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Riven Build Guide by AloisNL

Top Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.16]

Top Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.16]

Updated on August 24, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author AloisNL Build Guide By AloisNL 143 7 159,718 Views 4 Comments
143 7 159,718 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author AloisNL Riven Build Guide By AloisNL Updated on August 24, 2023
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AloisNL's Featured Video

Runes: Flash+Ignite

1 2 3
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Nimbus Cloak

+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: Ignite


Champion Build Guide

Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.16]

By AloisNL
My name is Alois, and I have been a Challenger Riven player since season 7. Every season since then, I have managed to maintain a win rate above 60%, with my games being played in Challenger elo. I’ve reached Rank 1 Riven numerous times, and right now I’m statistically the number 1 and number 2 Riven world. I’ve been top 20 in most seasons, peaking rank 11 in Season 13 with a 66% win rate.
Since December, I quit playing league professionally and I’ve been streaming mainly Riven content daily.

Rank 9 EUW S13
Peak elo in S13
I’ve gathered a ton of information on Riven over the course of the past 7 years, and In this guide, I will teach you all how to consistently perform on Riven, unlock her true potential, and reach your dream rank.

As of Right now, Flash + Ignite is by far the best option for Riven. I take it almost every game. Rivens win condition is to snowball, as she's not a champion that is comfortable going even or behind so being strong in lane is key, and ignite compliments this. Ignite is also a very good tool to deny sustain in certain matchups, such as Aatrox, Irelia, Vladimir. Thing that a lot of players don't know, is that ignite grants 2 Conqueror stacks per tick to melee champions and refreshes the conqueror stacks duration. Ignite also has a really good pairing with Nimbus Cloak. The burst of Movement Speed you get, allows you to gap close to your opponents, without having to use your abilities when you time it properly.

It’s important that you also learn how to use Ignite: Very often it’s better to use it early during the fight, as it will grant you Conqueror stacks, deny your opponents the sustain and get them to low HP faster, allowing you to get them into the execution range for your Wind Slash.

Abusing Nimbus Cloak
Take Teleport on Riven into matchups that are very hard, because in those matchups you often do not have wave control, resulting in you being stuck under your turret and receiving waves. Or your opponent sets up a freeze and you can't approach anymore. So to overcome this, we take tp to stay even and to get us out of those precarious wave states.

Teleport is usually very good in hard ranged matchups such as Kennen, Quinn, Jayce.
The last option is Exhaust. I only use it vs Tryndamere, as it delays his all in windows.

The keystone for Riven will always be Conqueror, since she can stack it up pretty fast, and champion scales with attack damage really well.
For minor runes in Precision, always go for Triumph and Last Stand.
My personal preference will always be Legend: Alacrity, as it makes the fast combo ( more on that later ) much smoother. So I will always want to pick it, unless Legend: Tenacity is simply too valuable because of enemy champions. I will take tenacity when the enemy team has forms of crowd control that can not be outplayed such as Leona, Lulu, Fiddlesticks, etc.
In 95% of the games Sorcery is the best option for Riven. Transcendence gives Riven one of her most important stats, ability haste. At level 5 and at Level 8 it grants you 5 ability haste, giving you a total of 10 ability haste at level 8. This already helps Riven very early on in the laning phase, simply making it the best option. So whenever you're running sorcery, you're always choosing transcendence.

As was mentioned in summoners, If you are running Flash + Ignite, you should ALWAYS take Nimbus Cloak secondary, as gap closing is so crucial on Riven.

However if you are running Flash + Teleport, the nimbus cloak drops in priority, and you could choose between Gathering Storm to scale into mid and late game, or Nullifying Orb into AP heavy topsides.
Resolve is my choice in the melee matchups that are quite hard to contest in the early waves, such as Sett and Renekton. Since they’re so strong early I’ll take Bone Plating to match some strength so that I can contest. Unflinching is a very good rune because it gives Tenacity based on missing health, so it’s good against stuns like , or .

Into hard ranged matchups such as Kennen, Quinn and Gnar, you can opt for Second Wind + Unflinching, allowing you to sustain through these matchups. And again, unflinching has a great use vs their crowd control.
I take double adaptive force against bruisers, like Aatrox, or tanks ,like Sion, that I can look to kill in the early laning phase.

Against a lot of ranged champions you can opt for ability haste shard in runes this will allow you to have your abilities up more often, more to block damage with, and allows to have easier time with gap closing to your opponents.

In some matchups you can do either, depending on personal preference, since both are good. Vs Gangplank for example, you can go double adaptive to play aggressive, or you can choose ability haste to have your up more often to block his

The most common item start at the moment is Long Sword + 3 Health Potion. This start is the best whenever you’re running Flash + Ignite. The reason why I like this start so much, is because it really compliments an aggressive style. Very often your opponents will only have 1 potion, and if you do any even health trades in the early game, you will get an edge early on in the laning phase. I will sometimes buy a Doran's Blade on my first recall for HP so I can statcheck my matchups easier.

I take Doran's Shield into ranged matchups and against neutrolizing lanes, as it
provides a lot of sustain to me. For example, in matchups like Gragas, He will run out of mana faster than I run out of health in the early lane, making it a really good option in these kind of matchups.
I rush Goredrinker whenever I face topsides that don’t scale too well and are very scary to deal with in the early game. Examples of topsides like this are Olaf + Vi or Pantheon and Rengar. I also take Goredrinker into matchups that play for execute ranges, such as Garen or Urgot. Goredrinker has the best buildpath out of all items for Riven, as it has very nice components. You can opt for raw 55 AD with Ironspike Whip and Caulfield's Warhammer, and at the same time build a bit defensive with the Ruby Crystal into Kindlegem.

Overall, its a great item, BUT the biggest downside is that it has no scaling which makes it situational. Especially after durability changes, this item has fallen off because every champion in the game now has more health and resistances. And Goredrinker offers nothing in terms of scaling, it only has raw stats.

Example of good Goredrinker game:, I take it in this game to be able to lane a bit easier vs Vi + Olaf, and I would still outscale them later in the game so there are no downsides to playing for lane and building it.
In most games I like to rush Ravenous Hydra. The item is really nice for Riven, as it makes her extremely efficient and gives her a lot of extra damage. The buildpath for hydra is a bit more feast or famine, as it’s raw damage and nothing else. On top of that, it is quite inefficient until you finish it. For example, a Pickaxe gives 25 AD but a finished Tiamat costs an extra 325 gold and doesn’t give you any extra AD other than the 25 AD you already had from the pickaxe. A Vampiric Scepter gives you 15 AD for 900 gold, but you can get 30 AD by buying 3 Long Sword and only spending 150 gold extra. So it’s very important to build accordingly when going for Hydra first. I always look to get a pickaxe + triple long sword or caulfields first, and then I finish the hydra.
After completing Ravenous Hydra I will very often look for a Black Cleaver 2nd.
This is because black cleaver gives me all the stats I lack from rushing hydra, and it is equally strong as a mythic item. You get 300 HP, 50 AD, 30 ability haste and 2 unique passives, with one giving armor penetration.
One of the downsides of rushing hydra is that I am playing on my base HP, and therefore, it is very easy to oneshot me. Another problem is that I only have raw damage, but no armor penetration. So black cleaver is the perfect solution to complement the weaknesses from the ravenous hydra, as it both gives me tankiness and the percentage damage.
Those are always a good option, not only do they give you 20 ability haste flat, but they also refund 12% of your summoner cooldown duration, which will really help you get more kills and snowball hard. You can even build those before finishing your first item, especially if you have both your summoners up when you purchase it. I rush CDR boots in 95% of my games.
Good option in specific matchups such as Gragas. It really counters his entire kit, so I will often build it against this champ in specific. If enemies have multiple layers of undodgeable CC, I will also opt for Mercury's Treads.
I personally rarely find myself building those boots caps, as I think there are better armor options such as Death's Dance and Guardian Angel. The only games where you should buy the Plated Steelcaps, is whenever you are not able to build deaths dance, because the enemy team has too much true damage.
Black Cleaver is a core item for Riven. Great combination of stats that riven likes, aswell as useful passives makes it the best 2nd item for champion, you cant really go wrong by building it.
Usually I purchase this item 3rd after Ravenous Hydra and Black Cleaver, however if I snowball really hard, I go it right after hydra, skipping the cleaver. The biggest benefit of Eclipse is the mythic passive. It provides you with extra percentage armor penetration and movement speed, allowing Riven to deal very well with Tanks and also one shot any carry on the backline. Generally speaking I will go for this setup if there’s at least 1 tank, or multiple steel plated caps being built by the enemy team.
If there are no tanks on the enemy team, then Duskblade of Draktharr becomes my preferred 2nd item option. First of all, the mythic passive gives you 5 ability haste and movement speed, which are very nice stats for Riven. On top of that, you have an invulnerability passive that has a 10 second cooldown, which can make the champion extremely hard to deal with. You can dive into the backline, assassinate a target, get invulnerable and try to regain a good position. The 2nd passive that Duskblade provides is that your abilities deal extra damage based on your opponents missing health, and this stacks with Rivens already built in extra damage on her Wind Slash depending on how low your opponent is. So this allows Riven to also deal a lot more damage with R2. Since we usually only go for Duskblade into comps that don’t build armor, you can also opt to skip out the black cleaver.

Example of good Duskblade of Draktharr game:, I went duskblade here because 4/5 members of enemy team would have really low armor this game.
This item is very straightforward. If you are versing heavy AP damage threats, such as Rumble/ Annie/ Akali you can always opt for Maw of Malmortius. It has good stats, and it synergises well with the rest of our items.
Generally speaking, you want to build Death's Dance later on in the game vs team comps that don’t have true damage. Best thing about this item on Riven is that you are able to neglate over-time ticking damage by Valor, Conqueror healing, Eclipse shielding or Goredrinker healing. However true damage completely negates the passive and you still take 100% of the damage, so don’t build it vs heavy true damage comps.
This item is very often my 4th item in the game. Guardian Angel really makes Riven hard to deal with, as she can just dive into your backline. Enemy team can’t ignore this champion in the backline, but at the same time they don’t want to focus on you because you have a this item. And even if enemy team manages to kill Riven, she will just get back to life and have all of her abilities back up. Also just sitting on a Stopwatch can very often completely change the outcome of a fight, so I love this item a lot.
This item is generally speaking just very good whenever enemy has very high resistances. I like building this item to be sticky against certain champions like Singed, Udyr, etc. I will get this as my 4th item whenever I verse very tanky teamcomps so I can still deal damage to them, without falling off once they buy some armor.
Although this is a support item, it fits most bruisers aswell. The stats you gain for 2300 gold total are quite good, as you get 20 ability haste, HP and Both armor and magic resist, this combination is very rare for an item. On top of that, the item passive is very nice. Everytime you either immobilize a champion or you get immobilized, your enemies take 10% extra damage. it has no cooldown, so you can repeatedly proc it.

Generally speaking I will build this when I have to be some sort of frontline for my team, or to avoid burst heavy champions such as
Syndra, Kha'Zix, Annie etc. This item is also extremely good if your enemies have no form of %penetration damage or true damage, as your resistances will be super strong against their items.
You can use both your Broken Wings and your Ki Burst to animation cancel your auto attack, which is what Riven is mostly famous for, as she has a lot of animation cancels. So you can buffer your auto attack, and then use an ability. Your auto attack still goes through, but your ability goes through as well, canceling your auto attack animation and dealing damage.
At the end of the duration of Riven’s Valor, you’re able to perform a doublecast, or even a triplecast, where you’re able to use multiple abilities at once. For example, E-> wait a bit, WQ, or E-> wait a bit, RQ, or even E+R -> WQ.
Your ultimate deals more damage depending on how low your opponent is, so you will generally look to use the Wind Slash at the end of your combo. Blade of the Exile also increases all the damage and the range of both your Broken Wings and your Ki Burst. So when fighting, you should use your r1 before all-inning, using your entire combo with extra range and damage, and then finishing off your opponent with r2.

Just a quick note before we dive into Riven combos, I have done a detailed youtube guide on every combo listed down below, make sure to check it out!

Q1 auto -> Q2 auto -> Q3 auto
By far the most important combo to master first, as you will be using this in every fight when playing Riven. This is the combo where most of your damage will come from, and where being fast and consistent will be rewarding.

But there’s also a way to do it faster, which means more dps output
Q1 auto -> click on the ground -> Q2 auto -> click on the ground -> Q3 auto -> click on the ground
This click on the ground is vital, as it recovers Riven Q animation. Similar to auto attacks, Riven’s Q also has a recovery period, as it will take some time for her to use her next auto attack after using her Q, which you can bypass that by clicking on the ground.
So this way we’re able to cancel both our Auto attack animation with our Q, and our Q animation by clicking on the ground after the auto attack.

Riven Q works in a way that after first that cast you do, the cooldown starts refreshing. Since it has 3 charges, you’re able to delay all charges in between uses, and if you do it properly, your Q will be on a much lower cooldown afterwards.
Q1 -> Wait -> Q2 -> Wait -> Q3
You’re able to use this in all parts of the game, to trick your opponents because it will be very hard for them to time when your Q is going to be back up.

You will mostly use the double casts as a burst combo, because you’re using multiple abilities at once, and not doing an auto attack in between. The most used double cast combo is E -> WQ, and you will use this combo to finish off low HP targets, or to push a wave a bit faster.
The highest dps combo you can pull off using doublecasts:
E -> autoattack + WQ at once, click on the ground, and auto attack again
You can even combine this with flash as well:
E into flash -> auto attack + instantly use WQ, click on ground to reset your Q and auto attack again.
This is probably one of the hardest combos for Riven to do, but it feels extremely satisfying to pull off.
You can cancel the animation of your R1 by using your Q, this way you can do
E R1 -> Q which is a quick transition and you will instantly be ready to fight.
You can optimize this combo by doing E R1 -> flash Q -> W + AA + R2 Q as a burst combo to smoothly execute low hp targets.

Recently i have done a massive video on this topic, covering pretty much everything you guys need to know about laning in the toplane. Make sure to check it out for much more detailed explaination!

Riven as a champion generally doesn't really function well if she’s even or behind in the game. You really want to get ahead and learn how to snowball on this champ.
This is the reason we run the most aggressive setup possible, and play to hard win our lane and get as many resources as we can.
Riven has one of the strongest level 1s in top lane, and you really want to use this strength to create a good position for yourself from the get go. Since you’re trying to snowball, you can look to invade in the early game for cheesy kills, or we try and see if you can get a trade onto our opponents before they can get to lane when they’re leashing for example. Getting an early trade off like that already sets us in a super advantageous position leading into the laning phase, so make sure you use this to your advantage!
Some positions for cheesing lvl 1:
If the laning phase starts normally, you want to try and put pressure onto your opponents from the start by playing for priority. Even if it’s a theoretically losing matchup, you can win any losing matchup by securing the level 2 first. Riven really benefits from any level up in the early game, and it can create a lot of kill windows. Vs champions that you can look to all-in early I suggest taking Ki Burst second, in other situations just level up Valor to deny poke or get better trades.

One of the biggest skills to learn for any Riven player is learning how to efficiently play with level up timers, since they provide unexpected to enemy kill pressure. For example you’re level 2, and you Q forward to AOE the minion securing you level 3 and also closing the gap between you and your opponent, you can instantly pick another ability and look for a very onesided trade or even a kill. This skill becomes even more important at level 6, and I can’t even count how many kills I’ve gotten just utilizing this concept.
The trade pattern you want to be using into melee champions often looks like this: Q forward -> W + AA -> EQ out.
This allowes you to get decent chunks onto opponents hp bar without taking too much risk.
Try to avoid using your Valor to gapclose in small trades, as this is often your ability to secure your safe disengage in the trade. In a lot of matchups like Ornn, Darius, Sett it is so important to keep your E up to dodge their abilities, so be aware of that. If you're all inning, then you can E to gapclose, as you're commiting onto the fight.

Against Ranged champions it works a bit different, and I have a golden rule when I face against ranged champions: If you're only using your E and 1Q to gapclose, the trade CAN be good. If you're using E and 2Q's however, the trade will 90% of the times be bad for you. So keep that in mind whenever you're versing ranged champions.
Learning how to play your matchups will take time but the reward is immense and will often allow you to snowball and get leads consistently, putting you in a great position. If you do fall behind however, your main goal is to try and clear as many sidewaves and farn as many jungle camps as you can to get back into the game.

In midgame most of the times you want to push out sidelane into rotation to mid.
Riven as a champion is very fast on the map because she has a lot of mobility in her kit + good waveclear.
It is important that you learn to not group up mid too often and just stand there and lose efficiency and resources, if you do this repeatedly, you will fall behind and perhaps lose your lead.

Whenever you’re leaving the fountain always plan things you want to do in closest future. It could be something like: Collecting a sidewave, going for a jgl camp and then group up mid. Learning to think ahead and create plans will make you more efficient on the map, and makes the game more clear to play. This is how I manage to maintain high cs averages, high resources and ultimately carry a lot of my games.

Make sure to fight only when you are at your strongest. If your Flash is on cooldown, or you're close to finishing a big item spike like Black Cleaver, make sure to just stick to sidelane and farm jungle camps until you get your spikes and your cooldowns so you are well prepared for any fight.

Play towards your strengths, powerspikes, and timers for teamfights, don't blindly group and follow your teammates

Riven can have different roles in a teamfight, and those depends on 2 main things: What is the wincondition, and what major cooldowns are available.

Riven as a champion is much much stronger in any teamfight if she has Flash, Guardian Angel and Stopwatch because it gives you more opportunities and easier execution.
So before joining teamfight, ask yourself: Do i have flash or any cooldowns that will make it easier for me?
If the answer is yes, you can really play really agressive towards limits in the teamfight, dive enemy backline.
If the answer is no and you don't have flash or stopwatch, very often I prefer playing a bit more reserved and try to either play front to back or I simply wait with joining a teamfight until I get the cooldowns back up.
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Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.16]

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