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Riven Build Guide by marxmann

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League of Legends Build Guide Author marxmann

Riven Full AD CARRY guide. Broken? Not at all

marxmann Last updated on September 23, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 6

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

Utility: 3

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Warning and Disclaimer

Using this build won't guarantee a penta kill (But It has been done before ;)) or a better ratio with Riven. If you are looking for an off tank guide then this is not it, as you might be playing too passive for this guide. THIS GUIDE REQUIRES YOU TO BE SOMEWHAT AGGRESSIVE AND TAKE RISKS.

Also I am appologizing in advance for the lack of colors and images in this build. If this gets enough hit I am gonna edit it beautifully if not i will leave it as is :). But please don't be discouraged read on and im sure this would be at least an OKAY read.

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About Riven

Ah Riven, this sexy short haired beast has entered the battle field! In a quick overview, Riven is an AD melee (duh) champion that excels in small team fights ( 2 vs 2, 3 v 3, 2 v 3 etc. ). Her skills include a shield that spawns from dashing, a burst AoE with a short stun which is nice for interrupting, and her Q which can be executed or pressed three times causing her to executed a three hit combo which finishes with a ground smash knocking back (also good for interrupting) enemies.

That said Riven is quick and agile, a good Riven can go in with her Dash and harass the enemy champ and get out of there without being hit. (Basicly an E - Q - W - Q Q combo)
Right now Riven is seen in a mixed state, some people see her as underpowered, balanced while others who use her think she is overpowered. Personally I think she is inbetween balanced and underpowered with some small buffs needed (LIKE FINALLY EXTENDING THAT DASH).Also I would just like to point out Riven IS NOT OFF TANK MATERIAL OR TANKY DPS MATERIAL. She shines with Full on AD Runes and AD items thanks to her Passive and Her Ultimate. Finally I would like to say, again...

Riven is a High Risk High Reward champion, so take those risks!

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About this build and the creator:

So, usually when a new champion is released I go crazy and try out different builds right away. However when Riven came out I wasn't really enthusiastic about it, and then I played her. She is fun to play with, she has a somewhat different mechanic than the other melee champion. She is like a less mobile version of lee sin without the power house ult and without the slow.

Now, before posting this build i've tried different builds with Riven including builds from this site and my own. And I find that while some are not bad, they gave me a 1:1 KD ratio which is kinda meh. Here is my thought:

Why Tiamats?:

It started out with an experiment... more like a troll but it ended out great! In one game I stacked tiamats and I was rolling other melee champs and tanks in 1 vs 1, in team fights it was just over. However I found that 4 tiamats to be too much and late game you just either live to kill all of them or die to kill none of them. Which is why I experimented more with tiamats and found out that 2 tiamats was just enough for that AoE damage i needed, and 2 bloodthirsters (specially when the passive is full) was enough to keep me alive in team fights.

I wouldn't post this build unless I was confident in it but I have to warn you that with this build you have to play aggressively BUT SMART

I would get an average of 5:1 KD ratio, usually around 15 kills 4 deaths, 13 kills 2 deaths something like that.

Be warned that this build will not ensure you that ratio,


Anyhow, as I was saying, definitely try out this build before downvoting, however I find that the game usually end before I can even complete my first blood thirsters, which is to say, Tiamats are really good mid game material specially in mid game teamfights.

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Pros / Cons

This Build and Riven's Pros and Cons:

- AoE, easy to farm minnions, get over 200 CS without trying
- No Mana, Harass harass harass!
- Good Burster, as long as you mix and match your auto attacks with your skills properly you will be doing quite the damage.
- Get in close or get away from ganks easy with her dash and her q-q-q combo
- Short cool downs even with her ult.
- Good laning partner
- Strong Early game


- There are better melee champs out there
- Not a viable off tank or tank for that matter
- Quite squishy to be initiating (but that doesnt stop me ;))
- Dash length too short
- AP kills her

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Runes and Masteries

For this build YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH with the runes and mastery or else it might not give you enough damage and defense for that aggressiveness needed.


Red AD runes
Yellow flat armor runes
Blue flat magic resist runes
Quints AD runes


well, believe me every time i play an AD champ i grab that 25 armor pen runes but somehow having those AD runes on Riven works better than some armor penetration, with these set up and a doran's blade Riven will start with around 86 attack damage at level 1

Mastery wise I go 21 - 6 - 3.
Usually i go 21 - 9 - 0 with Dodge but I find that Riven benefits more from armor than dodge just because she is gonna be soaking up damage and it is better to just reduce most of them than to pray you dodge 1 out of every 6 shots or so

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Summoner Spells

Exhaust hands down for the first SS. The second one is up to you of course the option should be limited to either flash, ghost or ignite.

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Core Build: Mercury Thread Boots Two tiamats and a Blood thirster!
Starting build: Either Doran's blade or Boots + 3 Red Potsor

Optional Items that would play okay with this build:

CDR Bootsinstead of MR Boots[/img] ONLY when their AP carries aren't doing good or Not much CCs
Guardian angelas your fifth or sixth itemInfinity Edge instead of a second blood thirsterFrozen Hammer as last item or replacing the Warmogs (In the blood tiamat atmogs build)


TF costs around 4000 gold, a tiamat costs 2000...
TF comes with 30 AD plus the Sheen's Proc hmm lets see lets say you have 140 so that means an occasional what? 280 every skill activation.

With your first tiamat, you get 50 AD so our AD will be say 160 plus the 50% AoE passive of Tiamat. Second tiamat, another 50 AD, 160 + 50 = 210, BUT NOT ONLY THAT, you get 100% AoE Passive now so its like hitting regular damage all around you.

So think about it 280 every onec in a while hit or 210 that multiplies to its neighbor with each hit???

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Riven's Skills set her apart from the other melee champs. Playing her is like playing a whole different game, not LoL but a hack and slash mixed with point and click. With that said the reason why a lot of people have differing opinion on her is this. Her skill curve is quite high.

Runic Blade
Your text to link here...

Her Passive Trait, Basicly every time You use a skill, you get 1 stack of bonus ad damage that you use up when you auto attack. Stacks up to three times and don't underestimate this passive. This is where most of her damage comes from and a good Riven not only knows how to use her skills correctly but also her underlying skill (ie how or when to auto attack in between skills).
Q: Broken Wings
Your text to link here...

Your Hack and Slash c-c-c-combo! breaker! Well it really is a combo breaker because the last one knocks back and interrupts ;).
Useful for when trying to get close to enemies, trying to runaway from enemies and for farming. This is what makes Riven Riven!
W: Ki Burst
Your text to link here...

It is what it is, a Burst Damage and a good one at that. Not only that but it stuns for 0.5 seconds. Not long but long enough to stop someone's ult, to chase someone down, or to stun and get away from a chaser.
E: Valor
Your text to link here...

Ah... valor... I have a love and hate relationship with this ability. I love it, saved me countless of times from DoTs, Teemo's poison mushroom and all of that, and yet I hate how it is too short! Countless times has an enemy gotten away by a mere inch if only Valor you were longer :(.

Anyway yes, use Valor to Shield, Initiate, Dash away from your enemies! Pretty straight forward.

Finally her Ultimate...
R: Blade of the Exile

Gotta love this ultimate. It is a buff, it is a finisher and it is good for 15 whole seconds! Just make sure not to waste it by aiming properly for the active shot, and also by only activating it in the midst of a fight once your opponent is engaging and not the beginning of a fight where there is a chance he or she might just run away after one hit or two.

For the skill I go the usual Q at level 1, W at level 2 then E at level 3.

I max W first and prioritize Q over E. However with each game it is different. Sometimes I level Q and E at the same pace when DoTs Champs like swain lanes against me or when I am having a hard time in general.

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How to play her with this guide

I usually either solo top with her or lane bot with a partner, I find that having another AD partner (melee or ranged) to be better than laning with an AP or support.

Early Game:

Depending on enemy team composition I would either start out with a doran's blade (90% of the time) however If I see bot lane or top lane with a stun, range, caster i go with boots with 3 pots. from level 1 to 3 just last hit minions or if you know your strengths find a window of opportunity to get that first blood, otherwise don't go near them. Level 4 is when you start harassing, dash (e) + (q) to get in as fast as possible then burst with your Ki (w) and Q Q out of there, rinse and repeat. There is a whole variety of how you can harass your enemies be creative. Once you think you can kill them go in for the kill. Usually at level 3 to 7 I could harass once then the second time would mean death.

before level 6 you should have gotten your boots or you can buy boots later to get the pickaxe item in. Once you reach Level 6, you can have fun diving low hp enemies under their turrets and using Qx3 out. It takes a while to get used to her ult but using it when the enemy is way below 50% usually ensures death!

Also once I get my ult, I look at the other lanes and look for damaged enemies (70% hp and below) and plan my assault. When ganking always remember dash plus the q will get you in quick enough to land your W, once they are stunned just let Riven Auto Attack to use up her passive (which with this build gives you a whooping 200 something bonus damage), and QQ when they start moving again. Also Exhaust is a good SS to carry with you as Riven don't forget to use it when ganking.

Once I get my first Tiamat I don't let a single minion get away in my lane and farm away, usually the second tiamat comes fast.

Mid game

Around mid game if you have competent team mates you guys should have taken away most of their outer towers and should be aiming for mid.

When engaging in team fights I advice that you don't initiate unless you know you can survive. If you do end up engaging a team fight but gets focused, dash and q q q out of there. If you can still fight as soon as you lose focus activate your ult and work your way back in starting with your ult (of course when you use your ult you better be sure most of them are below 50% or at the most 65% hp and with the target of killing at least one of them) if not don't use it and use your Q combo.

Again Don't forget to auto hit in between, and in team fights, know that you can interrupt certain ults with your W so if you are facing a katarina wait for her ult before you use your stun.

End Game

If the game drags on longer you might find that Riven is "weakening" well not really but she becomes easier to kill. NOT with this build. I've lived longer with this build than when I tried using Atmogs or Trinity + Guardian Angel builds, why is that? The answer is quite simple and easy, its because I kill them fast enough before they can kill me. To amuse yourself with this build, if the enemy team lacks CC or stun, get into a 1 v 3 in the jungle (where they would most likely group together and easier to be hit with your Tiamat's passive). Also I am not sure about this but I think the reason why I live longer with this build is because the Tiamat's Passive also affects life steal, not sure but if anyone could verify that would be great.

Before I forget, I included two builds for her, one with the atmogs and the other one with two Bloodthirsters, this guide works for both but I find the two bloodthirsters to be cheaper and more effective as I have said before, the best way to survive is to kill those bastards first!

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To be continued?

Depending on how this guide is received I may or may not edit it to make it more in-depth and beautiful. For now this was done for fun and for people out there who are still not sure whether They should get Riven a Wriggles and a hex drinker. :)))

Try this build please and share your thoughts. Thank you for reading this guide. Hack Away!