Riven Build Guide by Sulcras

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Sulcras

Riven - The Black Wind Howls

Sulcras Last updated on September 19, 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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

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

Utility: 3

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This Guide will show you my way of playing as Riven. I don't know what more I can say in that chapter so I'll just go on.

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Pros / Cons

Riven is quite unique champion. She's using combo-like skills which should be focused on.
She has some nice dmg but for me it was hard to see.


    - Good laner
    - Nice farmer (QQQ+W, leaves you somewhat vunerable though.)
    - Nice fight control
    - Manaless
    - At start little difficult to control
    - She relies heavy on her cooldowns
    - Ultimate is somewhat hard to land in some fights

Overall: Played well she can dominate the lane and outfarm many enemies - use it!
She has a few cons, but don't expect her to be like: G-G-G-Godlike (she can be like that though).

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Armor Pen Marks. You should seriously use this runes. Don't even think about AD runes. Your passive is for that.

Flat Armor Seals. You can switch out those runes for whathever you like, but I just feel better with them. Dodge is more risky and I like to know what I can do. (More skill, less luck).
Ahh... Cooldown Reduction. You just have to take these runes if you want to play her right. Spamming more skills means more DMG, more DMG means more control and kills. You can switch them for CDR per LV if you want. I prefer those for 1 reason: I have the feeling that games are all about early game. If you play well enemies will run for their life from you. They'll be like "**** we can't do a thing!". Some weak minded guys can quit, surrender etc. I just feel that end game is more strategic and early game can be played little barbaric, so you need every help you can take.

Movement Speed Quint. That one rune can help you trust me. Sure, you are jumping like hell with your skills but you can have a problem with running champion. Sometimes you need just a little more range before you can unleash your fury on them. It will help you with that.

Armor Pen Quints. These will help you with your DMG what else I can say? I prefer them over Flat HP Quints. 50-75 HP won't help you seriously, it's just mentality "Oh I have 1 bar more than Xin, gonna kill him!". It's just a one or if you're lucky 2 hits. They won't save in most cases.

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Summoner Spells

I liked old exhaust more but that baby can still shut down many champs and give you a kill or save the team fight.

That baby can turn over some hard fights like with Warwick or Vlad etc. Reduces Healing, Lifesteal and Spell Vamp on target.

Best escape mechanism in game. At least in my opinion. Fine maybe not so godly on SR but on TT it's the best escape spell (Tanks may say something else, but they are meant to be visible and have the highest DMG taken).

On Summoners Rift sometimes it's better idea to take it.

Just take one attack/defensive spell and one escape spell and you're good.

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Unique Skills

Runic Blade - your passive. It gives you 5/7/9/11/13/15 +(0.5*your bonus AD) after using a skill. Stacks 3 times but uses only one stack per hit. It works with critical strikes, sheen, trinity force making these items good.

Broken Wings - your main attack skill. It's 30/50/70/90/110 +(0.6*your bonus AD). It's quite weak at start but higher levels will make it much stronger. Remember to use it even if you're running away.
Important: Remember to use movement click while using it or you will stop. Below you can see how far you can go with using it.

Ki burst - It stuns opponents around you for 0.5 sec and damages them for 50/90/130/170/210 +(1*your bonus AD). Good to use before you start running or to stop running enemies. Remember that it has a short cast time! Below you can see it's range.

Valor - You dash to your cursor location and put on a 40/70/100/130/160 +(1*your bonus AD) shield. You can use it to run away from enemy champions, chase them down or to get better position to use your ultimate. You can use it to get behind your enemy - it will delay his attack by one or two hits. It has similar range to Nidalee's pounce but remember you won't be able to jump through walls!
Important: Remember to use movement click while using it or you will stop.
Blade of the Exile - Your ult. It gives you +20% AD and increase range of your abilities for 15 sec. It also gives you acces to your skill: Windslash.
Windslash - Your attacking in a cone similar to Ashe's volley. The damage is: form 80/10/160 +(0.6*your bonus AD) to 240/360/480 +(1.8*your bonus AD) based on current Health of your targets. It has well similar issue to Mordekaiser's Siphon of destruction. It has a little more range than indicator shows.
Important: You can use it only if your Blade of the Exile is active, so it's a good idea to activate it before you go in to fight. It also has a short cast time. Actual range is below.

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Skill Sequence

I start with Q. It can really help you if you'll have to fight on LV 1. You can use it to cut through them or to escape. Then I take W, to have more control on the lane. Then you can do what you like more but I prefer to give one point in E and focus on W. Past LV 7 I like to go more offensive route and miximize Q. That's all.

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As you can see I focus on Cooldowns at start. As they don't have ult and you have rather hard hitting skills. That can give you some kills or scare them off in a laning phase (just watch out for their jungler!). Some lifesteal if good then since when they'll have to go back you can stay and heal yourself a bit. It can give you higher LV.

I won't point out every little thing about items. You can check them yourself. It's a guide on Riven not items. You should already know what stats they give so what's the point?:)

The core items are:,andor

- Core item, It gives you DMG it gives you CDR and survivability. Well... a little but it's always something.

- Best boots in the game. You're faster, more resistant and harder to stop. Almost unstoppable but they won't give you too much if enemies have little or no CC. In such case switch to

It's a solid item. You can jungle with it, you have a free ward every 3 mins. It gives you armor, DMG and lifesteal. If you don't like it switch it for something else.

- REMEBER that it has active. As soon as you use all your skills. It will give you some power. So you'll be able to kill them with auto attacks, heal yourself a little or even run for a moment and wait for skills.

- This item is good, really good for her but it'll be a waste if you buy it too soon.

After getting a full build you can aim for things likeandas these will give you damage, crit chance, armor and make your crits stronger. Remember that Runic Blade works with crits andso it's quite nice buff to your damage.

Of course if you see that you'll be too squishy for that game or something like that you can build yourself like a second build I have. It's more tanky build but can still do some good dmg.give Crit so do. You have some survivability from,and. You can stay in some fights for some time and gain the upperhand.
One more thing: It won't hurt you to buy ward or two sometimes.

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First and most important: Don't die. Seriously. You're a damage dealer. When you die your team may be to weak to stop them from pushing. Sometimes your one dead means end of the line - you lost the game. Don't help anyone who's running away if you're not sure you can escape too. In this game it's not ME it's WE (your team). Don't care about K|D ratio, just don't. It's there just to make you feel better (or worse?). You want to win the game? If you do remember that sometimes you have to sacrifice something for greater good. Think before dying in place of someone. Don't try to defend your whole base if you can't - focus on important things. You need your nexus and nothing more to play. Defend it and its turrets if there's not any other option. Why? You simply can't protect all of your turrets if you're losing. You have to focus on most important parts of your base.

In one on one fight I like to use attack sequence like this: Q, Q, auto attack, W, Q, auto attack, E, R (optional - if they're still kickin'). It can be scary for your enemy and give some nice dmg so there's a chance that your target will just simply try to escape.

If you're buying wards it's a good idea to buy Vision Ward to ward Dragon or Baron - It's not that much and Both of them can give you your money back. Seriously WARDS FOR THE WIN!.
Map awarness is everything. If you avaoid some ganks and kill they carry few times, you've won and those wards will help you do that. Remeber that your kills are not only making you stronger, they're also making your enemy weaker.

One more thing: Turrets. Destroy them. Every time you have a opportunity to take them down, do it. HATE THEM, KILL THEM LIKE IT WOULD BE LAST THING YOU CAN DO IN YOUR LIFE. YOUR LAST BREATH SHOULD BE LIKE: "DIE YOU F***ING TURRET!". If you can end game faster, do it. Many games are lost just because your team isn't pushing or taking turrets down. This game is not about K|D|A it's about turrets. What else can you do? You won't push that surrender button for them. You have to take every bit of their base.

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Team Work

Riven is good with stunners and slowers. It's almost like 3 stuns if you're with Taric or even Renekton. With someone like Nunu you can wait for your cooldowns and spam your skills one more time. With guys like that you can show them who's the boss of that lane.

In team fights wait for your tank to initiate and take some dmg. Then go in there a unleash your fury, try to spam your skills on more champs than just one, they're AOE use it! Remember to use your ult first time before you rush in. It give you nice dmg boost. Also remember that your AD is givving you some DEF too.

If you are soloing and end up in a premade team ask them if you could join their skype or vent. Don't ruin such game you can play more like a team so it's good. Seriously I don't get the guys who are raging about such things. Also don't cry or be mad just because you're having problems good team can make it up and your raging is only getting teams morale lower. They're stressed because of you and they'll start playing worse.

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Wards (actually mp awarness) are the key to victory. It doesn't matter if your a carry, tank or a support. Everyone should place them and don't say things like "I'm a carry/Damage dealer I won't buy them". Your tank needs money too or he'll be as squishy as you or anyone else. So if you have like 150g why won't buy a ward or two?
Here are the places where it's good to put them. Of course it's up to you to decide where do you need them at the moment. These are just places that I find good. Purple dots are Vision wards and Green dots are Sight wards.
Summoner's Rift:

Twisted Treeline:

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I added this chapter to remind some people about that one thing. Most of the people are rushing for kills which is short minded tactics. First blood can give you a lot of gold - true, but what after that? Why are you rushing for kills? for 90 gold? it's like 3 creeps? Farming gives more money (in exeption of bounty on players) remember that! If you have like 10/6/12 and 70 last hits and you enemy has 3/3/5 and 200+ last hits then who's got more money?

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Riven is really fun champ to play. Hope that little guide will help you in mastering her.
If you have any suggestions or want to point error in that guide don't hesitate just do. We're all learning. If you liked that guide please click +.