Nightmare Archive

Nightmare Archive 0[credit]

Asset: Ambush
Trash: 0
Influence: 4

While the Runner is accessing this asset in R&D, they must reveal it.

When the Runner accesses this asset, they may add it to their score area as an agenda worth -1 agenda point. If they do not, do 1 core damage and remove this asset from the game.

Everyone remembers the first tape they archive.
Illustrated by Kira L. Nguyen
Decklists with this card

Parhelion (ph)

#97 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)
  • Updated 2023-03-25

    If Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist accesses Nightmare Archive from HQ and takes 1 core damage, can the Corp choose to discard that copy of Nightmare Archive to the subsequent sabotage effect?

    No. Conditional abilities like the one on Esâ Afontov: Eco-Insurrectionist only become pending at the next checkpoint after their trigger condition is met. The sentence “If they do not, do 1 core damage and remove this asset from the game.” is a single instruction, and will resolve completely before the Runner can resolve Esâ Afontov’s ability.

  • Updated 2023-03-25

    Can the Runner prevent the core damage from Nightmare Archive?

    Yes. This damage is not a cost; rather, adding Nightmare Archive to the Runner’s score area is a cost, and the core damage is part of the default effect that happens if the cost is not paid. So abilities that prevent damage can apply normally.


Power level: reasonably high. This will see widespread play in brain damage decks, particularly those using Thule. It extends the game, giving you more time to set up your win conditions and also helps charge up Stock Buybacks.

While the intended recipient of this is almost certainly HB brain-damage decks, even at 4 influence it will likely see some play in Jinteki PE decks that don't have many alternatives for either extending the game or invisibly guarding Archives. Many Jinteki threats require or benefit from facedown cards in Archives so the runner probably does need to check Jinteki archives more than normal. Getting to 7 agenda points against a PE grinder is mentally taxing. Playing to (say) 9 points or on a max hand size of 3-4 is brutal.

The problem here isn't the power level, but the anti-fun experience of negative agenda points. In a card pool where 2 brain damage is crippling against like 10+ card slots in PE decks and potentially a win condition for Ontological Dependence players, giving out brain damage or negative agenda points for free on an access anywhere doesn't feel like it's on the right track. I think Global Food Initiative is a less frustrating card to interact with, there's still some forward progress when you steal it, just not as much as normal. Nightmare Archive might have been more fun to interact with if it had been tied to forward progress, perhaps a 5/3 agenda which inflicts a point of brain damage when stolen.

(Parhelion era)

I really like how balanced this card is.

On one hand, it's scary how it can fire from anywhere, and either of the options, (core damage or -1 point) is very impactful. On the other hand though, it can only ever fire once. This isn't like Shock! or Breached Dome of the past, that just would sit in archives, taxing the runner every time they checked it. This one fires once, but then it's gone forever, either way. And while both options are impactful, the runner gets to choose which one they want, which means it will always be whichever one hurts the runner less at that moment.

I think that the biggest strength of this card is how right now, there are no legal runner cards that let you sacrifice agendas, in either startup or standard. Artist Colony, Data Dealer, etc, have all rotated. I'm not sure if that's an intentional direction by NSG, or if they're just coming later. But historically, there have been ways to sacrifice agendas, which work nicely as a counter to things like this. Here's to hoping we see a new one soon!

(Parhelion era)

This asset is worthy of being banned in the future. It is that powerful. An ambush that can poison the archive, do a Core Damage (which is a pretty big penalty) or minus 1 agenda point! At no cost on top of that! Just wow!

This should and will be splashed in any Jinteki deck that aim to kill the runner, especially in Jinteki: Personal Evolution. This agenda would then either lenghten the time it takes for the runner to win, thus given more time to the corp to setup favorable conditions, or it will actively make the runner more vulnerable to being killed.

This is a auto inclusion in any Thule Subsea: Safety Below deck.

While the art and the quote could be seen to fit together, I see (or understand) no relation with the effect of the card. Maybe I'm missing some lore on the subject. Considering the quote is fun to read, that the art is well made and gives a definite dark feel to this Ambush, I think it is a missed opportunity to make it a consistent whole. Only the name goes with the effect and that is not enough.

(Parhelion era)

If you accidentally ambushed an archive of the worst nightmares and traumas harvested from a colony of climate refugees, I imagine it would either decrease your opposition to the Corp or else do some serious damage.

Pardon me, I meant "accessed".