Riven Build Guide by Foxy Riven
Recommended Runes + Notes
Starting Items + Notes
Masteries + Notes
Hi, my name is Foxy Riven and this will be my first guide here.
I started playing in april 2012 and right now i'm a Gold player on the EUW server. I plan on climbing the ladder to the top when the new season starts. I recently brought my friend's account to gold in 21 games of which 16 I played Riven. This shows how Riven can actually carry games when mastered. And here I am trying to pass my knowledge to the world.
While being a mid-player I suddenly picked up Riven in some free week, and fell in love with her right away!
In need of some guidance, I found quite a bit of information here, but none of them seemed to use her to her full potential. So i started looking for youtube matches and found Best Riven NA to be one of the best Riven players.
I won't lie to you, my playstyle has been adapted to his, and item build will be quite similar to what he builds. We all check out the Diamond Ones anyway, don't we?
With a lack of a good Riven build, explaining every single corner to her mechanisms, I decided to make this guide. It's far from finished and I will be updating it once in a while, adapting to patches and my own knowledge. Feel free to share your comments and thoughts and why you would do things differently.
I recommend reading it thorougly, as Riven is not just your ordinary champ. With some practice you can get the most out of her.
I hope to give you some insight and quite a few tricks, which will make you satisfied once you pull them.
Now let's get started, shall we?
Pros / Cons
+ Great farmer
+ Full AD
+ So very Mobile
+ Shield with AD scaling
+ 2 disables
+ No mana
+ High burst
+ Low cooldowns
+ Hottest chick around
- Full AD
- Cooldown dependant
- Distractive bunnysuit
As you can see she has way more pro's than cons. All of this makes her so very useful as a toplaner.
Relying fully on AD is a pro and a con. She only has to build AD, but can get hard countered by armor-only champs. ( Garen does that quite alright)
If you see your opponent with 100 armor at level 5, just swap with your midlaner.
- Enemy now has to deal with magic, rendering his Chain Vest useless.
- You do pretty good as a mid champion. Killing squishies is your specialty.
As you can see I put a lot of points in getting attack damage and increasing your damage.
You ONLY scale with AD. So do not get the magic penetration, Spellsword or extra AP.
Everything I pick here is to make yourself stronger and able to duel in those important early levels.
Do not take critical chance masteries, you synergise better with flat damage.
The defensive tree grants you some armor and extra health.
All of these make you tougher. You will be thankful when you get away with 29 hp, thinking by yourself that Veteran's Scars just saved you.
The defensive tree grants you some armor and extra health.
Why not go 9/21/0? Because I play her more as an assassin.
If your jungler is already an assasin ( Kha'Zix) it might be a good idea to consider going 9/21/0 though. Or better yet, pick a different champ if you think your team needs a true tank.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
you can switch these for Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist when there are a lot of AP champs on the other team, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist when you are facing one in toplane.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage: You're Riven, it's your only option. You scale too well with AD. It will help you dominate the early game.
I'll be doing some research on how viable Greater Mark of Armor Penetration is though. I think they might be useful against certain armor-stacking champs. Later more on this.
I myself have ONE Greater Mark of Critical Chance in my runepage. You never know right? I don't recommend it, but it doesn't make that much of a difference (like, 0,95 damage) anyway. Sometimes it can make the difference between a kill and a death. But 1% isn't something you should rely on.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Because Riven needs the early damage. An early kill will get you ahead of your opponent, and you'll be able to zone him, denying your opponent gold (and snowball all the way).
Greater Seal of Armor: Seals specialize in defence. If you are up against Rumble or Kennen, swap these for Greater Seal of Magic Resist
Flash is your savior/wallhack. Use it for suprise engages as well. Don't swap it for Ghost, Flash gives you so much more utility.
Ignite is your best friend (it also shuts down healers. i.e. Dr. Mundo, Master Yi, Soraka & will make Tryndamere cry when you use it a few seconds after he activated Undying Rage)
Together they will be giving you first blood. How? I will tell you all about it in the gameplay chapter.
Other viable options:
Barrier A low cooldown shield which will save you many times. I took this spell in ranked by accident, and I've noticed that it is actually really powerful. I've almost never lost my lane to a counter since then. So when somebody picks Olaf, Kennen or Garen, it might be a good idea to take this spell.
Teleport For map presence. Together with homeguard boots, a ward in the second bottom brush, and a pushed botlane, this will be so much fun.
Exhaust Shut down your opponent and make him cry.
Cleanse for those heavy CC team comps. (i.e. Shen, Rammus & Fiddlesticks on one team)
Those are really the only viable spells. If I see you with Revive or Clarity, I will come and haunt you in your dreams.
Runic Blade is in my opinion one of the better passives around. This fits your kit perfectly and gives you an edge on your opponent.
It makes sure you are not going to be smashing those keys without using your brain. To make use of it to its full extent, place an autoattack in between every ability.
This WILL hurt.
It stacks three times, keep that in mind as well.
Broken Wings this is your signature skill. it consists out of three little dashes doing area of effect damage. Max it first. You can activate it three times, the last one is a little knockback. In between every strike, you ought to do an autoattack. As your passive stacks three times you can use this to rush to your opponent, (QQQ) attack, stun, attack,attack,attack and Valor away.
To use the knockback to your benefit, make sure you land it right BEHIND your opponent, this will ensure you can land more autoattacks,as he is knocked up, placing you in between him and his turret. You can do this by placing your cursor on the ground BEHIND the target, not ON the target.
Ki Burst This is a stun and we max it second. The cooldown will decrease, the damage increase, but the duration of the stun remains the same.
Why not max it first? Because the three parts of Broken Wings together will deal more damage than one Ki Burst
Valor is another dash, with an instant shield scaling with AD. It will save your life many times while Ignite is bleeding you out. Use it to absorb damage, rush to your opponent or merely for getting away.
If you're having trouble in lane it might be a good idea to put a few early points in it.
Blade of the Exile, your ultimate is what makes you so awesome. It buffs your AD, Gives you a higher range on ALL your skills and gives you a new ablitity called Wind Slash, which will be available for 15 seconds. This is your execution skill. Keep in mind that it will deal more damage as your target is lower on health. At 25% health it will do maximum damage.
Indeed, you actually have 7 skills! Use them wisely.
One more thing on your Broken Wings. You can hop over a number of walls, which is perfect for escaping those pesky situations, and leaving your chasers behind. PRACTICE IS A MUST.
I made this video to show you where this is possible. I haven't found any guide on this so here you go.
"Boots are for noobs"
~ CRS Voyboy
SKIP THIS PART WHEN YOU FEEL BOOTS ARE A MUST EVERY SINGLE GAME.
First of all I will explain why I do not always build boots on Riven.
Ever since season 3 started, Boots of Speed have been nerfed. Yes they were the Meta, everyone started boots and 3 pots. But those days are over.
Riven already has a relatively high MS (345) and can use her abilites to go to her lane faster.
Instead of wasting 350 gold to buy yourself 25 MS, you can buy an Elixir of Fortitude, a Doran's Blade or a Long Sword and be a lanebully.
Also, you can 100 to 0 about anyone midgame if you did good earlier, no need to chase anyone. If you failed to do that, buy some tanky items and Mercury's Treads.
Lategame, mostly there will be teamfights. And instead of a little movementspeed, you will have a sixth! item, which can be major advantage.(People(especially ADC's)already start building Zephyr as their sixth item when they hit lategame, and i believe that this can be good on Riven as well, if you do need some movement speed)
However, this means you will sometimes not be able to catch up with a low-health enemy, and you'll have a slightly harder time escaping.
(I also hate selling a Doran's Blade for Boots of Speed)
This means two things.
1. You will have to abuse your skills.
2. Positioning is very important. (Don't ever get caught)
When you've played a lot of Riven, you'll start to feel when you should buy boots, and when they're not really necessary.
If you do buy boots, I recommend buying them (tier 2,make them useful) after you obtained at least the The Brutalizer and Vampiric Scepter, or just when you plan on split-pushing.
Champs you should always take boots against (to dodge their abilities/counter their mobility):
Get Enchantment: Homeguard after your major items are completed.
The Brutalizer is one of the most common items in toplane. It gives great stats for only 1337 gold. CDR, attack damage and armor penetration. What more do you want?
Vampiric Scepter builds into Bilgewater Cutlass and The Bloodthirster
The Bloodthirster is pretty straight forward. Pure damage and lifesteal. You farm like a beast and should get those stacks up fairly quick. Rush it ASAP!
The Black Cleaver is a very nice item, even after the nerf. It gives damage and armor penetration. It synergises well with your runes.
Last Whisper, one of the most underrated items. I truly recommend building it. Certainly when opponents are having over 100 armor. (With an Aegis of the Legion on their support this occurs faster than you think.) People will also counter you with defensive items when you're doing good.
This baby will make them regret spending their money on that Sunfire Cape.
Maw of Malmortius, a good way to counter any AP burst (and even Garen's ultimate, Demacian Justice,which deals magic damage).
Choosing between this and Mercurial Scimitar is one of the hardest things i have to do every game. As I like to have room for one defensive item, I mostly cant build both of them.
But hey, if it's Crowd Control you're worried about, picking up Mercurial Scimitar is what I would do, and it gives a nice speed boost as well!
Blade of the Ruined King is a nice but expensive item. The damage isn't what it used to be so I rarely build it anymore." When do I build it?" is probably the question popping up in your mind.
Basically, when the other is a notorious escaper, kiter, you can build Bilgewater Cutlass to counter this. The active will slow them long enough for you to get off another combo, and will help you when your jungler is ganking, or even when you are being ganked. Build it into the Blade of the Ruined King after you finished your first three major items.
Thus we can conclude that when you're facing Nidalee, Singed or Kennen, this is certainly a viable item.
One other bonus is the attack speed. This will proc your passive stacks faster (when you use your skillset for gap-closing), and it will take down turrets in no time.
Randuin's Omen, the better armor/health option in the game. the active on it together with the active on your Blade of the Ruined King will slow everyone around you. (Who said I should buy Boots of Speed?)
Warmog's Armor because Olaf counters the **** out of you. Buy it when true damage is to blame for your deaths.
Aegis of the Legion if you're being the team player.
Other viable options
Ravenous Hydra: I really like this item, but i can't seem to find any space for it. When their AP mid is doing terrible and you don't need to worry about that, or when they consist out of a full AD-team, yeah go ahead, buy it, I know you want to.
Another The Bloodthirster! Why not? It stacks, you love damage.
Infinity Edge: When you are really far ahead and don't need much armor/mr you can go for this one. Loads of AD and you sometimes put out crits. Together with your passive this is quite strong.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is being built a lot of times by BoxBox. It's really not the ideal item for Riven. This is only good when you try to reach the maximum CDR and you think you can make effective use of it's active. Sell it endgame for a stronger item.
Zephyr: Sell your boots endgame for this item. Movement speed (replacing your boots), attack speed for pushing turrets & stuff, tenacity for reduced CC and ofcourse, attack damage, for your overall benefit.
DO NOT BUILD THIS AS A SIXTH ITEM WHEN THE ENEMY IS IN YOUR BASE AND YOU NEED homeguard!
In order of importance:
Mercury's Treads: MR and CC reduction, all around fine boots.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: 39% cooldown with this build. If you can get a blue you are at the maximum cooldown. Spam your ult!
Ninja Tabi: when you're up against an AD heavy team and they are doing pretty good. Or their ADC gets out of control.
Boots of Mobility: together with Teleport you'll be everywhere. Gank as much possible and farm everywhere.
Items not to get
Sunfire Cape: I feel you can get better items than this one, only when you're doing terrible and are more efficient as a tank.
Frozen Mallet: Yes i know it's tempting. Just don't buy it on Riven, you want to burst, not chase. You can get better items with some health, and the 30 AD is just not worth it.
Atma's Impaler: NO. Nonononono. NO.
Wriggle's Lantern: Only when you're jungling. Yes the ward is nice, but you already clear creep waves so fast and The Bloodthirster gives you so much more satisfaction. Even when I'm jungling I personally only build Madred's Razors, and sell it when I need my sixth item spot.
ANY AP ITEM IS TROLLING.
DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE SINCE THEY CHANGED JUNGLE TIMERS IN THE LAST PATCH (3.8)
A few steps to get that satisfying first blood.
1. Kill the wolves/wraiths with the help of your AP Mid and pop a health pot while you're at it.
2. Go top.
3. Last hit one minion.
4. Right before you hit level 2, engage with a Q and auto attack, pop your Elixir of Fortitude, Ignite your opponent ( Summoner's Wrath kicks in) and level your stun.
5. Hit another Q and autoattack, stun your opponent, Q, autoattack.
6. Spam /t, "A broken blade is more than enough for the likes of you!"
When you failed to kill him, don't worry. He will be hugging his turret and eat through all/almost all of his health pots. Just make sure you lasthit to prevent yourself from overextending.
If they do come and gank, analyse the situation and see if you can get away, get away with a kill, or even get a doublekill. (When the jungler has low health & your lane opponent is still recovering from you early aggression). If you know you can't get away, try to kill the squishiest one or the one with the least health. There's nothing better to start your steamrolling by getting a kill and doublebuff, without dying.
Works with your Long Sword as well, but it will be slightly harder.
Works with your Rejuvenation Bead if you can harass the enemy earlier. This will be harder though.
Works with Cloth Armor five same way as with Rejuvenation Bead.
Skip the first 30 seconds. Don't take damage on purpose, you'll heal up with a Health Potion anyway.
It's all about the surprise.
E Q AA W AA AA Q AA Q
Let me try and explain.
I mostly initiate with Valor, or 1 Q then use Valor, give an autoattack (when you're close enough) stun the opponent, give a few autoattacks and use your last Q to either knock your enemy away or to get back to safety. It all depends on the situation you're in.
This is really just one of the many things you can do. Yes you can use Valor to get away after your combo or shield counterharass.
Just keep your passive in mind!
One more thing on your autoattacks. You can cancel your attack animation by using another skill or by walking. This way your DPS will be significantly higher.
You deal damage before you fully swung your blade. (You can tell by the number popping onto your enemy) This means you already dealt the damage. Still, Riven swings her blade a little longer than necessary. If you cancel that unnecessary moment, you can start dealing damage again a lot faster.
I will try to make a tutorial on this as well.
Last hit as much as possible. Harass as much possible but be careful for ganks, and counterharass.
If they can counterharass harder than you can harass them, don't bother and try to farm at your turret. To keep the minions there, you can "tank" them with your Valor. This way you avoid the turret hitting your minions, which will freeze your lane.
When you did push too hard, you can go kill their/your golems/wolves. But do not forget to buy Stealth Wards!!!
Aim for a minimum of 170 CS in 20 minutes. Try to reach more every game.
Try to hit 6 before your opponent. If you do, wait for the right moment.
There are 2 right moments.
- The enemy initiates on you. HIT YOUR ULT, Q AUTO STUN Q AUTO Q (KNOCK HIM BEHIND YOU) Ignite AND USE YOUR WIND SLASH (R) WHEN HE'S LOW ENOUGH.
- You're in the brush and he comes too close for a lasthit. HIT YOUR R AND USE VALOR TO GO IN. JUST COMBO AS BEFORE AND GG.
If you don't hit 6 before your opponent, don't panic, you can probably still own him, but be more careful, and make sure you are healthy enough.
After you hit 6 just farm as much possible, try to push your lane and farm wolves or gank mid.
Freeze your lane when your jungler wants to gank. Towerdiving past 6 is fairly easy as well.
Get fed, that's your job.
Champs you don't want to towerdive without a straight advantage:
Renekton: Stuns and uses Dominus
Nasus: Slows, cripples, and uses Fury of the Sands and he will kite around the tower, throw a Q in your face and say "nice try Bunny" in all chat.
Kennen: Just don't. Unless he used his ult 8 seconds ago and you're full health.
Garen : Dat silence. Dat ult.
Cho'Gath: He will silence you, knock you up, and eat you alive before you even know what happened.
- Don't get caught, so before you go and take that inner turret, be sure to know where your opponents are. ( Stealth Ward THE MAP!)
- Try and catch people who are on their own, but be careful of baits. (BUY Stealth WardS)
- You should be there when your team wants to do
- Positioning is key here. You can't just go and take 5 ultimates to the face. The perfect scenario is a great initiate from your team (i.e. Malphite's Unstoppable Force)
If you lack the initiation, wait until most crowd control has been blown before going in and killing their carries.
- If there is a Zed on the enemy team it is crucial that you stop him from going for your adc. You can take on Zed and carry on to the next target, just make sure your adc survives!
Kill the carry
What you must try to do is wait for the perfect moment.
Position yourself behind your team, with your adc.
A soon as they blow most of their disabling abilities on your jungler/support (a tank would be nice), activate your ultimate and jump in. Ask yourself which opponent will have the greatest impact in a teamfight, and can you instantly kill him? Is he behind his team? -> Flash Valor Broken Wings to him if you are ballsy enough.
When you rush through their team like that you are a bulldozer, Dealing tons of damage to everyone around you. If your team doesnt back you up, you're dead in the water though. So communication is key!
Protect the carry
Is your carry doing really good and did the enemy start realising this?
Then it is your job to protect him at all cost. They will start focusing your carry, and you have the power to keep them away. When you scared the attackers off you can start joining the rest of your team and hopefully kill for the ace.
A final tip here, remember to buy Elixir of Fortitude every now and then. They can be decisive between life and death.
The build used for jungling is on the top of this page. But there is no ideal build for every game. Always think about what items will be most effective every game.
Jungle route season 4:
- Decide which lane you wish to gank first
- Take the buff with a little help from the nearest lane and use Smite.
- Clear the wraith camp (with single target junglers you should do wolves)
- Take your second buff and use Smite
- Go gank either mid lane or the other nearest lane
- You can either use the lane and go into the side brushes to gank (when the opponents are near their turret)
- You can use the river (when the opponents is in the middle of the lane or has pushed towards a friendy turret)
Afterwards just farm and gank as much as possible. I trust you can pull this off without any problems. Always push a lane when there is nobody in it if you can do it really fast. This way the enemy loses experience and gold, which is beneficial for your whole team.
when an empty lane is pushing to a friendly turret, you can be a good girl and tank the minions until your friendly unit(s) arrive(s)
Go for dragon when
- You see the other jungler is top/dead
- Botlane has been pushed
- You are sure you'll get it for free
- your smite is up (so you can use it to lasthit the dragon)
Go for Nashor when
- You aced/semi-aced the other team
- Their smite is unavailable
- You are sure you can do it unspotted
- You believe it's more beneficial than going for an inhibitor
- Your smite is up and you are confident you'll smite it on the right moment
DO NOT FALL FOR THE "NOOB-TRAP" (= going for nashor, getting aced, let the enemy get the buff and lose the game)
I will work on an extended version of how to jungle Riven later on.
Tips & Tricks
- Dash to your lane to get there quicker
- Red Elixirs can save your life. Also buy one if you feel an upcoming teamfight/dragon/baron
- Use BOTRK's active to slow enemies and deal extra damage.
- Use your third Q (knockback) behind your opponent when you are going for the kill.
- Don't be afraid to buy Elixir of Fortitude every now and then. It instantly heals you (granting extra health) and gives a nice AD buff.
- Switch with your midlaner when you get hard-countered by armor
- Buy Vision Wards when facing invisible characters such as Evelynn, Teemo (to remove his Noxious Trap, or when he's being a Stealth Ward himself), Shaco, Twitch or Akali (place it in her Twilight Shroud).
When you're ahead but those shrooms are starting to piss you off, buy an Oracle's Elixir.
- Wallhop with Q (check chapter abilities)
- After a kill and your ultimate is still on (you can tell by the giant sword), stand on the enemy's body and type /t or /j in chat. Surprise!
- If you use valor a splitsecond before your ult, Blade of the Exile will have NO cast time. This way you can surprise your opponent.
- Cancel your attack animation to maximize your DPS!
- Chain your crowd control for an instagib.
THIS. IS. RIVEN.
Check Riven's potential for yourself:
All credits to Best Riven NA
My last matches with Riven:
I'll try to make some videos myself after i get the hang of Fraps.
Now go forth and kill everyone on your path.
Is what i want to say to JhoiJhoi for the really nice guide on how to make a guide. Check it out here!
To Best Riven NA, you've shown me Riven's true potential.
To my team Oarelbeke who taught me how to play this game in the first place.
To anyone who can help me shape this guide from a raw diamond to a truly outrageous gem!
And finally, I thank YOU for reading my guide till the end. I hope I have given you some insight and quite the few tricks and tips you need to play a good Riven. If you like what you read please upvote my guide, I appreciate it big time!
25/05/2013 : Started making this build
25/05/2013 : Published
26/05/2013 : Boots in Final build, apparently this is a pretty sensitive spot to a lot of people.
22/06/2013 : Uploaded a wallhop video of my own.
03/07/2013 : Hitting lvl 2 before your opponent by killing jungle creeps is impossible now.
20/07/2013 : Patch 3.10, Riven can now jump over more walls and it works a lot easier. Jumping over walls with your first Q is now impossible.
26/12/2013 : Modified the build to the preseason. Your starting items choice has been simplified.
11/02/2014 : Riven's base health regen is now actual s**t.