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Riven Build Guide by Wafflator

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Wafflator

Riven, the Offtank Beast

Wafflator Last updated on December 1, 2011
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Team 1


Team 2

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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Hello, I'm Wafflator and this is how I build one of the most enjoyable champions in the League to play, Riven. I made this build because I've been playing a lot of matches since the release of Riven, and I've built her in every way that I could imagine. I've also been lucky enough to watch how other people have been building Riven. From an AD burst assassin to a full blown tank to a Tiamats/Sunfire AoE build, I've seen it and played it. Which brings me to my build, I build Riven as an off-tank with great sustained dps OR burst potential. I hope that you will try my build and post some feedback with possible suggestions or improvements, be it to my item choices, masteries, rune selection, or summoner spells I appreciate the feedback.

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Pros / Cons

-- Has incredible sustained DPS through correct use of Runic Blade
-- Has great mobility in the form of Broken Wings and Valor
-- Is a BLAST to play
-- A female knight, come on you know that's cool.

-- Broken Wings has a long cooldown that doesn't decrease with level
-- Is rather squishy early game
-- Gets a lot of hate because she's new and people don't understand her
-- People queue dodge a lot after you select her (See the second con)

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Greater Mark of Desolation Pretty standard physical dps marks to give you an advantage early game. A lot of people seem to like Greater Mark of Attack Damage due to Riven's Runic Blade. Which is perfectly fine, choosing AD runes over Armor Pen runes gives your Runic Blade a lot of strength early game, I just find that not to be needed to do moderate damage with Riven until later into the game.

These are to compensate for Riven's fairly low base armor and give her some more survivability early game. If you have the IP for Greater Seal of Evasion and would prefer these, they're not a bad choice. I'm just not a fan of building dodge on a champ without a a mechanic to need it aside from full tanks.

These are absolutely amazing on Riven. As I'm sure you're fully aware, Riven's Broken Wings does not have its cooldown reduced upon it leveling. These runes help lower its rather long cooldown as well as lower the CD of your other abilities to be able to proc Runic Blade more often. Obviously though these can be swapped out for a set of Greater Glyph of Magic Resist if you feel you need to be more tanky, or you noticed the other team was stupid and stacked 5 mages.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation Honestly there are a TON of Quints that would be good choices. Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, Greater Quintessence of Health, and Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are all great choices for Riven. I chose Armor Pen because my goal is to make her a real threat early game, and still get benefit from my Quints later into the game.

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I'm not about to go into a stupid amount of detail about my masteries, I'll just highlight a few things. Hardiness and Resistance are in my opinion GREAT to help out with Riven's squishiness early game. Good Hands is a great point investment, you're not invincible and you should assume you'll die eventually. I did consider taking Perseverance, but even at level 18 with your full build it will only add about 5 hp/5. I'd much rather have 10% off of my death timer.

--Important-- The next paragraph was written when I still had Infinity Edge in my build. It is no longer paramount to pick up Lethality but I would still suggest making sure you grab it. Runic Blade may not have the bonus damage calculated into crit but it still provides a noticeable burst increase. Also, Infinity Edge is still a great item for Riven. However, The Bloodthirster is MORE than enough damage for Riven, and you'll actually end up loving that lifesteal due to how much you're Auto-attacking to proc Runic Blade.

The points I spend in the offensive tree are self-explanitory, Riven is a Physical AD champion so I grabbed the masteries that benefit her. Just be sure to grab Lethality since with Atma's Impaler, Infinity Edge, and Youmuu's Ghostblade, you'll have around 50% crit chance and making your Runic Blade crit is HUGE for both burst and dps.

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I'm not going to go into detail about what each item does, you can find that by looking at the links.

I start off with a Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion. I do this because as I've stated, Riven is squishy. These items allow her to maintain her lane for a moderate amount of time, even when taking some harass. You could achieve the same thing with a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion, but with Broken Wings you should be able to get out of harass range while you farm and you would end up just selling the Cloth Armor.

These should be your goals for your first shopping trip. Along with any amount of Sight Ward or Health Potion that you may need. The Brutalizer is just an INCREDIBLE item for Riven. Attack Damage to proc your passive, and Armor Pen to make squishies hate you more. Not to mention the cooldown reduction is just AWESOME on Riven. The more you can use your abilities, the more you can use Runic Blade.

This is your core build. You should aim to get AT LEAST this much built very early into the game. I'm talking around level 9 or 10 you want that B. F. Sword, if you're a beast and already have The Bloodthirster then you're doing it right :D

--Important-- I originally was recommending Infinity Edge over The Bloodthirster because we have a lot of crit chance with this build. I've switched it to The Bloodthirster because her Runic Blade does not benefit from crit. There is also the fact that your will Auto-attack a lot on Riven to proc her passive so the lifesteal is pretty nice. However, despite her Runic Blade not benefiting from crit, Infinity Edge WILL yield more burst than The Bloodthirster. We just want that lifesteal for a tad more sustain :D

--Tenacity--I would like to state here that if you're up against a team that has a lot of heavy CC, replace Ionian Boots of Lucidity with Mercury's Treads. Eleisa's Miracle and Cloak and Dagger are your only other options to get Tenacity as Riven, and you'd be losing far too much statwise than just giving up the 15% cooldown reduction on Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

--How to beat hard CC-- A lot of people don't know about the existence of Quicksilver Sash. This item is amazing, it is a hard counter to ultimate's from champions like Malzahar, Warwick, and Katarina not to mention it can simply break stuns. It also can wipe off DOTS, including the ultimate of Mordekaiser. If the other team has rediculous hard CC, go ahead and grab Quicksilver Sash and ruin them.

After you've finished your core, assuming you're against a balanced team, I recommend following my build. Obviously though, build against the other team. If you've shut down all their physical toons, but their mage is DOMINATING grab your Force of Nature before your Atma's Implaler (though I recommend still getting your Giant's Belt before Force of Nature since health is good against both and makes FoN's Passive better). If their team is all mages (unlikely) then grab an early Hexdrinker. If they lack a magic nuker, Thornmail is hilarious. Always pay attention to which champs you're facing AND what they're building.

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Skill Sequence

Passive- This is the primary source of your damage. learning how to utilize Runic Blade to its full potential is what will separate the bad Riven's from the beasts.

This ability is just awesome. It allows you to proc Runic Blade a full three times! Learning to mix in auto-attacks and not wasting any Runic Blade procs, by which I mean activating an ability while you have 3 stacks, while using Broken Wings will just DECIMATE your target. Not to mention it is great for clearing minion waves. Sadly, we level this ability last because it does not reduce its cooldown as we level it up. So we'll mainly be using it to close gaps, escape, and proc Runic Blade.

Our burst ability, an AoE nuke that procs Runic Blade. The half second stun seems unremarkable, but I've used it to screw up ults from champs like Nunu, Katarina, and Miss Fortune. We max this first because of its good burst, and cooldown reduction from leveling it (remember our primary goal is using Runic Blade).

Another gap closer to combo with Broken Wings, and it gives a shield? that's AWESOME. This ability can be used to make your initiation a bit safer, to run away from scary champions, and guess what, proc Runic Blade.

A rather short cooldown steroid that boosts your attack damage and gives you access to Wind Slash. Activating this as you engage makes you one of the most threatening champions in which to share melee range.

--IMPORTANT-- I see a lot of Riven players activating Blade of the Exile to use a quick Wind Slash on a fleeing enemy. This is not necessarily wrong... I mean it is obviously better to kill the enemy than let them escape, but if you can avoid wasting Blade of the Exile JUST to activate Wind Slash then please do so. Getting 20% AD for your full combo is just awesome because it ALSO stacks with your Runic Blade

The most effective way to engage in a team fight is (Let AA denote an auto-attack):
If Blade of the Exile is up, activate it before engaging.
,, AA, , AA, AA, , AA,, AA, Wind Slash

There is obviously more than one way to combo your abilities, but I feel this is the most efficient use of your Runic Blade. Going in with both Valor AND Broken Wings is to ensure that you're on your target for your auto-attack. If they manage to get away from you during your combo, use your Valor or your Broken Wings to get back on them (avoiding wasting Runic Blade procs if at all possible).

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Summoner Spells

Honestly, you're free to using whatever summoner spells fit your play style. I chose Flash and Exhaust because as I've stated multiple times, Riven is SQUISHY before her build get's rolling. Flash will allow you to chase, or save your butt depending on the situation. Exhaust is for the same purpose as Flash, but also allows you to go toe-to-toe with someone SCARY.

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All in all, Riven is just a blast to play, and I'm hoping others will come to use her like I use her. She has the potential to be a very devastating champion, once she's been out for a little while I'm hoping people will see that. Once again, any feedback is appreciated and I hope that you'll find this guide helpful ^^.