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Old 08-29-2021, 04:05 PM   #1
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
MUT22 - No Money Spent (Madden Ultimate Team)

Well, I am a confirmed non-button-masher. I'm not terrible at it, but I just tend to lose interest before getting great at any such games. So, I have never really had any interest in Madden.

Then my son wanted it. And we got Madden 19. Fiddling with it with him, I stumbled onto the Ultimate Team game, which includes open auctions for players and other such things... and suddenly I realized there might be something here for me.

Anyway, I dropped some stuff in a thread before, as I was wrapping up M20 and getting into M21:

Madden 20, 21: Ultimate Team Auctions - Front Office Football Central

Now, we are a couple weeks into M22, and... well, maybe this is worth a thread.

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Old 08-29-2021, 04:09 PM   #2
QuikSand
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NMS = No Money Spent = firm rule

This is a micro-transaction game, so you can definitely make your team much better, more rapidly, by spending real money. I will not do so.

I honestly do not have a deep philosophical loathing for this concept, I just don't have the stick skills to play this game at a high level, so it's not really "important" that I have a bleeding edge roster with all the trimmings. So, yes, this means I will spend time here and there to grind stuff out rather than spend money... so be it. Sometimes that fails a juice/squeeze test to me, here it's this limit that will basically define what I can do at any given time.

In short... this is not likely be very much about gameplay. It will be about roster building, and, basically, rosterbating. I'm playing challenges and will likely get into some online games where I choose to... but the "big news" will be the release of a new player card that fits my needs, or my good fortune to get it under certain circumstances, that sort of thing.
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Old 08-30-2021, 01:00 AM   #3
JonInMiddleGA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuikSand View Post
NMS = No Money Spent = firm rule

This is a micro-transaction game, so you can definitely make your team much better, more rapidly, by spending real money. I will not do so.

I honestly do not have a deep philosophical loathing for this concept, I just don't have the stick skills to play this game at a high level, so it's not really "important" that I have a bleeding edge roster with all the trimmings. So, yes, this means I will spend time here and there to grind stuff out rather than spend money... so be it. Sometimes that fails a juice/squeeze test to me, here it's this limit that will basically define what I can do at any given time.

In short... this is not likely be very much about gameplay. It will be about roster building, and, basically, rosterbating. I'm playing challenges and will likely get into some online games where I choose to... but the "big news" will be the release of a new player card that fits my needs, or my good fortune to get it under certain circumstances, that sort of thing.

If it's anything like The Show, this is very doable (whether that's true for Madden I haven't a clue)
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Old 08-30-2021, 08:08 AM   #4
Chas in Cinti
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
I have no context at all on this, but will be here for the ride as always...
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Old 08-30-2021, 01:01 PM   #5
QuikSand
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Yes, a NMS team for Madden is absolutely viable, and not miserable at all. I suspect it's unworkable to really compete at high levels, but since that's not my aspiration... it will be fine for my son and me.

Table-setting once I get a chance to get some stuff written down.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:31 PM   #6
QuikSand
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In the space of a couple of weeks, I have managed to grind my way to a close-to-complete Browns "theme team."

Those who know my FOF ways will be unsurprised that I take full advantage of an in-game system that rewards you for building a roster deep with players from one NFL franchise. In Madden 21, we built Ravens and Dolphins teams. I committed to something new for this year, so I'm working with the Browns. I am now only a few players short of maxing out the current state of the team, at least as far as it's CLE players go.

Without belaboring it, here's a website that lays out a maximum-Browns roster as it is currently available in-game:

Cleveland Browns Theme Team Depth Chart - Madden 22 - MUT.GG

So, I have close to everyone there. I don't have RB Mostert - he's expensive in the auction house since he is both very fast and assignable to multiple NFL teams for theme purposes (he bounced around before getting a legit shot in SF). But since I have 86-rated Chubb and 82-rated Hunt, I'm basically okay for now at RB, so no major loss, my power running game is solid with a complete current Browns OL lineup that is 5-deep with quality players.
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Old 08-30-2021, 09:35 PM   #7
QuikSand
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So, that's kind of boring, to be honest. There's a little flexibility in play, and right now that's where all my creativity rests.

I'm abbreviating here, but the maximum benefit of a theme team is if you have 50 "points" toward team chemistry among your active players. Basically one point per player, a few guys are special bonuses, and there are a few non-player ways to gain them. I'm fully maxed out at 53 points, gaining all my Browns players a +2 on most of their relevant ratings like speed and strength. That's a nice advantage.

The downside of playing a pure theme team is that the roster will rarely be complete - you suffer in certain slots because there just aren't any good players. This CLE team is pretty solid, but it's pretty thin at FS, MLB, CB, and DT.

So, effectively I am playing a "50 Browns" team right now -- basically I want to build the best team I can while retaining the 50 points worth of team chemistry, but then filling in the roster where I can with non-CLE players to patch over the CLE weaknesses and improve the team overall.

More on the path to doing this effectively next time I find ten minutes to write.
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Old 08-31-2021, 09:56 AM   #8
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Here's the general lay of the land right now in Madden Ultimate Team (MUT):

-you start off with a barren roster, and by playing challenges they help you gradually fill it up with "decent" players .. instead of bottom-level players with overall ratings in the 60s, you start gaining guys with overall ratings in the 70s. There are multiple component ratings that add up to the overall, and some players are better/worse than their apparently overall due to that (e.g. a 79-rated WR who's unusually slow likely isn't worth as much as a 76-rated WR who happens to be unusually fast... "running away from another guy" is just an important skill in a game like this).

So... your first roster-building phase is upgrading from absolute trash (63-rated guy) to decent players rated 70+.

As you play challenges and other stuff, you accumulate coins and have enough equity to start pursuing things through the auction house, if you are willing. This is where the action is, for me. It's nominally a wide open marketplace with player cards (and other stuff, to get into later) are available for "auction."

Most of these auctions, to think in eBay terms, are basically just "Buy It Now" sales. Guy is listed for a stretch of time (1hr up to 1day) with a minimum price of, say, 7,800 gold... and the buy-it-now price is 7,900. So basically it's just a sale. A modest share of players are available in true auctions... either with vow minimum prices, no maximum prices, or both.

So... working the auction house is, in part, an exercise in recognizing value. I think I will re-post some items from my prior thread to save time, but this is where some legit angles come into play. And this is the part of the game that I genuinely enjoy.
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Old 08-31-2021, 10:57 AM   #9
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Now, building your team beyond "adequate" means pursuing players with skills above the 70s. This is where they turn this into a year-long effort.

Right now, each NFL team has a handful, maybe 8-12, players who have a Core Elite card... colored red, and rated in the 80-87 range. More or less connects to that player's overall perception/reputation, probably with a degree of subjective balancing injected.

My Browns have Elite cards for:

QB Mayfield
RB Chubb*, Hunt
FB Janovich
WR OBJ, Landry
3x OL Bitonio, Teller*, Conklin
DE Garrett*, Clowney
CB Ward*
SS Johnson

So... basically fits the mold, this should be a power running team, behind a good line, with solid skill position players. All these guys are 80-82 right now, the * players are higher than that.

At the moment, I possess all these cards, so my base Browns team is basically complete. A few details to explain, but I have the basics already in hand.
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Old 08-31-2021, 11:14 AM   #10
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Over the course of the year, the EA strategy is to dribble out content that constantly pushes your team to look for the next thing. Predictably. I don't mean this as criticism... I don't want to play a static game, I want to build. And if it took me six months just to build up to more or less the current Browns roster, that would likely fail my juice/squeeze test. So, this is fine. Right now, I have a roster that is basically maxed-out Browns, full team chemistry, and a few add-on players for specific reasons.

But over the course of just this week, they will squeeze out new sets of players (Wednesday, I think, will be some "Heavyweights" - likely high-80s players along the OL, DL, and FB positions), and continue with the Saturday release of the next installment of Legends (great players from history) with two more of them.

So, on this team... if they happen to drop something this week that fits my Browns team, like an 89-rated Ozzie Newsome... then I am VERY interested in that card. Maybe (they hope) enough so that I will spend real money to buy packs to open, or other such things (I will not) in pursuit of same. But that's the hook.

Essentially, it's the same ever-building feeling that I have had with old fashioned D&D-style role playing games... I need that better magic sword... then after I get that I want those boots that make you run faster... then after getting that I really need that armor with the magic aura... and after that...
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Old 08-31-2021, 11:23 AM   #11
JonInMiddleGA
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Does Madden have a "level up" mechanic? Ala "Parallels" in The Show?

(for the completely uninitiated, basically the more you use a card in The Show, you eventually gain 3-5 points to their overall)
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Old 08-31-2021, 11:35 AM   #12
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Here's a website that tracks this sort of thing... for the moment, ignore the players whos overall rating numbers are labeled in the non-standard brown colors. I will get to them in time.

Cleveland Browns Theme Team Depth Chart - Madden 22 - MUT.GG
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Old 08-31-2021, 11:38 AM   #13
QuikSand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Does Madden have a "level up" mechanic? Ala "Parallels" in The Show?

(for the completely uninitiated, basically the more you use a card in The Show, you eventually gain 3-5 points to their overall)

Yes, but different. In Madden MUT it's not based on usage, but there are special cards for high-end players called Power Up cards. With those cards, you need to acquire and use Training Points and sometimes other versions of the same player to improve them up to their maximum ratings.

Note: there are some Madden diehards who prefer the system used in MLB:TS and lobby for it to port over to Madden... but alas, this year's game is apparently not much of an advance in much of its structure.

Last edited by QuikSand : 08-31-2021 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 08-31-2021, 12:04 PM   #14
JonInMiddleGA
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Originally Posted by QuikSand View Post
Yes, but different. In Madden MUT it's not based on usage, but there are special cards for high-end players called Power Up cards. With those cards, you need to acquire and use Training Points and sometimes other versions of the same player to improve them up to their maximum ratings.

Note: there are some Madden diehards who prefer the system used in MLB:TS and lobby for it to port over to Madden... but alas, this year's game is apparently not much of an advance in much of its structure.

Got it.

Sorry for the multiple MLB:TS references, they're just really the only recent thing I have to compare to on console, my touchstone for getting it if you will.
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Old 08-31-2021, 03:02 PM   #15
QuikSand
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Location: Annapolis, Md
Not at all, glad for the interaction. I have resisted playing The Show mostly because I need another interesting/addictive thing in my life like I need a hole in the head. It's likely my cup of tea, and its clearly the closest relative to the Ultimate Team concept in Madden, many of the Madden contact creators also have a channel for The Show.
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Old 09-01-2021, 09:03 PM   #16
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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So, in MUT there are multiple reasons someone might want to buy a particular player card. This is where the marketplace begins to get a little more complex.

1. To use the player. Duh. The player is good, or is otherwise helpful for a team, and the buyer wants to use the card. Obvious. Got it.

now, on to less obvious...

2. To use the card toward a "set" to obtain something of greater value. Very clever innovation in this game. All season long, as they introduce various cards and along with them, special paths to acquire them by completing sets of other cards.

and

3. To quick-sell for training points. In the game, many ways to boost the effectiveness of your cards rely on a secondary currency, Training. The principal way to get it is by selling cards back to the "house" to get a value, connected to the card's overall value. So, we all need training to some degree, and buying cards is a way to get it.


With that as a backdrop... this makes proper valuation of a given card a little bit slippery. We can start with Training... that's simple. An 80-rated player quicksells for 110 training. So, one way of valuing that card is knowing that without anything else in play, it's a way to buy that much training for whatever purpose. Effectively, we should see that as a sort of floor... even if the card is garbage on the field, it's still 110 training and if its price at market is a good one for that much training, then it's a value, even if the player is awful.

Now... easy enough to consider a card as "how good is the player to a team... but keep in mind that every 80-rated card is worth whatever I'd pay for 110 training." Sets make this much more complex.

Quick example. Right now, I have all the 70-something rated players I need. I have all the Browns there are, and I can't make on-field use of duplicates. So, why might I be interested in another copy of 72-rated Grant Delpit, at a 1,200 gold price, which (for context) is far too high to be a good value to quicksell him for training?

Because there's a special set out there. I can take 5x any gold-level players, put them into a set, and receive a special uniform, coach, stadium, or playbook for an NFL team. So, when I wanted to set up a Dolphins theme team (because of course I did) I needed to go and get these collectibles to my team will look like the Dolphins, and will get some theme bonuses along with them.

Now, I can buy these cards in the auction house, at varying prices...or I can complete this set of 5x gold cards and get whichever one I want. And there's the hidden value of my 72 guy... 5 of them and I get a uniform that is selling for, let's say, 8,000 gold. So, given that, the 1200 price now seems pretty nice.

More to build out from here, but the richness of this side of the game is starting to come into view.
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Old 09-02-2021, 12:06 PM   #17
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Instant case: with a total liquid bankroll of about 180,000 gold, this morning I was fiddling around the auction house, looking for good bargains...and stumbled on an 87-rated player priced substantially below the usual price for that level (63,000 gold, rather than around 75-80K). I grabbed him at that price... back to the notion above that I don't care who the player is, I know that an 87 will quicksell for 1,500 training, and right now I am pretty starved for training.

For the moment, I have him listed for sale around 80K (minus a house cut of 10% I'd get back 72K), and I'd be fine to just pocket the buy-low-sell-high profits there... but if that fails and I'm in the mood I may just convert him to training and use that to boost up a number of other players around my roster who need it.

So... the training price in action, as a floor for what a card is "worth." That ration of about 42 gold per training point is about as low as you can get right now.
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Old 09-03-2021, 12:30 PM   #18
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md


So... latest announcement, a pretty big one, is a new series of players coming out today as Campus Heroes. As nearly as I can tell, this will be about 20? guys, nominally being included for their outstanding college careers (?) but who will come into the game with an unusual flexibility - they can have their team chemistry attach to any NFL franchise team where they played.

Sounds like their will mostly be 89-rated, placing them among the best cards in the game, and the capstone player is RB Reggie Bush, who will be a 91. There will, likely, be a series of in-game challenges and so forth that we can play out to earn one or more of these cards...and otherwise they'll just become part of the auction house milieu.

For my Browns team, limited good news here -- LB Carl Banks did play for CLE so he will be a fit for us chem-wise, but regrettably he is slotted as a LOLB, exactly the position where I already have a very effective JOK card in place. I will work it out (I typically line up in a nickel formation anyway) but that's a modest but surmountable disappointment, short term.

Anyway... this is the perpetual cycle of a theme-teamer... we focus primarily/exclusively on "what's in it for me?" and when the answer is "not much" that means the field is pulling ahead. That Reggie Bush card is going to be a terror, I reckon, for a while - they code him as a gifted receiver and agile in space, and his card last year early in the season was the dominant RB for a good while.
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Old 09-03-2021, 09:33 PM   #19
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
I completed the grind-through of challenges in around an hour, enough to net me my choice of the 89-rated cards (who will now step in as tied for my highest rated card). Need to stew on this... Carl Banks is the "Browns Theme Team" pick, but... Vince Young would give me a wicked runaround QB and that would just be sweet right now with the state of this game. Might be hard to resist...

Last edited by QuikSand : 09-03-2021 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:12 PM   #20
Travis
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Haven't played MUT in a few years but enjoying the read and very curious to see how you end up building your roster. Theme teams are a lot of fun but definitely tough to decide where to use those spots for non chem players. Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:01 AM   #21
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
So, I need to fill in some blanks here.

Yes, I have most of the Browns cards out there - enough to give my team the maximum benefit of +2 across multiple important skills. That's great. So far, I have shared the actual Browns players who are part of that.

In MUT, they also provide the gamer with a few build-around players as well, and these guys are definitely important in your roster building. They also provide you with an additional, but different, set of things to work toward - as they develop along separate tracks.

I'm not going to detail this too much, but here's a quick summary:

Team Captain - each year they have a handful of former greats who are available to serve as a team captain for you. You get him, and get to select your choice, early in a series of build-up challenges...and then over time you can be awarded special tokens to improve him. IIRC this year's choices included RB Shaun Alexander, SS John Lynch, and another defensive player I'm forgetting. But I chose the most impactful position available, and took WR Lance Alworth. In short order, he "powered up" to an 89 overall rating and has been by far my best player since. He also gets triple team chemistry for whatever franchise you like, so he counts as Browns x3 for purposes of achieving chemistry goals. HUGE.

If this year follow suit, he will be a dominant player early on, but over time his ceiling might not stay way ahead of what's available in the marketplace... like my Alworth remains an 89, which initially towered over my roster, but now there are a plenitude of 89 rated players popping up in the game, and it's no longer that special. On my NMS team, though, he'll be a standout for some time... I'm not investing cash to always have the bleeding edge packs/players.


There are two other programs that are similar. One is called, I think, "Team Champion" and he's the exact same player for everyone - SS Kam Chancellor this season. Over time we will earn collectibles that help us power him up to being a major consequential player. Right now he's my starting SS and I pull him forward to play LB in pass situations, but he's not a huge star - just 80 or 81 overall, I think.

The other program is named, but I'm forgetting it... and works similarly. There, we got a choice of two players, and I again selected the most impactful position, getting WR Devin Hester. He should eventually become a return game demon...right now he's an 84-rated wideout for us who is far more effective at "playing wide receiver" than his real life counterpart ever was.

So... on my team, WR Alworth, SS Chancellor, and WR/KR Hester are all build-around players themselves, who should continue to improve all season and stay relevant. All three contribute toward my team chemistry, and if I were to hypothetically build another theme team *cough*Dolphins*cough* I'd be able to realign them fairly easily to that franchise.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:04 AM   #22
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Another tiny note here...weekends in general, and Saturday mornings in particular, are busy times in MUT. They release a new set of "Legends" cards at 10:30am ET Saturdays, and that anchors a lot of players... plus it's a common "free time" for lots of people anyway.

For marketeers like me, that means lower prices in the auction house. It is a workable strategy to just buy good cards on the weekend (Saturday late morning especially) and just sell them during the upcoming week at a click or two higher prices. Have to have the gold to invest this way, but it's definitely do-able. So, I will hope to be doing some buying today.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:13 AM   #23
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
The two new legends cards today don't really interest me much, nor will they set the world on fire... but they are high end cards regardless.

Pass-rushing LB Kevin Greene and OL Leonard Davis both arrive today in the standard Legends manner. There will be a special challenge game to play for each guy, and succeeding earns you his lowest-rated "Power Up" card, that can improve with training... and also allows you to assign team chemistry for any franchise the player actually played on during his NFL career. For Greene, that will include Rams, Steelers, Panthers, and 49ers... so he will be sought after by quite a few theme teamers due to that flexibility.

There will also be a number of "tiers" to these players...IIRC, this year it will be something like overalls of 83, 86, 88, and 90. And these cards are useful themselves, but also constitute parts of a set, that you can gather to receive the "boss legend" rated 91 overall and who completes the power-up cycle for that card. So... by tonight, the market house will be flooded with a lot of all these Kevin Greene cards. Saps like me might grab an 86 and make him a starter... others will quickly work to get the whole set, build (or just buy) that big 91 guy, use it to power up the lowest card to a max of 92 overall to complement a "god squad" roster for dominant online play.

Thus is the never-ending cycle in MUT. There's always something just out of reach. If I sit down today to play for an hour or two, I'll likely accomplish something here or there (like "Congratulations, you scored your 200th rushing TD") that earns me something in particular (like "here's a token you can use to boost up your Devin Hester card one more point")... in addition to just getting more gold and occasionally stuff like a free pack of cards to open, some training points, or whatnot.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:23 AM   #24
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
One last piece of the roster puzzle (I think) is... late in the Madden 21 cycle, they created an incentive to (1) keep people interested in the game while it was naturally waning, and (2) push people to go buy Madden 22. They did this with a series of special cards you could earn with various challenges... and owning them on your EA account meant you'd get special rewards in the Madden 22 game. So, I played ball to some degree, and have the yield of that effort in hand.

They did this with ten special rookies selected from the 2021 draft, one from each major position group. I won't belabor this too much, but I essentially had a choice of: pick 3 of these guys to put onto my team as "highly rated" 86 (good enough to be among my best players, initially)... or pick 1 such guy and get his card in a format I could sell on the auction block.

I chose the three. I chose unwisely.

Regardless, I now have three very solid rookies, plus one more from the same set that I earned later by completing some challenges. I have basically just used these 86-rated guys to fill in spots that are weak on the natural Browns roster (including the add-on special veteran players I noted above), so I have:

86 FS Trevon Moehrig
86 MLB Micah Parsons
86 LOLB Jaelan Phillips
86 CB Jaycee Horn

So... this covers up a LOT of weakness on my defense right now. Over time, these 86 guys will not change in ability, and will erode from standouts (initially), to strong (now), to acceptable (soon), and eventually useless (December).

I failed to do my homework and see how (oddly) desirable these cards would be in the market... for some reason they were selling for over 250,000 gold, and had I selected just one sell-able card, I think I'd be better off for having done so. Alas, I have these guys and admittedly they have made my defense good enough to win a number of early game challenges that likely would have been tough without them.
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Old 09-04-2021, 08:25 AM   #25
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Okay... that mostly catches you up on where I am. Nearly all the Browns cards (still lacking SS John Johnson, and a couple other veterans who could have Browns chemistry but wouldn't materially improve my current roster). Mix in these 4x 86-rated rookies, and my 3x high-rated special players, and that's basically what I'm running with right now.

The dilemma ahead: use my (non-sellable) "choice" among these 89-rated Campus Heroes to take Carl Banks at a position where I don't really need him? Or take a non-chem guy in QB Vince Young who would materially transform my team short term?
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Old 09-04-2021, 09:30 AM   #26
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
I just made a nice quick flip in the auction house. Running back Najee Harris, one of the 86 rated special rookie cards, has regularly been selling for over 200,000 gold. I stumbled across one in a genuine auction, with live bidding, and oddly enough won out for only 156,000. 10 minutes later, my version was back on the auction block for 230,000, and it sold. Even after the 10% takeout, I cleared about 55,000. Nice hit.
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:30 PM   #27
QuikSand
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Madden is perpetually trying to lure MUT players into their other (mostly awful) game modes. Apparently I can get another 89 Campus Heroes player by messing around a bit in something called Superstar KO. I do not want this method to work for them, but I may succumb.
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Old 09-04-2021, 04:17 PM   #28
JonInMiddleGA
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Sounds like they do a better job than MLB:TS has done this year of extending the life of the mode.

They jumped the gun on making 98s and 99s readily available, basically killed the desire to grind for new cards. I mean, why bother if your lineup is already basically capped out?
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Old 09-04-2021, 04:40 PM   #29
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Sounds like they do a better job than MLB:TS has done this year of extending the life of the mode.

They jumped the gun on making 98s and 99s readily available, basically killed the desire to grind for new cards. I mean, why bother if your lineup is already basically capped out?

I am, I will admit, fascinated by this whole mechanic. Creating a 12-month cycle for a football game might be more realistic than for a baseball game, but... yeah, it seems like that goal has be pretty central to the mission.

There's a (potentially worthy) tangent here, where the other related problem is that wayyyyy to many players are basically the same guy. A WR in Madden is more or less the compilation of about five relevant ratings... and right now, there are probably 15 different WRs rated roughly 86-87-88 and most of them are more or less inseparable from one another -- same speed, acceleration, change of direction, catch in traffic, and so forth. Some have one archetype and might be easier to attach a certain skill to than another, but the differences are subtle. Tyreke Hill is super fast for an 87, and that's why his card goes for 200,000+ gold, while all the rest go for 80,000 or so. And there's really no meaningful difference among most of the rest of them.
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Old 09-04-2021, 04:44 PM   #30
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I am, I will admit, fascinated by this whole mechanic. Creating a 12-month cycle for a football game might be more realistic than for a baseball game, but... yeah, it seems like that goal has be pretty central to the mission.

I have to think that some internal data led to that decision by Sony, cause even a lot of diehard MLB:TS players are as bewildered by it as I am. It seems to have been considered premature by the veterans in the player base, so a newbie like me certainly doesn't get it.
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Old 09-04-2021, 04:52 PM   #31
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Okay, so the note above about getting lucky in a "true" action with live bidders was cool. But this, below, is my jam.


In the fairly complex world of the MUT auction house, there are multiple avenues for a card to be worth something. The main separator here is between the thorough and the lazy. This is a button-mashing game at its heart, so lots of people want to play Madden, want to play this Ultimate Team part of it, but do not really want to think or study. This is my arbitrage opportunity.

Case in point, right now. The Campus heroes has flooded the market with lots of 80-rated lesser versions of its 20 players. With 80-rated guys suddenly dropping in price from around 11K to 8K... what does that offer me?

Well... there's a set out there involving 80-82 rated players. There's a special set of cards called Team Builders - for each franchise, one offense and one defense, both rated 84. You got one copy when doing some early challenges, to help introduce the team chemistry concepts. But an 84 guy is pretty valuable in the game (though, as always, that value is diminishing slowly).

Anyway... there's also a set to get one of these guys of your choice. It takes three players rated 80-82, and three rated 75-79. The card you get is not restricted, you can put it right onto the auction block.

Anyway, over the last hour or so, I have unloaded my entire bankroll of around 300K in coins and most of the extra cards I had laying around not in my roster, and I have completed this set about 10 times over. Here's the math:

3x 80-rated player (Campus Heroes all) @ 8,000 = 24,000
3x 75-79 gold player @ 3,000 = 9,000
Cost to complete each set = 33,000
...and those are my ceiling prices, many are a bit cheaper)

Now, I am completing these sets deliberately... just looking around at what is available, and targeting players who are either absent from the auction house at the moment, or only available for a high price. Basically I am trying to sell the 84 guys I get from each set for about 45,000 coins. The house takes 10% of each sale, so I collect around 40,000 each.

Buy for 33,000, sell for 40,000. If they all sell, this is easy money. Most of them should, within a day or so. Do this 10x over, and I likely clear more than 70,000 in coins without mashing a single button.

So... that's where we are now, mostly invested in this as an angle, hoping these cards sell at the silly prices (silly because anyone with a little patience could just construct his own 84 Sterling Shepherd card for $33K worth of components, rather than buying him for $45K from me). By this time tomorrow I will hope to have swelled my bankroll up past 400,000 gold.

Last edited by QuikSand : 09-04-2021 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-04-2021, 05:11 PM   #32
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...about 45m after finishing the process of posting up all 10 Team Builders for sale... 3x have sold, for 45,850 46,350 and 46,350. All going according to plan.
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Old 09-05-2021, 03:36 PM   #33
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Prices seem to have spiked the last couple of days, i don't understand why. Lowest cost for training right now is close to 50 gold per training point, it was approaching 40 mid-week. I made a value purchase of an 87-rated player, worth 1,500 training, and got him for just above 60,000 (and the ended up taking profits and selling him for 79K). Now I can barely find any 87-rated players at all for under 85,000. Wow.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:29 PM   #34
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Oh, and 8 out of 10 of my 84-rated Team Builders from the move above sold at their aggressive prices. Two more back on the block. 377K in cash.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:26 PM   #35
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Prices seem to have spiked the last couple of days, i don't understand why. Lowest cost for training right now is close to 50 gold per training point, it was approaching 40 mid-week. I made a value purchase of an 87-rated player, worth 1,500 training, and got him for just above 60,000 (and the ended up taking profits and selling him for 79K). Now I can barely find any 87-rated players at all for under 85,000. Wow.

Was there a gold sale recently by chance? That's something that always wrinkles the MLB:TS market for a while, made more impactful by them running sales at different times on different platforms
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:43 PM   #36
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No such thing in Madden, really. There's an entirely separate currency "Points" that are only obtainable with real money... many things in the online store are dually priced in both gold/points. But you cannot simply buy gold for money.

So... price shifts like this are usually connected to something underlying the system. The standard is that every so often they "update pack odds" so when you buy a pack of cards from the store to open, the chances of each quality/denomination improves. (e.g. a given pack, at the same price in gold, will go from having a 2.4% chance of holding an 87+ player to a 4.7% chance, and so forth) That, in essence, shifts the implied ratio of gold to "stuff" in the game, and it will have a tectonic shift something like 4-6 times during the year.

So, the big thing that happened was the release of the Campus Heroes on Friday. To me, that seems like it just flooded the market with 80s (true) and that should lessen the importance of having any of the various 80s already out there... so I'd expect all of them to come down in price. And with lots of 89s newly available and buy-able, I'd expect people's fascination with players like my 86 Nick Chubb or my 87 Myles Garrett to come down, now that there are more higher-rated guys at those positions... also seems like it would push prices down on the no-longer-premium players. Instead, it feels like a sellers' market for everything except the cheap 80-rated Campus Heroes.

I suspect there's an underlying mechanic in play, I just don't understand it.

Last edited by QuikSand : 09-05-2021 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-06-2021, 03:19 PM   #37
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So, after waves one and two of "build the Team Builder for 33K, sell him for 46K" I have only two cards left on the block, everything else has sold. Nice.

I am now plunging money into what I think will be the next big thing: Team Diamonds. Last year, it was rolled out with many huzzahs, as a major set for each franchise - with one high-rated player for each NFL team obtainable through a multi-part set. Last year, the set for each NFL franchise included one each of maybe 15(?) gold cards in the 70-79 range, then a handful of lower "elite" cards from the 80-84 range... all from that team. Complete that many-part set and you are awarded, IIRC, one copy of the Team Diamonds player from that franchise - last year he was 89-rated, along with a lower-rated Power-up of the same player.

So, I'm working with the assumption that they will roll this out soon, and it will look very similar. In pursuit of other sets (like the Team Builders set noted above) I have been scouring for Gold players... one set needs 70-74 guys, i have been buying them for around 1200-1400 each. Another set needs 75-79 guys, and they have been costing roughly 2500-3000 each. Most of these guys have been tossed into sets to generate something of higher value.

The exception? Browns and Dolphins. I have just been sitting on all the CLE and MIA gold cards I can find cheaply. I reckon that I have well over 100 such cards at this point.

The thinking here is: when they unveil the Team Diamonds program, which many observers think will be this week or next, then (1) these will be widely-pursued sets, and (2) the component parts will go up in price as a result.

So, all these 1,200 gold investments into mostly useless 71-rated players on MIA and CLE... at the very worst, most of these players will rise to maybe 3000 in value? Or, based on what I saw last year, sporadically up and down, where someone well stocked like me could afford to be patient and just drop one copy of a specific player into the market knowing he might be the last piece of someone's set, and ask 10,000 for him. It can work.

Also, I may have pieces of these sets in place, and have started making spec purchases on the elite players to go with them. So, maybe I will have enough to actually complete a set quickly. Whether that's to get out there and kick butt with him, or, knowing me, to sell him off while the market is hot... either way should work for me.

So... my Browns could really use a MLB (D'Qwell Jackson? Chip Banks?) or a TE (Ozzie Newsome?) or perhaps a DT (Michael Dean Perry?)... and I'd even take a CB (Frank Minnifield was last year's guy for this program) or a FS (Thom Darden?). Lots of options. Tantalizing. I'm ready.
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:35 PM   #38
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Just fired up another cycle of Team Builders, I think I had enough cash to buy 6x of them and post them all up for 46K or so. I have blown through some gold scratching the itch of training for the Browns team. It's awfully expensive to do so at this point, but... well, pursuit of completeness is part of the game, and the fun, I suppose.

Anyway, I spent about 35K on an 85-rated player, flipped him for 710 training, and mused to myself that maybe i could get everything I wanted to get done settled, and still have 500 left over to put an impact skill onto one of my players. Well, a tinker here and a bump-up there, and my 700 training had dwindled to about 90, so there went that idea. I still have work to do, but hope I can wait a week or so, in hopes that the market calms down and training gets cheaper.
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Old 09-08-2021, 09:19 PM   #39
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TBs are selling, albeit slowly. No console time this week with busy work and fantasy football drafts. Anyway, we'll be back at it soon.

Today they released a set of 5 new "veterans" cards, nobody to help CLE I don't think.

But they also announced the next program, Ultimate Kickoffs, and:



Big bumps for DE Clowney and maybe the interior OL.
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Old 09-09-2021, 06:27 AM   #40
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Ahhh one of the 88 rated veteran cards is LOLB Jamie Collins. Great but I’m deep there and really need a ROLB or MLB instead.
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:31 AM   #41
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So, today they have released a new program, Ultimate Kickoff. Seems this is a celebration primarily of players in new places this year, through free agency or trade or whatnot.

Anyway, there's an 85 SS John Johnson, new to the Browns, that will be a nice upgrade for me at a key position. That's going to happen in short order.

For the moment, the market is flooded with these new cards (presumably there are easy challenges or new packs generating a lot of them, so the market is drowning in them). I have bought 3x John Johnson already - he's an 85 and quicksell for 710 training, and i'm buying around 30,000... a GREAT deal in contrast to the current best training prices available outside this set.

The plan will be to buy several around 30, sell as many as I can around, say, 37...and flip one or two into training.
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:33 AM   #42
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Ok, and the bubble market on those 84-rated Team Builders seems to be popping. Guessing some content creator did a video on the same angle I was using, or something, because there are a ton of those guys around now, and they're down to 30-35K rather than 40K+. So it goes, these markets should be wide and strong enough to eventually reach a smarter equilibrium. Good profits while it lasted.
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Old 09-09-2021, 11:36 AM   #43
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I have bought 3x John Johnson already - he's an 85 and quicksell for 710 training, and i'm buying around 30,000... a GREAT deal in contrast to the current best training prices available outside this set.

The plan will be to buy several around 30, sell as many as I can around, say, 37...and flip one or two into training.

To give you a sense of how this works, I'm using a mobile app to access the market, opening just this one guy, refreshing to see the latest offerings, and right now if anything shows up below 32,000 I have maybe 2-3 seconds to decide to buy it, it will sell that rapidly.

But these tend to ebb and flow, some people don't get it, and I have seen moments where the cheapest version is up to 36-37K... I have my two copies set to sell at 38,349 and there's a solid shot they will go.
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Old 09-09-2021, 12:11 PM   #44
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...quick update. 4x copies bought between 30-32K, and all have sold for 37K and up. Good sniping right now, I'm multi-tasking during a COVID-related WebEx meeting, good times.
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Old 09-09-2021, 01:12 PM   #45
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..so the going price for my 85 John Johnson is now around 40K, I sold a bit too low when I felt I go ta good deal at 47,999 and 43,349. I now have 4x in hand and back on the market, trying to get 42K, after buying in the 32-35 range where they still occasionally pop up.

What's almost certainly driving this is a set... likely this 85 card has a little appeal to a guy like me, but is more important as a needed component to get some big important card, an 89- or 90-rated star atop this new release. And people, in pursuit of completing that set, are just clicking the space for it on their consoles, seeing the prices, and buying the cheapest one they see. They are too slow to get the just-dropped 33,000 version, so their cheapest is 39,650 and they buy it.

The poachers and snipers know what they're doing, are looking for cheap buys only to re-list them at a price that will at some point become the cheapest, and cash in quickly. I am not deep enough in gold to make a killing this way, but I tie up 33K for an hour in search of getting back 42K-10%=37.8K... yeah, I'll do that.

Any my backstop is I'm just getting copies of a card I already want, and at a buy price where it's a good deal just to flip him for training, which I do need. So, even if I can't sell a couple of these at 40K+ I still am all right.
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Old 09-10-2021, 03:20 PM   #46
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So, two roster updates of note:

I mentioned before I did my grind-through of challenges to earn a capstone 89-rated card from the recent "Campus Heroes" set... and after pondering a few days, I opted against the only CLE fit LOLB Carl Banks, and instead took runaround QB Vince Young. Probably not forever, but he will be our guy for a while, he's fleet footed and that is super useful.

Today, I got enough stars in the newer Ultimate Kickoff challenges to earn a new card, rated 75 or better... by dumb luck I got an 88-rated guy, DT Tomlinson. Bingo. Sold him for over 100,000 coins, and that's fuel for training or buying better fit guys (I need a DT, but am feeling the pull to get closer to my theme).


Still doing a lot of market moves... these 85 UK cards are great, pace not as fast as before, but I'm still occasionally buying at <34 and selling at >40, that adds up over time, and I have the cash to have 10 of them in play at once.
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Old 09-11-2021, 06:53 AM   #47
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Overnight, everything sold and I’m up to a new high of 660K coins. If there’s a weekend price drop, I’ll be as ready as possible.

Limited edition 91 Nick Chubb is out, but is selling for around 500K.
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Old 09-11-2021, 09:13 AM   #48
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I have cash to spend. Todays new legends cards are not of interest.

Plans/goals for the CLE theme team:

-RB Chubb’s new top card is hella expensive but for training I could bump my Power Up card to maybe 89… for this team that’s not stupid

-RT Conklin also has a good card (88) and I could go get that, or again Power Up to close to that level

Really not a lot more on the short term “to do” list… better FB Janovich card is out there, power up LB Banks more, and that’s about it directly.

I haven’t been willing to spend 500 training (over 25,000 gold) on adding special abilities to key cards, but that’s also looming as a next step investment as well, especially for cards I intend to use all year.
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:41 PM   #49
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So, weird dilemma for me right now.

I can buy the 88-rated players in the Ultimate Kickoff set today for around 105K each, 420K for 4x of them. That's enough for a set to get the 91-rated Megatron WR or Sean Taylor. Those are God Squad cards right now that everyone wants so they are selling for... close to 400K.

So maybe I spend 420K and get back 360K by selling the 91 card. But in the set you apparently also get back 4x of your choice of the 88-rated cards, in a restricted version (can't auction, trade, or use in sets). Four 88-rated players would be meaningful to my team right now, if I am willing to depart that much from my theme team. Have to stew on it a bit but I think this is too good to pass up.
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Old 09-11-2021, 01:47 PM   #50
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…after typing that out, I went and checked. Bought 3x 88 guys at great prices, about 295K for the three. And I’m broke now.
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