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Riven Build Guide by Joaking

Top Ultimate Riven guide: How to climb elo

Top Ultimate Riven guide: How to climb elo

Updated on March 26, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Joaking Build Guide By Joaking 54 1 75,360 Views 1 Comments
54 1 75,360 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Joaking Riven Build Guide By Joaking Updated on March 26, 2020
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Runes: Standard rune page

1 2 3 4 5
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Ultimate Riven guide: How to climb elo

By Joaking
This guide is a tool to learn how to play Riven and how to improve as her.
I'm going to be detailed in some aspects, and maybe, apart of Riven I'm going to talk about general microgame and macrogame.
I'll repeat a lot of things.
The guide is ugly for now, but I'm going to decorate it with the time.
I've started doing this in 03/07/2020.

I'll update this guide constantly. If you see a mistake or you want to give me a recommendation, let me know.

"A sword mirrors its owner"- Riven
About Me
Hi, I play LoL since 2012, and I was bronze in season 2. The first time I started playing Riven in season 5, and I reached Challenger this season. Next seasons, I've reach challenger or master tier, playing Riven 80% of my games. I'm actually on Grand master tier. I have 1.3m mastery points as Riven.
I'm also coach in, and that's why I know a lot of macrogame.
I think I'm far from being the best Riven player in the world. Actually, I've seen Platinum Riven with better mechanics than me.
I'm from LAS, so the elo isn't that important as it is in NA or EUW, I think I could reach Master tier or Grand master in these servers, but never Challenger.

My nick is
Øctavarium (LAS).

"What conflict awaits?"- Riven
Pros and cons


High movility/damage: Riven is known for having the best movility in the game. She can do wallhops, use her abilities to dodge and move around the map without wasting resources. Also, she has a lot of damage in early game and even more in late game.
Good snowballing: Once she gets the first blood, she can take the advantage of topside.
No resources: You won't have to save mana or energy, CD is your only limit.
"Easy" to climb: Once you know how to play Riven, your elo is going to get high as f.
Good 1v1 and good 5v5: She's great at 1v1 and 5v5 if you're feed.


High CDs: She has a high CD in all of her abilities, that's why you have to rush 45%cdr to be useful.
Easy to counter: She's maybe the most counterable champion in League of Legends.
Hard to masterize: She has a lot of mechanics that some champions hasn't, and some of them are hard to do in a real game. So she isn't that easy as she seems.
Easy to die: Riven is a melee champ, and she hasn't range in any ability except for her Wind Slash. If you want to fight, you have to get close to your enemy and it will condemn you to die a lot of times. She's also vulnerable to CC.

Flash is going to be your best friend. You can do anything you want with this: Engage, escape, make a play or counterplay, dodge abilities and even cancell some animations.

Teleport is a good tool to snowball. You can teleport to the lane if you're going to lose more than one wave, or save it until you see a teamfight in botlane when dragon is up.

Personally, I've used Ignite a couple times when I play riven. It's still being a good option for aggressive players, but I for my playstyle, Teleport is a better option in every game.
Obviously, Conqueror is the best option for almost every game.

Legend: Tenacity or alacrity?

Legend: Alacrity is the standard option. If you see an enemy team against champions like Leona, Blitzcrank, Amumu, Nautilus, you must pick Legend: Tenacity. Also, you can see three champs with hard CC, like Maokai top, Vi jungle, Zyra supp. They're going to CC you constantly and you won't be able to do anything. That's a good oportunity to pick tenacity.
Also, you can stack Legend: Tenacity, Mercury's Treads and Elixir of Iron to get 61% of tenacity.

What's tenacity? Tenacity is a statistic that reduces the CC time on you.
Example: If Morgana hits her Dark Binding on you at lvl 1, she's going to snare you for 2 seconds. If you build Mercury's Treads, it gives you 30% tenacity, so, her stun is going to have a duration of 2s*(100%-30#)=2s*70%=1.4s.

Other runes

Standard rune. Just pick it in almost every game.

If you're going to fight against champions that turns your hp from 40% to 0 like Darius or Garen or play like an assassin, You should pick this rune instead of Last Stand

Very good rune for aggressive players. If you get early advantage in your lane, you can get boots before min 10, and you can easily roam mid or ward the enemy jungle without spending 300g.

This rune is awesome, it grants you 5%CDR on everything, including Summoner spells.
Mainly, I use Flash in early mins (3-5) to force the enemy flash, and then, once I have Flash up again, instantly I use it into the enemy's face to get a kill. You can do the same thing in tfs.

Good option against melee champions that are going to be constantly trading.

Awesome rune against ranged champions, it's going to give you good sustain, and you won't be afraid to farm.

Stat runes: I usually pick CD, AD and armor/MR depending of the matchup. Sometimes I pick AD, AD and armor or MR. Never pick HP, and never pick double armor or double MR.
Since some statistics on this page are wrong, I'm going to tell you the real statistics, from and then tested by me.

Runic Blade (Passive): Riven's blade gains a Charge for 6 seconds every time she uses an ability, stacking up to 3 times. Riven's basic attacks consume a Charge to deal [25% (lvl 1)/30% (lvl 6) / 35% (lvl 9) / 40% (lvl 12) / 45% (lvl 15) / 50% (lvl 18)] AD bonus physical damage.
Runic Blade is affected by Critical strike modifiers.
The main riven's damage is her passive, so you have to try to use all of your stacks and don't lose any of them. If you use your Broken Wings without autoattacking, you're going to lose 75% of your dmg.

Broken wings: Riven dashes towards the target on the cursor or in the direction she is currently facing, dealing physical damage [15 / 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 (+ 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65% AD)] to all enemies in front of her. Broken Wings can then be reactivated twice within the next 4 seconds, with the second cast refreshing the timer.
The third cast knocks up and damages all enemies around Riven in an expanded radius. The third cast is also the only cast able to dash over terrain, and can do so longer than its normal range.
Riven can intercalate her basic attacks + her Broken Wings to reset her basic attacks (hit faster) and stack her Runic Blade. It's called Fast combo. Broken Wings also can cancel some animations. If you're in melee range and you have the mouse on an enemy, Broken Wings it will hit and you won't move.

Ki burst: Riven's sword emits a burst of runic energy that shocks nearby enemies, dealing physical damage [55 / 85 / 115 / 145 / 175 (+ 100% bonus AD)] and applying a stun for 0.75 seconds.
Useful for teamfights and short trades without getting hitted. Ki Burst animation can be canceled and can cancel other animations. If you use Valor and Ki Burst quickly in this order, Ki Burst will hit where you were and you'll be able to run. It's used in short trade combo (Q+AA+WE).

Valor: Riven dashes in the direction of the cursor (but not through terrain), shielding herself [55 / 85 / 115 / 145 / 175 (+ 100% bonus AD)] for 1.5 seconds.
Once you get 45% CDR, Valor is one of the best skills in the game. It gives you a shield + dash in any direction you want, with only 4.4s of Cooldown (45%CDR).
It also allows you to dodge abilities, cancel animations, absorb damage, escape and engage. It also helps you to make wallhops easier.

Blade of the exile: Riven empowers her sword for 15 seconds, gaining 20% AD bonus attack damage, 75 bonus range on her basic attacks, increased range on Broken Wings and Ki Burst, and the ability to cast Wind Slash once for the duration.
Wind slash: Riven unleashes a wave of energy in a cone, dealing [100 / 150 / 200 (+ 60% bonus AD)] physical damage to all enemies hit, increased by 0% − 200% (based on missing health).
Great ultimate. It grants you range, damage and an AoE ability with range and high dmg. It also stacks with your Runic Blade. Lvl 6, 11 and 16 are huge powerspikes for Riven. That's why you have to focus on getting xp.

Which ability should I max?
For an standard game:
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

If you're going to play Riven mid or assasin like in top:
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Basic combos

I'm going to show you the basic Riven combos. Some of them are easy, and some requires practice. You must practice them if you want to become into a good Riven player. I don't really see many guides/videos, so I don't know how some of these combos are called. All of these combos are essential, except for variations.

  1. Fast combo (easy but slow): AA+ Broken Wings+AA+ Broken Wings+AA+ Broken Wings+AA
    Easy. Riven's main combo. A lot of damage with only using your Q and autoattacks. This is the version for Riven beginners. I don't use this combo anymore, I use the definitive version.

  2. Fast combo (definitive version): AA+ Broken Wings+Right click aside+AA+ Broken Wings+AA+Right click aside+ Broken Wings+Right click aside+AA
    Medium. It's the same combo, but if you right click aside after every Q, it cancels your Broken Wings animation and so you can hit even faster than the "Slow fast combo". It requires a lot of practice to don't miss any AA.

    *Variation:Dance combo: AA+ Broken Wings (without cursor on the objective)+Right click aside+AA+ Broken Wings (without cursor on the objective)+AA+Right click aside+ Broken Wings (without cursor on the objective)+Right click aside+AA
    Medium. Nice combo to dodge abilities like Cho'Gath Q or W, Darius E, Kled Q, Ornn W, etc. or make your enemy miss some AAs. It's the same fast combo, but without placing the cursor on the enemy.

  3. Escape combo: Valor+ Ki Burst (Instantly, E first)
    Very easy. This combo allows you escape from your enemies. The stun stays where you were, and you can get back without getting hitted.

    *there's a crazy variation of this, using quickly Flash after the combo.

  4. Doublecast: Valor+Autoattack+ Ki Burst+ Broken Wings (W and Q instantly, W first)
    Easy. Combo to burst your opponent or to start a fast combo. Tons of damage, but it makes you waste 0.75 seconds of shield, so don't spam this combo. Adrian Riven uses it a lot to delete people.

    *Variation 1: Doublecast without autoattack: Valor+wait (0.5s-1.4s)+ Ki Burst+ Broken Wings (W and Q instantly, W first)

    *Variation 2: Doublecast R: Valor+AA+ Blade of the Exile+ Broken Wings (R and Q instantly, R first)

    *Variation 3: Doublecast R2: Valor+AA+ Wind Slash+ Broken Wings (R2 and Q instantly, R2 first)

  5. E+R Cancel: Valor+ Blade of the Exile/ Wind Slash (E first, then R, quickly)
    Simple combo to cancel your R/R2 animation when you can't doublecast it or you don't want to spend your stun.

  6. Tiamat+W: Tiamat+ Ki Burst
    Very easy. Good combo to do a lot of damage or clear waves. You can Tiamat+R also.

    *Variation: Tiamat+ Blade of the Exile
    Very easy.

  7. R cancel with flash: Flash+ Blade of the Exile
    Medium. Good combo to cancel your R animation when you want to use the surprise factor.

  8. Short trade combo: Broken Wings+AA+Escape combo ( Valor+ Ki Burst)
    Hard. Essential combo to trade against champions with very strong long trades ( Darius, Fiora, etc.) without getting hitted.

Advanced combos
I put the most useful combos. Once you understand basic and advanced combos, you can understand how riven works and make your own combos. Advanced combos are combinations of basic combos.

  1. Doublecast with flash: Valor+ Flash+AA+ Ki Burst+ Broken Wings. You have to place the cursor on the enemy all the time.
    Veru hard. Good combo if you want to surprise your enemy with a lot of damage. You can cast your R before it if you're in a bush.

  2. Flash combo: Broken Wings+wait until Q1 is almost going to expire+ Broken Wings+wait until Q2 is half to expire+ Valor+ Blade of the Exile Flash+ Broken Wings3+ Tiamat+ Ki Burst+AA+ Wind Slash+ Broken Wings1+Fast combo ( Broken Wings+AA+ Broken Wings+AA)
    Hard. This combo is one of the most useful. You can engage hard if you see overextended enemies, or you can enter in a tf with this combo to maximize your damage. BoxBox uses it a lot.

  3. No R burst: Valor+ Tiamat+AA+Doublecast ( Ki Burst+ Broken Wings1)+Fast combo (AA+ Broken Wings2+AA+ Broken Wings3+AA)
    Hard. Useful combo for long trades. Try it only before lvl 6 or if you have 40%+ CDR, or you'll be punished for wasting all your abilities.

  4. In lane all in: Valor+Doublecast R( Blade of the Exile+ Broken Wings1)+Fast combo (AA+ Broken Wings2+AA+ Broken Wings3+AA)+ Tiamat+ Ki Burst+ Windslash+AA
    Hard. Useful combo to burst your enemy in lane, especially to kill ranged champions after they waste their escape ability. You have to cancel Tiamat animation using instantly Ki Burst.

  5. Advanced combo #1: Doublecast flash ( Valor+ Flash+AA+ Ki Burst+ Broken Wings)+Fast combo(AA+ Broken Wings+AA+ Broken WingsAA)+ Tiamat+ Wind Slash+AA
    Very hard. Main combo to burst enemies without escape. You have to cancel Tiamat animation using Wind Slash at the same time.

  6. Advanced combo #2: E+R Cancel ( Valor+ Windslashinstantly)+Doublecast (AA+ Ki Burst+ Broken Wings1 instantly)+AA+ Broken Wings2+AA+ Broken Wings2+AA+R flash cancel ( Wind Slash+ Flash aside)+ Broken Wings3+AA Tiamat
    Extreme. I don't use this combo often, it's only for extreme situations when you need to dodge abilities that you know your enemy is going to use to stop your third Broken Wings, like Malphite R, Darius E, etc. Also you can "dodge" an autoattack. This combo is even better when flash is used into a bush.


One of the most useful mechanics that Riven has with her third Broken Wings.
It will allow you:
-Move faster around the map.
-Surprise your enemies.
-Place deep wards without losing CS.
-Make plays.

Cornercuts: Jump over the corners. Very useful tool to chase, to escape or to make your path shorter. You can do it in almost every corner of the map. Go to the practice tool and practice them!

Turret/inhibitor hop: A little bit harder hops, but enemies won't expect it. Used to engage or to back faster to the lane. You can do it over destroyed turrets/inhibitors also.

Wallhops I: Easiest wallhops. You can know them intuitively. No need to use your Valor to jump these walls.

Wallhops II: Hard wallhops. You wanna practice them hard.
Some of them will surprise your enemies, and even to you.

There are more wallhops. I didn't show you the easiest ones.
Early game
It's going to be very extense, with basic and advanced tips, so, go for some chips while you're reading this.

Early early game (0:15 to 1:30)

These 75 seconds are very important to set your lane and feel safer.
You have four options: Invade, ward the enemy jungle, leash, or cheese.

Important timings:
Minions arrive to the sidelanes at 1:37.
First minion dies at 1:50/1:55.
First buffs spawns at 1:30.
Wards in early game lasts for 90s.

  • Invade: I don't like to invade when I'm toplaner, but if you have a Thresh, Nautilus, Pyke, Blitzcrank or Morgana in your team, you should go for the invade and try to get early kills. You can also ward the enemy jungle if you invade.
    Types of invades:

    1. Invade from mid to blue:
    2. Sneak invade from bot to red:
    3. Straight invade to blue:
    4. Invade top from topside:
    I recommend to back after an invade, before min 1:05.

  • Ward the enemy jungle: If you ward the enemy jungle, you're going to know certainly where the enemy jungler will be in the earlier phases of the game.
    1. When you're in the red team, ward the enemy blue side: these three wards are effective to know where the enemy jungler started and where he will be. For me, the best ward is the ward that's placed between wolves and midlane.
    2. When you’re in the blue team, ward the red side: You’ll know when the enemy jungler will pass around the raptors or if he starts in red or not. My favourite ward is the one who's placed between raptors and red buff.

      What’s the importance of this? The most popular jungler route is starting in botside, and ganking top at min 2:55/3:00 (that’s when you hit lv 3, so you’ll have to face hard trades in toplane, since Riven has a good powerspike at lv 3), and you have to be sure if the enemy jungler is doing this route or not. It’s an important information for you and for your team. If you see the enemy jungler starting in the topside, you can play aggressive at min 2:55/3:00, because he is going to path to botside. You do the opposite when you see the enemy jungler starting in the botside.
      You have to place these wards around min 1:20 to make them be more effective, but you can place them at min 0:50 and they’ll be useful aswell.

      You don't to spend your ward? It's fine, so, you should be the ward in these early minutes.

  • Leash: Help your jungler with the first Blue or Red . To make it more effective, you can do this: start with Broken Wings, and press your first Broken Wings at 1:22/1:23, near the buff. Wait until the timer of your Q is almost ending, and then press Q again. Do it again with your third Broken Wings, but aiming to the buff. It will knock up the buff and you'll have three charges of your Runic Blade. When your Broken Wings gets his CD back, you can Fast combo the buff, and then go back to your lane.

  • Cheese kill: It's an strategy that consists in killing your opponent at lvl 1. Riven's lvl 1 is strong, and she kills fast, so you should try it against champions like Ryze, Vladimir, Soraka, Lucian, or another squishy/weak champ in early game. Don't try it against Gangplank, Darius, Fiora, Garen or Renekton.

    If you don't know where the enemy toplaner is, hide on this bush (The nearest to the enemy turret):
    If you know that the enemy toplaner leashed his jungler, hide on this bush:

    If you took the kill, don't recall until you have the gold to buy Caulfield's Warhammer

Congratulations! the game has started!

Early game (1:30 until take the first turret on the game)

Important timers:
Minions arrive to sidelanes at 1:37.
First Dragon spawns at 5:00.
First Rift herald spawns at 8:00, and it respawns after 6 minutes.
Turret plating disappear at 14:00.

Objectives: Caulfield's Warhammer and Black Cleaver

Minions have arrived, it's time to get gold and xp. Riven can farm easy at lvl 1 against most of the champs, and she can punish enemies that tries to farm with her Broken Wings and her strong Runic Blade. Your first goal, is get Caulfield's Warhammer. Once you have 1100 gold, you can recall and buy it.
When should I recall? You should recall once you Hard push the wave before the Canon wave (wave with Siege minion ), if you do it, you'll lose only three melee minion instead of six minions.
After having Caulfield's Warhammer, you're not a minion anymore, and you levelup to a champion. You can push waves, try long trades and effective short trades.
Now, there's something that every good player should know: Wave management.
It's hard to explain in words, so, I'll show you a proguides' video.

-If you do a hard push, ward the enemy jungle.
-If you freeze your lane, don't spend your wards in your lane, try to put them near to midlane/your jungle.
-If you slow push, you'll be able to take some tower plates or roam mid. Remember that riven has a lot of movility on the map because of her wallhops.
-If you want to TP, do it when drake is up. So, you can win a tf and then let your team do a free drake. It's better if you slowpush before using Teleport.

For me, the early game ends when the first turret gets destroyed.

Also, you have to learn from every matchup. Maybe my tips for matchups aren't enough for you, and it's your work know to fill these gaps.

"Learn from your mistakes"- Riven
Mid game

Mid game (First turret destroyed-Min 20)

Objectives: Death's Dance and Mercury's Treads

At this point of the game you have three options:
-If botlane took the first turret: Swap lanes.
-If toplane took the first turret, stay in top until destroy the enemy outer turret.
-If midlane took the first turret, stay in top until destroy the enemy outer turret.

Once the enemy outer turret in the lane you're facing has been destroyed (no matter if you're in botlane or toplane), you have two options:
-If you're ahead, hard push and deep ward. Also try to steal all the jungle you can. Be alert to the map.
-If you're behind, don't let the enemy roam. Try to push and back. If you can't do it, just try to don't die.

-Don't overextend.
-Try to roam mid.
-Do the Scuttle if you can.
-You can get kills easily once you have Black Cleaver because of your 40/45% cdr, and even more if you have Death's Dance.
-Use your wallhops.
-Avoid tfs, go for 1v1.

Remember, in mid game you have to scale until you have your core build.

"Choose your own path."- Riven
Late game

Late game: I (20:00 until having full build)

Objectives: Ravenous Hydra, Guardian Angel and Mortal Reminder

So, finally you have bought your Death's Dance, Black Cleaver and Mercury's Treads. Now you're a true champion, you're able to do a lot of things that you couldn't do without them: Teamfight (and survive), win almost every 1v1 and push really hard without getting a lot of damage from minions. Now that Baron has spawned, every thing you do has an impact on the map. The most important thing is to don't die. At this point of the game you should be in botlane if you have tp, and midlane if you don't have it.

If you're ahead, you want to close the game early, so:
-Hard push every wave and try to flank the enemy team. This is very important to close games. If you won't flank, steal some jungle and place some wards that will let you flank the enemy team the next time. It is more effective for higher elos, and it is easy to do.
-Place wards in mid lane or in river to see your enemies. Set the minion waves in the middle of the botlane and wait until your enemies go for you. After that, try to escape and make them waste their time while your teammates are pushing or setting/doing Baron . Don't do it if your teammates are in base or farming jungle. It works better in lower elos, because they see you like a "free kill", but Riven has a lot of movility and she can escape easily. Hard to do, but it's the best option for lower elos. Even if your teammates don't do anything important, the enemy team will waste their time (xp and gold loss).
-Wait enemies in a bush with your teammates after pushing waves.
-Wait an enemy in a bush instead of flanking mid.
-If you're really ahead, push mid or rush baron and try to win quickly.

If you're behind you want to extend the game, so:
-Don't die.
-Place defensive wards in your own jungle.
-Avoid teamfights.
-Look for 2v1.
-Wait your enemies in bushes.
-Bait baron.

It's very hard to comeback when the enemies are playing well, but you have to think that everyone makes mistakes. Learn from your mistakes, from your teammates mistakes, and from your enemies mistakes.

Late game: II (Full build - until game over)

Nobody has advantage at this point of the game.

Order priority:
  1. Don't die
  2. Elder dragon
  3. Dragon soul
  4. Baron
  5. Nexus turrets
  6. Toplane Inhibitor
  7. Botlane Inhibitor
  8. Midlane Inhibitor
  9. Botlane Inner turret
  10. Toplane Inner turret
  11. Midlane Inner turret

    To close a game like this, the only thing you can do is rush/bait baron, push mid and wait an enemy mistake, or wait them on bushes. Any other option is a 50/50

"My spirit is not lost."- Riven
In resume: Riven is a strong champion, but she has weaknesses. Try to compensate her weaknesses and to make her strenghts even stronger.
Play chill, don't get mad in games. If you play well, you'll climb elo, and this guide is a tool to learn how to play well, specially as Riven.
If you need anything, let me know, and I'll try to help you :).
GL on the summoner's rift.

"No more hesitation."- Riven

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Teamfight Tactics Guide