The Saints' place in the top tier of seedings was earned not just by the 2011 Heineken Cup final, but the 2010 quarter finals and by lifting the silverware in the 2009 Amlin Challenge Cup, too.
But while the Saints have avoided being drawn with Leinster, Munster and Toulouse, they could still be paired with some of the toughest teams in Europe.
Clermont Auvergne - unbeaten at home in 41 matches - and Toulon are both in tier two, as are 2011 Heineken Cup finalists Ulster, while Pro 12 winners Ospreys, Scarlets and Glasgow are all possible tier three opponents.
Meanwhile in tier four Top 14 play-off teams Castres, Racing Metro and Montpellier await if either of the two French teams in tier two are avoided.
The 2012/13 Heineken Cup pools will be drawn by ERC chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux, and chief executive, Derek McGrath at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 11am on Tuesday, June 12th.
The tiers in full are:
Leinster Rugby, Toulouse, Biarritz Olympique, Munster Rugby, Cardiff Blues, Northampton Saints
ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby, Leicester Tigers, Harlequins, Toulon, Edinburgh Rugby
Ospreys, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Saracens, Connacht Rugby, Sale Sharks
Castres Olympique, Benetton Treviso, Racing Metro 92, Montpellier, Exeter Chiefs, Italian club (to be confirmed)