Riven Build Guide by Thos the Jackal
Riven Jungle Guide: Hidden Blade of the ExileBy Thos the Jackal | Updated on November 22, 2019
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+10% Attack Speed
Threats & Synergies
Jax is easy to outplay in a 1v1 (if he isn't fed), but he will destroy you and your laners on a countergank.
If Kayn transforms into Rhaast. he becomes very difficult to deal with. His knockup alone can kill you if his team is there to capitalize.
Poppy counters everything about Riven. She has high damage while building straight armor, and her dash block interrupts your Q and your E.
This works whether Kindred is on your team or the enemy team. Just hold your Wind Slash until her ultimate expires to pick up free kills.
A tanky support gives your team a much needed frontline. Braum is one of the best.
Tanky top laners who will dive the back line with you are very helpful. If you dive alone, you might get kited to death.
> 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.|
> 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.|
I'll keep this section short. Domination and Precision are the best trees for Riven in the jungle. I recommend taking the Conqueror keystone, as this will give you the most DPS in general, but especially in teamfights. You can safely take Electrocute or Dark Harvest instead if you want more burst on a gank. Electrocute is slightly more consistent, and Dark Harvest gives slightly more burst. Between those two, you should just copy whatever other junglers are taking in the current meta.
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.
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 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 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 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 Black Cleaver. If your team does have enough tank or you just want to keep snowballing, you should instead purchase Black Cleaver immediately.
Your next item should be Lord Dominik's Regards or 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 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 (BladeOfTheExile) -