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Riven Build Guide by Kyrinth

AD Offtank So much death... (Beginner/Advanced Riven Guide)

By Kyrinth | Updated on November 1, 2012

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LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Welcome to this Riven guide. If you already played Riven for a while, feel free to see this as a possibility to compare build and playing style with yours. If you want to learn how to play Riven, especially have a look at the "Laning and Fighting" section, introducing you in the art of playing Riven.

This guide isn´t final yet. Tips and difficulties against/of almost all champions will be added soon in the "Matchups" section.

If you have any questions or thought-provoking impulses, please feel free to use the commentary function. Also, rating and feedback would be nice.
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Greater Mark of Desolation: Because all of Riven´s damage is physical, she benefits great from all types of armor penetration. Those runes increase flat armor penetration, against targets without any bonus armor Riven deals true damage in early game.
Greater Seal of Resilience: Especially against overruned AD Top Enemies Armor is very important in early game. Greater Seals of Defense (Armor per level) would be also a possibilty, because of the early armor items in this build flat armor runes match better in this case.
Greater Glyph of Shielding: Sometimes Riven will face mages on top lane. Even if they should be no match for her, reducing their damage output by increasing that early magic resist a bit makes it a lot easier to get fed. Greater Glyphs of Warding (flat MR) are also usefull, but Riven´s magic resist is already on a pretty good level at the beginning, while the build contains only a bit MR. So Shielding Glyphs give Riven more durability against magic damage in mid and late game.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation: Same right to exist as the Marks; true damage in early game, even if the enemy got armor runes. With marks and masteries Riven got 31 (+10%) armor penetration, after getting The Brutalizer even 46. And finally, in later mid game, with Last Whisper, she got 31 (+46%) armor penetration. Targets with less than 150 armor take tons of damage from all of her moves.
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Summoner´s Wrath: Empowers Exhaust/Ignite/Ghost. Only take the point in this if you got one of these spells.

Brute Force: Increases early fighting power.

Alacrity: A bit of bonus attack speed for faster combo accomplishment.

Sorcery: The main part of Riven´s damage, especially in early game is based on her abilities. CD reduction increases her power a lot.

Deadliness: A bit of bonus AD.

Weapon Expertise: Cooperates greatly with Last Whisper.

Lethality: Pick this if you purchase Infinity Edge.

Vampirism: Bonus lifesteal for more durability on lane in eraly game.

Sunder: Increases your flat armor penetration by another 6 points. Counters enemys with the 'Hardiness' mastery.

Executioner: 6% more damage on Windslash, increases your finishing power.

Resistance: More magic resist for more durability against top lane mages.

Hardiness: The average top laner deals physical damage. Hardiness increases your early armor.

Note: Mastery Page changed a bit due to an impulse of KhaozBlade.
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In every game, open with Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. This allows you to make some mistakes and gives you awesome harassment mobility.

In a normal game, The Brutalizer should be your next item. It gives you attack damage, more armor penetration and cooldown reduction (!). Best Item ever, if you summoned Riven.

Which Item you pick next should depend on your lane opponent. Against an AD-based enemy, Wriggle´s Lantern is the best choice. Also pick this if the enmy jungler is annoying (Rengar for example). Against a champion with magic damage as main damage output, pick the Hexdrinker. It gives you 250 Bonus life if you get low. Both Items give you a bit of damage and more durability against your opponent, if you buy the Hexdrinker maybe also get a Vampiric Scepter for a bit of lifesteal. Wriggle´s already contain this aspect, no need to buy it another time.


After getting lifesteal and resistance, a bit of life would be nice. Only a few items increase health and damage. Phage is one of them, and you can amplify this item later for more health and a strong slow to debuff enemy´s movement speed. This slow makes it impossible to escape from already overmobile Riven.

You got now three items increasing your damage, durability and harassment possibilities. Finally it´s time to get better boots. Which boots are the best depends on the enemy team composition. The more CC (Crowd Control, Stuns, Snares, etc.) abilities the enemy team got the more interesting are Mercury´s Treads. Pick these in this case, even if your lane opponent deals physical damage only. If their carry is getting fed or if the AD champions outbalance in the enemy team, pick Ninja Tabi instead. And if you are really crazy, greedy and already fed, you can purchase the Ionian Boots of Lucidity for lower cooldowns. Lower cooldowns mean more kills.

or or

If game proceeds well, pick the B.F. Sword next, then Frozen Mallet. If the enemy is annoying or even dominating, purchase Frozen Mallet first and the B.F. Sword after. The Sword increases the damage of your abilities by amazing amounts, also it raises Valor´s shielding power by 45 points. Frozen Mallet gives Riven additional chasing power and durability.

Next, finish The Bloodthirster. When stacked up 40 times this item is totally overpowered. For the cost of two B.F. Swords you get 100 AD and 20% lifesteal.

Now your inventory is almost full. Two Items in the build are not final yet, Wriggle´s/Hexdrinker, and the Brutalizer. Sell former to get a Guardian Angel and later the Brutalizer for a Last Whisper. Riven´s AD will drop for a short period but her defense power will greatly increase when purchasing Guardian. Finally, when getting Last Whisper, you get back the AD and you gain better armor penetration against higher armored targets. Anyway, the 10% cooldown reduction of The Brutalizer will be lost. If there is a mage in the enemy team dominating the teamfights, get the Maw of Malmortius instead of Last Whisper.

One slot is still empty in your inventory. Sometimes an additional defense item will occupy this slot, like Thornmail or Randuin´s Omen against a fed carry, Frozen Heart is also good. However, if you want to see Riven´s Blade of the Exile melting down the enemy´s HP with each strike, pick another Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge for awesome criticals. When attacking creeps out of fight you can watch your health bar regrow with 43% lifesteal with two Bloodthirsters. Don´t forget to stack the new item up.

or one of these:

Your Build is done. All you can buy now are elixirs. You can get them in the order you prefer, maybe take the Elixir of Brilliance first, for cooldown reduction (and ability power).
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Skill Sequence

Riven can be played on two different ways:

1. Cooldown based Harassment

Pick the first point in Broken Wings (Q).

Broken Wings gives you most mobility and damage output of all abilities. Also, on level one, W and E got similar cooldowns, both really high.

On level two you can skill both, W and E. However, I prefer
Valor (E). Don´t know why. Maybe it´s because i like shields.

Valor is the only shield, also it gives you great mobility. Lasthitting is so much easier with Valor.

Level three: If you got Ki Burst first, pick Valor now, if you got Valor first, pick
Ki Burst (W) now.

Even if Ki Burst stuns only for a moment, it´s a stun. Great for getting away or getting closer to the enemy. Use Ki Burst to drop one or two basic attacks right after.

You unlocked all abilities now. Let the killing begin.

Most Riven Summoners max out Ki Burst first when playing on cooldown harassment. Way more effective is skilling like this:
On level four, give Ki Burst a level up. Now the cooldown of W and E are equal. Next, take a point in Valor. Both are level two now.

Whenever you can, level up your ultimate:
Blade of the Exile (R) and Windslash (R)

Whenever your enemy´s health drops below 50% you can use the ultimate. On level one its cooldown is medium, with cooldown reduction a bad joke. Windslash deals only descent damage on this level, but it also gives you a stack on your passive.

From now on, skill Ki Burst and Valor alternately. Max Ki Burst on level 12 and Valor on level
13. Finally, pick the remaining points in Broken Wings on level 14, 15, 17 and 18.

2. Damage based Harassment

This is very effective against squishy targets and carries. Skill level one, two and three as described above.

Max Broken Wings (Q) on level 9 for the highest damage output.
Max Valor (E) on level 13 for best mobility and for blocking as much incoming damage as possible.
Max Ki Burst (W) on level 18. You will have this ability only for the stun and the stack on your passive.
Max Blade of the Exile / Windslash (R) on level 16. Pick a point in your ultimate whenever you can.

Skill priority is the following:




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Laning and Fighting

When you reached level 3, you can start the harassment. If you prefer the damage based skill sequence, maybe wait for level 4 so you can unlock level 2 of Broken Wings.

Before Level 6, attack the enemy like this if you play agressive:

Valor --> Ki Burst --> Attack --> Broken Wings --> Attack --> Broken Wings --> Attack --> Broken Wings --> Attack

When playing safer attack this way:

Broken Wings --> Broken Wings --> Ki Burst --> Attack --> Broken Wings --> (Attack)

If the enemy is low, follow with Valor and a basic attack. If he isn´t use Valor to get out.

When you unlocked Blade of the Exile, game changes a bit; if you need a single combo to bring the enemy on ~50 - 60% of his health, activate Blade of the Exile before going in, then attack with your combo. Wait with Windslash until the enemy is critical low (10-20%) or until he flashed out.

Final combo could look like this:

(Sword means basic attack)

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Summoner Spells

Seriously, which Summoner Spells you take depends on the playing style.

I prefer Ignite and Flash, to counter Heal and the enemy´s flash.

Exhaust is also a good choice, maybe you pick Ghost instead of Flash, even if your abilities are the better ghost ;P .

I hate people using Heal, but why not pick it for yourself, for better power of endurance on the lane or to bilk the enemy of a kill.

Finally, Teleport is a possibility. You won´t lose no farming time and you can gank other lanes without warning.

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This section isn´t finished yet. Later, you can see here difficulty and counter possibilities to each champion.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Kyrinth
Kyrinth Riven Guide

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So much death... (Beginner/Advanced Riven Guide)
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