We all knew FIFA 17’s Winter Upgrades were set to release in February but what didn’t expect were Downgrades to be part of the release as well. On EA Sports FIFA webpage, they’ve deemed it a “Ratings Refresh” and details beyond that are really unknown at this point. Using prior history as a guide these will be new cards (the old cards will be extinct except for whatever is already owned on rosters) and will release over a period of batches within the final two weeks of February. All cards then going forward for the balance of the game will reflect these refreshed ratings.
Before I go any further FIFA hasn’t actually come out and said there is going to be downgrades, they’ve never done this before. But if you look at the image below the arrows clearly have green pointed up and red pointed down. Also in prior years they’ve always announced this as “Winter Upgrades” and this year it’s “Ratings Refresh” so the clues point toward yes downgrades are in play.
I’m all for this, I believe if you’re going to boost players ratings (and they do it every week as well with TOTW) then you should drop players who aren’t performing to the level they were expected to at the beginning of the season. I personally love the Diamond Dynasty method where ratings are fluid and always evolving. It’s probably more difficult in FIFA so a once a year refresh could be a good thing. Since this hasn’t been done before we don’t know the impact on the market or how it will alter any purchasing habits. If anything the new ratings will allow us to use different players in FUT and that in itself is exciting to me.
We’ll have a lot more information tomorrow, so I’ll update this post as information presents itself but here are my initial questions/comments:
• What happens if an OTW player is downgraded? Will that OTW card go down too?
• I’m going to assume that the ratings refresh will only impact new cards, and existing cards on the roster are not impacted. Let’s hope. If I’m wrong and all cards are changed (good or bad) we could be in for an incredibly bumpy ride. We would be going down a rabbit hole here….
• How will this impact market prices? A downgrade of a popular player will make your original version of the card more valuable but by how much? For example, Daniel Sturridge is rated an 84 what if he takes a dive down to an 81. How much of a boost does that 84 rated card get?
Short List of Possible Upgrades:
Higuain, Ibrahimovic, Mertens, Hazard, Lukaku, Kante, Kane, Cavani
Short List of Possible Downgrades:
Rodriguez, Bravo, Neymar, David Silva, Fabregas, Kompany, Mahrez, Xhaka, Sturridge, Terry, Rooney, Gaitan, Busquets and Karim Benzema
If you want to try and get a head start on which cards to invest in and which cards to dump before the Ratings Refresh, you may want to look at players in career mode who have had their ratings altered. It’s as good a theory as any but ultimately no one knows. So good luck in whatever tactic you choose.
2/17/2017 – UPDATE
The time has arrived, at 1 pm ET today @EASPORTSFIFA released just what exactly all of this “Ratings Refresh” madness actually means. The FAQ is below which will walk us through the questions we all had concerning what would happen to the cards in our club and which cards would be impacted (IE: OTW, TOTW, SBC, etc.). The releases are going to be done by league, today was the Premier League and then after that we’ll see the others. The order remains unknown at this time.
• Upgrades AND downgrades apply to new non-inform players found in packs. Non-IF players in your club will not receive an upgrade or a downgrade.
• If an upgraded player’s new OVR rating equals or surpasses his existing first in-form’s rating, his IF will get an upgrade.
° An exception is made for lower rated players with significant upgrades
° Does not apply to Movember or Ultimate Scream items
• If an upgraded player’s new OVR rating does not equal or surpass his existing in-form’s rating, his IFs will not get an upgrade
° However, if an upgraded player with an existing IF gets upgrades across quality tiers (eg. Silver to Gold) his lower quality IF will not get that upgrade. This preserves the in-forms high value
• Downgrades to non-IF players will not affect their In-Forms or special items, should they have any
Some major changes to “Special Cards” as well: OTW Kante, POTM Alli, OTW Mane, POTM Costa, SBCs for Payet-Willian-Defoe-Dembele, POTM Son and POTM Sterling.
Nicolas Otamendi: 85 → 84
Steve Mandanda: 85 → 84
Bastian Schweinsteiger: 83 → 82
Claudio Bravo: 85 → 83
John Terry: 84 → 82
Robert Huth: 80 → 78
Wes Morgan: 79 → 77
Others: Lazar Markovic, Oumar Niasse, John O’Shea, Stephen Ireland, Evandro Goebel, Bakary Sako, Gerhard Tremmel
There are some solid names on the upgrade list in the Calcio A but when you look closer you’re going to be disappointed. Many of the players received a +1 overall boost, which I guess is fine, but when you look at the sub-ratings there’s barely a change. The two biggest “winners” were Dries Mertens, aka the FUT 17 MVP, and Mauro Icardi who each moved up 2 spots in their overall ratings. Mertens is going to go for a ton until the market calms down especially with a 90 pace rating attached to his 85 rated card.
The highest rated player in Calio A is Gonzalo Higuain and while he’s been setting Italy on fire with goals his boost from an 88 to 89 is driven by +1 in passing and +1 in dribbling? That seems a bit odd his shot rating didn’t change. His goal scoring partner Paulo Dybala also received a boost from 85 to 86 overall and his only ratings increase were +1 passing and +1 in defense which is completely useless for a striker and even more useless for someone with a 24 defensive rating in the first place.
I think the best card that was released is the 83 CM Bonaventura. His original position was LM and to bring his pace and skill abilities into the central midfield is huge. He’s going to be a better value buy than trying to grab a Radja Nainggolan (who is a beast but you’ll pay top dollar), Claudio Marchisio and Marek Hamsik who are both very good but will be at least double the cost.
Carlos Bacca: 84 → 83
Pepe Reina: 84 → 83
Gary Medel: 83 → 82
Alberto Aquilani: 78 → 76
Antonio Cassano: 78 → 76
Vassilis Torosidis: 77 → 75
Danilo: 76 → 74
Maxi Lopez: 78 → 75
Simone Pepe: 77 → 74
As we all expected PSG striker Edinson Cavani was upgraded after a tremendous start to the season. He’s received numerous Team of the Week honors so it’s only proper to boost his base card, I feel like every year he’s under-valued in FUT and he’s an absolute beast. Aside from Cavani no major changes to the bigger stars in Ligue 1: Alexandre Lacazette, Angel Di Maria, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Matuidi all remain the same.
Two players we all loved back in FIFA 12 and FIFA 13, Radamel Falcao and Mario Balotelli, each received ratings increases furthering your goal scoring options in Ligue 1. Falcao gets a modest +1 boost to his overall and it’s nice to see him back on his feet after a few dismal seasons in the Premier League with Manchester United and Chelsea. He’s up to an 86 with his latest In-Form but still far from the form he once had as one of the world’s best strikers for Atletico Madrid in ’12-’13. Super Mario jumps up +2 spots in his rating after just picking up his 3rd red card of the season for Nice and reports speculating that his time in France could be over.
Not that you’re going to center a team around these players but Rabiot +2 (all ratings < 70), Lemar +2 (a cheap LW option), Tolisso +2 (all ratings > 75), Sanson +2 (Winter OTW card) received solid increases and now become viable options for Ligue 1 or French national team squads.
Unfortunately there has to be some losers and there were definitely some losers in this round with significant downgrades. The Paris St. Germain midfield was just chopped down with Pastore, Ben Arfa and Krychowiak all moving down one point, one point and two points respectively. If you own their first generation card then you might want to hang onto it. The biggest loser is Remy Cabella who plummets from an 80 gold to a 74 silver. Life comes at you fast in FIFA.
Javier Pastore: 85 → 84
Hatem Ben Arfa: 84 → 83
Grzegorz Krychowiak: 84 → 82
Jeremy Toulalan: 83 → 80
Geoffrey Jourdren: 78 → 75
Romain Salin: 76 → 74
Sylvain Marveaux: 76 → 74
Remy Cabella: 80 → 74
Florent Balmont: 75 → 73
Javier Mascherano: 85 → 84
Andre Gomes: 84 → 83
Fabio Coentrao: 80 → 77
Danilo: 80 → 79
Jerome Boateng: 90 → 89
Xabi Alonso: 84 → 82
Naldo: 84 → 83
Yann Sommer: 84 → 82
Shinji Kagawa: 83 → 82
Luiz Guastvo: 83 → 82
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: 81 → 79