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Riven Build Guide by AloisNL

Top Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.5]

Top Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.5]

Updated on March 16, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author AloisNL Build Guide By AloisNL 68 3 58,117 Views 2 Comments
68 3 58,117 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author AloisNL Riven Build Guide By AloisNL Updated on March 16, 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 [13.5]

By AloisNL
Hey Guys, my name is Alois, and for those of you who don’t know me I am consistently challenger EUW since season 7. My main champion is Riven and I’ve managed to maintain a 60% winrate with her in challenger over the course of the last 5 years.
Since December, I quit playing league professionally and I’ve been streaming mainly Riven content daily.

Rank 9 EUW S13
I’ve gathered enough information on Riven over the course of the last 5 years and it’s time for you to become a master on Riven as well.
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.
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 .

For the shards in runes I take double adaptive against bruisers Aatrox/ tanks 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

This start is the best whenever you are 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 Health Potion, and if you do any even health trades in the early game, you will have 3 potions for sustaining yourself, against your opponent only having 1, giving you an edge early on in the laning phase. Whenever I’m starting longsword, I will very often look to get a Doran's Blade on my early reset, so I can get some extra combat power.
Doran's Blade is probably the strongest item start you can have for the first few waves, as it also gives you great all in combat power by having quite a lot of hp and ad. Althrough, there is a problem I have with starting it on Riven, is that you only have 1 Health Potion and no extra sustain from your kit. So I’d combine dorans blade with Resolve as your secondary rune choice, or looking for statcheck all ins very early on, so you will avoid the lack of sustain problem.
I take Doran's Shield into ranged matchups and against tanks, as it
offers sustain. 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 just a really good option in these kind of matchups.
By far the most consistent mythic choice, as it offers all the stats that Riven really like which are: AD, Ability haste and health. The buildpath is the main reason why I think that it is much better than all other items, since has great components that allows you to deal with every matchup.
Personally, I go Goredrinker every game, but there are some other mythic options that can be good situationally.
It has a nice mythic passive as it provides armor penetration. In patch 13.1B Riot also changed the buildpath to Caulfield's Warhammer + Serrated Dirk, and gave it ability haste, lack of which used to be biggest concern about the item. This makes Eclipse a much more accessible item for Riven now. I like this item vs squishy comps, especially when I verse a top laner that I can look to snowball on. The downside about eclipse is that it has 0 HP in the buildpath, and it’s a very feast or famine type of item.
It is actually pretty good for Riven, especially after the durability changes and the tank buffs, as the item gives %health damage and armor pen. The main problem however lies in Divine Sunderer buildpath. It only has 25 AD with Caulfield's Warhammer and the rest of the components don’t help you out in your lane. You need to spend 700 gold on a sheen, 800 gold on a kindlegem and an extra 700 gold to finish the item, so in the end you only have 2 longswords building into the divine sunderer, which is very bad if you want to snowball.
I think that it is good if you’re versing 5 ranged champions and you are somewhat ahead. But again, similar to Eclipse, it is an all or nothing playstyle and I don’t like the buildpath or the mythic passive too much.
It is not a viable Mythic option for Riven for the simple reason that Riven doesn’t like the buildpath or the mythic passive. It’s 3200 gold of pure tanky stats without any damage. Bruisers like Irelia / Darius can use Jak'Sho, The Protean because they get on-hit damage from Blade of the Ruined King, or have built in armor pen or true damage in their kits. Riven doesn’t have any of that, and you will simply miss out on too much damage if you build this item.
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.
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.
Since patch 13.1B, Black Cleaver is a core item again. Riot has removed the ability haste from options such as Maw of Malmortius / Death's Dance, making black cleaver best 2nd item option for Riven.
I don’t like rushing it 1st item, because the buildpath doesn’t really allow you to snowball.
Whenever I’m versing team comps with a lot of sustain and healing, i go for Chempunk Chainsword 2nd item. The nicest thing about this item is that it is very cheap while giving similar stats to Goredrinker, so it will make you spike faster in games. I take this sometimes into champions like Camille / Fiora to counter their Divine Sunderer healing, or vs heavy healing comps.
This item to me is very feast or famine, and I personally don’t like that playstyle too much. It costs 3400 gold and the buildpath consists of pure damage, with no resistances or any HP. This already doesn’t make it an appealing item to me in a lot of matchups that can one shot you like Sett, Pantheon, Urgot etc.
On top of that, the components themselves are very gold inefficient and bad during laning phase.
This item is extremely gold efficient, good stats and you build this versus any magic damage source. This will usually be my third item in the game, unless I need to build this before Black Cleaver / Death's Dance when they have extremely high amount of AP damage or I’m versing a very heavy AP topside.
This item used to be my favorite item to take every game, I would usually go goredrinker into death's dance. However Riot has completely nerfed the item and it doesn’t feel strong anymore. SInce the haste is gone, it’s not a valid option as a 2nd item anymore. Generally speaking, you want to build Death's Dance later in the game vs team comps that don’t have true damage.
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. Enemies can’t ignore you in the backline, but at the same time they don’t want to focus you because you have this item.
Really good item whenever enemy has very high resistances. Also, it allows you to stick better to certain champions like Singed, Udyr etc. Very often I pair this with Black Cleaver whenever I’m versing a very tanky comp.
I’ve personally never liked this item, because the item halves the ability haste you get on movement impairing abilities, and Riven Broken Wings and Ki Burst are both movement impairing abilities, so you only really get the passive for your Valor. On top of that, I don’t value movement speed for the other passive very highly in comparison to other item passives such as Guardian Angel, Black Cleaver or Maw of Malmortius/ Death's Dance. However, since Riot has removed ability haste from Death's Dance and Maw of Malmortius, this item might be more approachable.
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.
League of Legends Build Guide Author AloisNL
AloisNL Riven Guide
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Rank 1 Riven EUW Challenger Guide [13.5]

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