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Riven Build Guide by Shaviel

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shaviel

An in-depth look at Riven, the Exile

Shaviel Last updated on September 17, 2011
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Ranked #18 in
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Win 51%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 3

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Today I present you a guide about:

Riven, the Exile

She is the newest champion in the League, and after playing her for few hours, I can say, that she is definitely worth buying. Why? Her gameplay is kinda.. unique. She is super-mobile, and able to deal tons of AoE damage. Her spells are free, and her ultimate is pretty nice AD steroid, also allowing you to use something which is a bit like AoE version of Garen's demacian justice.

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Pros / Cons

-Amazing damage,
-Great chasing/escaping tools,
-One of the best passives in the game (basically a built-in Sheen),
-Scales with AD only,
-Good AoE attacks,
-Uses no mana, rage or anything, totally cooldown based.

-Bad lanining phase due to no sustain,
-Prone to CC,
-Focused often in late game,
-A bit too squishy,
-Bad harass early game,

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For the runes, I use Greater Marks of Desolation (ArPen), to increase her dmg output, Greater Quintessences of Desolation (to increase it even more), and flat armor seals and flat magicresist glyphs to increase her survivability in early game.

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As you can see,im using 21-6-3 masteries. You get anything what a dps char might need from offense, then additional armor and magic resist from defense, and reduced time spent death from utility. Bigger dmg, more survivability and less time spent waiting for respawn? Sounds great, and it is pretty decent in-game.

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I start with buying a Doran's Blade. It adds a nice chunk of damage, as well as some decent hp and lifesteal to help with sustaining yourself in lane. Then I recall when I got enough gold for Boots of Speed and Vampiric Scepter, this allows me to stay in lane for a long time, lifestealing through my wounds.

After that, I make Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Merc Treads, depending on what am I facing - if their team lacks some heavy CC, go for CDR, which will help you bigtime with your damage output.

Then, I finish Wriggle's Lantern - it adds you some damage, armor, lifesteal, and a really nice proc which helps with farming and jungling, as well as.. a free ward! Put it in an strategic place, to prevent enemy from ganking or getting important buffs (red buff or dragon on 3v3, between lanes or at baron on 5v5).

After wriggle, I buy Phage, which we will turn into Frozen Mallet. This item is GODLIKE on Riven - a nice boost to your AD, great slow, and a lot of hp to increase your survivability!

My last item is Infinity Edge, simply, because it will improve your damage even more. With it, after activating your ultimate, you will be able to 2shot squishies.

Most games should end before you are even able to reach Infinity Edge, but if it won't you can sell your Doran's Blade, and buy Bloodthirster, for even more AD and lifesteal, and make a Youmuu's Ghostblade of your Brutalizer.

Some people might ask, why there are almost no tankish items? Simply, because Riven scales really nice with AD, and making her a tanky dps would be a waste. Also, you got a nice escaping tools, and a shield built in your W, that scales with AD.

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Skills descriptions

Passive: Runic Blade
In my opinion, it is one of the best passives in-game, giving you a nice chunk of extra dmg after using any of your skills. It is basically a built-in Sheen, and later on, the damage is really high (it scales of your AD). GROOVY, BABY!

Q: Broken Wings
This attack is divided into 3 parts, first two are short dashes, followed by a strike, while the third one is a dash, attack, and knockback. All of these strikes are affected by your AD, and each use of this skill procs your passive. To make the best use out of it, you should allow one autoattack between each cast of your Q.

W: Ki Burst
A short, but also short cooldown AoE stun with decent damage, and 1,0 AD scaling? Fantastic! Really nice spell, giving you additional burst and a small amount of CC, best used after your Broken Wings / Autoattack combo to add even more damage

E: Valor
Valor is a short range dash, also giving you damage absorbing shield. Best part of it? The shield scales with AD!

R: Blade of the Exile
Your ultimate is quite unique. It not only gives you a nice steroid to your stats (20% more AD, and bigger range for all skills and autoattacks) but also allows you to cast Wind Slash once, which is an execution move, similar to Demacian Justice.

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Skill Sequence

I max Broken Wings first, as it gives you great damage, and goes nicely with your passive. Then i max Ki Burst, for even greater burst and a short, but nice stun, which can help you with preventing enemies from escaping, or channeling spells. I max Valor last, as the shield power isn't that great early game (it scales with AD, remember?), but the dash seems useful. Of course, this is a matter of your personal preferences, if you think, that you are getting harassed too much, or you take too much damage, you can max Valor before Ki Burst.

Of course, max your ultimate, Blade of the Exile, whenever it is possible, as it gives you huge increase in your AD while it is active, and Wind Slash hurts like hell, and helps you with killing runners.

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Summoner Spells

I choose Flash, and Exhaust.

Why flash?
It is a great initiating, running, chasing, surprising spell. You can even use it to escape through walls, which is great, when you are getting chased by these "OP" uberfed Tryndameres. (btw. it is funny, everygame which has Tryndamere in it ends with someone crying on chat how OP this champion is;p)

Why exhaust?
It is really nice, as you can disable someone for few seconds, reducing their damage, and speed. It is great to use, when this beforementioned Tryndamere attempts to slice all of you during his ultimate. Just imagine: - Tryndamere almost dies | - Tryndamere uses Undying Rage | Tryndamere: NYAHAHAHAHAHAA IM GOING TO CUT YOU ALL, DIE! | Poof, there goes Exhaust | SORRY SIR, NOT THIS TIME |

The other viable options are Ignite (helps with early game kills), Teleport (mostly useful in 5v5).

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It can be pretty hard to get used to her rotation, as you need good timing to use her passive nicely.

Riven is deadly, when fighting 1v1, as she can deal impressive damage, chase almost anyone, and escape, if things won't go as planned. You need to time your skills with autoattacks in between, as this will help you with using your passive dmg boost.

Basic combo:
R, to activate Blade of the Exile, increasing your AD> Q-> autoattack -> Q -> autoattack -> Q -> autoattack -> W, enemy is stunned for 0,5sec, and most likely is disoriented -> autoattack / if the enemy isn't dead yet, and still tries to run away, or is next to the turret use your R again, as this will activate a long range nuke, dealing more dmg, the lower your enemy's lifebar is (Wind Slash).

In team fights:
Riven can be really deadly in teamfights, due to her great AoE skills and heavy damage. You can either focus their carry, or squishy support with the 1v1 rotation mentioned earlier, or go all out and spam your Q and W whenever it is possible with your ultimate active. You will be surprised, how much damage you can deal to multiple enemies.

Runnning away:
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Things didn't go as we planned, and wild Garen appeared from the bushes, what to do, what to do! Easy... use your Flash when it is off the cooldown to gain some distance, then use your Valor, and spam your Broken Wings 3 times, and you should arrive to your turret safely.

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Jungling & Ganking

Riven is not the best jungler, but she is capable of fulfilling that role. Only do that, if you lack a full-time jungler, such as Warwick, Fiddle, Shaco etc.

Start with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions, and take a point in your Q. Start at the weekest creeps (Wolfs), and slowly move to the better ones, and get your Wriggle's Lantern as soon as possible.

She is capable of getting pretty nice ganks, due to her nice mobility. Use your Valor to get to the enemies, and then Q them to death.

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In my opinion, Riven is an amazing champion. Highly mobile, with amazing damage, and a little bit of CC (short stun). Although, her early game sucks, she truely shines in mid and late game. Stack a lot of AD on her, and she will be able to slice all of their enemies.

I won't say, that I have 20-0 stats every game, but so far, I have won EVERY single match while playing her. (and I've played about 12-13 + some AI games to practice with her). I seem to get a lot of assists, as she lacks some firepower early game.

If you are looking for an interesting, and balanced champion, then Riven is there for you.

If you are going to downvote, please, give me the reason why.

* Edit * just got 14-0-6 in normal 3v3, was pretty funny. She gets even more interesting when you get used to her impressive escaping abilities. I was able to jump on their squishies, kill them, and then escape easily with flash + valor + Q combo when his teammates appeared.