wings moves Riven forward both doing damage and giving her an opportunity to get in basic attacks without losing too much distance. The dash distance is unaffected by Riven'smovement speed, so building movement speed items are not as important on Riven as on most other melee champions.
4) Riven is a fairly squishy champion. Grabbing Doran's Shield, or Cloth Armor / Boots of Speed and a few Health Potions into a match will help your survivability early on. Later these can be built into your boots of choice, or Madred's Razors/ Wriggle's Lantern.
5)Youmuu's Ghostblade should be used after the 2nd hit of Broken Wings or during the last frame of animation of the 3rd strike to avoid losing precious seconds.
6)Stacking Doran's Blade early game helps due to it's sustainability and AD.
7)Riven is great for Twisted Treeline. Her strong early game, and mobility with her abilities help her to dominate top lane, as well as give her great ganking ability. She also performs very well in the jungle. After netting a couple of kills early, you should be able to snowball pretty hard.