IntroductionI play Riven as a jungle anticarry/mid-game-carry. There is no point in tanky Riven because it is just a plain waste of your high AD scaling AOE damage. You can destroy teams by diving into them and spamming everything, your burst is also stupid, and great for assassinating a squishy ADC or AP faggot. You will almost always be able to 1v1 any member of the enemy team right around the time you finish a Black Cleaver, so don't go rushing useless things like Phage and Lantern. Having that kind of mid game dominance is invaluable, so that you can set yourself up with a lead for lategame when you are more vulnerable.
Pros and ConsPros:
Tons of steamy fanfiction about Riven's various romances with the other female champions of the League.
Riven is a bunny girl.
Riven is an OP bunny girl.
Riven is obviously Vi's soulmate, anyone can see this even with their yurigoggles on the lowest setting.
Riven's character is interesting and charming, noble but hardcore and angsty.
Riven's VA is Cristina Vee, the best and most spunky voice actress there is. Period.
Riven has awesome hair.
Constantly has to deal with being hit on by boring male champions.
Knows she loves Vi but doesn't want to hurt Irelia.
Due for a nerf.
Passive: Runic Blade
The reason you can jungle, the reason you are so good 1v1, the reason you are OP. Don't waste such a passive, space out your abilities with autoattacks to take advantage of the procs, which cap at 3. Note that both activations of your ultimate proc this passive.
Q: Broken Wings
Max this first for maximum damage output. I try to avoid using it as a gap closer when ganking, and I can usually get away with it anyway, so that kills the W maxing argument of "Well it won't be up by the time you get to the laner since you have to use it as a gap closer!". Even if I am forced to use it as a gap closer, I build a lot of CDR and it is usually up again in time to use. Also, it increases your 1v1 potential by a lot. Ganking isn't everything; if you encounter an enemy in the jungle you want to be able to dispatch them as quickly as possible. Be sure to time the final Q so that you can knock the enemy further away from their tower, don't just go spamming this. Be mindful of the passive proc and try not to let it go to waste.
W: Ki Burst
Max second because it also increases damage output, only to a lesser extent. The cooldown reduces with rank as well, which is always helpful. It is true that if you max W first and build CDR, you will probably be able to stun the enemy laner multiple times in a gank, however you don't really need to when you can simply burst the laner down with tremendous damage output on Q. Maxing Q results in a greater probability that the enemy will die before reaching their tower and that you will be the one to get the kill. I would always max W if the stun duration increased with rank, then it would, undeniably, be better for ganking, but it stays fairly short at all ranks, making it more viable to simply wreck the laner as fast as possible than try to hold them in place.
The shield itself scales 1 to 1 with AD, so even if you don't put points in this, it will still be powerful. If you waste any skill as a gap closer, make it this one, since it doesn't do damage, the same reason we max it last. Unfortunately, you cannot hop walls with this spell like a Nidalee, not even the tiny little ledge thing at mid.
R: Blade of the Exile
This is my favorite ultimate in the game. It gives damage, utility, and an AOE ranged cone execute. The steroid is ridiculous, the cooldown is ridiculous, the kill securing potential is ridiculous, and having the longest melee autoattack range in the game is ridiculous. Pop this, flash>stun a carry, hit him once spam Q a few times. He will probably end up dead without even using Wind Slash. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to go into a teamfight, chunk half of everyone's health, and then steal a triple kill with your RANGED AOE CONE EXECUTE. I have gotten so many kills on stealthed Akalis, Twitches and Talons by throwing this with some Q's out in their general direction and suddenly "You have slain an enemy!" mysteriously pops up on the screen. Always use the first activation before you start a fight. Remember it has a bothersome cast time which you can cancel with E.
Not optional. There is no other summoner spell combination you should ever be taking on jungle Riven, for obvious reasons. Don't even think of replacing flash. It is your everything spell; escaping, engaging, ganking, chasing, catching someone, stealing an objective, etc.
MasteriesThese masteries are almost exactly the same as the ones I use for lane Riven. Except for 1 point in Summoner's Wrath. We don't take any of the spells it affects when jungling, so we have 1 point left over with nothing else worth getting in the offense tree, hence the random point in useless attack speed. Perseverance is better than Bladed Armor and a few points in Hardiness. One could argue that a 9-21-0 setup is better, but not for my purposes. I jungle Riven with the intent of carrying the game and doing as much damage as possible. You can also skip over the base health in the defensive tree and go Perseverance, Tough Skin, Bladed Armor, and Hardiness, but Riven has poor base health already and to me, the clear is the least important part of jungling. This setup serves me better, and should probably serve you better as well.
Item BuildsI start this, but it isn't safe at all and most people do (and should) start with . The problem with machete, is that it is completely useless for anything but clearing the jungle, and there is not a single item in the shop you should ever consider building it into. is the dumbest shit EVER on jungle Riven. It simply does not give you anywhere near enough damage, and you already have a really healthy and fast clear after the first back, provided you use the jungle-clearing combo in Goldfather8's guide (which is the best shit ever, plz go read his guide, but if you are too lazy, it's AA>W>E>AA>Q>Q>AA>Q)
Next, build this. I find that quite often, if I havn't killed anyone yet, I will have enough gold for the two swords, some wards and a few pots at the first back.
In season 2, I was one of those lazy faggots who could never be bothered to finish boots, and refused to start with them. And now that base movespeed got buffed, I am enabled to be even more of a jew about my gold, and delay the purchase further. However, this is not a good idea, I only do that because I give zero fucks. If the fucks you give = value>zero then just get rank 1 around the time you get Brutalizer and leave them that way for however long you want.
You will, most likely, want to finish this before boots. I often find that I have a cleaver and a B.F. sword without even getting rank 1 boots, if a game is going well. NOTE: Rushing a Black Cleaver will usually give you damage roughly comparable to that of the standard BT rush Riven. Basically, instead of sustain, you get a bit of base health, CDR utility and an easier transitional route before you complete a big item.
These will be the boots you want (at level 18 with cleaver and ionians, your ult will be on about a 30 second cooldown, and the W and E CDs will both be below 5 seconds), unless of course you are insecure and have qualms about diving into the entire enemy team with no defensive stats whatsoever (or a good player), in which case you will buy:
It is also fine to use the CRD boots temporarily for added ability killing everyone, until you stop being invincible and late-game happens, then switch over to Merc Treads.
If you are fed, or want to be and don't care about whatever dumb shit the enemy team is composed of, complete both your cleaver and your BT before boots, that way you will be the most OP lesbian on either side of the map.
Once you have both your big-ass axe and your sexy sword, you will do enough damage to fuck God in the ass. However, you may notice that there are still bitches to kill, and that means gold will keep appearing in your pants, which means you will need to buy more shit, but don't know what, right? Well not to worry, this is the perfect time to begin collecting every single sword and axe in the whole damn item shop.
Swords and other sharp objects you may want are:
THIS IS THE MOST FUN FUCKING ITEM IN THE GAME. They basically gave Tiamat lifesteal and more AD, then an active you can spam randomly for cool particle effects and extra bitch-attainment. OMFG I wish it made sense to rush this first, but that is stupid, so I have to wait ALL GODDAMN GAME to get this item, and if I don't, because the faggot enemy team decided to surrender, then I consider the whole game a waste of time and throw my keyboard down the stairs. You see, upon taking a good long look at the description, you will find that it makes the most sense to build this item after you have bloodthirster already, because the aoe procs lifesteal, which is basically the same as putting an extra multiplier on your lifesteal multiplier, so naturally, you want to have as much lifesteal as possible to begin with. TL;DR, with just the 10% on the item alone, you won't be able to outheal their adc's damage while you whack the wolf camp, so you need a bloodthirster too.
Are you playing blind? If the answer is yes, buy this item, if the answer is no, do not buy this item. It isn't really that great even with stacks, and ofc the stacks themselves are very uncertain. In fact, I take it back, it is even shit if you are pubstomping some blind game, just never buy this item. Underpowered and useless.
Now this here is actually 3 swords, and I only buy this when I am in a silly mood, because a good amount of the stats are completely useless, and it is expensive as fuck, in fact, you will do more damage if you just stack more BTs. However, it has movespeed and a slow and a sheen somewhere in there, and all of those things are fun, which makes it worth getting if there isn't really much of a question about whether or not you will be able to win.
This used to be worth it, but now I just consider it to be worthless shit, what you want nowadays is:
Was so good on the PBE that they nerfed it. And it is still OP, frankly. Since we are not submissive bitches we do not build defensive stats, and as such, CC becomes a problem, cause we just get blown up during it. With this item, we can increase bitch-slapping prowess, and fix the problem of CC all at once, ultimately resulting in the expansion of Riven's harem!
A word on ...
FUCK. THAT. SHIT. If it doesn't have at least 50 AD on it, you don't need it. If you want a slowing effect (which you shouldn't need, because you are Riven, and Riven has enough mobility to stay on targets and enough damage that she doesn't have to chase them around for long, anyway) then just go kill whoever has red atm. The only reason you would ever want this item is to peel better, but Riven should not be peeling anyway, that is someone else's job; she has a ridiculous amount of AOE damage output and isn't tanky, so gluing her to the adc is going to be a huge waste of time.
Mid lane is the easiest lane to gank. Quite often, you don't even need your laner's help, so feel free to gank even while they are OOM; the enemy laner won't expect it. But if things go to shit, don't bitch your mid out for not helping, you have to use judgement when ganking for an OOM laner. Before ganking, you must ascertain several peices of information.
1) Is my ult up? Is flash up? If you have neither up, your gank will almost definitely fail, unless the enemy mid has no escapes, extends like a retard, and your mid is already winning.
2) Will my laner be of any use at all when ganking? Do I have a Malzahar to hold them in place for me? Or do I have a useless Nidalee? If you can expect hard CC from your laner, you will probably not need flash to gank the lane, but you will need ult.
3) Will the enemy mid try to gap-close to me? If you are ganking a Talon or Katarina, do not go around and gank from behind the little ledge thing, gank from the bush. If you approach the laner from their side of the lane, they will just hop over to you and run off to safety, or you will have to dive. Also, when ganking Katarina, make sure you wait for a wave to arrive before ganking, so she can't use a minion to shunpo under her tower.
4) Does the enemy laner have skillshot based CC? If yes, you will probably need flash to gank. For example, a lux is being a little slut, harassing your mid laner. So, you do the obvious thing and run on into lane, with your sword in all it's 8 ft. glory, when suddenly, glowing shit flies into your face and you can't move, while the bitch runs away. You need flash so you can dodge the glowing shit, without blowing a Q (which you need for damage) or an E in a less than ideal direction. You can also just wait for the laner to use their cc on your laner or a minion, but camping in a bush is something I refuse to do for more than several seconds. It wastes my time and quite often, it turns out the laner knew I was there and was purposefully not using any skills.
5) Is the enemy laner Morgana? If yes, your gank will fail.
Top is also easy to gank, however there will be fewer opportunities to do so. Top laners are very wary creatures, and they make a point of never pushing the lane and warding both the river bush and the tribush. If they do push or extend or don't ward, then the lane will be easy to gank, if they play properly, you will probably not be able to gank without coordinating a lane-gank or an engagement by your laner (who should probably have CC). However, top is far more convenient to gank before the first back, when the lane is easy to enter and the trading is volatile. It is so appealing to gank top early, that half the time, you will meet the enemy jungler there, trying to do the same thing as you. It is important to keep in mind that top laners are far more useful than mid laners when it comes to an engagement, and harder to deal with, as well. So expect help from your laner and avoid ganking if you can't expect help, especailly when they have fed the enemy, in which case you might just get yourself killed trying to fight them.
To gank top, make sure you:
1) Know where they have warded.
2) Know the location of the enemy jungler, unless you are confident you can win a 2v2 and do not plan to dive.
3) Know that the enemy laner is not a 5-0 Darius who can just kill you both.
Bot is the biggest pain in the ass to gank, also the hardest lane to enter, and the most dangerous place to be. I rarely gank bot because it is always warded up the ass, even before the first back. Oftentimes, gay shit will occur involving supports, enemy junglers, mid laners, and global ults, preventing you from killing anyone, even if you did successfully enter the lane without the enemy fleeing. Also, you will frequently be unable to 1v2 the enemy ADC and support without being kited to death, in which case you must rely on the help of both your ADC and support, which is something you can't afford to do in soloqueue. That both players are competent is a dangerous assumption to make. Ganking bot is the job of junglers like Nocturne, who can simply fly into lane from out of ward range, and ignore any attempts at kiting while maintaining high damage output. If you plan to gank bot regardless, or the lane is in desperate need, and you are willing to take the chance:
1) Make sure EVERYTHING is up; your ult, your flash, your laners' flashes and ults, even any kind of 20 sec CD snare the support has or whatever.
2) Make sure you know the location of the enemy jungler. "Bot lane" is synonymous with "inclined to go to shit very fast". An enemy jungler can fuck the whole thing up, even if you satisfied requirement 1. However, it is just as likely that the enemy jungler will turn into another kill, because if they came to countergank, there is a good chance that they have not already made sure everyone has everything up. Don't depend on this though, they may, just as well, happen to have everything up or could have been planning a gank themselves.
3) Make sure the enemy mid is not MIA. If mid comes bot while you gank, they can cause just as much trouble as the jungler, mabye more. And, god forbid, the jungler AND mid come and it turns into a 4v3. Even if the mid is in lane while you gank, they may be able to come bot in time to be an issue, but at least your laner will have just as much time to come down as well.
4) Make sure the enemy ADC is not a Vayne who has gone legendary, and will rape everyone without the assistance of her jungler.
THE ENEMY JUNGLER
It is very important that you ward your own jungle and the enemy's. I usually ward the enemy buff closest to the lane I pay the most attention to, so that it is more convenient to steal, and the friendly buff on the other side of the map, because I won't be there as often to keep it safe. Your ability to 1v1 the enemy jungler makes them a prime target to get fed off of. If you are hanging around top on blue team, you would ward your red and theirs. If you see them do their red, go wait in the bush for them to almost finish. Watch the buff's health, and smite it as fast as possible, then pop your ult and grab a kill. The enemy laner should already be playing passively because of your constant presence top, so you shouldn't have to worry about them stopping you. If they try, you should be able to turn it into a double kill with your laner's help.
There isn't as much of a "checklist" to go over before ganking the enemy jungler. If you can 1v1 them and they show up in your ward, tell your lanes what you are doing and go for it. Even if the enemy lanes come, you should have already killed the enemy jungler without trouble and then, with your lanes, it should turn into a 3v2 in your favor. If the enemy jungler is a Shaco or Lee or some other kind of jungler with great escapes, don't chase them in their own jungle. That is how you get yourself killed, just be satisfied with smiting their buff and get out.
It should be noted that I try to avoid involvement with the buff closest to bot lane. If you are blue team, and you try to steal their blue, it will be a far greater ordeal than red. Bot lane is more dangerous than top if they come to stop you, and there is a much higher chance of being seen in a ward. It is likely that you will find yourself in a 4v1 with their mid, jungler, and bot lane, which your own lanes will probably be too scared to join. If you plan to steal the buff on bot lane's side of the map, coordinate it with your own bot lane and mid, and be prepared for a 4v4. It is advised that you try to steal after killing one of these roles on the enemy team, it will be much safer.
PathI start wolves>blue. Most Rivens will start red and gank at lvl 2, but I do not feel comfortable doing anything without all 3 skills. As well, the CDR from blue buff will help your clear more than the dot from red. At lvl 4 I will typically kill mid with double buffs and flash. I never give the first kill to the laner because I need it to snowball. After your first clear and kill, you should have enough gold for a Brutalizer, or the two swords and some consumables. My favored route to lvl 4 is the same as the one given in NativeRave's guide. I jungle Riven differently than he does, to suit a different elo, but I clear mostly the same way. Plz go read his guide on jungle Riven as well, but if you are too lazy, the route is wolves>blue>wraiths>wolves>red>wraiths. I won't include his tricks with passive proc before camp spawn, because I want you to go read his guide for that, it really does make a difference though.
It is VERY important that you don't let your team invade if you start doran's blade. It will screw you over. Your route with a doran's start is inflexible and fragile. If you invade with your team, you won't get really any help on the first buff you do on your side of the map. After the invade and your buff, you will be too low to gank and be very susceptible to counter jungling, because the enemy jungler will be all pissed off, probably try something, and you will have no health to do anything about it. If you want to start doran's and gank before the first back, you need good help on blue and no unforeseen problems must occur.
When starting red, I would advise you go with Machete and 5 pots. You can either do a level 2 gank top or mid, or just continue on your way with a normal route. Wraiths>red>wolves>wraiths>blue>wolves. I don't usually do golems until later. Riven has some trouble in the jungle until lvl 3, which is why we don't do the standard wraiths>red>wolves>blue, as you will not be lvl 3 when you try to do your blue buff, and will lose too much health. The same justification applies to blue start.
Kills, Your Role, Carrying, and MindsetWhen trying to CARRY a game, it is very important that you always take the kill when you gank. Because A) You need them. B) You will have a bigger impact on mid game and snowball harder than almost any other champion you can find in a lane. And C) You may be playing jungle, but you don't want to have any less gold than the mid laner at any given time; can't let that dumb whore show you up. You may consider giving kills to your ADC, just because it's the fucking ADC, but everyone else can go get their own kills, except for maybe Kat (Kat will carry you if you let her, but she should be able to KS you just fine on her own, and if she can't, she is bad and doesn't deserve kills in the first place).
On a more serious note, keep in mind that my whole philosophy on jungle Riven is somewhat unrealistic at high elo and assumes you are never the cause of any problems, never get caught, teamfight perfectly, etc. So if you don't feel up to carrying the game, give every single kill away, and let your team win for you. Also remember that no one listens to a 1-3-11 Riven jungle, but everyone HAS to listen to a 12-3-0 Riven jungle, so if you feel confident making decisions and actively deciding how best to win the game, force yourself into a position of leadership by using my playstyle. Note that this practice requires that you already play Riven very well and have complete confidence using her skillset, and absolute knowledge of her limits, especailly when engaging on multiple champions and diving into teams. Know that if you screw up and lose, ITS ALL YOUR FAULT, and you have to be prepared for that. If you just picked her up to add to your repertoire of junglers, don't try to KS>Carry, give kills like you normally would. Riven is a champion very capable of carrying a soloqueue game up till around high gold ranking, where it is more important that your entire team is relevant and capable of working both independently and as a unit. I peaked in the 1500s and right now play around 1400 (now 1500, finally got back up), and I got here from 900 by carrying games. Taking all the kills and dominating the game is a great way to climb, but it gets harder the more you succeed, and sooner or later, you will have to start behaving like a proper jungler, and will not be able to expect the highest score on your team every game, while still being able to win. Your ADC should, honestly, be doing better than you. I made this guide because I am finding that the ridiculous scores and ability to carry are returning, which I believe to be a sign that I am ready to start climbing again. Anyone who wants to climb and believes they possess good sense enough to lead random people on the internet should learn Riven well, she will prove invaluable in your quest for elo.