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Riven Build Guide by

Not Updated For Current Season

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Riven, still boss with half a sword.

Last updated on October 3, 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

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 9

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Riven, slicin' & dicin'

So most people tend to build the Exile as a hard-hitting AD champ, focussing on survivability. However, why ignore such blistering speed and the insane amount of burst damage she can put out?
So behold, my AD nuke build.

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Skill Sequence

Riven has her skills based around burst combos which, when combined, can do crazy tons of damage and completely disrupt enemy teams. Her skills are also build around AoE, so she excels when taking on multiple opponents at the same time.
Her Q is Broken Wings, a three part combo spell. The first two hits deal flat damage plus 0.7 AD to enemies near, whilst the third will knock all the enemies within a small radius backwards. This spell really helps her to churn out damage to groups of minions, and can completely disrupt a team fight. Also, as she moves between each strike, its great for making a quick getaway. However, try not to use the third strike, as she pauses a little afterwards which lets the enemy catch up. Another thing to note is that unless the cursor is hovering over an enemy, she'll move in whatever way she is facing. Be sure to always make sure you're targeting someone.
Riven's W is Ki Burst, which in this build should be her bread and butter skill. She raises her sword and deals heavy damage to enemies around her, and also stuns for half a second. At level 5, this does 210 damage, and has an awesome ratio of +1.0 AD. If you're lucky enough to get full build on Riven, she can deal just over 700 damage, which is pretty hefty by anyone's terms.
Her E skill is Valor, which is a quick dash towards the cursor coupled with a shield which can last for up to 2.5 seconds. This makes for a great getaway ability, and the strength also gains strength based on AD, so it stacks really well with this build. It can also be used to enter combat as well as it will soak up a good chunk of the initial damage.
Riven's ulti is Blade of the Exile, in which her sword reforges, giving her massive attack bonuses and more range. She can also use Wind Slash once, which is a cone shaped shot that deals additional damage if the target is below 25% health. This is a great skill to use just before you dash into a fight, as all of her abilities gain a boost and if they try to make a getaway, Wind Slash can take them down without a huge amount of trouble.
I try to put one point in each of her three first, in the order QWE. This lets her pull off her main burst and make a quick dash out just in case. Then, max them in the followin sequence: R>W>Q>E.
For entering a fight, I tend to lead off with Valor if I'm further away or going up against another DPS champ, or Broken Wings in other circumstances. If you go in with Valor, immediately drop Ki Burst and hit them with Broken Wings for heavy damage. If you're going in with Broken Wings, finish up the combo first and then use Ki Burst, chasing with Valor and Wind Slash if necessary. Also, it is worth noting that by placing basic attacks between her spells, it will let you make use of Riven's passive better, as you won't be hitting the cap.
For Summoner Spells, I like to run Flash and Ignite. Ignite you can use to finish of a pesky champ like Shaco or Wu-Kong, and Flash is always helpful for getting out of a tight spot if Valor isn't enough.

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So for items, I tend to want to max out Attack Speed and Crit Strike as early as I can. Ki Burst will take care of most of your damaging needs, all you'll wanna be doing early on is hitting, hitting and then a bit more hitting. Only start building up the AD once you've got Zeal. By this point, you should be moving pretty damn fast (440-ish), and hitting for one attack per second. Combine that with Broken Wings and Ki Burst, and you should be able to put out about 500 damage in a few seconds flat.
Once you've got the Bloodthirster, you should be able to free-farm on some minions for a while to get the stack up. If you hit the mages with a full combo of Broken Wings, you should be able to finish all three up, and a quick Ki Burst will take care of them if you don't. Rinse and repeat, and you'll be up to full stack soon enough.
Now you'll want to build the Zeal up to a full Phantom Dancer, and then grab a B.F Sword for some harder hits. Once that's built into the Black Cleaver, you'll be hitting crazy amounts of times per second, and on top of that you should be getting around 400 AD. At this point, it should be real late game, but if you can, top off the build with an Infinity Edge.

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Pros / Cons

The pros of this build are numerous. Riven, when played according to this layout, becomes a powerful assassin and disruptor, who is easily capable of tearing up almost any opposing champion with devastating combos. Her movement speed and manoeuvrability let her roam in and out of lane, picking up weakened champions, going for ganks and taking on full-strength foes.
However, her cons are just as notable. Her health and armour are both very low, which means that you've gotta be careful as you can be. Hopefully, Valor and Broken Wings will let you get out of most fights, but just in case they can't, keep an eye out.

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Team Work

This build makes Riven a devastating assassin, and so you should always keep one eye on the other two lanes. I like to go top with Riven, so always be on the lookout for an opportunity to duck down to mid and pick up a gank.
Always keep on chat, or Skype, or whatever. You'll probably end up roaming around, so you'll see more than the others. Anything you pick up on, let your team know about.
Finally, never pull out of a fight. Riven's got crazy damage output, and if you go in with your full burst, chances are they'll turn around and leg it long before you'd have to.

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All in all, Riven can become a great melee DPS/Assassin champ, with damage output to the best. As long as you're quick to move about and even quicker on Ki Burst, you should have boundless fun making mincemeat out of enemy champs.
Thanks for reading, and happy hunting!