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Riven Build Guide by DemolitionDemon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DemolitionDemon

Riven - Up Close & Personal In-Depth Guide

DemolitionDemon Last updated on September 17, 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: 8

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

Utility: 1

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- Note : Currently the guide is not finished in visual, information and build choices.
I have published this to the public in order for them to view the guide, but will finish the rest soon.

- How to play Riven throughout the game is coming soon, how to play her team fights, in jungle, how to escape, and initiate.

- Don't down vote because this isn't your way of playing her or you disagree, leave a nice comment and I will apply changes where necessary, that way I have a chance to show that I can adapt to make a better guide and give you a better opinion my my guide.

- Will be adding a less skill based build in future, and a alternative way to build Riven.

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The Up Close and Personal Introduction

Riven is currently a new type of character, that does burst damage and allowed for character designers to branch out a little with skills, and this is my second guide, and this is the build I have used in order to play a successful Riven, like LeBlanc Riven deals a tremendous amount of damage in a a mere 1-2 seconds, however it's all physical (Ohhh Physical, my favorite type ;) ), which makes it an easy choice in runes and masteries.

Now it would seem that some of the best burst damage dealers are female... Ironic isn't it, because one swift swing to the nads, and you're down.

Riven carries an broken sword that is magically repaired by gypsy dust with the use of the ultimate, which is for one great for clearing minion waves and has minimal cooldown too, and then she'll also turn around with a can of whoop-*** and use her second ultimate dealing a huge blow to health, she then turns around and gets away with minimal damage, like a hurricane, comes swiftly, takes all your health, and leaves in a hurry.

Now I wouldn't necessarily say this is the best guide, this is just how I play her, I also need some trouble shooting, switching items for other things to see what works, but I thought this would be a great start.

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Mindblowing Pros & Sadenning Cons

Amazing Amounts of Damage
Quick Escape
Strong Throughout the Game
Relatively Easy to Learn
Can Jungle Easily
Minion Wave Killer
Money Hoarder

Easily Combated by Crowd Control
Relatively Low Defence
Has a Broken Sword
Must be in the Middle of Combat
Huge Damage Dealers can get the Upper Hand Easily
Will Often Steal Minions From Team Mates

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Jaw Breaking Runes

Now before I go into runes I haven't had much choice to go into other options, which means I have been limiting to giving you advice on these runes until I can further test other runes in this build using advice and testing methods.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation


I chose this because the armour penetration is greatly useful, this gives an base advantage on most characters and is extremely useful, what's the point of being able to do a tonne of damage but not being able to penetrate ;)

Greater Mark of Desolation


This is just the aid the Quintessences, and on most melee builds you'll find this is widely used, like above if you can't penetrate the armour, then why bother?


Now I have taken the base strength over accumulative strength because it felt that Riven needed that early strength boost to make some of those early game kills, I found it a little annoying when both enemies on my lane had retreated with 1 hit in them, and tower diving isn't one of my favorite things to do, why risk giving them a kill and not getting one is how I see it.


Now Riven] is just like [[Katarina meaning she relies on cool downs, and not on mana, so I have chosen these to aid the items I get in game which bring you to an almost max 40% cool down, since Riven is burst damage, you want her abilities to be quickly available so you can hit and hit and hit.

Additional Runes

I would say that the Greater Mark of Desolation and the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction are set in stone for me as they are pretty much necessary, without the Glyphs you will not achieve the 40% cool down after getting Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Youmuu's Ghostblade which means you don't need to get the blue buff after those two items and your team can enjoy the buffs, however you still may get the red buff, as for the Mark of Desolation, this is just a good base armour penetration for early game and helps a bit late game, and is key to doing as much damage as possible.

Now there is obvious gains from this and it's really personal choice, obviously Riven is a chaser when needed, but also needs to escape when needed so these will often help you get kills but also allow you the escape when needed.

Now if you choose to go with the Defense mastery build, then you will likely want these, because you have put points in evasion, and this will aid you along with Nimbleness gaining a 10% speed boost every time you dodge, this also means you'll have around 10% or more of dodge giving, which in previous experiences will dodge 1 out of 4 attacks, however this isn't always the case.

Even though I said that the Glyphs are set in stone, they aren't completely, with masteries you gain an extra 3% which means you only need 2% from runes along with the items I have built to have a maximum of 40% CDR, however I don't do this because if you decide to get a Banshee's Veil then you make up for the missing item in runes.

Instead of choosing Resilience you can choose to go with Warding, and this way you will have more magic resistance granting you a little more survivability against mages, which is a real weak spot for Riven.

You may consider this as Riven is often feeling vulnerable to damage, now you may decide 9 of these or 5 of these and 4 Greater Seal of Magic Resist in order to balance out the resistance, but this is optional, if you can play without being damaged too much assuming you play assassin's and know how to do this well, then choose attack damage, but if you feel you need the extra defense, then choose either 5 of one and 4 of the other, or 9 of the one seal.

I put this here just so people will see this as a choice, but this goes with the previous additional rune, simply if you feel you are weak against mages you can have 9 of these, or choose to do 5 of one and 4 of the other.

If you do not want to compromise your seals you can choose this path and get Greater Quintessence of Armor and this way you will have some extra armour to help your survivability, as Riven sometimes need it if you're not used to jumping in and jumping out of combat.

Assuming you switch your seals then you could choose this path for the extra damage in order to seal the deal on some kills, but this is completely up to you.

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Damage Dealing Masteries (Reworking Mastery Build)

Now I've chosen to do 21 in Offense and 9 in Utility, simply because I couldn't see it being worth it that those 9 points go into defense unless you decide to have defense runes..

So this is up to you, but it is recommended that if you are to use this build, or realistically Riven at all that you have 21 points in offence, preferably in the order shown.

Now if you choose to change the seals then it is probably viable that you choose to put your points in defense masteries such as Resistance and Hardiness whatever after that is your choice.

Now you can go 21 in Defence and get a different result, I will write more about this later in order to give more of a choice. but must first put it into testing, and maybe a whole new build.

Graphical Representation of Choices

This is currently my way of playing Riven, this way supports my two summoner spells along with increasing critical chance, critical damage, attack damage, armour piercing, attack speed and cool downs.

Basically giving Riven a good head start early game with masteries, then in utility, there is health regeneration for more suvivability, enhancement of ghost to support the summoner spell, along with increased experience because Riven needs to be level 6 quickly as possible to deal a full combo, and finally longer duration on neutral buffs which is just handy for if you need to run to a team fight after gaining a buff.

NOTE: After testing this build I have found that there is a whole different play style required to the aggressive build I have here, also most likely a different item line up which I will look into building later.. So not recommended that you use this mastery build, with this guide, but optional.

Now this build allows for Riven to be a little more tanky, giving higher attack defence, blocking more damage, higher magic defense, and a little bit of dodge to help out here and there, it also gives a nice little early game health boost, it's not huge, only 24 health, but every little bit counts, you then gain attack speed and attack damage in the final two masteries to help Riven out in the damaging section, and then the same 9 utility tree, or you can have 8 in utility and put 1 point on exhaust in offense.

This build simply takes a little from the utility tree that add a small amount of armour from the defense tree, this is just to help out if you're feeling a little bit weak during the game and need some more armour to escape or get kills.

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Intriguing Items (Reworking Item Build)

I have chosen Doran's Blade as the first item because the damage is what Riven needs, and builds around so the 10 extra attack is great for Riven, but also Riven needs the survivability, so the 100 health helps early game, and although the 3% life steal doesn't do all that much, minions have something like 300-500 health so that's 30 health MAX per minion assuming you do all the damage to that one minion, but it still helps it's like an extra health regeneration.

Now because Riven relies on cool downs like Garen and Katarina, cool down reduction is necessary, this adds the first 15% of CDR to your collection of items, and gives enhancement 2 on speed.

This is my third item of choice and you start it by buying the B.F. Sword because Riven needs to do some serious damage to get kills, since most of her damage is skills based you want to do a lot of damage straight up and chase down the rest of the health if needed, the 250% critical stat doesn't do much for you as you generally aren't much of an basic attacker, however it is still handy and along with that is the 25% critical chance.

I build this next, but mainly for the suvivability, the extra 700 health helps quite a lot, but also the slow allows you to get away from the enemies easier if needed, I chose this also because even though it only adds 20 attack, it is still stacking damage.

Now this is just packed full of goodies for Riven it first gives 30 attack damage, so still stacking damage, as well as 15% critical to help out the Infinity Edge, now the next best thing but not the greatest about this item is the 15% CDR which brings you to a total of 40% cool down reduction meaning you no longer need blue buff, and you are cooling down at such a quick rate that you are in and out of the fight all the time, it then gives +20 armour, which Riven can really use for her survivability, but here's the real gem... The Active skill gives a whopping 20% movement speed and 50% attack speed for you to finish off opponents or run away, if attacking, you can extend your duration of the attack speed and movement speed.

I chose this for survivability and also if you come up to a 1v1 you can generally out damage them and come out with a decent amount of health, but not only that you can easily gain the extra stats on minion waves since by now in one full sweep of your Q you can take out a whole minion wave, and if needed you can take out the whole jungle as well, making this item perfect for Riven, also once again stacking up to 100 attack damage and 25% life steal, meaning you go up against someone with 3000 health who is relatively easy to kill you'll gain 750 health throughout the fight, and after that fight you can kill some minions and neutral monsters to stay in the battle for longer.

After a bit of debating I came to the decision that this is the final item, now it does finish off the CDR however I find that the CDR runes help you much earlier and waiting until the last item for 40% CDR just doesn't seem good enough, this is also a situational item and you can instead choose something like Banshee's Veil if you're up against a team of AP characters...
Now to explain the advantages of this final item, for one it gives a nice +75 armour, hooray more survivability along with the +350 health and extra 25 health per 5 seconds.. but the real gold is in the passive and actives, the passive has a 20% chance to slow targets hitting you in speed and attack speed, this means it is good to get away, but also good for team fights, you become a support in a way, you then have the active.. which is like the passive but instead doesn't have the 20% chance, it slows targets attack speed and movement speed by 35%, you now have 2 items that slow for chasing, as well as slowing down the damage a player is doing to you, someone like Tryndamere could be greatly affected by these.

Alternative Items

Use this if you're against a team comprised of AP nukers, this way you will have a little more survivability and will be less vulnerable to crowd control that just ruins you.

This was apart of my first build however, I realized that you mainly only use Trinity Force for Sheen and that there were more beneficial items that could replace this item, however I have put this here simply as optional item since some will argue that this is needed.

This can replace the Frozen Mallet but it is up to you, it will replace the health with armour, the cool down is a waste though and Riven does not use mana, and the reduced attack speed is granted through other items.

I personally wouldn't take this item, but it does have some armour with it and damage, and a nice little passive on it, however doesn't do an enormous amount of damage, but if you come up against a tank and decide to buy this item, it will do 160 damage on top of your base damage to a tank with around 4000 health.

This can be used the replace [[The Bloodthirster] however you are trading the 60 base damage and 40 bonus damage and an extra bonus 5% of life steal for a team buff that gives attack speed and lowers enemy armour, this is a personal choice for people and is up to you.

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Super Summoner Spells

Now Summoner Spells are often pretty obvious in choice so I'm not going to hugely into detail with them all, but I'll give some information on my choices and comments on the rest of the choices you have.

I choose Exhaust because it absolutely hinders an enemy player who is melee, this instantly gives you the upper hand to do more damage to them then they do to you and also allows you to slow someone down to catch them, unfortunately you're let down if you are up against an AP character, but it still slows them down but also instills a fear in them which often makes a player want to run rather then attack, this also is backed up by the mastery.

I use this instead of Flash because in 10 seconds of Ghost you're more likely to catch someone and kill someone then the distance Flash gives you, I also mainly class Flash as a nuker spell because nukers often need that one last boost to get their final spell in, but also with Ghost you have 10 seconds of quick speed to run away from someone or get in 3-4 hits making this a great spell, it also allows you to quickly travel to towers and other lanes or team fights, this is backed up by the utility mastery.

Clairvoyance Most likely would never be used..
Clarity No mana, need I say more?
Cleanse Can come in handy, often you'll find yourself in situations where you need to run.
Flash Personal choice, but realistically not useful.
Fortify Personal choice once again, but if you're built to dominate lanes then you shouldn't need this.
Heal This could come in handy when you need to chase early game and are on low health.
Ignite Can often get you that last remaining life, however with ghost you will often get the same effect.
Rally Personal choice, not a popular choice, but if you want to use it, then use it.
Revive Horrible spell, the idea is not to die, and therefore you shouldn't need this.
Smite Not a jungling build, and not a jungling character.
Teleport Can come in handy and is a personal choice, use it to get back into lane quicker or back door the enemy..

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Superb Skill Sequence

This passive simply charges up the blade from skills to do bonus damage on the next basic attack, and basically means early game you will land the finishing blows on someone running away.

I choose this first as it is your main combo skill, and nothing is better then dealing 3 hits to the enemy, but not only that you can jump in with your first two hits and jump out of combat with the third hit, you can also use this to escape with all three hits giving you more then the usual movement.

I grab this second as it allows you to get a couples hits in early game without being damaged, early game you can use your first hit of Broken Wings to jump in, then use Ki Burst to stun then use your next two hits and run back, late game you can use Valor to jump in, then Ki Burst and then Broken Wings by this point they should be running and you can chase them down for the kill.

I get this third simply because I don't find it that much use in the first two levels, and this is just a great initiating skill and escaping skill.

This skill is great for clearing minion waves and buffs, but also great for before initiating fights, along with the second ultimate that deals a load of damage in a cone shape.

How To Initiate A Fight

Basic Initiation
Blade of the Exile -> Valor -> Ki Burst -> Broken Wings -> Wind Slash

Now this is what I usually do, activating the ultimate first allows you to deal maximum damage, you then use Valor to jump on top of them and initiate the shield, you then use Ki Burst to stun them and deal damage and take no damage, then use all 3 hits of Broken Wings and if they are close to death or are running use Wind Slash, and there is your kill, if they aren't dead, simply chase if you can and kill them.

Alternate Initiation
Blade of the Exile -> Valor -> Ki Burst -> Wind Slash -> Broken Wings

Now sometimes you're unsure if you'll kill them so therefore you want Wind Slash to be before Broken Wings so that you are able to decide whether to finish them off and chase, or the use Broken Wings to retreat from the fight.

Minion Farming
Valor -> Broken Wings -> Ki Burst

You want to use Valor for the extra health boost so that you don't waste too much real health if a minion decides to attack you, then Broken Wings 3 times to deal all the damage and Ki Burst to finish the wave off.

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Surprising Summary

So it comes to an end, and I have a summary to fill, well it seems that if you have read through all this and haven't said tl:dr (too long didn't read) that you are knowledgeable about Riven and my build and choices you can make when playing her.

Riven is a fun and damaging character to play, she certainly is worth the time and in my opinion one of the best champions to keep you interested.

Please don't down vote because your opinion is different to mine, simply leave a message and I'll attempt to change it to suit the public opinion.

And if you leave a nice comment, with constructive criticism or a compliment I will surely take the time to look at your guides and give feedback.