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Riven Build Guide by Thos the Jackal

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Thos the Jackal

Riven Jungle Guide: Hidden Blade of the Exile

Thos the Jackal Last updated on June 20, 2017
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Hello and welcome to my Riven Jungle Guide! The objective of this guide is to enable those who are at least somewhat familiar with Riven to play her in the jungle. If you are new to Riven, I recommend that you try her out top lane first and use an appropriate guide.

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Pros / Cons


> Strong ganks
> High mobility
> Good clear time
> Difficult to counter jungle
> No mana
Riven's ganks are strong because she has a stun, a knockup, and high mobility. If your laner has any crowd control, you will most likely net a kill or force a flash. Riven has pretty good clear time, especially if you weave auto-attacks between your abilities. Since Riven is a strong duelist and can hop over walls, your opponent will have a hard time counter jungling you. Finally, Riven has no mana costs to worry about.


> Squishy
> Damage reduced when chasing
> Not a frontline
> No inherent sustain
Even if you decide to get some tank items, Riven's first two items will always leave her low on defense for early/mid-game team fights. When Broken Wings is used for chasing an opponent, Riven's damage output is significantly reduced. Unless someone on your team is very fed such that you were able to buy a lot of tanky items, Riven is typically not an effective frontline. Finally, Riven has no built in healing abilities for sustain during jungle clears.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

In order to obtain 45 percent cdr as soon as possible, I highly recommend this rune set. This set has five percent cdr in quints via Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reductionx2, five percent via Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reductionx6, and five percent via Intelligence from the cunning mastery tree. Cooldown reduction is amazing for Riven, as it increases her damage output, clear time, mobility, and overall ability to make plays. Take a Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage for the third quint. The best marks for Riven in general are Greater Mark of Attack Damagex9 to increase damage output. Greater Seal of Armorx9 are the best seals for surviving early jungle clears. For the other three glyphs, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist are a good choice.

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The most important aspects of this mastery setup are that it gives Riven burst via Thunderlord's Decree , changes her cooldown reduction cap to 45% with Intelligence , buffs up her defenses through Unyielding and Runic Armor , and increases her mobility with Wanderer and Explorer .

Cunning Tree

Tier 1 - The extra movespeed afforded by Wanderer increases the frequency of ganks, making it preferable to Savagery, which gives a small and unnecessary amount of damage.

Tier 2 - Runic Affinity is easily the best choice. The mana recovery of Secret Stash is wasted on Riven, and Assassin does not work during ganks.

Tier 3 - Merciless is taken over Meditation since Riven does not utilize mana.

Tier 4 - Dangerous Game is taken over Bandit since Riven is not supporting.

Tier 5 - While the armor penetration of Precision is useful, Intelligence is a better option because it increases Riven's clear time, DPS, and mobility by lowering her cooldowns.

Tier 6 - Thunderlord's Decree is really the only viable keystone for Riven in the cunning tree.

Ferocity Tree

Tier 1 - Fury is the better option here since it allows for faster animation cancelling. Sorcery may seem like a good option, but overall you will get more damage per second (and thus faster jungle clears) with swifter combos.

Tier 2 - Feast is very useful for sustaining in the jungle, and neither of the other two masteries at this tier are good enough to forgo the extra sustain.

Tier 3 - While the extra damage from Natural Talent may seem enticing, the extra sustain from Vampirism is far more useful for early clearing, and the damage increase from Natural Talent is rather unimpressive at all levels.

Tier 4 - Double Edged Sword is the best option here. Yes, Bounty Hunter is more useful when fully stacked (7.5% increased damage), but you must kill all five members of the enemy team at least once to get the full bonus. Double Edged Sword gives you the extra 5% at all points in the game and come in handy during those close calls on early ganks.

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Summoner Spells

Flash is essential for Riven and Smite is necessary to jungle. Which smite you take is ultimately up to you, but I recommend taking Skirmisher's Sabre, as challenging smite is useful for dueling. Stalker's Blade is useful on ganks but less impactful later in teamfights. Tracker's Knife allots two wards to increase your team's vision, but the smite offers no additional effects.

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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

You should start Broken Wings as this is Riven's main damaging ability. Ki Burst is second since the AOE stun is very useful for jungle camps and since Riven's Valor does not do damage. Take Valor third in order to mitigate some of the damage coming from the camps. Level Broken Wings first to increase your clear time and damage output during ganks. The reason you should level Valor second rather than Ki Burst is twofold: shortening the cooldown on Valor (by leveling it second) allows you to tank more damage while clearing and increases your mobility. This also happens to be the typical skill sequence for Riven top.

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Early Game

The typical AD jungle start, Hunter's Machete and Health Potionx3, is best for Riven. Refillable Potion is not a great choice because it does not have enough healing for Riven's first clear. When you can afford it, you should back to purchase Skirmisher's Sabre. Complete your jungle item before anything else, unless you back with just enough gold to buy Boots of Speed and not enough for Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior.

Mid/Late Game (On Par or Behind)

At this point you should know whether or not you are ahead. If you are not ahead, you have bought Mercury's Treads/ Ninja Tabi and The Black Cleaver along with your jungle item.

If your team does not have enough tank, you should now purchase a tank item (e.g., Randuin's Omen or Dead Man's Plate for armor, and Mercurial Scimitar, Maw of Malmortius, or Banshee's Veil for magic resist). Buy two tank items if you are feeding or if you feel it necessary. If you are on par and your team has enough tank, you should instead purchase Ravenous Hydra and then acquire a tank item.

If you only needed one tank item and have purchased Ravenous Hydra, get Lord Dominik's Regards in order to melt the enemy team's tanks. If no member of the enemy team is building substantial armor (incredibly unlikely), you should build The Bloodthirster or Youmuu's Ghostblade rather than Lord Dominik's Regards, depending on how much chasing you are doing. By your final item, you should have at least one (sometimes two) of the previously mentioned tank items and both The Black Cleaver and Ravenous Hydra.

Mid/Late Game (Ahead)

If you are ahead, you have bought Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Ravenous Hydra along with your jungle item.

If your team does not have enough tank, you can purchase a tank item (e.g., Randuin's Omen or Dead Man's Plate for armor, and Mercurial Scimitar, Maw of Malmortius, or Banshee's Veil for magic resist) before purchasing The Black Cleaver. If your team does have enough tank or you just want to keep snowballing, you should instead purchase The Black Cleaver immediately.

Your next item should be Lord Dominik's Regards or The Bloodthirster/ Youmuu's Ghostblade, whichever you deem appropriate, and finally buy a tank item if you did not already purchase one. It is important to note that at some point after you purchase The Black Cleaver, you should swap out your boots for Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi since you will have 45% cdr without Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Perform this swap at your earliest convenience, such as when you back and have an awkward amount of gold.

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Ideally, you would like to hit all of your abilities on the enemy laner. This ideal case is unlikely unless the enemy laner is oblivious or already committed to a fight with your laner. At the very least, you should land your third cast of Broken Wings and Ki Burst on them. Just know that you will do less damage to the enemy laner if you use your Broken Wings to chase them down. Also, while it is preferred to weave auto attacks between your abilities, you may not be able to if the fleeing enemy laner is faster than you are; in that event, simply spam Broken Wings to knock them up, stun them, and hope your laner has enough damage or crowd control to compensate. If you do not have many kills yet and you think there is even the slightest chance of getting a kill during a gank, do not hesitate to use Blade of the Exile. Finally, Riven has a very strong countergank due to her ability to duel two melee champions at once (by virtue of her AOE damage); counterganks are a great opportunity to pick up two kills.

General Tips

- Weave auto-attacks between every ability.
- Cancel the auto-attack animation (by using your next ability just as the animation is finishing).
- Remember to spam Valor when it's up. It is very easy to forget about this ability because it is non-damaging.
- If you use Blade of the Exile, hold on to Wind Slash until you are sure you cannot kill them without it. Enemies will always try to juke Wind Slash with flash or a dash ability. Ignore this advice if you think you can save yourself or your laner by using Wind Slash early.

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I'd like to give a special thanks to...

- You, the reader, for dedicating some of your time to perusing this guide.
- jhoijhoi and all those who helped to create the Karthus General Guide to Guide Making, which was incredibly useful to me during the writing of this guide.

Don't forget to vote one way or the other and to leave comments on how I could improve this guide (writing style, coding, the build itself, or anything else you can think of). Thanks for reading.

- Thos the Jackal (HyperLiteDrifter) -