Post ACVII, ACVIII Predictions

I thought I would get away from my typical team analysis today, with an early pre-season prediction for ACVIII, now I like to do these after a few weeks have passed in the cup so I can have a feel for how teams have done, without all the speculation and here say that pre-season brings. I also refrain from doing the standard “placing” of teams as I feel that’s just setting yourself up for disaster in the end. That being said I will divide it into sections based on how I think they will do in terms of power.

Top Tier Teams: These teams will more then likely end up in the top tier, they consistently have a strong core group of players, and anything less then 6th place for any of them would be shocking. Note for Kreludor I’m excluding the “winners curse”

Darigan Citadel and Krawk Island are always the two largest teams, and always have the highest amount of All-Stars,  and neither team has even finished below 7th. Kreludor has ended 1st coming out of the DRR 4 times now (well I count ACVII even though it was kind of a different format, statistically speaking if we did have a DRR they would’ve). Meridell has the smallest amount of players compared to rest of these teams, but they always seem ready and willing to work (even with that ACIII blemish)

Heavy Weight Teams: These teams are very strong in YYB, and usually 1 or maybe two side games. Some like Maraqua and Lost Desert have really high team populations, while the others usually have a really small team size. Still they’re able to last and have the longevity that none should fall below… 9th place.

Lost Desert proved that their ACVI fall could simply be attributed to “winners curse” and I even had them rising back into second tier in my early ACVII predictions. Virtupets has proven that they aren’t the underdogs they once were, they really have Yooyuball and Make Some Noise skills in place and modest Slushie Slinger and Shootout Showdown. Maraqua has been over-hyped for a long time now, but I think ACVIII will be the time for them to show us what they’re capable of, as the freeloaders should move on to other teams. Mystery Island was always a threat to take the cup for the first four years (well maybe not ACIII, but still) but for the most part their skills are pretty amazing all around.

Calculating Threats: These teams are some of the smallest teams and they’re able to pull off amazing upsets, even when their opponents don’t give them many chances, but unfortunately their small sizes mean consistency will always be an issue. I don’t think any of these teams will make it to the podium but I certainly think second tier or high third tier will be a home for them.

Tyrannia got really screwed over with the format of ACVII to a degree, while I don’t think they would’ve ended up on the podium at any level, they certainly pulled off more upsets then their 10th place makes you assume, being the only team that BOTH Mystery Island and Kreludor lost Yooyuball to. Kiko Lake is the smallest team in the Altador Cup and they proved that they can put those numbers to good use, they started to actually build up an assortment of YYB wins, while still maintaining their side game ferocity that they were known for in ACVI. Brightvale has been long over due to rise, and last year seemed like the time for them to make a gigantic rise, but they only made a small rise, but if the continue with the small rises then they will certainly be a threat in the coming season (second tier anyone ?).

Teams on the Decline: These teams have been on the decline as of late, and there are no signs of them picking it up anytime soon. I expect these teams to finish up low third tier or in the fourth tier, with the consolation tier being a minor possibility.

 

Shenkuu has been on the decline since ACV, when they became known as the drama team, they also become a prime team choice for “anime lovers” who sadly read more anime then they play Altador Cup games, that being sad all hope is not lost for this team as they still show some of their key strengths (like always getting a good last batch of results toward the end of the cup). Now for Haunted Woods fall has kind of been in the works, for a large team they operate on a small team mentality, in which any loss seems to hit the team in stomach. The past few cups have shown that they performed like an upper third tier team, trying to break into second tier, but when they fail to reach it they always fall in finals, and in ACVII after a disappointing start in a bracket where they should’ve had a stronger showing in they just never really seemed to pick it up (results wise). Terror Mountain has a problem with having a “cutesy theme”  combined with the stigma of being a team with drama, which will sadly keep the team towards the bottom for the next few years to come. Roo Island seems to have left their glory days behind them (although in theory they could turn out to be another Mystery Island).

Cellar Dwellers: These are the teams that have consistently performed at the bottom of the standings. Two of which are expected to be in the consolation tier while the other is expected to get 16th or 15th place.

 

Faerieland has always been an under-rated team, and while they showed promise in ACV and ACVI, ACVII just saw them return to their old patterns. Altador has been making some steady improvement, but it seems wherever they DO make progress, they just lose it by the time the next Altador Cup rolls around. Moltara has risen and compared to these other teams they seem to be able to stand there ground, but against teams above them they seem to falter, and even when they do have good beginnings they seem to flat line towards the end.

 

And there you have it. Remember that these were based of ACVII results and what I’ve noticed so far in the off-season, but we still have a long time to wait until the next Altador Cup, so expect things some things to change before I make my actual pre-season prediction. Tell me what you think in the comments below about where YOU think the 18 teams will end up.

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Altador Cup VIII Predictions + Team Raffle

In this  video, I discuss the Altador Cup and predict what will happen in the Altador Cup VIII. Since I was indecisive in choosing a team for the upcoming Cup, I also decided to do a raffle.

I hope you enjoy.

All-Time Power Rankings

Many have wondered who is the best team in the Altador Cup tournament, year in and year out. Few have the answer.

I am excited to present to you the official All-Time Power Rankings of the Altador Cup, brought to you by Cormag001 (usa_winnners).

These rankings weight the most recent tournaments the greatest, to give a clear view of who are the top teams (sorry Roo Island, Shenkuu). There is a bonus for winning the tournament. Teams are not punished for missing years. (Please note: AC 1 was NOT included. Also, I broke the tiebreakers for AC7.)

 

18.Moltara - #18

Previous Standings: N/A, N/A, N/A, 18, 18, 15

The team that never was. When Moltara was introduced in 2010, the hype grew quickly. Everyone wanted to be on the flashing new team. It’s almost as if Moltara suffered from the winner’s curse, times five. Doomed from the start, Moltara has a rebuilding process ahead of them, in which they made improvements in Altador Cup 7, finishing 15th.

 

17.Faerieland - #17

Previous Standings: 15, 15, 16, 15, 15, 18

Poor Faerieland. The name alone should tell you why they are losing so often. From AC1 it was obvious that Faerieland would never catch a glimpse of what it’s like to be a top team, held down by their massive “12 and under” fan base. Faeireland has had their fair share of small successes.

16.Altador - #16

Previous Standings: 13, 13, 15, 17, 17, 17

Many question why Altador isn’t able to see success in the Altador Cup. After all, they are the hosts right? Well, that’s just it. Altador being the host, it makes them a popular choice for people who are new the the game (often becoming freeloaders). Altador isn’t a huge team, so with some All-Star help they may be able to rise in the standings one day.

 

15.Kiko Lake - #15

Previous Standings: 14, N/A, 14, 16, 16, 6

Kiko Lake lived the bottom-dweller dream this year. Their rise to the top is the glimmer of hope for the rest of the bottom tier teams that maybe there is a way for them to succeed. Many point fingers at STEALTH and SOTAC for Kiko Lake’s success, however most know that the hardworking Kikos deserved every win they got. Can they keep it up next year, or will they fall back to the bottom of the standings?

 

14.Brightvale - #14

Previous Standings: 12, 16, N/A, 13, 12 , 12

Brightvale just seems to be a tier four – tier three kind of team. Every single year, no matter how much hype they get, or what the predictions say, that’s where they’ve been. Known for their great starts, Brightvale just can’t find a way to get into the higher tiers. Even the new format didn’t help Brightvale, as they finished at their usual 12th spot. Will they finally live up to the hype they recieve each year, or are they lower tiers forever?

 

13.Terror Mountain - #13

Previous Standings: 10, 12, 13, 9, 8 , 11

Terror Mountain had high expectation coming into Altador Cup 7. They were coming off of their best year ever (in which they qualified for the second tier), and were being predicted to do just as good, if not better, this year. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way they had planned. Terror Mountain fell to 11th, completing the journey to finish every position from 8-13. Now they have a new journey – to make first tier.

 

12.Haunted Woods - #12

Previous Standings: 7, 8, 10, 12, 11, 9

If AC1 had been included, Haunted Woods would have a championship to go with a lot of average placings. Unfortunately, it isn’t counted into these rankings, so Haunted Woods is just an average team. They’ve always placed above 12th, but only once did they get out of tier 3 (the year they were supposed to suffer the winner’s curse). Haunted Woods’ placing in Altador Cup 7 was very controversial, because most thought they should have been placed lower. Can the Haunties get it back together?

 

11.Virtupets - #11

Previous Standings: 16, 14, 12, 6, 1, 13

Virtupet’s rise to the top has been one to follow. They started off as one of the weakest teams in the tournament, and worked their way up to become champions in ACVI. Lots of controversy surrounded their championship, simply because many gave STEALTH alone the championship. Nevertheless, most AC fans consider Virtupets a successful team.

 

10.Tyrannia - #10

Previous Standings: 11, 11, 8, 10, 6, 10

 Known as an average team the first five Altador Cups, it wasn’t until 2011 that Tyrannia burst onto the scene, threatening to make first tier. Tyrannia was one of favorites to be a sleeper in AC7, but disappointed most, dropping four spots from their AC6 6th place finish. Will Tyrannia turn into a top tier threat again, or will they continue to be an average team?

 

9.Shenkuu - #9

Previous Standings: 3, 4, 2, 11, 10, 16

What happened to Shenkuu will forever be a mystery. They appeared to be poised for greatness, coming into the top tier three years in a row. They were poised for an AC5 win. Then, something went wrong. The greatness we had seen for three straight years vanished. Some say players got frustrated with losing in the finals. Others say it was difficult match-ups early on kept moral low. We’ll never know.

 

8.Mystery Island - #8

Previous Standings: 6, 9, 6, 14, 14, 2

After AC6, Mystery Island appeared to be a team who was incapable of being a factor. They had been contenders from 2007-09, but always came up short. In almost felt like they gave up in 2010. But then, 2012 happened. Mystery Island started winning. They kept winning. Most point fingers at STEALH, saying they are the reason for MI’s rise. But it was obvious that all of MI was giving an extra effort, and it paid off huge. Are they here to stay?

 

7.Roo Island - #7

Previous Standings: 2, 1, 9, 4, 9, 14

Roo Island, considered an average team in today’s Altador Cup, looked as if they had a chance to be the best team in the Altador Cup. After winning the tournament and then suffering from the winner’s curse, it appeared that Roo Island was right back where they  left off; they finished fourth in AC5. AC6 was a massive disappointment, and officially knocked Roo Island from their “powerhouse” classification.

 

6.Maraqua - #6

Previous Standings: 9, 10, 5, 5, 4, 8

Maraqua, known for their intense organization, has always been a good team, but never has really threatened to win it all. You could argue that in AC6 Maraqua had the tools to win it, but they fell short. That AC6 performance is what had Maraqua a favorite for the 2012 tournament. The format change killed Maraqua’s organization strategy, results in an 8th place finish. Can Maraqua rise back to the top?

 

5.Meridell - #5

Previous Standings: 8, 5, 11, 8, 5, 3

At the start of AC6, it looked like it would be just another average year for Meridell. They were winning some games here and there, but where unable to really get any big wins. Then something happened. They went on an absolute surge, threatening to make the top tier. They barely missed. This was the reason lots of people had them as AC7’s winner. They lived up to the hype, finishing a strong third place (tied for second before the tiebreaker). Meridell’s year was also slightly tarnished, with Codex on their side. No one truly knows how much of a difference they make though. Will they finally win their title?

 

4.Lost Desert - #4

Previous Standings: 5, 3, 3, 1, 13, 5

Lost Desert is, rightfully, known as one of the best teams in the AC. For four years they were always a threat to win it, and they cruised to victory in AC5. The winner’s curse hit Lost Desert hard in AC6, but they’ve recovered in the 2012 tournament. Will they be able to get back to their old glory, or will they just be a “pretty good” team?

 

3.Darigan Citadel - #3

Previous Standings: 1, 7, 7, 3, 7, 4

Darigan seems to like coming in seventh, or being a true contender. Known as the (stereotypical) evil/cocky team of the AC, Darigan Citadel has seen their fair share of success in the Altador Cup. Never qualified below tier two, they are a team to be feared year in and year out. Will Darigan be the first team to win another title, or will they continue on their 7th place journey?

 

2.Krawk Island - #2

Previous Standings: 4, 2, 1, 7, 2, 7

The number don’t lie. Krawk Island has established themselves as the definition of a powerhouse. They the team many thought would win the title twice. They fell short in AC6, their best opportunity. Krawk Island’s AC7 finish appears dissapointing at first – until you realize if the traditional standings would have been used they would have been fourth. Will Krawk Island, one of the favorites next year, finally be able to take home the second title?

 

1.Kreludor - #1

Previous Standings: N/A, 6, 4, 2, 3, 1

The number one team in my all-time rankings is the champions of 2012, Kreludor. They didn’t participate in AC 2, but since then have dominated the AC. They had a tier one finish four years in a row, finishing in the four different positions. They finally took their first championship this year. How will the winner’s curse affect them?

Thanks for reading everyone. I’m glad to be a part of the Atador.com team, and thank Alex for the wonderful oppurtunity.

Until next time, This is Cormag, signing off.

An Elegant Analysis: Altador

I want to do things I bit different in todays analysis, before I had written about teams that had either started as cellar-dwellers and risen, or those who started at the top but have since fallen. Sadly Altador really doesn’t fit into that category, and a review on how they’ve placed would simply undermine the effects that this team has had on the cup. Their performances in ACII and ACIII seemed to indicate that hey were the top team in the bottom bracket, but after that they frequented the bottom, and have been in the consolation tier every year since it’s inception.

While this may paint a picture of a team struggling to stay afloat, with a little in-sight, we can see that Altador is actually gaining the abilities that a lot of small teams have shown before they sky rocketed in the standings  (some will laugh at me for pegging Altador to be the next Virtupets), but look at what they’ve shown recently. ACVI showed that they have the power to pull of consistent wins in a game even if other teams know about it, now while this might not seem like much because it was in SS, we’ve seen in the past where teams take the power they had in one area, and then move it to another, it would have a pretty big impact. And in ACVII they proved that they can’t be swept by showing that they can plan to take at least one win from any team (although it took some time). So to go from having all this strength in one game, and turning it into an effective strategy to prevent being swept, is reminiscent of an early Tyrannia.

On top of that, Altador seems to be the team that everyone hopes will rise, and this popularity could benefit them in the future. Now I’m not going to say that SOTAC is going to be jumping on the Altador band wagon anytime soon, I will say that that out of the last 6 teams, Altador showed the most promise in advancing skill for the next season. So while ACVIII might seem like a distant dream right now, I believe that if Altador makes the necessary shift in power, they are definitely a threat to top the fourth tier.

 

An Elegant Analysis: Darigan Citadel

 

 

Ah Darigan Citadel, truly one of the strongest forces in the entire history of the cup, and honestly it wasn’t until I actually set out to write this article that I realized my extreme lack of knowledge on the history of this team. Going into the first Altador Cup their were expectations from this team for sure, but surely no one expected them to be serious cup contenders right off the back, and while they did end up in the finals there was controversy to say the least. When the results were announced between the final four teams (Krawk Island against Haunted Woods, and Roo Island against Darigan Citadel) the results showed that while Darigan Citadel did beat Roo Island, Krawk Island had higher scores then Darigan Citadel, however it would be Darigan advancing into the finals. With the community pulling for Haunted Woods, it’s needless to say that Darigan was stopped in their tracks.

Going into ACII this team had a lot to prove, with the ney-sayers saying they would be stuck in the second tier, Darigan once again had to fight against the common perception. And that they did, taking home the cup, and the bragging rights that they (rightfully) deserved. Going into ACIII this team had a dramatic change in perception, they were widely considered to be huge threats for the cup, with many pre-season predictors reflecting this perception. It would seem that either the pressure got to be too much, or their player base became bogged down with “trophy hunters” (the horror) because they ended up falling into 7th place. ACIV was going to be their redemption year, but it didn’t start out that way, after losing to Kreludor on the opening day they seemed unable to make any strong impacts, and once again settled into the second tier.

As ACV rolled around the consensus was Darigan Citadel had been over-hyped and instead, pre-season predictors favored the higher ranked Shenkuu, Lost Desert, and Maraqua to be the main cup runners. And how wrong could they’ve been, Darigan proceeded go blow past the competition and finished up the DRR in third place, the first time a former champion team had a chance of winning the cup again. Sadly they lost to Lost Desert during the first round of finals, effectively ending any chances the team had of repeating, but they were able to beat Roo Island and finished in third place. The first time a champion team had returned to the podium in the history of the cup.

Unfortunately this momentous achievement came with some issues of it’s own. The ACVI pre-season hype for Darigan Citadel was off the charts, with many analysts (myself included) predicting them to take the cup. This caused them to be bogged down with free-loaders, and even a group called Ultra-Violet, who claimed they would send losing scores in YYB for DC to prevent them from winning the cup, and it seems they might’ve been successful as DC had a steep decline in YYB power, but they also an increase in side game consistency compared to years previous, and after losing to Tyrannia in the finals (which most considered an up-set) they were able to beat Terror Mountain and finish ACVI in 7th place (a home away from home for them one might say).

In ACVII their was no pre-season hype surrounding the team, no bombardment of groups claiming to help or hinder the team, with that in mind their was nothing to step in Darigan Citadel’s way of reclaiming their cup… except for a change in the format by TNT and pitting them against the steam-powered front runner (Kreludor) multiple times. It seems they were fated to not even make the podium.

With that being said ACVIII seems to have all the signs pointed in their benefit, their appears to be no hype surrounding them, and they seem to have kept their core group of players going strong, and they’ve had the most players out of any team for the last three years. It seems if there’s ever going to be a time for this team to strike back for the podium (and the cup) something tells me their going to strike soon.

But ultimately it’s your thoughts that count, do you think Darigan Citadel is going to be a cup threat, or will they sadly be cursed back into their 7th place “holding cell”.

 

An Elegant Analysis: Shenkuu

If the image to my left wasn’t enough of an indication, were going to be covering Shenkuu for today.

 

Shenkuu will certainly be an interesting team to cover, they didn’t even enter the Altador Cup until ACII, but boy did they make an impact, getting 3rd place and defeating Krawk Island (a heavy contender). In fact they didn’t lose a single game in the entire second half of ACII. While many thought this was just thought a result of a “first year fluke” they proceeded to finish in the top tier bracket by the end of ACIII. Now going into ACIV Shenkuu started to get a lot of attention from both players and predictors (after all finishing in the top bracket every year is a good way to get attention), and with all that attention came SOTAC (secret order of the altador cup), who were coming off of Roo Island, and were looking for a good team to help lend their strengths to, in the quest for the cup. When ACVI first started Shenkuu started off slow (as they always did) but around the time of the second round, they (once again) picked up steam and managed to make it into the first tier, but their true strength didn’t come until finals, where the managed to overthrow Kreludor (who were in 1st after the double round robin) to score a shot in the finals, against Krawk Island, for the cup. And while they ultimately didn’t make their end goal, they were certainly able to leave with their heads held high…. kinda

You see it was after this that the astrological signs, that had been paved in Shenkuu’s favor before then, started to fall apart. Apart from SOTAC leaving, another unfortunate coincidence was about to hurtle Shenkuu in a bad direction, and that’s the “second to first” theory. In ACII, ACIII, and ACIV the winner was always the team that had gotten 2nd the year before. So naturally this garnered Shenkuu TONS of free-loaders going into ACV, and after the first day of ACV Shenkuu was defeated by Kiko Lake, in what was considered at the time to be a massive upset. Unfortunately it really didn’t seem to get better from there, they weren’t getting the easy wins they used to, and they didn’t pick up steam when the second round started. This culminated in their third tier finishing at the end of ACV, after losing to Tyrannia, but beating Haunted Woods in the finals. It was also during ACV that Shenkuu began to have HUGE amounts of drama, that would often leak out onto the rest of the Altador Cup boards on the forums, giving the team the dreaded “drama team” image, an image that is still pegged to Shenkuu to this day.

When ACVI rolled around, many expected Shenkuu to bounce back, with a “freeloaders will be gone so they’ll have no where to go but up” mentality following them, things seemed to be looking up. Unfortunately the damage from ACV had already hurt the team as a lot of their core All-Star players left in search of a teams with no drama, and Shenkuu began to pick up players who were attracted to them because of their asian theme. They spent most of their time in the fourth tier, and only managed to break into the third tier during the last two days. However the finals showed some renewed vigor, they were able to beat a 9th place Haunted Woods, while also putting a dent in Roo Islands side games, landing them in 10th place at the end.

Now in ACVII Shenkuu did drop into the fourth tier, and they ended up finishing in 16th place, as it seems Shenkuu has cemented itself as a “Faerieland” so to speak in that they’re a team that attracts a lot of not very active players, because of their theme, and going into ACVIII I can’t say things are going to be getting any better for them.

 

But ultimately it’s your thoughts that count, do you think Shenkuu will return to the podium, or should they pull out their chairs and get comfortable in the bottom bracket?

 

An Elegant Analysis: Brightvale

Today we’ll be covering Brightvale. Their strength in ACI surprised many when they were able to knock Kiko Lake out of contention (no animosity there) but they dropped in the second round to finish out 8th. And from there their performance only started to decline further to 12th in ACII, and then 16th in ACIII (also known as last place), all culminating in an absence from ACIV (King Hagan decided that their time would be better spent doing their studies).

And it was during that time off that Brightvale truly began to make better improvements for themselves. And they entered ACV by sweeping DC (which remains one of THE most shocking Altador Cup results to this day). Unfortunately the were not able to maintain their strong performance for the remainder of the cup, and ended up falling back into the fourth tier, where the proceeded to beat Faerieland and Mystery Island (respectively) to nab 13th place. In ACVI hopes once again remained high, with spectators and predictors remembering their first round upsets, improvement was expected. They once again started off strong but started to decline in performance before the first round even ended, but it wouldn’t be Brightvale without them making some form of an impact on the season and they started pulling off consistent (yes you heard me correctly, consistent ) YYB upsets against major power house teams like Darigan Citadel, Maraqua, Tyrannia, and Virtupets (who won the cup that year).

These strings of upsets in the main game, against predicted major top tier contenders, lead many predictors to have Brightvale going into the second tier and beyond, and they finished ACVII in an 11th place tie with Terror Mountain. Now while they did rise, their performance fell short of many expectations (including my own) and it came as a shock for a multitude of reasons. Considering the fact that their the second smallest team in the cup, coupled with the fact that they gained a small faction of “Dream Team” and a former Maraqua All-Star group, the stars were aligned for them to rise up, but unfortunately it just didn’t seem to be their time. Going into ACVIII Brightvale is a team that I really can’t put my finger on, statistically speaking they should rise, but at the same time they should’ve risen for 3 cups now, and while they have been making modest improvement (which in itself is an accomplishment) they haven’t been making enough improvement, or shown enough consistency to make me think their going to be podium contenders.

 

But what do you think about Brightvale, could ACVIII be the year of improvement that we’ve been expecting for so long, or will they fall short of their goals once again? Leave a comment below.