//ROSTER

Your Guide to Choosing an Altador Cup Team

So it's your first Altador Cup. Or, perhaps, you're an old pro looking for a new experience. In either case, the most dominant question in your mind is probably this: Which team is right for me? Like many others, you may feel overwhelmed by this choice. Or maybe you'll just assume that it doesn't matter; might as well pick on a whim. I, however, believe that it does matter, that the team you choose directly influences your enjoyment of the long and crazy ride that is the Altador Cup experience.

For those of you who agree that picking the right team is critical, this page will help guide you to the team that best fits your personality, playing style, and goals.

Updates // Quick Match // In-Depth Summaries // FAQ // Link & Contact
Where to? There are two ways to use this guide: First, you can go to the section directly below this, which will give you quick recommendations based on simple criteria. Alternately, you can scroll further down the page and read the in-depth summaries of all 18 teams.

Latest Updates

04.08.2011 This page is getting far much more traffic than I anticipated. I'll be trying my hardest to get all the summaries out within the next week so bear with me, and continue sending in your great feedback. It's really interesting.

I've gotten a lot of feedback about my choices of teams I put under the "likely to get a trophy" category. I'd like to remind everyone two things: 1. it's really too soon to predict where the power players will end up (and I am trying not to base this page on too much speculation), and 2. this isn't a predictions page. Players who really want to win should do their research on pages like that. (And remember, if you have such a site I'd be happy to link you!)

Finally, thanks to Altador Cup Clicks for linking me on their guide. I have added a link to them to the brand new link section. It's a well-written analysis and I recommend it.

Quick Match

The easiest way to pick a team. The idea here is simple: pick the statement below that best fits you. You will see one or more suggestions for your best-matched team. You can click on the team's name to jump to its in-depth summary to learn why it might appeal to you.

Tell me about yourself...

    Placing Criteria:
  • I want to get a shiny trophy. → It's too soon to predict the frontrunners, but consider Kreludor, Maraqua, and Darigan Citadel, and--this is a subject of much debate but I believe it is possible--Lost Desert.
  • I love supporting the underdog. → Check out Terror Mountain, Altador, Kiko Lake, and Faerieland.
  • I like to support teams that are sometimes too average to get noticed. → You should consider Mystery Island, Haunted Woods, and Meridell.
  • I want a truly unpredictable, seat-of-your-pants experience. → Take a look at Virtupets and Moltara.

  • Social Criteria:
  • I have a wacky sense of humor and like chatting with people like me. → You might like Brightvale,Virtupets, and Shenkuu.
  • I'd like a smaller team made up of devout, skilled players. → Try Kreludor or Roo Island.
  • I want a large team of players who generally take it seriously (thus giving me less individual responsibility). → You might like Krawk Island, Darigan Citadel, or Lost Desert.
  • I want a big, laid-back team that values community interaction almost as much as playing. → Look at Maraqua, Shenkuu, and perhaps Moltara.
  • I prefer a small close-knit team where I can really get to know people and make close friends. → There are a ton of options here (basically everything that isn't listed above), but consider a team like Tyrannia,Brightvale, Terror Mountain, or Altador.

  • Game Criteria:
  • I am a Yooyuball purist; sidegames are irrelevant. → I recommend Maraqua and Meridell.
  • I vastly prefer sidegames to Yooyuball. → You'd most enjoy Tyrannia and Terror Mountain.

Top

In Depth Team Summaries

The meat and potatoes. In the sections below, you will find detailed profiles of all 18 competing teams. The data I have gathered come from my own observations, statistics (from ACV only), and survey responses from players in the Help Chat and Virtupets boards. I have attempted to remain as impartial as possible, but if you think I have made a mistake, or if you would like to complete the survey yourself, please see the FAQ.

Jump to team: AL // BV // DC // FL // HW // KL // KI // KD // LD // MQ // MD // MT // MI // RI // SK // TM // TY // VP

Altador

Chat Group: TOGA
You'd think that the world that developed the sport of Yooyuball would have a sure mastery on it (see my NT article on the subject here). Alas for poor Altador, this is not the case. They have made the second-to-last spot their home for ages now without any mobility. The problem for Altador is that the "root for the underdog" players usually support the dead last place team. This phenomenon provided the boost for Faerieland to rise toward the top of its tier last year, and the same boost will probably be bestowed on Moltara this year, once again leaving Altador in the dust. If you are a true philanthropist, consider offering your service to Altador, because clearly they aren't getting the sympathy vote although they could use it perhaps more than any other team.
Why join: They're quite nice people on the TOGA board, and you'll probably feel good for helping the team out of its funk.
Why not join: Kiss your trophy hopes goodbye, unless a true miracle occurs.
Stats:
YYB: LOW SS: MID/LOW MSN: LOW SOSD: LOW

Brightvale

Chat group: BOB
Brightvale has had a rocky couple of years. They did not paticipate in ACIV, and as such they had something of a fragmented fanbase in ACV. In the pre-season, Brightvale started a vast recruitment movement to try and convince veterans to join them and help them pull off an upset victory. Unfortunately, Brightvale's huge recruitment movement backfired-- many of their new recruits dropped off in the middle of the season for unclear reasons, and the team crashed while trying to pick up the slack from that. Brightvale will be starting from the ground up again this year; only a few loyalists who played on the team in the past have committed to joining this year. It will be interesting to see what strategy the team adopts this year, but after last year's failure one would imagine that this team will prefer to stay small, and only the dedicated need apply.
Why join: For one thing, Brightvale has some of the silliest members I've ever seen (their chat group's name, BOB, stands for "Brightvale on Toast"). They aren't afraid to poke fun at themselves, and that is a refreshing attitude. Furthermore, this team requires strong leadership (not that they don't already, but there will be increasing pressure on their leaders), and if you believe you can contribute that, your help would likely be appreciated.
Why not join: Expect a lot of disorganization as the team tries to establish its niche.
Stats:
YYB: MID-LOW SS: HIGH MSN: MID-LOW SOSD: MED

Darigan Citadel

Chat Groups: Darigan Official, Darigan Headquarters, DC Minions
After an intense final round last year, Darigan Citadel fought hard and landed in third place. As per tradition (think Lost Desert), this puts them in the frontrunner position for this season. They will have to combat the surge of freeloaders, lest they succumb to Shenkuu's fate. DC may be able to pull it off, however, because this is a group of players who take this game seriously. They can play Yooyuball better than just about anyone else (Maraqua beat out their YYB record last year by just a single draw).

The problem, according to former DC players, is that it can sometimes be intimidating playing for them. Because the team takes itself so seriously, freeloaders are extremely frowned upon (sometimes to the point of flame wars), and all players are expected to contribute to the best of their ability--no excuses. Players have also reported that a few members of the team have been rude toward other teams. One player experienced "Getting bashed for not working hard enough, or watching other members bash other teams." But if you have tough skin (or don't care about the social aspect of the game) and just want to play your tail off, this team might be your ticket to glory.
Why join: They are the team to beat. It is highly likely that they will get a trophy of some kind. This team stays focused and just gets the job done.
Why not join: Its merits are its flaws: the team can be too serious and focused, and they don't take failure well at all. Drama ensues.
Stats:
YYB: BEST SS: HIGH MSN: HIGH SOSD: MED

Faerieland

Chat Group: FLUFF
Last year, Faerieland finally managed to pull away from the bottom two, but still didn't manage to get past Tier IV. There seems to be no indication that this will change, unless Faerieland gets a suprise boost in popularity from the plot and revamp, which slightly diminishes the "girly" stereotype.

Faerieland has a lot working against it. In particular, they tend to get a reputation as a team of preteen girls. this contantly annoys the dedicated members, who want badly to be recognized for their hard work. Being a Faerielander is a rather unrewarding task, but they generally keep impressively high morale despite their shortcomings. If you're considering backing an underdog, Faerieland offers the unique satisfaction of showing the other teams what it means to be "beaten by a girl." If Faerieland pulls any surprise upsets, you will have the right--and perhaps the obligation--to feel very, very smug for overthrowing the stereotype.
Why join: There is a core of dedicated players, and you can be one of them. Faeries are good sports and a pleasure to chat with.
Why not join: Because of its appeal to younger players, Faerieland has a high population of low-skill players compared to other small teams. You also have to endure that frustrating stereotype and try to work past it. Faerieland has minimal odds for reaching the top two tiers, but sometimes winning a lower tier is a victory in itself.
Stats:
YYB: LOW SS: LOW MSN: LOW SOSD: MID-LOW

Haunted Woods

Chat Group: OHWD The Haunted Woods kind of lost support after their first victory and the subsequent winner's curse. Since then, they have achieved little more than mediocrity in recent years. They don't have a clear specialty, though they are decent at Yooyuball. I haven't seen much emphasis on community from the players I surveyed; this may be putting them at a disadvantage.

Haunted Woods might be a good alternative for those who prefer a darker theme but are put off by the occasional attitude problems in Darigan. Other than that, I don't know much about the team's personality or fanbase; I would appreciate any insight from former players.
Why join: It might be fun to help break the winner's curse.
Why not join: The team lacks a strong identity, so it could be difficult to develop team pride and camraderie. Not that that has stopped its most hardcore members, but outsiders might have a harder time getting excited.
Stats:
YYB: MID-HIGH SS: HIGH MSN: MID-LOW SOSD: MED

FAQ

This is a lot of information. How do I pick a team? Every player has his or her own strategy for selecting a team. For some, it's as simple as picking the world or colors you like best (that was how I chose Maraqua, and it's working out pretty well for me). For the more discerning, pick a team that is compatible with your personality if you plan on socializing or your playing style if you intend on playing heavily. For the latter, there are two approaches: you can join the team that's best at your favorite game, or you could join a team that's weak in that area so that you can help them become more well-rounded. It's up to you.

How could you say that such-and-such team has no chance of winning!? You're totally biased! I try to remain as objective as possible and base my generalizations on what the team members themselves have told me. If, though, you think I've made an egregious error, don't hesitate to neomail me.

Why do you think that Lost Desert has a chance at winning? This has already generated a bit of controversy. I said that they have a shot at a trophy, not necessarily at first place. I know, winner's curse, blah blah blah, but my responses have shown that many of LD's players from last year are sticking around. I don't know if LD will be hit as hard as previous winners, but we will see. I will amend this prediction if necessary once we can see some recruitment patterns when registration begins.

How can I help out with this page? I'm always welcoming responses to the survey I'm using for data collection. I'm in dire need of responses from players who were on Mystery Island, Maraqua, Meridell, and Kiko Lake. Look for my board on the Virtupets forum.

Wanna trade links? If your page is AC related, sure! I don't have a link section yet but would gladly add one if I get any offers for a link exchange.

Link/Contact/Site

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You can contact me, Middy, by Neomailing rikkuffx2theif.

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