Riven Build Guide by Rhizen
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Not Updated For Current Season
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I would like to make this a nice, short, and simple guide for a quick reference on how to most effectively play as Riven. I feel that the community views Riven is a very under rated champion at this point in time and I would like to turn that perspective around. I bought Riven on day one and loved how she played immediately. She matched my play style perfectly and she quickly grew to become my new favorite hero.
When I first started playing Riven I noticed how frustrating it was to lane with her. She has no harass, no effective escape, and between enemy ranged heroes landing a shot or 2 on you from time to time or a nice harassment skilled hero being present; she will slowly be eaten alive. That is when I chose to give jungling a try and I have never looked back! She is a monster in there.
Pros / Cons
+Great Jungler, can gank when level three while others are level two.
+Insane melee AOE damage, can destroy more than one person in close range.
+One of the best AD scaling champions in game, easily out damages other melee AD heroes and can take them on 1v1.
+A nice second ultimate activation that will kill those enemies that almost got away with no health.
-Can be hard to engage a gank with, this is where Flash can really help.
-Very, very, squishy early game until Warmog's Armor is acquired.
-Very weak in early game lane phase.
-Tanks will always beat you 1v1 just because of your squishy nature and their large armor/health pools.
The first and most important thing I want to stress to new Riven players is not to spam her Broken Wings ability even though it is so very very easy to do so. All of her damage comes from her passive and her auto attacks. You want to be very timely when deploying all of your attacks and abilities.
I will more than likely always start out with a Valor dash towards my enemy to close the gap, give me a nice shield, gain 1 stack from my passive, and put it on cooldown to use asap again. If possible (close enough) let an auto attack go off to use your 1 stack. However, you will more than likely have to use a Broken Wings attack next to close the gap even further and start to land your auto attacks. Your passive, Runic Blade, will only stack up to 3 times from abilities so keep that in mind, you want to be auto attacking as much as possible using up these stacks.
Feel free to stun using your Ki Blast if the enemy will be running away or if you find your self surrounded. If you have enemies such as Nunu or Katarina be sure to save your Valor dash and Ki Burst just for their ultimates. This combo makes it very easy to interrupt them.
You will also find that early game Riven is very very squishy. You need to be very precise on your ganks and if possible never engage first; always catch them off guard. Keep this mentality until you have your Warmog's Armor. Riven will start to feel very well rounded and able to hold her own once you reach this point in the game.
If you're jungling then without a doubt you should take Flash and Smite. Smite is obvious, but Flash opens up not only escape options that Riven lacks, but also greatly aids her in closing a gap for a great gank.
If laning then you can open your options to Flash, Ghost, and Exhaust. They are all great in aiding her in escapes, gap closing, and remaining in contact with the enemy.
First off you will notice that my item choice at the start of the game may not be what you're used to seeing; that being a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion. Instead, I go with a Regrowth Pendant and only 1 Health Potion. I find it to be much more cost effective in the long run and still works out great.
Start the game by buying your two items running to the blue golem. I didn't use to start at the blue golem but it's needed now for it's large amount of XP and the cooldown bonus it gives. Next time it respawns you should give it to someone that has mana. You will need to have your team assist you buy watching river and any bushes. If you get ganked here or mess up killing the golem you will be xp starved for the rest of the game and find ganking extremely difficult. Have middle laner leash golem for you, proceed to Smite it instantly and start attacking with your Broken Wings. Only attack twice with Broken Wings, use the third attack to distance yourself from the golem and kite it waiting for your cooldown. I say this because your third Broken Wings attack will knock the golem up when it's at the furthest from it's spawn and about to change it's aggression from the puller to you; this will cause the golem to be pushed outside of it's leash radius and a hard reset will occur. This is where the golem will reset to it's spawn position will full health regardless of you beating on it.
After you've used your third Broken Wings attack to distance yourself from the golem, kite back to it's spawn position and feel free to freely attack it at this point as a knockup here will not cause the golem to hard reset.
After golem you should have a little under half health, continue onto wolves and wraiths. After wraiths you should be looking at 40-50% hp, level 2, and Smite is off cooldown. Go ahead and engage red buff using Smite and your Health Potion. Once you have red and level three, decide if middle or bottom/top would benefit from a gank if they're pushing your allies. Yes your health is a little low, by time you get into position however you will be just above half; be very casious and have your lanners engage first. You're only there to provide that little extra edge that they need. Be quick to flash out if needed.
If the risk isn't worth it, kill golems and then wraiths and wolves again. Keep an eye on the lanes in case your team mates do need help. Go back after wolves. At this point your free to keep jungling or ganking, the judgement call is up to you. You could even check out your enemy's jungle and steal some of his xp.
Once you have Wriggle's Lantern get a ward down in river in front of dragon. It'll help both bottom lane and makes sure the enemy doesn't get an easy dragon kill. At level 11 you should feel comfortable soloing him if your team hasn't had the opportunity to help you kill it yet.
I only play five champions and Riven is by far the strongest and my favorite to play when it comes to Dominion. My item build, summoner spells, and mastery tree is very similar to that which I use in laning. Of course I switch Doran's Blade out for Prospector's Blade; and I find myself enjoying the new Garrison summoner spell along with Flash. Though I'm still experimenting and may enjoy Ghost more.
Riven is great in dominion as her early game squishyness doesn't last nearly as long and you can get a Warmog's Armor relatively quickly in the game. As soon as she acquires this item it is much easier to hold your own against anyone in the game. Riven plays a very direct role in dominion weather it's leading a charge on a new point or holding out on one your team owns. She's not squishy and does not require any tricks to be successful.
With all things considered I believe Riven has great potential and plenty of room for the community to grow around her. She has her strengths and weakness just like any hero and she heavily depends on your play style in order for her to shine. I hope this guide will serve as a baseline for many to follow and establish their foot hold in understanding and playing as Riven in Summoner's Rift and the Crystal Scar.