May 15, 2015

FOTM Report: Riven

Always a popular pick, Riven's seen more usage and success than normal these last few patches. Despite receiving nothing but nerfs since Season 4, Riven's greatest weaknesses in solo queue have been eliminated by the shifting meta and nerfs on other champions.


Always a popular pick, Riven's seen more usage and success than normal these last few patches. Despite receiving nothing but nerfs since Season 4, Riven's greatest weaknesses in solo queue have been eliminated by the shifting meta and nerfs on other champions.

Riven's Strengths

An extremely powerful duelist from early to midgame through her auto attack resetting skills and strong mobility, Riven has always been a strong lane bully. She trades excellently throughout the game, and scales defensively by simply building pure damage and CDR.

Late game, her sustained damage with Hydra allows her to easily survive through smaller skirmishes to clean up, and crushes towers in split pushes/post aces as a naturally high damage-based champion.

Riven's Weaknesses

In solo queue, Riven's major weakness is generally the skillcap and knowledge required to be the first engager on a team, as she's fairly squishy if the enemy team manages to CC and kill her before she can put out her burst damage.

In higher Elos, most Rivens rely on using a combination of flash and her gap closers to burst enemies down before they have time to escape or react. However, for most divisions Riven player mechanics aren't high enough to do this consistently without counterplay.

The Jungle Cinderhulk Meta

Despite receiving no buffs lately, Riven did gain one very specific, very strong benefit from the last few patches: the shift to the Jungle Cinderhulk meta.

The Cinderhulk meta means that there's a strong return of tanky "support" type junglers. These junglers generally pack a large amount of CC and bulk, including champions like Sejuani, Amumu, Nautilus, and Maokai. 

With champions like these almost guaranteed on the team, Riven players have a much easier time playing Riven into almost any team composition, since the team will already have a strong front line and CC to be used for consistent initiation and peel.

The Smite + TP Meta + General Top Laners

This meta shift may actually have had an even stronger benefit to Riven's top lane performance than the presence of strong tanky junglers back on the rift.

Riven naturally crushes early game and relies on Flash to close the gap and take down enemies before they can get away. However, with many top laners not running flash, it's beyond easy for Riven players to go all in between levels 1 and 3 and guarantee a kill. They don't even need to wait for the enemy flash to be down since well...the enemy doesn't have one. 

Even better, enemies will TP back to lane so Riven can pick up another kill faster than usual, as shown by Shyvana's impressive 39.2% win rate and Dr. Mundo's slightly less impressive 40.9% win rate against Riven.


Since the latest patch's changes to Cinderhulk, I guess we'll see whether the top lane match-ups or the jungler presence has had a bigger impact to Riven's success as of late. 

What do you guys think? Are there other factors for Riven's success? Comment below!

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  1. Ben HaertelMay 15, 2015

    It doesn't matter how much the meta shifts "buff" Riven, low-elo Riven players will still be terribad enough to lose teams games.

    It's preposterous how many players in low elos have no idea how to build a Champion which has basically the same build every game (CDR boots --> Hydra --> Brutalizer/Black Cleaver --> Last Whisper --> Defense)... I've seen everything from full AD riven to Crit Chance Riven down here >_>

  2. I remember a game in which top lane had a Triforce Renekton against a Hextech Gunblade Riven... Apparently he wanted the Spellvamp on his Q.... The Renekton built into static shiv and beserker greaves and the Riven next went mobi boots and black cleaver.... At least BC isn't totally retarded on Riven. Bronzes do the darndest things

  3. Just as terribad players can lose games alone, good players can win games alone. If you are in silver/bronze, and doing well in every game but not winning, then you aren't much better (if at all) than the elo in which you currently reside. Play the champs you do well with, and if you are better than your elo you will advance. Slowly. Very slowly. If you are much better than your elo you will skyrocket to something much closer to what you should be. Either way just keep on the grind and play champs you do well with and you will advance through "elo-hell". I've done it multiple times. Good luck!

  4. Brooklyn BennetMay 15, 2015

    Rivens abilities do not reset her AAs, they cancel their animations.

  5. Daniel KasmanMay 15, 2015

    Accomplishes the same thing so...

  6. Shuvo SahaMay 16, 2015

    No resets but makes them faster. Compared to a riven just standing and autoing a riven using her spells to animation cancel effectively doubles her attack speed. Which is why early game she wrecks. Oh you got two autoes on me? I got 3 qs and 3 autos on you.

  7. Steven NadlerMay 16, 2015

    Better nerf Irelia.

  8. disisdeathwingMay 16, 2015

    ssj, you should definitely consider doing an article on map pressure and objective control.
    these thing can win you the game even if your team is feding.

  9. disisdeathwingMay 16, 2015

    to people having trouble with riven, my advice would be simple to you.
    DON'T DIE, yup, its that simple, i mean easier said than done, but hey, what u expect?
    the single most important thing to beat riven is never push, unless ahead, or you're dead if she is any good.
    also try to bait out her skill just so she pushes the lane, even if you lose flash in the process, its better than feeding riven.

  10. disisdeathwingMay 16, 2015

    those two auto are from tiger udyr...
    wut now m8?

  11. Steven NadlerMay 16, 2015

    Don't forget, if a Riven is pushing into you, and you and she have a definitive idea that you can't kill each other, be aware the riven roaming to mid, from top, can be devastating to your team overall. Be sure to ward out the river, take scuttle crab whenever you can leave lane without falling behind to Riven and be sure to call out MIAs, a Riven player in Diamond or higher elo generally takes TP and Flash summoner spells.

  12. disisdeathwingMay 16, 2015

    implying anyone doesnt take tp.
    but ignite does give u more kill potential.
    and if the mid laner cant notice that i pinged 3000000 times top is missing, well than.
    if she is not in lane and not killing anyone, she is losing xp and gold, so its not good against anyone with good map awareness.
    but yoloqueue.

  13. We got a quote in my country

    "Its by forging that you will become a Blacksmith" i think Elo doesn't determine if you will be good or bad but more if you start playing Riven with no anterior experience then your mates gonna have a hard 80-90% case scenario!

  14. Eowyld .May 17, 2015

    Personnally i alaways take full damage item with riven, and i wreck them all. I am Gold 4 and i always do this build path :
    Brutalizer-->Tiamat->Hexdringer/Chain Vest (I skip this if fed)-->New Black Cleaver (op) -->Last Whisper/Hydra-->Hydra/Last Whisper-->Guardian Angel-->Youmuu-->Randuin/Malmortius/Banshee
    Freelo with this build. No need boots. Whit CDR runes and mastery you'll have 40% CDR, E every 3 sec and Q every 5 sec

  15. koolaidfromthehoodMay 17, 2015

    better nerf kassadin

  16. Romao SabandarMay 18, 2015

    You lost me at TF Renek xD

  17. 謝君揚May 18, 2015

    to not die, you do need to sacrifice cs, and when the mid game teamfights come you will probably deal less damage than her if she's skilled.
    Playing aggressive is still the way to go in solo queue, if you're having trouble with riven, just keep on losing to her until you learn how to beat her. This doesn't mean playing with a hot head, rather keeping a calm mindset and coldly punish the riven for her mistakes whenever you see one. You'll never get yourself anywhere if you only turtle everytime you see her!

  18. Romao SabandarMay 18, 2015

    Well my favourite counters for Riven are Darius & Jax.
    Both for obvious reasons:

    They are bruisers who are perfect vs. Riven in TF's. They built armour and can dish enough damage to kill her. With Darius you will have a fairly easy lane while if you play Jax you will outscale her hard.

    Most important thing vs. Riven players is to keep very good track of their leveling and build paths, and adjust your own build paths of course.

  19. FOTM RIVEN. H4H4H4H4H4H4H4. You can outrun/dodge her ult now.

  20. Ricky T.May 18, 2015

    Better nerf urgot

  21. Calvin OleskoMay 19, 2015

    nah riven allways crushes jax in early/mid game darius is strong early but riven fuck him later but an fking counter to riven is pantheon hes just aids

  22. "Trust me, it's good" he said... 3/12/8, said his score -_-

  23. VivroMoriMay 28, 2015

    Nah, Panth can't follow up on his abilities, max E on Riven and you'll destroy him the minute you hit 6.

  24. Riven mainJune 18, 2015

    No one outruns riven

  25. melee range yasuo late windwall says hello also every dash skill ever

  26. jbrinkmeyerJune 24, 2015

    I'm confused - since the most recent nerfs I've really struggled as a riven main. I typically win 60% of my games with the highest cs on the team and a decent kda of 4+. But lately I feel like I can't win a matchup vs Cho/Irelia/Garen/Panth/Renekton/GP. Most of these champs just regen so much higher than Riven, even if you win trade you lose.

    I don't get what I changed to start struggling so much since the recent nerfs, unless it is just the fact that broken champs like Cho remain untouched while Riven is continually nerfed based on her season 3 success.

  27. jbrinkmeyerJune 24, 2015

    It may also just be that I moved up to Silver 5 and my teammates are significantly worst players than they were throughout bronze (on average). Silver 5 is a bad place to be.

  28. yup, i saw that at diamond-master elo in NA. Riven almost finishes yasuo, throwing ult to finish him off. Ult is about to claim it's victim... NOPE, he pressed w! And now riven is need to flash(if available) or try to reach dashing out yasuo to get him.

  29. EzWinKappaJuly 09, 2015

    The reason between losing vs Cho/Irelia/Garen/Panth/Renekton/GP is that they are all your counters, GP not as much, but still you will always have an extremely hard time against them all.
    P.S. I'm a riven main as well. :P


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