Riven Build Guide by Narcrush

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 Narcrush

Riven - Violence to end Violence

Narcrush Last updated on September 27, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 9

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"A sword mirrors it's owner." - Riven, The Exile

Hello everybody, I am Narcrush, and this will be my first guide on this fantastic website.
So, a little information on what is going to be in this guide. This is the way I play, I am not stating this is the most optimal way to play her, I have tried Dasbol's guide, it worked, but wasn't for me, so I am deciding to make the build I use and explain why choose these item, masteries, runes, etc. Please take the time to legitimately read my guide, and not immediately come to a assumption if you read something you don't agree with, constructive criticism is always welcome, and I want to this guide to be as good as it could possibly can be, so please speak your mind so it can improve. Here we go!

I play Riven as a Tanky DPS Solo Top character, so all of my items, runes, masteries, etc. Are centered around taking that solo top, these can be used it duo lanes, but I focused more on a Solo top perspective.

Riven Update:

Base Stats
Attack Speed per level increased to 3.5 from 2.9
Base Armor increased to 15 from 12
Broken Wings bonus attack damage ratio increased to 0.7 from 0.6.
Ki Burst cast time decreased to 0.25 from 0.5
Shield increased to 60/90/120/150/180 from 40/70/100/130/160.
Cooldown decreased to 10/9/8/7/6 from 11/10/9/8/7.
Blade of the Exile
Cast time decreased to 0.25 from 0.5
Missile speed increased by 10% to 2200 from 2000.

I am now currently using a 21/0/9 Mastery setup, and it has a much better damage output, and I have been doing a lot better overall instead of the 3/18/9 mastery setup. I will still have the other mastery explanation above, but I will also explain why I am using these now. Use the 3/18/9 if you feel like you need to be tankier.

Other things to look forward to in the guide:
    Match History
    Consistent editing on other finds while playing her
    A Duo lane section
    A possible jungling section
    Game phases chapter
    Adding more items to the situational section

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Quick Information

When it comes to the overall build of Riven, this is my IDEAL BUILD. You should not neglect getting survivability over damage, she is a TANKY DPS, not a GLASS CANNON. 90% of the time, I don't have this build, I have a Randuin's, or a FoN, or both. She does not have a cookie cutter build, and you must always adapt to the opposing team. This build is ever changing and you should be able to move around a set build and make yourself more useful by changing your items. They have a lot of AD? Sell that bruta and get a Randi. They have too much AP? Sell that Bruta and get a FoN. They don't have really anything that hurts you? Get dat Youmuu's. That is all.


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Pro's and Con's

Great Burst
Excellent Ad scaling
Decent escape and gap closer
Awesome DPS boosting ult along with a nuke and range increase
Great passive if utilized
Short CD's near endgame
Sexy Voice :P

VERY Squishy early game
You HAVE to utilize your passive to gain max DPS
Small stack on passive makes people waste stacks due to spamming
A lot of positioning required
Very combo heavy
Just about zero sustain unless you build life steal or HP regen

this is your Passive, it stacks up to three and a stack get removed after every auto attack. This gives you great damage throughout the game.

This is the cream of the crop for using your passive, you can use it three times, use your others abilities within it's internal cooldown, and you can nab auto attacks within your combos. This can be used to dodge skill shots, escape, and close gaps.

Personally my favorite ability she has, nice mini stun with a short CD, 1:1 Ad ratio, and it has great burst damage.

This is your bubble, has a 1:1 Ad ratio as well and gives you a nice gap closer/skill shot dodge. It's base isn't too good, but the Ad ratio makes up for it.

In my opinion one of the best Ults in the game, give you a HUGE damage steroid, which affects your passive, and all of your abilities, increased attack and ability range, and a skill shot nuke that's damage gets increased depending on the health of the chosen target/s.

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The first set of runes are what I currently am using, and the second batch are the runes that I also think would work for her, and I will explain why.

9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage The reason I choose the flat AD over the flat ArP runes is because of how well she scales with Ad, and the amount of ArP you are getting with items, I felt as though the flat Ad would be overall better.

9x Greater Seal of Armor She is a very squishy champ early game, and tends to get focused, so I grab these to give her some more tankiness early game, allowing her to survive in top lane longer without having to back.

9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist Since I build her as a tanky DPS, I also give her flat Magic Resist glyphs to give her more defense.

3x Greater Quintessence of Desolation I grab these to give her some more early damage, this has some good synergy with her passive and the flat ad marks.

Optional Runes:

9x Greater Mark of Desolation If you don't like using flat Ad marks, these are always a great second choice, I originally used these and I felt like the damage output early game was smaller than using the flat ad marks.

3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed If you feel like you can go without using the ArP quints, grab the quints of swiftness, they are all around an excellent quint, and these will help out with getting those last passive auto attacks on them when they are fleeing the fight.

If you think that some of these runes are not sufficient, please tell me some other alternatives so I can try them out myself and update my guide depending on my results.

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These masteries that I go with is a 3/18/9 Defense build. This is ever changing, so it will be changed depending on what I feel is better or what you guys recommend.

Resistance I take three in Resistance because of how I build her, and the 6 magic resistance is great overall.

Hardiness I also take three in the Hardiness because of how squishy she is during the early game that this with the flat armor seals help out greatly.

Evasion I am currently thinking about swapping this and nimbleness out and and just scrapping the bonus the HP from Veteran's Scars and going into offense after I grab Resistance and Hardiness, the dodge percentage is miniscule without having any other source of dodge, so I am thinking I am wasting points just trying to get the hp.

Harden Skin Nothing wrong with blocking physical damage.

Nimbleness As I said in my evasion description, the proc from the dodge is so small I rarely see the speed boost from Nimbleness.

Veteran's Scars The bonus 48 HP is great for early game survivability.

As I had stated, I will be changing these around seeing that the evasion and nimbleness isn't very worth while without the dodge seals for Ninja Tabi, so if you have better choices, please say them so I can try them out and create a better master page.

Mastery Build #2:


Deadliness Max this out, gives you some crit, which doesn't hurt, but mainly give you access to the next tier of masteries.

Archmage's Savvy Unfortunately a wasted point to get the next tier, since I don't use Exhaust anymore or smite, so it is only used for the 4 point requirement. But pick of the Cripple if you do decide to use exhaust

Sorcery CDR, CDR, CDR. This works SO well with Riven, since her CD's are fairly small, this along with your bruta works fantastically for her.

Alacrity 3% attack speed helps out to make sure you get last hit.

Sunder More ArP, which is awesome for Riven, allows her to hit harder, makes her passive better also.

Brute Force Since she scales so well with AD, grabbing this make her hit even harder.

Lethality Since you grab a Atma's, grabbing this will allow you to crit harder, especially if you have that passive up.

Havoc More bonus damage, awesome.


Good Hands Nothing in this tier is too helpful but this, nothing wrong with a faster respawn time am I right?

Perseverence Mana regen is useless but the HP helps a little bit.

Awareness Bonus XP gain. Since you are solo top, grabbing this helps out greatly when it comes to trying to out level all of the other lanes.

Utility Mastery Longer buff bonus? Hell yeah.

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Skill Sequence and Combos

When it comes to Riven, she is a very combo heavy champion meaning you NEED to use her passive properly, Don't spam Q three times, then W, then auto attack, you just wasted a perfectly good auto attack that could have possibly killed that person. But also doesn't mean you HAVE to use your passive after every ability, if you need to, spam Q three times, but make sure you use your passive and are not wasting the attacks. For example, lets say you are getting ganked by a Xin Zhao, He has his Three Talon Strike up and he his attacking you. Broken Wings three times to knock him up first, then auto attack, then Ki Burst then auto attack twice or so, then Valor out if you need to or Valor to get another stack.

The most important thing though is you NEED to utilize Runic Blade, but think about how it can be utilized instead of only using it at the end of combo, after every skill, etc. Just make sure you aren't wasting those perfect stacks.

Skill Sequence:

I grab Broken Wings at first level, and then max Ki Shout second, grabbing Valor at level 3, and switching off between Broken Wings and Ki Burst and of course grabbing Blade of the Exile at 6, 11, and 16.

I have seen a lot of discussion on whether Broken Wings should be maxed over Ki Burst, I think these are both viable paths to take, but I personally max Ki Shout First because of its early game burst, not to say that Broken Wings doesn't have good burst, but I grab it so I can get more stacks on my passive. Also, when Broken Wings and Ki Burst are maxed, Broken Wings Over all damage is about double Ki Burst's damage, but with double to CD. So in my eyes, I feel like maxing Ki Burst is more beneficial than maxing out Broken Wings first. Also, I am not taking into account the passive auto attacks between Broken Wings and Ki Burst because those should always be used regardless on which ability you got the stack from.

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Summoner Spells

I originally had Exhaust before I switched to Ignite, after repeated matches i noticed that people were getting away with a sliver of hp after my using my ult on them, so I decided to pickup ignite instead so I can make sure those kills are secured.

Flash is just a flat out OP summoner spell, and it works great on her. At times if you can't get off your ulti, or if you did and they are still alive, you can flash up to them and Ki Burst or Broken Wings them. One time mt team was in the middle of team fight and everything was going good, when their Xin Zhao came in to try and play clean up, we focused him, I had ultied him and I realized that he would survive the hit so I flashed with the Wind Slash and used Ki Burst to secure the kill, it was quite epic.

Exhaust It is a great summoner spell especially on Riven, It is a huge slow which allows you to get off your combos in succession.

Ghost This can help either running away, or closing gaps between people that are running away, plus it has good synergy with Valor and Broken Wings.

If you have any other summoner spell ideas, please let me know so I can try them out and add them if I like 'em.

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Core Items

These are the core items in the build. I always make sure I have these near the end, but of course I don't rush them, building survivability over pure dps is always better so try and get multiple components of these sets and you are good. The Last Whisper Gives a great damage boost along the ArP %. I LOVE the Atmog's combo, it gives great damage, HP, and Armor, so it is all around great especially since I also grab a Frozen Mallet too.

I get this right after I get my tier 1 boots, and I hold this item til the very end, and I will explain what I do with it near endgame when I go over the situational items.

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Situational Items

When it comes to playing Riven, I always build her depending on their team comp, as most champion's should be, some only follow a specific build, and I feel like Riven would be quite useless if she didn't adapt to the battlefield.

Doran's Items:
I determine which Doran item I get depending on their team comp.

If they have a lot of spam or if their solo top has more painful spam than I, I grab the shield because of the extra armor and the health regen, I feel that it gives you more sustain than the small amount of life steal you from the blade.

If their solo top doesn't have to much spam and you know you can out spam them, grab the blade, if you gives you the bonus damage, and the small amount of damage they do to you, you can smack back up.

When it comes to getting your Tier 2 boots on Riven, I see only two Viable options.

Grab these if you see their team having a lot of CC, stuns, snares, taunts, etc. These are all around in my opinion the best boots in the game, and it won't ever hurt grabbing these boots.

If you see that the enemy team has little to no CC, grab these cookies, they give you good CC reduction and that helps out greatly with your abilities. These are second best choice for boots on Riven in my opinion.

Defensive Items:
These are only specific to the situation of the match, some matches I don't even grab these.

Hands down one of my most favorite items in the game. Great MS boost, MR, and Health Regen, great if you are getting nuked down my them AP burst champs.

My second most favorite defensive item in the game. HP boost, Armor and health regen boost, and a flipping AOE slow! That slow help great of fleeing champs so you can make sure you get off all of your combos and woop up on those champs.

Only need Armor or Magic Resist?

If you notice that you don't need to get a FoN and a Randuin's, turn that Bruta into a Youmuu's. It gives great ArP, CDR, and the activate is great, but if you need to grab the Randi and FoM, replace it.

Additional Items:

I have gotten this on her a few times when I noticed I needed to get some quick MR and a bubble it gives, this is an excellent choice on her, especially if you grab Ionian Boots of Lucidity and want that missing MR.

I have only tried this out three times or so, and I would like to use it more, after trying out Dasbol's AOE Riven build, I noticed that this item has great synergy on her because of her great ult and passive. It gives great damage, sweet splash, and the health regen, if I start to like it more that endgame youmuu's, I may switch it out.

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Items I do not recomend.

I have seen some people grab these items on Riven, and I feel as though they are completely wasting a perfectly good item slot on something that isn't utilized by her as good as they are on other champions.

When it comes to this item, I feel like it can be used, but I feel it is to double-edged. When it is maxed out, it is AMAZING, but when you die, I feel as though it looses it's touch. This item is purely from personal preference and if you love to use, use it. I am just not a BT fan and I feel as though that slot could be used on other things.

This I didn't understand at all, she isn't an attack speed champion, her base attack speed isn't too good, and she is very ability heavy, she doesn't stand back and chip off people. All the times I have seen a Riven with this they did terribly.

Another item slot I think could be put to better use. Hell if you need quick MR, grab a Hexdrinker, plus it gives you AD, which would be more beneficial than a WE.

I have seen a lot of discussion on whether this should be used on Riven or not, and I think it shouldn't. First off all, she was developed to not use the Tforce, and she scales so well with pure AD, and I feel the only true beneficial you get from the Tforce is the Phage proc. I may be wrong, I just may need to try and use it in matches. You guys tell me.

You aren't using dodge runes, or the masteries unless you are going the tankier route, and she could boots that are more beneficial to her, like Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Mercury's Treads.

I also might be adding more items to this list, and may remove some depending on more finds. If you disagree with one of these items, let me know.

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There really isn't else left to say about this champion besides the fact that I think she is an overall great champion, good damage, great burst, becomes very tanky with this build, and requires a lot of combos to pull of maximum damage.

And as I said, please tell me what you guys think of my first guide and tell how I can improve my guide. Thank you for your time!