At first glance, it seems clear that Sports Hopper is intended as a replacement for Plascrete Carapace, once rotation arrives (in 2017?) and Plascrete is no longer usable in tournament decks. But how does it compare? Should you make the switch now?

The contrast between Plascrete and Hopper is significant, and shows a maturity of game design. While Plascrete is a silver bullet answer to Scorched Earth, Hopper is an elegant, multipurpose card.

Considering the case vs Scorched, Plascrete is better protection, no question. Firstly, you don't even lose cards for the meat damage, and secondly by protecting against 4 points of damage, you have the flexibility to safely end your turn on 4 cards. Hopper won't stop the damage taking cards out your grip, and you also must be sure to end turns on 5 cards in order for a single installed copy to protect you. However it will still prevent a double-scorched from ending you, so it can do the job.

But against other decks, it gets interesting. Plascrete is the deadest of draws - discard and move on.

Let's consider playing against a net damage deck, Hopper vs probably the best current blunt answer Deus X. The contrast is strikingly similar to vs Plascrete for meat damage. It's less good as you still lose cards, and it offsets only 3 points of damage while Deus X is all damage from one source. (And often 'all' net damage will be more than 3 damage - but occasionally offsetting 3 damage is actually better, eg vs 3 Shock!s in Archives). Hopper is good vs AP ice as you can use it after rez but before subroutines fire, so it'll help against potentially game-ending nasties like Merlin(s), Cortex Lock, or Shinobi. There is also a window to trigger it after a Ronin is rezzed before his ability is used. You can also rez it before committing to access an advanced card you suspect may be a Fetal AI or Project Junebug, but you will have to do it before seeing these cards.

Then, what about a Fast Advance or Glacier deck that you expect will not threaten any damage at all? Hopper still has some potential value - if you have credits to spare and want more draw (a fairly common scenario), you can spend a click and 3 credits to draw 3 cards. You won't be using it to replace Diesel, but it will sometimes be useful.

There are two aspects to this card that I think are brilliant design. Firstly, as a more general defensive option that can replace Plascrete and Deus X at once but in a weaker form, it is better for the game - it gives runners a realistic option to protect themselves from two Corp deck archetypes in a single card, but its inclusion in a runner's deck doesn't completely shut down those Corp deck archetypes, making for more interesting games.

Secondly, the inclusion of 1 link is a genius. By adding it to this card that will surely see widespread play for years to come, the link/trace aspect of the game has some added dynamism. No longer will runner's link equal their ID's base link in 95% of games, it will climb to 2 link on a regular basis.

Overall, a great card for the game, and a good multi-purpose card for your deck to defend against multiple threats.


One of the biggest challenges for Corps in Netrunner is that while scoring Agendas helps them win the game, doing so involves investing quite a few clicks and credits that can weaken their immediate board position. For example, after a Corp has scored an Agenda is often the ideal moment to begin a Siphon Train, or make a run on a server with some unrezzed ice.

Not surprisingly, it follows that Agendas that give the Corp clicks or credits back can be pretty good. In the past we've seen this area explored by Hostile Takeover (great), Corporate War (hard to use), Efficiency Committee (poor return), Geothermal Fracking (a lot of bad pub) and Oaktown Renovation (amazing!), Advanced Concept Hopper (excellent).

This new agenda, Corporate Sales Team, probably compares best with Corporate War, as they both are neutral 4/2 agendas, and give credits back without any bad pub. Corporate War would be a good agenda ... except for how you need 7 credits on hand when scoring it. And the real catch is you don't just need 7 credits, you also need 4 credits to advance it, and probably credits to rez ice or upgrades to defend it, meaning you actually need 15-25 credits on hand when you are going to try to score it.

Corporate Sales Team has no such requirement when scoring it, and gives the Corp 10 credits, 3 more than the War. The catch is that it gives the credits back more slowly as drip econ. Note that it gives a credit at the start of each players turn though, so this is pretty fast drip. It's like having a Pad Campaign that fires for your turn, plus another that fires for the Runner turn.

Corporate Sales Team probably isn't quite as good as Oaktown or Hopper, but it does seem pretty strong overall. If you're making a Jinteki or NBN (non fast advance?) deck, it'll be the best econ return agenda available to you, and of course you may include this alongside Oaktown or Hopper to build a critical mass of agendas that pile on economic advantage.


Clone Chip is one of the most powerful and flexible runner cards in the game. We see it in almost every Shaper deck, and is one of the most popular splashes in many Anarch decks too. FFG have recognised its power and ubiquity and added it to Most Wanted List as of Feb 1st, 2016.

The first thing to understand about Clone Chip is its ability can be used in any paid ability window, of which there are many on both players turns, and during a run.

One of the important paid ability window is Timing Structure of a Run step 2.3, immediately after an approached ice has been rezzed, but before you encounter it. If there is a breaker or program that you can use to handle that ice in your heap, you can go fetch it immediately and use it in that encounter. So if you hit a powerful destroyer such as Archer, Sharpshooter or Faerie will handle it, or for a dangerous AP ice like Komainu, Deus X can beat it. If you encounter any 0-strength ice (or low strength plus you have some Datasucker tokens) then a Parasite can destroy the ice before you ever encounter it. All of these cards are great with Clone Chip because they end up in your heap after their first use.

They're not the only programs you might install with Clone Chip mid-run though. A popular trick is to combine Clone Chip with its tutoring counter-part, Self-modifying Code (SMC), which can find any of those same cards you need if they are still in your stack (deck) instead of your heap. You can do this if there is a SMC in your heap and you have 2 MU spare - in the middle of a run you can use Clone Chip to fetch and install the SMC from your heap, then immediately trigger the SMC to go get the program you really want from your stack and install it.

You can also install your normal breakers via the above SMC trick or just if they happen to be in your heap. You might deliberately over draw cards on your turn and discard a breaker to set this up, especially for situational breakers like Atman, Cyber-Cypher or Femme Fatale that you want to target a specific ice with.

Clone Chip is also potent anti-destroyer tech in that your normal breakers may be in your heap if the Corp managed to trash them, and Clone Chip makes it easy to get them back.

Another place Clone Chip excels is with limited used programs like Cerberus "Lady" H1 and D4v1d, both of which are exceptionally powerful. The only catch is that once these programs use up their power counters they need to be trashed ready for Clone Chip to target them, but programs may be trashed voluntarily when installing any other program so this can usually be arranged fairly easily.

As if all this wasn't enough, there is another paid ability window that is important for Clone Chip: Corporation Turn 2.2 after each click is spent. Against the ever-popular fast-advance strategy that seeks to install, advance and score agendas within a single Corp turn, a savvy runner can see the pattern and between the second and third click advancement ask the Corp to pause for the paid ability window and then go install a Clot to keep the agenda from being scored and then give the runner a chance to run in and steal it.

Finally, I should mention that against Jinteki kill decks, Clone Chip is also great with Deus X to install it before any access (run step 4.3) when an advanced Project Junebug, Snare! or Psychic Field is suspected.

Overall, Clone Chip is one of the key reasons to buy the deluxe box Creation & Control, and still worth serious consideration in any Shaper and many Anarch decks even with the extra influence cost from the NAPD Most Wanted List.


Shadow is one of my personal favourite 'bad' cards.

Firstly, why do I like it? As an early game ice rez, it typically fires its subs and so the Corp gets 2 back (for a net rez cost of 1), and then the runner will have to pay a couple of credits on the trace or clearing a tag shortly afterwards. Overall, a nice credit swing result from rezzing ice. Also, once rezzed on a central server or taxing 'asset' remote, a runner will rarely make a normal run through it before getting a killer out to deal with it. And even once the runner has a killer out, they're probably spending 2 to break this every run, regardless of what killer it is. Also, on occasion a runner will get careless and run through a Shadow on last click without a killer, letting you land a killing tag. (But sadly, this scenario is extremely rare).

However, Shadow has one really big problem. If the runner wants to make a high-value run, such as The Maker's Eye, Legwork, Wanton Destruction or Account Siphon, they'll often be happy to just run right through Shadow. Also, once the runner has a killer installed, the net rez cost is the full 3 which is not great for the small tax it provides.

Advancing Shadow is rarely worthwhile. The most likely scenario of triple advancing it to strength 4 to mess with Mimic is still hard to justify - the Corp has spent a hefty 3 clicks and 3 credits, now the runner can still just run through it and clear the tag afterwards if they really need to.

There is one ID where Shadow performs clearly best, and that is Tennin Institute. With a tiny 1 inf cost, it is affordable advancable ice along with Ice Wall to support Trick of Light. Also. its low net rez cost is perfect for setting up early game defenses, and ongoing tax is good for grinding down the runner.

Ehh, I feel a lot of that doesn't hold up when you compare it to Hunter, which dies less easily to Parasite, and will either cost more or equal when compared to most sentry breakers. It's even going to be cheaper, at a guaranteed 1 credit instead of a maybe 1 credit. You're Tennin point still stands, however, which i more think is a testament to how rubbish our advanceable Ice is. Give us that Code Gate already! —
I did say it was a bad card in my first line! I agree that Hunter is usually better. And something else is usually better again most of the time. —

Hyperdriver is a combo card, it is best used to achieve something that cannot be done in a normal 4 click turn. For example, use it with Wanton Destruction to trash the Corp's entire HQ, then immediately check archives. Or use Vamp in combination with Medium or Keyhole to tear up R&D.

The most awkward part of using Hyperdriver is finding a way to fit its huge 3. Leprechaun is by far the best answer. It can even host two Hyperdrivers, for a 10 click turn!

All-nighter is an older card that has a similar effect, but less strong and much easier to play out. If you've got the spare deckslots you could include those as well in a one-big-turn deck.

Bit out of faction, but you can host all three on #Scheherazade and get your money back. —
dherki: Just to be clear, cards hosted on Scheherazade still consume MU. —
3x Notoriety and a Quest Completed targeting a Vanity Project in one turn? Sounds like fun! —
I wish these were unique. The whole DDOS, False Echo combo with Fear the Masses, or Keyhole, or Medium is really dumb. —