Riven Build Guide by the.tasian

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 the.tasian

Riven's Art of War.

the.tasian Last updated on October 1, 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: 22

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 7

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

Utility: 1

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Lets get straight to the point, people. ~

If you have more in depth questions, ask me, but this is a simple guide.
Most people probably just look at the items, skill sequence and runes anyway.
I basically don't like builds with Riven as a glass cannon or an off-tank.
So here's the fair balance in my mind.
I don't want to spend an eternity explaining every little detail that is probably unnecessary.
This is kind of a work in progress, soon I'll provide videos and screen shots.
But I feel content with what I've done here.
Just tell me what you think and ask what you want. (:

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Summoner Spells

Typically my preference:

Adding a point to Cripple coupled with the armor penetration is great. Slows up down and lowers their defense, and is great for those pesky Tryndameres in mid-ult.

I prefer ghosts on AD champions like Irelia and Riven mostly because say if you're farming top and mid is getting pushed hardcore, you can rush there. It's not always about catching an enemy, if anything, someone else on your team will catch them. I like the mobility in that sense. Riven's Valor DOES IGNORE MINION COLLISION but it doesn't get you that far however it does protect you from some damage if you're trying to gtfo and if you get your Broken Wings combo and then your Valor you'd be sure to get away.


This skill pisses us all off when the other champions have it and I think Riot's going to get rid of it soon unless it was just a rumor. I like this more on AP mages and AP melee champions. I mean, go ahead and use this on Riven, most people seem to. The cooldown is just higher than Ghost by 30 seconds.

Useful early game to get first blood and kill those healer types but that's pretty much it. It's virtually useless late to mid game because Riven doesn't benefit from Burning Embers , she doesn't use ability power whats so ever. I just think she utilizes Exhaust better.

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The reasoning for the runes I have chosen are very simple,

    1) she needs survivability in order to take damage and
    2) she needs to actually do damage.

Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration Really gives her a great damage boost, just as long as you make sure to try to attack after each cast of Broken Wings, Ki Burst and Valor because her passive, Runic Blade is an amazing buff to her normal attacks and that's where most of the damage will come from.

Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist are pretty good for Riven obviously because she's a melee fighter and she's always going to be in the middle of fights, she'll probably be focused and the armor resist and magic resist runes give her a great advantage to harass and to survive team fights. These, I feel, are mandatory.

You may be asking, "why not Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction?" And it's because Riven doesn't need cooldowns, she needs defense, besides you get a The Brutalizer later. Defense helps you early game way more than cooldowns, Riven isn't a great harasser unless it's a solo lane... but you can already almost spam her skills 'cause she doesn't use mana or energy and her cooldowns are already pretty low. You could get those glyphs but I don't really suggest it over the other ones.

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I think the masteries are pretty self-explanatory, 22 in Offense because Riven needs as much damage as possible without being a glass cannon since you have defense covered. The Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration go in accordance with the extra damage is great for Riven.

7 in Defense to further increase her sustainability which compliments the Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Lastly, 1 in Utility for the extra boost in Ghost. You could always put it somewhere else like Evasion but I feel Ghost is more useful to Riven

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A great start out and sustainability item on Riven compared to . The lifesteal from a isn't as useful as the health regen from a since Riven isn't a ranged DPS. The damage isn't necessary either that early on because her damage-damage doesn't come until after you get a Pickaxe until then you need to be focused on LAST HIT FARMING. Utilize Riven's passive Runic Blade to help you, I cannot stress this enough. Riven needs as much gold as possible to be effective, it's hard to recover on her so you want to play passive against a 2v2 lane most of the time unless you're with a great ranged carry or mage like Caitlyn or Malzahar, in cases like these you have an advantage but at the same time a disadvantge because they need more farm than you so you might want to fight for solo top. Much like Irelia farming is more important than harassing. (Unless it's a lane you must starve or a 1v1, even then, try to balance out the harass and farm.)

is also a very great item on Riven because of the CC reduction and like I pointed out before she'll always be in the middle of a fight if not focused down. Sustainability folks, you want to make her a semi-tanky DPS. Because she doesn't have lifesteal like Xin Zhao or Irelia you need to make her as invulnerable as possible and this helps.

I know there are a lot of skeptics out there about this particular item but it is amazing and like a must have on Riven and it's because she doesn't do that much damage, her auto-attacks are almost worse than a mage. This gives 40% armor penetration which is an amazing boost to her damage and her Wind Slash output and this is pretty damn easy to farm for. More armor pentration = more damage with her Runic Blade. Trust me. Just make sure to get a Ruby Crystal first, Pickaxe and then complete this item.

Yes, the epitome of a tanky dps, a must have core on Riven, by this time you have so much survivability and damage you most likely won't die often at all in team fights. This makes her tanky and scary so you probably won't get focused as often now, you're hardly considered squishy. Plus, that slow is so good for getting away and slowing down those enemies trying to escape when you pop a Broken Wings combo to catch up.

I prefer just this by itself without the whole Youmuu's Ghostblade just yet, I usually finish it after The Bloodthirster I mean you COULD build the entire thing but I just love it for the +15 armor penetration and the 10% cooldown and for that only. I usually just try to farm up and build a...

Which gives her damage and a nice lifesteal %, and plus BONUSES 'cause you're going to get Oh so many assists on Riven.

This is like an end game item but it's totally not mandatory, just a suggestion. Depending on how well you're doing you can just get more damage like an Infinity Edge or more survivability like a Banshee's Veil. Of course you can sell the Doran's Shield for something better.

End Result:

Dominion Build

Optional, not Recommended:

If you're really having trouble farming, this isn't a terrible investment before Last Whisper but the Pickaxe should give you that damage needed to effectively last hit but if you're comfortable with this item first, by all means. However, if you do end up getting this instead maybe you should invest for The Bloodthirster right away instead of getting just The Brutalizer

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Skill Descriptions

Broken Wings: Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes. This ability can be activated up to 3 times in a short period.

    1st Use/2nd Use: Deals damage to a small area in front of her
    3rd Use: Jumps into the air and slams downward, causing a larger impact nova that deals damage and knocks nearby enemies back.
Ki Burst: Riven damages and stuns nearby enemies.

Valor: Riven dashes forward and gains a shield for a short duration.

Blade of the Exile(Ultimate): Riven's sword reforms, giving her a percentage multiplier on her total attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and basic attacks and the ability to use Wind Slash once.

Wind Slash: While Blade of the Exile is active, Riven can reactivate the ability to emit a large shockwave that deals damage to all units hit based on their missing life.

Runic Blade (Passive): Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do bonus damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, but only expends one at a time.


Valor - This is your E, Max this first, this is very, very helpful and Riven's only defence. The amount of damage you absorb is pretty damn helpful. You can sustain a fight, even a 1v1 if you pop this baby before they start dealing some damage on you so it soaks it up and during that time you deal plenty of damage. It's great especially for harassing and farming so you can tank those hits.

Ki Burst- This is your W, max this second, this does the most damage of all your skills and the 0.5 second stun is somewhat helpful but don't rely on it too much because by the time you cast it you have a 0.2 or 0.3 second attack time.

*Note: Maxing both these skills reduces your cooldowns overall.

Broken Wings - DON'T MAX Q FIRST. The skill Broken Wings doesn't deal any damage at all early on, once you get all that armor pen, though, it'll do decent enough damage. But don't spam it consecutively because you're wasting her Runic Blade passive and damage potential. Attack in between all skills at least once or twice before spamming everything in an actually fight. It's not a wise idea. Riven takes more skill and timing to use, don't mindlessly waste all her skills.

Blade of the Exile- This might be kind of tricky to time, can't pop it too early, but you can't pop it too late. I normally activate my R when they're almost half, or half health, at least the carries/supports//assassins which I hope you focus first.

Don't forget about Wind Slash the second part of your ultimate which works much like Garen's ultimate, which goes by how low the enemy champion's health is. So use it when they're health is pretty low but with Last Whisper you should deal enough damage so they don't have to be deathly low... which will usually be when they're trying to escape. There's a delay on it, so don't get too excited, it's thrown in a cone like shape, make sure to aim it so the champion is almost in the middle so you don't miss.


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Skill Sequence

The way you decide to enter a battle is kind of situational, but typically if you're going to engage, I'd go in this order:

Broken Wings auto attack, Broken Wings, auto attack, Valor, auto attack, Ki Burst, auto attack and the final Broken Wings, auto attack.

I'm not going to say rinse and repeat because it really depends.

You can also start out with Valor and then Ki Burst, auto attack, auto attack, Broken Wings... if you're going for a for sure kill.

You may want to save your Ki Burst say, if you can interrupt a champion mid ultimate like Warwick, Miss Fortune or Katarina.

Sometimes, if the team has a lot of damage output, you might want to cast Valor after the first Broken Wings or any time you want to soak up damage.

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...would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance and I just want to help you guys out so don't be so harsh.
Being a girl means I have feelings. ):