Riven Build Guide by Silgvard
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.
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.
Riven is a champion that I believe to be best played as a tanky dps. She has a good early game with decent harass from her skills and a strong shield, a good mid game with her excellent team play capabilities, and late game functionality as a survivable damage dealer or initiator.
I should note that "tanky dps" doesn't mean "offtank". It means a dps dinner with a side of tanky. I tend to play her as a skirmisher. She darts in and out of the fight, disrupting enemy champs and taking focus off the carry. She can't do this if she gets bursted in one rotation. She has to live through damage while also doing enough damage herself to help land a kill on the biggest threat.
My playstyle allows her to usually live for about 4-6 seconds under heavy fire and do decent damage for the carry to run cleanup. Riven does need another tanky champ to help her hold focus, and she has a good chance of dying if she is under heavy CC focus. However, that's CC not directed at your carry. By "carry" I mean "ranged AD carry" or "AP carry". Riven can carry games, but she isn't what most consider a "carry" in strict game terms.
This Riven build requires you to be fairly aggressive. However, "aggressive" does not mean "stupidly charge opponent". It means making fights happen. Smart, calculated fights. Under this playstyle, you have a decent chance of dying under focus fire, but if you are smart about it, your one death will mean four of theirs.
Her gameplay flexibility is what I've come to appreciate about her, and it will be the focus of this guide. I will update this guide as I come to learn of new combos and item strengths and weaknesses on her.
Later in the guide I will present a section on jungling with Riven. I will be as in-depth as possible, covering her route, counter jungling, ganks, etc. I like to be thorough.
I'LL SAY IT NOW AND SEVERAL MORE TIMES THIS GUIDE. DON'T JUST BLINDLY FOLLOW BUILDS. THE CHEAT SHEET AT THE TOP IS FOR A CURSORY GLANCE AT SOME ITEM SUGGESTIONS, NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD DO EVERY TIME. PLEASE DON'T ACT UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THIS IS WHAT I ALWAYS DO. I BUILD DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
Riven can make use of a variety of summoner spells, depending on how you like to play and your team composition.
Good Summoner Spells
Flash is a good spell for Riven due to its utility. It gives you help with your positioning, as well as being useful for chases and escapes. Using Flash and Ki Burst in tandem create an effect similar to Alistar's Pulverize. Very versatile spell.
This skill has become much more useful for laning phase. Denying kills can keep you ahead, but I don't think it's offensive enough in most cases for Riven. However, if you have a lane opponent that just eats your face in lane ( Olaf or something), it might help you. I still find Flash to be a better skill overall, but give this a shot if you like.
Useful for getting those early game kills or taking that Dr. Mundo and his healing down a peg. It also stops other champs like Swain and Warwick from healing all the damage your team does. It really helps getting Riven started on her snowball rampage, so I recommend making this part of your skill rotation. Certainly keeps people from escaping with 12 HP.
Exhaust works well in early laning phases, as well as taking that hard-hitting carry down a notch late game. Make sure you put a point in the Summoner's Wrath mastery if you take this spell.
So much CC that your Mercury's Treads won't be enough? This is for you, then. Riven is fairly locked down by CC, and this will keep you darting around the fight, popping Valor and Ki Burst. It now stops all disables and summoner spell debuffs, so it's a much stronger choice than it was before.
It's a decent spell for solo top lane, in case you need to buy items quickly or you need to get to bot lane or dragon quickly. The map control that this spell can give you can create quite an impact when used properly. The Summoner's Insight mastery is in an awkward place, so pick it up if you think it's worth it.