In this Madden 18 best playbooks guide, we'll be running down the very best playbooks on both sides of the ball. Playbooks change in each iteration of Madden, and so while you might have already established some of your favorite offensive and defensive playbooks in Madden 17, there's no guarantee these playbooks will remain even slightly similar in Madden 18.
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Madden 18 Best Playbooks
Throughout the Madden 18 Playbooks guide below, we'll be giving you all the information you need on the best playbooks in Madden 18. We'll be dividing them up by offense and defense, meaning you know which playbooks to choose from whether you're starting out in Madden 18 Ultimate Team, or diving into your first head-to-head online game.
Madden 18 Best Offensive Playbooks
These are the best Madden 18 offensive playbooks, going generally by variety and flexibility. Typically, you want a varied playbook that offers both solid run schemes as well as passing formations that have receivers running routes that cut partway up the field, allowing them to gain a step on any pursuing defenders no matter the coverage.
- Oakland Raiders - The Raiders offensive playbook might just be the best in Madden 18, boasting impressive vertical routes throughout all their formations. The Singleback Wing Pair is a strong formation to pay attention to, as is the sole Pistol formation, on top of Gun formations like the Doubles Offset.
- New England Patriots - While the Patriots offensive playbook may lack the Pistol formation, it more than makes up for it elsewhere. The Strong Pro formation has some fantastic running plays utilising tight ends and fullbacks, while other formations like the Gun Ace Slot Offset is a great formation to take advantage of vertical tight end threats and some sharp receiver routes.
- New Orleans Saints - The Saints offensive playbook is surprisingly flexible, considering the team has leaned towards the pass in previous iterations of Madden. There are some great formations like Pistol Bunch TE which feature a solid variety of pass and run plays, as well as some fantastic receiver routes in formations like Gun Empty Y-Saint.
- Seattle Seahawks - As you might imagine, the offensive playbook for the Seahawks is a dream for the mobile QB and running back combo, boasting read and triple options in the Pistol formations, while featuring a nice set of run and pass combinations over the Singleback, I Form, Strong, and Gun formations.
Madden 18 Best Defensive Playbooks
On the defensive side of the ball in Madden 18, you're typically looking for a playbook that allows for some blitzes, including edge rushes and linebacker blitzes. Bear in mind that although you can always adjust coverage plays to better suit your defensive needs in any situation, blitzes largely perform as they appear in the playbook.
- Oakland Raiders - Despite being in the mix for best offensive playbook, the Raiders are also up there with the best on the defensive side of the ball, with a balanced playbook that boasts both a 3-4 and 4-3 formations. On top of this, coverage is balanced evenly between man and zone, and each formation also offers some nice blitzes both up the middle and from either side of the field.
- New England Patriots - Somewhat similar to the Raiders playbook, New England has varied formations in their playbook, including 3-4, 4-3, Nickel, Big Dime, and Quarter. There are a bunch of solid coverage plays as well as some nice blitzes in this playbook, including Storm 1 Brave in the 3-4 formation, as well as DB Fire 2 from the Big Dime formation.
- Seattle Seahawks - The defensive playbook for the Seahawks mainly revolves around the 4-3 scheme, which is excellent given the pass rush that the likes of Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril bring to the team. The Nickel formations boast some unique blitz packages, while the the Dime formation brings a balance of blitz, zone, and man coverage.
There you have it - the very best offensive and defensive playbooks in Madden 18. These are the playbooks that you should likely select from when starting out your Madden 18 Ultimate Team, although we can't promise they'll be available on the MUT market for a cheap price when you first start out your team.
The next iteration of Madden NFL is on the horizon in late 2018, and for everything you need to know about the upcoming game, make sure to head over to our Madden 19 everything we know guide. Alternatively, you can check out our Madden 19 Ultimate Team guide, where we list all of the changes that EA are making to the popular mode for the next year.