RIVEN BUILD GUIDE: A sword mirrors its owner by Ary Carys

by Ary Carys (last updated 10 months ago)

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist( +1.35 magic resist per level (24.3 at champion level 18))
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage( +6.75 attack damage)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/4
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21 Offense
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9 Defense
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0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Runic Blade
QBroken Wings
WKi Burst
RBlade of the Exile
View Skill Order Details



mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
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21 Offense
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9 Defense
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0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Runic Blade
QBroken Wings
WKi Burst
RBlade of the Exile

Champion Matchups

Change Log

  • guide reached 400 000 views

  • guide reached 300 000 views, thank you all :D
  • changed masteries

  • guide reached 200 000 views

  • guide reached 100 000 views

  • Updated skill order

  • Added to optional offensive items (+explained)
  • Added / to optional defensive items (+explained)
  • Expanded the "Skills" chapter a bit

  • Tier 3 boots upgrade - changed!
  • Title changed from "The one that got away" to "A sword mirrors its owner"

  • Skill order chapter - updated!

  • Masteries - UPDATED
  • Summoner spells - UPDATED
  • Item Builds - FULLY CHANGED
  • Jungling with Riven - UPDATED
  • Early game chapter - "Fighting 1v1" slightly improved
  • Hooping over walls with Q added to a Combo chapter

  • Jayce and Vi match-ups coming soon!
  • Zed, Kha Zix and Volibear match-ups coming afterwards
  • Gonna rewrite some chapters and harmonize all S2 leftovers and Riven nerfs
  • Gonna expand the masteries chapter and add another option

UPCOMING GUIDE: Sejuani (jungle guide)

Riven, the Exile

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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.

Why do I play Riven?
Well, it is pretty simple. Have you ever played against her? If played correctly, you can't beat her. I played against her many times, and every time I said to myself: "When I'll have enough IP I will buy her" And when I bought her, I did not regret!
I love melee champions with mobility. I like fighting face-to-face. With her awesome mobility, decent CC and very big amount of damage, she is my first choice. Although there are many champions who are better counters, Riven is my main character from the day I bought her.
I play it as a tanky solotop. At level 3 she is great at harassment, at higher levels she is a great fighter. With my build she can be initiator in team fights. Also, not many champions can counter her.
So, she is very strong champion because of her passive. All of her abilities scale off her physical damage. With her mobility you can easily dominate your lane. She is great choice for ranked games, also for normal games (both 3v3 and 5v5). She can also be played mid or jungle, but this is a solotop guide, as I play her.

Basic Information

Riven, the Exile

Release date: September 14, 2011
Attributes: melee, fighter

Health: 414 (+86 per level)
Attack damage: 54 (+2.75 per level)
Health regeneration: 10.4 (+0.9 per level)
Attack speed: 0.625 (+3.5% per level)
Mana: N/A (Manaless)
Armor: 15 (+3.1 per level)
Magic resistance: 30 (+1.25 per level)
Range: 125
Movement speed: 320

Cost: 6300 IP / 975 RP
Cost with runes: 14910 IP

Pros and Cons


  • high mobility
  • high damage
  • no mana cost
  • extremely fun to play
  • not hard to learn
  • played correctly, she's OP
  • pretty easy to chase someone or to escape
  • low cooldowns
  • decent CC


  • can be countered by some champions
  • small range of her and



Offense (21)
Riven is champion whose abilities scale strict off her physical damage, so 21 point in Offense is what you need to increase her starting damage. Increased damage to turrets for better pushing, Armor Pen and increased damage, similar as ADC masteries but don't get point for crit chance, you really don't need it.

Defense (9)
I use 9 points in Defense for extra survivability and sustain: health regeneration and health (like free health Quint), changing Armor/MR depending on my match-up.


The most used runes for Riven.

[http://solomid.net/guide/runes/mark4.png] Greater Mark of Attack Damage
+0.95 Attack damage x9 = 9 AD
  • for extra damage when harassing and fighting
  • you may also take Greater Mark of Armor Penetration (+1.66 Armor Penetration)

[http://solomid.net/guide/runes/seal1.png] Greater Seal of Armor
+1.41 Armor x9 = 13 Armor
  • to take less damage from minions when harassing enemy in lane and from champions in fights

[http://solomid.net/guide/runes/glyph4.png] Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
+0.15 MR/lvl x18 x9 = 24 MR at lvl 18
  • also, like armor, always is good to have some. Some people prefer flat MR, but I take scaling because it gives you more MR at lvl 18

[http://solomid.net/guide/runes/quint1.png] Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage (Physical Damage)
+2,25 Attack damage x3 = 7 AD
  • flat damage to last hit, also while harassing (all of your abilities scale off physical damage)

Summoner Spells


Since barrier first came as an option for Summoners Rift I was a bit skeptic. It took me some time til I started using it. To be honest, it is now viable on every champion or every lane, but what I dicovered is that on Riven is work just wonderful. Since Riven is a champion with hight mobility, she can get through a game without Flash, especially if you ward your map properly. I like barrier because it's cooldown is pretty low and it can really save you a life. Wehn you are ignited, your heal would be cut in halt, you flash can't stop it and your shield is sometimes too weak, but with barrier you are so much more durable in 1v1 fights.

Ignite is used to secure a kill, especially with those champions who can heal themselves ( etc)

I use Flash for almost every champ. With Riven flash is very useful because it gives you more combo possibilities, great escape etc. It is the most used summoner spell but I prefer to use Barrier after my discovery.

Sometimes I take Exhaust instead, but Ignite is much more useful for Riven because of her ability to catch someone even if he is faster. You might wanna take exhaust if your team doesn't have any or if it makes you feel safer for it's slow.

Sometimes people prefer to use heal for more sustain. To be honest, Riven is an aggressive champions and asks for more offense than defense.

You can use teleport to come back in lane faster, it will secure you more experience. It also allows you to help everyone on the map by porting to a ward and ganking enemies. I don't really like it because I find Barrier/Flash/Ignite more useful.

What about Cleanse, when to use it? Well, in draft pick, if you see you will be playing against heavy CC team, maybe you should consider taking Cleanse, in blind pick, rather take some more useful spell (one of those above) and if you'll still have some problems with CC, buy in mid/late game.


Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her basic attacks to deal 5 / 5.59 / 6.18 / 6.76 / 7.35 / 7.94 / 8.53 / 9.12 / 9.7 / 10.29 / 10.88 / 11.47 / 12.06 / 12.64 / 13.23 / 13.82 / 14.41 / 15 (+100% of bonus attack damage) bonus physical damage. Riven's blade may be charged up to 3 times and expends one charge per attack.

Very strong passive which requires usnig basic attacks between casting spells. This is the reason Life Steal is effective on Riven; she deals many basic attacks. Don't underestimate this passive, it gives you a lot of bonus damage. It synergies well with

Riven strikes out in front of her in a short line. This ability may be reactivated 2 additional times.
1st Use: Slashes forward, dealing 30/50/70/90/110 (+60% of bonus attack damage) physical damage to all units she comes in contact with.
2nd Use: Slashes forward, dealing 30/50/70/90/110 (+60% of bonus attack damage) physical damage to all units she comes in contact with.
3rd Use: Leaps into the air and slams the ground dealing 30/50/70/90/110 (+60% of bonus attack damage) physical damage and knocking nearby enemies away from the point of impact.


This spell is very good for both farming and fighting. Don't spam all three at once unless you need to knock back someone quickly, escape or get closer. Use it to charge your passive as well.
It is AoE damage, and you can cast it 3 times. You can max it first because it has the most damage output.

Riven's sword emits a burst of runic energy that shocks nearby enemies, dealing 50/90/130/170/210 (+100% of bonus attack damage) physical damage and stunning them for 0.5 seconds.

Great AOE stun, but with short duration. Although the duration of the stun does not increase, it's cooldown is getting lower, so in a fight, you get to use it couple of times. It is also great for kiting and escaping. If you're the initiator in your game, you should definitely max it first, go in their team and massive-stun them.

Riven does a quick dash in the direction of your cursor and becomes shielded, blocking up to 40/70/100/130/160 (+100% of bonus attack damage) incoming damage for 2.5 seconds.
Cooldown: 11/10/9/8/7

Range of this ability is not very big, but it's great mechanism for escaping. This spell is great for dulling true damage, harassing, dodging and playing both aggressive and safe. You can dash through (Jarvan IV), (Anivia) and (Trundle). It will also shield the

Riven's weapon surges with spiritual energy for 15 seconds, granting her 20% bonus attack damage, increased range on her damaging spells and attacks, and the ability to use Wind Slash once.
Wind Slash: Riven fires a shockwave that deals from 80/120/160 (+60% of bonus attack damage) to 240/360/480 (+180% of bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies hit, increasing based on how much health they are missing.


This is very low cooldown for strong ultimate as this one. It also has decent duration. Activate it for the first time at the beginning of the fight, than second time when you need to get your kill (or possibly double/triple/... kill). This ultimate improves all of your spells and that's why your want to activate it first when fighting someone. Let's say it s a steroid for your attacks and spells with a shoot to finish the runaway cowards.

Skill Order

Maxing Q - when you are facing a match up that is neither too easy or too hard for you. You deal quite nice damage, and it is good because each cast charges your passive. Include your basic attacks in between. Follow with E if you need to be offensive.

Maxing W - you benefit a lot with maxing E because your stun will have a lower CD. Even tho your stun lasts only for 0.75 secs you will be able to activate it more than once in a fight. Follow with Q for more damage, if you need to play offensive. This is a great choice if you are playing a 1v2 lane because it is AoE stun and gives you some more time to escape.

Maxing E - if you are playing against naturally stronger champion (check the match up chapter), or against champions with true damage, spells that have long casting time ad you have enough time to shield them. Follow we either Q or W, depends on what you need (read the first and second option)

Same as the first one, but follow with your E if you need to play more defensive or you need more survivability in 1v1 fight.

Same as the second one but you max you E next for durability in fight if opponent deals a lot of damage.


Early game (after you turn level 3):

1st harass combo: to target--- on target- away.
2nd harras combo: ---AA-- away.
3rd harass combo: -AA--AA--AA-- away

There are many other ways to harass someone, but I use these 3 the most.

Before starting a fight activate your , do some combos as you wish, but don't forget to include basic attacks somewhere in between (because your damage is increased the less health your target has) then activate your again to secure a kill. Use or if needed. Even use if it looks like your target will get aways with ridiculously low hp.
Although, it could be a problem in 1v1 fight with some champions, but everyone has it's counter, right?

Flash combos:




Use your ultimate as much as possible, it has ridiculously short cooldown.

To escape:
  • when using , DO NOT use all 3 at once, your escaping must be consisted of
carefully chosen abilities and a great timing

At lower levels with longer CDs will be harder to escape, but that's why you are not moving too far from your tower.

At higher levels escapeing from 1-2 enemies shouldn't be a problem.

  • away > run > 1 > run > 2 > run > 3 with good timing, now you should be able to activate your again

  • if you are chased by someone with mobility and CC, you might want to use your somewhere in between
Irelia - use your
Kennen - use your
Lee Sin - use your
Morgana - aside to avoid her snare
Olaf - aside to avoid his axes
Shen - after his taunt is over
Lux - aside to avoid her snare
It is pretty difficult to escape from , his snowbal will follow you aside and slow you.

Your life is valuable and you don't want to feed, so use if you need, or if you have one.

There is fun thing about Riven that not many people know, also it is pretty hard to achieve but it is possible.

Remember! Riven's abilities don't cost anything and they charge her blade, so use them as much as possible.

Item Builds

Starting items

After the movement speed has been slightly increased and the price of Long Sword was reduced from 415 to 400, I decided that sometimes you just don't need boots as your first item. This gives you extra damage, also you have 2 potions. This start is not only used for top lane, but for AD Carries as well. It works the best when you have Janna in your team :D
Another advantage of this start is that on your first B you can already upgrade it to Vampiric Scepter or even The Brutalizer

This is still a valid start which is also recommended versus champions with skill shots or CC. Gives you a bit more survivability that the first start, especially if you wait for the 4th potion. It allows you the easier escape if enemy decides to gank, also you have bigger chances to catch someone.

I prefer starting with these items if I am laning versus AD lane with high harassing possibilities. I hope it's obvious that you don't take this versus AP lane. Advantage of this lane is that it can be upgraded to Emblem of Valor faster.

Another viable start. To be honest, in S3 the Long Sword+2 pots is more profitable, but you can use this with no problem if you know you won't have problems dealing with your opponent and you won't have to recall often because of the lack of health potions.

Not very often, but valid. If you are laning versus AP lane that is naturally stronger than you are, use this. If you are laning versus AP lane that's weaker than you, go for the first start and make the most out of your natural advantage.

Core items:

Great item for early game, just to give you some damage, and a bit of sustain until you buy better items. Get 1 or 2, depends on how well you're doing in lane. If you're doing very well, you may as well skip Doran's, if it's equal go for 1, if you're losing and don't have gold for good items, go for 1 or 2, but to be honest, if you have for 2 Dorans, you have for Vampiric Scepter as well.

In S2 this item was good, but still kind of 'meh..' because you would had have to sell it. Now it is just amazing because it can be upgraded to

Pretty nice item for all AD champions, gives you a bit sustain, damage and later on you will upgrade it to


If you are laning versus AD lane and you need more sustain, this is a great choice. It is actually a pretty cheap item (650 gold) and you can either sell it (if you are winning) or upgrade it to if your team is losing or doesn't have good initiator/tank.

While laning versus AP or hybrid lane, this item is essential. Gives you MR and damage, and a shield which can possibly save you or win you a fight. If yo are not laning vs AP lane, still get this item, but later, because chances you are playing against full AD team are really low. In late game you can upgrade it to but don't rush MoM because TBC and BT are your priority for offense.

Boots options:

In my opinion these are the best boots. Although they are expensive, they are worth it. Even if you are dealing with AD lane, these boost are far more useful later on because of the Tenacity they give you. Take it if you are playing against balanced AD-AP team or a team with even a bit CC.

If you are doing well and your team is doing well, these boots are an awesome option. If enemy team is underfed or underfarmed and your team deals more damage than they do, take these boots because they will work offensive and help you be even better. Cooldown reduction works very good on Riven because of her spells as a whole (passive, stun, shield...)

These boots are valid, but worse than the previous two. Take them if enemies are mostly AD, or they have for example 2 AD carries (one top and one bottom). Also if you play against champions who should spam their basic attacks or rely on them (examples would be Riven, Caitlyn, Graves....)

- getting faster back in lane
- great for pushing (late game)
- just some bonus move speed to catch enemies or escape faster



TBT works well on almost any AD champion. It kinda gives you that 'snowballing' effect because of the stacks and bonus damage with each kill. Lifesteal makes you better in fights or even you you are being poked, to return you health. Definitely a great choice.

Since The Black Cleaver was changed, it is more a top than bottom item. Like I said before, cooldown reduction works really well on Riven. The armor penetration and TBC's passive works well against bot tanky and squishy champions, also gives you a bit health and that just can't be a bad thing :)


LW is as well a great top item. If you are doing well, go for LW after your priorities. Works well against tanky champs because of it's armor penetration.

MoM is a great item, but it is to be finished in late game. The Black Cleaver, The Blood Thirster and Last Wisper give you more advantages than MoM, yet having just a simple Hexdrinker will do fine for a long time.

After testing it in about 10 games, this item turned out to be pretty great for multiple reasons. It synergies pretty well with your kit because it makes your basic attack splash and you use a lot of basic attacks because of your passive. The awesome way to use it's active is when you use your AoE stun (W). The sustain it gives you is also pretty cool, because after Riven's health regeneration was nerfed, this kinda redeems it. You want to start with and finish it at some point of late mid/early late game.

One more item that showed to be awesome. It is like mini-bloodthirster. Although its passive does not grand you stacks for attack damage, you gain extra damage the less HP your target has. Also, it's active will heal you for a nice amount assuming you have already built some damage, and it is kind of a mix between and . Of course you won't use it at the beginning of the fight, but by the end and sort of restart a fight with that heal. It will also slow your target and speed you up so you can catch your target if he is trying to get away after seeing he can't beat ya ;)


GA is an awesome item, and you should buy it in most of the cases. Sometimes if the game is going very well for one team, you just don't have time to buy it because game ends to fast. But I often buy in just after my offense essentials and then continue building damage. The reason: if I am fed and we start a team fight, I will probably get focused, so there's GA. If I'm not doing so great and I die easily but we still have a chance to win, there is GA. Since S3 patch the price went down and now I just can't find a reason why not to buy GA if I can buy it. In my opinion, it is the most important defensive item for champions beside supports.

Sometimes it is good to have a bit more tankier build; when? When your team lacks of initiators and tanks or when you play vs champion or a team with high burst. Also, you will probably need against Darius, Olaf, Irelia etc. Frozen Mallet isn't that bad because you use a lot of your basic attacks, and with FM your basic attacks will slow the target's movement speed.

I personally think that it's a shame to go for tanky Riven because you don't make a full use of her damage, but if you're stuck up with squishy team, you need to build at least one of those.
You will take and upgrade it to RB if your support/jungler doesn't have it already. If they do, go for F.H. or R.O.
Randuin's Omen is a first choice because you make the full use out of it with health and armor. Frozen Heart isn't that great because it gives you mana and you're manaless, so WTF. But if their AD carry is really fed, this will give you some nice armor and slow hiss attack speed, so you might want to consider this as an option, but like I said, ONLY if their ADC is fed, toherwise go for Randuin's Omen or Runic Bulwark.

Riven's Match-ups


Garen is a tricky champion because of his passive. He is the main reason I buy in early game.

-shield his
-harass carefully just so he can't heal (his passive)
-he is stronger than you in a 1v1 in early game, do not start fight withour jungler
-be careful when harassing, when being under his turret and when his jugler comes: he can silence you and you can't use you or to get away
-use every chance when you are near him to stunn him with , then hit him once and use or to get away before he silences you
-however, you could ask for an early gank to dominate the lane, maybe you won't kill him but you will have some time to farm while he is in base
-it is hard to farm when he uses his , wait until his spin is over and then harass
-when he is lvl 6, run away if you have low health, because his ultimate's damage is based on your missing health

Rumble could be a problem, but once you lear the matchup better, you shouldn't have problems with him.

-try to avoid his , this helps him to farm better than you, so wait until it is on cooldown
-avoid his with your
-while fighting him, don't stand in his ultimate
-run around him (use you mobility abilities), then he won't be able to hit you with his
-buy earlier and instead of

This build is also great when playing vs. Shen. He is a tank so you shouldn't bring yourself in situation where your maximum health is much lower than his.

-don't let him to taunt you under his tower, it is forgivable if your hp is high, but it can cost you life if its under 50% (at lower lvls of course)
-when both yours and his hp are low, get away so he can't you
-he will probably build Armor, so get as quick as possible ('cause of 40% Armor penetration)
-ask for an early gank
-don't push too far because if his jungler comes and they kill you, you will have no chance in lane domination afterwards
-use CC when he starts his ultimate, don't let him teleport with low hp
-use your regular combos with and , but play safe
-remember he is kinda like you, with shield and mobility to escape or harass

Tricky champion. She can heal herself and she is faster than you when she runs through bushes.

-avoid her with your
-let her push to your tower
-push slightly so you can turn lvl 6 before she does
-you have advantage in 1v1, especially when she is not lvl 6 yet, then she can easily get away
-beware of her in cougar form, the less health you have, the more damage she deals
-buy more Magic resist ()
-ask for an early gank to turn lvl 6 before she does
-use regular combos to harass, avoiding her and (while in human form)

I used to play Irelia solotop before I bought Riven. She can be tricky, but not unbeatable. Her spellp cost a lot of mana so if you make her use them, she will soon spend it. Beware of her CC () because if you have more health that her, she will stunn you. She will probably let you harass her a bit so she can do this, but play smart! I came in situations where I use my spells to kill someone and then I don't hate mana for my ultimate for 1 or 2 last hits. That is why I love Riven so much.

-beware of her , it deals true damage, although you are built tanky, your armors won't prevent this type of damage; this spell lasts for a short duration but it also heals her, but your will
-she is killable before she turns level 9
-ask for an early gank to gain advantage
-play aggressive and don't let her farm, this way she won't be able to last hit, so she will be forced to use her and you will slowly drain her mana away
-i would recommend building this items but with instead, because you need some Magic Resistance, not much, but you need some
-her ultimate also has a short cooldown, just like your does

Shyvana's abilities are scaled off her AD although 3/4 deal magic damage. She is pretty strong champion and you wanna build some MR against her:

-let her push to your tower until you are lvl 3
-be careful when fighting her 1v1, she is a strong fighter as well
-if she stacks her armor, buy more Armor Pen and buy it earlier ()
-get away from her when she activates her , don't fight her while this is on, because when she attacks, this spin's duration is longer (usually about 3 secs, when attacking about 7 secs)
-stack some Armor because of her (reduces Armor)
-harass her when she is low on Fury so she can't transform into Dragon form

His will drive you crazy, but it has 130 seconds cooldown on lvl 6. He can also heal himself, so my build start is great vs him as well. Pre 6 you are so much stronger than he is s your goal is to kill him before he turns 6.

-take care of his cooldowns
-ask for ganks, even on lvl 6, he will use him ulti and even if you don't kill him,he will be vulnerable for 2 minutes
-be aggressive
-don't fight him when he uses , just away
-ask for an early gank se he uses his or die
-this is one example od combo to harass Trynda and not get your health low: to Trynda, to stunn and damage, 1st to damage, 2nd and 3rd to get away from his

Talon shouldn't really be a problem to Riven. He doesn't have much CC (just his slow), you can easily outdamage him in 1v1, however, his ulti might be a little tricky because if he has a good timing, he can escape. You have advantage because of your shield as well.

-beware of his mini ignite, his is causing you to bleed and it can kill you if his timing is good
-same thing as Irelia, he will probably lose his mana if he tries to harass you often
-try killing him before level 6, because he won't be able to escape with his , or he will use his

Jax is really hard 1v1, I played him in Proving grounds a couple of times, and it can't be beaten. Hi is tricky however because his spells are very cheap and he almost always has enough mana. His often combo is E-Q to jump on you-you are stunned-W to increase damage-AA and so on. Although, you CAN beat him by playing safe in early game and being aggressive in mid and late game. But once he buys items, he is really hard to handle. So you want to harass him and do not let him farm properly. Also, he is very good at ganks, so you want to buy as soon as possible, no matter is he a jungler or a solotop.

-when he activates his just get away with your or , that 's his spell with longest CD (except ulti of course)
-in later gamer be agressive and make him use his (lasts 8 secs), when it's on CD, go for a kill
-in figt, stunn him as much as possible
-don't forget he can dodge your hits with his
-he has a gap closer which he can use for pretty good harass but your mobility is much better
-don't forget about his ultimate's passive > every 3rd basic attack has increased damage
-sustain in early game, farm properly and then destroy him in late game with jungler's help

This is most common lane matchup. Gangplank and you will be alike with this build of yours. It is a killable lane if you play smart and safe.

-use your when he uses his ; that way he spends his mana and you save your health
-never ever ever! fight in his !
-when his arms turn red, don't fight him as well, wait until it's on cooldown
-don't engage him when you are still vulnerable
-build some early armor
-harass when you know his is on cooldown
-fight him if he has no mana
-remember, he can heal himself so arm yourself with and

Althought, he is a tricky opponent for some champs, for Riven he shouldn't be a problem. Your greatest advantage is: your ultimate affects him, and his ultimate doesn't affect you.

-don't be aggressive too early, let him push
-also try not to fight him when he activates his W (it slows you and it gains him a shield)
-use you and to dodge and escape his
-don't forget: he can escape you using his

This is a matchup similar as Gangplank.

-harass him carefully
-easily avoid his and with your mobility
-you can't avoid his , but on lower levels it more tickles than damages
-build some early armor and armor pen
-he quickly runs out of mana
-buy MR because AP-tank Malph is now more often played than just a tank Malph

Lee Sin
Is the lane killable depends on enemy skill level. However, there are advices that coud help you with dealing this champion.

-abuse minion wave, jump and dash around so he can't land his on you
-don't fight him when yourmovement and attack speed are reduced by his
-he also has a shield
-ask for an early gank
-if your jungler comes after lvl 3, make sure enemy minion wave arrived so he can't escape by shielding away

Shouldn't be a problem for Riven, he is pretty vulnerable and weak in early game.

-start with for life steal
-if he starts , wait untill lvl 3 to harass, if he start , harass early and heavy
-don't let him farm to much and lead in lane because it will be harder to kill him afterwards
-avoid his harass, otherwise he will become tougher later
-bait him to use his , and use , and life steal to live
-ask for a gank, if he doesn't play well at early game, he won't be a problem later
-beware of his ulti and combo
-don't stand near minion wave because of his E (Siphon of Destruction, dealing damage in cone, usually used to kill minions)

Cho Gath
Very easy champion for Riven to deal with. He has no way to escape and you should dominate your lane very easy, although in late game he is hard to kill because he stacks his armor and health.

-start with
-easily avoid his and with
-beware of his , it will disable you to get away with your spells
-play very aggressive, jumping at him and around him like maniac
-beware of early enemy gank because you didn't start
-you could ask for early gank to get the easiest first blood

You can easy win this lane by using some general advices.

-start with
-easy first blood with your jungler's help
-don't tower dive if he is lvl 6 and didn't use his yet
-by pushing lane carefully, turn lvl 6 while he is still 5 and kill him

Not much of a problem because his spells are kinda expensive. Play smart because of his ulti.

-start with
-don't engage until lvl 3
-to harass successfully you want to have all of your spells, that's why lvl 3
-get away from his Ghouls
-when you both hit lvl 6, don't go for a kill: ask for a gank and make him uses his ulti, when he is back from base, him him on your own, you should win 1v1
-if he is stacking armor, buy earlier armor pen
-if he is stacking mana and mana regen do your normal build

Kennen could be a real problem to Riven if played correctly and aggressive. The key is to keep an eye on his cds and energy

-start with
-harass when he has less than 50% of energy
-abuse his high energy cost
-harass when his dash is on cooldown
-ask for a gank on lvl 2/3
-in 1v1, YOU are stronger

Poppy could be a real pain in the a**. This is an annoying matchup, but you can see which Poppy is a good Poppy: on lvl 6 she targets one enemy using her ultimate but attacks another; this way she attacks him but she is not recieving damage from his attacks.

-make her use her and lose her mana by stunning her and dashing away
-she is hard to kill because she has much armor, especially with right runes
-shouldn't be a problem to push the lane, but killing her? more harder
-ask for a gank before she turns lvl 6
-don't dive if you are not sure you will get the kill

She is surely a tricky enemy to Riven. She can harass you with , so beware. She is stronger in 1v1 so don't fight her after lvl 6. Also, her passive allows her to stay in lane pretty long - she restores her health everytime she deals damage, you can try to abuse that with harassing and not letting her farm.

-she doesn't have any CC so you can dash away
-don't fight her when activates her
-try build some magic resist because of her W
-when she activates her , her and away
-ask for as many ganks as possible
-she becomes harder afterwards
-she can easily tower dive with her , so if you are at low HP and her ulti isn't on CD, get away

This is a pretty hard matchup for Riven, he is stronger than you in 1v1 even though you have advantage. Also, he deals pretty decent amount of true damage with his

-keep a distance to avoid his and
-when harassing, get away as quickly as possible
-let him push the tower, and play defensive in early game, when you and your jungler will be strong enough, go for a kill
-he hasn't got escaping methods (except for ), so ask for ganks, even if you can't really kill him; you will gain more advatage
-beware of his
-his passive deals magic damage so i recommend building some MR like or
-there is a trick while fighting him: be as near as possible because that way his Q will do less damage to you

He is a easy match up which is killable at all stages.

-be careful as he leaves his poison behind him
-don't be too aggressive but harass enough
-if he slows you, use your mobility to escape
-ask for early gank, once he is killed you have big advantage

Simple match up, you don't even need a gank. You are way stronger than he is in 1v1 fight.

-make him uses his , avoid it and then engage
-his is on short cooldown so beware
-when he makes a copy of himself, don't be foolish, his copy just stands and does nothing, so don't be baited
-do your regular combos and harass him often, but make sure you buy wards because he will probably ask for a gank as he won't be able to handle you

He is very easy match up, you are stronger than he is.

-avoid his Q by ( would recommend taking it at lvl 1 instead of normal skill order)
-let him push early on
-it's easier as the game goes on, you get more and more stronger than him
-take care, his stun lasts longer you yours, so he is very good at jungle ganks
-his stun is combined with gap closer so it's a great way to harass you

Mushroom creep could be a bit of a problem, not just for Riven, for lots of champs.

-buying or as he reaches lvl 6 and starts putting his mushrooms everywhere () could save your life
-beware of his , and his
-keep an eye on his mana, attack when his low
-you are stronger in 1v1 on lvl 6
-tricky but winnable lane
-build some Magic Resist

Not a common match up, but possible. If you are both lvl 6, don't fight him 1v1, because it ends up with 2v1 and you being dead (not every time but often).

-buying or could help you not being suprised and harassed as he becomes stealth
-destroy his fearing boxes as he puts them
-harass when he is low on mana
-Shaco is a powerful champ if played correctly, you could use an early gank so you get advantade and turn lvl 6 before he does, this way you could kill him again because without his ulti, you are stronger
-also, his passive could be tricky while you're trying to escape if he slows you first

She is the newest champion so like any other new champ she is OP, and she will be OP until they nerf her. She can be played as jungle, mid or even top. I played against her for one time, and although she is OP, you can find a way to win this lane. I didn't have chance to get to know Diana better, but when I do, I will improve this match up.

-she is AP caster, so buy and
-harass safely, saving your to avoid her
-beware, she can draw you in and slow you with her , be prepared to
-in lower lvls you should be stronger than her
-asking for an early gank could be helpful
-her lasts only for a few seconds, engage her when it s on cooldown
-she can play very aggressive when she hits lvl 6, try to get advantage before 6
-she will probably stack armor against you, so this should help:
-you maybe won't be able to kill her alone, but scare her with aggressive harass and gain advantage - no problem

Vlad is a high AP and HP caster. His sustain becomes very high when he gets items. Make sure that this doesn't happen. Early in the game your damage output is higher than his and in early levels his has very high cooldown. When fighting Vladimir try to activate before he casts any spells since most of his spells will heal him (ignite cuts his healing in half)

-try to pressure him into using , since it is his only escape mechanism and he must pay 20% of his current health to activate it
-many Vlad players will often cause themselves more damage than good if you just pressure him into using his
-if you want to pressure him, play aggressively early on
-cast ignite before committing to kill him because he won't be able to heal up (ignite will continue to damage him even while he is in )

Olaf is, in my opinion, the hardest matchup, at least for me. He is a tank that deals a lot of damage. He can heal himself and he also deals true damage. With decent slow and pretty strong (becomes immune to all disables and takes reduces damage) he is really hard to handle and you got to play smart and defensive.

-start with
-don't go 1v1 with him unless you are absolutely sure you can win
-never go tower dive unless he is like 1-100 HP and you are about an half or more
-carefully avoid his
-ask for a really early gank, and let your jungler gank as more as he can
-max your to dull his
-Anti-Olaf combo: his , than attack with and
-don't take when laning with Olaf because with his ulti he is immune to it and you just waste it
-your core item here is definitely
-usually when I'm playing vs Olaf, I don't get enemy ganks often, he is really good counter to Riven and he can deal with you 1v1
-his restores his health - difficult to get Olaf out of lane
-try fighting him when he is low on mana/his and/or ulti are on CD
-the key of winning this lane is perfect timing for dodging his and shielding his
-I recommend using Armor Pen. runes, or as he stack Armor you stack Armor Pen. and Armor reducing items ()
-if he uses , you away if necessary, baiting him as he chases you then turn around and do you full combo on him

Nasus is very easy match up for Riven. You will probably win it early, but don't go roam too much because he will outfarm you, don't let that happen.

-you can easily harass him
-get away from his , purple circle which deals damage and reduces armor, also don't fight him here
-if he uses , don't fight him immediately, wait until your movement and attack speed are back to normal
-go away if his weapon turns orange, and wait until it's normal again (
-don't go tower diving if you know his isn't on CD, he gains extra health
-you don't really need an early gank
-note: ignite won't reduce healing caused by his ultimate

Renekton is strong early on, and he has pretty good abilities. He could be hard to get out of lane, so you could use an early gank to gain advantage.

-start with
-his both heals him and deals damage, if you stand to close to him he will hit you because he swings his blade
-try farming without getting in range of his
-beware of his , especially if he has more than 50 fury (more than half), that you are stunned for 1.5 secs (go away when he turns green)
-his gives his bonus health, so just like with Nasus, don't go tower dive
-he can easily come closer to you with his , and deal damage twice
-try harassing him when he is low on fury, this way all off his abilities will be normal and not increased
-bait him to use his & and waste his fury
-start with so you can shield his Q/W
-this is not very killable lane
-buy as soon as you can
-note: ignite won't reduce healing caused by his ultimate


Early game


Riven is a strong champion in early game, if you start with , it will be easier to harass and last hit, if you start with it will be harder for your opponent to get you out of lane. This is when everyone focuses on farming and harassing, no team fights, but with possible ganks. Try getting first blood with jungler, but in later early game.
In early game you want to focus on these things:

1. Farming - you want to farm now, so you can buy good core items and win in mid and late game when farming is pretty much over

2. Warding - I never buy as a starting item, I usually buy it when I go back for the 1st or 2nd time. When you don't have a ward, keep an eye on mini map, if their jungler is on bot or mid, you are safe, if not, play smart.

3. Harassing - yes, you want to focus on this for lane domination and advantage, forcing your opponent to recall and gaining a cs and experience advantage.
WANT TO KILL SOMEONE? Check out for their jungler, if he is in bot lane, you have much time, if he is in mid lane, and he is coming top, go for a kill only if your target has really low health and you are sure that you could get away. Don't dive in this stage if you've under 70% of health. You are too squishy yet especially if your opponent have some sort of CC.

4. Good start: - you want to start with good items and arm yourself with plenty of so you don't have to recall often. Avoid being harassed. If you win your lane early, see if anyone needs halp (mid lane maybe) but try not to steal their farm. Sometimes if out support was dead, he would come and heal me a bit so I didn't have to go back.

5. Fighting 1v1
Riven is a very strong duelist. Basically, on lvl 2 you can already kill your enemy. For safer fight, wait for lvl 3 then go. Make sure you don't fight in enemy minion wave because minions can do at lease 20% of the damage. Instead, try to force a fight in your wave.

  • Check out for "Riven's Match-ups" and see how to deal with certain opponents!
  • Check out for "Solotop (situational) warding" and see how, where and when to put wards!

Mid Game


You are now lvl 6 and you are probably still in your lane. You should be sure by now if you are winning or losing your lane.

If you are winning your lane, it's time to go help someone with their lane, but paying attention on yours, coming back sometimes to keep it nice and pushed. By winning I mean did you destroy their turret? If yes then keep reading this part. If no, go for "It is equal".
Try pushing mid lane as more as you can, BUT, do not steal their farm. You may want to take a walk in the jungle and get some more gold, ask your mid ally does he need blue buff, help him to get it. Yes, jungler should do that, but let's assume he is helping someone as well, ganking bot maybe or doing his route. You shoud always, and I mean always keep an eye on your lane, because if you roam too much, your turret will probably end up being destroyed. If you're fed go and take red buff, it's useful.

If you are losing, ask for help and push your lane more. If you really have problems with your match up, ask more than 1 person for help. Maybe mid ally and jungler will come, or jungler and AD carry..If you are underfarmed, go check the jungle a bit, don't take buffs, but other monsters. You want to play defensive and stick with your allies. Don't roam in this case because if you do, you could get you lane completely lost. Don't let that happen.

If it is equal, ask for help, but don't go for a kill. Just ward bushes and push the lane as more as you can. When their turret is destroyed, don't just give up and start roaming because they will probably do the same and it will be equal again, or maybe even worse if you get killed. Farm safely and stay in your lane, defending it and pushing a bit more. When you are pretty sure that you are winning now, continue reading winning part again.

NOW, as late mid game is starting, team fight may start as well. If there are 3 or more enemies in one of the lanes, you go there, and you all go together. Continue defending your weakest lane and pushing your best lane. Still keep your wards on their place, but now it around that lane where all happens.


The Dragon
If you have opportunity, go and kill The Dragon to gain more gold and improve your build. You must be careful and don't let enemy team steal it. If they are all alive and have full health, don't go for Dragon, that is not an opportunity (except if there are 2-3 in top lane). But if 2 of them are dead, that is an opportunity so use it. Also, I wouldn't recommend killing The Dragon if you're losing all of your lanes (and you are not 100% sure that you can kill Dragon without getting killed). Also, if the game is tied, Dragon is not you first choice, you have more important things to do, like trying to get advantage first. You want to WARD The Dragon if you won't kill him, and if you see enemy team killing him, you should try to steal it. But never go alone, or 3v5/4v5, especially when they are stronger. Always go 5v5 or 5v4/3.

Enemy buffs
If you have an opportunity, always steal them.

Late Game


You are probably in mid lane, just like your bottom allies. Pushing mid lane, roaming in jungle, team fights. Again, your actions will depend on team situation:

If you are winning, keep winning. Don't get to cocky and get killed. Stay with your team. Big part of the map shouldn't be under Fog of War, you should have enough wards and when you see some enemy roaming alone, go for a kill. Don't go alone if you don't know where is the rest of the enemy team. This is actually valid in both winning and losing cases. You may want do do the "Split pushing" but only with enough wards, you don't wanna get ganked. If mid lane is pushed, and two of you are pushing bot and top, it will put enemy team under even bigger pressure.
In this case build offensive items like

If you are losing, you want to play defensive until enemy team screw something up, or you menage to kill 3, 4 or even 5 enemies. If you ace, push hard, and push fast! But don't get to greedy and let them ace you back. Recall as you see 2 or 3 reviving. In team fights try staying under one of your turrets since they are stronger. Although they can easily dive, you still have advantage. Also, in team fights, first focus the fed one, then focus the squishy one. When fed one (carry) is dead, you have advantage, and then when squishy one is dead as well (and you want to focus him next because he is an easy kill) you are 5v3 and they should fall back or die.
In this case build defensive items like

If it is equal, that's not very good. We are talking about late game here, and you should be able to tell who is winning by now. Stay together and play very safe. You want to gain advantage, not lose. If you see them split pushing, gank them. If not, ask your team for split pushing. If you can see all enemies, communication is very important if your ally is split pushing. When any enemy disappears from you vision range, say SS/MIA immediately, ping your buddy to fall back and then the rest of you go towards him, just in case.
In this case build both offense and defense, depends on situation with which item will you start. If you are missing some defense, build defense first, if your sustain is good, go for damage and play more aggressive.

At the end of the late game, you should have 5 items finished. If you are building your 6th item, then it's very late game or you are really really fed.


The Dragon
Solo or duo dragon is great choice for both cases, but just if you're sure you won't get caught. If you don't have time for killing The Dragon, take 30 secs and WARD him.
Basically, kill the more Dragons you can.

Baron Nashor
Baron is a great choice if at least 3 enemies are dead. If you are wining, it will be a faster win, if you are losing, you have great chance to have an epic comeback. Also, keep Baron WARDED, and try stealing it, especially if you have someone with global ultimate in your team, like or even if she is close enough. If you see them at Baron, you might want to star fight there, because their health probably won't be full, and some of their abilities might be on cooldown. Don't start fight after they kill Baron, that way you have no chance. Start it when they didn't finish yet, interrupt them. When you kill them, kill Baron as well.
Split pushing

Solotop (situational) warding

BLUE TEAM SIDE ward's positions


  • A can work alone
  • If there is C, put D
  • If you are winning your lane, put E and steal red buff
  • A+B or D+B can also work
  • Put G and F if your tower is gone early and you still need to stay in lane and farm
  • Use regular , replace with if needed (e.g. vs Eve or Shaco jungle)

PURPLE TEAM SIDE ward's positions


  • A can work alone
  • If there is D, put C
  • If There is B, out C or A
  • Put E for blue buff steal if you are winning
  • Use F if your tower is gone early and you still need to stay in lane and farm
  • Use regular , replace with if needed (e.g. vs Eve or Shaco jungle)

To conclude:
For a Riven with high mobility, just an A should be enough


Jungle with Riven


3x Quint of Attack Damage
5x Mark of Attack Damage
4x Mark of Attack Speed
9x Seal of Armor
9x Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

It can be either 21/9 for more damage or 9/21 for more sustain


Spells other than smite are explained in the Summoner spells chapter

Later goals:

Later goals depend on enemy team and game progress, it is the same as for the normal build so check the Item Builds chapter

Final comments


Thank you all for your feedback and comments, keep them coming!
Tell me what would you like to see, post a request for a match up or ask me a question, I will try to answer everyone, just as I did so far.

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