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Riven Build Guide by Valdaric

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Valdaric

Riven: The Exile (Lane & Jungle Builds)

Valdaric Last updated on September 16, 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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Riven - The Exile

In Noxus, any citizen may rise to power regardless of race, gender, or social standing - strength is all that matters. It was with committed faith in this ideal that Riven strove to greatness. She showed early potential as a soldier, forcing herself to master the weight of a long sword when she was barely its height. She was ruthless and efficient as a warrior, but her true strength lay in her conviction. She entered battles without any trace of doubt in her mind: no ethical pause, no fear of death. Riven became a leader amongst her peers, poster child of the Noxian spirit. So exceptional was her passion that the High Command recognized her with a black stone rune sword forged and enchanted with Noxian sorcery. The weapon was heavier than a kite shield and nearly as broad - perfectly suited to her tastes. Soon after, she was deployed to Ionia as part of the Noxian invasion.

What began as war quickly became extermination. Noxian soldiers followed the terrifying Zaunite war machines across fields of death. It wasn't the glorious combat for which Riven trained. She carried out the orders of her superiors, terminating the remnants of a beaten and fractured enemy with extreme prejudice. As the invasion continued, it became clear that the Ionian society would not be reformed, merely eliminated. During one bitter engagement, Riven's unit became surrounded by Ionian forces. They called for support as the enemy closed in around them. What they received instead was a barrage of biochemical terror launched by Singed. Riven watched as around her Ionian and Noxian alike fell victim to an unspeakably gruesome fate. She managed to escape the bombardment, though she could not erase the memory. Counted dead by Noxus, she saw an opportunity to start anew. She shattered her sword, severing ties with the past, and wandered in self-imposed exile - on a quest to seek atonement and a way to save the pure Noxian vision in which she believed.

''There is a place between war and murder / in which our demons lurk.''

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This is a laning and jungle build for the new League champion Riven. It should be noted that this is my first build, so hopefully I can detail it well enough. Riven is a melee fighter with some decent damage potential.

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For purposes of laning, I prefer to use greater marks of desolation, seals of resilience, and for glyphs I would recommend focus or warding. The glyphs of focus work great since she is completely dependent on cooldown times. Also, it should be noticed that she does have fairly decent MR to start with. The extra MR can be helpful if you're laning against a AP hero early on. Finally, I finish off with flat health quints, just for some extra HP early on.

My runes for jungling are nearly the same as for laning purposes; however, since you'll be dealing just with the jungle mobs, there isn't much of a point in bothering with the glyphs of warding. With the extra cooldown reduction from the focus glyphs, you'll be able to burn down the mobs a bit more quickly.

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For masteries, I use a 21/6/3 build. I like resistance and hardiness in the defense tree, just to add a bit more defense early game. The three points in Good Hands are simply because there wasn't really a better place to put them, and the extra ten percent reduction on time spent dead can be helpful so that you can get back into team fights quickly. You could easily distribute these wherever else you might see fit.

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For most of my builds, I like to try and make my champions as resilient as possible, while maintaining a high level of DPS (except when building a straight tank). For this, Wriggles works well early on since her base armor is rather low. In both builds I replace this later on. I substitute an Atma's in once I've gotten the Warmogs and built my Infinity Edge. This will give you time to fill the Warmog's, giving a decent amount of bonus AD after you finish off the Atma's. In the jungling build, I replace the Wriggles with Blood Thirster for the extra damage and vamp.

I use the Hexdrinker in both builds for the extra damage and MR, though the shield at 30% is also nice. Boots of Lucidity work well because she's a cooldown based champion, especially when combined with a Youmuu's.

I also use a Frozen Mallet in both builds because of the slow, extra health, and the little extra damage that it provides. As I said, I like my champs to be pretty beefy, so if you wish to replace this with something else, be my guest. That one is more of a personal preference.

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Skill Sequence

Valor and Ki Burst have cooldowns that are based off their skill rank. For this reason, in both cases, I max out Ki Burst first. It helps with jungling because it does a decent amount of damage but also temporarily stuns the mobs. It is also great when attempting to keep an enemy from running away. By level four I make sure to have a point in Valor in order to quickly dive into fights, or out of them depending on how it is going. For laning purposes, I max this second. For jungling Broken Wings seems best to max first, followed by Ki Burst, and then Valor. Again, I still take a point in Valor at level four so that it's available if needed.

For purposes of combat, I would us Valor to slide in. The shield it provides can soak up an attack or two, depending on your AD. Follow this with Blade of the Exile and then Ki Burst. Follow up with Broken Wings and then use Wind Slash before the duration of Blade of the Exile is up. It does damage based on how much HP the enemy has missing. Ki Burst will temporarily disable the enemies, allowing some free attacks prior to using Broken Wings. It will also allow for a slight early advantage in team fights if you time it correctly.

At level eighteen, her cooldowns are fairly low, allowing you a great deal of mobility between Valor and Broken Wings. This can allow you to maneuver through combat, escape, and offer a small AoE stun to your team. Remember that the range on Ki Burst is incredibly short, so make sure you're close enough.

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Summoner Spells

Ignite is a nice spell because it reduces healing on a champion. A decent amount of the champs have a self heal, or if there's a support on their team. Plus, if an enemy champion goes to flee at low health, you pop ignite and can possibly burn them down while they escape.

Smite is pretty self-explanatory when it comes to jungling.

Flash is useful because of the added escape it offers. Riven doesn't actually have a whole lot of escape potential. Valor gives a short dash, but it is VERY short. While it is helpful, I wouldn't risk relying on it solely. Ghost would probably be a good substitute. Exhaust would also be an acceptable replacement for Ignite. It mostly depends on your personal preference.

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As far as I can see, Riven seems to be a pretty solid champion, and she's extremely fun to play. As I've said earlier, cooldown reduction is super helpful when it comes to spamming her attacks. Blade of the Exile also already has a limited cooldown compared to a lot of ults. By bumping up your cooldown reduction you'll be able to utilize it pretty quickly from one fight to the next.

She takes some getting used to, but I've found that she's fairly durable when built via the above methods. Again, a lot of these builds are based off my personal preferences. Feel free to change out items and runes as you see fit.

Thanks for checking this out and please leave a comment if you have any suggestions. Constructive criticism is always appreciated!

P.S. I'll be updating this page as needed in the future.