Riven Build Guide by Remnance

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 Remnance

Updated Riven Kensai "Sword Saint"

Remnance Last updated on September 22, 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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Updated after played this character about 20 more times. Each time I'm learning a bit more of her depth. While she looks simple and plain. She is far from it. The endless ways you can stream her abilities makes this to be a fun and long lasting character. I almost don't want to give away my secrets. Riven has feel like Karma too me. A real beast when people actually take time to learn to play her properly.

Many people seem to be getting her role all wrong from what I can tell. Her true role in the game is Melee Disruptor. This build focuses on laning with a partner but works with solo too. If I don't trust my team mates I tend to take heal over exhaust. Wonderful at denying enemy kills. Great for baby sitting your laning partner also.

I know what riot says and all that, but it's wrong.

They have a general box build for every one. So that the players will actually try and learn to do something new.

I'm hoping I'm right in my assumption saying they put together the items and spotlight of a new champion with 4k gold owning a enemy champion with 2k as a joke. Any ways lets get to the build.

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League of Legends Back Story:

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 - on a quest to seek atonement and a way to save the pure Noxian vision in which she believed.

''There is a place between war and murder / in which our demons lurk.''

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You can see the runes above.

Armor Pen for skills and auto attacks.

Dodge runes survival. A key part of the Kensai is not be brought down so easily. If you want speed instead you change these out for armor or health regeneration for early game. And choose the Boots of Swiftness or Ionian Boots. But you lose a lot of survivability in team fights that I've noticed.

Cool Down reduction glyphs for abilities. I find that they come back up quick enough with levels letting you focus on dealing the damage.

Lastly Gold Quintessences. Since this is a very high gold demand build.

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She is melee after all so it makes sense to max out her attack tree. I choose utility next because I love xp bonuses and to finish off getting 4g/10 from the beginning.

I know your probably wondering why I didn't go defense tree and finish up the dodge bonuses. You just don't need them right now your about 19% Dodge. Without the bonus xp and extra 1g/10 you start to fall behind quick.

Play smart and early game might give you a kill or two with a good lane partner. Even if they start locking you down it won't be long till the g/10 gives you the hp you need to fight back.

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To make up for her early game and expensive build I've noticed another way to play her. Now focusing on survival/gold/killing power.

Early Philo Stone and Avarice gives you staying and attacking power with 10 bonus gold per 10. That means your making 14/g per 10 or 140g every 10 seconds for doing nothing.

Ninja Tabi next will give you amazing survivability. Dodging 1 out of every 5 attacks can't be beat.

This will give you a lot of freedom. Next I tend to focus for cd's.

With Kindle and Brut giving you kill power. You'll have to decide when you need the speed boosts but stay away as long as possible so you can keep the gold up.

Next up will be Atma's followed by Warmog's. You might switch out Warmog's for Trinity also if you have a decent team.

After that finish up Ghost blade and Shurelya's.

Last item with either be Tiamat for splash or Trinity Force for utility.

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Skill Sequence

Spread out the first three and then max out Q since it becomes your main source of damage. Helps alot in farming minions since your passive will help you get that last hit.

Not much else to say. I tend to favor attack but if you like the shield more have fun.

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Summoner Spells

Like I said earlier in the beginning. Heal or Exhaust and Teleport.

Teleport lets you get back to that all important xp so much more quickly. And helps compensates for the speed of this build. Only 15 seconds from the tower is nice.

If you want speed later Ghost instead can be useful plus you can put a point into it.

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Team Work

It is preferred that Riven not be the first one in. That is the job of the true tank. With that said however if you have a tank that refuses to initiate you can do so safely and prevail quite well.

Your job in the team is disrupt and kill their carries/dps. Riven does nice damage when she is not targeting tanks and between third Q attack and the W she can save most any team member.

These abilities are amazing at stopping enemy Ults such as Kat's Blade Dance, Mal's locked down, Warwick's suppression just to name a few. I have even used them to successfully counter Tryandamere's Endless rage also.

Believe me. Kat will hate you for the entire game since one simple W shuts her down. Just be on the look for them to pop in.

Plus once you unleash The Blade of the Exile their Clothies will melt.

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Since you are Melee DPS the early game is against you. Farming can be quite difficult with a skill ranged champion opposing you.

I find the best bet is Valor combined with one or two attacks with Q to get the damage in. The second and third Attacks with Q should be used to pull yourself to safety.

Luckily with your health and dodge being so high, this should quick become less and less of an issue.

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Follow this and by mid game you will have unleashed the True Sword Saint of the League.