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Riven Build Guide by NPGRiven

Top [11.23] The Ultimate MASTERS Riven Guide to Carry S12

Top [11.23] The Ultimate MASTERS Riven Guide to Carry S12

Updated on November 28, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author NPGRiven Build Guide By NPGRiven 284 12 433,780 Views 13 Comments
284 12 433,780 Views 13 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author NPGRiven Riven Build Guide By NPGRiven Updated on November 28, 2021
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Runes: Standard Rune Page

1 2 3
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Gathering Storm

+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Ability Order Standard Ability Order

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

[11.23] The Ultimate MASTERS Riven Guide to Carry S12

By NPGRiven

I'm Nathan. I am a 22 year old, and I've been playing Riven since Season 4, and since then I've devoted pretty much all of my playing time into playing Riven. I've peaked masters and have spent a lot of my time coaching Riven, top lane and also other roles. With over 2500+ games on the champion, and over 2.0 million mastery points on the champion. I began playing this champion the moment I started playing the game, as I was downloading league I was looking at guides and what champions to play, and what champions had high skill caps, and for some reason I found Riven, a champ with a high-skill ceiling and requires a decent amount of time to play her at her highest potential. When beginning to play her and running it down every game, my friends suggested I play a new champ, which only made me want to get better at her.

I will be updating this guide frequently throughout the season, whether buffs happen to riven or other certain champs, or nerfs happen either. If runes change, items change or anything. I will make sure to keep this updated every patch. I plan to also add some tutorials for some beginners and provide helpful links on how to learn Riven.

You can look into getting coaching from me here:

I provide cheap coaching for all skill levels!

Pros – The benefits of playing Riven is she's very mobile. She has the ability to go in and out of trades and not get punished extremely hard with the use of her E. She's also a very fun champion, and when played properly has very high snowball potential and the ability to takeover and 1v9 games.

Cons – The drawbacks of playing Riven is she's very reliant on CDR, now known as Haste. She's a very ability reliant champion.

She's also a very high-skill capped champion. She's hard to get used too and has a extremely hard learning curve. She requires a lot of time and effort, and there are many mechanics to learn on the champion.

When she's put behind, you will feel useless. Playing Riven from behind makes you want to quit the game.

Riven fits into team compositions that don't have a lot of HARD CC. If you see a team with a lot of CC and still want to play Riven, make sure to have tenacity and to build Merc Treads to try avoid the CC chain. Riven has really good synergy with teams that can engage for her, although she isn't a terrible engage herself, if she is able to get someone to engage before or some damage off before her it's always ideal. The reason being is that Riven is relatively squishy, especially compared to Tanks obviously, if she is the first in the fight and your team isn't entirely ready for your FLASH + 3RD Q COMBO, you will most likely get insta CC'd and die. You want to avoid this.

However, Riven works really well as an engage when they don't have a lot of CC, or you have champs like Yasuo or Oriana on your team, it gives an easy way for you to gain more damage onto the enemy team and the carries with a good hard flash engage onto the backline.

You will always take conqueror if you want the most viable option. Other runes like electrocute and phase rush can be taken, but that's more of a cheese pick into certain matchups. Like phase rush into Tryndamere is a good choice to be able to stop him from running you down.

You always want to take conqueror for the sustain, it's quite easy to keep up on Riven and towards later on in the game, or extended fights you will notice the difference it makes compared to other runes.

Like said, there are other options. Riven can honestly make use of almost every rune page. Even arcane comet to a degree. But is it optimal? No.

There are certain matchups where you can take different runes, but they aren't more optimal or viable. Conqueror at the moment will probably stay superior to those other options.

You will always want flash. Just like you'd have it with most of the other champs, Riven is no different.

Most of the times you will want teleport, you can opt to take ignite if you feel extremely confident in your lane and in your matchup, but you still have the risk of dying to a gank and missing a lot of XP.

Your main start will be a long sword and 3 health potions. The only other time you will want to change that if you are into a ranged matchup. In that case start Doran's Shield. Or if you aren't that confident, you can take Doran's blade for a bit more sustain throughout the lane.

You will want to work towards getting your warhammer and kindlegem. Just like in season 10, I don't think this has changed. Some people now are beginning to rush items, but I still believe doing this is very viable and can help you rush haste, whilst also building towards your core items on Riven.

In season 11, I believe these 3 items are your bread and butter when it comes to 1v9ing games. All of them give you a lot of haste, combined with Haste from runes and the passive on Goredrinker. Not only that but a lot of sustain is also given from these items. You get a lot of lifesteal/omnivamp from the items that you will be able to live a large majority of the fights.

Not to mention, black cleaver feels a lot stronger this season, you will able to make more of an impact on tanks, and actually notice the damage you are able to do to them. Sometimes I prefer getting Hydra second over black cleaver, but it really depends on how well I'm doing and if their team has anyone building armour on early.

Honestly, I almost build this item every game still. The reason I say it's situational is because it's a tank shredding item. I usually build this item after I've completed my 3 main core items. It gives a reasonable amount of haste, damage, armour pen and also the slow on the passive is really good at staying on top of people.

Instead of this being a second item on Riven, I feel you can get it later on. It's not absolutely required on Riven anymore like season 10, but it still does an amazing job at keeping you alive. If you are into a lot of assassins or feel like you are being blown up to easily, this item is for you. The amount of sustain and survivability this items gives you, it is almost definitely worth getting.

I don't think this item is as good as Goredrinker, but it is still extremely fun to use, and good to use in the early game. The lack of haste it gives you isn't the greatest, but if you are into a team of full squishes, this item will destroy them. In laning you will feel the impact of rushing this item, with almost no counterplay for your opponent to trade back into you with the passive shield, the damage and your own shield from E, every 6s. Riven being really good at short trades, this item works like a charm.

This item is good if you are into a lot of tanks and need the extra damage from it's passive to be able to beat them. As for now I still think Goredrinker is far superior to any Mythic Item Riven can build, but it does not mean this item isn't good. It works extremely well into tanks, and it makes splitpushing a lot easier for Riven. The damage done to towers from the spellblade passive is noticeable and will help you get plates, pressure and dominance in the side lanes.

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.

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.

Riven dashes forward and gains a shield that protects her from up to 95 / 125 / 155 / 185 / 215 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) for 1.5 seconds.

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.

Tips & Tricks

The Fast Q Combo is Riven's main source of damage. This is where most of your damage output will seem to come from. Without learning this combo, you will have a hard time succeeding to win on Riven. This combo requires for you to Auto > Q (Hovering opponent)> Movement Command (Click Ground)> Auto > Q > Movement Command > Auto > Q > Movement Command > Auto

Riven's E also helps her to be able to animation cancel. Beginning most of your combos with E will cause them to cancel into each other and go smoothly with some precise timing. A common animation cancel you will do is E>R, to be able to cancel the animation of your R. The animation for your R and W are both very clunky and lock you in place. With the use of your E you can cancel that locking motion.

A lot of the time I see people use their abilities randomly. Especially on Riven's E, people will use it for no reason. Not to block damage or anything, but just because they can. A lot of the time you are wasting a dash and your shield for no reason and can be punished heavily in lane.

Most of the time you will be playing Riven top lane. You can go mid with her and still have it work, but Top Lane is where you will be 99% of the time.

Like mentioned in the items section of this guide. You will want to be starting long sword and 3 health potions majority of the time.

Right now Riven in the early game lane phase she can be easily harassed and bullied. Some matchups you will be able to completely stomp, but a lot of the matchups you will feel that you can only take very short trades, and have to be careful what abilities you decide to use.

Most lanes you will want to play safely and look for your opportunity. Riven is very good at punishing a lane opponents mistakes, but she also very easily can be punished for her own mistakes. Look for opportunities to trade with Riven. Don't just constantly go in and try harass because you can easily be punished for it.

You will always want to be watching your map, not only to avoid ganks but to see if you are able to make plays elsewhere on the map. This is why I recommend taking TP if you are playing Riven top. You will be able to have your TP up for dragon fights, or if the enemy bot lane over extends, things like this will help you easily snowball and also get your team ahead. You can change the outcome of a fight massively as Riven if you have a well-timed TP.

Other things you should be looking out for is where the jungle could be. If you see him, make it known to yourself, and to your team. This can make a huge difference to whether you or your team can engage on their lane opponents. Having good vision control is the enemy's jungle and good awareness to where he is pathing is crucial.

On champs you will most likely see Top Lane, it will be a large variety, although there is a meta in the top lane. The meta picks seem to revolve around counter-picking the enemy top laner. When playing Riven and you are first picking, the most common champs you will see are Renekton and Poppy, and in the lower elos you will get a lot of Garen picks. Really you shouldn't see any Renekton, because I heavily suggest that you ban him. A new Renekton player could still dominate lane against you, he is Riven's ultimate counter.

Most of the time you can't prevent laning against direct counters. Champs like Poppy, Quinn, Kennen and many others will counter you quite hard, the objective into lanes you lose is to try CS where you possibly can and not give a huge lead to the enemy top laner. Your job is to NOT die. Most top lane champs you will outscale, especially in Season 11. There are a few who may just dominate you early and late, but in lanes like that, I suggest you rush Hydra, and look to roam across the map and help your team somewhere else, not giving your lane opponent the chance to scale.

Riven also does counter quite a lot of champions top lane. The thing is you have to know your power spikes, and their power spikes. Although some matchups may feel unbeatable, it depends on how you play them. I would say Riven heavily counters champs like Vladimir, but if you misplace you can be heavily punished against him. Most of Riven's matchups are like that, the champions she hard counters depends on how well you play Riven. Other champs I'd say Riven counters are Sion, Dr. Mundo, Cho'Gath, Hecarim, Garen, Nasus and Yasuo. I would say she counters there champs the hardest, however if you play incorrectly into these champions, you can easily lose the lane.

Each lane you should learn how your lane opponent plays. The reason I say that is because on Riven you can easily screw your lane over by misplaying, and from that it can be very hard to get back into the game. This new season seems decent for Riven so far. You still may heavily get beaten in lane, as Haste isn't as effective early. Late game Haste will be amazing for you though.

In every matchup you will max Q>E>W, and R whenever you can (6, 11, 16). Some Riven players opt to go for more damage and aggression and will actually max Q>W>E, but I believe the most common you will see is Q>E>W.

Most of the times Riven is a dominate split pusher. She can win most 1v1s mid game. Mid game is where she is the strongest and you will dominate almost any other champion if you play it correctly. Some champs will be a heavily skill favoured matchup for them, or even yourself. But most of the time it'll end up being the most skilled player wins the fight. Like Riven vs Fiora, or Riven vs Irelia. Riven vs Fiora currently is Fiora favoured, but Riven can still win it if she plays it correctly.

By this point of the game the core items you want are Ravenous Hydra and Goredrinker, and possibly Black Cleaver. If you have these items you will be a force to be reckoned with, if fights are played correctly, you can win not just one on ones, not just 1v2s, but possibly even 1v3s. You can completely dominate the sidelane and splitpush, and keep your TP up for possible teamfights that happen. Don't be afraid at this point, if you haven't fallen massively behind you are strong now, the damage you get and sustain from the items built will keep you alive in most fights.

You want to start team fighting around objectives, or if you desperately need too (if you team starts a fight or get engaged on.) Always try to keep your TP up in the midgame, you most likely don't NEED to TP to a random minion wave just to farm, just walk to it. In teamfights you most likely want to get a flank on the enemy backline. This is where most of their damage carries will be, their ADC, some mages, they will all be sitting back to deal damage. If you manage to flank the enemy team from behind you can kill the ADC before they even have time to react. The backline is your goal in every fight. Even if you are able to flash onto the ADC, always look to get the carry.

Always focus on objectives, turrets, dragons and baron. If dragon is up, have TP up, and split push top, your objective is to drag 2 people from the enemy team onto you so your team can take dragon. If no one comes top you can easily get towers and TP at any fight for dragon.

Always pay attention to where everyone is on the map during the midgame, it's crucial so you don't get caught out splitpushing.

In the late game you have similar objectives to the mid game. In season 11, you can still 1v3 in the late game, but now it's a lot harder. Everyone has around the same items and you aren't as snowbally anymore. You're still able to try and splitpush safely, this is your goal. Look for TPs into teamfights, TP has a lower cooldown later on the game making this easier. You should have TP up for almost every objective unless you've wasted it elsewhere.

Late game items could include Guardian Angel, when you need that extra survivability after doing damage to their backline. It gives the opponent more decisions to make, and gives you less margin for error. If you see the enemy team all building grevious wounds, buying guardian angel is a smarter choice compared to having Ravenous Hydra.

In the late game your strategy doesn't change. You will still want to split push and look for your opportunities to flank and join in team fights, you will have to be a little bit more careful splitpushing, you DO NOT want to overextend and get caught out, it is crucial you stay alive, and it is crucial for every member to stay alive. The respawn timers are way too long in the late game for you to be running it down and giving up free kills.

You will want to be pushing in a side line, usually on the opposite side of the map to where the objective is, the reason this is, is because you have TP. You will bring people to the sidelane, whether it's them trying to catch you out, match your push or whatever it is. They will have to send someone, if they don't you get free towers. If you are easily able to 1v1 the enemy top laner, they will need to send 2 PEOPLE for you. If you manage to drag 2 or more people, Riven has enough mobility to either run, or enough damage and sustain to possibly fight. In this time you will want your team to grab baron. It's a 4v4 or a 4v3 depending on how many you dragged to the sidelane, if the enemy go for it, they will lose, and if they need you, you are able to TP to the baron. Either way it looks good for you.

You will constantly be paying attention to where your team is. I suggest using the F keys. F1, F2, F3, etc etc to keep and eye on your team, it will auto lock onto one of your teammates showing where they are. Doing this will let you know if someone on your team engages or gets caught out, and could give you the upper hand on a good TP play compared to the enemy top laner.

At the end of it all, if you really want to play to Riven, it will take time. How much time will depend on your determination the champ and how many hours you put in. At 1.2 million mastery points I am still having to constantly adapt to new playstyles against every match up and every team comp to make myself as optimal as possible against people. The more and more you play the more you will get used to her kit, cooldowns and interactions with every champ. Would I suggest one-tricking Riven? Of course, it'll suck to begin with her steep learning curve, but once you get used to her you will see how enjoyable she can be to play, and you will feel great when you are able to outplay the enemy team with fancy combos.

Thanks for reading if you did, I hope you enjoyed the guide. Stay updated for more specific information on matchups!
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