Riven is pretty much the Yasuo of the top lane. Meaning when she is on your team, she will 0/10 herself before the 5-minute mark and proceed to go AFK for the rest of the match, leaving a fed Darius free to wreck you and the remainder of your team. On the other hand, if she is on the enemy team, she will single-handedly carry by dashing and jumping around and will hundred-to-zero everybody on your team. Yes, that includes your tank.
So how do you deal with this kind of champion? First off, we will need to look at her abilities to understand where all her damage is coming from and what you can do to stop her.
- Passive – Runic Blade – Every time Riven casts an ability, she will gain a charge, stacking up to 3 times. Her basic attacks will use up a charge to deal bonus damage.
- Q – Broken Wings – A 3-part ability. The first two casts are dashes that cause damage, and the third is a leap that can go over terrain and knocks up units in a small area where she lands.
- W – Ki Burst – Riven emits a burst of energy around her in an area, damaging and stunning enemies hit.
- E – Valor – Dashes forward and gains a shield; this cannot go over terrain.
- R – Blade of the Exile – Riven empowers her sword, gaining AD, attack range, and extended range on her Q and W. She can recast this ability once.
- R(2) – Wind Slash – Riven fires a wave of energy in a cone, dealing damage scaling up with the target’s missing health. Damage maxes out at 75% missing health.
Also read: How To Counter Zed
Best Champions That Counter Riven in Season 12
Riven relies heavily on her abilities for damage output, meaning Garen’s Q, which has a silencing effect, will be a nightmare for her to deal with. Additionally, his W will not only directly shield him, but it also has a percentage damage reduction as well as a tenacity buff, meaning her W stun will be a lot shorter, provided Garen times it right. Garen will be able to win in the long run thanks to his passive which regenerates health and, even if he stacks armor to further lower Riven’s damage output, he is still very likely to kill her thanks to the armor shred on his E and the true damage from his ultimate.
Tryndamere has ridiculous damage output, which increases when he is lower on health. His W will reduce Riven’s AD for a short duration, meaning her whole combo will suffer, as everything, including her shield, scales off her Attack Damage. Lastly, Tryndamere’s ultimate makes him quite literally immortal for a short duration, so he can freely attack without worrying about dying.
Few things bother Riven as much as a ranged matchup, but Quinn is even more annoying to deal with. Riven moving close to engage? Q her and she’s now nearsighted, can’t do much to you if she can’t see you. She somehow managed to get close to you? A quick E will put you at a safe distance again. Just make sure to poke her with your autos and passive occasionally, but do not waste your abilities if hers are up. If you misuse your E, she has a total of four dashes to get to you, which are usually more than enough, and you have no disengage tools to get her off you.
Remember Riven did poorly against ranged matchups? Urgot is ranged AND tanky as well, which are both terrible news for her. Urgot has excellent DPS thanks to his passive and W, especially when it is fully leveled. He’s also capable of interrupting Riven’s combo by simply tossing her in the air with his E. When he reaches 6, his ult applies a slow based on missing health, making it near impossible for Riven to escape if she already used all her abilities.
Also read: How To Play Against Tryndamere?
How to Beat Riven? The Best Counter Tips:
- Avoid fighting when all her abilities are up. Riven has both quick bursts of damage as well as decent damage over extended skirmishes.
- She will want to land her full ability rotation while weaving in auto-attacks. Save any mobility you have to dodge her third Q, the knock-up, and don’t let her get passive procs off you; you will start feeling that damage coming through after the first two empowered basics she hits.
- If she uses her abilities on the wave, especially her Q, that is your window to trade. Her bread and butter will be on cooldown, so her damage output will take a heavy hit.
- If your champion can stick to her well, when she uses her E, wait the shield out before you continue trading, this will make sure the shield does not absorb any of the damage you deal, and it is all going through onto her actual HP.
The Best Items to Counter Riven in Season 12
Dead Man’s Plate
Dead Man’s Plate – Stacking armor is crucial against Riven; she only deals physical damage, after all. Dead Man’s has a decent amount of armor, plus the bonus move speed is a welcome aggregate if you need to chase or even flee.
Zhonya’s Hourglass – The AP alternative if you don’t want to sacrifice too much of your damage. The active Stasis effect is especially beneficial to avoid the execution damage from her ultimate recast.
Thornmail – While Riven does not directly have any healing built into her kit, her builds usually feature Goredrinker or Eclipse as their mythic, followed by Death’s Dance and Sterak’s Gage, which all give substantial healing effects. Thornmail’s Grievous Wounds will counter that healing nicely.
Anathema’s Chains – A heavily underused item, designating Riven as your Nemesis will cause her to deal 30% less damage to you when at full stacks, plus a 20% reduction to Riven’s tenacity will come in handy if you’re playing a champion with hard CC abilities.
While she might be scary with her insane mobility and high damage, Riven does have areas where she is vulnerable, just like any champion. Applying these tips to your gameplay will help you out when encountering The Exile in your lane. Best of luck out there in the Rift, Summoners!