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Riven Build Guide by RivalOCE

Top [11.20] ✔️⚔️ PLAY RIVEN LIKE 1K+LP MAINS! (NEW VID!)

Top [11.20] ✔️⚔️ PLAY RIVEN LIKE 1K+LP MAINS! (NEW VID!)

Updated on October 14, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author RivalOCE Build Guide By RivalOCE 192 13 246,683 Views 22 Comments
192 13 246,683 Views 22 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author RivalOCE Riven Build Guide By RivalOCE Updated on October 14, 2021
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Runes: Riven King

1 2 3
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Sorcery
Nimbus Cloak
Transcendence
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3
Challenger Meta
LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #48 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
Get More Stats
Top Lane Ranked #48 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
More Riven Runes
>

Threats & Synergies

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

INTRODUCTION

Hi Riven players, welcome to my guide on The Exile, my name is Koady or Rival as I've been known in the community since the earliest seasons of League. I'm followed on Twitter by Revenge, Chase Shaco, Lourlo, Rueven, Built, Midbeast, Sanchovies, Jurrasiq, PantsAreDragon, Dragoon, Yisus, Karasmai, Luminum, Alois, Tenacity, Rime, Forgotten Project, Isles, Benji, Dun, Irelia Carries U, RTO, Synapse, JKSAD, Kidi, Pabu and FaZe Jev. I've been playing League since the end of season 3 and have mained Riven since, peaking Challenger in season 7 and am Master currently. 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, as well 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

PROS & CONS OF RIVEN


PROS




+ Hyper mobile
+ High skill ceiling
+ Extremely fun

Riven is a tremendously rewarding and fun champion and excels at basically all facets of being a bruiser. I probably wouldn't play League if Riven didn't exist.
CONS




- Hard to learn
- No true/mixed damage
- No in-lane sustain

Riven can be an extremely unforgiving champion without hours and hours of experience. Luckily, this guide is here to help and you can also learn by asking me questions on my stream!

CHAMPION

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.

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

Role:
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.

Peel:
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.

Starve:
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).

Begin:
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.

RUNES


Conqueror
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.
Nimbus Cloak
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.
Triumph
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.
Transcendence
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.
Legend: Alacrity
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.
Offensive:
9 Adaptive Force
Flex:
9 Adaptive Force
Defensive:
6 Armor
Last Stand
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.

SUMMONER SPELLS


Flash
A pretty strong spell on Riven. Not only does this help protect you from ganks, but also allows you to be the main engage for your team. Not as necessary on Riven as other champions, however.
Teleport
A toplane staple spell. This allows you to have a better more consistent laning phase and to do more things with your base timers and wave management. For the most part, you want to be opposite side of the map when objectives are up to split pressure. Once a fight breaks out you can join with TP. Ask your support for flank wards, this will strengthen you TPs even further.

SEQUENCE A: ASSASSIN/DAMAGE
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

SEQUENCE B: SURVIVAL/DISRUPTOR
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

In this section and the next, 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).


ABILITIES


Passive - Runic Blade: Riven's abilities charge her blade for 6 seconds, causing her to deal 30 / 36 / 42 / 48 / 54 / 60% of her total attack damage as bonus physical damage on her next basic attack (depending on level). The amount increases at level 6, and every 3 levels from there on. Riven can store up to 3 charges, and can only expend one at a time.

Runic Blade is affected by critical strike modifiers.
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.



Q - 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 15 / 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 (+0.8 per total attack damage) physical 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 the same damage and knocks nearby enemies up.
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

--FAST COMBO--



--THE Q JUGGLE--

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.

--Q KITE TECHNIQUE--

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>>--




--3Q KNOCKUP--

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.

--3Q HOPPING--

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.




W - Ki Burst: Riven stuns nearby enemies for 0.75 seconds and hits them for 55 / 85 / 115 / 145 / 175 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage.
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.



E - Valor: Riven dashes forward and gains a shield that protects her from up to 85 / 115 / 145 / 175 / 205 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) for 1.5 seconds.
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.



Ultimate - Blade of the Exile: Riven's sword reforms, giving her a bonus 20% Attack Damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and basic attacks for 15 seconds. She is also granted the ability to use Wind Slash once for the duration.
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 .




--ABILITY CONCLUSION--

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.



STARTING ITEMS:




Doran's Blade is my preferred start into most matchups. This allows for good trading, damage, vamp and the early health is extremely valuable. Slightly weaker this season as the vamp from 2x Doran's Blade doesn't stack, but you can still build it for the HP and AD. I take this into other bruisers like Renekton, Irelia, Fiora etc.

Doran's Shield is kinda a no brainer. Probably the best sustain out of the 3 starting items and most safety, but takes away a bit of kill pressure in laning phase. Usually I take this into champions that can poke me down like Jayce, Quinn and Kennen etc. It can also be used into melee champions that have a pokey ability like Fiora's Lunge or Renekton's Cull the Meek.

Long Sword is taken into free matchups that I can farm freely/trade freely for the most part. This start gives the second best sustain after Doran's Shield but beware of the fact you're wasting 150g on consumables. This spend is kinda offset by the fact that you don't sell this item and it goes straight into your core build, but it's something to be mindful of. I take this into easier matchups like Sion, Dr. Mundo and Singed.


FIRST BASE EXPLAINED:




There isn't actually that much depth in this part, it's very common sense. I take Pickaxe when I'm rushing Goredrinker, which is most games. Your first base goal should be at least 925g, for Pickaxe and a Health Potion. Gives you the damage to 1 combo most champions at level 6 with your ultimate ability and Ignite.

Serrated Dirk is an extremely underutilized first base for Riven and might be worth trialling if you have a more aggressive playstyle. This builds into Serpent's Fang, Edge of Night and Youmuu's Ghostblade which are all fantastic items on Riven. You should already have a buildpath in your head for if you need one of these items later in the game, but this can provide a ton of early game pressure if the opposing champion doesn't build armor (think a mage or bruiser that gets a damage item). Opting for this on first base is very feast or famine, so be sure you're going to get a kill with it or your Goredrinker spike is going to be offset by a lot.

I take Ironspike Whip basically whenever I can afford it. It's active is really good for breaking Bone Plating but also hard shoving the wave if you need to. A really good lane control item.

Kindlegem and Phage are solid first buys if you value the HP into a hard matchup (think Renekton). Phage acts as kinda a strong Doran's Blade, if I'm into a high pressure matchup I'll go double Doran's into Phage to make me very tanky while maintaining decent damage. I rarely rush Kindlegem unless I value the ability haste over damage from Ironspike Whip or Phage.

Only rush Executioner's Calling into champions that rely on healing such as Sylas, Fiora, Renekton and even Gwen.

BUILDING


Mythic Item

Goredrinker
This item is uncontestedly the best item on Riven at the moment. Build this item always, it gives her every stat she needs, has an insane active for her skirmish/teamfight style and can allow for risky but game winning plays to be made. Refer above to see which component to rush.

Boot Choices


Anti-Disable
Ability Haste
Anti-Physical
Build into heavy AP topside or heavy disable like Ryze and Twisted Fate. These are great for an early spike but are a detriment to late game survival. Only build if you can survive without the resistances and tenacity. Build into heavy AD comps and high pressure champions like Renekton and Lee Sin.

Legendary Items


Anti-Armor
Anti-Armor
Anti-Shielding
Black Cleaver is my most build item after Goredrinker, the HP allows you to frontline and the ability haste needs to expansion. This also has a much more forgiving buildpath than last season, coming from Caulfield's Warhammer instead of Phage. Build when your team needs a frontline or you're into a tank. Serylda's Grudge is extremely good for sticking to targets on side and also shredding armor. Build this 3rd if your team is very heavy AD. An amazing item on Riven for the slow, haste and passive. Serpent's Fang is my new favorite item for how cheap it is, and can be built early for good kill pressure. Extremely good in a meta where Sterak's Gage, Immortal Shieldbow and Gargoyle Stoneplate are so prevalent. This item lost a bit of power after the 11.17 nerf, I normally would just choose this as my main lethality item but I now think Youmuu's Ghostblade will be my go to.
Revive
AOE Vamp
Chase
Guardian Angel gives you a lot of protection in fights, it's base stats and passive allow Riven to engage risk free while your team follows up. I think it's real strength lies in stasis, while Riven resurrects her abilities will come off cooldown, giving you another rotation of spells for free. I used to like Ravenous Hydra more earlier in the season, but I found after more testing I was too squishy so I usually choose Black Cleaver instead. The ability haste, vamp and waveclear is still quite nice though, there are a lot of worse options on Riven. Youmuu's Ghostblade got a pretty big buff in 11.17, I think this will be an often build for me now, even sometimes replacing Black Cleaver as my second item. The components, cost and passive make this item really strong on Riven, especially into immobile mages/ADC's like Ziggs, Syndra, Jinx or Varus.
Team Amp
Teamfight Durability
Teamfight Durability
Abyssal Mask is probably used best by Riven over any other champion. The passive and stats of this item are extremely strong and by far my favorite defensive option at the moment. Try this out. I don't mind Sterak's Gage but I think it's overvalued on Riven as she already gets a shield from her E that can overlap it. Good into burst champions like Syndra or Talon. Gargoyle Stoneplate is quite strong at the moment, I'd prefer this over Sterak's Gage as it gives haste and an actiavatable shield. Especially good if your team lacks frontline and you're being focussed heavily.
Heavy Crit/AD
Anti-Heal
Anti-Physical
Randuin's Omen is much better on Riven than it used to be because of the ability haste it now offers. A good option into heavy AD/crit. Chempunk Chainsword builds for antiheal, probably would go this 3/4th item after building Executioner's Calling early. A solid item choice. Death's Dance is still one of my favorite items on Riven, and I'll usually still build these even if they've an AP mid/top. Sometimes AP champions aren't even focussing you, so think of that when itemising into magic resist or armor, 'is that champion even going to hit me or try to fight me?'. Makes Riven deceptively tanky and the new passives are amazing on takedown.

Why not crit Riven?
As I've mentioned above, greedy itemisation choices are punished heavily in higher elos. Crit can work in lower elo, but even still most crit items give attack speed which Riven doesn't need and not much AD/things to offer outside of crit chance. Just because you went 10-1 building crit in Silver 4 doesn't mean it's good. There's a reason General Sniper/Adrian/Viper don't build crit Riven.

TRADING


TRADE ZONES

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 the 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 the 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. 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.


WHEN TO TRADE

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.

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.

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-leveled Elise or Kha'Zix, just be conservative with your spells in case they begin to fight but they disengage with Rappel 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 your 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 yourself 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 all together, 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. Every time 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.

TEAMFIGHTING


Understanding how your champion operates in team fights prevents you from overcommitting to the wrong team fight objective and potentially losing the game off it. If you're fed, but enemy ADC is 0-3, it's not worth you using ult, Ignite/ Flash, etc. just to kill them. Chances are you should be matching the opposing fed champion and acting as peel for your backline. Remember, you do a lot of damage, so if you're fed and someone dives your backline, you'll probably one-shot them too.

Based on your comp, it may be better just to play peel every fight. Some fights don't call for dive. If you have a Vayne Lulu, for example, your job is to let them do the damage for you and just disrupt anyone trying to kill them. Because Riven can build quite tanky while still doing good damage, you'll be extremely difficult to get past.

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't really look to group or even 5v5 if you don't have flash. Alternatively, if the target on the enemy team you're looking to kill has just used Flash, be sure to time it and look to force a fight so you can Flash on them. Using your flash for a high-value kill like this can swing games really heavily, you just have to be able to identify windows of weakness or ways back into the game.

SPLITPUSHING


Inside champ select, and further laning phase you should be building a gameplan behind whether you're going to split later in the game or not.

Decisions that are influenced by this game plan include build order/path, Teleport usage, and tower break lane assignment. If your team loses a 5v5 team fight, it may be better to opt to apply pressure in the side lanes, thus breaking the 5v5. Regardless of how ahead/behind a team is, certain comps operate better in a 5v5 than their laning phase. Think Malphite, Zac, Yasuo topside etc. All have pretty low/medium pressure laning phase but can be insane when fighting together.

As a hypermobile champion that can 2v1 quite exceptionally, Riven can draw immense amounts of pressure on the sidelane, purely because her kit allows her to play really far up/in risky positions. It also allows you to deny camps relatively safely. She has quite slow tower take, however. If enemy top/jg is guarding a tower, look to roam into their jungle and get vision/to take camps. You can even look to flank their mid-lane assigned champion with your tempo advantage, leaving enemy top/jg farming under towers.

Furthermore, your team could still have a good 5v5, but be really far behind in gold. If you're ahead, you can threaten whoever is matching you by looking to dive them and continue pressuring the sidelane. Even if you can't but you draw enemy jungle to assist their toplaner, your team can engage a 4v3 across the map. Just be careful not to die for nothing, or else you're alleviating the pressure for no reason. Force the enemy to play on the back foot and follow you. You're being proactive, they're being reactive. This forces mistakes as they're thinking one step behind you.

The Teleport / Ignite setup works really well for splitting. This gives you insane laning and map pressure that translates really well later in the game. No flash leaves you quite weak in team fights, so force the enemy to come to you on the sidelane. Ignite also adds pressure to the dive. You should really only split away from your team when your Teleport is up, this is pretty basic knowledge. If your Teleport is down but the enemy team is threatening baron, or your team wants to baron , you should be clearing toplane. If the objective in question is dragon , you should be clearing bot lane. When Teleport is up, you should be opposite side to draw someone and then Teleport when needed.


SKINS


Skin advantage is placebo, use whatever feels nicest to you. (I use Dawnbringer, it feels the smoothest to me. Favourite looking is Championship Riven 2012 which I am lucky enough to own). The only pay to win feature is Prestige Valiant Sword Riven's Ult animation can look like you're not ulted, which could be deceiving.
Here is my PERSONAL skin tier list:



RIVEN STREAMS I RECOMMEND:
Rival (Me) - OCE Challenger Peak. This is my own stream and I try to be as educational as possible about the game and matchups. I also answer all questions!

Rueven - EUW - 1,350LP Rank 3 Peak. Rueven is a very well rounded Riven player, good farm, good solokill percentage, good teamfighting and good macro. The best all rounder in my opinion.

Built - EUW - 1,250LP Rank 9 Peak. Built is the highest ranked EUW Riven at the moment and the best Riven in the world mechanically. I've never seen him lose lane and his teamfighting is the best.

Viper - NA - Rank 1 Peak. The best all round toplaner, has a deep champion pool which assists in his ability to pilot Riven. Extremely consistent.

Adrian Riven - NA - Rank 1 Peak. One of the OG solokill kings. Amazing mechanics but doesn't farm that much.

General Sniper - NA - Rank 1 Peak. Insane talent, Viper's brother. Not much to say. Kid's a freak.

Ripped - EUW - Challenger Peak. Ripped has a very calculated and reserved but deliberate playstyle, very refreshing to watch.

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide