When Dead by Daylight’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” DLC first launched back in 2017, many fans were left feeling more than a little disappointed with the Nightmare’s powers. With a rework finally available after almost two years since the Springwood Slasher’s initial release, Freddy is seen with some much-needed improvements … or is his kit still lacking compared to the rest of Dead by Daylight’s macabre Killers?
Before we can judge the new Nightmare, first we have to breakdown what made the previous version so weak. When Freddy was initially introduced, his main problem came in the form of his Dream Demon power. This rendered Freddy was completely invisible and existed within a dream realm that was separate from the Survivors. In order to interact with the Survivors, Freddy would have to tag them with his ability, which brought them into his world. There were many weaknesses to this power, from Survivors being able to escape the dream realm with relative ease, to Freddy having to wait a base time of seven seconds without add-ons before he could hit his tagged Survivor. During such, the Survivor could potentially cancel their transition into the dream realm with a failed skill-check thus starting the process over again.
Freddy went on to become something of a laughing stock to the Dead by Daylight community, and for those past two years was the focus of many memes. As of now, he’s the only Killer in Dead by Daylight to have their entire kit completely reworked from the ground up. Thankfully, the end result was well worth the wait!
Now, the Nightmare is no longer kept separated from the Survivors, and as such, no longer has to wait to score a hit. Instead, the Dream Transition now acts as a passive effect with Survivors gradually falling asleep as the match goes on. A sleeping Survivor will no longer hear the Nightmare’s terror radius but will instead hear Freddy’s signature lullaby, making it much more difficult to tell where the Nightmare is. They can also be affected by “Dream Snares,” a new ability which acts as a trap that Freddy can place on the ground, slowing down any Survivor who runs through it.
However, that’s not all the new Nightmare can do. Freddy’s base kit also allows him to perform a “Dream Projection,” in which he teleports to a generator in-view. Each sleeping Survivor decreases the cooldown of this ability by 15% without add-ons.
Speaking of add-ons … Freddy gains yet another addition to his kit called Dream Pallets. With the use of the add-ons “Garden Rake,” “Prototype Claws,” and “Paint Thinner” players can choose to trade the Dream Snares for fake pallets, which can be placed in various locations throughout the game. These pallets appear as normal to the Survivors, but upon throwing them down to block or stun a Killer, the pallet will explode, allowing Freddy players to continue the chase as normal.
All of this makes Freddy a much more versatile and deadly Killer than ever before, and that’s just the beginning. The Nightmare’s various add-ons go a long way toward helping him slow down the Survivor’s action speeds or provide negative status effects for players who interact with Freddy’s traps. The “Pill Bottle” add-on even gives Freddy some of his former invisibility, although sleeping Survivors will still see him within a short range.
Overall, the new and improved Nightmare is a much greater foe than when he was first released. His versatility alone proves frightening for Survivors, as it’s hard to know what exactly the Nightmare’s power will do at the beginning of the match, making for greater build potential than most other Killers.
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