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Riven - Valor For All
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Welcome to my Riven guide!
Riven is a champion that I believe to be best played as a tanky dps. She has a good early game with decent harass from her skills and a strong shield, a good mid game with her excellent team play capabilities, and late game functionality as a survivable damage dealer or initiator.
I should note that "tanky dps" doesn't mean "offtank". It means a dps dinner with a side of tanky. I tend to play her as a skirmisher in lane and a bruiser lategame. She darts in and out of the fight, disrupting enemy champs and taking focus off the carry. She can't do this if she gets bursted in one rotation. She has to live through damage while also doing enough damage herself to help land a kill on the biggest threat.
My playstyle allows her to usually live for about 4-6 seconds under heavy fire and do decent damage for the carry to run cleanup. Riven does need another tanky champ to help her hold focus, and she has a good chance of dying if she is under heavy CC focus. However, that's CC not directed at your carry. By "carry" I mean "ranged AD carry" or "AP carry". Riven can carry games, but she isn't what most consider a "carry" in strict game terms.
This Riven build requires you to be fairly aggressive. However, "aggressive" does not mean "stupidly charge opponent". It means making fights happen. Smart, calculated fights. Under this playstyle, you have a decent chance of dying under focus fire, but if you are smart about it, your one death will mean four of theirs.
Her gameplay flexibility is what I've come to appreciate about her, and it will be the focus of this guide. I will update this guide as I come to learn of new combos and item strengths and weaknesses on her.
Later in the guide I will present a section on jungling with Riven. I will be as in-depth as possible, covering her route, counter jungling, ganks, etc. I like to be thorough.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage - These will give you a good early game boost, and with the ArPen masteries and strong scaling on Riven's skills, these are the strongest choice.
Greater Seal of Armor - Standard runes. These will help keep you alive early before your Valor shell really kicks in. Armor seals give you the early game defense until you've leveled up Valor enough. Scaling armor seals or HP seals can both serve as suitable replacements, if you prefer.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Scaling MR. Equal benefit at around level 6, I believe. These make an excellent substitute for your CDR glyphs. These are generally better than flat MR, unless you are laning against a magic dealer top. Even then, these are probably still better than flat. Your call.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - Once again, Riven's scaling makes these the best choice. The same rules of the marks apply to the quints.
Tier 1: Self-explanatory. Don't put a point in Summoner's Wrath if you don't take anything it benefits, but there isn't much else here useful to you. The mastery gives both AD and AP for Ignite while on cooldown. AS is mostly terrible on Riven, but we aren't building crit and havoc is bad. There is nowhere else for these points to go. CDR is fine, so put four here. Butcher helps you farm.
Tier 2: AD/level feeds into the upcoming ArPen. Riven wants all the AD she can get. Tower damage because it's 5% bonus damage and it helps when pushing. And there's really nowhere else these points should go.
Tier 3: Look at all this good stuff here! We'll be using the ArPen and nothing else. Why? HAVOC IS A TERRIBLE MASTERY.
Now, on the subject of Deadliness . It got changed from crit chance to AD, so we're piling points in there now. It's really handy to pick up AD wherever we can in masteries.
Tier 4: Brute Force for 3 AD. Literally nothing else in this row worth anything for Riven. Take it and go.
Lethality is worth something if you plan on getting any crit anywhere, but since I don't get Atma's anymore, it's gone to other stuff.
Tier 5: Sunder is a really good mastery. I don't know what genius was running around saying it wasn't useful, but this mastery almost matches an entire set of ArPen reds. WHY WOULD YOU SKIP THAT YOU CRAZY, CRAZY PEOPLE??? No, don't put it in Havoc . Don't put it in ANYWHERE. Put those 3 points here, where they will forever belong. Riven has nothing but physical damage. Armor is bad for her. It's critical for her to choose this.
Tier 6: Executioner synergizes so well with her ult it isn't even funny. Put the point here. I have to seriously convince myself pretty hard to not take this mastery, and I haven't succeeded yet.
Tier 1: A mini Garen passive or flat HP per level. Both kinda suck, but I feel the HP regen is better than 6 HP per level, so I put more points there. It's up to you, though.
Tier 2: Get the armor. If you're in draft and you know you're up against a magic damage top laner, switch to MR. But in general, get the armor. One point in MR because why not. I prefer it to HP/level.
Tier 3: I like slow reduction because I hate slows on Riven. If you took the HP, get Veteran's Scars . Alternatively, get the flash mastery in the utility tree.
Alternative masteries are on the way. Be creative until I come up with some of my own, okay? :)
Useful for getting those early game kills or taking that Dr. Mundo and his healing down a peg. It also stops other champs like Swain and Warwick from healing all the damage your team does. It really helps getting Riven started on her snowball rampage, so I recommend making this part of your skill rotation. Certainly keeps people from escaping with 12 HP.
So much CC that your Mercury's Treads won't be enough? This is for you, then. Riven is fairly locked down by CC, and this will keep you darting around the fight, popping Valor and Ki Burst. It now stops all disables and summoner spell debuffs like Ignite, so it's a much stronger choice than it was before.
It's a decent spell for solo top lane, in case you need to buy items quickly or you need to get to bot lane or dragon quickly. The map control that this spell can give you can create quite an impact when used properly. The Summoner's Insight mastery is in an awkward place, so pick it up if you think it's worth it.
This is my standard build, and it's something I definitely use for someone who relies on sustained damage. You want to hit them as hard as possible very quickly. Valor into range, Ki Burst them, and get out with Broken Wings. Valor lets you soak initial harass and leaves the option to use Broken Wings for more damage or as an escape.
Burst Damage Build
Use this if you really want damage as high as possible. You can max Broken Wings first instead, but you won't be able to use Ki Burst as often, while Broken Wings has a static cooldown. I personally prefer having Valor skilled up while I'm still working on damage before my resistances kick in to keep me alive, but if you're really steamrolling people early and don't need Valor, use this. Just don't be afraid to start skilling Valor if you are having trouble surviving.
This is what I recommend for anyone dealing with an opponent of high burst damage. Your damage will be less immediate, and if you aren't taking much damage, feel free to level up Ki Burst before Valor. But bursty champs are cooldown dependent and rely on autoattacks less. They will do more damage to you faster than you can do to them. Valor lets you soak that burst and unleash a full combo almost for free.
This is something that should not be ignored. Each charge can eventually mean over 100 (almost 200 late game) bonus damage per hit. Make sure that you use them as you chain your skills, or else you will end up wasting stacks. However, if you aren't close enough to hit with your blade as someone is running, keep up the chase and let the stacks be. If you can't hit, you can't hit.
Be aware that your passive is going to be your main source of early game damage (levels 1-6), and it will continue putting a large amount of hurt on your targets. Knowing when to hit with this will make all the difference in the world. Hit as much as you can with it, but you don't need to kill yourself to get a hit in.
You will almost always want this first. This skill will keep you mobile, while being able to give you the most charges on your passive.
This ability is leveled last because it has a static cooldown. No matter what rank the skill is, the cooldown does not reduce, and as I have stated before, CDR is critical to Riven. Leveling this reduces how often you can perform other abilities without increasing the number of times you use Broken Wings. I don't care how much damage it does, I don't see a reason to max it first.
This skill is learned at level 2 for the significant damage and CC it gives your lane.
Having the shield at a high strength with a lower cooldown will keep you alive through more than you thought possible. It's biggest impact is early game, when you can Valor into a tower, kill both champs, and then Valor away, with turret aggro and Ignite on you. Nothing is more annoying to me than knowing I would have lived if I had a .5 second lower CD on Valor.
Lastly, I feel that maxing out Valor early streamlines her transition into midgame. Being able to soak about 200-250 dmg (depending on items) will block a majority of the laning harass, especially on a 4-5 sec cooldown (with runes, masteries, and The Brutalizer). Being able to block this much damage, combined with building her fairly tanky, makes her so survivable it's not even funny. However, if you find yourself up against a very passive lane opponent, feel free to keep this at a low level until later.
Use it. Seriously. It is your edge in 1v1 fights, team fights, ganks, jungle, counter-initiations, tower-dives, and more.
Blade of the Exile
Wind Slash is a difficult skill to use properly. It is mostly meant to be a ranged finishing blow. If you know how to use Garen's Demacian Justice, you will understand when to use this skill. The lower the target's health, the more damage it will do. Not only is the the base damage increased, but also the AD scaling. It is very damaging to targets at low health, but lackluster on full health targets.
Keep in mind that this skill is a very effective finisher, but that comes with some caveats to keep in mind. If your Ashe is hammering away on a target with frost arrows and can clearly get a kill, don't Wind Slash that target. If a low HP enemy is targeted by Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole, don't Wind Slash them. Kill them if your carry can't, but don't be abusive by grabbing kills that they will probably need more.
These items give you all the tools you need to make it in mid game. Riven needs the tenacity of Mercury's Treads, and the MR doesn't hurt. B. F. Sword gives you plenty of early damage. Pick up a Doran's Blade or two if you recall but can't afford a B. F. Sword. It'll keep you competitive in lane and maintain any advantage you might have, while also allowing you a chance to catch up if you're forced to recall.
Don't forget to pick up a ward or two to let you spot potential gankers.
Boots and three HP pots, Doran's Blade, or Cloth Armor and 5 HP pots will all work as starters. Choose what works for you against your lane opponent.
Probably the single most cost-effective item in the game. HP, armor, and magic resist, along with some lovely stats shared with the entire group. Usually a tank will get this. It isn't a bad idea for you to get it. It does up your damage slightly, too. If you're roaming a bit or getting into teamfights, this item might be fairly solid. It won't help you as much lategame, though. Get it fairly early if you're going to buy it.
What? Mana on Riven? *Gasp* As amusing as it is for Riven to have 375 mana, the HP and MR will keep you alive, and the bubble of safety is a godsend. It blocks a single enemy skill every 45 seconds. This ranges from Ashe's Volley to Morgana's Soul Shackles. A caster's nightmare. With this and your Valor bubble, you'll be amazed what you can live through.
Okay, before you get on my case about this item being situational, let me explain why it's here. 99 armor, 20% CDR, and reduces AS of surrounding enemies by 20%. They don't have to attack you; you don't have to pop an active. It's like Thornmail but much better. You can ignore the mana on this, and it is still a solid defensive item. If a lategame Vayne, Irelia, or Tryndamere is wrecking your face, consider getting this item. It might just save your team.
40% slow and some real solid HP. I think Randuin's Omen is a better item overall, but if you have the gold, go for it. It's not a bad item, and I used it before going Randuin's. Try it if you like.
Health, armor, HP regen, and a nice slowing effect both in the passive and active. This item is very nice for when you need some more tankiness. It can slow the entire enemy team if you time it right, and that will really pay off. It builds from Warden's Mail, and is another very good item for dealing with attack speed happy champs like Vayne, Irelia, or Kog'Maw.
It's really fun with Riven. Getting in the thick of things and hammering away while doing bonus magic damage. Stunning a few enemies with Ki Burst and doing damage just for them standing near you, never mind the hits of Broken Wings. The health and armor are nice benefits, but it really becomes almost useless late game. A decent midgame alternative if you're in more of a tanking role.
Now that it doesn't stack and they gave it the old Force of Nature's passive of percentage HP regen, it's a much better item for Riven. It's raw health, so if you don't have resistances it won't be very effective, but if you've got some armor and MR, or you need a lot of HP to deal with casters, give this a try.
Damage, MR, and a mini Blitzcrank passive. Zilean bombs making you rage? Karthus ult becoming a problem? Problem no more! Build Hexdrinker early and upgrade it later. It only triggers on magic damage, though. Keep that in mind.
Lots of damage, lifesteal, HP regen, and an active with a range roughly the same as Ki Burst. Not to mention splash damage based of of Riven's high AD that she can lifesteal from. DEFINITELY a good item on her now, and especially useful if the enemy team has a habit of clumping together. The active is an autoattack reset, so you can take advantage of a very fast Valor + Ki Burst combo, autoattack, pop the active, then autoattack.
It's pretty hard to ignore the highest non-stacking damage item in the game. It's expensive, but can be worth it if you really want to pile some hurt late game. I much prefer the lifesteal from BT, since Riven's passive counts for lifesteal, so I really don't recommend this. But if you want to try it, I can't exactly stop you.
Core item and situational item? Yep. Want to know why? Because sometimes, you want two. Or maybe even three. You know, in case you have the money and are just rolling people around. They are wonderful on Riven.
I should probably make sure to include this item. AD, armor, and lifesteal, plus a free ward. It's good, and it makes a strong recovery item, especially if you're in an AD lane. It's also a great jungling item. I tend to get Bloodthirster, but if you are having trouble ganking or need a good recover item, then pick this up. Getting a Vampiric Scepter on it's own is probably better, though.
Cooldown boots. Usually you will want Merc Treads. However, for those times that you don't, try these. Seriously, though, these things will go a LONG way towards getting you to that CDR cap. And who doesn't love Ki Burst every 4.5 seconds with %40? You can hammer out some spells pretty hard with this.
Armor on your feet. They're pretty cheap, and if your opponent does a lot of autoattack damage (Tryn/Olaf) or you need that early armor, this is a decent item to get. I don't usually get them, but they help in some situations.
QSS now comes in a high damage form! When you don't have Cleanse or it just isn't enough, there's QSS. This removes ALL debuffs, including suppresses, Ignite, Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave, and Vladimir's Hemoplague. If you find that you need it, get it. This could just as easily go into survivability or damage because of the high magic resist and AD, but it's primary use is the awesome active. It's fairly cheap for what you get, too.
This is useful for giving you constant movement speed. It's the "jack-of-all-trades" enchantment. If none of the other enchantments work for you, this is a good passive baseline enchantment that's decent all the time.
Riven spends a lot of time on the front lines, usually as the second one into a fight. It's very easy for other champions to follow Riven in or out of a fight, so if your team is able to coordinate with you, this can be useful. The minion speed for pushing is definitely nice, too.
Flash is so useful on Riven that this enchantment definitely has a place with her. Flash with Ki Burst or the third hit of Broken Wings often assures a kill. Getting this enchantment is not a waste by any means.
If you really want to chase down targets, this is the thing to use. It won't work with any of your skills, but if you can land autoattacks, you'll get the bonus. Might not be the best for her, but go ahead and see how they work for you.
This is one of the most fun things they added to season 3, and it does have uses. Instant recharge at the fountain along with a massive movespeed buff allows you to get back to your first row of towers in about 10 seconds after recalling. Very effective defensively or if your team has just finished a hard push. You can be fully refreshed and back with your team in seconds.
NOTE: Remember to buy wards and elixirs as necessary. Vision Wards should be purchased occasionally for warding Dragon and Baron. Sight Wards should be purchased occasionally over the course of the game. Generally, you will buy Elixir of Fortitude, but don't ignore Elixir of Brilliance (lots of CDR).
Also, build order is not meant to be exact. These are only example sets to give suggestions on how to alter the build to suit the enemy team. The key point to remember is to build DAMAGE. Riven needs damage to be effective. Crit and attack speed are NOT effective stats on her. Damage, health, and resistances are key.
Remember that most of these builds are extreme cases. They may not be ideal against any actually viable team comp. They are meant to give you a quick look of good item combinations for Riven to allow you to tool a build for any team comp.
This is the main build I focus on, with some variations depending on the opponents. I'll go over specific situational items in detail later. This will give you very good HP, decent Armor and MR, and utility, while still maintaining decent amounts of damage. It is a good build for balanced teams.
This is mostly meant as an example, in case you come across a team mostly dealing AD. This isn't really a highly recommended build; simply an example of what to do if you come across lots of AD (4/5 or something). Randuin's Omen will really punish any AD autoattackers, so always keep this in mind if they are a problem. If there is VERY little CC to go around, you can consider buying Ninja Tabi or Ionian Boots of Lucidity. The Tabi will give you some early damage reduction from AD and autoattacks. CDR boots are CDR boots. Up to you.
Upping the HP a bit will help you tank your way through burst fire, and the regen provided by warmog's along with lifesteal will get you through mage burst fire and heal back enough to survive another wave.
It will be very strange if you are fighting a bunch of mages and there's no CC. Merc treads are not optional. They also will give you some good early MR. Maw of Malmortius is a good item, though, so definitely get that to deal with AP. Same with Mercurial Scimitar.
Put on your rageface and hurt some people! Not sold on the whole "tanky dps" deal? Team comp needs some solid, hardcore PAIN? Try something like this on for size.
Yeah, I know I said I play her as tanky dps. I still believe that to be her core role. However, with crazy good AD ratios like she's got, it's tempting to go this route. It may even be the right thing to do. Riven can snowball pretty hard if she gets a good early lead, so why not hammer it home? Her Valor shield gets buffed from AD, so it's almost a case of "the best defense is a good offense".
Her crit will be a sight to behold, and her ult will cut a swath of destruction. Just remember that she will be fairly squishy if you go this route, but hopefully Valor will get you through the worst of it. If not... well, don't say I didn't warn you.
So why am I still using Merc Treads? Well, you could always put on some Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but if you're going to be this squishy, you're going to get focused. Start with CDR boots and swap for Merc's later, if you like, but don't be insane and run around late game without tenacity. If it doesn't work out, swap out some items for AD/tank hybrid items like Maw or FroMal.
First off, your finished build when using Doran's Stacking will not look like this. You will sell most of these for other items, and you shouldn't ever build this many anyway. It's only meant to be an example on this subject. (Please don't ever stack this many Doran's items. Kittens will lose homes.)
The strategy behind stacking Doran's items is that since each item is INCREDIBLY cost effective, you can use it to recover from a bad early game or give yourself a severe early game advantage. They sell for very little and lose their cost effectiveness over a long game, but if you can get the money, you just sell each item one at a time until you get back on track with stronger items.
Don't ever build this many doran's items. It's just an example. 3 is the most. More than that is just a bad idea.
Always remember that these builds are meant to give you an IDEA of what you can build during a match. Never, ever blindly follow a build. These will work on a general scale, but as a tanky dps, remember to build as your team needs.
Start with Boots and a set of HP pots if you're unsure of what to do. Take a Doran's Blade if you're confident and against a weak laner. Grab cloth armor instead, if it's a very strong AD laner. Lots of AD champs go top, so it's very handy. When you can, get any other components you feel necessary for your lane. If you recall and can't afford a B. F. Sword, grab a Doran's Blade or Vampiric Scepter. Don't get more than two doran's, though. Always get what you can afford, of course. If you can afford the whole item you're looking for, consider if it's worth getting the parts and something else or the finished item alone. Also, don't neglect HP pots if you need them.
If you are doing extremely well, feel free to attempt to pick up Bloodthirster early. It will give you a stupidly good opportunity to snowball. However, don't force this item. If you aren't doing well enough to make this an easy purchase, don't worry about getting it early.
If you're up against a particularly AD heavy or strong dueling lane, you might want to consider getting a Wriggle's Lantern or Warden's Mail. They're particularly helpful against those kinds of lanes. Otherwise, stack a couple Doran's Blades until you can get that B. F. Sword.
Harass with your Valor + Ki Burst combo. Use Broken Wings as an escape mechanism for the second combo or use it if you're going to commit for the kill. If you get the chance to do some real damage, such as when they've overextended or are just at low health, Valor into a Ki Burst, then unleash a full Broken Wings combo. Hit with your autoattacks between each part of the combo when you can.
Riven's best strength is the ability to freeze the lane at her tower. She can CS under tower very well, and nobody with a brain tower dives a Riven unless they have an extreme advantage. Freezing the lane under your tower keeps you safe from ganks, keeps them zoned, and puts them in a position to be ganked easily. Practice farming under your tower and holding the lane there. It will pay off tremendously.
Keep yourself alive. That's the main goal here. Early kills mean early levels and early ganks. Valor is your main tool for survival. Watch out for champs with absurd ranges or multiple CCs. Knockbacks, snares, and silences are Riven's biggest problems. It's hard to close the gap, and you take a lot of damage without Valor.
Usually you will want Broken Wings at level 1, Ki Burst at 2, and Valor at 3. But depending on who you are up against, you may want to change that order. For example, against an Olaf you would take Broken Wings first, then take Valor to shield his Reckless Swing. Follow with Ki Burst afterwards.
Always adapt your skills to maintain an advantage over you lane opponent.
Once you have the core set, you're off to midgame!
Guardian Angel is a good item for the resistances and passive. I usually follow it up with a Giant's Belt to increase its effectiveness. HP makes the resistances stronger, and the 30% HP restoration on revive is better when you have more health.
Black Cleaver is a good choice if you just aren't dying to anything. All of the stats are good for Riven, and it will increase your damage significantly. Most people know to stack a lot of armor against Riven, so this will help cut through that.
Randuin's Omen is great if you're up against champions that rely on attack speed. You get a pile of health and armor, along with an attack speed slow. Good if you're laning against Irelia or Fiora, or there's a Master Yi or a Vayne. You don't have to get the full item if you don't want to; just getting a Warden's Mail is often okay.
Maw of Malmortius is the best way for Riven to deal with magic damage. If you picked up an early Hexdrinker to deal with Kennen, Rumble, or Teemo, then upgrading to this is a good decision. Alternatively, if there's just a lot of magic damage going around, then you can simply work towards this to deal with it. At it's best, it gives you 95 total AD when you're at very low health. A good item in any case.
When you are trying to gank others, lead with Broken Wings. The knockback will help give your teammate time to start landing attacks. Valor and Broken Wings will allow you to get into range surprisingly fast. Don't do it too early, though. It's very obvious what you're trying to do. However, if you place yourself properly during a gank, your target will have very little opportunity to get away.
Riven can actually tower dive very well. Valor gets her in range, and the bubble she gets will soak up some of the tower's damage. It WILL do some serious damage if you take sustained fire (especially if you get CC'ed), so make sure you have friends to ensure a kill.
This will round out midgame. There is a high probability that the game will be over or close to it by now. If it's not, there's still plenty more for you to do.
If you don't have Bloodthirster yet, now would probably be a really good time to get one. You should be pretty tanky by now. If you aren't tanky enough, then there might be more than just items you need. However, if you're looking to turn a game around, do your best to find out what your team needs and work with them. Riven's tools are attack damage, short CC, and mobility. Find out what your team needs you to do most.
You can get some CDR buying an Elixir of Brilliance. It's a cheap item that gives the same CDR, and you won't be as reliant on the small amount of gold late game. Yeah, the AP is pointless, but I have no problems buying 10% CDR for 250G. Worth it if you get to this point.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS BUILD FOR THE SITUATION AT HAND. IF YOU ARE DYING, GET ITEMS THAT LET YOU LIVE. IF YOU ARE LIVING BUT NOT DOING DAMAGE, GET SOME DAMAGE. DO NOT JUST BLINDLY FOLLOW BUILDS.
You wouldn't dare run into the jungle without properly setting yourself up, would you? Jungling often requires specific setups or strategies that are different from laning. However, Riven's jungling isn't all that unusual. Lucky you. I mean, I just spent all that time telling you how to handle her in lane, and now I'm telling you to throw her into the woods?
Well, I'm here to make you more prepared. Well, as much as I can. Monks, clowns, barbarians, mummies, and all manner of horrors pervade the jungle, and you need to be sure you're ready.
This section obviously needs work, and I'll get to it very soon.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage - Best AD champ runes at the moment. Take them.
Greater Mark of armor penetration - You need about 10 Armor Pen or more for smoother jungling. Because of Sunder , I pick up about 4 of these. You choose the best balance between AD and Arpen that you like, or you can just use mine. But it's fairly easy to enter a custom game by yourself and practice jungling a bit. Toy around with it and find what works best.
Greater Seal of Armor - These are arguably the only seals you want for jungling. Scaling seals won't do enough, since they only reach the effectiveness of flat seals by level 4, and you won't need them by then.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Scaling MR glyphs. She doesn't need the MR as early as she needs the armor, and these catch up to the flat MR pretty quick. You'll be jumping into mid and bot lanes, and sometimes the opposing jungler does magic damage as well. MR helps quite a bit.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - AD to give your autoattacks and skills a boost. These give the most balanced long-term benefits overall. It is not recommended that you change these unless you're using them to get the 10 armor pen I mentioned above.
Some alternative runes are greater mark of armor penetration and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. These are suitable for swapping with the ones mentioned above.
Masteries are the same as her laning build, but you won't have Summoner's Wrath . Put the point somewhere else.
Tough Skin , smite mastery, and a point in whichever you want (I'd recommend HP regen over 27 HP at lvl 18). Get 3 in armor, 1 in MR, and then the last point in Bladed Armor .
That's all I have to say on that.
Choose Smite and Flash. I can't really see a reason not to get Flash. And don't you dare think of not taking Smite.
NOTE ON SMITE
IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE. TAKE THIS.
Riven is a good jungler. Not one of the best, necessarily, but she has excellent ganks from her mobility and CC, and her jungle times are fairly quick. TAKE SMITE IF YOU JUNGLE. Why? It's for securing Baron, Dragon, and buffs. Oh, and killing blue wraith. Because that jerk said nasty things about your mother.
And now, Stonewall008 will give you a demonstration.
Basic idea for jungling as Riven: gank a lot. I mean that. Gank in almost every foreseeable opportunity. If one of your lanes is pushed, gank it. If someone is low HP, gank. Find the enemy in the jungle and kill them.
Hunt the enemy down and force confrontations early. Recall anytime you get to low HP and then run back out and start ganking. Red buff is your main priority, but make sure you get your mid blue whenever you can. If you're confident, get your mid THEIR blue.
Make things happen as Riven. If you aren't pressuring lanes, you aren't going to be able to get a lead. As a result, you'll be behind for the majority of the game, and it's very hard for her to recover from a bad start.
Play aggressive, but don't be stupid. Coordinate with your team.
I'll have more info later. Like, some routes or something. She doesn't really need them, though. I'll probably cover some of the major counterjungling options, too.
Thanks to all those who commented and voted on this guide. Everything that's been said has made its way into the guide in some form or another. Your effort has been tremendously beneficial.
Thanks to Jhoijhoi for the line dividers. She was nice enough to let me use them. ^_^
Also, she did the top banner for me (OMG still excited).
5/24/11: Build changes, small fixes, and more.
3/19/11: Build changes, skill changes, and overall guide updates. Added some material for the jungle section; I'll finish it in the next few days.
2/23/11: Riven got nerfed, and I fixed multiple sections of the guide to account for mastery changes and decisions on playstyle.
11/8/11: Build reposted at the suggestion of other Moba members after making significant changes since it's initial creation.