Madden NFL 19
After Madden Ultimate Team fans didn't like how Madden 18 handled powering up specific players in the mode (it was too expensive and ultimate not worth it), developer EA Tiburon has gone back to the drawing board for Madden 19, making the feature more user-friendly in a variety of ways (click and scroll down in this past installment of The Sports Desk for more).
I recently got to tour Ultimate Team in Madden 19, and received lots of info from associate producer Nick Schreiber.
Correction: The article below mistakenly says that power up cards become non-NAT at their top tier. In fact, they don't become non-NAT until they are downgraded back to their base level. This mistake has been corrected below, and I regret the error.
Note: Info in this article, such as training values, may change by the time the game is released. I honestly don't think any of the alterations – if there are any – are going to be drastic, but they may change.
In years past, quickselling cards for coin was a waste because you got next to nothing back for the card you were selling. I was nervous that quickselling cards for training points to power up cards in Madden 19 would be a similar pittance, but that doesn't look to be the case.
- I had a Longshot Ultimate Team card that was nothing special, and selling it got me 100 training points. How far did this go? It enabled me to get my initial Xavier Rhodes Power Up card up to 80 – and with two chem slots.
- Even having a Core Elite card will get a lot of training points (550). Bronzes and silvers are only two points, but it may escalate from there. Legends will be thousands.
- There will be Training Quicksell cards like there are Coin Quicksell cards. Hitting the jackpot with a quicksell always makes a MUT player's day.
- You can also get training in solo reward packs and possibly through objectives.
It will be interesting to see if it’ll be worth it to sacrifice a card for training vs. selling that card instead and taking the coins and buying a card comparable to where your Power up card is at. Or, again, like M18’s Power Up cards, if the end result Power Up card isn’t worth what you sacrificed in training points from melted cards and getting the requisite cards along the way.
So from my impression that training points won't be scarce, what cards can you actually power up? There are lots of cards that you can buy chems for (see more below), and there are also designated Power Up cards as well as Legends. Schreiber assured me that there will be plenty of cards to power up – they won't be rare. Check out the video below to see me take my Power Up card to 80 with less than 100 training points.
- The Power Up cards in particular are available in programs, set rewards, and specific objective lists.
- As you upgrade your cards, some levels in the upgrade ladder may require a card, and there may be at times the option to put in the requisite card or pay in training points.
- There are upgrade passes which will take you straight to a certain point in the ladder, like an 80 OVR, for instance. These passes are available through your MUT level (the initial cap is 50). EA is still tweaking how many passes you’ll get via MUT level. These passes may show up in other places, and they won’t be in the marketplace.
Once a power up card reaches its highest point, it will not be NAT.Once you start powering up cards they are NAT and stay that way until you downgrade them back to the their starting level, at which time they are Non-NAT again.
- Cards can be stripped of their training. One tier I saw gave me back 50 percent of the training points I had put in to initially unlock it. I don't know if different tiers give back different amounts of training.
Chems, Legends & More
- There are numerous lower-rated cards with only a single chem slot, as well as some with two.
- There may be cards in certain programs where you get a choice of chems when you upgrade, like a Most Feared card having specific Most Feared chems. Schreiber says EA Tiburon may have to alter things if a certain chem gets out of hand.
- The video below gives a glimpse of some early Legends, as well as some programs and sets.
- If you've already played MUT, you can skip the pre-season program and you'll start out at MUT level 10 – with solo battles opened up and a bundle that will give you everything you would have gotten if you started from scratch.
- Tokens can be exchanged for classic alternate uniforms. I saw a creamsicle organge Bucs throwback going for Elite, Gold, and Silver tokens.