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Riven Build Guide by ForgottenSteaky

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ForgottenSteaky

Riven - Veni vidi vici

ForgottenSteaky Last updated on April 2, 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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In this build I'm going to explain how to play with the newly released champion Riven. Since probably most of you just want to start playing her and don't want to read long guides which consume a lot of your time I will avoid writing dispensable text but explain the most important things you have to know about this champion to immediatly start playing her.

However, you should read the item and the build section in this guide before you start playing Riven.

This build explains both: Jungling and laning with Riven.

Riven is a meele fighter without any ranged spells. Given that, you have to go in close range to attack your opponents which will quickly make them focus you since Riven is a "interruptor" champion with 2 cc skills and deals tons of damage with her ulti. To avoid being immediatly killed by them (glass cannon builds have no chance here) you need defense and health.

The 1st build and the 2nd build are laning and jungle builds for the Classic game mode and include full item builds. The Dominion build only includes the basic items, the others should vary by the opponents you are facing. (Same goes, of course, for the classic builds, too :P)

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Pros / Cons

-Mobile champion with the help of Broken Wings and Valor
-Has 2 cc skills ( Broken Wings and Ki Burst)
-Strong late and middle game if you got farm
-Good balance of damage and health
-High early game damage with Flat AD Quints and Marks

-Cooldown dependant
-Needs decent farm in order to be useful
-Weak early game against ranged champions and champions with a lot of sustain ( Shen/ Yorick)

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By playing with Riven you have the ability to jungle. Although it is not easy, it is possible. There are better junglers than her like Udyr and Warwick and I advise you to play solo top with her.
However, if you want to jungle with Riven nevertheless it would be wise to try it in a bot-game beforehand.

I recommend the following jungle route:

    1. Wraiths
    2. Red Buff (Lizard Elder)
    3. Golems
    4. Wolves
    5. Blue Buff (Golem (For your AP-Carry))

Explanation of the jungle route

Since you don't have mana you don't need the blue buff.
Start with the wraiths and when you have killed them the Lizard Elder should have spawned. Now you are lvl 2 and should look for possible ganks at your nearby lanes (top/mid if you are in team purple, mid/bot, if you are in team blue). If you see none, continue with your route constantly looking for gank possibilities. When you've got time you can get the blue buff for your AP carry so that he has an advantage on his lane.

How to gank (with Riven)

-It's easier to gank if the enemies are pushing
-Your mates on the lane should have enough health left to assist you except for the case that the enemy is low on health
-Try to avoid warded areas

You start by running into the enemies activating your Broken Wings once. Then you stun them with your Ki Burst and use Broken Wings once again. Remember to use a basic attack after each Broken Wings. After this you use Valor which can help you to get behind them to use Ki Burst for the third time knocking the enemies to your allies.

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Your early game depends strongly on the oppenent you are facing. I will write how to play against the most common solo-tops here.

Dr. Mundo
Irelia - Irelia is about as strong as you but has more sustain due to her Hiten Style. Harass if she is bad, else just farm. However, she isn't a real threat.
Jarvan IV
Lee Sin
Nasus - Easy lane. Harass and don't let him farm. He is pretty weak early game. Don't push the lane with your skills or he has free farm. Use only Valor when close to minions.
Olaf - Pretty dangerous because of his Reckless Swing. Play defensively.
Shen - He has high survability and damage in early game. Stay passive and farm.
Teemo - Pretty annoying since he can outrange you. Better stay passive in this lane.
Volibear - He has more sustain than you and deals high damage with his Frenzy. Hope that he pushes and play defensively. Consider taking Ignite against him.
Xin Zhao
Yorick - Good luck, you will need it. Seriously, just don't mess with him.

Will add the missing champions as time procedes.

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-9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Alternative: Greater Mark of Desolation
I recommend taking flat AD marks since each of your skills, including your passive, scale with AD. They improve your early game for a stronger mid- and lategame. However, if you don't have flat AD marks you should take armor penetration marks.


-9x Greater Seal of Armor
Alternative: Greater Seal of Vitality
If you are jungling you have to take flat armor seals. If you are solo-top you should still use them, although hp per level seals are an alternative. Think about using them when you are playing against an AP champion.


-9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Alternative: Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Take magic resist glyphs if you are playing against an AP champion on your lane. Else you should take magic per level glyphs since they are more useful after the laning phase.


-3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Alternative: Greater Quintessence of Health / Greater Quintessence of Vigor
I prefer using flat AD Quints to have a higher chance of wining my lane due to higher dmg output. Use flat HP Quints if you don't have flat AD Quints or if you want to have more health when you are jungling. Theoretically, hp/regen Quints should also work solo-top, although the best choice is using flat AD quints.

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Offensive Masteries

Summoner's Wrath reduces the target's armor with your exhaust for more damage.

Deadliness increases your damage per level and the scaling per level is really low but the only alternative is Havoc which increases your damage output by only 1.5%.

Butcher increases your jungling speed. Take 1 point instead of Summoner's Wrath if you are jungling.

Sunder gives you a.penetration which is always useful since it increases your dmg output.

Brute Force increases your basic damage, your ability damage and the damage of your passive which makes it a very valuable mastery.

Weapon Expertise is one of the best masteries for any AD champ and a must-have on Riven.

Lethality is not one of the best masteries for Riven but you will have some crit chance once you've finished your Atma's Impaler so that this mastery doesn't go completely to waste.

Havoc increases your damage, but the amount is too low to make it worth putting points into this mastery.

Vampirism inreases your survival chance on the lane. 3% lifesteal are not much but still useful.

Executioner makes you deal tons of damage to wounded foes.

Defensive Masteries

Take Resistance against an AP champ and Hardiness against an AD champ or when jungling.

Take Summoner's Resolve when you are jungling and consider taking Tough Skin and Bladed Armor in that case to make the early jungling easier. Same goes for Indomitable .

Put 4 points in Durability and take Veteran's Scars to increase your tankiness.

Vigor is useful because it lets you stay longer on your lane / in the jungle before recalling.

Initiator is useful since you need movement speed during the whole game: when jungling, when ganking, when chasing, etc.

Juggernaut increases your tankiness, I guess this skill needs no explanation.

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Broken Wings makes better damage if you hit three times but Ki Burst has a higher range and it's cooldown decreases as you level it.
Valor gives you a shield increasing your chance to survive but since it is a small shield giving you not very much health and you take tanky items anyway i prefer maxing Broken Wings and Ki Burst first.

To be reworked

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Doran's Blade gives you attack damage, health and lifesteal. The attack damage stacks well with all of your skills the other bonuses are also useful. I usually pick one or two in the beginning to get an advantage on my lane.

Mercury's Treads increase your tenacity by 35 and your magic resistance by 25. Take these boots if the enemy team has a lot of cc.

Ninja Tabi should be taken if the enemy team relies on damage by basic attacks or has a fed AD carry.

The Brutalizer gives you some early armor penetration which is useful since you don't take armor penetration runes with Riven. Furthermore it decreases your cooldowns by 15% which is useful since you rely on your skills and gives you 25 attack damage. This item gives very good bonuses for its' price but I prefer buying Hexdrinker instead because Maw of Malmortius gives more attack damage than Youmuu's Ghostblade, raises your magic resist and gives you an amazing shield which absorbs magic damage.

Phage increases your health, attack damage and gives you the ability to chase oppenents by slowing them down with your attacks.

Trinity Force is a nice item but too expensive. It gives you the passive of Sheen and Phage but also stats you don't need such as ability power and mana. Don't buy this item on Riven, better build your Phage into a Frozen Mallet.

Frozen Mallet is the item you should build Phage into. It decreases the enemies' movement speed by huge 40% with each of your attacks. Not only that, but you also get amazing 700 health with this item which increase your survival chance by a great deal.
I consider it to be one of the best items you can get for Riven.

Sunfire Cape is cheap and gives you defense and health. This item helps you to stay longer in fights and you deal additional damage with its' passive to the enemies. This item is not bad but Atma's Impaler is considered to be the better item since it increases your attack damage.

Thornmail is an amazing item as a countermeasure against AD champions such as Tryndamere. It is VERY cheap and increases your defense by the huge amount of 100 points. Its' passive returning 30% of physical damage is simply amazing. Take it if the enemy ADs deal tons of damage.

The Black Cleaver - This item is pretty good and if the enemies aren't stacking tons of armor you can consider to take this item instead of Last Whisper.

Youmuu's Ghostblade gives you armor penetration, attack damage and critchance. Its' active allows you to kill escaping enemies and increases your damage in fights. The additional movementspeed stacks pretty well with the mobility you already have. I don't consider this item to be a primary choice for Riven because there are better alternatives.

The Bloodthirster gives you a lot attack damage and lifesteal. It's a nice item for completing your build since it will strongly boost your damage. If you feel like it you can also take it in the middle game but I advise you to buy some items increasing your survival chance there such as Frozen Mallet since Riven is a squishy champion by nature.

Quicksilver Sash can be taken if the enemy team has champions with suppress such as Warwick or Malzahar which can secure them a kill. This item is cheap and you should take it if you want to avoid being killed because of suppresses or stuns.

Wriggle's Lantern is everything you need for your early jungle game and the active is also nice. Take it, use it, love it.

Banshee's Veil is more expensive than Quicksilver Sash but gives you health and its' cooldown is 50% shorter. Take this item if you are playing against annoying casters like Veigar.

Infinity Edge is a nice item which gives you a lot of AD but since Riven doesn't rely on crits i prefer buying The Bloodthirster instead of it.

Entropy gives you health, additional damage and you get the chance to slow the enemies with your hits. The active is also pretty nice: You slow your enemies with your attacks and your attacks deal 80 true damage. That's a perfect item for Riven.

Sanguine Blade takes the role of the The Bloodthirster in Dominion and is probably the best lifesteal item for Riven.

To be reworked

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This is a beta version of the guide.
If you have something to criticise, please explain your criticism (also called constructive criticism).

Points to be added:
-Explanation of the chosen masteries and items.
-Information about possible summoner spells.
-A description about Riven's early, mid and lategame and how to behave in each of those phases.
-Pictures (maybe)