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Riven Build Guide by ilykeorangejuice

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ilykeorangejuice

Riven, A Sword not so Broken D:

ilykeorangejuice Last updated on September 18, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #19 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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So this is a starting guide on Riven,and also my first guide, who is a champion that I just started playing and decided I'd share my thoughts on the way she plays. It probably won't be the best guide to start with but over time ill tailor it to be better and better =X

I'm just going to say that I am still testing Riven and also still sort of new to LoL so if you have any comments or critiques that would make this guide even better please comment :D

EDIT: I changed the purchase order to make Riven more of a tanky DPS which after testing i felt like rushing warmogs gave her great survivability and didnt sacrifice her damage as much as i thought it would!

EDIT: SO A lot of people want to play Riven as a super carry doing insane damage using her passive ability +autoattacks to own. I included the build i use for this kind of game, But i only do this if no one else is going to carry. Riven is a powerful damage dealer but still needs to be in the middle of things so frozen mallet helps you chase, damage and gives you some health. After that its typical ad carry items depending on the opponents your up against. I dont really like this playstyle much because i find Riven easily focused and killed if shes in the middle of the fight, but it is possible.

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Pros and Cons


Great Bully/Harass early game
No mana cost
Lots of aoe and cc
Lots of AD Buff
Good mobility
Good farming

Super squishy
Has to be in the fight to do anything, easily focused
CC is less useful than others
Her sword is...broken

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For Runes I decided to pick armor penetration because Riven is an AD champion and any boost to damage is great for early game harass (Which Riven is awesome at). On the flip side of that being an AD champion that is melee makes her easily focused so she needs some armor to counter that, hence the armor runes.

Glyphs are probably the most open ended but I would choose celerity if I had the chance because I feel that Riven relies heavily on her skill spams and if she can't spam them shes not really contributing a lot to the fight. More cdr = more dps = more kills.

Quints for more armor and armor penetration. Hp quints are also pretty viable based on your opinions.

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Me and my friend initially thought that Riven would play very similarly as Wukong like a beefy dps but in reality shes closer to Lee Sin and even then not meant to be built as tanky as I would have hoped. So at first I tried 9-0-21 and 9-21-0 for kicks. It was not useful at all and now I treat Riven as a giant offensive machine with 21-9-0

For the offensive tree I avoided magic pen and ability power because Riven doesn't really need them. Riven does well with both exhaust and ignite but ignites mastery tree buff isnt nearly as pertinent in my opinion so only take it if you see no one on your team is taking ignite

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Summoner Spells

Which leads to Summoner Spells D:

Only four summoner spells come to mind when thinking of Riven:
- Flash is always good and since neither her dash or broken wings can jump walls (i was so hoping she would have something as such >_<) it makes getting away so easy as her dash and broken wings ARE good for clearing overall distance.

- Ghost is also a great option if you are more used to playing it than flash. Riven is great at running and with ghost you will almost never be caught.

- As an AD champ I prefer this skill over ignite just because it provides awesome CC to escape, mess up team fights, and as an AD champ your main damage is coming from the working side of your weapon so if you can keep your opponent locked down for just a little longer i feel like your auto attacks will provide dps > ignite. Its just versatile and also as explained the mastery for it is must more useful than ignite.

- Even though I love this skill I still don't feel it is for Riven. As a main Akali player i have so much love for ignite and it paints me to say that Riven doesnt make as good as use of it. She doesnt need the AP bonus and it doesnt provide the same versatility as exhaust. But if you truly prefer ignite then it still is a viable choice and it does cut hp regen and other goodies that could be used in your favor. Also good if you get frustrated by people getting away with just a little less hp or if you like to ks low champions ( if thats your thing lmao)

Sorta Viable:

- If you really like map control then this skill is for you. Also Riven is GREAT at clearing minion waves and so this is a great skill to farm. Its just not as offensive or useful in team fights like other skills.

- Since Riven is always in the middle of things at one time or another, she will get cc'd and if you arent careful about positioning this will help you get out of a sticky situation

I wouldn't take anything else.

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This is the most debated and incredible part about Riven. She is so difficult to figure out the perfect items for so i would LOVE to hear other suggestions and playstyles and maybe include them in this guide :D I'll try to provide as many options as possible because I hate cookie cutter stuff...

Doran's Shield OR Doran's Blade

I like both of these items for seperate reasons and each would work depending on playstyle. Dorans shield will give you a little more freedom to harass which you want to do more frequently than not on Riven. On the other hand Doran's Blade gives you a bit more hit on your harasses and also some life steal which means if you play it correctly and have better awareness you can harass harder, but you hafta be careful to get out cleaner.

Boots of Speed -> Mercury's Treads OR Beserker's Greaves OR Ionian Boots of Lucidity

Next you should grab some boots. I personally play Merc treads because i love the CC reduction. Greaves and CDR DEFINITELY improve Riven's overall DPS but since shes a melee dps she has to get in the fight and if youre cc or dead you wont be doing ANY Dps. Thats my personal thoughts on that

The Brutalizer -> Youmuu's Ghostblade

CDR is awesome and so is armor penetration, crit, and attack damage. Plus a passive that makes you a BEAST.. Why wouldnt you get this for Riven... It makes everything about her better. Get it, but i would wait to build youmus till after Bloodthirsterr

Warmog's Armor and Atma's Impaler

With these you will not fear getting into the fight and doing your damage which in late game will make you a monster. I personally like this the most because i feel like Rivens damage output is pretty high with the other items i have but again this is the most open ended part of the game. After a bit more testing ive concluded that this is my favorite end game items to play as an offtank Riven so that you can get in th emiddle of those team fights and do your thing without being scared.

The Bloodthirster

After brutalizer we grab bloodthirster to cause Riven to hit hard enough to be a threat as well as give her some needed early sustainability. I pick this over Iedge just because riven wont be auto attacking as much to crit as much and this is much... much cheaper BUT Iedge is also a GREAT choice and if youre facerolling feel free to grab that instead.

After those 5 main items you have choices to make and it gets kind of open ended.

Zeal -> Phantom Dancer

Makes you a aspd dps beast.

The Black Cleaver

This is also a great item on Riven for the aspd buff and overall damage+armor reduction however it doesn't really help your survivability at all so this is an item to get if youre confident that you can get in do your job and get out without dying first.

Infinity Edge

Not doing enough damage? This will make you feel so beasttt

Sheen -> Trinity Force

Sheen is a great item for Riven however i personally feel that since mana doesnt contribute that im losing some bang for my buck... and its not necessarily NEEDED for riven but i will do more testing with Tri force to see how it does because i love phage and zeal on Riven a lot. EDIT: After testing i hafta say that while Sheen is still arguably good for Riven it really depends on the playstyle you are going to go for. I really felt that I would rather have CDR and armor pen than the extra nuke damage mostly because Riven's base damage isnt the best and she is not the best auto attacker in the game. If she had range, mana, or needed ability power i would say that tri force is an incredibly OP item for her but as it is its not in my opinion. Zeal and Phage are both good items though but i would almost rather build them into frozen mallet or phantom dancers but still, its by no means a bad item for Riven.

Guardian Angel

GA gives you MR, Armor and a free revive. I play it a lot on Akali as well as Irelia and i love it so much. The reason i would play this over FoN and Randuins is because you shouldnt be getting caught focused so much and so you wont be getting hit as much. GA gives you a little of everything for all the random hits youll be taking. However if you are playing an AD heavy or AP heavy team, FoN and Randuins are both really good items. Also taking randuins if no one on your team has it might be another plausible reason, but never take randuins if someone else on your team has it.

The last two slots are very dependent on what you are facing so just be aware of your team and their team and whats happening in team fights.

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Skill Sequence

Max Broken Wings asap and then alternate between Ki Burst and Valor. Get Blade of the Exile when you can of course.

***Its important to note that Broken Wings and Valor and Ki Burst all activate as soon as you hit the button so be sure to have your cursor placed in teh appropriate direction!!!!

Her main combos are Q->auto attack -> Q -> AA -> Q -> KI and valor out of the fight. Harassing with this is so potent early game and fast as well. Your third Q ability will also provide a minor CC that will put them off you if you need to valor out of their faster than you thought. Later when you get your ult simply start the combo with R and then release R after your Ki strike and valor out.

Broken Wings+ Valor: These two skills are so good at clearing distance over time that makes you really hard to chase. Broken wings will target an enemy if you hover your cursor over them but if you dont it will just go in the direction riven is facing so be sure to point your cursor OVER the enemy.

Valor: This skill in my opinion is used primarily to get OUT of fights. The reason is that broken wings is such a great intiator that you shouldnt need to clear the distance TWICE. If you valor into the fight then broken wings you are not using broken wings full potential and you have left yourself in the middle of the fight without a way to escape. Only use valor to clear distance if you are CHASING or absolutely sure that you can commit to the fight without getting caught.

Ki Burst: This skill has an almost negligible CC but it is there and it is useful for breaking channelings and minor CC to help teammates run away. Just be sure that youre right next to ur opponent or else youll look dumb shouting and hitting nothing.

Blade of the Exile: Awesome skill that when activated gives you a buff to improve your damage and then when activated again sends out a cone aoe attack that deals pretty nice damage to your enemies. Never initiate with your slice bceause it does bonus damage based on the HP they are missing and so you will minimize its efficiency.

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Lane Phase

Grab your dorans and head down a lane. Riven is a viable solo laner or duo laner so either or works well depending on what your team needs. I prefer to take a duo lane because if you solo against anyone with range you will not be AS successful with your harass and that is of course what makes Riven awesome early game. Last hit like usual but also take every opportunity to hide in the bushes. Because Riven can clear so much distance so quickly it makes her awesome at zoning in bushes. If the opponent is dumb enough to get in range of your broken wings hit it and valor out. Dont be concerned if your first broken wings hits or not all the time as long as you clear the distance for your 2nd and 3rd hit for damage (even tho if all 3 hit thats obviously optimal) Take what harass you can get and get out of there with valor. After you get ki strike do broken wings and follow with ki and valor to get out of there almost untouched most of the time. If you use the bushes to your advantage you will find out what a bully Riven really is.

Whenever you get a chance to hit a minion wave go to the back with the casters and broken wings/ki burst to take them all out almost instantly. The same goes with wraiths and wolves, that combo takes like 5 seconds to clear those out so if you EVER see the chance to take it, your team wont miss you.