Can cards in archives affect the runner without explicitly saying they do?

In the rulebook on page 6, it describes archives like so (emphasis mine):

Archives- This is the Corporation’s trash pile. Archives is kept adjacent to R&D. This is where Corporation cards are placed when they are trashed or discarded. Cards in Archives are inactive.

However, rules can be trumped by special abilities on cards. Compare the cards Snare! and Shi.Kyū.


If Snare! is accessed from R&D, the Runner must reveal it.

If you pay 4[Credits] when the Runner accesses Snare!, do 3 net damage and give the Runner 1 tag. Ignore this effect if the Runner accesses Snare! from Archives.


When the Runner accesses Shi.Kyū, you may pay X[Credits]. The Runner must take either X net damage or add Shi.Kyū to his or her score area as an agenda worth −1 agenda point. Ignore this ability if the Runner accesses Shi.Kyū from R&D.

So, does Shi.Kyū affect the runner if they access it from archives? It doesn't mention archives, so you'd think the default would be inactive (and therefore not harmful to the runner). But then why would Snare! explicitly mention that it doesn't work in archives? Is it just being redundant?

  • Cards in R&D are also inactive, as are cards in HQ and unrezzed cards in a server. ambushes work everywhere because on access abilities don't care about active or not, the reason these cards ave ignore conditions are because otherwise they would work in those locations. That is what makes cards like Shi.Kyū, Shock!, Breached Dome, News Team are as good as they are. This is also why they have the reveal on them, since access from R&D doesn't normally reveal, the corp needs to know it's an ambush.
    – Andrew
    Jan 8, 2018 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


Base rules state that the runner accesses all cards in Archives when they access Archives. When they do, they resolve the effects of the cards normally. This goes for things like Shock, NAPD Contracts, and Shi.Kyu. However, text on the card always overrides basic rules in the game. You can see this with cards like Snare! and Fetal AI where they specifically do not trigger their abilities if they are being accessed from Archives. However, Fetal DOES still cost the two credits to steal from Archives, as that ability is not suppressed in Archives.

This is why a Jinteki thousand-cuts deck is deadly. Even if a Shock is trashed, it's still deadly in Archives and will happen every time the Runner tries to access that server. Another thing to note is that Personal Evolution still happens after the Runner steals any agenda from Archives.

One note on this, however. Even though the Runner has to access everything if they want it to be considered a successful run, they are allowed to choose the order in which they access these cards. So, if you would access Archives and steal your final few points, you do not flatline as a result of other cards doing damage to you. Nice to know when Jinteki starts really burying their agendas in there.

  • When you say they can choose their access order, does that mean they can look at the cards first (imagine it's all face-down) and then choose the order, or do they choose the order and then reveal face-down cards?
    – Samthere
    Aug 14, 2015 at 14:03
  • 2
    When you access archives, you turn all the cards faceup and runner chooses the order of access. From the FAQ: "When accessing cards in Archives, the Runner turns all cards faceup in Archives before accessing them. Then he accesses and resolves individual cards one by one, in any order he wants." Aug 14, 2015 at 14:41

Short answer: ambushes that trigger upon reveal do trigger on archive access unless otherwise specified. This pertains to cards like ShiKu, Shock, Space Camp, and Crusium Grid. I'll elaborate more when I'm not on my phone!

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