Riven Build Guide by ChelseaDagger

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author ChelseaDagger


ChelseaDagger Last updated on March 30, 2015
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 7


Utility: 2

Threats to Riven with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Nasus Nasus is more like your minion early game. Try to harass him as much as you can, preferrably freeze the lane.
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Hello guys! First of all, I would like to thank you A LOT for all the support you guys have been giving to me! You are always helping me more and more to grow up. This means a lot to me! Shall we start? Okay. I am going to talk about Riven. Riven is a heavy AD caster on top lane. You can also make builds for her on jungle and mid lane, but if you want those, get out of here now. Solo top guide only!! Riven is very dependable on the lane you are facing. This is explained on the Matchups section down there, or in the Vs. Champions up here. I'm a Riven main, so I know how to play her kinda well. Hope you like my guide! :)

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Riven, the Exile
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.'' -Riven

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Knowing Your Champion

You want to play the champion, but you don't know his/her skills. What do you do? You read this section of the guide!

Your passive is Runic Blade.
Description: Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do a bonus 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 % of her total attack damage on her next autoattack. That means, whenever you use an ability, your next autoattack has a relatively big damage bonus. It stacks up to 3 times, so when you spam your skills, always try to give an auto attack. ATTENTION: your passive does NOT work with constructions, such as towers, inhibitors and the Nexus.

Your first skill, or Q, is Broken Wings.
Description: Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes that will damage all enemies nearby for 10 / 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 (+40/45/50/55/60% total attack damage) physical damage. This ability can be activated a second time within 4 seconds, and a third time within 4 seconds of that. On the third activation she will also knock up nearby enemies and have a larger radius of damage. All three strikes will deal the same amount of damage. It means that it is a 3-hit skill, which you can use 3 times. Be aware that the third hit of this skill knocks up the enemy. Have in mind that:

-Broken Wings does NOT proc on-hit effects
-Can be used to cross walls with its third hit.

Your second skill, your W, is Ki burst.
Description: Riven deals 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 0.75 seconds. This skill hasn't got much to say about, so let's go to the next.

Your third skill, your E, is Valor.
Description: Riven dashes towards the cursor and gains a 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 / 210 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) shield for up to 1.5 seconds. Have in mind that:
-Valor cannot be used to dash through impassible terrain or walls, but does go through temporary terrain such as Anivia's Crystallize, Jarvan IV's Cataclysm, or Trundle's Pillar of Ice.

Your fourth skill, your ult (R) is Blade of the Exile .
Description: Riven's sword reforms, gaining 20% bonus attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and autoattacks for 15 seconds. She is also granted the ability to use Wind Slash once for the duration.

Riven can activate the ability to emit a shockwave in a long cone in front of her that deals a minimum of 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) and a maximum of 240 / 360 / 480 (+1.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all units hit based on their missing health. This means that when se ults, her sword gets big, and you get an enormous AD bonus and 75 range in your autoattacks and in Broken Wings for 15 seconds. After 1 second of the first cast, you can throw a shockwave in a cone that deals damage based on your AD and in the enemy's missing life.

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Even though you can have different possibilities for your second spell, you won't change a lot the combination Flash and Ignite, but in every combinations, Flash is a must-take, due to its extra mobility "power". Riven is extremely mobile, but she can't escape everyone simply with Broken Wings and Valor, right?
So, Riven's spell possibilities are:

and against hard-to-chase or also ghost-using opponents ( Singed, Vladimir, etc.). This is not a common combination, and I myself have never used it, but I think it might be good together with Youmuu's Ghostblade.

and against healing opponents ( Zac, Tryndamere, Vladimir, Warwick). This is the most used set, due to its extra damage useful for kill securing.

and against heavy pushers (mostly AD Carries, though you may use it against a also Teleport-using opponent ( Maokai, Nasus, Renekton, etc.)

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Skill Sequence

For skill sequence, you should focus your Q, Broken Wings, so it gives you some more damage when you engage on the enemy, since this S4 patch, Riven has been hard nerfed,
After Broken Wings is maxed, focus your E, Valor, so you have better sustain in your combo.
And last but not least, focus your W, Ki Burst so you have more damage and a higher stun for turning on lots of enemies.

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

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Items: Why to Buy

Ravenous Hydra: Why? Because of the sustain, wave-clearing ability, and mostly because it gives you 75 Attack Damage, which can be considered a HUGE boost;

The Black Cleaver: Why? Because every single damage you deal to the enemy champion gives you a stack, and when you hit 5, the Armor stat of the marked enemy goes down in 25 points, at 5 points per stack. Buy first when there is a very Armor-based enemy (tanky enemies, such as Amumu, sometimes Warwick, etc.);

Last Whisper: Why? Because of the Armor Penetration output that it gives you, which makes it easy to fight enemies like an Ezreal with Iceborn Gauntlet, or a LeBlanc with her Zhonya's Hourglass.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Why? Because of the CDR. Since you rely very much on your skills, these boots are a must-have for Riven.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: Why? Because of the critical damage output, because of the attack speed and because of the Movespeed/Attack Speed given by its active (and because this icon is f*cking awesome).

Frozen Mallet: Why? Because of the damage. Since it gives you this passive slow, you can use it to easily chase AD Carries while using your abilities to kill them.

Guardian Angel: Why? Sustain and immortality on teamfights. Buy it if you're being hardly focused on the fights, since it gives you Armor, Magic Resist, and a "second life".

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Pros: -Doesn't use mana; -Great power in teamfights and lane phase; -Has a considerable damage with Ravenous Hydra's active and Broken Wings mixed in higher levels; -Dat Ashe, tho
Cons: -Needs great control of skills mixed with autoattacks; -Easily countered by big stuns or hard CCs either on lane phase or teamfights (Renekton, Fiddlesticks, Pantheon, etc.). -The carrot in her sword does not look as beautiful as the *COUGH* Playboy *COUGH* WAIT! I meant, bunny outfit.

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For runes, use Attack Damage/Armor Penetration marks, Armor for seals, Magic Resist for glyphs and Attack Damage for Quintessences. They'll give you these stats: +11.48 physical damage, +5 armor penetration, +9 armor and +12 magic resist.
Why do I use this rune page?

Marks of Attack Damage: Damage, bro! You are a Riven, all damage income is accepted and greeted!

Marks of Armor Penetration: It'll give you a little help whilst fighting with that tanky enemies.

Seals of Armor: It helps you A LOT in early lane phase and trades against ADs because of the damage "denial" they give.

Glyphs of Magic Resist: Against AP top laners, they are such a relief in early game, since they give you some resistance to the poke that most of them have.

Quintessences of Attack Damage: As before said, all damage income counts, because them, together with the marks and masteries (explained in the next topic), give you a considerable bonus damage.
With this config, You should begin with 71 AD without items.

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For masteries, try 21/9/0 focusing on damage and resistance for farming and taking 1v1 against other bruisers and AP solo tops.
Double-Edged Sword: Even though you receive more damage, you deal more damage. Any damage income is welcome.

Sorcery: Cooldown Reduction. In any AD caster, it is extremely useful.

Expose Weakness: It gives you more damage everytime you hit a skill on the enemy. This augments your damage. Useful too.

Brute Force: Attack Damage. No need for explanations.

Martial Mastery:Needless to say, a must-have. Pure damage.

Executioner: Raises damage to champions that are below 50% health. Every damage income is accepted.

Warlord: Raises all AD bonus income (runes, items and other masteries) by 2%/3,5%/5%. DAMAGE!

Dangerous Game: Restores 5% of Riven's missing Health when you kill a champion. Nice way to escape minions, worth the cost.

Devastating Strikes: Armor Penetration, stacks with The Black Cleaver. useful and totally worth for a champion such as Riven.

Havoc: 3% increased damage. Not much to say, right?

Block: Together with Seal of Armor, the enemy deals considerably less damage in early levels.

Recovery: Stacking with potions has never been easier!

Unyielding: Couple of Block , it is awesome with the runes.

Veteran Scars: Even though you won't give it 3 points for the 36 extra Health, I still think it's good to have some, right?

Phasewalker: pretty good for escaping tower dives, let's say.

Fleet of Foot: since most of top laners do not use this, they won't have any extra movement speed, so it's good for escaping and chasing enemies early on (unless they start with Boots of Speed), although it's a tiny boost.


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This is a very easy topic to understand, but not so easy to do ingame, so pay attention in these tips to try to win lane phase against difficult opponents:
Pro-Tip: BEWARE OF JUNGLERS! Never forget to ward your lane, mostly if it's easy,'cause they can always gank, either to give a kill to the laner or to tower dive you (if you are really fed, though, you can always kill both of them)!

Kennen: Play safe, try to dodge his Thundering Shurikens with Valor and stay away from him when his Electrical Surge's passive is on. Try to engage when you hit level 2, so he doesn't have enough chances to stun you and you can win the 1v1.

Olaf: Watch out for his Undertow, and try to use your CCs as much as possible on early level 6 (if you don't know, Olaf's ulti, Ragnarok, turns him into an unstoppable form, making you unable to use ANY CC on him). Start with Cloth Armor and 5 pots

Pantheon: Play safe early game, get Valor level 2, instead of Ki Burst and use Valor when he throws his Spear Shot. When level 6, DO NOT use your ulti until he stuns you, if you do that, you'll lose time of your huge attack buff and also, before engage, try to hit him with a basic attack to turn his passive off. Start with Cloth Armor and 5 pots.
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Zac: Try to engage at lv1 and pop his passive. Don't let him get the healing blobs. If lv1 engage fails (either you die or don't kill him), start playing safe, dodging poke. Know when he is channeling his Elastic Slingshot, he's preparing to engage, dodge it with Valor + 1 Broken Wings cast. Start with Long Sword and 3 pots, and try to rush a Last Whisper or a Black Cleaver as soon as possible.

Nasus: This is a rather easy matchup because Nasus doesn't have stacks early in the game. Against him, try to harass him A LOT with your skills, trade some damage at level 1 since you will win almost all early game trades. Take Flash + Teleport for even more harassing!

Vladimir: He will always poke you with his Transfusion. It has a short range, so, at level 1, engage when he uses it. Start with Long Sword and rush a Hexdrinker ASAP.

Renekton: This is a very hard matchup post-level 6, because Renekton gets a very significant life boost and can easily counter your Wind Slash. Try to engage ate level 1 or 2, using Broken Wings -> Ki Burst. Start with Cloth Armor and Health Potion or Doran's Blade and Health Potion

Lulu: It is a pretty hard matchup because after lv2 she can easily poke you with her Help, Pix! + Glitterlance. Avoid engaging when she hits level 3, because she can silence you with Whimsy. That's why you should get advantage on her before that. Her ult, Wild Growth, is just like Renekton, but with the knock-up bonus. Start with Long Sword and Health Potion.

Riven: You can't tell how difficult this matchup is until you see the other Riven's playstyle.

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Situational Items

Situational Sustain

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For farming, try to freeze the lane, and, if possible, roam a bit through the lanes. Ask for your jungler's help to hold the lane for you. If you already have the Ravenous Hydra, try to proxy.

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This is a very important part, since you have to know when to engage and which combination to use. One possible and easy is the combination Broken Wings -> autoattack (AA) -> Ki Burst -> AA -> Broken Wings -> AA -> Broken Wings -> AA -> Valor. Another possible combination for gap closer/burst is the combination Valor -> Ki Burst -> AA -> AA -> Broken Wings -> AA -> Broken Wings -> AA -> Broken Wings -> AA. You can make both combos with Blade of the Exile -> combo 1/ Blade of the Exile -> combo 2.

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Thanks for viewing my guide! It's my first one, so please leave your feedback and give me tips so I can make better and other guides! If any grammar mistake was noticed, please tell me! Special thanks to Nera, EdisonKhoo and DarkAkumaLord for suggesting me some stuff for this guide to be better! :D
(some info extracted from Khazem's Top Lane Riven guide)