Throughout the years of League’s existence, Riven, the Exile, has proven to be one of the most consistently popular champions. Her design and flashy kit with high outplay and 1v9 potential has earned her a dedicated audience of players including multiple OTP streamers such as BoxBox and Adrian Riven.
However, her presence in professional play has been limited due to her feast-or-famine nature and several meta picks providing more reliable tools for the team (Aatrox’s flexibility, Urgot’s execute, Jayce’s laning etc.). Across three major regions (LCK, LPL and LMS), Riven was picked eight times across the whole of Season 8. But in 2019, with only Spring splits having occurred, Riven has been picked 26 times so far, with 11 picks alone from the LPL. So why has Riven resurged into the competitive meta for the first time since Season 5?
When Runes Reforged was introduced in Pre-Season 8, Riven was one of the many champions suffering from the lack of a direct Fervor of Battle replacement. Though there were a few decent options (Unsealed Spellbook, Electrocute, Aftershock), there was ultimately no clear Keystone of choice. Whilst Conqueror soon became the Keystone of choice post-Patch 8.6, Riven had issues activating it compared to other users (Irelia, Yasuo, Jax). In its current form though after Conqueror was reworked on Patch 9.4, Riven has great synergy with the Keystone, being able to activate and stack it through the use of her abilities rather than auto attacks only, such as a Fast Q combo (weaving autos through casts of Broken Wings) which can activate all five stacks easily. Though the bonus Attack Damage is negligible, the True Damage and healing conversion is considerably powerful.
The link below is a tutorial by Riven player ‘Dekar’ on how to perform the fast combo, and why it’s such an important part of Riven’s kit.
As previously mentioned, several meta picks held priority over Riven before her return. However, most of these picks have received nerfs that reduce their priority, namely Aatrox and Urgot who have been in the top lane meta for the past half-year; Aatrox’s nerfs in 9.3 gutted his sustain and reduced the frequency of his trading whilst Urgot’s nerfs in 9.4 hit his mana usage. Suddenly, Riven rises in priority with easier matchups to become pickable in competitive play.
Overall, there are many historical Riven players throughout the world who have already logged professional games onto her (Khan, Ssumday, V1per, Broken Blade, Jinoo) and plenty more who haven’t yet played her (TheShy, Smeb, Huni, Caps, Darshan). Though there is constant outcry from the community to nerf Riven, recent discussion held by Riot indicates that no nerfs will come for a few patches. By the time nerfs, if any, come, Riven should have made a considerable impact in competitive play. It is always a treat to see Riven in a competitive game, so watch this space to see how she can affect the meta.
~Written by Iain”Cactaceae Jacques” Lew (Publications Subcommittee)~
~ Edited by Kenzo “cso69” Jeanson (Marketing Director - Publications) ~