Azef Protocol

Azef Protocol 3/2

Agenda: Security

As an additional cost to score this agenda, trash 1 of your other installed cards.

When you score this agenda, do 2 meat damage.

Argus Security is always willing to send agents over to assist with radical asset reassignment.
Illustrated by Benjamin Giletti
Decklists with this card

Midnight Sun Booster Pack (msbp)

#7 • English
Startup Card Pool
Standard Card Pool
Standard Ban List (show history)

Theorycrafting: This may contribute to killer combo decks which aren't very fun to interact with. Neurospike is already kind of playable in Weyland, more than anywhere else. Before Azef, a Weyland Neurospike play usually required cards with at least 2+ tokens on them to work, most often a face-up City Works Project. This board gives the runner some ability to make a read and respond. Azef boards are harder to read. If their hand includes a Neurospike and a click-compression card like Seamless Launch, Weyland can spring 4 damage from a board state which doesn't look very threatening. The only thing this requires on the board is an unchecked install, and some Weyland IDs like Gagarin and SEA make it really hard to check every time. Being able to spring a Urban Renewal-like effect with little warning seems not very fun to play against. (Also, you still have to keep resources ready to deal with a traditional City Works Project/Dedication Ceremony turn and hopefully keep enough money to fight off a potential HHN).

I suspect this would have been more fun to play (and play against) in Jinteki than Weyland. Most players already keep their hands full against Jinteki (for Obokata and Snare and the like) so it should be less intrusive there. Also, Jinteki doesn't have any good 3/2s, whereas Weyland is so stacked on them that the only decks that play Azef non-blank will probably be weird combo decks.

(System Update 2021 era)

Weyland now has 7 agendas that are 2/3. That is 14 points out of 18 or 20. Considering there is also Hostile Takeover, this makes Weyland a viable candidate, after Haas-Bioroid, for creating a fast advance deck.

On top of that, there are lots of shenanigans you can do to flatline the runner using this agenda. Urban Renewal or Clearinghouse can be used to lower the runners cards to 1 card in hand. Them you somehow score Azef Protocol to flat line the runner.

It could also be used with tools like Vladisibirsk City Grid, alongside Malapert Data Vault, to do double Neurospike (or single, if the runner is at 3 cards in hand) to flatline the runner. Not the most efficient combo, but it is there.

Or just go for a fast advance deck, using Audacity and tools like Biotic Labor and score out very fast.

If you do not care for the counter on Project Atlas, then the damage done by Azef Protocol will have more value (especially in Weyland Consortium: Builder of Nations.

Its art is just as good as its quote. Is that Endurance that I see in ruin there?

(Midnight Sun era)

It's a 3/2 for Weyland you can run three of. With Project Atlas and Above the Law that makes seven Weyland 3/2s in a deck. However, this card can't be scored without trashing a card. Gagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon or other wide Weyland decks don't particularly care about that, but it makes it harder to rush out while maintaining your rush ice and you can't score it from hand with nothing installed. To counter this downside, there is an upside of doing 2 meat damage. If you can score this after an Urban Renewal fires you will kill the average 5 card runner, forcing runs. This synergizes well with Hard-Hitting News Gagarin Deep Space: Expanding the Horizon decks. Additionally, the meat damage could charge up Reconstruction Contract. Out of the current popular and strong Standard decks, an Urban Renewal HHN Gagarin seems like the best fit for this card.

(System Update 2021 era)

3/2 is generally the strongest agenda statline, but unless you've got a realistic kill combo lined up or are all in on fast-advance, you're probably better off with one of many strong 4/2 agendas, like Oaktown Renovation or Offworld Office.

This is due to a few things: While 2 damage is a real tempo hit, it's nothing compared to the tempo gain that Oaktown or Offworld give you. The trash is also very annoying - you install cards because you want to use them, and pitching them is a real tempo hit. Even in Ob Superheavy, which gets more value out of trashing your own stuff than any other ID, the trash is still annoying simply because the turn you score an agenda is the least useful time to tutor and install a card.

Of course, this all changes if a 3/2 is substantially easier for your deck to score or you have some Neurospike nonsense lined up. I haven't theorycrafted these things, but the other reviews have - this is closer to a "vegan" review than a full review of the card.

(Midnight Sun era)