Quick introduction to the guide
Yo whats up everyone! I'm making this guide to go more in-depth on my thoughts on the item options that are good for Riven. With the removal of mythics and so many new items being introduced it can all be a bit overwhelming, as it certainly was for me. I am still actively testing and the first conclusion I have is that Items are simply way more situational than before. This makes finding a "standard build" a bit more complicated but I will take you through all my thoughts to make the best choices given your matchups + teamcomp.
After testing quite a bit, I also want to say at the beginning of the guide that I firmly believe that Bruiser Riven is the best and most consistent. I believe that you shouldn't play Assasin / Full Lethality Riven in 95% of scenarios and therefore this guide is centered around Bruiser Riven.
The whole idea of this guide is centered around the introduction of season 14 items and learning when to build what. Nothing has changed for starting items, so I will not be going in-depth on them here. Check the guide below the page if you struggle with that. To sum it up: Dorans shield is still the best vs ranged champions, and either longsword with 3 potions or Dorans blade first depending on the matchup and playstyle preference. So with that being said, let's figure out what items we want to build!
Runes for Bruiser Riven
This is the standard runepage for Bruiser riven and it is optimal in almost any game that you play.
I believe that these items are some of the most versatile and best options that Riven currently has. The order in which the items are bought is mainly dependant on matchup and what champions are strong in the game, but we will go in-depth to understand when to buy what. There currently isn't an "optimal build for every game" as we're playing league of legends so we have to learn to adapt to different scenarios so let's first take a look at the First item in the game.
First item options
Eclipse is currently one of the best starting items for Riven and I'll explain when and why to take it, let's first talk about why this item is so good for Riven.
- Eclipse has an amazing buildpath of caulfields + pickaxe + longsword which is just raw damage and exactly what Riven needs
- Both the passives you get on completion really compliment Riven well. You get a shield after 2 attacks/spells hit, and you get a %damage passive. On top of that
- It only costs 2800 total making it very accessible early and allowing you to snowball.
- 75 AD is really high for an item this cheap
- The main downside of Eclipse is that you're playing on your base HP making you very squishy. This makes it so you can't start this item vs every champion.
- No sustain
- Some examples where I would never rush this against: Urgot, Garen, Pantheon, Jax etc. All of these champions will destroy you if you rush this. However, if you hard snowball from early you can always still consider it.
Talking about individual items and understanding them better
Now that we know what 1st item options look like I want to walk you guys through my thoughts on all the other viable item options for Riven. League of legends is a game of adapting so I'll be explaining the strengths & weaknesses of all items so you understand when to build said item or avoid it. On top of that, I will also explain in what slot I will usually get the item.
Deaths dance is an amazing item for Riven, and I will usually get it as my third item vs heavy AD threat. In most of my games my first 2 items will be heavy damage centered like Eclipse + Sundered sky. Deaths dance really compliments Rivens playstyle very well. Let me explain how this item works exactly:
The passive you get upon finishing Deaths Dance is called "Ignore Pain". When you take any damage you will only recieve 70% of the damage instantly and 30% of the damage overtime. This overtime damage that you recieve can be healed or shielded, so you can see why this is so good for a champion like Riven, it basically makes you very tanky. Then, if you get an assist or takedown on a champion, all the damage that was stacked up from that 30% damage will be cleansed and you will heal from a portion of it. The buildpath is amazing and the stats are great too, providing you with 15 haste, 55 AD and 40 armor.
So when do I build Deaths dance? In games where my opponents are AD heavy champions without TRUE Damage. This is because True damage ignores the passive of Deaths dance, and instead of recieving 70% instantly and 30% overtime, you will just recieve 100% of the damage. So Deaths dance isn't the best versus champions like Vayne/Camille/Fiora etc, but it is amazing against champions like Hecarim, Aatrox, Ezreal etc.
Full build examples
Now that I've explained the criteria and thought process behind the items that I build, I want to take you guys through some of my recent games and showcase the different decisions I make based on draft and explain it with a visual example. There will be 1 game vs Standard draft, 1 vs Tank and 1 vs ranged.
Explanation to the pictures above with builds
This game is an amazing example to showcase my preferred bruiser build, also one of the easiest comps to carry against. I was winning late pretty hard so I opted for Eclipse -> Sundered sky as this is the combo that currently feels the best. After that, their topside consisted of Wukong + Aatrox which are both AD damage without True damage, meaning deaths dance is an amazing purchase to deal with those two champions. They were also both quite strong in the game, so I opted for Deaths dance first over MAW, as I also had to play sidelane against Aatrox mostly.
But as you can see, during my buildpath to Deaths dance I sneaked in a null magic mantle just to make myself a tad more durable versus their botside AP damage, and finishd that into a MAW. Wukong and Aatrox had quite a lot of armor towards the end of the game so I opted for Cleaver to finish my build instead of Jaksho. Other option could have been Guardian angle.
This game I laned versus a ranged top and so I opted for Hydra rush for the sustain and waveclear. If you look at the rest of the enemy draft, they don't really have any CC or hard engage, which also makes it safe for me to go for Hydra as I get to choose the fights I take in a game like this. These 2 factors were my main reason to opt for Hydra this game. After Hydra, I went for sundered sky for more healing during combat and for the crit as nobody in enemy team was building armor so I did not need any extra damage, the flat stats from Sundered sky were perfect. I wouldve finished this build by going Shojin -> Deaths Dance -> Maw or Jaksho most likely depending on how people would itemise. If they had built more armor I would switch Shojin for Eclipse to have some more %damage.
This example is versus Malphite which ofc is a heavy tank. Their Xin and Nautilus were also building armor so I opted for Eclipse -> cleaver this game. The full build wouldve been Eclipse -> cleaver -> sundered sky -> Deaths dance -> steraks most likely. The downside of going Eclipse -> cleaver is that I had no sustain whilst laning against malphite, so you have to be smart with the way you trade and you have to optimise your shield and eclipse shield timing to block as much damage in trades. Riven and bruisers in general are quite bad at killing tanks this season, but this build is the closest to being able to deal with tanks as a Bruiser Riven, and it worked great for me this game.