Rodder Stewart is confused.
"So it's a tournament full of REBBL Legends... but they can't die?!"
REBBL's Chief Scout is a little new to the concept of REBBL: Imperium - the collectible card game spin-off version of Blood Bowl. A little more explanation will be required to bring him up to speed.
"Ohh, so it's like the Slamini Blood Bowl stickers I used to collect as a young'un but... brought to life! Okay, I'm sold."
Rodder rummages around in his office drawer and pulls out a dusty old playing card, with none other than Griff Oberwald's grinning face staring back at him. For a moment, a brief hint of emotion and nostalgia crosses the face of the very much undead Chief Scout.
With Rodder on board, his task was set. A swift analysis of the 64 teams entering the inaugural Imperium Cup to find the favourites, the outsiders, and any other useful bits of information that may help to predict a winner. There's a lot to decipher here!
With teams as high as TV 3000 entering the competition, we're expecting some significant competition.
Here's Rodder's breakdown of some of the key facts and figures ahead of the tournament.
Top 5 Deck Values
5. Missuh (Alliance of Goodness) – 191
4. PapaNasty (Chaotic Player Pact) – 199
3. Ay (Superior Being Ring) – 204
2. Khornight (Superior Being Ring) – 215
1. Gaudi (Chaotic Player Pact) – 220
Rodder Reckons: High correlation here between Number of Tournaments Played and the highest deck values. With Gaudi and PapaNasty already having Imperium Tournament titles under their belts (one Chorfy competition each as well as the Boozers' Bounty for PapaNasty) these two may well be considered the coaches to beat.
Bottom 5 Deck Values
60. Dreamifi (Human League) – 109
61. Harringzord (Afterlife United) – 107
62. Supra (Chaotic Player Pact) – 105
63. KleptoKnight516 (Human League) – 99
64. YodaZong (Alliance of Goodness) – 80
Rodder Reckons: Imperium creator Harringzord basically used this season to test various parts of the game but hey, there's every chance he uses his "influence" with the Imperium bot to steal the championship. A shout-out to YodaZong too, who chooses the Imperium Cup as his first-ever Imperium experience!
Most Common Team Types
Chaotic Player Pact - 16
Alliance of Goodness – 11
Far East Association – 10
Superior Being Ring - 7
Elfic Grand Coalition – 5
Human League - 5
Afterlife United - 4
Anti-Fur Society – 3
Chaos Gods Selection - 2
Violence Together – 1
Union of Small People – 0
Rodder Reckons: Little surprise to see Chaotic Player Pact as the most popular team, while the two Chorfy competitions see the numbers of Far East Association and Superior Being Ring teams receive a boost. Steakmittens plows a lonely furrow as the only Violence Together team while we haven't seen a single Union of Small People entry whatsoever!
Top Deck Values by Team (Tax Adjusted)
Superior Being Ring - Khornight (215)
Chaotic Player Pact - Gaudi (210)
Far East Association - EpicalOne (186)
Alliance of Goodness - Missuh (181)
Elfic Grand Coalition - Tobi (177)
Afterlife United - Stallions McPanther (173)
Anti-Fur Society - Swampmist (160)
Human League - Toawesome (159)
Violence Together - Steakmittens (142)
Chaos Gods Selection - Oni_Goku (128)
Rodder Reckons: Adjusted for the team tier tax, it's actually Khornight with the theoretical best deck in the tournament. Five legends and a bunch of Special Play cards will do that. It's fairly close in the middle - from Far East Association through to Human League - before we find Violence Together and Chaos Gods Selection lagging well behind at the back.
Highest Team Values with no REBBL Legend
5. deadman78 (Chaotic Player Pact) – 150
4. Masterful (Far East Association) – 153
3. Keith (Chaotic Player Pact) – 155
2. zaba (Chaotic Player Pact) – 157
1. ElSod (Chaotic Player Pact) – 172
Rodder Reckons: Plenty of deck value here but without that garnish of the REBBL Legend. Still, none of these teams are to be underestimated and they may find themselves to be stronger all-round teams capable of causing a few shocks. There may not be a REBBL Legend, but ElSod's deck contains ten Epic Player cards! Talk about value.
Lowest Team Value with only one REBBL Legend
5. WalvisVis (Superior Being Ring) – 129 - Arthur Pendragon
4. Isaire (Human League) – 127 - Erik the Red
3. juvesak (Chaos Gods Selection) – 116 - Yaaz'a of Mucus
2. Ricky (Far East Association) – 111 - "Leftie" Leroy III
1. KleptoKnight516 (Human League) – 99 - Chuck Norris
Rodder Reckons: On the flip side, these guys are struggling more for overall team development and will be quite reliant on their one star player putting in good performances. That being said, there are some high potential Legends on these sides so they'll definitely be worth keeping an eye on!
Teams with most REBBL Legends
3 Legends – Gaudi, PapaNasty, Missuh, BigEasyTP, Wrinkles (Lord Owl), RumbleBee, GrandviewKing, Rinn Lanael
4 Legends – Ay, Tobi, Ewthn, rexlongbone, Toawesome
5 Legends – Khornight
Rodder Reckons: 49 REBBL Legends amongst these fifteen coaches alone so there'll be plenty of expectation that they can go far in the tournament. Khornight will presumably be applying the Rule of Five to protect his small army of finely-tuned Legends. Ewthn gets a shout-out here for fitting all four of his REBBL Legends into one Alliance of Goodness team!
Most Popular REBBL Legends
3 – Chuck Norris, Godefray the Jackal, Happy, Long Bong Silver, Sunfire, The Big Juan
4 – Chub Step, Huge Jackedman
5 – Arthur Pendragon, Gloranlana
Rodder Reckons: Am extremely good ball carrier and an extremely good ballhawk comprise the two most popular REBBL Legend inclusions for the Imperium Cup. Pendragon, with Strength 5 Blodge and Sure Hands, may be too hot to handle even for Gloranlana, the Witch Elf with Strength 4, Agility 5, Leap, Wrestle and Tackle. Elsewhere, renowned Dark Elf Blitzer Chub Step is another max value player and the ever-loved Huge Jackedman also finds his way into four decks.
Top 5 Races by Legends
Chaos Dwarf – 6
Human – 7
Wood Elf - 8
Bretonnian – 8
Dark Elf - 11
Rodder Reckons: Dark Elves win the day here thanks to the popularity of Gloranlana and Chub Step, though The Kiwi Kid also pops up in a couple of decks. Arthur Pendragon makes up 62.5% of the Bretonnian Legend charge, while the presence of four Wood Elf legends helps to boost their numbers.
Races with all REBBL Legends represented
Chaos Dwarf – Happy, Eek-A-Mouse, Quatro Quatro
Dark Elf – Gloranlana, Chub Step, The Kiwi Kid
Halfling – The Black Wind, Tree Course Meal, Horatio Hornblower
High Elf – Super Dragon 6000, Alawe Undoos, Not Major
Human – Huge Jackedman, Wilfred, Gothard Stephan
Ogre – Jimmy “Left Foot”, Henry O’Hurler, Yob
Skaven – Beavotti, Sunfire, Myllo
Underworld – Butterfly, Slash, Dirty Claws
Wood Elf – Long Bong Silver, Lird’nor, Lithium, The Big Juan
Rodder Reckons: Every race in the game sees at least one of their REBBL Legends make it to the big show, but the nine listed above have managed to get ALL of their Legends into at least one deck. The big surprise here is two of the three Stunty races making this list, with Yob, Horatio Hornblower and The Black Wind being deemed worthy of a deck slot despite their diminutive statures.
If you want to follow the Imperium Cup, keep an eye on the REBBL: Imperium Discord server. Scheduled matches will also be added to the REBBL Google Calendar so you may find some of them being streamed, though there's no commitment that all games will be streamed in the same manner as the REBBL Playoffs.