Which are you going to use?
- Plascrete Carapace
- Sports Hopper
- Depends on the deck
- Going off the grid. Neither!
Which are you going to use?
In Geist, Sports Hopper. In tournament decks too. In everything else Plascrete - that alt art is just too sweet.
Even though the numbers on the Hopper don’t come out great for card draw, Plascrete does nothing against most decks. Hopper can be used to power a big turn, or recover from a snare.
I look for maximum utility in my flatline-prevention tech slots. Plascrete only really works against meat damage, and really only to prevent a flatline (I’d never use it to avoid losing cards to non-lethal meat damage).
Sports Hopper, like I’ve Had Worse, offers card draw in match ups where damage isn’t a concern. Both of these also work well against Net Damage, while Plascrete is only a counter to meat damage.
I’ve used Crash Space in Criminals to prevent meat damage. It’s a resource, so obviously it’s not as good as the other options, but it can buy the runner another turn. Drug Dealer and/or Chameleon can also offer some protection as they allow the runner to float additional cards in hand during the corp turn.
I’ve also made some very janky decks that relied only on massive handsize to prevent flatline. installing 3x Oragami, or Beach Party can make a runner very difficult to kill, just by virtue of the amount of damage needed to land the flatline.
Hopper also lets you bank 3 card in dumbleforks for when you really, absolutely must get an access or when you want to go balls to the wall and fork/knife/spoon a piece of ice dead.
It’s really cute how Sports Hopper lets you run an ICE that might be Cortex Lock and might be Komainu (with a lower chance of being Cortex Lock). You can have the ability to not immediately lose the game to Cortex Lock without having 4 cards ready to submit to Komainu.
In Anarch, Plascrete really gets you that disgusting mileage out of your I’ve Had Worses, though, right?
On the komainu interaction-- would I be correct in saying that you could trash the hopper during the “break ice subroutines” paid window (after encounter) so that rather than losing your entire grip and then drawing 3, you draw 3 and then lose your grip-minus-3 cards?
That seems like a nice way to faceplant a komainu but still end the encounter with 3 in hand (potentially including some cards from your original grip you didn’t want to lose).
Yes! Komainu doesn’t continuously check whether it needs to gain more subroutines, it gains the subroutines all at once in in one moment when the encounter begins, and that’s locked in by the time you’re in the “break ice subroutines” paid ability window.
The fact you could keep a key card that can’t be installed, like a Forked, for instance, is part of what’s cool about it.
Yes and no.
It does certainly offer you better, more robust protection against meat damage than Hopper. Hopper though is not a completely dead draw most of the time.
I think right now Hopper is better. That might change if Subcontract is as good as I imagine it is.
As I have said before I think hopper is a fine replacement in anarch decks that run IHW and/or wyldside, so many of them.
Outside of that I have a feeling that a lot of people will accidentally get killed because they had a sports hopper and not a plascrete, so being at 4 cards with sports hopper up is just death to double scorch. The meta has been shying away from that sort of thing in some places, but it’l be back eventually. I expect haarp kill, argus kill, neh kill decks at the first regional I attend this year, and plascrete will feel a lot safer out of my Crim deck for those decks. Employee strike and film critic will help as well, but yeah…
Sports Hopper is probably more use as multiple copies in your deck (so easier to find). Installing a second copy in either case doesn’t help anywhere near as much as the first for kill prevention, but the extra link is handy for the hopper. Both against tag kills specifically (SEA Source, Midseason Replacements) and traces in general.
I promise not to play Argus if you promise not to pack plascrete
Plas is WAY BETTER when you have to go tag-me, since they have to play multiple kill cards to make you use it. If you have a hopper the Corp can play a SINGLE Traffic Accident and now you have to pop your protection. This means a hand of traffic traffic scorch will kill a Hopper player over 2 turns, but not a Plascrete player.
Don’t go tag me with hopper, use the link for God’s Sake!
I can’t see cutting Plascrete completely for exactly the reason BigBoy mentioned - if you know what you’re doing, Plascrete is worth two Scorches most of the time, and it creates nightmarish decision trees in concert with I’ve Had Worse.
The one use I could see is for decks that want two or more Plascretes, specifically non-Anarch Siphon-spammers who’re willing to forego clearing tags. In that case, being able to trade the otherwise-useless card for fresh ones, even at a loss, is okay. Plus, like Bookmark, it synergizes somewhat better with Apocalypse.
That being said, look for Argus players to soak up free wins in swiss in the weeks ahead from people who forget how Hopper works.
1 Hopper 1 Plascrete looks pretty serviceable to me, in any deck that doesn’t make a lot of money or have a high link and is scared of scorch like that. I’ve decided a long time ago to avoid building decks with silver bullets in them until I get frustrated to infinity and then start skewing all my decks to be able to play against (insert whatever here). This is a silly solution of course.