Riven Build Guide by Keledrath
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Hello, my name is Keledrath, and this is my guide to Riven, The Exile. This is my first guide, so please, any advice you can offer is welcome.
I've always felt Riven was a total badass, but didn't really fit my playstyle. However, she did fit my cousin's playstyle, with the only issue being that he always built her as a glass cannon who usually took a lot of damage before reaching the fight. So I took the liberty of making a tankier build that maintained damage output while being able to get into range without the opposing AD carry 2 shotting you.
If you're new to Riven, please take a few minutes and watch her champion spotlight to get an idea of how she works (but don't trust any of it, they use horribly fed champs for the spotlight)
In short, this build will give you a Riven with solid damage output, a sizable amount of HP and health regen, and good armor/MR.
I would like to give credit to my cousin for inspiring me to make this guide/build. I would also like to give credit to Beeswarm17 and his Riven - Valor For All Guide, since that is where this build started.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Pros / Cons
+ High Damage Output
+ Able to absorb damage
+ All of her abilities are AoEs and scale with AD, making her a terror in team fights
+ Easily one of the most mobile champions in the game
+ Entirely cooldown based
+ Has the most badass weapon in the game
- Requires a lot of skill not to screw up her abilities
- Fairly fragile early game
- Melee/Close range (ultimate is a bit longer than melee)
- People tend to have high expectations
- Said badass weapon is broken most of the game (possibly more badass?)
- Is constantly OoM
The masteries are fairly standard for AD damage output.
Summoner's Wrath gives you extra AD after using Ignite. This is mostly helpful early game, and I feel a good way to harass is actually to Ignite your opponent first, adding the extra damage onto your entire combo. This is especially true if you're facing a champion like Warwick or Trundle, or someone supported by a healer.
Brute Force gives you extra AD. Mostly useful for easier last hitting and very early harass.
Alacrity is useful because this build includes minimal attack speed. This makes using your passive easier, as well as slightly easier last hitting.
Sorcery is CDR. Riven is entirely cooldown-based. CDR is very good.
Deadliness more AD is always a good thing.
Weapon Expertise provides armor penetration. Since none of the items in the build do this, we need all we can get from runes and masteries.
Sunder for the same reason as Weapon Expertise .
Executioner combos well with Wind Slash, since they both lead to more damage against weaker targets. Also useful for last hitting.
Resistance because MR is always helpful. And it unlocks more of the tree.
Hardiness for the same reason as Resistance .
Durability gives a good bit of health, which helps out later on. It will surprise you how often you live with about 100 left.
Veteran's Scars for early game health. This is better than a Greater Quintessence of Health, so take it.
- greater mark of Desolation: As mentioned before, this build doesn't include any armor pen, making these marks very important for late game effectiveness.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: I prefer scaling MR to flat MR, since Riven tends to be solo top against another AD, meaning she won't encounter magic damage until team fights start. By then, the scaling should have passed the flats.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Armor seals are my choice on every champ. They are incredibly effective early game, and don't cost very much IP for T3 runes.
My quints are a bit less certain, since I'm still trying to get full T3 Quints. These are ones that I felt made logical sense for Riven
- greater quintessence of Desolation: I prefer to get more armor pen, for the same reasons I gave with the marks.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: AD quints are also viable, but they are mostly useful for early game last hitting. I feel that 10 points of Armor pen hold value much better than 6.75 AD.
- Greater Quintessence of Health: These are generally acceptable on any champion, so if you have them, they'll work.
Flash: Flash is traditional on most champions, and Riven isn't really an exception. Since none of her abilities actually let her cross walls (the way Spinning Slash or 90 Caliber Net do), Flash is a useful escape or chase mechanic for Riven
Ignite: Very good for getting First Blood. Also very useful against strong sustain champions ( Cho Gath or Warwick) or health-based casters ( Mordekaiser, Vladimir, or Dr. Mundo).
Teleport: Teleport is useful for shooting down to bottom to pick up a kill, or quickly getting back into lane after a shopping spree. If you take it instead of Ignite, replace Summoner's Wrath in your masteries with a point in Butcher .
- Runic Blade: Riven's passive is extremely good for harassing. Since you aren't taking AD marks or quints, it won't hit too hard early game, but late game this makes you a monster. During the laning phase, I personally prefer to harass with Broken Wings, and then use the charges of Runic Blade to assist in last hitting the weakened minions.
- Broken Wings (Q): Broken Wings is Riven's most versatile skill. It's damage output, both early and late game, is immense, especially if you can land an autoattack between strikes to proc her passive. This ability is also useful for chasing and fleeing, as Riven moves much faster while using it. The most powerful aspect of this ability is that all of the damage is AoE, meaning that is the enemy team is clustered up (by accident or as the result of a setup such as Orianna's Command: Shockwave) it will hit the entire enemy team.
For these reasons, I prefer to max Broken Wings first.
- Ki Burst (W): Ki Burst is an AoE stun centered on Riven. I max it second because while its damage and cooldown improve, the stun remains at less than a second. It is also very easy to overestimate the range of this ability and fail to stun your target.
- Valor (E): Valor is Riven's main defense. It adds some extra distance when escaping, and since the shield scales with AD it is very strong late game. This ability can also be used to chase.
I max Valor last because of the tanky nature of this build. You can afford to take the hits, and should focus your skills on damage. However, I still recommend getting a point early for the dash. The AD scaling also makes it so you don't need to level it to get a reasonably strong shield.
- Blade of the Exile (R): Blade of the Exile is an AD steroid, a range booster, and a finisher all in one. Always use this when going into a team fight because it gives you more damage with all of your abilities and a bigger shield with Valor.
Wind Slash is similar to Garen's ultimate: you want to wait as long as possible before using it to maximize damage. And if that leads to it being unused at the end of a fight, quickly use it on a minion wave or jungle camp. No sense in wasting it.
Broken Wings is maxed first for damage and harassment. It is also a very powerful farming tool. If left to her own devices, Riven will rapidly slaughter minion waves, allowing her to backdoor with some effectiveness.
Ki Burst is maxed second for damage and lower cooldown. Again, this ability is useful for clearing minion waves while backdooring.
Valor is maxed last, but a point is given to it early. Because the shield has 1 to 1 AD scaling, it will still have a good degree of strength without being leveled, and it can still be used to cover distance.
Blade of the Exile is taken whenever possible, because it is your ultimate and is utterly badass.
Note: The greyed out items are what it is preferred you get. For example, the ideal path to Warmog's Armor is to buy a Giant's Belt, then a Regrowth Pendant, and then the unlisted item ( Ruby Crystal). That went unlisted because you can see what we are building, meaning that, logically, if you have the first two parts, can afford the third, and can't afford the full item, buy the third.
This also means that if you recall after getting Mercury's Treads and have 900 gold, go ahead and get the Regrowth Pendant and the Ruby Crystal. The only exception is with the last item. you want the MR from the Negatron Cloak or the damage output from Sheen more than the other ingredients, so save the last slot.
: CC is Riven's worst nightmare. If you get locked down, you're nothing but cannon fodder. So make sure they can't lock you down for long. Also, the MR is useful.
: One of my favorite items in the game. Provides a huge health buffer even before being charged, along with a lot of regeneration. Also, beautiful synergy with the next item.
: This item is what makes tanky characters do damage. It provides you with armor (with your seals, the reduction is just over 50%) and a reasonable crit chance. At full build, it will also provide you with around 61 damage, which is a nice bit of icing on the cake.
: Since Ki Burst isn't the most reliable hit stun, it's good to have the on hit slow from this. Also, it gives you health and damage (because of Atma's the damage is actually about 30 instead of 20)
: Oddly, another of my favorite items. Fully charged, it gives you 100 AD and 20% lifesteal. This item will help keep you alive in the middle of the fight, and will add a considerable amount of punch to your late game.
Now we come to a crossroads. I have 2 options for the final item.
: If you want to be tankier, this is the right item. It brings your MR up to par with your armor, and gives you a large chunk of regeneration. As an added bonus, it adds to your movement speed, making you an even better chaser. At full build, I had about 35HP/sec regen, not accounting for health gained through lifesteal.
: If your team needs more damage output, get this. The synergy with your passive is amazing. Activate an ability to charge Runic Blade and trigger the Sheen proc, and your next auto-attack hits for 300% damage (+15). Also includes attack speed, move speed, health, and some of that mana you've been needing so desperately all game.
Now, with regards to after you reach full build, don't forget to buy elixirs. Here is the order I prefer
: I know, AP, how useless? But 10% CDR is awesome, and since this build lacks CDR, I find this the ideal one.
: Again, this is mostly compensating for the weak points of the build. I also have no Attack Speed, making the 22% quite helpful. And a bit more crit chance.
: This is just more of the same of what we've been building all game, health and damage. Atma's brings the damage up to about 13, so it helps a bit.
- : For lols. Clear wards with it, and pwn the faces of any stealth champions they have.
Riven had very strong farm if her lane opponent is melee, but a ranged opponent can make life difficult.
I prefer to use Broken Wings to harass a melee opponent, and the use the charges of Runic Blade for some easy last hits on the minions that were damaged by Broken Wings. Ki Burst can be used to finish off a group of low health minions.
If you want to kill your opponent, lead with Ignite for the extra AD. The close with either Valor or Broken Wings. Once next to them, use Ki Burst to stun them, and land auto-attacks charged with Runic Blade. Chase using Broken Wings, and if they are about to get away, don't be afraid to use Flash to catch them, especially if Ki Burst is off cooldown.
With regards to the jungle, if you find yourself in a position to take it and no one else wants it/is in a position to get it quickly, the blue buff is a great boon to Riven for the CDR. Once you reach late game, try to get your AP carry to let you have one of them, since it brings your ultimate's cooldown down to 35 seconds.
I don't feel the red buff is as necessary on Riven, particularly once you get your Frozen Mallet. Of course, more slow never hurts.
Use your ultimate before going into a team fight. The 20% increase in AD will have a considerable impact on all of your abilities. Try to stun as many opponents as possible with Ki Burst, and try landing Broken Wings so that it hits as many enemies as possible while bringing you towards the squishier enemies. Use Valor to close with the squishies as well. Save Wind Slash for when the enemy attempts to retreat, or, if your are about to die, fire it off towards the weakest/largest cluster of enemies.
This build should give you a Riven who is durable enough to reach squishy opponents and still does enough damage to destroy them quickly. I hope this proves effective for you all, and thank you for your time.
Until next time, I leave you with this advice: IT'S JUST A GAME SO HAVE FUN. That is all :P.
Please leave constructive criticism for me, and I'll do my best to keep up with things. Let me know how it works when the build is full (since I'm level 22 I don't have full runes/masteries, and can't even play ranked).
Shoutouts to all of the great guidemakers on MOBAfire who inspired me to try writing my own guide. You guys rock.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.