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Riven General Guide by Wurstjan

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Wurstjan

Riven - Send Them To Exile!

Wurstjan Last updated on March 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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Welcome to my first guide!

First off, excuse me for grammar/spelling mistakes, im fairly new to the english language ;>

Riven is a champion that isnt played too often. This is a shame, since Riven is a really nice champion - why? Just see the Pros / Cons Chapter.

Anyways, I dont play her as most people do - as a tanky dps (more tanky then dps). Her damage output is reduced to around 50% this way. Well, just read the guide to the end and see how Riven really works.


  • 02/08/2012 - Guide started.
  • 03/08/2012 - Added the "How to play" chapter

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Pros / Cons


  • Great damage
  • Around 3k life
  • High mobility
  • Easy to learn


  • Q is a bit tricky to use
  • Slightly squishy without runes
  • Poor early game farming

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Summoner Spells


Exhaust will do great job when ganking enemies before getting Frozen Mallet. Also, it can be used to make Nunu's Absolute Zero and other high-damage ultimates useless.

Flash just the most awesome summoner spell in the game. This is a valuable friend when trying to get a kill, or when you have to escape very fast etc. In addition to your Valor and Broken Wings it will be a real wonderspell.


Ignite yes, you can take it, I dont recommend it though. I never needed it to finish someone off. And Ignite's benefits will help you only early game almost.

Heal a nice spell for beginners with riven. Combined with Flash, it can help you to get out of some tricky situations.

Smite for junglers only.

Teleport for solo laners.

Cleanse A free get-out-of-jail-card. Nice, isnt it?

Ghost Its an alternative for Flash, best for champs you cant escape, like Akali or Ahri.

Dont even.. !

Clairvoyance uhm.. you are not a supporting champ.

Garrison ? o.o

Promote ok, the extra gold is nice but the benefits arent that big..

Surge no need. neither AS nor AP.

Revive ever seen the CD of this? o:

Clarity wait, i cant remember.. ...hmm.. oh, right! YOU-HAVE-NO-MANA!

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Greater Mark of Desolation x 9 - these guys are nice - they will help to cut though your enemy's armor like a hot knife through butter ;)

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x 9 - defensive glyphs. They make you less squishy.

Greater Seal of Armor x 9 - more defensive glyphs making you less squishy.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation x 3 - make your knife even hotter :)


Greater Quintessence of Desolation x 3 - feel free to change these quints to lifesteal quints, I cant find them in the wiki for any reason..

Greater Seal of Armor x 9 - if u feel confident that you have enough armor, just change these to Greater Seal of Scaling Attack Damage x 9 for some more nice physical damage.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x 9 - same as above, just change them to Greater Glyph of Scaling Attack Damage x 9

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Well, i think my masteries are pretty standard. Additional attack damage, improved exhaust, etc, nothing special.

Guide Top


Now its going to be more interesting.

Core Build

Trinity Force - in my opinion, this is the most awesome item on Riven. Beneath the increased AD, AS, Crit chance and HP, Trinity Force's passive will take your damage to the mountain. Just auto attack after casting either Q or W.

Important: the passive triggers every 2nd second only (haha), so auto attack to fill the gap between ur casts.

It might be a bit tricky, especially when using Q, but this will maximize ur damage output.

Also, Trinity Force's passive has great synergy with Riven's passive, Runic Blade, since it gives you a damage boost on every spell cast.

This is the point where your enemies will be like "WHOOOOT UR DMG!!1!!!11!one!1!11eleven!1! O.O" :D

Frozen Mallet - 2nd one. The passive CC will help ganking enemy champions, the HP benefit gives you a higher survivability and the increased AD pushes your damage a bit. A nice item overall, but needed for the next one especially.

Atma's Impaler - 3rd one. Additional armor, some crit chance. Nice. What? Passive gives a huge adventage: 2% of your HP will be converted into AD!

Since Riven has 2000+ HP at this point (thanks to Frozen Mallet!), 2% are 40+ DMG.

Continuing the core build..

Now we have 3 more item slots. What to do with them?
Well, thats situational, as almost every item is situational.
Lets see.


Yay, the most situational thing in the game.
Here are some options for boots:

Berserker's Greaves - boots for almost every melee/ranged DPS. Buy these if you ARE confident that you dont take too much damage.

Ninja Tabi - nice boots against AD carries. Of course, buy them if you think you take too much physical damage.

Mercury's Treads - same as above, for AP champs.

The remaining 2 slots..

Ok. These 2 slots are free for some trash.

Thornmail - with this item you will be the death for any AD carry! A huge chunk of armor and 30% physical damage reflection! Awesome if you take too much physical damage.

Force of Nature - 0.3% HP regen EVERY second. Thats 3000 * 0,003 = 9. 9 * 5 = 45 HP/5 . Its not too much but.. A nice benefit in addition to the static 40 HP/5 (85 HP/5 OMG11!1).

Anyway, the biggest benefit is the additional magic resist. Buy Force of Nature if you take too much magic damage.

Youmuu's Ghostblade - uhm.. I never used it since I felt that the benefits of this item are too small, but feel free to use it!

Last Whisper - this whill shred the opposing tank/offtank's armor. But be careful: if he has a Thornmail, you will take more damage since you deal more damage!

The Black Cleaver - another armor crusher, a light version of Last Whisper with additional attack speed. I dont recommend to get this since Riven takes no adventage of attack speed.

Inifinity Edge - I get this thing here twice in my standard build. Reason: 250% crit DMG and 50% additional crit chance, 160 AD.

With this, your physical damage will be at around 400, your crit chance at ~ 80% (excluding Elixir of Agility). I think i dont need to comment why this is so awesome.

The Bloodthirster - Well, its a nice item. Anyways, i dont prefer to get it since 25% crit chance are more needed then lifesteal or 40 AD (x2) more or less.

Phantom Dancer - If you like AS, get one (one, only one!). The crit chance is even higher then the chance from Infinity Edge.

Sword of the Occult get this only if you are doing very well. Get it first of all other items (including core items) , it will be almost useless without charges lategame.


Hextech Gunblade.
Madred's Bloodrazor.
Frozen Mallet you've got one already? o:
Bilgewater Cutlass.

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Skill Sequence

Ok. Easy.

I max Ki Burst first since its your hardest damaging spell and a CC (stun for 0.75 sec).

Second, I max Broken Wings. Its needed in order to deal more damage with your combo.

Third, Valor. The additional benifits of the shield on a levelup are too low to max it earlier.

And, of course, I max Blade of the Exile whenever its possible.

Alternatives? Uhm.. No.

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How to play

As described, Rivens Q, Broken Wings is a bit tricky to use.
In order to trigger Trinity Forces second passive, you will have to wait 2 seconds until each use of Broken Wings.

Why is that so hard?
When fighting, you will be pretty excited about whats going on and - of course - you want your enemy to die. Im not an expert but i think its because of the adrenaline. Anyways, you are very excited then and it might happen that you just instant press Q because you are like "DIIIIIEEEEEEE, F*CKIN' TRYND!!!!!111!1!". Of course, Trinity Forces passive is not triggered as often as it should be, getting less damage output.

There is no real trick about how to manage this issue, just try to calm down ;)

Ok, now we discussed that Q problem. But how about really PLAYING Riven?

Your basic combo is
Blade of the Exile - Valor - Ki Burst - AA - W - Broken Wings 1 - AA - W - Broken Wings 2 - AA - W - Broken Wings 3 - AA - W - Blade of the Exile [Wind Slash]

where AA means [A]uto [A]ttack and W [W]ait.

Why wait? You should really know why.
You have to wait for Trinity Forces passive cooldown to subside. Try to count 1 - 2 in your mind after the effect has triggered (triggered means when you AAd after using an ability, not after using an ability!).

In order to harass, go in with Valor, cast Ki Burst to deal damage and maybe AA once, go out with Broken Wings. Why out with Broken Wings - it ignores collision, so you can go straight through a wall of minions or so.

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Jungling with Riven

Its slow. Very slow. But if you prefer to jungle with Riven, start off with a Cloth Armor and 5 x Health Potion.

Jungle/Gank until you have 1000g, back, buy Madred's Razors.

Continue jungling and ganking until you have another 950g, back, buy Wriggle's Lantern and Boots of Speed.

Then continue the build as described.

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Farming with Riven is a bit hard early game, since Broken Wings / Ki Burst deals almost no damage. So, keep on last hitting creeps.

Later on, you can kill a complete train of creeps using 3x Broken Wings and Ki Burst as finisher.

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.. I need your help!

Thanks for reading my guide.
I really appreciate comments and votes :)

In order to improve this guide, feel free to tell me if I made a mistake or if you have more ideas for items etc.



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