Riven Build Guide by Blowfeld
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Hi guys. I hope you brought some time as my guide finally starts to get comprehensive.
The first days out I saw Riven guides pop out of the ground as if somebody planted mushrooms. The following "voting" battle did hit some good guides I believe and everything became chaotic as everybody seemed to believe that items & skill usages would be set in stone- which is not the case. It is a rather fluid process and I believe it is not that important to present one uber- build but more to explain your thoughts so everybody can adjust your ideas to their play style.
I am not the guy who wants you to dictate his play style I just want to open your mind for bringing new tools and ideas to yours.
Also, if you are looking for just a brief guide, that gives you a snapshot of Riven, then you should continue searching as my guide goes a little more in- depth and takes some time to read completely as I feel that I need to explain my choices to give better insight.
Most of the guides out there are for normal or ranked Summoner's Rift matches.
Mine is specialized on the smaller battleground that is Twisted Treeline.
I know there are not that many people outside that prefer 3 vs 3 but I know they exist. I belong to them and love playing Twisted Treeline (despite its balancing issues) because it is fast, action driven and it is easy accessible for new players as they just have to concentrate on 5 other guys, instead of 9.
At Twisted Treeline you will meet slightly different circumstances compared to Summoner's Rift especially if you consider playing normal games.
I. Games usually are shorter even when you got quite even teams
II. The group set-up tends to melee / bruiser heavy set-ups
III. Certain groups in the jungle share the same spawn possibility
So I adjusted my basic build to that needs and made it cost less than 11.000 gold even if you include a Doran's Aegis (yeah, that's a word creation- more on that in the items section) as an unconventional approach of choice. This sum includes Health Potions and wards.
As you will be often matched with other AD heavy champs I chose an item set-up that basically gives you a strong offensive, synergistic defensive measures, as well as a great group support. These 3 factors are even more important if you solo queue as you usually can not rely on your team mates if you are unlucky.
So, if you prefer playing Twisted Treeline, or are quite new to it, then give my guide a read and share your thoughts because this is all what it is about.
Next up in this guide... (my to do list )
II. Thinking about new sections to add
I. Getting a picture of a gibbon in a suit ;)
Attention: Lore (feel free to skip wall of text for comic)
In Noxus, any citizen may rise to power regardless of race, gender, or social standing – strength is all that matters. It was with committed faith in this ideal that Riven strove to greatness. She showed early potential as a soldier, forcing herself to master the weight of a long sword when she was barely its height. She was ruthless and efficient as a warrior, but her true strength lay in her conviction. She entered battles without any trace of doubt in her mind: no ethical pause, no fear of death. Riven became a leader amongst her peers, poster child of the Noxian spirit. So exceptional was her passion that the High Command recognized her with a black stone rune sword forged and enchanted with Noxian sorcery. The weapon was heavier than a kite shield and nearly as broad – perfectly suited to her tastes. Soon after, she was deployed to Ionia as part of the Noxian invasion.
What began as war quickly became extermination. Noxian soldiers followed the terrifying Zaunite war machines across fields of death. It wasn’t the glorious combat for which Riven trained. She carried out the orders of her superiors, terminating the remnants of a beaten and fractured enemy with extreme prejudice. As the invasion continued, it became clear that the Ionian society would not be reformed, merely eliminated. During one bitter engagement, Riven’s unit became surrounded by Ionian forces. They called for support as the enemy closed in around them. What they received instead was a barrage of biochemical terror launched by Singed. Riven watched as around her Ionian and Noxian alike fell victim to an unspeakably gruesome fate. She managed to escape the bombardment, though she could not erase the memory. Counted dead by Noxus, she saw an opportunity to start anew. She shattered her sword – severing ties with the past – and wandered in self-imposed exile. Now she seeks atonement and her own way to serve the pure Noxian vision in which she believed.
“There is a place between war and murder / in which our demons lurk.”
- Excerpted from the poem, “Scarlet Shon-Xan”
New to Riven? Watch her spotlight!
Sometimes watching video information upfront helps a little to better imagine what the guide is about, so here it is. Enjoy!
Pros / Cons
Resulting in easy avoidance of skill-shots
Lots of AE Damage
You can shield yourself easily for nukes
Great passive for sustained damage
Crimson Elite Skin
CD affected skills (screw you mana pots!)
Great champ if you planned getting used to smart cast anyway
You rely heavily on items
Your stuns are very short and more for annoying and interrupting
Your AE effects have a very short range
You need to put thought in positioning and engaging
Passive needs some time to get used to
Mediocre in farming early game
Valor & Broken Wings are not able to flash you through objects
I like to go with a 23/6/1 build, but I also see nothing wrong in going a 21/9/0 build using dodge runes if you like to.
I prefer offensive masteries, because I believe that 48health , 4% less damage and 1 or 2 blocked physical damage influence Riven as much as armor ignore, extra bonus ad, 10% critical damage and 4% more damage output do.
If you feel different take a more defensive approach but in my opinion you waste a little bit of Riven's potential then.
Why do I build exactly like this?
I believe these skills to be bread and butter skills for my play style of Riven, which is a little more passive in the beginning (except I see a clear chance to gain advantage of an enemy's mistake) and more aggressive late.
Sorcery CDR is so important on Riven. With the chosen items your CDs will be reduced by a third;
Sunder Ignoring 6 armor is always a good thing when armor is what negates every damage you do.
Brute Force 3 Bonus AD. Like that stuff every skill benefits from...
Havoc Your job is to kill stuff. With Havoc you do so 4% faster ;)
Offensive Mastery As you will use AD/ level quints this helps you do last hitting in the early game.
Lethality Not really a game changer but if the game goes longer and you get to buy an Infinity Edge you will be happy to have chosen this...
You are quite squishy, especially in the beginning. Take it!
I often prefer using Ghost over Flash because it lasts longer and seems to be more versatile in some situations. If you prefer Flash skip it.
Skip Haste & Offensive Mastery if you die often. But in general I think it is overrated in 3s as the running ways are shorter as in Summoner's Rift and usually the few seconds do not make the difference.
These are the summoner spells that I consider most viable for riven at Twisted Treeline.
Hell of a great spell and I can totally see why nearly everybody wants it to be in his/ her repertoire. It is great for surprisingly initiations into fresh or existing fight (thus I prefer to use Valor for this because of the low CD), lets you catch up to fleeing enemies more easily or can save your life if you use it to escape over some wall.
This is also a very useful offensive/ defensive summoner's spell, especially at Twisted Treeline. Whenever you feel out of the action or need to catch up to somebody it does the job. Somebody flashes away in lane? With Ghost usually you catch up quickly. Also you can easily phase through units because of the disabled collision detection.
If you prefer a very aggressive play style or want to shut down specific champions it is a great spell for an offensive bruiser. If nobody else on your team has taken it consider if you should not take it.
I love Exhaust! Big times. It can save you or a team- mate when you need to retreat or scare somebody. It totally shuts down any attack speed based AD champ. And with the resistance negation it is a powerful tool to kill somebody without much of a fight.
It is a great defensive spell as it eliminates one of Riven's cons- her liability to crowd control. If it makes you feel safe and your team has at least one Exhaust and Ignite, why not?!
What can I say? If you consider jungeling consider taking Smite. It's that easy of a choice!
My personal choice:
I prefer Flash/ Exhaust or Ghost/ Exhaust because it gives me good tools to either escape or nail somebody to the spot/ stop them from escaping.
Just look what your team-mates are taking and what you prefer. Your team has chosen double Exhaust/ Flash? Maybe you should then pick Ignite if the enemy team has a Tryndamere or Dr. Mundo on their side. If you don't pick Ignite they will have for sure ;)
The "odd" choices
Alternative summoner spells that you can take but I just do not see fitting to your role.
Can be useful, but I believe that there are other champs that can better refrain from the spells considered as good choices then you do.
It is a great spell, no question. But as we plan to establish good map control by placing wards I move it to second tier choices.
Combine this with an early Tiamat and enjoy the chat... ;)
Let me elaborate my odd rune choices and offer you some viable alternative.
As my play style tends to be a little more defensively and last hit oriented until I hit level 6 and get my ultimate I only engage if I know that I will seriously hurt the enemy or get out without losing much to establish some psychological domination.
That means, that I will only overextend for a certain kill and do nothing crazy before that, just farm hard and try to keep minion waves close to my tower but still out of reach. I want money and not to go to base every minute because I am either dead or did something silly as "feeders" can break the morale of a random group easily.
I have chosen Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage and Greater Quintessence of Desolation because as Riven you need both, bonus attack damage and armor penetration.
Buying attack damage/level Marks & armor penetration Glyphs is superior to buying vice versa as the armor penetration per point of attack damage @ level 18 is 0.74:1 instead of 0.66:1;
Believe me or ask me for the maths in the commentaries as I will gladly explain.
- Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage catches up with flat attack damage marks at level 7;
- Bonus @ level 18: 14 attack damage;
- Greater Seal of Defense & Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist catch up with flat runes at level 10;
- Both grant about 11 armor/ magic resist more than their flat counterparts once fully charged;
By playing careful and not running out and calling " DEEEEEMAAAACIIIAAAA!!!!" we just gained 14AD, 11 armor & 11 magic resist for free.
I'd say that's about 1/2k gold worth.
If you have problems early game or like playing aggressively from the start then I recommend these as they should suit your needs better as my first choice:
- Greater Mark of Desolation
- Greater Seal of Armor or Greater Seal of Evasion (if you go 9/21/0 or 21/9/0)
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Regarding Skill Sequences you basically have 3 different viable routes to take (and one optional, if you really prefer a protective route without a competitive damage output) that all work out in one way or another. Whatever Route you take, whenever possible put a point into Blade of the Exile, it is just too good not to skill....
I. Burst Damage Focus/ Interrupt Focus
Max out Ki Burst first, Broken Wings second and Valor last but put at least one point in Valor early to have skill to avoid skill shots / escape / close gaps...
This route gives you a great damage output and gives you a lot of interrupts as your Ki Burst will have a CD of less than 4.5 seconds around level 10 as Ki Burst scales best with your bonus AD, has solid base damage and it´s cool-down reduces when leveling up.
But anyway I prefer putting my fist point in Broken Wings for all the extra mobility when trying those crazy first blood mayhem things :)
II. Sustained Damage Focus
Max out Broken Wings first, Ki Burst second and Valor last but put at least one point in Valor early to have skill to avoid skill shots / escape / close gaps...
This will give your Broken Wings some extra damage early on as you will also use it to build up powerful auto attacks you can use in between abilities and still you can use Ki Burst for some extra burst/interrupting.
Also it will help you early game if you have a problem in farming as it grants you 3 powerful AEs early to make last hitting a children's game combined with your talent tree.
III. Balance Ki And Wings
You can max Broken Wings and Ki Burst quite equally for nice sustained damage, but if necessary put some points into Valor, at least about level 10 to further reduce cool-down and to avoid taking big nuke damage.
This build seems to have the lowest damage output in fights less than 10 seconds where you can use every skill at least once...
And here is the optional way of skilling:
Max out Valor and Ki Burst first because both have a scaling cool- down reduction in leveling up the skill. I can see why that seems appealing but found out that for me and my play style I just did not find that much use for much more Valor usage early on as I usually had valor ready either after my enemies bit the dust or just in time to do my escape move.
I will not recommend this, as your damage output until level 18 will be sub- par. But at least you will be able to absorb a lot of damage and avoiding a lot of skill shots on a regular base if you prefer that kind of game play.
The thoughts behind this...
I made several simulations and calculations maxing either Broken Wings first or Ki Burst or mix them up equally @ level 10; assuming you are doing ok you should be able to have about 63 Bonus AD when the dilemma zone appears.
Results: (in descending order regarding damage output)
BURST DAMAGE FOCUS
If the fight is shorter then approx. 11 sec this one wins the upper hand; Also strong if the fight continues to be quite long;
SUSTAINED DAMAGE FOCUS
In a short window between 11 and 13 seconds this one would have the upper hand even if only slightly;
BALANCE KI AND WINGS
Only spikes for a brief moment around 11 seconds- otherwise inferior;
So you see it is all situational and depends how long your average fight goes at that point of the game and how well you can use your low cool- downs.
But after my calculations it seems to be the best bet to really maximize Ki Burst first as it does the most damage if a fight does not exceed the 10 second mark.
And in general the fights do not last that long, at least not at my low level of skill :)
Items- Because girls like shopping
First of all, these items are not set in stone. I have not come down from a big hill with the rules how to itemize.
But I will tell you why I chose certain items, show you situational alternatives and possibilities how to build further if a game goes longer than expected.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Despite the movement speed you want to gain that CDR. CDR is what keeps your Blade of the Exile up in nearly every fight later on, what lets you Valor out of Lux finales funkeln just in time and so on...
If your opposing team has a lot of magical damage and CC then these shoes are viable on Riven. Consider buying a Kindlegem instead of Doran's Blade mid game...
So you don't want to jungle and ask me, why I believe this is a really great core item?
Let's have a look at [[Wriggle's Lantern] and what it offers for us.
30 Armor: Considering that most team compositions at Twisted Treeline are AD heavy, armor is a good thing to bei more beefy early game.
23 Dmg: Bonus AD that scales with everything you got.
18 Lifesteal: So, no sustain in the beginning? This helps out a lot to keep your health up a little.
Free Wards: As I mentioned in my intro you usually cannot rely on allies when you solo queue. So you will usually be the one who buys wards. That means in an average match you will buy about 4- 8 wards.
Let's assume you would buy 6 wards. That equals 450 Gold. That makes your item 450 Gold cheaper- 1150 Gold for 30 Armor, 18 Lifesteal and 23 AD? Sounds good to me. Plus you do not have to go back to shop wards, as you always got them with you without wasting space in your limited inventory.
More delicious cool- down reduction, bonus armor penetration and an active usage, which not only gives you extra mobility but more sustained/ burst damage.
On top you get more bonus AD that help you scale better as well as some crit that becomes more handy if you decide to upgrade to an Infinity Edge.
Nice. This item suits you perfectly.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
Aegis Of The Legion
You may frown a little as you do not consider yourself a tank, so why should you buy this item?
It not only gives you everything you need to be no glass cannon mid game, it also supports your team in all those team fights that are up to come.
In a perfect world this item gives your team a total of 90 armor, 117 magic resistance and 24 AD;
You benefit from them all and also gain some extra health from it. And all of that for 1925 Gold? Great. Also you don't have to rage if your mates consider buying resistances as obsolete (last night a Veigar constantly one- shot my team-mates who told me that carries do not buy magic resistance as the have to do damage...)
Combine this mid game with a Doran's Blade and you are getting that survivability that won't let them nuke you easily.
B. F. Sword
The Best Friend Sword is a grand tool of destruction.
Build it to a The Bloodthirster if you need a combination of lifesteal and bonus damage.[ Some people say that The Bloodthirster is not that strong but in combination with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Runic Blade stacks you self- heal quite nicely...]
Make it a The Black Cleaver to shred their squishies and hurt their more tanky bruisers. Or just if you have a problem in building the stacks The Bloodthirster.
Or build an Infinity Edge for some burst damage poker...
The choice is yours, but i prefer the first two choices at Twisted Treeline.
THE SITUATIONAL FRIEND
Feeling like there is an enemy AP nuker getting a little out of hand and you want to get control of the situation without losing your damage output?
Skip Doran's Blade mid game, as it is kind of a place holder or get your B. F. Sword later and buy this beauty.
It totally harmonizes with your Valor and should give you nice survival skills that are stronger at Twisted Treeline as games usually not tend to go that long which prevents guys like Veigar from blowing up complete districts...
But if that AP Carrie gets totally out of hand and kills everything around you and even squirrels start to wear radiation suits it is maybe time to pick up Force of Nature to make a final attempt to stop the madman.
A most times underrated item. Using it is a great way to counter AP heavy teams with suppression/ a lot of disabling potential.
You will often see a Warwick or Mordekaiser (who is not as useless as many kids cry after the last nerf) and you are able to counter their ultimates so easy with just this one item.
The guys in the other team go quite armor heavy as your team-mates switched to Talon and Ashe last second. If their armor exceeds a uncomfortable value then feel free to prefer this item to The Black Cleaver;
The Black Cleaver on the other hand allows that AP stacking Ashe and that Talon who is proud owner of 5 Doran's Blade's the armor reduce on your target as well.
You have to make up your mind what is more useful in your specific situation...
You already have armor up @ 150+ and still feel squishy? Then buy this beauty and nobody will ever stop to hug you if you do not want them to. Hitting bad guys with the mallet makes sure you can tell them everything about shopping, celebrities and beauty products until they either die of exhaustion or by your blade.
Also Frozen Mallet gets great synergy if you want to pass Aegis of the Legion and get an Atma's Impaler instead for a more defensively orientated mid/late game.
If you plan on buying a Frozen Mallet skip the Doran's Blade mid game for a Phage.
I still have to brake down some numbers on this and will keep you guys updated.
Sword Of The Divine
As we are still in the situational section I can totally recommend this item mid game instead of Doran's Blade if you have an enemy Jax that wants to get king of the hill. Yeah, this is situational, but this will help you shut down Jax completely together with your Exhaust and it's no big downside as it harmonises with your Wriggle's Lantern, the active on Youmuu's Ghostblade and later on The Bloodthirster to give you both, burst damage, sustained damage, quick lifesteal to recharge and a good counter to dodge heavy builds.
It's just not really good on Riven as a regular item for a build.
Sword Of The Occult
Things are going really well from the start on? You are feeling in the mood to dominate out of cheap stuff? Then this sword will make you happy. Just make sure you maintain 5 or 6 stacks at least and it becomes totally cost worthy.
But if you have a feeling of not doing so well, please avoid it because the more you suck, the more this item sucks as well ;)
The enemy Team consists of triple AD auto attack champions? Congratulations, Tryndamere, Xin Zhao and Master Yi just gave you a free win and all you had to do was to skip the Aegis of the Legion for this nice armor.
Randuin's Omen could also be a viable alternative, but we want to keep it cheap and offensive, right?
If you are feeling superior and/ or have a certain level of blood alcohol then buy this baby. Enjoy mashing mob packs while you get soothed by the relaxing splash animation.
It is not that bad and certainly great if you want to troll an annoying team :)
Why the heck you put up a Doran's Blade in the mid of your build? You stupid? NOOB!
As mentioned in my guide my choice for Doran's Blade mid game might seem odd.
Let me elaborate this a little.
Around level 10 you got your survivability build up well by owning Wriggle's Lantern & Aegis of the Legion.
I believe Doran's Blade to be a good and cheap addition to Aegis of the Legion at that point as it further gives you more survivability as well helps you not drop behind in damage at that point. I just see it as Doran's Aegis and it is a beautiful item for only 2400 gold. Same thing that works in early game in general also applies situational at some point. And here I see this point given.
At level 11 you got your second rank of Blade of the Exile anyway and with your CDR it will increase your damage big times.
You can easily skip Doran's Blade if you want to get to B. F. Sword quicker because you dominate anyway and do not feel like in need of more health and lifesteal.
Of course this is the first item to sell if your inventory gets full when you go into a late game.
But what about Sheen & Trinity Force?
I have made some calculations. Even all stats on Sheen are wasted the proc brings it close to the value of a B. F. Sword if you use a auto attack every two seconds.
If you can't maintain the proc whenever it is off CD then it falls behind- significantly.
And the only thing you can build out of it without blaming yourself as a baddie would be Trinity Force which comes relatively close to the damage output of an Infinity Edge plus it gives you health and a slow proc.
It is not a bad thing to own and I don't call people using it names, but I just think it is too expensive and prefer other items on Riven.
The mathematical calculations I did on that topic (that wasted 2h of my life) showed that damage wise it is never more than 5-10% behind Infinity Edge and gives you some extra movement speed and health.
The hotfix (09/20/2011) makes AD heavy items pull even more slightly ahead as the ratio on Broken Wings has been increased. But the difference is only minimalistic...
The only thing I rant about are Riven players combining Frozen Mallet & Trinity Force rendering one more stat useless...
A brief explanation to Riven's skill set
Riven can do good in both, top lane or bot lane, but I prefer to play her duo lane bot with somebody who can stun enemies. You can jungle too, but I prefer not to do that when I do not know how capable my team-mates are. Will add a section about this in a few days...
One of your problems is that early on you have no life regenerating ability whatsoever. No lifesteal and low hp/5 make it difficult to last in lane long.
So whenever I go shopping until about level 10 I make sure to invest in at least 2 or 3 Health Potion as they can not only save your life but also let you stay in lane longer equalising in more gold to farm. Gold is nice. Women like to spend it on fancy items and so does Riven...
Your passive and a reason why many Riven players fail hard.
Have you seen that well known pro player trying out Riven for the first few minutes, bashing all the buttons and telling everybody that there is no damage output?! Well that was not only fun to see but also it is one of the things you will have to learn to master as Riven.
When to use an auto attack in between skills or when to pass on using it makes big difference.
You can stack up Runic Blade up to 3 times, each additional stacking is wasted.
When you play you need to know how many stacks you have got and make decisions on the fly:
"Do I use Broken Wings to mow down those half dead minions between me and the hurt Talon, whose Ulti is down, to close the gap between us and then active my Blade of the Exile [last second- so he is not warned), than go over into Ki Burst when my team-mate jumps him from the bushes?"
In that case that would be 2 Stacks wasted, but probably with 3 stacks ready and your ulti popped, waiting for WIND SLASH and a Valor to stay close, it should be more then enough to burst him down.
So use your stacks wisely, add them in between abilities to maximize your sustained damage output. This is what makes the difference between the "Button mashing meh Rivens" and you!
This skill is great to close gaps, to devastate everything you pass through while dashing (AE, yeah!). And not only you build up 3 Stacks of Runic Blade also your last hit knocks your enemy back.
Can you imagine how much that Nunu hates you for throwing him back while he starts to cast his ulti?
The bonus AD scaling of this spell is decent, 0.7 is better than at her release and gets the job done.
And do not complain that this skill does hardly the damage of an auto attack as you can cast it 3 times quickly to have a nice burst/ knock back combo.
You can also use Broken Wings to avoid skill shots or end the stun animation on Ki Burst;
You may feel it's CD as a obstacle in your game flow, but with your CDR items your cd will be reduced to about 7.5 seconds and it activates after first usage of that skill. So if you auto attack in between and use the full 3 second window between your Broken Wings then it is available all the time...
This skill is both, a nice opening ability, as it does a fair amount of damage with its 1.0 bonus AD scaling but it is even better to interrupt ultimates and annoy people in destroying there gaming flow.
As an AE ability it has a quite narrow range, so positioning is key to success!
It also has a scaling CD which makes it useful every 4.6 seconds at level 18 with your CDR.
Remember that Nunu you just made really angry by wasting his ultimate? Now he is half down and while you chase through a bush his friend Fiddlesticks just prepares to launch a crow storm onto you and your team-mates. Poor Fiddle, there goes your ulti! And what a nice empowered auto hit you gave him afterwards to make up for it ;)
Using Ki Burst stops you from doing anything as long as your enemy is stunned because of its animation. I bet this will be fixed soon but until then use Valor or Broken Wings immediately after to skip the animation process and to keep up your dmg output!
With the hotfix (09/20/2011) the cast time on Ki Burst has been reduced. Fixed the problem. Riven plays much more smoothly now.
Not too much to say on this skill. It scales well and its basic shielding is kind of ok since the fix. With it's now ridiculous low CD you can almost spam it later on, especially with your CDR. Absorbing more than 300 dmg for free every 4.0 seconds? Hell, yeah! One of the reasons why you do not build up a big health pool necessarily...
Use it to avoid any kind of skill shot, to shield yourself from incoming damage, to jump out of range, to jump into range, to reposition, to save an ally from a nuke flying towards him so he can call you "noob" because he most certainly would have magically avoided it ;)
Oh, and it will empower your Runic Blade.... lovely!
Blade of the Exile
Riven's great ultimate and one of the abilities that make or break good Riven players.
At level 18 this skill has a 45 second cool down, with your CDR that is 30 seconds.
You will be able to have this up in nearly every encounter you will have as it lasts 15 seconds.
So please don't be a fail Riven by activating this skill at the end of a fight to strike down the enemy with your active part of it.
Pop this skill when you initiate into a fight. It gives you 20% bonus AD. That's a lot. Makes you hit harder and makes Valor take more damage.
Your skill range gets increased. Don't cry a river any more about the AE range ;)
And finally you can push the button again to gain WIND SLASH. After 0.25 seconds of delay you can lay a devastating cone attack in front of you. The more hurt your enemy is the more this will hurt on top! And now the slash flies faster thanks to the actual hotfix...
Let´s go back to Nunu & Fiddlesticks who now both run away from you because you really hurt them hard already with your now completed sword. But that damn Nunu has slowed you down with Ice Blast. You dash Valor closing in anyway and activate your cone of doom...
In front of you are lying two guys who will either start blaming each other in team chat or who will teach you new curses in their mother tongue ;)
Good job- mission complete ;)
Oh, on an additional note: Imagine how pissed the enemy team is when you use Wind Slash as a low CD Smite to steal "their" dragon last moment out of a safe zone!
Feel free to experiment with Riven and her skills, that's where the entertainment in playing this char manifests.
Don't let me chew every possible situation for you...
Here are only some quick tips:
Need to poke in lane?
Jump in with Valor when in range. If you want to poke defensively, then just use a quick Ki Burst to give them some respect and escape with Broken Wings; or jump out with activating your Broken Wings only once to pounce back in , give them a nice knock back, another Ki Burst and then escape with Valor to make you unpredictable.
And don't forget one or another auto hit in between as they are supercharged ;)
Want to kill something?
Then activate your Blade of the Exile hit them with Ki Burst & auto attack, if they decide to fight use Valor to make it harder to kill you. If it is a strong auto attack champ and you are not sure of the outcome Exhaust him and Broken Wings him down, throwing in auto attacks and another Ki Burst after your second Broken Wings to devastate him with a stun and a following knock back. If he now runs, Valor to him and finish him off with Blade of the Exile's Wind Slash if he is low on health...
The fun from playing Riven comes from making quick situational decisions. All your skills work greatly offensive as well as defensive. Experiment, combine and be unpredictable. Just don't do the same thing over and over again as they will soon find a way to counter your behavioural pattern. Make them feel like you are always a step ahead and in fact you will get just that!
What happens in the lane stays in the lane...
Ok, in this section I want to speak about some things in general and some things more Riven specific. The topics that come to my mind right now are:
In general I can say that Riven does fine in both, top and bottom lane. I have tried both and both ended up successfully. So feel free to choose your role or go even jungeling / part time jungeling if you trust your team to be able to hold 2 solo lanes and feel like a little PVE/ ganking combo...
Let's talk about who would be good lane partners or team partners in general as you need a good gank sometimes when you solo top.
Riven is then strongest when she has team-mates with a lot of crowd control. When your mates have "knock ups", "stuns", "slows" & silences that is always a great thing. If they have a far ranged ultimate that is not bad as well. Or if they possess the ability to further shield you/ heal you. And also they should not be too squishy.
So, who would be a good lane partner for you? I will just mention a few and leave the rest to your imagination as I am sure everybody has their own favourite team members.
a.) when I am in lane alone
Udyr just rules in ganking. "There is a bear coming out of that bush, oh no it' s a tiger, ouch...what? Ki Burst???!!!" They will hate to be in between you and Udyr. Not having a flash ready will result in a certain death sentence.
Lee Sin / Riven combo. All that jumping and poking annoys the hell out of people in my skill level and even good people are quite surprised how quickly a normal moment can turn into hell once the jumping, hitting, stunning and slicing begins. Lee Sin ganks like a boss and is by far my favourite champ! Deadly ganks at level 2? A nerf seems to be unavoidable =(
Terrify, Dark Wind & crow storm punish people who are carelessly overextending.
Tryndamere that always flashes through walls as you did not pick Ignite this match and are frustrated? Do not get angry. Twitch attacks from stealth and when Undying Rage is over the poison will do the rest. And he applies a slow. Twitch is an annoying win ;)
b.) When I lane with a partner
Dark Binding, Soul Shackles and Black Shield make her one of my favourite lane partners, as her Tormented Soil is quite helpful for zoning too.
Gragas will deny you a lot of precious last hits. If he is built not too squishy he can be of value with his great possibility to keep people out of range and also he provides a great slow and the "knock away" and damage from Explosive Cask can make or break a situation.
Blitzcrank; Grabbing people, only to knock them in the air and a great silence? Wow, what is not to like???!!!
Pulverize/ Headbutt combo can save you or give you an easy kill. Also you can stay in lane longer thanks to his healing ability.
Pillar of Filth just stops any escape, his Rabid Bite lowering their attack damage and Agony lowering their armor? It's Christmas on the junk yard, baby!
Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverse got us a lot of kills ;)
This is a more general topic. As I usually play Twisted Treeline in normal mode solo queueing I nearly always see most people around me auto attacking the hell out of every creep. In some matches they just nuke away the complete lane to the enemy tower and when you look at their creep score it says "2" and you know that there has been a lot of money lost.
Creeps on Twisted Treeline reward you with 22 - 36 gold minimum and amount increasing by time played depending on what kind of minion you last hit.
As many people said this before me I can only repeat:
"Last hit minions 10 times rewards you about the amount of gold a kill would reward you."
Time is money- and minions are, too!
Practice last hitting with your champ if needed in a match versus bots to get used to your hitting animation and to get a feeling of damage output your auto attacks and skills have. It's sometimes useful to use them for last hitting as cool- downs are the only restriction you have in using them.
Once you get better in this you will notice a notable increase of gold in your purse that you can spend to get further ahead.
If you are quite new to League Of Legends this term may say you nothing so I want to explain it a little before I post one of the best videos ever made about that topic.
Here is my explanation of zoning:
Zoning describes the process of getting lane control by positioning in a way that the opposing faction gets denied in farming gold/ experience either by being threatened or unable to reach the minions.
Matt says in his link about LOL terminology:
Zone, Zoning: Zones are areas of control, generally around players, NPCs and towers. Zones are affected by positioning, terrain, abilities, attack range and other game mechanics. Zoning is taking advantage of your knowledge and understanding of these zones to control the fight and harass/push/starve effectively while staying alive and safe.
To give you further insight I will put in a great video that Shurelia created a while ago and that helped me and thousands of other people in learning more about zoning.
On a legal note: I did not create this video nor edit it. All credits go to Shurelia;
Pushing describes a single or coordinated attack on creeps and towers in a lane to further advance closer to the enemies nexus.
What sounds easy and understandable in the first place often ends up in chaos in game.
As a general rule at Twisted Treeline I suggest to only push if you have enough map and situational awareness that you know it does not bring you in danger.
Situations in which I recommend pushing:
Your team has scored an ace.
Tell your team members to push a certain lane as far as safely possible and have a close look at the enemy re spawn timer. They can go shopping afterwards ;)
You killed enemy forces in your lane
Your lane is free of enemies and you have the map awareness to figure out that there is no good situation for you to land a gank and no enemy can sneak up onto you.
An enemy tower has an extreme low amount of health
You can push the tower and destroy it if you are sure that you either do not take hits or that you can safely take them and still beat the two guys who lurk at the turret. Act as a team for success.
Your team keeps the enemy occupied far away
Your team has the skirmish under control and you are near a tower with a friendly creep wave covering you? Take it!
Riven is a good minion pusher starting mid game as you can clear waves of minions quickly with well place area of effect abilities. Her ability to bring down towers is kind of weak as you have no great attack speed. Pop Youmuu's Ghostblade if you feel it is necessary.
A gank describes a coordinated attack on a target with the goal to be recognized as late as possible and aiming in a kill.
As you sure have played a few games you already know that ganking can be a double- edged sword. If done properly you hurt the enemy team by killing one or several of their members.
If you fail you waste time and health that you could have used more productive.
Regarding her abilities I consider Riven to be a good ganker. To be a successful ganker you should have some CC abilities as well as abilities that help you passing distances quickly/ chasing. As Riven all your abilities are useful in ganking:
Broken Wings: closing space between you and a target quickly / knock up
Ki Burst: stun/ interrupt
Valor: jumping the enemy/ chasing
Blade of the Exile: on demand attack damage boost for burst damage/ skill-shot to kill hurt enemies
If you combine these with Flash, Ghost, Ignite or Exhaust a well- planned gank leads to a kill nearly all the times.
I said "well- planned". This does not mean that you plan a gank five minutes prior to its execution- it just means that you need to have a lot of map awareness, make decisions on the fly and closing the distance to the victim of the gank unnoticed.
If possible attack from behind or from the side, out of bushes or appear around corners.
Flanking is such a powerful tool.
If you feel that you have a problem in holding your lane against a better enemy call in a gank from your team if you see a good opportunity. A good team can always beat a player with better mechanics if they work together.
What to do to prevent ganks?
- Check your mini-map regularly
- place wards, wards, wards
- don't overextend at risky places
Creating view is the main possibility to gain map control.
What tools do help you getting rid of the fog of war so you get a more informative view at the mini map?
- sight ward
- Vision Ward
- Wriggle's Lantern
- Noxious Trap, H-28G Evolution Turret and so on...
I have created a picture for where I see the most common places of placement.
These to mark the most important warding zones as the not only give you view of to vital points where people pass through regularly but they also grant you vision at 2 jungle creatures that contain powerful buffs and gold.
If you are short of wards make sure that at least those positions are warded!
This is a defensive ward. If you are being pushed back this ward will tell you when a possible gank can appear or when they try to strike one of your towers or even consider a Flash into your base.
Offensive ward. If you have them pushed back this can give you an offensive advantage and minimizes the risk of being ganked.
Another good spot to have an overview to get a perimeter so that the enemy can't cross the middle of the map unnoticed.
Situational wards. Place if you like to and the important positions are covered. Can minimize the risk of being ganked but I find them to situational to be regularly warded.
These are for ganking the mid lane. If you have a Lee Sin on your team that means that no one in the middle is ever safe.
Place a ward here if you need sight to flash into their base to back door the nexus.
If you know they put a sight ward somewhere feel free to destroy it by making it visible by a Vision Ward especially when the have champions with stealth abilities on their team.
Going crazy in the jungle...
The part about smashing animal's heads in and emptying their stomachs as we know their prime food is experience and delicious gold.
(Please kids, don't feed mommy's gold necklace to your dog- rather send it to me)
The jungle at Twisted Treeline is a little bit like playing roulette, as it is not static but some of the encounters appear quite randomly at certain positions. This sometimes means that you can't for sure say: "ok, first i kill those animals and then I go and kill those Rabid Wolves"- when instead there are only Ghasts.
As Forrest Gump said about jungeling:
"The jungle is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
So my main objective was to establish a kind of safe way of jungeling because a dead jungler is a bad jungler. You want to bring fear not live in fear.
Oh, and also you want that delicious dragon to be dead as soon as possible. If it helps you just assume that you play a 80's movie and the dragon murdered your best friend and kidnapped your girlfriend- that should keep you motivated!
I could also tell you that buff control is important and your mates at the solo lanes grow incredibly strong if they do not die and you can launch some power ganks- but your new motive is just better, that damn dragon has to die!
So, what kind of beasts will you encounter in the jungle?
I will give you an overview as well as the beasts are click-able for more information about them.
Possible spawns at Pos. 1 & 2(Great start positions if you do not start at position 3 or 4)
First spawn at 1:40; re-spawn 75 seconds after the whole camp is dead
1 Golem/ 1 Lizard/ 1 Young Lizard
If you meet this group smite the hell out of the golem and use your broken wings to finish him and his friends off. Don't forget your health potion. The good news are: You just reached level 2 if you started jungeling here.
Income: 62 gold
1 Wraith/ 2 Lesser Wraiths
These folks are quite easy to kill, a smite finishes of the wraith easily and his companions are no match for you. Bad news: If they were your first enemy group you are not level 2 and that sucks.
Income: 71 gold
Possible spawns at position 3 & 4
First spawn at 1:40; re-spawn 75 seconds after the whole camp is dead
1 Giant Wolf/ 2 Wolves
Easy to kill at any level.
Income: 57 gold;
These can be a little difficult if you already used smite, especially if you are not level 2 yet. If you find them problematic take a look if you meet wolves at the mirror camp.
Income: 60 gold
Possible spawns at position 5 & 6
First spawn at 1:55; re-spawn 75 seconds after the whole camp met his maker
Rabid Wolf/ 2 Giant Wolves
This pack is easier than the following one, at least from my perspective.
The rabid wolf gives you crest of nature's fury, which increases your attack speed by 20% and gives you 10% cool-down reduction.
Income: 125 gold
1 Ghast/ 2 Wraiths
These guys are tough, as they steal life from you. I prefer using Smite on the ghast or attacking them once I got my Madred's Razors;
The ghast grants you crest of flowing water that gives you 30% increased run speed.
Income: 145 gold
Postion 7: Grez, the lizard lord
Spawns at 2:10 and magically returns 240 seconds after he has been slain;
Grez grants you blessing of the lizard elder that gives you more damage and slows the target. It suits Riven perfectly!
With Madred's Razors you can beat him at level 4 or 5 without smiting.
Position 8: Ebonmaw, Terror of Zaun, Nemesis of Riven
This guy spawns at 4:40 only to laugh about you; once you killed him he needs 300 seconds to run the million kilometres of the snake's way;
Ebonmaw can safely been defeated at level 6 with Blade of the Exile popped and a Health Potion in use. Your Madred's Razors hopefully proc a lot and use smite quite late and Wind Slash at the latest possible moment as you do not want to give away your position by it or hit another mob pack ;)
Congratulations, revenge taken but we are sorry, the love of your life is in another castle, try again in 5 minutes.
Enjoy your crest of crushing wrath as long as it lasts and use the extra damage output to decimate whatever pleases you.
Income: 280 gold for each team member
Why jungle and what route to take?
+buffs give you a temporarily advantage
+fast leveling team- mates
+great ganking options
-reliance on team- mates to hold their lane
-mistakes can put you behind easily
-being vulnerable to counter ganks
-super map awareness indispensable
If you cannot rely on your team- mates and you want some jungeling you can go top lane, push the lane hard to their tower and then fall back in the jungle, take out some minions and return to lane when they pushed it back to your side of the lane. Rinse & repeat. But be aware of the map and call out missing champions as you do not want the top laner to gank your mates in the bottom unrecognised. A failed gank attempt will not only cost him xp and gold but also lane control why you get a fair amount of gold/xp/buffs.
If you are going full jungle feel free to pick a viable jungle build. I like to have a balanced build for that which gives me all the benefits of the jungle buffs as well as a good defence (armor is important for jungeling) and nearly all valuable offensive skills. Feel free to use a choice of your own comfort as many builds are fully functioning.
I choose some standard runes for jungeling as you do not need more than 12 armor penetration to successfully jungle.
When it comes to routes it is hard to say which route is optimal as creep packs are varying as mentioned above.
Good starting points are either
POINT 1 - safe starting position
POINT 2 - more risky position
POINT 3 or 4 if you plan a 4-3-5/6-4-3 route in top jungle only
Your goal should be to not return before you at least cashed in 700 gold if you start with Cloth Armor & 5 Health Potion (which I prefer over Vampiric Scepter as you do not have a fast attack speed and also is your passive not that strong in the beginning that it would grant you much bonus lifesteal per hit- but I know people who use it successfully, so feel free to experiment).
Then you can buy Madred's Razors and once you reached level 6 and have health pot left you can safely kill the dragon on your own.
You can also kill it at level 5 if you got blessing of the lizard elder and full health as well as a Health Potion- just hope for procs from Madred's Razors as it is more of a gamble and not to recommend.
If you encounter golems early on use Smite then I recommend to use the next one for the Rabid Wolf;
Do not use Smite on the lizard if you are planning to move on to dragon directly and wear him down with razors' procs.
If you found out a great way of jungeling that you believe is fool proof then let me know in the comments as I will test it and if it is really that great I will of course implement that and mention you.
Watch me struggle...
In this section I will post my experiences as I try out things with Riven so you can see that no matter how good or build is...at the end somebody will beat you totally.
So the people hating my guide can cheer at my defeats and the people who like my guide can participate in my wins and thoughts.
My last games where quite mixed. In one you can see I failed hard as I totally screwed up everything humanly possible. The others went quite well, tried some 1 vs. 1 and some 1 vs. 2 (which were great if your enemies do not have a lot of CC and are clumped up) that turned out surprisingly well for my standards...
I will keep you guys up to date.
Final Words....... for now
After about 30 hours of working at this guide I think I have achieved what I believe to be a decent base frame and can now continue to review and edit most of the sections to make my guide more accessible.
Also I now have the feeling that I can finally continue to play some games as I always had the strong urge to edit something in here while playing when a new thought popped into my head. This is what the first step to obsession must feel like :)
Hopefully my guide did not bore or annoy you and if my English sucks I apologize as it is not my mother tongue and I never wanted to rape your language.
I promise that I will continue to work on this guide, correct some mistakes, be open to different opinions and add some theory crafting as well.
Also I am looking forward to see your comments about this build -> constructive (!) feedback is always welcome.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
If you play Twisted Treeline like my, mostly solo queueing, then you will lose sometimes even if you played well. You will sometimes not play that well and often you will just make stupid mistakes.
If gaming makes you angry then just take a break, go to your gym and build up some muscles while you let out steam.
If you want to theorize about builds, then put on your running shoes and enjoy the last summer days while doing something for your body & your mind.
Stay healthy, stay fit. If you are on a losing streak and do some sports to compensate you will never lose again. Either you win games or you get more attractive and healthy.
But if your favourite MMO servers are role playing servers and Gragas is considered your main champion just forget my advice ;)
And if you really made it until here I reward you with a completely unrelated picture of a gibbon.
If somebody has a picture of a gibbon in a suit then please leave a comment.
Shout-outs & Thanks
In this section I want to thank all the people who brought me to think about stuff, changed my opinion, motivated me or just inspired me in one or the other way.
As I am no fan of the constant troll down voting on this site and believe that if the time constant is only long enough good guides will crystallize out of all this chaos. I will also link the guides of the people I mention, so you can make your own picture of this awesome champ.
A community should work together for a better understanding of a champ and not against each other....and if my guide really is not that well and I can't adept then I guess it deserves getting lost in the limbo XD
Thanks go to:
for making me theorise more about my skill sequence
Click to go directly to survival guide...
for making me put a bigger spotlight on Quicksilver Sash
Click me because the time for talking is over :)
for making me elaborate my thoughts on Doran's Blade more
your comment made me rethink a lot in my build- it was nothing in particular but ended in a domino effect :)
Click me to read about Riven as a class cannon :)
for just being a awesome person with an even more awesome guide! ( no gender included ;)
making a guide
for creating a epic video guide about zoning.
Her youtube page
09/19/2011 Guide has been written, head hurts
09/20/2011 Changes have been made according to new hotfix
Base Armor increased to 15 from 12
Cooldown decreased to 10/9/8/7/6 from 11/10/9/8/7.
Missile speed increased by 10% to 2200 from 2000.
Updated my Skill Sequences after doing some maths.
Added more information about Quicksilver Sash
Added more information about Doran's Blade mid game choice
Tweaked some information at the "items" section and added stuff...
Added subsection for shout-outs and thanks
Started what will soon be a jungeling section, will add a second build for jungeling
Added links to other interesting guides in last section as I want people to think, not to copy ;)
Further improved jungeling section, now about halfway done;
Took Doran's Blade out of the items showcased on top as people do not tend to read my guide and just see the choice and feel free to disagree with everything I have written before even reading ;)
Anyway, Doran's Blade still keeps being a viable choice as addition to Aegis Of The Legion;
Added more into jungeling section
Added first infos in laning section
Added a "see me struggle" section
Fixed some problems in text
Edited structure and typos
Rewrote introduction on a more serious note
Finished the laning section
More editing to give the guide a better visual approach
Shortened a few passages to ensure easy access
Completed jungeling section for now
Spell checked again in word
Corrected some grammar
Edited layout in 3 sections to make the guide more appealing