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Plascrete Carapce VS. Sports Hopper

Short write up on why Sports Hopper is better than Plascrete Carapace.

Simply more utility. It is the same install cost, but you get a link to fight off an traces, and it saves you against meat damage if you are afraid of being scorched. If you keep a full hand size or have multiple Hoppers in play, you are just as well protected.

Additionally when you play Faust (anyone play that card?), you have ways to bail yourself out of runs where you otherwise cannot access).

If you play Plascrete Carapace, I think you ought to add this card instead. Just some thoughts, rebuttal welcome.


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Someone was saying somewhere that a good reason to include Plascrete still is Traffic Accident. A single Traffic Accident forces you to pop your Hopper in order to not die to a Scorch next click, which is pretty good value for the corp. Now you have no protection for the next turn/rest of the game. If I land a Midseason’s and TA, I’m basically golden. With Plascrete, there’s no worries. Just discard cards, and Plascrete is still there with 4 counters.


While Plascrete Carapace lets you survive double Scorched Earth on four hands in hand, instead of five with Sports Hopper, the biggest upside to Plascrete Carapace is that your opponent can’t bluff the kill despite having only one kill card. With Sports Hopper, you have to use it after the first Scorched Earth or Traffic Accident, depending on cards in hand to ensure you won’t die. This means a smart Corp player can make you use your Sports Hopper prematurely, and set up the actual kill later on. If you’re running Plascrete Carapace instead, they have to fire off both Scorched Earths most of the time, making it harder to retrieve them for the kill. You mention installing multiple Hoppers, but few Runners want to spend deck slots towards those.

It’s pretty expensive for Faust decks just to install this for card draw in my opinion.

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Yeah, there are a few circumstances that make Sports Hopper awkward or easier to play around. If you really want to be safe from kill, I think Plascrete is much safer. And if you’re using slots on tech cards, you want them to actually work. That being said, I’d very strongly look at Sports Hopper after the first Plascrete. I feel much better about one of each instead of two Plascrete in 99% of matches.


I don’t have anything novel to say about the benefits of one card over the other, but I do just want to say that Sports Hopper is the sort of card that’s making me look forward to rotation, because it suggests that FFG are learning from previous experience. As a Plascrete replacement, it’s a significantly more interesting card: it’s not dead in non meat-damage matchups, but also doesn’t shut down the meat damage decks quite as hard, as it offers more chances for the corp to play around it (e.g. by getting rid of it with Traffic Accident, as @Saan notes).

This emphasis on play decisions over deck building decisions is exactly what I want to see. Bravo FFG: five design stars for Sports Hopper from me.


“ifs” (I.E. they must be playing TA), still means there is value with the Ride, but I get the point.

Just playing Scorches still makes baiting out Hopper much more viable than getting rid of Plascrete. You only need to spend one for Hopper to go away and in either case you need two to finish the deal.

I do think Hopper is much more interesting as was said, but competitively Plascrete is the way to go if meat kill is a problem in the meta. Hopper is obviously better in every other matchup, so you really do need to weigh it depending on meta.

Actually I think Hopper + Film Critic is the way to go. That way it’s hard to permatag you and you’re safe from BN/Bounty/247 kill attempts.


After rotation sports hopper will Always beat plascrete. :slight_smile:


i used to be on 1x plas 2x hyper in kate

then i dumped the plas, knowing my chameleons could save me

now, atm, im on 1x sports 1x hyper with chameleon buffer.

running 1x sports is almost always a good protection card slot in kate, 100% sure of it.

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After Hopper rotates it won’t beat Plascrete anymore, so not always.

IMO the only true protection from sports happens in Geist where you get the full 4, but you have the keep the corp enough on the ropes that playing the combo essentially kills their tempo enough to be a big deal. Otherwise, if people start dropping screte entirely, I’ll start playing weyland. And, it will likely work.

Plascete is so much better against Scorch/Traffic Accident, but Hopper has enough utility to be my ‘auto include’ now. If Butchershop ever gets popular again its a definite switch back to Plascrete.

Agreed, you can hedge your bets on what % of the field is giving up screte, if you’re looking to play kill that is. Its a typical meta call IMO. As long as everyone hates weyland, and presumes bshop is just a swiss killer, hopper is generally better.


I think multiple hoppers is a viable strategy. I play with three in my Andy deck to help turn on Underworld Contacts ASAP and if I’m not playing a kill deck, I’ll still want to install multiple; it’s great influence free burst draw for Criminals.

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Plas is better for the TA/SE combo, sure. But even being forced to pop Hopper early still means the game continues and you’re not dead this turn.
In all other flatline threat, and non-flatline threat situations Hopper is superior. I would not play Plas just because of that one case where it is better. Long term, Hopper has the advantage.


if judging solely on meat damage protection, Plascrete is still better

at the very least, you get 1 extra HP out of it (save for Geist), but you also get to use it whenever you want to prevent any meat damage, whereas Sports Hopper must be used to draw up inbetween instances of meat damage during a paid ability window.

a few problematic scenarios have already been explained in the thread, but another upcoming one: Subcontract wouldn’t allow the runner to use a Sports Hopper to draw up between resolving, say, a double Scorch, but Plascrete (assuming enough cards/counters), could survive it. don’t know how much this card will be a thing, but it’s something to consider

that said, Sports Hopper has at least some utility outside of meat damage kill deck matchups. the +1 link is at the very least useful to help prevent quite a few tagging effects, but it also helps against other kinds of damage and is useful in any matchup because, even if the corp isn’t trying to kill you, it lets you draw 3 at paid ability speed which is pretty awesome, even if the cost-to-draw ratio isn’t ideal.

i don’t think it’s necessarily an auto-include for all decks or for all players, but i personally have switched over to them.
for some decks, like Geist with Technical Writers, Tech Traders, and his ability paying on the install and trash, it’s very ideal to run Sports Hopper, especially since it also helps turn on cloud for all those breakers (i’m running 2 now and might even go up to 3). for other decks, the utility i get for other matchups makes it for me.


I just want to say it’s awesome we’re able to have this conversation. It speaks of good design that there’s a reasonable difference between the single purpose tech card vs. the utility card with multiple uses. If one card were clearly better than the other in 95% of the cases, this would be a one post thread.


we always have weyland in our meta, and the regional I am going to will likely have at least some argus, some haarp kill, and who knows what else. So for now I am sticking to plascrete. But I like the design of hopper as an alternative quite a bit

It’s maybe also worth noting that in a deck that was running Deus Ex and Plascrete Caparace for different situations (the other being redundant where one is relevant), Sports Hopper does a reasonably good pretence at both cards.

Yes, it’s not quite as good in either situation, but you can have two copies of a “slightly worse Deus Ex” against Jinteki and two copies of a “slightly worse Plascrete Carapace” against Scorched Earth decks, rather than one silver bullet and a dead card against both decks if you play the more specialist cards.


i agree. Sports Hopper was some really great card design, and i also like the new Armored Fridge from the original. 7 counters would have completely trivialised Scorched Earth i think, but 4 counters (even at the same original cost) fits better. it’s silver bullety enough without making Scorch useless. it also closes the gap on those crazy meat damage cards like I Got a Rock, which just pushes the power level of meat damage a little too high imo. if Plascrete had a whole bunch of counters, we probably would have seen some crazy meat damage cards like that to justify them.

but these two are really great design, and i would also add that for anyone using 2 Plascrete or 2 Hoppers (even a Geist), 1 and 1 of each is another possibility to consider