Riven Build Guide by Crazy Jenkins
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.
*THIS GUIDE HAS BEEN REVAMPED IN AWESOMENESS!*
This unit should be a Flippin' Ninja! Seriously, where's the ninja status on this girl? With her constant maneuvering on the battlefield, the ability to dodge ALL the spells, chase down and escape from enemies in the blink of an eye, and the power to take any carry's life-bar from 100% to negative suck, you'd figure the others would've let her into the club!
"Can I joi--"
... The world isn't fair :( Riven shall forever be a shunned ninja, exiled yet again... </3
But getting back on track, salutations summoners! Crazy Jenkins here, and I'm here to tell you about the only excuse you're allowed to be beaten up by a girl: Riven, the Exile!
Riven is my favorite champion, and I find myself to be quite good with her! Her in-and-out combat style is incredibly fun, and in my personal opinion she's secretly OP when built correctly. Her spells allow her to be played unpredictably, dodging spells with ease and her ability to turn the tide in 1v1's and team fights is over 9000!! Hopefully with this guide it'll help you play as, fight, and eventually carry as the Exile. Once you reach this stage and being to see "LEGENDARY" pop up on your screen, you'll sort of feel like this:
I'm not sure when's the right time to brag, but here are a few pics of some of my games that might encourage you to keep reading. Here's some dominion and classic pwnage: (Notice the 3rd game in my dominion history. Occasionally I'll have a lame game like that, but hey, everyone has off days, so don't sweat it :) if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! -- The person who said that obviously did not go skydiving though...)
But yeah, this is essentially me as Riven.
*WARNING*:This is NOT a guide on how to achieve victories. Sometimes you're just going to have poor teammates, or dc's, or you yourself might be off. However, I'm not here to teach you how to win. I'm here to teach you how to destroy a multitude of face with this chick.
Onward to guide.
- Video at the very beginning broke, so I replaced it :) working on edits that are actually useful now
- Masteries changed for Dominion
- ITEM CHANGE-UP! Ionian Boots of Lucidity < Mercury's Treads for Classic
- Phage considered before The Black Cleaver? Whaaa? READ ON!!
- Teleport added in Summoner Spells! HUZZAH!
- The whole solo-top list of champions? Elaboration biiiiiiiitch!!
Pros / Cons
- Damage up the wazoo (which turns out to be the correct placed damage should be stored :D)
- Escape, dodge, gank and chase like a bauss. Broken Wings + Valor up in every grill!
- Great at saving teammates. You can run in, W, then Q+E the hell out of there. This actually works more effectively than you think!
- Tide-turning potential in teamfights.
- Small CD's. Valor should be giving you a 400+ dmg-soaking shield every 6 seconds or so late game.
- Speaking of late game, it's your *****. So is mid-game, and usually early game.
- The constantly underrated damage her ult does. You'll be killing Tryndamere faster than he can click "R".
- Blade of the Exile has unlimited potential for sex references...lol. I shall show you later when I break down her abilities :P
"I have no cons."
-- *****, please. Ya still got cons:
- Pretty item dependent
- Early game CAN be your *****, but it isn't naturally. In top lane, Riven really pummels her enemies, and with the correct laning partner she can make bot lane run home to their mommies. However, I believe there are still some viable choices to counter Riven at top, and against a bot lane with heavy CC, she makes like soup and gets creamed... lol. I tried. Sorry.
- Face-rolling is inapplicable for this champ :( takes skill to maximize her potential, time her spells, etc.
- Does not initiate well. Riven's at her best when she follow teammates into the fight. If she's leading the charge, that means CC, and if worst comes to worst, silenced. With no abilities and no proc off Runic Blade, silences should be treated as her worst fear. Also the heavy damage that comes with engaging :( Riven is not a tank. She is a delicate flower, floating on wind... that can slice your head off. Treat her as such.
Greater Mark of Desolation -> Greater Mark of Desolation: This gives her an advantage against tankier characters and makes her deal a lot more damage than you'll realize.
-> Greater Seal of Armor: The flat armor is a powerful boost early levels, as Riven - although can build a great deal of health - does not have a preferably high amount of armor otherwise.
-> Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: CD reduction for Riven should be treated as an addiction - she just can't get enough of it. All around great choice in runes, and will help you reach a 4-second CD on Valor, as well as a 27-second CD on Blade of the Exile late game. That is some sweet, sweet honey folks.
-> Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: There are probably better quints for Dominion, but as it goes for Classic, combine this with your first ability point in Broken Wings, three stacks of Runic Blade, and you're slashin' like a champ at level 1 already!
For Dominion, I hear Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is a viable option, but don't take my word for it. I just use the same runes for each and I seem to be doing well enough :)
Pretty self-explanatory if you ask me. Riven is a PURE AD champion - even Valor has a +1 AD scaling ratio - so naturally you're want attack damage points as well as armor pen. CD reduction is, like I said, crack to a crackhead, so
in my opinion is a must-have :) the defense boosts in armor and magic resist is self-explanatory.
is great because, let's face it, you need be alive to do work. From a Dominion standpoint too, downtime is much more critical, so having less of it can stop an enemy ACE from really doing any damage.
For Dominion specifically, you'll want to replace your Havoc talent points into Deadliness , as you level wayyyyyy faster in Dominion, so the benefits are greater. I also get Improved Recall in Dominion because I’ve been in too many situations where I’m low on health, defending top, DESPERATELY need to base and get back to top. A dominion match can literally be decided down to the last second, so this -1 second on Recall (EVERY recall :D) is awesome, even if you may not realize it.
**Hot Debate Topic**
WHO YA GOT???
There's a big argument whether Ghost trumps Flash, and even though they reduced the range of flash in one of the recent patches, for RIVEN SPECIFICALLY Flash is the better choice (I cannot vouch for other champions though).
What can Ghost do? It makes you run faster and ignores unit collision. Granted it's not bad; it's better for chasing down enemies and getting to bases to defend in Dominion, but that's about it. The main issue I have with Ghost though is something what people may not expect...
Like most commands, when you activate you're moving from point A to point B. The problem is people know where your "point B" is always going to be: it's either you running away or towards a target. If you're low health and click to run away, there's still CC to be accounted for on the enemy's team. In higher-ranked games people know how to lead with their skill-shots, and believe me skill-shots WILL be landed. If you're trying to finish someone off, they can still juke you or even lead you into a trap. Besides, you want movement speed? Use & - it does wonders.
Flash can teleport you past small structures, dodge certain spells ( Finales Funkeln DEMACIAAAA-- well ****...), and give you a boost in chasing or retreating. I know you guys are thinking "Uhhh Ghost helps even more with chasing and retreating" and yes, the speed bonus lasts longer and whatnot. However, when you use , your "point B" destination is unclear to the enemy. It's that split second SURPRISE! feature that I really adore in this summoner spell. You could be pushing a lane against the enemy champion, and it LOOKS like you're just killing creeps, but the minute he gets too close, BAM! So much surprise rape. Plus, with the combo of Flash- Valor or Broken Wings it gives you a HUGE gap-closer that everyone underestimates.
Try using this for chasing or in need of serious escaping:
^ It's wonderful believe me :)
I don't think there should be much of a question when it comes to Exhaust. This has turned around so many fights for me it's not even funny-- actually, it's pretty damn hilarious, but not to the enemy. Epic slow and massive dmg reduction? Use it.
What else is good?
-- For reasons stated above I guess. Chase down, escape, etc. It can be handy.
-- At the very beginning of either Classic or Dominion it's decent for survival, baiting, and that quick turn-around in duels :)
-- Remember how a CC'd Riven is a dead Riven? Well now you don't have to be! Also reduces duration of any incoming CC after popping it, but I personally don't think it's worth the CD on the spell. Still has potential though in teamfights with a lot of control I suppose.
-- Teleport is a simple and awesome spell. Allows you to pull a TF and appear right in the heat of battle, as well as get right back into top lane after a much needed recall. Replace with either Flash or Exhaust, it’s your call.
-- For Dominion only. Timed well, it has the potential to save a game and deny the enemy of the caps they would receive if they aced your team. I've heard of premades where everyone has the revive spell and it apparently works quite well if you have the communication for it. Think about it...
-- Dominion only. Pretty effective when it's up, but like I said earlier, Riven shouldn't initiate, therefore the tower shouldn't exactly be attacking her. Not to sound like a **** but letting your teammate die is better than you dying once you understand the damage she's capable of. A good strategy if you have communication is let your teammate attack enemies defending the base while you capture. When the enemies switch over to you, get your teammate to start capturing. It reduces tower-damage pretty well, so a well-elaborated plan can work equally well as Garrison. It has it's uses, but there are better spells out there.
I don't...Why would you--just No...
-- Really not helpful in Riven's case. It's good on a lot of champions for the finishing touch, but Riven honestly doesn't need the extra DoT 'cept for VERY early game. Besides that it's worthless on her, and even more so in Dominion (such a high CD for a heal reducer essentially... not cool bro). Any one health pack on the map instantly makes ignite survivable I believe, so it's sort of hurrdurr stupid.
-- Riven shouldn't be going bottom lane in Dominion, or get this spell in general in Classic. Granted all her spells are AoE related and she can push decently, but there are just a lot of champions that are much better picks than her I believe. to name a few. It's a waste of a summoner spell on her.
-- lol. Except I hear Riven makes a fantastic jungler. However, this is not said guide, so for me = big lols.
DING! (In detail.)
Level 1: -- Get Broken Wings first. There's no other way to maximize the potential of your passive Runic Blade at low levels then to get this spell. Ki Burst is pretty pointless at level one, unless you plan on using it to last-hit minions. Valor is nice if you're sure the lane you're up against has strong harass potential. If not, baby!
Level 2: -- So you can chain your with something. Makes strong harass early on, or if they try to initiate on you, disrupt with and the hell home.
Level 3: -- Once Riven has all her abilities, she can start actually PLAYING, rather than participating :P the amount of positioning and is capable of is tremendous, and from here on out you can chase, gank, escape, and finish off your opponents with proper usage of each spell.
Level 4: -- Being the hardest hitting of her abilities (even after the said nerf), proceed to maxing out Ki Burst first. It also lowers the CD with each point put into it, so your be stuns with be frequent and funderful!
Level 6: -- Always get your ult whenever possible. Simple as that.
Level 8: -- Valor is next after Ki Burst, because it too reduces CD ( Broken Wings does no such thing unfortunately :\). Also, the amount of damage you can absorb is greater with each point placed in it, so at it's max level you'll be soaking up 180(+ w/e your AD is) damage every 4 seconds!
Level 14: -- Broken Wings last. Although it would provide solid damage early on as well, the CD never shortens, so I believe Riven's two other abilities, shine more when being leveled first.
R.A.G.E (Riven's Abilities Greatly Elaborated)
Clever title right? Once you realize the potential of each of her spells, this is exactly what you'll make your opponents be doing :) Here's an extensive look on each of her abilities and how/when to use them:
BROKEN WINGS (Q)
-- Riven's Broken Wings ability is unique not because no other champion possesses the spell, but the the spell itself is in a league of its own, consisting of three attacks when used within a small time frame of each other.
The first two hits launch Riven forward, dealing a bit of Aoe damage, and the third hit knocks up everything in a small radius around her swing. Note that whatever direction the enemy champion is facing towards Riven at the time will be knocked slightly forward in the corresponding direction, so it is usually wise to aim your third Q a tad overextended so that the champion is struck backwards into your domain rather then boosted forward in the direction he's probably running in. Just remember the simple acronym, R.A.P.E (Riven Attacks Past Enemies)! So when you attack someone, always remember to RAPE them :P
If there is no imminent threat and you find yourself in a duel with an enemy hero, make sure to space out your Q for maximum damage output. Runic Blade is the reason for this tactic, as it will keep the passive buff on for a longer period of time, thus causing you to deal more damage.
I would say the knockup for your 3rd lasts roughly around 0.5 seconds. Combined with Ki Burst you can get a full 1.25 seconds of stun on your opponent, and one second is all you need to turn an entire fight around.
Last tip: it is okay with wasting your first two in order to get to the knock-up. I use Broken Wings for movement a lot of the time - you can position yourself to set up a combo, chase, or escape like a pro with this ability. However, with the skill sequence I recommend, it's not going to be doing a ton of damage at the start anyway, and sometimes it's necessary to get that CC in in order to win the fight. For enemies that are near impossible to get the drop on, this strategy works wonders. Say you're trying to gank Shaco and he decides to face-check the brush you happen to be standing in. That summoner's finger is 95% of the time already on Q waiting to Deceive the hell out of there at the first sign of danger. If you decide to Ki Burst first, yes you'll get the drop on him, but only for 0.75 seconds, and it takes at least a full second to get to your 3rd Broken Wings up, so Shaco lives to tell the tell. If you see the little bastard start to approach your hiding spot, waste away your first 2 before he reaches you in order to knock-up instantly when he gets there, and then chain that with for 1.25 seconds of devastation.
Not laughing anymore, are ya *****?
So when using Broken Wings, remember:
-- Auto-attack in between each for maximum damage ( <3)
-- R.A.P.E. (Riven Attacks Past Enemies)
-- Each attack will move you forward. Use for chasing, escaping, and if you can, dodging
-- It's ok to waste your first 2 to get to your knock-up if the situation demands it
-- Your knockup can combine with for an entire second of sweet CC!
KI BURST (W)
-- This is Riven's nuke, and trust me, if you get fed, this nukes HARD. It also gives you 0.75 seconds of sweet stun and disruption, which is more than enough time to stall for either a teammate run in and help you pick off a kill or to aid a buddy in retreating.
It's also semi-decent harassment in Classic mode. Attack a few minions, and as soon as you see a champion to come up and harass YOU, just , , and behind your wave of creeps to safety (even though there's no damage, I prefer using Valor to engage because it's an extremely quick dash along with a shield, and Broken Wings has a much bigger space of distance it can create between yourself and any enemy champion).
For people who get into patterns with their abilities Ki Burst is a great way to throw people's combos and initiation off. If Lee Sin just hit you with Resonating Strike, a lot of times he'll follow up with Resonating Strike again for the flying kick, and probably Safeguard / Iron Will out of there for the free harass. Don't let that happen. As soon as he flies in, ping him, Ki Burst, and completely throw off his douchey little harassment. If Jax turns on Empower you can sure as hell expect him to try and Leap Strike you IN DA FACEEEEEE! So when he does jump, Ki Burst! It can throw people off quite drastically at times.
Last viable option with Ki Burst is the disruption it creates not only for harassment, but for channeled spells, as you shall see below.
The list of champions you can easily shut down goes as following:
Katarina w/ Death Lotus
Karthus w/ Requiem (if he's dead though, make sure you're not close to being so lol)
Caitlyn w/ Ace in the Hole
and Miss Fortune w/ Bullet Time. Make sure in each of these fight (Especially and ) you try your best to have Ki Burst up for the right time, specifically ult activation. You do this, and you win the game. Forever.
The list of champions that are somewhat harder to shut down goes as following:
Fiddlesticks w/ Crowstorm -- he won't usually use his ult in wide-open space, so it's hard to catch him channeling the damn thing.
Janna w/ Monsoon -- the initial push-back is frustrating. In this case, I would save Valor and Ki Burst to quickly get back in range.
Ezreal w/ Trueshot Barrage -- dat Arcane Shift... but just use the same strategy with Janna here.
Nunu w/ Absolute Zero -- It. Takes. FOREVERRRRRRR to get near him if you're not already closeup. Valor is a good gap-closer, but if you have Flash up in this situation, use it :)
Twisted Fate w/ Destiny
Pantheon w/ Grand Skyfall
and Shen w/ Stand United -- most of the times they'll be teleporting TO you instead of away from, so there's nothing to be done in this situation. If they're close by and channel their ult, obliterate their said plan.
The list of champions that are near impossible to shut down, but CAN be done are:
Lux w/ Finales Funkeln
Cassiopeia w/ Petrifying Gaze. Both of these ults you gotta be RIGHT there when they're activated, because the channel is so short that even using Flash or Valor to get in their face is pointless. The ult WILL go off unless you happen to be at the right place at the right time, and you have fast fingers. I have managed to stop Lux on occasion so I know it's possible :)
The list of champions that you can shut down IF THEY ARE NOT TARGETING YOU are:
Malzahar w/ Nether Grasp
Warwick w/ Infinite Duress
and Urgot w/ Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverse. These ults suppress their target, so there's not much you can do if they're locked down on yourself, is there? However, you can save a teammates' life AND piss off an enemy at the same time if you can disrupt them! :D
The champion I'm curious about... :
Galio w/ Idol of Durand -- I understand if you're caught within the AoE in activation there's nothing you can do about that, BUT if you're not caught in the initial hit... is it possible to Flash - Ki Burst him out of his channelling? Is the range of Flash long enough, and can you do it in split-second timing where you are unaffected by his ultimate, thus stopping it as well... if anyone can find this out for me, that would be awesome. Good luck.
It's very important to realize who you're up against in every match. With great Ki Burst comes great responsibility, and you should abuse this responsibility to no end.
-- You can throw off harassment
-- You can destroy certain ultimates and toy with others (refer back to champ list I provided)
-- It's a hard nuke when fed and vs. squishies.
-- I would consider this Riven's bread-and-butter ability. I know it doesn't do damage, but this spell IS the reason I'm one badass Exile. This ability alone is her biggest strongpoint: the ability to block 400+ dmg when built every 6 seconds (4s with CD reduction runes and items). Her shield actually scales off AD as well, so the more dmg you build on her, the greater your shield will be too :D In 1v1s, use it as frequently as possible to make yourself as not-dead as possible :P It's amazing for surprise initiations and closing/creating distance along with a nice chunk of shield every dash. Skillshots are ineffective against a good Riven ( and etc ain't got **** on you!), as are tiny AoE's and delayed spells ( lolz!).
If you know how other champions are best played as well as what their abilities are, you can counter them much easier. If you see Vayne Tumble nearby and you have no means of running out of range, at least Valor away to absorb some of the damage. A lot of people forget this too but when I turret targets you, don't just run away; Valor away.
Last tip: If you know how other champions are best played, you can counter them much easier. However, if you know how the person playing that champion is going to think, you'll win the game. If you see a cautious Annie who's been fighting behind her minions suddenly amble up to you, she's probably up to something... like Summon: Tibbers... or something else that has DEATH stamped on its forehead. If you notice your enemy's movements you'll be able to counter them with a moveset of your own. You know Project: Summon: Tibbers is about to be initiated, you can actually Valor out of the Aoe/stun with good timing :)
If you're up against good players and they think they can predict your movements, think again! Valor is great for throwing their predictions TO THE GROUND! I was laning against a decent Cho'Gath once and every time he would cast Rupture I would walk away with a swagger in my step :) he noticed this, and started casting behind me, as he predicted my movements whenever he knew I saw him casting the spell. I noticed the change in his playstyle, and instead of running back whenever he used now, I'd TOWARDS him and put that broken sword of mine to use, pummeling his dumb fat demon head >:) if people try to catch you off-guard, do the same to them ;) and Valor is one hell of a tool in doing simply that.
The possibilities with Valor truly are endless, whether you need to dodge a spell or block some damage, use it frequently and efficiently, and it will never let you down.
-- Valor = soaks up 400+ dmg every 4 seconds. THAT'S A LOT OF DAMAGE SOAKING.
-- Know your opponent's champion and their abilities to reduce incoming damage.
-- Know your OPPONENT and you'll win most fights. It can be easier to notice then you think ;)
-- Great at gap closing/creating
BLADE OF THE EXILE (R)
-- THIS is the reason I LOVE Riven XD her ultimate is simply beautiful. Clicking "R" for Riven is like when Goku goes Super-Saiyan <3 it boosts her damage phenomenally, gives all her abilities a longer range and greater AoE, and you get to click it once more for the all-glorious Wind Slash, her only ranged-ability.
Don't EVER be hesitant to use it. It has one of the shortest CDs for a game-changing ult so it'll come back up before you know it (1st sexual entendre... teehee <3). If you get a champion to low health and he's escaping successfully, screw it: + if you know you'll guarantee the kill.
To give you an idea when is the perfect time to activate Blade of the Exile in a fair fight (a 1v1 duel where both champions have a solid amount of health and whatnot), I kid you not, just think of sex. Harassing and damage is the simple foreplay; you do damage to a champion, nothing too intense or passionate, and in the middle of the fight, *******! Turn on and rock their world/health bar. Remember, you want sex to last as long as possible, so never finish early/too fast. Only when you know you can ensure the kill or get them dangerously close do you use Wind Slash, because the lower their health is, the more damage the attack will actually do :D isn't it great??
Last tip: In sex, you never want to be turned on too quickly from foreplay, because it'll creep out your girl and scare her off. Just as in LoL, never activate too soon, because when the enemy realizes your sword just became taller than yourself, and adding the little fact that it looks/sounds like this in-game:
It's safe to say that's pretty ****ing terrifying. So bait your enemy and smack'em around before you bring out the big guns, or swords in this case :P trolololol.... however, in team fights where everyone's committed 'til the end, go in "swords a'blazin'" and activate that ult at the beginning of combat - you'll wanna do as much damage as possible obviously. Use Wind Slash when someone's low to immediately pick them off and try to hit as many enemies as possible with it :)
So remember when using Blade of the Exile:
-- Think of sex :D
-- Don't activate at the start of a 1v1 fight. In team fights, go nuts.
-- Wait as long as you can before using Wind Slash
-- More sex-related thoughts.
(Little-known fact: The only time where it's better to activate Blade of the Exile early on in a 1v1 is in Dominion! When enemies with really low health decide to keep defending the base they're stationed at, make them regret that decision. Don't necessarily go in to kill them, but turn on before you begin capturing their base. If they run, let them. If they attack you, a quick + will finish off any weak champion. Use this strategy well.)
-- Sorry for the novel, but I thought it was helpful to list off multiple scenarios and go in-depth for each of her abilities. Hopefully this brings you one step closer to mastering Riven :)
This is my wonderful item build that has worked for me successfully almost every game.
Start off the game with:
This will provide sufficient movement speed/positioning before you get each of your abilities. The pots are for survivability obviously :P if you chose this route, STILL GRAB Doran's Blade NEXT! I find it helps with early game damage, and the life-steal is very nice helps stay in lane once pots are out.
HOWEVER. When playing solo-top...
It is wise to consider:
Doran's Blade right off the bat might be more effective and let you stay in lane for farming needs, rather than recalling after your pots have ran out. Besides, at level one you move faster than almost any champion with in your arsenal.
A few items vary when facing different opponents but in my build...
Your core items shall be:
--> --> -->
OMG I LOVE YOUR SHOES!!! (I mean, explanation of boots...)
For boots in dominion I use Boots of Mobility because in order you fight, you need to get to the fight don't you? Due to the small map and idea of capturing/defending bases, they will help you reach every battle, and the surprise semi-gank to help your bot laner is always satisfactory. However, your movement speed is also pretty decent with Ionian Boots of Lucidity, as more frequent Broken Wings and Valors also boost your speed fairly well. Just make sure you have your spells up when you reach the battle :P
In Classic I highly recommend Mercury's Treads instead. While with Ionian Boots of Lucidity your ultimate CD reaches about 27 seconds, as well as your other spells coming up very frequently, there's simply too much point-and-click CC that can really mess even the best of Riven's up. Plus the extra magic resist can't hurt, which is where a lot of that M@#!?*THERF@#$KING comes from in the first place... :)
First game I decided to use Mercury's Treads in draft pick. Went bot. This happened:
and then this happened:
**Hot Debate Topic
WHO YA GOT???
As I am aware I'm the only person who recommends The Black Cleaver over Last Whisper, and here's why:
-- Damage is higher (55 > 40)
-- Attack speed bonus on (30 > 0)
-- It reduces armor by 15 for each hit. Now I'm assuming the reason most people choose Last Whisper is because the 40% armor penetration is pretty sweet I'm not gonna lie. However I feel like the attack speed on is a bigger plus than armor penetration due to one reason: silences.
Riven is incredibly prone to silences. You can't use any abilities, and you can utilize your passive () to the best of it's potential without being able to cast spells. So while you're down and silenced, I believe the attack speed makes up in damage for lack of using abilities for damage. And even though Last Whisper has armor penetration, The Black Cleaver still reduces armor, so it's 2 benefits v. 1.
My opinion? The Black Cleaver all the way.
**Mild Debate Topic
Who do you have, perse?
get it? Cuz it's "mild"?-- ah, screw it...
There has been a few questions concerning which item to build first, and I have come to a decision. If you are going bot lane, I still recommend building The Black Cleaver first; your laning partner should have a decent amount of CC or slows to make up for the Phage passive, and you should be playing the role of AD-carry bot lane anyhow, so go for gold and slap their **** twice with damage :D IF, however, you decide to be the solo-top laner, Phage is wonderful for the extra survivability and on-chance slow when duking it out with your enemy.
After your core items:
This is for the CD reduction and sweet activation (for Dominion, I use the activation more for getting places rather than the attack speed bonus and whatnot, because you'll destroy enemies without it anyhow. Once those items are done...
There are a few choices:
-- is my usual route. It provides armor she needs, health, and a solid passive buff :)
-- if their team has heavy AD and AD carries.
-- for more damage and magic resist, incase they have a heavy AP team.
-- / if their champions have a ton of health.
If you do build Sunfire though I recommend your next item be Atma's Impaler, seeing how the combo of and give you quite a bit of health for the passive on Atma's to do some serious work.
If you do not go down the path of ...
Then I suggest:
With the route, it makes your attacks godly in power. Every click from will proc Sheen's passive, so make sure to really commit to auto-attacking in between .
With Guardian Angel you'll just feel like a badass :) either path is good. Either way, this build will maximize Riven's potential as a burst damage dealer and carry while being able to still do some damage when silenced. It's not necessarily tanky, but it is healthy, and besides, Valor will also help you live to tell your tales of ownage on the Fields of Justice.
For Classic:Take top or bottom, and gank mid whenever you see the opportunity. When ganking, it's okay to activate Blade of the Exile at the very beginning, just make sure the enemy isn't aware that you have - you want to send him back to the base in little pieces, not alive and pissed his pants.
**Hot Debate Topic**
SOLO TOP VS. BOTTOM LANE
WHO YA GOT???
SOLO TOPRiven is fantasmigorical (really good.) solo top, BUT Riven is not a solo-top-purist. Granted she is quite the bully/aggressive soloist - play offensive to zone out your opponent in XP and shut down their gold gain - but you don't have to rage quit ALL the games if you don't get top lane. In reality there are champions as good as or even better than Riven in this said position ("Uh huh-huh... I said 'position'...").
Consider for a second...
and and and and and and and and and and--
Basically what I'm saying is there are still a LOT of pick-worthy options for top lane. You need to consider a combination of who's the best for top lane on your team; who can counter their solo top champion the easiest; which champions can play passively and effectively; therefore extinguishing Riven's key trait of being very offensive; which champions can be as aggressive as Riven; which champions can--
Again. There's a lot to consider, and if enough requests are sent, I will go down the list of solo top heroes and determine who Riven can counter, who she should yield top lane to, and so on and so forth :)
BOTTOM LANEIt will be a perilous journey, wrought with evil and treachery at every step.
You'll need this:
A Meat-Shiel--I mean, laning partner...
But yeah, any of the common laning buddies will do :) while Riven is a great solo-top choice, she also excels in a partner lane extremely well! Alongside an aggressive pal or CC-freak, you'll feel like Gandalf whenever they try to push your lane ("YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" -- that whole bit).
The best aspect about going bottom in a lane is ganking. Ganking is one of Riven's natural talents of badassery, so really reap this quality for all its worth! Tell your partner BRB (that way he or she's not pingin' to attack, then rushes in and realizes "Wait--what?"), and try to shut down your opponent's middle lane as much as humanly possible. Yes, this is the jungler's job from time to time, but we've all had those games where Skarner's simply doing his own thing, or Udyr's in lazy-**** stance, or this happens:
"WHERE THE UNHOLY **** IS BOT!?!!?!"
Get it? :D :D :D
....Cause he's blind... :D
But yeah, a passive jungler is somewhat of a fail in my opinion, so take charge and help with the surprise rape.
Or in other words, **** dat **** :P I haven't tried jungling with Riven but I hear she's a great one. Blakhart's Riven guide features a lengthy jungling section that I believe to be quite viable. If you want this girl to get jungle fever, read that guide :)
The Game Begins...
Solo top, **** dere ****.
Bot lane, not bad, but not OP. She's easy to smack around before she gets all her abilities, and her attack range in general is very poor, so for harassing enemies you need to be up in their face. Do NOT get up in their face early on unless you got one hell of a laning partner to get your back. If not, you begin to harass, both enemies focus you, and you'll either die, waste pots, or waste summoner spells getting out of there, giving your opponent a solid advantage whichever path you choose. Sit back, farm dem minions, and once hitting 3, feel free to try and go in to harass/ensure the kill.
Riven has a wonderful mid game, because her ultimate is truly a wonderful ultimate. Wind Slash is the sole reason Riven should never have Ignite because there's no way you can't be finishing off enemies with this baby! You can stay in lane to push, but if you're fed a bit and doing well, try and gank mid or just roam around looking for opportunities to strike :) Riven does a especially well at kicking champions when they're down too, so if there's any enemy hero that's under-farmed or died one to many times, let's make them die a few more shall we? ;)
With a full build Riven obliterates with ease. She is one of the best 1v1 champs in my opinion, can quickly get in and out of combat, and you will essentially have your giant sword up ALL THE TIME. Go nuts have fun.
For Dominion:I usually go mid. With a combination of and out of the base you get there faster than most champions. You also reach the top at level 4, and for some reason Riven's pretty good at cleaning up kills/picking off scraps from the remains of the battle at top. After that, all I advise is play smart, take risks, get that mid-buff, play with your teammates rather than against them, and be nice. If someone's sucking on your team, there is such a thing as off-games. Don't be that jerk who finds mistakes/bad luck unacceptable...
(Little-known fact: Riven's best Dominion buddy = *drumroll*
Ta-da! Rammus is actually everyone's best Dominion buddy, not just for the taunt and tank and all that, but for the initial capture at top. If you're not going middle with Riven, make sure your Rammus does all he can in his power to get to top ASAP (my buddy gets that at 1:34 on average. I think that's a good time lol). Do not, I repeat, do NOT help Rammus cap the base though -- instead, cut off the enemy's path to top. Stall them ( knockup and ) and tell your other teammates heading top to help you do the same.
Rammus won't need the extra help in capping if your team can effectively cut off both routes for the enemy to reach top, if only for a few seconds. Out of all the times I've used this strategy, it's failed once because two of my teammates dc'd at the beginning. I thought I'd just share this tactic to the world if you weren't aware of it already. Enjoy!)
Don't need to in Dominion. Your source of money will be from the blood of all those slain champions on your hands :P
For classic, Riven uses no mana, so when minions are low, use for the last hit. Also, I've noticed the first click on actually hits the second you click it - aka an instead dmg activation - so you can use this all well, and the other 2 clicks can be for harassment or just retreating.
I think that's it. Sorry this guide was so long, but hopefully this'll help you understand the true power Riven has lurking within that small frame of hers. She isn't hard to play, but she's difficult to master, so it might take some time getting used to all her little tricks and surprises, but once you do, you will come out of 99% of all situations victorious. You will feel like, and forever be, a badass. Plz comment, vote, and give me suggestions :) I'm always open to new ideas. But until then...