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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Gameplay

By Ryan 'Morello' Scott [1]

Greetings Summoners!

With Riven on the horizon, I wanted to take a few minutes and give you all a sneak peek into some of her gameplay and mechanics.

Riven Riven is a flow-based fighter who performs aggressive combo attacks to decimate her opponents. This often involves her stepping forward into her sword swings to chase down cowardly enemies who might try to escape or utilize their ranged attacks to avoid direct combat. This highly mobile fighting style makes her a really aggressive, Runic Blade.png momentum-based character.

Her signature ability is Broken Wings.png Broken Wings, a 3-part combo slash that causes her to step forward and slash nearby enemies. On her 3rd hit, Broken Wings.png Broken Wings unleashes a nova, knocking nearby enemies back. While performing the three-hit Broken Wings.png Broken Wings combo is powerful in its own right, more veteran Riven players will find great opportunities to mix in her Ki Burst.png Ki Burst to deliver a short stun (for her to follow up with more devastation) or move into an even better position with Valor.png Valor.

Her ultimate, Blade of the Exile.png Blade of the Exile, allows her to reform her broken sword, restoring her former power and allowing her to activate Wind Slash.png Wind Slash, a powerful shockwave that slices the air itself to cut down enemies that are out of reach.

We're excited about Riven because she draws some heavy inspiration from fighting games, utilizing combos that can be interspersed with other abilities to change timing and effect as needed. This flow and feel is something we feel will appeal highly to aggressive players who want to make split-second decisions on when to deal damage and when to sacrifice damage in favor of additional utility effects.

Champion Spotlight
Riven Champion Spotlight06:45

Riven Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items
Summoner's Rift
Starting Item
Consumables Item
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting Item
Consumables Item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Item
Consumables Item
Twisted Treeline (Jungler)
Starting Item
Consumables Item
Howling Abyss
Starting Item
Consumables Item

Tips

Playing As Riven Riven
  • Riven's Broken Wings.png Broken Wings locks onto the champion your cursor is over at the time of cast. If you want to move past your opponent, make sure that your cursor is past your opponent as well.
  • Riven lacks a source of healing or strong defense and must compensate with burst combos. Lead into fights with Broken Wings.png Broken Wings and Ki Burst.png Ki Burst, while using Valor.png Valor to escape and absorb counter-harass.
Playing Against Riven Riven
  • Riven has a great deal of mobility but she cannot move very far with any one skill. Rooting or silencing her during her combo will greatly reduce her effectiveness.
  • All of Riven's damage is physical, prioritize high armor if an opposing Riven gets out of control.
  • Riven excels at dueling multiple melee attackers at once, as she will be on an almost equal footing damage-wise. If pairing up against Riven, don't go in as double melee until she has expended her full combo.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • Autoattacking in between each Broken Wings.png Broken Wings allows for the most sustained damage as you consume Runic Blade.png Runic Blade stacks to deal extra damage
    • Since Broken Wings.png Broken Wings produces three Runic Blade.png Runic Blade charges, which is exactly the number that it can store, you may wish to complete it to initiate a fight with her Airborne icon knockup, following up with autoattacks and her other skills.
    • It is a good idea to learn how to autoattack cancel with Riven Riven. This can be done by using any of her abilities immediately as the damage is applied during an autoattack. Because Riven Riven's autoattack animation is longer than the time it takes for the damage to actually register, doing this can cut off more than a second with a combo such as Broken Wings.png Q > Runic Blade.png AA > Broken Wings.png Q >Runic Blade.png AA > Broken Wings.png Q > Runic Blade.png AA.
    • You must apply a new attack command in between each Broken Wings.png Broken Wings to obtain the quickest damage possible.
      • The best way to go about this is by autoattacking, immediately pressing Broken Wings.png Q when the damage of the autoattack is dealt, while hovering over the target. As the animation of the Broken Wings.png Q is playing, order Riven Riven to move anywhere beside the target and immediately right click the target again. Both of these clicks should happen before the animation of Broken Wings.png Q is finished. This will allow both the animation of the Broken Wings.png Q and of the autoattack to be cancelled and will significantly increase your burst speed once mastered.
  • Some combinations of abilities allow for better speed. For example, any cast of Broken Wings.png Broken Wings can be used while the animation of Wind Slash.png Wind Slash is still running. The fastest way to burst down a squishy target, if you can do it without additional autoattacks, is Valor.png E > Blade of the Exile.png R > Ravenous Hydra item.png Crescent > Ki Burst.png W > Broken Wings.png Q > Wind Slash.png R > Broken Wings.png Q > Broken Wings.png Q. Every ability in this combo will cancel the animation of the ability before it, except for the 2nd Wind Slash.png R and the 3rd Broken Wings.png Q.
  • Blade of the Exile.png Blade of the Exile lasts for 15 seconds so use it at the start of the fight instead of at the end.
  • Using Broken Wings.png Broken Wings in conjunction with Valor.png Valor will give you small boosts of mobility as they move you forwards a bit. This is a very efficient way to move around the map, as your moves cost nothing. Broken Wings.png Broken Wings, however, allows you to click on the mini-map and use it to continue moving, while Valor.png Valor will cancel your move actions.
    • Beware using abilities right before a skirmish, as your abilities will be on cooldown and thus be unavailable for the fight.
  • Broken Wings.png Broken Wings can also allow you to chase an enemy so that you can Airborne icon knock them up.
  • Remember that Broken Wings.png Broken Wings and Valor.png Valor give you some mobility boosts for fleeing, but only the 3rd strike of Broken Wings.png Broken Wings can pass map terrain. You can, however, dash with all of them through terrain generated by abilities like Crystallize.png Crystallize, Cataclysm.png Cataclysm, or Pillar of Ice.png Pillar of Ice.
    • Make sure you test what map terrain is jumpable over, an example being: the walls separating the river and the jungle in Summoner's Rift.
  • Be aware that Wind Slash.png Wind Slash has a cast time and a travel time as well, so you shouldn't waste it on enemies who are just about to leave its range. Try using smartcast to save precious seconds in aiming the ability.
  • Wind Slash.png Wind Slash deals maximum damage to multiple opponents at or below 25% maximum health, therefore use Wind Slash.png Wind Slash to finish off enemies who are fleeing or deciding to stay despite low health.
  • Riven Riven is an all-around strong champion in top solo lane due to her ability to avoid ganks with her mobility, her manaless costs, and her instant cast Valor.png shield. Play aggressively and use Valor.png Valor to shield your way through harass.
  • Broken Wings.png Broken Wings resets her autoattacks on each cast and it is useful to cut off its animations (tested under attack speed slows).
  • Broken Wings.png Broken Wings' dash speed is roughly equivalent to 475 movement speed. At 550 movement speed, however, simply moving is faster than using Broken Wings.png Broken Wings as a method of faster travel.
  • Ki Burst.png Ki Burst can be used to cancel the animations of both of both Riven Riven's autoattacks and Ravenous Hydra item.png Ravenous Hydra's Crescent active, however Ki Burst.png Ki Burst's own animation cannot be cancelled. If you like playing risky though, you can use Ki Burst.png Ki Burst during your Valor.png Valor animation, as it removes Ki Burst.png Ki Burst's animation. Because of the movement however (and that's the risky part), you may not use your stun in the area you would like. Make sure you don't waste the crowd control just because you wanted to spare out one animation.
  • Riven may cancel the animation of Wind Slash.png Wind Slash with Broken Wings.png Broken Wings' 3rd cast. Use this to speed up your combo. 
  • Don't use Wind Slash.png Wind Slash right away if the target is no longer Stun icon stunned or Airborne icon knocked up, because you risk missing them if they Flash.png Flash away or simply dodge it. As the range is quite long and shaped like a cone, it's easiest to hit when the enemy is not right next to you, so it may be wise to hold on to it until they try to escape.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Riven Riven's entire kit benefits from AD and bonus AD. Building heavy attack damage items will not only help maximize her damage, but also increase her survivability through Valor.png Valor's AD scaling shield.
  • Riven Riven benefits heavily from cooldown reduction as will allow her to use all her abilities more frequently. However, at later levels, Riven Riven is likely to have at least one of her abilities available for use even without cooldown reduction, due to preferring to take her time to autoattack between casts of Broken Wings.png Broken Wings and the cooldown starting even if you delay the next two casts of it, which make cooldown reduction less needed then.
  • Having a way to Slow icon slow the enemy or speed yourself up is mandatory on Riven Riven.
    • However, Riven Riven is very good at dealing damage while chasing as Broken Wings.png Broken Wings moves Riven Riven forward both doing damage and giving her an opportunity to get in basic attacks without losing too much distance. The dash distance is unaffected by Riven Riven's movement speed, so building movement speed items are not as important on Riven Riven as on most other melee champions.
    • A Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet is good for this, since you will be using auto attacks in between abilities to maximize Runic Blade.png Runic Blade (none of your abilities will otherwise proc the slow). It also gives you health, which is a must, since Riven Riven is squishy when Stun icon stunned, Root icon rooted, Blind icon blinded, or otherwise prevented from auto attacking or using her Valor.png E or her Broken Wings.png Q to escape and/or shield.
    • Randuin&#039;s Omen item.png Randuin's Omen works very well on Riven Riven as while she may have four ways to dash, they are all short-ranged and Broken Wings.png Broken Wings loses damage if used fairly far-away from the enemy, and she is still a melee champion that can be damaged by ranged champions without reprisal until she gets close enough. Valor.png Valor can move Riven Riven close enough to a target to slow them with Randuin&#039;s Omen item.png Randuin's Omen and then walk close enough to have casting Broken Wings.png Broken Wings move her into melee-range while damaging the target.
  • Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel is an excellent one-stop defensive item, and its passive as well both armor and magic resistance can tide Riven Riven for a good while before she may require other defensive items.
  • Maw of Malmortius item.png Maw of Malmortius is sensible for Riven Riven if she is fearing magic damage - the attack damage is obviously useful on her while the shield and passive works well with Valor.png Valor and the life steal from The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster in helping you survive a bit longer in a close-fight.
  • Riven Riven does only physical damage, so a Last Whisper item.png Last Whisper is a good item to counter the armor that should be built against you.
  • Riven Riven is a fairly squishy champion. Grabbing Doran&#039;s Shield item.png Doran's Shield, Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor, or Boots of Speed item.png Boots of Speed and a few Health Potion item.png Health Potions into a match will help your survivability early on. Later these can be built into Ninja Tabi item.png Ninja Tabi or a defensive item.
  • Riven Riven's damage output is severely hampered by crowd control since it will disrupt your flurry. Consider taking Mercury&#039;s Treads item.png Mercury's Treads over Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity and getting Mercurial Scimitar item.png Mercurial Scimitar against crowd control heavy teams.
  • Youmuu&#039;s Ghostblade item.png Youmuu's Ghostblade should be used after the 2nd hit of Broken Wings.png Broken Wings or during the last frame of animation of the Broken Wings.png 3rd strike to maximize the effective time of the active.
  • Stacking Doran&#039;s Blade item.png Doran's Blades early game provides the most cost efficient combination of sustain (though life steal), health, and AD.
  • Riven is great for Twisted Treeline. Her strong early game and mobility with abilities help her to dominate top lane, as well as give her great ganking ability. She also performs very well in the jungle. After netting a couple of kills early, you should be able to snowball pretty hard.
Countering
  • Riven Riven has a strong early game. Be careful when laning against her. If necessary, call your jungler to gank.
  • Riven Riven excels at trading with her Valor.png shield, crowd control, and fairly high damage output, dishing out her damage and getting away before you even put yours out.
  • In lane, when Riven Riven uses her abilities against your minions rather than yourself, she becomes vulnerable. She'll lack the damage and escape mechanisms that they provide while on cooldown, enabling you to briefly play aggressive. This is usually only advisable when she uses Broken Wings.png Broken Wings against minions, since it's her main damage source and escape ability. Of course, the more abilities she has on cooldown, the better. Take advantage of these situations as much as possible before she gets any cooldown reduction items, as her abilities have high cooldowns at low ranks.
  • Building armor will mitigate most of Riven Riven's damage since she deals only physical damage.
  • Riven Riven relies on her abilities and quick combos more than her basic attacks. As such, anything that can disrupt her combo (such as a Silence icon silence, a Stun icon stun, or even a Blind icon blind) can drastically reduce her damage output.
    • Champions with multiple interruptions, such as Alistar Alistar, can work well as effective counters for her in a 1v1 lane.
  • Wait for Riven Riven to use Wind Slash.png Wind Slash or until after Blade of the Exile.png Blade of the Exile has worn off before striking her. Riven Riven has no innate sustain and the shield is her only source of damage mitigation.
  • Do not underestimate Riven Riven's defensive stats, even if she is building straight damage. Valor.png Valor scales off her bonus attack damage and has a considerably low cooldown late game.
  • Don't forget about her mobility and overextend when chasing Riven Riven. Her Broken Wings.png Broken Wings allows her to dash up to 3 times, and her Valor.png Valor allows her to dash and grants her a shield. This can create a very long gap between you and Riven Riven.
  • Save your high-damaging channeled spell (e.g.Nunu Nunu's Absolute Zero.png Absolute Zero) as Riven Riven's 3rd Broken Wings.png Broken Wings and Ki Burst.png Ki Burst can interrupt channeled spells.
  • When you are low on health, do not face Riven Riven as her Wind Slash.png Wind Slash deals more damage the lower your health is. If you're still squishy and you know she has acquired her ultimate, do not linger around with below 25% health even to turret hug, as she can, and will, flank around to kill you with Wind Slash.png Wind Slash.
  • Avoid towerdiving a Riven Riven, as her kit and mobility excels at countering any attempts to kill her under tower. For example, with Ki Burst.png Ki Burst, she can Stun icon stun you, making you take even more damage from the tower.
  • Riven Riven tends to snowball out of control after a kill or two. Hence try to avoid dying to her even if it means losing a few CS.
  • Valor.png Valor has a short cooldown after she has maxed it out or has obtained several cooldown reduction items. This allows her to outplay unsuspecting opponents easily.

References

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