The absence of the perennially powerful Sydney Sixers has thrown this year's WBBL finals weekend wide open.
The Sixers have made every final of the tournament since its inception in 2015-16 but will not feature in Brisbane as the Heat, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne Renegades battle for the title.
Strikers captain Suzie Bates says without the Sixers looming large, there's no clear favourite heading into Saturday's semi-finals at Allan Border Field.
"It is nice to have the Sixers out of the comp because you know once they get to semi-finals they're very experienced at winning," the New Zealander, who was Perth's captain when the Scorchers lost the 2016-17 final to the Sixers, told AAP.
"The fact they're not here gives every time a really good chance."
Adelaide, who narrowly missed out on hosting this year's finals weekend, begin the action on Saturday morning against Bates' old team.
The Strikers boast the recently crowned player of the tournament in White Ferns' all-rounder Sophie Devine and Perth captain.
Perth captain Meg Lanning, who goes into the finals on the back of a century against Hobart last weekend, is only too aware of the threat Devine poses.
"Hopefully we can get her out early, I think that's the best plan because she's shown throughout the year once she gets in and gets going, she's pretty hard to stop," Lanning told AAP.
Amy Jones and Natalie Sciver are unavailable for the Scorchers after departing for Malaysia for national team duties with England.
Both are in the WBBL's top-15 run-scorers but Lanning backs her team to deliver as Perth aim for a third WBBL final appearance.
"We've improved throughout the competition," Lanning said.
"Our back half of the year's been very strong and we've won different ways as well.
"Our bowlers have dominated and our batters as well so we feel pretty comfortable with however the game pans out that we can play really well."
Brisbane have no such worries, with none of their players missing from the English exodus while semi-final opponents Melbourne have lost top-order batter Dani Wyatt.
After last year's upset win over the Sixers in Sydney to claim the title, Heat captain Kirby Short was revelling in her team's host status this time around.
"Nothing's the same, is it. It's been nice to do a preparation at home ... just go about your normal routine without a distraction," Short told AAP.
The Renegades made their finals bow last year and suffered the heartbreak of a super over semi-final defeat to the Sixers.
Renegades skipper Jess Duffin said the lessons from that agonising exit would be drawn upon this weekend.
"At the end of the day, the Sydney teams aren't here for a start, we're playing a different opposition, which is good and, yeah, I suppose the way that the WBBL has been this year is a lot of games have come down to the last ball or to the last over," Duffin told AAP.
"I think you can probably expect that tomorrow and it's the way that teams go about reflecting on those games in the past and how you kind of deal with it tomorrow.
"We've obviously had a few close games this season and I feel like we're well prepared."
Australian Associated Press