BEST RIVEN STILL AFTER 4 YEARS
Threats to Riven with this build
|Teemo||EASY BECAUSE OF HIS PASSIVE (Y)|
HELLO NEWCOMERS THIS GUIDE IS HERE FOR 5 YEARS AS OF 2 DECEMBER 2015 !!!
I AM EXPEREINCED AND MASTERED IN RIVEN SO PLEASE FOLLOW MY GUIDE AT ALL COST
Welcome to my Riven guide!
Riven is a champion that I believe to be best played as a tanky dps. She has a good early game with decent harass from her skills and a strong shield, a good mid game with her excellent team play capabilities, and late game functionality as a survivable damage dealer or initiator.
My playstyle allows her to usually live for about 4-10 seconds under heavy fire and do decent damage for the carry to run cleanup. Riven does need another tanky champ to help her hold focus, and she has a good chance of dying if she is under heavy CC focus. However, that's CC not directed at your carry.
This Riven build is not for the glory gamer. You play to allow others to deal damage while holding focus, living only by small CC bursts and shields. Under this playstyle, you have a decent chance of dying under focus fire, but if you have a team backing you up, your one death will mean four of theirs.
Her gameplay flexibility is what I've come to appreciate about her, and it will be the focus of this guide. I will update this guide as I come to learn of new combos and item strengths and weaknesses on her.
Later in the guide I will present a section on jungling with Riven. I will be as in-depth as possible, covering her route, counter jungling, ganks, etc. I like to be thorough.
I'LL SAY IT NOW AND SEVERAL MORE TIMES THIS GUIDE. DON'T JUST BLINDLY FOLLOW BUILDS. THE CHEAT SHEET AT THE TOP IS FOR A CURSORY GLANCE AT SOME ITEM SUGGESTIONS, NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD DO EVERY TIME. PLEASE DON'T ACT UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THIS IS WHAT I ALWAYS DO. I BUILD DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
Pros / Cons
Shield that increases in strength with AD
Damaging AOE stun
Insane early damage
Difficult to balance offense and survivability
Needs to land most of her combo to be effective
Squishy in early laning
Shut down hard by CC
Flash is a good spell for Riven due to its utility. It gives you help with your positioning, as well as being useful for chases and escapes. Using Flash and Ki Burst in tandem create an effect similar to Alistar's Pulverize. Very versatile spell.
Exhaust works well in early laning phases, as well as taking that hard-hitting carry down a notch late game. Make sure you put a point in the Summoner's Wrath mastery if you take this spell.
It's a good spell for solo top lane, in case you need to buy items quickly or you need to get to bot lane or dragon quickly. The map control that this spell can give you can create quite an impact when used properly. Be sure to take the Summoner's Insight mastery.
Useful for getting those early game kills or taking that Dr. Mundo and his healing down a peg. It also stops other champs like Swain and Warwick from healing all the damage your team does. I think that others can make better use of this, and the usability drops dramatically over time. Still, it has it's uses.
So much CC that your Mercury's Treads won't be enough? This is for you, then. Riven is fairly locked down by CC, and this will keep you darting around the fight, popping Valor and Ki Burst. It now stops all disables and summoner spell debuffs, so it's a much stronger choice than it was before.
Need a more extended duration chaser spell than flash? Ghost is your answer. Also, since you'll be in the thick of the fight more often than not, the collision removal this spell gives you can be very useful in tandem with Ki Burst and Valor. You will want the associated mastery point if you take this skill.
Tips and Tricks
- Tips on Broken Wings
Note that when you are using any strike of Broken Wings, you ignore unit collision. If there are things getting in your way, use Broken Wings to get through them.
Use minions to body-block chasers. It's what you might have seen a Janna player do to you. If a champ has a skill-shot that lands on the first target, you can hop through a minion to avoid it.
Broken Wings can get you through thin walls as well, such as Anivia's Crystallize and Jarvan IV's Cataclysm. It will not let you go through terrain, though.
This move is also a fantastic escape tool. The full combo actually allows you to travel a pretty good distance fairly quickly. She's very hard to catch because of this.
Don't ignore the knockback that the third hit gives you. It's just as much of an interrupt as Ki Burst with almost the same range and duration.
The biggest thing that frustrates me about this move is that you cannot use it while snared. Keep that in mind if your opponent has a snaring move, like Maokai.
- Tips on Ki Burst
It's fantastic for securing a kill. Low health enemy trying to escape? A quick stun allows your carry to get that last shot. A quick stun can hold them in place for another teammate to hit with a slower skill like an Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow or a targeted skill like Annie's Summon: Tibbers stun.
It also has uses when trying to initiate a fight. Someone's out of position? Valor into a Ki Burst to let the rest of your team catch up. Chasing a group down? Valor and Ki Burst the slowest member. Either they get abandoned and your team picks up a kill, or the rest of the team comes back to help.
- Tips on Valor
When harassing, you will usually want to start with Valor and lead into Ki Burst. Charging in with a Valor followed by Broken Wings isn't bad if you want to try for a very early kill, since that shield will stop a lot of the first hits, letting you get a clean Broken Wings combo without taking too much damage.
Just like Broken Wings, Riven ignores unit collision while she dashes. You can charge through a minion wave, dash behind a champ, and can get you through thin walls as well, such as Anivia's Crystallize and Jarvan IV's Cataclysm. You can't dash through terrain, though.
It's also incredibly useful for dodging skill-shots and getting away from champs. A small dart to the side or away from your enemy is usually enough. And even if it's not, you've gained a damage soaking shield.
Valor should be your tool of choice when facechecking brush. If you really want to find out if anyone's in the bush, Valor right on in. Hell, I charge in when I know that a Shaco has been dropping boxes. It clears the boxes without you taking damage.
This skill will also not work while snared. Snare will prevent you from gaining a very important Valor shield, so make sure you avoid it when possible. This is another reason why Mercury's Treads are so important to Riven.
- Tips on Blade of the Exile
This is best used at the beginning of a fight or right before you charge into a lane for a gank. The damage bonus you get is absolutely absurd. You'll also get the longest attack range of any melee champ.
Just like Garen, using her ult too soon will often result in too little damage to kill your target. It is meant to be a finisher. There is a significant damage difference between a high HP target and a low HP target. Don't waste it by firing early.
There is a short delay on actually firing Wind Slash. If your target is at the extreme range of the move, you most likely won't hit if they're running from you. You can kill that low health enemy trying to recall from the brush, or an Akali trying to hide in her Twilight Shroud. It will also hit over walls.
If you've got a high-damage character on your team, don't hesitate to use this if a group of enemies is almost low enough to kill. Even if they don't die, it inflicts equal damage on a whole group. It can cut to the back-line carry or support, and it can deal a large amount of damage for an Akali or Talon to finish them off. Don't be afraid to use it when you can; sometimes it provides more benefits if you use it a little bit early.
Early,Mid and Late Game
Riven can handle solo top or duo bottom lanes. Good survivability and mobility, combined with high damage, gives her an edge in top lane. However, her complete lack of range makes her susceptible to being zoned. Laning with a partner can help, and her CC can get secure some kills for you or your partner. Just keep in mind that your leveling and gold production will usually be slower in a duo lane.
Start with a Doran's Shield for some early game goodness that allows you to maintain in lane. On your first trip back, get Boots of Speed and a Sight Ward if they have a jungler. When you can, get any other components you feel necessary for your lane. Mage? Null-Magic Mantle. DPS or proficient jungler? Vampiric Scepter or Cloth Armor for Wriggle's for armor (or to get a reusable ward). Tanky champ? Long Sword(s). Always get what you can afford, of course. If you can afford the whole item you're looking for, get it. Also, don't neglect HP pots if you need them.
Wriggle's Lantern is my primary pick once you get your Boots of Speed. Armor, damage, and lifesteal are fantastic bonuses for Riven, and the ward it gives you will save your life so many times if you know how to use it. Why do I make such a big deal about the ward? If Riven gets in a position to be ganked without knowing about it, she's screwed. Her escape mechanisms are nowhere near perfect. In addition, the sustain that lantern gives you will help immensely in lane.
Harass with your Valor + Broken Wings combo or the safer Valor + Ki Burst combo. Use Broken Wings as an escape mechanism for the second combo. If you get the chance to do some real damage, such as when they've overextended or are just at low health, Valor into a Ki Burst, then unleash a full Broken Wings combo. Hit with your autoattacks between each part of the combo when you can.
Keep yourself alive. That's the main goal here. Early kills mean early levels and early ganks. Valor is your main tool for survival. Watch out for champs with absurd ranges or multiple CCs. Knockbacks, snares, and silences are Riven's biggest problems. It's hard to close the gap, and you take a lot of damage without Valor.
Once you have the core set, you're off to midgame!
You should have your core by now, and lanes have started breaking down for ganks. Now is when you go where your team needs you. It's also when you start getting your fun items. I recommend getting a Phage here, since it gives you HP, AD, and a slow.
With Phage in hand, look at the game so far. Are you initiating fights and getting into the thick of things? Or do you have others who do that better, and you are doing more in the way of damage? If it's the former, grab your Giant's Belt and start working towards Frozen Mallet. The latter means you should look for something more damaging, like The Bloodthirster. Be warned that if you go for a more damaging route that you are more of an AD burst. I don't feel that it's her strongest role, but if that's what you need to be, then go for it.
From here, give some strong consideration for Banshee's Veil. If there is little magic or CC to go around (or they aren't hitting you with it), pass it up for another item. This is rare. Often, you will want that MR and bubble of safety to protect you from burst mages or CC. At the very least, consider getting a Negatron Cloak.
When you are trying to gank others, try to prime up Broken Wings by using it before coming into the lane. This way you will have multiple charges already set, and you will lead with a knockback that you can use to push the enemy champ into your teammate. Valor and Broken Wings will allow you to get into range surprisingly fast.
Riven can actually tower dive very well. Valor gets her in range, and the bubble she gets will soak up some of the tower's damage. It WILL do some serious damage if you take sustained fire (especially if you get CC'ed), so make sure you have friends to ensure a kill.
This will round out midgame. There is a high probability that the game will be over or close to it by now. If it's not, there's still plenty more for you to do.
No one is really staying in their lane anymore, team fights are breaking out, towers are falling, and Baron is just waiting for some champs to make his day. Welcome to late game.
Now, if you grabbed Frozen Mallet, you should have some good health and the MR from Banshee's Veil, but armor is lacking. Atma's Impaler is here to save the day! Armor and lots of damage in one low cost item. It will give you quite a jump to your abilities, and protect you in ways that your Wriggle's Lantern can't anymore.
Now, once you have Atma's Impaler (or if you skipped Frozen Mallet for The Bloodthirster and didn't get it), you are getting to the situational items. Look at your role up to this point and the opponent's item and team composition. Build according to your own observations. Look at the situational builds above if you want some hints.
If you have reached this far, you have pretty much reached full build. You have two options at this point. One is to upgrade The Brutalizer to a Youmuu's Ghostblade. Keep in mind this can be done any time you feel it necessary. I rarely feel it necessary, so I save it for last. However, if you are having trouble building other items and need the CDR and chasing ability, go for this item.
Instead of upgrading The Brutalizer, consider trading it for Last Whisper. Everything Riven does is physical, so any armor gets in your way. This is the best fix. Any champ building two or more complete armor items means you will need Last Whisper to do the most damage. You can regain the CDR from the loss of The Brutalizer by buying an Elixir of Brilliance. It's a cheap item that gives the same CDR, and you won't be as reliant on the small amount of gold late game. Yeah, the AP is pointless, but I have no problems buying 10% CDR for 250G. Worth it if you get to this point.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS BUILD FOR THE SITUATION AT HAND. IF YOU ARE DYING, GET ITEMS THAT LET YOU LIVE. IF YOU ARE LIVING BUT NOT DOING DAMAGE, GET SOME DAMAGE. DO NOT JUST BLINDLY FOLLOW BUILDS.
I hope you all enjoyed reading my guide. I've been putting a lot of work into it, and I hope that it was informative. Maybe it was even a little bit fun.
Fine, I'll settle for you not being glad that it's over, at least.
Riven has been called a bad choice in the laning phase, but I think that's because no one builds her to be nearly invincible early. I wanted to present a viewpoint that can be just as viable in the right setting. Give it a try, and tell me what you think.
Thank you all for reading!