Riven Build Guide by 22tractorsforme

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 22tractorsforme

Riven the Resolute

22tractorsforme Last updated on September 16, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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So this initially was a build that I had laid out for Riven that I was using before I actually knew how to play Riven, let alone build her. I have completely redone the build order from building ad carry items (wtf?) to items that actually work on a bruiser/ad caster. This build is not necessarily set in stone, so feel free to change the order on the items, runes, and skill order as you see fit. This is just the set up that I have seen working for me.


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Skill Sequence

Most of the builds on Riven you will see will put a point in Broken Wings, Ki Burst, and Valor as the first three points.

From here I max out her Ki Burst for the reduced cooldown and increased damage that come with it. Whenever I can't level up Ki Burst or Blade of the Exile, I alternate between leveling up Valor and Broken Wings so that I maintain a proper amount of damage output, while also being able to absorb some damage from turrets/minions/enemy champions. I tend to level Valor over Broken Wings for the reduced cool down on each successive level of Valor. This reduced cool down, along with the larger shield allow me to reposition myself more often, and to negate the harass of my opponent. If I am winning my lane hard, I will tend to max Broken Wings before I max Valor, but this rarely occurs. Of course, leveling Blade of the Exile whenever possible. Leveling up her skills in this order allows her to do damage, escape, farm, and almost anything else she needs to do.

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I start off going either boots and 4 pots (tp back to base at 1:30 for a 4th pot) or Cloth Armor and 5 pots. I changed this from starting with a Doran's Blade because I have realized after another 6 months of playing Riven that while the Doran's Blade is great against matchups that you will have no problem with, the boots and cloth armor provide a larger benefit when you also get 4 or 5 potions.

From here, on my first trip back i usually pick up Ninja Tabi a Vampiric Scepter and a ward. You may be wondering why go Ninja Tabi rather than Mercury's Treads. This generally depends on how my lane opponent is doing as well as the general composition of the enemy team. Because most top laners tend to be AD bruisers, Ninja Tabi tend to be a better choice for the laning phase. Some guides offer Ionian Boots of Lucidity as an alternative to Mercury's Treads and Ninja Tabi, I do not think it is really worth sacrificing the tankiness. I would almost always suggest selling your Ninja Tabi once the game gets to late game. This does depend on the team comp of the other team, however usually it is a good idea to pick up Mercury's Treads

If I happen to be having a hard laning phase, or know that I'm going to need to be tanky for my team I build a Heart of Gold so that I can be tanky and can eventually build it into a Randuin's Omen. I would rarely suggest actually going this route. Rather Wriggle's Lantern is a much better choice.

Once back to lane, I try to farm up for at least a Phage. This will increase your tankiness in 2 ways. First, it will provide you with more health, making it harder to kill you. It also provides you with more attack damage. This damage will scale with your shield, making it harder to kill you. With the slow, you should be a formidable duelist at this point. At this point, depending on the amount of gold you have, you might want to get one of three items. If you feel that you need the stats a phage gives you, but you also need some sustain, 2 Doran's Blades would be a good pickup. If you feel like you don't need the sustain, and can just survive, you can go straight for the Phage. If you feel like you don't need to be tankier, and you dont need the sustain provided, and have enough gold, you may want to pick up a B. F. Sword. This is a very good pickup because it is the expensive part of your The Bloodthirster .

If your lane opponent happens to be an ap caster such as Vladimir or Rumble you might want to skip the Phage for now and just go straight for a Hexdrinker. This will give you more surviveaility against ap, as well as giving you a larger shield.

Once I make it back to lane, I try to farm for at least a B. F. Sword if not The Bloodthirster. The Bloodthirster is a great item on Riven seeing as how her entire kit scales amazingly well with attack damage (0.5 on passive, 0.7 on q, 1.0 on w and e, 0.6-1.8 on ult). The life steal from The Bloodthirster also allows you to sustain in lane, and negate any damage that is done to you. If you are completely destroying your lane, you may want to just go for The Bloodthirster first, just to give you a massive damage boost, making it impossible for your opponent to push you out of lane without help.

At this point the laning phase is generally over, but I try to keep on farming as well as I can while still helping out my team. Usually I try to finish my Frozen Mallet just so I can be even tankier and stick to whoever I need to. Lately I have found myself staying in top lane as long as I can, regardless of my team's situation just because I can usually force more than 1 person top to deal with me.

90% of the time, games will be over or it will be pretty obvious who is going to win at this point. Once The Bloodthirster and Frozen Mallet are made, it depends on the enemy what to build next. If the enemy is building a lot of armor such as a Frozen Heart or Randuin's Omen I will build a Last Whisper. If you are not worried about armor, but they have a lot of magic damage, and it is doing more to you than you're comfortable with, feel free to finish off your Hexdrinker into a Maw of Malmortius. If you decided to skip the Hexdrinker, you can just build a Guardian Angel. If you have Built all of this, you may want to go for a second The Bloodthirster to simply put your damage and sustain over the top. If your team needs to be tankier, a Randuin's Omen is a great item because it provides health, armor, an amazing acive, cooldown reduction, and more.

In many builds you will see people stacking Doran's Blade. This is an option to you, however I generally avoid it simply because it sets your build behind. If you are in a closely matched lane, this can be a good strategy, however I tend to not do this. Another item that you will sometimes see built on Riven is The Brutalizer. This item is a pretty good item for [Riven]], however like with the Doran's Blade it just delays your items too far to be worth the stats it gives. On other champions like Talon or Renekton this might be a great item, but I do not suggest it for Riven.

Items to NOT get:
Infinity Edge
The Black Cleaver
Phantom Dancer
Madred's Bloodrazor
Trinity Force
Anything with AP
Anything that offers mana
Anything that is based on attack speed

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The runes I used are mainly for early game dominance in lane.
For reds I went with Greater Mark of Desolation, just to do that extra damage in the early game. These allow your auto attacks to just ignore your enemies' armor, causing your attacks to essentially do true damage.

For yellows I went with Greater Seal of Armor for extra durability in the early game, allowing you to be a bit more durable, allowing for more farming and more harassing early game.

For blues I went with Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, again for more durability early game in case you are facing an AP based champion

For Quintessences I went with the Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage. These quintessences scale with your entire kit, also allowing you to last hit easier while in the laning phase.

For runes you might also take Greater Seal of Attack Damage, and/or Greater Glyph of Attack Damage if you want that bonus AD early game to hit a bit harder.

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Masteries are pretty normal 21/9/0 masteries, focusing on attack speed, cdr, lifesteal, and armor pen. I generally avoid the Deadliness and Lethality masteries simply because I feel like they do not add much to your overall damage for the use of 5 mastery points. Mostly because the 0.5 ad per level and the +10% crit damage dont add very much mostly because Riven scales terribly with crit, so this mastery is of no use, and the lifesteal can make a greater difference in sustaining yourself even at low levels. the 9 in defense is fairly straight forward. This focuses on ignoring some of the damage that your lane opponent might be doing. The increased hp/5 regen is to help sustain yourself. A while back Riven to a nerf to her hp/5 regen, and so this helps to make up for it. The 2 points in Tough Skin is to help you take less damage when exchanging blows with your opponent. When you consider that each time you attack an enemy champion, the minions attack you, each doing between 6-22 damage, with 6 creeps attacking, every couple of seconds, this quickly adds up to between 100 - 400 damage depending on how long you fight. By even negating 2 damage from this, you are removing quite a bit of this damage source.

If you think that you may need to tank, you could take 9/21/0 masteries, but in that case i would recommend taking a champion that is designed to be a tank such as Malphite

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Summoner Spells

Generally I take Flash and Ignite. On some rare occasions when no one else is willing to take Exhaust.

I take Flash for those times that I need to get to or away from an area as quickly as possible, allowing Riven to catch up to enemies, then unleash her combo upon them.

Ignite is hands down one of the best summoner spells in the game. The free 400 damage at level 18, along with the 50% reduced healing it provides can completely change how a fight goes. Ignite can also be helpful for when an enemy is just out of range of your attacks, but not your Ignite. Just pop it on them, and watch as they die.

When no one else is willing to take Exhaust I will take this as it can help completely shut down an ad carry in a fight, changing the fight and helping you win.

Teleport is a possible option depending on your lane match up. If you know that it is going to be a difficult lane, or a lane that you are going to need to be leaving lane a lot, you may want to take Teleport

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Match ups

Ahri She has the potential to kite you, but shouldn't be a bother pre level 6.
Akali She can be a pain if she manages to get the best of you. This generally should not happen though, unless she gets an early kill and snowballs.
Alistar He should never have a solo lane, but his ganks will probably kill you if he lands them properly, but wards will counter him.
Amumu Again, a matchup you probably will never see, but like Alistar his ganks will kill you, but wards are your friend.
Anivia She shouldn't be a hard matchup, but you generally will never see Anivia, unless you decided to go mid.
Annie not a hard lane unless she snowballs
Ashe You will rarely see Ashe in a solo lane, but if she does happen to lane against you, be careful because she can be very annoying to deal with, due to her kiting potential. Though she is difficult to reach, if you manage to get to her, she dies very easily.
Blitzcrank he's very annoying to deal with, but 1v1 you should be able to handle yourself fine.
Brand pretty easy lane, just dodge his skill shots, and he will either die or play very cautiously
Caitlyn meh. she is kind of a terrible champ
Cassiopeia You shouldnt see cassiopeia, but she is fairly easy to kill unless you die first, so dont sit in her poison.
Cho'Gath Cho'gath is a pretty annoying lane to deal with, but pre 6 if he misses his skill shots, it's an ok lane. The largest problem is his health and his potential burst.
Corki Have not had the pleasure of a corki in lane, but once he goes oom he's pretty useless early game, so just kill him when he goes oom.
Darius Major pain in the *** to deal with. Just have your jungle gank him a couple of times before level 6. Eventually you do outscale him, but it takes a while.
Dr. Mundo pretty easy to kill if you go all in at lvl 2. Once he dies, he's just kinda of finished
Draven Never had to lane against him, but I'm assuming it's fairly easy considering he doesn't have a great method to kite you
Evelyn LOL
Ezreal He's fairly annoying to deal with, but you will rarely see him. Same as Corki I guess
Fiddlesticks He's really pretty annoying to deal with because of the amount of cc he has, but besides that he doesn't really do much
Fiora She will beat you for the first couple of levels, but if you time your combo right, you will beat her easily.
Fizz A bit annoying, but nothing you can't handle
Galio Goes oom quickly, so he isn't very hard to deal with
Gangplank He can be kind of annoying if he spams his q, but if you shield this damage, he will eventually go oom and be forced to stop, or go back
Garen A pretty annoying lane, he silences you, then just spins to win. Garen does drop off pretty hard though, so you still will win in the long run.
Gragas Just beat him?
Graves A little bit annoying, but with any ad carry, you will probably win
Hecarim I literally haven't seen him besides 2 or 3 games in the jungle. I'm assuming he loses
Heimerdinger He's pretty annoying, but using creeps to shield his rockets, you will be fine. After the early game, he's useless
Irelia beat her early or you will regret it. Once it gets to mid or late game, she will walk all over you
[[Janna] support vs riven? lol
Jarvan IV His armor is a bit annoying, but you should win.
Jax He's pretty damn annoying, but with a couple of ganks, you should be able to win the lane
Karma barely ever see her played, let alone in top lane
Karthus Usually isnt in top lane, but his ult exerts a lot of pressure. Just use your shield, and troll as much as you like
Kassadin Mid only?
Katarina Same as above?
Kayle She's a bit annoying, but pre 6 you should be able to beat her easily if you engage on her rather than the other way around
Kennen Many people think kennen counters riven. Fact is that he doesnt. He makes it a difficult lane, but if you start boots, use your creeps as a shield, and wait for the right times to fight, he is not a counter
Kog'Maw He's a late game monster, but he's pretty squishy early
LeBlanc squishy, but can be annoying if you let her silence you and/or chain you
Lee Sin This lane is a bit of a stale mate for a while, but eventually depending on who plays better or has a better jungler wins the lane
Leona she's a support, but an annoying one to deal with
Lulu She's pretty annoying to deal with, her kiting potential, and damage potential make her one to be wary of
Lux Avoid the bindings and you'll be fine
Malphite kinda made to counter ad top laners, so just call for ganks 24/7
[[Malzahar] Just beat him pre 6
Maokai He is the jungle, so you wont see him except when he ganks. Just ward
Master Yi Only trolls play him anymore
Miss Fortune not much kiting potential so an easy lane
Mordekasier Dont stand in the creep wave and let him build up a shield, and you should be fine
Morgana Creep shields
Nasus wait until you are like level 2-5 to engage on him, then beat him out of lane
Nautilus He's annoying, but jungles mostly so just ward
Nidalee Major pain in the ***, call for ganks before she gets to level 6, and it's no where near as terrible
Nocturne He ganks when he pleases, just dont get too far past the river unless you see him on the map
Nunu useless besides as support
Olaf His true damage hurts, so just rush a Heart of Gold or Phage. The lane just kind of sucks
Orianna squishy mid laner, not a top laner
Pantheon He's a pretty annoying ad caster, but he falls off pretty hard late game
Poppy Major pain, just have the jungler camp
Rammus people only jungle him when he does get playing time, so ward
Renekton A very annoying match up that you should expect to lose unless the Renekton makes mistakes. this is just because his q allows him to sustain until you have a Vampiric Scepteror The Bloodthirster. Ask for ganks
Riven You shouldn't be seeing another Riven unless you are playing normals, but in that case, just time your combo better?
Rumble Don't stand in his flame thrower if you can, dont get hit by his e's, and do not under any circumstances stand or fight in his ultimate
Ryze annoying, but mostly mid
Sejuani jungle only
Shaco he's annoying, usually banned in solo queue, but warding will do wonders. Also don't overextend
Shen A hard match up just best of how tanky he naturally is. Ask for ganks
Shyvana She's usually in the jungle, so wards?
Singed A very annoying matchup because he is unmovable after a certain point, and will just fling you away from him
Sion Burst down his shield and he's pretty useless. If he is ad, just avoid his ult and he's still pretty useless
Sivir another ad carry, will try to kite you, but she has no cc
Skarner Jungle only
Sona Support that wants to be more than just a support
Soraka Heal bot
Swain annoying, just down get snared, and ignite him when he ults
Talon Build a bit of armor
Taric support...... absolutely no damage
Teemo one of the most annoying lanes for riven. you go up to attack him, and he just blinds you. Ask for ganks and he will die
Tristana she can kite you, but is generally in other lanes
Trundle barely ever see him, and he's usually in the jungle
Tryndamere Riven takes a dump all over tryndamere before level 6. Use this to your advantage and beat him up in lane. Once he reaches level 6, try not to fight him unless you're sure you can win
Twisted Fate He's always in mid, but his ult allows him to gank anywhere. Don't overextend
Twitch Pink wards
Udyr Shield his damage, and use your combo to damage him
Urgot Try hards dont leave the bot lane
Varus Bad versions of vayne dont leave the bot lane either
Vayne Use your mobility to get to her, and do more damage than she does to you
Veigar dont get caught in his stun, and dont let him burst you down and you should be fine
Viktor starting to see him more, but he doesnt do much if you avoid his laser
Vladimir Wait until like level 3, and go to town on him. He loses very hard until like level 11. Abuse this fact
Volibear he's annoying, just try to farm
Warwick Also annoying, just try to farm
Wukong Pretty sure he just gets outclassed, but it's best to beat him pre 6
Xerath artillery isn't allowed to leave mid
Xin Zhao People play him?
Yorick He's annoying, just try to get ganks, and run away from his ghouls?
Ziggs His bombs hurt, but if you avoid them he doesn't do much
Zilean Haven't seen him played in months

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Overall, I like this build simply because it allows me to run in, do damage, and take some damage, while still being able to escape with my health intact. I have been able to carry games that should have been lost at the 15 minute mark, using this build. It's a decent build in my opinion, but try it out for yourself. REMEMBER TO WARD