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First, as some of you will already know, I don't believe in so-called "hard counters". However, I thought it would be fun/nice/whatever to make a blog in which I will explain what top laners counter what top laners and why.
-- I might change some things if people correct me. Don't be afraid to do so. --
--WARNING-- This is a really long post, it might take you up to something like 30 minutes to read. --WARNING--
(I have not finished this yet, but I really, really want to play on the PBE now, and because it doesn't work, I'm trying everything to make it work, including closing my browser)
Chalice of Harmony
I'd like to say something about this item first. I almost never see it (not even on mid laners). However, it is very often worth it. It is easy to know when you should build this item. No mana bar -> not buy it. Mana bar against AP top -> buy it (no exceptions here. It makes you manaless). Mana bar against hybrid damage top (Jax, Shyvana, etc) -> buy, except if you are really behind and can't harras anyways. Mana bar against AD tops -> buy if you'd like some more harras, only not if you can't harras without getting harrased more. Mana bar against manaless tops -> either buy this and agree with small trades, or don't buy this and make sure to kill the enemy fast if you don't want to end up without mana and the enemy free harras. In general, buy it.
Melee AD tops
His best counters are Vladimir, Teemo and Kennen. They are ranged, which means that they can free harras him, because he has no gap closers. Vladimir should just Q him to death (also pool if Darius ults), Teemo just harras and run with W if Darius is coming for you, Kennen the normal harras, be careful with your E if you think you can kill him. Darius has a big burst, and you're squishy. Those three are the easiest ones, and there is no way special itimazation is needed if you just have brains. But there are more counters. Malphite can counter him if you max your Q first, start harras from level five (before it's not worth the mana cost), and take a Chalice of Harmony and Ninja Tabi first. If you play tank Malphite, go on with Sunfire Cape, if you play AP, Zhonya's Hourglass is maybe a nice choice as first major item. You can, of course, also take Yorick, and just harras Darius out of lane after your Tear and/or Chalice.
Malphite. Just max your E first, start Ninja Tabi and then Glacial Shroud/Zhonya's Hourglass/Thornmail. This should do the job. Just be careful until you have your armor. I once got surprised by her damage, giving her a level 1 first blood. But don't worry if that happens. Just buy that Thornmail and deny her farm for the last 10 minutes of the laning phase, and maybe even get a kill. You can also take Jax and dodge her ult or Burst of Speed, combined with his insane damage.
Malphite can do the job if he has Exhaust, and makes sure Gangplank can't use his Oranges to remove both Exhaust and Seismic Shard at the same time. Other examples are Nasus (Wither and Exhaust), Nunu (Ice Blast + Exhaust, ult is also ok), Riven (doesn't need cc) and just all others with both cc from abilities and exhaust. Double cc from abilities would be even better. If you don't have this, it'll most likely be a farm lane, which means Gangplank will outfarm you thanks to his Q.
Don't facecheck the bushes. Oh, nevermind. It's a bad idea to wait in the bushes for someone if that means you miss all the farm. Riven is the perfect counter. Dash away whenever he is about to spin, dash in and harras at other moments. Ranged are also good, like everyone who can keep ranged harras up. For example Malphite with Chalice. Just remember that the only way to kill Garen is to harras him at least once every seven seconds.
Darius. Irelia is all melee, once she tries to attack, he'll just aa-w-q and run with three passive stacks on her. Maybe Nasus will work, if you manage to turn it into a farm lane. Some others will maybe also be able to kill her, but she'll outscale them all endgame, except maybe Riven. Best is also to take someone with sustain if you don't have Darius. This will negate her advantage.
Riven, Jax, Jayce, this is a long list. If you have both a dash and a mind, you should be able to win your lane against Jarvan. He has mana, he doesn't have sustain, so he needs to outdamage you, and kill you in little time. Dodge his Q to make him waste mana, don't get hit by his basic attacks if you are about to back off, because the bonus damage from his passive shouldn't be underestimated. And either dash out of his ult or knock him out of his ult (Jayce only), except if you expect to win (which means Jarvan is just bad, because he shouldn't ult).
Malphite. Max your Q first (Jayce will most likely stay ranged, because you're much better in close fights), buy Chalice, harras from level 5 on. Dodge his Qs (mostly the acclerated ones, that are also easy to predict), and go in for the kill when you have harrased enough. Double gap closer champions (Fiora, Lee who uses W at a minions first, and I think some more) will also do a good job. Use your second gap closer after the knockback.
You'll most likely find him as a counterpick to you, otherwise he'll normally be in the jungle. However, if you play against him, it's mostly about items. If you are playing an AD (or hybrid like Jax, maybe hybrid Diana, if you don't jungle her), start with Ninja Tabi + Wriggles Lantern. Lee has nearly only physical damage, these two items give you everything you need - movement speed, sustain, wards, damage, and of course the armor that counters Lee. Plus you can easily push the lane to his tower if you want, with the passive proc. If you play AP, Ninja Tabi are favorable, but you can also take Sorcerers Shoes or Ionian Boots of Ludicity if you want. After that, buy Chain Vest into either Glacial Shroud or Zhonya's Hourglass.
Malphite would be best, just rush Frozen Heart/Zhonya's Hourglass (AP Malphite)/Thornmail and you win if you have a brain, but many top laners will be ok. Someone with hard cc (Riven, Renekton, Kennen, etc) is best, because you'll stop his Meditate with it. For the rest, he's not that hard. Rush the same items as against Lee Sin, and don't allow him to get close. Either harras when he tries to, or cc when he gets to you (first case for Malphite, Rumble etc, second case for Riven, Renekton, Jax, etc).
Good communication. If you just have a gank every two or three minutes (wheter it's a kill or not) you can stop him for some time. Also try to end the game as fast as possible. The longer the game takes, the stronger Nasus becomes.
I don't know her well as top laner, but I DO know that AP Bruiser Nunu outlanes her pretty hard with his free harras and insane sustain. After level six, bait flash (not too hard, if she has 50% health after some ranged harras and you E again and go in, she doesn't have any chance + is slowed by something like 40-50%), ult her after that for the kill.
Everyone with abilities (preferrable cc on it) that outranges him. If Olaf can't use his E, he can't win. And dodge his axe. If he is any worth, he'll level it first if you don't let him get close enough for his E.
Pantheon will abuse his strong early game. Take someone, for example Malphite or Irelia, who doesn't suffer too much from harras, and go in at level six. Pantheon can't use his ult against you, so you have an advantage then. Just not dying will be enough to win against him, because he really falls off later in the game.
Start Cloth Armor, buy Ninja Tabi and Wriggles/Glacial Shroud/Zhonya's/Thornmail after that. Best is to take someone who has high damage (for example Riven) or high sustain (I think Warwick will do well against Renekton).
In one word: Armor. Buy as much armor as you can (like against Renekton, but maybe even stronger) without keeping behind your final build too much. Take someone with high sustain like Warwick, and run as soon as she uses her ult. If she can't get to you after that, it's wasted. If possible, also take someone without mana. Just remember Vladimir would not be particulary good against her (despite sustain + no mana), because Riven has four dashes, and he is really squishy early game. Last, there are two ways to build her. Bruiser with little damage (certainly not really a danger to your team, you have won your lane if she is that bad), or near glass cannon (Wriggles, boots and GA as only defensive items, for the rest stack Bloodthirsters), which means that you can kill her with one cc.
Little chance you find him against you, but it's possible. His damage is nearly all physical, so just some armor, and remember that he'll outdamage you BY FAR if he bites you.
Ranged harras. PLEASE use ranged harras against him. You need to zone him in order not not have him rip your team apart endgame, mostly if he has Cleanse. And don't 1v1 him at level 6 and after. Only juking will work then. It is not all that important who you put against him, as long as it is someone who can stand 2-3 crits from Trynda if he uses E to get to you, and maybe W to slow you. No, for example, Vladimir if you want to win.
Not sure about this one (last time I laned against him was before I mained top lane...), but I'd say that you should not get healbaited by his passive, and should be careful he can't get you to low health with his Frenzy ready. Both are excellent ways to die easily. EDIT: Someone tipped me on this, take Ignite against him for sure. It is really strong against his passive.
Some armor and even the tiniest bit of sustain (or just being manaless) can outlane him. If he outdamages you, make him use his mana until he is oom, sustain yourself in the meanwhile, with health pots if needed. When he's oom, you can easily kill him. If you also have mana, trade, then outsustain him. With mana but no sustain, you shouldn't lane against him, I'd say. Except if you love fighting fully on who buys the best items.
I don't know. I haven't seen him top yet, but I think that he'll be hard to outlane. Gapcloser + cc + sustain + armor reduction + armor/mr steroid is not something you see on many champions. To be honest, I think he should have a slight nerf after his rework. I do, however, have to say that armor will help, even though it's less against someone with % armor reduction. I think a champion like Yorick or maybe Irelia will work.
Everyone can be outlaned. Yorick is no exception. It just requires skill and patience. For example Riven. Max your shield first, shield his harras while last-hitting ranged minions, for the rest last-hit and wait until he is out of mana. And he WILL push the lane to your tower, because the ghouls will start attacking minions if they don't see a champion (so go in bushes when he makes a ghost). Another one is Malphite. Be patient, don't use mana if you don't have to, last-hit, use your passive shield against his harras, repeat. And make sure you always have enough health pots. Even with shields, you'll need them.
Melee AP tops
Most will be mid, but some top. If you find one of those, take Mercury Threads, Chalice of Harmony if you have mana, and then, if it won't really set back your build, Hexdrinker/Maw of Malmortius on ADs, and Abyssal Scepter on APs. Lich Bane can also be a good choice, but remember that, if your ability power is lower than your base attack damage, it'll lower your damage compared to Sheen, plus it's very expensive.
[More to be added soon]