Riven Build Guide by TTKA
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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.
The current meta game in most ELO's tend to have high priority bans on Lee Sin because of his amazing early and mid game ganking potential, and I've come to find that Riven sort of embodies those traits that make Lee Sin the threat that he is, but to a lesser extent. In no way am i suggesting that Riven has a mirror kit to Lee or that one should mirror their playstyle the way the would with Lee. What I am stating is that Riven is very much a viable jungler in ranked play in the hands of a smart and skilled player.
The legend himself stonewall008 sums up many of these points with extreme detail. Reference his videos for a better understanding of the ideology behind Riven.
For Runes I prefer to maintain balance between Armor Pen and Attack Damage for my Reds and Quints, Flat Armor on Yellows, and Flat Magic Resist on Blue. I leave the exact values to be tweaked by you, the player, as preference comes into play. Personally I will run Attack Reds and make up the lack of Armor Pen in my Quints. Flat armor in yellow is necessary to survive in jungle as Riven has a pretty low base to begin with. I would advise Flat Magic Resist on Blue simply because it gives the most bang for your money and my build doesnt necessarily give you MR until late game, however placing more Armor, CDR, and even damage is just as viable.
Standard 21-0-9 although I choose not to take Critical Strike because Riven does not rely on crits for damage. I find the points are better served in Attack Speed and increased minion damage. 20-0-10 is also viable for extended jungle buff if that is your preference.
Doran's Blade may seem like an odd starting item for a jungler but each of Riven's abilities are bolstered by extremely High AD ratio's (even her shielding skill Valor).
You can choose to start completing your lantern or purchase boots if you've had success with early ganks.
If you're on your way to becoming fed (first blood or multiple early kills/assists) keep pushing that advantage either by purchasing another Doran's Blade or B.F. Sword. If however things have been slow or mediocre focus on getting a phage. For myself Brutalizer seems to be situational. The CDR is nice because you rely on it for your abilities, but i find if I'm getting fed to the point I have that much to spare then working towards the Bloodthirster seems like the smarter choice.
From there it's situational (like everything in this game). I feel Frozen Mallet gives you enough survivability to endure most punishment that you should be taking while still increasing your damage. Remember Riven isn't an initiator and you should rely on your abilities or Flash to get you out of most dangerous situations.
Get at least one defensive item to counteract whoever the other teams biggest threat is. Use your best judgement if that entails a BV, FoN, GA, or Warmogs.
1 point in Q and leave it there. Focus on Maxing W first followed by E and obviously your Ult whenever possibly. R>W>E>Q if that makes more sense. Reasoning is Q does not scale as well in level when compared to W and E, and offers no reduction in cooldown timer. Q's best function is dodging an attack, closing the gap, and stopping someone on it's 3rd strike.
Smite and Flash. Really not much room for debate on this one. If you had to lane then i would prefer Exhaust, but we're not here to talk about that.
Creeping / Jungling
You MUST be extremely aggressive. I cannot emphasize this enough. Riven gets a horrible rap because in my experience they will sit in their jungle and just clear and farm, and only gank when the jungle is clear. DO NOT DO THIS. Riven's strongest attribute is helping your team win their early lanes.
For examples sake let us say your team in top (purple). Start at small golems and have your solo top pull them. Absolutely make sure you wait for them to be out of exp range before you smite otherwise you will not hit lvl 2 and you'll want to smack a cute animal out of rage, but i digress. Pound away at them with Broken Wings and then take your first point in Ki Blast once dead. Make your way into the river and wait in the bush until the enemy top shows up.
From here I cannot really give too much on what to expect. This guide is a reference to the more experienced player, so make your best judgement on what to expect as far as your solo tops abilities and yours vs your opponent. Ideally you will wait until you can get in range with broken wings and then hit them with a key blast. You might get the kill or they will flash away. Either way, assuming you didnt die, you had a successful gank and maybe caused an enemy to burn a summoner spell or two, which is far more helpful than i feel most players will realize. And hell, after you hit top, see what the situation is in mid. If the lane is pushed to your tower, ping your ally and jump right in. You may not get a kill again, but you will most likely cause them to burn flash or some other summoner spell, forcing that enemy to play extremely safe until that cooldown is up.
I would advise attempting to counter jungle depending on who you are matched up against. Riven isn't necessarily the strongest in terms of 1v1 jungle right off the bat. However, if you know where your enemy is and you've built an early game advantage, feel free to deny them experience through clearing their jungle. Riven is exceptionally good at clearing the smaller camps much like Master Yi.
While Riven is not considered to be the best jungler in the game or even on the top of some tier lists, she is still a relatively new champion and many players are still learning what she can and cannot do. I do believe in this current Meta Game that those junglers who play very aggressive ultimately outshine those who rely on clearing their jungle, getting red buff or reaching level 6 as fast as possible in order to gank successfully (looking at you WW). I feel Riven is very comparable to aggressive junglers such as Lee Sin, Nocturne, Xin Zhao and others.
Hope this guide was found somewhat useful to both the casual and the ranked game enthusiast. I was somewhat inspired to write this guide in hopes of making free Riven week less painful ( or more painful for the other team :P ). Feel free to comment and provide feedback and please check out stonewall008 channel on youtube. His videos give very clear explanations along with gameplay footage that spells out exactly what Riven can accomplish.