Riven Build Guide by JPSGamer
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Hello all and welcome to my Riven guide. This will be my fourth guide and hopefully my most in-depth guide, as it based on my most-played and favorite champion, Riven.
Riven I believe is currently one of the strongest top-laners out there right now with her four dashes, which ensures safety and potential aggressiveness in lane, AD-based shield, which makes her one of the best candidates in the game for building an AD-Caster build, and an AD execute ult, which, all in all, allows for easier snowballing.
Riven is also very versatile. She is generally always able to change accordingly to the enemy team comp depending on what they build. She also fits in most team compositions quite well.
She's very fun to play.
This guide will be focusing on my views on how this champion should be built and played. I believe the information listed below is optimal if not sub-optimal on Riven.
Before I get into the details of this guide, I know some of you may be wondering. Who is this RosePhoenix guy and why should I listen to what he says?
Well first of all, I am a 1700 elo player on NA. However most of my Riven games were played on the CN servers.
I have played 80% of my games in two of my accounts in the Chinese servers with Riven. Here are my ranked stats so far in one of the Chinese servers.
Through all my Riven games in the Chinese servers, I can make one bold claim. I have never gone negative with Riven. Even in defeats. However, there is no way for me to show this to you all, so it's your choice if you want to trust in what I say. In the end I'm only here to help, anyways.
Of course, I am not perfect. I personally don't even think I've discovered every single trick there is to Riven yet. Don't blindly follow this guide and listen to everything this guide says. Use this as a reference to your own understanding. Learn stuff from it, don't memorize stuff.
That's all I have to say.
Without further ado, let's begin.
Ignite supplies you with extra damage, generally giving you that last bit of damage needed to kill an enemy. Riven uses Ignite really well because Riven's playstyle and build opts for killing in lane and in teamfights. After using Ignite you also get 5 AD from the mastery Summoner's Wrath , which is a nice addition. Keep in mind that Ignite also reduces healing effects, which means that you should use this before the enemies heal / sustain themselves in a skirmish or duel.
Flash let's you land kills you would've missed in lane and in teamfights and also let's you escape in sticky situations such as a level two jungler gank at top lane. Since Riven's playstyle generally opts for going all in or engage-disengagement, Flash would be the best spell for surprise and for disengagement. Also a great finisher to chase enemies with.
Heal is a great spell when used together with Ignite to ensure lane control. Though you lose your ability to make extreme plays lead better teamfights, you are able to completely dominate your lane in certain scenarios.
Exhaust's primary uses are for shutting down carries and for safety in lane. I would only take this if I was going hyper-aggressive against a super weak enemy laner along with Ignite for maximum aggression, or if my team needed a shutdown in a premade and I didn't mind sacrificing some of my lane potential.
Pros / Cons
No Mana /Easy to kill early game
Easy to gank with /high CD
Anti carry /Suseptible to CC
FUN TO PLAY
This is her passive. It gives her an extra punch to her abilities, and it is one that takes good timing to fully utilize. Each activation of her abilities gives her a charge on her blade that deals bonus damage (in the form of attack damage) to the target. Each swing of Broken Wings, a Ki Burst, a Valor dash, or her Blade of the Exile activation will give her a charge, up to a maximum of three.
This is something that should not be ignored. Each charge can eventually mean over 100 (almost 200 late game) bonus damage per hit. Make sure that you use them as you chain your skills, or else you will end up wasting stacks. However, if you aren't close enough to hit with your blade as someone is running, keep up the chase and let the stacks be. If you can't hit, you can't hit.
Be aware that your passive is going to be your main source of early game damage (levels 1-6), and it will continue putting a large amount of hurt on your targets. Knowing when to hit with this will make all the difference in the world. Hit as much as you can with it, but you don't need to kill yourself to get a hit in.
This is your basic damage skill. However, it does much more than that for you. Depending on your timing, you can surprise an enemy by knocking him into your tower or push him away from an ally, disrupt a team's positioning, hack your way to an enemy support or carry, or chase down a fleeing enemy.
You will almost always want this first. This skill will keep you mobile, while being able to give you the most charges on your passive.
This ability is leveled last because it has a static cooldown. No matter what rank the skill is, the cooldown does not reduce, and as I have stated before, CDR is critical to Riven. Leveling this reduces how often you can perform other abilities without increasing the number of times you use Broken Wings. I don't care how much damage it does, I don't see a reason to max it first.
This skill is almost disgustingly useful. A half second of stun may not seem like much, but it is a fantastic interrupt on any champs that rely on combos or channeling. Katarina Shunpo'd to you and popped her Death Lotus? Nunu's Absolute Zero about to make a mess of your team? The enemy's tank is initiating? Ki Burst. Often it will be just enough of a stutter to throw things out of balance, and it cancels channeled spells outright.
This skill is learned at level 2 for the significant damage and CC it gives your lane.
I sometimes max this first. Why max this skill? It gives you more mobility for early game harass, as well as a shield that will keep you alive in lane and during ganks. Leveling Valor allows you to use it more often with greater shield strength. It lets you use her short dash very frequently, helping to chase down enemies or prevent damage. Riven does not have much early survivability, and this covers that nicely. Also, it lets you position yourself well for Ki Burst and Broken Wings, which is why I put a point in it at level 2 and wait until 3 to learn Ki Burst. The combination of Broken Wings and Valor gives you roughly the range of Flash at Ghost speed. I like being that mobile early.
Having the shield at a high strength with a lower cooldown will keep you alive through more than you thought possible. It's biggest impact is early game, when you can Valor into a tower, kill both champs, and then Valor away, with turret aggro and Ignite on you. Nothing is more annoying to me than knowing I would have lived if I had a .5 second lower CD on Valor.
Lastly, I feel that maxing out Valor early streamlines her transition into midgame. Being able to soak about 200-250 dmg (depending on items) will block a majority of the laning harass, especially on a 4-5 sec cooldown (with runes, masteries, and The Brutalizer). Being able to block this much damage, combined with building her fairly tanky, makes her so survivable it's not even funny. However, if you find yourself up against a very passive lane opponent, feel free to keep this at a low level until later.
Use it. Seriously. It is your edge in 1v1 fights, team fights, ganks, jungle, counter-initiations, tower-dives, and more.
This is essentially an AD steroid with some icing on top. Increased damage, increased range, and the ability to use the ranged Wind Slash. This skill will sizably buff all of your moves in some way. It increases the damage from your passive and gives you more range to hit with your autoattacks. It gives more damage and range to Broken Wings and Ki Burst. Valor will also get a shield boost.
Wind Slash is a difficult skill to use properly. It is mostly meant to be a ranged finishing blow. If you know how to use Garen's Demacian Justice, you will understand when to use this skill. The lower the target's health, the more damage it will do. Not only is the the base damage increased, but also the AD scaling. It is very damaging to targets at low health, but lackluster on full health targets.
Keep in mind that this skill is a very effective finisher, but that comes with some caveats to keep in mind. If your Ashe is hammering away on a target with frost arrows and can clearly get a kill, don't Wind Slash that target. If a low HP enemy is targeted by Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole, don't Wind Slash them. Kill them if your carry can't, but don't be abusive by grabbing kills that they will probably need more.