A quick about me: My in game name is goldfather8 and this season I am a 2.1k+ Riven/Kennen main with about 900 games this season on Riven and 300 on Kennen. I first mained Kennen due to him being one of the strongest laners and a safe pick verse virtually every lane matchup. Riven was the natural next champ for me because she is like an AD, melee Kennen. She has no combo set in stone for every fight, cannot be straight counterpicked, and excels at pubstomping.
Riven has quickly become my favorite champion since her release for her dominant laning phase and she remains relevant the entire game. Riven is extremely difficult to shut down and cannot be counterpicked, making her a strong and safe first pick in ranked. Her mobility is unmatched and she does incredible burst for an AD champion. She has a very reliable AoE stun that does high damage and a spammable shield that has saved me countless times. And her passive is incredible; it contributes an incredible amount of dps and also makes her an extremely powerful duelist. Late game she takes on an anti carry role as you are best flashing onto their carries and blowing them up.
I decided to make this guide because I see far too many misconceptions on how she is played even during 2.1k+ Elo games. I feel I also play her differently than most people do so this is just my attempt to teach you how I have made Riven work for me.
- Incredible Pubstomper
- High Damage
- High Mobility
- Strong Early, Mid, and Early Late Game
- Safe blind pick, no direct counters
- Hard to gank
- Extremely fun to play
- Can be played Top, Mid, or Jungle
- Not Very Tanky
- Not as strong end game
- Can be kited by certain enemy comps.
Examples of who Riven hard counters in lane:
Examples of who Riven has to work for a win in lane:
Examples of who Riven just loses lane: No one.
Against Melee/Killable Lanes
Laners- Jax, Cho' Gath, Poppy, Wukong, etc.
Junglers- Warwick, Amumu, Udyr, etc.
The 21/8/1 setup provides the most damage and trading power versus lanes where you want to get an early kill.
Against Harass Oriented Laners
Laners- Kennen, Gangplank, Nidalee, etc.
Junglers- Warwick, Amumu, Udyr, etc.
I used to recommend taking 24/5/1 but since I have realized 21/8/1 is still better in these situations as the Hp/Regen is more reliable than the 3% lifesteal for sustain.
Against Burst/Dangerous Lane+Jungle combos
Laners- Renekton, Garen
Junglers- Lee Sin, Shaco, Rammus, Alistar
Renekton and Garen are more about killing you rather than harassing you out and the junglers I listed are difficult to escape from so I run 9 in defense for the extra hp to survive those early engagements and ganks better.
Note: Switch the points in the Mr/Armor masteries depending on who you are laning against. If you don't feel like doing that every time you play her (like me) then just leave it on armor resistances. Also remember that the Deadliness mastery is currently unchanged still on Solomid as it now gives AD/lvl scaling. Crit mastery is useless with my build however the AD/lvl is important to take.
Runes9x Flat AD Reds or 9x Armor Pen Reds
9x Armor Seals
9x Mr/Level Blues or 9x Mr/Flat Blues
3x Flat AD Quints
Reds are down to preference although I personally prefer running AD marks because it makes it easier to last hit, scales with every one of your spells + passive at a high ratio, and actually increases your survivability by making you shield for more. ArPen Reds scale slightly better but Riven is all about dominating her lane so I prefer to focus on improving her early game as much as possible.
Yellows must be armor seals.
Blues can be scaling or flat MR. I prefer scaling because most top laners are AD but in a perfect world you would have two different pages setup, one with flat for kennen and other AP champs, another with scaling for most normal matchups.
Quints must be AD. I feel gimped whenever playing without them; these quints are extremely important.
Note: Against melee mages you can run a full flat AD page. Running full flat AD with a doran's blade gives 92 AD at level 1 (+35 Bonus AD). This makes it so katarinas, kassadins, and gragas, for examples, can't touch their minions if you zone them correctly.
Pick these two summoners. Don't be a hipster and pick the heal ignite you see some people using or god forbid pick ghost.
I can't say enough about how important flash is on Riven. Offensive use of Flash is about 75% of my kills in lane in my high Elo games.
Flash Kill Combos
R + Flash on top + Auto + W + Auto + Q + Auto + Q + Auto + Q + Auto + Ignite+ R - The ultimate dueling combo. If done correctly will kill at 55% or less hp, depending on who your playing against.
R + Flash on top + Auto + W + Auto + R + Ignite - The ultimate tower diving combo. Can be performed extremely fast.
R + Flash + R + Ignite - The ultimate picking off backing enemy combo. Can't even say how many people I've killed by roaming mid and flashing to their turret when they're backing at low hp. Best part is can kill from a large distance away. Abuse fog of war for this combo.
Q + Q + Flash close + Third Q + W - The ultimate chasing combo. Q to catch up and save last q until you flash so you can get the knockup landed.
There are many other possible variations but flash is core to how she is played as a champion. It is rare that I even use flash defensively but flash provides so much utility that it should never be forgone for heal.
I played 10 games in a row as Riven once in Ranked at the 2k Elo range. In every single one of those 10 games, I killed my lane opponent 1v1 at least once and won my lane. Ignite was necessary in each and every one of those kills for me. Ignite helps her perform her anti carry role late game better as well.
Taking heal over flash gives up far too much utility and chasing potential and taking it over ignite severely weakens your ability to pick off squishy targets and win lanes. It isn't that heal ignite on Riven is bad, it is just that it isn't the optimum choice.
This summoner spell can be useful versus some lane matchups such as Renekton although I wouldn't recommend taking it anyway. The reason? Riven is all about bursting down AD and AP carries in the late game and ignite helps her do that more than exhaust does. Not only that but you can dive opponents far easier using ignite and diving at turret is half of my laning kills so I can't say exhaust is better than ignite on Riven.
Riven is already a mobile champion that can return to lane fast so teleport is already redundant. Sure teleport ganking bot lane can secure dragons and net kills bot lane, but its usefullness drastically falls off and you will be finding that you will have needed that tiny bit of extra burst to finish off that opponent and be wishing for ignite. Don't run teleport, there are better champions to use it on than riven.
Passive: Runic Blade
Riven's abilities charge her blade, causing her basic attacks to deal 5/15/25/35/45/55/65/75/85/95/105/115/125/135/145/155/165/175 (+100% of bonus attack damage) bonus physical damage. Riven's blade may be charged up to 3 times and expends one charge per attack.
Her passive makes her the incredibly strong dualist she is and is another reason why stacking AD is so strong on her. Do not underestimate just how much damage this passive does. Optimal usage is in between spell casts, ie. Q + Auto + Q + Auto + W + Auto + ...
Q: Broken Wings
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.
Cooldown 13 seconds
Use this skill for mobility and to proc your passive. Don't spam all three without an auto attack in between unless you are using it close a gap or need the knockback ASAP such as to save a teammate that is being chased down.
W: Ki Burst
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.
Cooldown 11/10/9/8/7 seconds
An instant, powerful AoE stun. This is the primary way of harassing in lane as well, E to the enemy + Auto + W + Auto + Q away. The enemy will not be able to do any real damage in return even if he is stronger than you are somehow.
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 seconds
This skill is ridiculously strong. A 1.0 AD scaling shield that also procs your passive and gives more mobility all on a very short cooldown? This skill is also why you can get away with stacking AD on her as AD also makes her tankier through this skill. Also, my favorite thing to do is shield an ignite. Can't say how many people have yelled in all chat because I made it out barely with this shield. Also makes her deceptively strong doing and stopping tower dives.
Important note, always Ult before using your shield if you are going to dive the enemy or whatever because your shield will shield for more with the bonus AD from your ultimate.
R: Blade of the Exile
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.
Cooldown 75/60/45 seconds
A very short CD, long duration super steroid, with a Garen Ult like finisher. This spell is what separates the good Rivens from the bad Rivens. Her ultimate lets her do absolutely massive damage, especially versus squishy enemies.
When you use this spell there is a short delay so be wary of that when activating it. Always activate it BEFORE you do your full combo on the enemy, I can't stress this enough. Even ult when trying to escape a gank because it increases your shield strength and lets you do more damage when their chasing you with your W and who knows, you could always turn around and ult ignite for the kill.
Skill OrderMaxing is always: > > >
Why max W over Q?
This is the big question that seems to be at the same time my biggest criticism. There are several reasons for this:
Pros of maxing W first:
- Shorter cooldown so greater chance of being able to be used twice during an engagement.
- Outputs damage in a shorter time frame than Q. This is far more important than it may sound, many of my kills come from the flash ult stun combo as is evident in both my montage and commentary. Being able to output as much damage as possible before the enemy can react is core to how Riven is played.
- Little reliance on Q for damage which means Q can be used as a gap closer with minimal power loss.
- Increased survivability.
Pros of maxing Q first:
- More damage in a sustained fight.
Hopefully this illustrates well my reasoning of maxing W over Q. A similar statement may be made about choosing E over Q as my second spell to max. The survivability and added chasing potential of a lower cooldown on E far outweighs the damage increase of Q. Maxing shield second also allows for more efficient lane harassment.
Beginning Skill order?
A general guide to skill order would be as follows:
Against early harassing lanes such as Pantheon and Gangplank or even Kennen, go E-Q-W-W-W-...
Against most other matchups where they can't effectively harass you at lvl1, go Q-W-E-W-W-...
However I go into significantly more detail about each each lane matchup skill choice in the laning section of this guide so please refer there for more accurate and detailed reasoning.
Side Note: Riven is the strongest champion in the game at lvl1 with a doran's blade and Q.
This section is revamped because I realize now that you can run Dorans Blade versus many more top laners than I previously thought possible. Dorans provides two major benefits over other starts: it is the most cost efficient and makes you much more significant a threat during laning phase. However, running Dorans is significantly more difficult than running any other item start as it has very little to no room for error in some cases. You cannot take too much damage or you will lose the lane. It is a very fine balance but learning how to run dorans against champions such as warwick and irelia has led me to becoming one of the top Riven players. I can pull of a dorans start versus any ranged champion as well, it is all about how you play the lane.
This is the best start against dangerous enemy junglers and some of the AP laners. Provides sustain, movespeed to harass, get away, and dodge skill shots, and is generally just the safest start. Examples of when to start Boots: Versing a Lulu, Karthus.
This is the most common item start and the safest due to the nature of the meta with AD bruiser top lane usually. Examples of when to start this: Versing a Gangplank, Tryndamere, Nidalee, Renekton.
Early Game Goals
You want to have a total of two to three dorans blades depending on how hard you are winning your lane, who you are laning against, how much gold you have when you back, etc. Unless your first back you back with enough gold for a BF sword and boots which is rare but does happen.
Don't be afraid to buy this for laning power and sell it later on to buy merc treads versus a heavy CC team. This is a very poweful laning item, I more often than less get this over mercs.
Never buy this as an early game item. I would only consider buying it if I had three dorans already and was laning vs Kennen or Rumble. However, do not feel bad about buying a null-magic mantle. A great way to finish the early game vs an AP laner is boots, null-magic mantle, 3x dorans.
Mid Game Goals
I recently did not recommend this item to ever be built on Riven due to the thought that it just delayed her bloodthirster and other core items and wasn't necessary. However after taking some time to think about it and testing it, the brutalizer is a situational item that can be an incredible pickup. Riven is a champion designed to win games off of snowballing, and brutalizer helps her do just that.
If you feel like you need to snowball the game early, are up against a low armor top lane and rest of enemy team is squishy, or just have the right amount of gold when backing, feel free to pick up this item after a few dorans. Just remember, still always build bloodthirster afterwards. You will be squishier for longer but have a greater presence early-mid game so don't take this path versus heavy CC teams.
I almost always buy the BF Sword before buying the lifesteal component. You will learn to love this item playing Riven, it gives a massive boost to your power. Focus on farming this up to 40 stacks right when you buy it. You will find you are a lot more powerful and in an equal lane up until the point that when you buy your bloodthirster you will start wrecking them in sustain and damage.
Always start building this after completing your bloodthirster. I can't stress how powerful this item is in a competent Riven's hands. It gives massive resistances giving you the extra bit of tankiness that you need and gives you a second life. The revive component is very important for Riven as a champion because as the game reaches end game your duty is to basically suicide all over their squishiest champs. Riven is also very great at escaping even with 2-3 enemy champs standing by after reviving as she can stun, shield, and Q away in many cases.
Picking the Right Items for Late Game
After now having some experience with this item I decided to finally update this guide with it. First off, the item is incredible on Riven. The shield is massive and works extremely well with her playstyle and the AD scaling off of HP lost doesn't help her as much in teamfights but it does make her quite possible the strongest duelist in the game. In rare cases, I have bought this item before a Guardian Angel. This item is absolutely essential versus dual AP teams. I can't stress how good an item this is for Riven, but please remember that does not mean it is a necessity to build every game. I still skip this item sometimes if I feel their AP isn't a threat to me directly.
Can't believe how late I was to pick up on how great an item this is for Riven. Helps Riven survive late game versus fed AD carries, provides an incredibly powerful active effect that synergizes with her kamikaze into enemy team playstyle, and provides the perfect mix of both armor and health. I usually buy this after GA if I am going to buy it but it is a viable choice at all times after her core has been completed.
If snowballing it is good to stack this item because it will be easier to keep the stacks and you would already be very difficult to kill if fed. This item is the best item for taking out that enemy AD or AP that your team fed before he can kill you.
Pretty self-explanatory, get it if enough of the enemy team has built at least one armor item. Or one of them has aegis. Or they have a taric/soraka.
I was late to pick up on how good this item actually is on Riven. Like all parts of her play, it is situational, but it finds its way into my item build more often than not. After Riven builds her Guardian angel, she is low on HP and not exactly tanky enough to keep building offense unless you are fed. This makes Aegis the perfect item for games when you aren't fed or behind. It provides just the right stats and is very cost efficient, and this isn't even mentioning the aura it gives your team.
In short, buy this after your Guardian Angel if you feel you need a bit of extra tankiness after finishing your Guadian Angel. Note: Since the addition of the maw item, this item has become a rare pick in my builds but it is still viable, just not as viable.
It is very rare that I buy this item but it is worth mentioning. This is against the enemy teams that literally CC you to death the moment you flash on their carries. Enemy candidates for this item are Ashe, Fiddlesticks, Rammus, Skarner, Warwick, Veigar.
Items Not to Buy
With the style of flash assasinating champions that I play, frozen mallet truly is redundent. I used to build it for the times I wanted both HP and armor which I would build atmas for, but Randuin's is significantly better than the fratma combination. If you want hp and armor go Randuins not fratmas.
You don't build a lot of HP and with the nerf, it truly isn't worth it to build this on Riven anymore. I can't recommend buying this weapon to anyone on Riven. Randuin's has replaced both fratma and atmogs for Riven in my eyes so no need for this.
With maw to deal with AP burst teams and Randuins to take care of AD bruisers, this item truly has no place on Riven. I would never build atmas on Riven now so warmogs is just out of the question, not worth it.
As the game goes on Riven will be focused down harder and harder. She will have less and less time alive during teamfights. And if you can see where I am going, you often will not be able to truly utilize the CD reduction offered. You are much better going off with mercs or tabi to make it out alive after you burst down their carries.
Don't do it. She scales too hard with AD to be buying the most expensive item in the game and some of the stats she can't even use. Bloodthirster adds to her passive damage just as much as the trinity proc does so there is truly no way to justify this item as good for Riven. Also Riven has poor base AD making the trinity proc not even powerful.
Do NOT get this item on riven. It is more expensive than a bloodthirster and provides less AD (assuming the BT is at least 20 stacks). Riven relies a lot on her passive and spells to deal her damage, crit is just a luxury and should never be itemized for. By extension it also makes you less tanky because you will shield for less and heal for less with each hit. No reason to buy this item.
Too much lifesteal, too little damage are the core reasons this should not be bought on Riven. The slow is nice but unnecessary since if Riven is in range to use its active, she won't even need it anymore. Another big reason to not indulge yourself with this item is that it slows down your core build heavily and will have to be sold eventually. And as far as substituting a bloodthirster with this item and a combination of other AD items, it isn't worth it. The AD from bloodthirster scales too hard with your ultimate and spells to even consider replacing it. However, this item is good on Twisted Treeline and The Crystal Scar as those maps are based around constant engagements, while Riven's engaging potential is tied to her flash CD in summoner's rift.
Top Lane MatchupsThis is the reason I decided to make this guide in all honesty. I see far too many misconceptions about Riven at even high Elo. Played right, Riven has NO COUNTERS. Everytime I have lost a lane has been due to a slight mistake on my part or phenomenal jungle ganks or god forbid two crits in a row combined with a jungle gank(I hate tryndamere.....) Here is how I do it, I will try to be as helpful and in depth as possible for all those curious.
This is a lot of information and it is very specific and not exactly intuitive unless you are a master of Riven so I highly recommend checking this section for your matchup before a game starts for maximum benefit. The number next the name is their difficult on a ranking of 1-10.
Disclaimer: I can provide information how to win the matchups but this doesn't necessarily mean they will be easy. Skill wins lane first, how you play it second, and item choices third. If you fail once don't be discouraged, it took me a lot of time to master laning with her. The difficulty rankings are assuming a standard enemy, certain champs can be built differently to be more effective against Riven but only a few, certain number of people do this so I will not mention it here.
(Kennen - 8)
Kennen is regarded as the real counterpick to Riven, however this is just not true. This matchup requires mastery of lane control, an advanced yet powerful concept where you control how the lane pushes. Early levels just jump in for creeps with your shield, try to take minimal damage. Force him to push the lane by auto attacking the creep at the last second and when he attacks you back, you will shield the damage and your creeps will get on him which will naturally push the lane. Farm at turret at all times if possible but starting at level 3 you can actually put some harass back on him if he messes up slightly.
Abuse his lightning dash cooldown and his energy. If you go to harass him when he has less than half energy than he can't dash away and you can outdamage him. This can also be done whenever his dash is on cooldown, try to bait him to waste it with your E. At level 6 if he falls to around 50 Energy and 70% hp or less at any time in the lane and you are within flash stun range, do it. He will not be able to dash away and you can chase him down with your mobility while he will likely be running away with his ult up hoping to stun you long enough to escape.
The reason he is regarded as a counterpick is because of his harass and ability to escape both your mobility and jungle ganks. However mastering lane control at turret and baiting his dash you can win the lane with enough skill and experience.
- Take as minimal damage early on as possible using your shield.
- Farm at turret if possible at all times.
- Abuse his high energy cost and cooldown on his dash.
- You are stronger him in a straight 1v1, abuse that fact.
- Winnable Lane but difficult.
- Getting a level 2-3 gank is extremely helpful as he won't have dash and will certainly waste his flash, leaving him vulnerable at level 6 to your flash ult combo.
(Garen - 8)
Boots if you want it to be a farming lane and are versus a strong ganking jungler, cloth if against weak enemy jungler. There are two ways to win this lane and both don't come easy. A strong jungle gank nets you the advantage in lane or you out sustain and outfarm him. Killing him 1v1 is extremely difficult if he plays correctly so I'm going to focus on how you can outsustain him.
You scale harder than Garen does into the late game so outfarming him, or even going even in farm, constitutes a win in lane. Start shield. Wait why would you go shield in a melee matchup? Because it is pretty easy to shield his silences and this is the only spell that will let you come out ahead in early game trades vs a Garen. He Q's you and takes your shield while you lane one free hit on him which can add up. Starting level 2 however it gets more difficult. This is the only matchup I take W after E in because you can stun him as he reaches you to Q you and then just E away so you don't have to deal with his absurd damage on his spin.
Do this all game; dodging his spin with a well timed stun and Q or E away. You can fight back on him the moment his spells are on cooldown as you outdps him without his spin. His passive makes things tricky however, you want to keep his passive off of him. It is difficult but you have to be able to harass and not let him land his silence on you so his passive stays off. This is what makes the matchup hard and I'll admit I still mess up sometimes on this combo. At level 6 be careful as his ult does massive damage just like yours does. Garen beats Riven in an equal 1v1 until Riven gets her Bloodthirster so be careful, not a fun matchup.
- Shield his early Q's and you will come ahead in trades.
- Don't fight in his spin.
- Keep his passive off cooldown through careful harass, making sure not to be hit by his silence.
- He is stronger than you in a 1v1 until you have bloodthirster or you heavily outcs him.
- Be very careful of jungle ganks with Garen's silence.
- Not a killable lane in normal circumstances.
- You can win the lane by going even or ahead in CS as you scale harder with items. Becomes a killable lane after bloodthirster is bought.
(Renekton - 7)
Play the Renekton matchup just like the Garen matchup. All the same things apply and you scale harder than he does. You can start winning the lane the moment you get your BF sword however which is sooner than the Garen lane. Also that is not a typo, start shield versus him. If you shield his Q/W you can win the trade with one auto attack. Go Q at level 2 if scared of jungle gank.
- Don't get overaggressive on him, his ult is more powerful 1v1 than yours is until you have a BF sword.
- Try your hardest to make him waste his fury such as Q'ing you when you shield.
- Try to make him activate his W and then jump away before he can land it. The moment he uses it on a minion engage on him.
- Try to keep minions at turret in this matchup.
- Not a killable lane unless you outplay him.
- You can win the lane by going even or ahead in CS as you scale harder with items. Becomes a killable lane after BF sword is bought. And don't ask for a gank unless you are certain you can kill him because if it fails it will just push the lane which makes it harder for you to farm.
(Teemo - 9)
Play this matchup like the kennen matchup. Abuse brush at all opportunities. This champ is very annoying for Riven due to his movespeed and blind. His blind stops not only your auto attacks, but your passive as well which is a major part of her dps. However he is an easier lane than Kennen just because he isn't quite as fast as Kennen is and Teemo relies on mana for his dash and blind. You will outsustain him and can actually catch him unlike Kennen.
- Be wary of his blind, it hurts your DPS massively as it halts your passives bonus as well.
- You can outsustain him due to him being mana reliant.
- At level 6 you are much more powerful than he is in any 1v1, abuse that fact in all opportunities.
- His dash has a longer cooldown than your whole combo does. Keep going at him.
- Killable Lane.
- Once he has phage he can start kiting you so be careful. Hyper aggressive Teemo's aren't fun matchups but it can still be won if you control your minions well enough.
(Trundle - 7)
Trundle is a powerful pick versus Riven for one reason; his damn AD debuff. If I ever have to lane against a Riven this is the champ I would pick to verse her with along with Kennen. I start W versus trundle because you can't trade with him in a prolonged trade due to his debuff which is sad. So whenever he goes for a minion I will stun auto and back off which will let you knock off a pot of two on him in the early game.
The key to winning this lane is to bait his Q and dodge it and to pick your fights carefully. If you can make him waste his bite by running/shielding away, than you can actually go a full combo with him and come out ahead. At level 6 trundle is deceptively powerful so be careful. He should never be able to kill you 1v1 because he should never catch you. However in a full out engage just remember that his ult also heals him. My recommendation is to just outsustain him and only engage on him when you have a clear and tangible advantage or the fight could backfire on you.
- His AD debuff makes him powerful versus you, don't trade with him while debuffed.
- Focus harass for when he goes for minions, you can easily outcs him if the lane is played correctly.
- Be careful of his level 6 strength and don't dive unless he is very low because his ult heals him.
- Can be a killable lane if played very carefully.
- You can easily outcs him if played right. Getting an early gank is very beneficial in this matchup.
(Gangplank - 6)
This is by far the most common lane matchup for Riven. The trick to winning the lane is to shield the moment he parleys you. He will lose mana and you will lose no hp. However, his parley is on a short CD than yours, so after shielding his parley make sure to not get hit by another parley until your shield is back up.
At level 3 you can start harassing him with the classic E-W-Q with auto attacks mixed in and you should take less damage than he should and his mana should be draining. If he ever oranges and uses raise morale the moment you stun him, back off immediately. He will run at you hopelessly wasting much of his mana and you can just go back in when your CDs are done.
Never full engage on him unless you know you will have the upper hand as his passive is deceptively powerful. If you come into a full out 1v1 post level 6 and he ults on you, get out of the circle at once even if it means flashing. He will almost certainly chase after and once his ult is done or you are outside the range, go to town on him and kill him. If you ever see him on low mana as well go full out on him as he can't do anything.
- Shield his early Parleys.
- Don't fight in his ult or when he raise morales.
- Engage with flash if necessary when he is low on mana.
- He is most vulnerable lvls 6-9 before the first base. Abuse that time period.
- Killable Lane.
- Shouldn't ask for early jungle gank. If he wants to come anyway, start Q instead.
(Tryndamere - 5)
Tryndamere once was an incredibly annoying lane for Riven but now he is very manageable, if not easy. Watch out for the lucky crits though; I have raged many a game over some ridiculous crit combos. The key to winning this lane is to kill him before he hits level 6. Once he hits level 6 it can be very difficult to kill a Tryndamere that knows what he is doing.
Killing a Tryndamere post level 6 requires skill and knowledge of cooldowns (His ult at level 6 has a 130 second cooldown.) Try to make him use his ult with a jungle gank or by going all out on him. If you manage it he will have around a 2 minute window of vulnerability. In this time period go full offensive on him and do all you can to lower his health so you can flash combo him down. Tip: Your ult comes off cooldown a full minute earlier than his. Once your ult is up go beast mode on him.
If it doesn't look like you can kill the dude then just push the lane on him. Make sure to never fight him when he uses mocking shout unless you have the lead in lane as your AD is heavily lowered during that time.
- Be aggressive whenever his ultimate is off cooldown.
- Don't fight when he uses mocking shout, just q and e away from him for the duration of it.
- Take lucky crits into account when fighting him.
- Try to fight him when his fury bar is depleted, that is when he is weakest. When it is full I do not recommend fighting him, just harass him then.
- Killable and Winnable Lane.
- Ask for an early gank. If his flash is lost early to a gank than he becomes very killable even post 6 if played correctly.
(Irelia - 8)
If they have a strong jungler such as lee sin start boots, if not then just start cloth to come out stronger in exchanges. If you want to have the best opportunity to win the lane and are already very skilled at Riven then go Dorans. Irelia is a deceptively difficult lane that gets radically stronger as the lane progresses. All the way up until I'd say level 9 you have the advantage on her. You can outpush her, outdamage her, and outrun her. However, her true damage is painful for Riven and you can't outrun a stun.
The key to beating her is to try and FB her early on while you have the advantage. She is relatively weak early on so abuse it. Whenever she activates her true damage, back off. You can't trade later on with an irelia that has her W activated. Just go back in on her as soon as it ends and it will be fine.
Post lvl9, assuming you didn't kill her, she becomes much more difficult. Her true damage now hurts and hurts alot. It becomes like a rumble lane where you have to hit and run and she decides when you fight her by when he W is on cooldown.
- Don't trade with her when she activates her true damage.
- Abuse her early in the lane when she is weakest.
- Once you have the hang of the matchup start going dorans. Dorans allows you to truly win the lane rather than stalemate it however it is much more difficult to pull off.
- Killable Lane Pre-9, then becomes difficult.
- Ask for that early gank. Gaining that early advantage is crucial in this matchup.
(Olaf - 7)
Olaf is a deceptively powerful laner but Riven has a natural advantage on him; no mana costs. In the beginning just dodge his axes and or shield his true damage. The quickest way to an easy win vs Olaf is mastering the timing on your shield vs his true damage. When he activates his W i recommend backing off or harassing with E-W and Qing away from him. Eventually he will run out of mana and become extremely vulnerable to a first blood. Not only that but his true damage takes a heavy toll on his sustain; you should always win the sustain battle.
At level 6 be careful of fighting him 1v1 if he takes exhaust specifically. If he exhausts you in a duel to the death that you can't get out of, FLASH AWAY if necessary. He will most likely keep chasing you thinking he has the advantage, and the moment it runs out lay your full combo down on him. This is the most common way I have killed Olaf top lanes, by baiting them into thinking they are stronger than they are and then destroying them. The lane gets slightly harder to kill as he can stack armor all day versus you, but he should never knock you out of lane or be able to kill you then.
- Don't fight him when he activates his lifesteal. Just harass him and back off.
- Shielding his true damage when he casts it will win the lane hard for you. The best way to time it is by seeing him running and then following you as that usually means he is trying to cast it on you due to its extremely short range. All about the anticipation.
- If he takes exhaust, back off the moment he exhausts you, using flash if necessary. Reengage the moment it is down, abusing brush if possible. This accounts for the majority of my 1v1 kills.
- Killable Lane at all times but difficult post 6 due to not being able to stun him.
- Good idea to ask for an early gank. Once you gain the advantage it is easy to keep and abuse it.
(Cho' Gath - 5)
This is one of the few matchups I run dorans blade on. The reason is simple: cho has no escapes, deals minimal damage in return as long as his rupture does not land which can be dodged easily as Riven, and he is melee. Basically, you can deny him at level 1. Auto + Q + Auto + Q + Auto + Q... wait why is Cho at 50hp 2min into the game? At level 2 he can be killed relatively easily and will get no creeps unless it is at tower. For maximum fun ask jungle to level 2 gank your lane. With Q and dorans blade and a junglers help, it will be the easiest kill you have ever seen. Just be careful because you are actually vulnerable to a jungle gank because you didn't start boots.
- Be hyper-aggressive
- Dodge ruptures and his silences with E and Q.
- Be careful of early enemy jungle gank to counter you.
- If played right easy First Blood.
- Ask for early gank if it doesn't interfere with his route too hard. I am not kidding when I say it is a 100% kill rate at lvl1 as long as you wait for him to go for cs and you use flash offensively if needed.
(Udyr - 7)
If you have clairvoyance on your team and see that Udyr didn't start tiger than start dorans and beat him from level 1. If he starts tiger or you don't know what he is, then cloth 5 is your best bet. Farm passively versus tiger udyr until level 3 because at level 3 you can actually start harassing him and he won't be able to retaliate fast enough. At level 6 you gain the advantage heavily because you have your ultimate on him now. In an average Udyr lane I will finish off all his pots by level 7 and dive him around level 8 to 9.
- Don't underestimate how much damage his tiger form does to you. He will win in an even 1v1 so take advantage of your harass combo.
- Try to fight after his switch to tiger AS buff goes down. If you bait him into activating tiger and then attack him after his proc is down you can win a 1v1 trade.
- Killable lane post 6. If you don't kill him before he gets wriggles then it becomes a very difficult lane to actually kill.
- Jungle ganks are helpful but not necessary.
(Lee Sin - Heavily Dependent on Enemy Skill Level)
Simple enough matchup, probably the most standardly played matchup of Riven's. Very straightforward, just make sure to dodge his Qs by abusing minion wave and your mobility. Whoever is the better player will win assuming 1v1.
- Dodge his Q's by using your mobility to dash around the minion wave. If he doesn't land Q's he can't have a hope of winning the lane.
- Try not to fight him when his AS debuff is on you.
- Easy lane to win but difficult to kill due to lee sin's dash and kick.
- If asking for jungle gank, get it when you are both level 1 optimally. If a later gank, make sure to tell him to come after minion wave arrives so he can't shield away.
(Malphite - 7)
Play this matchup just like the gangplank matchup. Shield his harass and he is pretty useless against you. Don't fight when his AS debuff is on you and he should run out of mana leading to a kill opportunity. Also be careful of his level 6 burst, it is deceptively high.
- Don't be caught off guard by his level 6 burst.
- Shield his harass and he will run out of mana leading to an opening.
- Try to juke his AS debuff spell by walking up to him then away/Qing away. If you can make him miss then jump on him.
- Killable lane for the majority of the time until he has over 130 armor.
- Asking for an early jungle gank can be helpful as you push pretty hard on malphite usually anyway.
(Nidalee - 6)
This matchup is all about not letting her surprise you with her cougar form damage. Shield her early harass and let her push to tower. At level 3 you can start pushing back on her and harass her pretty hard. When you are both level 6 you have the advantage in a straight 1v1 but it isn't a massive advantage, make sure you are careful of her burst.
My favorite way of killing a Nidalee in lane is by pushing the lane very slightly so you hit 6 a creep or two before she does and engaging on her at that moment. She will not be 6 and be extremely vulnerable, and low on hp if you played the lane correctly leading to an easy kill.
- Don't be caught off guard by her level 6 burst which grows as you get lower on health.
- Shield her early harass and let her push to tower until level 3 or so.
- Push the lane very slightly so you hit 6 a moment before she does. This is your best chance at a first blood for your lane.
- Killable lane at all times.
- Asking for an early gank can be very beneficial in this matchup because she has no pre 6 escape and if you force her flash she will be very susceptible to a flash ult the moment you hit 6. If you get an early gank start Q.
(Pantheon - 6)
This lane is much like the malphite lane. Shield his spears and harass back, he will run out of mana and pots before you do. Not much to say about this matchup except don't die to jungle ganks because Pantheon is a strong gank combo.
- Shield his spears and let him push the lane early on.
- You scale harder than he does with levels so get more aggressive as the lane goes on.
- Killable lane at all times.
- Don't ask for an early gank because you started shield first. Pretty simple. If he insists on ganking your lane for some reason take q, but I highly recommend not getting an early gank.
(Rumble - 7)
I once believed rumble was a counterpick to Riven myself until I learned the matchup better. Now it is actually a pretty easy and very killable lane, so much so I don't even put it under her difficult matchups section. Starting dorans is essential as it allows you to deny rumble levels 1-3. No matter what spell Rumble takes, he will be extremely weak at level 1. If you dodge his harpoons you can just run at him and AA+Q+AA+Q+AA+Q+AA and he will be at around 100hp, flashed, or dead if you flash ignite auto. At level 2 you become even that more potent if you want to wait as well.
Don't fight him inside his ultimate when you both hit 6. My best advice is if you get in an engage that you have bad positioning in is to flash behind him, outside of his ult, and continue fighting. His dps will be dramatically lowered and you should easily win the fight.
Another important note is that you can heavily outplay Rumbles with your mobility. Rumble has to be facing you for his flamethrower to hurt you, so if you dash around him while fighting him it makes it much more difficult for him to fully dps you. I have won some duels I should have lost because I have abused this fact.
- You are incredibly strong levels 1-3 versus him with a dorans start, abuse it as much as possible.
- Don't fight in his ultimate at all costs, flash behind him if necessary in a duel.
- Jump around all over the place when fighting Rumble so it makes it much more difficult for him to fully dps you with his flamethrower.
- Killable lane at all times.
- Asking for an early gank when you are level 1 or 2 is most of the time a kill if you flash with him, much like the Cho matchup.
(Ryze - 6)
Boots of speed if you are new to the matchup otherwise start dorans blade. You outsustain and can shield at least half of his harass from his spells and he runs out of mana quite quickly leaving ryze an easy lane for Riven. If you manage to get on him with a dorans blade, you can usually force a flash as soon as level 2. The lane remains easy for the whole duration of laning phase, you want this matchup.
- Shield his Q's and you will win the lane easily.
- If you get on top of him he will have to waste flash or be dropped extremely low.
- Start dorans if you know what you are doing in this matchup, otherwise start boots. Both work well.
- Very Killable lane at all times, you want this matchup.
- Ask for an early gank for the laughs as he won't be able to escape or will lose flash and barely live which will let you kill him later on anyway.
(Shen - 5)
Shen is ridiculously hard to force out of lane for some annoying reason. This is mainly a farming matchup, you should never die. You can outpush him and sustain his damage output so this isn't a losing lane at all. If he gets a bit cocky he can be killable but if he just stacks armor forever than it becomes a very unfun lane.
- Don't die to an early jungle gank or you will have no hope of beating him in lane.
- Try to abuse his mistakes, he can be outdpsed and outsustained. Especially once you have your bloodthirster.
- Very hard to kill lane.
- Ask for an early jungle gank. If you get the advantage early you can carry it to a lane win later much easier.
(Shyvana - 6)
This is played much like the Lee Sin matchup except you want shyvana to push early on. At level 3 you can start being more aggressive on her and you should outsustain her if played correctly. Be wary of her level 6 burst, she is a strong duelist at lvl6 as well.
- Let her push to tower until you are level 3.
- Be careful of fighting her 1v1 when she stacks armor, she is a strong 1v1 champion as well.
- Hard to kill lane due to her dragon form and MS buff. Still can be killed/outplayed 1v1 fairly simply.
- I would not recommend asking for an early gank in this matchup unless it is at levels 4-5.
(Vladimir - 6)
Much like the Ryze matchup except oh so easier. This matchup you should beg to have. Shield his early harass and then go on him at level 3 and it is incredible how much more damage you will do to him than he will do to you. As the lane goes on you get even more and more powerful verse him as well. Just don't be baited by his pool and don't waste your ult on his pool and you will be fine.
- Abuse the very long cooldown on his pool. Try your best to bait him into using it and landing your third q knockback on him the moment he comes up from it.
- You do much more damage to him than he does to you.
- Extremely killable lane at all times.
- You can get a gank but it is probably better your jungle ganks other lanes instead.
(Warwick - 6)
This matchup has become very common since the patch where he was recently buffed so I thought I would include it. I personally start dorans blade versus warwicks because I know exactly how much damage Riven can deal and take early on so I often get first blood at level 2 or 3 with very little hp remaining. For people learning Riven I recommend using cloth pot though because it is much safer and ganks don't hurt you as much because you can heal through the pots.
- Try to win this lane as early as possible as he can stack armor while you have to stack AD. This is why I personally start Dorans for the first blood potential.
- Be very very careful diving him when he is level 6 because of his ultimate.
- The best time to kill is by pushing lane slightly and flash diving when you are level 6 and he is 5.
- Killable lane until he has massive amount of armor.
- Pretty easy to first blood with jungle gank, I recommend asking for one.
(Wukong - 5)
Not much to say on this matchup except it is alot like the Lee Sin matchup. Baiting his Q's and running away can lead to an easy lane win. Also his ultimate has a deceptively short cooldown like yours so take that into account.
- Bait him into him using his Q and use your mobility to make him waste it and then engage on him.
- The cooldown on his ultimate is pretty short like yours is so be wary of that.
- Killable lane at all times.
- If getting gank get it before level 4 when he takes decoy. You don't really need a gank though.
(Yorick - 7)
This is a strange matchup in that you should only start engaging on him when you are level 3, even though you have taken dorans blade and he is melee. His sustain is so strong so you need to hit him all at once so that is why I recommend waiting until level 3 before going in on him. Winnable lane as he runs out of mana very quickly if he doesn't go tear. If he doesn't go tear and just stacks armor then he will have no mana for spells and you will heavily outsustain him.
At level 6 you have an advantage on him in every aspect and should be able to continue winning the lane. The only way he can become a problem is if you either take too much damage early which is a very, very easy thing to do so use extreme caution early on.
- Only engage on him at level 3 or if he started slow then you can engage starting at level 1.
- You are much stronger than he is in a 1v1, abuse that.
- Very Killable lane at all times.
- Asking for a gank is beneficial as he is very vulnerable early on.
(Akali - 7)
Shield her early Q's as you really don't want to trade with her at level 1. Start boots if afraid of enemy jungler and be aggressive at level 3 on. If you start Doran's be very cautious not to let her do to much damage on you at start and be aggressive at level 2.
Her shroud is pretty useless versus you as you can stun her through it anyway and Akali can't really juke you as you have more mobility pre 6 than she does. Post 6 you have an easier time in the lane because she can't actually engage on you without you turning around and just killing her.
- Just don't take too much damage in the early levels and you will be set to dominate her for the rest of the lane.
- She can't really juke you, take advantage of this.
- She can't 1v1 you, you are much stronger in a straight 1v1 and she can't harass with ultimate without being stunned.
- My favorite thing to do is stun right as she ults to me and just shield away, she won't land her Q proc, she loses an ult charge, and she even takes more damage than you do.
- Very killable lane at all times.
- If getting gank make sure it is a level 1 gank. Otherwise tell your jungler to roam to other lanes instead.
(Nasus - 3)
There really isn't much to say about this matchup except that it is very, very one sided. You can deny him CS at all stages of laning and there really isn't any trick to it. This matchup is the most basic and simple lane that I can imagine for Riven. The only thing I have to say on this is that do not roam so hard that he catches up in CS and starts outfarming you. If he gets a heavy CS lead as you roam around the map, he can become more of a problem.
- This is the simplest matchup of all for Riven. Practice your combos for maximum DPS.
- Don't roam too hard that he can catchup in the lane.
- Don't be baited into diving and forgetting that his ultimate gives him HP.
- Very killable and you can deny him CS at all stages of lane.
- Sure ask for a gank at level 1 if you really want it. Makes it that much easier to kill him later.
(Poppy - 6)
Poppy is an annoying champion to lane against simply because it can be so hard to kill her. If you run into one running the infamous 78 armor at level 1, it can be extremely difficult to actually kill her. But win the lane? No problem.
Abuse your mobility by running into her and stunning her and shielding away. Most poppies, even the best ones, will activate their Q thinking they can retaliate. But if you play hit and run style they will end up just wasting mana most of the time. The moment they hit a creep with their Q, go full offensive on Poppy as she has nothing on you at that point, just making sure creeps don't do too much damage to you. Another advantage you have on her is that it is near impossible for her to land a wallbang on you.
A relatively unknown trick that I abused in lane and in one instance to kill Spamhappy is to let her get into position to wallbang you and shield into her when she dashes. You won't hit the wall and it always catches them offguard in 1v1 scenarios. It is extremely difficult do kill her, but denying should come simple if played right.
- Bait her into using her Q by stunning and running away, and when she hits a minion go full out on her.
- Don't be baited into diving unless you are absolutely sure you can get the kill.
- Shield into her when she tries to wallbang you, it will catch them offguard and not stun you.
- Easy lane to win due to ability to deny her, killing her is a different story.
- Asking for a gank is a good idea. Anything to help put a poppy further behind is good.
(Singed - 5)
Singed is a pretty easy matchup for Riven. First, she has the ability to kill singed in lane at all stages of the matchup which not many top laners can say. Second, she has the ability do deny him and outsustain him starting only a dorans blade which gives you a natural gold advantage in lane.
Starting dorans blade gives you the ability to kill him at level 1 or 2, especially if he starts boots or mana crystal. If he starts cloth do not fear as if played right you will still outsustain him and make him use all of his pots. The major tip of this lane is to try to kill him pre level 6 as eventually it will become difficult to stop him from csing, although you will still win the lane at all times.
- Start dorans and go for the early kill. Don't be too aggressive if they have an early top lane ganking jungler.
- Try to bait him into running at you to fling you and just stun him and walk away. Also remember your shield is exceptionally powerful versus his poisen.
- Your mobility gives you three advantages. You can actually catch him post 6, you can weave through his poison trail, and you can escape him even through his slow.
- Killable at all stages of laning. Just don't let him fling you into tower and you are good.
- Asking for a gank is a good idea because he will have extreme trouble escaping. One kill means forever denied.
(Talon - 2)
Talon is a simple matchup for Riven. Not much to say except you outdamage him in a 1v1. Talon's power comes in bursting down squishies. That is what Riven excels at as well, except he can't burst you because of your shield and his sustained damage pails in comparison to Riven's especially when Riven has her ultimate. He blows all his damage at once, you can spread it out plus you have more useful CC. Only laning tip is to shield the rakes or just dodge them altogether for an easier win.
- Dodge rakes or shield them, it makes it easier to kill him later.
- You heavily outdamage him in a 1v1 scenario. He can do more damage all at one instant, but in any fight over two seconds long you will come out ahead.
- Killable lane at all times. Can be hard sometimes to kill him after 6 because of his ult, but you can still burst him down and your spells will still hit him as long as you aim correctly.
- If it isn't out of the way an early lvl1-3 gank is powerful as he will have only his rake to help him escape.
(Jax - 8)
Jax is stronger in lane now in my opinion than he was before the remake, at least verus Riven. You outsustain him in mana and you can win in any trade assuming an equal lane. The key to winning is to bait his stun, shield away from it, and go back on him after he jumps on you. If jax can't land his stun he can't compete. If jax spams his jump+empower he will run out of mana and be susceptible to ganks while you can shield half the damage it does anyway. Don't be overeager, wait for an opportunity, and don't misjudge a 1v1 fight and the lane is a simple win.
- If you dodge his stun by baiting it and running away at the right time he cannot win a trade/fight.
- Don't 1v1 him when he is full hp; rather lower him to around half through attrition and then fight. His sustained damage is very high but has less burst compared to Riven.
- Killable lane at all times.
- Asking for a gank is a good idea if you can bait him into him using his jump for harass. Getting the advantage secures lane domination in this matchup.
(Fiora - 8)
Fiora is surprisingly not the easiest lane for Riven. Well, she is easy early on but if you don't abuse that she can eventually outpower you in a 1v1 as she should considering she was designed to be a duelist. So, in order to beat her you have to deny and/or kill her which are both very possible. Don't attack her when she activates parry or it will make it harder to win the lane. Don't fight her when she activates her aspeed buff, best thing to do is save stun and activate it when she uses her buff so she loses time on it. Also be careful not to waste stun/ults because she uses her ultimate at the right time.
Later on in the lane she will have a massive amount of sustain and be very difficult to take in a 1v1. But this is avoidable if you follow my advice. Also ganks are very beneficial in this matchup as it is very hard for fiora to escape a proper gank.
Note: Building a Chainvest after tabi+triple doran's lets you actually dominate her pretty hard as I have discovered. I would no longer consider Fiora a strong pick verus Riven if you follow this item path.
- Don't attack her when she activates parry.
- Save stun for when she uses her attack speed buff and shield away, once it runs out reengage while on cooldown.
- Don't be baited into using your wind slash when she ults. Missing your ult when she goes invulnerable can lose you kills and lane.
- Beat her as hard as possible early on when she is weak otherwise her sustain can become an issue.
- Killable Lane that becomes harder as the lane progresses.
- Ask for ganks, she is extremely vulnerable to them and anything to shut her down is a smart move.
(Mordekaiser - 5)
Start Q and if he comes too close to melee a minion do the first blood combo of AA+Q+AA+... He is weak early on and you will have a massive advantage on him during that time. Be careful not to take too much damage though when jumping on him as your only sustain is 4% of lifesteal and your regen. At level 2 and 3 start committing more to 1v1s and you should be able to plain deny him during the early stages of the lane. If he starts cloth wait until level 3 to jump on him as otherwise you will fall behind in the sustain war. Eventually it will become hard to deny him if you don't push the advantage hard so ganks are also beneficial in this matchup.
- If he starts cloth, jump on him at level 3. If boots, jump on him as early as level 1 if you are safe and won't take too much minion damage.
- Deny him as much as possible early or it will become tougher to win the lane later.
- Don't be baited by the lifesteal on his ultimate and inversely bait him into using his ult ignite and shielding to live.
- Killable lane at all times.
- Ask for a gank, mordekaiser is extremely susceptible to them and it is very important to take an enemy morde out of the game as much as possible.
(Corki - 6/Graves - 8/Vayne - 7)
The rare AD carry top lane matchup. The only ADs I have played up against, and could see being difficult for players, are corki, graves, and vayne so I will only comment on these champs specifically. If they started boots, then you will have an easy time winning the lane and just 1v1ing them to a kill. If they start cloth instead it becomes a real matchup so I will assume they started cloth when talking about these matchups.
Laning versus AD carries is a lot like laning versus Nidalee and Kennen except easier. Start shield and make sure to not take any damage or at the least extremely little and let them push until level 3 when you can harass them back.
Corki is a deceptively powerful laner, however he is the easiest of the three ADs to take on as Riven. This is because his spells cost a lot of mana, especially his escape. If he doesn't spam his escape then you will have killed him. If he does spam his escape than he will run out of mana very fast and be defenseless versus you. Corki can't take you one versus one especially at level 6. The only real specific tip is to abuse his machine gun's mechanics. It is like rumble flamethrower; dash all around him and it will only do half the damage it could have.
Graves is the hardest of the 3 AD laners and will test your skill with riven, especially if he starts cloth. The reason he is so much harder to deal with than corki is two fold. His dash is low mana so he can spam it but it also only moves him a short distance, enough that you have trouble catching him and that he can hit you as you walk back after using your spells. If he sounds tough it is because he is, at least to people with inexperience versus this kind of matchup. There really isn't any single trick to this matchup, it is all about outplaying him by taking less damage and harassing him for more.
Vayne is harder than corki but still somewhat simple of a lane. Her tumble is too short a range to escape you so often she will need to use her condemn as well. If she keeps doing this she will run out of mana very fast and be open to a kill. The only note I have about this matchup is be careful when she ults. If you engage, you have to be certain you will win it or you won't be able to escape her. And don't get knocked into the wall, use your mobility to avoid that. She can outpower you if she lands a wallbang in a 1v1 scenario but otherwise she is a pretty simple and easy lane.
(Jarvan - 6)
The way people lose this matchup is if they are too aggressive and aggressive to early. Patience wins the lane and is also the safest way to deal with enemy jungle ganks. Let him push early on and try not to let him take advantage of his passive in any significant way and you are golden to harass him down later. Also you have an easy time dealing with both his ultimate and his knockup as you can dash/q away from both.
- Don't be too aggressive and have patience and the win will come naturally.
- You can use Q or E to escape his ultimate, and it makes dodging his knockup easy.
- Try to refrain from fighting him when armor debuffed.
- Killable lane at all times.
- Early ganks are fine but not that necessary as it can be a pain if it fails and your lane is pushed because then you become more vulnerable yourself.
(Kayle - 8)
Kayle has been touted as Riven's ultimate counter in his recently popular guide, however it is simply not the case. Much like any ranged matchup, what determines how well you will do in the lane is dependent on your lane control ability. Let him push, and let him push hard. Around level 3-4 you can push back out and harass.
The best way to harass down kayle is to dash, q, stun, and use the second and third q to retreat to bush so she can't slow and turn on you. Abusing brush is the way this matchup can be won as she can't hurt you if she can't see you, and if she jumps in the bush then you can just kill her. This matchup is not easy but it is entirely winnable.
- Abuse Brush and Lane Control heavily, it is the only way to win the matchup.
- Do not ult her when she uses her ultimate, self explanatory but still be cautious of it. Ult earlier than usual if you feel you need to.
- Killable lane at mid and late stages of laning.
- Asking for a gank can be a good idea, but only get a gank post level 3 as if it is before level 3 and it fails, it can push the wave and let her deny you.
(Darius - 9)
After now having some experience in the matchup, I can understand how many people feel frustrated when versing Darius. He does more sustained damage than you and his burst is actually as high as Rivens. Don't give up the matchup though, it requires significant finesse and extreme skill versing a competent darius but it can still be won.
The key to the matchup is as simple as dodging/baiting his Q. You want to be constantly dashing around him, just outside of his Q range. Let him push to tower even at the cost of CS if necessary, however you usually will only be forced to miss one or two by the time the minions reach the turret as long as you are making him waste his Q. Once he is at tower you will be taking some of his Q hits. After clearing the preliminary wave, you can start harassing him by shielding stunning and booking it. Do not let him grab you in, if you can harass with stun and get out in such time that he wastes his spells trying to catch you, you start building up an advantage which you can eventually exploit.
The sad thing about this lane is that he seems to be stronger than you in a 1v1 at all stages of laning and can still be difficult if you even gain an early advantage on him. This just necessitates outplaying him by dodging/shielding his Qs and very careful harassing. I would be losing the lane but when I had the eureka moment of how to best stop him I managed to come even and even kill them after enough time.
At level 6 his burst is on par with yours, however you can get the burst off faster than he can. If you decide to engage in a 1v1 make sure you have absolute knowledge of Riven's limits or you may find that ticking DoT too much for you.
Besides all that, the biggest other thing in the matchup would be jungle ganks. He is extremely vulnerable to jungle ganks much like Fiora, so abuse that as much as possible. He has no mobility so you do outclass him in teamfights so remember if all you can do is go even with him then you still won the matchup.
- Bait the Qs, it can be harder than it sounds.
- When you harass, get out of range of his counterattack as quickly as possible.
- Early levels let him push, leaves him vulnerable to ganks and lets you farm safely.
- His burst is massive but so is yours, and your advantage is that you can get it off faster than he can.
- Killable lane at all times, but it goes both ways.
- Tell your jungler it is in everyone's best interest to gank your lane. He has no method of escape and its his single greatest weakness so exploit it.
(Jayce - 8)
Jayce is a difficult champion to deal with, but the lane is very manageable if played correctly. Start dorans if not scared of enemy jungle presence and are confident in your ability to CS without taking damage. The good Jayce will max his hammer attack and become difficult to deal with in lane, if he maxes his energy blast spell just dodge it with your shield and you should come ahead in trades.
Riven has the greatest advantage over Jayce the moment she hits level 6. Try to engage at this moment if possible, but make sure you do it when either his spells are on CD or when he is low enough that you can kill him anyway as Jayce is very good at escaping champions, riven included. The best time to jump on him is the moment he switches his weapon to ranged, he won't be able to knock you back and you can keep chasing him and position yourself in front of him so he can't knock you away easily.
Later on in the lane, if he maxes his hammer knockback, he can become a problem. He will actually be able to outharass you and wear you down. The key to avoiding this is to first establish an early lead and then to actually not harass him at all, or only harass him when you have the ability to abuse brush. You have far greater sustained DPS than him so try to abuse this by forcing prolonged fights by baiting him into brush after harassment.
- You have the greatest advantage over Jayce the moment you hit 6, try to abuse this.
- Jump on him the moment he switches to his ranged weapon if possible. He won't be able to fight back with any real DPS and won't be able to knock you away immediately. Keep chasing and positioning yourself in front of him so he can't knockback when his CD comes off.
- Abuse brush as much as possible and try to bait prolonged fights.
- His harass, by itself with no use of brush or turret/minions, is stronger than yours. Don't let him use this advantage.
- Killable lane at all times, but it goes both ways.
- If you want a gank, get it as early as possible. Jayce becomes very hard to catch with all of his spells off CD.
Mid Lane Riven! - The Real HypercarryMid lane Riven is one of the strongest picks in the game at the moment but so few people know how to do it. Hell I have near a 75% win rate with mid Riven.
Benefits of Riven Mid Lane
- Very powerful against almost all AP mids.
- Is one of the best roamers in the game.
- Nearly impossible to gank in mid lane even if pushing to enemy turret.
- Extremely safe first pick as enemy team will not guess that you are going mid.
- The best champ at controlling dragon/jungle in the mid game.
- Laning up against someone with less than 20 armor.
And best of all: Anyone can do it!!
You do not need to have 500 games with her to make mid lane Riven the god of a pick it currently is. Back when I was going mid lane Riven everygame because I was trying to boost my elo, i went on a 19 Winstreak in 2k+ ranked with just Riven, the majority mid lane.
If you aren't all interested and willing to give mid lane riven a shot after me sayng all of this, despite it being against the meta, then I don't know what will! And without further introduction, here is how you run it.
The Fundamentals of Mid Riven
Naturally, mid riven is played differently than top lane riven both in style and choice. The biggest difference is that you can push to enemy turret level 2 and onwards without fear of jungle gank. Top lane I play very conservatively and feed off of purely mistakes by the enemy because of the huge jungle presence top lane. Take away jungle presence and mid Riven becomes a much more active, enjoyable, and aggressive experience.
Lane control is only necessary for the early levels to prevent the always possible lvl1 gank by the enemy jungler assuming its a hard ganker like mundo or alistair.
The biggest mistake a mid Riven can make is jumping onto the enemy laner with all of her spells thus comitting to the harass. You can never fully commit yourself to just harass; only to a kill otherwise you leave yourself extremely vulnerable to a gank. If you follow this one and simple rule you will find your success with her skyrocket.
The last important thing everyone needs to know is that mid Riven's strength does not come from her ability to win her lane. It comes from her ability to win other people's lanes, control objectives, and killing the enemy jungler. Riven is by far the best champ at turning a 1v2 into a double kill so baiting is very important as is just warding the enemy jungle so you can just jump in and grab an easy kill if you are lucky. I can't even say how many times I never got a kill on my opponent in lane yet I ended up with a ridiculous score.
And although cliche, the best way to describe her playstyle in mid lane is float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Some matchups aren't included because I have already gone in depth on them in the top lane section such as Ryze and Vlad. I play these matchups the same so just look at those already written for information for that matchup. Using control+f to search for your champion will make it significantly easier and faster on you.
(Ahri - 7)
Ahri is my favorite mid lane matchup and a common one at that. In the early games she can't do much to you and you can't to her so just farm and shield her autos. Starting at level 3 you can possibly force a flash if she gets too close by just jumping on her as unless she took charm at level 2 she will have no way to get away from you.
The best way to win this lane is by baiting her charm and dodging it, then jumping on her. The other big way to win the lane, something I have abused more than once to carry, is what I also do with nidalee. It is to push the lane very slightly so you hit 6 before her and jump on her. She won't be able to ult away and it can very often result in a kill. Post 6, although she has 4 flashes, she is still killable just because of your ridiculous burst. Lastly, if she has blue, just be careful to not take too much harass and play back a bit unless she overextends heavily.
(Anivia - 5)
Nothing exceptional regarding advice that needs to be given here. Anivia is a straightforward lane, dodge her stun and jump on her. You also have the advantage of being able to kill her in egg form with relative ease, something that many mid laners don't have the ability to say. She has no escape so flashing on top of her is very effective. Her shield is very ineffective against you, she has low movespeed, and she has no escape. The perfect combination that makes her a simple and easy lane for Riven.
(Annie - 6)
Starting boots is safer as you can deal with her extremely long auto attack range easier but dorans can work as well. Riven is a strong pick versus burst mages like Annie. Why? Riven has a shield. Its that simple, her shield takes her away her ability to 100-0 you. If she can't burst you down in an instant you will be able to kill her extremely easily if you get on top of her. A good way to catch her off guard for an easy kill is to click on her so you can keep track of her stun counter. If her stun counter is at 1 then she won't be able to stun you if you jump on her leading to her flashing and/or dieing. Just don't get too aggressive so that she can stunlock you with a jungle gank and you are set to win the lane. Also abuse her cooldowns, for example if you see her use her AoE to farm then jump on her right away.
(Brand - 7)
Be cautious in this matchup as his combo will hurt you and he has the ability to harass you so that you will be vulnerable. The key to winning this matchup is all skill; can you dodge or can't you? Luckily you have so much mobility that you have the natural advantage to dodging his spells. Like most mid laners he will die if you jump on him. You also have the ability to shield his passive so his harass isn't that powerful versus you but still always remain careful as once he has blue you can't afford to be taking unnecessary hits.
(Cass - 9)
Go boots and pots unless you are a complete pro and have extreme experience using the dorans blade start. Like brand, can you dodge those skillshots is the question that determines much of her difficulty. However, to the amazement of many people I have played with I have managed to win the matchup as although she is the king of harass she still has the same innate weakness of being an AP mid. She is still squishy and she will still die if you catch her out of position. Unfortunately starting boots she will not die right away and she may be able to fight you in a 1v1 scenario like that which is the reason I personally start dorans but remember you can make literally not a single mistake running dorans or you will screw yourself, this is why I give the matchup a 9.
As far as fighting her in a 1v1 when you are both level 6 you always have the advantage even if she lands a perfect ultimate on you. But her strength comes in harassment and with blue buff as well it can be very difficult to dodge all of it. So much like the brand matchup it comes down to how good you are at dodging skill shots and being able to recognize when the opponent overextends or not.
(Diana - 6)
Riven does very well against melee mages and Diana is no exception. Start denying her at level 1 by scaring her away from CS and at level 2 start harassing her down. You outpower her in an even 1v1 assuming equal gold all game long so don't be afraid of her burst/harass, your sustained damage is far greater. The real tip to dominating this matchup is to bait her Q cast. Run away from her so that she casts her Q to ahead of you then jump back at her. This works against all level players and will put her in a dangerous position as she needs to land the Q to output damage. Be careful diving or getting too close to the turret against this champion as her pull and shield are effective against tower diving.
(Gragas - 6)
Gragas has a severe weakness against riven in the early levels, before his first back. This is where you must take advantage of him or eventually he will be able to survive you in lane by just building tabi. As early as level 1 you can be aggressive on him, just continue to be mindful of enemy jungle presence. At levels 2-3 I force nearly every gragas to either flash or die to me and this is what you all need to do as well or like I said he can start to catch up to you. If you can punish gragas in the early game then he becomes severely weak come mid game when he is supposed to be at his strongest.
Also, as you are against a melee mage, practice lane control in this scenario. If done correctly, his only opportunity to CS should be through his barrel. You should outcs him significantly if you deny him correctly which all contributes to the lane win.
(Karthus - 8)
Karthus is actually an annoying champion to lane against. His wall is very effective versus you as if you try to jump on him but you misjudge the distance and he walks away, then he can wall you and put very significant damage back on you. His harass is also very good as it is extremely short cooldown so your shield doesn't just negate it like the majority of mid laners. However, the same weakness as everyone else is his downfall as if you judge the distance right and jump on him he can't do much but sit there and take it until he dies.
The only really significant thing besides what I just mentioned is that you need to be careful about jumping on him if you don't have the ability to kill him or put him near death. His DPS is very high and you always have to be cautious of retaliation and kite through his wall. His ultimate isn't effective versus you due to your shield which is an advantage Riven can enjoy here.
(Kassadin - 3)
Very easy and self explanatory matchup. You are his hardest counter. Harder than gangplank, harder than tryndamere, harder than pantheon. Practice lane freezing so he can only CS through his spells and always jump on him if he gets too close. The most important thing to remember is to not get too hyper aggressive and die to a gank. Last thing you want to do is screw up an easy lane win due to greed and overeagerness.
(Katarina - 4)
Before Katarina's overhaul she was probably the easiest lane matchup in the game. Now she is slightly stronger, however the majority of her early game weakness is still present. She still can't get near CS when you start doran's blade though I recommend waiting until level 2 before really jumping on her, before that just scare her away from CS. You have two ways to interrupt her ultimate, if you get into a post 6 engagement always save either your third Q cast or your stun for it. That is the key to securing this relatively easy matchup, as long as you are patient with your spell usage she should have no opportunity to make a play on you. Keep her away from CS by positioning yourself ahead of the minions and shielding her Qs. If she shunpoes or walks in to get a creep, abuse her.
(Leblanc - 8)
This matchup isn't easy despite you countering burst mages. The reason is because of her ability to keep you silenced, sometimes so long that you lose your second or third Q cast, and that she has the ability to slow you. She also has up to two escapes so she can be difficult to kill. But like most people do, they will make mistakes and overextend, and you can kill them then. Just play cautiously and I don't recommend going into harass very often if at all. Only jump in if your ultimate is up and you can either force her to run away or kill her. If she jumps away then try to jump back on her while her jump is still on cooldown as that is when she will be most vulnerable.
(Morgana - 8)
I don't recommend taking this matchup and if I see a morgana pick I usually go to jungle or top lane. You can't really kill her unless she mistakes her shield timing and misses the snare, both happening together is quite unlikely. So the only way to kill her is heavily outplaying her and or baiting her into thinking she can kill you when she can't. You also can't stop her from farming and she is very good at setting up jungle ganks.
Alas you can still win the matchup if you are stuck with it. The best way I have done this is by running at her and flashing over/past her snare and following her and trying to save my stun until her shield comes off. Remember her shield stops absolutely no damage of yours, it just stops you from stunning/knocking her back.
(Orianna - 7)
This matchup is very cookie cutter. Dodge her ball and she can't do much to you. My tip that you all may not be aware of is that it is best to jump on her as she is throwing her ball away. If you time it correctly she won't be able to retrieve her ball in time to speed herself away so you can kill her. The only time she can be tough is like most other AP mids, when she has blue buff. And like my advice for those other AP mids, play it more conservatively when she has blue and wait for an opportunity.
(Sion - 6)
Your advantage on him is most significant during the early game before his shield gets too strong. If he runs at the creeps with his shield up to kill them just jump on him, either before if you want him to miss the CS and are just planning on harassment or after if you want to go for a kill. The nice thing about AP sion is that he can't push you to your tower even if he does have blue buff because once his shield is down he can't do much to stop you from just tanking the creeps and killing them all. Your goal should be to keep him in lane and keep him away from creeps. If you can do both then you will be poised to win the game later as his strengths are negated.
(Swain - 4)
Swain does very well against most melee ADs... but not Riven. In fact Riven is one of the strongest picks versus Swain. First of all, his harass is extremely weak versus Riven's shield as it is DOT based. Second, his only form of escape from you is his snare and slow. His slow doesn't slow for much and doesn't slow down your Q and E. His snare is extremely easy to dodge also because of your Q and E.
One of my favorite ways to pick on Swains is to let them land both of their DOTs on me and then I run away. They think they will have the upper hand and run after you and try to snare you. But in response you actually just baited them and the moment he casts the snare run back at him with all of your spells and he will be absolutely defenseless. Swain is very weak against Riven also because he can't get close to you, or for that matter the creeps, because you have so much higher DPS on him.
(Twisted Fate - 7)
The only mid laner I start cloth against just because of how much of his damage is in his auto attacks. Relatively simple matchup, shield his cards that he throws at you and dodge his skillshot. If he gets too close jump on him. Very cookiecutter, my only real advice is to always follow him and keep him in lane so that his ultimate isn't a big deal for the rest of your team.
(Veigar - 6)
Jump on him as many times as you can the moment you hit 3, 2 if he comes out too far. Be careful of his burst once he is 6, especially once he has a DFG. This lane is very simple but I can't stress enough to be careful about his burst combined with a jungle gank. His stun can leave you defenseless so you should probably ward one side of your lane and stick to that side.
(Viktor - 6)
I almost want to copy paste what I said for Veigar and put it here. Flash through his stun bubble if needed and remember again, his burst is extremely high so be extremely careful. He is slightly easier to deal with than veigar just because his stun isn't instant so you don't have to be as scared of jungle ganks.
(Xerath - 5)
His passive isn't that significant versus you, really simple matchup. You can dodge his skillshots with relative ease and his stun is slow moving enough that you can shield its damage very easily. His burst is high but not high enough to take you out. Plus he also the weakness that his W requires him to stand still so if you get on him he likely isn't getting away. Just don't die to jungle ganks and don't get too greedy and this is a very simple and enjoyable matchup.
(Ziggs - 5)
The best tip I have for this matchup is that his jump is on a very long cooldown so if you jump on him and he uses it to escape, he won't be able to again for a little over 20 seconds leaving him very vulnerable. Otherwise play standard as he is pretty simple to face. He is also very mana hungry so if he runs out of mana feel free to overextend hardcore. With blue buff his harass is very high but his same weaknesses apply so he still isn't really a problem to deal with.
Roaming as RivenLearning how to roam effectively will have a massive impact on your win rate as Riven. I will split this into two discussions, one dealing with top lane the other mid lane.
Top Lane Roaming
When to Roam
- When you are pushed to enemy turret and you aren't going to be able to harass down/kill the opponent under turret. Examples: Nidalee, Teemo
- Coming from base. This is done more often with ganking the enemy jungler or forcing an objective quickly rather than ganking the enemy mid lane.
- When you have flash. This is very important when your objective is ganking rather than an objective.
Where to Roam
- To enemy blue/red when it comes up to gank the enemy jungler/mid.
- To take enemy wraiths/golems.
- Dragon and Mid turret after enemy mid based.
- Behind the enemy mid laner. Flash stun is very, very good at killing mid laners combined with another teammate like Twisted Fate.
Mid Lane Roaming
When to Roam
- When the enemy mid laner is playing too careful to allow you to kill him by catching him. Examples: Karthus, Morgana.
- When the enemy is based.
- The moment after you clear a wave, clear as fast as possible for best results.
- Not from base. You will see many mid laners lane ganking bottom and top for example, this is not riven's strongest point. With her mobility it is more viable for her to gank through the enemy jungle rather than potentially waste large amounts of time doing what your jungler can/should be doing.
Where to Roam
- BOTTOM LANE. This is why Riven mid lane is as strong as it is. She is godly at ganking bottom lanes by just walking through the enemy jungle. Ganking by diving under turret is extremely viable as riven as she is mobile enough to get out of turret range when she wants but can still deal immense damage. I can't stress enough how important it is to constantly be ganking bottom lane as Riven mid.
- Enemy jungle. Unless the enemy stacks armor from the start, Riven can burst down junglers in an instant, even with the likes of amumu and maoki. Right when she hits level 6 she is best suited to killing enemy junglers. Probably better suited than any other champion in the game, so abuse this.
- Top lane rarely. When going top ping like a madman for your top laner to bait an engagement and then go from there. If your top laner is winning and pushing, diving can be an easy way to create a big advantage.
Messed up? Coming Back Into The GameSo you messed up. Or maybe your lane opponent is just very skilled. Or maybe that Alistair jungle ganked your lane one too many times. Regardless, here you are in the worst situation to find yourself in as Riven, being behind. Don't panic and hold off on raging, here are some tips to force yourself back into relevance.
The SilSol Approach
When you have a disadvantage, what's the best way to fix that? By making plays! This playstyle focuses on constant aggression such that it relieves pressure off of other lanes and gives you the best chance at making a significant dent in the opponent's lead. However, there is a very fine balance between this playstyle and outright feeding. Here are the big points to take away:
- Lets you come back into the lane through big plays. This is usually only viable when you are behind because of jungle camp or your previous engagements with the enemy were all very close.
- By being over aggressive, the enemy jungle will focus his efforts top lane. This creates a 2v1 Top lane and a 4v3 elsewhere in your favor. This is viable when you are behind yet still have the ability to push.
- Localizes fed enemies. AKA the enemy will have a harder time pushing his advantage onto the rest of your team.
The Art of Roaming
Refer to the chapter on roaming for a more detailed look into roaming. Now roaming can be either good or bad depending on the circumstances when you are behind.
Benefits of Roaming When Behind
- Can change the momentum of other lanes
- Force objectives
- Can make up for gold and level disadvantage.
Risks of Roaming When Behind
- If you can't accomplish an objective or kill you risk putting yourself more behind in your lane.
- Enemy top lane has three options. Free farm and push: Not that bad unless they manage to take turret. Freeze lane: You are now even more behind in CS and you open yourself up to being denied by a good player. Roam: If the opponent is stronger than you when you are roaming, can lead to engagements where you will bring the disadvantage created top lane with you. This can turn the tide of the game in either direction but remember that they will have the natural advantage in this situation due to you being behind.
Obviously the risks are very real and important to take into consideration. Sometimes the best decision is to keep to your lane so you are localizing the fed enemy to your lane which gives your team the opportunity to carry you. There isn't anything to be ashamed of when being carried, try to put all your effort into making their job easier. A win is a win.
Advanced Riven-Specific TechniquesAfter playing Riven for such a large number of games, I know some techniques that even experienced Riven players may not be aware of. Here I will list them as well as their relative importance to master. This section should provide new information about Riven, even for pro players and other Riven mains, so I highly recommend not ignoring this section.
Riven Has a Skillshot? Positioning Your Third Q Correctly.-Extreme Importance
If you take anything from this chapter, please take this advice on positioning your knockback correctly. This is one of the defining characteristics of a great riven versus a good riven. In theory, it is simply positioning yourself such that your third Q lands in a way such that it knocks the enemy away from his turret or towards your team. For a subtle example of this, watch my montage and pay attention to the vlad kill. You will notice that I had an ally coming to me, so I performed my third q in a way that it knocked him closer to my ally which ended up giving her enough time to secure the kill and my life.
In practice, keeping this in mind can have drastic effects on your performance. Here are the main ways in which this skill is used:
- Securing The Gank-In these situations, when chasing your laning opponent you time your third Q such that it knocks him back away from his turret, thus giving your jungler time to catch him and put considerably more dps on him.
- Surviving The Gank-The easiest way to use this technique is through abusing the brush. If you have a jungler coming at you to catch you in the brush, time your third q so that the moment he gets vision of you by walking in the bush, you land your third q on the opposite end of him. This will create distance between you and him, enough that if you dash afterwards he will have to flash or use a gap closer to catch you where normally he would just land an auto and apply the red buff immediately. This works especially well against gankers that rely upon getting an auto in first, like udyr.
- Early Lane Kills-This works very well in both top and mid, and really works all game, but it is more noticeable and important in the early game. Many of my first bloods in mid and top lanes are through jumping on them at level 2/3, but then timing my third q such that it knocks them away from the turret. This results in around 2-3 more autos than normally possible. With a doran's blade, this is an utterly massive difference in damage output.
- Performing Top 5 Plays-This lends itself more to examples. I once timed my third q in such a way that I knocked a Renekton back mid-dash away from his turret and a minion that would've let him dash again to safety, thus securing the kill in a top-5 plays fashion. Another example would be landing your dash in such a way that you land in the middle of two enemies, thus splitting them, a very important skill to have when other champions are trying to peel you from their squishies in teamfights.
Never Die to an Alistair Gank Again-Medium Importance
This is a technique most players are probably aware of, but I mention it as it is very important still to have. If an alistair uses his headbutt on you, you can time your flash such that alistair will headbutt to your previous location as you flash past him. Say you are in mid lane and alistair comes from behind and wants to headbutt you into the enemy turret. If you flash mid-headbutt towards him, you will flash right through the headbutt and alistair will still have went the full distance, thus being safe from a quick pulverize.
However, what very, very few people know, is that this trick is possible to perform with Riven's shield dash. The only caveat is that you have to be much closer to alistair and the timing has to be very precise. I have been only able to pull this off three times in 900 games, but those three times it had saved my life so I feel it is worth mentioning.
Creating an Early Advantage-Medium Importance
This is a simple technique that can be done by champs other than riven, however there are some nuances many people may not be familiar with. If starting dorans and mid lane, take the enemy wraiths with Q at lvl1 if possible. Autoing between Q casts you will take around 100 damage total, but be one big wraith and two small wraiths richer. However the gold isn't really that important, the exp advantage is. Using this technique requires you to take Q first, so be wary of using this against lanes where you need shield right away.
The thing that most people don't realize is that you can do this with enemy wolves too if the enemy invades/starts red. Anything to put the enemy jungler behind and yourself ahead is obviously a good thing to do, so I feel it is worth mentioning this technique here even if it is not very Riven-specific as the chapter title suggests.
Your Ult Gives you Wings-Medium Importance
Something people don't do enough of is activate Riven's ultimate not with the intention of extra damage, but extra range. In some situations, such as my Olaf chase in my montage, the only way to catch the enemy is through activating the ultimate prior to casting your third Q/Stun. I abused this to kill Reginald in my montage as well for another example of this technique being used.
Making The Jungle Your Bitch-Medium Importance
The combo to use when clearing jungle creeps: Auto-W-E-Auto-Q-Q-Auto-Q-Auto
Perform this combo correctly and you will have gotten off 4 auto attacks, all your spells, and will have taken 2 hits with your shield active. AKA Kill jungle without losing HP. This is the reason that dorans blade start in the jungle is so viable, you can kill camps losing hardly any HP.
Animation Cancelling-Medium Importance
This technique allows you to keep closer to your enemies as you auto them and is also helpful in particularly close engagements when you need the damage out in fractions of a second. This works most notably with Q and W and to a lesser extent her E. To perform animation cancelling, press Q or W the moment after the damage from your auto registers. The rest of her auto animation will be canceled, allowing you to keep pace with the enemy. Another trick is pressing R then immediately after E. This removes the ult activation animation which is quite long.
Dodging Grabs Like an Ezreal?-Small Importance
Yes, Riven can dodge blitz hooks, darius pulls, and... singed flings. Yes, it works even on fling. This has not always been possible as Riven though at the time of writing this it is. Then why do I have this technique rated as not being very important? Because it is very difficult to pull off. Unlike Ezreal where there is a delay between the cast of the spell and the actual teleportation, Riven's third Q is nearly instant. I say nearly because it actually isn't, but it is so close to instant that it is extremely difficult to pull off. Plus it only works with the third q cast. Just try to time the third Q the moment before the enemy spell hits you.
Did You Just Cast Q More Than 3 Times?-Small Importance
This is a current bug with Riven that happens rarely, however I noticed what causes it. By spamming Q as hard as you can, sometimes your Q count will reset thus allowing you to cast Q more than 3 times before it goes on cooldown. This isn't a technique you can rely upon but it is worth mentioning as I have lived quite a few times when I shouldn't have by abusing this.
Advanced Laning Mechanics - Path to Lane DominationLane Control Versus Ranged Champions
This term is thrown around pretty often among the high level players of the game but what does it mean? And why should I bother learning about it when I posted information on how to win every lane matchup? Well, controlling your lane does two things. It reduces the threat of enemy jungler ganks significantly and it also is the path to winning lanes versus better players and tougher matchups. And in some cases, the only way to win the matchup.
Essentially, lane control is controlling where your minions are and his minions are as well as their numbers. This concept is easy to comprehend but harder to put into practice and takes constant attention.
If you attack the enemy laner, then his minions will attack you back if you are close enough. However, when his minions are attacking you, your minions will still be attacking his thus leading to your lane pushing even if you never hurt the minions at all. This is the key that I abuse to beat ranged champions in lane with even a dorans blade. Play extremely cautiously and jump in to last hit a creep at the last second with your shield and back out. Most of the time the enemy champ will attack you back but all they will do is hit your shield so you will not take damage. However this will cause your minions to attack him and thus leading to the lane pushing towards your tower, even if very slowly, but this is exactly what you want.
Most champions cannot abuse lane control at the level Riven does simply because Riven is one of the best, if not the best, last hitter at tower. If you manage to CS correctly, you can miss no cs at tower while taking miniscule damage from harass with your shield and mobility. Being at your tower makes it harder for the enemy laner to CS as well and opens the opportunity for ganks. It also makes it easier to kill the enemy laner as they have a longer distance between them and the turret if you manage to catch them.
Once at your tower you can bypass the rough levels 1 and 2 that Riven has where she can't fight back and come back out of your tower at level 3 at full HP regardless of your item start without using a single health potion.
A simple mechanic has a large range of consequences; I won't list them all but this is the most important note to take from lane control.
When to Take the Turret
This question is one I even have to think about whenever I'm in the situation that I can take an early turret. It depends on three things: how fed you are, the enemy laner/jungler, and the need to roam.
First, if you are fed enough that the enemy top lane+enemy jungler cannot kill you in a 2v1, always take the turret. This happens more often than most people would think as Riven can burst down any squishy top lane/jungle and has the mobility to escape the situation if it doesn't go well.
Second, if you have the ability to deny your opponent under turret do not take the turret under most circumstances. Some champions like nidalee are very difficult to stop from farming unless you have an extreme advantage so taking the turret is usually a good idea as it opens up more options to roam, leaves them more vulnerable to ganks, and gives global gold. Also, if they have a strong ganker like Lee Sin or Mundo, most of the time do not take the turret. If you get caught by a cleaver and are pushed past enemy turret, it can be extremely difficult to make it out even if you are fed.
Third, if your mid is losing or stagnating mid, it can be a good idea to take the turret so you can push the lane and roam. Taking free dragons because the enemy top laner is busy farming minions at his second turret can turn a game around and so can picking up free kills on enemy mid lanes and junglers.
There is a lot of decision making in choosing when to take the tower and the right choice isn't always clear cut. It depends on many factors, but here is just my advice so you can make the best decision possible when the time comes when you need to.
Mid GameRiven is incredibly versatile and powerful at this point in the game. She is extremely powerful in teamfights at this stage and this should be exploited at every opportunity such as forcing dragon fights and roaming into other lanes. Riven should be able to take anyone in a 1v1 at this point and she is exceptionally powerful versus AD carries.
The best way to play her in teamfights is to flash/jump onto two or more of their squishies and stun ult. This will do massive damage to their squishy champions and then you can follow them with your Q to finish them off. If you are unable to find an opportunity to flash onto more than two champs for a flash stun, then just run to their AD carry/AP carry and do as much damage as possible to them.
Riven's strength as a champion is versus squishies and this is how you can carry games with her; she is just so powerful in early and mid game teamfights. Once she has her Guardian Angel and Bloodthirster focusing her down isn't an even an option which lets you wreak havoc on their back lines with your mobility and strong dps.
Late GameLate game Riven isn't as powerful just like all other AD bruisers because all of a sudden their team can actually kill you now. Their AD carry will hurt you and hurt you bad and you can be kited significantly. The way I play her so I can still carry as her is that I always flash onto their AD carry or their AP carry if he is significantly more fed than their AD. I will go completely kamikaze on that squishy, regardless of whether my GA is up or not, and take her down while usually distracting the rest of the enemy team long enough for the rest of my team to clean up.
Riven is exceptional at soloing dragons and split pushing at this point in the game as well. You can have 4 people supress the enemy team at their tower and solo dragon quickly so they can't baron or engage on your team. You can split push well because it is so dam hard to kill you and they can't just send 1 person to deal with you because you will win almost any 1v1.
The skill that seperates the good Rivens from the bad Rivens at this stage in the game is the ability to flash stun the maximum amount of squishies. Getting a full combo off on their AD and AP carry with a nicely timed flash is akin to a 5 man fiddle ult. It is game changing.
Try to stall fights in the end game until both your GA and flash are up. Flash makes you twice as powerful in any teamfight so take that into consideration before fighting. Keeping your bloodthirster filled can be difficult at this point in the game so that is why I do not always build a second bloodthirster and if I do it is usually because I got fed early on.
Important Skill Combos - Maximizing DPSThe Level 1 First Blood Combo
Works best with Dorans Blade start. Wait for them to go for a CS.
AA + Q + AA + Q + AA + Q + AA + AA + Flash AA Ignite
Notes: Position the third Q so it knocks them away from their turret and positions you in behind them. If you keep running ahead of them you will be able to land extra Auto Attacks. The flash is there for when they flash to their turret, flash with them for one extra auto attack and ignite if it means kill. I have made pro players flash away and/or die at level 1 to me using this combo. This is important to master.
The Maximum Damage Combo
This will do the maximum possible damage to a target. This combo maximizes damage and minimizes cooldowns.
R + Ignite + AA + Q + AA + W + AA + Q + AA + E + AA + Q + AA + R
Notes: Using the ignite early maximizes the damage your second cast of your ultimate will do. It may look complicated but just remember to alternate your skill usage. The reason for this is because your Q starts its cooldown on its first cast rather than third. The reason I don't go W - E which would truly minimize cooldowns and instead go W - Q - E is because you will lose your third cast of Q because Q will go on cooldown unless timed perfectly.
The End Game/Team Fight Combo
This isn't the most optimal combo but this lets her perform her anti carry role even in a team fight scenario. Also has maximum surprise factor and massive burst.
R + E + Flash + W + AA + Q + R + ...
Notes: This is an instant stun and you can do it from a large distance by gap closing with your E and flashing the moment after. Ult as many of the enemy team as you can, and flash on top as many of the enemy squishies you can. You save your Q casts for chasing their squishies after they flash/run away in most scenarios. Not the optimal dps, but the ultimate team fight combo.
Chasing low HP Enemy Combo
This is for catching that guy trying to run away.
Q + Q + E + Flash + Q + AA + W + AA + ...
You save the third Q knockback and flash on top of them so you can land it. You will then have time to land an auto attack and your stun, its a great combo that comes in handy.
The Catching Low HP Enemy as Backing Combo
R + Flash + R + Ignite
Notes: Not much explanation needed but I never see people do it enough so I decided to mention it. You can flash over wall and cast your ultimate and an ignite if needed and easily catch low hp backers. I perform this most often when roaming mid lane.
Jungle Riven?Jungle Riven is extremely powerful and very dynamic. It is a very strong pick in almost any situation and is extremely good at ganking and shutting down champions like mordekaiser.
Start Doran's Blade and use the 21/8/1 mastery setup.
Step 1Ask for a hard leash on blue, preferably so you can save smite. Taking little damage as possible is very important as you have no sustain except for your lifesteal.
Step 2AGank enemy mid. Your ganks are just slightly worse than alistar's at level 2; you are a very significant threat. Gank from behind their lane if you see they are pushing hard. Afterwards go wraiths to red as your smite will be up.
Step 2BSteal enemy red if they have a slow/weak jungler and then go to take top or continue counterjungling.
Step 2CDo wraiths, golems, then Red if you smited at blue. Otherwise do wraiths, red, golems.
Step 3Depending on your path taken/ganks, go back and buy either boots and dorans or just another dorans. Don't back and buy only boots unless forced to. It seems strange to buy another dorans before boots if you don't have the money for both but it is necessary for ganks and sustain.
From then on keep ganking; that is Riven's main strength in the jungle.
Countering RivenI held off on making this section but now that I don't play league as much as I used to so I feel it wouldn't be a bad idea to include this section. There are a few ways of negating her early-mid game strength.
Pick Teemo and Split Push
AD kennen works also unless you are against a top level Riven. The reason is that teemo not only keeps up with, if not comes ahead of, Riven in lane but he can also stay top lane and push indefinitely keeping Riven to stay top lane. Teemo also has the advantage of being extremely difficult to dive so while Teemo is top lane he can stay there unlike most other champs which Riven can harass down to a point that they have to leave or die. If you keep Riven top lane long enough then Riven's early-mid game strength isn't utilized so she will be much easier to deal with come late game.
Abuse Doran's Blade Matchups with Jungle Camp (Works most notably with Vlad)
If you camp Riven early game when she starts doran's blade in snowbally lane matchups then you force Riven into a disadvantage as long as she loses health. No sustain is the key weakness in my style of play when starting doran's and it can be abused. However dropping Riven to half health is usually not enough as she can sit at turret and recover unless it is some kind of ranged champion that can continue the harass at tower ie. why it works so well with vlad and kennen.
Unorthodox Item Choices
How to survive and eventually beat Riven in lane as vlad and kennen: build either tabi and one dorans shield or build normal boots and double dorans shield. A vladimir that builds pen boots double shield is extremely difficult to kill in lane, same with kennen but not to the same extent. I learned this trick when facing Salce's vladimir and kennen and it is very effective as it forces Riven into farm mode rather than kill mode.
Shen's ultimate and Soraka's wish both go a long way to shutting down Riven. They both make it significantly harder to kill your lane opponent and make it very hard to find an opportunity to dive. This can be said for most champs but it shuts down Riven moreso than others because she relies on snowballing.
High Armor with Burst Compositions
Ryze mid combined with soraka urgot bot lane and all of a sudden you have trouble killing stuff. This is more a teamwide response to Riven and would really only be seen in competitive play but the few times I have went up against these kind of compositions I have noticed that come late game I become useless as I can't really assassinate anyone. Note: This is only true if the tanky comp can still burst you down. If you go up against a tank comp but they can't actually burst you then you will carry; it is a fine balance.
http://www.twitch.tv/national_esl1/b/315117372 - Putting stereotypes to rest. High level tournament game verse a Renekton game, very good watch for Riven players. 5:40 onward.
Riven Versus Irelia (v8 TreeEskimo) http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/315253/
Notes: A very solid look at how to win the irelia lane using the dorans blade start. In this tournament game i 2-0 him in lane, both 1v1 fights.
Riven Versus Vlad (Salce) http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/315252/
Notes: Laning mid versus Salce's legendary Vlad. I only go 1-1 with him due to him being very good and smart with his item choices, but this is a prime example of top level play.
Riven Versus Olaf (TeddyRo) http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/315250/
Notes: Fell behind slightly due to an enemy gank but comeback for the flash dive for the win.
Riven Versus Kennen http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/276203/
Notes: A solid lane win verse a Kennen. I pull it extremely close but come out ahead and dominate the lane 2-0.
Riven Versus Nidalee (Replay below is better) http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/265355/
Notes: Early gank into lane domination.
Riven Versus Nidalee (YoYac) http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/321896/
Notes: Starting the lane with a gank into a 1-0 lead but jungler feeds it into an even 1-1 lane. I highly recommend watching this replay if you truly want to learn Riven. I won't spoil it but I win the laning phase in an incredible fashion and the replay also shows how to play Riven to her potential in teamfights although I admittedly miss a few stuns. 54 Minute game and very close although I won't spoil who wins it. Excuse my raging because Rincent made me pretty angry that game.
Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: Why don't you run Rincent masteries which also takes Indomitable for every mastery setup?
- A: The style of Riven I play is markedly different than how not only most people play Riven, but also how most people play top lane itself. This is due to Riven's remarkable ability to CS under turret while at the same time being able to take minimal damage from enemy harass due to her shield. This is why I let almost all top lane champs now push the lane until at least level 3 and therefore will be actually taking 0 minion damage as I don't draw their aggro, and this is the time during laning where hp regen matters most. It may be beneficial to take them depending on how you play Riven but in my case it is not. I take improved minion resistance as it is beneficial in a full engage and there is nothing else worthwhile to put the points into. I do not take Indomitable for the above reasons combined with the fact that you are giving up Executioner in the offensive tree.
Q: Why don't you play Riven like XXX (TopSoloOnly/Westrice/SilSol)?
- A: I have tried their ways of playing Riven and they are significantly different both in their approach and choices. However, the style of playing her I developed is, in my opinion, the best suited to winning your lane and game. Playing their styles focuses more on other variables such as fending off jungle ganks and roaming to rack up an advantage. My style focuses on flat out winning the lane 1v1, and in the safest manner possible so as to reduce the amount of unknowns as much as possible. This also lets me, for example, carry nearly every game at anything below 2k Elo as I rely less and less on luck and teammates. Continuing to hardcarry is dependent on raw skill and I'm continuing to refine my way of playing her.
Q: Why don't you have XXX matchup?
- A: Because I can't flat out answer every matchup. I mean I could, but if it isn't listed than there is a good chance I didn't feel it important enough to list for various reasons such as it being an uncommon pick or just a rather simple lane (not meaning easy, just meaning skill dependent.) Or more likely I'm lazy or haven't played up against the champion to have a definitive opinion.
Q: Can I add you?
- A: I used to accept friend requests and answer questions and have met a few good people that way however from now on I will not accept random friend requests as it does get time consuming.
Q: I saw a game you didn't do well as Riven, what happened?
- A: I can't play every game perfectly and no matter how much I have refined my play i still make mistakes from time to time. Not only that but sometimes jungle ganks can really screw a lane, even when not dieing just due to the damage taken and CS missed. AKA Don't worry about it, it does not affect the quality of this guide.
Q: Are you going to add XXX or go into more detail about XXX?
- A: Depends on what we are talking about but there will always be some little detail I could add. Please leave suggestions in the comments, I do read every comment.
Q: This guide is awesome you rock.
- A: No you rock.
Is Riven Overpowered?Assuming two opponents of equal skill.
In lower level play, no.
In average play, borderline.
In the highest level of play, yes.
In tournament play, no.
These are my observations after a massive amount of games with Riven and from fellow posts/streams/friends. This may seem very contradictory; why would her relative power scale so strangely?
In lower level of play she is strong... But people haven't mastered her. She can be countered by traditional techniques and nontraditional, and mistakes made by each player define the way the lane will play out moreso than any other factor. In this level of play she is countered by ranged champions as people traditionally have weak or no understanding of lane control at this level.
In middle level play she becomes noticeably stronger as people begin to understand lane control and start using techniques such as roaming and split pushing correctly and effectively. Usually the player will have a good grasp of her strengths and limits but will still make mistakes leading to unnecessary deaths and missed opportunities. I say she is borderline overpowered at this stage of play because people usually don't know how to deal with her once she is fed and this is where she gets the term hyper carry which is tossed around incorrectly to describe her.
In the top levels of play, Riven becomes more of an issue due to her kit. I love her to death but her skill ceiling is high enough that as you keep improving with her you become more powerful in comparison to other champions with a significantly smaller skill ceiling. At this level of play people will have mastery over lane control and a complete understanding of other champions which actually makes it so Riven cannot be feasibly countered in lane. Although people know how to deal with her better once she gets fed, masters of playing her will manage to just snowball the game from that point on so that being able to deal with her later game doesn't matter when there is no late game. Jungle ganks are performed better at this elo as well so she can still be stopped, but even so it is extremely difficult to shut her down due to her mobility.
In competitive play she is not overpowered because teams can be built around stopping her. Team comp dedicated to kite and poke and etc can go a long way to shutting her early and mid game strength down which leaves her easy to deal with come late game. Also there are certain ways to make sure that she is shut down, some of which I have detailed already. But even so, Riven is still a strong pick in competitive play if people truly take the time to really master her rather than become a jack of all trades at their role.
Remember, Riven is only as good as the person playing her!
- Guide Published and Released.
- Guide Approved and Featured!
- Updated Item Build for better clarification
- Olaf Matchup
- Akali Matchup
- Nasus Matchup
- New section on maximizing DPS.
- 4 New Replays (Irelia/Vlad/Kennen/Olaf)
- 1 New Replay (Nid)
- Poppy Matchup
- Corki Matchup
- Graves Matchup
- Vayne Matchup
- New Section on Advanced Laning Mechanics
- Updated Item Builds to account for new item, Maw of Malmortius
- Updated Info on Dorans Start
- Singed Matchup
- Various Typos Fixed
- New Section on Jungling.
- Added first tutorial video! Versus a Kennen.
- Added names in print next to matchup to find quicker and easier.
- Added new section in Advanced Laning Mechanics on when to take the turret.
- Talon Matchup
- Jax Matchup
- Fiora Matchup
- Morde Matchup
- Added tournament, casted VOD versus renekton
- Added FAQ Section
- Updated Item builds heavily to account for Randuin's Omen.
- Improved various parts of the guide for aesthetics.
- Added note about running full AD runepage versus some matchups in runes section.
- Added some notes to Final Thoughts section.
- Riven Montage!
- Ranked every lane in difficulty
- Kayle Matchup
- Jarvan Matchup
- New Chapter- The State of Riven and Advanced League Concepts
- Changed information on brutalizer
- Darius Matchup
- Changed Mastery Recommendation, see Mastery Section for more detail.
- Changed/Edited State of Riven Chapter to Is Riven Overpowered?
- New Section: Countering Riven
- Added note on Fiora matchup
- Edited various stuff
- Updated with Mid Riven
- Updated Jungle Riven
- Changed/Edited various stuff
- Changed title back
- Updated masteries
- Updated Skill Order section to account for my choice of maxing W over Q.
- Updated Difficulty rankings as well as information on various champions.
- Fixed many grammatical errors, formatting issues, dated information, etc.
- New Chapter - Advanced Riven-Specific Techniques
- Diana Matchup
- New Riven Technique Animation Cancelling
- Updated Item Build with Bilgewater Cutlass
- Updated Kat Matchup
- New Chapter - Roaming as Riven
- New Chapter - Messed up? Coming Back Into The Game
- Jayce Matchup
Final ThoughtsEdit: Can't believe this guide has reached over 500,000 views now. That is insane, and even going 15 days without an update it managed to remain the 7th most popular guide on Solomid, significantly higher than Westrice's. Really am amazed, never though a little side project like this would blow up into something of this length. I remember asking some friends before making this guide if I should even bother with it as it probably would never get as many views as Westrice's due to his sheer popularity. They said if you wanted to make it, make it for you and not the viewers. I think I have incorporated that advice and it is incredible just seeing the amount of information I've built up. It is even more surprising to see this guide so well recieved and of high such status now. I can't even say how many times now I have had someone thank me on my Riven guide, in both very high Elo and the normals I just play for fun. Really is incredible.
Edit2: 900,000 views and was the 2nd most popular guide on solomid... Did not expect that when making this guide. At 1,000,000 views I think I will divulge the rest of my secrets on Riven and create a real section on mid lane Riven which many of you saw during my montage. So basically expect a huge update for the million views mark.
Edit3: At the time of writing this the guide is slightly over 1,680,000 views and 3rd most popular guide despite a 79 day update hiatus. In the meantime the guide has reached #1 in popularity at various different times and I have had countless people recognize and thank me. Hopefully this guide has lived up to its audacious title.
Riven has truly made me enjoy my time playing League of Legends. Never have I seen such a dynamic and powerful champion. I now play her around 85% of my ranked games since I picked her up and would like to think I'm becoming known in the 2k+ elo range for my Riven play. I decided to make this guide to help people learn how to play my favorite champion the way I have learned her though much trial and error. 20,000+ words later, I hope that this guide can help you all learn to enjoy the champion I'm glad to call my main. I will try my best to answer any questions left in the comments and plan to keep this guide updated. Thanks for reading.