Riven Build Guide by rumtag

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PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author rumtag

Riven: Exile in the Mysty Jungle

rumtag Last updated on October 3, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Riven is one of the newest champions in League of Legends and has quickly been establishing herself as one of the new and more powerful junglers in the game. What makes her unique from other junglers is that she doesn't really have much in common in terms of kits and self-sustainability, but she more than makes up for this in her quick jungle and strong team presence (when built and used properly).

There are several ways to take Riven through the jungle, but I've found the following way to be the most effective, most recently getting me a 6/0/14 game.

I would also like to remind everyone that this build is not the way that you HAVE to build Riven in the jungle, just the best way given a specific path. Items and summoners skills can be changed at your discretion and this is more a guideline showing how I get the best results. You may have better results with a slightly different version of this build, so feel free to experiment!

Also, I'm not requiring any comments to vote because there are plenty of summoners out there that don't feel like commenting, and thus do not vote--even when they really like a build. I do, however, encourage everyone who CAN comment to leave some feedback if this build worked for you or otherwise.

((Much of the credit for this build goes to YouTube's stonewall008, although this build does deviate from his with items and slightly with playstyle.))

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Pros / Cons


  • Very strong ganks at level 2.
  • Reacts well to counter-jungling.
  • Excellent ult for cleaning up escapees.
  • Extremely durable with consistent, good damage.


  • Lacks burst.
  • Leaves jungle open often.
  • Short CC.
  • Easily CC'ed.

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Summoner Spells

I can already feel the obligatory "needs flash" comments. No worries, though!

Flash is a very decent summoner's spell, but whereas this Riven build is very tanky, and whereas Riven already has a built-in "flash-like" ability allowing her to escape skill shots, I find Flash to be more of a burden. There are far more situations when I take flash and think "Wow, I wish I grabbed Ghost" than the other-way-around.

But if you NEED Flash, then absolutely, go ahead. I won't get mad.

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Runes/Masteries/Skill Sequence


Riven's jungling runes are basic. Replacing your Greater Glyph of Magic Resist with anything from Greater Glyph of Attack Speed to Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is fine and up to the individual, but I find the Magic Resist key in ganking at level 2.


This is a very basic jungler's mastery setup. If you're confused by it, then read a jungling guide. You'll notice, however, that I took no points in Archmage's Savvy because Riven deals NO magic damage. Period.


The idea with leveling your skills is that the more balanced you are mid-game, the more consistent and sustained damage you are doing. Riven doesn't excel at burst-damage with this build, so we're not going to start really maxing-out any skills until we have our ultimate, Blade of the Exile.

After getting your skills as follows;
Q > W > E > E > W > R > Q

Then the priority of skills is as follows:
-> -> ->

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  • Start with the small golems! Get a leash. Use your Q to take out the first golem, and then smite the second. After ensuring that your leasher doesn't take any of your experience, go gank! You'll be level 2, you'll have a point in Ki Burst, and your opponents will still be level 1 regardless of whether or not they are solo top or dual bot. Purple Team jungle Riven will gank top, Blue Team jungle Riven will gank bot. The most important thing you can do to make sure the gank goes smoothly is to ensure that your teammates know you will be coming VERY quickly and do nothing to push the lane or scare off the enemy. If they warded, good job, they spent money they probably shouldn't have. Go gank somewhere else or return to your jungle and gank another lane later.

  • After your first gank, which should be successful, you can return to the jungle to kill wraiths (smite the big one and clean up the smalls with Q and W) and then wolves, then b. Or you can just b. Buy your boots and pots. Now that the enemy team knows you're around and dangerous, they'll be more defensive, probably. The boots will help you get in and take them out when they're not being careful.

  • Because Riven doesn't have a very strict path in the jungle and seems more to wander the map (as if in exile, har har), it will be important to be aware of whether or not the enemy jungler is trying to steal your creeps. If they're ballsy and have taken your blue or red, don't panic. First of all, Riven's profits from the blue buff aren't worth getting mad over, and what she lacks in slows against the enemy with red buff are made up for with her mobility. You can simply keep ganking and helping your teammates push the lanes. Don't be afraid to ask them to give you last hits, since you furnished them with some kills/assists. It's only fair.

  • Riven can take out the dragon solo almost as soon as she has her Wriggle's Lantern. Typically when I have Ki Burst at level 4, I'll check on the dragon. If it's there, I'll start it and have someone watch my back or help out.

  • If your Wriggle's Ward is gone and you aren't going somewhere to place it strategically, shame on you. Shame.

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+ + +

Items are usually always the most controversial and argued-over facets of champion builds (sometimes less than Summoner Skills, but we'll get there later). I doubt that will be any different here.

As you can see from the items list above, the first item we are grabbing is a Doran's Blade. The reason we grab this item is three-fold, and those three reasons are the three things you gain from Doran's Blade. Lifesteal, Damage, and Health. This is also the single item that makes ganking at level 2 incredibly easy and rewarding. Obviously, you'll need to sell this item later to make room for more purchases.

As mentioned in the last section on how to take the Jungle, I mentioned that Boots of Speed come second with some Health Potions. After grabbing Wriggle's Lantern, a jungler's best friend, we're going to build these boots into Mercury's Treads to add to our magic resistance and tenacity.

After the boots, things get more controversial. But I'm ready for it.

Typically your enemies have started gaining a bit of gold. More items to counter you and eff your ess up. The counter to this is not resistances, but actually just health. Warmog's Armor is your best friend because Riven can actually farm extremely well after you purchase it. Her AoE skills (both Q and W) aid in stacking up your bonus health and getting you extra gold. It also turns her from being what is normally thought of as a very squishy champion into being considerably tanky.

Youmuu's Ghostblade Will give you some great movespeed and attackspeed for taking out turrets or cleaning up enemy champions, and the added Armor Penetration is also very nice.

Infinity Edge follows that up to add some extra damage and beef our critical strikes. Typically a game will have been won before you can turn your B.F. Sword into this finished item, but once you finish it, it will be ending rather soon.

Grab a The Bloodthirster if the game lasts that long. Tanky DPS with lifesteal isn't humorous to an enemy team.


Frozen Mallet can replace your Warmog's and give you that extra bit of damage, but the health benefits aren't as good, and as a jungler, you should always have red buff. Riven's CC and mobility should also mean she shouldn't need this item except against extremely slippery champions.

Tiamat has also been a common item that I've seen on Riven. The AoE from her auto-attacks can be a huge boon in teamfights, especially when following the combo listed above. It's also fairly inexpensive compared to the other items in the build. Buying this before your Infinity Edge can help you both to farm and have a nice edge in teamfights--especially 1v2, which a tanky Riven can handle better than most other melee fighters.

Atma's Impaler If you reallllly wanted to go the Atmog's route. I haven't tried it because I enjoy the utility from the other items on the list, but if you love Atmog's, then absolutely. Be my guest. You can buy Atma's instead of Infinity Edge, or even simply buy it before you buy your Infinity Edge.

So why aren't we building any attackspeed?
We're not building attackspeed because Riven is very combo-based, and her combo of Q>aa>Q>aa>Q>aa>W>aa>R>aa>R>aa is so stupidly powerful that to just auto-attack for days without making use of her passive makes me depressed. Also, you're likely to be CCed out of auto-attacking and proc'ing your passive against a decently comped enemy team, and should you have skipped the Warmog's, you'd be dead for days.

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This jungle Riven build is aimed specifically at helping you survive and thus be a constant benefit to your team. A dying jungler is a team's worst enemy. If a jungler has no presence on the map, seen or otherwise, they are ineffective and useless.

This is a much more flexible playstyle in regards to jungling and ganking and item-building--and that's precisely why I love to play this build. So try it out yourself and let me know what you think!

To get a visual feel for how jungle Riven works, and to see my inspiration for the jungle route that I take, check out stonewall008's youtube videos.