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Riven Build Guide by Nikyre

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nikyre

Hope of the Exiled

Nikyre Last updated on January 30, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
Top Lane
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Guide started 1/26/12

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Hey all, the major problems I have with the other guides is that they are too dependent on the skill of your teammates. It trusts them to be able to know the situation and to make the right choice so that you will stay alive throughout the fight. I have tried their builds and have ended up dead too many times from either being stun locked, not dealing large enough damage or just not being considered a major threat. Yes Riven makes a good stand in tank but she lacks the defense that true tanks need and also lacks the attack power to make a good offense.

This guide is based off of the "Shattering Exiles" build by Disegno. After trying that build I saw a massive increase in my survivability and damage output. However I have noticed a few things which I wanted to change.

First I tweeked the build to add a bit of LS in the earlier Item build. It puts me behind only 450 but I believe I make it up with the the purchase of Youmuu's Ghostblade. The one thing I really disliked about the "Shattering Exiles" build was that there is a wasted 1350 gold there. You eventually sell it for about 950 but that's still a 400g loss. Convienently the ghostblade is only about 400g more than Last Whisper So there is no net loss. The comparison I made was that a loss of 10 damage and 20 armor pen for 15% crit, 15% CD reduction and an active ability. An additional benefit of this build is that you receive some LS for mid game battling which should help you stay up easier.

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Why Riven?

Riven has many PROS and CONS associated with her just like any other champion.

Good ability set-Her abilities are very ranged and give her a lot of control of a lane.
Good maneuverability-Again her abilities give her a lot of movement. Whether catching up to an enemy or running away.
Good damage-This build gives her a lot of damage capability so that you don't have to be afraid of other champions. If anything they should be afraid of you.
Good defense-Riven can take a bunch of hits and can keep on your target.
Great AOE-Even though Riven is not listed as an carry, she can go to a group of minions use her abilities and wipe them out with a few seconds. Granting you gold and xp.

Close range fighter-This puts her in the category of instigator or harasser. She has to engage the enemies, which means if you do it at the wrong time you can be stun locked, slowed and surprised by hidden enemies. BE CAREFUL
Item dependent-You need to get your items, if you don't then your only use is a target for the other team.
Slow starting farm-Can be difficult to get your money early in game. Best to stand back and hit what you can, or work with your teammate to push your targets back and farm XP for a bit.

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There are a few things which do not show up in the calculations above.

Atma's Impaler- This gives armor and Crit as base stats, however does not show the contribution of the 2% of HP to AD. 2% is equivalent to 1/50. If my build has a min HP of 2660 then the AD bonus is about 53.2. Which is not bad.

Force of Nature- This is HP Regen, Magic resist and extra HP regen. However the extra regen is again not listed. If you take the .35% regen and multiply it by 5 you get 1.75% regen/5s. Take 2660 and apply 1.75% and you get 46.55 hp regen/5s. Again not so bad.

Together this gives about
HP REGEN :66.7+46.55=113.25 hp/5s
AD: 220.25+53.2=273.45

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Runic Blade

This buff is activated after every use of an ability. It stacks three times. One stack is removed with each normal attack that you use. You want to use a normal attack usually once between each ability use to get the most of it. If you use all your abilities at once you will have some stacks go to waste.

Broken Wings


This move has been upgraded in the recent patch and deals increased damage now. It has a variety of uses. It can be used to keep up with fleeing enemies or can be used to remove yourself from an aoe or distance yourself from chasing opponents. To use properly space your use of this ability so it follows this pattern

-Normal attack--normal attack--normal attack

This pattern will apply the Runic Blade buff to each attack increasing your damage output.

Ki Burst

This technique I upgrade first for the reduced CD at each lvl. It has been nerfed in the recent patch but it is still a great method to interrupt casts, deal slight aoe damage, pause a fleeing opponent and such. If you want to use effectively tie it into the earlier combo like this:

-normal attack--Normal attack--normal attack-


This move can be used in a variety of ways. Can catch up to fleeing guys, dodge skill shots like if done correctly. On use it will also bring up a shield for a short time. This move is pretty good for Tower dives as it can take a hit from one of those for you. Great starting combo would be:


Blade of the Exile

This is Riven's Ultimate. At high levels it is very spamable and it's CD is reduced to about 30s. It also increases her attack range and damage. Use it again to shoot a cone aoe which deals damage based on their health. It is very good. Use it as an end to the previous combos.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Desolation
This mark gives better armor pen. Which is great for dealing early game true damage, and helping out towards end game armor piercing. This build has enough Armor Piercing to deal large amounts of damage, however you may want to pick up an item after you completed the main build to help deal more damage if you see the other team with large amounts of armor or if you are having trouble killing them.

Greater Seal of Armor Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
This is for greater armor and resist, should give you an advantage against any players you are playing against in your lane by reducing the damage they deal to you. I choose Greater Glyph of Magic Resist because of the lack of AP that champions have at the beginning of the game
and that you will need larger amounts for end game.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Attack is better at the start of the game, however it tends to become worse over time. However with this you should be able to harass effectively and control your lane against your opponent early game

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
Lastly this is to help your overall skills. Riven is not bound by Mana or Skill power or rage or anything like that. All there is are Cool Downs. Logic stats that the shorter the CDs are the more mitigation and damage you can deal.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation If you are facing alot of tanks. This will teach them!

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I choose these masteries to grant greater damage resistance and to give Riven a good amount of offensive capabilities. Ill explain the logic of choosing some abilities over others.
-This grants your a slight buff which comes in handy in both offensive and defensive situations. Offensively you can cast it to reduce their speed and armor allowing you more time and damage. Why wouldn't you upgrade this!

-Simple choice for Riven as she has no AP bonuses to worry about.

X X-This is worthless for Riven, she is not a carry, she is a relatively slow hitter and 4 damage on minions is not worth the investment of 2 points.

-Another simple choice. Riven can always use a bit more attack speed.

-This was the most difficult choice of my build. I have chosen this for a few reasons but just know the CD reduction yields more abilities.

-This i put in for the bonus crit chance, gives Riven alot of offensive capability

-Always need that armor pen

-Makes you soooooo much more dangerous


-Better at finishing.

-Greater ability to take hits

-A little extra HP per level, helps get the extra 30 hp at start of game.

veteran's scar-Helps early game.

Why choose over ?

I considered so many different scenarios that Riven could be in. Lets assume end game first. In this scenario assume Riven crits for 1000. The 1.5% increase in damage would make that 1015 damage instead. With the 10% damage bonus from both scenarios of with and without that makes it 1100 vs 1116.5. An overall increase of about 16.5 damage. Its not that much and i tend to dislike it because that small damage increase is almost negligible in early game and in end game. I tend to rather invest the points for this skill in something which scales with my level and damage a bit better. CD reduction!

3% reduction yields these results.

These slight time decreases allow greater damage output, better crowd control, and faster activation times on your ultimate.

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-Greater maneuverability early game. Out run your slow enemies and catch them or flee in terror. You are well prepared.

-So you take a few early game, just pop it and get back in there!

-Great item early game, helps give true damage, increases your damage and your ability times.

-grants you some slight LS that will be helpful since you get it mid game and will upgrade it late game.

-some health for survival and an upgrade for later.

-magic resist and tenacity. Allows you to escape from slows stuns and all CCs. Definitely helps you escape in your time of need.

-Gives you crit, cd reduction and armor pen. Also an active ability which can give you large damage increases and movement speed for a few seconds.

-Now you have more health, damage, and a slow on a physical hit, your enemies will have a harder time running.

-HP regen, magic resist and even more regen! Great end game item where AP users are starting to finishing stacking.

-armor for defense and crit and damage for offense.

-Damage and LS. Which upgrades per kill. VERY nice! At this time you should bedoing about 500 damage a strike getting about 75 hp per hit at 15%. and about 125 hp at 25%.

From here you can keep this build or replace some items if you are having some trouble. Taking to much damage? Replace with or . Still having trouble? Replace with or .
I suggest one of those two to increase your damage output by dealing more crits and crit damage or attack speed, crit, damage, possible slow, and bonus affect of 150% increased attack damage after each ability. Which procs with each use of .

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Skill Sequence

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

Even with the changes done to Riven in the past patch, the choices for abilities has not changed. Because of the CD reduction per level of each ability, it is still more useful to choose the Ki Burst first for the AOE, stun and damage, and choose Valor second because of the movement, shield.

Why the q w e for 1 2 3?

Well Q is for the easy early game damage, maneuverability, and harass technique which I use.
W is used for the stall, where I go in stall an enemy when they are channeling or wander to far to turret. Hit that to keep them there and take damage. Finally E for the shield and dash. Dash to them, ki burst and run out for some quick small damage. Dash to get close or shield yourself. Chose all her abilities first so that you have more variability and choices for situations.

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Summoner Spells

-A must for Riven, this gives her the ability to catch up, surprise, or escape traps. Very useful and would never leave the choosing without it.

-Another great one, a slow and armor reduction. Great for damage, or mitigating damage.

-only for use if you plan to jungle Riven, would not recommend past this.

-Great substitute for , instead of slowing them they may be to close to turret for you to do anything. There has been many times where I wanted to chase but the got away with like less than 100 hp. This will solve that.

-The last one worth mentioning. Not very great but not horrible, allows you to retreat and get back fast.

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Hope you use this to your advantage and win those games!