Riven Build Guide by Mikuroo

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mikuroo

Twisted Treeline - Broken, not twisted - in-depth guide

Mikuroo Last updated on November 3, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello everyone, and welcome to my guide on how to play Riven in the Twisted Treeline. I made this guide to show people how, if you will allow me to say, broken, Riven is in this map. You may use this guide in normals or in ranked, and it does not require anything specific out of your team. Riven has ridiculous damage, map presence, and when built correctly, tankiness. However, many people have already lost their advantages playing such an overpowered champion from how they build, skill, and from runes and masteries.

This guide will teach you how to play Riven as well, not just how to build. Please also remember that the build in my cheat sheet is not for every game, and it is mainly a generalized build that I have used simply as a placeholder. You may look further into the items section if you are curious about builds.

Without further ado, I hope you enjoy reading my guide, and playing on this very interesting map. If you have any questions or concerns, or you are having difficulties, you may comment below, and please read through it all before voting.

Also remember that this is a jungle guide, but is almost exactly the same as a non-jungle guide. The twisted treeline maps requires someone on the team to constantly take jungle camps, and this can be changed quickly by simply changing a few things, and replacing smite with another summoner spell.

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The title says it all. Riven is broken and her sword really reflects her gameplay. Why would you want to play riven? Because this guide, when played properly, will allow you to be broken. However, I will warn you that unless you are playing with a premade team, you may not be able to carry, because there is always the chance that your teammates are bad.

Or that you are bad.

So give this build more than just one shot, and if you don't like it, you can comment below. Just don't comment below saying my build is bad if you are 200 elo or something along those lines.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Riven scales quite well with AD, and she doesn’t really need anything else. These marks give her more damage which leads to faster clears and better ganks, and they also make her shield stronger. Other options are armor or attack speed.

Greater Seal of Armor: Armor yellows are the only good runes, especially since Riven does not have any mana. You could run health per level runes, but these runes are much better for early game, and give you safer clear. Clearing with more health is vital, because the enemy could pop up at any time.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These are the glyphs I use, but you can basically use any glyphs you want. None of them make a huge difference, however these have a pretty nice impact during the late game. Other options would be Flat Magic Resistance, Cooldown Reduction, or Attack Speed.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Once again, I take more attack damage because of the exact same reasons stated for my marks. Other options could be Movement speed, but riven already has insane mobility on such a small map, Attack speed which riven would only need for her first clear, or Gold per 10.

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Why do I go 9/21/0? Let’s start by looking at the utility tree. There is absolutely no reason I would want anything that I could get with 9 points, because extended buff duration is very situational, (it’s hard enough to get vilemaw) and the 2% movement speed is very minimal to how much mobility riven already has. Because you have no mana, we would be wasting the first 9 points that go into utility. If we were to go 21 points in utility, we would only be getting the 15% reduced CDR, as well as 2GP10, and some more experience.

Now that isn’t all that bad, except when compared to what we are missing in the other skill trees. At least 14 points need to go into the defense tree to the desired masteries. These are:
  • Gold return on Smite Cast
  • 6 magic resist
  • 6 armor
  • more hp
  • +30hp
  • and then 2 reduced damage.
These points allow you to win trades with other champions, and take less damage in general.

Initiator , Enlightenment and Juggernaut are 7 more points which are amazing as well. As you can see, the 21 points in defense are essential. Because we only have 9 points left, we put them into the offense tree because, like I said before, 9 points in the utility tree goes nowhere. Taking the attack damage, attack speed and armor penetration is the only option.

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The skilling order is very often done wrong, and the problem is that it seems so obvious what to skill the first time you play with riven. However, maxing ki burst is the best way to play riven, as I will explain in this next section. Please do not hate just because I do not max Broken Wings first, I have my reasons. We will start with the passive. (You can mouse over the icons for the stats, I didn’t want to put huge blobs of text for all those numbers)

This is a really strong passive and it allows riven to dish out tons of damage with her auto attacks when they are empowered. It can also stack up to 3 times, meaning you can spam your broken wings without worrying about wasting stacks, if you need to. Since we somewhat focus on cooldown reduction in this build, we get a lot more runic blade procs, which equals more damage. The picture below shows a charged runic blade.

One trick that will help you clear faster is keeping the stacks at a maximum of 3. While you should not waste skills recklessly mid to late game, this helps early game. Because the cooldown on broken wings is 13 seconds from activation, you can use it 3 times in the beginning of a game just when the timer for each jump is about to run out. This means using the skill at 1:28, and jumping once every few seconds. By the time the first wraith camp spawns, your Broken Wings should be back up, but now you have 3 charges.
By looking at your buff bar right above your skills, you can see how much time you have left before broken wing jumps expire.

This spell is commonly conceived as a damage spell because it has 3 casts. There is one problem though, the cooldown does not get reduced as you level it up. This is a huge issue, because even though we get a bit more damage by maxing this first, we get less utility. By leaving this skill at 1 point, we get a lot of movement, and a knockback. We also get fast Runic Blade stacks. Below shows the radius of each hop, and the final hop which knocks back enemies.

A tip when using this skill is to not spam all 3 hops unless required. When chasing an enemy, they should never get away from you, because you have the same speed, except 3 hops per 13 seconds in any direction you want. Also, if you are running away and you do not need 3 hops, you can use your hops ONLY when the timer is about to run out, in case an enemy is ahead of you, and you need to get past him as well. Another bad thing about using 3 hops in a row is that you waste an autoattack, when instead, you could have hopped, autoattacked, then hopped again.

This skill is your aoe nuke. By maxing it first, it actually chunks the enemy, as well as stuns them. The cooldown of this skill gets reduced 1 second per level, so when you have maxed this skill it will have a 7 second cooldown. Everyone sees this skill as a pure utility skill, but if you try it out, you will see that it turns into a low cooldown nuke-stun. Below is the radius and effect of the skill. Remember that the radius increases by a bit when you activate your ultimate.

You should use this skill when the enemy is running away, and after you have autoattacked them. Kiting efficiently with this ability mostly is key to mastering riven, and I will discuss this later.

This skill is really insane. It gives you so much mobility on such a short cooldown, combined with Broken Wings. Now why do we max this skill second? The cooldown reduces per level, so it will have a 6 second cooldown at max, not including the cooldown reduction items we buy. It also gives you a really nice shield, that scales off of AD, which is another nice addition. I would rather take this skill over broken wings, because the damage from broken wings is so minimal. (and can only be noticed after the enemy takes all 3 strikes, and even after that the difference is minimal) Maxing this second also allows you to delay buying a Vampiric Scepter because you don’t lose any health while jungling.

I always have this skill on smart cast because it is just so much faster that way, and you can react quickly to the enemy. I would say that this is a required smart casted skill, because the utility of this skill screams “smart cast me!” I feel this skill is very broken, especially around the mid-late game, once you hit skill level 5. This spammable shield also works better when building resistances, rather than health, because of the super short cooldown. (the health that you gain from the shield is multiplied because of resistances.)

Not only is this ultimate an execution move that deals a lot of damage, it buffs the rest of your skills, and makes your Broken Wings and Ki Burst radiuses bigger. As well, it increases your AD by a huge 20%, which contributes to Riven being able to build more tanky, while still dealing the damage needed. This is what it looks like when activated, aka really awesome.

You have to remember to pop this skill before you fight almost anything, or gank, because it has such a low cooldown, it will reset by the next time you need it. A common mistake many people will make is popping it much too late. The problems with this is this is a channeled ultimate, and if you are chasing an enemy, activating this ultimate will make you stop and cast it. Next, the increase on the radius of Ki Burst could actually catch the enemy and save you a flash. Finally, it increases your damage all around so you kill your target faster.

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Please sympathize with me as the new item selection for Riven in the Twisted Treeline is enormous. You can literally build almost any items (to an extent) and deal damage. At the moment, this build is my prefered build that works for the average team comp, and I will include many other builds below. My build section is a work in progress, and I will be consulting with other players to find the optimum builds. If you are patient I will be very happy.

Starting Items: : Starting with boots is the general way to go, because mobility means a lot on this map. We could buy a dorans blade next, but I prefer to start with a cloth for the jungle durability. It also builds into a quick grez’s spectral lantern which makes clearing a breeze, and allows you to continually “camp” a lane. The 5 health potions give you space to do things, and take double golems when necessary. Staying at full health is a huge concern on this map, because you can be jumped any time. Another option might be to start with a Heart of Gold, but this destroys your level 2 gank potential, and makes you take way too much damage from the jungle camps.

grez’s spectral lantern: This is pretty much needed for the clear time and stats. The active is also mistakenly used only for revealing stealthed targets, when it can be really used to check anything. It reveals targets it hits for a very long time, so if you are fighting a Rengar and you know he is going to stealth soon, use it early. A lot of people activate it later, and risk not hitting it, or hitting it too late. Also, this item is insanely cost efficient, and the armor is great against bruisers.

the: With the new upgradeable item that comes from this, not only is this item good early game, it is cost efficient late game. Riven really needs the cooldown reduction, because she is an AD caster. Also, this can be sold if it isn’t needed due to the low cost.

: Since this upgrades into lord van damm’s pillager, we can buy it a bit earlier and save some money. However, if you are not planning to buy it, do not buy this heart of gold. Gold per 10 items are not as effective on a map where gold is abundant, and we buy it because it is conveniently in our build.

: I find the cooldown reduction on these boots to be amazing on Riven, and make it impossible to chase a riven down or fight 1v1, especially combined with brutalizer. The cooldowns are ridiculous, especially for a no mana champion.

lord van damm’s pillager: A very nice item to build, because we are building brutalizer anyways. For that reason, we can wait a bit before we upgrade into lord van damm’s pillager. However, this item is situational and can be replaced later.

: This item looks very strong because of everything it gives, and scales into the late game due to it’s 4% health effect. It gives you really nice lifesteal, and the active effect cannot be overlooked either. Stealing another champion’s movement speed is insanely overpowered, like a malphite wheel. This item will never allow enemies to escape your reach.

: Just your standard magic resistance item. You will need this because you do not buy mercury treads, so that you do not get bursted down by the enemy ap carry.

: Every AD champion that does not build full tank should buy this item, because the Twisted Treeline is a bruiser map, and many people will be stacking armor. Even though we have Lord Van Damm’s Pillager, that does not give enough armor penetration. You will sell your lantern for this item, and by this time you will be able to buy frequent oracle’s extracts.

: A very good item for the twisted treeline because of the slow. Even if the enemy team only has 1 bruiser, it is still amazing for peeling. Also, you really need the armor/defenses. If the only enemy threat is ap however, do not buy this.

: Pretty self-explanatory, bought to counter AP Casters, and you obviously do not have to buy this if the enemy team is full bruiser.

: Upgraded from hexdrinker, this item is worth buying because we already have hexdrinker anyways. It gives a lot of magic resistance, and should be the only magic resistance item we need to buy, apart from some rare occasions.

: This item is great for riven, because she scales so well off of AD. However, the huge gap of gold from getting your B.F. sword allows for enemies to gain an advantage. You also do not need the lifesteal. You may or may not get farmed in the twisted treeline, and you cannot risk getting instantly killed or jumped by multiple enemies.

: This item is pretty bad for an experienced player, because the slow is not needed. While it may be semi-viable for beginners, Riven scales better off of resistances, and it would be better to build your Phage into a tri force.

: You can buy this item only to counter certain picks like mundo, and only if you are jungling. If you are running ignite you should not need this item, unless the whole enemy team is based on regeneration. You may want to buy this item if the enemy team took a heal, because it heals in an area of effect, and it is harder to predict.

I do not build full tank items on riven, because none of them really fit her role. While buying items like randuin’s omen and Aegis of the Legion are good, riven cannot buy too many of these items because she will be lacking in damage.

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Riven, the Kite Master

Riven excels at making it hard for the enemy to run away, as you probably could have guessed from her skill set. Between all her mobility, she has crowd control and when played correctly, the ability to slow down the enemies movements. In order to be able to do this, you must learn a few tips and tricks first.

1. Learn to stay in front of your target. This does many things for Riven, like being able to knock your target back with the third hop of Broken Wings. Instead of knocking him forward to his escape route, he is forced to walk even further than before. Next, this allows you to consistently land your Ki Bursts, without having to worry about the enemy walking out of the radius. FInally, because of unit collision, the enemy will not be able to walk in your path and will be forced to walk a longer path.

2. Spread out your abilities. They all help you stick on your target, so you get less chasing power by stacking abilities for damage, or spamming Broken Wings just for the third hop knockback. While some situations may need your knockback as soon as possible, it is generally better to save all 3 hops and use them as gap closers.

3. Your ultimate gives you auto attack range. Know your range from experience so you can get as much ahead as possible in the predicted path your opponent is going to take.

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Jungle Route

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS JUNGLE ROUTE IS THE GENERAL ROUTE AND CAN BE COUNTERED VERY EASILY. You can play without this route, it just gives the upper hand if you know what you're doing.

Start wraiths, Activate Broken wings at 1:29. Use extended passive technique mentioned in the skills section to keep 3 stacks of your passive active. Wraiths spawn at 1:40. Clear with team to share experience. Teammates can go to lane now, or stay in case of invasion.

Move onto wolves, use Smite from a distance to bring them towards you. Finish wolves, and secure altar. You are now level 2 and you should feel free to do whatever you want. Because of the very limited jungle, there is really nothing you can do except gank or clear.

IF YOU ARE INVADED, it is important that you have analyzed the strength of your level 1 team and the enemies. If you are stronger, AND IF THEY HAVE A JUNGLER (If they don't, you have a summoner spell disadvantage) then fight. Riven does a lot of damage with her passive at level 1. DO NOT RISK ANYTHING TO FINISH THE JUNGLE CAMP, IT'S NOT WORTH IT.

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During the game you will have to make a lot of decisions because of this action orientated map. Both teams goals will be to farm, but because there are only 2 lanes and a small jungle, there will be a lot of duo laning going on, and no one wants to passively duo lane and get little farm. This means there will be more fighting and ganking going on.

As a jungler, you will be initiating most of the engages unless you are counter engaging your enemy. As riven, this is extremely easy, Valor-> Ki Burst into Broken Wings will give your laner time to react, as well as damage the enemy. Because there are no wards, you have to take riven’s ganking potential to a higher level. Activate your ultimate beforehand, you will not waste it because they have no vision of you.

grez’s spectral lantern is not only here for the procs, but to secure your kills. If there are bushes where the enemy jungler could counter gank you, make sure to use your lantern activate to make sure you don’t commit a turret dive that you are going to lose.

Early Game Goals:
Clear your jungle fast as possible
Keep your jungle clean
Gank/Counter Gank
Call altar secures

Mid Game Goals:
Team fight
Gank/Counter Gank
Vilemaw You can easily solo this once you have the right amount of cooldown reduction, and life steal. Once you have Blade of the Ruined King, you should be able to solo. (if you are using my build) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE FED TO DO THIS. just make sure you use your ultimate, and your shield every time it is up.

Late Game Goals:

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This guide ...

There will be more to come as I get more experienced with the new map via ranked 3v3s for season 3. There will also be more sections coming once I find the best way to do things, because I do not want to give bad advice to my fellow mobateers.

I AM NOT SAYING THAT THIS IS AN INCOMPLETE GUIDE. It has everything you need to play, but it is still missing several smaller things that will complete it as an "indepth guide"

I hope you enjoyed the read, give me any feedback as I am still pretty flustered on all the item choices. I will test out any viable options given to me, and I will try to respond as soon as possible.