So recently I have considered Riven as a whole and feel that she needs changes. Before moving on though I want to point out several things; I play Riven myself, while I wouldn't like many of these changes to be forced out at once if they were even remotely considered I feel like slow shifts would potentially see benefits over time. This will also be a long, LONG, post as I will **attempt** to go over one or two mechanics and how they effect Riven in a general lane match up against an **average** player. If you feel like I am wrong feel free to correct me - without being aggressive - **constructive** criticism is appreciated. I must also note that in my opinion the strength of a champion is not directly proportional to how well balanced the champion is, and with that out the way...
**Strengths & Weaknesses**
Now while a lot of players have falsely got the idea of 'counters' for specific champions and taking these seriously to the point where they sometimes even decide the ultimate outcome of a lane based on these, Riven especially, is a champion with many controversial match ups. Her strength lies in being a brawler/duellist who excels in fighting and as with the current Fiora, she is strong against specific match ups yet often falls off if she isn't heavily snowballed ahead. This is most commonly an issue with her intended role as a top lane champion in which the current meta is heavily pushed towards tanks -looking at you: Shen... Nasus...-. This causes Riven to typically fall off against any champion who is viable after rushing masses of armour and sometimes even causing her lead to completely drop off in organised team fights as saw in your average solo/duo queue games, while easily being shut down by masses of cc/focus in focused team play like in LCS and ranked 5v5s.
Now while all this makes it sound like Riven is an awful champion she can still excel and sometimes even dominate against squishy team comps with no hard disengage. Riven's current strength lies within her kit; She is mobile, Is unique in her attack based spell caster niche (more on this) and has huge power spikes after core items & level 6. Being unique in her spell casting brings hidden strengths often overlooked by newer players as it brings a huge hidden power advantage to her laning phase. **Minion Agro** or the aggression you take from minions upon certain actions plays a huge part in higher level game play (I don't utilise it completely myself to be fair), examples of such actions is attacking a champion within a set range. Now while most players understand this they don't realise that spells, regardless of range, **do not** apply minion agro. This means that riven can typically flail around without making use of her passive **Runic Blade** in minor trades/zoning from cs and this is typically unhealthy for any lane match up in which she comes out ahead leaving less skilled players confused as to why minions are seemingly ignorant to the huge a** sword she is smacking you with. right?
**Current views from the community as a majority**
Currently Riven seems to be a champion who is heading towards unhealthy buffs/nerfs as with Fiora or Rengar simply down to community peer pressure. Let me stress this key point, **Riven is not over powered at all**. this however doesn't make her balanced and while she is potentially one of the more healthy picks (ha, who am I kidding...) top lane at the moment -Looking at Nautilus- I have came up with a few suggestions (currently lacking real numbers) that I personally feel would make Riven fit closer into her niche as a cooldown casting based melee brawler while bringing her gameplay into check.
Riven's basic attacks deal 20/25/30/35/40/45/50% AD bonus physical damage, applying lifesteal but **not** critical damage. This is the current key to Riven's "highly mechanical" gameplay yet is also one of the most overlooked passives in the game. Riven deals damage, is all the enemy understands. I agree that most new champions have overloaded kits and ideally this is something that should be avoided but again, in this case its hard... seriously. I digress. I feel like her kit should work around her passive using 2 effects; **BONUS** armour penetration scaling with her current AD scaling and **cooldown resets**. Now calm down, I know you're thinking bad things about me right now but hear me out. K?
I say bonus armour penetration as this only applies to armour build from items, runes and buffs, NOT base statistics, meaning Riven's current assassination potential would be left largely unchanged while giving her more power to brawl against the current tanky beasts in today's meta. As for the cooldown resets, this feeds into my 3rd suggestion: Cooldown nerfs, Yes. Nerfs. Riven's Q, W and E give her large amounts of utility and mobility. These cooldowns should be increased to emphasise strengths with her current CDR focused builds while bringing her current "less balanced" strengths down to earth (like, really, why can riven fly 1400 units with Broken Wings?... Ok, Valor and Flash too). Riven should be rewarded for taking all ins at every opportunity, while also having some of her safety removed from her kit when things turn sour, mainly through reduction in mobility/escape potential.
This benefits her lane opponents most when staying behind minions in lane as her Q harass is up a lot less often unless she is making good use of her passive/auto attacks which forces her to take agro otherwise meaning there are a few more opportunities to abuse them "windows of power".
**Blade of the Exile/Wind Slash**
While this should largely remain the same I feel some minor adjustments are needed. Riven's cooldown decrease passive should (potentially) scale with her ultimate skill level, for example say 0.25(base) increasing to 0.5/0.75/1 second(s) with ultimate skill level. While some quality of life improvements should be implemented into her **wind slash**. Her ultimate appears to be 3 projectiles yet is actually 1 meaning the pain of a 800 width wind slash being completely destroyed by the 50 width side of Yasuo's wind wall is too much for some to cope. (please, fix that...)
Sorry for the long post, I feel I may have missed some key notes in this but I'm tired after a recent essay I wrote (haha, you know what I mean). As mentioned to those of you who survived constructive criticism is welcome and anyone confused about potentially missing links/factors or holes in the idea is more than welcome to ask :)