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Riven Build Guide by sgtn00b

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League of Legends Build Guide Author sgtn00b

Riven, The AD Nuke Tank!

sgtn00b Last updated on December 8, 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.



Offense: 1


Defense: 29

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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16/9/11 - Published
16/9/11 - Runes changed slightly for more CDR
16/9/11 - Worked out how to add icons! Yay, pictures!
17/9/11 - Item sequence changed to add a The Brutalizer and added depth!
8/12/11 - Changed Masteries to new ones

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Pros / Cons

Strong burst damage
good escape (Q/E)
ranged ultimate
Fun to play
Nice amount of AoE
Minion waves go in seconds
no mana to worry about
low cooldown on ulti

Squishy to start
Hard to master
Easily suppressed
Expensive build (as always!)

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For her runes, i wanted to give her the best chance at getting first blood and staying alive, whilst also being relevant throughout the game.

Mark of Desolation
This focuses on negating the enemy's armour and with the point in the masteries, equates to (1.66 x 9 + 6) 20.94 armour pen. This is more armour than Riven herself start off with. The nice thing as well, is this doesn't get lost the more you level like damage runes and alike, it stays relevant for most of the game, especially when laning against squishies (casters and ranged) it negates almost all of their armour.

Seal of Cooldown Reduction
This is self explanatory if you've played [Riven]. Her abilities have no cost what so ever, but have reasonably high cooldowns for basic abilities, especially early game. This helps counteract this problem, and allows you to keep spamming your Q in fights or when running.
These runes are also better than Attack Speed because as Riven, you rely on your abilities like a caster, not an AD knucklehead who runs in swinging aimlessly and kills everything is 2 second flat with no skill *cough* Tryndamere*cough* and also counteracts the fact i dont have Youmumuu's Ghostblade in my build.

Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
More cool downs! it helps a hell of a lot! more abilities used, more times you proc your passive :D
There is an argument for attack speed for getting you basic attack is, but they hit just as well in between abilities, so im not seeing it. But hey, if you want to...

Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
Again, Riven requires skill and timing, not attack speed, and like for the seals, CDR is the top priority besides attack damage.

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For her masteries, even though i've seen many people saying the Defense tree is better than the Offence tree, i say, how can it be?
Riven is not a tank, and yet what she lacks in armour and health, she makes up for with her burst damage, especially broken wings. Not to forget her E gives her some defense, or pseudo health, if you will.
In my opinion, the offense tree is much better in given her the extra buff in Exhaust, the extra CDR, the extra damage against minions, the extra armour pen... its endless (sort of)
My main point being, Riven is not a tank, and doesn't benefit from the defense tree unless you;re getting owned. If that's the case, take her on a custom bot game, and learn to play her. or just quit playing her.

However, after filling the offense tree with 24 points, i do go on to add the remaining 6 is to extra armour and magic resist just to beef her up a little where it is undoubtedly needed (as a luxury)

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Her item sequence is pretty straight forward and usual for her type and style, but then the rest get's unorthodox.

To start i go for Dorans Blade; Life steal, attack damage and extra health. Perfect! However, if you feel you're too squishy, take a Dorans shield. Both are amazing starter items with Riven, and it just depends on who you are against.
For people who don't like the Doran items because you lose money when selling, start with either a Long Sword or Boots of Speed, followed by as much Health Potions as you can buy before leaving.

After, get a Vampiric Scepter so you have some more life steal to keep you laning longer and getting health back when in fights.

After which build Madreds. This is to start to kill off the minions faster than the enemy team to suppress them and keep them (hopefully) under leveled compared to you. This also helps a lot when jungling to get it over and done with faster, less time in the jungle, more time in lane for minion farming and suppressing.

Then build Phage for the extra damage and slow passive when taking down enemies who like to run.

Next, build a The Brutalizer, Even though it wont be in the finished build, nor will Youmuu's Ghostblade, the added CDR early/mid game help you with your harassment and laning presence when you don't have as much HP. It also help you run as you are able to faster spam your Q and E. Sell this when you need the space like you would of a Doran's Item.

After, get a Giants Belt this item is going towards a major game changer for Riven( Warmog's Armor), and allows for a longer laning presence.

After which, buy a Pick axe and/or finish your boots off, both will help with killing enemies.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity are THE boots for Riven. I'm not even sure why they're not her recommended. They give CDR and level 2 move speed! When people buy Beserkers Grieves for Riven im laughing. I will reiterate, Attack speed is not for Riven! The +25% CDR also compensates for no Youmuu's Ghostblade, which in my opinion, isn't the greatest item for Riven because you're paying for the active, which gives attack speed...

Now, finish off Frozen Mallet, extra Health plus the constant slow on attack; A dream for Riven!

Next, start to build Warmog's Armor. her health is a bit poor without help (hence Warmog's Armor and Frozen Mallet) so this help dramatically, as well as the health regen! further laning presence!

Now finish of Wriggle's Lantern and solo that Dragon is seconds! even wipe out the jungle. Best part, is now Teemo, Twicth, Shaco, Evelyn, etc... have lost their ability to sneak around as freely with its active, or even keep an eye out on Dragon/Baron. Wriggle's Lantern is a beautiful item for Riven, it gives her EVERYTHING she needs with no waste buffs (Like on Trinity Force/ Sheen)

Next into Tiamat, You can go or this earlier of you wish, but for me, it goes about here in the build, by this point, you should be taking a lot of kills/assists, so the build should be coming on leaps and bound anyway. The reasoning is further health regen along with attack damage and the passive of your abilites and basic attacks splashing damage, those minon waves and jungle spots go down in seconds with this item, usually the full three broken wings takes them out!

Now finish off Warmog's Armor for the health!

Next, you build Atma's Implar! A great item to get alongside Warmog's Armor and Frozen Mallet, this give you a huge damage buff!
The reason for Atma's Impaler so late, is for some reason, im finding it buggy calculating the damage if you buy it earlier, and not last; Maybe a patch will fix this, or maybe it's just me, but im just being cautios putting it last.
And now, you can easily tank a turret and kill an enemy champ or two at level 18, even solo Baron Nashor!

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The items NOT! to get with Riven.

These items are in my opinion, a complete waste of time on Riven.
This chapter was added after reading other builds, and seeing items slots wasted.

Phantom Dancer - as already stated, Attack speed is not her thing. if you wish to have more attack speed, use a The Black Cleaver, also, adding move speed to an already 395 points after only movespeed level 2 is useless, thats pretty fast already considering some champs ( Vayne, Fiddlesticks, Corki...)

Beserker's Grieves - Again, doesn't need attack speed

Banshee's Veil - an all together useless item for anyone in my opinion. You're paying for its passive of blocking one ability every 45 seconds. in team fights, that one ability. Team fights don't last more than 45 seconds for it to happen twice. You;re also paying for the mana which she doesn't use.

Trinity Force - Now, this is an iffy one. Trinity force for Riven, is in my opinion, an item you either build your items around, or leave out. And for my build, you need to leave it out. It's too expensive and like Banshee's Veil, you're paying for s#things you dont need. Yes the sheen and phage passive are nice, but the attack speed is useless, the mana is useless and the move speed is useless along with the extra damage being quite small in comparison to other items.

Youmuu's Ghostblade - A similar story to the rest. Attack speed. NO! you are again paying for the active of extra move speed and attak speed. the only reason for this is for teh CDR, but that can be made up for with Runes, masteries and Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

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Summoner Spells

Its kind of self explanatory; She's weak, and therefor needs the help of Exhaust and Ignite.
Flash and Ignite may be better for chasing and running, but to be quite offensive early game, these two give you the egde.
Ignite is also, in my opinion, the strongest summoner spell on the game. With is passive, it reduces healing, allowing you to take down someone like Xin Zhao or Warwick, even if they are fed, because they are nothing without their healing! alongside the damage over time, if they run, they still die! Also, when fighting a Tryndamere and he pops Undying Rage (which is OP as hell and should be nerfed) wait 2 seconds and hit him with Ignite, he come out of Undying Rage, he didn't heal as much as he could of, and the damage over time gets him, even if you die!

Other summoner spells aren't very beneficial to Riven or how she plays. I can see why Smite might be considered, but as stated in "Jungling Techniques", it's not needed.

Depending on how you play, choose Ignite and either Exhaust or Flash

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Laning Techniques

Riven is a special breed of AD champ. If built right she falls into so many catagories, she's almost a hybrid of a hybrid!
She's and AD carry, AD Nuke, Tank, AD DPS, AD Chaser, AD Solo laner... the list goes on..

In this section, i will be telling you roughly how best to play her in lanes and jungling.

Solo and Duo Laning
Solo laning is often left to the Casters and Ranged in the team such as Ashe or Brand, and occasionally, you see an AD melee champ solo laning such as Tryndamere or Xin Zhao (more predominant on 3v3) and now, Riven has joined the ranks of such a champion capable of solo laning even as a melee fighter.
This is made possible by her E Valor, which as an ability is useless personally, except for the dash she does before entering her shield. In my opinion, the shield it too week for such a short time its active, but hey, thats me.
Valor is a great ability however to harrass! The skill sequence for Riven when harassing should be;

Valor > Ki Burst > Runic Blade > Broken Wings > Runic Blade > Broken Wings > Runic Blade > Broken Wings > Runic Blade

Then is branches off in what you need to do;

If the enemy is running, you can catch up with Valor, or, if you need to run, use Valor to dash out

If the enemy is staying, use Ki Burst again to further stun them, and then back into the [[Broken Wings/ Runic Blade combo's.

If you need a burst of damage early on, when you get to the Broken Wings combo, hit it three times without a basic attack/ Runic Blade in the middle. less damage is total, but more nuke damage.

Be careful with the third activate of Broken Wings, as sometimes, the knock back can actually save the enemy champion and send them closer to their turret!

Eventually, when you reach level six, killing become so much easier!

the skill sequence changes slightly to;

Valor > Ki Burst > Blade of the Exile > Runic Blade > Broken Wings > Runic Blade > Broken Wings > Runic Blade > Broken Wings > Runic Blade > Blade of the Exile

To benefit more from her ultimate, use the reactivation if they run, or as a finishing move. it can get hairy in early game 1v1's and alike with health, but the later you leave it, the more damage it does. This is because it acts on the percentage of HP missing from the enemy champ it hits.

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Jungling Techniques

Jungling is pretty straight forward for Riven. To me, she isn't the type of character to sit in the jungle and wipe it out, leaving 2 lanes as solo lanes. Sometimes this is beneficial for the team as solo laning helps you level faster, but early game, Riven is not suited to taking out the jungle, and in my opinion, Smite is useless.

Would you rather Exhaust/ Ignite a champion taking them out, acing and taking out an inhibitor, or take dragon early game, when you can leave it a few levels and solo it?

However, you don't need Smite, as after you've purchased [Madred's Razors]], the jungle becomes pretty easy. And if you struggle on Dragon, just take a friend along and the two of you can take it out if you need it.

The sequence for Jungling is almost the same for laning, however, in between every move/ability, you land a basic attack/ Runic Blade to increase your damage output and life steal input. It also increases the chance you have on landing a hit dealing Madred's Razors Passive of a bonus 500dmg to a minion or monster.

Eventually, at full build and level 18, you can easily solo Baron Nashor , it takes about 20 seconds to take him down, but you leave with more than half health, more than enough to take down an enemy champion if you run into one by accident (because remember, at that point, half health is 2016hp, more than a lot of champs) and you gain alot back from the life steal and damage you are outputting!

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Thanks for reading my wall of text! <3

So in summary, Riven is Ability based, not attack speed, and is also now an over-powerd AD nuking jungling carry Tank! ...of doom!
Now take on the world! >:D or just the league, whatever takes your fancy.

- sgtn00b

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16/9/11 - Published
16/9/11 - Runes changed slightly for more CDR
16/9/11 - Worked out how to add icons! Yay, pictures!
17/9/11 - Added The Brutalizer to Item sequence
17/9/11 - Added Chapters; Laning and Jungling Techniques
17/9/11 - Added Chapter; The items NOT! to get with Riven.