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Riven Build Guide by Kirkuyshi

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Kirkuyshi

Riven - One Slice at a time.

Kirkuyshi Last updated on September 17, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 9

Guide Top



Welcome to my very first guide here in MOBAFire. I am no where near the great players in League of Legends, I do however, like to try out new things, and this includes new champions and new builds.

Riven, the Exile has just been released a couple of days ago, yet there are still many questions concerning whether she's a great, resonable or mediocre champion.

What I've been trying to do is to create a build that suits Riven style of play and that can fullfil her purpose in the game as a champion and as a fighter.

I've tried several builds with her and this one was the one that I could enjoy the most.

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With Riven It's necessary to play agressive rigth from the beginning in order to be successful.
I go for 21 points in Offense choosing Cripple to combine with Exhaust spell.

After that I go for 9 points in Utility, since you will need experience and health regeneration

I end up choosing Utility Mastery as the last spell for extra effect on the Red Buff.

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I choose this spell for mainly 3 reasons:

  • It will slow your target for a fairy decent ammount of time, which can help you, either to gank him, or escape from him.
  • Another viable source for Crowd Control, as your only ability Ki Burst will only stun your opponents for 0.5 seconds, which is a really short amount of time.
  • Reduces target magic and armour resistance, helping you to finish it quicker.

I choose this spell for the following reasons:
  • Combined with Exhaust, Flash can help you disappear even faster from the enemy's sight in case you are being ganked.
  • Great gank potential, allowing you to flash out from the bushes and starting throwing combo attacks on the enemy.
  • Great Finishing potential, allowing you to finish with your opponent standing at the Tower respawning back to base, with your ultimate active Wind Slash, Blade of the Exile.

Other Relevant / Useful Spells


Ignite is a good alternative to Flash, never to Exhaust, since you need to slow your target so you can hit your combo hits. If he still manages to escape with low HP, you can Ignite him and finish him then.


Ghost is a good alternative to Exhaust, since even if you can't slow your target, you can still chase him afterwards, and then use the Flash to escape.

I don't usually choose this spell because you can still make use of Valor to dash forward for the last blow.


Attack Damage bump, which can be very useful for early game.


Health bump, which can be very useful for early game and team fights.

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Skills Explanation

Skills Explanation

Runic Blade

is Riven's Passive, also what may be her greatest asset and that allows her to deal the best damage and kill champions.
People tend to forget about her ability and rush with the ability combos, ending up with all of them on CD and with only 3 stacks for her blade which may not be enough at all to finish with your opponents.

It's very wise to keep paying attention to the number of stacks you currently have, and use them as fast as you can to keep activating other abilities and getting more stacks.

Broken Wings

is the first ability that has to be maxed for Riven and the one that combined with her passive is the most effective.

Broken Wings can be activated 3 times over a period of time dealing damage alone to all the enemies surrounding Riven every time the ability is activated, and the last blow will also knock all near enemies back for a brief amount of time.

Understanding how to use this ability is crucial to understand how Riven attack style works. If you can't master that you can't master nor play with Riven.

Everytime you start the chain of combos with Broken Wings, you will stack your Runic Blade.

One Slash, one Stack. One Slash, one Stack. Another Slash, another Stack.

It is important to combo the ability with the auto attacks, that is why you have a time gap to activate the next Broken Wing before the time expires.

In a simple way you should be activating the first Broken Wings slash, then auto attack, then if you still have time, activate another ability other than Broken Wings and get another stack, or do another auto attack, then activate the second Broken wings slash, use the Runic Blades, and do the same for the final Broken Wing slash.

Always try to use the Runic Blades before activating any other abilty.

Like I said before, if you forget to use the Runics you will end up with 3 stacked at the end and you might not have enough time to use them before they expire nor they might be enough to deal the damage to kill the champion.

Broken Wings also have a very good defensive aspect, since you always dash forward everytime you active them, jumping forward with the final dash.

When running away from a player if you have Broken Wings ready, use them to step ahead of him.

Ki Burst

is the second ability to be maxed out.
Besides having a very short CD time it is very useful for farming waves of minions.

It can also be used combined with your Broken Wings Attack combos to stop your opponent for a brief moment and deal him even more damage and giving you another Stack to your Runic Blade to use it and deal even more damage, and keep pressing him with the Broken Wings, to get more stacks, deal more damaged, etc etc, you get the idea :P

You can also use it to initiate a gank after flashing to the champion and to stun him so that you and your team mates can proceed with the attack.

Sometimes a 0.5 second stun might be enough.


is the third ability which can be used for various purposes.
  • Dash forward, allowing you to remain in the fight in case your opponent tries to escape.
  • Dash and escape from a gank.
  • Protect you during a fight.

The Shield Generated is very useful to protect you during team fights. Don't forget it's size increases with Attack Damage bonus which means for a brief seconds you can spawn a very strong shield and survive from your enemy's ulti, for example.

Due to it's short duration it has to be used at the right time and not as soon as you see the enemy approaching you.

Don't forget that using this ability will give you another Runic Blade stack, which means more damage in your next auto attack.

Blade of the Exile

Riven's ultimate.
It grants you a 20% Attack Damage Bonus Increase for 15 seconds. This alone is an insane bump to your Attack Damage and to the max effect you can take from your abilities since all of them rely on Attack Damage Bonus.

It also allows you to use another ability called Wind Slash during those 15 seconds, for one time only which will deal damage in a Cone to all the enemies standing in it according to your Attack Damage Bonus and according to their HP.

When to use Wind Slash?

Don't forget that your ultimate has 15 seconds, and not 1 second.
It is not a good idea to use the Wind Slash as soon as it pops out, because your opponent/s might not have the HP left enough for this to kill them.

That is why you have 15 seconds, which is by coincidence the right time so that you can spam all your abilities and all the propper auto attacks for the Runic Blade and to finish the attack with the Wind Slash.

Don't forget that your Broken Wings and your Ki Burst deal damage to all the champions standin next to you, for each slash.

The ultimate combined with them will affect all the opposing enemies standing next to you. The Wind Slash is just a bonus to help you deal with whoever survives.

Also using your Ultimate gives you a Stack for your Runic Blade, so don't forget to use it.

Guide Top



After trying for several times, different item builds for Riven, from Attack Speed, to Attack Damage, to Off Tank, I've finally come across to the 6 three items which I consider to be the most effective with Riven.

These items are based on providing Riven enough Attack Damage and enough Attack Speed which will allow her to use the Runic Blade stacks auto attacks between her abilities, and some HP regeneration to allow her to stick during Team fights.

Doran's Blade

Start the game with .
Health, Attack Damage, and Life Steal. The basic item.


Next item to purchase will be your boots.
I usully go for Berserker's Greaves Because I find that early attack speed essential to combine my Runic Blade with Broken Wings Properly.

There are, however, situations where you may have to choose other boots:

Vampiric Scepter

I choose this item, every time I go base to buy my boots. It grants me the Life Steal necessary to stick in the lane for a while. This later will be combined with the B. F. Sword to build The Bloodthirster.

The Brutalizer

Next item to be bough, due to 3 reasons:
  • Attack Damage
  • Armour Penetration
  • Cooldown Reduction

Attack Damage essential for Riven, Armour Penetration essential for effectiveness, and Cool Down Reduction, effective for spamming your abilities.

The Defensive Item

At this point in the game it's the best idea to start building some defense.
I usually go for Spirit Visage for 5 reasons
  • Health - It grants you 250 health, and trust me, during mid game these 250 health points will be necessary to remain alive.
  • Cooloown Reduction - It will give you even more Cooldown reduction after you bought the Brutalizer and enough to spam your ultimate in 31 seconds after level 16.
  • Magic Resistance - Once again very helpful when dealing with Heavy AP Users.
  • Life Steal Bump - To make your Vampiric Scepter goes nuts until you buy The Bloodthirster.
  • Price - If you had a bad farming in early game and you're short in cash, this is the quickest way to give you some protection.

The other items are choosen accordingly:
  • Frozen Heart - In case you face heavy DPsers in the opposing team.
    It will give you armour, Cooldown Reduction and it's passive will decrease the attack Speed of all near enemies.
    I choose this when I fight against champions like Xin Zhao, Ashe, Caitlyn, Miss Fortune, for example.
    Ignore the mana.
  • Frozen Mallet - In case you face Offtanks and tanks, and all the champions built to have lots of HP.
    It will give you HP as well, so you won't be so squishy against them, it will give you attack damage, and it will slow them because you and your team will need to slow tanks down in case they try to escape so you can chop all their HP.
    I choose this when I fight against champions like Allistar, Dr. Mundo, Sion, Maokai, Amumu, for example.
  • Banshee's Veil - In case you face heavy AP users.
    Will provide enough magic resistance, and block one ability every 45 seconds. Most of AP users rely on combos to kill someone and blocking their first combo attack will help to survive the rest of it, and allow you to finish your job after.
    I choose this when I fight against champions like LeBlanc, Ryze, Brand, Veigar, Lux, Morgana, for example.

Madred's Razors

At this point I start building my Madred's Bloodrazor already which will be very important for late game, by purchasing Madred's Razors.

It will give me armour, attack damage and even help me slice minions faster. At this point you can farm a wave of minions with just using your Broken Wings ability together with the Passive.

It is also a very cheap item, once again, if you're in trouble for money.

The Bloodthirster

My 3rd item will be purchasing the Bloodthirster. You can sell your Doran's Blade to help you buy the B.F. Sword at this point, in case you need money. Then buy the Bloodthirster.

It is important for its Attack Damage and Life Steal and the crazy Life Steal and Attack Damage bonus gain from it's passive, which will allow you to enter later game ready to slice and kill.

Bloodthirster combined with Spirit Visage is even crazier.

Infinity Edge

I rush Infinity Edge after, because I want even more Damage and I want to kill anyone who stands against me.
Loads of Attack Damage, plus that critical passive is really what you need to be successful.

Madred's Bloodrazor

My 5th item will be finish Madred's Bloodrazor which will be important for these reasons:
  • Armour - Armour Protection, giving you some survavility.
  • Attack Speed - At this point you can auto attack as much as you want, and you don't even need the Runic Blade stacks anymore. Attack speed will do.
    Now if you combine it with the Runic Blade Stacks and your abilities you can throw even more damage.
  • Attack Damage - More Attack Damage is never bad.
  • Passive - The best Passive to deal with anyone, specially with tanks, by giving them what they dont want to, which is slicing their life really quick.

Youmuu's Ghostblade

The last item, finishing with The Brutalizer.
It's stats complete the build and give you the final advantage over your opponents.
I build it for last because comparing with Brutalizer, it only gives 5 more Attack Damage, 5 more Armour Penetration and 5 more Cooldown Reduction. The passive is very useful but not worthy over purchasing other items that will give you more Attack Damage, since I think Attack Damage is the key for Riven to be successful and not focus on attack speed and movement speed.

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After taking this build you're likely to be slicing opponents really fast due to the combination with your abilities and your passive and some of your item's passive.
You will also have some defense to stand against anyone, you will stay as a threat througout the entire match since you will be read to kill anyone at any time just by combining all of your abilities with your autoattacks.

All comments will be read and a huge thank you for all the critics and support that may come up thereafter.