A Buyer's Guide to League of Legends: Riven

Riven is a new semi-mobile melee champion that boasts some good up-front damage, but plays just a little too awkwardly for most to use her to her full effectiveness.

With the Gamania Game Show happening in Taiwan two weeks ago, and last week's visit to Baltimore to check out Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (soon I will be able to tell you about it, I promise!), I'll admit that I haven't had many opportunities to get my League of Legends fix. This didn't, however, stop me from keeping up with the latest news, so when Riven, The Exile, was announced, I knew exactly what champion I'd be stomping it up with in my first few returning games to Runeterra. So if you were considering whether or not to pick up this unique sword-stump wielding champion, read on for your Buyer's Guide to League of Legends: the Riven edition!

While Riven is certainly a unique champion with her interesting skills, she's also one of the very few additions to the League of Legends lucky enough to receive a hotfix buff a mere one week after her release. I managed to get in a few games with Riven before and after the hotfix, and while I'll get to my current thoughts in a moment, I will say that this hotfix is one that Riven certainly needed. Unfortunately, I'm still uncertain if Riven is going to be a strong contender for the very competitive role of tanky DPS in LoL's current metagame.

For skills, Riven's uniqueness lies in her Q ability, Broken Wings, which is a three-part attack that makes Riven do a small slash-hop forward with each cast. Each slash deals AoE physical damage, with the last cast making her jump into the air, dealing damage and knocking enemies away on landing. Alone, Broken Wings lacks the AD ratios to deal huge burst damage, but Riven's passive, Runic Blade, bolsters her next physical attack with bonus damage every time she uses a skill, which translates to significant DPS if you use Broken Wings to charge your attacks.

Riven's other basic abilities include her W skill, Ki Burst, which is a short-range 0.5 second AoE stun that deals decent physical damage, and her E skill, Valor, a short-range movement skill that also grants Riven a damage shield that scales with attack damage. Riven's ultimate, Blade of the Exile, temporarily restores her broken sword, giving her increased attack range, attack damage, attack speed and also grants her the ability to use Wind Slash, a cone-based nuke that deals more damage based on how much health her opponents are missing.

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