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Riven Build Guide by Diezel

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Diezel

Diamond Riven Guide - Get to Diamond in less than 100 games.

Diezel Last updated on March 16, 2015
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Team 1


Team 2

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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Riven with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Nasus Start doran's blade because this lane is easy at the beginning so he should have no kill potential on you and you can lifesteal of the creeps as it is your wave control. I find that this is a very strange match up. In the early levels, there is literally nothing that he can do to trade with you. All he can do is wish to farm. If he is smart he wont even contest farm until he is pushed to tower. So your goal here is to try and freeze the lane as best as you can, try not to push the wave when using abilities to harass. If he comes to close, just kill him with ignite. This will put him further behind. Pushing him to tower is the worst thing you can do because he can farm just nicely with his Q and sustain any damage taken up with his passive. If you let him farm, there is now way on earth you will be able to beat him mid-late game. He will probably prioritize armor so make sure you rush last whisper to keep kill potential. Be careful when timing autos on him, and be careful not to push because of his wither. It sets up ganks extremely well.
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Champion Introduction

Hey guys, welcome to my first guide. I am going to be focusing solely on my favourite champion, Riven . I have been playing Riven as my go to champion since the start of Season 3. She has had multiple buffs and nerfs since this time to try to balance her out with the meta. The thing about Riven is, she is a very unique champion. She is a very squishy champion that has limited durability during fights if she is focused correctly. Despite this, the limits of Riven are endless, she has the potential to 1v5 the whole team. Riven has some amazing burst damage, along with some great sustained damage making her both a great fighter, as well as a great assassin. She is a champion with great mobility and 2 reliable gap closers. She has some fairly good CC especially for the type of champion she is. Enjoy the rest of the guide!

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Pros / Cons


+ High Damage
+ Huge Burst Potential
+ Great Mobility
+ Costless Abilities
+ Snowballs Very Hard
+ Good in Lane


Riven is an extremely high damaging champion who has the potential to dominate almost every lane when played correctly. She is very strong in lane and when it comes to late game she has the mobility and damage to reach the enemy carries and blow them up. All Riven needs is one kill in lane and she will be able to snowball it from there. Her abilities costs no resource meaning that she could constantly trade in lane and never run out of mana like champions such as Jax or Irelia. Her mobility with the 3rd part of her Broken Wings means she can get over most walls in the game with ease to escape or gap close.


- No form of Sustain
- Squishy
- Vulnerable to CC
- Movement can be predicable
- Difficult to Master


With all champions, they come with their flaws as well as their strengths. Riven is a champion who is built for raw damage, meaning that unlike a lot of other top laners, she is more vulnerable than they are in team fights. She does have a nice shield, good CC and plenty of life steal but this will be no use at all will a tiny bit of hard CC. She is very easy to burst down once under CC by a champion such as Syndra or Fizz. Her lack of sustain in lane can also hurt her quite hard if she is against a hard lane bully which can sometimes make her laning phase quite hard, delaying her scaling into the mid game. Her movement can also be quite predictable and this can often leave her open to counter-play. The biggest thing with Riven though is how incredibly hard she is to master. Knowing her damage output, her animation times for cancelling and landing every single wall jump will all come with time, but these small things can make all the difference in team fights and trades.

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  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: I take these quints for the simple fact that they offer the highest amount of damage and stats that are needed on Riven. She is a 100% physical damage dealer in which all of her abilities including her passive scale off AD. This is the simple reason why attack damage is the best way to go on her.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: This is for the exact same reason as shown before. Riven scales best with AD and this is why you should take AD marks on her as it is marks which offer the best for offensive stats.
  • Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: I take these glyphs almost every game because with Riven having no resource to use abilities, she scales totally off cool-down reduction. These runes will give you a head start in the early game allowing you to trade more often and also shield more often when in a troubling lane. I take these over Magic resists when against an AD top laner, or an easy laner.
  • Greater Seal of Armor: These seals of armor are crucial for every lane even when against an AP top laner. This is because armor is important for all sorts of reasons, not just the enemy champions. Having armor reduces the damage from monsters, minions and even the enemy towers. This is why they are a crucial part and will help later against the AD carries later in the game.
Other Options
  • This can be a good choice when against a champion which strictly just builds armor and relies on tank stats. This is champions such as Shen, Malphite or Dr Mundo for example. This will offer more damage output that the AD quins in the mid to late game when your opponent has a certain amount of armor. I rarely ever take these for the simple reason that AD scales so much better with Riven and is too good to miss out on.
  • These can be used instead of AD marks for the exact same reasons as above. Personally when I run armor penetration runes I like to run full armor pen marks and 2 armor pen quins and a single AD quint. This is just the way that I like to set it up when I'm against a tanky armor stacking top laner.
  • These runes are extremely important to run when you are against a heavy magic damaging top laner. Examples of this would be Ryze, Rumble, Vladamir, Lulu etc. All of these champions are going to out trade you if you don't take these defensive runes. There are some certain magic damage champions such as Shen or Malphite in which you could get away with taking CDR instead. I often prefer to take CDR instead but if I feel as though I need these defenses to win lane, then I will always take them to be sure. If the enemy team is running a heavy magic damage team but an AD top laner, I would opt to take Scaling Magic Resist instead as these offer more stats in the mid to late game.

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I always run 21/9/0 on Riven as this is the optimal way to play her in regards to her playing style and how she fits in the games current meta. She is made to be a high burst damage fighter and can even be seen as an assassin. This is why offense is the only way with Riven. These masteries play their biggest part in the early game. This is why it is important to run 9 in defense as it allows you to take that little bit more harass in lane, or take that little bit more damage in an all in. At no point should you take any points in Utility on Riven as she benefits from very little in this tree. She isn't made for her utility she is made for raw damage output and dueling potential.

The points I have put in this tree are fairly self-explanatory. The first debate is whether it is worth running Double-Edged Sword and not saving the point for something else. I think that this mastery is extremely good on a melee champion such as Riven as it ups her damage output quite a bit for the price of taking a little more damage. The next point is that Sorcery is a much better choice on Riven than Fury . This is because Riven is totally Cooldown based and if you can start the game with an extra 5% CDR, this will give you more early game power and will allow you to get close to the 40% CDR cap late game.

The rest of the offense tree speaks for itself. You go down the left hand side, adding as many points in the attack damage masteries as Riven is solely as AD damage dealer. Put points in both Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving as this can increase Riven's damage output drastically as it suits her play style of fitting in auto attacks between her abilities. I add 3 points into Executioner because this is a great mastery all round for any damage dealing champions and works exceptionally well with her ultimate Wind Slash. Finish off with 3 points in Devastating Strikes will give her lots of armor penetration for extra damage and then a point in Havoc to add to her overall damage output.

The 9 in the Defence tree may not look very significant, but they can be very important for early duals. I put points in both Block and Unyielding as this basically lowers the damage from any champions which is extremely good against poke champions. I take two points in Recovery rather than Enchanted Armor because Enchanted Armor is only better on champions who naturally build defensive items. Riven makes better use of the extra Health per 5 as she has no natural sustain in lane. The last few points go into Veteran's Scars and Juggernaut because these are extremely strong early game and the extra bit of health can be the difference of life or death in an early cheese.

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In my opinion these are the best option in terms of boots for Riven and are worth picking up fairly early once you have your first bit of damage. With Riven being a totally Cooldown Reliant champion, the CDR received from these boots is too good to pass up. Buying these boots will allow you to reach your target of 40% CDR late game. Other options include Ninja Tabi if against a heavy AA reliant team comp or Mercury's Treads if against a team with lots of heavy CC. This is only in extreme circumstances though as Ionian Boots of Lucidity are core to the build.

This is almost the perfect Item for Riven. It offers a lot which synchronizes very well with Riven's kit. It offers great sustain with HP5 and some good lifesteal which is what Riven's kit lacks. It also offers a great deal of AD which is exactly what Riven needs to scale. The best part of this item though is the active. This can be used for animation cancelling when used with abilities and auto attacks. This can add to the burst damage that Riven can deal. This is a core item and should build almost every game at some point. This should be your first main item after The Brutalizer. After both of these items are complete, as long as you are not behind, you should be able to dual pretty much anyone.

This is a great item on Riven and should be built every single game. This is core because it just offers so much damage and is even more important when your opponents start prioritizing armor against you. This should be rushed after The Brutalizer when against a champion such Shen or Nasus who are likely to just prioritize building armor from the start of the game and have no intention in building damage. You should do this because this will heighten your damage and kill potential against them if they have armor. If you're not against a tank early game, you should buy this immediately after your Ravenous Hydra. Once you have this you will be at your strongest and this is when you should look to group and fight for objectives.

Quite a good item of Riven as it offers a good amount of AD and life steal which is very useful on Riven. The item isn't as strong as it was in previous patches, and the item should no longer be built as a first or second item but instead as one of the final items. The item just isn't as strong of a choice as Ravenous Hydra and this is why it should be built later on. The new shield that the item offers allows Riven to be that little bit strong going into fights with extra health. This is quite good against some poke comps providing she can get near the minions to life-steal off to keep the shield up. The 20% life steal that the item offers will help in extended fights and will synchronize well with with the active from Youmuu's Ghostblade. I now prefer this as a 5th item to Infinity Edge

**UPDATE PATCH 5.2** Infinity Edge has took quite a nerf since last patch now only offering 20% crit chance. This had made me lean more towards The Bloodthirster.Infinity Edge is by no means a core item of Riven, but is a surprisingly good choice as it goes well with both her passive Runic Blade and with the crit chance and attack speed received from Youmuu's Ghostblade. This means that late game she can easily crit for well over 1k damage with each auto. This is a ridiculous amount and mixed with her ability damage, she should have no problem 100-0'ing the enemy squishies and even some bruisers. The AD that you get from this item is also very high so that works great with her kit.

I have grown to really like this item and I also like how well it works with Infinity Edge. You have to choose between Youmuu's Ghostblade and The Black Cleaver. Both of them are great items but in different situations. I like this item because it offers lots of armor pen which is crucial especially towards the late game, a good bit of AD which is always good on Riven, and it offer even more mobility from before. The active attack speeds and movement speed is great for split pushing and taking objectives. It is also great for chasing enemies, escaping, or engaging for your team.

There are many different final items that you can chose on Riven. This is totally down to the team you are against and how far ahead you are. Generally though, I find that GA is always a good option. It gives you some good extra defensive stats against mixed damage team comps, and a second life is arguably OP. The reason why this is better on Riven than some other champs, is that when her GA is activated, it gives her abilities just enough time to come of Cooldown, and this is why the enemy should never stand next to you body as it gives you an easy second chance to burst them. It is also an item which is quite forgiving. For example, if you get caught out by the enemy, it gives your team a chance for you to engage, before you come back from your GA meaning that you will still be able to participate in a fight. Remember in the very late game to sell this if it is on a 5 minute cooldown and you know that you will have to fight before it is back up.

Starting Items

Doran's Blade +
// Better for the All-In lanes
// As a top laner, this item is going to be one of your best friends. This is a great all round item for the early game as it gives such good stats for its price. The total combine cost for the stats it offers is 604g making it a great investment to put you ahead. The downside is that this item doesn't build into anything and buying too many can delay you from scaling with major items. This is my favourite start on Riven as it gives an extra 70 health will can help you win the early all in, and it gives some good sustain when able to attack minions. This is great for Riven as she builds lots of AD so the life steal from the item scales well into the mid-late game. Riven is also very good at zoning and controlling the wave so she can benefit from this lifesteal very well. I would recommend starting this item against champions where the lane can be decided early from an all in such as Tryndamere or Lee Sin, or if you are in an easy lane match up such as Rengar or Yasuo.

Long Sword + x3
// More Sustain for Staying in Lane
// This start is made for the lanes which can often be of some difficulty or simply because you need to stay in lane longer. This is because you have an extra 2 Health Potion and these can be the difference between backing or not. Lanes like this would be Irelia who has some good sustain and is also likely to start with lots of pots. It is also good to take this start again any AP poke champions such as Vladimir or even Rumble because it will allow you to take the poke and still be able to stay in lane. The other reasons why this is such a good start is because it offers you a tad more AD than a Doran's Blade and you can also build it straight towards your The Brutalizer or Tiamat. This can allow you to reach a power spike much earlier.

Doran's Shield +
// Against Auto Attack Champions
// This is a great item to start when against any AD poke champions or any AA reliant champions. This is simply because of the passive it offers. It can lower the opponent's damage output significantly. It also offers a good bit of health which makes it a very safe start. It offers a good amount of health per 5 meaning it is good for when you are being zoned from the wave against a dominant laner. I take this start whenever I am against an ADC in the top lane such as Quinn or Vayne. This lowers there damage on you enough to still be able to farm. It is also great against ranged champions such as Lulu, Kennen or Gnar. These champions are really good at applying pressure and this is why it is also a good idea to take Valor level 1 to try and secure CS. I also take this item first when against Fiora as her early level damage from auto attacks are crazy and this can keep you a little bit safer from that.

Elixir of Fortitude + x3
// For the best All-In
// In terms of combat stats, this is the best possible start that you can take if you are going solely for first blood. It offers a ton of AD and a good amount of health. This item used to be lots cheaper than this and this is one of the reasons why I don't take this start as often anymore. It almost certainly means that you will have lane dominance for the 3 minutes whilst it lasts but this means you need to make sure you kill the opponent to put them behind, and make the gold spent on this worth it. If you don't manage to make the gold worth it, it will put you behind. This item is great also for baiting the enemy. This is because it instantly adds health when consumed and this sometimes baits enemies into a fight that they can't win. I have seen many times when a jungler will come and think they can dive you, not realizing you have this pot ready to use. Another great thing about this item is that some people see it as a counter to Ignite. This is because the reduction in health generation from it doesn't affect the health boost and it isn't classed as healing or health regeneration. I would take this item where you feel as though you need to win the early lane. Examples of this would be Darius, Lee Sin or even Jax.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence Order

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

This the general sequence that I level my abilities but this is not always strictly the best. I take Q level one for aggressiveness as it gives you the most damage output, giving you 3 stacks of your passive, along with giving you the highest amount of mobility. These are some circumstances especially against some ranged champions, where it would be more intelligent to take E first. This is the better option against poke champions such as Ryze, Lulu or Vlad etc.

The next argument is whether to max W or E second. Personally, I max E second almost every game, simply because it gives you a bigger shield amount, and lowers the cooldown. Some people prefer to extra damage from the W as they level it up, along with the lowered cooldown on that. I only level my W second if the lane is extremely easy and I am far enough ahead.

You should level your ultimate every time possible, this is simply one of the best ultimates for a fighter in the game. It gives you a massive boost in AD, gives you more range with both AA and abilities and gives you a ranged AOE finishing move which is arguably the best of its kind in the game.

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FLASH: This is without a doubt the most broken summoner spell in the game. It is so strong as it allows for escape, engage and increased mobility on even the most immobile of champions. I take this every single game without fail and there are only a few champions which you wouldn't take this on. You need this in lane to escape from ganks, or to finish off enemies on small amounts of health.

IGNITE: This is probably the other best summoner to take on Riven as it increases the kill potential a lot, especially in lane. The true damage from this is very strong and will help you nuke down your opponent. Ignite is even more important against certain champions such as Vladimir, Irelia or Nasus. This is because igniting them before you release your combo in an all-in will cut down their healing which is often what they rely on for them to win the fight. Take this every time against champions like this.

TELEPORT: I never used to take teleport but now with the recent buffs, I see that it is a much better option. If you are in a team game rather than Solo Que, I would take this every time for securing objectives such as Dragon. I sometimes also take this against difficult laners such as Renekton where I know that I will be bullied out of lane. I know that I shouldn't be able to beat Renekton until late game so I have no need to run Ignite so taking Teleport will allow me to simply farm up and not lose out on XP in lane. This is also a great summoner to take if you plan on split pushing and just using it to group whenever the other team tries to take Baron etc. Whenever Teleport is up, also look towards your bot lane and if the other team is pushed up, you can look for an easy double kill.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use Flash to cancel some of your animations such as your Blade of the Exile and then use your W and Q to CC as many enemies as possible.
  • Wait until the last tick of Ignite has gone off on the enemy before using your windslash as it scales off their missing health.
  • Always Teleport to tower when it is possible to reduce its cooldown.

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Match ups













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Thank You

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide guys. I I appreciate it and would like to hear any criticism and any ideas on how I could improve the guide. Can I interest you in...

My Youtube

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Main Account
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Another Smurf

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Tips and Combos