Warrington are the bookmakers’ pick for the title despite opting not to make any new signings.
There is much to be said for continuity, as long as the Wolves’ large contingent of thirty-somethings can last the pace, and it would be no surprise if they were to go one better after slipping up at the last in 2012.
Big things are expected of St Helens under Nathan Brown but question marks surround the ability of Wigan to retain the league leaders’ shield.
Amazingly, it is five years since Saints last lifted a trophy but they look better equipped with Willie Manu in their ranks – and there is the Brown factor.
Wigan have lost too much experience to justify any real optimism. They will need new half-backs Matty Smith and Blake Green to hit the ground running if they are to remain competitive.
Another realistic Grand Final contender are Catalan Dragons, who will be in the reckoning as long as they manage to cover the early absence of inspirational half-back Scott Dureau.
Rookie boss Laurent Frayssinous, the first Frenchman to coach the Perpignan outfit, faces a tough act to follow in the footsteps of 2011 coach of the year Trent Robinson but he has the vastly-experienced David Waite to lean on.
But in this comprehensive guide, here’s a look at all of Huddersfield’s rivals.
Coach: Francis Cummins (since September 2012).
Co-captains: Heath L’Estrange and Matt Diskin.
2012 finish: 9th (after having six points deducted for going into administration).
2012 leading scorers: tries - Brett Kearney 15; goals - Luke Gale 65; points - Luke Gale 139.
Biggest Super League win: 96-16 (v Salford, 2000).
Biggest Super League defeat: 70-6 (v Hull, 2012).
Ground and capacity: Odsal, 26,019.
2012 average attendance: 11,755 (down by 2,212 on 2011).
Record Super League attendance: 24,020 (v Leeds 1999).
In: Matty Blythe, Ben Evans (both Warrington, on season-long loan), Jamie Foster (St Helens), Adam Sidlow (Salford).
Out: Tom Burgess (South Sydney), Bryn Hargreaves, Ian Sibbit, Ben Jeffries (all retired), Olivier Elima (Catalan), Jason Crookes (Hull), Craig Kopczak (Huddersfield), Phil Joseph (Widnes), Shaun Ainscough (Southcity Bulls, Aus), Karl Pryce (released), Kyle Briggs (Featherstone).
Odds to finish top: 80-1.
Prospects: New coach Francis Cummins could face a baptism of fire. He will have to operate with a slimmed-down squad, having lost a wealth of experience, and will need a huge slice of good fortune with injuries if he is take the Bulls into the top eight.
Coach: Ian Millward (since November 2011).
Captain: Michael Shenton.
2012 finish: 13th.
2012 leading scorers: tries - Nick Youngquest 16; goals - Kirk Dixon 38; points - Kirk Dixon 88.
Biggest Super League win: 74-16 (v Salford, 2002).
Biggest Super League defeat: 62-0 (v Warrington, 2011) (also lost 70-12 v Hull KR, 2012).
Ground and capacity: The Wish Communications Stadium (formerly Wheldon Road), 11,750.
2012 average attendance: 6,709 (down by 447).
Record Super League attendance: 11,731 (v Leeds, 2004).
In: Michael Shenton (St Helens), Jake Webster (Hull KR), Keith Mason, Lee Gilmour (both Huddersfield), Jordan Tansey (York), Justin Carney (Sydney Roosters), Weller Hauraki (Leeds).
Out: Joe Arundel (Hull), Danny Orr, Ryan Hudson, Nick Youngquest (all retiring), Josh Griffin (Leeds Carnegie RU), Stuart Jones, James Grehan (both released), Paul Jackson (Whitehaven), Steve Snitch, Lee Mitchell, (both Australia), Ben Blackmore (Huddersfield), Ben Johnston (Dewsbury, on loan), James Clare (Doncaster, on loan), Rhys Williams (returned to Warrington), Ryan Brierley (Leigh).
Odds to finish top: 150-1.
Prospects: It is looking like another tough season for the Tigers, who ended 2012 with seven straight defeats. Wily coach Ian Millward has rung the changes but he will once more rely heavily on Rangi Chase for inspiration. It could be a battle to avoid the wooden spoon.