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Riven Build Guide by CSKorndawg

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CSKorndawg

Riven, The Hyper Carry

CSKorndawg Last updated on November 11, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Riven is one of the champions that is extremely hard to play. Or so I find it. Timing is very important with Riven, and if you're not able to get that right then you won't be able to kill. However, if you do play her right, she can be the gayest champion to lane against. I mean who likes going up against someone with 4 dashes, an AoE stun and a ton of damage?
This is CSKorndawg and this is my second guide. I'll try to make it better that my first one!

P.S. If you get really fed with Riven before the 20 minute mark, and the others aren't to fed, then you will be able to 1v3. I've had times where 3 people try to gank me after I'm 8/0 in 15 minutes and I get a triple kill.

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Please note: Riven is not very tanky. Therefore, if your jungler is someone like Shaco, you will not be tanky enough late game and have harder teamfights. Make sure the jungler will be someone tanky, like Warwick or, one of my favorites, Cho'Gath. Late game with him you won't need another tank, especially if he's fed enough and ate with his ulti.
The jungler doesn't necessarily have to be tanky, but if he isn't, you will find that late game you might have a problem.

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Pros / Cons

- High Damage
- High Mobility
- Has some sexy skins
- Good escapability
- AoE stun
- Good teamfight capability

- Says REALLY cheesy stuff
- Not very tanky if you play her wrong
- Kinda hard to learn at first

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Items Throughout Game Phases

Start items:

Early Game Goals:

Mid Game Goals:

Late Game Goals:

Start with either Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions or Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. If you are laning against someone like Yorick, get boots. In fact, generally you should get boots. However, if you are laning against a hard AD champ like Garen, you should start with cloth armor to minimize his damage.

Early Game:
Early game you want to get one of the three boots: Ninja Tabi, Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Mercury's Treads. Each of the boots depends on the situation. If you're going against a heavy AD champ like Garen, get Ninja Tabi. You can sell them later for other boots. If the enemy team has some CC, get Mercury's Treads. This is a common buy for any tank, and Riven should get it too. Getting CC'd can really stop you from doing much. However, if the enemy has barely any CC, Ionian Boots of Lucidity are perfect for you. Why these boots? It's simple: you need cooldown. You are VERY skill reliant, and having these skills ASAP can help you do much more. These are the only 3 shoes worth getting.

The Brutalizer is yet another item necessary for early game Riven. It gives you CDR and damage. It's basically perfectly suited for you. You should get one, maybe two if you're doing really well. You can sell these later anyways, and it builds into Youmuu's Ghostblade, which works quite nicely on riven.

You should also get a Doran's Blade or two for the AD, HP and lifesteal. If you're doing well you can sometimes skip these, but I would still recommend getting one.

Mid Game:
Mid game you should be getting your first The Bloodthirster. You need it. If you don't have it pretty soon you're gonna be not as useful as if you did. This item is perfectly suited for Riven as it gives you extremely high AD. It also gives you lifesteal to survive.
Also, after getting your bloodthirster get a Guardian Angel. It's another perfect item for Riven. If you die in a teamfight, you come right back and deal some more insane damage. It gives you some armor that you need to survive. And if you die with it and they're all sitting around you, you might still be able to get away alive if you're lucky and manage to do everything right.

Late game:
Here, the build really depends on the enemy team. You can get more bloodthirsters, which is something I would recommend. You can also get a Youmuu's Ghostblade OR Maw of Malmortius at this point (don't buy both). Your The Brutalizer builds into Youmuu's Ghostblade, and the Maw of Malmortius] has a very nice passive. You can choose one of these. Or, you can get another The Bloodthirster. It all depends on the game, but remember that Riven's tankiness also comes from her AD (Weird as it sounds but it's true.)
Also, Last Whisper is a pretty nice item on Riven if you find that you're attacking their tank. Get it, and you might deal more damage than you would in any other way. It makes their armor 40% less effective. If that isn't good, I don't know what is. That makes their Thornmail go from 100 armor to 60 armor. And if you get a Youmuu's Ghostblade as well, then you see that armor? No more. You will cut through it like a hot knife through butter. Or in my case, like a carrot through a Frozen Heart. (Battle bunny Riven)

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Situational Items

You should really just be stacking damage. But if the game is not going in that direction, these items might help you out.

This is quite amazing vs enemies like Mordekaiser. It simply clears his ulti. It may also save you from Ignite. Take this item for those reasons, but this should definitely not be your core.

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Summoner Spells

I take Heal and Ignite. Why no Flash? You simply don't need it. Maybe you don't have a skill that flashes through walls, but you do have 4 dashes and an AoE stun. Heal will let you surprise the enemy in 1v1 fights and it also makes you deceptively more tanky as you don't have a lot of HP as Riven. (Your AP Nuke might have more than you :3). And if you win those 1v1 fights at top lane, you will kill their carry (like Ashe) in no time. And Ignite is just a useful spell. If there's one thing I hate as Riven is when I use my ulti ) Blade of the Exile) and they end up with 10 hp. That's where Ignite comes into play. You can ulti them and Ignite and it's almost a sure kill.
And remember: Vs champs with that annoying regen like Dr. Mundo ignite makes it 50% less effective.

Other possible spells:

Ok, ok, you just want that little extra dash. Kind of pointless if you ask me, but if you can't survive without this spell feel free to take it.

If you ask me, Heal and Ignite work much better, and you can catch up to your enemy easier. But if you really want this spell, it's not bad to let your jungler deal some damage too. But if you're gonna max your Ki Burst first anyways, there's no point in taking this.

Big NONO spells:

If you wanna troll, take this. There is no other better troll spell.

Once again, quite a troll spell. There's really nothing good about this spell.

Only take this if you're jungling. Jungle Riven isn't bad, but if you wanna do her jungle then don't follow this guide. You would need an early Wriggle's Lantern and I'm not gonna explain how to gank here. I'm sure you can find that somewhere.

Was there ever a spell better suited for Riven? I mean, who doesn't like mana when you don't even use it.

So many better spells. An exhaust would get you much further. An ignite would deal more damage. You shouldn't ever take this spell, really. No matter who you're playing.

If you wanna get away, take flash. You move fast enough with your skills already. No need for this.

If you wanna take this as Riven, you might as well go jungle with Janna. Although when I think about Janna jungling, it makes more sense than clairvoyance on riven.

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Skill Sequence

I max my Q Broken Wings then W Ki Burst then E Valor. You probably figured that out by reading the above one anyways. But why do I level it this way? People may say to max W or E first, but you really shouldn't. Her Q scales 1:1 with her AD. This will be your main damage source. You can max your W first too, but I think that with Q you will do a lot more damage. And don't max your E first. Q or W is ok, but E is really pointless. It's a very nice dash, but the shield will really not protect you enough and the damage you will lack will simply make you nothing more than a fail tank. So basically you can max Q or W first, and E last. But I tend to max Q for the damage, even though W may be easier to hit the enemy with.

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Game Phases

Early Game: Just lane, focus on getting CS and harass that enemy. Just make his health fall down. Hopefully you won't be laning against someone like Malphite, or my worst enemy, SUPER OP Olaf, because you will die to them and wont be able to harass them enough. Malphite counters almost every melee, and you are a melee (no duhh). Kennen is also hard to lane against. But if you're against someone like Yorick, get them down to low HP and then wait. Then when your QWER is up, you go kill. I will explain your combo later. You can also get CS with your Q and W. I'd recommend just using W because you may need your Q for a number of reasons, such as escaping a gank.

Mid game: You should have your The Bloodthirster by now, and maybe a few kills. If you're extremely fed with 10 kills go into their base and pentakill them. But if you have a few kills (1-3) just continue laning and help your team when they need you. Teamfights should start happening, and you want to be in them. This is a game phase that is hard to explain, and you just need to learn how to deal with it.

Late Game: Teamfights are happening. This is the most important time to win those. If you die, you might lose. Try to catch the enemies out of position. Then use your combo on the AD carry (I'll explain the combo later on.) Hopefully that'll be enough to kill. Then just go onto another target and autoattack and try to just damage them. Make sure to spam WQEQEWWEQWEQWQE and you will do enough. Then when you win a teamfight, don't recall unless you have 1 hp and are about to be executed. This is a terrible mistake to make. You can take dragon or baron, or even better, go in and push. Try to get their inhibitor.

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The Combo

So what is this combo I am talking about? It's what you wanna do when you engage. Riven is basically OP 1v1, and that's because of her combo. And the key to her combo is simple: it's the autoattacks. Your passive is the way you deal damage. If you just QQQ you won't deal enough.
So the secret at lvl 1-5 is: Q aa W aa Q aa Q aa. ( Broken Wings autoattack Ki Burst autoattack Broken Wings autoattack Broken Wings autoattack.) And use your E ( Valor) (which you only took 1 point in) to either get in or get out. If you are kinda far away from the enemy then get in with E. Otherwise, do ur Q aa W aa Q aa Q aa and E OUT of there. They will only have enough time to react after your combo, and if you dash out… They will be mad.Your shield will protect you from any possible damage, if they will even be able to catch up to you.
And the secret at levels 6-18 is R E Q autoattack W auto attack Q autoattack Q autoattack R ignite. If they survive this, you most likely did it wrong, their support is a 2300 elo player and you can surrender at 20, or their AD carry is their tank. You can then continue autoattacking and wait for your skills to come back. And when they do, just spam them. The enemy WILL then run.

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I've said this before. Use your combo on the AD carry and watch as their healthbar disappears. And then you can laugh. Do a little /l to make them go cry in a corner.

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Things To Know

- This ability allows you to ignore unit collision. Want to get away or to someone fast? Move right into the minions and q through them. It also lets you get somewhere faster with jumps.
- This lets you go through very thin walls that are cast by champions, such as Anivia's Crystalize
- The third time you use this ability, it's a knockback. It will let you interrupt ulti's like Katarina's Death Lotus

- Can't kill enough? This is a pretty good killsteal move, as it deals high damage and is cast immediately.
- This will stop enemies from running. You can E QQQ to them and stun them. And then your team will catch up. 0.5 seconds may not seem that long, but trust me, it can turn a lot around.

- This is a great escaping skill. Use it while running
- You can also use this to get to a place faster. I know it sounds stupid, but if you wanna get to your lane faster, then you can e into there seeing as you have no mana.
- You can dash through champion spells with this to, like you can with your [Broken wings]
- Think their in a bush? You can E into there, and follow up with a quick stun and take 0 damage and find out if they are in there.

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Laning VS Different Champions

You will die. You must die. Even his taunt is "You Will Lose". If you don't die and get the same CS as malphite, then you know he is a noob. Malphite simply counters you. Just try not to die against him, and you might stand a chance late game.

Dr. Mundo: He has some gay sustain. Make him miss his cleaver. Combo him a few times. Try to not let him outsustain you. And remember, that ulti is 50% less effective when ignite is cast on Dr. Mundo. With that, you may be able to win your lane.

People may feel sorry for you to have this guy in your lane. Don't let them. If you see the enemy chose Yorick, just wait to be fed. He probably won't have enough health. Just wait for his ghosts, dash into a bush, then come out and combo him. And watch as he cries. You can also do a /l (laugh) just to rub it in his face more. You should win vs this guy.

Cho'Gath: This guy will just try to farm. He's quite weak at pre-level 6, but after he gets his ulti he will grow big and get health. He becomes extremely hard to kill then. Just dodge his Rupture Q, remember that his Feral Scream W's cooldown is quite long, and don't let him get out of control. Because if he does, at lvl 16 he will be unkillable. Try to stop him from getting his stacks. And remember: Late game, when you see a lvl 16 huge cho'gath running alone at your team, it's a bluff. He's big, but can't deal that much sustained damage. And you should then go in to kill.

If she uses her Q to farm, she may lose a lot of mana. Her E will stun you if you have higher health % than you, so make sure not to make the first move. Especially if she maxes her W then E. And she deals true damage with her W. You should be able to do quite well against her. And if she tries to Q away, you can always E QQQ after her.

If you can pretend to 1v1 him and make him pop his ulti then just run, you will make him mad. It has a long cooldown, so you can just kill him while its down. But the main point about nasus is his farming. Don't, DO NOT, in any way or circumstance, just let him farm his Q. Or late game he will be doing 800 damage with that thing. That's more or less a 3 shot on you. Just deny him his Q and you will do well.

This should be a more or less passive lane. You won't see hecarim often in games, but some people play him. Remember that his ulti is great for catching up and he's extremely fast anyways.

A built in flash in a way, pretty high damage and his normal build is building armor. You won't do much damage to this guy, but he won't do much to you either. But if you see him pop his flag behind you, be careful. A gank is very likely coming in soon.

Why didn't you ban him? An ability that deals true damage, a slow, an ulti with which you can't stun him. This will be a hard lane for you, but it will just as likely hard for him.

Beware of this guy. He has a built in flash, shield that will help stop harass, and a built in teleport with his ulti. And his damage is pretty high. But there's not much to explain. Make sure to call SS (or MIA).

What an absolutely gay Q. So much sustain there built in. Harassing him is more or less pointless, but it will make him use up his mana. At lvl 6, beware if he goes into a bush. Don't facecheck it, he might pop his ulti.

This guy is just one hard one to lane against. He will escape you, he will stun you, he might kill you. And seeing as he's not a melee, harassing this guy is extremely hard. Especially since he can stun you as soon as you go in and deal insane damage.

This guy has a really gay escaping spell. But apart from that, it should be a more or less passive lane. He is, however, extremely hard to gank.

If a gank is coming in, try to bait him to use his E stun, then go in. This guy has some really nice damage too. But none of you counter eachother exactly, so just play normally.

This guy has some nice AoE damage. But you counter him. So too bad for him. Just beware of his silence. And if he starts spin to win, just stun him. And then finish him off when he has low health.

This one has nice CC. Make sure to get Mercury's Tread's (you should get them most of the time anyways.) Be careful, he can send you flying into his turret or into a gank. Just watch if he's coming close and you will probably do just fine.

What can I say about this guy? You will die. I mean, he'll pull you in, slow you, and at level 6, finish you when you have half health.

If you have questions about other champs, ask in the comments.

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Hope you liked this guide. Comment if you have questions, I will answer. And here is a nice little picture of

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Update history

November 11, 2012

- Updated masteries removing crit damage and adding cdr.
- Added PS after intro