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Riven Build Guide by Pwnzor1130

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pwnzor1130

Riven: The New Queen of Solo Top

Pwnzor1130 Last updated on October 28, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #24 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 9

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

Utility: 0

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Why should YOU play Riven when there are so many other viable solo-top choices? Well, you should play Riven if you

[*] like characters who take some finesse
[*] like characters with a lot of mobility
[*] like characters that deal a lot of damage
[*] like characters that can dominate solo top
[*] like characters that can combo moves in many different ways

Riven's playstyle is fairly unique, and many may find that desirable. She also has a decent skill ceiling, and others may be interested due to that. She also has a Moe thread on the League of Legends general discussion forums(you don't want to know), and has great voice acting!

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Pros / Cons

Very high damage when built correctly
Decently tanky when built correctly
Highly mobile
Very strong laning after Wriggle's Lantern
Good in teamfights

Squishy when built incorrectly
Focused when doing well
Weak laning before [wriggle's lantern

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These runes are set up for a decent early and a decent transition into mid/late-game. Optionally, you can take Greater Quintessence of Desolation for your quintessences and/or Greater Seal of Evasion for your seals. Greater Seal of Evasion will help you boost your mobility and late-game survivability, while Greater Seal of Armor will hwlp your relatively fragile early laning before Wriggle's Lantern. MR/lvl glyphs are typically the most desirable, yet you can use Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction if you want.

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I take 21/9/0 masteries in order to maximize my damage and in order to have a bit of extra survivability. I find it superior to 21/0/9, and any other mastery set is pretty much not viable, as 0/21/9 doesn't give you enough damage and neither does 9/0/21 or 0/9/21.

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Take this skill at level one as it offers the most mobility for level one fights and laning, but don't max it until last as it doesn't scale well with levels compared to her other abilities.

Take this skill starting at level 2 and max it first. It provides the most damage early game out of all of your skills and it lowers the cooldown of your CC.

Take this skill at either level 4 or level 3, depending on the lane and max it second. It provides great mobility and a spammable shield once leveled up.

I have seen many Rivens use their ultimate wrongly. It's best to use it in the middle of a fight, or at the beginning if your enemy is low on health. This is because of the extra Attack Damage and Range it gives her, which can turn around a fight. Do not be tempted to hold onto your ultimate while fighting or doing small objectives, as it has a relatively low cooldown on it. Try to fire it as late as possible, as it does more damage the less health the enemy has.

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Why start with cloth armor and five health potions? Riven's early game is rather fragile, and it helps you rush that crucial Wriggle's Lantern as fast as possible. If you're against a weak laner you can take Doran's Blade or Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions.

This item is non-negotiable. Solo top Riven NEEDS this item to survive. The sustain given by this item makes it too good to NOT get.

I like getting The Brutalizer after wriggle's lantern due to its cheap damage and CDR. It gives a rather nice early game advantage.

These are really the only boots you can get safely. You NEED the CC reduction, as CC destroys Riven. Ionian Boots of Lucidity offer greater damage, yet leave you too susceptible to mages and CC. You may also ask why I get boots so late. The reason is that you need to get Wriggle's Lantern as fast as possible, as it can quite literally turn a losing lane into a winning one. You can also get away with it after the The Brutalizer due to Riven's natural mobility. I rarely get caught out or ganked even without Mercury's Treads early on. NOTE: If you are against Fiddlesticks or Rammus it's best to get it sooner than in the standard item build, as they are some of the few junglers than can gank you effectively.

The Bloodthirster is perhaps the most effective AD item for Riven, as it not only gives you a lot of damage for your abilities, but it also allows you to sustain through most fights. I like getting this early, as it greatly boosts your DPS and sustain.

I usually like to get Guardian Angel at around this point in the game. If you're really stomping your enemies, however, it's possible to hold off on buying it. This allows you to go into fights without fear when the passive is up, and gives you some much needed resistances. This is also the reason i don't go the typical Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler build, as I believe that The Bloodthirster, Wriggle's Lantern, Mercury's Treads, Guardian Angel, and Valor give you enough survivability and sustain during teamfights.

The MUST-HAVE late-game item for any AD caster. This will greatly boost your DPS output if they are building any armor, and should almost entirely nullify their carries' armor.

The CDR, crit, Attack Damage, and the active are all worth it in my opinion. There are other viable options, I just prefer Youmuu's Ghostblade.

An excellent item if you don't like youmuu's ghostblade. It's a very high-damage item and will greatly boost your DPS.

Pair this with Atma's Impaler if your team needs a tankier champ or you don't like Guardian Angel.

Pair this with Frozen Mallet. It gives good armor, crit, and damage if you have high health and is very cost effective. If you want to know why I don't include this in my main build, see my reasoning for Guardian Angel.

A decent item if you're losing your lane against an AP carry or are having trouble with Karthus. I rarely use this, however.

If the game just won't end or you need more damage you can always buy a second bloodthirster. At this point you'll have (phreak)tons of damage(/phreak), especially if you also took Infinity Edge instead of Youmuu's Ghostblade.

Why is Trinity Force so bad on Riven? There are many reasons, as she was specifically designed to make Trinity Force a relatively poor item choice. She has lower base damage than most champions who take Trinity Force. Her passive is MEANT to mimic Trinity Force's passive, and SCALES WITH AD. YOU ARE ADDING DAMAGE TO YOUR PASSIVE BY BUILDING AD OVER Trinity Force. She also has enough mobility without Trinity Force.

Why anybody would think this is good on Riven I don't know. However, I have seen it on a few Rivens and I would like to point out how superior Last Whisper is to it. Your damage is rather bursty, which makes Last Whisper's percent armor penetration much better than The Black Cleaver's proc-based armor penetration. While it is true that Riven scales well with AD, the armor penetration on Last Whisper simply provides more DPS.

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Summoner Spells

Best spells:

Good skills:

I prefer taking flash and exhaust, as Exhaust helps you win fights 1v1 and Flash allows you to jump over walls and Riven has enough mobility to not take ghost. If you like you can switch out Exhaust for Ignite. Ghost and Teleport are decent, yet they tend to not be as useful during fights.

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Tips and Tricks

When traveling between lanes, make sure to spam Valor and Broken Wings in order to move as fast as possible. Learn to abuse Riven's mobility.

When harassing your enemy, a decent tactic to use is Broken Wings three times and then use Ki Burst to stun them and Valor to run away. If you're not worried about creeps hitting you then it's more effective to Broken Wings three times, autoattack, Ki Burst, autoattack, Valor and use the rest of your Runic Blade stacks.

Always try to have a ward in the top tri-bush and near the exit to blue team's golem into the river. This should give you the maximum amount of awareness of any ganks that could be coming your way, and should give you time to make your escape.

Due to Riven's relatively frail early game, don't be overly aggressive before you have Wriggle's Lantern, but once you get it you are free to be very aggressive and abuse your high damage output.

When teamfighting, try to keep your shield and passive up as much as possible, as this will give you the maximum amount of sustainability during fights. It's usually best to go in after the tankier champions, but before everyone else.

It is sometimes best to run in with Valor if you know some AoE is headed your way. However, most of the time you will run in with Broken Wings and Ki Burst as this deals the most DPS and has the greatest disruption of a teamfight.

As mentioned previously, knowing when to activate your exile blade and when to use its active are of the utmost importance if you want to maximize your DPS.

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Champions to Watch for

Champions that FORCE Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions:

(you need the health potions to sustain early on, though you otherwise counter her with Broken Wings and Ki Burst in her shroud)
(you need to get Wriggle's Lantern as fast as possible in order to match her sustain)

Champions to take Boots of Speed and 3 health potions against:

(insert ranged champion or skillshot-dependent mage here)

Champions you can take Doran's Blade against:

(insert champion with notoriously bad early game here)

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Hopefully you now know how to build and play Riven effectively! While she is harder than some other solo-top champions (I'm looking at you Garen) she pays off amazing dividends. She is also an extremely satisfying champion to play, as you just bounce around killing things if you do it correctly. If you find any mistakes or any things that could be improved please PM me! You can also contact me in-game (summoner name: Pwnzor1130) if you want to do some theorycrafting or simply want to play a game. Thank you for reading my guide!