With the recent nerfs to Doran’s shield (100 bonus health down to 80 bonus health and 10 health per 5 seconds down to 6 health per 5 seconds) and to the defensive mastery Perseverance being slowly nerved from 3% to 1% (at max rank), being a tank in the top lane is getting harder.
Renekton is still thriving as a tank that relies partially on his ability to life steal more than regenerate or have a huge health pool.
Shyvana was already struggling early game against Renekton, but continues to do fine late game despite the changes as long as she can avoid getting too far behind.
Trundle has shown himself to be a great counter to Renekton, but less effective against Shyvana. He isn’t reliant on health regen or massive health stacking, so he is the most indifferent to the changes to regeneration.
Mundo… a champion that didn’t quite fit the meta as an aggressive, early game domination machine is finally about to see early retirement. He was played simply because of how amazingly broken he was late game due to the defensive mastery tree, despite his otherwise lack of synergy in the general game plan of lane dominance. I don’t think that he is horrible, but he’s become mediocre or average in a role that he doesn’t fill well.
I don’t know that we’ll see full carry-style top laners make a comeback, because teams still need tanks and the carry junglers seem to be a vital part of the current meta. I’m not saying that top lane Aatrox or Jax is bad in lane, it is just not as good for the rest of the team when they have a tanky jungler that is getting invaded and influencing the other lanes less.
Shen, the ever dominant top laner from seasons past, seems forgotten in the current meta of early game champs. I think that he is still viable and good, but he’s still a late game champion who is likely to lose his tower early and possibly put his team behind. However, his impact on other lanes in the mid game and ability to split push late game should not be overlooked. The nerf to Doran’s Shield does make his return unlikely to high level play, but I think he’d still be good in lower elo where games tend to go very late.