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Riven Build Guide by LimitlessHavoc

Top LimitlessHavoc's Top Lane Riven

Top LimitlessHavoc's Top Lane Riven

Updated on December 27, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LimitlessHavoc Build Guide By LimitlessHavoc 2352 111 14,291,079 Views 433 Comments
2352 111 14,291,079 Views 433 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author LimitlessHavoc Riven Build Guide By LimitlessHavoc Updated on December 27, 2020
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Runes: Standard

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Gathering Storm

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


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


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Top Lane
Ranked #48 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats
Top Lane Ranked #48 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
More Riven Runes

Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
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Champion Build Guide

LimitlessHavoc's Top Lane Riven

By LimitlessHavoc

General Pre-Game In-Game Advanced Tactics
Pros & Cons
Summoner spells
Skill Order
Early Game
Mid/Late Game
Splitpushing or teamfights?
Tips & Tricks
How to win games



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Hello there! I'm LimitlessHavoc a high elo Riven main. I'm writing this guide to share my Riven experience and help aspiring Riven players to improve. I used Riven in my initial climb from silver 5 to high diamond. She's my favourite top laner as there are countless ways to improve with her due to her 'Limitless' potential, Riven is capable of completely wiping out entire enemy teams and winning near unwinnable games in the right hands.

This guide was very fun to write especially since I'm so passionate about Riven and if you do feel like this guide has helped you don't hesitate to leave an upvote or any questions you may have.

Watch me stream!

Click here to donate and support me! If you did donate, message me to get a special feature on my guide!

"What makes you qualified to teach Riven?"

Well firstly, Riven is all I play and my reason for playing league currently thus I've spent a lot of time learning her ins and outs. Even after playing Riven for so long(3000~ games) I'm still continuing to improve my craft.

Check out my unranked to diamond highlight montage playing only Riven and subscribe to my channel as I have a lot of content planned for the future!

"Why this guide over every other Riven guide?"

Well firstly I won best guide for a champion in the top lane for S6 and S8 on MobaFire amidst fierce competition, I achieved high diamond playing mostly Riven in under 100 games with a 70% WR and finally I make sure to continue to improve whilst ensuring this guide stays just as updated as I am!

I get a lot of messages asking me to review replays, this is something that I am able to do but due to the volume of messages I will have to charge at least £5 to discourage those not serious about improving. So if you are serious about improving your Riven and want me to watch your replay you can contact me via mobafire messages just make sure you pick a replay that isn't just you stomping, thanks!

This guide is really in-depth and covers everything required to start playing Riven effectively. I tried my best to make it an interesting read and without further ado let's dive straight into it!

Riven is a combo based champion and as a result has a very aggressive play-style which allows her to delete champions and even whole teams from the rift. Riven the Exile is a lone and self-exiled soldier seeking redemption. With her shattered sword in front and her past behind, she uses her sword to carve the future of Noxus.


+ Mobile
+ Snowballs hard
+ 5/3v1 potential
+ Fun kit
Riven is a very mobile, high damage and fun top lane carry with the ability to heavily snowball games into a win. Once mastered Riven is capable of making crazy outplays and deleting entire teams from the rift.


+ No innate sustain
+ Hard to master
+ Squishy early
+ Predictable
Even though Riven has many pros she does have her cons, the fact that she has no built in sustain makes bad trades punished harder on her compared to other champs, this means that it is very important to trade effectively. She's also very hard to master, this combined with her predictable playstyle means she requires more effort to pull off compared to easier meta top laners.

Flash is key on most champs as it allows for you to engage or disengage. Especially on riven as a good flash third q and w can win a team fight if it lands on their carries. You can use flash to escape, chase and even reposition in a teamfight. Flash also allows you to punish your enemies when they are grouped up late game because Riven deals a lot of AOE damage very quickly making it possible to burst a whole team if timed correctly.

Teleport is great on Riven as it lets you snowball other lanes more easily, it's very important to make sure your teleport isn't interrupted by enemy CC so make sure to position yourself safely prior to teleporting. A strategy I usually employ is to rush 6 before the enemy bot lane hits 6 and then ask my bot lane to deep ward, I TP in, get a double kill and then force dragon. Use Teleport when in a difficult lane in order to get a free back or just pressure another lane instead, in order to be truly successful with teleport you have to use it pro-actively, use it to make plays when you feel the enemy bot lane is in a disadvantageous position, don't just use it to counter-gank use it to also create ganks! The below spoiler explains how to make good TP plays and why you should do so.
Click to view Huni TP play!

Ignite can be viable on riven as it's great for early aggression (especially mid lane) which Riven thrives off however you'll be at a great disadvantage not running teleport. Use ignite for securing kills or just adding to your damage in a combo. In lower elos like plat 4 and below, taking Ignite may prove more effective than Teleport.

Currently the best keystone rune on Riven, it offers AD and lifesteal - all of which benefit Riven. You'll want to run it 99% of the time.

Pretty self explanatory, increased playmaking ability.

Riven actually benefits from attack speed as it increases combo speed (especially fast combo) and also enables you to make better use of Conqueror. Pick Legend: Tenacity when up against high CC comps (e.g. malph/fiddle/malz).

Personal preference, I prefer Last Stand however Coup de Grace acts as a mini execute so you could run it in matchups you feel extremely confident against.

Cosmic Insight is good on Riven as she scales hard with CDR, the 5% early is really useful and can make the difference between living and dying. I prefer Magical Footwear over Future's Market as its a guaranteed 300g and extra mobility.

Situational choice:
Phase Rush is good when up against a matchup where you feel you need the extra kiting ability such as Tryndamere.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

0 Q W E Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W

> > >

On Riven maxing Valor second is amazing due to the relatively low cooldown you get at max rank and 45% CDR. This allows you to tank more during team fights and pull off more amazing plays at low HP.

Alternative skill order:
You can opt to max Ki Burst second if you favour a more damage orientated playstyle. I no longer recommend maxing Valor first for ranged matchups (newer players) since its cooldown has been nerfed it just isn't worth it.

Runic Blade Riven gains a charge every time she uses an ability. This charge can stack up to three times and each of her basic attacks consumes an available charge to deal 30% - 60% (based on level) AD bonus physical damage. This is why it is so important to autoattack between each ability as Riven.

Broken Wings Riven dashes towards the target nearest the cursor, lashing out. Broken Wings can be cast two more times within 4 seconds, with the timer resetting after each cast. Each cast gives you one Runic Blade charge and the third cast damages all enemies around Riven in an increased radius, this knocks them up, and can also be used to pass over certain terrain. Each cast also resets Riven's autoattack timer and can be animation cancelled if you click on the ground straight after casting, this is why Riven can do the fast Q combo. This combo is covered later in this guide.

Ki burst Riven emits a burst of runic energy that stuns nearby enemies. This is an AOE stun that lasts for 0.75 seconds it scales with 100% bonus AD and is blocked by spell shields.

Valor Riven dashes towards the cursor gaining a shield. The shield lasts for 1.5 seconds and scales with 100% bonus AD. It can't cross impassable terrain (including player created). It can not be used whilst Riven is immobilised. Valor can also be used to cancel all of Riven's other abilities, e.g. E -> R which removes her ultimate cast time and E -> R2 which masks Wind Slash's cast time.

Blade of the Exile Riven reforms her sword for 15 seconds. This grants Riven 75 extra attack range, 20% extra AD as bonus attack damage and also increases the area of Broken Wings and Ki Burst. Riven also gains the ability Wind Slash which allows her to unleash a wave of energy in a cone, this ability is an execute and does more damage the lower the targets HP (maximum damage at 25% HP). After Blade of the Exile is activated Riven must wait 1 second before she can use Wind Slash.

RIP 2009-2015, You will not be forgotten. 750/750 Tear of the Goddess fully stacked.

Long sword is going to be your most frequent starting item and its pretty straight forward right. Riven lacks innate sustain so being able to start off with 3 pots right off the bat is very useful. Riven also scales extremely hard with AD so the 10 AD start is again very helpful when it comes to dueling. Riven also needs items to hit significant power spikes so being able to build into her first item straight away from the get go is very advantageous.

Doran's shield helps combat some of the problems mentioned above that riven faces early as it provides a lot of sustain especially against poke heavy matchups. It also offers some early starting HP which can be the difference between dying or surviving an all in. However the cost of starting this is you delay the powerspike of your main items as it doesn't build into anything.

Doran's blade offers greater combat stats than the options mentioned above and as a result in lanes in which you want to push an advantage building one or two DBs can help you snowball easier. Again as mentioned above you delay the powerspike of your main item as it doesn't build into anything.

Attack Damage - All of Riven's abilities scale with AD thus making it the most important stat for her. Riven works on the basis of weaving autos between every ability whilst utilising Valor to stay alive and by building AD you further enhance your offensive and defensive capabilities.

Cooldown Reduction - AD and CDR are Riven's favourite stats and if you aren't building them then you're doing something wrong. CDR boosts Riven's damage potential, mobility and survivability, lower cooldowns let you use your abilities more often which means you can deal more damage, shield more and are more mobile.

Armour Penetration - As Riven you'll be building so much AD that eventually people will start building armour to counteract that. Building armour pen helps negate some of the effectiveness of that armour and even if they don't build armour lowering base armour gives more damage than building AD after a certain point.

Lifesteal - Riven has poor health regen and no innate sustain, you build lifesteal to help overcome that weakness.
My item build accompanied with my runes are designed to maximise Riven's damage whilst providing her with all the stats listed above and more.

The Core Build:
Currently Riven's core items and you want to be building these most games as it gives you great damage and burst, survivability and low CDs.

The Black Cleaver - Riven's core item, you'll want to build it in most of your games. The 20% cdr allows you to reach 45% CDR with ease and the movement speed boosts per auto and per kill makes it a lot easier to reach mobile carries during teamfights. The 400 HP boost makes riven even more durable, the % TOTAL armour reduction makes 1v1ing tanks much easier and helps AD champions on your team deal even more damage. Normally you'll build Kindlegem first (after Caulfield's Warhammer) however if you have enough gold buying the Phage outright is better.

Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi - Your choice of boots depends on the enemy team comp. Mercury's Treads if the enemy team has alot of CC or multiple AP threats. Pick Ninja Tabi if they have alot of autoattack reliant champions or fed AD champion(s).

Death's dance - Good item on Riven, massive increase in survivability whilst offering decent AD. DD gives lifesteal, a stat that synergises well with Riven but what makes this item stand out is the massive 30% damage delay, when you factor in some of this delayed damaged being blocked by Valor and also lifesteal you essentially get damage reduction.

Guardian Angel - Great item, helps you stay alive late into a fight, it acts as a deterrent for people trying to focus you, it also provides armour and AD which strengthens/increases Riven's shield, damage and effective HP. Riven's Valor synergises very strongly with resists this is due to the fact shields in general are treated as additional health effectively therefore they benefit from the users armour and magic resist.

Youmuu's Ghostblade - Strong snowballing item on Riven against squishies. You can build it as an alternative to Death's Dance or rush it into the Black Cleaver in games where you think you wont need the extra survivability from Death's Dance or you plan to roam alot.

Lord Dominik's Regards - Very nice item against tanks and squishies as it provides % TOTAL armour penetration however it is quite expensive and often isn't necessary if the enemy only has one tank as you have other means of dealing with tanky opponents e.g. Black Cleaver. Consider Mortal Reminder when against healing/sustain dependent champions such as Dr. Mundo, Swain or Vladimir due to grievous wounds limiting their heals.

Mercurial Scimitar - Really good item on Riven as it's very easy to build because the components are very affordable. This item is built for the active which is useful against champions with hard CC. It gives 50 AD, 35 magic resist and 10% lifesteal, all very nice stats on Riven.

Maw of Malmortius - Strong item on Riven when up against team comps with alot of AP champions or a fed AP champion. The Maw passive, lifeline, gives you the opportunity to retaliate or run as it can absorb most of the initial burst of an AP champion thus helping you to survive against magic damage burst that would've killed you otherwise. It is especially very effective when combined with Nullifying Orb.

Ravenous Hydra - Great item on Riven due to the high AD, increased regen, lifesteal and additional active burst despite this it isn't a compulsory item however I still believe it is one of Riven's best items, you can rush Tiamat first item early game if you plan to roam (e.g. hard lane or unkillable tank) as it enables you to push quicker.

Essence Reaver - Fun item on Riven, I wouldn't say its optimal but its very effective when you're ahead and snowballing. Riven's passive is also capable of criting.

Sterak's Gage - Great item on Riven when you require general survivability and need to frontline/engage. It synergises really well with the extra HP you get from Black Cleaver and the extra resists from both Death's Dance/ Guardian Angel. It is important to note to take full advantage of the shield you have to be all or nothing with your engage.

Viable/substitute choices:
Essence Reaver - This item can be rushed first if snowballing very hard but usually Youmuu's Ghostblade is better.

Build order:
Normal build order: Caulfield's Warhammer -> Kindlegem -> Black Cleaver -> Ninja Tabi/ Mercury's Treads -> Death's Dance -> Guardian Angel -> Game dependent items.

Snowballing heavy/against squishies: Youmuu's Ghostblade/ Essence Reaver -> Black Cleaver -> Game dependent items (e.g. Death's Dance).

  • Start Doran shield for the extra sustain/survivability.
  • If he started Cull the Meek try and get a full trade on him level 1 before he can build up fury.
  • If he starts Ruthless Predator play safe and farm as best as you can backing off when his fury bar is full and start harassing him when you reach level 5.
  • Small trades until he is low enough to all in.
  • Warding is essential in order to survive the inevitable ganks as Renekton will snowball off a kill and can easily coordinate ganks with his jungler due to his empowered Ruthless Predator stun.
  • Shield every Comet Spear with Valor however remember his Comet Spear has a lower cooldown.
  • You generally should play passively till 6 asking for ganks to take advantage of his low mobility.
  • At 6 you outscale hard as his ult does not help him during duels but make sure not to waste your abilities on his Aegis Assault.
  • You'll have to give up some CS early to avoid getting chunked out.
  • I recommend starting Doran's Shield and rushing Ninja Tabi if you're struggling.
  • Start Valor and Doran's Shield or long sword.
  • Focus on last hitting and standing behind minions early to reduce the poke you take
  • Avoid Mark of the Storm stacking on you, if you notice it stacking disengage and wait for it to wear off.
  • Farm safely till 3 and then begin to short trade him in order to bait out his Lightning Rush. Once his Lightning Rush is down go for an all out trade however make sure you have enough health before doing so.
  • When disengaging use the bushes in order to stop him autoing you and thus reducing the disengage damage you take.
  • Consider QSS in this lane.
  • At level 6 you need to engage frequently with short trades like at level 3 however be careful if he activates Slicing Maelstrom and make sure you leave the area as quickly as possible.
  • Farm till 3 ensuring he doesn't cheese you levels 1 to 2.
  • Ensure you are surrounded by minions so that when he jumps on you he draws minion agro.
  • At level 3 trade him when he tries to CS and avoiding fighting him when he has high stacks.
  • Don't chase him when he's heading to a bush unless you are sure you can kill him as he can turn that chase around on you.
  • At 6 you win hands down unless he's running exhaust, to counter that only do short trades to bait it out.
  • When Rengar reaches 6 be careful as he can coordinate ganks with his jungler and gank any lane including yours! Make sure to signal when he is missing.
  • Rushing Ninja Tabi can be useful in this lane.
  • Pick phase rush (or exhaust - all in him level 1 with Q extension) and farm till level 3 as his early base stats are quite high.
  • Avoid fighting him when his fury bar is full.
  • When you're level 3 begin to short trade him constantly to proc phase rush so that you can run away even if he tries to chase you with his E and W slow.
  • Make sure not to push by just last hitting so that he can't heal off minions under tower.
  • Combo him every time he tries to CS so that he can't build up sufficient fury to be a threat to you.
  • Make sure to deny him as he will kill you eventually if he is allowed to farm and scale. Also follow his roams so he can't split push freely.
  • Rushing Ninja Tabi can be useful in this lane.
  • Avoid getting poked by Undertow and also don't fight him level 1.
  • Before you fight him make him miss his Undertow so that he won't have the reduced cooldown during your trades.
  • At level 2 take Valor and use it to block his Reckless Swing true damage as he most likely got it second, if he didn't the trade is even easier.
  • At level 3 you can kill him if you were able to successfully dodge his axes and trade him appropriately.
  • At 6 it's really easy to bait out his Ragnarok by using your 2 forms of crowd control early into a trade he may use Ragnarok thinking you've committed, you can just Valor away and re-engage when it's down or you can decide to all in him if he's low enough.
  • Avoid getting hit by Decisive Strike by running away and then you can trade him when its down.
  • It may help if you know how to fast combo so that you can get damage down on him before his Decisive Strike comes back up.
  • At 6 Garen can be killed easily if you've made sure to trade him often enough to get his HP low for an all in, make sure you are not next to Garen if your HP is lower than 60% as he can easily all in you especially if he has Ignite.
  • Make sure to trade Garen frequently so that he can't use Perseverance to regen to full HP.
  • This matchup is pretty straight forward for Riven but can be difficult.
  • Don't fight Jax level 1 as he can easily out trade you and once you get chunked the lane is lost from that point onwards.
  • Take Valor second and if he engages on you use it to disengage.
  • At level 3 bait out his Counter Strike by short trading him and then dashing away once you see it activated. If he lands Counter Strike on you he will most likely win the trade.
  • When Counter Strike is down this is your opportunity to trade Jax relentlessly because you will come out ahead if you combo properly.
  • He can't out-trade you without Counter Strike and since it has such a high CD early your window to bully him is quite big.
  • Pretty easy lane, trade him level 1 and make sure to establish a zone around your creeps in order to stop him farming. As soon as he goes for a last hit with his Siphoning Strike, do the standard Broken Wings auto combo in order to chunk him and make him respect your presence. However you do need to be careful about early ganks as he can easily set up ganks using Wither.
  • DO NOT PUSH THE LANE, this means instead of autoing minions often in order to kill them faster you just last hit. Nasus excels at farming under tower and he wants you to push.
  • If you do not deny Nasus he will kill you and it will only get worse from there.
  • Rush Black Cleaver in this lane and your level 6 destroys his level 6 if you deny him properly.
  • Nasus will eventually get stronger than you, that's why you need to end the game as soon as possible and denying him prolongs his power spike increasing the time you have available to end the game.
  • Farm to level 3, play passive and start Valor if you are unable to handle Flamespitter harass, stand behind minions so that if he does decide to harass you with Flamespitter he will push the lane and make himself vulnerable to a gank.
  • At level 3 you complete out trade him and he has very little ability to escape you, make sure to dodge his Electro-Harpoon as the slow can hinder your ability to engage on him.
  • After you build a lead Rumble may attempt to farm like a Dr. Mundo and just use Electro-Harpoon, deny him CS by blocking them with Valor.
  • At 6 Rumble is easy to kill as The Equalizer has little effect on you since you can dash out of it with relative ease.

Laning video(s):
Mundo matchup:

Gnar matchup:

The plan is simple, win lane win game! If you're up as against a relatively difficult lane, like a Quin or a Renekton, focusing on farming and you will eventually out-scale them. Experienced Riven players will find a way to get first blood.

You're ahead and see the jungler coming to gank? Kill them both.
Consider 2v1ing when the enemy jungler is squishy or under levelled compared to you, you are ahead of the enemy laner, both champions lack strong CC, the enemy laner just blew his main cooldowns or you have your jungler nearby able to counter-gank and you are confident you can win the 2v2.

Ward spots for top laners:
Green wards, never forgotten.... but never used RIP.

The general rule is to ward the bush closest to the enemy jungle, you should usually ward at around 2:45-3:15 as junglers will generally finish their first clear around that time, however some junglers may take different routes in order to bypass your wards so be careful and sometimes ward both bushes. Lane ganks are harder to spot but below I explain how enemy behaviour can sometimes alert you to a gank. E.g. they start spamming taunts, they're slow pushing or playing aggressive.

Dealing with ganks:
Top lane is very prone to ganks and as a result you need to be able to read enemy champion movements. For example, you're up against an Irelia, all game she's been focusing on farming but suddenly she moves towards you with her E trying to set up a stun and instinctively you move backwards into your minion wave, if she continues chasing their jungler was most likely there, with this info you should attempt to play passive for at least 20 seconds and not waste your Qs. Better safe than sorry. Sometimes if you're unable to read enemy movements you can fake aggression whilst making sure not to put yourself at risk and see how they react, this can sometimes bait the enemy jungler to come out and then you can simply back off, this method is risky however if both champions have forms of CC/mobility.

Dealing with getting dived early:
Early level dives are a scary and real threat to laning due to the sheer number of bruisers/tanks capable of doing so, they're quite hard to predict as you wouldn't expect to be dived at level 5 but changes in your opponent's playstyle can often provide a hint.

Let's say a level 5 Malphite pushes his wave into your tower, however instead of staying back so that he isn't vulnerable to ganks from your jungler he stays close to the pushed up minion wave, that itself is a hint that you may be dived and he's pushing in order to hit 6 early, alone he wouldn't be a problem if you are at suitable HP(75%+) but his jungler is mostly likely there in the bush closest to your tower. As soon as you notice an enemy laner is aggressively pushing and essentially preparing for a dive when they don't have kill potential, ward the bush closest to your tower.

If you do see the jungler, stay away from your tower for as long as you need to unless you believe you can 2v1 or burst the enemy jungler before they can kill you, however this is risky as a Malphite could simply ult you or a Shen could simply taunt you thus limiting your ability to outplay. Sometimes the enemy jungler will decide to wait for as long as it takes in order to kill you, if that happens your team should be able to capitalise on the lack of jungle pressure on the other lanes.

Level 1 and 2:
Currently Riven's level 1 is quite weak compared to a lot of other top laners due to her synergising less with the reforged runes so it's very important to try and reach level 2 as quickly as possible without pushing the lane too hard, this can be done by making sure your minions die roughly as quick or slightly slower than your opponent's minions. Level 2 requires you to kill all the minions in the first wave and one minion from the second, if your lane opponent tries to fight you level 1 you should try and back off making sure not to take any damage if possible and if they are persistent force them to fight in your minion wave. The only exceptions to this rule would be if they were playing a champion like Nasus or Illaoi, where you can easily out trade them level 1.

If you reach level 2 before the enemy laner and they are playing a melee champion, take Ki Burst second and engage on them as soon as possible. Since you're level 2 and they're level 1 the trade goes heavily in your favour and from that you can establish a zone and stop them from to CSing. If they choose not to respect the fact that you are level 2 and they are level 1 it's possible to cheese them (especially if you have Ignite) and if they Flash away you can also Flash to finish them off or just wait till next time they get in range of your Flash/ Broken Wings then all in them knowing they won't be able to flash away.

As Riven it's very important to hit level 2 first as that can sometimes decide the lane however if your opponent hits 2 first you should stay at a distance where you can't be attacked by them but you can still gain exp from dying minions.

In some lanes your kill pressure will still be low even if you reach level 2 first as your opponent may be too tanky to be cheesed. At this point taking Valor second may prove more viable than Ki Burst because you can shield potential harass and also force someone like a Malphite to expend their mana so trading with them becomes easier eventually.

Level 3:
It's very key as Riven to farm to level 3 as that is a important power spike. At that moment in time you need to look at the minion waves and also your enemy's cooldowns and from that you can judge if it's time for you to engage.

If they have a wave building trim the wave before you fight because if you do engage within or next to that wave you may lose the trade heavily due to taking too much damage from minions. If they used a main spell to farm, engage and make sure to escape before that CD comes back up. It's very important to capitalise when the enemy laner's spells are on cooldown as their potential damage or utility is lowered making any trade that occurs more likely to go in your favour.

At level 3 you should have all your abilities and due to being resourceless this allows you to engage frequently, this lets you wither your opponent down till you are able to all in them.

Laning vs ranged champions:
In these lanes bushes become your best friend, use them in order to stop yourself getting harassed too much. You also need to learn to give up CS as it's just not worth the amount of poke/damage you would get back, starting Valor level 1 (MUST DO Vs Gangplank can really help when trying to CS because you can activate it and CS whilst tanking an auto with your shield, this is great because you can CS and block poke at the same time. You should also CS when they are CSing or after they have used an important cooldown because they are less likely/unable to auto-attack you in those moments. Try to co-ordinate ganks with your jungler especially if they have no mobility as that generally results in a kill if done well. Riven can also CS quite well under tower by utilizing her passive, Qs and W to pick up CS that you would otherwise lose.

2 standard harass combos at level 3:
Long trade -
Valor -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> auto -> Ki Burst -> auto -> Broken Wings -> auto -> escape with 3rd Broken Wings or attack with it if you think you can continue to out-trade them with autos or use your 3rd Q as a free disengage via the knockup. Experienced Riven players will use this combo to harass but it will be much faster as they will be carrying out the fast Q combo which involves issuing move commands after each cast of Broken Wings, this combo is faster however if you miss an auto your DPS will drop significantly giving you lower DPS than the standard Riven combo. When you decide to use Ki Burst is really up to you, if you know they can escape then use to early to guarantee some damage gets on to your enemy and if they can't escape you can use it as a disengage tool at the end of your normal Q auto combo.

Valor -> Auto -> Broken Wings -> Click on the ground -> auto -> Ki Burst -> auto -> Broken Wings -> Click on the ground -> auto -> escape with 3rd Broken Wings or attack with it.
(Time of demonstration = 4m 55s)

Short trade -
Broken Wings -> Ki Burst -> Auto -> Valor + Broken Wings away. Short sweet combo, synergises very nicely with phase rush.

I use this combo in most matchups especially against champions that will out trade you in long trades such as Trundle and Jax. When done quickly enough it leaves little to no room for counterplay and can also be performed on opponents under tower. This combo lets you chip your opponent down little by little until they are low enough to all in.

Harassing an enemy under tower:
Riven is very strong at harassing an enemy champion that is trying to farm under tower, the main purpose of this is to lower their HP for maybe a potential dive and disrupt their farming so that miss CS. The combo varies and it depends on your level of comfort with Riven, you can do small stuff like Ki Burst -> auto -> Valor- Broken Wings(escape) or you can do stuff like Auto -> Broken Wings -> Ki Burst -> Auto -> Valor- Broken Wings(escape), the tip here is just being as fast as possible and making sure to only harass when the enemy is hitting ranged creeps as you will only take one tower shot, which you can block with ease using Valor. Make sure to harass behind your pushed up minion wave in order to make sure they draw aggro if they are able to retaliate with an auto and also be careful if the enemy champion has a stun E.g. Renekton because if you fail the combo you will get stunned and possibly die as a result of tower shots.

When to push:
As Riven you should try generally to not push your lane too hard early as that can make you vulnerable to ganks and even allow the enemy laner to freeze. In order for a push to happen your opponents minion wave needs to die faster than yours or vice versa, as a result the speed of a push can be controlled. You should only really push when the enemy laner is dead, you want to set up for a dive(in this case slow push by killing the caster minions in a wave and last hitting), you want to roam mid or you want to back soon. In these cases it's very important to push in a way that makes sure the lane eventually resets, meaning both the enemy's minions and yours will meet again in the middle of the lane. This is done by making sure your minions hit the enemy tower and die before your enemy's next minion wave makes it to them and since minions spawn identically on both sides of the rift both minion wave will meet in the middle of the lane.

However, it's not always bad to push early as it allows you to pressure the enemy laner especially if you know where the enemy jungler is as that means it's safe to push, this puts the enemy in a reactive position thus allowing you to be proactive and make roams to capitalise on this pressure.

In some matchups such as Nasus and Tryndamere pushing will prove detrimental as they excel in farming under tower and they can out-sustain your harass, pushing gives them the opportunity to get back into the game so its best to zone them and not push but freeze and make them lose CS.

How to dive:
In order to dive as Riven you need to be able to gauge whether or not you can kill them and survive, whether their HP is low enough, do they have flash or a heal or any crowd control up or any damage over time that can possibly kill you after the dive and is it possible that their jungler is around?

When the right conditions are met Riven is an exceptional diver, all you have to do is make those conditions. E.g. Do a fake dive which consists of the harassing under tower combo, some laners may blow flash as they think they are getting dived. Force them to use their CC or heal. Harass them under tower until they are low enough to be dived. Ward so that you don't die due to a gank, as you are pushed up and vulnerable to ganks when preparing to dive.

Level 6 all in:
In most/all lanes try to hit 6 first by killing minions faster than your opponent(whilst getting the gold ofc). Riven excels at level 6 all ins just due to how mobile she is and how quickly she can close the gap between her and the enemy laner, this can catch people off by surprise and give them little time to react, her mobility comes from the fact her kit has 4 dashes. Make sure to monitor your exp bar and when you think you are a creep away from level 6 position yourself closer to the enemy laner in an advantageous position for the upcoming level up and then proceed to cheese them. My favourite combo for this would be E -> R -> Q -> W -> auto -> ignite -> R2 -> Q. If done quickly enough there is little room for retaliation.

Do you think that Renekton is in range for my all in combo? (Answer in spoiler)

Click to view answer!

Tips for early game:
  • Buy control wards and use your trinket for maximum vision control.
  • Don't chug pots when not in immediate danger, this means chug pots when you feel you are at high risk of dying, E.g. you are level 2 and just blew flash to escape a gank and you are at 200 HP and the enemy laner is at 560 HP. You are at risk of getting flashed on and killed by either your opponent or the enemy jungler, in this situation you should chug pots in order to make sure you are healthy enough to discourage a dive.
  • If your enemy laner uses any summoners make sure to alert your team as that can be useful later.
  • As mentioned previously as Riven you should try and play off the enemy's cooldowns and engage when they use spells that could otherwise make a trade possibly go even so that you are more likely to win the trade.
  • Swap to sweeper lens after laning phase is over to clear vision and potentially get picks.
By mid game you should have some of your core items such as Black Cleaver and Death's Dance. At this stage you're a really strong duellist and skirmisher as you should have 45% cdr, sustain, survivability and high damage. By mid game you should be trying to push your lane and take top tower and using this lane priority to roam mid/bot, pick up kills wherever possible, force dragons and steal enemy jungle camps.

You should always try to take the enemy tower as early as possible as that provides your team with global gold which can help develop item advantages and also plates. After you take the enemy tower you also become free to roam, make sure to push your minion wave as close as possible to the enemy's tier 2 tower before you roam as you don't want them to take your tower whilst you roam. Try to roam mid and flank their mid laner from behind and then try to take mid tower, if that doesn't work you can deny the enemy jungler by taking his camps or waiting for him to come clear a camp and kill him a few seconds into his clear, by doing this you create picks which makes objectives such as dragon, rift herald and towers less contestable for the enemy team as they are down one man thus resulting in any potential team fights being 5v4 and less in their favour.

During mid game most ADCs are at their weakest so use this to your advantage and kill them when possible. If you are behind it is key that you keep farming and roam mid or bot as you can snowball from kills from other lanes aswell.

Riven can do a fizz/zed and 'hide on bush' and burst the next enemy champion to walk by, you call this the "Rivstajib". This strategy is quite viable as it can open up objectives just as towers, rift herald, baron and dragon. The general combo for this would be Blade of the Exile -> auto -> Hydra/ Ki Burst -> auto -> Wind Slash/ Broken Wings, if they are not dead yet which they should be if they are a squishy, you can finish them off with a normal Broken Wings + autos combo.

Late game can be tricky for Riven as she doesn't scale as hard into the late game as an ADC would. Riven is not the tank, it's not your job to peel, you can and should at times but you are not required to, your job is so reach the carries and take them out before they can have a say in the fight. Flash can be useful to break the enemy front line, remember to Ignite (if you took it) the ADC in order to minimise the effect of their Heal. Whilst waiting for an opportunity to break into the enemy backline make sure to provide as much peel as you can for your ADC as they can also carry the fight as well as you can with proper protection.
Riven can turn into an amazing split pusher late game especially with Blade of the Exile active, this may be the best thing to do when your team is behind as it creates opportunities for your team to catch up. If you find yourself splitpushing most games then taking Teleport is beneficial as it allows you to assist your team in team fights whilst still putting pressure on the map. Riven can take down towers fairly quickly due to the amount of AD you'll be building and she's also able to escape very easily due to how mobile she is, both of these attributes are what makes Riven an amazing split pusher. The perfect scenario for a splitpush is when you know the enemy team can't answer the split push, maybe because they can't take you on as you're too fed or they just don't have the damage to kill you before you can escape e.g. their top laner is Maokai and their jungler is Amumu it's quite unlikely that they'll be able to kill you before you can escape, in games like this splitpushing is very good and should be done.
Generally as Riven you should split push when you're ahead of your enemy laner or your team is behind. This is in order to draw people top, this opens up objectives for your team such as towers and dragon which can put your team back into the game.

As Riven you want to team fight either when the enemy team lacks CC, your team has a team fight comp e.g. Ori, Amumu, Braum.., when most of your team is ahead or when you have suitable vision control so that you can pull off flanks without risk of being ambushed and collapsed on by the enemy team, by flanking the enemy team's CC is less of an issue as their backline is open to you (later I discuss how to flank).

As Riven you should use your extreme mobility and damage to catch your enemies in their jungle, this can then result in a tower, dragon or even baron.

Team fighting as riven is pretty straight forward as a concept. Get to the backline and kill the carries. However in reality it can be quite hard, against a competent team this will become near impossible with things such as exhaust, gap closing ADCs and CC/slows. To team fight as riven you must be able to build according to the enemy team. If they have a fed Fiddlesticks/alot of CC for example it is best that your build a Mercurial Scimitar and Mercury's Treads this makes you adapted to the team fight to come. If they have a fed AP carry or full ap team, a Maw of Malmortius can help negate some damage. If they have a fed AD carry or AD champion buying a Randuin's Omen as your defensive item can be very beneficial.

As Riven if you're planning to play the assassin role you need to stay behind your frontline but slightly in front of your back line or flank. Why? So that you're able to quickly transition to protecting your carries or being a carry yourself. You generally want to protect your carries when the enemy frontline still has CC up that would otherwise disrupt you if you tried to enter the enemy backline. There's no point in trying to kill the enemy backline if the frontline will just focus you instantly with their CC which will result in your death and you having no impact in the teamfight. Timing is crucial on Riven, once the important CCs are on cooldown it is now time for you to go past your frontline and enter the enemy back line in order to do what Riven does best, assassinate.

By positioning in the middle of your team you get some protection whilst being able to protect the backline and you can easily reach important targets as the teamfight progresses. By protecting your carries you will still be killing important targets as the enemy will be trying to kill your carries so you hit them with the ultimate form of CC, death.

If your carries are too behind and aren't worth protecting even slightly then you can also flank. Here timing is key, you need to make sure you go in when major CCs are down and slip into the enemy backline as quickly as possible using the element of surprise to assassinate their carries. All that flanking really means is getting behind you opponents and engaging on them where they will least expect it, timing is so important because when you flank if you enter the teamfight too late your team may already be dead by then and if you enter to early you may just get CC'd and blown up, you should try to enter the moment the enemy frontline is distracted and use their main CCs on your teammates. Flash is really usefully when trying to flank, when flanking you don't need to always flank from behind you can also flank from the side! Hiding in bushes, that aren't warded of course, can be very useful when trying to flank as your presence is concealed whilst in that bush so when you do flank they are less likely to expect it. The combos sections has combos that can help during a flank to maximise your burst and the element of surprise.

Excellent teamfighting

Why it went so well:
1. He anticipated the flash Tibbers so that as soon as Annie flashed he was able to reposition so that he wouldn't get hit.
2. Bushes - He dipped in and out of the bushes so that Annie couldn't target him thus reducing the risk of crowd control.
3. Positioning - He made sure he was never in a position to take free hits from their ADC.
4. Timing - He went in after he knew Annie had used her stun and Rammus had also used his taunt, he focused Rammus as he was the closest to him and with his build he could shred Rammus' armour for his team mates as well. He chose not to dive for Annie initially as he knew Rammus would interfere and they could chain CC to kill him.
5. He quickly gets out of MF's ultimate rendering it useless and then goes on to focus Annie.
6. He flashes Janna's tornado in order to position himself close to MF and stun her, so that his team can catch up and help lock her down.

(Props to my friend Yace on an excellent video on how to team fight as Riven covering both squishy and tanky play-styles)

Wall Jumps:
Riven can wall jump with the 3rd part of her Q, it may be difficult at first to learn but can be easily mastered with a bit of practice. Wall jumps can be used offensively to engage and defensively to escape chases and ganks.

Map of all wall jumps:
Spoiler: Click to view

Corner cutting:
Riven can also use her 3rd Broken Wings to cut corners and it's the same mechanic that lets her wall jump. It's a really useful thing to know how to do and can really catch an enemy by surprise. The video below demonstrates a corner cut, this one goes further than expected and works due to the fact that Riven had Blade of the Exile activated beforehand thus increasing her Broken Wings range.

Using 3rd Q to cancel enemy champion abilities:
If timed carefully Riven's 3rd q can stop shyvanas ultimate and even Trist's rocket jump.
For stopping shyvanas ultimate its all about using your 3rd Q moments before impact, here is an example of boxbox doing it: Here!

As for the Trist example its all about stopping her whilst she's rocket jumping but still within range of your 3rd Q and its much harder to do than the previous example. Here!

Riven Mechanics guide:
1) Q cancelling:
Simply putting it this is the core mechanism behind Riven’s ability to fast combo. Riven’s Q applies damage before the animation is actually over and by inputting a move command during the animation itself you can essentially shorten the duration that you are locked in Broken Wings for. However, his mechanic doesn’t just apply to the fast combo, it applies to every instance in which Broken Wings is used thus allowing you to speed up every combo slightly.

2) AA cancelling:
This is a basic skill that most players use even without thinking about it sometimes. When you auto attack the damage is applied before the auto attack animation ends so this results in the end chunk of the auto attack animation being useless. You can remove this end animation using move commands, Tiamat/Hydra active and all of Riven’s abilities.

3) Input Buffering:
My favourite use of this mechanic is Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst. This works due to the fact that the first spell used has a cast time, and by pressing any spell afterwards it automatically becomes queued, so as soon as the first spell is cast the next one is cast straight away essentially at 0 ping. This is the same basis on which Tiamat active + Ki Burst works.

4) Double casting:
Riven’s Valor lets her cast two spells simultaneously if both keys are pressed at the same time shortly after pressing Valor. There’s a specific timing involved so make sure to practice this on your way to lane and in customs to get a feel for it. My favourite use of this mechanic is Valor -> Auto -> Ki Burst + Broken Wings, really high dps combo that can also proc phase rush due to the auto being added before the double cast.

Here is a clip of challenger Riven main Adrianaries performing a flawless flash double cast combo

Breakdown: Valor -> Flash -> Auto -> Ki Burst + Broken Wings, normally you’d think someone would be able to react and flash away since you lead in with an auto but Adrian limits this by already right clicking on the Kayle this preps the auto attack so it goes off instantly as soon as he is in range.

5) Valor animation cancel:
To put it simply Riven can use all her abilities during Valor’s animation therefore making you able to remove cast times such as Blade of the Exile and Wind Slash.

6) Q extension:
The moment you activate Broken Wings/Q the cooldown begins, you can take advantage of this by spacing out each Q and then engaging with the 3rd Q. By doing this you get extra damage/CC from the 3rd Q, the remaining empowered autos from your passive and also knowledge that your Broken Wings will soon be shortly off cooldown. Not many players are aware of this and as a result are usually caught off guard.

H = Ravenous Hydra active
/ = Use the second skill straight after the first.

Easy combos
Valor -> Ki Burst or Valor -> H/ Ki Burst

Valor -> Blade of the Exile or Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Broken Wings

Wind Slash -> Broken Wings

Auto -> Wind Slash

Auto -> H

Valor -> Broken Wings

Valor -> Wind Slash, Use - Mask Wind Slash cast animation.

Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst, Use - Stun and activate ult at the same time, very useful.

Advanced(ish) combos:
Valor -> Ki Burst+ Broken Wings, Use - Nice HIGH dps combo, you can even auto after valor it's just important that you Ki Burst+ Broken Wings 0.25 - 1.5 seconds after casting Valor and at the same time. This is what is referred to as the double cast combo.

Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Flash -> 3rd Broken Wings -> Auto -> H+ Ki Burst -> Auto -> Wind Slash/ Broken Wings, Use - Burst out of position targets or a cluster of enemy champions.

Wind Slash -> Ki Burst -> H or Wind Slash -> Ki Burst, Use - Release ultimate active whilst opponent is stunned, if done properly your ult can't be dodged.

Valor -> Auto -> H -> Ki Burst + Broken Wings, Use - Good fight starter when you don't have ultimate, utilising double cast for maximum damage output.

Valor -> 3rd Broken Wings+ Ki Burst, Use - Not really useful because you are stacking cc which is bad but it looks nice x).

Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Ki Burst -> Broken Wings, Use - Nice fight starter, offers quick burst.

Valor -> Wind Slash or Blade of the Exile -> (auto) -> Ki Burst+ Broken Wings, Use - Double cast burst combo w/ ultimate.

Valor -> Blade of the Exile -> Flash -> H(optional)+ Ki Burst -> Auto -> Wind Slash -> Broken Wings, Use - Flashy combo and highest DPS combo. Video footage

This video showcases most of the combos and animation cancels above and what they should look like when executed properly (all credit to Spyroflex for this video):

Riven fast combo:
This combo is difficult and requires a lot of practice for new riven players. You have to Auto - Q - Move, three times very quickly. The Q is used to cancel the auto animation whilst the move cancels the Q animation. Riven's damage actually applies before her animations end and that's why this is possible.

Riven CC chaining:
As Riven you have 2 sources of CC and as a result you should try to chain your CC with your team-mates CC as this can turn the tides of a team fight and completely immobilise a key target. Lets say you have an Amumu on your team and he engages and uses Curse of the Sad Mummy, an AOE stun, you as Riven should watch for when the stun duration is about to end and follow up with Ki Burst in order to increase the duration for which the enemy stays stunned for.

Riven curved Q:

Really simple in theory but not so easy to pull off consistently without practice, my friend 404 Broken Blade taught me this mechanic. What you have to do is Valor but as soon as you do so use Broken Wings whilst making sure your cursor is on the target. It all has to be a fluid motion so there's no room for error.

Streams to watch:
Hi its viper

Vision control:
Control wards, buy a lot. I know this may sound like generic advice but you'll be shocked by the amount of people that say they buy tons of wards but really don't, I know because I was one of those people. Vision really is key at all elos, not buying wards because you think your elo doesn't need them is silly and can hinder your climb. Wards can create amazing picks and stop the way too common back doors late game. Buying 2-3 wards a game is a good start but eventually you want 4+ wards per game. A huge mistake though is buying wards early in lane when you are even as that can lead to you losing trades as you can create a deficit in items.

Getting carried:
Accept you are being carried and hold on for the ride. Most of my games I play the role of a carry top lane and there are cases where I go even or lose lane. In these cases my team is sometimes far ahead. I have two choices now, farm up and catch up or run around the map trying to make plays. A long time ago I would've opted for the second option which mostly lead to losses, I realized this and changed quickly. The first option is safer and better in the long term.

Objective control:
Baron. During my stay in silver baron was the most hotly contested objective ever, even more contested than the actually nexus... Generally the team that got baron always won. I noticed as soon as my team would get an objective and recall we would come back to see the enemy had got baron. At first I thought of that game as a small outlier, till it kept happening frequently. Then I formulated a plan which involved me pulling out my inner shot caller. After every team fight that lead to an objective I would tell my team as we recalled "Let's group/push top side guys to def baron in case they try to sneak it". I must say that one line increased my win rate drastically.

Whenever you gain an advantage you should always look for how that can transfer into an objective, in order to remember this always ask yourself 'What next?' after you gain any advantage even small ones. For example lets say I chunk my enemy laner so he has to recall and loses out on a big minion wave, What next? I can take down their tower since I have so many minions around it I'll have enough time. Small advantages such as baiting the enemy laner to use their exhaust can result in an objective because next time you fight you'll be dealing 100% of your damage resulting in you picking up a kill most likely and then being able to push and take their tower.

Late game Riven becomes really good at taking Baron due to how much raw AD you'll have especially when your autos are empowered by Runic Blade. During the late game make sure to capitalise on the enemy making wrong decisions such as grouping to take dragon(if it's not elder/soul dragon) or sending someone bot to clear a wave. You can use this incorrect decision to easily take down baron with your team-mates in a few seconds, with baron pushing becomes much easier and your chance of winning increases drastically too.

Communication wins games:
Talk a lot. But also know your limit and don't trash talk. I might be one of the most social/talkative league players ever and I am proud of that. In game I make sure my team knows what's up and the possible outcomes of any engage. Sometimes team mates aren't so fond of this but they still listen. One game I was the only person that won lane and as a result the game seemed one sided. Then I told my team to group mid and go into their jungle for a pick. 4 seconds later their cait walks by, skarner ult, chain cc, dead with a long death timer. We proceeded to take the mid inhib and end the game. A win created by simple team cohesion.

Showing maturity:
Be the grown up. Don't let the troll ruin your game, you man up and take one for the team. E.g. I was first pick, I called mid, last pick said give me mid or I troll, my 3 teammates back me and said respect pick order, last pick continues to say mid or troll. What did I do? I went top and gave him mid. we load up in game and to my surprise I check his stats and see that he is a blatant smurf, we won that game, hard. My team then thanked me for letting him go mid and I felt really good on the inside. Being nice to even trolls has it's perk. I do not condone people acting like that but it's an unavoidable part of League.

Riven is a high skill, high risk and high reward champ which when mastered can carry any game. To truly become good at Riven you must practice, watch streams and know her match ups in and out. If you have any questions don't hesitate to PM me.

Check out my Renekton guide!

The people that have helped me get this far:
List of people that have helped me write this guide

Surrender@20 for the images of Riven's abilities
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