Day 1

Altador Cup 8 is underway!!!!  The new brackets have places 1-6 last year in Alabriss, 7-12 in Minitheus, and 13-18 in Vaelous.  Although it looks like the new way of organizing brackets will be tough teams who got 6th and 12th, it promises to have lots of exciting matches.

Predictions

Kreludor vs Mystery Island       MI-KD-D-KD

Meridell vs Darigan Citadel       D-MD-MD-D

Lost Desert vs Kiko Lake            LD-KL-KL-D

Krawk Island vs Maraqua          MQ-KI-D-KI

Haunted Woods vs Tyrannia     TY-TY-TY-HW

Brightvale vs Terror Mountain  BV-TM-D-BV

Virtupets vs Roo Island               VP-RI-D-RI

Moltara vs Shenkuu                     D-SK-MT-MT

Altador vs Faerieland                   Al-Al-Al-FL

Current Bracket Standings

Alabriss                                Minitheus                        Vaelous

  1. Kiko Lake                 Tyrannia                           Altador
  2. Kreludor                    Maraqua                          Roo Island
  3. Darigan Citadel      Krawk Island                   Shenkuu
  4. Mystery Island        Brightvale                          Virtupets
  5. Meridell                   Terror Mountain               Moltara
  6. Lost Desert            Haunted Woods              Faerieland

Key Games

Mystery Island vs Kreludor- Finally we get to see this match.  Unfortunately, it came 341 days late and will probably not be the same as it would’ve been last year.  I think both these teams will fall off from their high finishes last year, and this will show if one is here to stay.  I think Mystery Island will focus on yooyuball and get the win, but Kreludor will win the majority of the side games.

Meridell vs Darigan Citadel-I picked these teams to finish 1st and 2nd.  The consistent powerhouse, Darigan Citadel, verse the rising power of Meridell.  I think yooyuball and SOSD will be a draw because the two teams were just about equal in those events last year.  However, Meridell had an advantage in Slushies and Make Some Noise, so they will probably win these and get the overall win.

Krawk Island vs Maraqua-Which of these teams will come up from the middle of the pack to challenge the top teams.  Krawk Island really should win, but I think Maraqua will play hard and take yooyuball.  Krawk Island was much better at Slushie Slinger than Maraqua, and I  think they will also get SOSD from Maraquans focusing on yooyuball.

 

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May 31st Predictions

AND SO IT BEGINS!

First, a quick look at the brackets and standings, then my predictions!

Brackets

Alabriss bracket looks absolutely brutal. All are possible powerhouses, if KD and KL don’t drop this year. This could put the overall standings out of whack immediately.

The Minitheus bracket looks a little less intimidating at first glance. Possible powerhouses include KI, MQ, and TY, since Codex was rumored to have joined them.

The Vaeolus bracket is another step below Minitheus on the scale of things, with really only AL and RI as possible powerhouses. Both are teams that are allegedly boosted with ASGs, AL with Stealth and RI with SOTAC. Other than that… I could be surprised, but the other teams aren’t really expected to do much this year.

Current Standings

Thus far, current standings  (at the time I write this) show a few things that make me practically squeal with excitement. For instance…

  • ALTADOR IS IN FIRST.  Their bracket only has, as far as I can tell, two real contenders. Nonetheless? Altador is beating five other teams when they usually struggle to defeat their fellow bottom-dweller, FL. It seems that Stealth did indeed join them. AL’s small size and Stealth’s dedication were apparently the perfect recipe for miracles.
  • TYRANNIA IS IN FIRST ALSO. I never really thought that Codex had a big effect, but perhaps since the “new” cup deals with overall effort rather than, you know, YYB, they really do. Not to mention that TY wasn’t really a struggling team to begin with like AL was. They’d improved quite far on their own before, so I won’t write this completely off to Codex just yet.
  • KIKO LAKE IS IN FIRST AS WELL. KL’s bracket has six contenders, unlike the other two first place teams’ brackets. The fact that they’re in first completely astounds me; I can’t even comprehend this yet. They didn’t get any ASG’s, they’re small, they’re volatile-and they may well have actually bounced up instead of down.
  • KRELUDOR ISN’T DOING SO BAD. KD’s not in first (for the first time in quite a while) but hey, they’re second place in this round’s hell bracket! Above DC, MI, MD, and LD, who I predicted to win it all this year (though admittedly, that doesn’t seem to be panning out). KD does tend to be a “night owl” team though, and things might change as the day goes on. However… if KD’s above all of these possible powerhouses, doesn’t that make them a contender? Perhaps KL’s amazing this year. With these standings, it could certainly be true.

Predictions

Now that I’m through that and I’ve calmed down a little bit, I think it’s time to get down to business and do today’s predictions. They’ll be in the format YYB/SlS/MSN/SOSD as always.

KD vs MI
MI/KD/KD/KD
Since the games are pretty much equivalent to each other now and effort matters more than results, this result could still perfectly well mean a KD victory, though traditional players will see it in MI’s favor. Either way, I think KD will pull out a few more points here than MI this time around.

KL vs LD
KL/LD/KL/KL
I’m really not certain how this one will go. KL seems to be cleaning house, but I really have no idea where they’ll end up putting their wins at. This is a little bit of a shot in the dark.

DC vs MD
DC/MD/DC/D
This one didn’t take much thought for me, honestly. Standings show who’ll probably win overall already, and I assigned the individual games according to the differing strengths of the two teams. It seems like it’ll be a fantastic match at first glance, but…

TY vs HW
TY/TY/TY/TY
Whatever breaks HW got last year, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be getting any this year. With extra help in MSN/SOSD from Codex, I don’t think the already-side-game-strong TY will relinquish those. SlS? Let’s get serious. YYB is the best chance HW has, and honestly, I think that even in the past TY had them there.

MQ vs KI
D/MQ/KI/MQ
This might be the closest match today. I believe that both teams will have strength this year, and I’m excited to see how it turns out. MQ ought to come out a little ahead, but the individual games could be all over the board.

TM vs BV
TM/BV/BV/TM
I like to think of BV as a watered-down TY; very well rounded, not exactly one particular strength. Therefore, I’ll predict this match according to TM’s strengths, since I think it’ll go their way.

AL vs FL
AL/AL/AL/ALSomething like a revenge match to test AL’s power, I suppose, though the teams are probably friendly. If standings work the same as last year, AL ought to be sweeping.

RI vs VP
RI/RI/VP/VP
I don’t think this will be a total blowout. VP’s not one to lay back and take a loss, and while RI improved, we don’t know how much.

SK vs MT
SK/SK/SK/SK
SK looks like they’re doing pretty well this year for them, and MT doesn’t have any strengths in particular that let me know where they might sneak in anyways, so I’ll predict a sweep for SK.

 

That’s all for now, hopefully these aren’t too terrible. Good luck today everybody! Let me know about any errors!

Day 1: Curtain Up on the Altador Cup

The game is afoot. And shockingly, without glitches. Today’s revealed brackets may look familiar to you. They’re designed based on last year’s standings, as well as the matchups, where 1st fights 2nd, 3rd and 4th battle, and so on. TNT wants to make some new rankings, don’t they? So without further early morning zombie yawns (and misspellings, maybe), let’s go!

Alabriss: Kiko Lake, Kreludor, Meridell, Darigan Citadel, Lost Desert, Mystery Island
Minitheus: Krawk Island, Maraqua, Haunted Woods, Tyrannia, Brightvale, Terror Mountain
Vaelous: Altador, Roo Island, Moltara, Shenkuu, Virtupets, Faerieland

Kreludor vs Mystery Island
I’m surprised to see Kreludor doing so well on the standings as of now. I’m doing these at 12:50 NST, and the standings are definitely shifting right now, for you late risers. Mystery Island is floating near the bottom. I already think Kreludor will place better anyway, but maybe the curse isn’t kicking in yet. It will come down to an impressive match in Yooyuball.
YYB: Draw / SS: Draw / MSN: KD / SOSD: KD / Win: Kreludor

Darigan Citadel vs Meridell
Awesome. A powerhouse rivalry match on day one. These two titans are bound to give their all today. It’s going to be a close one and I don’t think the final scores will make sense later in the Cup. Immediately, Meridell is barely edging out Darigan, and since I predict them to win, they gain my prediction. Yeah, that’s basically all I can go on today.
YYB: Draw / SS: MD / MSN: DC / SOSD: MD / Win: Meridell

Lost Desert vs Kiko Lake
Okay, so I thought that this would be unanimous, but Kiko Lake is at the top of their bracket now. Not to mention that they’re always weirdly strong on day one, at the very least. I’m going to tentatively stick to my original predictions, cause the standings could change during the day…. Or not. My mind is jumbled already!
YYB: KL / SS: KL / MSN: LD / SOSD: LD / Win: Kiko Lake

Krawk Island vs Maraqua
Two more titans with a fierce rivalry are up to the plate next. Very exciting. Very exciting. Once again, going with my original prediction now, Krawk Island will win but not unscathed. They’re leading Maraqua in the bracket too, but this bracket has moved everywhere in the last few minutes.
YYB: KI / SS: MQ / MSN: MQ / SOSD: KI / Win: Krawk Island

Haunted Woods vs Tyrannia
Blah blah blah, undeserved, blah blah blah, underrated. It will be proven on the field today. Both have flaunted different placements in their bracket, so that won’t help. Overall, I think Tyrannia will do really well this year with the controversial Codex ASG. They’ll dominate in side games, and all they need to win is Yooyuball, which should be easy. First sweep alert!
YYB: TY / SS: TY / MSN: TY / SOSD: TY / Win: Tyrannia

Brightvale vs Terror Mountain
This is oddly like a late tie-breaker match. Brightvale is stronger than Terror Mountain in the brackets now, and I think it will reflect. Overall, Brightvale seems to be in a better condition, especially with the first day launch and all.
YYB: BV / SS: BV / MSN: BV / SOSD: TM / Win: Brightvale

Virtupets vs Roo Island
Somebody told me that SOTAC joined Roo Island. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it’s certainly showing as of now. Roo Island is one of the top teams in the standings. I thought that this would have been way closer, but I predict Roo Island overall anyway, and I’m sticking like glue. Virtupets does have a huge opening in the sides though.
YYB: RI / SS: VP / MSN: VP / SOSD: RI / Win: Roo Island

Moltara vs Shenkuu
This is a close match, though most expected that. They’re around the same place in the standings. So who’s improved more? I honestly need Moltara to show more to get my predictions. History, though ugly, is in favour of Shenkuu. Not by much though.
YYB: SK / SS: Draw / MSN: MT / SOSD: MT / Win: Shenkuu

Altador vs Faerieland
Who would have guessed that this would be the most one-sided match a few days ago? Not me, but here we are. As you’ve probably noticed, Altador has gotten a huge increase in All-Stars, and they lead the standings right now. We’ll have to truly test them tomorrow.
YYB: AL / SS: AL / MSN: AL / SOSD: AL / Win: Altador

 

New Guest Writer/ AC Series

Well hey,

My name is Cam, but you can call me Cam. On Neopets my username is cam_diddy and you may know me from my various boards on the Neoboard. For 3 ACs I have supported Tyrannia, GO EXTINCT REPTILES WOOH!  Anyway enough about me, I’m thrilled to inform you that I have become a guest writer for the glorious Altador website, but you probably already knew that because how else would I be talking to you. Down to business, this AC I will start a few comedy commentary series on this AC.

My first series: What Grinds my Gears

"You know what really grinds my gears?"

“You know what really grinds my gears?”

This series will tackle the tough issues the users want to hear as the AC goes on. This will hopefully be a weekly series (I do have a social life, if one can call it that).

I’m open to any suggestions on future articles and such, and it is important to always remember with me that all my articles are in jest and hopefully I don’t offend any team (a lot).

Until next time peasants,

Cam

 

New Guest Writer and My Predictions

Hi, my name is Connor and I am a new guest writer for altador.com.  I support Lost Desert.  I will try to post daily predictions and commentary on results for the day before.  Here are my preseason predictions.

Altador Cup VIII Predictions

1. Meridell– I don’t think the winner’s curse is going away, and Meridell is the best of the teams who haven’t won a cup.  They have been on the rise going from 11th to 8th to 5th to 3rd in the last four cups.

2. Darigan Citadel– Darigan Citadel is a powerhouse.  Picking them 2nd is the safe pick because they are so consistently good.

3. Krawk Island– Krawk Island had a bit of a down year last year, but I think they will bounce back strong.

4. Tyrannia– Tyrannia has been greatly improving their yooyuball strength and showed their potential to be a powerhouse with the upsets they had last year.

5. Lost Desert– Although many say they didn’t deserve their 5th place finish last year, it was still a good rebound from 13th.  They will probably stay at or just below 5th place again this year.

6. Maraqua– Maraqua is always an interesting team to project.  They never seem to live up to the high predictions they get.  I think that 6th is fair rank for them.

7. Virtupets– After the winning curse, I think Vitupets will get back in the middle of the pack.  The year before they got Stealth and won, they had improved a lot.  I think they may get to that rank again, but no higher without an all-star group.

8. Mystery Island– Mystery Island was a shocker last year, but I can’t see them staying near the top.  They have always been somewhat inconsistent.  I don’t think they will go back to 14th place like in ACV and ACVI, but they probably will be hurt by freeloaders since they are such a small team.

9. Brightvale– Brightvale is a bit like Maraqua in the fact that they never really reach their high expectations.  Brightvale always disappoints, and I think this year won’t be much different.

10. Kreludor– Winning Curse.  I doubt even Kreludor, the team that was so dominant for the last few years, will be able to avoid it.  They will still beat lesser teams, but I don’t think they will be a top contender.

11. Roo Island– Except for fourth in ACV, Roo Island has been going lower in the standings since they won ACIII.  I don’t think they will finish quite as low as last year, but not really a threat for the cup.

12. Kiko Lake– This is a tough pick.  I’m not really sure how Kiko Lake will come back from last year’s rise up the standings.  I don’t think they will stay at 6th, but they might surprise me.

13. Terror Mountain– I picked Terror Mountain a little lower than their usual finish, and it is because I think there are a lot of other teams (Brightvale, Mystery Island, and Kiko Lake) who are improving while Terror Mountain isn’t.

14. Moltara– Moltara is getting better.  They are probably going to pass teams that are falling off like Shenkuu and Haunted Woods.

15. Haunted Woods– Haunted Woods was one of the worst teams in the cup last year, having only one yooyuball win.  I think that they will move to the bottom.

16. Shenkuu– After Shenkuu got second in ACIV, they have been really bad.  I think there three-win yooyuball record last year showed that most of their all-stars have left.  I can’t see them winning any games except verse Altador and Faerieland.

17. Altador– Altador always is weak, and probably always will be.  However, they weren’t nearly as bad as Faerieland was last year.

18. Faerieland– After Faerieland actually showed signs of getting better in ACV and ACVI, they sank back to last place last year.

If you have any comments or questions leave comments.

Rusty’s Power Rankings – Preseason Edition

Hey everyone, Rusty here! Recently, I’ve decided to take my page over to altador.com, which was a Power Rankings page which started as a Standings/Predictions page back in AC II. I’ll be updating these every few days during the cup, but for now, here are some preseason ones:

18. Faerieland

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 16th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

During AC VI, it looked as if things were looking up for FL. They looked significantly stronger than they ever had before… and then they get no wins and finish last again. Most of it is out of their hands, as they’re really popular and large, but post similar board scores to some of the smaller teams. Someday FL will be better, but it doesn’t look like that day is coming for a while. The devoted members put in a lot of effort, but they have significantly more weight to lift than the other teams that usually share positions with them.

17. Moltara

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 17th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Moltara seems to be on the rise, and people are taking notice. They finished in the same general group as SK, TM, and HW going by the old standing formula, which I consider to be more realistic than the ones officially produced. However, just as I gave Shenkuu a pass and a bump up for doing generally well against opponents a tier above in power, I’m going to give Moltara a knock and a bump down. They had the pleasure of going up against FL 4 times, which admittedly inflated their score a bit. They also went against AL once, where they couldn’t close the deal. They did close the deal once against HW, and they had that win against VP, but then you could say similar things about AL, who had that win against MT, and the one against KI. That being said, MT deserved a 4th tier spot. I just don’t see them in the same class as SK or TM quite yet. They’re probably more comparable to AL. However, who knows what the future holds?

16. Haunted Woods

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 8th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

I think it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that Haunted Woods wasn’t the same team last year, despite the rankings saying otherwise. They were… pretty bad at closing the deal last year in YYB to say the least, getting only one win against Altador. Despite this they have 5 wins, getting them in similar fashion to Shenkuu where they Draw YYB, and take most of the sides. They normally handled lesser talent, minus the potentially upstart Moltara team once. Lucky for them YYB was de-valued last year, but if they can’t get it together in that area this year, they might not be so lucky (assuming it is changed back to how it was before).

15. Altador

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 15th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

I’ve said before that Altador has a lot of potential to be the next surprise team because they’ve gotten relatively small over the years. It seems like a lot of people are taking that to heart, and they’re getting a lot of new strong recruits to help them on their mission. Still, based on historical performance I have trouble placing them above 15th. HW beat them last year, which was their only YYB win, but HW seems to be going down in strong support while AL seems to be going up, so based on speculation, I place AL above HW.

14. Terror Mountain

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 11th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

By most accounts, TM was the best of the lower tier of strength, and may be closer to SK in power than HW, AL, and the others. They handled Shenkuu pretty well going 1-1-1 against the ninjas, and actually were able to close the deal in YYB more often, with 4 wins, though they did slightly worse than Shenkuu overall in YYB. In typical TM fashion, they were rarely swept. However, they have one big knock against them. They were 0-2 against Haunted Woods. For whatever reason, TM could easily dominate matches that HW could barely close out, but when the two played each other, HW was the one closing the deal. I’m not sure if I should be treating HW as the superior team here for winning head to head, or TM for just generally being better more often. However, TM looks to be in better shape than HW going into this year, so I give them the nod.

13. Shenkuu

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 8th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

I have Shenkuu as the one sitting out of the 3rd tier of the 5, which might be controversial to some considering how they did head to head in their only opportunities against BV and KL. Shenkuu might’ve actually been one of the most consistent against teams of similar strength, only suffering a couple losses to Roo Island. However, they were pretty weak in YYB, and most of the matches they won were won with side games. In comparison to Kiko Lake (8 wins), Virtupets (13 wins), Roo Island (5 wins), and Brightvale (9 wins), Shenkuu pulled just a meager 3 wins, and while they had a rough schedule, the struggles were against weaker YYB talent too. Most they could pull TM and HW to were YYB draws, and neither were particularly good YYB teams. Due to this, it’s hard for me to imagine SK being able to close the deal against any of those 4 teams in a finals setting where everyone is trying their best. However, they have a chance to improve this year because the official standings will probably mitigate a lot of hype.

12. Brightvale

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 12th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

It’s really difficult to know how good Brightvale could’ve been. Out of the 5 teams I lumped together, they were seemingly one of the most improved on paper. In fact, if you look at this like actual sports, BV has had very, very good recruiting classes for years now. When will it show up in the standings? Nobody has any idea. However, last year they were very inconsistent against similar talent, like pretty much everyone else in this group. They win against RI, and then lose. They win against VP, and then lose twice. They lose against KL, and then win. Outside of that, they lost to who they were supposed to (minus LD and TY draws), and beat who they were supposed to. From raw statistics, BV wasn’t bad at all, and actually might be better than some of the teams above in these rankings. They don’t necessarily pass the eye test though, with a lack of dominating wins and more dominating losses than a lot of other teams. In short, BV is a contradiction, and how good they are depends on how you value aspects of strength.

11. Roo Island

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 6th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

RI looked pretty solid at points. Their biggest achievement of note was sweeping HW twice in the same bracket, which even though HW wasn’t very good, is harder than it looks. They also had some more good wins, and by the end of the cup, became pretty good at drawing points against even the best of teams. However, like most of the teams lumped in this general area, they had some bad points, struggling against Shenkuu early, and dropping one to Brightvale late. They weren’t necessarily the greatest in any category, but were decent overall. Honestly, I kind of saw them as fairly similar in power last year to BV, but I give them the nod because BV wasn’t quite as dominating against similar power as often.

10. Kiko Lake

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 13th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Kiko Lake is the most old school team out there, reminding me of how people treated team groups back in AC I and maybe AC II. Usually they pulled in the bottom of the rankings, but last year they finished 10th going by old standards, and were actually pretty battle tested. They looked really strong for a while last year… and then the last bracket came. Due to this, I can’t say they’re better than VP at this point, but definitely a notch above the other three. Really, it’s hard to say if they’ll be better because for them, it’s all about how who joins. It’s not going to be a manufactured rise in power like some other teams have tried to pull with strategy. KL is going to continue to just play, have fun, and be relaxed, which is a noble cause. However, I’m sure their performance last year will turn a few heads and hopefully they get some new members legitimately willing to buy into their relaxed atmosphere.

9. Virtupets

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 11th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Last year, VP was forced out of their element. The format really wasn’t the best for teams rooted in strategy, and VP felt the consequences. In terms of raw power, VP has never been the greatest. However, in terms of the power of the mind, no one even comes close. A part of that is their guild system, where as a spectator it’s really impossible to know what kind of condition they’re in, or how they’re doing points wise or strategy-wise. They probably would’ve been a 3rd tier team in the old format though, feeling fairly evenly matched with teams like Brightvale, Kiko Lake, Shenkuu, or Roo Island. However of the teams, VP was, and probably still is the biggest potential threat because of their minds.

8. Lost Desert

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 5th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Regardless of whether or not they had a soft schedule, can you really fault them too much for making the most of it? They got a good situation and took advantage, and it’s not like they could really help the schedule they were given. They beat who they were supposed to, and lost to who they were supposed to, down to a T. However, due to not playing MQ, I found one major statistic going against LD. When they did have the opportunity to go against good talent, they didn’t really show as much as some of the other teams in question, only averaging 3.5, which is almost a whole point lower than MQ. This leads me to believe that LD was potentially the weakest of these three teams in the lower end of 2nd tier. However, they were still definitely a tier 2 talent, and have a chance to build on that this year.

7. Maraqua

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 7th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Maraqua last year was comparable to LD, except their schedule wasn’t as favorable. They beat who they were supposed to, and lost to who they were supposed to. I literally see LD and MQ as about equal strengths last year, both probably taking low spots in Tier 2. Both struggled to close out matches against good talent, each holding only a TY win to their credit. However, there is one major difference between LD and MQ. Needing some kind of factor to differentiate the two (because they didn’t play each other), I turned to how they did against good teams. MQ had a significantly better points average against top talent (counting first half KL) with 4.38.

6. Tyrannia

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 10th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Tyrannia is a really difficult team to peg because they’re so inconsistent. For example, last year going by old rules, they were the only ones able to snipe out victories against Kreludor and Mystery Island during the regular season. However, they also lost against both Lost Desert and Maraqua, which were two Tier 2 teams with some question marks. There’s no doubt that they were a Tier 2 power, but how strong were they really? And will the be any stronger or weaker this year? Will the recent Tyrannia event affect them in any way? Between the three teams in question (TY, LD, and MQ), Tyrannia had the second best point average against upper level talent (counting first half KL) with 4.17. However, they get the edge because of their scary ability to snipe wins against seemingly dominant teams.

5. Mystery Island

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 8th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

MI is truly good (or bad) on their own terms. When they take things seriously and work hard they’re a Top 8 team. When they don’t they’re a bottom 8 team. So because it’s really hard to know whether MI is going to focus more on the matches, or more on making clever board titles for the matches, it’s impossible to really peg how they’ll do next year. Due to that inconsistency, I had to drop them a few notches in power. They held up really well last year though, so it will be interesting to see if they can follow up with another strong finish.

4. Darigan Citadel

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 4th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

History dictates that DC will be a 2nd tier team this year, so based on this I have to knock them a bit. KI and DC tend to trade size each year, causing one to be in 1st tier, while the other drops to 2nd. Last year was DC’s turn, so this year ‘should’ be KI’s given nothing changes. On last year’s performance though, they were 0-4 against Top 4 teams. Well actually, that’s a bit unfair to say since all 4 of those matches were against Kreludor who was flat out dominating, and using last years standards they came the closest to beating them out of all the teams with a 7-4 loss. Using standards with actual logic though, the closest they came was nearly sniping a YYB win while getting side swept.

3. Krawk Island

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 4th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Likewise, history dictates that KI will be a Top Tier team this year, so they get a push in power. Will this trend break? I have no idea, but it hasn’t yet. Last year though, KI played DC fairly well at points last year, but looked outmatched against the Top 4 a lot of the time. However, they lost to who they were supposed to (most of the time) and beat who they were supposed to (again, most of the time), rounding out to a solid 5th last year (going by the old standing formula).

2. Meridell

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 7th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

Meridell struggled a bit against other Top 4 teams it faced last year, with a loss to KD, and 1 to MI (going by old standards, they won the other match against MI). So why 2nd? Well, they’ve kind of followed Kreludor’s business model, being a mid-sized team that has hovered around the top spots for a while, though slightly under performing what many people expect, but causing them not to get as much hype as they normally would. The hype they do get can’t be that much more than previous years, as MD has been suspected to win for a little while now. They’re basically due anytime for a win, but who knows if it will come this year. However, they have the size advantage on DC and KI, and who knows how well MI is going to do this year.

1. Kreludor

Current: 0th | Historical Avg: 4th | Streak: 0 | Key Wins: None | Key Losses: None | Schedule Strength: 0th

If you’ve ever seen power rankings in the past, you know the drill here. If you haven’t, basically the previous winner is placed in the first slot to honor them in the pre-season, and also because ‘you’re the champion until proven otherwise’. Admittedly, this is becoming less and less common as time goes on as the champion rarely repeats, but I like the sentiment behind it so I’ll do it here. If the past is any sort of indicator, they will be proven otherwise, because usually the winner drops to anywhere from 2nd tier to 4th the year after winning. I honestly think they’ll be more of the 2nd tier variety. Size shouldn’t even be a factor, as I don’t think they would get any bigger than they already were last year after being 1st in points so often. They seem to be retaining most of their core players, and might actually be as well off as they were a few years ago, trading their smaller size for a few extra All Stars.

New Writer/Predictions

Hello Altador Cup fans!

My name is Jackhawk, or Jack for short. I’m a new guest writer here at Altador.com. I’ve been around the Altador Cup since ACI, and I’ve been a supporter of Mystery Island and Roo Island (including when the Roos won the Cup back in ACIII).

During the Cup, I’ll be posting weekly power rankings to let you guys know what teams are on the rise and which teams are falling fast. I’ll also try to make a new power rankings post whenever the brackets (which it looks like are here to stay) get switched. Right now, however, I thought I’d give you my take on how I think each team is going to do. Without further ado, my predictions!

18. Altador

A perennial bottom-dweller, Altador doesn’t have much going for it. Yes, they beat Krawk Island last year. Yes, they narrowly avoided last place. But I feel that, given how they were defeated by Altador last year, Faerieland will have more of a drive to get 17th when the season winds down than Altador will, who probably wont have very much motivation at all. Another disappointing season for the hosts.

17. Faerieland

Another team that can’t seem to figure things out, Faerieland has as much chance coming into this cup as they’ve had in any other; which is to say, they don’t have a chance. I don’t think they’ll have the displeasure of placing last again this year, but one spot up isn’t much improvement.

16. Virtupets

Their Altador Cup victory just two years ago already feels like ancient history. Last season Virtupets succumbed to the dreaded Winner’s Curse, falling all the way to 13th place. While other champions have recovered from the Winner’s Curse in the years after their respective falls from grace (Krawk Island even managed 2nd place), many of the teams who have managed to regain Powerhouse status, such as Lost Desert and Darigan Citadel, had strong fanbases and year-to-year stability before they won it all, while Virtupets was one of the worst teams in the Altador Cup before placing 6th in ACV and winning ACVI. Now, without the help of All-Star groups and unable to attract much fresh talent after a 13th place finish, expect Virtupets’ fall to continue.

15. Moltara

Next up is Moltara. 15th place isn’t exactly reason to celebrate, but when you’re one of the Altador Cup’s worst teams, anything better than last place is a victory. They’ve certainly shown improvement over the last few seasons, but at least for now, they’ll stay in the same position as last year at 15th.

14. Haunted Woods

While a drop from 9th to 14th may seem surprising at first, Haunted Woods benefitted from the strange bracket structure of the Altador Cup last season. With only one yooyuball win (yes, you read that right) they somehow managed to place in 9th. With TNT hopefully updating the bracket system this year to prevent that from happening, as well as the fact that Haunted Woods isn’t in a position to attract a lot of All-Stars after just a 9th place showing, expect a big fall for the Cup’s first champions.

13. Shenkuu

Once a budding Powerhouse, Shenkuu has fallen hard over the last couple of Altador Cups. While they finished all the way back in 16th last year, they’re a better team than that. They have the ability to beat out teams like Moltara and Virtupets, but that’s about it. Expect a little improvement, but still a disappointing AC for Shenkuu.

12. Terror Mountain

A middle of the road team, expect Terror Mountain to stay in the lower half of the tournament’s standings again this year. They tied for 11th last year with Brightvale, and while they have shown signs of strength in the past (most notably in the sidegames), I doubt that they can make a serious move this AC.

11. Tyrannia

A sidegame powerhouse, Tyrannia has never been able to support their sidegame strength with yooyuball. After placing 10th last season, dropping a spot isn’t the result of Tyrannia getting worse, but other teams improving. Not a lot of excitement this year for Tyrannia (at least they have the shrine).

10. Brightvale

Brightvale is a team that everyone seems to think is about to make a run for the Cup before every AC, but never fully pans out. There’s always the chance that Brightvale could attract the help of a group like Stealth, but unless that happens, expect Brightvale to underperform as usual.

9. Roo Island

The Roo Island supporter in me would like to move the Rooligans all the way to first place, but I just can’t do it. Don’t get me wrong: Roo Island certainly has the potential to crack the top three every year. The problem as of late, however, has been consistency. After placing in the top four for the first three ACs, and winning the third one, Roo Island has fallen to ninth, risen to fourth, fallen to ninth again, and then last year completely collapsed, ending up in 14th. However, Roo Island is a lot stronger than they showed last year, and have beaten Powerhouses in the past. For now I’ll put them at 9th, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up in first, and it also wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up in 16th.

8. Kiko Lake

After rising to 6th place last year, some ACers are predicting Kiko Lake to make a splash in this year’s tourney as well (pun intended). Many think they could attract an All-Star group to aid them in their quest for the cup, as well. However, I’m not sold on Kiko Lake just yet, and that’s why I have them dropping two spots. Like Roo Island, this is a team that wouldn’t surprise me if they were holding up the Cup at the end of the AC. But looking at the talent I have ahead of them, it’ll be a tall order.

7. Maraqua

Having fallen to 8th last year, I have Maraqua regrouping and rising slightly to 7th. Maraqua is one of the most well-organized teams in the tournament, and has shown in the past that it has the muscle to compete with anybody. However, they’ve never placed in the top 3, and may have lost some momentum after last season’s fall. I think Maraqua’s loyal fanbase will be enough to keep them relevant, however, and if they get hot near the end of the tournament like they have in years past, they could make a serious run for the Cup.

6. Lost Desert

One of the best teams year-to-year in the AC, Lost Desert climbed all the way back to 5th last season after free-falling in the ranks following their AC victory. While some question their 5th place finish last year due to a weak schedule, nobody can deny that Lost Desert has been one of the most consistent teams in AC history. They certainly have the talent to take on anybody, but the teams ahead of them are just all so good, I can’t see them passing any of them.

5. Kreludor

I have Kreludor at 5th, a lot higher than most ACers. While Kreludor will certainly see some effects of the dreaded Winner’s Curse, gaining freeloaders and losing All-Stars, Kreludor has been on of the best teams throughout AC history. They have such a strong fanbase that I can’t see them falling tons of spots in the standings like Virtupets or Lost Desert. While they wont medal again this year, expect Kreludor to be as potent as ever.

4. Krawk Island

Another Powerhouse, Krawk Island has already hoisted the cup in the past. They almost become the first team to do it twice two years ago, when they finished 2nd behind Virtupets. One of the strongest teams in the tourney, Krawk Island can beat anybody. However, they also showed signs of laziness last AC, losing to lower teir teams in yooyuball like Altador. While they certainly rise to the occasion when it matter, their lackluster performance against lesser teams might be their downfall when every point matters late in the Cup.

3. Darigan Citadel

For years, ACers have been predicting that Darigan Citadel will be the first repeat champions in Altador Cup history. While they certainly could be, I don’t think Darigan Citadel has the same momentum coming into the cup that the two teams I’ve placed ahead of them do. They certainly have the All-Stars to win the Cup, however, and with their strength in yooyuball, they’ll be a hard team to beat.

2. Meridell

In 2nd place, I have Meridell. After surprising everyone with a 3rd place finish last season, Meridell is a popular pick to win it all this year. While I certainly think that they can win it all, Meridell will have to prove they can hang with the Powerhouses again this season.

1. Mystery Island

And now you’re champions: Mystery Island. Consistency has always been Mysery Island’s downfall, and I had a hard time deciding whether or not I felt MI would be champs this year or a second tier team. MI has several things in its favor though: One, they are yooyuball Powerhouse. Even when they’ve been bad (and they’ve been bad), MI has always scared the top teams with their ability to beat anybody in yooyuball at any time. Unlike Meridell, they’ve already proved that they can beat the top dogs. They also have momentum, finishing 2nd last year after an unbelievable run. Unless freeloaders and a mass exodus of All-Stars plague MI this year (and it could happen), expect Mystery Island to ride a wave of momentum and yooyuball success to a championship.

Who do you think will win it all this year? Do you think I’m way off? Spot on? Leave a comment, and I’ll see you when the tournament begins!