Whether it's been through the draft, trade, free agency or other mechanisms to build their lists, the paths Collingwood and Brisbane have taken in their list calls and recruitment has led to this weekend's meeting on the biggest of stages.
Father-son selections are set to play a significant part for the Magpies, who have also looked to the Rookie Draft for key assets in their list build. But it might be their shrewd trading over the past decade that has best set this side up for a chance at a premiership on Saturday.
A majority of Brisbane's star names find themselves in line for a flag after moving on from their initial clubs, while a 'sweet spot' in the draft could have a large impact on Brisbane's chances of claiming their first grand final win in 20 years.
Below we've broken down how each side's list has come together over the years to shape an enticing grand final matchup.
Through smart trading, finding Rookie Draft gems or continuing the legacy of club greats, Collingwood has built a list that is reaching a peak in 2023.
Three of the Magies' most important players joined the club as father-son selections, with the dangerous duo of Josh and Nick Daicos extending the magic their father Peter provided through the '80s and '90s.
Captain Darcy Moore has followed in his father's footsteps to lead the Magpies from the front and will be hoping to do what his old man couldn't in winning a premiership for the black and white.
That same off-season saw Collingwood add Jack Crisp through a trade with this week's grand final opponents as Dayne Beams bid farewell to Magpies, with the selection that landed the Magpies De Goey also involved in the deal.
A further eight players have landed on Collingwood's list through trading, with Jamie Elliott (pre-listed with GWS), Jeremy Howe (Melbourne) and Darcy Cameron (Sydney) among their most fruitful moves.
The Rookie Draft has been a pool for Collingwood to find diamonds in the rough, with 100-game American pickup Mason Cox, fan favourite Jack Ginnivan and mature-aged forward Brody Mihocek each finding their way to Olympic Park after being overlooked through other means.
Their sole free agency acquisition, Dan McStay, won't play on Saturday as one of two unfortunate absences for the Magpies, joining 2013 trade acquisition Taylor Adams.
Outside of McStay, the Magpies' four other experienced recruits from the past 12 months are likely to face the Lions in the grand final, with no journey matching that of Oleg Markov's after he was delisted by the Suns this time last year.
Scott Pendlebury - Pick 5 (2005)
Steele Sidebottom - Pick 11 (2008)
Jordan De Goey - Pick 5 (2014)
Darcy Moore - Pick 9* (2014)
Brayden Maynard - Pick 30 (2014)
Josh Daicos - Pick 57* (2016)
Nathan Murphy - Pick 39 (2017)
Isaac Quaynor - Pick 13* (2018)
Beau McCreery - Pick 44 (2020)
Nick Daicos - Pick 4* (2021)
Jamie Elliott - GWS (2011, pre-listed and traded)
Jack Crisp - Brisbane (2014)
Jeremy Howe - Melbourne (2015)
Will Hoskin-Elliott - GWS (2016)
Darcy Cameron - Sydney (2019)
Patrick Lipinski - Western Bulldogs (2021)
Bobby Hill - GWS (2022)
Tom Mitchell - Hawthorn (2022)
Billy Frampton - Adelaide (2022)
Oleg Markov - SSP (2023)
Much of the Lions' top line of stars have come to Brisbane from other clubs through trade or free agency mechanisms, with both avenues to see a total of eight players line up on grand final day after moving clubs.
Among this crop is dual Brownlow Medal winner Lachie Neale, forward duo Charlie Cameron and Joe Daniher, midfield ace Josh Dunkley and ex-skipper Dayne Zorko, who was traded to the Lions from the Suns after being pre-listed as a Queensland zone selection.
Zorko isn't alone in having crossed from the Suns to their state rivals, with utility Callum Ah Chee having been traded to the Lions in 2019, while a year prior Jarryd Lyons was swooped on by Brisbane after being cut by Gold Coast despite having a year remaining on his contract.
The National Draft has seen the Lions heavily rely on their top selections to build their first-string side for 2023, with Academy selection Harris Andrews the only player in line to feature on Saturday that was taken outside of the top 37 selections.
Atop that list is 2017 Pick 1 selection Cam Rayner, while Hugh McCluggage is the Lions' only other top 10 selection, having also made the venture north from Victoria 12 months prior to Rayner.
Fletcher is the Lions' sole father-son addition, while Andrews and Keidean Coleman both linked up with Brisbane as Academy graduates.
Former Bomber Conor McKenna has taken a route like no other to get to this moment, having departed Essendon three years ago in a return to Ireland before making his comeback through the pre-season Supplemental Selection Period.
Ryan Lester - Pick 28 (2010)
Darcy Gardiner - Pick 22 (2013)
Harris Andrews - Pick 61* (2014)
Eric Hipwood - Pick 14 (2015)
Hugh McCluggage - Pick 3 (2016)
Jarrod Berry - Pick 17 (2016)
Cameron Rayner - Pick 1 (2017)
Zac Bailey - Pick 15 (2017)
Brandon Starcevich - Pick 18 (2017)
Deven Robertson - Pick 22 (2019)
Keidean Coleman - Pick 37* (2019)
Darcy Wilmot - Pick 16 (2021)
Jaspa Fletcher - Pick 12* (2022)
Oscar McInerney - Pick 37 (2016)
Dayne Zorko - Gold Coast (2011, pre-listed and traded)
Charlie Cameron - Adelaide - (2017)
Lincoln McCarthy - Geelong (2018)
Lachie Neale - Fremantle (2018)
Callum Ah Chee - Gold Coast (2019)
Josh Dunkley - Western Bulldogs (2022)
Conor McKenna - SSP (2023)
*Academy or father-son access