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Riven Build Guide by Dish

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dish

Riven, the Exile - Closing the Gap

Dish Last updated on August 18, 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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello! This is a work-in-progress Riven guide! Please try to keep in mind this is my first guide I've ever written, so constructive criticism is absolutely appreciated. Riven is one of the few champions I have purchased upon release, and I definitely do not regret the purchase. She is a very fun, mobile, unique fighter champion that is absolutely devastating when played right.

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09.15.2011 - Created the guide.
- Altered skill sequence, thanks to Bongg, SomethingWicked, and Serris for pointing out that Ki Burst does not scale as well as Broken Wings!
- Moved a point in the Masteries.
04.05.2012 - Revisited the guide and completely altered everything.

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Passive: Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do 5/7/9/11/13/15 (+0.5 per bonus attack damage) bonus damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, but only expends one at a time.

Always keep in mind that Riven can only store 3 charges at any given time, so using more abilities when you have 3 charges saved up without auto-attacking at least once will result in wasted stacks of your passive.

Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes. This ability can be activated up to 3 times in a short period.

1st Use/2nd Use: Deals 30/50/70/90/110 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) to a small area in front of her.
3rd Use: Jumps into the air and slams downward, causing a larger impact nova that deals 30/50/70/90/110 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) and knocks nearby enemies back.

This skill is really what defines Riven. You can use this ability without having a target to bounce around the map and get to places quicker, or to dodge enemy skillshots, it does good damage, and quickly builds stacks of your passive. Use this escape, to initiate, and to decimate any enemies hit by it. Getting used to aiming it can be a tad difficult at first, so keep that in mind. That being said, this ability offers less overall damage then Ki Burst, and should be used optimally by taking advantage of the fact that each use of the ability resets her attack animation, allowing for faster autoattacks then her attack speed would normally allow.

The optimal way to use this is to use Broken Wings, auto-attack, Broken Wings, auto-attack, Broken Wings, auto-attack. This is so that you don't waste a single stack of your passive.

Riven deals 50/90/130/170/210 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) and stuns nearby enemies for 0.5 seconds.

The stun effect on Ki Burst is nothing more then a movement stopper or an interrupt, but it still comes in handy when chasing or locking down someone like Katarina or Nunu. It's the single most damaging skill at Riven's disposal, allowing for massive burst as well as minor crowd control. I max this first.

Riven dashes forward and gains a shield that absorbs 40/70/100/130/160 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) for a short duration.

A shield that scales with attack damage? And a 1.0 ratio at that? This offers the much needed survivability for a solo top that will continue to be useful into the late game. I max this second.

Riven's sword reforms, giving her a bonus 20% Attack Damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and basic attacks for 15 seconds.

While Blade of the Exile is active, Riven can reactivate the ability to use Wind Slash, which emits a large shockwave that deals damage to all units hit based on their missing life.

Minimum Damage: 80/120/160 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)
Maximum Damage: 240/360/480 (+1.8 per bonus attack damage)

You'll basically want to use your ult at the beginning of every teamfight, then use Wind Slash as late as you can while still hitting multiple targets with it. It's kind of a tricky thing to aim, but it does a lot of damage and works similar to Garen's ultimate in the sense that it does more damage based on how low their health is. The real perk of using her ultimate however is the increased damage and range of all your other abilities and autoattacks. Just remember to use the Wind Slash before the 15 seconds runs out!

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I use Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Marks of Desolation, because Armor Penetration is always welcome on any attack damage champion.
Greater Seals of Resilience for yellows, because as Riven you will generally be in the face of the enemy at all times, due to how good of a harasser she is. These are coincidently the best yellow's for a low price (only 205IP each!)
Greater Glyphs of Shielding. I prefer per level magic resist blues, but flat works just as well. Flat CD reduction is also a very valid choice, and perhaps is even better then magic resist, but I prefer to have extra survivability because of how squishy Riven can be.
For the Quintessences, I use two Fortitudes for extra early game health, which she desperatly needs, as well as a single Greater Quintessence of DesolationDesolation for the added armor penetration.

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Using a 22/0/8 might seem a little confusing at first, but I opted to not take the traditional 1 point in Utility Mastery , since Riven is pretty low priority for the neutral buffs. Blue is nice for the cooldown reduction, but since she has no resource, the increased regeneration is null and void. Having red buff for longer is certainly welcome, but generally there will be a more fitting champion on your team to take the neutral buff, more specifically a ranged carry. If you aren't playing with a premade team (or simply want to be selfish), go ahead and take a point out of Sorcery and put it into Awareness .

As for the reason for taking any points in Support at all, as opposed to just plugging the remaining nine points in Defense, it's because having the 5% experience increase from Awareness is simply too good to pass up. Riven excels early game, and you want any advantage you can get your hands on in that regard. The key to playing Riven successfully is get ahead early and stay ahead.

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Beginning of Game:

OR x3

I either start with a Doran's Blade or Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion's. I opt for Doran's Blade four out of five times however, because I feel her Q causes her to close the distance and escape well enough even without the boots.

Your goal in the beginning is simply to harass and kill your enemy in lane, or at least push them out of lane, leaving you to farm in peace. Farming is quite easy on Riven, just make sure you use up your passive stacks and not just spam your Q and W.

Try to stay in lane as long as you can, as always.

First Base Return:


If you're not farming exceptionally, I recommend picking up Berserker's Greaves and as much of a Zeal as you can complete. If you have any gold left over, buy a few Health Potion's and Sight Ward's.

If you are farming very well and can manage to stay in lane until you have 1650 gold (or ideally, 2000 gold, so you can buy Boots of Speed as well), pick up a B. F. Sword. You'll have even more burst then you already do, and will be able to drop your enemy in lane incredibly quickly. Keep in mind that if you don't get Boots of Speed on your first return to base, you can potentionally get caught out of position and chased down. You'll have to play it a bit safe and only go for a kill when you know exactly where the enemy is. If they have a jungler, you might opt to skip the B. F. Sword and just build your Berserker's Greaves and your Zeal.

Second Return to Base:


Obviously, finish the Zeal before you build either of the two items. If you didn't purchase your B. F. Sword on your first trip to base, it was probably because you weren't farming well. While you might think getting more damage first is the way you want to go to farm better, generally when you can't farm well it's because you are being out harassed. The extra health from Frozen Mallet will make the enemy harassment less effective, as well as increasing your already outstanding ability to chase down enemies.

If you did buy the B. F. Sword, you've already purchased the most expensive part of The Bloodthirster, so it's probably not a bad idea to finish that first. It really boils down to deciding in game what the wiser purchase is. Pick Frozen Mallet if you need the extra health and chasing ability, or pick The Bloodthirster if you want that extra damage and lifesteal.

On your next return to base, finish whatever item you didn't purchase on this return. When you have both, move on to the next purchase.

I recently added this item to the build and have found it to work out fairly well. It's high in damage (as it requires a B. F. Sword) and due to Riven's attack speed with this build, you'll shred your target's armor in an instant. While it might seem like an anti-tank item, keep in mind that every champion has around 30-40 natural armor without runes and The Black Cleaver shreds 45 of that, effectively making you do true damage to them at max stacks.

Finishing off the Phantom Dancer is a relatively cheap purchase after the previous two items, so it shouldn't take long to get this up and running.


This is really where the build takes a drastic turn based on how the game is folding out. Considering you will be in the late game by this point, you need to assess a few things about how teamfights are playing out.

If you feel your damage is lacking or people are escaping you at the end of teamfights, pick up a Youmuu's Ghostblade. Remember to activate it! You'll start attacking very fast and be able to catch up to anyone who is fleeing a teamfight. It's also brilliant for catching people out of position.

If you are getting in trouble and need some defenses, or they have someone who is good at initiating (ie an Ashe, Annie, or Amumu), you're going to want to pick up the always valid Banshee's Veil. It's one of those items that is almost worth building on every single character in the game at some point. The ability to block most spells in the game every 45 seconds is absolutely priceless. I would recommend this item over the other two in most situations.

If the enemy team has a lot of health or a particularly nasty tank who just doesn't seem to die, it's not a bad idea to opt for the Madred's Bloodrazor. Since we have been building attack speed up to this point, Madred's Bloodrazor can allow you to shred a high health champion to bits. So far, I have only purchased this item when the enemy team had a very annoying Singed who was building pure health the entire game. As soon as I purchased this item it was as if the Singed had no gear at all.

Other viable items:

You may opt to build a pair of Mercury's Treads if you know the enemy has a lot of CC that is causing you problems. This is a general tip to abide by for all champions, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless.

I see a decent amount of Riven's purchasing a Hexdrinker, presumably because it's in the spotlight as well as her recommended items. You could certainly do worse then a Hexdrinker, and if you are really getting hurt by an enemy AP champion, it's worth picking up somewhere when you feel it is valid. Perhaps after your Zeal or inbetween your Frozen Mallet and The Bloodthirster purchases.

Wriggle's Lantern is another recommended item, but I have yet to actually buy it and play with it in-game. I suppose I can see it validated for the jungle farming you could end up doing if your team lacks a jungler, or if you just want to farm better. Not to mention the free ward's. If your team is not buying any wards at all or has a jungler, this perhaps is a decent buy.

Infinity Edge is generally a viable item on most attack damage champion, and Riven is no exception. I feel there are better options in most situations for her however, which is why I didn't include it in the main build. As far as I know, none of her abilities can crit, so this will only affect your auto-attacks. Perhaps worth it if you need the crit boost.

More items may be added soon.

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This guide will be changing over the next couple weeks, so be sure to keep checking back for updates! If you have anything to say about it, please comment below letting me know what you'd like to see changed. Thanks for reading, and have fun playing Riven!