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Madden 20 is all about abilities and x-factors. You get to choose three players on each side of the ball that all have these superhuman abilities. They come in two forms, superstar abilities which are the lessor of the two however activate on every snap, and x-factor abilities which liken themselves to cheat codes but you must work your way up to having them active. To put it simply, x-factor abilities affect the game in a larger way, but less often. Superstar abilities are going to be the reason you buy five new controllers this year. 

In this article we are going to discuss the  superstar abilities that effect the defensive lineman. These abilities might just be the difference between getting to the QB often and not getting to the QB at all. However your opponent can counter your abilities with abilities of his own, so it is kind of like a modified game of Magic or Pokemon. You have to be in it to win it however, so let’s jump in and take a look at what superpowers (aka abilities) your defensive lineman can get and how it effects the pass rush on Madden 20. 

Edge Threat / Edge Threat Elite

This superstar ability gives your defensive end the extra boost to win in pass rushing situations off the edge by using “dominant pass rush moves”. The elite version actually adds the extra benefit of being able to apply significant pressure on the QB as well which may cause his throw to sail directly to your secondary.

Now let’s break that down in real world terms. The regular version gives your defensive lineman the ability to do what he should have been doing anyway, especially if he is a higher end card. It essentially allows him to act as an actual defensive lineman, and we appreciate that. The elite version lets your defensive lineman cheat by applying pressure from an unreasonable distance that creates incompletions and interceptions for your defense, regardless of the fact that the opponent probably made the right read. 

Finesse Specialist

This superstar ability gives your defender the power to win faster on finesse move animations, which we can only speculate means insta-win because generally speaking the defensive lineman wins on all animations, it is just a matter of getting the animation. You also get the ability to complete a tackle effectively while attempting to strip the ball.

This ability is half what your elite pass rusher should be doing anyway and half real world benefit. If you have a pass rusher with an elite finesse move rating, he should be winning on just rating without the need for a special superpower, but at least this one gives us something that would allow you to set your strip ball coaching adjustment to aggressive and still have a guy setting the edge that can tackle. 

Pass Rush Elite

This superstar ability gives your defender faster pass rush moves when rushing the passer. Not exactly sure how that differs from the last ability, other than the obvious difference that this one doesn’t specify the type of pass rush move it helps with. Does it help with power and finesse moves? Does it work better or worse than the superpowers designed for a specific type of move? The world may never know, it easily could be the biggest mystery since how many licks to get to the center of a tootsie pop.

Again this ability sounds like something you would expect your top tier lineman to do anyway. If there is one category that EA Sports has mastered, it surely is getting us to pay extra for something that should be a part of the game already. You almost have to sit back and admire the genius, until your credit card bill comes that is, then it is probably time to cry. Go ahead, we won’t judge.

Power Specialist

Here we have the counterpart to Finesse Specialist. This will give your defensive lineman the ability to win with faster power move animations and the ability to tackle effectively while trying to strip the ball. Remember that your pass rushers will use whatever animation has the higher rating generally. So there is no real need to put both power and finesse superpowers on a player. 

Whoa, this article is starting to sound like a broken record, but again we have something that you would expect of that card you just spent $300 to pull. Don’t put your credit card away just yet however, as you need to spend another $100 in packs to get training to make him work right. At least you can set the edge still with strip ball on aggressive, that is definitely worth the $400. 

Reach Elite / Run Stopper

Do you remember the animation from a few years back that Mean Joe Greene used to get every snap against the run that everyone referred to as the “Hand of God” animation? Yep this is that. This ability gives your defensive lineman the ability to make a tackle while still engaged in a block. Run stopper includes an increase in outright block sheds as well as the “Hand of God” animation.

It is slightly bothersome that this is going to be a thing in the game this year, but at least it’s something that your defender shouldn’t be doing already that you are paying for this time. If you have to spend a million dollars on training, it should at least be for some type of real benefit that you didn’t deserve to begin with, this is that benefit. Hooray for EA giving value on your training points here. 

Strip Specialist / Under Pressure

These two abilities are just the lessor versions of the previously mentioned that include these abilities. Strip specialist allows your player to complete a tackle while attempting to strip the football. Under pressure lets your defender alter the QB’s throw from further away like a giant gust of wind.  

A good real world definition of these would be discount superpowers. If you can’t afford the complete package or maybe have a player whose rating won’t allow the full version, EA Sports is willing to allow you to spend less money on less ability. They really do care!

If you would like to learn how to maximize these superpowers to the fullest extent make sure to pick up a membership HERE. It will be the most super thing you do all year!