Why Is Gold 2 the Benchmark?
Gold 2 awards you automatic entry into the following weekend’s tournament. Additional prizes include 30k worth of coins, a Gold Tier 2 WL Pack and 2 Silver Tier 1 WL Packs.
Notable pulls out of my Gold 2 Packs from the first week included: 85 OVR Emmanuel Sanders and 83 OVR Tevin Coleman. The value of these cards, combined with the 30k, amounted to close to $100k from 11 wins. Not bad.
Following these tips can easily allow you to take that next step into Gold 2 to enjoy similar rewards.
If you’re having trouble making the jump into Gold 2, these tips could be useful. They are not directed at upper tier players, who may consider these tips top be common knowledge. I was able to make the jump from 12 to 15 wins sticking to these general tips as closely as I could. Overalls are also slowly getting higher and that makes every detail more important.
A Prize Fighter’s Mentality – Pay Attention to Play Calls!
A game of MUT is analogous to a prize fight. An astute fighter will use the early rounds to throw out jabs to feel out their opponent. During this time, they are storing away tendencies and potential weaknesses that they may be able to pounce on in the middle rounds leading towards the home stretch.
In a game of MUT, my number one tip is to pay attention to tendencies. A majority of mid to high tier players get stuck in a monotonous rhythm of consistently calling the same plays with their back against the wall. If you are able to anticipate what your opponent likes to call in certain scenarios then you have a far better chance at stopping it.
The good news is, you don’t need to have a notebook handy to track plays. The game itself will show you the play that was just run. Instead of rushing to select your next play, take a second to look at this. This is equally as important on offense and defense.
As soon as you can anticipate the call, timing is everything. My late Grandfather was a fighter. He once told me about how an opponent had a tendency to drop their left low while throwing a hook in certain situations. He was able to then bait them into doing it again and it resulted in a knockout. Pressure situations are the times that your opponent will most likely revert back to old tendencies and comfortable routes / run calls. If it has worked against you several times, take a risk, bait your opponent and sell out to stop it.
The Weekend League is a grind and that makes opponents even more likely to stick with their go to’s. To illustrate this, I’ll use the example of your opponent calling 4 verticals in a passing situation.
If it is a down and distance where you know it is coming, tap into your memory bank and think about what WR was targeted on previous occasions. Call the same defense where it beat you before but make changes with how you user-defend the play. In the 4 verticals example, I like to play a 2 man under and take control of the safety opposite of where my opponent likes to throw.
As the route develops and my opponents previous favorite target comes open, I sell out with the safety and come across hoping for a throw and a chance to make a play on the ball. This may leave other areas of your D vulnerable, but it can be important to force your opponent away from their tendencies and make them beat you doing something they are not comfortable with.
Variety – The Spice of MUT
If you’re playing anyone worth their weight in MUT coins, they will also be paying close attention to your tendencies. You can neutralize this by using a variety of plays and formations.
On offense, try and mix up your formations. Even if you are running similar route patterns, it can be difficult for your opponent to quickly identify them out of a foreign formation. This takes practice and experience with your playbook.
On D, use a mixture of zone, man and zone blitzing to keep your opponent off balance. When blitzing, try crashing your line one way and moving the blitzing player over the other way. This can sometimes result in some quick and unexpected pressure.
Coaching Adjustments – Use them!`
You can find coaching adjustments at the bottom of the initial play calling box.
First and foremost, it is crucial to set your ball carrier setting to conservative. Hit sticking is very effective this season and your back is likely to fumble if they are not instructed to carry the rock conservatively.
Next up is blocking. I have yet to see a holding call. As such, I’ve had some success setting my blocking to aggressive. It should be noted that I have a fairly strong O-Line. If you’re interested in seeing who I have on my roster, check out my most recent RTG post, where I analyze my most lopsided losses of the weekend.
To date, I have left deep and intermediate pass catching at balanced. I try to manually select the appropriate option when the ball is in the air. If I was going to change this, I would be most tempted to experiment with intermediate pass catching set to conservative.
Ball in air defense: either balanced or play ball. I would gear towards play ball if your CBs are stronger than your opponents WRs.
CB matchups: so far I’ve stuck with balanced.
Pass rush, strip ball and tackling: aggressive. If your opponent didn’t get the conservative running memo, you’ll have yourself a couple turnovers.
Patience, the Virtue of Running
When you’re running, don’t spam the sprint button. Ease off of it, let your blocks develop and then push it down as your are making cuts. This will increase the odds of your blocks holding and also increase the effectiveness of your manual cuts.
Similarly, when you’re running one on one at a defender (especially one that is being user controlled), a change of pace and direction can be just as if not more effective than a skill move. This applies to QB scrambles as well.
Stopping runs out of the Gun
I struggled mightily with this during week 1 of the WL when I was using a 3-4 playbook and Nickle 2-4-5 and 3-3-5 wide defense to guard against shotgun sets.
Since then, I switched to the Bengals base 4-3 defense and have been using the 4-6 speed package to successfully counter constant runs out of the gun. It helps if you have good personnel, I added the 84 CB version of Woodson to use his speed and physicality in the box.
Psychological Warfare – Play Smart and Stay Cool
Stay mentally tough and relax. Have some fun with the game. Focus but don’t let the game raise your blood pressure. You’ll make more mistakes if you’re tense and angry and the experience won’t be enjoyable.
It is also important to play smart football. Take points and manage the clock. I lost on a hurry up play that was a goal to go situation, time expiring, no time outs and I was down three. I could’ve spiked the ball, hit a chip shot and taken it into OT. Instead I decided that I wanted to go for the win. I hurried back to the line, did not spike the ball and ended up running a poor play. Don’t make the same mistake!
Have fun and if things go well, enjoy your Gold 2 rewards!