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Riven Build Guide by FIlosofisnubbenEU

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author FIlosofisnubbenEU

Riven, the BA-AM, you dead

FIlosofisnubbenEU Last updated on October 14, 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: 6

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

Utility: 3

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Since so many are calling buffs for Riven or calling her UP, I got the idea of.. making a guide, to show people how to properly utilize her to her full potential. Seeing how people whine about how she sucks, when they repeatedly build that ****ty Bloodthirster and stick to Phreaks "HEY use these unused ****ty items Riot made! + current FOTM bruiser Wriggles"-build.

Riven isn't an off-tank, or a pure DPS.


Grind that into your head, and keep reading.

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Armor pen Marks
Armor pen marks are pretty self explanatory, they will up her damage throughout the game while making her early game even more beastful.

Flat magic res glyphs / Flat armor seals
Beefing up Rivens early game by alot, since she has to play aggressively to be useful. These runes also boost her mid to late game well with the extra armor/magic res items she will build into later. Since her late game armor/res already is so high, the benefits of per lvl runes will be a waste.

One could argue about using CDR runes on a melee caster, buy hey, with this build they'll only be in the way. Getting that extra magic res will help ALOT.

Armor pen quints
As with the marks, these are pretty self explanatory. You can still chose whatever runes you want, but I believe these work great throughout the game since she isn't getting any armor pen from the items.

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Pretty standard DPS masteries with som extra tankiness from the defense tree. The reduced death time is always a +, and it will certainly be more useful then an extra 1.5% in dodge.

Building further into the defensive tree will hurt Riven more than it will do her good, since the damage she loses from gaining a little extra tankiness will show itself quickly. As I said earlier, she is a melee carry. Not realizing this will without doubt get you killed alot of times when overbuilding armor while neglecting damage output.

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Early game
Start off with a Dorans blade. All of its stats suits Riven well, extra hp, lifesteal and the dmg that works perfectly with her passive and other skills. Play as aggressive as you can, dont back out from a fight. Most of the times your opponent will definitely be the one that loses out in terms of damage. Keep your mobility up with Q and E, use them all the time to stack up your passive, last hitting and gap closing. A simple third Q strike, basic attack and E takes alot of damage. If you're facing hard opponents or ranged types, try sticking to your tower and farm all you got. Early game should mainly focus on farming for mid game.
By your first time back you should have at a minimum have enough for boots and some health pots. If you're doing good, grab an extra pickaxe on top of that.
Keep farming every chance you get, use your high mobility to get last hits without getting touched. Meanwhile, always keep a strong lane presence, since thats what Riven excels at.

Mid game
Mid game is still a farm fest, while trying to never miss out on a team fight. By now your Bildgewater Cutlass should be finished, and youre working your way towards the merc threads and your first BF sword. Depending on how fast you finish your cleaver, you set the tone for how the next team fights will turn out. With the Cleaver done your DPS will skyrocket. When comboing, always hit in between attacks. I usually go for a Q-A-W-A-Q-A-Q-A-E-A.
A = Basic attack
Her cooldown on Q wont reset for a while anyway, so use up your other cooldowns in between the 3 strikes if you can while always autohitting in between. Triple striking Q is just wasting its power, since if can also help alot when hitting an opponent trying to run away.

Protip: Her ultimate has a 60s cooldown, and lasts for 15 seconds. Dont be shy to use it.

When the mid game is nearing its end, you should probably have completed your Hextech Gunblade. This, Merc Threads and the Black Cleaver are the cores of this build. They will accumulate insane damage from all her abilities, while healing you with both auto attacks and spell vamp. And as if it couldnt get better, you get the extremely strong active from the gunblade, which grants you a much needed slow. Combined with red buff, Hextech active, Rivens enourmous chasing potential and Exhaust - you will dominate mid game without a problem, if done correctly.

Late game
The runes youre using + Rivens base stats already give you a fair amount of defense, coupled with the life steal from the hextech. But from here on it only gets beefier. Analyse the enemy team, and check whos dealing the most damage. Get either a chain vest or the negatron cloak as a start. If they still have too much damage, focus on finishing either Banshees veil or the Atmas respectively. Not in too much trouble? Start building for your Triforce. Still, even if youre building your defensive items first, it can always be useful to buy a Zeal for that extra speed and DPS.
When youve finished your build youre pretty much untouchable, while gushing out insane amounts of damage. The only real problem here on is if the enemy team gets a thornmail. If so, just let your caster nuke him down.

Team fights
The hardest part about Riven is knowing What to do, and When. NEVER initiate a fight, thats what you have a tank for. When your tank har charged in, jump straight for the squishies and cut them down. Shouldnt take more than a few seconds to take out their carry. But if your team is in need of help by a heavy bruiser cutting them down, go and make quick work of him aswell. Always be wary of your HP in the fights, if you get caught unfocused in a bad position, its highly likely that you will die. Always know when to back out, only to jump back in again and steal back all your HP.

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Summoner Spells

Exhaust / Flash

Exhaust - works perfect for Riven. The longer you stay close, the more damage you deal. Combined with the active of the Hextec Gunblade and Red buff, no one will escape your perma slow.

Flash - getting Riven out of nasty situations. An early flash and spamming Q + E will almost guarantee you a safe passage home.

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Pros / Cons


+ High skill cap
+ Really fun to play and wreck havoc
+ Scales really well into late game, while having a strong early to mid game
+ Gamechanger
+ Insane damage output while still being very tanky


- Will get raped if initiating wrong
- Very item dependant
- Requires a good team to support you
- Hard countered by Thornmail

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Hopefully this build helps people utilize Riven as she should. Ive tried going very tanky, and also very DPSy, and none of those have any consistent playstyles. You will get cut down either cause you charge in with alot of armor and no damage, or with too much damage and no armor. She should be played as an in and out, high DPS melee carry with good life steal and high burst while having enough armor/m.res to negate most of the damage done to her.

Thanks, and bye!