There are certain champions you can bully with your level 1 W + passive. These are the champions that have significantly worse level 1's than level 2's. (Irelia, Jax, etc)
There are others who you will not want to trade with at level 1 (Riven, Jarvan, etc)
Then there are certain champions who you will want to avoid like the plague until first back (Garen, Olaf)
And finally...there are just certain champions who you can do almost nothing about (Nidalee, Warwick, etc)
For some matchups, I will need to keep playing and/or specifically test the matchup, but I've played most of these matchups well enough to give marginally insightful comments. In almost all my games, I use either Exhaust + Ignite, or Ignite + Flash. There are a few matchups, however, where I will say that either Flash is necessary (use Ignite + Flash), or Exhaust is necessary (use Ignite + Exhaust)
Finally, a very important note: When you hit them with your auto attack and W, it is very tempting to chase. DO NOT CHASE if it means going into a bunch of their minions. Minion damage is OP, especially at level 1.
[Remember to insert videos as they come]
Keep in mind these are my personal opinions on the matchups. Take these with a grain of salt (or however that saying goes).
Although she normally goes mid, I have seen a few Akali's top. She is actually not very pesky at all for Sejuani to deal with. At level 1, she will keep throwing her Q at you. Do not hesitate to use those potions (you have 8). If she comes within melee range of you to follow it up, punish her with your passive + W.
On your first back, make sure you buy a pink ward, or she will begin to win trades by kiting your W inside the shroud until her next burst is up. If you buy a pink ward, you will win the trade, and she will not be able to escape from you. Furthermore, your HP build does two things for you: it improves your damage, and it gives you HP so that she cannot burst you down.
He can be pretty annoying to deal with due to his passive. It may seem like no matter how much you harass him down, he is just going to sustain to full health. The key is to keep him from his minions, and to keep harassing him as often as possible in an attempt to out-do his passive. You will be surprised at how many Cho'gaths do not attempt to trade back (Nasus players are also guilty of this).
After your first back, you will be able to out-do his sustain if you repeatedly combo him with your Q-W-E. Make sure you go in when at least one of his skills are on cooldown though.
(You can dodge his rupture by Q-ing to him when the circle appears).
Beware when he starts building MR though. You won't be able to kill him anymore so just be content with farming.
This guy is not as scary as many people think. First off, he's an extremely easy gank for many junglers, so if you're terrified of him, just stay put and wait.
Try not to engage on him unless his Q goes on cooldown. When his Q does go on cooldown, you're better off bursting him quickly, then getting out. Your W won't always beat his sustained DPS. (You can burst, run, and after he pulls you back in, use E and run. He will be taking damage from your W during the whole ordeal).
Another tip when fighting Darius is to disengage from a fight with Q until the bleed stacks disappear before going back in to seal the deal. This is huge after he gains access to his ult. This matchup is rather fragile, as a silly mistake can cost you.
Poor Diana. While she did deserve nerfs, I think they took it a bit too far, especially with the shield's orb range. She will try to trade with you by abusing her double shield to take minimal damage. When she does that, do not let her have that shield refresh. Simply E and walk away, and engage again (with Q if you know it's safe) when it expires. If she all-ins you and you want to run, remember that you have 3 ways of escaping (Q, ult, exhaust or flash). Diana can only jump twice more after her initial engage (her second ult and her flash).
I think it boils down to a skill matchup. If you get good at dodging her pokes and kiting the orbs, you'll win.
Stay behind minions and avoid those cleavers. You will out-trade him as soon as you buy your ruby crystal or giant's belt. Just remember to use your ult and ignite wisely, as it is the only way you'll be able to kill him post-6. You're both low? He activates ult? Throw both the ignite and the ult and hammer away with W and E.
Spiders eat pigs. You'll have an extremely tough time against her. If she started flask and/or mana pots, be prepared to cower at your tower. You cannot do much damage to her early on, and even after you get your giant's belt, her pokes will still hurt due to having %HP damage. If you become frustrated and commit, she can just stun-combo you, and rappel, negating a good chunk of your W's damage. Her cooldowns are also much better than yours. Abyssal scepter is very common her as well, which IMHO is the best item you can build as an AP champion against a Sejuani top.
Remember how I said I take Ignite + Exhaust? This is one of those matchups where you NEED both of those summoners. If you take flash, your life will be that much harder vs Fiora.
If she decides to go in on you, retaliate immediately with W. If she uses Riposte, do not autoattack her. Instead, Q to apply frost if it's safe, or wait for it to expire. The most important part, however, is ability timing. At level 6, you can shut down almost all of Fiora's combo damage:
Let's say you're both at half health. Fiora recognizes that she is level 6 and can do her usual E-Q-Auto-Q-Auto-Ignite-Ult to guarentee a kill on you.
Activation of her E will be pretty obvious. As soon as she does that, ult her to waste the duration. Be sure to ignite and exhaust her before she ults. If you do, her ult will not hurt at all.
How do you predict her ult timing? Many Fiora players use ult in either of these situations:
1) When she is about to die and she needs to go invulnerable for either the lifesteal or cooldowns.
2) When you're about to die and she wants to finish you with that move.
You won't see him top...but if you happen to see him, just request a lane swap. His kit makes him almost completely immune to yours.
Remember that super-armor runepage I recommended? Yea. For fun, you can even start cloth 5 and laugh at him as he tries to Q you.
You beat him at sustained DPS with your frost + W
You beat him at burst.
Your ult will tip the scales in your favor even more.
He can only orange out of one of your abilities. (He will have to choose between the E, the ult, or the exhaust.)
His basic combo will out-trade yours...until you get a giant's belt. Avoid fighting him until then. If he builds tanky, he won't be able to keep up with your damage due to your HP scaling. If he builds brutalizer/AD, he won't be able to keep up with your HP. He needs more gold than you do to keep trading effectively. If he tries to all-in you, time your exhaust to negate both his Q and part of his spin, and avoid using your own burst until his shield is down.
Be patient and you will win the lane.
This is one of those few matchups where I would go Randuin's Omen before Warmog's. She isn't much early on, but if you don't shut her down quickly, she becomes impossible to kill. When she has her wit's end, you will not be able to out-trade her in any way. Ask for jungle help.
Having played enough games as both sides of this matchup, I have to say Jarvan has a significant advantage. His level 1 is superior to yours, and his level 2 is not something you want to mess with. He will flag combo you, proc his passive on you, and back off. The only way you'll be able to retaliate is to Q over to him after you land (Not only is that extremely risky, but you can also only do that once every 19 seconds)
You can actually trade with him post-6 assuming you've gotten your health items. However, Jarvan dictates the pace of the fight because of how many ways he has of avoiding your W's damage. If you react quickly, an exhaust on him right before he ults is HUGE.
Same reason as many other top-laners are disadvantaged against him. If you let him level up in one piece, he will become a monster at dueling. Shut him down early, as he is one of the few champs you can out-trade without a ruby crystal.
This isn't as bad as most people think. The key to winning this is to abuse his cooldowns. He has weak fighting power when in his cannon form. Act aggressive and bait out his hammer form. The instant he reverts back to cannon form, jump onto him and trade. Back out with E before he can switch again. However, try not to do this before 6 in case he tries to all-in you.
If you get the first kill on him, it's over. He won't be able to beat you even in hammer form.
She's ranged! She has a powerful slow! She has her ult!
Do not worry!
The thing about her slow is...it won't help her if she's running from you. Your slow will be just as good as hers. Try to engage as her E is running out. A good Kayle usually backs off when her E is running out, but you can often times catch her by baiting her to harass you with E when it's a little more than halfway over. You do enough sustained damage that you won't have to worry too much about her ult.
You need to get good at spotting his zappy shuriken passive. Do not engage until he uses it (to last hit a minion or something). What is really annoying about this guy though is that he can just run away when you Q to him, and there's really nothing you can do about it.
You will have this frustrated feeling where you want to engage on him, but at the same time you don't want to follow him. He will out-trade you if you follow him into the brush. And he will trade at least evenly against you during the short time that you're fighting him in minions (even if you have a giant's belt). Overall a really annoying matchup to play against. You can win if you're patient enough though, by whittling him down with constant short skirmishes, then timing your exhaust and ignite to negate his burst when the all-in comes.
I would try to avoid picking Sejuani against Lee Sin. He out-does you in almost every possible way. He wins a sustained fight with his W and E, he has significant burst, and even with your slows and stun, you will not be able to chase a good Lee Sin.
Difficulty: Kinda Dumb
Early on, you both will be chugging potions. After the first back, you will both be chugging potions. After you both get your first big item, you will both be farming. Farming, for the rest of the game. Farming.
You want to lurk on either side of the minion wave, wait for him to use his cone, and immediately start tormenting him at level 1. He has no way to escape your damage. If he tries to all-in you post-6, make sure you exhaust/ignite him appropriately. And, as with most AP champs, avoid engaging unless one or more of his skills go on cooldown.
It's astounding how many Nasus players will not fight back if you attempt to trade. They will usually farm their Q and rely on their sustain. Nasus is generally not that hard to deal with. The only scary time comes when he reaches 6. If you do fight him then, be sure to save your Q for when he ults. Simply back off and re-engage after he reverts.
Everything about her will annoy you. At level 1, she will begin range-harassing you. It will not hurt if you took my recommended rune page. If you attempt to chase her, she will have traps waiting for you in the bushes, and she will out-sustain you with her heal. At level 6, any engage you try to do will result in her pouncing away. The key to this matchup is to be patient. Do not become frustrated and try to all-in her early (before level 6, without ruby crystal). If she for some reason falls to around 60%-ish health, you can probably kill her with an all-in and both summoners.
Avoid him like the plague at early levels. He is extremely strong and can ignore much of your armor with his E. Luckily, you're building hp. After you get your ruby crystal and/or giant's belt, you can start trading with him if you're near your turret. At level 6, I feel like Sejuani can kill Olaf, but once he activates his ult, there's nothing you can do to stop him from getting away.
He's kinda like Gangplank in the sense that he will begin chucking spears at you level 1. With those armor runes, it won't hurt as much, but starting cloth 5 against him is not a bad idea either. As soon as you get your ruby crystal, you can begin trading with him. The good news is that his passive shield does not affect you much, because very little of your damage comes from autoattacks. You have a distinct advantage at level 6 because Pantheon's ult is more of a ganking ult and will not help him in an all-in against you.
Stay away from the walls!
Do not let her stun you to the wall or you'll be in for some pain. Otherwise, the trades will go well for you. As always, don't be too aggressive until you get your ruby crystal. Another thing to note is that Poppy's passive is not so good against you because you don't really have anything too bursty early on (with the exception of your ult). She becomes an easy kill after you get level 6 with at health items.
The only time you have an advantage in terms of trading is level 1, surprisingly. If he comes close to trade, autoattack and W, follow him (be sure not to take much minion damage!), and the trade should either be even or in your favor. He becomes extremely dangerous at level 2 and above, however. I would not recommend fighting him at any point after. Unless he makes a mistake, he should be able to out-trade you during the entire laning phase. Like with Cho'gath, try not to trade unless he wastes a cooldown on minions.
The main thing you have to keep track of in this matchup is his ferocity bar. If he is 1 away from fully charging it, he will attempt to trade with you. On the other hand, if his ferocity is nowhere near full, you will out-trade him. If you get ahead, he's another one of those champions you can deny really hard, and you'll force him to either use abilities on you and miss CS, or use them on minions and risk dying to you.
She's like Renekton in the sense that she will be able to out-trade you during all of laning phase. Never try to engage unless at least one of her skills are on cooldown. Exhaust her as soon as her sword turns big if she's close by and may kill you.
The trades in this lane will be rather silly. You will want to go in as his flames go on cooldown, and he will want to go in when your W goes on cooldown. Rumble has a slight advantage against you, but it comes down to skill and timing.
This will most likely boil down to a farm lane if the Shen builds right against you (MR and health). If you kill him early on (possibly with jungle help), you will still be able to snowball and kill him every time afterwards, but expect a long day of farm.
Singed isn't all that scary until 6. When he activates his ult, you won't be able to kill him through his MR and regen. When he does not have ult, he is still a pain to catch because of his toss and slow. Sejuani lacks the burst to be able to shut him down early, and when he gets to 6 in one piece, it'll be a tough lane.
Although it may seem like Teemo can just range harass you at any level, his big weakness is that he does not really have a solid escape. Once you catch him, he will melt very quickly and his blinding darts will not help him (because very little of Sejuani's damage comes from autoattacks). If he is building AP Teemo, try not to let him have free damage on you with his blind. Ward up for safety, and punish him for it with your combo.
His sustained damage output is far greater than yours is. Exhaust is a must for this matchup. Fortunately, most Tryndameres build very squishy, so those few moments of exhaust are usually enough for you to burst him down and force an ult. As usual, ignite him a few seconds after he uses it.
A lot of Udyrs will try to tag you with tiger form as their main method of trading. Do not let him get away with free damage. When you get tagged with tiger, retaliate with auto W E, and back off before he can tag you again. He can shield your damage, but he will run out of mana very quickly if he keeps it up. You have the advantage at level 6, and if you have both summoners and ult up, you can usually get a kill.
If she levels up her Q first, all you have to do is reactively dodge it with your own Q. A Q-maxing Vi loses most of her combo damage if she whiffs it. Missing her Q will also put her in a very vulnerable position, which you can take full advantage of with a full-duration W if you manage to catch her with an autoattack.
If she levels up her E first and constantly pokes you with her E, she will inevitably push her lane VERY often. Call for the jungler, bait out her Q (by using your own Q and acting aggressive, for example), and she should be an easy gank.
There's really not much you can do about him early on. He will try to constantly poke you down with his Q, and if you try to combo him, he will combo you back, and pool if you chase too far, and combo you again. The best way to handle him is probably to wait until your ult and both summoners are up, bait out his pool with a regular combo, then all-in him when your skills are up again (using exhaust to mitigate his burst, and ignite to prevent him from healing)
Difficulty: Lane Swap Please!
There is a small window of opportunity early on, from when you get your ruby crystal to when he gets to level 6-7ish, where you have a shot at killing him. If you miss it, he will outsustain you, out-damage you, out-poke you, and the worst part is that most WW players build MR as part of their standard build. There is nothing you can do about that early spirit visage or wit's end.
He will play much like Jarvan. He will jump onto you, do his combo, then back out safely with his clone for free damage. He will be a monster once he gets his ult. Try not to trade with him unless you know one of his abilities is down, and exhaust him as soon as you see that ult.
Xin Zhao's level 1 is extremely strong if you're a melee champion. Try to avoid being close to him or you'll eat an auto-Q-Q for nearly half your health. He can jump onto you and do that same combo at any point after level 2. Because of how aggressive most Xin Zhao players are, your best bet is a jungle gank to set you ahead.
Yorick gives headaches to many toplaners. Sejuani is no exception. Yorick will continuously harass you down and sustain at the same time. Fortunately, most Yoricks these days seem to build tear of the goddess as their first item, which opens up a window of opportunity where you have your ruby crystal or giant's belt, and your ult and both summoners are up. Yorick does not really have a way to escape once you jump onto him. He can flash, but your ult and E will solve that. If he decides to fight against your all-in, dump ignite and exhaust onto him, and ult as soon as ignite is over. I have taken many Yoricks by surprise; none of them expect Sejuani to be able to burst them down like this.
I have not laned against a Zed as Sejuani yet. I will give my thoughts once I do.
How do we play against her if we ever see her top lane?
One of her biggest counters is MR. If you build MR, and she does not build penetration, you can often times begin to out-trade her. If she builds penetration, she will lose a lot of tankiness and gain only a little damage overall.
Bursty champions also counter Sejuani. There isn't much she can do if you dump your burst on her with, say, Wukong or Jarvan, and then back off, as long as your burst out-trades her QWE burst.
And finally, anyone with sustain and sustained dps will have an advantage (Yorick, Irelia, Warwick, etc)
Some (perhaps boring) videos about certain matchups. I hope they provide a bit of additional information.
(Turn on annotations for youtube videos, as I give much of my comments in those)
VS Lee Sin
There's no audio commentary in this one. I do annotate frequently though.
I get ganked at level 2 near my turret and miss two minion waves, giving Lee Sin a huge advantage. However, I recover and win the lane. (I also make many mistakes in the process). The annotations will explain what to do and what not to do in this unfavorable matchup.
This video isn't an audio commentary either. The subtitles/annotations in the video should provide some information.
Sorry about the video quality. I majorly screwed up my settings on this one.
This was a lane against a Cho'gath. He had an early gank that killed me while I was tunnel-visioning, but I still end up winning the lane by quite a bit.
And, just for fun...
Dominion with Sejuani
I've actually played several hundred dominions, but not very many were with Sejuani. This video isn't meant to be too informative--just to give you guys an idea of how she does in Dominion.