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Riven Build Guide by zwolf

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League of Legends Build Guide Author zwolf

Jungle Riven - Forever Broken

zwolf Last updated on December 10, 2012
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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


Utility: 0

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The Introduction That Nobody Reads

***I'll probably remake this guide when season 3 comes out. Obviously a lot is going to change. Bloody Hydra seems like a good alternative to a Bloodthrister to Riven, and seems like a lot of fun to try.***

EDIT: lawlno. No point to update this because it's just LEAGUE OF BLACK CLEAVERS. Have fun, kids.

Hello MobaFire. My name is Zwolf and I've been playing League since the open beta. Something I picked up from an early level was jungling, and I lost the taste to ever be in a lane ever again, haha.

I'll be honest, I don't really think I'm pro. I'm normally around 1600~ ELO, but I tend to read up/research and watch a lot of streams and tournaments to pick up a few tricks. This guide isn't supposed to be flashy or have all the pretty pictures because when I read a guide, I wanna get to the important stuff, not watch 5 minutes of a video where the game is just starting up and they aren't doing anything.

I read Westrice's guide for top Riven and tried his item build while jungling, and had some good results. I wanted to write a guide for Riven because I feel like she never really took off as a good jungler. She's not comparable to Lee Sin or Maokai or Skarner, but she does her job well.

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Why jungle Riven? Why not solo top?

I get this question a lot when I pick her. "She's a better top, why are you jungling her?" Okay, then why do people jungle Alistar? There are obviously better junglers and he's a great support. I jungle Riven because I can, because it works, and because she fulfills a specific role on a team.

Riven, the Hardest Carry

Riven scales, that's why I classify her as a carry. Your pick as a jungler depends mostly on the solotop pick.

Is top AP or AD or mix?
Is top squishy or tanky?
Are they a bruiser or a tank?
Do they do better early game or late game? Are they a carry or do they fall off later?

These are questions when I ask myself when I know I'm jungling, and I advise everyone to do the same. Unfortunately, a lot of blame gets put onto junglers. They're the one factor that is present (or not) in every lane, so they need to balance the team. If someone picks Garen, I pick Riven. Garen is going to do well early, and fall off later. Riven is the opposite. She can't duel most other junglers in early game for reasons like her really slow attack speed. She can burst and run, but can't sustain in a duel until later.

I think Riven thrives the best when you have a tank top, or someone that falls off late game. If you have another AP top, or someone like Shyvana top, you're better off not picking Riven.

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Little Buttons That Make Me Stronger (Runes)

For runes, I used to stack all AD before the jungle rework (which by the way, screwed over the way I played Riven). Nowadays, I follow what I listed above.

*EDIT: Okay, the armor pen doesn't really work anymore because the small camps have 15 armor max while the big camps have 20. Plus, Riven's shield scales on AD and not ArP, so this is better.

9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage/3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage. Riven scales. She scales hard. She scales really @#$%ing hard. All of her abilities, even her passive, scales off AD.

Greater Seal of Armor. We're jungling, get some armor.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. I don't build much MR and the importance of having it is higher than you think. ADs have sustained damage, they need to keep hitting you to cause damage. AP can burst and run. You need to survive the burst, which is why MR is more important than Armor. I get MR/level over flat MR because it tends to even out by level 9, and you're gonna spend a lot of your time in the jungle anyway, so...

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I use these masteries just for Riven. I follow a typical 21/9/0 AD carry page with a few exceptions.

  • CDR is good on Riven, so I took that instead of Deadliness and Lethality since their nerf. You can take Deadliness for the extra little AD if you want, but I don't build crit damage as Riven so I don't use those masteries. Up to you. No more 4% crit. :( If you like the AD from Deadliness, that also is good.
  • In the defensive tree, opt for Veteran's Scars and reduced damage from minions. Tough Skin and Indomitable are soooooooooooooooo good. Don't be Deceived by the armor bonus. Tough Skin is is better.
  • I get MR/Armor depending on the enemy team comp. Get armor if balanced.

Executioner works too well with your ulti to go something like 9/21/0.

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Just RWEQ 'em (Skill Sequence)

Ki Burst is maxed first because of its still impressive damage and CDR per level.

Valor is maxed second for more mobility. I max this second over Broken Wings because it increases the utility benefit of the shield dash due to the lower CD with levels. And during this mid game, you're most likely to be getting into skirmishes or the people in the lane will fight back when you gank. I just love having the extra shield for that.

I use Broken Wings mainly for extra passive procs and for the mobility, so I leave it at level 1, even with the recent buff in its damage. More often than not, I use the first two BW's just to start a gank and save the knock up for later, which is the main reason why I max this last.

Both Broken Wings and Valor can be used to pass through thin walls like:

Blade of the Exile at 6, 11, 16. Obvious reasons. Use this to execute. It gets a flat damage increase AND extra scaling from your AD the lower the target's health is.

Keep in mid that your ultimate has a short delay when you activate it, and this can screw you when you're chasing someone. Try to use Valor or Broken Wings IMMEDIATELY after using your ult (preferably Valor, because then you'll get the bigger shield from the extra AD). Doing so will cancel the ult animation and put you closer to your target.

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D and F (Summoner Spells)

You're jungling. You're killing monsters. IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE. TAKE THIS. Get Smite.

Second is variable. I love using Flash for Flash+Ki Burst stun. Exhaust is another option, and I tend to take that in games where I feel like I need to carry.

Not really much else to say here. :B

You could be a really high ELO skilled pro ****** and take Clarity. All the cool kids are doing it.

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Credit to Westrice and "Hop Hop Revolution XXX".

Some of you are probably thinking "wtf you need to be tanky or she's gonna die". Do people build Frozen Mallet or brusier items on Tryndamere, who has zero innate tankiness? (except ult, stfu). Riven is a melee AD carry. She was not meant to be a tank or a brusier with her kind of scaling and kit. She gets tankiness from stacking more BLOODTHIRSTERSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

While I'm jungling, I start off with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. I used to stack with Doran's or Long Sword and pot but not in the new jungle. Cloth armor can be built into GA later. Ideally, you should be starting with boots + 3 pots, but you never know what kind of **** leash you're going to get. Only take boots if you plan to get one buff and then gank constantly until it's gone.

First trip back. Boots of Speed, Doran's Blade (1-2). Pick up a ward or some potions if you need them.

Next build a The Brutalizer for extra snowballing potential and finish Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

I personally have a hard on for Lucdity boots on Riven because of the CDR, but that probably isn't the best way to go. The "good" idea is Mercury's Treads 99% of the time against a balanced team.

Get a The Bloodthirster next.

You'll probably stack more The Bloodthirsters, which is way more fun, but I'd HIGHLY recommend getting a Guardian Angel after the first The Bloodthirster. If you're doing well, this should be relatively when the team fights start happening. Keep in mind that your shield benefits from your armor and MR. Every 100 armor and MR effectively doubles your health, so something as simple as a Guardian Angel makes Riven surprisingly tanky, especially with BT lifesteal sustain.

*((I THINK shields work this way... pretty sure. Don't quote me on that or anything.))*

Now, if you're still playing, ask yourself this:

Need some damage? Start stacking The Bloodthirsters.
More than three people on other team with more than 100 armor? Get Last Whisper.
Against double AP? maw of malmoritis is nice.

Sometimes it's honestly not a bad idea to stack The Bloodthirsters. It gives the most AD you can get from a single item, gives sustain, and tankiness from the scaling on her shield.

(did i mention every one of riven's spell scales on ad? pretty sure i mentioned that, it's kind of important)

HOWEVER, If the game drags on and you actually manage to complete a full build, sometimes I sell The Brutalizer and buy a Frozen Mallet, or sell a The Bloodthirster as well and go Atmog's. Unfortunately, all melee type brusier/carries tend to fall off in a super long game, because they're just get destroyed by insane AoE damage when everyone hits full build. You might need the health to survive.

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Killing Boars in the Forest (Jungling)

Here's the important stuff.

Your Runic Blade caps at three stacks, so like always, you need to weave autoattacks between your spells. This is the key to Riven, this is how she was designed.

You're starting off with Broken Wings. Follow this path:

Wraiths -> Red. GANK STUFF.

Seriously. Two CCs at level 2? Yes, please. Have your top/mid help you with Wraiths or leash Red and go for an early gank at top or mid (or if you know bot hasn't warded yet, do that). Odds are if they helped you with the leash, the other person was already in lane and started pushing a bit.

When to gank and when to jungle is just something that you need to get a feel for. Riven is one of the junglers that can gank at level 2 and definitely level 3. As I'm finishing off red, I'll look at lanes and see if they're pushed or not, how aggressive the enemy is playing, etc, etc. If I can't gank, I keep jungling, and if I can, I go gank. If the question now is to go back or keep jungling/ganking, then follow the item build. Don't go back if you can't afford boots and hopefully a Doran's.

In a typical game, (if I'm on purple side), I'll get red and go up to top lane and sneak into the lane through their sidebush when I know the enemy doesn't have vision there. Then I just pop out and gank when he's close enough. If you wanna be a better jungler, start thinking of ways to gank without going through the river. If you haven't noticed, the river, buff creeps, dragon, and Baron are places that are normally warded.

Get in the mindset of ganking early and ganking a lot the higher you go up in ELO. Normally, I'll start with one buff and bounce back and forth between mid and top for ganks, jungling in between if the ganks are too hard to pull off. But if I had the opportunity, I'd get one buff and gank until it ran out.

Keep in mind that ganking this much leaves you very prone to counter jungling, so don't stay on one side of the map for too long.

Here's some tricks you may want to learn:

Look at your cooldown for Broken Wings before creeps spawn. Mine's normally 13~ seconds. Did you know that the passive stack refreshes when you hit something? Let's take advantage of this.

Look at the clock. Creeps spawn at 1:40. Start casting Broken Wings around 1:28. Now watch your "C-c-c-c-c-combo" buff which will tell you how much time you have until you need to hit Broken Wings again. Try to wait the max time and build up some stacks before hitting the Wraiths. If you do this correctly, you'll start the Wraith camp with 3 stacks of your passive and Broken Wings off cooldown, or just about to be. Every little bit helps.

When you get all three skills, don't start spamming them all. Broken Wing's cooldown starts after the first swing, so start with that:

BW -> attack -> Ki Burst -> BW -> attack -> BW -> attack -> Valor

This may seem a bit weird. However, Ki Burst doesn't really reset your attack timer, and there's an awkward pause were Riven stands there and finishes her animation. With this, you probably get your knockup right after the stun ends and then a shield after that. I feel like this a better way to do it. A lot of people (and Phreak) would say something like this:

BW -> attack -> Ki Burst -> attack -> BW -> attack -> Valor -> attack -> BW

If the point Valor is to protect you, why would you knock up all the creeps while your shield is up? No. Utilize it the most you can by using the shield last.

*DISCLAIMER* Order doesn't really matter, because a small creep camp shouldn't last more than one combo anyway, but this is the method I've found most useful.

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Riven? In my lane? It's more likely than you think (Ganking)

Step 1) Ask laner if there are wards in river/river bushes.

  • No? Gank to your heart's content.
  • Yes? Don't gank there, try to go in through side bushes.
  • Lane pushed? Ping, have laner initiate to distract and try to gank through river.
Step 2) Ping. Say something in chat. Get their @#$%ing attention. You can't trust that your laner saw you walk in the bush. THIS PART'S IMPORTANT. holy **** pls do it

Step 3) Use the first two Broken Wings and Valor to close the distance. Save knock up!

Step 4) ??????

Step 5) Profit.

Keep in mind who is in the lane and who you are laning against. Coordinate your CCs. If your laner is Annie or Ryze, don't Ki Burst when you see they are already stunned. It's the little things that make all the difference.

Again. COORDINATE YOUR CCs. I've failed so many ganks by blowing my stun/knock up while the person was already CC'd, or my lane partner did the same thing.

It's more fun to skip to step 5, though.

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Aced (Teamfights)

Have the mindset that Riven is a carry. She's not a tank by any means, and not an initiator. Wait for the fight to start and pick one squishy target and lock onto them. If you can't reach one, Broken Wings into a fight, stun, knock up, Valor out. Or Valor in and Broken Wings out if you're afraid of dying.

And for god's sakes. Turn your ult on. It's not a finisher. It's 20% more AD. Use WIND SLASH to finish, not your ult.

A good strategy is to just flash assassinate a super squishy target. A decently fed Riven will SHRED through a squishy AD or AP. If you can get into a position where they don't have a lot of cover, pop that ult on and flash + ki burst them and go to town, using Broken Wings and Valor to keep up with them if they kite/flash away from you. If you die by killing their AD carry, mission accomplished (sometimes).

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TL;DR (Summary)

Like I said, this guide wasn't supposed to be glamorous or flashy or shiny. I'm not going to bore anyone with a description of what the skills do or anything. You can read a tooltip in game. I'm assuming you've played Riven before and just want to learn how to jungle her. I hope this guide helped in any little way it can, and feedback is always good.

Use violence to end violence, and happy hopping Summoners.


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Changelog/To-do List

2/24/2012 - Guide published, formatted, all that good stuff.
3/9/2012 - random little updates.
4/4/2012 - Yay! Rated in the top 10 Riven guides on MobaFire. Thanks for the votes, guys! :D
6/4/2012 - Been a while since I looked at this, and haven't jungled Riven in a while. I'll get back into it.
7/27/2012 - lol... I don't really pick Riven that much anymore. I have a big ******* for the Jax, Maokai, and the new Xin right now. But I updated the guide and stuff.
8/9/2012 - **** the new Xin. Of course they're just going to nerf him. Maokai all ****ing DAY (and riven sometimes too).
10/15/2012 - Believe it or not, I do check this regularly, even if I don't update it all that much. Also, CHAMPIONSHIP RIVEN. :DDDD

To-do list

  • Video of jungle Riven. (still working on this, I haven't had the chance to jungle lately.)