How to Play Riven, or, How to Cover The Map Faster Than A Guy With Teleport. (WIP)

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ZiegfriedX

Senior Member

09-15-2011

Riven is a brand new champion, so understandably, we expect to have issues playing her, however, none have presented a challenge quite as daunting, nor as complex, as effectively playing Riven.

I'd like to start off this guide by a quick description of what Riven IS, and what Riven ISN'T.

Riven IS/HAS:
A Melee Carry - Her damage output at later levels can dwarf that of even Tryndamere, and her ground speed with her E and Q renders her able to basically, as stated, cover the entire area of the map faster than a guy with teleport.

A terrible laning phase - There is absolutely no way around this. If you are laning against ranged champions and you only have another melee champ to back you up, you're gonna die, horribly. Riven has no abilities that allow her to sustain inside of a lane, thus she absolutely NEEDS a proper lanemate (Support or Tank, Either or) in order to get herself through her painful growing stages.

Incredibly Squishy - Riven's attacks do not base off of base attack damage, at all, making her moves and damage seem rather weak at first glance to those who don't get that idea. This ensures that she can't just build straight tank and expect to dominate the game, like other champions

Insane Cooldowns - Her Cooldowns are ridiculous. I'm not even joking. A good part of this guide is dedicated to reducing her cooldowns.

Riven IS NOT/HAS NO:
Tanky DPS - She simply is not Tanky DPS. She does not have the CC component that many Tanky DPS have, nor the sustain that many Tanky DPS have. Building her straight tank will make her terrible.

Sustain - Riven's sustain is terrible in laning phase, and cannot start off effectively in the Jungle. She has no health restoring moves, a tiny little escape move that nudges you in a certain direction, which has an incredible cooldown on it, and a tiny little shield that barely blocks anything at low levels.

OP - Riven is surprisingly hard to use correctly, especially considering the fact that correctly chaining together all of her moves into a symphony of death is, although impressive, also hard to do and relatively rare.

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Now that we have a base idea of what we are looking at for the Champion, let's take a look at her abilities.

Broken Wings: Riven steps forward and lashes out in a series of powerful sword slashes. This ability can be activated up to 3 times in a short period.

- 1st Use/2nd Use: Deals damage to a small area in front of her.
- 3rd Use: Jumps into the air and slams downward, causing a larger impact nova that deals damage and knocks nearby enemies back.

This move is effective at what it does: It serves as a gap closer and as a source of one of the few CC options Riven has early game. In addition, using this as an escape mechanism combined with Valor will ensure that you will get away from just about any fight with a good chunk of your health intact.

What is important about this move, however, is learning proper discipline with slamming the keys. The idea with most champions is when you begin attacking another champ, yoou start slamming keys to make the abilities shoot off fast and furious. Instead, with Riven, the focus is instead on slow and steady, hitting each ability and allowing her to hit and do her proc before moving onto the next segment of her chain. This will also space out your cooldowns, and allow you to more effectively utilize them.

Ki Burst: Riven damages and stuns nearby enemies.

Ki Burst is what I like to call a combo extender. The key thing with pursuing enemies and taking them down with Riven is that you either must have a long stretch of area that you can use and run in, or they must be standing still and taking it like a *****. The Ki Burst allows you to extend your range and extend your cooldowns, allowing you to land another hit in while they have a rather tiny stun. It's not designed to be a game-breaking stun, and it's not. It's just enough.

Coincidentally, it is also exceedingly useful for stopping ults that require them to channel.

Valor: Riven dashes forward and gains a shield for a short duration.

Your main source of mobility. By the time you have this maxed, and by following this build, you will be able to hop around the map like Nidalee on crack. If it weren't for the fact that you can get the cooldown on this ability down a TON, this move is rather lacklustre and doesn't really do much. The Shield does nearly nothing.

Blade of the Exile (Ultimate): Riven's sword reforms, giving her a percentage multiplier on her total attack damage, extended range on her damaging abilities and basic attacks and the ability to use Wind Slash once.
Wind Slash: While Blade of the Exile is active, Riven can reactivate the ability to emit a large shockwave that deals damage to all units hit based on their missing life.

Admittedly, the Wind Slash part of this ult is pretty lame, so I'll be concentrating on the main part of it. The Blade of the Exile is quite possibly one of the best steroid ults in the entire game. It grants you a 20% bonus to your OVERALL physical damage, resulting in a massive buff, and grants that bonus to all of your abilities, from what I am aware. Couple this with CDR, and you have an ult that can be spammed every 30-40 seconds and brought to bear on your hapless foe, obliterating them nearly instantly. Wind Slash is useful for finishing off remaining enemies, or delivering a quick slap to a group of champs, but otherwise isn't very useful at all.

Runic Blade (Passive): Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her to do bonus damage on her next autoattack. Riven can store up to 3 charges, but only expends one at a time.

This is why Riven synergizes well with Trinity Force/Sheen. Every single ability she uses causes a mini-sheen effect to occur, and this in turn can be stacked upon by Sheen/Trinity Force as well, causing even more damage. Again, this puts precedence to the idea that you should auto-attack every single time after an ability, as it will cause more damage than simply spamming abilities over and over, although the urge might exist.

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Runes:
x3 Greater Quint of Desolation, x9 Greater Mark of Desolation: I am personally a fan of armor penetration over damage in the long run, as decreasing armor increases your damage more in the long run than increasing damage a paltry amount in the beginning.

x9 Greater Seal of Resilience: I almost always take these seals on rather squishy champs, and Riven certainly counts as being rather squishy. This beefs up her beginning armor stat, and makes her a bit less able to be harassed in the beginning.

x9 Greater Glyph of Focus: If you couldn't tell by now, I am ALL about reducing Cooldowns on Riven by as much as possible. This gives her an early leg-up on it, and allows her to get a solid 5-6% CDR straight off the bat, translating into a 30% CDR by the end of the game.

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Starting Equipment:

Starting off, get Vampiric Scepter. This will allow her a tiny bit more sustain in lane, and her damage should be good enough to take advantage of it, even at this low level. Then, proceed to get Boots1 and a Long Sword. Your core build which you SHOULD be able to reach fairly easily is:

Wriggle's Lantern, Ionian Boots, Youmuu's.

From there, you probably want to proceed to get a Trinity Force to increase her damage. Try not to buy the composite parts of Sheen, as that does not aid you whatsoever until the finished product is made. Instead, save up money and pop for Sheen in its entirety when you can. From there, get the rest of the items. By the time you get Trinity Force, you should have noticed already that Riven's Cooldowns have decreased greatly, and her Q and E have become downright spammable. Good, that's what you're looking for. From there, go right on into Frozen Mallet to increase her survivability and give her some more attack damage. Your last item can be situational depending on what you need, and you could very well sell the Wriggle's Lantern if you find that you want something different.


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Brandoons

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Junior Member

09-15-2011

Looking fword to the next part..


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Bumbah

Senior Member

09-15-2011

If she has a horrible laning phase, wouldn't Regrowth ----> philo stone be better than Vamp Scepter, considering her squishiness? I'm not a fan of melee champs with lifesteal, especially if they're not tanky. Lifesteal is better for pokers and ranged carries, imo.

Furthermore, philo---> Reverie would give you even more speed to cover the map right?


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ZiegfriedX

Senior Member

09-15-2011

Not really, mainly because Riven also focuses a LOT on picking up ganks/kills provided by her lanemate, and Vampiric Scepter builds handily into Wriggle's.


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Boomerang69

Senior Member

09-15-2011

Troll here - she is easy to play :] solo the dragon at lvl 7 with life steal


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TaterOfInjustice

Member

09-15-2011

You make some pretty bold claims about what she can and can't do considering she hasn't even been out for 24 hours yet. Thus far in my games I haven't had any trouble in the laning phase, I have actually found her early game harass and sustain quite good.


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ZiegfriedX

Senior Member

09-15-2011

Quite honestly, I generally play melee dedicated champs as if they have glass jaws, mainly because I hate taking chances with them, and I hate overextending with them.


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Lizto

Senior Member

09-15-2011

A better starting item than vamp scepter, is and will always be, cloth armor+hp pots.