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Riven Build Guide by Fighter1

Top [9.10]Fighter1's Challenger Riven Guide [In-depth] [Short]

By Fighter1 | Updated on May 26, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Riven
    Riven vs Tank/Bruiser
  • LoL Champion: Riven
    Riven vs Squishies/assasins

Runes: Riven normal

Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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

Threats & Synergies

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


Let me start by saying this guide is not aimed to show off any of my BBCoding skills. I am trying to show you a Rank 1 player's perspective on how to play a solo lane to carry solo Q games. So expect walls of text, video demonstrations, and very detailed information.

Anyways, Hi, My name is Fighter1, I started playing league at the end of season 2,and I have played riven in atleast 2k games. I was rank 3 LAN in season 8, and challenger on the NA server in season 7. Her builds have changed a lot over the years, but I am sure that these two build options are the best for her in this patch.
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The Best Rune Pages for Riven in 9.10

-After 4 seconds in combat, you get AD and do 20% true dmg -I recommend using sorcery secondary in almost all situations because it is the most gold efficient secondary rune page on riven.

  • I almost never take resolve because it might be good early game but it hurts you later, however if you're against Renekton + Elise or maybe Gnar + Lee Sin it could save your life. You pay for it in the late game so choose wisely.

    - If taken below 30% hp by magic damage, gain a shield that absorps magic damage for 4 seconds(The more AD you have the stronger the shield)
    - Gain 10% cdr at level 10, and if you go over the CDR cap gain GOLD EFFIECIENT AD
    • Always take this rune, no exceptions, it allows you to diversify your build depending on the situation.

    -Gain extra magic damage on spells every 20 seconds.
    • Take this if you REALLY want to snowball early, but be CAREFUL because it can end up hurting you more than helping you if you take it in the wrong scenario.

    -Gain extra AD every 10 minutes.
    • use Gathering Storm in most if not all situations. You become a late game MONSTER with this rune. So keep in mind if you just farm out the first 10 minutes you get a major powerspike when Transcendence and Gathering Storm kick in.
Unsealed Spellbook

-Allows you to swap summoner spells like Flash and Teleport while they are on cooldown, each time you swap the cooldown reduces by 20seconds.
  • use Unsealed Spellbook anytime you do not NEED conqueror. It is riven's best rune in the current meta. Matchups like Kennen Jayce Ekko Pantheon require this rune to win. You can even use it in bruiser matchups like Jax Camille Irelia, IF the rest of the enemy team isn't super tanky. If you take Unsealed Spellbook into heavy tank team compositions you will be useless in the lategame; So, choose wisely.
    -While Flash is on cooldown, gain hexflash(A flash that requires a 2 second channel time, and has a 20 second cd.)
    • I personally don't use this, and have only played a handful of games with it, but I can imagine it working maybe for roaming mid or invading the enemy jungler, so if you can make it work then go for it.
    -gain Slightly Magical Boots at 10min(reduced by 30 seconds per kill) that give 10 more movement speed than normal Boots of Speed. -Gain a Stopwatch at 10 minutes.(allows for a one time Zhonya's Hourglass active.) -basically gives you 150 gold at 2 minutes(+5/min)
    • I don't think this is a good rune option. It is extremely gold inefficient and I don't advise to ever take it, until it get's buffed.
    -At 4 minutes, gain 6 Minion Dematerializer. Each one allows you to kill a minion instantly and gives permanent bonus damage against that minion type(cannon,caster,melee).
    • Use Minion Dematerializer to instantly kill cannon minions, and also use atleast 1 on the caster minions and 1 on the melee minions to enable you to instantly clear minion waves without Tiamat. This is your best rune option.
    - Cosmic Insight Allows 45% cooldown reduction.
    • Your best rune option. It brings Valor to a 1.8 second downtime. If you use Valor at the most optimal times, the enemy will think you are invincible.
-I recommend using sorcery secondary in almost all situations because it is the most gold efficient secondary rune page on riven.
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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

Flash is a must have on riven, and it is one of your most important resources. This champion can do more with flash than most champs in the game which is why you should always look to build Ionian Boots of Lucidity whenever the enemy team doesn't have lot's of cc.

Ignite is a great tool to take in a lane that you think is extremely snowbally, like Tryndamere Fiora Talon Teemo etc. If you can't win the lane like Renekton or Quinn you taking ignite would be incredibly greedy and probably lead to you losing the game because of that choice.

Teleport is a very good option into losing lanes, OR if you are taking Unsealed Spellbook. We will get more into this later in the guide, but Teleport for toplaners is extremely important because splitpushing late game is way easier to execute with Teleport. And, if you have Unsealed Spellbook you can swap to any other summoner you might need for the situation you are in, but always have tp to fallback on because it is a solid choice in any situation.
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Starting Items
Long Sword Long Sword + 3 Health Potion is going to be your best starting item for most matchups, it is a much better option than Doran's Blade on Riven because it allows you to get a quick first base off and purchase Caulfield's Warhammer, it also gives you lots of early game sustain.This is important because Riven's weakest point in the game is lvl's 1-4

Doran's Shield Doran's Shield+ Health Potion is going to be your best starting item if you plan to play safe the early 5 minutes of the game. Ranged matchups or heavy poke matchups like Gangplank Quinn Kennen all require you to start this item. Even some matchups that you just lose early and want to scale up you should take Doran's Shield so you can farm safely against champs like Renekton Illaoi Zed.
Early Game

Caulfield's Warhammer Caulfield's Warhammer is your first powerspike. The 10% cdr will most likely make most of your cooldowns shorter than your opponent's, So try to take a short trade with them, and engage on them as soon as your cooldowns come up and before their's do. Also, BUY A CONTROL WARD.

Kindlegem Kindlegem will give you 20% cooldown reduction and really give you an opportunity to start abusing your opponent with your much lower cooldowns. Once you get this item don't be afraid to use Blade of the Exile it will have a short cooldown.
First Powerspike

Black Cleaver Caulfield's Warhammer Once you get Black Cleaver Caulfield's Warhammer and Transcendence you have 45% cdr and are extremely strong. Once you hit level 11 and get level 2 Blade of the Exile you can probably look to solo kill your lane opponent.
Core Items

Black Cleaver Black Cleaver is Riven's go to item anytime you need some hp and armor shred. It has % armor shred so it becomes more effective the more armor your opponent has; build this against tanks or anytime your opponent is stacking armor and you need HP to survive burst damage.

Death's Dance Death's Dance is Riven's perfect item. It gives you sustain, lots of damage and good cooldown reduction. Black Cleaver Death's Dance has been riven's core 2 items since the item came out. It is extremely strong and gives you a high amount of damage reduction that you can bleed onto Valor, so make sure you are using Valor whenever it is off cooldown.

Guardian Angel Guardian Angel is your best option against heavy AD team comps, or if you were forced to build Mercury's Treads, but you still need some armor. This is why Riven's main 3 core items are Black Cleaver Death's Dance Guardian Angel. An extremely versatile build that can work vs tanks and squishy comps. It has low initial burst but very high ramp up damage, build this trio if your team needs a Raidboss tanky riven frontline.

Ravenous Hydra Riven can use any of her abilities to cancel the Ravenous Hydra active so it is an extremely useful item on her. It gives you instant waveclear and EXTREMELY high burst potential. Use it if you plan to splitpush and 1v1 kill your solo lane, or if you are really ahead and not afraid of dieing in a teamfight. Plus it's a fun item to use.

Mortal Reminder you can sometimes just buy Executioner's Calling if you need the healing reduction against like Soraka or Dr. Mundo. Upgrade to the full Mortal Reminder when you need the armor penetration.

Example Core Final Build with Conqueror

Situational items

Maw of Malmortius Maw of Malmortius is an extremely good item against heavy AP team comps. It works particularly well at surviving AP burst champs like Ekko LeBlanc Evelynn Karthus Orianna Fizz Kennen Vladimir. Pick this up if Mercury's Treads just aren't enough magic resist.

Mercurial Scimitar Probably the most satisfying item on Riven to have. It builds out of Quicksilver Sash which gives you a trump card in teamfights and 1v1 situations. However, the gold efficiency of this item is quite low at 81%, So only but it if you REALLY NEED that life saving cleanse against champs like Malzahar Skarner Lissandra Ahri. A secret tip too that not many know about is Quicksilver Sash in combination with a movement spell like Valor or Flash can actually cleanse knockups like Cho'Gath's Rupture or Malphite's Unstoppable Force.(See Tips and Tricks)

Sterak's Gage Sterak's Gage has really good synergy with Black Cleaver Death's Dance because the shield will tank the Death's Dance bleed passive. It is a great option if you really want to be a frontliner, or if you need it to tank high burst true damage like Darius's Noxian Guillotine or Camille's Precision Protocol. Basically, if you're feeding and you just need to be a useful meat sponge buy a Sterak's Gage.

Duskblade of Draktharr Duskblade of Draktharr is a really strong option when using Unsealed Spellbook and playing the bursty one-shot riven playstyle against squishy champs. You can rush this first item against any squishy lane opponents or if you are snowballing early. A Burst Riven core build with Unsealed Spellbook will look something like this: Duskblade of Draktharr Youmuu's Ghostblade Black Cleaver Ninja Tabi Ravenous Hydra Guardian Angel.(you can swap out Black Cleaver for Edge of Night if they aren't stacking armor.

Youmuu's Ghostblade Youmuu's Ghostblade synergizes with both Conqueror and Unsealed Spellbook. When running Conqueror, Build Youmuu's Ghostblade if you need extra movement speed around the map and in teamfights, a core build with Conqueror will look like: Black Cleaver, Death's Dance, Youmuu's Ghostblade. When running Unsealed Spellbook, Youmuu's Ghostblade can be built the same way as conqueror, however against squishy enemy teamp comps a core item may look like: Youmuu's Ghostblade, Duskblade of Draktharr, Death's Dance. It's passive helps you roam around the map and flank small skirmishes or assasinate individual's caught out of position.
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Abilities, Comboes, and Tips and Tricks

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

Passive:Runic Blade
Riven's Passive is Runic Blade -gain a Charge for 6 seconds every time you use an ability (stacks up to 3 times). Riven's basic attacks consume a Charge when available to deal 25 - 50 (based on level)% AD Attack damage bonus physical damage.
Use Runic Blade most effectively by Charging your q's before going for an all in.(View the video below.)
Riven has no resources so try to keep it charged at 3 stacks as much as possible it will help you last hit,trade and all in.
Q:Broken Wings
Riven's Q is Broken Wings-Riven dashes in place on top of enemy (if mouse is hovering on target.) Alternatively Riven dashes towards mouse position moving a short distance in the direction she is currently facing (if mouse is hovering over non-enemies.)
You cannot use Q backwards(if riven is facing north, and you use q with your mouse on a south direction, she will q north a short distance See Video Below) Broken Wings deals physical damage to all enemies in front of her. Broken Wings can then be reactivated twice within the next 4 seconds, with the second cast refreshing the timer.The 3rd cast of Broken Wings has a small AOE knockup for .5 seconds.Pay close Attention to my mouse positions.
Use Broken Wings to jump over walls, initiate fights, and as your main source of damage.
The way a Riven player uses Broken Wings is what seperates the good Rivens from the bad.The most important Riven mechanic you need to know in order to play the champion effectively is known as the "Fast Q."
It is a series of 3 animation cancels. First you auto attack, then you cancel your auto attack animation with Broken Wings, then you cancel the Broken Wings command by using a movement command to any location(clicking anywhere that isn't an enemy), then you cancel the movement command by using another auto attack on the opponent and repeat.
This is the Riven mechanic that most new players struggle with as it can be hard to perfect,especially on moving enemy champions, however it is the most important because it directly affects the dps of the champion. I recommend going into a practice tool game and practicing this and the other important riven mechanics before playing Riven in a real game.

W:Ki Burst
Riven's W is Ki Burst-Riven emits a small(125 range) AOE stun in a circle around her dealing physical damage and stunning enemies for .75 seconds.
Use Ki Burst to cancel the enemy champion's auto attack in solo fights. In teamfights, use Ki Burst in combination with Flash to engage on the enemy backline.

Riven's E is Valor-riven dashes in target direction gaining a shield for 1.5 seconds.
Use Valor Try to use valor to dodge abilities and block damage simultaneously. It is also your most effective way start combo's on opponents because the animation is easy to cancel. A common and extremely effective combo for an all in is shown below.( Valor + Blade of the Exile + Broken Wings)

R:Blade of the Exile
Riven's Ultimate is Blade of the Exile-Riven empowers her blade gaining bonus attack range, bonus range on Broken Wings and Ki Burst and 20% bonus AD .
Try to look for a way to cancel Blade of the Exile's animation, because it is really lengthy and obvious.The best 2 combos to use for this are: Valor + Blade of the Exile + Broken Wings, and Ki Burst + Blade of the Exile.Rushing and allow you to use your ultimate many times in the early game; So, don't be afraid to use it. Remember on riven your engage abilities Broken Wings and Valor are also your escape abilities. When you go ALL IN make sure you REALLY go ALL IN by using Blade of the Exile before engaging.Again don't be afraid to R! It has a very low cooldown, and Riven is so mobile it is difficult to punish her when her Blade of the Exile is down. Below is not a very important combo but a really fun one to use called the "reverse windlash." Pay close attention to my mouse movement. On Riven mouse placement is key! When you manage to pull off a cool play with this mechanic it is THE most satisfying thing in league of legends period.

Very useful combos
Below is the famous shy combo. It is probably the highest dps combo riven can do that has basically 0 counterplay.(very useful for oneshotting fed squishy champions before they can react and getting that SWEET SHUTDOWN GOLD) Valor + Blade of the Exile, Flash + Ki Burst, Auto Attack + Ravenous Hydra, Windslash + Broken Wings.The Doublecast. A simple but effective combo done by using Valor,then after a short delay, Ki Burst and Broken Wings can be cast simultaneously. You can even sneak in a Ravenous Hydra active if your fast. Combine that with flash, and you can execute low hp opponents before they can Flash away.
Riven can combine movement abilities with Quicksilver Sash to cleanse knockups/knockbacks like Yasuo's Last Breath and Lee Sin's Dragon's Rage.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Fighter1
Fighter1 Riven Guide
[9.10]Fighter1's Challenger Riven Guide [In-depth] [Short]
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