Edit: for those who are not interested in riven, give a try to the mentality part. it may help you
Hello guys, i’m a diamond 2 riven main. (i was master this summer but i demoted because of school+meta changes. anyway, i’ve played over 100 games in high d1/master/challenger mmr). (summoner: BrokenSoul24 EUNE). i’m also the one who did this guide a while ago and now i’ve decided to update it. for me, learning riven was hard… i had to play and replay and replay a ton of montages in order to understand animation cancelling at it’s best and to know what combos to use. i will give, for interested riven mains (or wish to main riven players) all the riven combos/animation canceling i know. i did not invent all these combos, i had took them from streams/montages. it’s going to be a lot of information… it took me some months to gather and then master it (and there is still room for improvement).
i’ll talk about animation canceling and how it works.
note 1: you shouldn’t try to learn a higher difficulty combo, unless you know most of the previous difficulty ones. note 2: to make them work, and actually cancel animations, you will need to figure out the timing between the keys. i can’t tell you the exact timing because: 1) it depends on ping. 2) I’M NOT ENTIRELY SURE ABOUT REAL VALUES it’s muscle memory for me. i’ll give some approximate values to help you figure out.
there are cancels which work for intervals like: [right after you pressed the first key, first animation ends]=[0,end], and they are the easiest cancels (e-w or hydra-w for instance). and there are cancels like [x seconds, y seconds] after the first spell. the difference between those two kind of cancels and the number of actions required for a combo gives it’s difficulty.
note: there are combos who are actually something like spell-[0.05,end]-spell, but i’ll write them as spell-[0,end]-spell because a human being can’t actually press faster than ~0.05 to fuck up the combo (i know about this because i once tried some macros in a custom). [0, end]= 0 as the first variable in the interval means “you can press the next key asap after the first one” and the second one being “end” means, but until the first animation ends, so it’s going to be a cancel involved.
⦿ E allows you to use any spell/hydra right after pressig it. the animation will not actually be canceled. right after you press e, you can start any spell/hydra, and the animations will stack, the game will show the e animation, until it’s finished, and then the rest of the following spell (which means the intervals are going to be like e-[0,end]-w). if you press E-W instantly, it will stun the area you were before pressing e. for hydra/q, the dmg will go off right when you finish your E animation. if you do E-Q, you lose A BIT (half teemo) of distance. tho, you lose more distance depending on how fast you press E-Q (with macros, you lose the entire distance of q)
⦿ any cancel of two components, that does not start with E, works like this: after the first animation starts, you will have a certain interval of time, in which you can press the second spell, to overwrite it with the second animation (which means, that only a portion of the first animation is going to be shown). the intervals are going to be like [x,y]
IMPORTANT NOTE: any combo which contains e and w-q will have either q or both w-q casted after E’s animation ends. you will have to do either E-(end)-W-(0.01)-Q or E-(0.01)-W-(end)-Q. another example: E-(0.01)-hydra-(end)-W-(0,01)-Q or E-(end)-hydra-(0,01)-W-(0.01)-Q. end=wait for animation to end before pressing next spell, 0.01= you press it right after the next one.
Imo, the best version of this combo combined with (q-aa combo) is: E-AA-hydra-Q-move-AA-Q-move-W-AA-Q-AA
(just try r-hydra-q until you figure out yourself the timing if you can’t understand the math)
note: the animation canceling works in the same way for both R1 and R2.
i did not include that laugh (any emote actually) “mechanic” (bug actually), because that is only a visual bug. it bugs the q in a way that it does not show the full animation, but the actual animation is still there. 0 animation canceling here.
note: adding anything from parenthesis (except flash, you use it to get in range) will make the core combo a bit slower, but doing more dmg. sometimes you will have to add those components from paranthesis to kill someone.
you can also use: E-R-(AA)-(flash)-Q-(AA)-W-AA-Q-AA- Q-AA-R/R-Q-AA, if you want to keep the enemy closer to you (using stun earlier) in the moment after engaging (example: your jungler is coming to gank and you don’t want the enemy gnar to jump away before your jungler can get in range for his cc or you want to send the enemy in base, without killing him, but he has escape up and would just run away from your combo if using the first form). it’s still better to use the first form of the combo in a normal duel, since you don’t waste your shield stunning the enemy.
by skipping some Q-AA from this combo, you can get: E-R-Q-W-(AA)-R-Q-(AA) (gap closing+burst)
this combo has also another form (W at the end) – video – E-R-Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA-W-(AA)-R-(AA) (if you use this, your enemy won’t be able to flash your ultimate, because he will be stunned!)
also, you can skip any Q-AA from this combo, in order to burst the enemy faster: video E-R-Q-W-AA-hydra-R-Q
R-W-(AA)-Q-AA-E-(AA)-Q-AA- Q-AA-R/R-Q-AA (R-Q-AA is faster but may deal less dmg if the enemy has over 25% hp when using R). hydra can be used before W or any Q.
R-W-AA-hydra-Q-AA-E-AA-Q – he did not finish the combo cuz irelia ran away.
you can skip any Q-AA or E for doing it faster.
i usually use this against champs like irelia, rene, pantheon (i wait them to stun me and then i start this combo).
you can extend it to: (Q, to gap closer)-E-R-(flash)-W-AA-(hydra)-Q-AA- -Q-AA-R/R-Q-AA. video note: those combos ares used only for burst and not for duels where the enemy can kill you. using W right after E is not effective (you waste time of your shield). just use combo 1 for a straight duel.
a full extended one E-R-flash-W-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-R – he did not use the last auto, because he didn’t need it, and he did not use R+Q because he needed the knockup to stop jayce’s q.
my favorite version of this combo: E-R1-(flash)-Q-W-AA-(hydra)-R2-(hydra)-Q-(AA-Q-AA) add Q before W. i love this combo and i use it a lot. (it’s easier to hydra before R2) example (the hydra-r-q can be done a bit faster tho)
edit: this is another version of my favorite combo, but i wouldn’t recommend using it, because it’s easier to fail, and if you fail the first part, you fuck up the entire combo. E-R-flash-hydra-W-Q-AA-R-Q-(AA-Q-AA)
this combo is the most versatile one, depending on your target’s hp, you can skip auto attacks/spells or even change it’s form. i will list the variations of this combo in the order of aproximate speed.
Q-Q-E-R-(flash)-Q-hydra-W-R-(AA) video (this is slower than previous one, but can deal more dmg if the target has over 25% hp before R)
Q-Q-E-R-(flash)-Q-AA-hydra-W-R video (this is slower than previous one, but can deal more dmg if the target has over 25% hp before R)
Q-Q-E-R-(flash)-Q-AA-W-AA-R (this is slower than previous one, but it can deal more dmg if the target has over 25% hp before R)
Q-Q-E-R-(flash)-Q-AA-W-hydra-R-AA -my favorite verison
Q-Q-E-R-(flash)-Q-AA-W-hydra-AA-R (this is slower than previous one, but it can deal more dmg if the target has over 25% hp before R)
note: you use hydra before W when you don’t want to auto attack between W and R. also, the auto attack between Q and W will go way faster than the one between W and R. but, if you have youmu, just pop it before combo and do Q-Q-Youmu-E-R-(flash)-Q-AA-hydra-W-AA-R-(AA) or Q-Q-Youmu-E-R-(flash)-Q-AA-W-AA-hydra-R-(AA)
important: you should, if your objective is not only to kill someone, but to be able to do something after the combo (or maybe to kill someone if this combo was not enough), use the 2 Qs from the beginning of the combo and the E-R-(flash)-Q part at ~time gaps of the Q going to cooldown if not used timer. with ~40% cdr you will be able to use Q again after the combo (if you don’t have 40% cdr, you will have to wait some seconds after the combo in order to use q again). but, if the adc has really bad position, just press Q-Q-E-R-(flash)-Q as fast as you can ;).
just skip one step from the complete form if your dmg is high enough to kill someone. it’s not like i think before engaging which of those 10 variations i will use before starting the combo (i may just guess), i just start the combo, and depending on how much dmg i do with the first part of it (which is the same everytime) i decide on how many things to skip in order to do the kill in the fastest way possible. important
⦿ after you master all those combos, you can combine them/use ult not at the beginning/at the end to trick your enemies, but those combos are way too situational and have way too many variations… i won’t write them all. here is an example: E-Q-W-AA-Q-R-AA-Q-AA-R.
⦿ i feel like the 4th combo is the best for aoe in a teamfight, since you can use 3rd Q and W. if you flash stun into 5 enemyes, you may die before casting 3rd Q. and for a teamfight (in which you may need to go for as many targets as possible instead of only for 1) when enemy has hard cc+burst, i suggest using: E-R-flash-Q-(AA)-(hydra)-W-R-AA or E-R-flash-Q-(AA)-W-R-(hydra)-AA (this is faster, but r may deal less dmg) video. you can do it without letting enemies caught into it to react. use the auto attack from paranthesis if you can do the fast q mechanic fast enough (as in the video). even though the best scenario (if you have no aoe comp) is to catch the enemy adc/both carries positioned bad (in your range for execute combo (3rd or 4th) and nobody is near him to protect him) and instakill him.
⦿ if you can kill an enemy with Q+Q (while already in range) just do it (but only for execute), it’s faster than Q+AA. but, it’s almost never good to use Q-Q-Q (while already in range) to execute someone or to cc them. maybe you can use it when you are almost dying and your super fed katarina (or any instaburst champ) is coming and going to instakill the enemy with e-w and you need 0.1 more seconds to stay alive before she is there (1 in a million situations).
⦿ before minute 20 you can use flash however you want (take kill/escape/trade flashes/send enemy base to take objective), but after min 20, use it only to get shut downs, avoid getting shut downed, to take/defend objectives. ( ie: flash to kill someone and result in taking an objective; flash to stay alive and be able to take baron or something afterwards)
⦿ you can use youmu before any of the combos above to speed them up! (many may not know, but attackspeed also makes the hydra animation faster).
⦿ a good combo to execute someone in lane (really good when you are both low hp) is: E-(flash)-W-AA-Q-(AA) pr E-(flash)-AA-W-Q if you master the AA-W “cancel” thing
⦿ if you can’t do the fast q combo and you want to stun at the end of the combo, just stun before knocking up enemies, this will give you time to auto attack between W and Q3. if you can do the fast q, you can 3rdQ-AA-W without letting them escape (you have to catch q at ~3/4 range at least). if you already used 2 Qs, you are not in range to W or AA and your 3rd Q withh catch them at max range, cast Q3-W and then auto attack (i think this is something obvious, tho)
how to trade in lane
⦿ at lvl 1 i just try to push, while avoiding trading or being poked as much as i can. if i manage to lvl 2 before my enemy, and he stays close to his creeps, he is fucked because i’m going to trade again at lvl 3 (this is how i take a kill/burn a flash ~75% of the time on my low diamond smurf, if it works in low diamond, it will work in any elo below that).
⦿ what i actually do: when i’m close to hit lvl 2 (after pushing) and the 7th creep is about to die (sometimes i wait for my minions to dmg that creep, sometimes i aa it to death, if possible) and my enemy needs at least 1 more creep for lvl up, i try to get near him (if i’m not), i take the creep/let it die and then, if in range, ill start with AA, if not, i’m going to use a Q to get near him and then start the combo. the combo: (AA)-Q-AA-Q-W-AA-Q-AA. if you can’t do the fast q (it’s better to w-aa-q-aa at the end and not use stun at the beginning because it will lock down your enemy for that duration if you can do the fast q. but sometimes it’s better to q-w-aa-q-aa-q-aa, just to not let him get into his creep wave/turret range or use a dash/cc. q-w-aa is guaranteed dmg) .you kinda need ignite if you want to secure a kill this way, tho. but if you are not at least plat 3, tp is USELESSSSSSS (i’ve almost never seen a tp being more useful than an ignite under plat 3 elo.)
note: try to keep an eye on your creeps, if the enemy is going to do lvl 2 during your combo, you may get fucked.
⦿ if you don’t manage to lvl 2 before your enemy and you both lvl up at the same time, just wait for 1 more level and then use: against melee:q-w-aa to do dmg and e-q-(q) to run away, you sometimes can Q3 into them and do a bit of bonus dmg. if you didn’t dodge vs jax, try to bait his dodge with q-w into him, then run with e-q. if he gets into your minion wave, aa-Q3-aa him, if he is not in your minion wave, but he managed to stun you with e, then you messed up and you are fucked now, farm under tower and wait for jungler.
⦿ against ranged: if you can’t get in range for auto attack with e and 2Qs, just don’t try. you will get kited and fucked up after you do the combo. also, at lvl 1, try to start with Q: push the first 3 minions with q if he is not there (aa-q-aa-q-aa-q-aa, DO NOT QQQ PLZ) even if you may need to give up 1 or 2 cs for your q to come off cooldown, it’s worth it if you manage to lvl 2 first. if you can get in range to auto attack him with just 1 q, then try to trade at lvl 1. at higher elo (d3+) it’s better to start with e, because the enemy won’t fuck up so often.
⦿ if your enemy pushes you and does lvl 2 before you, just give up cs until you are also lvl 2. IF YOUR JUNGLER COMES TO GANK, THE ENEMY HAS MINIONS PUSHING NEAR YOUR TOWER AND THE ENEMY IS NOT A GUARANTEED KILL, TELL HIM TO WAIT YOU KILL THE CREEPS, OR JUST DO ANOTHER CAMP. if your jungler still comes, then: 1. the enemy top laner may get a double kill. 2. he may escape and you may lose a lot of cs, 3. the enemy jungler may show up and fuck you up. 4. you may get a kill, for losing a lot of cs. only the 4th scenario is worth, but it mostly relies on your enemies (top&jungler) to fuck up.
⦿ champs against you can’t actually do shit against and you should dodge: trynda, irelia, jax, mundo, tahm, hecarim. (ofc you won’t dodge if you have a good comp and your enemy has a shitty one)
⦿ ofc, those strats won’t work in every scenario, but doing this every game, should work most of the time while being lower than diamond low. if you are higher than diamond low… i’m sorry but that’s just too much to think about and write for me…. i take the decisions based on too many factors (and also experience+muscle memory): 1) my opponent’s champ; 2)my position/his position; 3)mine and his hp; 4)creeps health/position; 5)mine and his cooldowns; 6) where the jungler may be; 7) items/level; 8) summoner spells; 9) my opponent’s playstyle;
PS: i don’t know shit about what to do vs poppy or illaoi, since i’ve never faced them.
this is one of the most important (and hard) combos on riven.
normally, a combo such as AA-Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA takes ~3 seconds, but if you do the fast q combo, it will take ~1-2 seconds (depending on how fast you can do it).
the full combo is something like this: AA-Q-move-AA-Q-move-AA-Q-move-AA
this video will show you how it looks and speak about how it works.
you can also combine the fast q mechanic (Q-move-AA) with any other combos that contain Q and AA afterwards.
a good combo without ultimate is: e-aa-q-move-aa-q-move-w-aa-q-move-aa you can add hydra in this combo before any q (or right after e) and add only 0.1 seconds to it. you have to move between q and w, to cancel the animation of q and to be able to press w, furthermore, the auto attack right after w will go off really fast.
since this combo needs to be a reflex for a good riven player, try practicing it a lot in custom games.
any of the combos above are completely doable even without ult, you can use them to all in when your ult is down, even though the combos without ult are really versatile… most of them are based on 2-3 spells to go in and 2-3 to go out and depend on every matchup.
while watching the videos, in order to understand the combos better, play them in slow motion (0.25 speed)
REALLY IMPORTANT: disable (from video settings) Wait for Vertical Sync and Anti Aliasing. Wait for Vertycal Sync matches the monitor refresh rate with maximum fps, avoiding screen tearing (google it up if you don’t know what that is), for the cost of performance. as for the anti aliasing, it just makes the graphics smoother, but can give lag sometimes.
for those who want to focus on decision making, try to improve the following:
map awareness: look on that map when you think the enemy jungler may gank you, or before any engage you would like to do. (for example, after i see that 4 enemies are on bot+mid, and i don’t have teleport, i will just focus on my lane until it’s probably for someone to gank me).
jungler awareness: knowing when to ask for ganks and knowing when to expect to be ganked
wave control: there is a lot about this, just google it up
objective control, knowing when to take/give up an objective
oh, yep, there is something more important than mechanics and decision making in order to rank faster. once you understand and apply that thing, learning new mechanics or improving decision making will be way easier. that thing is called MENTALITY (you can rank up even with shitty mentality, but it will be way harder and less enjoying). i don’t want to go deep into this, because this thread is about riven mechanics and there are plenty of guides about mentality. i’ll still speak a bit about it because it makes your climb way easier.
learn from your mistakes (which is also a Riven quote). every time you die or lose a fight/objective, first think of what you should have done better, and after that think of what your teammates did wrong. some say that you should take all the blame on yourself, but that is not realistic. sometimes your amumu just misses ult, then flashes, misses q, and meanwhile you get killed by the enemy renekton. sometimes, your team dives 4v5 even if you told them to wait because you had 2k gold in your inventory, and sometimes they recall instead of taking an objective. but even if playing perfectly would have not changed the outcome of the fight/skirmish, you should still think of what you failed. next time, in a similar scenario, your team may not fail that hard, and knowing what to do better, will help.
even if your teammates are to blame, don’t get angry (well, it’s natural to get a bit angry, tho. but try to contain that as much as you can). laugh at how bad/sutupid they are (not in chat please, don’t tilt them).
don’t flame… it makes you feel superior at the moment, but for the cost of probably making your team play worse. (and it’s also wrong to make someone feel bad because of a game. furthermore, think that tilting that player, may result in him fucking up his next game and ruining another 4 teammates, which probably haven’t done anything wrong. but this is not about climbing, so i’ll stop here).
think about learning, not climbing. there are games you just can’t win, important is to learn something from them.
don’t play if you just want to climb. if you stopped enjoying the game, take a break and it will be fine in a few hours/days. most of the time this effect is called tilt.
since a lot of people are going to ask:
⦿ runes& items: (first of all, it’s still preseason and i’ve heard that a new assassin item is coming up on pbe… this is just what i’m currently building. i don’t think it’s the optimal version, tho)
runes: 9 ad red, 9 armor yellow, 6 cdr flat blues, 3 cdr/lvl blues, 3 ad quints
build vs tanky team: bc first item, cdr boots, hydra for the core, and then complete the build with: lw/dd/bt/maw/qss/ga/randuin/visage/banshee
build vs squishy team: youmu, boots, warhammer, hydra for the core. lw/dd/bt/maw/qss/ga/randuin/visage/banshee. later on, you sell youmu for bc.
i’m not sure about this (i tried it twice and it worked, but it was on a high platinum mmr smurf): when your team really needs a tank, or the enemy team has a lot of burst,cc,disengage (anti riven comp), you can go with this build: bc, cdr boots, titanic, sterak/other tanky items, an ad item depending on what you need and another tanky/ad item depending on the situation.
⦿ masteries: 12-18
NOTE:the intervals used are there to get an overall idea on how fast you should press the keys. they are not precise, and they also depend on your ping. TL;DR:
E will cancel any spell/item you use after it
You can R-Q (both R)
hydra can be used before W, Q or R/ after E and R
feel free to ask anything you would like to know about riven. i’ll answer everyone.