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Riven Build Guide by YayaFTW

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League of Legends Build Guide Author YayaFTW

AD/CDR Riven ~ The Queen of Hack n' Slash [Top/Mid]

YayaFTW Last updated on April 10, 2013
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Vs Heavy AD


Vs Heavy AP

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Table of contents

- 1. Introduction

- 2. Pros / Cons

- 3. Masteries

- 4. Runes

- 5. Summoner spells

- 6. Ability Explanation

- 7. Riven Combos and Tricks

- 8. Ability Sequence

- 9. Items and builds

- 10. In lane

- 11. In teamfights

- 12. Conclusion

- 13. Sexy Riven


You: Hello sexy beast, what's your name?

Me: Hello :D My name is YayaFTW and I've decided to make a guide about Riven.

You: Why Riven?

Me: Because I play her A LOT ! She is one of the strongest and most fun champions to play in the league ! (not as fun as Teemo though :P ... actually, f*** Teemo lol).

You: Well if this is just another regular stack-AD-and-go-berserk Riven guide, i'm outta here.

Me: No no no, what's special about my guide is the fact that I play Riven with AD/CDR. Yes, cooldown reduction.

You: Why Cooldown reduction on Riven?

Me: Simply because with CDR, a 5 sec CD aoe stun and a 4 sec CD shield that last 2.5 secs wins every damn lane.

You can basically shield 200+ damage for 3 secs every 4 secs and heal back with life steal the poke you take in that 1 sec interval.

You: Could you show me what Riven can do in general?

Me: My treat babe :D

The point of this guide is to show you how to use Riven to it's full potential and not just stack AD like a wh*re (Yes Zed I'm looking at you).

By saying using Riven's full potential, I mean by that, build her and play her in a way that would abuse short CD shields and stuns aswell as ignore most of the enemy's armor without actually loosing much AD.

Pros / Cons


+ Doesn't rely on mana or energy. (Free spellz babe)
+ Very mobile. (Good luck catching her)
+ Her damage output is Insane ! (Too stronk)
+ Awesome farmer with great wave clear !
+ She has AOE CC ! (Praise the lord !)
+ Battle bunny Riven.


- She's melee. (Not a real problem though)
- Hard to master, needs practice.
- No natural sustain.



You: Yo sexey, why 21/9 on offense and not 9/21 in defense? and why 4 points on Sorcery ??

Me: Me too I used to make the mistake of going 9/21 on Riven until I read the comments after I published the guide, and It just hit me like a train. Riven isn't a damage soaker ! Late game she is almost an assassin that tries to take down their carries in one combo. To do that she definitly needs the 21 points in offense.

Credit goes to Laggermeister and SmokedCarpenter for making me realize the flaws in my mastery page. Thanks.

About Sorcery , It just helps me reach 30% CDR and have my shield and stun on respectively 5 and 4 sec CD.



Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Summoner spells

Flash: is mandatory on Riven and on most champs in general. With Flash you can flash+stun/flash+knockup/flash+ult for those sick Riven plays.

Ignite: Gives that extra damage output aswell as secures kills in case the enmy flashes away or runs under tower.

Cleanse: I'd suggest this spell for more experienced players since it require good awareness and timing to be put in best use. It takes Ignite's slot though.

Ability explanation

  • Runic Blade: This passive is really awesome, I don't understand why people underestimate it. It boots your AA with every spell you use, how can you beat that !

    + Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA and you'll see how much damage you'll do with Q being at level 1. One of the scariest combos in-game in terms of early damage.

  • broken wings (Q): This spell, along with Valor is what makes Riven one of the most mobile champs out there in the league. You can chase, escape, interrupt spells, dodge, juke, almost everything.

    + Always space your Q's with an AA like mentioned above: Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA

    + The third Q can jump over Jarvan IV's Cataclysm and Anivia's Crystallize sometimes.

  • Ki burst (W): This spell is basically an AOE Stun, the reason no one dives Riven in r*tard mode, one of the reasons she's a great waveclearer/farmer, the reason you think twice before 1v1 with Riven.

    + To master Riven you need to learn by heart the range of Ki Burst's stun or else you'll end up blowing away all your combos. Use it wisely.

    + Be careful when you farm with this spell, It makes you vulnerable to turret dives. Again, use it wisely.

  • Valor (E): This spell is one of the best shield spells in the game, by far ! This spell is the reason I send the likes of Gangplank and Pantheon home crying all day every day. With this spell I forget what being poked means. What's better, is when I dodge an Ashe ultimate with it. I'm like: YayaFTW (Riven): Not even close Babe ! in chat.

    + On around 30% CDR this spell is on around 4.5 sec CD and the shield lasts 2.5 sec. You do realize than you can never be poked out of lane if you max E first right?

    + Like W, use this spell wisely. If you just use it without thinking about what would happen next you might get free poked. A smart Pantheon for example will save his Q until your shield runs out and then poke you for free since you can't retaliate unless you're going all in.

  • Blade of the exile (R): Your sword levels up to his full form and potential, ready to unleash f*cking apocalypse and terminate everything in its path like THIS ! (Except it's a sword that upgrades and not dual guns).

    + Never forget to cast the spell once FIRST, do your combo, drop them low, THEN cast the wind slash.
    I'm tired of Riven players who go all in without ult,waste their combo and get all on CD, then they ult and waste it on auto attacks, or they stupidly cast wind slash then do their combo... DON'T BE THAT KIND OF Riven ! BE SMART !

    + Use this spell to steal objectives and finish the runners in a won teamfight or kill with it only (or atleast send the enemy to base and have free farm). DO NOT FARM WITH IT !

Riven Combos and Tricks

I took the liberty to name them, makes them sound more epic.

NB: Use R - Combo - R when you want to kill the sh*t :D

Downburst: Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA-W-AA-Back with E (Use this in trades, the shield on the way back will stop him from retaliating).

Dashblade: E-AA-W-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA (This combo is often used when you're going all in or when you want to stun someone by surprise if your jungler is coming)

Distort: Q-E-AA-W-AA-Q-Q (Both last Q to the back not to the front. (Use this spell to poke or to interrupt a channel or to save a chased ally without putting yourself into danger).

+ Remember, you can dodge most skillshots with Q and E. I remember I used to dodge all of Ahri's combo with Q only. First Q to the right for the coming orb, second Q to the left for the charm, Third Q to the right for the orb coming back, E to shield her W and voila. You can type with no hesitation : O-O-O-OUTPLAYED in chat :D

+ This trick is only known by veteran Riven players. When you activate your ultimate, your W can stun over tiny walls and cliffs. You might think this is a useless trick but I've killed with it many times those who flash over with no health trying to escape, or those who think they are safe to recall from a melee Riven.

Ability Sequence

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

> > >

+ Max W first for regular Riven lanes.

+ Max E first if you know you'll get poked a lot (like Elise's Q or if you got countered.

+ Max Q first if you know you will 100-0 your enemy to the ground and make him quit LoL for the day.

Items and builds

Item Sequence

The Black Cleaver

The Bloodthirster

Frozen Mallet

Last Whisper

Guardian Angel

Ionian Boots of Lucidity

Core on Riven. Sh*tload of AD and nice sustain.

Gives Riven everything she needs. AD, ArPen, CDR, and HP.

For more survivability, a bit of AD and the ability to keep your enemies within range while your W comes out of CD while chasing.

Your major weakness is Armor. You can say bye-bye to armor with this Item.

This item draws focus away from you aswell as gives you a chance for a second combo to clean up in case you get killed first. Has good defensive stats. Situational Item though.

These boots are the key to unlock Riven's full potential. With these boots you can reach 30% CDR and have that 5 sec CD stun and 4 sec CD shield that lets you control the flow of the lane and the teamfight.



After discussing this in the comment section. I decided that item should be CORE if the enemy team has a lot of heavy CC. Buy it over CDR boots with no hesitation if that is the case.

If these pesky Skarners or Malzahar ults become a problem for you in teamfights for example.

Great defensive stats overall. The passive and active are both living hell for AD Carries and bruisers like Jayce. Get is over Guardian Angel if the enemy mid is AD aswell.

Although this item is godlike on junglers and tanky supports, I can't help but see how perfect the stats are for a defensive item for Riven in top lane. You can bait your enemy by casting the active right after your E (shield) goes on CD, and it gives HP, Armor and CDR aswell.
The only inconvenient with this item is that it doesn't give AD which might hurt your damage output.

It can be a good item if you snowballed after you 100-0 in top lane. Greatly boosts your damage output at the cost of survivability.


Core on Riven. Sh*tload of AD and nice sustain.

Gives Riven everything she needs. AD, ArPen, CDR, and HP.

For more survivability, a bit of AD and the ability to keep your enemies within range while your W comes out of CD while chasing.

Gives a lot of AD, MR and has an awesome anti-burst passive for those pesky AP Top/mid laners

I get this item mainly to reach 30% CDR for the short CD shield and stun and for that MR aswell as the HP and increased lifesteal from The Bloodthirster. Works like a charm on Riven

More MR and tenacity. Wouldn't refuse that


This should be core I admit. It just doesn't have a spot in a dual AP enemy comp especilly when The Black Cleaver mitigate that to a certain extent. But you should get it if you think it becomes mandatory.

More AD and MR aswell as a free cleanse. Get it against Hard CC teams.

This item draws focus away from you aswell as gives you a chance for a second combo to clean up in case you get killed first. Has good defensive stats. Situational Item though.

It can be a good item if you snowballed after you 100-0 in top lane. Greatly boosts your damage output at the cost of survivability.

In Lane

+ If you got countered focus on farm. Riven can farm very well under tower.

+ Trade carefully. Riven is melee so care for retaliations when you run back after a trade.

+ Use your kit according to your jungler's kit. For example, if Amumu is your jungler, you should E then W so Amumu can easily land his Q.

+ Get used to fast reflex shields, so you don't get poked by surprise.

+ Use E to bait a spell from your enemy then retaliate. For example make Elise think she has a clear easy shot with Cocoon then dodge it with E then engage on her.

+ Buy sustain first if you're having trouble in lane, and rush The Bloodthirster if you're dominating the lane.

+ If you are facing a champion who can build AD but with a magic damage spell kit (F*cking Teemo, Kennen, Yorick etc), sacrifice CDR and go for a regular Riven build with MR, AD and survivability, since when you'll go all in you'll go all in. No point in trading with these lane bullies.

In teamfights

+ Use your spells wisely. For example if the enemy has a Katarina, save your W for when she casts ultimate.

+ Use E to position yourself and prioritize the enemy AD or AP Carry while doing your combo.

+ Sometimes It's better not to initiate with Riven. But if you are forced to initiate, try to stun the enemy peelers so your allies can instagib their carries.

+ When you go all in, you go all in. Unfinished jobs lose games.

+ Generally you should wait until the first wave of enemy CC goes off then you go all in on their carries so you don't get peeled off.

NB: Satella made a good point: "This should only be done if your jungler has a great initiate ( Amumu, Xin Zhao, etc.). As the top laner, part of your job is to absorb the brunt of the CC so your mid/ADC are unaffected, and your initiate potential is too good to waste. "

+ Build according to your teamfight composition. If you notice that your teamcomp has no initiators and tht you will have to initiate teamfights, get survivability Items after your 2 core AD items.


Well, this is it :D I hope you had fun going through my guide and I hope you found it useful.

Keep in mind that not all games are perfect and that the only way to progress is to fight back your failures and overcome your weakness. (Wow I said something smart without having to take it from google ! +rep me for that lol).

I am open for any kind of feedback. Please know that I am far from being perfect so if you see any mistake I made of if you think my build theory has flaws, don't hesitate to let me know and i'll rectify my errors as soon as possible.

Many thanks and credit goes to Jhoijhoi. (Well she basically has copyright on all guide-related material lol) Joking :D If you read this, I can't thank you enough for the Template.

Here, enjoy some fan art for Riven from Deviant Art. One of the reasons I like Riven is because she looks super cool :D

And here is why Riven bows to no one. Credit to Best Riven NA (Diamond ranked game sick Riven play)

What I will add in the future:

+ Screenshots of my stats playing Riven with this build. (I don't have my external DDR on me that contains the screens of epic Riven games so I'll have to fetch them when I go home for vacation).

+ Videos for the combos so they are better illustrated.

Change Log

04/08/2013: Guide published.
05/08/2013: Corrected some cheatsheet mistakes (added Ninja Tabi as situational, and fixed my masteries to suit the tastes of Laggermeister) aswell as I added a table of content. (Thanks Meiyjhe!)
06/08/2013: Went through the whole guide again fixing some issues you guys mentioned in the comments. Big thanks to Satella for taking her time helping me make this guide better.