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Riven Build Guide by JackMySpearow

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League of Legends Build Guide Author JackMySpearow

Riven - The Flipping Beast

JackMySpearow Last updated on November 5, 2012
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Duelist / Tank / Jungler

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Alright ladies and gents, this is the Riven guide that'll be rounding up what kind of beast this beauty is. First of all Riven is a champion that got loads of potential and can be played very differently. She can be a great asset to the team if played right, and if not, it feels like she is just flippin around feeding, doing no damage at all. In this guide we will be covering the solo top duelist, the solo top tank and then there will be a segment of jungling with her. I know people love playing champions their own way, and this is why I will be doing a segment for some of the roles this flippin beast can possess.

Riven is a physical melee damage champion that has a strong early game that if exploited well can snowball into an insane carry. Her abilities make her very mobile and she is good against virtually anyone early game. Later on she can fall off if she hasn't taken advantage of her early game power. She is vulnerable to cc and then great at disrupting the enemy team.

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Pro's and Cons


  • Awesome burst
  • Can pretty much carry a game by herself
  • Manaless (<3)
  • A disrupting machine
  • A mobile and damaging skillset
  • Ridiculous snowball
  • Uncontrollable flippin beast


  • Vulnerable to cc
  • She is cooldown reliant
  • Is pretty useless without her abilities up.
  • Largely itemdependant
  • If she is outplayed early, she can have a hard time scaling properly to lategame

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Summoner Spells

Best of the best summoner spells for Riven:

This is good for chasing, getting into range or get out of sticky situations. All what a good solo top, an aggressive solo top needs.

To close the deal, to prevent them from healing and such. As the standard meta for top lane, this is not a bad choice at all for Riven.

To prevent a strong solo top to deal any damage to you while you're pounding away on his halfdead champion. Get this against champions who outdamages you and won't heal so incredibly much. Champions like that damages so incredibly much with nothing but a HoG can be shut down with a good laid exhaust.

The alternative hipster summoner spells

You want to counter-gank, you want to follow a or , you want to escape, you want to be able to return to lane in no time. If any of these, go for it, but you sacrifice your advantage in typical duels which or gives you

If you're ballsy enough, this can be so awesome on Riven. If you want to crush running enemies or simply feel like is a ***** spell, get this. It gives you so much momentarily mobility where it feels like none can stop you.

You're an idiot? Get this.

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Her passive is a huge deal when pursuing with the duelist build. What this does, is that every time you make an offensive ability, your basic attacks will deal increased damage. In the duelist build this will suit you great. Your sword will be charged with a hell a lot of damage. When dueling you want to combo this, since you can only get 3 charges and can only be used one at a time. For most benefit of this passive you want to:

The Riven Combo:
-> -> Basic Attack -> -> Basic Attack -> Basic Attack -> -> -> Basic Attack. Then you yell "FINISH HIM" at your screen and -> send out the wave. Works like a charm.

Her signature move some would call it. This is a three time dash that ignores unit collision and has a knockback at the end. You activate each dash seperately and with a gap of a few seconds. This will be the first thing to max, since the damage will clear minionwaves faster than you can imagine.

She stuns everyone around her for a short time. This small stun can disrupt any enemy trying to flee or simply, disrupt an entire team. This, you want to max secondly as it is good for disrupting and is very important in team fights

A small dash that grants Riven a shield for a short duration. Can it get any better? Yes, the shield scales on AD. I cannot count how many times this small dash has saved me from a tough situation or gotten me in range for that last hit.

Riven repairs her sword for a pretty good duration, which increases her damage and makes her have larger range on her abilities. Awesome! Is that all? No you can activate it again during the duration and send out a wave that deals more damage to low enemies. You want to activate this at the beginning of a duel or teamfight. Only when they are low and try to flee do you send out the wave that usually kills. I've watched too many Riven players send out the wave way too early and trust me it does absolutely NO DAMAGE if you won't wait till they are low.

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The Duelist: All about the passive

The duelist Riven will be facing champions like

and the list goes on. In general, the bruisers who can carry the game hard if they are given the chance.

The Solo Top gameplay

Riven excells in bursting down champions early to mid game, so you should be focusing on winning exchanges. Do not let you get bullied around by a who thinks her range makes the exchanges go in her favor. Riven is a very mobile champion and you should exploit that to the fullest. It is all about marking your presence. Whenever they try and bully you around because they think they've "counterpicked" you, you should be into range and use your combo along side with your passive.

The duelist have to be aggressive, that's why I sometimes -for the fun of it- start out with . It's is a gambling move, but if played well can be the key to a firstblood. Otherwise see if your jungler can gank early to give you the advantage and exploit it in a way it is almost embarrasing for the opponent to return to lane.

A succesful solo top Riven duelist can clear waves with more certainty than , a good farm will make or break the game, so exploit it. Aprox. 18 creeps are worth more than first blood, so remember to farm.

Beware of cooldowns

Always, always, always keep an eye out for cooldowns. You are pretty much useless if you don't have your abilities ready. They should be running when your abilities have been fired off, if not back the hell off if you can. A good opponent will try to dodge your combo and wait till you have it all on cooldown and engage from there. You should do the same. When uses her you should just back off, wait for it to pass, and then go into range and do The Riven Combo.

All about the passive

I cannot stress this enough. Her passive DOES the damage. Don't just use all the 3 hits of at once, because it simply won't work. Use every or ability with an autoattack inbetween. It is almost equal to having procs on your attacks, which is awesome. The passive is the key to the dominant solo top Riven.

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Items for the Duelist

The items you're buying should depend on the situation. The build I've presented is suited for all around situations, which is the built I use for aggressive solo top, but cautious for the late-game role of Riven which is more of a frontline figure with a good portion of damage which also have the ability to absorb some of it. Here are some items to consider alongside the build presented above depending on the situation you're in. Going for the hard bursty Riven is a gambling move that can either go horribly wrong, good or just plain average.

Even with the Riven

You are both pretty even and exchanges does not hand over a dominant victor
Here are item's to consider:

This item is good for turning the tides in your favor. You might just get the advantage that can pull the situation over to a dominant Riven that can control the lane and deny them being useful later on. Going the standard way I usually stack two of those and get the presence I want to have in the lane.

Riven is all about cooldownreduction. These boots are for the aggressive one, that wants to keep on harassing and keep on putting that pressure down onto the enemy. Combine it with and you are pretty much free to harass uncontrolably. Although it sacrifices the stun reduction and damage reduction in and , it makes up for it in awesome harass against champions like or

This item is pretty standard amongst high elo players. It gives you that extra bit of gold and a sliver of health that over time, can give you the gold you need to buy whatever you are needing to push the lane into your favor and adds that extra bit of sustain that makes it harder for the enemy to whither you down.

The Dominating Riven

You are winning exchanges, making it a true hell for the opponent to farm.

You should in these situations make it hard for the opponent to get back into the game:

I fell in love with this item and sometimes I even stack two of these just to be op. Amazing item, in general you'll regain health by attacking a few minions thus winning any harass he is trying to make onto you. Then there's the damage that is so incredibly good on Riven. Every ability of hers scale on AD which makes her so incredibly strong.

When you are playing this high bursty way, you should also have some sort of security. As a solo top you are a frontline figure, where you should be able to not get dropped the instant you engage. This item is good at securing your survival later on.

If you've been continuesly beating them down they're bound to stack armor. Why make their effort in controlling you succesful? Get this and and you'll almost deal true damage to them.

Their jungler's early gank ruined your top presence

You're forced back under your turret and await cs to push closer to you.

Of obvious reasons you should try to get back into the game. This item is genious in those situations. Gold + health can get you right back up on top of things.

A free ward, armor, damage, lifesteal and minionkill procs will help you look out for ganks, sustain way better and farm like a boss.

Of obvious reasons this cheap item, gives you a good portion of practically everything you need to get a better presence in the game.

Full builds:

"I'm doing extremely good."

then choose or

"I'll mark my presence in the later on."

and finally get

"I've been pretty even with my lane."

Start with:

Head for

Then see if you have a steady farming lane and get either
(whatever you feel most comfortable with) otherwise get


If you're against a AP heavy team, or feel like you are just being pounded by the enemy team stun abilities and whatnot, you might want to consider items such as:

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The Tank: I'm a big health threat

The Tank Riven will be disrupting the enemy team with her small but effective cc, putting down good damage to the carries and holds a strong and effective frontline figure. The tank Riven should be played if the enemies are showing signs of powerful tanks in their team and all your team has picked carries.

The Solotop gameplay

You know your lane isn't going to be a dueling lane, but more of a passive farming seance. Sometimes it is good to look at what the team needs instead of just going the classical solo top bruiser. If you have squishy champions all around your team, and they are really tanky, you should be thinking about being that tank for the team. It can be very fun to play champions in a different way.

Even though you take on the role of tank, doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to deal damage. I believe the is essential for Tank Riven. And some other damage items like or aren't the worst things you can get on a Riven. Just remember to be that big healthy threat in team fights which does not go down easily and can effectively initiate a team fight.

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Items for the Tank

Some items to consider while trying to be the health bomb on your team:

A good amount of health, armor and an aoe damage per second. This is a very good item for tank Riven, since you are already in there, why not go for some aoe damage.

Zeke's herald
This is also a very benefitial item for Riven. It gives you cooldownreduction, health, speed and lifesteal. All very good on Tank Riven, especially cooldownreduction and health, the aura benefits the team, as well as it gives you speed and lifesteal which isn't the worst thing in the world.

The classical "I'm healthy and I deal a ton of damage". I recommend alongside , since the slow, health and the damage are a better asset to the team than

It should always get picked up by one of the team. If the support can't and the jungler are too poor, consider buying it as it is a good item to have on the team.

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Flipping in the jungle

People often say Riven is a weak jungler. I say different. She can be super strong if played right. She got the small aoe spells going which are very effective when clearing the jungle. You should look for a ton of early ganks because Riven is designed to do incredible damage early on.

Riven jungleroute

Riven is a manaless champ (<3) and benefits well from getting an early Red Buff. Start out with

Wraiths -> Red Buff -> Look for ganks -> Wolves -> Home and get -> Blue buff -> you better gank now.

As Riven jungle you should get that early game presence going. Start out with and start looking for those early ganks. Aggression makes the succesful JungleRiven and therefore you should not be afraid to gank. Do the laneganks, bushganks and just get in there and start picking up those kills/assists.

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Items for the jungling Riven:

Pretty standardly you should be focusing on getting these items early on:

This will make you a both tankish, yet damaging threat in ganks. Do not focus boots as your mobility and phage are usually enough to get those kills going. At lvl 8-9 you should be able to do dragon.

Then you should usually go for , since you don't want stuns to last long when you're ganking. Now you gotta decide whether you need durability or damage. Usually i'm inclined to head for:

It is kind of a gambling move, you're kind of dedicated to get some of those bt stacks going and gank the lanes fairly often. This should dramatically increase your burstiness. And is just awesome for Riven

But if you feel like the team needs that tankier guy on your team, don't be shy to head for:

Definitely not a bad idea if you want to be that viable jungling bruiser. It adds a fair amount of damage, armor, critchance and health to your overall stats. Not a bad idea either.

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Finishing notes

Bragging with random scoreresults:

Thanks for reading! I'll add stuff if I come up with anything. You are welcome to discuss the build or come with suggestions for additions or changes.

Over and out, JackMySparrow. Peace. Keep on flippin