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Riven Build Guide by Matthemus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Matthemus

Riven - No Longer an Exile

Matthemus Last updated on February 11, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
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Win 51%
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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: 23

Honor Guard

Defense: 6

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Why Riven?

I originally picked up Riven because I thought she looked cool. It was to my surprise that not only did she look cool, but she was also an amazingly versatile character when it comes to builds. I think building Riven is very situational and can be done in many varying ways. I have tried pure AD Riven, DPS AD Riven, and even pure tank Riven. She works surprisingly well any of these ways. My favorite however is to just rush huge amounts of AD and watch as the the enemy team team becomes afraid to engage. She is a great champ to play if you like the availability to fill different roles and harass like no other.

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Quick Legend for New Players

By the time you are able to buy Riven in the game (with IP at least) you should know these terms, but I will go over them anyway, just in case.

AP = Ability Power - This is what makes Champions abilities really hurt.
AD = Attack Damage - This makes your auto attacks do more damage, and in Riven's case, her abilities more powerful.
DPS/AS = Damage Per Second/Attack Speed - This reflects how fast you auto attack.
OoM = Out of Mana
Laning - When you and usually* one other teammate pick a lane and stay there.
Teamfights - When a large part or the whole of your team comes together to fight the enemy team or push lanes.
Creeps - The little guys that run in a line and give you gold when you boop them on the head.
Baron - Is the big bad nasty of the Neutral creep world. He gives the entire team a huge buff. Usually only obtainable by having a large part of the team slay him. He is marked by a large red skull and crossbones on your mini map.
Red Buff - Red Buff is a buff for AD characters, causing their attacks to burn. Located in the jungle.
Blue Buff - Is a buff for AP characters, similar to Red Buff. Also located in the jungle.
GL HF = Good Luck, Have Fun

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Pros/Cons of Playing Riven


    -Good AD
    -Good Engagement/Harassment/Fleeing
    -Looks cool


    -Poor against ranged characters early game
    -Glass cannon if built poorly
    -Sometimes unpredictable abilities

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Summoner Spells

I choose Exhaust on Riven for the ability to keep your AP enemies damage down and to slow. I love being able to slow with Riven, it makes her more viable as a character.
I take Ignite to confirm pesky kills. I know some summoners would say that if you need ignite to confirm a kill you are a bad player, but I disagree. I cannot count the number of times I have ignited a Tryndamere using Undying Rage and confirmed the kill after it wore off. It also is great to use right before a champion escapes behind a tower when they have very little life left.

The only other spell I see as useful with Riven is Heal. It makes you and your teammate more sustainable early on in the game.

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Situational Items:

When it comes to the main build here it usually can end up being the right amount of AD early on to become fed, and leads into the late game sustainability you need. As always though there is always the situational items a character needs.
If you find yourself facing a very AP heavy team and have trouble in the beginning I would recommend taking a Hexdrinker before you take phage. The AD and magic resist plus the magic absorbing shield can give AP characters a hard time early game. If you find yourself needing more AP resist late game taking Force of Nature instead of Warmog's Armor is probably a good idea. At the other end of the spectrum if you are having problems dealing with an AD character early on you might consider taking Wriggle's Lantern after your Phage, the range of stat boosts it gives Riven along with the sight ward is invaluable. I also take this item if I am faced with an enemy jungler.
When dealing with tanks who start to stack on the armor taking a Last Whisper is probably a good idea early game so you can ignore a large part of their armor and keep your kill count up.
The last "common" situational item I will list is Madred's Bloodrazor. This item is the perfect destroyer of health based tanks. Along with the armor bonus this item may be worth rushing early game to deal with those health filled foes.

Tank Items:

At times you may be forced to take the role of a tank, for whatever reason. In this situation getting some AD items that also grant armor or MR is key. For this reason I will again suggest (in order) building Phage, Wriggle's Lantern, and then Hexdrinker early game. After that taking a Sunfire Cape and a Randuin's Omen is usually pretty effective. If needed build a Force of Nature between the two to round out your MR. Finally, turn your Phage into a Frozen Mallet. Personally, this combination is able to keep most well balanced teams hacking at you long enough to let your teammates jump in and earn a few kills.


While I find this build to be less effective than a healthy AD build it can still work and may prove more worthy in some scenarios. Finding a good balance between AD and Attack speed can be somewhat hard considering that not many items give you both. I will again start with Doran's Blade. The first big item I take will be The Black Cleaver. I will then move onto Youmuu's Ghostblade, just don't forget to activate it! My third item in this build is probably going to be Madred's Bloodrazor for the armor and good balance of AD and DPS. If you want a cheaper item with more attack speed and a partial AOE consider taking Ionic Spark before Madred's Bloodrazor (Yes, Ionic Spark is being added to Classic in the next patch). Now consider taking a Phantom Dancer for the speed and crit chance. After stacking all this speed we need to throw in some more AD, it is Riven after all, so taking a Bloodthrister is your best bet. If you feel you need some sustainability with this build, sell your Doran's Blade to build a Phage and eventually a Frozen Mallet.


If you find yourself up against two ranged champions right away, maxing Valor is almost a must. The damage absorption and boost will be the balance between making out of a fight.

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Masteries and Runes

I know a lot of people like to explain why they take the Masteries they take with their champs but I feel like with the new season two Masteries it is a pretty clear cut choice on what to take with Riven.

I will say though that I choose the runes that I do because of the advantage they offer earl game NOT necessarily in late game.

Alternative Runes:
Greater Mark of Armor The armor provided throughout the game may be appealing to some.
Greater Mark of Critical Damage If you decide you want to have a Riven with a high Crit chance this rune is for you.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage I feel armor pen is more valuable through the game but having some extra AD early game gives you a good edge.
(Any Seals or Glyphs similar to these will also work well.)
Greater Quintessence of Armor will work well early game, especially if you have other runes for armor. This also goes for Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist
If you want something to stack some attack speed: Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Last, but not least: Greater Quintessence of Desolation because who doesn't love some Armor pen?

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When it comes to Riven choosing how to utilize her powers gives many strategic options. Deploying her abilities is key to good harassment and killing power.

A good way to start early game:

1. Broken Wings
2. Ki Burst
3. Valor

I will start off by closing in on the enemy and jumping in with Broken Wings. This gives me good damage and can knock away minions or the enemy's teammate, letting my teammate deal with them and granting me a second of only one enemies focus. Using Ki Burst next is ideal because it will stun said enemies and give me more time to auto attack. Keeping Valor open is essential for a failed run on your enemies, or using it mid fight to disorient your enemies. It also works well to keep an enemy from using a click to hit ability on you with confidence.

The better way to go late game:

1. Blade of the Exile
2. Valor
3. Ki Burst
4. Broken Wings

The reason I choose this order is to stack damage and armor going into the fight when your enemies are the strongest. It will also let you clear stun enemies early into the team fight and saving Broken Wings for last will let you catch up to any enemy that tries to run. It also ensures that should you need it Valor will probably be off cooldown by the end of the fight.

!Important Note!
Remember that your Blade of the Exile's activated deals more damage based on how low the enemy's HP is. Make sure you wait as long as possible to use it to maximize damage output!

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Laning Phase:
When in the Laning phase as Riven you have two goals:
1. Heavy Creep Farm
2.Harass the Enemy

With the order I have provided for Riven's abilities this should be fairly easy. Allowing you to jump in for creep kills and nuking and stunning your enemies, keeping them from last hitting creeps and forcing them to fall back.

Other lanes need a gank:
Riven can be a great character when ganking because of her ability to disrupt and to stun. If possible you often want to try to get behind the enemy you are going to gank and close the distance quickly with Broken Wings and then immediately using Ki Burst to lock them in, giving you and your teammate(s) time to close in and confirm the kill.

Teamfight Time:
When it comes to teamfights you always want your tank to go in first. They are there to absorb damage after all. As Riven though you should always be the second person in, disrupting the enemy team and locking in as many enemy champs as possible. Finishing off any stragglers with your Blade of the Exile is a good idea.

And always remember: It may not be the nicest thing to steal a kill, but if you have any doubts about a teammate confirming a kill, don't be afraid to confirm it yourself. Especially at this point in the game.

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Good Teammates/Bad Enemies

Every champion has another champion that works well with them, often allowing early feeding or pushing. Often times for Riven these are other champs that harass well, or have their own stuns or slows.

Good Teammates:

Singed - His throw is a great pairing with your Ki Burst. If done carefully you may be able to lock a champion into turret shots.
Ahri - Her attacks pair well in sync with yours and her charm is great for playing catch up.
Evelynn - Her Shadow Walk says it all. Can give you a good one up against the enemy.
Shyvana - Her abilities compliment well, when combined, often dealing a lot of AOE/Nuke damage.


Graves: Graves' range and AD at the beginning of the game will often trump your ability to get in close and harass.
Caitlyn: Same as Graves.
Sion: Sion can cause problems for Riven early game because of a good combo of health and AD.
Mordekaiser: His passive early game can be devastating.
Teemo: Always out of range, always faster, and always poisoning you.

NOTE:Generally any combination of two ranged characters will make life hard for Riven early game. If you can I suggest trading lanes with another champ.

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So long, Good Luck

I appreciate you taking the time to read my guide and I really hope it helps you in your quest to better yourself as Riven.

Also remember, while games can be serious the main reason we play is to have fun!

Credit for Original Bunny Girl Riven Idea

Credit for the Bunny Girl Riven Art