Thunder, i'm a bit surprised with you! You generally seem to understand Riot's ... predisposition for balancing around #LCSBIGPLAYS by allowing certain champions to have "assured viability" but being rather heavy-handed on other champs who honestly haven't had enough time in the spotlight yet.
HOWEVER: ever since the juggernaut patch, champs like Brand, Anivia and Malz have had favorable metas and correspondingly high winrates. Of course, a lot of their recent success is to do Deathfire Touch. i wish they'd just take DFT out back and shoot it rather than keeping it on life support for a few months before pulling the plug... but they probably won't be doing that.
So the "unpopular champs being strong in a favorable meta" argument is a little old. i just doubt that this meta is going to stick around... which can leave these champions in a frustrating state.
Anyway, there has got to be a midpoint between "DFT is my personal-pet and i will feel invalidated if we have to remove it from the game" and "6 months of Patron Warrior - i mean, Brand/Malz/Karthus/Anivia - followed by the Return to Cancer (#LCSBIGPLAYS)".
Thunderlord is pretty bonkers and it was being used by 2 people pretty much every game... before the buffs \:
The tweaks to Fervor were making it less attractive to ADCs (specifically, the lane-bully ADCs who truly preferred it to Bloodlust), but more attractive to auto-attack bruisers such as Irelia, Jax or Renekton (though they could also go that one life-sapping one in the Defense tree if they were worried about losing lane).
Renekton still has a lot of power with Fervor due to his W applying it multiple times, and then animation-canceling with hydra for a fourth autoattack.