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Riven Build Guide by Khazem

Other Khazem's Top Lane Riven

Other Khazem's Top Lane Riven

Updated on April 20, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem Build Guide By Khazem 687 35 5,155,778 Views 118 Comments
687 35 5,155,778 Views 118 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem Riven Build Guide By Khazem Updated on April 20, 2019
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Runes: Conqueror

1 2 3
Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Nimbus Cloak

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+5 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Khazem's Top Lane Riven

By Khazem

Table of Contents


2Getting Ready




Commonly Used Abbreviations in this Guide


Hi! I'm Khazem, a diamond rated League of Legends player. I've been playing this game since early season 1, playing mainly top lane in all that time.

I started playing Riven on her release day in season 2 and loved her from the very first game. I never really took her very seriously though as I wasn't very good at her. In season 3 I started playing her more often and eventually became a Riven main and managed to climb all the way to Diamond 1. I have now been playing her for 6 seasons, over a thousand games and she is still by far my favorite champion due to how versatile and enjoyable her playstyle is.

In this guide I will try and explain my method of being successful with Riven and how to overcome some of her weaknesses.


+ High Damage
+ High Mobility
+ Snowballs very hard
+ Strong Laner
+ No costs on any ability

Riven's Strengths

Riven is a very high damage, high moblity champion that is a very strong and safe top laner. If she starts getting ahead she can snowball games really hard and force entire teams to come try and deal with her. If she is left to do her thing in a teamfight, she can wipe out entire enemy backlines in mere seconds. She can be played in almost any situation and teamcomp and built in many different ways to suit your needs.

Riven's Shortcomings

Riven is a difficult champion to pick up and arguably the most difficult champion in the game to master. A lot of top lane matchups are very hard to deal with and will require you to practice a lot in order to overcome them. Basically everything there is to learn about Riven will take time and practice.


- No Sustain and low health regen
- Tricky Playstyle
- Can be shut down by CC
- Generally very squishy
- Difficult to Master


As previously mentioned, Riven is a difficult champion to pick up and learn, so before you do, you need to understand that it's going to take time and practice. Riven is not a champion you should pick up if you don't plan on playing her -a lot-. You will need consistent practice in order to noticably improve at playing her.
Knowing her combos and animation cancels is absolutely essential in order to get the most out of the champion, but it is NOT what makes her so difficult to pick up. These mechanical skills can (and should) be learned and practiced in the in-game practice tool, even if you're already fairly comfortable with the champion. What makes her truly hard to master are learning her limitations, her damage, how to play out each matchup and how to deal with each jungler and most importantly, how to play the mid/late game. These are all things that will come and improve with experience, so do not get discouraged if things look rough at first.

The best possible summoner spell for Riven. Often needed to enable aggressive plays and engages in teamfights. Other than that it's very useful for chasing, dodging skillshots that would otherwise kill/CC you or escaping bad situations.

The summoner spell of choice in most situations. Makes you a much bigger threat in lane and helps you achieve the snowball you will often be looking for. Be advised though that picking ignite as a top laner comes with the risk of drawing jungle attention and it's important that you're able to make things happen whenever you have Ignite available.

Usually picked in difficult matchups, or generally into most tanks. Since season 9, the channel can no longer be canceled so it's important that you think every teleport through. In the early game, you generally want to use this for the ability to go to base, buy items and teleport back without losing experience. Avoid teleporting to other lanes unless you are certain it will net you kills without giving up too many turret plates.


Keystone - Conqueror - My rune of choice for matchups against tanks and most melee champions. Keep in mind that to make proper use of this rune, you will have to keep yourself in combat somehow and make sure you always have conqueror ready when going in for trades. This keystone will add a lot of damage to your trades and all-ins, especially against targets that are building armor.

Tier 2 - Triumph - Really the best option here in my opinion. It can save your life in many situation and even enable riskier turret dives due to the fact that you will receieve that heal after a succesful kill. Any teamfight where your team starts taking the upper hand can also grant you a lot of important extra healing.

Overheal - Usable in situations where you build a lot of lifesteal. Could be utilized along with Shield Bash for some extra stats and damage while this shield is active.

Tier 3 - Legend: Tenacity - The best option in any situation where you are going to be dealing with CC. Once stacked up this will significantly reduce incoming CC duration.

Legend: Alacrity - Can be an option when going for the Spear of Shojin build. The extra attack speed will feel very useful during your ultimate.

Legend: Bloodline - The rune of choice when the enemy team doesn't have any important CC tools or if you can play around it.

Tier 4 - Coup de Grace - Generally the better choice as it synergizes well with the execute on your ultimate and while it does less damage than the other two options overall, the damage is a lot more meaningful.

Cut down - A rune I can only recommend if there are multiple tanks on the enemy team. In any other situation (even if you are laning against a tank), I recommend going for Coup de Grace.

Keystone - Kleptomancy - A keystone that will net you a significant amount of extra gold and useful little consumables. Can be used in almost any situation, even over conqueror, but that is mostly down to preference. The benefit of this rune is that you will get your items quicker and you get access to a couple of other useful runes in the Inspiration tree. The downside is that you won't have a combat rune and you will find it difficult to make use of in certain matchups.
Note: While Kleptomancy is a perfectly viable choice, you generally play Riven to win your lane and snowball through lane dominance, which is something Kleptomancy isn't really going to help you with. If your goal is to climb and smash games, I recommend avoiding Kleptomancy until you reach higher levels of play (diamond and higher)

Tier 2 - Perfect Timing - In my opinion, the only option in this tier. Hexflash is too niche of a thing that you just won't be able to make good enough use of as Riven. Magical footwear is a bit of a trap, since in most games you want to get CDR boots pretty quickly and you can't afford to wait for this rune to proc.

Tier 3 - Future's Market - A very good rune on top of Kleptomancy that can grant you power spikes faster than you're normally able to reach them.

Biscuit Delivery - A nice bit of extra sustain that you can take in harder matchups.

Tier 4 - Cosmic Insight - By far the best option in this tier. CDR is one of the most important stats for Riven and having 45% CDR feels amazing.

Keystone - Electrocute - Very powerful rune when up against a squishy opponent. Adds a nice burst of damage to your all-in potential and is best used in situations where you want to all-in often, rather than taking short trades often, in which case Conqueror and Kleptomancy will be more useful. Good for abusing squishy ranged champions.

Tier 2 - Sudden Impact - Probably the best choice in this tier. The point of going for this tree is more damage in an all-in and this rune will be proccing every single cooldown (4 seconds) while you are fighting.

Tier 3 - Eyeball Collection - Again, the point of this tree is more damage. This rune gives you more damage.

Tier 4 - Ravenous Hunter - Definitely the best option in this tier. Every single ability you use will be healing you, even when you are damaging minions.


Note: in most situations, the offensive traits of Sorcery will be more valuable than the defensive runes you can take in Resolve, especially for later stages of the game. In general, you take Sorcery second in even matchups and you go for Resolve in difficult matchups if you feel like you need it.

Nimbus Cloak + Transcendence - The combination of choice for me. Nimbus Cloak can be very key at times when going for the all-in, especially when dealing with creep block. Transcendence has great synergy with all the CDR you will be getting since you will often overcap.

Nullifying Orb - Worth a shout, recommended when laning against magic damage champions.

Shield Bash + Bone plating - Used against most melee matchups. This will make you a lot more durable in trades and while the damage on Shield Bash looks underwhelming, it will add up fast due to the low cooldown on Riven's shield. Always try to keep track of the cooldown on Bone Plating in order to get the most out of your trades.

Revitalize Preferred over Bone Plating against champions with spammable harass that you're gonna look to block with your shield.

Adaptive runes

There isn't much to say here. This is, as the name suggests, adaptive, meaning that you should pick the stats you think are going to be best for you in the game. By default, you should go for double attack damage and armor (against physical laner) or MR (against magic damage laner). In cases where you are laning against Renekton, Jayce or Garen specifically, I suggest double armor runes.

Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do a bonus 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 % of her total attack damage on her next autoattack.

  • Runic Blade stacks will expire in 5 seconds if none of the charges are expended/added.
  • Runic Blade charges are not expended when attacking structures and do no bonus damage.
  • The bonus damage from Runic Blade does not apply to Riven's critical strikes.
  • The bonus damage from Runic Blade benefits from life steal.
  • When going for a trade/kill, always make sure to proc your charges in between abilities for maximum damage output.

Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes that will damage all enemies nearby for 15 / 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 (+ 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65% AD) physical damage. This ability can be activated a second time within 4 seconds, and a third time within 4 seconds of that. On the third activation she will also knock up nearby enemies and have a larger radius of damage. All three strikes will deal the same amount of damage.

  • Broken Wings does not proc on-hit effects.
  • Each Broken wings cast resets Riven's auto attack timer.
  • Broken Wings will not damage Black Shield but the knockup from the third hit is negated.
  • Broken Wings' dash speed is roughly equivalent to 475 movement speed. At 550 movement speed, however, simply moving is faster than using Broken Wings as a method of faster travel.
  • Broken Wings has a 0.5 second cooldown between each activation.
  • Unlike most abilities that consist of multiple casted components, Broken Wings' cooldown will start upon the first activation instead of after the last activation.

Riven deals 55 / 85 / 115 / 145 / 175 (+ 100% bonus AD) physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 0.75 seconds.

  • Ki Burst does not proc on-hit effects.
  • Ki Burst will not damage Black Shield and the stun is negated.
  • Ki Burst cancels/ignores the animation of Blade of the Exile

Riven dashes towards the cursor and gains a 95 / 125 / 155 / 185 / 215 (+ 100% bonus AD) shield for up to 1.5 seconds.

  • Valor cannot be used while Riven is snared. This prevents Riven from shielding herself when disabled.
  • Valor can be used to ignore the casting animation of other abilities. (more on this later)
  • Valor cannot be used to dash through impassible terrain or walls, but does go through temporary terrain such as Anivia's Crystallize, Jarvan IV's Cataclysm, or Trundle's Pillar of Ice.

Riven's sword reforms, gaining 20% bonus attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and autoattacks for 15 seconds. She is also granted the ability to use Wind Slash once for the duration.

Riven can activate the ability to emit a shockwave in a long cone in front of her that deals a minimum of 100 / 150 / 200 (+ 60% bonus AD) and a maximum of 300 / 450 / 600 (+ 180% bonus AD) physical damage to all units hit based on their missing health.


  • The range on Valor is not increased by Blade of the Exile.
  • Wind Slash has a one second delay after Blade of the Exile is activated before it can be cast.
  • Wind Slash has a 0.25 second casting time.

Broken Wings
Ki Burst
Blade of the Exile



















This is the general ability sequence for Riven. Q > E > W, R whenever possible. Regardless of what abilities you take at levels 1, 2 and 3, always make sure you have all 3 of your abilities when you hit level 3.

In easier matchups, you can max Ki Burst second for extra damage.

In certain matchups that require you to survive untill level 3, you can get a point in Valor at level 2 or even level 1.

Before I make a list of what items are good to get, let me start of by explaining what stats to prioritize when building on Riven and why.
All of Riven's abilities scale with AD, therefore it is the most important stat by far. Not only does it increase your damage, it also increases your defense through giving you a much stronger shield. Always look to build damage on Riven, even when behind.

Compliments all of Riven's strong points very nicely. If your cooldowns are lower, you can use your abilities more -> you do more damage, your mobility goes up and you get more shields.

Because Riven doesn't have any innate sustain, she needs lifesteal to keep her health up so that she can keep putting pressure on her lane or even sustain a little in teamfights.

People will usually build armor whenever a Riven starts to get fed. Getting armor penetration will help you bypass that armor so that you can still do a lot of damage.

The trinket of choice for the early laning phase. You may be looking to upgrade it later but in general you want to sit on this for most of the game.




Used for a standard level 1. Starting Long Sword allows you to purchase a larger component without needing much gold and you can start with 3 Health Potion for the early lane sustain.
Good for when you want a safe laning start. A useful tip for when you start with this item is to avoid shielding the first hit you take, let the Doran's Shield passive proc, then shield the next damage if there is any.
This is an option in niche situations. You will be stronger in lane early but have less sustain to fall back on in case things get bad. Not usually recommended but worth doing if you feel confident you can make it work.

The Black Cleaver
One of the best items for Riven. Gives you a nice mix of all the offensive stats you need, as well as a nice health boost which is always a useful stat to have.

Death's Dance
Another item with a great mix of offensive stats for Riven. The passive lifesteal procs off of everything Riven does so has great synergy with her kit, the other passive just makes you a lot more durable in fights and more resistant to burst.

Ravenous Hydra
Strong option if your goal is to do more damage, can also be incorporated into various combos to empower them even further.

The Bloodthirster
Another good offensive item for more pure damage. Usually bought when you already have other lifesteal to stack on top of this. Synergizes well with Shield Bash.

Edge of Night
Good damage option in situations where you're getting targeted by specific CC when you try to go in. This will help deal with targeted stuns and other annoying CC and give you more time to get your combo off before getting CC'd.

Lord Dominik's Regards
If there are multiple people on the enemy team stacking armor, and they don't have any significant form of healing, get this item. Don't get this too early, though, you generally want to get this pretty late or unless you really think you need it to deal damage.

Spear of Shojin
Solid item that empowers your ultimate and has a very nice combination of stats. Best built when splitpushing a lot. Avoid building this as a first item as it is a bit of a noob trap and more situational than you might think. Can be rushed if extremely far ahead in lane.

Youmuu's Ghostblade
An item I like to build into ranged matchups to help catch up to them without having to use all your abilities. Be careful though not to fall into the trap of stacking lethality against tanky teams.

Duskblade of Draktharr
Strong offensive option if you're looking to blow people up. In situations where your main target is a single fed carry who isn't building armor, this item will help you do a lot of damage to them before they have the time to react.

Titanic Hydra
Can be bought in games where you have no frontline on your team and just want to be more durable. Goes well with other AD items with health such as Black Cleaver and Sterak's Gage.

Infinity Edge
Very niche item for Riven and should only be considered as a last item if you're absurdly fed. The 1/4 chance to crit can be very impactful but should never be relied on. Combining this with a Zeal item could be worth it but again, only when extremely far ahead.

Mortal Reminder
The other armor penetration option for when there is a significant amount of healing (or lifesteal) on the enemy team.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
The boots you're going to want for most games. Even if you're going to overcap your CDR these boots are still worth it for the summoner spell CDR. Also if you have Transcendence, overcapping your CDR isn't anything to worry about.

Sterak's Gage
Good defensive option for when you simply want some more health. It's also a good item to prevent you from getting bursted down instantly.

Guardian Angel
This is a good item to get when you're ahead and want to protect your bounty, or when you just want to flash into a teamfight and do as much damage as you can, knowing you have the revive to fall back on.

Maw of Malmortius
Useful against heavy magic damage comps. Keep in mind that the passive on this item does not stack with the passive of Sterak's Gage so never build both items.

Mercurial Scimitar
You can get this item when the enemy team has some form of CC that is really shutting you down. Examples are Fiddlesticks' fear, Malzahar and Warwick ultimate, Lux and Morgana binding, etc.

Even though it's simply a component, it can be a strong buy before a big teamfight if you're planning to make a big flash engage. You don't always have to upgrade it, but keep it in your inventory just in case.

Ninja Tabi
If you simply want to reduce the damage you're taking from auto attackers, you can get these boots. Not recommended unless you're dealing with a heavy physical based teamcomp.

Mercury's Treads
You can get these against teamcomps with heavy CC that you can't play around. Only worth it if you're really struggling against CC.

So now I've listed all the items that are good to buy, you still need to be able to make a good build using those items. Knowing what items to get comes with experience but here's a couple of standard guidelines.

This is almost always going to be the Long Sword start. It's the most versatile and allows you to get to your first item quicker. If you're not comfortable with a matchup, you can start Doran's Shield.

Next up is your core build. Always look to upgrade your boots early, after that there are a few different options to go for. The standard core, which is also the build you can't really ever go wrong with, is Black Cleaver and Death's Dance. Generally on your first back, you can go for a Caulfield's Warhammer and then start building into your Black Cleaver. If you're against a squishy teamcomp and you're feeling confident you can snowball, you can take the lethality path. (something I like to do into squishy ranged matchups) If you are getting kills in lane and have enough gold for a B. F. Sword on your first back, you could rush Spear of Shojin and then continue with your normal core. Otherwise, look to get this as a third item.

So at this point you should have your completed boots, as well as your two core finished items. Finishing your build is going to require a bit of experience so you know what kind of stats you're going to want heading into the mid and late game. Generally, following the standard build is something you can't go wrong with. After finishing Black Cleaver and Death's Dance, you can either go for a Ravenous Hydra for more damage, or take a safer approach and build any of the defensive items that you feel like you may need. In general, though, there is no set build path that is always going to be the best and it's going to take some personal judgement in order to decide how you're going to finish your build.

item set code

The laning phase is probably the most important phase in the game for Riven. She's a very lane dominant champion that when given a finger takes an arm and will snowball out of control. If you play your laning phase well and win it, you will always have a big impact on the game.

First, you need to choose what item to start with, as well as what ability you want at level 1. If you're against a dangerous ranged opponent, Doran's Shield might be a better option. Wait before you choose the ability you want to start with in case of invades or other scenarios that you can't really predict. When you get to lane, choose your first ability accordingly (in most cases you'll want to grab Broken Wings, but you might sometimes find it's better to start more defensively with Valor - more information in the matchups section)

Against a ranged opponent, there is a neat little strick that you can apply in almost any scenario that will help you get an early edge. When the game starts, position yourself in the furthest brush away from your own turret and wait until the minions meet and start fighting, walk up to your opponent and hit them with a full combo. If they don't deal with it correctly, you can even net an easy kill this way, but either way you can often take early control of the lane this way. Always try to assess how the trade is going to go and don't overcommit, be ready to back off if needed and drop minion agro by stepping into a brush.

guide on how to pull off the level 1 "cheese"

If you are on the blue side (the left side), always be wary of level 2 ganks. Many junglers are perfectly capable of hitting you hard right after their red buff so you want to always keep that in mind. Look at both the enemy top laner and bot lane to see how long they take to get to their lane, this way you can usually tell what side the enemy jungler started on by taking note of who leashed for their jungler. Junglers that will often look for level 2 ganks are Xin Zhao, Graves, Lee Sin, Jarvan IV, Twitch and several others. You can place an early ward in the tribush to spot out the early gank if you suspect one.

Always keep in mind, that in a standard lane scenario, you will hit level 2 after exactly one whole wave + 1 melee minion, so try and use that knowledge to get an early lead in the lane. Whoever hits level 2 first will have a pretty big advantage for the duration of that lead. If the enemy is outpushing you, play it safe and stay out of his range and let the wave push to your tower.

If you did hit level 2 first, your lane will likely now be pushing towards the enemy. If you were able to chunk your opponent, just continue to slow push the lane by simply last hitting. If not, you can go ahead and quickly shove it into the tower in order to reset it. After you've pushed it all the way, go and place your Trinket Ward.

Once you've gained an advantage, it's time to start thinking about what to do with the minion waves and how you want to keep your lane under control. Once you push the last wave into the enemy turret, your lane will effectively "reset" and it is up to you what you do next. In any case, it's very important to learn about wave control as it is a massive part of getting better at top lane and creating advantages that may not seem noticable at first.

Freezing the lane

Setting up a freeze can be really strong in certain situations. With a succesful freeze, you can either zone the opponent from a lot of minions if you are ahead, or if you are behind you can keep your lane in a spot close to your turret so that the enemy top laner has to put himself in a dangerous spot in order to farm and break the freeze, giving your jungler a nice window to gank.

What is a freeze?
Simply put, you speak of a freeze when you can keep your lane in the same spot for an extended amount of time, while being able to farm and blocking the lane from moving into your turret.

How do you set up a freeze?
In order to set up a freeze, you need to first have the lane push to you. This is usually accomplished through hard resetting the lane by fast pushing into the enemy turret, but there are other situations in which you find the lane pushing towards you. Once the lane is pushing to you, you always need to make sure the opponent's minion wave is bigger than yours. This often means you will have to block the enemy minions for a while in order to keep them in the same spot, but try not to take too much damage while doing so. If needed, thin out the wave by killing a couple of caster minions.
As you can clearly see, there are more enemy minions than there are allied minions. This ensures that my minions always die first and so the lane will stay around that area for as long as I want it to be. This allows me to zone my lane opponent if I am far enough ahead to do so.

When to freeze the lane?
  • If you are ahead, you can set up a freeze in order to deny the enemy top laner gold and possibly experience.
  • If you are being heavily pressured by the enemy jungler, try to freeze the lane in a safe position in your lane.
  • Generally if you are behind, you can try and take opportunities to freeze so you can farm up safely, but avoid freezing the lane for too long if your opponent is roaming and making plays around the map.
  • If your opponent bases and the wave is pushing towards you when he does, you can set up a freeze before you go back to base yourself (or even if you're staying) to deny more gold and experience.

Keep in mind though, that while freezing the lane sounds great in theory, you're not always in a position to do so whenever you please. It's very hard to do when you're behind since the opponent can often just walk up and break the freeze when they feel like it. Freezes are most powerful when you are ahead and you're able to zone your opponent off of the wave.


Slowpushing is a very underrated form of lane control that not many players make the most out of, or even realize how powerful it can be, but when used at the right time, a slowpush can have many benefits.

What is a slow push?
A slowpush is, as the term suggests, a slowly pushing minion wave. It's a wave that keeps growing as it gets closer and closer to the opponent's turret, and thus becomes more and more powerful of a tool as it continues to grow.

How do you set up a slow push?
A slowpush can be started in several different ways. The easiest way to achieve a slowpush is by simply killing off the opponent's caster minions so that their wave does a lot less damage to your wave, creating an inevitable push. By leaving the melee minions alive as long as possible, the wave won't be pushing too fast either and your own wave will start to build up.

When to slow push?
  • If you simply want a window where you can punish the enemy top laner for getting too close. Unless you are very far behind, they can never trade with you when you have a slowpush going since the minions will do too much damage to them.
  • If you want to set up a dive. This is often done in high elo and even pro play. You set up a slowpush and keep it going for as long as possible to create a very big wave, and before it reaches the opponent's turret, coordinate a dive with your jungler. If the dive is succesful, they will not only die, they will also lose the massive wave you've stacked up and you can use this to get a bunch of turret platings.
  • Outside of the laning phase, slowpushes can be utilized to create pressure in an empty lane before roaming and helping out your team. The wave eventually gets too big to ignore and it will force the enemy team to send someone to respond to it.

Fast pushing

Pretty straight forward, a fast push is simply a way to push the wave more quickly.

How to fast push?
Instead of killing the caster minions to start a slow push, you kill the melee minions as fast as you can so that your wave will burn through the rest of that wave much faster. If your opponent is not in lane, you can simply fast push by clearing the entire enemy wave as fast as possible.

When to fast push?
  • If your opponent goes to base, dies or roams, you can fast push to have your minions crash into the turret quicker and deny the gold and experience.
  • If you have full control of the lane but your opponent isn't a viable kill target, you can fast push to give yourself the freedom to roam.
  • If you want to base without losing too much experience, you can first fast push the wave into the enemy turret to buy yourself time to go for an efficient base.

Controlling the wave against ranged opponents

Now this is something many people don't often think about, but there are actually ways to control the waves in situations where you can't walk up and cs without taking a lot of damage. Simply by letting the enemy top laner auto attack you once while you're inside your minionwave, your minions will stop attacking the enemy minions and attack the enemy top laner instead, thus making sure the enemy minions will outlast yours, creating a slowpush to your side and allowing you to pick up this farm once it reaches your turret. Make sure not to get poked down too hard doing this as you will be at risk of getting dove once the wave is at your turret, do not let yourself get into too vulnerable of a position. Doing this, you can break freezes or just have your wave come to your side without putting yourself into too risky of a position. This can also be applied against melee champions in cases where you are struggling.

Minions are strong

This is something that is very very important to understand and something newer or lower ranked players fail to realize. Minions are strong. They deal a lot of damage if you let them hit you and it is something to both keep in mind and something you can play around in trades. Always keep in mind that auto attacking the enemy top laner will result in nearby enemy minions targeting you and the same will happen the other way around. Knowing when you can trade and when you need to back off based on the number of friendly and enemy minions is a very important skill in order to deal with certain matchups.

Bone Plating & Conqueror

These are two very important runes to play around in general as a top laner and something people don't pay enough attention to. Playing around these runes properly is going to have a massive impact on how well you trade with your opponent so I cannot stress enough to always keep track of these runes.

So when you're laning against a champion that is running Resolve (in either primary or secondary), chances are that they are using a rune called Bone Plating. This means that every 45 seconds, whenever you hit them, Bone Plating will proc and will heavily reduce the damage you deal to them for the next 3 attacks or spells. This basically means that you do not want to go for extended trades into a proc of this rune. Instead, look to proc it with a quick auto or Q (but try to do so in a way that you don't get punished too hard), wait it out and then you will have a 45 second window to go for stronger trades.

Notice the green shields around the champion when bone plating is procced.

The number stands for how long they've been in combat.

As for Conqueror, there are some clear indicators that you can look out for whenever it's ready to proc for both yourself and your opponent. First there's the icon right above your skills that will show a conqueror icon with a number counting up to 5, gaining a stack each time you hit an enemy champion with an ability or auto attack, when it reaches 5 you will hear a very clear "ding" sound, meaning your next attack will activate Conqueror and grant you extra AD, true damage and some healing for as long as you can keep refreshing it. The same icon will be there right under your opponent's champion portrait in the top left corner of your screen.

Teamfighting on Riven can be pretty difficult to pull off. People recognize her as a pretty big threat and will act really careful around you if you're fed, as well as focusing you with a lot of crowd control. Being a good Riven means playing around that and getting to the targets you want to be getting to.

Riven's main role in teamfights will always be doing damage, but her main focus is always different depending on the situation and also depending on what kind of team you're playing against/with.

First we'll go over the easiest scenario.

Teamfighting when very far ahead

When you're really fed and far ahead of the enemy team, you are very hard to deal with and what they have on their team in terms of CC becomes less relevant. You can pretty much try to catch out anyone that is out of position and blow them up. If you're by far the strongest champion on the map, you want to focus the enemy that is the biggest threat to your team. Don't get too cocky though, cause even though you're ahead, you're gonna be a big point of focus for the enemy team.

Teamfighting when behind

In situation where you're not as strong as you'd like to be and are behind the curve, you have a few options. You can either sit back and help protect the carries on your team, or you can try and sacrifice yourself by going for a flash engage on multiple people and getting as much damage out as possible before dying.

Teamfighting against a team with high CC

When teamfighting against a lot of CC, it can be very risky to straight up get onto their backline, because they're very likely to just turn on you, CC you and kill you before you're able to get any sort of damage off. You either want to be very patient, and wait for them to commit to other targets and use their CC, or simply stay with your team and peel. The first method is risky and has a big chance of still going wrong, as they can wipe your team in their initial engage if you're not immediately present in the teamfight, so in most cases I would recommend staying with your team, peeling and waiting for an opportunity to jump on any priority target.

Engaging a teamfight with Riven

Riven has some very powerful tools that can be used as a form of engage in both her third Q and her W. When used with your flash, you can open up a fight with a lot of AoE damage but also comes at a big risk of dying. It's important to pick out your moments and make sure there is sufficient follow up to your engage.

The Stopwatch engage

A useful little thing you can apply to your games in cases of desperation. When your Flash is up and you feel like a teamfight could be happening soon, you can spend 600 gold on a Stopwatch and set yourself up for a flash engage. Having the Stopwatch available means that you can pull this off and buy more time for your team to finish the job by making yourself invulnerable for 2.5 seconds. This really just makes the play a lot less risky.

NOTE: This will only feature the most common top lane champions in the current meta. These will also only be pretty general guidelines because most matchups are very dependent on a lot of factors that you simply can't always forsee. You can use this guide to get an idea of how these tend to play out but it will be up to you to learn how to deal with every situation.


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Probably the most interesting and also the most difficult part of mastering Riven is mastering the countless combos and animation cancels she can do. There's a ton of things you can do but only a handful will actually ever be useful to you in a game. I will be going over the most important thing Riven players should be looking to learn.

Let's start off with the most commonly used and probably also the most useful trick, the wall jump. Ever since patch 3.8, Riven has the ability to jump over certain walls and objects using the third activation of Broken Wings.
While this does require some practice to master, it's not a very hard trick to actually do.

Here's a video properly displaying this technique.

You can cancel the animation of Riven's Broken Wings (all 3 activations), Ki Burst and Blade of the Exile by using them during the animation of Valor. Simply tap your E and the desired ability in rapid succession to cancel the animation of the second ability. This is mostly used to remove the long cast time on Blade of the Exile.

If you've built these items before I'm sure you'll have noticed these too have an annoying little cast animation. But once again, we can cancel that animation using Riven's abilities. The best way to do this is to use a Ki Burst at the same time you're using your Hydra/Tiamat. This will display the Ki Burst animation while showing the AoE particles of the Hydra/Tiamat.
Arguably the most useful technique of them all. Every time you cast Valor, you have a small window in which you can perform a double cast by pressing Ki Burst (or Blade of the Exile and Broken Wings in quick succession. The timing is pretty strict and you should be looking to practice this in sandbox mode.

Another useful trick, used for quick executes and also used in several combos. Cancel the casting animation of Wind Slash by casting it at the same time as a Broken Wings activation.

Here's a good video displayingall these techniques.

Click To View On Youtube
Mainly used for clearing jungle or fighting stationary targets, this trick allows you to attack faster than you usually could by interrupting the casting animation of your Broken Wings activations. This trick takes advantage of the fact that each cast of Broken Wings resets Riven's auto attack timer.

You attack something with Broken Wings. While Riven is performing her animation, you give her a movement command away from the target and then quickly auto attack that target and you repeat this 3 times. You have to be really quick and precise about the movement and auto attack commands or it won't be worth it.
Here's another video explaining the technique more clearly.

Click To View On Youtube
Once you've mastered the basics of animation canceling, you can move on to some of the more advanced combos that you will have to learn in order to get the most out of the champions. Mastering these is going to take time and practice and is really what sets apart the good Riven players from the worse.
Here's a good video displaying some of the most useful Riven combos.

Click To View On Youtube

All in all, Riven is a great champion that will take a lot of time to master, but is worth it in the end. Practice is key and you should always be looking to get better. Utilize the in-game practice tool to practice combos, wall hops and animation canceling.
Other things that you can look for to get better at Riven is simply watching streams and videos. Look at what good Riven players are doing and try to apply it to your own games.


Videos were taken from the following channels:
These channels feature a lot of good Riven content that I recommend checking out. All credit for the videos I used in this guide goes to them.

Check out for a lot of things Riven, as well as the Rivenmains Discord which is an active community. All these things will help you get better and learn the champion.

Feel free to check out my own stream, where I will regularly be playing Riven at -
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