Riven is hands down the champion I am most excited for within Cosmic Creation. Her, Viktor, and Zoe – all three of these new champions we can fit into so many different places. But Riven and her support cards – with them, I can see almost the unlimited deckbuilding possibilities.
There are multiple reasons why I believe she has this much versatility.
Firstly and most importantly, Riven is a cheap champion with really strong base stats. On top of this, she has a built-in card generation engine. Mix those three things and you have a value machine that can add a lot to almost any deck – even if you aren’t running many of her support cards. Just a few days in and we have already seen her take the spot of a few champions in old archetypes, all while breathing new life into those decks.
Secondly, the Reforge mechanic has a lot more value than I gave it credit for at first. On the surface, the Blade Fragments look like solid cheap spells that add some offensive power. In reality, the easy access to Quick Attack and Overwhelm actually opens up a lot of deck-building options.
On top of that, the Fragments are both cheap spells and ‘created cards’, both of which add important synergy points. For example, getting access to Quick Attack immediately makes all Challenger units much more powerful since those two keywords combined are insane. The same can be of Overwhelm. This also helps units that have Challenger but also Double Attack units (Horns of the Dragon, Lucian) and, of course, Lee Sin. The fact that these Blade Fragments are all 1 cost spells that function like Gems really helps both Taric and Fizz level-ups as well.
These are just a few examples of how many possibilities there are when deck-building with Riven. Now I want to take you quickly through four Riven decks you may or may not have seen so far on the ladder. I will also put my guess at what Tier these decks will fall under as the season progresses and talk shortly about some of the benefits of each deck so you can pick some that truly fit your style!
1. Riven/Lee Sin – Tier 1
Lee Sin has been a hot topic over the past few months. First, he saw some changes that put him in a dangerous place. Since then, he has settled back down into a more reasonable design. But with the addition of Riven, I think Lee Sin can be top tier again.
In order for this combo deck to truly work and have the ability to perform a one-turn kill, you need to level Lee Sin and have access to Overwhelm. The Reforge mechanic with both of these conditions – and does so extremely consistently. The 1-cost spells offer cheap options to level up Lee Sin, trigger Eye of the Dragon’s ability to create Dragonlings, and make Deep Meditation cheaper. Pair this with the protection that Ionia offers and you have a very dangerous and consistent combo deck with various ways to finish games.
2. Riven/Darius – Tier 2
Darius/Draven Overwhelm was the deck that I used to climb in Masters last season, high enough to make the Seasonal Tournament. Switching out a few core cards, including Draven, actually pushes this deck a little bit further and offers some interesting lines of play.
This deck is still all about midrange pressure and applying that pressure very quickly. Your game plan is still to win between turns 6-8 with a Decisive Maneuver and a board full of Overwhelm units. There is also the dream of playing a Battle Fury on a Leveled Riven for a solid +16 power, which is pretty hilarious. Often you use the value machine that is Riven and her support cards to build up pressure until you have your board fully set up to finish.
3. Riven/Fizz – Tier 2
This is one of my favorite Riven decks from the pure fun side of things.
At the core, it is an Elusive buff deck. You enhance your Fizz, Zap Sprayfins, Slippery Waveriders, and Wiggly Burblefish with extra power and just push through a ton of damage to the opponent’s Nexus.
It is really easy to level Fizz in this deck even when running so few spells because the Reforge package along with Coral Creatures and Wiggly Burblefish supply you with plenty of 1-cost spells. Remember to send most of your damage to the Nexus – this deck is not meant to trade on the board. Suppress your opponent with Elusive damage and cuteness!
4. Riven/Taric – Tier 3
Taric is a champion who has not seen a ton of competitive play, but recently he did get a buff to 3 power. Is it possible that he is now a viable competitive option? I believe that if it is meant to be – it is because of Riven.
The Reforge mechanic is again flexing its versatility as it can allow Taric to level up consistently. Taric also has the ability to share the crazy powerful buffs of Reforge, including double-casting the Blade of the Exile!
In the list above I am leaning fully into the entire Noxus package around Riven, including the Wrathful Rider and Arrel the Tracker. Both of these cards on the surface don’t seem super strong, but a 7-attack unit on turn 5 with easy access to Quick Attack or Overwhelm is really solid. Arrel synergizes well with Gems, Blade Fragments, and any spell you cast on Taric and then support her with.
There is a whole lot of synergy built into this deck that you’ll keep discovering as you play more games. One fun trick is casting Weapon Hilt on Taric and then attacking which will get a second Weapon Hilt cast for a total of 2 Reforged Blade Fragments. This card advantage is what allows this deck to spike in the mid-game. Take this one for a few games and live out some amazing Taric dreams!
These decks just scratch the surface of what I want to build with Riven. There are so many other top tier options in which Riven will thrive, and there are a lot of other lesser talked about ideas where I think Riven can surprise people.
I didn’t even get to build her with Vi for big Overwhelm attacks, with Lucian for Overwhelm and Double Attack, or with Scouts to really abuse the Reforge mechanic that Riven has.
As you can see Riven is one of the most versatile Champions we have ever seen designed in Legends of Runeterra. If you take any of these decks for a spin, let me know how it goes!