Riven Build Guide by BawlzDeepMode
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.
1.1 Introduction of myself
Hello everyone and welcome to my first guide on Mobafire.
First of all, this is my first guide, they could be mistakes in here or something like that, so I'd like you to comment constructively. Also, I'm not a native speaker so there could be some grammar or spelling-mistakes, pease dont rage about them.
Now about me,
My summoner is BawlzDeepMode and atm I am Gold 4 (climbing all the time). Since I started to rank season 3 and started to play League in the middle of season 2, Gold 4 isnt THAT bad :)
I used to play Jungle often, and now I'm switching my focus to toplane, and i want to give a guide to one of my favorite champs there: Riven
I was playing Riven pretty often in the last couple of weeks and, well how to say it, it worked out. With the way to play, i show in this guide, i won 85% of all games i played with her. Not joking! Here a picture of my match-history:
This guide shall give you my point of view of Riven, since i like the aggressive and risky playstyle in the otherwise so boring farm-toplane.
Riven is one of my favorite champions, because she can carry a whole game on her own, espacially in lower elo's (like mine, at the moment something around 1600)
Well, no more things from my side, enjoy the guide!
You need a fast and short guide for Riven, maybe because your champ got picked or banned and you only had 30 seconds to choose another one? Well, be glad that you chose Riven and found this guide. Here is the short-version:
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
-> -> ->
+ + +
+ + +
1.3 Pros and Cons
1.4 Rivens Skillkit
Runic Blade is Riven's passive. Every basic attack after a spell will deal bonus physical damage, scaling with your attack-damage. Every spell gives Riven a charge on her sword (max 3) and she can remove 1 charge per basic attack. That means, if you use 3 spells without doing a basic-attack your next 3 basic-attacks will deal additional physical damage. This makes Riven to an incredible good combo-champ, since she just need to do spell -> aa -> spell -> aa -> spell -> aa[/color] .... You will outtrade with this nearly every champion early, and cause of your high mobility, they won't escape your basic-attacks.
Broken Wings is Riven's Q skill. You can activate it up to 3 times, and it effects, that you do a little dash in the direction you click, dealing AoE-damage. After every activation of Broken Wings your passive gains 1 charge! You can use this to have perma-harrass on your opponent: q in-> aa -> q -> aa -> q out. Early this, with an activated red-pot can take more than half of the hp from your enemy. But you can use this skill also to escape from ganks, since you do a little dash u can escape from enemy CC in ganks, like Cho' gath Rupture. Broken Wings also works pretty well on farming, so Riven has mid/late-game an incredible waveclear. Well, Broken Wings, broken champ!
Ki Burst is Riven's W skill. When you activate it, it deals AoE-damage, stunning all enemies in it's range for a duration of 0.75 seconds. It also gives a charge on your passive. You can use Ki Burst to immobilize the enemy while attacking him and bursting him down. It's also very useful in teamfights, where you can dash in the enemys and just AoE-stun them, like a smaller Amumu-Ult. And the best thing of it: It also scales on AD, so you also do a ****load of damage with your W. There is, who thought of it?, also a defensive way to use Ki Burst, for example, if you get chased or ganked, just stun the enemies (try to hit as many as possible) and dash out and escape with ultra-high mobility.
Valor is Riven's E skill. By activating it, you dash in the direction you click in. In addition to that you gain a shield that scales, how f*cking broken, also with AD. This is the typical gapcloser, together with a typical shield in one spell. Use Valor to farm safe at your lane, without eating too much harrass, or to shield incoming damage in a 1v1-situation. Also a useful tip: Enemy flash-ignites you, wait til you get below 30 hp from ignite, then use Valor, stand under tower, recall and laugh. Madness everywhere :)
Blade of the Exile is Riven's ultimate-ability. By activating it, you get a 20% AD-Boost and a range boost on her Basic attacks AND Abilities for 15 seconds. In this 15 seconds you can reactivate Blade of the Exile to use Wind Slash which does AoW-Damage in front of you, scaling with ad. Perfect finisher after a chace or in teamfights.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Okay, explaining da runes now :)
This is the standart bruiser-rune-page with one little modifictaion: The Armor-Pen. I will explain later why i take Armor-Pen. and not full AD. So let's see. Seals Armor for not taking too much damage by Basic Attacks and physical-damage abilities. Glyphs MR to block a piece of incoming magic-damage. I take a part of them with scaling MR and not flat MR because you will mostly lane against AD-Champions in the Toplane. So you will need your Magic-Resistance later in teamfights. If you know that you lane against an AP-Champion on top like Cho'Gath you can also take full flat-MR in you Glyphs, but if you are not sure i recommend this mixture of flat and scaling MR. Well, AD is also self-explaining, since all of Riven's skills scale with AD, nobody should have questions to this. So, why Armor-Pen. then? The thing is, Riven already has that ****load of damage with her Basic-Attacks from her passive, and she already has high-scaling Abilities, so you wont need as much more Attack-Damage from beginn on than you gain from your items. You gain your maximum damage output with Riven if you ignore a part of the opponent's armor. That's why i take Armor-Pen. Armor-Pen. is also more useful in mid- and lategame then AD. My advice: Armor-Pen.
Okay, it's masterie-time!
Summoner's Wrath The 5 bonus AD after using ignite are a great boost for Riven together with her passive and a red-pot, thats hard damage on one basic-attack, nobody will expect this. Surprise your enemies :)
Sorcery I take this cause of Riven's pretty high Cooldowns,a dn because you wont need as much attackspeed with Riven, since your tactic should be: ability -> aa -> ability -> aa....
and so on. Sorcery is a better pick right here.
Butcher For easier lasthitting, since Riven depends very much on farm. The more creeps, the better :) So don't be ashame to take Butcher , it also highers your pushing-potential!
Deadliness Bonus-AD on an AD-Champ? Sounds well. Must have on Riven!
Havoc Damage-dealt increased? Im with it! Self-explaining! Must have for every champ if you go on 21 in offense-tree!
Weapon Expertise 8% Armor-Pen. + that Armor-Pen. from our Runes, just build Armor, i don't care guys :) Good pick-up on Riven
Brute Force Just see Deadliness.. Brute Force gives a nice AD-Buff already on lvl 1. With that early game tactic on Riven which is described in this guide it's a must-have-masterie..
Sunder Same as Weapon Expertise , must have!
Executioner Increases damage to low-hp-targets. Together with Wind Slash, which has almost the same effect, it makes booom, bursted down :)
Durability 108 health on lvl 18? That's almost an ignite. A nice buff for a masterie-point!
Hardiness 3 points on Hardiness since you will almost always play against AD-Champions on top, and you will that armor then, if you know you are playing against sn AP-Champ at Top, take only one point in Hardiness and take the 3 points in
Resistance . Against AP-Damage :)
Veteran's Scars Wow, 30HP from lvl1? That can deside wether you die from a dive or ignite or not, that can decide about your laning-phase, and that can decide about your game. Take that f*cking 30HP D:
2.3 Summoner Spells
Ignite for a perfect finisher, if your target flashes away. Take tgether with Ignite Summoner's Wrath for the extra damage. Also Ignite can help you out, if your target has annoying heals in a 1v1 situation, just like tryndamere from his Q or Aatrox from his W.
Imagine: Riven against Tryndamere. Riven Q's him til he is almost dead. Tryndamere uses his E to escape, Riven uses her E to catch up. Tryndamere flashes. Riven uses Flash and Ignite -> NOPE! Pick Flash in your laning!
ppl probably asking now, why the hell Exhaust?? But let me tell you, I tried it a couple of times against champs that insist very much of Attack-Speed, such as Aatrox, Jax or Tryndamere. They just won't 1v1 you after this debuff. Trust me and try it out, it's actually not bad!
Well, that's the thing with Barrier.. Ofc you can say, ooh that's an op-shield, barrier + Valor, but let me tell you, Valor is also op without Barrier and in my opinion, Valor should be totally enough. You can actually take Barrier but i wouldnt recommend it to you guys.
2.4 Suggested Skill-maxing
So, I often got asked by people, why do you max your Q with Riven, why don't you max your W, it does so much more damage!
Let me tell you why. Maybe, your W does more damage by using it once, then your Q by using it the 3 times and, if yes, with your Broken Wings you have to hit all 3 charges to get the full damage off, but listen: That's not how you play Riven. Use your ******* passive with Riven. The incredible strong thing of your Q is, that after every activation of your Q (you know, you got 3) you get 1 stack on your passive. So if you use the passive right with your Q:
Q -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Q -> AA you will deal more damage then you can only dream from your Ki Burst. So your Q get's much more usefuller, and much more often used then your W. So max it first! The 2nd skill to max can be different. I prefer to max Ki Burst. The stun won't be longer, but i only max it for the damage. But if you realize, that you loose trades on your lane, i would recommend you to max your Valor first.
So, it depends on in which situation you are!
The key of starting with a Elixir of Fortitude is, that you will try to kill your lane-enemy as fast as possible when you got level 3. You need to have all your Abilities up and you will try to E in to absorp the incoming damage and to close the gap between you and your opponent. Then you will immediatly pop your red-pot and activate W to stun him, and prevent him to run away. After your W you try to get 1 aa off, that deals extra damage cause of your passive and your red-pot. Then you will Q - aa - Q - aa - Q - aa - ignite. He should really be dead after, since your aa's and abilities deal high damage if you popped your red-pot. Igntie will help you to finish him off if he flashes away. If you made sure early, that your opponent pushed the lane (try to lasthit your creeps when they have very low hp) you can also follow-flash if he flashed away, cause you wont stand in his tower then.
With this Combo you will almost kill every opponent early, or if you dont kill him, force his flash and make him easy to gank.
Again the full-combo:
E -> W -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Ignite
This Combo also works, if you are level 2, but only, if your enemy isnt a ranged champion. You will only have your W and Q then, so try to come close to your opponent and immediatly stun him, without dashing forwards with E (since you wont have it skilled level 2)
Looks like this then:
W -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Q -> AA -> Ignite
Sight Ward Sight Ward
If you lane against a champ you wont 1v1 early such as Volibear because of his passive, start with the sustainy build Rejuvenation Bead Sight Ward's and Health Potion's. Focus on farming then, and get as fast as possible a Tiamat for better pushing-potential.
This early pick-ups will help you early a lot. If the early-kill worked out, you will have this Items even faster and you will destroy your lane with it. Boots of Speed give you perfect mobility, what is one of the main strengths of Riven. With them you can give your lane-opponent your combo without him escaping, and you will get out faster, without taking too much damage after you gave him free-damage from your combo. Doran's Blades are a nice early-game pick-up, they give you HP and AD and they restore your health by AA's. This gives you enough sustain on lane, and extra damage. Same reason why you pick up Vampiric Scepter.
This is pretty easy to explain. Since you are not very tanky with Riven, if you play it this style, you need besides having high damage also have nice survivability. You get it by your incredibly high lifesteal from The Bloodthirster and Ravenous Hydra. These Items also give you good damage, with which you can combo ppl even faster down. Hydra deals together with your Q high AoE-Damage and makes you also useful in teamfights.
You will pick up Warmog's Armor and Guardian Angel after, since if you are fed or if you deal much damage the enemy team will focus you. You need to be a bit tanky than, if you arent, you will be dead faster then you can use your lifesteal, especially if you are stunned or CC'd otherwise. If you get focussed too hard, GA is very useful, since you will revive and they have to switch focus, which allows you to deal your ****load of damage after you are 'dead'. If they have much AP-Burst you have to resist against, you can also pick up a Maw of Malmortius since it gives you Magic Resist and a nice Spell-Blocking Shield. If you need an Movementspeed slow and a bit of HP you can also buy a Frozen Mallet. Pick up Randuin's Omen if you didnt take Exhaust and the enemies have Champs which scale very good with Attack-Speed such as Irelia or Vayne. Against heavy AD-Teams you can also buy a Thornmail for dealing damage without even attacking, and for the very high armor-buff. If support or jungler don't build Runic Bulwark you can also build it, but since it's more a supportish item, i wouldn't recommend to build it on a carry-champ as Riven.
For late-damage, especially if the enemies build much armor, pick up a Last Whisper or The Black Cleaver, which will give you much Armor-penetration and extra-high damage. If you are full, you can sell your boots for Zephyr, since it gives also mov.-Speed and in addition attack speed and attack damage.
3.1 Early Game Tactics
Okay, let's go over some effective early game tactics.
This is in my opinion the strongest way to start with Riven on lane, unless you lane against a champion you can't 1v1 early such as Udyr or Volibear.
This way to start is only useful, if you can kill your enemy before your or his first back or to force his flash and kill him then after a gank. If you don't get a kill or an assist out of this start it's not worth it, so only start with Elixir of Fortitude if you are planning to kill your lane-opponent!
Why isn't it worth it, if i can't kill him? - That's pretty easy to explain, we only need a bit math:
A Elixir of Fortitude costs 350 Gold and is a one-time-usage Item. That means it disappears after you use it once.
If your lane opponent now starts with Boots of Speed and Health Potions he invested 325 Gold into his boots, which is pretty even to the 350 Gold you invested in Elixir of Fortitude.
But here is the point: His Boots of Speed won't disappear after usage. He won't spend 1000g to buy Ninja Tabi after his first back, but 675 Gold. Your lane-opponent already has an item which gives him better stats and which doesnt disappear after a while.
If you don't kill him early and get the gold back in that you invested on your Elixir of Fortitude, you are sitting on it with no usage, watching the enemy roaming you, cause of your item-disadvantage. This is the worst thing can happen to you as Riven, since Riven needs much farm and can get snowballed easily by such a situation!
So, how to kill your enemy early with this choice of Item? - So, in my opinion Riven's strongest time in the game is her lvl3 when she got all of her basic skills. Make sure you don't skill for example your Q 2 times and thatfor no point on your E. You need every spell on your level3!
So, before you are level3 you will try to farm passively and to get your lane pushed! Works best if you lasthit the enemy minions with as low HP as possible.
Why? Because you wan't to combo him down, and get an early first blood, this won't work so well if your enemy fashes under his tower before you can finish him off! Now, if his creeps are pushing he still can flash away, but he won't be under his tower after the flash, but in the middle of the lane, and you have still the ability to follow him with your flash, and continue punching the sh*t out of him!
Use ignite to secure the kill, you can also ignite earlier for the extra 5 AD which makes it easier to burst your opponent down fast.
Conclusion for the combo:
-> -> AA -> -> AA -> -> AA -> -> AA + (possible Ignite at any time, to have extra damage from AA's and Spells early, or to secure the kill late)
To conclude it, be careful with the choice of your first item, only take Elixir of Fortitude if you are sure, you can kill your enemy early with the described tactic above!
If you think you can't kill your opponent like this, or if you don't like this aggressive play style you can start with Boots of Speed or even with a Doran's Blade. I recommend to pick up Doran's Blade as a starting item only, if the enemy's jungler has weak early ganks, such as Diana or Warwick.
If the enemy jungler has much CC and Damage early, such as Udyr or Amumu, and you probably won't escape a gank even if you had Boots of Speed you can also start with a Rejuvenation Bead, 2 Sight Ward's and 4 Health Potion's.
Since Riven is a pushing-champ in lane you need to ward well and your Potions and your Bead will give you good sustain in lane.
If you start this way, dont focus on trying to kill your enemy early, but try to overfarm your opponent, push your lane (your wards allow you to) and do Golem 's while your opponent is pushing back. Like this you will get a farm-Advantage and a Level-Advantage thanks to the Golem 's. With this advantage you will dominate your lane, force your opponent out of it, and you will be able to get his Outter Turret. After this you are able to roam, or just continue pushing or farming, and get yourself more and more fed.
As you may have realized now, there are many ways to start Riven's build, and since there is no right and no wrong way how to do it, you have to discover with which way you get along best. Just try out which start matches to your playstyle!
3.2 Mid Game Tactics
Let's follow up with the tactic's for the mid game.
There are 2 different ways you can act in mid game as Riven, which one is best, depends on wether you did well or didn't do THAT well in early game. Let's go over them both, i will start with the tactic if you did well in early game:
Since Mid Game is where Riven shines, here is the point you will try to fight as much as possible here, to get some bonus gold by some cheesy kills. You don't need to sta on top-lane and kill your lane-opponent who's not worth gold no more anyways. Try force him out of the lane, by getting him low, and push the tower then as fast as possible. If you got his tower you have all the freedom you need to roam. You can help out your midlaner, since Riven's heavy AD let all squishy Mid-Laners explode. If your mid also did well in early you can also force together with your jungler a dragon, or push the bottom Outter Turret.
This tactics give you and your team perfect map-control and with this a huge advantage over the enemy team.
If all your team is doing well, and there is totally no need that you leave your lane, just get some extra wards, place them at the following spots;
and continue splitpushing while waiting for the lategame! Ravenous Hydra will help you splitpush even faster so you can clean the waves even faster and do Wolves or Golem s in addition to pushing, to get a level-advantage for the lategame.
Why can't I pick up a Sunfire Cape on Riven in mid-game if splitpushing could be very important?
Well, the reason for that is, that Riven's Spellkit already gives you splitpush-abilities which allow her to splitpush fast enough without the Sunfire Cape, such as Broken Wings and Ki Burst.
You will only pick up Sunfire Cape on champs which need to splitpush but don't have fast enough waveclear like Malphite or Amumu.
If you are planning not to help other lanes in mid-game and you want to splitpush your lane, make sure you picked upp at least Tier 2 Boots to have higher escape chances in case you get ganked. Riven has great escape abilities ( Broken Wings + Valor) but they if you get chased by an Udyr with Boots of Swiftness you they won't be enough to escape if you didn't pick up your Tier 2 Boots. In addition to that, i would really recommend you to have constantly wards at the places i showed you above.
3.3 Late Game Tactics / Teamfights
So, how to act in teamfights? The thing with Riven is, as you may have realized by playing her or by reading this guide, that you are very squishy in comparison to other Offtanks, but thatfor you have tons of damage (Phreak inc :D), and nice AoE-spells probably together with the AoE of your Ravenous Hydra. That means you are able to burst down whole teams very fast, but you are bursted down very fast also, if you are misspositioned or focussed hard.
-How to act in the start of a teamfight/How to engage?
I really would't recommend you to engage at your own, unless you catch a misspositioned enemy who isn't close to his team. If you engage in the whole enemy team first, you will probably get stunned, and bursted down quickly without getting your damage off.
So tell your jungler to engage (good junglers for that would be for example Shyvana, Nautilus or Amumu. Ifyour jungler doesn't have good engages, and you got a support like Sona or Alistar (something with a hard CC-Spell) you can also wait for his engage. But never, never ever jump in 5 enemies alone.
-How to act in the middle of a teamfight/who to focus?
If you can get to the enemy carries fast and without problems, you will probably try to stun and burst them fast, but if the enemy carries havea good protect like Alistar-Support and you can't reach them without eating to much damage, it's also okay with Riven to attack the tanky enemies. Of course, you shouldn't focus a full-tank-enemy, f.e. Amumu who isn't a big threaht for your team. But you can kill for example the enemy top-laner like Wukong or Olaf and then switch focus to the carries, since they are easier to reach by you and your team after cleaning up the front-lane. Since Rivens damage is pretty high, and it won't take you too long to kill the top-laner / support so you are finished with them fast enough to switch focus to the carries.
-How to act at the end of the teamfight if u survive/Cleaning up:
If you survive the teamfight there are many ways you can go, which depends on the situation you are in:
1st: Your team got an ace over the enemies, so you will try to push. Since cou are Riven you have a good waveclear and do much damage to towers. So you can push pretty well so far. If you are the tankiest of your team who is left, and you can probably finish, but you can't wait for your creepwave to come, you can also tank tower's so far with the shield of your Valor, and lifesteal the damage you got by towers back from creeps.
2nd: You and one other enemy are left, then you will ALWAYS go for a 1v1 against the enemy who is left. Why? -Because you have your Broken Wings for high damage on the enemy, you have your Ki Burst to immobilize the enemy and take his posibility to kill you. You got your Valor to block the incoming damage by him, and you got your high lifesteal, with which you get around 200hp per basic attack back in. All of this things make it almost impossible for the enemy to 1v1 you. Kill your enemy in this situation, try to push up as fast as you can, but don't overextend, leave if the enemies are about to respawn, and care for homeguards! Don't recall at a place which isn't pinked by your team, they can catch you if it's warded there!
3rd: The enemies won the teamfight, you are left, so you will try to escape. Since your high mobility, you get by your Broken Wings and your Valor it shouldn't be too hard for you. Go to base then, heal up, and try to prevent your base to get pushed.
If you see, theres no escape for you, maybe because your enemy has a Frozen Mallet or you are getting Permaslowed by the enemy Nunu you can also turn around and try to kill the squishiest enemy left. So you get ANY reward of the situation.
If you don't want to teamfight, or your team doesn't want to teamfight, you are also able to continue the splitpush in lategame. Make sure you keep the places showed above warded, and your team doesn't engage a fight. Tell your team to stay under it's turret and to dodge incoming engage moves by the enemy. If 1 enemy comes to stop you pushing, kill him! You are a 1v1 beast! If there are more then 1 enemy coming to stop you, try to leave the place and tell your team to engage. It's 4v3 or 4v2 then! If ALL enemies are going for you, try to leave, or just suicide and tell your team to use the time to push other lanes. It's always a win for your team!
THANKS, to the guides helped me doing my first guide on Mobafire here:
Also BIG thanks to RETRIBUTION and his Lux-Guide from which i looked a few things up for my guide!
I also thank GCGDarkRaven for giving me the idea to make this guide, after i told him, how he should play Riven!
Last but not least biggest thanks to you, who you read my guide. I hope I could help you. Leave a comment if you liked my guide or not and tell me why please :)
Thanks and have a wonderful day!