The 2023 Roadmap

The good news: Regular updates will continue in this coming year. The bad news: I’m extending the standard interval from 2 months to 4. While last year’s schedule mostly worked out, it also kept me pretty damn busy, so between IRL commitments and the desire for some general technical updates on stuff like the site or my development tools, I feel a need to dial it back a bit and leave more time for other things.

With that, here’s the plan:

  • April 2023: Bohrok-Kal (1st Wave)
  • August 2023: Toa Nuva (2nd Wave)
  • December 2023: Bohrok-Kal (2nd Wave)

In other words, by the time the year is over, the cast of the Nuva vs Kal conflict should be fully gathered, and all that will be left for 2024 is the fabled Rahi update and the obligatory lore cards.

Happy new year!

Release: Symbols of Power

The Toa Nuva receive their first proper wave of two times three (plus one) cards, and the archetype’s general concept begins to take a more refined form.

Download for EDOPro

I’ll be honest, I totally forgot about the Energized Protodermis guide until I saw it mentioned just now in the previous release post, so that’s gonna take a while longer. What I do have ready is a little introduction to what I believe is currently the most effective way to play Toa Nuva. Worth checking out if you’re planning to try the deck yourself.

If you’d just like to see what’s changed in this update, simply continue below.

New Cards

Gali

Toa Nuva Gali

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2700 / DEF 2200

“Toa Mata Gali” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up monster on the field; negate its effects until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Gali” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Toa Mata Gali

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2300 / DEF 1800

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute a WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Gali”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, when the turn player’s opponent activates a monster effect, except “Toa Mata Gali” (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up monster on the field; negate its effects, and if you do, this card gains 400 ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Lewa

Toa Nuva Lewa

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2600 / DEF 2300

“Toa Mata Lewa” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 monster on the field; return it to the hand, then, if it was a monster you controlled, you can return 1 additional monster on the field to the hand. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Lewa” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Toa Mata Lewa

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2200 / DEF 1900

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute a WIND or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Lewa”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the hand, Main Deck, and/or GY while you control this card: You can target 1 monster on the field; return it to the hand, then, if it was a monster you controlled, you can return 1 additional monster on the field to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The protagonists of the release are the Toa Nuva of Water and Air, Gali and Lewa. I went with these two because their effects as Toa Mata were the ones that worked best for interacting on the opponent’s turn, so adding them to the Nuva roster – where the effects are the same but much more freely usable – would immediately provide some reliable end board options. This panned out as expected, and I can proudly report that pure Toa Nuva decks are now playable in the sense that they consistently put up at least one relevant disruption.

If you make Gali Nuva, you get a targeting monster negate usable whenever you want, though it lacks the stacking ATK boost of her Mata form to make up for the added flexibility. If you make Lewa Nuva, you get a targeting bounce that can be made non-targeting if you’re willing to get rid of one of your own monsters as well, which is exactly what he already did as a Toa Mata (if the trigger condition was met).

You might notice that Lewa is Main Phase only, while Gali has no such limitation. This reflects a newly introduced general rule for adapting Mata Trigger Effects to Nuva Quick Effects: If all the features of the effect are essentially retained, it will be limited to the Main Phase, but cutting out some bonus such as Gali’s ATK gain allows me to lift that restriction. And save some words, which is neat.

Of course, both of the Toa Nuva also have the archetypal ability to search a “Nuva” Spell/Trap when Fusion Summoned, with which we segue straight into Nuva Symbols.

Gali

Nuva Symbol of Flowing Harmony

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Gali” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. When a card or effect activated by your opponent in response to your “Nuva” Fusion Monster’s effect activation resolves, you can negate that effect, and if you do, destroy that card. You can only use each of the preceding effects of “Nuva Symbol of Flowing Harmony” once per turn. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects. You cannot activate monster effects in response to this effect’s activation.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)
Lewa

Nuva Symbol of Soaring Vitality

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Lewa” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. If a face-up “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control leaves the field by card effect (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 Level 8 or lower monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can only use each of the preceding effects of “Nuva Symbol of Soaring Vitality” once per turn. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, you cannot Special Summon for the rest of this turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Like all Nuva Symbols, Flowing Harmony and Soaring Vitality can go straight back to the Deck to find you a missing fusion material for their respective Toa Nuva, they have on-field effects granting benefits to all the Nuva (but synergyzing especially well with the correct one), and, if removed from the field, activate a mandatory effect of negation and punishment contrasting the benefit.

Gali’s Nuva Symbol of Flowing Harmony protects the Toa Nuva from outside interference by negating and destroying any response to their effects (once per turn, of course). Continuously negating and destroying, which means it works even against things that can’t be responded to otherwise, and even if you were to set up the symbol at Quick Effect speed after your opponent already activated their response. You know, hypothetically. If there was some way to do that. The matching punishment you suffer if the card is destroyed is simply that you cannot activate monster effects in response to the negation of your Toa Nuva, so you miss out on that last chance to fire its effects.

Lewa’s Nuva Symbol of Soaring Vitality acts as an outsourced floating effect, bringing back a Level 8 or lower monster from the GY if a Toa Nuva leaves the field by card effect. Incidentally, Toa Nuva happen to be Level 8, so in some cases you can just revive the exact same monster immediately. Or a Toa Mata. Or an Energized Protodermis Chamber to make a new Toa Nuva. It also triggers off your own card effects, so if Lewa Nuva has to bounce himself to get some non-targeting removal, here’s your replacement. However, if the Symbol itself instead leaves the field, you’ll be locked out of Special Summons for the rest of the turn.

Our other search targets, the Kanohi Nuva, got a significant design overhaul, so let’s talk about those.

Gali

Great Kanohi Kaukau Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, unless they target it. If this card is sent to the GY, and you have not activated any “Kanohi” Equip Spell effects in the GY this turn: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone, also if you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, the face-up monsters you currently control cannot be destroyed by card effects this turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)
Lewa

Great Kanohi Miru Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, negate any effect activated by your opponent that targeted it. If this card is sent to the GY, and you have not activated any “Kanohi” Equip Spell effects in the GY this turn: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone, also if you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, your opponent cannot target the monsters you currently control with card effects this turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Gone are the cumbersome bullet point effects, and instead the ability granted when equipped is now listed just like it was on the original Great Kanohi, but limited to Toa Nuva.

The major changes lie in the GY effects, however. They still generally do the same thing as the Kanohi Nuva seen in previous versions: Banish a monster from the GY, get a Nuva Symbol from Deck. But now the former secondary bullet point effect to temporarily buff or protect your whole field has been merged into this, under the condition that you must control a Toa Nuva (since sharing the power requires having someone who can use it in the first place).

The first part of this shared effect has proven extremely valuable in making all the different components of a full Toa Nuva deck work together smoothly, in more than one way. It boosts consistency by letting you get Toa Mata/Energized Protodermis searches off Isolde or even just by linking off an equipped monster, it offsets the discard included in the Toa’s on-summon effects since you can just discard a Kanohi Nuva to get a Nuva Symbol for free, and it provides you with a way to set up Nuva Symbols on the opponent’s turn as well. But it is also a +1, and when what you’re getting isn’t always just a Level 6 monster in your hand (as it was with the Mata Kanohi), that gets a little out of hand with this many cards able to do it. Adding the shared buffs to these effects obviously doesn’t make them any tamer, either. So how to keep this under control without throwing out all the fantastic utility it offers?

The answer came to me in a literal fever dream: One must simply be limited to only using a single Kanohi Nuva per turn, and then neither the plusses nor the buffs can accumulate to an unreasonable degree! In practice, I achieve this by requiring you to not have previously activated any “Kanohi” effects in the GY the same turn, which means the first one you use locks you out of all the others. It’s a bit of a weird approach and I couldn’t find a clear ruling on how it would work with multiple simultaneous triggers (I imagine you’d still only get one, and coded it as such), but it’s nicely compact in wording and has the added benefit(?) of making it so you can’t chainblock the ashable Mata Kanohi with the non-ashable Nuva Kanohi. Also, notice how we can completely forgo individual HOPT clauses now, because the restriction also keeps other copies of the same card from activating.

And that just leaves one thing to cover, and ideally it should be covered in Nuva Symbols.

Nuva Cube

Continuous Trap

While you control a “Nuva” Continuous Spell, your opponent cannot target this card with card effects. Once per turn: You can target up to 6 “Nuva” Continuous Spells with different names on your field and/or in any GY(s); shuffle them into the Deck, then you can apply any of these effect(s), in sequence, based on the number shuffled.
●1+: Place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone.
●3+: Negate the effects of 1 other face-up Spell/Trap on the field until the end of this turn.
●6: Special Summon up to 2 of your banished monsters.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

The Nuva Cube is the first Toa Nuva search target that doesn’t belong to a series of six and also the first Trap (we have officially outpaced Nekroz). In the story, its role was limited to being the spot where the Bohrok-Kal have to put the stolen Nuva Symbols to undo the seal on the Bahrag, and after that arc it was never seen or heard from again. Seriously, even when the Bahrag later are actually unsealed, the Toa Nuva seemingly do it by just combining their powers without the use of the cube. It’s all a bit strange.

In gameplay, meanwhile, I think I’ve found a decent use for it as insurance against removal targeting your vulnerable Nuva Symbols. First of all, while surrounded by “Nuva” Continuous Spells (i.e. the Symbols), it is safely out of reach of your opponent’s effects. And at Quick Effect speed, because that’s how Traps work, you can shuffle different Nuva Symbols from your field or either GY into the Deck and then proceed to resolve various effects depending on how many Symbols you “placed on the Cube” this way. You’re always given the option to get a single replacement Symbol from your Deck, so even if you’re not dodging removal, you can use this to swap into what you need at a given moment (now where have we heard this before?). If you’ve gathered at least 3 symbols, it also negates another face-up Spell/Trap until the end of the turn, which could even be the Harpie’s Feather Duster your opponent activated to get rid of all your Nuva Symbols. And if you manage all 6 (currently impossible, as only 4 have been created), you get to “unseal the Bahrag”. Which, in more generically useful terms, means you can Special Summon up to 2 of your banished monsters.

This last effect and its lore association is the reason you can shuffle from either GY, by the way. Because then a Bohrok-Kal deck could, if facing a Toa Nuva deck, follow the canon by removing Nuva Symbol after Nuva Symbol, and finally fulfill the mission as planned by returning them all from the opponent’s GY to the Deck in order to Special Summon a pair of banished Bahrag. In this hypothetical lore-accurate duel, those were previously banished by the effect of Toa Seal, of course.

Updated

Updates to the structure of Kanohi Nuva means the old ones are adjusted to match, of course.

4.1.3

Great Kanohi Hau Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Hau Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving it.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; face-up monsters you currently control cannot be destroyed by battle, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)
4.2.5

Great Kanohi Hau Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving it. If this card is sent to the GY, and you have not activated any “Kanohi” Equip Spell effects in the GY this turn: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone, also if you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, the face-up monsters you currently control cannot be destroyed by battle this turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)
4.1.3

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)
4.2.5

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, it gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage If this card is sent to the GY, and you have not activated any “Kanohi” Equip Spell effects in the GY this turn: You can banish 1 monster from your GY: place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone, also if you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, all monsters you currently control gain 600 ATK, until the end of this turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Aside from the generic updates to merge the field buffs into the GY effect and the collective OPT, the Pakari Nuva also now gives an extra 100 ATK with its field buff, for a total of 600. This incredibly relevant change serves to mirror the stat boost Normal Summoned Toa Mata get from the Mata Nui Field Spell, and also makes it so the 400 extra on each stat the Nuva have compared to their old forms get rounded up to a nice 1000 while affected by a shared Pakari.

4.1.3

Toa Nuva Tahu

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1900

“Toa Mata Tahu” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up Attack Position monster on the field; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, this card gains ATK equal to that monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)
4.2.5

Toa Nuva Tahu

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1900

“Toa Mata Tahu” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up Attack Position monster on the field; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, this card gains ATK equal to that monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Compared to his Mata form, Tahu Nuva is missing the burn part of the effect and can also only target Attack Position monsters, but he does instead boost his own ATK for a turn and is able to target your own monsters as well. I’ve come to the conclusion that this overall comes out to an effect that lacks features from its original incarnation (mainly that it no longer lets you deal big damage through a defense position wall), and so by the current design philosophy, it should not be limited to the Main Phase. Which means we are now free to Tahu Nuva during the Damage Step, which is kind of nice. I also ended up not including a restriction that prevents draining your own monsters after they already attacked, because

  1. the biggest risk is that you can OTK against an empty field if you manage to put out another monster with >2500 ATK, and that sounds kind of reasonable.
  2. the drain to 0 ATK is permanent, so in cases where you don’t OTK being left with a powerless Attack Position monster is a drawback.
  3. Tahu getting overly “heated” to the detriment of his own allies is actually fairly lore-friendly at this stage of his character.

Still not 100% sure if it was really the right call to lift the Main Phase restriction, but so far it hasn’t felt broken or anything.

4.1.

Energized Protodermis Flow

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 4 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters
If this Fusion Summoned card is sent to the GY by a card effect: Look at your opponent’s Extra Deck and send 1 monster from it to the GY. During your Main Phase: You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing 2 Fusion Materials mentioned on it from your GY, including this card. You can only use each effect of “Energized Protodermis Flow” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)
4.2.5

Energized Protodermis Flow

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 4 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters
If this Fusion Summoned card is sent to the GY: Look at your opponent’s Extra Deck and send 1 monster from it to the GY. During your Main Phase: You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing 2 Fusion Materials mentioned on it from your GY, including this card. You can only use each effect of “Energized Protodermis Flow” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.2.5)

Energized Protodermis Flow got ever so slightly buffed by also letting you rip something from your opponent’s Extra Deck if sent to the GY by ways other than card effect, which means you can just use it as Link material or something now. The condition of needing to be Fusion Summoned remains, though, so no Dogmatika shenanigans still.

3.20.4

Matoran Guard Captain Jala

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 800 / DEF 500

While your opponent controls a face-up monster, Level 4 or lower FIRE Warrior monsters you control gain 400 ATK for each “Matoran” monster you control. During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Matoran” or FIRE “Toa” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn) You can only control 1 face-up “Matoran Guard Captain Jala”.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)
4.2.5

Matoran Guard Captain Jala

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 800 / DEF 500

While your opponent controls a face-up monster, Level 4 or lower FIRE Warrior monsters you control gain 400 ATK for each “Matoran” monster you control. At the start of the Damage Step, if this card attacks, you can: Immediately after this effect resolves, Normal Summon 1 Warrior monster. You can only control 1 face-up “Matoran Guard Captain Jala”.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v4.2.5)

Last but not least, Jala got the effect update that’s been listed in Pending Changes for a bit. Instead of an awkwardly targeted continuous extra Normal Summon, you now just get an effect-induced Normal Summon when he attacks (during the Damage Step, nicely safe from interaction), with which you can bring out any Warrior. Maybe a fellow Matoran to boost his own ATK just in time, maybe Tahu Mata to aid an ongoing OTK, or maybe something generic I haven’t found yet. I have tested this a grand total of once and actually beat the Swordsoul AI with Ta-Koro, so I shall firmly conclude that this version of the effect works great and I was justified in thinking myself genius when I came up with it. No further questions.

Deck Idea: Toa Nuva ft. Link-2 Enablers

As of version 4.2.5, 4 out of 6 Toa Nuva have been implemented, accompanied by their Nuva Symbols and Kanohi Nuva. That’s not quite enough to make a final Theme Guide just yet, but in testing these cards, I’ve come up with a pretty interesting build that seems to make pretty good use of them.

The core idea of this deck relies on a few convenient properties of the Nuva-related cards: Kanohi Nuva search Nuva Symbols when sent to the GY, Nuva Symbols can search any Energized Protodermis card if you already have the matching Toa in hand, and Energized Protodermis Chamber just so happens to be Level 2.

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 Special Summoned monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

The consequence is that any combo that makes Isolde will be able to search you Energized Protodermis Destiny (because she adds a Toa Mata on summon, and the Kanohi Nuva sent to GY as cost for her other effect can get the matching Nuva Symbol), which in turn can send one of your monsters to the GY and get Chamber from the Deck, triggering its effect to fuse with the Toa Mata searched by Isolde. And by linking into Spright Elf (Isolde is valid material for this!), you can bring back the Chamber every Main Phase to make additional Toa Nuva as long as you have a Toa Mata in your hand. Which is usually going to be the case when Toa Nuva search Nuva Symbols on summon, and Nuva Symbols search Toa Mata.

The Deck

… comes in two flavours – a 40 card version optimized for consistency, containing pretty much just the bare minimum to make the combo work, and a more bricky 60 card version that also takes advantage of various Toa Mata support cards.

Compact 40 card version

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=12178919

The combo is facilitated either by Neo Space Connector (summoning Aqua Dolphin) or by Kopeke (searching Taipu or Tamaru, potentially also returning a garnet to the deck). As outlined above, you make Isolde one way or another, add a Toa Mata to your hand (usually the one whose Nuva form you want to make), and send some number of Kanohi Nuva to your GY to Special Summon a Warrior monster (my preference is Taipu or Tamaru, depending on what has already been used). One of those Kanohi Nuva will then be able to trigger and place a Nuva Symbol from your Deck in your Spell & Trap Zone, and by getting one that matches a Toa Mata in your hand, you will be able to search Energized Protodermis Destiny.

Next, you use Isolde and the Warrior you summoned as material for Spright Elf and immediately activate it to bring back any Level 2 from your GY. Activate Destiny targeting that Level 2 monster, send it to the GY, Special Summon Energized Protodermis Chamber from your Deck, and Fusion Summon your first Toa Nuva. All of them have the effect to add a “Nuva” Spell/Trap and discard 1 on Fusion Summon, so if you can spare a card from your hand, you can get a Kanohi Nuva, a Nuva Symbol, or the Nuva Cube depending on your needs at that particular moment. And with Spright Elf on the field and Energized Protodermis Chamber in the GY, you are ready to bring out yet another Toa Nuva as soon as your opponent’s Main Phase rolls around. Furthermore, since the collective once per turn clause on the Kanohi Nuva will have reset by that point, the search and discard lets you put another Nuva Symbol on the field immediately, and since you control a Toa Nuva, you even get a nice little buff for your whole field along the way.

All currently implemented Toa Nuva are included in this Deck, but Gali and Lewa are slightly prioritized as our main disruption providers with a monster negate and a bounce, respectively. We run one of each Kanohi Nuva and Nuva Symbol to have a variety of benefits available, but realistically you could easily cut a few Kanohi Nuva – without a Suva, they’re mostly used for searching, and Kopeke putting a card back in the deck means Isolde will be live even if you happen to draw all of them. The Nuva Cube helps you dodge removal on your Nuva Symbols to escape their adverse effects, while granting you benefits including a quick swap to another Symbol and a Spell/Trap negate depending on how many of the Symbols you have gathered.

A great feature of this Deck I would like to point out is how well it lines up for Small World searches. Practically any monster you can draw has a bridge into all the others, be it starters, extenders, or handtraps. This is largely made possible by the fact that we play Neo Space Connector and a single copy of Fire Flint Lady, both of which share exactly the Warrior Type with all of the Matoran and Toa (except the Lady/Tahu pairing). This excellent consistency boost is more or less the only reason Connector is even in the deck over Takua (who wouldn’t need any additional bricks).

The Extra Deck has Xyz lines for Rank 2 (Matoran) and 8 (Toa Nuva) as well as a Zeus, none of which ever came up. Almiraj is a way you can trigger Kanohi searches from awkward positions, letting you still get to Destiny and therefore a Toa Nuva provided you have a Toa Mata in hand already. As for the Side Deck, a pretty funny detail is that Nibiru Tributes by effect and would therefore trigger a Nuva Symbol of Soaring Vitality if you activate it while already having an established board. Again, never came up.

Fancy 60 card version

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=12179095

This version is built on the same core as the other one, but uses the additional 20 cards of space on some fun things. First and foremost, that means redundancy on the remaining Toa Mata and a slew of their classic support cards: Kini-Nui lets you easily access a Rank 6 or Isolde if you draw 2 different Toa Mata, the Suva lets you actually easily equip Kanohi to Mata and Nuva alike, the Suva Kaita can bring back Mata from the GY as well as any Toa that is banished, and Coming of the Toa lets you get up to 3 Toa Mata straight from the Deck. Depending on your luck, Call of the Toa Stones can set all of that up, and Quest for the Masks allows you to get a bit more value out of all those Kanohi.

To keep some amount of consistency, Takua was included as an additional starter. If Normal Summoned, he offers another guaranteed way to get Taipu or Tamaru onto the field, which translates to a full Isolde combo. Still, the overall amount of playable hands you open in 60 cards is obviously going to be less than in 40.

In the Extra Deck, the Xyz package has been replaced by one each of the Toa Mata Combinations, which actually are quite useful if you go through a line with Kini-Nui, Coming of the Toa, and/or Suva Kaita. A spicy detail set up long, long ago is that Storm does not prevent using the monsters it summons from the Deck as fusion material, so Destiny can totally upgrade one of those into a Toa Nuva. The deck also includes Instant Fusion and Energized Protodermis Flow, which gives you the option to make Toa Nuva via the GY and also mess with your opponent’s Extra a little.

Sample Video

Includes a duel in EDOPro, as well as a little walkthrough of the base combo in Duelingbook.

Toa Nuva ft. Link-2 Enablers

Designer’s Quip: Marine Rahi

Ahoy! For today’s installment of this ongoing investigation, we will delve into the depths of the sea in search of Fish, Aqua, and Sea Serpent monsters.

See also:

Current Members

9 Rahi have been implemented from this thalassic trifecta of Types, although it’s mostly concentrated on 7 Aqua monsters with a small side of 2 Fish monsters. Let’s start with the fishies.

Ruki, Fish Rahi

Tuner Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Fish | ATK 700 / DEF 100

(Quick Effect): You can banish this card from your hand or field and 1 “Rahi” monster from your GY; destroy 1 monster your opponent controls. You can only use this effect of “Ruki, Fish Rahi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Ruki belongs to the group of Level 2 handtraps that banish from the GY as cost, which were so sorely missing from the Beast section. This one offers the especially simple and useful service of monster destruction.

Takea, Shark Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | WATER Fish | ATK 1800 / DEF 900

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
At the start of the Damage Step, if a “Rahi” monster you control battles: You can double any battle damage your opponent takes from that battle. You can only use this effect of “Takea, Shark Rahi” once per turn. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
A Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material gains this effect.
●If this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: Special Summon 1 “Rahi” monster from your Deck with ATK less than or equal to half the damage inflicted, but it cannot attack this turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Takea shark, on the other hand, is a Level 4 and thus grants bonus effects when used as Synchro Material. It has a nice little self-synergy going on between that and its Pendulum Effect, since doubled battle damage allows bringing out a wider range of Rahi from the Deck.

Aqua, meanwhile, encompasses all kinds of at least slightly watery critters that clearly aren’t fish or serpents. On the smallest end, that means the Shore Turtles, who act as a defensive handtrap that prevents battle while potentially leaving some monsters turned in the wrong orientation when your turn rolls around.

Shore Turtle, Rahi

Tuner Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 1200

When a monster declares an attack: You can banish this card from your hand or field and 1 “Rahi” monster from your GY; change the battle positions of all face-up monsters. You can only use this effect of “Shore Turtle, Rahi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

At Level 3, we evolve to crab with the Keras, which follows the current standard structure for Rahi at that Level and provides somewhat arbitrary utility based on its role as a steed the Matoran rode into battle against the Bohrok.

Keras, Crab Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | WATER Aqua | ATK 1400 / DEF 500

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
At the start of the Damage Step, if a monster you control with 1000 or less ATK battles an opponent’s monster: You can destroy this card, and if you do, that monster you control gains 1400 ATK until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Keras, Crab Rahi” once per turn.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 Level 4 or lower monster on the field; that target is unaffected by Spell/Trap effects until the end of this turn. If this card is banished: You can target 1 Set card on the field; destroy it. You can only use 1 “Keras, Crab Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

What else fits under the Aqua umbrella? Well, how about some frogs? Toads. Whatever.

Makika, Toad Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | EARTH Aqua | ATK 600 / DEF 2100

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
If a card in your Pendulum Zone is destroyed: You can target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy that target. You can only use this effect of “Makika, Toad Rahi” once per turn. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
A Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material gains this effect.
●If this card is destroyed by battle: Destroy the monster that destroyed it, and if you do, inflict damage to your opponent equal to that monster’s original ATK.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Ghekula, Amphibious Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | WATER Aqua | ATK 1550 / DEF 1400

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
During your Main Phase: You can add 1 “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “Ghekula, Amphibious Rahi”, and if you do, take damage equal to its original ATK. You can only use this effect of “Ghekula, Amphibious Rahi” once per turn. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
A Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material gains this effect.
●Once per turn, if you take effect damage: Gain LP equal to the damage you took, and if you do, inflict the same amount of damage to your opponent.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

The Makika and Ghekula, both sitting at Level 4, go in two drastically different directions. The former is part of that weird little destruction-based subtheme, letting you pop an opponent’s card if your other Pendulum Scale is destroyed and granting Synchros an effect to strike back against whatever destroys them by battle. The latter messes around with effect damage, dealing it to you in exchange for a search as its Pendulum Effect and redirecting it to your opponent in its Synchro-granted effect. The most interesting thing here in terms of overall planning might really be that the Ghekula can search any other Rahi Pendulum, which I imagine would be nice to have in just about any Deck that uses those.

Waikiru, Walrus Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | WATER Aqua | ATK 1800 / DEF 1000

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
When the battle position of a face-up monster(s) you control is changed: You can apply this effect until the end of this turn, depending on that monster’s new battle position.
● Attack Position: It gains ATK equal to its Level/Rank x 200.
● Defense Position: It cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects.
You can only use this effect of “Waikiru, Walrus Rahi” once per turn. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
A Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material gains this effect.
●Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can change the battle position of up to 2 face-up monsters on the field that have the same battle position.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

A significantly larger aquatic creature is the walrus – in real life, but over there in the Matoran Universe, the Waikiru seems to be about the same size as the other Level 4s we just looked at. Like the Ghekula and Takea, it has a self-synergistic gimmick: Changing battle positions, which a Synchro made with it can do as a Quick Effect and which it rewards with position-dependent buffs from the Pendulum Zone.

And if you thought we were done evolving to crab, you’re wrong, because evolution has advanced even further to reach a truly monstrous degree.

Manas, Monstrous Crab Rahi

Effect MonsterLevel 10 | DARK Aqua | ATK 3200 / DEF 2600

Cannot be targeted or destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. Once per turn, if a Spell/Trap Card is activated: This card gains 800 ATK until the end of this turn. During your Standby Phase: Return this Special Summoned card to your hand.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Mana Ko, Guardian Rahi

Synchro Effect MonsterLevel 11 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 3500 / DEF 2800

1 “Rahi” Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner “Rahi” monsters
Control of this card cannot switch. The ATK of all face-up monsters your opponent controls is halved during their Battle Phase only. When this card that was Synchro Summoned using exactly 1 non-Tuner monster as material leaves the field: Special Summon that non-Tuner monster from your GY. This card that was Synchro Summoned using 2 or more non-Tuner monsters as material cannot be targeted or destroyed by your opponent’s card effects.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Manas belongs more to the DARK Rahi faction and also acts as the boss monster of the Normal Pendulums, so it probably isn’t all that relevant to a deck based on aquatic Rahi. The Mana Ko may be worth looking at as the largest Rahi Synchro currently available, though it kind of relies on inheriting powerful bonus effects from its materials to really live up to that title. Honestly I’m not sure this thing is any sort of aquatic creature at all, but like, what is it even supposed to represent then?

Potential Members

The spreadsheet lists 32 Rahi from the seas that are yet to be implemented, ranging from tiny Level 1 plankton to massive Level 10, 11, and 12 leviathans. Unlike the Beasts we previously went over, I don’t really have any particular ideas for an overarching playstyle yet (though maybe something could be done with those self-synergies on the Pendulums?), but let’s still use the same order from small to large and see where we end up.

Level 1 and 2

We begin with a Rahi from MNOG that was actually missed in BCOR, namely the Lightfish that illuminate the leaf huts of Ga-Koro.

They don’t really do anything except glow, but that already makes a pretty strong case for the LIGHT Attribute. The Type could be Aqua (as is most usual for jellyfish) or Fish (just to match the name), and its effect could honestly be pretty much anything from disruption (“blinding” enemies, like the Lightning Bug from BCOR) to searching (“lighting” the way). So, not really much help in clearing up the playstyle mystery by itself.

A thematically similar creature is the Lava Eel, except it emits FIRE rather than LIGHT. Being a fish that doesn’t have the traditional fish shape and also an elongated aquatic (or rather, magmatic) animal arguably qualifies this Rahi for all three of Fish, Aqua, and Sea Serpent, but going by precedent Fish makes the most sense. I’ve grouped it with the Lightfish in terms of Level due to the similarities, but looking again at the one animation where it’s shown, it really is quite a bit larger than that. I guess there’s also the juvenile versions that Matoran keep as pets, but multiple cards for a Rahi this irrelevant probably makes no sense. Whatever the Level, perhaps effect-wise something could be done based on the passive emission of light/heat, like a continuous effect granting buffs and debuffs.

The Makuta Fish also makes its home in the waters of Mata Nui and Metru Nui, though it was already mentioned in the DARK Rahi discussion and probably isn’t super relevant for the general Aqua/Fish/Sea Serpent pool if it has a home over there. I’d just like to add that IF that is the case, and IF we also end up keeping the structure where Level 3 Rahi have GY and banish effects, there’s a strong argument in favour of bumping this up to Level 3 so it can combo with Allure of Darkness. On the other hand, if we make it WATER, it would probably end up being a slight variant of the Ruki in effect just like it is in concept, so that’s probably the less interesting route.

Also from the DARK Attribute, the Spine Slug could potentially be Aqua, but I somewhat doubt it, and it wouldn’t matter to the non-DARK pool anyway.

And looking at the remaining entries, we can first notice what is going to be a common phenomenon with these Types, namely that a whole lot of them show up once the story goes to Mahri Nui in BPOP. This is quite obvious just from the fact that it’s the arc that takes place entirely underwater, but it’s exacerbated by some 2007 guidebooks that introduce various Rahi as pure worlbuilding fluff.

One such case is the Dust Darter, a tiny, tiny fish that swims in the dust waterfalls of Karzahni – making it a prime candidate for the elusive EARTH Fish typing. Otherwise, their main trait is eating through metallic protodermis in swarms, so it could have a destructive effect similar to the Ruki, but aimed at non-monster cards. Not sure how to represent the swarm aspect though – maybe it’s worth considering to have the card represent a whole swarm to begin with? Wouldn’t be totally unheard of …

The next tiny, deadly creature doesn’t even need the protection of a swarm, and sits at the curious position of being totally irrelevant yet central to the plot due to the metaphor it appears in. I am talking, of course, about the Water Wraith, a toxic Rahi that hunts by using itself as bait, lovingly(?) handcrafted by Makuta Teridax himself. This ability, mirroring the Makuta’s own plan to take over the universe, suggests an effect where the Wraith lets itself be destroyed by an opponent’s monster, kills that monster in the process, and then comes back to “feast” – whatever that entails.

I guess the Gadunka also has to be considered in this Level range as an originally tiny Rahi, even if the bulk of the relevance obviously lies with the particular specimen enlarged by the Ignika. A quick glance over the general traits of the species reveals some familiar concepts – small, powerful jaws, agressive and territorial. I swear, something in the seas in and around the Matoran Universe is making all these Rahi ornery. Anyway, sounds like another thing in the vein of the Ruki … and so does the next one.

Appearing in a grand total of one comic, Reef Raiders are quite clearly just another kind of bity fish, so there honestly might not be much point in implementing them. Maybe something distinctive could be made out of the fact that they live in the Pit, but as of right now I’ve got nothing.

What I do now have, however, is some basic idea of what the deal is with aquatic Rahi. Even the small ones tend to be agressive, voracious, dangerous to touch, or some combination thereof, so it’s starting to sound sensible that the Aqua/Fish/Sea Serpent types could contrast the Beast beatdown with a theme of taking out the opponent’s field via effects rather than battle. We’ll see if that idea continues to hold up as the subjects of our research increase in size.

Level 3 and 4

Potentially another example of the popular bity fish paradigm (though technically a mammal) is the Razorfish, but between being the smaller counterpart of a whale and damaging ships with their scales I’d guess they’re probably a bit larger than the ones above. Effect-wise, this trait seems to lie at a crossover point between the destructive nature of the other bity fish and the passive harmful effects found on the likes of Lava Eel and Water Wraith.

The Cave Fish employs a different kind of defensive tactic, inflating itself to scare off predators. It’s not exactly clear how big these are in their default state, so arguably putting them at Level 2 would make more sense. The stat boosting implied by its signature ability also matches up kind of well with the current theme of handtraps at that Level, though it remains to be seen whether or not that theme survives the redesign.

In this level range we begin encountering a higher number of potential Sea Serpents, even if there tends to be a bit of ambiguity due to the fact that regular snakes are traditionally typed as Reptiles.

So when you look at the Lohrak (Lorax?), described as a slimy, flying serpent, you can see it as a Winged Beast due to its wings, as a Reptile because it’s a snake flying through the air, or as a (WIND) Sea Serpent because it’s a snake “swimming” through the air covered in wet slime. Between their vicious surprise attacks and their poisonous flesh, they at least would certainly fit into the mechanics suggested in this article so far.

Similar caveats apply to the Air Serpents, the likely flying (but not necessarily winged) snakes the Toa Mata fought in Karda Nui back in the day. However, if we ever reach the point where I implement Rahi only mentioned one single time, I probably need an intervention, so let’s not talk about this one too much.

The Rock Ussal pops up here again, since just like the regular Ussal, being a crab theoretically does qualify it for Aqua type (and having Rock in the name for Rock …). There’s an argument to be made that it fits because it’s more agressive than the regular Ussal while still being a fairly small critter, but I’d rather keep consistency with the main variant, which I prefer as a Beast.

Other than crabs, the Aqua type also tends to include turtles, in this case the Dermis Turtle, known for its near-impervious shell, excellent hiding skills, and ability to predict storms. This is quite a contrast to the usually quite hostile and offensive nature of other small Rahi we’ve seen, but somewhat in line with the already implemented Shore Turtle. So it seems reasonable that turtles might represent the defense-oriented weirdos among this subset of Rahi, while everything else focuses on taking apart the opponent’s field. Having that niche filled somehow should come in handy if it’s integrated nicely.

A very interesting species introduced with the Mahri Nui bulk are the Hydruka, domesticated by the Matoran for air harvesting and capable of shooting solidified air bubbles for self-defense. They’re certainly going to fill some kind of specific role based on that in the 2007 cards, but at this point in time, the main design idea I’m getting out of them is due to their color schemes. Morak and Thulox, the named members of the species pictured above, are blue and red – which means they’ll be a pair of Pendulums because, quoth the spreadsheet, “it’s literally the law”.

The Hahnah crab is also red, and since its only real appearance in the story is in the form of the specific individual that briefly acted as Jaller’s mobile turret, I figure it would probably be rather detached from the Rahi archetype and more act as support for the Toa Mahri. Or for FIRE monsters since it’s attracted to heat?

Rounding out the 2007 selection, we have the Manutri, which yet again introduces a new base animal: penguins. Now you would be justified in thinking that those are birds and thus Winged Beasts, but in Yugioh that is for some reason not the standard. Lore-wise, Manutri are just those weird creatures Karzahni turned into an armed fighting force and then never used because some intern probably made that whole thing up on the spot while writing the magazine,leaving them a pretty blank slate. So they might just do something similar to the other Penguins (could arguably even be made part of the archetype, though I’m not sure I’d want to go there), maybe with a side of Karzahni and/or equip synergy.

And to finish off this whole Level range, the amphibian Parakrekks are one of those cases where the obvious lore-based interaction lies outside the Type, and in this case kind of even outside the Rahi archetype. They travel in swarms following in the wake of rampaging Protocairns, which are supposedly Matoran transformed by Energized Protodermis, and then hang around for a long while after those creatures have died and literally become one with the ground.

Protocairn (not technically a Rahi)

This overall dynamic seems to suggest quite an interesting and clear design direction:

  1. Make Protocairn by using a member of the recently introduced Energized Protodermis archetype to fuse with a Matoran (this also helps the consistency of Energized Protodermis by expanding the valid fusion materials)
  2. “Rampage” with the Protocairn, destroying some stuff and all that
  3. Have the Protocairn die and “transform into new landmass”, which might mean something like floating into a Field Spell
  4. Said landmass is also infested by Parakrekks, so they somehow show up at the same time and become a sticky menace on the field

So this would basically be an engine that starts out with removal and ends by setting up pretty much an entire board, which certainly has a lot of potential. The Parakrekks themselves are also notable for their skill in concealing themselves, so some fun Flip shenanigans are on the table with them.

Level 5-8

The “-” sign in the title is a bit misleading because somehow, with no intention on my part, I used only exactly Levels 5 and 8 from this range. But as stated repeatedly already, Levels are kind of flexible anyway, so most likely something will still end up squeezed into the area inbetween at implementation.

One creature noted at Level 5 in the spreadsheet is the Proto Drake, a Sea Serpent that moves through the seas, skies, and Ta-Metru’s vats of molten Protodermis alike.

The only reason it’s at exactly this Level is because it feeds on (Level 4) Takea sharks, so obviously it has to be at least a little bit bigger than those. The mobility in different environments could be implemented by having the card smoothly move itself between different locations, such as Monster Zones and Pendulum Zones – kind of like some current Rahi already do, but with more ease.

Chute Lurkers are amphibious and so could be put under the Aqua Type, though their spider-like appearance and hunting method makes me lean more towards Insect. Chutes are characteristic of Le-Metru, so arguably WIND Aqua would be kind of fitting and has some appealing novelty to it, but there are a few monsters with that combination already, so probably not a good enough reason by itself.

Moving back in the approximate direction of turtles, Pit War Tortoises are only known for the mutated and armed specimens found in the seas around Mahri Nui, so their situation kind of resembles the Manutri. They do have an additional noted trait of long life spans (kind of seems standard in the MU anyway, but let’s not think about it too much), which more or less aligns with the previous observation of turtles being more defense-oriented. These tortoises just also happen to have guns on their backs.

Razor Whales, our first Level 8 candidate, are the larger cousins of the Razorfish mentioned previously. Instead of sharp scales that sink ships, they have sharp spines that mostly act as a deterrent. Despite not being anything turtle-adjacent, these whales also contrast the small fish by being gentle and defensive in nature, which could make for a neat little gameplay dynamic within the Razor family.

The Great Temple Squid is an interesting case: Its first appearance is in Tales of the Masks, a book covered by the currently ongoing expansion BPEV, but they aren’t properly introduced until Metru Nui (where the Great Temple is located). So I’ve been thinking about teasing them with a related support card in BPEV and only actually making the monster once we reach BCOL. Thematically, this creature is a near-apex predator that actively hunts prey with its tentacles, so we seem to have reached a point where the aquatic Rahi are large enough to employ offensive tactics similar to the Beasts.

This idea is further supported by the Doom Viper, a Sea Serpent if I’ve ever seen one.

These toxic-breathed monstrosities pretty much just go around killing everything they come across, so they make for quite the formidable boss monster. In a way, they’re the upscaled version of all those small Rahi using poison to defend themselves, except the Doom Viper very much attacks.

Speaking of upscaled, the particular Gadunka that was turned enormous by the Mask of Life is definitely going to be its own card. Given its unnatural origins, it should probably be something unusual for Rahi, like a Fusion or Ritual monster summoned with an Ignika support card. Since it is just as agressive as it was when tiny, but now big enough to actually threaten most other creatures with its mighty jaws, this seems to be yet another case where a large aquatic Rahi simply goes for straight beatdown.

Vehicles

And now we briefly depart from the Level-based structure to look at something weird. In the 2006 and 2007 playsets, the designers really felt like including some vehicles, which story-wise mostly were explained as modified Rahi. That leaves us with an assortment of cockpit-bearing animals capable of supporting one or more riders, which probably should be implemented with some kind of unique shared mechanic.

The first example of this trend is actually a playset combiner model: The Caravan Crawler, modified by the Piraka from a specimen of the unseen Lava Crawlers. As creatures with a hard shell that live around lava streams, they qualify pretty well for the nice combination of FIRE Aqua (the ol’ Suship), and their bad temper makes them hard to control – a notable contrast to the other turtle-like creatures who are usually on the calmer side.

But it is not until Mahri Nui that the vehicle theme really kicks off, as we are introduced to the Stinger Whale and Spider Crab.

Both of these carry one passenger the size of a Toa or Barraki, meaning they must be fairly high-level to reflect how big they are. Aside from appearance, they only real difference between the two Rahi is that the Whale has more speed and less armor than the crab, which is a decent balance to have. The big question is how to handle the passengers in effects – maybe with some gimmick of equipping to other monsters?

That concept immediately becomes a bit problematic with the Toa Terrain Crawler, the largest of the vehicular Rahi, because a main point that sets it apart from the smaller ones is its ability to house multiple passengers – but you can’t exactly equip to multiple monsters at once. Maybe a solution would be pulling a Super Quant and having the vehicles be Xyz that take the pilots/passengers as material, which would also serve nicely to set them apart from other Rahi. Another minor point on the TTC specifically: Its modifications are said to be so extensive that it appears more mechanical than organic, so it might just end up being the first Machine Rahi, rather than the currently suggested Sea Serpent.

Level 10-12

At these Levels, we reach Rahi that can be described as downright mythical, such as the Crystal Serpents created by Artakha. They’re practically a collection of highly unusual traits – their creator is not a Makuta, there are only four of them, they only feed every few centuries, and the heat rays from their crystal bodies are potent enough to instantly wipe out a whole wave of invading Visorak. Given their oddity and power, I figured they would fit well at the also quite odd Level 11, as LIGHT Sea Serpents or Reptiles. Nothing suggests they’re aquatic in any capacity, so the latter might actually make more sense now that I think about it.

That leaves us with just one more marine Rahi of truly legendary proportions, the so-called Dweller in the Deep.

Not to be confused with Abyss Dweller, Dweller in the Depths, or The Deadly Dastardly Dragon Dwelling in the Dangerous Dark Deep, of course. Supposedly its jaws are large enough to swallow the entire Great Temple of Ga-Metru, and while that’s probably an exaggeration, the fact that it feeds on Great Temple Squids still qualifies it for Level 10 or above. We could follow the same approach already suggested for the Tahtorak and make the final boss of the Type(s) a big Synchro to climb into, but the fact that the small Rahi in this case tend to help take apart the opponent’s field with their effects kind of leaves less room for the necessary combo enablers. So it might be better off as a more easily accessible thing that doesn’t really do anything outside of being exceedingly large so you can get around effect resistances and stuff.

The First Rahi

I lied, there’s even more huge things in the water. It’s just that the remaining ones form yet another special subgroup that is set apart from the rest of their Type. I am talking about the First Rahi, famously studied by Onu-Matoran Mavrah in the tunnels outside Metru Nui.

These ancient sea creatures created by the Great Beings themselves consist of several dozen briefly described varieties, so there’s ample room to build a little self-contained engine from them, presumably also involving Mavrah in some way. Since being ancient is their core identifying feature, it would make sense to have them also be kind of antiquated in terms of card type, like making them large main deck bosses or even Rituals. Of course, that would be mostly aesthetic and they’d still need to live up to modern standards of playability.

Even though I’ve covered them in this article now, I’m actually strongly considering making them Dinosaurs instead of Sea Serpents. It’s a nice way to signify their primoridal nature, and outside the very special case of the Rahi Nui, that Type is pretty much unused anyway.

Conclusion

That was quite a lot to go over, but I think there are several fairly intersting conclusions to be had.

  • Low-level Fish/Aqua/Sea Serpent Rahi are absolutely willing to punch above their weight class and attack anything that moves, either physically or by means of poison or other harmful emissions. Therefore, one of the selling points of this Type alliance could be that even the fodder has some ability to interfere with the opponent’s field through their effects – as is already the case with cards like the Ruki.
  • As Levels grow higher, these tactics begin to lose relevance and are replaced by simple large apex predators, as well as peaceful creatures kept safe by their sheer size. This suggests a shift from effect-based removal/disruption to beatdown and large bosses, granting these Rahi a nice amount of flexibility.
  • Turtle-like Rahi are pretty consistently oriented around defense, so they could fill precisely that niche between the two types of offense listed above. That might just be exactly what is needed to complete the aquatic Rahi as a nicely rounded sub-archetype.
  • There are a few different groups that exist within their own little card ecosystems outside the main Fish/Aqua/Sea Serpent one. That means the Parakrekks and their connection to the Protocairn, the rideable “vehicles”, and possibly even the numerous primordial Rahi around Mavrah. While these are generally going to be their own thing, it might be worthwhile to invest in support cards for Rahi of the three Types that are also of use to such detached engines.

In terms of introduction order, these cards are spaced pretty evenly, with the obvious exception of the major flood coming in with BPOP. The only notable delay is that non-Manas Rahi larger than Level 4 only start appearing from BCOL onwards, so the “large boss” aspect of the strategy won’t be available until then. Maybe the Squid-based support card from BPEV could be something that helps fill the gap in the meantime.

So, it’s looking like the aquatic Rahi will be the “balanced” portion of the archetype, their win condition combining effect-based control of the boardstate with the ability to simply make large monsters, with some literal turtling added to the mix for safety.

Designer’s Quip: Rahi Beasts

Another one of these, this time focused on the great number of mostly land-dwelling, mostly mammal-like Rahi that fit into the Beast Type.

See also:

Current Members

BCOR and BBTS already introduced 10 Beast Rahi, all but 2 being EARTH-Attribute and the others WATER. They can further be divided into 4 Level 3 Pendulums with a GY/banish focus, 2 Level 4 Pendulums with a gimmick of granting effects when used as Synchro material, 2 Synchros at Levels 6 and 8, and a pair of Level 7 Normal Pendulums. So, in that order …

Level 3

Ussal, Crab Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | EARTH Beast | ATK 1000 / DEF 1000

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
Once per turn: You can reduce the Pendulum Scale of the card in your other Pendulum Zone by 1 until the End Phase; this turn, while this card is in your Pendulum Zone, you can also Pendulum Summon “Rahi” Pendulum Monsters from your GY, but monsters Summoned this way are destroyed during the End Phase.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower EARTH monster from your GY, except this card. If this card is banished: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower “Rahi” monster from your GY. You can only use 1 “Ussal, Crab Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The general theme of the Level 3 Rahi is that they play through the GY despite being Pendulum Monsters, and the Ussal both participates in and enhances that playstyle. Its Pendulum Effect lets you Pendulum Summon Rahi out of the GY, if sent to the GY it revives any low-level EARTH monster (important for some combos involving Onu-Matoran, who of course make significant use of Ussal steeds), and if banished revives a Level 3 Rahi. Being a crab, it would technically make more sense to have this be Aqua like other crabs, but that just doesn’t seem right to me.

Hapaka, Shepherd Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | WATER Beast | ATK 1200 / DEF 1400

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
“Rahi” monsters you control gain 700 DEF. If a “Rahi” monster(s) you control would be destroyed, you can destroy this card instead.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If you do not control “Hapaka, Shepherd Rahi”, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand or GY) by changing 1 Level 4 or lower “Rahi” monster you control to Defense Position. If Summoned this way, banish this card when it leaves the field. If this card is banished: You can return 1 of your banished “Rahi” monsters to your GY, except “Hapaka, Shepherd Rahi”. You can only use this effect of “Hapaka, Shepherd Rahi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

The only piece of legacy support from BBTS here, the Hapaka does its shepherd duty through various defense-related effects. It is also the only one of the current Level 3 Pendulums to not have a proper GY effect, but a summoning condition from hand or GY, and when banished it puts another banished Rahi back in the GY (which unfortunately wouldn’t trigger the “sent to GY” effects).

Mahi, Goat Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | EARTH Beast | ATK 700 / DEF 1500

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
(Quick Effect): You can send 1 face-up “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck to the GY, then destroy this card. You can only use this effect of “Mahi, Goat Rahi” once per turn.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 Level 3 or lower “Rahi” monster from your Deck to your hand. If this card is banished: You can add 1 of your banished Level 3 or lower “Rahi” monsters that was not banished this turn to your hand. You can only use 1 “Mahi, Goat Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Mahi is absolutely central to the Level 3 GY strategy, since it helps toss your Pendulums over from the Extra Deck, searches the various Level 3s when sent itself, and recycles the used ones when banished. Restricting this one to Beasts would probably really kill the old Level-based grouping.

Brakas, Monkey Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | EARTH Beast | ATK 1200 / DEF 700

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
Once per turn, if you draw a card(s), except during your Draw Phase: You can banish that card(s); draw 1 more card.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can place 1 “Rahi” card in your Deck on top of your Deck. If this card is banished: You can draw 1 card. You can only use 1 “Brakas, Monkey Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Brakas, meanwhile, is more of an afterthought with effects that revolve around drawing cards. It’s actually an outdated reference to the old version of Matau that also drew cards, because for some reason Matau’s staff is named “Kau Kau” after the sound Brakas make.

My first overarching observation on these cards is that they include some really important tools for the current Level 3 Pendulum lineup that’s all about GY and banishing – Mahi goes without saying, Hapaka is an easy extender, and the Ussal provides multiple forms of revival in one card. Brakas exists, I guess. However, that playstyle cannot actually be realized to its full potential with only Beast Rahi: The cards you’re supposed to use for banishing are the Level 2 Rahi handtraps (which also require banishing a Rahi from GY), and none of those are present in this Type. So if the old strategy is to be kept alive, which I’d kind of like because Level 3 + GY is a match made in heaven and keeps getting support, any change to these cards restricting them to a dedicated Beast Rahi deck is going to be a bit difficult.

Level 4

Fusa, Kangaroo Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | EARTH Beast | ATK 1600 / DEF 1300

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
If a card in your Pendulum Zone is destroyed: You can place 1 face-up “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck in your Pendulum Zone. You can only use this effect of “Fusa, Kangaroo Rahi” once per turn. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
A Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material gains this effect.
●Your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated during the Battle Phase.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Fusa, like all the current Level 4 Pendulums, Special Summons itself from the Pendulum Zone to an empty field and grants an effect – in this case a Battle Phase effect lock – to any Synchro using it as material. It also replaces another destroyed Pendulum Scale with a Rahi from the Extra Deck, which is part of a little destruction-based subtheme that never really went anywhere.

Vako, Rhino Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | EARTH Beast | ATK 1900 / DEF 700

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
Once per turn, if a “Rahi” monster you control destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: You can add 1 “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your GY to your hand. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your Pendulum Zone.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
A Synchro Monster that was Summoned using this card as Synchro Material gains this effect.
●If this card attacks or is attacked: Draw 1 card and reveal it, then if it was a “Rahi” monster, you can discard it, and if you do, this card gains ATK equal to half the discarded monster’s ATK until the end of this turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Vako, meanwhile, is very battle-focused, with a recycling Pendulum Effect that triggers when a Rahi wins battle and a Synchro-granted effect to draw and boost ATK when battling.

Unlike the Level 3s, I’d have absolutely no qualm redesigning these to suit a more xenophobic Beast strategy. Both of their effects strongly suggest such a Deck would be focused on primitive beatdown, which does sound quite thematically fitting as well.

Synchros

Kuma-Nui, Rat Rahi

Synchro Effect MonsterLevel 8 | EARTH Beast | ATK 3000 / DEF 2500

1 “Rahi” Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
At the start of the Battle Phase: You can destroy all face-up or all face-down Spell/Trap Cards on the field, then this card gains 500 ATK for each of your cards destroyed this way, until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Kuma-Nui, Rat Rahi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Mata Nui Cow, Rahi

Synchro Effect MonsterLevel 6 | EARTH Beast | ATK 1800 / DEF 2400

1 “Rahi” Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
When this card is Synchro Summoned: You can destroy Spell/Trap Cards on the field, up to the number of “Rahi” monsters you control. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: Add 1 Level 4 or lower “Rahi” monster from your GY to your hand.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

I put these two up together because they both, without any dedicated planning I remember, provide the same service that definitely helps do unga bunga stuff unhindered: Spell/Trap removal. The big Kuma-Nui more or less destroys them all while boosting its own ATK if any of your own cards get hit, and the smaller Mata Nui Cow selectively destroys a few with the extra benefit of giving you a Rahi back to hand later. The Cow’s effects are actually referencing the old effects of Pohatu and Gali (whose parts it is built from), so in the latest version it actually would have to do Spell/Trap destruction and monster negation instead …

Normal Pendulums

Kane-Ra, Bull Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 7 | Scale 3/3 | EARTH Beast | ATK 2600 / DEF 2300

Pendulum Scale = 3
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 7 Beast “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the Pendulum Summon of a “Rahi” monster. While you control exactly 1 “Rahi” monster (and no other face-up monsters), that monster gains 1000 ATK and cannot be destroyed by card effects.
—————————————-
[ Flavor Text ]
Surprisingly, the Kane-Ra Bull is not a herd animal. Unlike some beasts, it does not require others of its kind for protection.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Muaka, Tiger Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 7 | Scale 8/8 | WATER Beast | ATK 2800 / DEF 1900

Pendulum Scale = 8
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 7 Beast “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, cards in your Pendulum Zones cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. If a “Rahi” monster you control destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: Gain LP equal to the destroyed monster’s original ATK.
—————————————-
[ Flavor Text ]
This Rahi relies primarily on its claws when hunting. Sinking them into its prey, it forces the unfortunate victim to the ground and then finishes the job with its teeth. The Muaka will then carry its kill off to a nearby lair.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

These two are currently the most targeted Beast Rahi support available, in the sense that their standard Pendulum Effects require being paired up with another Level 7 Beast (i.e., each other). Their unique effects, again, suggest beatdown. The Kane-Ra significantly buffs a Rahi as long as you control no other monsters, which is a rather specific requirement that could certainly be built around if it stays, and the Muaka rewards you for destroying monsters by battle with LP heals, which … could stand to be more useful, honestly.

Potential Members

Before even looking at the data, there’s a few things I’m specifically interested in based on the existing cards we looked at so far: Candidates for Level 2 handtraps, more Rahi with combat-related traits, and some Beasts that aren’t EARTH.

Actually setting the filter reveals a whopping 27 lines with Beast appearing anywhere in the Type suggestions. Sadly only 2 are Level 2, but there’s always some flexibility with Levels, so no reason to lose hope just yet. More promising is that only 11 of them have EARTH as the only possible Attribute, so the remaining 16 can provide much-needed variety across all the others.

We won’t know about how well they lend themselves to beatdown without looking at the individual creatures, so let’s get right into it. Once again keeping in mind that Level estimates are far from an exact science, it’s probably still not bad to proceed in order of approximate size.

Level 4 and below

The smallest Beasts on record are actually closely related: Lava Rats and Stone Rats, estimated at Level 2 and thus a perfect fit for those missing handtrap Rahi, should we keep that concept. Lava Rats (which appear in Tales of the Masks, possibly earning them a slot in the current expansion BPEV) have the unique ability to set themselves on fire and emerge unharmed, while Stone Rats will just chew through everything up to and including solid rocksbrother – both of these could probably be translated into useful quick effects that maybe even interact with battle somehow.

Slightly larger rodents at Level 3 are the Kinloka, a Kanoka-slinging Stone Rat on steroids, and the Ice Vermin, pack hunters capable of producing Rhotuka. It’s very interesting that both of them happen to feature the launcher gimmick of their respective years, because I have plans on how to integrate those into effects: Kanoka work by manipulating counters to perform actions based on the various powers found in the disks, while Rhotuka reflect the unique abilities each being can imbue into generic energy wheels by having appropriate effects on the monsters themselves that chain to the activation of some basic Rhotuka Spell. So these two Rahi would do something along those lines, already making them quite different from the Level 3s we’ve had so far.

Also at Level 3, we have the Archives Mole, a creature known for excellent cooperation, the Rock Ussal variant, and the Colony Drones that work as slaves under the Visorak. The Drones are part of the Visorak ecosystem contained in the DARK Insect typing, but as unwitting slaves and obvious non-Insects, they are instead LIGHT Beasts (or maybe Beast-Warriors, given the humanoid shape) – most likely we can disregard them for a Beast Rahi deck since they more or less have a home over there. The Rock Ussal is said to be more aggressive than the regular Ussal, so that’s convenient for the intended beatdown playstyle, though the same can’t be said for the peaceful and passive Moles. Maybe those should rather take on an utility role like the regular Ussal.

For the final Level 3 and the first Level 4, we have the VNOG all-stars Gafna and Burnak. I confidently noted these down as Pendulums because how can they not be when they form an iconic pair, and the other interesting aspect is that they each come in a wide array of elemental varieties. There’s two ways I could go about this: Either make several Gafna and Burnak cards that constitute a deck of their own, or make just one each for the regular Beast pool and give them some kind of Attribute manipulation gimmick. I’m strongly leaning towards the latter because there’s no way making 10+ cards for palette swaps of webgame enemies is going to be worth it.

The Crystal Climber is an interesting case because one of its notable traits, namely that it feeds on Ice Bats, suggests an out-of-Type interaction with those. Not really a problem, since I don’t want to make these sub-archetypes too xenophobic anyway (it should be more “Beast Rahi work significantly better when played with other Beast Rahi” than “you cannot play Beast Rahi with non-Beast Rahi”), and that kind of thing would probably only be a subtle interaction.

The Kavinika is a plain and simple wolf Rahi, so that shouldn’t be hard to fit into an aggressive strategy, and the energy-tracking Energy Hounds are one of the easiest imaginable excuses to make a searcher for … something. Finally, the Shallows Cat is a smaller relative of the Muaka that should obviously be played alongside its large Normal Pendulum counterpart.

Level 5 and 6

This range houses Rahi that seem just a little too massive or powerful to play among the low-level fodder, but also aren’t quite up there at boss status. For example, the Archives Beast as a large transforming ambush predator and the Kraawa as a pacifistic creature that absorbs energy and grows in size would fit in here, but both of those might be more at home in the DARK Rahi theme.

From the Rahi Beasts encyclopedia, possible additions to this section of the lineup include

  • the Blade Burrowers, who dig tunnels in a familiar pattern that could even justify linking them to some end-of-story stuff in gameplay. Potentially even higher-level since they’re stated to be very powerful, even if it’s not really evident in their known abilities or story appearances.
  • the Fader Bulls, who teleport away from danger (not always with beneficial results) and so would probably get some kind of temporary self-banishing quick effect. Could be WIND-Attribute as well, since it vanishes “into thin air”.
  • the Rock Raptors, aggressive and territorial creatures who hunt with rockslides. Based on their name, they could also be Dinosaur- or Rock-Type (the latter of which could be used to group them with Spiny Stone Apes, who share their habitat). Curiously, the combiner representing this Rahi has a Rhotuka launcher, but no Rhotuka power is mentioned anywhere.
  • the Cable Crawlers are also pretty hard to place into a Type, but as bird-eating predators Beast would be one option. Could also be Reptiles for the same reason, or I guess Dragons because there’s fire coming out of their butts.

With regards to the good old beatdown strategy, the most solid idea I’m getting out of these is that the Fader Bull could sneak its way into attacking twice if it can banish itself and come back in the span of a single Battle Phase, which sounds pretty fun to pull off. Also, getting it off the field temporarily could turn the Kane-Ra buff on if exactly one other monster is left behind.

On Voya Nui, there’s the Lava Ape, best known for blocking that one bridge at the start of VNOG, and the carnivorous Mud Crawlers, not really known at all because they were just described briefly. Both of those could be pretty much anything, I guess, and at the very least the big unga bunga gorilla falls perfectly in line with what is planned so far.

Level 7 and 8

For the large Beasts, we have the Ash Bears, who indeed have no notable traits outside being big, but hey, one of them was in Mask of Light. That particular specimen named Graalok was closely associated with Lewa, which might justify a WIND Attribute to break up the EARTH monotony, but it’s kind of a stretch.

A very interesting one is the Kikanalo, a large herd Rahi with an unusually well documented place in its ecosystem. That implies, on the one hand, a subtle out-of-Type interaction with the Catapult Scorpions, who leave the Kikanalo alone because they help them get food, and on the other a perfectly fine in-Type interaction with the Kane-Ra, who form joint herds with them. Never mind the fact that the card design on Kane-Ra is entirely based on it NOT being a herd animal. Maybe I’ll have to go a little less hard on that idea to accomodate this little contradiction in the lore.

The previously mentioned Spiny Stone Apes actually play into this ecosystem as well, since they act as protectors for the Rock Raptors who prey on both Kikanalo and Kane-Ra. By the name, this one could also be a Rock monster, but all the possible interactions with the other Beasts of Metru Nui are a pretty good argument against that.

Speaking of things that could be Rocks, the Rock Lion could be a FIRE monster for either Type due to its white-hot mane … wait, did Bionicle invent Leonite 15 years in advance? Well, anyway, assuming the other rocky names remain as Beasts, this one probably will too, in which case it’s another decent boss monster to have.

The Arthaka Bulls are legendary Rahi who seemingly can’t decide if they’d rather be a centaur or a minotaur, and since they are known for their intelligence, they could be the part of the boss monster lineup that enables some trickery in addition to the usual beatdown. The wiki also (without a source) says something about an Arthaka Bull possibly guarding the Blade Burrower map under Metru Nui, so that suggests synergy in another direction.

And finally, we close this section with another legend, the Key to Nongu Keetongu. This wise biomechanical Sasquatch could totally be a Beast following the precedent set by Danger! Bigfoot!, and with his main quality being healing powers he also represents a more defensive departure from the core strategy. However, with a Rhotuka that can fire back the force of what he blocks, it’s not hard to see how that defense could be put in service of further offense.

Level 12

At the apex of beastly creatures stands none other than the largest land Rahi ever seen on Metru Nui, the posterchild of the book so aptly titled “Rahi Beasts”: The Tahtorak.

Any Synchro archetype should have a giant boss to bring out in a hype way by climbing up to a super high Level, and the kaiju-sized Tahtorak is easily the most suited to fill this role for the Beast Rahi. So with that we already have the initial parameters that it’s a Synchro Monster, somewhere in the 10-12 range (I’d go with 12 because the comparatively tiny Manas are already at 10), and probably an Accel Synchro requiring Synchro monsters as its materials. If it’s Level 12, precedent suggests it should even require 2 non-Tuner Synchros, but that precedent consists entirely of a few specific boss monsters from 5D’s, so maybe we can just ignore it. These days, there’s even plenty Level 12 Synchros that work with regular materials, so that’s always a possibility too. And probably way smarter if we end up keeping the gimmick for the Level 4 Pendulum Monsters as granting effects to Synchros made with them.

Doing that kind of climb consistently, of course, requires significant combo potential, so that has to be kept in mind with all the smaller Beasts. Furthermore, the Tahtorak appears in the story before the Visorak, so it would presumably be released in the same set as the Toa Metru and predate all the support from Rahi Beasts (which would either come out with the Visorak, or in a separate expansion pack if it’s too much), which means the combo already needs to be in place by that point. With 18 Beasts on the spreadsheet up to and including the Metru Nui set BCOL, that should be doable.

So what does it do once it comes out? Well, this thing boasts mainly brute strength and a thick hide, so after going through all the combo what we end up with is once again good old unga bunga beatdown. The Tahtorak’s abilities are that it’s big, has some significant form of protection, and can probably do something like attack multiple times or blow up stuff on the field. Just apply enough of these ingredients to make it a legitimate win condition, and the strategy all comes together.

Conclusions

Since this is the first of the Type-based posts, I’d like to start with a general thought on this method of dividing up Rahi that I hadn’t considered before doing such a detailed analysis. That is, I now doubt a very strict split into Types is going to work for the low-level Rahi – with basic utility effects like the Mahi’s, that would mean either not letting some Types have access to it, or making a version for every single Type. Neither sounds like a very good idea, so going forward we should probably operate under the assumption that different Rahi decks are going to feature some shared lineup of generic utility Rahi, and then go for the Type specialization with the rest of their Main Deck and especially the bosses in the Extra Deck. If possible and thematically fitting enough, we could even make it so these generic Rahi come from otherwise rare Types, so they’re “equally out of place” in all the major strategies.

Another thing to keep in mind is the linear nature of time, as a consequence of which some Rahi will be released significantly earlier than others depending on which part of the story they come from. For the Beast-Types in particular, that means you won’t actually have access to the final win condition (Tahtorak) until BCOL, and the biggest bosses before that are just Muaka, Kane-Ra, Kuma-Nui, and Ash Bears. So there’s a bit of a balancing act in making sure the cards that set up those also work for the stuff released later, ideally while still achieving some degree of playability as long as the sub-archetype is still in an incomplete state. At the same time, a significant number of these cards come after the Tahtorak, so even at the time of BCOL, there should still be some spots left open to be filled with later support. All in all, going to be a bit tricky to figure out.

The next thing that struck my eye is that there are a few more tightly knit groups to be found even within the Type. For example, looking at the Metru Nui rodents (Lava Rat, Stone Rat, Kinloka, Ice Vermin), there’s a few notable connections centered on the Stone Rats in particular: Lava Rats have almost the same name, Kinloka are explicitly similar to them, and Ice Vermin fought them for territory after the Great Cataclysm (this also involved Kavinika, if we look beyond rodents). So something like a “rat engine” using intentional synergies between all of those could legitimately end up happening.

The other major group is the ecosystem of Kikanalo, Kane-Ra, Rock Raptors, and Spiny Stone Apes. I think the most interesting thing is that all of these are somewhat large, so if we were to go the route of Accel Synchro Tahtorak, these might very well be the combo-focused Synchro Monsters that bring it out. Well, except for the Kane-Ra, which is already a Normal Pendulum whose conditional buff is probably also going to be a significant design factor over here.

Finally, there’s some stray pairs such as Blade Burrowers and the Arthaka Bull that guards their tunnels, or Voya Nui’s Gafna and Burnak, but I’m not too sure what to do with those yet.

In any case, the overall strategy Beast Rahi will gravitate towards as more become available is building up into individual large boss monsters – of which there is no shortage at Level 7 and above – ultimately culminating in the giant Tahtorak and winning the game quickly through beatdown. Everything else should just help you do that more consistently or provide you with outs to various methods your opponent could be using to keep you from doing that.

Designer’s Quip: Rahi in the DARK

As the first part of a series investigating different ways to group the many, many Rahi that appear in Bionicle lore, we look at those that could be given the DARK Attribute – signifying either an especially close connection to their Makuta creators or some other aspect of their nature that makes them best described as a creature of darkness.

See also:

Current Members

At the time of this writing, exactly one DARK Rahi has been implemented – the Manas, monster crabs most notable for acting as the guardians of Makuta’s lair in the 2001 story.

Manas, Monstrous Crab Rahi

Effect MonsterLevel 10 | DARK Aqua | ATK 3200 / DEF 2600

Cannot be targeted or destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. Once per turn, if a Spell/Trap Card is activated: This card gains 800 ATK until the end of this turn. During your Standby Phase: Return this Special Summoned card to your hand.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

This card is functionally the boss of the Normal Pendulum series of Rahi based on the large sets from that year, though it may seem a little underwhelming, being just a big beatstick with solid protection. Now the fact that it already belongs to a fairly well-established group that I would also like to keep intact speaks against the Manas playing a role in a deck built around DARK Rahi, but maybe it’s possible to set things up so that it fits in both.

Potential Members

A superficial evaluation of the unimplemented Rahi that have DARK among their potential Attributes shows that Insect is easily the most common Type, occuring no less than 13 times – half of the 26 lines in the filter. The remainder is spread quite thinly across a great variety of Types: Aqua, Beast, Beast-Warrior, Dinosaur, Dragon, Fish, Reptile, Rock, Winged Beast, and Zombie.

In terms of Levels, 11 of these Rahi are suggested to be Level 4 or lower, another 11 range from Level 5 to 7, and the last 4 are major bosses at Levels 11 and 12. 8-10 are vacant, but as mentioned in the initial overview, these Level estimates shouldn’t be taken too exactly.

DARK Insects

So what’s the deal with those exactly? One of the most standout names on this list are the Visorak, a subset of Rahi who are sure to get a theme entirely to themselves as the main antagonists of the 2005 storyline. While my primary plan for them so far has been to do the usual thing with color-coded villain squads and spread them across the FIRE/WATER/EARTH/WIND Attributes, I noted down the secondary option of making them all DARK because a) their specific powers aren’t really all that elemental and b) they literally serve the Brotherhood of Makuta, an organizations of beings that are all about darkness.

A further argument in support of the DARK Insect Visorak plan is the significant amount of cards adjacent to the horde that could also be fit into that typing. Not only the Venom Flyers who support them in the air, the Gate Guardians who … guard their gates …, and their ultimate weapon Zivon, but also their relatives, the Silver Chute Spiders, and their nocturnal predators, the Metru Mantis. Almost the entire Visorak ecosystem is included within the category of DARK Insect, which would allow for some nice thematic interactions via support cards addressing that category rather than specifically the Visorak archetype. Also, Inzektor synergy sounds cool.

That just leaves a handful of potential DARK Insect Rahi that have nothing to do with Visorak. For examples, the Archives Beast really only fits into DARK as a non-elemental predator that strikes from the shadows, and could be an Insect to go with its powers of mimicry (common among insects). The “Worms” that appear in exactly one maybe-canon fan story meant to explain why there are Bohrok in the Maze of Shadows game (I’m probably not actually implementing those, but who knows) and the Subterranean Worm are victims of a recurring classification issue – by Yugioh precedent, regular old worms would be assigned the Insect Type, but it doesn’t seem very fitting for the various worm Rahi. So while these two examples could be DARK Insects, I’d probably rather go with alternate options, making the Bohrok-controlling Worms Zombies (to match the Krana) and the subterranean one a Reptile (because it really resembles the Duel Terminal alien “Worms” more than the worms we have in reality). A more convincing random Insect is the Niazesk, which I would make DARK since it’s a venomous pest on a special mission assigned by the Makuta.

Two more DARK Insect candidates can be found on Voya Nui: The Fenrakk Spawn have a few reasons for being DARK – they fit in with the Visorak as fellow spiders, they are described as “monstrous” just like the Manas, and the mutated Fenrakk ridden by Vezon would be nice to have as DARK to suit its status as part of the year’s final boss and to provide convenient setup for the Kardas Dragon (more on that below). The Protodax retains its Insect status from the microscopic Protodites, but could be DARK to signify its “monstrous” nature and hostile demeanor. Having too many DARK Ignika guardians could feel a bit redundant, though, so I’m not too sure about that one. The Spine Slug could be an Insect just like the various worms, but I’m leaning more towards Aqua or Reptile with that one.

To summarize, DARK Insect Rahi is a group that will most likely mainly consist of the Visorak and related Rahi, with some potential bits of legacy support in later years. The various worms and the Archive Beast make it possible that some members show up even earlier, but don’t count on it.

Rahi Nui and the Normal Pendulums

I’m trademarking that band name, by the way.

This section right here is probably the one with the most immediate significance out of all the Rahi planning, because its centerpiece, the Rahi Nui, will get its first release in the BPEV expansions at some point in 2023. This giant beast is described as a mashup of Tarakava, Kane-Ra, Muaka, Nui-Jaga, and Nui-Rama – those Rahi that came out as large sets in 2001 and were adapted as Normal Pendulums in BCOR. There could not be a more obvious successor to the previously shown Manas as the boss monster of that group.

Before rambling on, here’s a quick primer on what’s up with these Normal Pendulum Rahi.

Insect

Nui-Rama, Fly Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 5 | Scale 3/3 | WIND Insect | ATK 1800 / DEF 1700

Pendulum Scale = 3
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 5 Insect “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the Pendulum Summon of a “Rahi” monster. You can target 1 “Rahi” monster you control; Special Summon 1 “Rahi” monster with the same Type and a lower or equal Level from your Deck, but it cannot attack this turn. You can only use this effect of “Nui-Rama, Fly Rahi” once per turn.
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[ Flavor Text ]
A harsh buzz fills the air…a rustle of wings…a dark shape flying out of the sun…the warning signs of a Nui-Rama attack.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Nui-Jaga, Scorpion Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 5 | Scale 8/8 | EARTH Insect | ATK 2300 / DEF 700

Pendulum Scale = 8
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 5 Insect “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, cards in your Pendulum Zones cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. Once per turn: You can add 1 face-up “Rahi” Pendulum Monster in your Extra Deck to your hand, then destroy 1 card in your Pendulum Zone.
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[ Flavor Text ]
Nui-Jaga commonly hunt in packs, which helps to make up for the fact that they are not very fast. One of the creatures will drive prey forward, usually into a canyon, where others wait to strike. Once the target is surrounded, the Nui-Jaga will call to each other. Their cries have been compared to the sound of glass breaking.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Nui-Kopen, Wasp Rahi

Synchro Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WIND Insect | ATK 2100 / DEF 2000

1 “Rahi” Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; excavate cards from the top of your Deck until you excavate a “Rahi” monster, then, if that monster’s ATK is higher than the target’s, send all excavated cards to the GY and take control of the target until the End Phase. Otherwise, Special Summon that monster and shuffle the remaining cards into the Deck.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
Reptile

Tarakava, Lizard Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 6 | Scale 3/3 | WATER Reptile | ATK 2600 / DEF 1200

Pendulum Scale = 3
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 6 Reptile “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the Pendulum Summon of a “Rahi” monster. When an opponent’s monster declares a direct attack: You can destroy this card, and if you do, Special Summon 1 face-up “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck.
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[ Flavor Text ]
The first thing to remember about Tarakava is that even if you can’t see them, they are always there.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Sand Tarakava, Lizard Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 6 | Scale 8/8 | EARTH Reptile | ATK 2300 / DEF 1800

Pendulum Scale = 8
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 6 Reptile “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, cards in your Pendulum Zones cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 “Rahi” Pendulum Monster you control; place that target in your Pendulum Zone.
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[ Flavor Text ]
Sand Tarakava are slightly smaller than their Tarakava relatives. Their hunting method is to hide under the sand and wait for unsuspecting prey to come near.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Tarakava-Nui, Lizard King Rahi

Synchro Effect MonsterLevel 7 | WATER Reptile | ATK 2900 / DEF 0

1 “Rahi” Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; this card loses 1000 ATK, and if it does, shuffle that target into the Deck. You can only Special Summon “Tarakava-Nui, Lizard King Rahi(s)” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
Beast

Kane-Ra, Bull Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 7 | Scale 3/3 | EARTH Beast | ATK 2600 / DEF 2300

Pendulum Scale = 3
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 7 Beast “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the Pendulum Summon of a “Rahi” monster. While you control exactly 1 “Rahi” monster (and no other face-up monsters), that monster gains 1000 ATK and cannot be destroyed by card effects.
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[ Flavor Text ]
Surprisingly, the Kane-Ra Bull is not a herd animal. Unlike some beasts, it does not require others of its kind for protection.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Muaka, Tiger Rahi

Normal Pendulum MonsterLevel 7 | Scale 8/8 | WATER Beast | ATK 2800 / DEF 1900

Pendulum Scale = 8
[ Pendulum Effect ]
While you have a Level 7 Beast “Rahi” Pendulum Monster Card in your other Pendulum Zone, cards in your Pendulum Zones cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. If a “Rahi” monster you control destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: Gain LP equal to the destroyed monster’s original ATK.
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[ Flavor Text ]
This Rahi relies primarily on its claws when hunting. Sinking them into its prey, it forces the unfortunate victim to the ground and then finishes the job with its teeth. The Muaka will then carry its kill off to a nearby lair.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Kuma-Nui, Rat Rahi

Synchro Effect MonsterLevel 8 | EARTH Beast | ATK 3000 / DEF 2500

1 “Rahi” Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
At the start of the Battle Phase: You can destroy all face-up or all face-down Spell/Trap Cards on the field, then this card gains 500 ATK for each of your cards destroyed this way, until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Kuma-Nui, Rat Rahi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

These are actually one of the main reasons I started thinking about splitting Rahi into Type-based groups, because that’s already how they work – each of Insect, Reptile, and Beast has a pair of 3/8 Normal Pendulum Scales with the same Level, and a Synchro monster (based on related combiners) that is one Level higher. Beyond this basic structure, they also all share Pendulum Effects that make it so your scales can’t be destroyed and your Pendulum Summons can’t be stopped if you pair them up correctly. Finally, the DARK Manas was meant to top off this package as the large man™ you make by Tributing all your Pendulum Summoned fodder.

The Rahi Nui will also be DARK (kind of a no-brainer when it literally lives in the Place of Shadow), but instead of a large main deck monster it’s going to be the first (and maybe only) Rahi Fusion, as is only fitting for this kind of Frankenstein combination. Without giving away too much of my already fairly specific plans for its effect, I will say that it’s going to 1) interact with both Rahi Normal Monsters and DARK Rahi to simplify its summoning, 2) take on the Types (and maybe Attributes?) of whatever Rahi are used as its material, and 3) provide a way to cheat out matching Synchros. Point 2 is why I have its Type noted as Dinosaur rather than something that fits its canon components – would be a waste to overlap with those, after all. I guess something like Fiend would work even better since it appears nowhere else in the spreadsheet, but I kind of want to keep that one reserved for the Makuta themselves.

With regards to point 1, it’s worth taking another look at the possibly Insect-Type Subterranean Worm, because that one is also planned for BPEV and in fact originates from the exact same novel. If DARK Rahi help bring out the Rahi Nui more easily, it probably would be good to have more than just the Manas, so putting one into the Extra Deck as a Synchro would really boost accessibility. In that case, the Rahi Nui synergy should also be kept in mind for the choice of its Type, though at this point in time I’m not sure of how that impacts it.

There’s also a second Rahi Nui card representing its more powerful original form planned, but that one isn’t until the Metru Nui story, so it’s going to be a while before it comes up.

And the Rest

The remaining Rahi which I noted with the DARK Attribute for one reason or another don’t have all that much to do with each other, so let’s just go over them in order real quick:

  • Kardas was created from a mutated specimen of the Fenrakk Spawn we already saw in the DARK Insect section, so if that is DARK, so is this. Intuitively it makes more sense to have it be FIRE, what with being born in a pool of lava, but there’s already a large Dragon Rahi with a much stronger claim to that Attribute: the Kanohi Dragon. Besides, DARK Dragon is a conveniently well-supported typing on the Yugioh side of things, and some of those also look quite fiery.
  • Krahka is a shapeshifter and therefore pretty hard to classify, but for its Attribute I’d either pick EARTH because it lives underground or DARK because shapeshifting is a “dark magic” kind of power. Similarly, assigning a Type to something that can take various forms is hard, and I just went with Psychic for its supernatural abilites. Having such an unusual Type might be convenient for Rahi Nui reasons … except it won’t help you with the “cheating Rahi out from the Extra Deck” part because no other Rahi has it. Hmmm.
  • Nivawk qualifies for the DARK Attribute by virtue of closeness to Makuta, being pretty much a personal pet. And Winged Beast is actually a Type missing from the Normal Pendulums that the Rahi Nui could put to good use.
  • The Kraawa acts like a black hole with its limitless energy absorption, and so into DARK it goes. Beast is also a decent Type to have represented.
  • The Dark Hunter Minion could technically be a Rahi, though I’m probably not going to go that route. If I did, though, he’d fill the niche of a DARK Beast-Warrior, which is again a Type not really common among Rahi.
  • The Archives Beast was already mentioned as a potential Insect for its mimicry, but could also be a Beast for … you get one guess. However, that’s a bit redundant with the Kraawa, and it’s not like there’s going to be a critical mass of DARK Beasts either way.
  • Energy Hounds could be either LIGHT or DARK since their main ability is “tracking energy”, but I’m leaning more towards LIGHT.
  • The Makuta Fish would be DARK for no deeper reason than it’s name (which is itself kind of a problem because it would be part of the Makuta archetype), but if implemented this way, that would also check off the Fish Type. And since it first appears in Tales of the Masks, it could actually come out together with the Rahi Nui in BPEV.
  • The Spine Slug, a parasite that feeds on the rage of Skakdi, can only be DARK on account of its ability, but as a Slug it’s in a similar ambigouous place as worms when it comes to Type. Aqua and Insect both work, but I almost think Reptile might be the best choice because my current plans make the Piraka (and therefore all Skakdi) Reptiles as well.
  • The Mountain of Xia is a giga-scale Rahi that would be a giant boss monster of the unique DARK Rock typing. Unless I go real fancy and make it a Field Spell …
  • Cliff Screecher and Necrofinch are two DARK Winged Beasts with wonderfully edgy death-related traits, the former being a lich in mythology and a sadistic bastard in reality and the latter somehow continuing to sing after death. Both of these would be good additions as small Rahi with interesting abilities.
  • The Night Creeper is a one-off mention of a nocturnal Rahi that could fill the role of a mid-sized DARK Reptile, if needed.
  • A hybrid of a Rahi and a Shadow Matoran that would be a DARK Beast-Warrior in place of Minion.

What becomes clear from all these examples is that DARK Rahi don’t really take off until Metru Nui, but from there on there’s consistent opportunities for support – mostly Insects, but also others. What they’re missing is a dedicated boss monster, since the Zivon is more for Visorak specifically and The Mountain would be strange (but not technically impossible) to have in such a central role. Maybe the ease of Rahi Nui access is enough to make up for that, especially considering the stronger original form that isn’t directly reflected in the spreadsheet …

Designer’s Quip: The Shapes and Sizes of Rahi

So, uh, Rahi. There’s a lot of them. I tried putting just the ones from Mata Nui into an archetype back in BCOR, and even after the sheer amount of cards forced me to spread them over several design concepts you can mix and match, it ended up as a bit of a mess. My current plan to (eventually) improve on this involves introducing a clearer division based on Types and maybe Attributes, which would enable more focused deckbuilding and support.

Rahi were pretty much present throughout the entire story taking place in and around the Matoran Universe, so there will frequently be new ones for many expansions to come. That means I need to be careful to not design myself into a corner, especially if the overhaul is going to put the cards into more specific niches. Hence the point of this post: Taking a look at all the Rahi on record and determining which Monster Card properties they should get!

… It may be a bit silly to refer to this one as a “quip”.

The Raw Data

Based on the Rahi page on BS01, I have put together a spreadsheet outlining how I imagine all these critters would work as cards.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rbmHNEC0MVAyZotXg8HlXebirKiDcIXudsqRERQYHpM/edit?usp=sharing

The Raw sheet lists them in descending order of relevance (ranging from those that got mainline sets or were central to the story all the way down to those Greg Farshtey made up on the spot to describe some noise), while the Stats sheet counts the prevalence of a few different categories.

Since Types and Attributes are often not entirely clear-cut, I’ve left myself the freedom of picking up to three choices per Rahi for these properties, ranked in order of preference.

Observations

Let’s begin by making some broad statements based on aggregate statistics. Of the 166 Rahi considered, 44 have already been implemented in expansions up to and including BBTS. Since anything with a relevance of 2 or below is somewhat unlikely to ever be implemented, we can stick with the 127 above that treshold and say we’re about a third of the way through (though some already implemented Rahi are from the lower relevance levels). Looking at these numbers, a fully realized Rahi archetype would easily be one of the largest in the game, which just reinforces that it’s probably a good idea to split it up a bit.

But how to split it? A look towards the Attribute and Type distributions provides some hints. With regards to the former, we can see that most Rahi are EARTH or WATER, a significantly lower number are FIRE or WIND, and even fewer LIGHT or DARK. However, DARK has an especially large difference between the count of Rahi that could be DARK and the count of Rahi that I would preferrably make DARK – meaning it’s often considered as an alternate option. Given the Rahi’s status as creations of the DARK Makuta, I somewhat like the idea of giving that Attribute a special role in the archetype and have them form their own distinct type of deck together.

For everything else though, my preferred method of organization would be by Types. In a nice parallel to EARTH and WATER, two of the most prevalent Types are Beast and Aqua/Fish/Sea Serpent (they already share so much support, might as well count them together), along with Insect. Reptile and Winged Beast are smaller, but still major groups, and then everything else just contains a few outliers each.

Another division that’s already in use to some extent is the one by Levels, but in the making of this list it became apparent that assigning Rahi a Level based on their size is a pretty approximate affair, and really just about any Level 4 could also convincingly be Level 3, for example. So it might be better to leave the exact decision up to gameplay considerations.

That gives us a few specific groups of Rahi to examine in detail. When I started writing this, the plan was to go over them all right away, but out of consideration for what is left of my and my readers’ sanity, I have now decided to split them up into separate posts.

The links can be found here once they’re done:

Release: Energized

Bionicle’s most important liquid gets a batch of new cards – the first of many, assuming I ever reach 2004 and beyond.

Download for EDOPro

Didn’t have all that much time available this month, so some things here are more preliminary than usual. For the same reason, I didn’t make a Theme Guide for Energized Protodemis yet, but there is a Best of Test showcasing what it does so far.

Best of Test: Energized Protodermis

Now, design notes.

New Cards

Energized Protodermis Destiny

Quick-Play Spell

Target 1 face-up monster you control; Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis Token” (Aqua/LIGHT/Level 2/ATK 0/DEF 0), then apply 1 of these effects.
●Send the targeted monster to the GY, and if you do, you can destroy that Token and Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster from your Deck.
●Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster that mentions an “Energized Protodermis” monster as material from your Extra Deck in Defense Position, using only that Token and the targeted monster as Fusion Material.
You can only activate 1 “Energized Protodermis Destiny” per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

The foremost addition to the Energized Protodermis archetype is the Quick-Play Spell Energized Protodermis Destiny, which provides dynamic utility while pretty neatly encapsulating the destruction/transformation dichotomy that lies at the core of the whole substance. Mechanically, the way it does this is a design I’m personally pretty fond of, so allow me to break it down a bit.

The things that always happen when activating Destiny is that you choose one of your face-up monsters as the subject whose “destiny” is to be determined, and an Energized Protodermis Token is created to carry out the test. After that, however, the effect splits into two paths. If you are able to make a Fusion Monster that explicitly mentions Energized Protodermis as material using your target and the new Token, you can Summon that monster, thus completing the destined transformation. But if that is not the case, the only choice you have left to finish resolving the effect is the path of destruction – sending your targeted monster to the GY and leaving behind the Token alone. Well, as a consolation prize, you are allowed to swap it out for any Energized Protodermis monster in your Deck (which means exactly the Chamber, for now), so that also has its uses.

Pretty much the only thing on this one I would consider changing is that it can currently only Fusion Summon in Defense Position. That was initially put in as a standard precaution against squeezing too much damage out of fusing a monster that already attacked during the Battle Phase, but it might be fair to allow that when you can only access a limited pool of Fusions anyway.

Among that limited pool is also Energized Protodermis Flow, the actual in-archetype Fusion Monster.

Energized Protodermis Flow

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 4 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters
If this Fusion Summoned card is sent to the GY by a card effect: Look at your opponent’s Extra Deck and send 1 monster from it to the GY. During your Main Phase: You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing 2 Fusion Materials mentioned on it from your GY, including this card. You can only use each effect of “Energized Protodermis Flow” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

Yes, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel so hard for Energized Protodermis content in this part of the lore that I was forced to make a card out of some vague state of the stuff, represented by some vague AI-generated image.

The purpose of this one is pretty much to provide a productive outlet for Energized Protodermis’s mandatory drawback of sending a monster to the GY when used as material by a different fusion effect. Obviously the best option is (ab)using it to take out an opponent’s monster, but in case that’s not possible you can hit this card to instead go after the Extra Deck. I also considered having it remove a card from the hand instead, but this way is probably more fair and fun, especially when Instant Fusion is able to make and trigger Flow in any deck. On the other hand, -1 Extra Deck is in most situations weak enough that it might actually be fine to lift the need to be sent by a card effect specifically – so you’d also be able to use the effect after linking off.

Anyway, it ultimately doesn’t matter too much what the card does when it goes to the GY, because it definitely provides value once it’s there by acting as a GY-based fusion “spell”. Like Chamber, it is limited to using exactly itself and 1 other monster, but even that allows for some fun plays such as making Augoeides from zero resources in hand or field. And all the Toa Nuva, of course.


And now we enter the more unfinished part of this release. I figured that the two EP cards alone probably wouldn’t be enough to fill the month, and also threw in another Toa Nuva in anticipation of the next release to come. Enter the team’s hotheaded leader, Toa Nuva Tahu.

Toa Nuva Tahu

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1900

“Toa Mata Tahu” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up Attack Position monster on the field; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, this card gains ATK equal to that monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

Like Onua previously, the basic design concept is that the trigger effect he had as a Toa Mata (setting a targeted monster’s ATK to 0 after battle and adding burn damage if it’s destroyed) turns into a quick effect that does roughly the same thing in a somewhat streamlined fashion. In this case, that means draining an Attack Position monster to 0 ATK while gaining its original ATK himself, setting up an enormous hit of battle damage.

This effect hasn’t changed yet from its first draft, and probably will get some adjustments for the proper Toa Nuva release, since there’s at least three specific points I’m unsure about:

  • It only works during the Main Phase. This was done to keep consistency with Onua Nuva and is also in line with the restriction Despian Quaeritis has on a similar effect, but it’s kind of a waste to have stat manipulation not be usable during the Damage Step.
  • It only works on Attack Position monsters, which is in line with how I’ve envisioned its use (make big number, hit small number), but also weirdly more restrictive then Tahu Mata’s effect.
  • It can also drain the ATK of your own monsters. That means more flexibility, obviously, but it’s hard to find a good justification of why Tahu would willingly turn his elemental powers on his own allies. Arguably this point is kind of the root of all evil, since one legitimate purpose of the restriction to Main Phase is that it keeps you from attacking with a big monster and then using its ATK again via Tahu Nuva, and the restriction to Attack Position monsters adds a neat risk factor to draining your own monsters.

So the next revision might be to only allow targeting the opponent’s monsters, but regardless of battle position and phase. Might even do something like letting you force the target into attack position for maximum chance of ungabunga, but we’ll see in a while.

Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Tahu” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage” once per turn. If your “Nuva” Fusion Monster battles, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, skip the Battle Phase of your next turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

With Tahu’s Nuva Symbol, we can already see some tweaking has happened to the general layout of the Nuva cards. I did mention last time that having any Energized Protodermis card freely searchable by at least six different cards might not be a good idea, and now that search has been locked behind already needing to have the appropriate Toa Mata in your hand to reveal – otherwise you’re limited to getting exactly that Toa Mata. Still a good way to fetch the materials you need for a Toa Nuva, and nicely inefficient to abuse for any other purpose. A subtler change to this effect is that it now shuffles the card into the Deck rather than placing it on the bottom, because you’d have to shuffle after searching anyway.

Also significant is that the abilities granted by Nuva Symbols are now no longer reliant on having exactly the correct Toa Nuva on your field, and conversely the backlash of losing the Symbol can also hit any Toa Nuva. This little break from lore came about because it turned out Toa/Symbol mismatches are already annoying as hell even when a deck only has Tahu and Onua, so I don’t even want to imagine how it would go with all six.

As for the specific effects of Burning Courage itself, it simply plays into Tahu’s focus on attacking for massive damage by shutting off your opponent’s effects while a Toa Nuva is battling, thus ensuring the attack goes through. Meanwhile, the matching punishment for losing the symbol is that you lose an entire Battle Phase.

Great Kanohi Hau Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Hau Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving it.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; face-up monsters you currently control cannot be destroyed by battle, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

Tahu’s Hau Nuva largely follows the pattern already known from Kanohi Nuva – fetches a Nuva Symbol from Deck when it goes to the GY, grants Toa Nuva the same benefit it had as a Great Kanohi (in this case, battle protection), and has an activated effect while equipped that extends some of that benefit to your whole field. That last one, however, now comes with a discard cost, because activating it every turn for free seemed slightly silly. However, I have no real idea if that’s at all balanced, because these field boosts did not come up a single time in testing after I made the change.

That’s just one of many reasons the Kanohi Nuva are likely to get restructured quite a bit in the upcoming proper Toa Nuva release. Sharing the abilities with others is one of their major distinguishing features in the story, but as it is right now, it barely ever comes up in gameplay because getting a Toa Nuva equipped with a Kanohi Nuva is already such a major feat. Maybe it would be different in a pure Toa Mata/Nuva deck that also has cards like the Suva to aid the equipping process, but further testing is definitely needed once the team is complete. Another issue with the current structure is that I’m always dangerously close to beating the record for most words on a Spell Card, which I’d prefer to avoid. And with the Hau Nuva in particular, the battle protection it inherits from its Great form is actually rendered kind of useless by the fact that Tahu Nuva can drain ATK before battle, rather than needing to battle before he does that. Very much a work in progress.

Updated

4.0.4

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)
4.1.3

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 Special Summoned monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

The main Energized Protodermis monster receives a slight adjustment to its “drawback” when fused away by means other than its own effect, namely that the target you send to the GY must be a Special Summoned monster. In most cases this doesn’t make a difference, but it nicely increases the risk of backfire in various corner cases, which I felt was needed in order to make the mandatory S E N D not feel completely like a convenient weapon (even though it’s very much meant to be used as one).

Other than that, Onua’s Nuva Symbol and Kanohi Nuva have also received the general updates I already talked about.

4.0.4

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can make all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)
4.1.3

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)
4.0.4

Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom

Continuous Spell

You can only control 1 “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom”. You can place this card you control on the bottom of the Deck; add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card or “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. Once per turn, if a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect while you control “Toa Nuva Onua”: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Toa Nuva Onua” you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)
4.1.3

Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. If a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. You can only use each of the preceding effects of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

A not-yet mentioned change is that Nuva Symbols are no longer limited to 1 per name on the field and instead Deep Wisdom’s draw effect has become HOPT (by use of the game’s weirdest HOPT clause). There’s no deeper reason to this than the fact that the unique constraint took up text space and made the cards feel more cluttered than they needed to be.

Unfortunately no legacy updates this time, since I barely squeezed this out between other stuff going on. Not sure yet how things will change in the coming months, but there’s a chance I might be forced to make releases less frequent than currently planned, so be ready for that I guess.

Release: BPEV First Drafts

For the first time in the history of this site, we are entering a fresh new expansion, and that means a whole lot of new cards and archetypes to explore! As the first step, here’s a bit of everything, to give you an idea what’s in store.

Download for EDOPro

Read right ahead for not only design notes on the above cards, but also some more details on what I have planned for the themes they represent.

New Cards

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

First off, we have the substance that gives the expansion its name: Energized Protodermis. Contact with this sapient liquid transforms those who are destined to, and destroys those who are not. Similarly, its first representation as a card is a monster that acts as Fusion Spell and material in one, but will exhibit potent destructive properties when used for a Fusion by any other effect. That second part is mandatory and thus cannot be avoided, but since you can choose to aim it at any monster on the field, it might just end up beneficial anyway. On top of all that, you can bring this out without spending your Normal Summon if only your opponent controls a monster, because to be quite honest the playability of the entire Toa Nuva archetype hinges on this card and I really need it to be as convenient as possible.

For the broader Energized Protodermis archetype, which will be the focus of the next release, I have the following things in mind – spread across some number of cards:

  • A search spell (that maybe Special Summons from Deck directly at some significant cost?)
  • A way to fuse with a monster on the field rather than one in hand
  • A way to fuse with monsters in the GY (maybe)
  • A Fusion of 2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters that does something valuable on turn 1 when sent from field to GY, so you have another way to weaponize the drawback in a “pure” Energized Protodermis strategy

Toa Nuva Onua

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2500 / DEF 2500

“Toa Mata Onua” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 card in either GY; place it on the top or bottom of the Deck, then gain 1000 LP. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Onua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

The primary output of transformations induced by Energized Protodermis are the Toa Nuva, the evolution of the Toa Mata from BCOT. Simply enough, they are Fusions of a specific Toa Mata each and some Energized Protodermis, and their main effects are more or less the same thing they had in their previous forms – for Onua, that means simply returning a card from either GY to the Deck and gaining some LP. However, while the Toa Mata had the intentional inconvenience of only being able to use their effects when specific events happen, the Toa Nuva can do so freely on either player’s turn, allowing you to get a whole lot more value.

Separate from that, they are also planned to all share the effect where they can search a “Nuva” Spell/Trap on Fusion Summon (and then discard a card so you don’t go +1, because even with HOPT there’s going to be six of these available!). This serves to ensure consistent access to some major cards that further power up the Toa from the backrow, first and foremost the Nuva Symbols containing their elemental powers.

Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom

Continuous Spell

You can only control 1 “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom”. You can place this card you control on the bottom of the Deck; add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card or “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. Once per turn, if a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect while you control “Toa Nuva Onua”: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Toa Nuva Onua” you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

Each Toa Nuva has one of these, and they all follow a simple structure of three effects:

  1. Return it to the Deck to search one of the corresponding Toa Nuva’s materials, for when you’re still setting up. Once again, there are going to be six of these when all is said and done, so I’m not sure allowing the search targets to freely include any “Energized Protodermis” card is really the best idea – I just haven’t come up with a good limitation that fits inside a reasonable wordcount yet.
  2. Provides some additional benefit to all your Toa Nuva if you control the right one. In this case, controlling Onua Nuva lets you pay LP (the exact amount you get from his own effect, by the way) for a draw, which means putting any card from your GY on top of your Deck becomes adding that card to your hand.
  3. If it leaves the field, the matching Toa Nuva’s powers will also be lost entirely, and if that happens, you suffer a punishment opposite the benefit you gain from the Symbol, in this case losing a card in your hand.

Now #3 has some interesting mechanical details to consider. First of all, the latest ruling is that “leaves the field” effects do not trigger if the card returns to the Deck, which means you could theoretically take advantage of the cost of #1 to remove the Nuva Symbol from the field before it becomes a liability. Also, the effect targets the Toa Nuva whose powers are about to be lost and will only reach the “punishment” part if that exact target actually has its effects negated, so if something were to remove it from the field before resolution, you’d dodge the drawback entirely. Even better if that something would then return the Toa Nuva to the field, and hell, why not add the Nuva Symbol back to your hand as well while we’re at it? Yes, if only something like that existed.

The End of the Swarm

Quick-Play Spell

If you control a “Toa” monster: Activate 1 of these effects;
●Target 1 Level 8 or higher monster you control; banish that target. During the End Phase of this turn, return that banished monster to the field, and if you do, you can add 1 Continuous Spell Card from your GY to your hand.
●Change face-up monsters your opponent controls to face-down Defense Position, up to the number of Level 8 or higher monsters you control. A monster changed to face-down Defense Position by this effect cannot change its battle position, also, if it is attacked, send it to the GY at the start of the Damage Step, then inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

Anyway, having followed up on that bit of foreshadowing from 2.5 years ago, time to move on to the next group of “Nuva” Spell/Traps: The Kanohi Nuva.

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can make all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

Just like the Toa Mata evolved, so did their masks, and while their powers are now usable only by the Toa Nuva, they also come with the fantastic ability to share those powers with allies, including those that cannot use Kanohi at all. So the Pakari Nuva does what the Pakari did, but on top of that lets you grant a similar buff to your whole field for a limited time. It also retains the part where it can banish a monster from your GY to search something when sent there, but instead of a specific Toa Mata it lets you get a Nuva Symbol … which can then search a specific Toa Mata, so from a consistency perspective the Kanohi Nuva do decently well replacing regular Kanohi in a Toa Mata/Nuva deck. They also fall under the category of “Nuva” Spells/Traps, so if you use a Toa Nuva’s on-summon effect to search a Kanohi Nuva and then discard it, you can get the Nuva Symbol at the cost of your GY instead of your hand.

One aspect I’m a bit unsure about, and this applies to the Nuva Symbols as well, is identifying the Toa Nuva as “Nuva” Fusion Monsters. I kind of want to avoid making “Toa Nuva” a proper archetype because that’s awkward to implement when both “Toa” and “Nuva” are independent archetypes as well, but I foresee the current solution causing some false positives down the line. For one thing, just “Nuva” monsters in general is right out because Takanuva is also around the corner, and despite the name that guy sure shouldn’t be able to use Kanohi Nuva. And even with the extra requirement of being Fusions, there’s still Takutanuva, a result of Energized Protodermis transformation and literal Fusion of two beings that most certainly does have “nuva” in the name despite not being a Toa Nuva. So yeah, this part is probably just going to change to “Toa Nuva” unless I find a more elegant trick to use.

The most interesting application of Energized Protodermis and Toa Nuva (in so far they already exist) I’ve thought up at this point is a little pile deck I have chosen to dub Protodermically Energized Nuva Invoked Shaddoll, for … reasons.

Sample Duel: Protodermically Energized Nuva Invoked Shaddoll

I’ll wait until the Toa Nuva have more than one member to make a full theory post on this one, but the basic idea is that Shaddoll Fusion can potentially use Energized Protodermis Chamber in the Deck as material for El Shaddoll Construct, while Invocation can use it in the GY to make Invoked Mechaba. In both cases, you trigger the effect that sends a monster from the field to the GY while not actually spending much of your own resources, so it’s an extremely strong play going second. Oh, and sometimes you draw Onua and can make Onua Nuva as an alternate form of interaction.


Bohrok Gahlok-Kal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 4 | WATER Machine | ATK 2200 / DEF 2100

2 Level 4 “Bohrok” monsters
Place materials detached from this card on the bottom of the Deck, instead of sending them to the GY. Once per turn: You can attach 1 “Krana” monster from your hand, field, or GY to this card as material. At the start of the Battle Phase: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; that target cannot attack until the end of the next turn, also you can equip 1 other monster on the field to it. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Gahlok-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

Meanwhile, on the other end of the conflict, the Bohrok swarms send their own evolved forces into the fray, in the form of the six Bohrok-Kal. These elite units introduce Xyz to the colorful Extra Deck options available to the swarms, and befitting their role as a last resort released after the invasion is stopped, their effects are meant to improve the deck’s performance against established boards. A peculiar design element they have in common is that their detached materials return to the Deck, which keeps the infinite recursion of the Bohrok fueled. It also ensures that the second shared effect, using Krana from almost anywhere including the GY as additional materials, does not get too out of hand, since detaching the Krana will take it out of circulation this way.

Their first implemented member, Gahlok-Kal, boasts magnetic powers that can root other beings to the ground or make them stick to each other to take them out of the fight. This translates to an extremely versatile effect that can not only stop a monster from attacking, but also serve as unique and powerful removal by non-targetingly equipping any other monster on the field to its initial target. This is a lot of power to get out of just one material and is therefore limited to the start of the Battle Phase, but I’m also considering making it so you can only equip monsters in the zones adjacent to or in the same column as the target. That would serve as a pretty neat representation of limited magnetism range, encourage clever counterplay through zone management, and wouldn’t actually restrict your removal options all that much since you can always put your own monster in the right column if needed (though it won’t be able to attack, which is a fair tradeoff).

Elite Bohrok require elite Krana, and so we get to the other new Extra Deck lineup, the Krana-Kal.

Krana Ja-Kal, Tracker

Link Effect MonsterLink-1 [◀] | DARK Zombie | ATK 0

1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your hand or GY, but shuffle it into the Deck if it leaves the field. A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains this effect.
●Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then declare 1 card name; your opponent cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with that original name, until the end of their turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

These Link-1 monsters come in the same 8 flavours as the regular Krana and can be made not only with those, but also with any Bohrok monster – though they themselves cannot be Link Material, so no switching from one Krana-Kal into another. Their first effect varies depending on where the arrow is pointing, with the one on the left-pointing Ja-Kal allowing you to tag it out for any Level 4 Bohrok in your hand or GY. This has no once per turn at all, and combined with the non-HOPT removal effects on the Bohrok that also leave them on the field in some cases, it may be very, very abusable. But if it is, I’d really like to see it because it sounds fun, so for now I’ll keep it this way. Making a loop here is at least not entirely trivial, since shuffling the monster back when it leaves the field means the line Ja-Kal -> Bohrok -> Ja-Kal already leaves one less Bohrok in your hand or GY. Maybe the shuffle should even be a banish, since returning Bohrok to Deck does refuel the engine and can be seen as kinda beneficial.

The actual Krana powers are represented by effects granted to Bohrok Xyz Monsters (i.e., Bohrok-Kal) while attached as material. The Ja-Kal offers sensory powers similar to the plain Krana Ja, which had the ability to neutralize visible threats during the turn following its activation. In its enhanced Kal form, it can even “sniff out” threats that are not yet directly visible and shuts them off from the moment it resolves until the end of the next turn, though it’s limited to focusing on a single target since it’s a “Tracker”. Sometimes in testing it does feel like in-archetype Psi-Blocker is a bit broken, but my testing is also against AI that is both predictable and has no concept of playing around locks on specific combo pieces, so I’m guessing it would be fine in a more realistic setting.

Since both new cards for the Bohrok live in the Extra Deck, you can pretty much play them as before, just with some additional options, as seen in the following short video.

Gahlok-Kal demo

Also notable is the use of a Special Summoned Bohrok Va to get a second Level 4 Bohrok via the Krana Ja-Kal, which is how you can make Xyz plays quickly without needing to wait for Flip effects to go off.

Updated

For the updates, I decided to improve the Bohrok’s general playability by fixing two frustrating restrictions found on cards from BBTS.

3.15.5

Krana Ca, Clearance Worker

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | DARK Zombie | ATK 0 / DEF 0

Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Level 4 or higher “Bohrok” monster you control; equip this card from your hand to that target. While this card is equipped to a “Bohrok” monster, the first time a “Bohrok” monster you control would be destroyed by battle each turn, it is not destroyed. During your Main Phase 1: You can return this card you control to the hand; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your Deck in face-up Attack Position, then it becomes the End Phase of this turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)
4.0.

Krana Ca, Clearance Worker

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | DARK Zombie | ATK 0 / DEF 0

Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Level 4 or higher “Bohrok” monster you control; equip this card from your hand to that target. While this card is equipped to a “Bohrok” monster, the first time a “Bohrok” monster you control would be destroyed by battle each turn, it is not destroyed. You can return this Normal Summoned/Set card to the hand; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your Deck in face-up Attack Position, but it cannot attack or activate its effects this turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v4.0.4)

First is the shared last effect of the Krana Xa, Yo, Ca, and Ja – here represented by the Ca because it’s probably the simplest. Previously, these cards operated like Cardcar D in that they would replace themselves with a Bohrok from your Deck and then immediately end your turn, ensuring that you could neither use the summon from Deck for any crazy combos nor somehow abuse the lack of OPT to spam infinite Bohrok. The general idea behind the effect was that it should help consistency by giving you access to a Bohrok even if you drew too many Krana, but in practice, doing that and then ending the turn was basically no better than doing nothing at all.

Under the new restrictions, the turn continues, but the Bohrok you bring out is mostly unable to do anything for its duration – except be used as material, which opens up at least some lines of play, especially factoring in the new Krana-Kal and Bohrok-Kal. Additionally, the Krana now cannot access this effect if it was Special Summoned itself, which should quite effectively limit it to something you can do only once or maybe twice per turn, outside scenarios where you can somehow perform an obscene amount of Normal Summons (in which case there’s way more broken stuff you could do anyway).

3.15.5

Premature Bohrok Beacon

Trap

Target 1 face-down Defense Position monster you control; change that target to face-up Attack Position. If there are no face-up monsters on the field, you can activate this card from your hand. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can Special Summon this card from your GY as an Effect Monster (Machine/DARK/Level 4/ATK 1400/DEF 1400), but banish it when it leaves the field. (This card is NOT treated as a Trap.) If Summoned this way, this card can be used as a substitute for any 1 Fusion Material whose name is specifically listed on a “Bohrok” Fusion Monster, but the other Fusion Material(s) must be correct. You can only use this effect of “Premature Bohrok Beacon” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)
4.0.4

Premature Bohrok Beacon

Trap

Target 1 face-down Defense Position monster you control; change that target to face-up Attack Position. If you control no face-up monsters, you can activate this card from your hand. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can Special Summon this card from your GY as an Effect Monster (Machine/DARK/Level 4/ATK 1400/DEF 1400), but banish it when it leaves the field. (This card is NOT treated as a Trap.) If Summoned this way, this card can be used as a substitute for any 1 Fusion Material whose name is specifically listed on a “Bohrok” Fusion Monster, but the other Fusion Material(s) must be correct. You can only use this effect of “Premature Bohrok Beacon” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v4.0.4)

The other change is to Premature Bohrok Beacon, and it’s really quite simple: Instead of being able to activate it from hand “If there are no face-up monsters on the field”, you can now do so “If you control no face-up monsters”. Because being mostly unusable when you go second was a really annoying weakness in an archetype that already struggles in that scenario, being composed of Flip Monsters and all. I originally did it that way because I was worried there might be something broken about just having a fast effect you can activate from hand to flip any face-down monster, not just Bohrok, face-up, but now we have Sol and Luna, which is just that exact effect with upsides specifically when your opponent controls face-up monsters. So clearly there’s no need to hold back after all.

Site Updates

Really minor thing, but we have a Card of the Day visible in the sidebar and on the linked page now. It automatically switches to a different random card each day (using a hash of the date modulo the number of cards, if anyone cares), so now there’s some dynamic content between the occassional updates.

Release: BCOT – Finalized

It’s finally here.

Download for EDOPro

The original of the above image with all the cards at readable resolution is so large that WordPress refuses to display it, but you can find them in an even more convenient form on the BCOT page instead.

Or, if you have a bit of time and prefer to actually see things moving, the following demo video also shows and describes everything:

Anyway, this last update mostly consists of PSCT refinements, refactored scripts (that more correctly handle certain edge cases), and visual improvements. For example:

3.21.5

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. At the start of the Damage Step, if a “Matoran”, “Turaga”, or “Toa” monster equipped with this card battles an opponent’s monster: You can destroy both this card and that opponent’s monster. When a monster declares an attack while this card is in your GY: You can equip this card to the monster you control with the highest ATK, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “Copper Kanohi of Victory” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)
3.21.6

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. At the start of the Damage Step, if a “Matoran”, “Turaga”, or “Toa” monster equipped with this card battles an opponent’s monster: You can destroy both this card and that opponent’s monster. When a monster declares an attack, while this card is in your GY: You can equip this card to 1 monster you control with the highest ATK (your choice, if tied), but banish this card when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “Copper Kanohi of Victory” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
  • If another “Kanohi” card is equipped -> If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped (to clarify that the effect happens once at the moment of equipping)
  • When a monster declares an attack while this card is in your GY -> When a monster declares an attack, while this card is in your GY (most similar precedent has the comma)
  • the monster you control with the highest ATK -> 1 monster you control with the highest ATK (your choice, if tied) (clarifies tiebreaking, matches precedent)
  • but banish it when it leaves the field -> but banish this card when it leaves the field (to clarify you banish the Copper Kanohi, not what you equipped it to)

In addition to these text changes, the card image is now noticeably different and in higher resolution. This is owed to the ygopic component of piface314’s ygo-fabrica, which I have finally gotten around to setting up so it can be used for all the cards going forward.

Of course, the higher resolution also looks quite a bit nicer when printed 😉

The attentive reader who happens to be familiar with my versioning system (mostly hypothetical, because why would anyone) may have noticed moving from 3.21.5 to 3.21.6 technically requires some functional changes, rather than just cleanup and maintenance. This is a weakness of the versioning system that probably should be fixed, but for now, I have complied and included some tiny updates I still had in reserve.

Updated

3.18.5

Suva

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand, and while face-up on the field if you control a “-Koro” Field Spell Card, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 500 LP, then target 1 “Toa” monster you control; equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your hand or GY to that target, except a card that is in the GY because it was destroyed while face-up on the field and sent there this turn. If you control a “Toa” monster: You can Special Summon this card from your GY. You can only use this effect of “Suva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
3.21.6

Suva

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand, and while face-up on the field if you control a “-Koro” Field Spell, this card is also EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and WIND-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 600 LP, then target 1 “Toa” monster you control; equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your hand or GY to that target, except a card that is in the GY because it was destroyed while face-up on the field and sent there this turn. If you control a “Toa” monster: You can Special Summon this card from your GY. You can only use this effect of “Suva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
3.21.5

Call of the Toa Stones

Spell

Discard 1 card; roll a six-sided die and excavate cards from the top of your Deck equal to the result, and if you do, you can add up to 2 excavated “Toa Mata” monsters with different names to your hand, also shuffle the rest into the Deck. Then, apply this effect, based on the number of cards added to your hand this way. You can only activate 1 “Call of the Toa Stones” per turn.
●0: Set 1 “Coming of the Toa” directly from your Deck. It can be activated this turn.
●1: Add 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to your hand.
●2: Gain 2000 LP.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)
3.21.6

Call of the Toa Stones

Spell

Discard 1 card; roll a six-sided die and excavate cards from the top of your Deck equal to the result, and if you do, you can add up to 2 excavated “Toa Mata” monsters with different names to your hand, also shuffle the rest into your Deck. Then, apply the following effect, based on the number of cards added to your hand this way. You can only activate 1 “Call of the Toa Stones” per turn.
●0: Set 1 “Coming of the Toa” directly from your Deck. It can be activated this turn.
●1: Add 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to your hand.
●2: Gain 1800 LP.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Long story short, the LP cost and gain on Suva and Call of the Toa Stones respectively were moved to the closest multiples of 600. The basis for this is that I wanted the Suva to be able to cycle through a set of 6 Kanohi for less than 4000 LP total, and 6*600=3600 still fits that requirement. The LP gain from Call then follows from that, as basically 3 additional Suva activations. It’s a bit less arbitrary than the previous 500 and 2000, but probably won’t make any practical difference.

Other News

I’ve added a “Pending Changes” page to keep track of some improvements I still had in mind, but wasn’t sold on enough to actually include them in this final release. It’s not included in the on-site navigation currently, instead I’ll just throw the link at people when asking for feedback in hopes that some outside input will help me make up my mind. I guess if I ever figure out a way to include multiple comment areas and maybe even some kind of voting system on the page, it could be turned into a convenient little feedback hub of its own.


… And with that, on to BPEV!