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Riven Build Guide by RivalOCE

Top [11.15] ✔️⚔️ PLAY RIVEN LIKE 1,000+LP MAINS!

Top [11.15] ✔️⚔️ PLAY RIVEN LIKE 1,000+LP MAINS!

Updated on July 27, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author RivalOCE Build Guide By RivalOCE 48 1 16,024 Views 9 Comments
48 1 16,024 Views 9 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author RivalOCE Riven Build Guide By RivalOCE Updated on July 27, 2021
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Runes: Riven King

1 2 3
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Nimbus Cloak

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
Challenger Meta
LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #16 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats
Top Lane Ranked #16 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
More Riven Runes

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Hi Riven players, welcome to my guide on The Exile!

My name is Koady or Rival. I've been playing League since the end of season 3 and have mained Riven since, peaking Challenger in season 7 and maintaining Diamond 1/Master consistently.

I've also played in the Oceanic Academy series and been coached by CLG Thien, Veigar v2, Maximize (LCO Pro), Pabu (Worlds attendee and Rank 1 OCE) respectively.

Within this guide is knowledge from myself and my experience with Riven, aswell as things I've learned from watching 1,000+LP Riven players Rueven and Built. This guide will serve as more than a guide to just Riven, but teach you how to get the most value out of the champion and control the lane with Riven's strengths to generate leads through more than just killing your lane opponent. I will also discuss strategies I've learned from fellow Riven one tricks Built (1,250+LP EUW) and Rueven (1,350+LP EUW) through talking to them and discussing itemisation and matchups.

If you have any questions, come by my stream at Twitch or ask on my Twitter.

Please upvote and leave a comment if you found the guide helpful!

Riven is an extremely mobile, high damage and versatile champion. Depending on build, she can function as a peeler, drain tank, assassin or split pusher.

To get the most out of the champion, you need to be adaptive and reactive to the current game state and build accordingly.

If your team doesn't win 5v5 teamfights, you're better off building for 1v1 or 2v1 scenarios with splitpushing strengths. This needs to be decided in champ select. Identify you'll be splitting all game and opt for runes like Demolish and Unflinching.

If your botlane is winning but you're even in your lane, or behind, build healthily to act as reliable peel for your carries- it isn't your job to kill anything this game, just keep your damage dealers alive to do the killing for you.

If you can't kill your matchup, look to impact other lanes, like the botlane by teleporting, or the jungle matchup by using your mobility and damage to steal resources from their topside. Look and create roam windows to gank mid, or add pressure with your jungler. Into a tank matchup, you can even proxy the wave past level 8 or so and repeatedly generate a lead for yourself by taking the jungler's krugs or gromp- just be careful not to starve your own jungler by doing so.

Opening and Spike:
If you've taken flash that game, pay very close attention to who is fed on the enemy team and their summoner spell timers. Group with your team when your flash is up but the enemy carry's is down and look to make a play. This small detail can swing the entire game by securing a shutdown. Expansively, if you're ahead of the game and have an item spike before everyone else, look to fight skirmishes that can be controlled around your item (think Goredrinker).

The game begins in champ select, think about the way your champion will function that game and what your role is within the team and start constructing a game plan.

This goes without saying. Conqueror is the best rune on Riven, period. While there are other runes that can be taken into certain matchups (rarely), conqueror is just better. Giving her more AD for more damage (duh) and a stronger shield as it scales off AD. Combined with Doran's Blade, this actually gives a healthy amount of lifesteal too when fully stacked.

This rune is pretty self explanatory. Because Riven is often involved in fights leaving her health quite low, getting takedowns can be very strong in allowing her to keep fighting/keeping her alive. I can't count the amount of times this rune has saved me.

This rune isn't actually necessary, as Riven can cancel a lot of her auto attack animations with abilities, but it makes last hitting, tower taking and autoing when her abilities are down a lot better. It also makes doing the fast Q combo much easier. This can be swapped out with Legend: Tenacity if need be. Your rune selection here is just preference.

As Riven operates as more of a drain tank nowadays, she's often fighting between 70%-30%HP, where Last Stand takes effect. This holds much more value than Coup de Grace, but I might still take this rune into squishier comps.

This rune couples nicely with Ignite, Teleport and Flash for more stick on your target, or you can just cast ignite/flash for more movement speed should you need it.

Riven is extremely strong with ability haste. This rune gives more of it. I don't really notice the 20% ability cooldown reduction upon takedown post level 11, but I'm sure it's helped in mid/late game fights.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

In this section, I'll explain how to use Riven's abilities to their maximum potential and squeeze the most out of them. I won't bore you with what the abilites do, we all know that. Just how to use them correctly ;) Both sequences have their place in the current meta, below I'll explore both.

Sequential Strengths: Depending on your role in the game, the champions on your team and the enemy champions, you might want to max something different and think a little deeper about which ability holds more value. For example, vs. Quinn, I won't even take a point in Ki Burst at level 3, just another in Valor. My goal is to farm and survive until 6, where I gain a combat ultimate but she only gains a roam ultimate, thus giving me more kill pressure.

If your team has a tank jungle ( Malphite, Nunu & Willump) and engage/control mage mid laner ( Galio, Lissandra) your team might lack a bit of damage. This is where Ability Sequence A is better. You don't need the added mobility or shield that E max gives you because your team already has engage, but will love the extra damage and CC that W max gives you.

If your team is a lacking frontline and you have a damage dealer/assassin jungler( Elise, Evelynn, Qiyana etc) and squishy support ( Sona, Senna, Seraphine) you'll need to act as a frontline. This is where Ability Sequence B is most effective. You'll also want to consider tweaking your build to be more tanky. Opt for off-tank items and survivability over damage ( Sterak's Gage, Guardian Angel).

How to actually use Riven's abilities:
What other guides don't tell you!

Runic Blade:

There really isn't any tricks to this ability, other than leashing (see below). We all know your spells make your autos do more damage. Make the most use of this passive by learning the fast combo (video guide by Dekar below).
Advanced Leashing:
At 1:19, before the buff spawns, juggle your Q (this will be explained in more depth under Broken Wings). At buff spawn, you'll have 3 stacks of your passive to use on the buff while also having your Q back up to use another 3 and the damage of your Q to give your jungler a faster clear. More passive=more damage=faster buff. Not rocket science, but still unknown to a lot of players.

Broken Wings:

As a 3 part ability, there're a few techniques to cover here. I won't be covering the fast combo, as this is known to all Riven players. But for reference, here is a video explaining how to do it by Dekar



I'll mention this multiple times in this guide. When Riven first casts Q, the entire ability begins to go on cooldown. Between casts of Q, Riven has 4 seconds to recast this ability to begin the second and third part of the spell. If you Q, wait 4 seconds, then Q again just as the ability is about to time out, your second part of Q will refresh and you'll have another 4 seconds until you need to cast the 3rd part. Wait another 4 seconds and then Q again. If done correctly, you'll notice your Q is either already up, or on a very low cooldown compared to if all parts of Q were cast quickly or together. The reason this is effective because it baits your opponent into thinking your Q is finished and on a really long cooldown. This can cause them to overcommit to a trade, or chase you down when really the ability is just about to come back up. I can't count how many lanes I've won with this technique alone.

Next is the application of this spell into a teamfight. To engage a fight, you should do a Q juggle, and then flash into the fight or onto the ADC. The ADC will either flash away, or use their defensive spell to create distance ( Lucian's Relentless Pursuit, Caitlyn's 90 Caliber Net etc). As you engage the fight with the knockup from your 3rd Q, your Q will already be off cooldown, ready for you to gapclose onto the ADC again. This often catches carries off guard and can solo win you teamfights. Be patient and don't rush this. Look for openings.


This involves using your Q to kite backward while weaving in autos. Most Riven players will just Q away, the skill is using the auto attack input for damage and to create distance. I rarely see Riven players skilled enough to do this. Below is an example of Adrian Riven executing this perfectly.

--<<Q KITE EXAMPLE 5:19>>--


The next part of Broken Wings to expand upon is that the 3rd part of the Q is a knockup that people really undervalue. This can be used to cancel abilities ( Lee Sin's Resonating Strike etc), channels, auto attacks and teleports when timed correctly. This, coupled with Q kite can be used to do damage while also getting in front of your opponent. Furthermore, the knockup from this ability can't be reduced with tenacity. If you land this ability, you're guaranteed Ki Burst which guarantees Wind Slash. This is particularly useful into the Fiora matchup, that way you don't have to worry about her Riposte one of your abilities to stun you.


Another very well known Riven technique, but not all know exactly just how many hops there are. Below I made a list of all the known Riven hops and their difficulty. Even 3,000,000 Mastery Challenger Riven players can't pull off all the hardest difficulty ones consistently, this requires hours on hours in practice tool to master.

It should also be noted that most of the section in the jungle can be hopped on Fire Elemental and Earth Elemental map, aswell as the middle section of Top and Bot alcoves, middle and sides.

Ki Burst:

Other than the stun this ability provides, I think people overlook using it's ability to cancel auto attacks the most. The timing of this ability can reset the animation so you only take 1 auto of damage in 1.75 auto attack's time, which is extremely strong in early trades. It can also be used to cancel Yasuo's Steel Tempest and Yone's Mortal Steel.

Ki Burst can cancel channels and break certain dashes. Timing is everything with this ability, I usually even time it in trades against ranged champions so it overlaps the enemy's CC aswell, such as Ryze's Rune Prison. This obviously cuts down the amount of distance he can create away from you and provides you with stick. You cast when he casts.
Max this ability second for more damage. This can also be animation cancelled with your Valor to create space.


Timing, again, is very important with this ability. Predict when enemies use abilites and effectively block the damage or dodge it(think Sett's Haymaker or Irelia's Flawless Duet). When diving, try to save this until last to block a tower shot and to get out of range. This is also the ability that allows a lot of your other abilities to be animation cancelled. Max this second if you want greater mobility/survivability.

Blade of the Exile:

The greatest strength of this spell alone is it's range increase offering an additional 75 range on Riven's basic attacks. It also increases the range of her abilities too. Use this to further gapclose onto ranged enemies, they rarely expect the activation when coupled with the animation cancel of Broken Wings and Valor.

Wind Slash:

The most important part to note with this ability is that it is cast in a cone shape, this means enemies directly on top of you are deceptively hard to hit. Try to create space away from them with Valor or Broken Wings before casting for a bigger hitbox. The animation can be cancelled with Valor. My biggest tip with this is be very patient with it, as the less health they have the more damage it does, especially if Conqueror is stacked. When all-inning, cast your full combo and when they get low, be patient and use the ability to force their flash before casting. If you cast Wind Slash too early, you risk them actually dodging the ability with their flash and costing you the kill. This can also be used to try to steal objectives like Baron Nashor , Dragon , or Rift Herald .


I never watched any guides on how to animation cancel with Riven, I just put in the time and now my fingers automatically know the patterns of when to cast what. Animation cancelling Riven's abilities is not essential to playing the champion, it just helps. Concern yourself with learning limits, matchups and macro before focussing on something as minor as animation cancelling. Below is a video from Spyroflex demonstrating Riven's cancels. Note: Goredrinker and Ironspike Whip work the same way the old Tiamat used to work, so any Tiamat/Hydra cancels in this video will work with Goredrinker, Ironspike Whip.

Level 1:

This might need a bit of experience to learn which matchups Riven wins level 1 and which she doesn't, but as a rule of thumb, champions that win in extended trades ( Fiora, Jax, Darius) or have auto attack resets generally beat Riven level 1 unless they misplay. If it's a tank they should lose, just be careful not to overtrade in the wave, as minions hurt a lot early.

If it's a hard lane or a ranged champion, you can consider taking Valor to mitigate poke.

Level 2:

I usually take Valor second, but if it's a free matchup you can take Ki Burst second for ease of last hitting or more painful trades. At level 3, Riven has access to her full trade pattern so I just try to play this level patiently. Make sure to thin the wave when you can if it's coming into you, so you're not overwhelmed and can look to trade at level 3...or to prevent a dive monkaS.

Level 3:

This is where you have access to your entire trade pattern. Riven can't really 100-0 many champions plainly at level 6, it's safer to just chip them down with Riven's most basic trade pattern: Q, auto, W, auto then EQ away. This does about 15% of their health and is basically a free trade. This is especially effective into Sett matchup, where he looks to cast Facebreaker after you engage on him. You usually create enough distance from the enemy and enter the wave so they can't trade back without taking aggro. Even if they do, you still have a Q and 2 autos worth of damage.

If Riven is engaged on, for example Renekton E's onto you, just disengage the trade immediately with Valor and Ki Burst animation cancel. This also works when Jax Leap Strike Counter Strike combos you.

Level 6:

Here, you may have access to a CDR item, which usually means you can Q juggle. (See ability sequence section for the explanation on this). Start with a Q juggle and look to all-in with ignite when the enemy is between 50-70% health or wastes a key cooldown.


These two zones, as shown below, are where you want to aim to have the wave 90% of the time, toward your tower, not in long lane. These zones not only protect you from ganks, as your tower is right there, they also accentuate Riven's trade pattern, which is a short get in and get out. Even if you mess up, you can just walk back to the safety of your tower. If you're playing long lane, you need to last hit slowly and prep a bounce before setting up a freeze outside your tower. These zones are especially effective vs. champions that excel in long trades like Fiora, Darius (who wants to ghost and run you down long lane) and Jax, who literally cannot retaliate after you've traded on him as you're already under tower in safety. The only champion these zones don't apply vs. is Camille. She actually prefers these zones too, because it gives her easy access to her Hookshot ability because they're so close to the lane walls.

--HOW TO 2V1--

2v1ing effectively is about being as efficient with spell usage as possible. If you see an enemy champion come into your lane and you know you probably can’t escape, look to go at least 1 for 1 or best case scenario, double kill.

Firstly, identify your first kill target. This is decided by a lot of factors, usually when a jungler ganks they’re a level or two behind you and maybe missing some HP due to their clear. Unless it’s a tank, you can probably 1 shot an under levelled Elise or Kha’zix, just be conservative with your spells incase they begin to fight but they disengage with Rappell or Leap. If you’ve wasted all of your damage on a champion that’s going to survive, you don’t have anything left to use on the other one.

The first step to preventing, surviving or even getting kills off an enemy gank is your wave setup. If your wave is going to be pushing to the enemy tower, you should be slow pushing it and last hitting only. This does a few things: the more minions on your side, the more damage enemy champions will take by fighting you in the wave. The wave also provides cover from spells like Lee Sin’s Resonating Strike or Elise Cocoon. Next, should the enemy laner die at any time, from the gank going wrong or from you diving, they miss the entire wave of experience and gold. Lastly, it allows you to hit their tower when the wave crashes, if they auto attack you to get you off the tower, they’re going to be eating 2/3 waves of minion damage, in which turn you may also be able to dive.

Upon getting ganked, head into the wave and position yourself to protect you from enemy spells. Next, look to use Ki Burst to stun both if possible after they’ve hit you. This gives you a free 0.75 seconds of your minions hitting them. Cast Valor to either nullify a big spell’s damage or dodge it altogether, like Wukong Q, Kha’zix Q, Darius Q etc.

Another thing you can try is to isolate one champion at a time by either heading into a brush or directly at the jungler, this gives you time to fight 1 on 1 before the enemy laner reaches you. This can even scare off the gank by getting the jungler low before the enemy laner is even past the stacked wave you’ve created.

Sometimes you’re going to die to ganks. Everytime this happens, use it as an opportunity to learn how to protect yourself better. Did you ward? Mismanage your wave? What was the cause of death? It may even be worth watching a 2v1 scenario in replay to see if you could’ve played the gank any better or more efficiently.

This isn’t a hard one. When junglers aren’t involved, trade when you see fit (enemy used a key cooldown, they’re overextended into a big wave etc). Don’t trade at all when you know you’re at dive threat. Even if you make enemy laner 30% and you’re at 50%, it’s a bad trade because the 100% Rek’sai is going to lead the dive anyway, costing you the wave, experience and giving plate gold. All because you took a trade that you shouldn’t have. If these mistakes happen, try to learn from them as to not repeat it.

League of Legends Build Guide Author RivalOCE
RivalOCE Riven Guide
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[11.15] ✔️⚔️ PLAY RIVEN LIKE 1,000+LP MAINS!

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