Riven Build Guide by CounterSnipe

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CounterSnipe

Riven: How To Bob And Weave Like A Champ

CounterSnipe Last updated on December 16, 2011
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Team 1

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: 13

Honor Guard

Defense: 15

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 2

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Hello, and thank you for visiting my guide. This guide revolves around making Riven with 25% cdr at level 18 without any need to buy items. This allows you to spend more money on those hard core AD items you want Riven to have. I am in the process of making different mastery trees for different styles of play, and am experimenting with different builds every day. I'll be updating this guide frequently, so check back every now and then for updates.

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Pros / Cons

1)Very strong late game both for doing damage and taking damage.
2)Can 1v1 most opponents.
3)Can move through creep waves.
4)Very good at farming mid game.
5)Fairly good at chasing.
6)Q skill allows her to go over thin walls

1)Squishy early game.
2)Skill ranges are very short.
3)Ult can be tricky to use at times.
4)No great method of escape.
5)Difficult to recover from if your CC and Kills are low early game

Riven will start out very weak in comparison to other champions.
She will become stronger as the game goes on.
It is important to maintain a steady CC [Creep Count] so she can get a nice AD item like a B. F. Sword.

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My Runes And Why I Get Them


Greater Mark of Attack Damage Are my first choice for reds when I'm playing passive-aggressive Riven because they allow me to increase my starting attack damage, allowing me to:
1) Get last hits more frequently because of the increased AD.
2) Allow my shield to have more meat to it, allowing me to take more damage.
3) Add a little bit of damage to my passive.
Total Cost = 1,845 IP
Total Buff = 8.55 AD

Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage These would be an excellent alternative to the former if you do not mind spending some extra IP. These runes will scale with your level, allowing you to do more damage as you go along.
Total Cost = 3,690 IP
Total Buff = 21.06 AD

Greater Mark of Desolation These are a must have if you plan on playing full throttle offensive Riven. Match these with armor penetration quints, your 21/3/6/ mastery tree, and The Brutalizer, and you'll be doing true damage to most champs, even if they have a few runes in armor.
Total Cost = 3,690 IP
Total Buff = 14.94 Armor Pen


Greater Seal of Armor These are my number one choice for Riven. Her base armor is just 18, having 9 of these will bump it up to about 30. Not having these runes is asking for trouble early game.
Total Cost = 1,845 IP
Total Buff = 10.26 Armor

Greater Seal of Health and Greater Seal of Vitality These would be my second choices for yellows because they will improve how well you are able to survive, and will increase your Force of Nature buff. However, you still have low armor with these runes, so take care when using them!
Total Cost = 7,380/3,690
Total Buff = 48 HP/175 HP


Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction These are my number one choice for Riven because they give a great cool down reduction. When you combine them with Ionian Boots of Lucidity, the Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, and the 13/15/2 Mastery tree, you're looking at about 38% CDR at level 18.
Total Cost = 3,690
Total Buff = 8.1 CDR

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction These are a good alternative to the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction runes I mentioned before. The actual CDR difference is not that big between the two. I prefer the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction over the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction because with one purchase of Ionian Boots of Lucidity or one purchase of Youmuu's Ghostblade you'll have that 40% CDR at level 18 without needing blue buff.

Riven's starting defense is junk and will get you killed early game if you are not careful. It would be best for beginners to go for Greater Seal of Armor because it makes your starting defense decent.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage Will help you out from the start, add to your skills and your passive, and are good to help you farm early game.

Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction Considering the fact that this guide focuses on using Riven's skills a lot, having these is 100% necessary. You'd be surprised to find out many times these runes will help get your shield out of CD so you can dart away from that last tower attack.

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Mastery Tree 1 [13/15/2]:
This mastery tree is all about CDR. If you run this tree, along with the runes mentioned in build 1, you'll be able to have 40% CDR at level 18 with either Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Youmuu's Ghostblade, or any other 15% CDR item you want. The reason I like to use this mastery tree is that it allows me to spam my skills like crazy in fights, allowing me to unlock my passive more often, ergo, dealing more damage.

Mastery Tree 2 [21/3/6]:
This mastery tree also gives you CDR, but focuses more on being aggressive with Riven. If you use this build with the runes provided in build 2, you'll be doing true damage to most opponents. I think this build is more fun to roll with in comparison to the [13/15/2] build because you'll be able to do more damage earlier in the game.

I'll be putting up more mastery trees in the future here if I think of any.

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This is a list of items you can use with Riven during most games. I wrote a little about which situations each one is good for so you can decide for yourself when and when not to use these items. Remember; each game will call for different items [for the most part] so knowing which items do what will affect if you win or lose.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity If you're using mastery tree 1, these will give you that 40% CDR at level 40. If you're still ok with 25% CDR, go with something else.

Mercury's Treads Are nice if your opponents have a lot of CC. Note that your CDR , with runes and mastery tree, will be 25%, which is still nice. If the game calls for these, don't be afraid to get them.

Boots of Mobility I try every game to buy these with every character I play. I find these to work best when I am playing aggressive Riven because they allow me to get up nice and close for my stun, and help me when i'm trying to chase that carry that escaped from the team fight! These are also super helpful for ganking mid because you can fly right between your opponent and his tower, stun him, and let your mid player do the rest. A very viable item worth considering for Riven.

Attack Damage Items:
The Bloodthirster I like to get this instead of Wriggle's Lantern because it gives a lot more AD, and a vamperic scepter will get the job done for life steal up until late mid game.

Infinity Edge If you're going for more of an AD crit% type of Riven this would have to be your core item. The AD is tremendous, and combined with a Phantom Dancer you're looking at about 400 damage every other attack with just those two items and a few levels under your belt.

Phantom Dancer You move faster, attack faster, have a higher crit%. This item should never be bough before an AD item with Riven. If you do that, you'll find every 4th hit is doing critical damage = to what you would be doing regularly if you had a The Bloodthirster.

Frozen Mallet Gives Riven that bit of tankiness she needs to get through team fights. Has a really nice slow for catching those runners, or for ganking.

Wriggle's Lantern Is a nice item for Riven early game because it gives you a little defense, a little offense, and sight wards every 3 minutes. This item's passive also allows you to farm jungle and creeps much faster.

Phage A lot of people like this item because it gives a little AD, a little HP, and a slow. Getting this item + Wriggle's Lantern would be a nice alternative to getting a The Bloodthirster.

Madred's Bloodrazor You should only get this item if your opponents' tank is building up a lot of HP, or if your opponents mostly have high HP (3,000 or more HP) If your opponents are not stacking HP, I don't really find this item to be a great choice for Riven.

Zeke's Harbinger This item is really cool for only 2,550 gold. It's great to have if you're in lane with another AD, like Xin Zhao or Tryndamere. It can also help a lot in ganks due to the fact that it lowers all opponent's armor by 20. If you're doing a lot of roaming and jungling, I would not recommend this item over a more AD oriented item, but it is still viable for Riven non the less.

The Black Cleaver Combine this with stark's fevor and you're going to be doing true damage to most of your opponents. It's great for hacking down at that guy who has 150+ armor, or for lowing that carry who has 50 Armor down to 5 armor. Also increases attack speed, so it's helpful when your skills are on CD.

Trinity Force A nice item to get for Riven if you have the gold to do it. It bumps your speed, and will make your auto attacks do a nice amount of damage when combined with your passive.

Youmuu's Ghostblade This is a nice alternative to getting Ionian Boots of Lucidity and will allow you to get your 40% cdr, and Mercury's Treads. It's not too expensive too, so you may want to consider incorporating it into your build.

Defensive Items:
Thornmail Thornmail is a nice item to get for Riven because it gives her 100 Armor and throws some of her opponent's attacks back at them. If your opponent's are building up AP, you might want to stay away from this item, and go for an item that gives you more magic resistance.

Sunfire Cape This is a nice item to get for Riven not so much for the damage it does to champions, but for the damage it does to creep waves. This item can make you push large waves of creeps back like Morgana. It also allows the creeps to get nice and low for you so you can use your [ki burst] to farm up.

Randuin's Omen A nice item to have. Gives you some HP, some armor, and a nice slow on your passive. The unique active, which you can use every 60 seconds, is great to have if your opponent's have a Tryndamere that's a big pain.

Force of Nature This item will increase Riven's sustain quite a bit. If you ever get to about 40% health, and find your opponents are about to make a big push, but you don't have enough time to go to base and defend at the same time, you can run into the jungle, farm with your The Bloodthirster and come back with about 80% HP due to both the life steal, and the HP regen from the combination of these two items.

Guardian Angel If you're not sure to get magic resistance or armor, this is one of your safest bets. Not only does this item contribute to both defensive stats, but it also brings you back to life every time you die [with a 5 minute cool down]. Considering you have 750 HP when you come back, and a full set of skills, you'll be tough to take down even with such a low amount of HP.

Quicksilver Sash A nice cheap item that will help you out throughout the whole game. Gives a nice little push of Magic Res, and its unique active allows you to draw in a lot of your opponents's debuff skills, then shake them all off at once. It's a nice ace to have up your sleeve in a team fight or a 1v1.

If you're having trouble in lane, and can't farm up enough money to land a big AD item, get some smaller items like Phage and Wriggle's Lantern and Quicksilver Sash. These smaller items will help you stay alive, and push you through into the late game. Then you can buy your big items.

Don't attempt to go for a lot of health thinking that you'll be able to 1v1 any opponent! I've seen Riven players who had Frozen Mallet and Warmog's Armor get completely obliterated by Brand and Veigar players just because they had no real defensive stat other than HP.

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Summoner Spells

I use Flash as a means of escape, and a way to close the gap between me and an opponent. This is a very nice tool to have when you want to get in range of an opponent who is just out of the range of your Valor. You can:
1) Flash in
2) Valor your way next to your opponent.
3) Auto attack to use your passive stack
4) Use your Broken Wings to attack your opponent.
5) Auto attack to use your passive stack.
6) Ki Burst to stun.
7) Auto attack to use your passive stack
8) Broken Wings For the second time.
9) Auto attack to use your passive stack.
10) Broken Wings For the Final time. You want to land it ahead of where your opponent is running so you get the knock back effect.
11) Auto attack to use your passive stack.
12) Follow and repeat.

Is the second summoner spell I get for Riven for a multitude of reasons. For one thing, it allows her to easily catch up to an opponent to initiate her skill sequence. It also helps if you're about to be ganked by your opponent's jungler. Just throw down the slow and QQQEQQQEQQQEQQQE away from danger.

Is alright for Riven but it wouldn't be one of the things I take with me on the field. Why? Because your assassin or carry will probably have one.

Great for map control and alright for ganks. You could replace this with your Flash if you're comfortable without having flash. It's also nice for being the first one to that huge clump of creeps right in front of your tower, farm farm farm!

Clairvoyance is one of my favorite skills to have when I'm playing aggressive Riven because it allows me to see where enemies are every 70 seconds. This can be used to predict where your opponents' jungler is, if they're hiding in bushes, or if they're going for baron or dragon.

and Are really not needed on Riven. Remember, we're building a combo Riven not a Master Yi Riven, so Surge will not help us. Revive is a waste, Heal isn't needed because of the The Bloodthirster/ Wriggle's Lantern, and Ghost won't really be needed when you're moving at almost 500.

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Skills: How To Bob And Weave Like A Champ

This is the most important chapter of the guide. Even if you have a full mastery tree, and even if you have the best items in the game, it's pointless if you don't know how to use Riven's combinations correctly. Riven is a combo based champ, so knowing how to combo her skills correctly is essential to success.

So, let's go over each of her skills and how we can use them.

Runic Blade

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 (Riven the Exile)

Basically, when you use a skill, you get a stack. You can have 3 stacks at one time at max, and each stack is consumed per auto attack. This means that you have to stagger Riven's attacks when using her skills! What this means is that after every skill you use, get an auto attack in to use the passive. Remember that long list I gave under the Flash description? That's how you want to use this passive.

Consider it similar to Caitlyn's passive, except you can use it much more frequently. With a fair amount of AD, this passive easily makes up for those extra points we did not place in the offensive mastery tree.

Broken Wings

Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes that will damage all enemies nearby. 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 nearby enemies back and have a larger radius of damage. All three strikes will deal the same amount of damage.

Physical Damage Per Strike: 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+0.7 per bonus attack damage)

How to use it:
- This is the skill which requires the most staggering of auto attacks.
You want to use it: Q/Auto/Q/Auto/Q/Auto

- You can use this to farm up creeps. Think of it as an auto attack which can damage a bunch of enemies at once.

- Use the final Q to knock opponents who are running from you in the opposite direction in which they are running. You can then auto attack them and use your Ki Burst to root them in place for a little bit.

- This skill also allows you to jump over thin walls, like the one found at the bottom of the river on purple's side. Note: You cannot wall jump on the winter map, but you can on the standard map. You can also jump over thin walls such as Jarvan IV's and Anivia's.

Ki Burst

(Active): Riven deals physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 0.75 seconds.

Cooldown: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 seconds::::::::::Our Build 4.2 seconds at level 18 at level 5.
Physical Damage: 50 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)

- This skill is great for creep farming at mid game.
- Can root any opponent it hits for .75 seconds.
- Does a lot of burst damage.

This skill is great for juking in game. When your opponent follows you into a bush, turn around, run right by him as he enters the bush, use Ki Burst, then Broken Wings then Valor then Broken Wings two more times. You want to use Valor after your first broken wings because this is the time when your opponent will be trowing down a skill, which your shield will be just in time to absorb!


Riven dashes towards the cursor and gains a shield for up to 2.5 seconds

Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds::::::::::Our Build: 3.6 seconds at level 18 at level 5
Shield Strength: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)

- The very best skill for Riven to farm with early game. It allows you to dash into a creep wave, which activates your passive. The shield will protect you from minion attacks and enemy attacks, while the passive stack can be used to last hit a minion.

- Very useful when you want to escape. Use Valor with Broken Wings to run away.

- You will look like a boss when you use this to intercept Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole. Not get in the way of the red line and stand there and wait for the bullet to hit you, but actually physically intercept the projectile as it's about to pass you. I have done this once and only once in a game (wish I had the recording), and received 9 friend requests in the post game. Learn how to use this one. Looking cool once can make you seem like a pro forever.

- You can also use this to dodge skills like Lux's Light Binding, or Finales Funkeln. You can view Riven's Champion Spotlight for footage of this.

Blade Of The Exile & Wind Slash

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.

Cooldown: 75 / 60 / 45 seconds:::::::::: 27 Seconds With Our Build at Level 18 and Level 3

Minimum Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 (+0.6 per attack damage)

Maximum Damage (25% health or lower): 240 / 360 / 480 (+1.8 per attack damage)

This skill arguably makes Riven over powered. She's enough of a beast with a few AD items, but to throw this one down every 27 seconds is just unfair at times. It allows all of your short ranged skills, and your auto attack, to reach a little bit farther, which is a huge bonus for any melee champion.

Her Wind Slash should be used to either initiate fights [you want to aim it at the squishies because even at minimum damage, this thing will still take a good chunk of HP out of them] or you can use it to attack fleeing enemies. It can even go through walls.

The only big problem with this skill is that if your cursor is too far away from Riven, the cone will turn red, and if you click, she will auto path to the destination and use her ult. So when positioning this ult, try to keep your cursor close to Riven.

Stagger your attacks and skills to unlock her passive.
Build AD items so your skills do more damage.
Use Broken Wings Ki Burst and Valor to initiate fights, run from enemies, and juke opponents.
Don't be afraid to pop her ult because the CDR from our build allows us to use it every 27 seconds at level 18, with Ionian Boots of Lucidity or any other 15% cdr item.

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Jungle Guide

I said I would put in a Jungle Guide, and here it is. I tried to make a guide which did not need a teammate's help to initiate, but also allowed the player to leave jungle in order to gank. With this guide you should be able to solo Dragon at about 12 minutes into the game with both Red and Blue Buff, and a fair amount of life steal. I have not tried this guide out with [wriggle's lantern]], but I will do so in the future.

1) Get Vamperic Scepter
2) Kill Wolves (smite the big one, should be the first thing you do)
3) Kill Wraiths
4) Kill Golems
5) Go to base and buy an Emblem of Valor (Because it's Riven, duh)
6) Go Kill wolves
7) Get blue buff. (Your smite should be ready to take the big guy down.
8) Kill Wraiths
9) Get Red Buff
10) Golems
11) Go to Base and get a Doran's Blade
12) Kill Wolves
13) Wraiths
14) Golems
15) Wolves
16 Wraiths
17 Golems
18 Go to base, get Doran's Blade and one Elixir of Fortitude
19) Blue -> Wolves -> Wraiths -> Red -> Golems -> Pop your Elixir, kill Dragon.

Skill Sequence is Q-E-W-Q-W-R-E. This way all skills are at 2, and you have your ult.
You'll have 23% Life Steal, Some HP Regen, and you should be the same level as everyone else in lane.

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Riven Wall Jump

As I stated before, Riven has the ability to jump over thin walls. Here is a video I made of her jumping the thin wall on the bottom half of the river facing puruple's side.

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End Notes

Hope you enjoyed this guide and managed to play Riven with a little more satisfaction.

Note that Riven is not an assassin, so a 2:1:2 KDA ratio is very satisfactory for her in any game.

Remember that your role in fights is to completely mess up everything with your final Q and your stun. Your ult can be used to cut down those chasers [works best at very low levels of enemy hp] and your Q and E can be used to catch up to/get away from people without a hitch.