Sep 12, 2011
Foreword: In order to enjoy Ultimate Team in full, you’ll need XBOX Live Gold (or PlayStation Network) and a copy of Madden NFL 12.
Fans of the FIFA Soccer series were already familiar with the idea of Ultimate Team when the mode debuted in Madden NFL 10 via a title update (patch) in January 2010.
Since then, it has quickly risen into one of the premier modes in Madden games, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon in Madden NFL 12.
What Is Ultimate Team?
I’d be willing to bet that most everyone who plays a sports game has owned a pack of trading cards at some point in their lifetime…it’s just part of the culture. Ultimate Team takes that same atmosphere of collecting cards (which you purchase either using real money or through coins earned in-game), except you can actually use your team in real games versus real opponents (or CPU).
There are five primary types of cards which you can collect including Players, Coaches, Playbooks, Stadiums, and Uniforms. There are also different rarities which affect the value of each individual card. Here are the main four you will come across in your time with the mode:
- Bronze (Lowest value)
- Silver (Average value)
- Gold (High value)
- Legendary (Very rare, includes players such as Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Dan Marino and Deion Sanders in different stages of their careers)
Creating (and Building) Your Team
If this is your first time with Ultimate Team, you will be prompted to designate a team name. Then, you will receive a starter pack of bronze cards which is nothing to write home about. My team originally started with Tony Pike at quarterback (former Panther, current free agent) with a whopping 66 OVR. Watch out, NFL, right? By playing the computer, I’ve found you can earn upwards of 1,000 coins per game (with a good game, of course). I personally find it smarter to build vs. the CPU and wait to pounce on the community until you draw in more cards.
By using micro-transactions or earned coins from gameplay, you can purchase new packs of cards to make your team a force. Bronze Packs cost 1,000 coins and feature low value cards. Silver Packs cost 3,000 coins and usually have some solid players, yet still lower value. Gold Packs are 6,000 coins, and this is where you’ll find a mix of higher and medium value cards. Gold Premium is the best pack you can purchase not using real money, but at a high price tag of 9,000 coins. Legendary Packs cannot be purchased using coins, instead at a staggering price of 560 Microsoft Points ($7.00 on PS3) and features a mix of the highest possible value cards along with the added bonus at a chance of scoring a legendary player.
For the record, I pulled a QB Tom Brady (99 OVR), ROLB Tamba Hali (91 OVR), WR Larry Fitzgerald (96 OVR) and C Nick Mangold (97 OVR) in ONE Gold Premium Pack. So, the work to get coins really can pay off.
A smart way to earn coins in MUT is to place them on the Auction Block and allow users to bid on them. Conversely you can also bid on cards that others wish to sell as well. Obviously, the higher the value of the card, the higher the price will be…but I have gotten many a good deal by simply searching around. As is the case with real life economics, supply and demand plays a large role in whether you make some profit. I attempted to put a 98 OVR Ed Reed on the auction block at an asking price of 25,000 coins. It didn’t sell, mostly because so many people had Ed Reed on the market as well. However, a Raiders Stadium card (1,000 coin value) is currently going for over 5,000 coins due to only two being available.
New to Madden NFL 12 is the ability to send cards to other users via trade. While it is currently limited to 1v1 and there is no set way to trade with a friend, it provides a dynamic fans of the mode have been asking for since its’ debut. You can view what players are on different trade blocks, make an offer, and vice versa. Of course, with all trades beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a good deal to you may be pillaging to another.
Next week will give way to Part II of the Introduction to Ultimate Team, where we’ll discuss Collections and Tournaments along with answering any questions based on Part I. You can find me via Twitter at @RedZoneD25, and I look forward to continuing this MUT-based series with you all right here on AskMadden.com.