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Riven Build Guide by Digital Sausage

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Digital Sausage

Riven- It's Not Just Her Sword That's Broken

Digital Sausage Last updated on December 8, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Greetings Summoners! This is my very first shot at a guide and I decided to make it for one of my favorite champions, Riven. This was one of those champions that I decided to buy from a sale thinking, "Oh hey, this could be fun." After many failed attempts at 5V5 games, I called it quits. Giving her a second chance a couple months later with an all new build and play style was probably one of the best choices I've ever made. Riven has the possibility to be extremely tanky with high attack damage and amazing sustain, but only if you build her right! She's a great initiator into team fights, deals massive amounts of damage during, and is able to chase down and finish off those pesky survivors. One of my favorite melee DPS champs.

In this guide, what I WILL tell you is:
-The way that I play Riven (I have been playing her for a couple of months now, and with this build, I hardly EVER lose a match).
-The suggested way to use her abilities.
-The build that I and my friend have come up with.

What I WILL NOT tell you is:
-The way that YOU are supposed to play her. The reason I made this guide wasn't to tell everyone, "THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO PLAY RIVEN. DO IT MY WAY EXACTLY." I made this to GUIDE you on how to play her. I encourage you to deviate slightly from this and experiment a little. Find YOUR best play style. Not the one I tell you. It won't be as fun.


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C-c-c-c-combos and C-c-c-c-combo breakers

+ Great early game
+ Great mobility
+ No mana
+ Passive can deal epic damage

- Reliant on early game farm
- Can fall off late game if underleveled
- Kind of item reliant

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

The runes that I've chosen for Riven work for mostly all solo top champs. The increased armor and scaling MR into late game with Armor Pen and revised Quintessences (I go 3 AD quints now instead of the old 3 Armor Pen.

greater mark of armor penetration- I use these mainly because of the extreme increase to damage they do early game. Flat armor pen is a lot better early than late, but still helps later on. This goes great with Riven because her passive and all of her abilities scale off of AD, so armor pen applies to all.

Greater Seal of Armor- More armor = More survivability. Figure it out.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist- As we're already building armor runes, we should build some magic resist for more survivability if you're laning against AP champs. It also helps well in teamfights late game.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage- More attack damage? This basically equals more ability damage. Soooo....That's a good thing.

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With Riven I go mostly into Offense utilizing even more armor pen, increased turret damage with Destruction , and great last hitting with Executioner .

I also go 9 into Defense now (Updated from the old 9 into Utility as the pages have been changed in the latest Season 3 update) to give the usual extra armor and MR and increased health regen.

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Item Sequence

Item Sequence

Doran's Blade

Mercury's Treads

The Bloodthirster

The Black Cleaver

Guardian Angel

Frozen Mallet

Maw of Malmortius

With Riven and every other AD champion, I always start out Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. This allows for good maneuvering and the ability to regain most of your health after escaping from (or winning) an early teamfight.

After decent farm, once recalling buy two Doran's blades. Since the recent patch, these give you an early game buff to sustain which will help a lot. And attack damage and health all for the low price of 475 gold each? Pretty good

After the double Doran's Blade is finished, build your Boots of Speed into Mercury's Treads. This will give Riven some magic resist and 35% tenacity, which REALLY comes in handy. An alternative to the Mercury's Treads could also be Ninja Tabi. It depends on what the other team/your lane is building, AD or AP.

As you finish your boots, start out with buying a b.f sword for even more damage. After farming some more, build the it into The Bloodthirster. More lifesteal and attack damage, plus even more every time you score a kill on a minion, monster, or an enemy? Pretty good.

You may be thinking, "Black Cleaver on Riven? What's this guy thinking? LOl N00b Scrub go uninsta1l!" Well actually since the Season 3 update, The Black Cleaver is an amazing item on Riven. It gives Armor Pen, AD, health AND cooldown reduction. And now the passive armor reduction on hit applies to her abilities. It works and it's great. So start off with building The Brutalizer and turn that into The Black Cleaver.

After finishing The Black Cleaver and getting enough farm, recall and buy a Guardian Angel. This item is amazing on Riven. Magic resist, Armor, AND a revive every couple of minutes? The enemy team may focus you down, but will they see it coming when they're all at low health and you raise from the dead? Don't think so. Gives you a chance to finish off that pesky ADC or escape after a failed teamfight.

So you should be farming well now and gaining gold easily in teamfights. At this point, I buy a Phage first of all and then finish that into a Frozen Mallet afterwards. This will add even more health, MORE attack damage, and a slow every time you basic attack. REALLY, REALLY good for chasing down an enemy. Frozen mallet is a great item on Riven with the health and AD.

Now at the end of the build, as Riven is an Offtank AD caster, Maw of Malmortius works very well. Added MR for survivability, attack damage and you gain MORE AD the lower your health is. It's passive is a lifesaver as well. This added with the shield from Valor will give around a 700 health shield mid to late game. This item just works great all around.

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Summoner Spells

- Flash adds to her mobility even more. Also can be used to pop into a team fight and immediately stun with W, flash towards an escaping enemy to get in range for a wind slash finisher, or just escape by flashing over walls and Q-Q-Q-ing away :P

- Ignite is an all around finisher spell. Enemy too quick to catch up to for a finisher? E in range and ignite them, they're dead. It can also be used to halt an enemy's health pots or healing skills.

- Exhaust is another great spell for Riven. It's usually great all around for AD champs. Lowering attack damage by 30%, slowing movement speed, and decreasing item damage so you can catch up and slash their face off. Great in teamfights, chasing down a single enemy, or slowing a pursuer.

- Ghost is pretty useful for catching up to an enemy or escaping from one, but in my opinion, flash is usually better. Can you flash over a wall with ghost? Didn't think so.

- Teleport can also be used with Riven if you die and really, really need to get back into a team fight, or halt an enemy destroying a turret. I don't use this too much anymore, but if you want to, be my guest.

- Only if you decide to jungle Riven. It IS possible, but this isn't a jungle guide so go look somewhere else.

- Only supports really take this. I don't think you need it if you're playing Riven right.

- I never use this. You can. I don't.

- Contrary to popular belief, Summoner's Rift is NOT a Dominion map. Not matter how much you try to make it one.

- Buy a Quicksilver Sash if you really want the cleanse.

- Only take if you're supporting. And Riven doesn't support....At least I'VE never seen it.

- Does Riven run off of mana? No. Useless.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

With Riven, I start with Broken Wings for escapes and then go Ki Burst to Valor. I max out Ki Burst first as it's a great stun and deals lots of damage in a small area. I level Blade of the Exile whenever possible (As any other champion's ultimate) and after maxing Ki Burst I level Valor second for the shield and Broken Wings last.

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Skills and How I Use Them

First, a brief explanation of Riven's many skills.

  • Passive: Runic Blade. This passive is BEAST. After 3 uses on your Q, it's fully charged and each attack deals even more damage. This is great for early game cause your attacks have the chance to deal at least 20 MORE damage added on to your AD total. And late game, this bonus will rise to over 75+ at full build!!! That's INSANE.
  • Q: Broken Wings. This should be maxed last. Great mobility in traveling/escapes, and it deals adequate damage 3x with a small displace on the last hit. Good for farming and chasing down enemies. Don't use it to initiate though, that's what your E is for.
  • W: Ki Burst. This ability should be maxed first as it deals 300 damage with this build at level 5, and it can stun the enemy, allowing for more basic attacks and to easily place your Q. Really great farming tool for last hitting minion waves and good for escaping if your pursuer gets too close.
  • E: Valor. This ability should be maxed second as it gives you a shield and a quick dash in the direction you click. Really good for escaping and initiating teamfights. As well as those intense 1V1 moments where you're both 100 health away from death and BOOM, shield. Always fun.
  • R: Blade of the Exile. This ultimate is GREAT. It has a low cooldown (60 seconds at 2nd level), an attack damage buff (20%), adds greater range to Ki Burst, Broken Wings, and greater dash distance with Valor. It also allows you to use Wind Slash once during this duration, which is a ranged attack useful for finishing off enemies with low health, as the damage increases based on how much of their health is left (25% or less for max damage).

    And to use them.

    Usually at the start of the game, I farm until I have all 3 of my abilities up. At this point, I still play it safe until my W is at 3 levels and my R is up as well. At this point, you can either initiate a fight once your enemy is a distance away from their turret, or harass a little by dashing in with Valor, stunning with Ki Burst, Q-Q-Q-ing with Broken Wings, and retreating behind a minion wave.

    If you DO decide to initiate, the best combo would be pop your ultimate ( Blade of the Exile), and then dash in with Valor and use the same order as harassing except instead of retreating behind a minion wave, with the AD buff from your ult and the full 3 stacks of Runic Blade, you can deal massive damage and probably finish them off right there.

    If they're still alive at this point, usually the thing to do is use your Wind Slash by pressing R again, but only if your still under the duration of your ult. If they're too far away, Flash in and Ignite. And if your ult is STILL up, Flash in and use Wind Slash to kill them. I always say, never initiate a fight unless you can pop your ult. You may still be able to beat your enemy without it if you're extremely fed, but a little extra AD and a sweet finisher never hurt anyone (Well....except your enemy that is...)

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Warding For Dummies

Now as this guide is meant for a top lane Riven, I found these images online (Pretty sure they're in another guide here on Mobafire so my thanks to whoever made it). This will tell you the ideal places to ward with the Wriggle's Lantern. Considering it has a free vision ward, why not use it?

And if you're on the purple team:

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Summary and Closing Remarks

All in all, Riven is an extremely fun champion to play as, even though she does take a while to get the hang of. My suggestion is to not give up even if you do lose a couple starting matches. Keep trying, or give her a couple months break like I did :P, and you'll eventually be able to win games with ease.

If you liked this guide and/or it helped you a lot (Or even a little), please upvote and leave a comment ^_^. If you didn't like it or you found something wrong with the guide and you decide to downvote, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT AND NOTIFY ME OF WHAT I DID WRONG. I'll try my best to fix my error. Don't downvote for the sake of downvoting. Nobody likes a troll ^_^


-Digital Sausage

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Change Log

12/6/2012- Updated almost everything as the new Season 3 update was released not too long ago. All new items, updated masteries and runes, skill sequence and summoner spells. Revised almost the whole guide.
12/8/2012- Removed Wriggle's Lantern after realizing it now builds out of Hunter's Machete. Added a double Doran's Blade to the beginning of the build. Added Guardian Angel as well for more survivability.