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Riven Build Guide by chasesan

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League of Legends Build Guide Author chasesan

Riven - Survival DPS [Updated 9-22-11]

chasesan Last updated on September 21, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 24

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

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

Utility: 0

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Hello and welcome to my Riven guide. I played her a bit and thought she had some real potential for either Tanky DPS or an Off-tank.

Here I have the Tanky-DPS build. The DPS are not as good as it could otherwise be. I profusely welcome suggestions and feedback. The Off-tank build is taking a good bit more work.

All I can say is what has worked for me. If it doesn't work for you, don't use it.

I ask that you try it before you down vote.

I had to almost completely rethink my build.

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Pros / Cons


  • Good survivability
  • Decent damage
  • Unexpected bulldozer


  • Early game could be stronger
  • Riven likes to get focused after she has pounced once

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These runes are mostly tuned to reducing her cooldown and giving her a better early game, which is her biggest weak point at the moment.

This build has a slight dependence at the least on the armor runes.

Greater Seal of Armor- Most Junglers will have these already, so why not reuse them. Gives Riven some better early game armor. Which is usually what allows her to survive. 12.69 extra armor.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist- As with above, this improves Riven's early game survival against magic. 13.41 extra magic resistance.
Greater Mark of Desolation- Armor penetration to give her attacks a bit more bite. In total these give you almost 15 more penetration.
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction- These give you almost 5% cooldown reduction for Riven skills. These make up for the general lack of a heavy cooldown reduction item. It also makes her a terror earlier in the game.

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I tried to keep the items sane. I realize that there is limited time in a match to get to where you want to be. I try to build everything that builds into something else.

The item selection is very much tuned for both DPS and survival. Keep in mind that Riven's Valor does a lot for you in the survival department.

Wriggle's Lantern- Attack, Armor, Lifesteal and a Free Ward every 3 minutes. This object is a steal. That said the 500 extra damage to minions can be useful in farming.

Mercury's Treads- I have been constantly forced to get these, as I kept getting stunned, slowed, and so forth. I often found myself more able to get out of messy situations after being taken by surprised, rather then to avoid them in the first place with the previously suggested Boots of Swiftness. If you want the extra cooldown you can grab a pair of Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead.

Youmuu's Ghostblade- This is your end cooldown reduction item. It's active will give you some much needed attack speed when everything is on cooldown. As it will likely be, given Riven's more fluid combat style. The Brutalizer has you mostly covered for early game cooldown.

Phage- Allows you to do more of your DPS by not allowing enemies to not run away as swiftly. Conjoined with Ki Burst this is a very useful crowd control for Riven, as you can jump in strike, slow them with this, then stun them before they get out of range (rinse and repeat). Eventually you turn this into a Frozen Mallet, which makes you all the scarier.

The Bloodthirster- Never been a big fan of the big blades in the shop, but with Riven its a given! You get a good amount of attack damage and lifesteal, which stacks on Wriggle's Lantern. You will also gain more over time. Use it well!

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None of Riven's abilities cost any Mana, since she has none. Think Garen, Katarina, etc.

Runic Blade- Use this in conjunction with Broken Wings. It does extra damage based on 3 charges you can gain from using Rivens Skills.

Broken Wings- Since this skill has 3 uses before it needs to recharge, it has perfect synergy with Runic Blade. It also moves you forward, which is useful when you need to plow into battle or away from it.

Ki Burst- This ability is very useful. As an AOE stun it is very useful Crowd Control, it can also be used for farming very efficiently. This is a good alternate skill to start with if you are teamed up on one of the lanes.

Valor- Useful for both Escape and Attack. This ability provides Riven with a temporary shield, which is useful when you are entering the fray, or when you need to run away and avoid turret/enemy damage due to low health (which you will have as Riven).

Blade of the Exile- A very useful ability, this damage and range boost is very important in team fights. Since it lasts a long time (15 seconds!) and cools down pretty quickly do not be afraid of using it when you need it. Wind Slash gives her a much needed ranged attack for last hitting fleeing enemies. Keep in mind it does have a maximum range, and does less damage the more HP the enemy has remaining (need confirmation).

How to play Riven.

After you have read through all the previous locations there are a few things to remember when playing Riven.

First keep in mind just how far all of her abilities will move you. You just need a good general idea. This is to avoid jumping to far into a crowd of enemies and getting focused.

Next, tactical use of Valor. Mastering this move is mastering Riven. The shield it provides is the difference between a live Riven and a dead Riven more often then not.

Use Valor and Broken Wings to move quickly toward or away from an enemy.

Use Ki Burst to stun runners to give your teammates some time to catch up, or chasers to give yourself time enough for you to dash away (if they are in range, do not turn around to attempt this, just keep running!).

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Summoner Spells

I personally usually use Teleport and Flash. Teleport to get to where you need to, and flash to escape with my life. However this build is also very good with Exhaust.

If you do not go the Boots of Swiftness route, you may consider taking Ghost.

Cleanse is the last of my recommended spells. If do not take the Mercury's Treads, it might be worth a thought. Because Riven is pretty squishy, if she gets stunned or snared, it might very well be the end of that life.


Ignite might be helpful if you feel this build lacks the needed power to finish off an enemy. Especially early game.

Rally is not a spell I personally use, but I see the possibility for its use for those who know it and love it.

I personally do not take Revive, as the goal is to not die.

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Special Mentions

Thanks to Blowfeld.

Our guides seem to overlap a lot. My guide has been influenced a great deal by his, especially in early item selection. Though our thoughts considerably differ later on!

The main differing factor aside from that is that I mainly play 5v5 matches!

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Feel free to tell me your thoughts on it. I know it probably requires some work yet and will likely change over time.

Riven constantly places you directly into the middle of the fray, which she is usually ill equipped to handle. This build takes that and her main task as DPS into account. Trying to minimize her cons and maximize her pros.

So I ask that you test it before down voting it. If you have some suggestions, I would be happy to make some changes or defend my position, depending.