Champion Hurdle Betting Tips 2021, Best Bookmakers & Free Bets

2020 Champion Hurdle Betting Tips

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Champion Hurdle betting in turmoil as favourite Faugheen is ruled out

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[Sports] - Cheltenham 2019 results LIVE: Latest tips, best bets, odds and schedule for the Champion Hurdle and more on day one

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[Sports] - Cheltenham 2019 results LIVE: Latest tips, best bets, odds and schedule for the Champion Hurdle and more on day one | The Independent

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I've a 100 Euro bet on with my friend that he won't complete this game in 3 days. >>>Day 3<<<

Death Count: 242
Iudex Gundyr - Defeated
Vordt of the Boreal Valley - Defeated
Curse-rotted Greatwood - Defeated
Crystal Sage - Defeated
Deacons of the Deep - Defeated
Abyss Watchers - Defeated
High Lord Wolnir - Defeated
Old Demon King - Defeated
Pontiff Sulyvahn - Defeated
Yhorm the Giant - Defeated
Aldrich, Devourer of Gods - Defeated
Dancer of the Boreal Valley - Defeated
Oceiros, the Consumed King - Defeated
Champion Gundyr - Defeated
Ancient Wyvern - Defeated
Dragonslayer Armour - Defeated
Lorian & Lothric
Soul of Cinder
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Welcome back, Unkindled Ones, for the grand finale. I will be updating the key highlights as we proceed throughout the game over these next few and final hours, as well as the death count. To make things easier to follow, I will have (updated) to the left of the most recent text below. The times I update may not be 100% accurate, but fairly close.
For anyone who doesn't know what this is all about, check out the link below.
https://www.reddit.com/darksouls3/comments/heepr2/ive_a_100_euro_bet_on_with_my_friend_that_he_wont/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
For anyone who missed the events of Day 1, check out the link below.
https://www.reddit.com/darksouls3/comments/hg43r5/ive_a_100_euro_bet_on_with_my_friend_that_he_wont/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
For anyone who missed the events of Day 2, check out the link below.
https://www.reddit.com/darksouls3/comments/hgqdbm/ive_a_100_bet_on_with_my_friend_that_he_wont/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
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11:00 - Once again, I must apologize for the two day break in between. Here in Ireland, 364 days of the year are cold and wet, even when it's dry, so I sure as hell wasn't missing out on an opportunity to make the most of that one day that contained a sweltering 8°C (46.4°F for our American friends) heat wave. The deadline will be @ 1:00am as we started an hour later than originally planned. Weapon update: Lothric Knight Sword & Shield. Let's get into this.
11:10 - She bangs, she bangs, oh baby. When she moves, she moves, I go crazy. 'Cause she looks like a Hungarian belly dancer but she slices you up like a chicken in a rotisserie. Like every Outrider Knight in history.
11:44 - She prances elegantly across the room with the natural grace of the Ballerina that she is, executing a faultless arabesque and flowing like water over a smooth river stone, leaving her onlooker mesmerized and in awe, wondering who this pulchritudinous Dancer is. Their eyes meet for the first time. His heart begins to beat faster and faster, reaching dangerously high levels, on the verge of exploding in his chest. He gasps, almost forgetting to breath. It feels like he's being consumed by the gaping mouth of a great ocean. She advances toward him, one foot in front of the other. Controlled movements, never withdrawing her eyes from his. She's a hair's breadth from him now. He's never witnessed such magnificence. His lips part, words ready to escape to ask this enchantress her name. She slowly lifts her elongated fingers to his mouth, as if ready to hush his eager lips. Then she stabs him in his face and he dies.
12:29 - It could be the rustiness after taking a two day break or it could just be the encounter itself. He's struggling with this one, a lot. Her movements are off-putting and he's finding it difficult to understand her attack patterns.
13:05 - We're at a standstill here folks. Although progress is being made, it's not being made quick enough. Every death is costly minutes lost and the clock is ticking. 15-0 Dancer.
13:58 - And that's all she wrote. This Dancer was clearly not made for the stage. She suspends her head in shame as she is jeered off the platform after failing to impress the judges after 20 attempts.
14:05 - He's swung a sharp left and has decided to make his way to the Consumed Kings Garden in hope of defeating two bosses consecutively in quick succession. Time is his greatest enemy right now. To stand a chance of making it through Lothric Castle and the Archives, he'll need to do this with haste.
14:39 - The Pus of Men are misunderstood lovable abominations that only desire love and affection. With their mahoosize claw like appendages reaching out for a friendly handshake, they find themselves being set ablaze yet again by another terror-stricken, mismatched armour wearing dingbat.
15:04- The lift shortcut has been activated. It's time to meet Ocerios and baby Ocelotte, wherever he is.
15:54 - "Ahh, you ignorant slaves. Finally taken notice, have you? Of the power of my beloved Ocelotte, child of The Joy and The Sorrow." There's more than meets the eye(or lack of them), with this scaleless, clammy, staff weilding naked Wyvern-man. After consuming copius amounts of cocaine in phase 2, which would explain his dillusions, he begins bouncing off the walls on all fours like the absolute mad man that he is. Unleashing a plethora of swipes, bites and tail whips, he's establishing just why he has King in his name. He's certainly no push over so far and it shows.
16:33- The Consumed King has been dethroned. The key to this encounter was using his shield to absorb the barrage of blows in phase two. He's ready to make his way to the Untended Graves to face Gundyr for round two. I have shown him the secret passage as he'd have no knowledge of how to get there otherwise. But first we're going to take a short break. Be back soon.
17:12 - After spending months training away in a Muay Thai camp in southern Thailand, the Tin-Man has returned with seething vengance on his mind. Displaying a whole new moveset of quick dodges, open handed bitch slaps and a roundhouse kick that would give Chuck Norris a run for his money, this herculean trash can is here to pick up todays garbage.
17:47 - When his eyes glow red, he means business. These newly learned attacks are proving to be more than a handful right now. He's barely been able to secure one successful hit during Gundyr's second phase onslaught. He's in trouble with this one. Will his first boss encounter with Gundyr also be his last?
18:50 - Round 13: With a quick left jab to the midsection, followed by a right uppercut to the big man's chin, Gundyr finds himself face down eating dirt. He'll have to hang up his gloves after this one.
18:55 - With four bosses remaining, he's decided to go on a Wyvern hunt in Archdragon peak. He wants to get this one out of the way so that he can soley focus on the remaining two areas. Seeing as he has absolutely no idea how to get here, I'll show him the way...of the Dragon.
19:16 - He traverses across the grey expanse of stoney peaks, breathing in lungfuls of crisp frigid air. Step by step, he meticulously picks out his footing placement amongst the coarse, uneven, rocky terrain. He sees a white marbled mausoleum in the distance, it's a welcomed sight indeed. The conception of a place to rest his beaten and broken body gives him purpose to push on. He forces his weary legs to take another step. Almost there. Suddenly his body is met with an icey chill as a great shadow looms above. A low hiss resonates, causing the ground around him to tremble. Enter: Ancient Wyvern.
19:40 - After quickly learning that his sword attacks only tickled the serpentines scaley hide, he navigated his way around the rafters and delivered a deadly plunging attack to the Wyvern's cranium, casuing instant death. Back to the Bonfire.
19:45 - My personal favourite area of the game that also happens to have my personal favourite boss encounter. Lothric Castle can be a fairly time consuming place for new players to navigate their way around, and time is something he is very short on right now. With little room for error and three difficult encounters remaining, this might come down to the wire.
20:30- Subsequent to being toasted like a marshmallow outside of the castle, he made his way to the right sided entrance where he fought his way through an ambush of Hollow Assasins and proceeded to free the corrupted parasitic Wyvern from eternal torment.
21:23 - His second meeting with the Boreal Outrider Knight went scantly better than the first. Much emphasis on the word scantly. He traded blows with charged up super Knights within the castle walls and found himself passage toward the Archives, only to be stopped in his tracks by a formidable foe.
21:35 - The sky shone bright with a brilliant ember red glow. The Pilgrim Butterflies glided amidst the clouds, as if swimming upstream like Salmon in the fall. The beauty of it all was short lived when pulsing waves began to emanate from their frail wings in the direction of a heaped metallic pile of dismantled armour below. One by one, the pieces began to build upon themselves, until there stood a ten foot hollow behemoth weilding a lightning infused Greataxe and a mammoth sized shield, almost as tall and wide as the hulking brute iself. It found itself at the mercy of its new masters. Obeying. Under submission. Ready to kill.
22:27 - 8 shield bashes to the face later, he got the upper hand and melted down that armour into a brand new teapot. With the clock against him, he's heading into the final area of the game.
22:39 - Thousands upon thousands of old paper creations, stacked upon one another. I doubt you could even imagine it. He stands in awe, marvelling at the vast repository of books surrounding him. So much wonder, and knowledge, and secrets... oh the secrets, hidden away between their covers, like two forbidden lovers. In the far off distance, he hears echoing, an old familiar cackling, resounding in his ears. It can't be. It can't... Two ice cold frostbolts to the side of his head quickly remind him that the Witch Bitch is still very much alive and kicking. Welcome to the Grand Archives, my man.
23:25 - After turning himself into a human candle, he proceeded to make his way through the Archives whilst being groped by Cursed Claws, pounced on by more Hollow Slaves, and impaled by lumbering Gargoyles. Harry, Ron and Hermione won't make his final hurdle towards the Twins an easy one.
23:47 - Incest is best. A motto held dearly by these two edgy teens. A brotherly love like no other, the Twin Princes. These guys gave me absolute hell on my first playthrough and I expect they will do the same here. While it is possible to take down two more bosses within this time 01:00am time frame, it's highly unlikely.
00:00 - One hour remaining.
00:10 - 7 deaths in quick succession has given him insight as to what to expect from this encounter. The unpredictability of Lorians instant teleportation and double horizontal slashes is proving difficult to read, with a follow up combo catching him off guard every so often, resulting in a quick death.
00:30 - "This spot marks our grave. You may rest here, too, if you like." He may have no choice but to take Lothric up on his kind invitation. 30 minutes to go with phase 2 only being reached once. He's accepted defeat at this point but is still giving his all for the remaining time left.
(Updated) 1:00 -And that brings us to the end of our journey, Unkindled ones. Sadly, the Princes could not be taken down but I'm sure with a few more attempts, that'll change. Although he's failed to meet the requirements for this bet, he can hold his head up high because that was a damn good valiant effort. He's experienced his first taste of Dark Souls and he isn't leaving dissapointed.
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To those who are wondering if he actually enjoyed playing the game or was doing it for the money? The cash was a big incentive in the beginning, there's no question about that, but he thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. He does plan on completing the rest of it within the next day or so, as well as attempting the Nameless King. He will then do a second playthrough, playing at his own pace. He may have lost the bet but the world of Dark Souls has won him over. As for the 100 Euro, well, I didn't accept it and I never planned on doing so, and I know he would have done the same thing. A pint will suffice when we're out some night. I just wanted to introduce my friend to this phenomenonal game and for him to experience how amazing it is, and I've done that. That's enough for me.
To you guys and girls, thank you for joining us on this journey these last few days. I hope that you enjoyed reading my commentary as much as I did writing it. It's been a blast. Being new to the Dark Souls community myself and Reddit in general, I've gotta say that I'm loving the highly entertaining posts and the community itself. I'm not sure if I'll do something to this extent again, as it's left me mentally broken, but I will stay active. So keep it up everyone, and most importantly, stay safe.
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Post WWE Raw 6/8/2020 Show Discussion Thread

MATCH RESULTS
Winner Match Finish Loser Stipulation
Asuka and Charlotte Asuka Lock The IIconics and Sasha Banks and Bayley
Aleister Black and Humberto Carrillo Black Mass Murphy and Austin Theory
Viking Raiders 5-5 Draw Street Profits
Andrade Pinfall after Owen's hit the stunner on Garza Angel Garza and Kevin Owens #1 Contender for the US Championship
Bobby Lashley and MVP Full Nelson Viking Raiders
Charlotte Big Boot after Nia distraction Asuka
IMPORTANT NOTES
POLLS
Rate this week's Raw
Best match on this week's Raw?
SHAMELESS PLUGS
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Top 8 Most Dominant Runs in JMR History

Since the Minty Maniacs have just launched everyone’s expectations into space by scoring their 3rd medal in a row, I decided to quickly browse which other teams have previously held the most medals during a season. I glanced at all of the A-League tournaments and Last Marble Standing 2020 and scored the teams on their percentage of podium finishes during the competition. I also noted when more than a quarter of their finishes were gold. Major spoiler alerts for previous seasons!!
8. Marblelympics 2016 - Savage Speeders
Being the first on the list, the Savage Speeders didn’t gain as many medals as those on the rest of the list, only achieving 4 of the possible 12 medals. However, they should be noted because all 4 of these medals were gold. Notably, all of their golds were in racing events (relay, water race, sprint and hurdles), which solidified the Speeders’s title as one of the fastest teams in the Marble League. With their four golds, not only did they win the tournament, but they set a still unbroken record of most gold medals in an A-League event.
7. Marblelympics 2018 - Savage Speeders
Marblelympics 2018 is seen as a few things: particularly the year the underdog Oceanics were able to snatch third place, and the year the Midnight Wisps weren’t denied podium like in 2017. But it’s also the year the Savage Speeders took the podium in half of the events. After doing poorly in the friendly round, they swiftly retook dominance by placing 3rd in the first event. In the first 8 rounds, they made the top 3 in every other competition, then they took the podium for the final 2. They also tied the previous record in speed skating (although the Hazers broke it afterwards). They’re low on this list because they never achieved a single gold in the 2018 Marblelympics, but their constant high finishes let them stand 2nd on the podium.
6. Marblelympics 2019 - Raspberry Racers
Like the previous event, the Raspberry Racers were able to finish in the top 3 of half of the events, an incredible feat. This is made even more incredible considering that the JMRC added 4 additional events to the tournament this year, meaning the Raspberry Racers won medals in 8/16 events. They only received a single gold medal (during the elimination race, which was put in the history books when the Oceanics’s coach was fired on the spot), but their consistency led them to 1st place in the standings. On top of this, they won 3 of their 4 heats in the qualifiers, including the infamous Relay Race. But shout-out to the Hazers, who placed in 7 of the 16 events and held gold twice.
5. Sand Marble Rally 2017 - Quicksilver
In the 2017 season, 3 different competitors were able to snatch 2 gold medals, the other two being Red Number 3 and Slimer. Quicksilver’s first ever gold in race #3 was also his first ever win, despite briefly stumbling and falling behind. Quicksilver’s second win, race #5, was chaotic towards the end and was won by only a hundredth of a second. But what sets Quicksilver apart from the other 2 competitors mentioned is that Quicksilver also won 4 other medals, meaning he made top 3 in 6 of the 13 races, as opposed to the champion (Dragon Egg) holding 3 of the 13 possible medals. Quicksilver still holds the record for most medals in a Marble Rally competition. Unfortunately, he only reached 4th with his score because he and Summer Sky got caught on the track in the beginning of the final round, which was worth double points. He would have won the championship if he placed 10th or higher in the final race. If the final round was either not held or not worth double points, he would have been guaranteed the championship.
4. Sand Marble Rally 2018 - Red Number 3
Red Number 3’s skill as a racer was proven in 2017, but in 2018 it was solidified as Red Number 3 placed top 3 in 5 of the 8 races with one gold. He also became the second team/competitor to win medals in more than half of the events in an A-League competition. The season led to a new fanbase, a rivalry between fellow competitor Superball, and controversies of cheating that were exemplified when it was revealed that Red Number 3 was not originally a marble. The 5/8 medals made this theory compelling, as Red Number 3 now holds the record for the best ratio of podiums to losses. Quicksilver holds more podiums in a single tournament, but this was achieved in a time when more races were run per tournament.
3. Last Marble Standing 2020 - Graze of Glory
Graze of Glory may never compete again, but in the small tournament they were relegated to, they scored gold medals in half of their competitions and a silver in the lap race (which turned out to be more exciting than many of the Marbula One races, imo). Admittedly, they aren’t complete dominators, as Team Purity also scored medals in 4 of the 6 competitions, but Graze of Glory’s 50% gold standings and first place victory is not something to scoff at. I’d honestly welcome them to the Marble League if they ever think about it.
2. Hubelino Tournament 2018 - Minty Maniacs, Bumblebees and Black Jacks
Looking back at it, the statistics for the 2018 Hubelino Tournament are almost unbelievable. There’s no clear domination… it’s more of an ogliopoly. All of the top three teams - the Bumblebees, Minty Maniacs and Black Jacks - medaled in at least half of the competitions. If that doesn’t sound crazy to you, keep in mind that there has never been any other A-League event where each top 3 team medaled half of the competitions. The Minty Maniacs themselves were able to acquire 5 medals, 2 of them gold, but the real kicker was that all 4 of the Bumblebees’s medals were gold, securing their tournament win and becoming one of 3 teams to hold the gold medal record.
1. Hubelino Tournament 2016 - Green Gang
I bet you didn’t see this one coming. As the years pass and the JMRC grows in size and skill, older tournaments and events tend to be left in the dust. What new fan would want to watch 2016 tournaments with lower audio quality and a chance of their teams not yet existing? Nearly half of the current Marble League competitors were not active in 2016. On top of that, very few would want to watch the 2016 Hubelino Tournament, a competition phased out due to the popularity of Marblelympics, with only one team (the Minty Maniacs) still participating today. But if anybody watched this series, they would know that a nowadays unknown team like the Green Gang completely dominated. 8 of the 12 competitions ended with the Gang on the podium, and they also tied the Savage Speeders’s record for most golds in a tournament (4). The Green Gang would never come even near to this ever again, as it might have been prophesied when a Green Gang member got stuck during the awards ceremony. The next Hubelino Tournament saw them in dead last, and they haven’t been heard from since. But they’ve left behind a record nobody quite remembers.
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Five of the most unexpected results in AFL History.

Five/Six*.
As an ‘offseason’ post since we don’t have a lot going on I thought I’d contribute today with a list of some unexpected AFL results, now what I won’t be looking at is the biggest upsets in history, instead I’ll be looking at some results that happened that nobody could have predicted at all, primarily in regards to scoreboard differential. If this post gets enough interest I’ll make a part 2.

St Kilda vs Richmond, Rd 16 2017

  • Richmond were 9-5 for the season.
  • St Kilda were 8-6 for the season.
Both teams had similarly great starts to the season and were looking to cement themselves in the top 8, Richmond were the betting favourite but with the game at St Kilda's home ground it was expected to be a tight contest between evenly matched teams. What wasn't expected was for St Kilda to absolutely dominate proceedings and take a 92-10 halftime lead. 11 Saints players kicked a goal in the first half in an utter domination. The final score was 138-71, A 67 point win for the Saints who played a conservative second half. This win was St Kilda's 4th in a row and they looked likely to make finals at 9-6, but both teams seasons went in opposite directions after this match. St Kilda finished just 2-5 to end home and away season while Richmond finished 6-1 to end the home and away season before going 3-0 in September, winning each game by over 6 goals (combined 135 points) to win the premiership.

St Kilda vs Fremantle, Rd 18 2014

  • Fremantle had won 8 consecutive games and were looking to move to 1st with a win.
  • St Kilda had lost 11 consecutive games and were cemented at bottom ladder.
Two teams on completely opposite ends of the ladder clashed in this contest and the result was nothing even the most confident of Saints fans could've tipped. The Saints had only kicked 3 goals the week prior while Fremantle were coming off a 21 goal game in a huge 75+ point win. Despite injuries to Sandilands, Walters and Hill the Dockers were expected to record an easy win against a struggling opponent but they didn't deliver. In shocking fashion nothing worked for Freo as St Kilda kicked the first 4 goals and never looked like losing. The margin ballooned out to 75 points before some garbage time goals for Freo saw the final score of 118-60. Interestingly this game wasn’t even a sign of improvement for Saints as the win was their only victory in a brutal 18 game stretch while the Dockers would go on to win 12 of their next 15 games after this debacle. A true anomaly in every sense of the word.

North Melbourne vs Adelaide, Rd 7 2016

  • Adelaide were 15-3 in their last 18 games.
  • North Melbourne were 3-15 in their last 18 games.
  • The most recent clash between these two teams resulted in a 10 goal finals loss for North Melbourne.
Everything leading into this clash suggested an easy victory for a red hot Adelaide Crows that had started 6-0 in 2017. The Roos had started 0-5 in 2017 before a close win against the Suns in comparison. However, aided with a strong breeze across the ground, when the two teams clashed in Hobart, North Melbourne came out strong with all their running. In one of the most unexpected first quarter performances in recent history the underdogs jumped out to a 64-0 quarter time lead. Jarrad Waite led the way for North with 3 goals in the opening stanza and finished with 6 as a terrific Adelaide team was left shell shocked in an 86-145 loss. The victory was a mini turning point for a North team that would go 4-1 in the next month but they finished the season with just 6 wins. For Adelaide it was a minor hurdle as they went on to secure the minor premiership and make their first grand final in about two decades.
West Coast vs Adelaide, Rd 17 2006
  • Adelaide had started the season 14-2 and were 1st on the ladder.
  • West Coast had started the season 11-5 and were 2nd on the ladder.
A game advertised as a potential grand final preview ended as a profound statement when the Eagles and Crows clashed late in the 2006 season. Adelaide had won 8 straight matches and had only lost by a combined 5 points in two games so far for the year, but faced a tough task against a surging Eagles team at their dominant home fortress. The 2005 grand final runner ups came out with a point to prove and after kicking the first 5 goals of the match they never looked challenged. The Eagles midfield was sublime with Cousins (38/2 goals), Kerr (34/2 goals) and Judd (21/3 goals) having a field day. The final score of 165-83 reflecting the demolition in a signature West Coast victory. The tough loss was the start of a downward spiral for the Crows who finished the year 3-5, while the Eagles would go on to win 8 of their next 10 games including a prelim victory over Adelaide and their 3rd flag in club history.
1995 Carlton Round 8 vs Sydney and Round 9 vs St Kilda.
  • Carlton were 7-0 to begin 1995 and had finished 2nd in 1994 and made a grand final in 1993.
  • Sydney were a horrible club winning just 10 of their last 70 games including just 1 win in 1993.
In a classic situation of dominant team vs bad team the Blues were expected to continue their winning form with a big victory over a team that been the joke of the competition for the large part of the 90s. However Carlton didn't fire a shot and after trailing at halftime by just 10 they found themselves facing a 57 point deficit at halftime. There was no fight back by Carlton in this match however and an 8 goal haul by Tony Lockett saw the Swans home by a score of 132-60, a 72 point victory. It was a great sign for an improving Swans team but many saw it as an anomaly and expected Carlton to bounce back the next week...
  • Carlton had started season 7-1
  • Saints had started season 1-7
This was time for Carlton to bounce back like a champion team does, after a bad loss the weak prior they should have been out to destroy the opposition. After all it was a clash of first on the ladder. Shockingly despite how bad the previous game was Carlton managed to do even worse. After 3 quarters of play the Blues had just 11 points on the board in total. Losing By 10 goals and having scored just 11 points in the first 3 quarters. The final score of 80-24 saw Carlton lose consecutive games to bad teams by big margins and the critics were having their say. Had the Blues peaked to early at 7-0?
Well It's safe to say that they hadn't.
Following these two big losses they didn’t lose at all for the rest of the season. They won 18 consecutive games overall (including 1996). That stretch of 18 straight featured a 10 goal preliminary final win against North Melbourne and a 10 goal grand final win against Geelong culminating in an AFL premiership for the famous club.
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What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
submitted by Soccervox to USLPRO [link] [comments]

r/afkarena FAQ (Updated 6/12/2020) & Quick Information about Updated Guides Section

Welcome to the AFK Arena FAQ!   Updated 6/12/2020

Please read how the FAQ works before scrolling aimlessly. Trust me! It will help :)
 
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      This is a new system we are trying that will continually be updated by the mod team in the future. This FAQ is designed for easy readability and searchability. To use the FAQ, simply follow the steps outlined above.
      Since this is the system we are using, the questions are not ordered in any particular fashion. If you’re new and looking for general information please check out the FAQ/Guides section of the sub first! There is a general guide section and a new player guide section. Check here for specific questions following that. If you still can’t find the help you need, feel free to post about it!
      One major question that won’t be answered in each question is when the feature unlocks because this is both tedious and easy to find on your own. Here is a resource that covers all feature unlocks.
      In the future, as questions continue to arise, suggestions are made, and game features are updated, we will add to the FAQ to answer your questions and reduce clutter in the sub to provide original content, guides, and discussion to be more prominent.
      Please comment down below any suggestions for questions or keywords that you feel should be added or to point out any incorrect information.
 
I hope you find this resource helpful! Thank you for stopping by :)
      - u/zeedafluff & u/Lilithaniya

Quick Information about Updated Guides Section

      As you know, we’ve completely overhauled the Guides section, making it contain more relevant information. We’ve also reorganized it entirely to provide information for people at different sectors of the game. In the latest change, we’ve added guides for recurring events and events that are ongoing! This will continue to be updated when guides are available in the future.

Table of Contents

(#001) How to find the AFK Arena subreddit FAQ/Guides section?
      Keywords: [subreddit, FAQ, guides, section]
(#002) How to find the AFK arena subreddit Rules section?
      Keywords: [subreddit, rules, section]
(#003) Who should I ascend first/should I use my ascended tier hero as fodder?
      Keywords: [ascended, fodder, raine, rigby]
(#004) What are Signature Items (SIs)? How do I get resources to upgrade them? Which heroes’ SI should I upgrade?
      Keywords: [Signature item, Sig. Item, Sig Item, SIs, primordial emblems, amplifying emblems, gold emblems, silver emblems, red chests, faction choice chests, 30]
(#005) My game isn’t working and is having issues, where should I go?
      Keywords: [bugs, crash, issue]
(#006) How does ascending heroes work?
      Keywords: [temple, ascended, ascension, fodder, plus, rare, elite, legendary, mythic, copy, copies]
(#007) How are celestial/hypogean heroes different? How do I get more copies to ascend them?
      Keywords: [celestial, hypogean, copy, copies, Athalia, twins, Elijah and Lailah, orthros, talene, wu kong, ezizh, mehira, khazard, zolrath, mezoth ]
(#008) What is stargazing? How does stargazing work? Who should I stargaze for?
      Keywords: [stargazing cards, stargazer]
(#009) How does the VIP system work?
      Keywords: [VIP system, VIP rewards, spending, VIP points]
(#010) What are redemption codes? Where can I find them and redeem them?
      Keywords: [redemption codes, redeem]
(#011) How do tavern pulls/scrolls work?
      Keywords: [faction scrolls, noble tavern, pulls, summons, hearts, friendship points, diamonds]
(#012) How does the wishlist work?
      Keywords: [noble tavern, wishlist]
(#013) How to get all the game currencies and get as much of each as possible?
      Keywords: [gold coins, diamonds, hero experience, hero’s essence, dust, challenger tokens, guild coins, hero coins, labyrinth tokens, twisted essence]
(#014) What is the dust wall and how does it work? (Hero’s Essence)
      Keywords: [hero’s essence, dust wall]
(#015) How does the resonating crystal work before and after 240?
      Keywords: [resonating crystal, 240, before, after]
(#016) How do I tell if a hero is ascended tier or legendary tier?
      Keywords: [ascended tier, legendary tier, ascension]
(#017) How does the rickety cart work and how do I automatically get rid of green heroes?
      Keywords: [rickety cart, green heroes, automatic]
(#018) How does the library work? How do unions and Elder Tree work?
      Keywords: [library, union, elder tree, twisted essence, duras sustenance, duras sorcery, duras might, duras fortitude, duras celerity]
(#019) How do all the stores work and what should I buy in them?
      Keywords: [guild store, barracks store, labyrinth store, legend’s challenger tournament store, Athalia, ezizh]
(#020) How do guild hunts work and what are the best teams?
      Keywords: [guild hunts, bosses, best team, formation, composition, Soren, wrizz]
(#021) How does Twisted realm work and what are the best teams?
      Keywords: [twisted realm bosses, best team, formation, composition, Arden the unhinged, evil nemora, demonic entity, ice shemira, Kane, burning brute]
(#022) How does Peaks of Time work?
      Keywords: [peaks of time, ranhorn’s strife, the unrelenting blaze, secrets of the forest, rest in peace, the ancient ruins, the far frontier, the divine realm, rancid forest, viper’s marsh, the dismal descent, the savage wastes, the solar plane, the burning woods, the abysmal delves, the contorted realm, the forgotten mine, historic ventures, wandering balloon, the depths of time, guides]
(#023) How does the Arcane Labyrinth work?
      Keywords: [arcane labyrinth, lab, duras tears, dura’s tears, champions of esperia]
(#024) How do battle wagers work?
      Keywords: [battle wagers, legends championship tournament]
(#025) How do Dura’s Artifacts work and who should I put them on?
      Keywords: [dura’s artifacts, duras drape, duras chalice of vitality, duras blade, duras call, duras grace, duras eye, duras conviction, fragments]
(#026) How do I get Mythic gear, T1 upgrades, and T2 upgrades? What is the mythic trick and how does it work?
      Keywords: [mythic gear, T1 upgrades, T2 upgrades, stones, mythic trick, upgrading]
(#027) What is the early game hero/team composition meta? Shemira?
      Keywords: [early game, team compositions, formations, shemira, stages, meta]
(#028) How do I get past the stage I’m stuck on?
      Keywords: [stuck, stage, progression]
(#029) What are the purchases that give the best value?
      Keywords: [safiya skins, purchases, best value, valuable, advancement rewards, daily deals, weekly deals, monthly deals, regal rewards, twisted bounties, champions of esperia, noble society, deluxe monthly card]
(#030) How does the Field of Stars Work?
      Keywords: [field of stars, hero choice pack, longhorn, the big torch, sands of time, the chalice, the northern helm]
(#031) How does the Oak Inn work?
      Keywords: [Oak inn, Whale inn, furniture items, mythic, poe coins, legendary]

How to find the AFK Arena subreddit FAQ/Guides section? (#001)

Thank you for asking such an important question!
      If you’re on PC, simply navigate to the subreddit and look at the top area where you can see three tabs titled Posts, FAQ/Guides, and Guilds. Click on the FAQ/Guides section and use the Table of Contents to navigate.
      If you’re on mobile, simply navigate to the subreddit and look at the top area where you can see three tabs title Posts, About, and Menu. Click Menu and then click the FAQ/Guides section and use the Table of Contents to navigate.
 
You can also click here!

How to find the AFK arena subreddit Rules section? (#002)

      If you’re on PC, simply navigate to the subreddit and scroll down while looking at the right sidebar and you should be able to see the rules.
      If you’re on mobile, simply navigate to the subreddit and look at the top area where you can see three tabs title Posts, About, and Menu. Click About and scroll down and you should be able to see the rules.
 
You can also click here!

Who should I ascend first/should I use my ascended tier hero as fodder? (#003)

      First of all, it is never considered good practice to use ascended tier heroes as fodder. Any posts in the subreddit about this will be removed. Only use legendary tier heroes as fodder (see #016 for more info).
      When deciding who to ascend first, refer to the FAQ/Guides section where you can find several guides to help make this decision, including the most recent AFK Arena Tier List (makes sure to look at the FAQ/Guides section to see heroes that have been added to the game after the tier list made), Common mistakes new players make, and the AFK Arena Cheatsheet

What are Signature Items (SIs)? How do I get resources to upgrade them? Which heroes’ SI should I upgrade? (#004)

      Signature Items are another upgradeable feature in that game that you unlock when your hero reaches Mythic. You can then upgrade their SI to level 40 if they are a celestial/hypogean/dimensional and level 30 otherwise. Going from 0 to 10 requires 220 primordial (silver) emblems, going from 11 to 20 requires 240 amplifying (gold) emblems, and going higher requires faction emblems (300 from 21 to 30 and 1000 for 31 to 40). Faction emblems can be acquired from faction choice (red) chests.
      Dimensional emblems for 21 to 40 can be bought from the shop or store. Non-celestial/hypogean emblems can drop from the campaign. Celestial and hypogean emblems can be opened from red chests. Silver and Gold emblems drop from the campaign and can be bought for gold from the in-game store after a hero reaches Mythic. There are other sources as well for these resources but these are the main ones that are affordable.
      Upgrading heroes to SI 10 is something you can always do, simply because these are not rare in any way and does not take a long time to collect/buy either. However, you should prioritize the best SIs over the worst (eg. Rowan over Brutus) so you can start working on your SI 30 heroes first.
      For this question, most people are referring to the SI 30, as it is what is one of the first major accessible hurdles for most players given that SI 20 and 10 are relatively easy to achieve. Regardless of how much you spend, Rowan has one of the most god-tier SIs in the game currently and is generally everyone’s first choice to max out. If you’re a heavy spender, the next choice will be Talene and then other celestial/hypogeans. Talene is also the first choice for those stargazing for her. For lower spender or free to play (F2P), the next best choices are from the “F2P trio” of Ferael, Eironn, and Safiya in that order. A good early SI 20 is Lyca.
      After this, you can generally choose your next 20s and 30s by following this SI tier list (makes sure to look at the FAQ/Guides section to see heroes that have been added to the game after the tier list made).

My game isn’t working and is having issues, where should I go? (#005)

Please utilize in-game support and don’t post your issue in the subreddit.

How does ascending heroes work? (#006)

For Dimensionals: To ascend dimensional heroes, you simply link them with another hero in the temple of ascension.
For Celestial/Hypogeans: Click me
For other factions: Click me

How are celestial/hypogean heroes different? How do I get more copies to ascend them? (#007)

      Celestial/hypogean heroes are stronger and rarer than most regular heroes. Their rarity is complemented by their increased strength and powerful kits. To learn how to ascend them, refer to the infographic in question #006.
      When it comes to getting more copies, there is a low chance to acquire these heroes in the noble tavern and elite hero soulstones. The primary way of acquiring these heroes is through stargazing. Please refer to question #008 to learn about stargazing.
      Wukong can be acquired through the Labyrinth Store and Athalia and Ezizih can be acquired in the Legend’s Challenger Tournament Store.

What is stargazing? How does stargazing work? Who should I stargaze for? (#008)

      Stargazing is a feature of the game that unlocks in chapter 16 or once you reach VIP 13. Here’s a really great guide on stargazing that answers what it is and how it works and who you should gaze for. One important note is to only ever stargaze for celestial hypogeans as they are extremely rare and are the only heroes that justify the cost of stargazing. You should also not focus on stargazing until you have a few ascended of every faction except Celestial/Hypogean/Dimensional.

How does the VIP system work? (#009)

      The VIP system in an AFK arena is a rewards system geared to encourage heavy spending. As you spend money on the game, you earn VIP points which get added to your total. As your total breaks past certain points, your overall VIP level increases. You can also earn VIP points by leveling up. Without spending, you can still reach VIP 10 simply through leveling up.
      You can go in-game and click the plus button in the top right next to your diamond count to see your current VIP level. You can click on the perks icon to see all of the VIP levels and their rewards. The rewards include heroes, equipment, fodder, increased rewards and AFK time, early access to the stargazer, and far more. At VIP 14 you unlock exclusive chat and support functions and more redemption codes.
 
Here is information about how many VIP points are required for each level.

What are redemption codes? Where can I find them and redeem them? (#010)

      Redemption codes are codes that are occasionally released by the developers to give us some free rewards. You can find them on the subreddit or you find all active codes listed here. Spenders at VIP 14 or higher also receive exclusive codes. To redeem codes, click your player icon, click Settings, click redemption code, and paste the redemption code in and redeem.

How do tavern pulls/scrolls work? (#011)

      The noble tavern is where you can use diamonds, friendship points (hearts), scrolls, faction scrolls, and, later, stargazing cards to “pull” heroes. It is your primary source of income for both new heroes and “fodder” heroes (see #016 for “fodder”). The other source is rare and elite hero soulstones (“blue” and “purple” soulstones respectively).
      One of the most important notes regarding tavern pulls is, when using diamonds to do pulls, always wait until you have 2700 diamonds to do a pull of 10 instead of just a single pull. This is because you are spending an average of 270 diamonds per hero when using this method, effectively giving you a 10% discount over single pulls. This guide covers all of the other useful information regarding this topic.

How does the wishlist work? (#012)

      The wishlist can be accessed through The Noble Tavern. It gives the player the option to add 5 heroes total for each faction, except celestials/hypogeans/dimensionals, to the list. The wishlist only works for diamonds, friendship points or scroll pulls (both normal and faction scrolls). Soulstones are not affected and will produce any hero in the game. This guide goes in-depth as to how exactly the wishlist works.

How to get all the game currencies and get as much of each as possible? (#013)

      Here are all of the main game currencies: diamonds, gold coins, hero experience/EXP, hero’s essence/dust, challenger tokens, guild coins, hero coins, labyrinth tokens, and twisted essence.
      There are a few other currencies such as resonating crystal coins that are more niche and less important. These have been left out for the sake of brevity as they are less important.
      Below is how to obtain the relevant ones and where they can be used (mostly complete, maybe missing a few as many resources can be obtained from multiple sources):
Diamonds:
      How to get this currency: Purchases, Quests, King’s tower rewards, Hotfixes, Peaks of Time, Bounty Board, Arena, Arcane Labyrinth, Guild Hunts, Wall of Legends, and others
      Where to use this currency: Noble Tavern, Stargazing, Store
Gold coins:
      How to get this currency: Campaign rewards, Fast Rewards, Guild Hunts, King’s Tower, Faction Towers, Quests, Peaks of Time, Arcane Labyrinth, Bounty Board, Arena, and others
      Where to use this currency: Leveling up heroes, Store
Hero Experience/EXP:
      How to get this currency: Campaign rewards, Fast Rewards, Faction Towers, Quests, Store, Stargazing, and others
      Where to use this currency: Leveling up heroes
Heroes’ essence/dust:
      How to get this currency: Campaign rewards, Fast Rewards, King’s Tower, Faction Towers, Bounty Board, Quests, Store, Stargazing and others
      Where to use this currency: Leveling up heroes
Challenger tokens:
      How to get this currency: Legend’s Challenger Tournament, Arcane Labyrinth Hard Mode Wrizz
      Where to use this currency: Legend’s Challenger Tournament Store
Guild coins:
      How to get this currency: guild hunts, team hunt rewards in the mail, Arcane Labyrinth (Hard Mode Wrizz)
      Where to use this currency: Guild Store
Hero coins:
      How to get this currency: retiring “green” or common heroes
      Where to use this currency: Barracks store
Labyrinth tokens:
      How to get this currency: Arcane Labyrinth, get extra from VIP rewards, Arcane Labyrinth (Hard Mode Wrizz)
      Where to use this currency: Labyrinth Store
Twisted essence:
      How to get this currency: Twisted Realm Bosses, Barracks store
      Where to use this currency: upgrading branches of the Elder Tree

What is the dust wall and how does it work? (Hero’s Essence) (#014)

      As you level up your main 5 heroes, you’ll find that the cost of Hero’s Essence increases to the point where it will become your main resource wall. It will likely remain your main wall from about 200 to about 270-280 at which point Hero Experience becomes the main resource that is lacking.
 
Here’s a great guide on the dust wall and how to tackle it!

How does the resonating crystal work before and after 240? (#015)

      The Resonating Crystal pre-240 gives you the opportunity to add heroes you have obtained to it in order to level them up to your current lowest level hero on the Pentagram, regardless of their ascension level, but limited by their maximum ascension. A hero cannot be leveled up if they are currently using the Resonating Crystal. There cannot be more than a 40 level gap between the highest level heroes on the pentagram and the lowest. When a hero is removed, the slot it possessed will go on a 24-hour cooldown before it's ready to be used again, however spending 100 diamonds immediately resets the timer. This timer will only occur if you remove a hero manually, not if they are retired or ascended. Once you break the level 240 limit, you may not level up the heroes individually, but the Resonating Crystal as a whole. Hero slots can be added through Resonating Crystal Coins.
 
Here’s a guide to look at which explains it as well.

How do I tell if a hero is ascended tier or legendary tier? (#016)

      The difference between ascended tier and legendary tier heroes is that ascended tier heroes can level up beyond level 160, whereas legendary tier heroes reach their maximum level there. When going to the hero tab and looking at the portraits, you will notice two different sections. The first area is labeled ascended and contains all ascended tier heroes, the second one contains the legendary tier heroes, and the third one contains the common or “green” heroes.
      Legendary tier heroes are what’s known as “fodder.” They are only useful in the very early portions of the games and can thus be used as food or fodder to ascend ascended tier heroes. The only exception here is Arden who is used quite often even after the player’s resonating crystal level is past 160. Many players keep a copy of Arden in their crystal for his usefulness.

How does the rickety cart work and how do I automatically get rid of green heroes? (#017)

      The rickety cart gives the player 3 options total. Resetting a hero, which means returning the hero to its original state and giving all resources used back to the player, except SI emblems. This can be done for 20 diamonds and is very useful. The second option is retiring heroes, which means that all common tier heroes are disenchanted and turned to hero's essence and hero coins. There is an option to do this automatically and can be toggled on and off. The third option is reverting a hero, which can be used when the player currently possesses two copies of the same hero that are higher than elite+. The hero with the lower ascension tier will be reverted and all rare heroes required to ascend the hero will be returned. This is useful if you accidentally ascend two heroes past elite+ as you only need one ascended copy of each hero.

How does the Library work? How do Unions and Elder Tree work? (#018)

The Library has two sections: Unions and the Elder Tree.
      Unions allow you to give boosts to your heroes. If, between you, your guild, and your friends list, can fill all the heroes in the union by either having them, having them at elite+, or having them at legendary+, you will get all the respective boosts. The boosts only apply to the heroes in that union. Some fodder heroes are required in some unions
      The Elder Tree is a stat-boosting feature. The main elder tree upgrade applies to all heroes and can be upgraded using Flawless Droplets. Flawless Droplets can be acquired by ascending heroes to a new level for the first time. The branches can be upgraded by Twisted Essence which is acquired from the Twisted Realm and store. These upgrades only apply to the heroes in that branch. Extra stat boosts are received at various levels. You can see these stat boosts and which branches you should upgrade here.

How do all the stores work and what should I buy in them? (#019)

Guild Store:
      The currency used in this store is guild coins. You get guild coins from guild hunts, team hunt rewards in the mail, and Arcane Labyrinth Hard Mode Wrizz.
      You should only spend guild coins on mythic gear, T1 upgrades, and T2 upgrades. There is a maximum of 100,000 coins so if you hit the maximum before you unlock mythic gear, you should use them as there is no point not to.
Barracks:
      The currency used in this store is hero coins. You get hero coins from retiring “green” or common heroes.
      It is only worth it to get elite hero soulstones. Twisted essence is not as worth it but you can buy it if you really want.
Labyrinth Store:
      The currency used in this store is labyrinth tokens. You can get labyrinth tokens from, Arcane Labyrinth and Arcane Labyrinth Hard Mode Wrizz.
     Shemira is generally considered the highest priority in this store. The priority of the rest of the heroes is debated heavily. Within this guide there is a pretty widely accepted priority list going Shemira > Nemora/Thoran > ArthuWukong > Khasos/Skreg > Estrilda > Seirus. Raine doesn’t really count. Rigby doesn't either.
Legend’s Challenger Tournament Store:
      The currency used in this store is challenger tokens. You can get challenger tokens from Legend’s Challenger Tournament and Arcane Labyrinth Hard Mode Wrizz.
      Tokens in this store should only be spent on Athalia and Ezizh. Athalia is generally more valuable for PvP and wilder teams and Ezizh is more valuable for PvE and lightbearer teams. Here is another resource debating this to help you decide between which one of the two to buy.

How do guild hunts work and what are the best teams? (#020)

      Guild hunts contain 2 bosses that can be attacked for guild coins, gold, diamonds, and fodder gear. These bosses are Wrizz and Soren. Wrizz unlocks daily and is generally considered easier. Soren unlocks when your Guild leader or deputies unlock him after your guild reaches 9,000 trophies (trophies are generated by players completing daily quests). You can attack each boss once and then repeated your highest damage attack so you don’t have to sit through the fight each time the boss opens.
      It is difficult to pin down what teams to use as the meta is currently shifting. Lightbearer support (particularly Rowan and Rosaline) and the twins are generally considered staple heroes. Belinda used to be the primary damage. Once Talene was released she became the primary damage dealer but remained inaccessible for many players. Now, with the release of Saurus, many teams use Saurus, even at low ascension, to great effect. In summary, it is good to use Belinda if you lack Saurus and Talene. Saurus is generally considered better than Talene now if you have him but Talene is still invaluable as secondary damage and support if you have her at decent ascension/SI. It mostly comes down to which heroes you have.

How does Twisted realm work and what are the best teams? (#021)

Here is an in-depth guide on Twisted realm and the best teams.

How does Peaks of Time work? (#022)

      Peaks of Time is a game feature that allows you to complete puzzles to receive rewards. You unlock them by stage. Many of them are complex and difficult and require some leveling and strategy to beat. They give many rewards, the most important being Dura’s Artifacts (See #025) to learn more). The Peaks of Time are split up into two sections: Historic Ventures and Wandering Balloon.
You can find a series of guides on how to complete every Peaks of Time on the FAQ/Guides section.

How does the Arcane Labyrinth work? (#023)

Here is an in-depth guide on the Arcane Labyrinth.

How do battle wagers work? (#024)

      The Legends’ Championship is a cross-server tournament, in which the top 10 players with the most Challenger Points qualify in. Players that perform well in the Legend’s Challenger group will progress to the group stage, at which the player must face every rival once. After passing this stage, the player progresses through to the 64 player knockout stage. Once open, the Legend’s Championship will run every day for a week. During this week you may bet on the finalists using a certain amount of gold, which increases with your progression.
For tips on how to win battle wagers, please refer to this guide

How do Dura’s Artifacts work and who should I put them on? (#025)

      Dura’s Artifacts are powerful boosts that can be equipped on any here. There are 7 of them and they are obtained by beating specific Peaks of Time. You can see which heroes you should put them on here.

How do I get Mythic gear, T1 upgrades, and T2 upgrades? What is the mythic trick and how does it work? (#026)

      Mythic gear, T1 upgrades, and T2 upgrades drop from the campaign and are purchasable in the Guild Store for guild coins. You can also purchase them with diamonds in the store but this is not advisable. Here is a guide that covers Mythic Trick, gearing, gear upgrades, gearing priorities, and more about gear in an in-depth fashion.

What is the early game hero/team meta? Shemira? (#027)

      Most teams are based around what supports you should use. The main two support teams are wilder and lightbearer. The wilder support consists of Tasi, Lyca, Nemora, and (before 180) Arden. Brutus is often used as a 4th slot. The lightbearer support consists on Rowan, Lucius, Rosaline, Fawkes. Rowan, once his SI is unlocked and is past level 160, can be used decently well with wilders too, becoming more of a staple as levels increase.
      These supports are usually paired with 1 damage hero, often called a “carry.” Good early-game carries (before level 160) are Saveas, Mirael, and Belinda. After 160, Shemira and Belinda become the main carries until 240-270 when heroes like Ferael, Eironn, and Safiya begin to take over. Saveas and Shemira are great with wilders. Mirael, Shemira, and Belinda are good with lightbearers. Later, Ferael functions well with both, and Eironn and Safiya are used with wilders.

How do I get past the stage I’m stuck on? (#028)

Please refer to this guide and follow the flowchart in question 5.

What are the purchases that give the best value? (#029)

Advancement Reward > Monthly Card/Deluxe Monthly Card > Regal Rewards > Champions of Esperia/Twisted Bounties > $1 Daily Deals (During Event) > $1 Daily Deals
 
These are the main spending sources. If you intend on spending more than this, you can judge what is valuable to you. Many of the deals that pop up when you complete milestones are very useful but not always.

*** How does the Field of Stars Work?* (#030)**

Field of Stars can be found in the Library and provides many unlockable bonuses when you reach certain in-game milestones. The Hero Choice Pack is an unlockable feature paired with the Field of Stars that allows you to spend 3,000 diamonds on a 10-pull of heroes. The main caveat associated with this is that, every elite pulled here will be a non-celepogean hero of your choice. You can do this upto 6 times a month once you unlock the respective bonuses. In this guide, you can find all the unlockable bonuses for Field of Stars.

*** How does the Oak Inn work?* (#031)**

The Oak Inn can be found on the Ranhorn tab of the game. You can collect poe coins through campaign and other resources and spend them here to acquire furniture. You can acquire elite, legendary, and mythic tier furnitures. Elite furnitures are faction-based, Legendary furnitures are faction-based and elder tree branch-based, and mythic tier furnitures are hero specific. If you get 3/9 or 9/9 mythic tier furniture for a hero, you unlock extra abilities for that hero, similar to signature items.
 
The workshop is used to spend poe coins. The workshop also has a wishlist, pity timer, and periodic rewards similar to tavern summons.
 
Here is a quick-start guide for Oak Inn. It covers many of the feature regarding the Workshop Here is a Tier List for Furniture that will help you design your wishlist.
submitted by zeedafluff to afkarena [link] [comments]

Samurai Warriors 5 Story Idea

Some years ago I dreamed up an idea for how to expand upon SW4’s story mode and make it “complete”. I’ve dug it back up and modified it and want to share it now. The idea is simple: clans are divided into unifier, major, and minor, with the unifier clans getting 12 stages, major getting 8, and minor getting 4. Unifiers also receive 2 dream/bonus stages and all other clans receive 1. Each has themes and focuses, intended to give characters a chance to shine. Most battles will have both sides playable, just with another faction’s story. I am listing clans from northeast to southwest. I have included my suggested new characters into the roster, which I will list at the end.
Date: a major clan. The main focus is on Masamune and his efforts to conquer the land. He and his supporting family/retainers struggle to achieve their dreams and their place in Masamune’s ambition. Masamune goes from a petulant, wrathful child to a mature warrior who soars like a dragon. Playable characters include: Masamune, Kojūrō, Yoshihime, and Magoichi.
  1. Battle of Kashiwagiyama - Date v. Mogami. This battle takes place before Masamune is old enough to fight, but Yoshihime and Kojūro could be there.
  2. Otemori Castle - Date v. Ōuchi (Uesugi). Masamune’s first major battle, which he wins by brutally murdering his foes, causing his mother and retainers to worry.
  3. Abukuma River - Date v. Hatakeyama. Terumune has been kidnapped and Masamune tries to save him, only for his dad to die in the end.
  4. Hitotori Bridge - Date v. Satake. Out for blood, Masamune seeks to crush his former allies who betrayed his father.
  5. Osaki - Date v. Mogami. In this second clash with the Mogami, Yoshihime “betrays” her son so she can talk some sense into him, as Masamune needs more allies, not enemies.
  6. Koriyama - Date v. Soma/Ashina. Masamune now fights liberated of past guilt, seeing how to move forward and conquer the land with an even hand.
  7. Oshu Rebellion - Date v. Satake (Toyotomi) - Masamune exploits a loophole against more open warfare by “ending” a rebellion in his former lands.
  8. Hasedo - Date v. Uesugi - Masamune allies with Ieyasu, revealing he has modified his dream from conquest to knowledge and understanding.
  9. The dream/bonus stage: Komaki/Nagakute - Date v. Toyotomi v. Tokugawa. Yoshihime convinced Masamune to mend fences faster, allowing him to lead a united Tōhoku to Ieyasu’s aid. He forces the Tokugawa to submit during the fight, making the Date the leading clan of Japan.
Satake: a minor clan. Focus is primarily upon Yoshishige’s struggle to survive when so much more powerful clans keep encroaching upon his territory. Yoshishige seeks a worthy and reliable ally. Playable characters include: Yoshishige Satake. Guest characters include: Yoshihime, Kenshin, Aya, Danzō, Kai, Kotarō, Mitsunari, Kiyomasa, and Masanori.
  1. Konodai - Satake v. Hōjō. The second battle of Konodai, where Yoshishige loses to the Hōjō.
  2. Tonegawa - Satake (Uesugi) v. Takeda. Yoshishige has allied with the Uesugi for safety and now fights to honor the alliance to avoid destruction.
  3. Hitotori Bridge - Satake v. Date. Yoshishige does not like the pure aggression of Masamune and hopes to crush him before the Date can become a bigger threat.
  4. Oshu Rebellion - Satake (Toyotomi) v. Date. Yoshishige submits to Hideyoshi and is assigned to work with Toyotomi officers to crush a rebellion. Yoshishige sees the other Toyotomi officers’ bickering as weakness, solidifying his choice to back Ieyasu at Sekigahara.
  5. Dream stage: Edo Castle - Satake v. Tokugawa. Yoshishige managed to unify northeast Japan and was a major player. Once Sekigahara was done, he ambushed Ieyasu at Edo and captured the Shogunate.
Sanada: the Sanada are a minor clan, I don’t care what Koei says. The focus is on the growing conflict’s multiple points of views, especially between Yukimura and Nobuyuki. Playable characters include: Yukimura, Kunoichi, Nobuyuki, Masayuki, and Sasuke. Guest characters include Ina, Chacha, Morichika, Nagayoshi, Kiyomasa, Kai, and Koshōshō.
  1. Kannagawa - Sanada v. Hōjō. Both Sanada brothers fight valiantly, and win through combined efforts. Yukimura is bold and reckless, his brother and father calculated and cautious.
  2. Ueda Castle - Sanada v. Tokugawa. The Sanada clan fights a desperate battle against the vastly superior Tokugawa forces, which they win at great cost to their unity.
  3. Numata Castle - Sanada (Western Army) v. Tokugawa (Eastern Army). The Sanada successfully delay Hidetada’s forces from reaching Sekigahara, which rips their clan in two.
  4. Osaka Castle - Sanada (Toyotomi) v. Sanada (Tokugawa). The battle culminates in Yukimura and Nobuyuki facing off, with Yukimura easily beating him. Only to die in his final charge at Ieyasu.
  5. Dream stage: 2nd siege of Ueda - Sanada v. Tokugawa. Nobuyuki decides to side with his father and brother and defeats Hidetada forces. The news of such a loss leads to Ieyasu also losing Sekigahara.
Hōjō: a major clan. The focus is on Ujiyasu and his dream of building a land where his children can live in peace, without the threat of war. Ujiyasu does not get to see this hidden dream come about, no matter how hard he tries. Playable characters include: Ujiyasu, Kotarō, Kai, Lady Hayakawa, and Tsunashige.
  1. Kawagoe Castle - Hōjō v. Uesugi. Ujiyasu rescues Tsunashige using a swift night attack and recognizes Kenshin poses a real threat to his dream.
  2. Suruga - Hōjō v. Imagawa/Takeda v. Uesugi. Ujiyasu hopes to expand his power base by capturing Suruga but the Takeda and Uesugi crush these hopes.
  3. Odawara Castle - Hōjō v. Uesugi. Kenshin pushes Ujiyasu to the breaking point and negotiations cost Ujiyasu one of his sons as a son for Kenshin.
  4. Konodai - Hōjō v. Satake/Sagomi. Ujiyasu now looks east to grow his base, crushing his foes but gaining little land.
  5. Mimase Pass - Hōjō v. Takeda. Much to his secret pain, Ujiyasu’s children are now warriors, trying to prove their mettle. Ujiyasu is proud of them, but still has to rescue them when trapped by the Tiger of Kai.
  6. Kannagawa - Hōjō v. Sanada. Ujiyasu tries to use the fall of the Oda and Takeda to expand his power base, but the Sanada make it an incomplete victory.
  7. Oshi Caslte - Hōjō v. Sanada (Toyotomi). Ujiyasu’s children attempt to halt the vanguard at Oshi Castle. Ujiyasu is proud, but cannot admit it, even as he rushes to their aid.
  8. Odawara Castle - Hōjō v. Tokugawa (Toyotomi). Ujiyasu’s’s kids tell him they know his dream show how they’ve fulfilled it a different way, fighting together, united.
  9. Dream scenario: Inlet Sea Ambush - Hōjō v. Tokugawa. The last duel of Kotarō and Hanzō. Kotarō “conjures up” Ujiyasu, Tsunashige, Kai, and Lady Hayakawa to aid him. Kotarō decided to repay Ieyasu for the death of his “dog” by the death of Ieyasu’s “dog”.
Uesugi: a major clan. The focus should be on Kenshin and his philosophy of righteous war. Fighting only to save others, demanding their fealty as payment. His followers debate and ponder the justice and righteousness in such philosophy in their battles. Playable characters include: Kenshin, Kanetsugu, Aya, Kagekatsu, Danzō, and Keiji.
  1. Kawagoe Castle - Uesugi v. Hōjō. Kenshin comes to the rescue of the Uesugi clan, at the cost of becoming their clan’s leader.
  2. Odawara Castle - Uesugi v. Hōjō. Kenshin punishes the Hōjō for their trespasses until the rise of Shingen forces him to accept a quick alliance sealed by adopting Kagetora.
  3. Kawanakajima - Uesugi v. Takeda. Kenshin enters into Kai to “save” one of the minor lords, only to love fighting his nemesis.
  4. Tedorigawa - Uesugi v. Shibata (Oda). The death of Shingen leaves Kenshin feeling cheated out of a final showdown, which he seeks to fulfil in fighting the devil king. Kenshin falls ill and dies shortly afterwards.
  5. Otate no Ran - Uesugi (Kagekatsu) v. Uesugi (Kagetora). Kenshin had hoped both of his adopted sons could rule together, but instead, they fight and Kagekatsu wins at great cost.
  6. Matsukura Castle - Uesugi v. Shibata (Oda). Kagekatsu tries to resume his clan’s righteous cause of “saving” those under Oda’s oppression.
  7. Odemori Castle - Uesugi v. Date. Kagekatsu faces his demons for killing his brother and can truly “save” others once more.
  8. Hasedo - Uesugi v. Date. Kagekatsu supports Mitsunari’s bid for power, but has to first deal with Masamune.
  9. Dream stage: Final battle of Kawanakajima - Uesugi (Western forces) v. Takeda (Eastern forces). Kenshin successfully marches on the capital, casting down Nobunaga and reigning in the Toyotomi, Mōri, and Chōsokabe. Returning from crushing the Shimazu, Kenshin finds Shingen alive and leading the remaining eastern powers, Date, Tokugawa, and Hōjō.
Takeda: a major clan. The focus of this tale is on Shingen and his struggles to be better than his father. Katsuyori mirrors his father in this manner, but chooses different priorities. Both end up being their dads and their own men. Playable characters include: Shingen, Sakon, Masayuki, and Katsuyori. Guest characters include: Kunoichi, Nobuyuki, and Yukimura.
  1. Shinano Conquest - Takeda v. Coalition. This battle represents the early fights of Shingen as he claimed Shinano from multiple regional lords.
  2. Kawanakajima - Takeda v. Uesugi. The famous showdown between Shingen and Kenshin where both strive to outdo one another.
  3. Mimase Pass - Takeda v. Hōjō. Shingen salvages his campaign by ambushing the Hōjō forces pursuing him.
  4. Hanazawa - Takeda v. Imagawa. (Renamed from Suruga) Shingen reveals the beginnings of his grand plan by taking the Imagawa lands.
  5. Tonegawa - Takeda v. Satake (Uesugi). The next stage requires ending the Takeda/Uesugi/Hōjō standoff, which is done by alliance at the end of the fight.
  6. Mikatagahara - Takeda v. Tokugawa. Shingen finally strikes out for the capital and defeats Ieyasu, but falls ill and dies.
  7. Nagashino - Takeda v. Oda. Katsuyori now leads the Takeda and strives to complete what his father started, only to fail against Nobunaga’s strategy.
  8. Temmokuzan - Takeda v. Oda. On his last leg, Katsuyori has decided to reclaim his honor and insists Masayuki and the Sanada clan survive.
  9. Dream stage: Kyoto - Takeda v. Anti-Takeda coalition. Shingen managed to march on the capital and defeat both the Oda and Tokugawa. Now the Mōri have gathered the Azai, Saika, and Miyoshi to keep Kyoto out of Shingen’s hands. Kenshin arrives at the last minute and saves the day.
Imagawa: a minor clan. The focus here is a bit silly, as Yoshimoto’s dream is one of changing Samurai to Kamari players. He’s well intended, if not a bit delusional. Most of his officers respect him, but struggle to understand him and his son. Playable characters include: Yoshimoto, Naotora, Lady Hayakawa, and Ujizane. Guest characters include early Takeda characters, early Tokugawa characters, and Hōjō characters.
  1. Suruga - Imagawa/Takeda v. Hōjō v. Uesugi. Yoshimoto wants an alliance so he can convince the Shugon to turn samurai into Kamari players.
  2. Okehazama - Imagawa v. Oda. Yoshimoto is ambushed but still tries explaining his plan to Nobunaga, who doesn’t care.
  3. Kagegawa - Imagawa v. Tokugawa. Ujizane likes his father’s dream but doesn’t know how to keep his retainers, like Ieyasu, loyal.
  4. Hanazawa - Imagawa v. Takeda. Ujizane realizes he can't achieve the full scale of Yoshimoto’s dream and submits to just living for the peaceful arts.
  5. Dream stage: Kamari Conference - Imagawa v. Rabble rousers. Yoshimoto managed to march on the capital.gain control of the Shogunate, and talk most of the warlords into embracing his plan. At the first ever conference, the Tachibana, Date, and Tokugawa crash it, trying to kill Yoshimoto. Nobunaga arrives at the end to join Yoshimoto.
Shibata/Maeda: a minor clan. The focus here is on Katsuie and Toshiie, who debate the virtues of tradition and change. Playable characters include: Katsuie, Toshiie, Keiji, and Matsu. Guest characters include: Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi, and Oichi.
  1. Sakai - Shibata (Oda) v. Miyoshi. Katsuie and Toshiie march to Sakai to begin securing Settsu for Nobunaga, each with their own motives.
  2. Tedorigawa - Shibata (Oda) v. Uesugi. Katsuie dislikes Hideyoshi and tries to outdo him. Oath end up needing help from Toshiie.
  3. Matsukura Castle - Shibata (Oda) v. Uesugi. With Kenshin gone, Katsuie is able to finally break the might of the Uesugi.
  4. Shizugatake - Shibata v. Toyotomi. Katsuie cannot allow Hideyoshi to seize Nobunaga’s power without a fight. Katsuie can only play with Oichi, while the Maeda can only fight with other Maeda, as they end differently.
  5. Dream stage: Suemori Castle - Maeda v. Sassa (Tokugawa). Toshiie has sided with Hideyoshi, and that means having to kill a former vassal of Katsuie. Katsuie himself is selectable, but is left as a phantom that Toshiie only thinks he saw, but cannot confirm.
Tokugawa: one of the three unifiers. The focus here is on Ieyasu and his dream for peace, what he’s willing to endure and what he’s willing to inflict upon others. His retainers and family all seek to follow Ieyasu’s dream, trying to find balance in the hypocrisy contained within their Lord’s vision. Playable characters include: Ieyasu, Tadakatsu, Ina, Hanzō, Naotora, Munenori, Takatora, Naomasa, and Hidetada. Guest characters include: Nene, Goemon, Toshiie, Kagekatsu, Takakage, Masanori, Nobuyuki, Kagekatsu, Kanetsugu, Lady Hayakawa, Muneshige, Masamune, Kojūro, and Yoshihime.
  1. Azukizaka - Tokugawa v. Ikki/Saika. Ieyasu earns his retainers’ loyalty by pacifying Mikawa through fighting on the front lines.
  2. Kagegawa Castle - Tokugawa v. Imagawa. Ieyasu betrays his liege and his vassals join him, rescuing Ieyasu’s family.
  3. Mikatagahara - Tokugawa v. Takeda. Ieyasu must stop the Takeda, and his vassals pay the price.
  4. Escape Through Iga - Tokugawa v. Akechi. Ieyasu must first flee enemy territory after Nobunaga is killed.
  5. Komaki and Nagakate - Tokugawa v. Toyotomi. Ieyasu fights Hideyoshi for the role as Nobunaga’s successor, but agrees to submit to avoid breaking both armies.
  6. Ueda Castle - Tokugawa v. Sanada. The Sanada resist Ieyasu. To win them over, a marriage alliance is made between Nobuyuki and Ina.
  7. Odawara Castle - Tokugawa (Toyotomi) v. Hōjō. Ieyasu helps destroy his old ally the Hōjō and inherits their lands to prepare for his time to act.
  8. Fushimi Castle - Tokugawa (Eastern Army) v. Toyotomi (Western army). Ieyasu and Mitsunari are preparing for a final conflict and Ieyasu sacrifices Fushimi to buy him the time he needs.
  9. Numata Castle - Tokugawa (Eastern Army) v. Sanada (Western Army). Ina, Nobuyuki, and Hidetada are held up by the Sanada as they march to Sekigahara.
  10. Kusegawa - Tokugawa (Eastern Army) v. Shimazu (Western Army). Ieyasu shows his merit by snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat, as it takes more than one victory to defeat Ieyasu.
  11. Sekigahara - Tokugawa (Eastern Army) v. Toyotomi (Western Army). This is the showdown where Ieyasu brings all he has to bear to make the land his, so he can realize his dream of peace.
  12. Ōsaka Castle - Tokugawa v. Sanada (Toyotomi). The final fight to ensure the embers or rebellion are extinguished. Ieyasu feels regret at killing Hideyoshi’s son.
  13. Dream stage one: Komaki and Nagakate Final Showdown - Tokugawa v. Toyotomi. Ieyasu rebels against Hideyoshi earlier, gaining the support of the Hōjō and Date. Hideyoshi brings the Sanada and Mōri for a final showdown.
  14. Dream stage two: Contest of Champions - Tokugawa v. Contenders. A mock battle is held to determine the greatest warrior of all time. Classic shenanigans
Saitō/Akechi: a minor clan. The focus should be on what qualifies one to be a ruler and when should one follow and when should one lead. Playable characters include: Mitsuhide, Gracia, and Hanbei. Guest characters include: Magoichi, Koshōshō, and Motochika.
  1. Naragawa - Akechi (Saitō) v. Oda. Mitsuhide and Hanbei support Yoshitatsu reluctantly, as their lord’s betrayal of Dōsan sits poorly with them.
  2. Mt. Inabayama - Akechi (Saitō) v. Toyotomi (Oda). Both Mitsuhide and Hanbei are keen on testing the Oda forces for worthy masters. Mitsuhide finds Nobunaga worthy, while Hanbei believes Hideyoshi the most worthy.
  3. Honnoji - Akechi v. Oda. Mitsuhide decides to slay Nobunaga because of his lord’s brutal ways. Nobunaga praises Mitsuhide for finally achieving purpose and challenges him to make a better world.
  4. Yamazaki - Akechi v. Toyotomi. Mitsuhide fights to claim his previous lord’s place and Hideyoshi stands in his way.
  5. Dream Strage: Gracia’s Escape - Akechi v. Toyotomi (Western Army). Mitsunari is coming to capture her or kill Gracia. Magoichi, Koshōshō, and Mitsuhide try to rescue her. Only Gracia can see Mitsuhide. As they escape, Gracia is gunned down. From Gracia’s point of view, Mitsuhide saved her and she gets to join him. Magoichi and Koshōshō see a more sad, historical end.
Oda: one of the three unifiers. The focus on this story is a Nobunaga and how people interpret his unpredictable behavior. Nobunaga is interested in changing the world fundamentally, and his friends and allies struggle with this vision. Playable characters include: Nobunaga, Nō, Mitsuhide, Ranmaru, Hideyoshi, Katsuie, Toshiie, Hisahide, and Fujitaka. Guest characters include: Oichi, Gracia, Keiji, Nene, Hanbei, Kanbei, Ieyasu, Tadakatsu, Nagamasa, Shikanosuke, and Matsu.
  1. Nagarawa - Oda v. Saitō. This early battle demonstrates how Nobunaga’s eccentric behavior both upsets individuals and makes predicting his moves nearly impossible.
  2. Okehazama - Oda v. Imagawa. Nobunaga’s retainers are worried at first, but the decisive victory eventually gets everyone in high spirits. Nobunaga merely dreams much bigger than mere survival.
  3. Rokujo - Oda v. Miyoshi. Nobunaga demonstrates his ability to predict others behavior by luring out and defeating the Miyoshi easily.
  4. Anegawa - Oda/Tokugawa v. Azai/Asakura. Nobunaga is surprised and enraged that the Azai broke their alliance to protect their older ally.
  5. Noda/Fukushima - Oda v. Miyoshi. Nobunaga’s aloofness and antisocial habits are starting to rub some officers the wrong way, especially as the pressure intensifies.
  6. Kizugawa - Oda v. Mōri. Nobunaga uses harder tactics to meet the harder pressure.
  7. Nagashino - Oda/Tokugawa v. Takeda. The Oda forces gain some breathing room when they beat the Takeda in this battle.
  8. Nagashima - Oda v. Saika (Ikki). Nobunaga rides his wave of success by finally crushing the monks at Nagashima.
  9. Shigeson Castle (Kishu Conquest) - Oda v. Saika. Nobunaga rather his foes prove worthy of their betrayal, not weak rebellions followed by cowardly surrenders.
  10. Conquest of Iga - Oda v. Iga Ninja (Tokugawa). Nobunaga wants the ninja destroyed for their repeated failures to kill him. He knows Ieyasu sheltered several ninja families, but is pleased by his and others growing commitment to their beliefs.
  11. Temmokuzan - Oda v. Takeda. Nobunaga’s divisive tactics have forced his retainers to find their place and justification. Only Mitsuhide remains conflicted and lost.
  12. Honnoji - Oda v. Akechi. Nobunaga is pleased that Mitsuhide finally knows what he stands for and dares his former vassal to prove his conviction.
  13. Dream stage 1: Gassentoda - Oda v. Mōri alliance. Nobunaga survived his assassination attempt by a timely rescue from Hideyoshi. Now the last major hurdle, the Mōri, and their western allies remain. Nobunaga turns the Ōtomo to his side and wins.
  14. Dream stage 2: Kanegasaki - Oda v. Asakura/Uesugi. This what if runs in conjunction with Azai’s what if. Nagamasa chooses to fight beside the Oda at Kanegasaki. The Asakura suspected as much and brought in the Uesugi for help. After victory, Nobunaga agrees to change parts of his rule in thanks.
Azai: a minor clan. The focus should be on Nagamasa’s efforts to build the Azai clan up as a defender of righteousness. Oichi should inspire much loyalty from their vassals. Playable characters include: Oichi, Nagamasa, Takatora, Yoshitsugu, and Chacha (at the end). Guest characters include: Hideyoshi, Katsuie, and Mitsunari.
  1. Kannonji - Azai v. Rokokku. This battle should summarize the struggling rise of Nagamasa, and how his alliance with the Oda proved beneficial to his clan.
  2. Kanegasaki - Azai/Asakura v. Oda/Tokugawa. Nagamasa betrays the Oda to save the Asakura.
  3. Anegawa - Azai/Asakura v. Oda/Tokugawa. Nagamasa manages to soundly defeat Nobunaga’s forces and nearly wins. However, the Tokugawa manages to turn the tide.
  4. Odani Castle - Azai v. Oda. The end is near, and Oichi and their retainers promise to keep Nagamasa’s dream alive.
  5. Dream stage: Azuchi Castle - Azai/Oda v. Tokugawa. This stage is the sequel to the Oda's second dream stage. One of Nobunaga’s changes was to adopt Chacha as his heir. Ieyasu decides he cannot abide Chacha’s rule and spearheads a united Takeda/Hōjō/Tokugawa eastern alliance. Chacha holds them until Nagamasa and company can arrive to help.
Hosokawa: a minor clan. The focus here is upon Fujitaka and his unwavering support of order and structure. He is a man who watched his clan and shogun be destroyed, only to emerge more powerful and respected then most of his peers. Playable characters include: Fujitaka and Gracia. Guest characters include: Motonari, Aya, Magoichi, Mitsuhide, Nobunaga, Nō, Ranmaru, Tadakatsu,, Naotora, and Naomasa.
  1. Eguchi - Hosokawa v. Miyoshi. Fujitaka defends his clan against the rebellious Miyoshi.
  2. Nijo Assassination - Hosokawa (Ashikaga) v. Miyoshi. Fujitaka supports Yoshiteru’s efforts at establishing order, even as the Miyoshi come to kill the sword shogun.
  3. Uji River - Hosokawa (Oda) v. Ashikaga alliance. Fujitaka has joined Nobunaga and opposing his old lord, but unlike the Miyoshi, refuses to kill the last Ashikaga shogun.
  4. Ōtsu Castle - Hosokawa (Eastern Army) v. Ōtomo (Western Army). With the death of Hideyoshi, Fujitaka supports Ieyasu and comes to aid the Kyōgoku.
  5. Dream stage: Ashikaga supremacy - Hosokawa (Ashikaga Shogunate) v. Oda. Yoshiteru survived his assassination attempt and with the help of Fujitaka, managed to broker peace with every major clan except one. The Oda continue to hold out, gathering for a climatic final showdown.
Toyotomi: one of the three unifiers. The focus should be on Hideyoshi, and how he rose from a peasant to ruler of Japan. His contradictory kindness and cruelty shouldn’t be hidden, and his teetering authority examined. And as always. Hideyoshi should want everyone to smile, bearing the burden required to grant that opportunity. Playable characters include: Hideyoshi, Nene, Mitsunari, Sakon, Toshiie, Kiyomasa, Masanori, Hanbei, Kanbei, Takatora, Yoshitsugu, Chacha, Fujitaka, and Matsu. Guest characters include: Oichi, Hisahide, Ieyasu, Katsuie, Takakage, Motoharu, Shikanosuke, Motochika, Koshōshō, Morichika, Yoshihiro, Toyohisa, Yukimura, Nobuyuki, Kunoichi, and Sasuke.
  1. Mt. Inabayama - Toyotomi (Oda) v. Saitō. An early standout battle for Hideyoshi, proving his ability and skill to Nobunaga.
  2. Kanegasaki - Toyotomi (Oda)/Tokugawa v. Azai/Asakura. To ensure Nobunaga’s safety, Hideyoshi, alongside Matsunaga and Ieyasu, hold the rear guard.
  3. Odani Castle - Toyotomi (Oda) v. Azai. Despite his skill, Hideyoshi can’t preserve the happiness of everyone, which really hits home with Oichi.
  4. Kozuki - Toyotomi (Oda) v. Mōri. Hideyoshi command his first independent army against the Mōri.
  5. Yamazaki - Toyotomi v. Akechi. Hideyoshi knows his power is not his own, and must act quickly to avenge Nobunaga and keep momentum on his side.
  6. Shizugatake - Toyotomi v. Shibata. Hideyoshi knew not everyone would support his claim to power, but seeing Oichi, Toshiie, and Matsu side against him cuts deep.
  7. Komaki and Nagakute - Toyotomi v. Tokugawa. Hideyoshi convinces Ieyasu to submit as a temporary setback.
  8. Hiketa - Toyotomi v. Chōsokabe. Hideyoshi proves his tactful skills by allowing the rebellious Chōsokabe to remain a daimyo clan even after their defeat.
  9. Sendaigawa - Toyotomi v. Shimazu. Hideyoshi employed the age-old tactic of overwhelm the enemy against the Shimazu.
  10. Oshi Castle - Toyotomi v. Hōjō. Hideyoshi has one last foe to defeat, the Hōjō. It is not armies that worry Hideyoshi now, it’s legacy.
  11. Fushimi Castle - Toyotomi (Western Army) v. Tokugawa (Eastern Army). Mitsunari strives to preserve both the Toyotomi clan and their ruling authority. The price of victory here alienates his much needed allies.
  12. Sekigahara - Toyotomi (Western Army) v. Tokugawa (Eastern Army). Mitsunari holds the advantage, but cannot properly utilize it as he’s upset or ignored too many allies.
  13. Dream stage 1: Mitsunari’s Flight - Toyotomi v. Tokugawa. Several of the Toyotomi vassals decide to kill Mitsunari in order to end his leadership of their resistance to Ieyasu. Mitsunari flees to Ieyasu’s mansion for sanctuary.
  14. Dream stage 2: Uniting the Toyotomi - Toyotomi v. Maeda v. Tokugawa. Nene decides to make the feuding Toyotomi officers, especially Mitsunari, Kiyomasa, and Masanori, learn to get along. She enlists Toshiie to help by staging an attack. They must work together to stop Toshiie and the following Tokugawa attack.
Miyoshi: a major clan. The focus should be upon Nagayoshi and his desire to rule traditionally, from the shadows. The flaws in this approach should be explored, as should its strengths. Nagayoshi will need his life extended like Ujiyasu and Motonari. Playable characters include: Nagayoshi, Goemon, Sakon, Koshōshō, and Hisahide. Guest characters include: Okuni and Munenori.
  1. Eguchi - Miyoshi v. Hosokawa. Nagayoshi Miyoshi is ready to break free of the constantly infighting Hosokawa.
  2. Kyokoji - Miyoshi v. Saika (Hatakayama). Nagayoshi drives off Matsunaga for his treachery and pushes back the Hatakayama and their Ikki allies.
  3. Nijo Assassination - Miyoshi v. Hosokawa (Ashikaga). Nagayoshi kills Yoshiteru for no longer being his puppet.
  4. Sakai - Miyoshi v. Shibata (Oda). Nagayoshi must now try to fight off the encroaching Oda forces.
  5. Todaiji (or perhaps Yamato Pacification) - Miyoshi v. Saika/Miyoshi (Oda). Nagayoshi now has several rebellious lords to handle, backed by the Oda.
  6. Rokujo - Miyoshi v. Oda. Matsunaga informs Nagayoshi that he is a double agent and has a golden opportunity to destroy the Oda.
  7. Noda/Fukushima - Miyoshi v. Oda. Nagayoshi begins to doubt he can win a war of attrition against the Oda.
  8. Asan - Miyoshi v. Chōsokabe. Nagayoshi refuses to give up even as the Chōsokabe close in on his last domain. He swears to see the end of this upheaval.
  9. Dream stage: Matsunaga’s Final Rebellion - Miyoshi v. Oda/Toyotomi. Matsunaga gets driven off earlier and lures the Oda forces into a trap. The trap works, but then Matsunaga or Nagayoshi must be defeated, depending on the officers chosen.
Saika: a minor clan. The focus of this story should be on Magoichi and him being a sucker for the underdog. Magoichi must learn whether he wants revenge or to keep people he cares about, like Hotorou alive. Playable characters include: Magoichi and Hotorou. Guest characters include: Hisahide, Sakon, and Koshōshō.
  1. Kyokoji - Saika (Hatakayama) v. Miyoshi. Magoichi is hired to help the Hatakayama fight off the Miyoshi. His new recruit, Hotorou tags along, blocking Magoichi’s efforts to flirt with the women.
  2. Todaiji - Saika (Miyoshi/Oda) v. Miyoshi. Magoichi is appalled by Hisahide’s fire attack on the Buddha temple.
  3. Nagashima - Saika (Ikko-Ikki) v. Oda. Magoichi wants to kill the Oda lord, but gets overwhelmed and flees.
  4. Kishu Conquest - Saika v. Oda. Magoichi now fights for his homeland, with Hotorou trying to sacrifice herself out of shame. Magoichi saves her at the cost of his vengeance.
  5. Dream stage: Ishiyama-Honganji - Saika v. Oda. Magoichi leads his best gunners in the battle with one mission, slay Nobunaga. Through much labor and effort, the feat is done, but most of the gunners die in the process.
Mōri: a major clan. The focus should be on Motonari and his sons, along with the two sides of Motonari, ruthlessness and compassion. Takakkage and Motonari should embody one side each, learning their balance over time. Playable characters include: Motonari, Takakkage, and Motoharu.
  1. Iwami Silver Mine (combines Koriyama and first siege of Gassentoda) Mōri (Ōuchi) v. Amago. Motonari recently left the Amago for the Ōuchi and now fights for them against the Amago.
  2. Itsukushima - Mōri v. Ōuchi (Sue). Motonari lets Harukata kill their lord and then “avenges” him.
  3. Gassentoda - Mōri v. Amago. Motonari now sets his sights upon the Amago lands. Motoharu meets a young Shikanosuke and forms a rivalry.
  4. Tatarahama - Mōri v. Ōtomo. Motonari must now hold his new lands against the jealous Ōtomo.
  5. Kizugawa - Mōri v. Oda. Motonari hopes the Ikko-Ikki can survive long enough to let him stabilize his lands and defeat the Oda.
  6. Kozuki Castle - Mōri v. Toyotomi (Oda). Hideyoshi proves difficult for Motonari to fight off. Motoharu gets a final showdown against Shikanosuke, but it proves empty once he wins.
  7. Iyo - Mōri (Kono) v. Chōsokabe. When their former enemies the Kono call out for aid, Motonari encourages his clan to take this opportunity to expand into Shikoku.
  8. Takamatsu - Mōri v. Kuroda (Oda). Hideyoshi proves even more dangerous, and Takakkage suggests alliance instead.
  9. Dream stage: Ambush at Honnoji - Mōri v. Oda v. Akechi. Motonari manages to get forces into the Oda lands and intercepts Nobunaga at Honnoji before Mitsuhide could. A massive fight breaks out as Hideyoshi and Takakkage’s reinforcements both arrive towards the end of the fight.
Chōsokabe: a minor clan. The focus should be upon what it means to stick to one’s beliefs and fight an unjust system. Motochika dances to his own tune and he teaches it to those who will listen. Playable characters include: Motochika, Koshōshō, and Morichika. Guest characters include: Mitsuhide and Gracia.
  1. Shimato River - Chōsokabe v. Ōtomo (Ichijo). Motochika is now going to defeat the clan he once owed service.
  2. Asan - Chōsokabe v. Miyoshi. Motochika targets the Miyoshi, Koshōshō’s old clan. She acts like this is how it should be, but she’s hurt to see her son slain.
  3. Iyo - Chōsokabe v. Mōri (Kono). Motochika seems immune to Koshōshō’s curse and continues conquering Shikoku.
  4. Hiketa - Chōsokabe v. Toyotomi. Now in love with Motochika, Koshōshō laments that her curse has finally acted. Motochika disagrees and fights back until forced into submission.
  5. Dream stage: Hetsugigawa - Chōsokabe (Toyotomi) v. Shimazu. While down, Motochika refuses to be out, and Koshōshō and Morichika support him. Unfortunately Nobunchika is slain and Motochika is finally hurt enough to mourn.
Ōtomo: a major clan. The focus should be on when to accept change, especially dramatic change, and when to reject it. Each generation must answer these questions. Playable characters include: Ginchiyo, Muneshige, Musashi, and Joun.
  1. Tatarahawa - Ōtomo v. Mōri. Muneshige joins his father in battle and proves his skill, pleasing both Joun and Dōsetsu.
  2. Shimato River - Ōtomo (Ichiyo) v. Chōsokabe. Ginchiyo tries to show her own skill in battle, but gains her father’s ire for it. However, Muneshige is impressed.
  3. Saga - Ōtomo v. Ryūzōji. The Ōtomo fail in what should have been an easy battle, sowing doubts in Sōrin’s decision to embrace foreign ideas.
  4. Mimigawa - Ōtomo v. Shimazu. Both Ginchiyo and Muneshige compete with each other, which Muneshige considers flirting. Dōsestu adopts Muneshige, much to Ginchiyo’s frustration.
  5. Iwaya and Tachibana Castles - Ōtomo v. Shimazu. The Shimazu have pushed the Ōtomo to their breaking point and Joun sacrifices himself to buy enough time for help to arrive.
  6. Ōtsu Castle - Ōtomo (Western Army) v. Hosokawa (Eastern Army). Muneshige worries for Ginchiyo, who couldn’t join him on campaign and about choosing the bet on the wrong path again.
  7. Ishikagi Plains - Ōtomo (Western Army) v. Kuroda (Eastern Army). Ginchiyo must hold the homeland on her own with Kanbei mobilized against her.
  8. Yanagawa - Ōtomo (Western Army) v. Kuroda (Eastern Army). Ginchiyo and Muneshige are reunited amid a desperate fight. In the end, Ginchiyo saves Muneshige, but gets wounded and dies of it a few years later.
  9. Dream stage: Ōtomo Kingdom - Ōtomo v. Mōri/Oda. The Ōtomo have decided to emancipate themselves and form a new kingdom. The Mōri and Oda join up to stop them, but many sympathizers within their ranks end up switching sides, favoring their new order.
Kuroda: a minor clan. The focus should be on Kanbei’s quest to bring an end to the warring states at all costs. He struggles with what is acceptable to achieve this noble goal and needs people like Hanbei to keep him in check. Playable characters include: Kanbei, Hanbei, Hideyoshi, Kiyomasa, and Kojirō. Guest characters include: Nene, Mitsunari, and Masanori.
  1. Arioka Castle - Kuroda (Oda) v. Araki (Oda/Miyoshi). Murashige Araki has rebelled against Nobunaga and captured a mediating Kanbei. Hanbei and Hideyoshi arrive to save their friend.
  2. Takamatsu - Kuroda (Toyotomi) v. Mōri. Kanbei helps Hideyoshi repress the Mōri by coming up with a flood attack at Takamatsu.
  3. Udo - Kuroda (Eastern Army) v. Shimazu (Western Army). Kanbei comes to the rescue of Kiyomasa, and the two manage to hold off the Shimazu.
  4. Yanagawa - Kuroda (Eastern Army) v. Ōtomo (Western Army). Kiyomasa seeks to settle his debt by helping Kanbei in return.
  5. Dream stage: Ganryujima - Kuroda v. Swordmen. Musashi and Kojirō join forces for a final showdown on who is the greatest swordsman. Swordmen and famous fighters from throughout the age show up to try and claim the title.
Shimazu: a major clan. The focus should be upon the strength of a united family and finding one’s place. Playable characters include: Yoshihiro, Toyohisa, and Iehisa. Guest characters include: Mitsunari, Sakon, Yoshitsugu, Ginchiyo, and Muneshige.
  1. Kizaki - Shimazu v. Itō. The Shimazu are ready to begin their conquest of Kyushu, and the four brothers work together to defeat the Itō.
  2. Mimigawa - Shimazu v. Ōtomo. Ieshisa proves a talented strategist, which Yoshihiro praises.
  3. Okitanawate - Shimazu v. Ryūzōji. Yoshihiro cannot get Iehisa to stop fretting over his son’s dismissal of his worth.
  4. Iwaya and Tachibana Castles - Shimazu v. Ōtomo. Yoshihiro asks Toyohisa about his coldness towards his father. Toyohisa admits he’s not smart enough to be like his dad, so he wants to prove himself by fighting like his uncle.
  5. Hetsugigawa - Shimazu v. Chōsokabe (Toyotomi). Iehisa has redoubled his efforts, defeating their foes but getting mortally wounded in the process.
  6. Sendaigawa - Shimazu v. Toyotomi. Yoshihiro and Toyohisa put up a spirited defense, but are eventually defeated.
  7. Kusegawa - Shimazu (Western Army) v. Tokugawa (Eastern Army). Yoshihiro and Toyohisa want a night attack, but Mitsunari says no.
  8. Udo - Shimazu (Western Army) v. Kuroda (Eastern Army). The Shimazu hope to reclaim lost lands to the Toyotomi turned Tokugawa sympathizers.
  9. Dream stage: march on Kyoto - Shimazu v. Toyotomi v. Tokugawa. What if the Shimazu unified Kyushu faster. They could pursue their dream of taking the capital from Hideyoshi and his current rival Ieyasu.
Characters include with this new campaign:
  1. Yoshihime
  2. Yoshishige Satake
  3. Tsunashige Hōjō
  4. Danzō Katō
  5. Ujizane Imagawa
  6. Matsu
  7. Fujitaka Hosokawa
  8. Nagayoshi Miyoshi
  9. Hotorou
  10. Motoharu Kikkawa
  11. Shikanosuke Yamanaka
  12. Morichika Chösokabe
  13. Joun Takahashi
  14. Naoshige Nabeshima
  15. Iehisa Shimazu
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Robbie Power's Cheltenham 2020 Preview - Champion Hurdle Champion Hurdle Preview Champ.ie Cheltenham Preview 2020 in association with Paddy Power 2020 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy - Racing TV Epatante- Champion Hurdle 2020 Cheltenham Festival 2020 - Champion Hurdle

Champion Hurdle 2020 ante-post betting tips: Unexposed Epatante can prove cut above. Unusually for the Champion Hurdle, this year’s race likely to boast a field of 17 runners and real elite runners. Browse our Champion Hurdle 2021 (Antepost) odds and show your Cheltenham 2021 betting knowledge. Who will you be backing on the Champion Hurdle 2021 (Antepost)? Epatante is one of the favourites at the moment, at odds of 4/1* and an expected probability to win the Champion Hurdle 2021 (Antepost) of 20%. The bookies have made her favourite to win the 2021 Champion Hurdle on the back of that performance, but she should face a much sterner test of her abilities if last season’s best novice hurdlers progress further, as expected. Check out our 2021 Champion Hurdle preview and our ante-post tips. The first Champion Hurdle was run in 1927, and its inaugural winner, Blaris, was awarded prize money of £365. In comparison, the 2019 renewal of the Champion Hurdle had a total prize money of £450,000, with over £250,000 going to the connections of the winning horse. All five horses won the Champion Hurdle in consecutive years, making the feat even more incredible and the most recent champion was Istabraq in 2000. Istabraq was the odds-on favourite to win his fourth unprecedented Champion Hurdle but the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001 caused history to halter.

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Robbie Power's Cheltenham 2020 Preview - Champion Hurdle

Champion Hurdle 2020 Preview Champ.ie Cheltenham Preview Night in association with Paddy Power. Carnbeg Hotel & Spa, Armagh Rd, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Panel: Dessie Scahill (MC / Legendary ... CHELTENHAM 2020 ANTE POST BETTING - BET 1 'THE BANKER' - Duration: 5:31. Gary Sivs ... Champion Hurdle Preview 📺 Champ.ie Cheltenham Preview 2020 in association with Paddy Power ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Queue An incredible running of the 2020 Champion Hurdle sees Epatante deliver the prize into the familiar hands of Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson. This is the official YouTube channel of Racing TV ... Champion Hurdle Preview 📺 Champ.ie Cheltenham Preview 2020 in association with Paddy Power ... 2020 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle - Racing TV - Duration: 5:07. Racing TV 23,976 ...