Tom Mills from FIFA Soccer Blog joins us to explain how he's managed to put together a tidy FIFA 12 Ultimate Team squad for relatively few coins... If this sparks an interest, why not check out our Beginner's Guide to FUT and all the rich links therein.
FIFA Ultimate Team has been a part of FIFA since FIFA 09, and has grown to become a massive part of the game, for some being the only mode they play. I’m guilty of never really trying it up until now because whilst I liked the idea of crafting my own team I honestly didn’t like the card system and was looking for a more authentic experience, so I’ve stuck to playing Manager/Career Mode.
That said, I have dabbled and created an Ultimate Team each year, but I’ve never really done anything beyond opening the free packs you get and playing the odd match here and there. I’d never tried to understand the mechanics of what makes a good team and never really applied any thought to trying to achieve a good level of team chemistry. They say pictures speak a thousand words, so here is my FUT Generations Squad, untouched from when I last tinkered with it.
I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a bit of a mess and the only reason the chemistry isn’t lower is because I unwittingly managed to cobble together some sort of French connection on the right hand side. I present it only as evidence that I really didn’t know what i was doing.
My current Squad looks like this:
Although those two teams are worlds apart, getting my head around UT and the importance of organisation and structure was actually pretty straightforward. There are excellent examples out there, made by hardcore FUT players, aimed at gaming the markets to maximise profit, hoarding cards to artificially inflate values and so on with the express intent of earning massive amounts of coins to spend. I’m sure they work, but I didn’t use any of those methods. I just used my free monthly packs that come from redeeming the code in the Special Edition of FIFA 12 and some patience.
I’m not claiming to know very much (or anything at all really) about FUT and any Ultimate Team veteran reading this will probably roll their eyes, but I’m writing this to show you that you can genuinely create a decent team with no outlay, even with no FUT experience, if you just take the time to look around.
The hardest part was deciding what type of team to actually build. The options available are near endless, and will affect what tournaments you’re able to enter once you’re finished. I’ve heard of people building squads of only left footed players, or bronze squads that are so finely balanced they can take on anything in their path, really creative stuff, but as you can see, I’ve gone for a fairly standard Gold Squad, all Brazilian nationals, all with 4-4-2 as a preffered formation.
In my January set of free packs I picked up a few Brazilian players, which was when this team began to take shape. I already had a fairly strong Brazilian prescense in the squad through sheer luck and decided to start looking at what their preffered formations were. 4-4-2 was the most popular and so that was that. I set about building the best Gold, Brazilian, 4-4-2 team I could with the resources I had available, which was basically what I’d already got from my free packs and daily gift promotions.
Once I’d decided what I was trying to achieve, the first thing I did was start stripping out players that didn’t meet my criteria. I moved all non brazilian players I had into my trade pile, which was where I hit my first hurdle. I had no idea what any of them were worth.
A look at the markets helped, but don’t provide anything concrete. I started them off at what I thought were fair prices but they wouldn’t sell, leading me to gradually reduce the prices to shift them. I preffered to stick to short auctions, as I found they weren’t getting any interest until the last few minutes anyway. Once I did that, I started shifting players a lot faster. For the most part I did fairly well but some people definitely picked up some bargains in my desperation to offload players and raise coins for my squad.
Whilst the auctions were ticking over I hit the markets and simply used the search criteria tools to narrow down to what I was looking for. The prices surprised me, with large fluctuations in price for the exact same card, literally seconds apart. I’d previously thought that prices would be almost rigid, but if you search narrowly and at the right times, the bargains you’ll pick up are staggering. I worked my way through the team, upgrading one position at a time, dropping lower qualty players onto the bench and the players they replaced into the trade pile. The main thing I picked up pretty quickly was not being afraid to back out of an auction, no matter how much you want the player. If it starts getting too pricey, remove it from your watch list and search again, you can be sure that ten more of that card will turn up within minutes and if you’re prepared to juggle auctions and resell duplicates, you’ll get some great players for next to nothing.
The total cost for the entire squad was £78,250. Of that £23,250 was spent on my last purchase, Maicon. As much as I was trying to do this on the cheap, my hand was forced. There are only 2 Brazilian RBs who fit into a 4-4-2 team and are rated over 80, Maicon and Alves. Alves was completely out of the question simply because of the expense. Maicon on the other hand tends to range between 25-30,000 so I managed to get a slight deal on him. He is still far and away my most expensive player though and even with his inclusion, the total cost of the entire squad is still less than the buy now price of most Alves cards.
There are some improvements that could be made, certain positions do have better players in that bracket available, but I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve done in just over a day and without getting into the “silly money” realm of UT. Now that I know how simply and quickly a squad can be built, I’m going to play a few tournaments and put the profit towards another squad, perhaps something a little trickier like a Bronze Championship squad.
You can read more by Tom and his colleagues on FIFA Soccer Blog.