The Madden 19 Ultimate Team Guide
Madden Ultimate Team is back, boasting new solos, ways to play, and an upgrade mechanic that helps both first-timers as well as those in it for the long haul. This guide also has something for everyone during the mode’s early life, from how to make coins to Solo Battles.
Note: Madden Ultimate Team evolves all the time, from what players are available to what they’re worth, so be aware that while some of the larger principles are constant, details will change. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Where/How Do I Start?
If you’ve already played Ultimate Team, the game skips you forward to MUT Level 10 while giving you a bundle that covers all you would have missed. Conversely, if you’re a new player, it won’t take long to go through the pre-season solos and level up – with rewards along the way.
No matter the rating of your team, single-player Solo Challenges are the easiest way to both make coins (for the auction house/buy packs), get collectible items you can later redeem in sets, accrue training points (see below), and earn packs and/or specific players.
For instance, The Campaign Solo program is specifically designed to upgrade your ratty, starting bronze team to a gold one while giving you coins, tokens for the Campaign set, and even elite players. This is a good place to start.
In the early going in particular, you won’t find these hard to beat, but if you want to make your life at least more comfortable, don’t ignore the settings menu before each solo. When you start a solo, toggle the Event Type to “Quick Presentation” and turn on the Accelerated Clock. This speeds the presentation up, which is useful – unless, of course, you need more time to complete an objective. Speaking of objectives, do the bonus objectives for extra coins.
Also, do your Daily Objectives for coins (this can be accessed from the main MUT menu). Even having to buy the cheapest pack in the store (500 coins) and possibly go to the auction house for another silver for the Daily’s set requirement, after you complete the requisite three solos/games – which give you coins for completing as well – at worst you should break even after redeeming the Daily Objective’s quicksell reward, which can give you as many as 50,000 coins.
Should I Spend Real Money?
Real money can be spent to buy points in MUT. Points are, in turn, spent on packs in the MUT store – including some packs that can only be purchased with points. Packs odds, however (which you can now see this year by going into a store pack and selecting “View Info”) are never good. Most of the time you’re not going to hit anything close to the jackpot.
If you want to buy points and spend them in the store, however, I would take a look at the MUT Level Packs (which you unlock once you hit the appropriate level) and other packs in the Special Offers tab, which you can only buy a limited number of times. For instance, currently there’s an Elite Fantasy Pack (150 points/$1.50), which in these early stages of the mode could deliver some decent players that you could keep or sell in the auction house. Higher up the chain, the Kickoff Bundle (2,200 points/$19.99) comes with four packs and 150 training points.
Speaking of the auction house, before you buy any pack in the store, check to see if its contents can be sold in the auction house or not (those that cannot are called NAT – Non-Auction/Trade), which can influence whether it’s worth spending the points or coins in the first place.
Should I Spend Coins on Packs?
Apart from the MUT Level packs you unlock as you play the mode, I don’t purchase many packs via coins in the store. I prefer to spend my coins on specific players in the auction house or to buy cards in the auction house and then sell them for profit (see below). I buy packs on occasion, mainly just for fun, and sometimes am surprised by what I get, whether that’s to go into my lineup or to sell via auction.
However, a reminder: The pack odds are not in your favor.
What’s An Easy Way To Make Coins?
Polishing off Solo challenges is the easiest way to make coins, but if you want to take a break from playing or just want to augment your stack, go to the auction house. But first, a disclaimer – DO NOT QUICKSELL YOUR CARDS FOR COINS. Yes, there are special cards with high quicksell values, but your average card isn’t worth quickselling. It has exponentially more worth either in the auction house or in a set.
Making coins in the auction house is easy and reliable. All it requires is a relatively small amount of coins for startup capital and patience. Playing the auction house is based upon using the game’s sorting tools so you can see the best deals at the moment.
Here’s the simplest way to make coins in the auction house:
1. Go into the auction house. Along the lefthand side of the screen are various ways to sort all the cards currently on sale (Type, Quality, Team, etc.).
2. Go into the Quality filter, and pick a rating range (70-74, 80-81, etc.). In here you’ll see cards pre-sorted by the cheapest Buy Now Price (at the top of the page).
- E.g. Pick Quality 70-74
3. The next step is to further filter these cards down so you’re seeing the newest and cheapest ones available so you can get the best deal and buy it before everyone else does. The cards shown to you in the auction house at any given time only show you 100 cards at a time. So often you have to use multiple filters to further refine your search, that way you know you’re seeing all the cards within that filter.
- E.g. Add two more filters: Type - All Offense + Team - Broncos. You’ll know there are less than 100 cards showing by counting them, but the easier way is by looking at the light grey slider bar on the right-hand side. The bigger it is the fewer cards there are.
4. Now you’re seeing all of the Broncos’ offensive players with an OVR of 70-74 for sale. These are automatically listed in ascending order by the lowest Buy Now price. Take a look at the top rows of cards. They should all have roughly the same price. Make a mental note of this general range. Now change just the Team filter and see what the offensive, 70-74-rated cards are going for on other teams to verify this range. The majority of these should be in the same range, no matter the team, player, or position (with exceptions, of course).
- E.g. The majority of Core Gold 70-74 offense cards on multiple teams are going for about 1,000 coins.
Which ones should you buy? Since we’ve just established the current going rate for these cards, you’re looking for cards that can make you a profit AFTER TAX. When you sell a card, EA takes a 10 percent cut of what you sold it for. So selling a card for 1,000 coins actually nets you 900 coins when someone buys it. Therefore, I buy cards that are about 20 percent lower than the average going rate in order to both account for tax and to bake in my profit.
- E.g. Buy a card that’s normally going for 1,000 coins when you see a Buy Now price at 800 or lower (1,000 x .2 = 200. 1,000 - 200 = 800). But first, take a quick look around the page and make sure that the identical cards for that player are all priced at 1,000 or so. That way you know that 800 or less is actually a deal for that card, and not just the natural rate for a card that might happen to be selling for less than average.
5. Now, you’re going to immediately turn around and sell that card for a profit. This method works at any card quality level, and you don’t really have to memorize prices of individual cards; you’re simply pricing off of the current market.
- E.g. Selling that card for 1,000 Buy Now gets you 100 coins after tax.
It’s not much, but if you do this several times, you’ll have coins to reinvest for higher cards. Sometimes I might sell the card for slightly less to see if I can move it quickly or sell it for more than the average rate to see if I can get someone to bite. You can also check to see what it’s worth at MUThead.com. Sell your cards for a duration of one hour. If it doesn’t sell, don’t worry, throw it up again.
Of course, this is just the simplest method. You can also sort cards by pressing the right trigger and selecting Newest from the drop-down menu. This is helpful because by sorting by the newest and not just the cheapest cards on the page, you see more relative deals, not just the lowest prices. Overall, you want to see the newest cards (listed as 59 min) because it helps you gauge prices based on the assumption that a card that’s even a few minutes old probably would have already been bought by now if it really was a deal.
Play around with the sorting menus to find your own filters. Switch teams, investigate the different programs, sort by position or cap value, or whatever. You’re simply trying to find the newest cards that are selling below market value so you can flip them for market price or more. I highly suggest you check out MUThead.com for more info on cards. Here you can get a better sense of cards’ worth if you want to stalk individual cards, get a sense of the market for higher priced, more prestigious cards is (which is where you snipe the most lucrative deals), and a host of other tools to make you a better MUT auction house player.
There are other more complex ways of using the auction house such as timing when to buy/sell cards based on new card drops or weekend competitive play, buying/selling via bidding, anticipating card value based on their value for sets, targeting specific positions, and more.
What Cards Should I Get Early On?
Per usual, speed is always nice to have, so I’d lean that way for some of your skill position players. One in particular – Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill (Core Elite) is at the time of this guide the fastest wide receiver in the game (faster than even the Legend, 91-rated Randy Moss). This will, of course, change as the season goes on, but Hill is a card you can get via a MUT Level pack (level 12) that is, interestingly given what I’ve said about spending money in the store, only available for points (150 points/$1.50).
Elsewhere, wide receiver Brandin Cooks (Core Elite) combines 87 speed with 83 catching. Legends like Michael Vick, Sean Taylor, and Randy Moss are available by doing their solo missions. In addition, Campaign tokens can be redeemed for 87-rated offensive and defensive heroes like LeSean McCoy (RB) and Telvin Smith (ROLB).
Madden 19 also features numerous Power Up cards (more below) depending on your needs you can get for cheap in the auction house and upgrade to a decent level. Matthew Stafford’s Throw Power on his Power Up card goes up to 89 just by upgrading him up to 81 OVR (103 training points), and Ben Roethlisberger is an option if you have four Campaign tokens.
Be sure to check out MUThead.com’s player database feature where you can search and sort all of the mode’s players according to whatever metric you want – including being able to see how many training points it’s going to take to upgrade appropriate players to their various levels.
If you want more ideas of how you can construct your team, you can also check out the mode's Solo Battle teams (see below). Head over to the sub-mode's menu screen and hit triangle/Y to see those teams' lineups.
Is It Worth Investing In The New Power Up Cards?
Last year the card power up system cost too much to be worth it, but this year developer EA Tiburon made the upgrade system more viable. In the early stages of MUT, you get multiple cards that you can upgrade by spending training points to increase players’ OVR and unlock choosable chemistries along the way.
The points themselves come as rewards while playing or by quick-selling other cards for training points, such as the ones you get from playing the Longshot: Homecoming story mode and its solo challenges. Cards of different tiers are worth various amounts of training points, so be careful before you buy a bunch of cards in the auction house in order to melt them down for training points.
Even early in the mode, you should be able to take a player or two up to 80 with little fuss. In the long run, it’s hard to tell how aggressive you should go towards quick-selling for training and pumping them into these cards because we simply don’t know when EA is going to release new cards that could put these to shame.
I’m not worried about that right now, and I’m concentrating on maxing out a couple of cards just for fun. For example, try picking a few Power Up players from your favorite team and commit to upgrading them. Because they're from your favorite team you'll probably be less inclined to toss them aside when a newer and better player comes out at that position. You can downgrade a Power Up card of its training points, but since you only get half of them back as a penalty, I’m not going to do this.
Cards other than those specifically part of the Power Up program can be upgraded, including Legends and Team Captains. Furthermore, many cards can be assigned one or more chemistries in order to give an attribute boost to all the cards in your lineup using that chemistry. In the long run – and especially if you’re going to be playing competitively – you’re going to want to spend training points to unlock the right chems (like Secure Tackler and Gunslinger), so keep plugging away on those Solos and sets that award training points, and keep handy a few Elite cards or higher to sacrifice.
What Are Solo Battles?
Solo Battles are new this year, and they are games against the CPU A.I. based on real players' MUT teams. You can play a total of 13 games in a week, with each win bestowing more points based on the result, what you did in the game (TDs, INTs, etc.), a difficulty bonus, etc. The more points you tally in those games, the better your rewards at the end of the week.
Doing well in this sub-mode and getting good prizes isn’t just about winning, it’s about getting the most points possible while doing so. This means having a good enough team to beat the CPU on the higher difficulty levels while running up the score, racking up the sacks, and other in-game feats. At the moment speed feels more sluggish in solo battles in particular, so you’re going to need a fast team to compete.
Can I Cut It In Competitive Play?
Competitive play in Seasons and MUT Champions can be tough, but also yield some great rewards. At the moment, unless you’ve been raging through the solos, making money in the auction house and picking up good players, and crushing Solo Battles, you’ll probably be going up against competition that’s too stiff. This is simply because of the various early access periods across the systems there are already plenty of players who’ve maxed out their teams at this point. But by all means, have a go if you think you have the stick skills to hang.
What Else Can I Do In MUT?
If you want a slightly different MUT experience and you have some friends who want to play, you can get together and play the MUT Squads co-op mode either versus the CPU or other teams of three players. Playing gets you rewards that you can turn in for various set prizes like players, coach Madden himself, classic unis, or the current ultimate prize of a 90 OVR David Johnson.
Playing the mode itself can be a little rough, as it requires all of the players to be on the same page to run routes and get positional responsibilities right, but it can be fun simply being on the same team as well.
MUT offers some long-term goals to plug away at, including improving the MUT Master Ryan Shazier card up to a 95 OVR. This is done by hitting larger objectives through normal play in the mode as well as specific objectives tied to Shazier himself.