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Riven Build Guide by Nihal

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nihal

Underrated Riven - A Solotop guide

Nihal Last updated on December 6, 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


Utility: 0

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Hello everybody, my name is Nihal and i play League of Legends from one year so far. I'm not english so I know that my language isn't perfect and I apologize for that. Now let's start with this insanely pro Riven build.

Credits to jhoijhoi for introducing me to BBcode with his insane guide that you can find here.

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The Yordles-Riven

That's what you will feel when you will play a good Riven!

Enjoy the music (and yes, she is a bit broken)

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In Noxus, any citizen may rise to power regardless of race, gender, or social standing -- strength is all that matters. It was with committed faith in this ideal that Riven strove to greatness. She showed early potential as a soldier, forcing herself to master the weight of a long sword when she was barely its height. She was ruthless and efficient as a warrior, but her true strength lay in her conviction. She entered battles without any trace of doubt in her mind: no ethical pause, no fear of death. Riven became a leader amongst her peers, poster child of the Noxian spirit. So exceptional was her passion that the High Command recognized her with a black stone rune sword forged and enchanted with Noxian sorcery. The weapon was heavier than a kite shield and nearly as broad -- perfectly suited to her tastes. Soon after, she was deployed to Ionia as part of the Noxian invasion.
What began as war quickly became extermination. Noxian soldiers followed the terrifying Zaunite war machines across fields of death. It wasn't the glorious combat for which Riven trained. She carried out the orders of her superiors, terminating the remnants of a beaten and fractured enemy with extreme prejudice. As the invasion continued, it became clear that the Ionian society would not be reformed, merely eliminated. During one bitter engagement, Riven's unit became surrounded by Ionian forces. They called for support as the enemy closed in around them. What they received instead was a barrage of biochemical terror launched by Singed. Riven watched as around her Ionian and Noxian alike fell victim to an unspeakably gruesome fate. She managed to escape the bombardment, though she could not erase the memory. Counted dead by Noxus, she saw an opportunity to start anew. She shattered her sword -- severing ties with the past -- and wandered in self-imposed exile. Now she seeks atonement and her own way to serve the pure Noxian vision in which she believed.

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Pros / Cons


+ High burst damage
+ High mobility
+ Self shield that scales with bonus AD
+ Ki Burst is an AoE stun and Broken Wings an AoE knock
+ She is underrated

- She hasn't self-built sustain
- She fall off in late-game
- She isn't an off-tank

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Summoner Spells

In my opinion there are just 4 summoner spells valuable as Riven: Flash Ignite Ghost Exhaust.
Why those?
Well Flash is an istant jump over your cursor, that mean you can escape from a gank, you can chase your enemy harder, you can jump over walls just by pressing your D (or F) button.

Than Ignite is a DoT (Damage over Time) that stop the enemy from healing (50% regeneration rate and healing effects). This spell grants a lot of true damage wich can actually change an outcome from a fight.

Ghost is a valuable spell because it gives you an huge movement speed, that means easy chasing or easy escaping. I still prefer Flash over Ghost because it let me jump over walls.

And the last one: Exhaust this is a good summoner, both offensive and defensive, it stop enemy damage for 3 seconds and slow their movement speed, actually this spell is great, in teamfights if casted on the carry he will be pretty useless for 3 seconds, that's great. But i still prefer ignite for his killing potential.

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Skills explanation

Let's look at Riven Skills:

Runic Blade
Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do 5 / 7 / 9 / 11 / 13 / 15 (+0.5 per bonus attack damage) bonus physical damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, and will only expend one at a time.

A good passive for an AD champion. That passive make Riven a good dueler, after each skill (please note that Broken Wings charge your blade up to 3 times) your next attack will be empowered. Great in duel and great in harass.

Broken Wings
Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes that will damage all enemies nearby. This ability can be activated a second time within 4 seconds, and a third time within 4 seconds of that. On the third activation she will also knock nearby enemies back and have a larger radius of damage. All three strikes will deal the same amount of damage.

With this ability Riven hit the floor dealing AoE damage on impact up to three times. Note that each use of this ability is a little dash, that mean that you can use it for chasing or escaping faster (but you will lose some damage if you do that for chasing).

Ki Burst
Riven deals physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 0.75 seconds.

A short duration AoE stun that deals damage. It got a low cooldown and shines in harass and duels.

Riven dashes towards the cursor and gains a shield for up to 2.5 seconds.

A little shield that protect Riven from incoming attack. But actually it is more than this, it's a dash with a low cooldown (at rank 5), wich means you will have a HUGE mobility in your lane and in the game in general. Use this everytime it's up, to get closer to a minion and lasthit it, to move faster from your base to your lane, to gank mid, to invade enemy jungle, whatever you need but use it.

Blade of the Exile

Riven's sword reforms, gaining 20% bonus attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and autoattacks for 15 seconds. She is also granted the ability to use Wind Slash once for the duration.Riven can activate the ability to emit a shockwave in a long cone in front of her that deals physical damage to all units hit based on their missing health.

Riven ultimate. It is a totally underextimate ultimate, nothing more. It gives you some bonus AD, more range on your auto attack (note that with your ulti active Riven's Auto Attack will have a range of 200, there aren't other melee champion with that range), more range with your skills and an insane active: Wind Slash.

Wind Slash is a finisher, less health have an enemy, more will be your damage by your ulti. If you know how to play Garen's Demacian Justice or Volibear's Frenzy it will be easy, if you don't: wait till your opponent run under 25% hp, than fire your Wind Slash, using it before he runs low mean losing 150-200 free damage.

Now that I talked about each ability please move your cursor over each single ability. Please not how much Riven's Skills scale with bonus AD:
Broken Wings after 3 use: +2.1 damage for each bonus ad, that means if you have a Doran's Blade you will have 21 free damage just from your Q.
Ki Burst: +1 damage for each bonus ad (with a doran's you will have +10 damage).
Valor: a shield that scale 1:1 with bonus ad?! Really? Yes, that's Riven.
Wind Slash: it scale up to a maximum of 1.8 bonus ad. Execution time!

Ok, now you got it, Riven is an AD champion, not an offtank, she isn't a champion that syncronize well with items like Warmog's Armor or Atma's Impaler. She need AD to be effective, with an offtank build she will lose her damage and still be unable to tank well (she isn't a tank at all).

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Now that we have seen how important is Attack Damage for Riven let's talk about what item she like to dress!

Starting Item

Depending on your lane enemy you can choose to start with:

When is good to start with a Doran's Blade? Well i'd like start with this when my opponent is a passive laner such Nasus or Irelia, or when i know that my jungler will gank early the toplane.

Anyway the core starting items are Boots of Speed+3 Health Potion because they gives you some sustain and the movement speed to escape ganks. Get this when your lane is "balanced" and with balanced I mean that you will focus both on farming and on harassing.

Get a Cloth Armor+5 ealth potion when facing a champion with hard harass, i.e. Nidalee or Kennen or Rumble.

Core Build:

In Lane phase your goal should be this: Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, 2 or 3x Doran's Blade and a B. F. Sword

As I said before, you need AD to be a successfull Riven, that's all you need.
After each single recall get one or two sight ward. I won't stop repeat it: buy wards, get them, they are really NEEDED, is better "wasting" 150 g in wards than giving 450g to enemy team for a successfull gank!

Once you leave your lane you should have built your B.F. into a The Bloodthirster and now you should have 2 (or 3, as you prefer/as your game is going on) doran's so 20/30 ad and a BT 60/100 ad, with a cap of 130 bonus ad.

After The Bloodthirster we want some defensive items so we start building a Guardian Angel, wich gives you insane stats and a lovely passive. Why is this item so good? Well, that passive means enemy team won't focus you, so you will be able to spread the pain trought enemy lines!

After your Guardian Angel you can decide if you want deal more damage or be more defensive. So as good offensive items for Riven we can choose: Maw of Malmortius, Last Whisper or another The Bloodthirster.
If the situation needs a more defensive set up, rush a Randuin's Omen (you can build a Heart of Gold early so you will get some nice cash from gp10.)
If you want more HP and a slow go for Frozen Mallet (not Trinity Force, it give you many stats you don't need as attack speed, mana and ability power, so, you really want to waste over 4000g for an item that doesn't synchronize well with Riven?).

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Wich skills will I upgrade?

Usually we will start with Broken Wings because it has the highest damage and utility at level 1 (it gives you mobility, damage and a knock for the opponent) but we usually max this as LAST. Why? Because: leveling Broken Wings don't lower it's cooldown, while Ki Burst and Valor's cooldown decrase heavely. Now, what's better to max out between Ki Burst and Valor? Depend on how you lane is going, if you are winning the lane and you feel safe without a spammable shield max the Ki Burst, if you are getting harassed (i.e. your opponent is a Pantheon or a Yorick) I suggest is better maxing your shield first. (Actually you can easly beat Pantheon by maxing your Valor as it will absorb nearly all the damage from his Q and without it you will outdamage him, winning your lane even if you haven't maxed first the damages skills!)