Deck Idea: Mechanized Springtime in Onu-Koro

March is right around the corner and large parts of the world are entering the beautiful season of spring; Sylphs are abound in Flourishing Hills and Awakening Forests, reviving EARTH monsters and getting their shit kicked in by ghost girls. What better time to look at a new decklist revolving around Onu-Koro, the perhaps even second best Field Spell That Lets You Draw 3 Cards?

Onu-Koro, Village of Earth

Field Spell

You can target up to 5 EARTH monsters in your GY; shuffle them into the Deck, then gain 600 LP for each card shuffled into the Main Deck this way. If your LP are higher than your opponent’s: You can send 1 EARTH monster from your hand or field to the GY, then pay LP in multiples of 1000 (max. 3000); draw 1 card for every 1000 LP paid, then, if your LP are lower than your opponent’s, send that many cards from your hand to the GY. You cannot Normal or Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this effect, except EARTH monsters. You can only use each effect of “Onu-Koro, Village of Earth” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

My main goal with this build was setting up a standard combo line that actually leaves you able to use and resolve this card’s pair of effects to their full potential, by filling the GY with material used to build your board while never summoning any non-EARTH monsters in the process. Previously, the importance of Isolde in the Gouki-based EARTH Warrior shell usually forced you to fail this condition and relegated the village’s ability to just a neat thing you sometimes got to use on later turns, but with the latest banlist, that has become a thing of the past.

For what it’s worth, I still think Gouki is a good fit and meshes well with the general Onu-Koro strategy, but I specifically wanted to experiment with something else here. That “something else” being Vernusylphs, who do a good job of filling both field and GY, coupled with a few Machines that allow us to have some sort of payoff without leaving the confines of our Attribute.

The Deck

.ydk Download

The lineup of monsters in the Main Deck can be divided into three categories:

  • EARTH Matoran, specifically Taipu and Onepu , plus the Ussal to go with the latter. What you’re meant to do is get either of the Matoran on the field by some means and link off into Whenua to search the other, thus providing even more bodies to combo with. Rookie Warrior Lady is also in here as a third potential search target, since she can help refill your hand and even easily sets up Onepu’s Normal Summon effect (sadly it doesn’t do much).
  • Vernusylphs, which are frequently going to be the “by some means” mentioned in the previous paragraph. We play the two that search the rest, and as a one-of search the target the one that dumps an EARTH monster into the GY. Using all three of these already puts up to 4 EARTH monsters in the GY and 3 on the field, and even if we just use one search and the mill, that’s 3 and 2 – basically a complete Onu-Koro setup. The primary target for Awakening Forests is of course going to be the Ussal that will trigger to revive yet another monster (and can then itself be brought back by Onepu), but if you happen to draw that, you can do a cute thing where you discard it for cost with Forests, send something else from the Deck, and then actually do get to bring back that sent monster right away – if it’s Level 4 or lower.
  • EARTH Machines. Just a small package, not the whole deck that kinda does this whole “combo and then draw a bunch” thing way better already. The three names represented here serve three different purposes: Planet Pathfinder is an additional way to get to Onu-Koro, Revolution Synchron is a Tuner so we’re able to access the Naturia Synchros for a reasonable end board, and Regulus is another negate we can add to that if we find him. Which is also possible by means of Discolosseum, which in turn can be provided via Planet Pathfinder, who as a Machine also sets up Regulus’s own Summon (i.e., Planet Pathfinder is an omni negate). The Power Tools are also here for additional Revolution lines, but without Isolde making Equip Spells worth playing they’re not all that useful.

Other than that, we just have a good helping of handtraps that Onu-Koro will hopefully draw for us, as well as generically good EARTH monsters Fenrir and Mudora. Keldo is there in the side deck too, but I only found room for one shuffler, and Mudora was the one to make the cut simply because its Special Summon effect works even without a search target.

The EARTH payoffs in the Extra Deck consist of the aforementioned Naturia Synchros Beast and Barkion, Power Tool Braver Dragon, and Soldier of Chaos. Saryuja is for those times we have a full field but lack the right cards in hand to get anywhere, while Cerberus and Dolmen are mostly just to get stuff linked away in niche scenarios. And Plan B for Bagooska is here too, turns out that fucker is EARTH.

Now you may notice we have also spent some Extra Deck slots on non-EARTH bosses; Baronne and Crystal Wing in the Synchro half, I:P and S:P in the Link half. These are for the times we actually do not manage to get to Onu-Koro, at which point we will have a bunch of material on the field and nothing locking us out of any summons. So might as well put up some good proper household names instead and switch our strategy to the old style where Onu-Koro just shows up as refueling help in the mid to late game.

Sample Video


To me personally, this build honestly feels like a bit of a failure because it doesn’t really seem to get a lot of mileage out of the concept of “combo then draw 3”, despite how solid that sounds on paper. The good news is that there’s some specific reasons for that located within my own designs, which I may be able to fix in future updates. The Onu-Koro cards just trip over themselves in some small ways that didn’t become obvious until I really tried to rely on the Field Spell’s effect that’s supposed to be central to the whole thing.

Onu-Koro, Village of Earth

Field Spell

You can target up to 5 EARTH monsters in your GY; shuffle them into the Deck, then gain 600 LP for each card shuffled into the Main Deck this way. If your LP are higher than your opponent’s: You can send 1 EARTH monster from your hand or field to the GY, then pay LP in multiples of 1000 (max. 3000); draw 1 card for every 1000 LP paid, then, if your LP are lower than your opponent’s, send that many cards from your hand to the GY. You cannot Normal or Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this effect, except EARTH monsters. You can only use each effect of “Onu-Koro, Village of Earth” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

First, there’s Onu-Koro itself. This is a design from an era before Runick Fountain, which means I was super careful with an effect that basically reads “draw 3” and restricted the hell out of it. Only works if you have higher LP (which it does try to provide natively via the shuffle effect), requires sending an EARTH monster from hand or field to GY so you don’t plus as hard, makes you discard as much as you drew if you’re not still ahead on LP after paying the cost, and on top of all that it locks all your Summons into EARTH for the whole turn, including retroactively. Let me tell you, after trying to build this deck, I now fully understand why Vernusylphs went with an effect lock instead – there just aren’t a whole lot of good payoffs in this particular Attribute.

This heavy balancing even bleeds into the shuffling effect, which only gives you back LP for cards you shuffle into the Main Deck, essentially forcing you to choose between valuable Extra Deck recycling and the resource you need to pay for draws. And as a small but nasty detail, it shuffles the cards instead of placing them on the bottom, meaning any deck filtering your combo did to ensure you only draw into, say, handtraps at the end is at least partially undone.

So how would I change this? Well, assuming we stick with the full EARTH Summon lock, I think that can be allowed to carry a lot more weight as a restriction and we can in turn take off some others. Specifically, the requirement to send an EARTH monster for cost always hurt like a bitch in testing, so I’d like to drop that. The discard if you lack sufficient LP is probably fine since it fits the flavor (and we can capitalize on it by making Onu- cards with GY effects), but I’d make it a bit more avoidable by making it easier to gain LP when you return cards to the Deck. The shuffle effect could say “gain 600 LP for each targeted card, then shuffle them into the Deck” or something like that and it would already be much better. That way it would even work properly with Midak too.

Matoran Tender Midak

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 500 / DEF 500

If you control a “Matoran” monster, except “Matoran Tender Midak”: You can send this card from your hand to the GY; send 1 EARTH monster from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, gain 400 LP. If this card in your GY would be returned to the Deck by a card effect, you can add it to your hand instead. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Tender Midak” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Speaking of Midak, why was that guy not in the decklist at all? Because, dear reader, the dumbass who wrote his first effect made it basically unusable if you’re not spamming Matoran enough to always have one around. That wasn’t the case in this deck, though, and after wishing for the nth time that I could just search Midak with Whenua and actually use him reliably, I sadly had to cut him.

But yeah, that’s also my solution: Make it so he actually always works when you search him with Whenua, because there aren’t a lot of good search targets for our Turaga anyway. To achieve that, the first line simply has to change to “If you control a “Matoran”, “Toa”, or “Turaga” monster” – perfectly reasonable because they belong together in the lore anyway.

Turaga Whenua

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [▼ ▶] | EARTH Spellcaster | ATK 1450

2 monsters, including an EARTH Warrior monster
Each time an EARTH monster(s) is sent from your hand or field to the GY, gain 400 LP for each. If this card is Link Summoned: You can pay 1000 LP; add 1 Level 4 or lower EARTH Warrior monster from your Deck to your hand, with a different name from the cards in your GY. You can only use this effect of “Turaga Whenua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Whenua himself isn’t safe from my complaints either, though only in a minor way. I’ve mentioned here and there that any numbers I write on cards tend to be guesstimates, and the 1000 LP cost is a good example of that. Only now, after actually playing in a way that made it important to earn it back, have I realized that the correct number was 800 all along: The exact amount you need to break even off a single instance of using two EARTH monsters as material while Whenua watches, and also the amount you would gain from using a Midak he searched. Fool that I was to disregard the ancient mantra of “pay 8, feel great”.

Matoran Racer Onepu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 700 / DEF 500

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 of your banished EARTH monsters; place it on the bottom of the Deck, then you can reveal any number of “Matoran” monsters in your hand, and if you do, gain 500 LP for each. During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Beast “Rahi” monster from your hand or GY, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Racer Onepu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Onepu has served us well as an Ussal fetcher, but his other effect has really proven to be damn useless – especially in a deck that, once again, isn’t filled to the brim with Matoran. I think I wanted to hold back on this one because the main purpose is just to get a spent Ussal back into rotation, but surely you can expect more from a Normal Summon. My initial idea of having it draw à la Chaos Space was rejected (by me) because a) Onu-Koro is supposed to be the draw provider, everything else just makes “money” (LP) to pay for it, and b) “but Chaos Space is so strong, that would be broken”.

Regarding a), I now realize that a second source of draws probably wouldn’t hurt at all, as the old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket could have told us all along. And b) was always stupid when you consider that Chaos Space does its thing from the GY rather than at the cost of your Normal Summon and supports Attributes that are significantly better equipped than EARTH.

The current LP gain does have the funny flavor of “Onepu brags to the Matoran in hand and gets rewarded”, but we can actually retain that if we just let you do the same thing after drawing a card – or even just reveal the drawn card itself.

Side note to fully tie the loop here, notice how Onepu makes the Rahi he summons get banished when it leaves the field? That also means it can’t be used to pay the monster cost for Onu-Koro, so even if we weren’t getting rid of that cost entirely it would at least have to change to say “Tribute” or something like that. Nothing feels worse than the cards that are meant to go together in a deck locking themselves out of actually working with each other.

For now, I’ve compiled these notes on the secret Pending Changes page, and will be trying to work them in over the course of upcoming releases.

The 2024 Roadmap

Now also available in fancy video form, with visual previews and editing and stuff!

Quick textual summary: The 4 month intervals worked out even with a lot of other stuff going on, so we’re sticking with that. That means the following schedule:

  • April 2024: “Unity Evolved” (Nuva/Kal Kaita)
  • August? 2024: “The Rahi Update” – may be multiple releases in the second half of the year, we’ll see how long it takes
  • After that (maybe still 2024?): “Time of Trouble” (final BPEV lore batch)

As tantalizing as it is to maybe have the BPEV expansion done with the next year, I really can’t allow myself to put the Rahi stuff off any longer. So if that isn’t done within one gigantic release (which I wouldn’t expect unless things go really, really well), that sweet taste of completion will have to wait for a bit.

Also, if you watched the video, you may have seen some “optional side quests” at the end. Those are things that might be happening in the background along the way to improve my and/or the users’ experience. To repeat them here and elaborate a bit:

  • EDOPro repositiories – Apparently those can be used to have custom expansions that automatically update after installing them once, so that would tremendously simplify the releases for everyone.
  • YGO Omega – There’s another popular client flying around, maybe I can get my scripts set up so they work in both (without having to maintain them separately).
  • mse2cdb Windows build – I’m currently running my beautiful tool in the Linux subsystem because I haven’t been able to make a Windows executable for years now. Should probably fix that, but all attempts so far have been foiled by CMake being CMake.
  • Master Duel modding – The holy grail of custom card creation at this time. I’ve seen exactly one video claiming to have pulled this off in any capacity and it was never followed up on, so if it’s possible at all, it might only be in a very limited fashion. But no way to know until I’ve at least given it a try myself.

No guarantee any of these will actually happen, it’s just a general outline of what might come up. And outside of that, there’s also the usual stuff like deck ideas and April Fools’.

Happy new year!

Release: Kalifornication

Watch out for those psychic spies from China who try to … awaken the queens and Clean it All?

Download for EDOPro

Welcome to the final release of 2023, and the best named one to date (your mileage may vary). In addition to a series of test footage videos uploaded along the way, you can watch the latest additions as part of a (p)review video I put together to welcome the new year. It’s pretty long and contains a bunch of other stuff as well, but please do take a look if you have a few minutes to spare – it took a fair bit of time and effort to get this one out of my head into reality.

And from here, on to the design notes.

New Cards

Bohrok Kalifornication

Continuous Trap

If your opponent controls a face-up card, you can activate this card the turn it was Set, by banishing 2 “Bahrag” monsters with different names from your Extra Deck. During the Main Phase: You can send 1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” card from your hand or face-up field to the GY, then target up to 2 “Bohrok” monsters in your GY; Special Summon 1 “Bohrok” Xyz Monster from your Extra Deck, and if you do, attach the targeted monster(s) to it as material, but return it to the Extra Deck during your opponent’s End Phase. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Kalifornication” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

Much like the previous release, this one is also themed around a Trap Card that helps the evolved forms make an appearance. For the Bohrok-Kal, it’s the Continuous Trap Bohrok Kalifornication (“Kalifornication, noun: The process of transforming a Bohrok into a Bohrok-Kal”; it’s right there in the latest version of The Dictionary, maybe they haven’t shipped it in your area yet?).

In theory, it lets you bypass the regular procedure and get an Xyz Monster every turn, though with an expiration date attached. In practice, there are two preconditions: You need an archetypal card to send as cost (including Kalifornication itself, making this the easier condition), and at least one “Bohrok” monster in the GY before paying the cost – which can be surprisingly tricky because Bohrok love going back to the Deck so much. This second condition is partially based on the idea that the Kal are released after the regular swarms have been defeated, as is the fast-track activation condition for going second that banishes Bahrag to set up a situation where they can later be awakened again. Also you can use it to dodge Imperm going first, so that’s funny.

Krana Ca-Kal, Seeker

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

1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. Once per turn: You can target 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster this card points to; Special Summon from your Extra Deck 1 “Bohrok” Xyz Monster using that target as material. (This is treated as an Xyz Summon.) A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains these effects depending on the number of your “Bahrag” Monster Cards with different names that are banished or on the field.
●1+: Cannot be destroyed by battle.
●2+: Once per turn: You can draw 1 card, then discard 1 card.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

I’ll get straight to the point and reveal that the aforementioned situation where the Bahrag are banished (perhaps due to a Toa Seal ?) is not just lore fluff, but actually serves a gameplay purpose. Some Krana-Kal only show their powers in the presence of sealed Bahrag, such as the Ca-Kal that serves to contact and locate them. If one of the queens has been found, the Seeker on their track can no longer be defeated through simple battle (in reference to the base Krana Ca ), and once in contact with both, it will be able to help you dig into your Deck for resources needed to complete the mission.

Krana Xa-Kal, Liberator

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

1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. Once per turn: You can target 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster this card points to; Special Summon from your Extra Deck 1 “Bohrok” Xyz Monster using that target as material. (This is treated as an Xyz Summon.) A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains this effect.
●If this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can place up to 2 of your banished “Bahrag” Pendulum Monsters in your Pendulum Zone(s), then you can add 1 “As It Was in the Before-Time” from your Deck or GY to your hand.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

To do that, the Krana Xa-Kal must make contact with the frozen queens, making it the win condition of this particular gimmick. “Contact” is here defined as battle damage, and the “awakening” consists of placing them in the Pendulum Zones (because that works even if Kalifornication banished them directly from the Extra Deck). And to get some immediate benefit, you get to add a little Quick-Play from BBTS that, assuming you properly placed both Bahrag, either draws 2 cards or sends the entire non-Bohrok field to the GY.

As It Was in the Before-Time

Quick-Play Spell

Activate 1 of these effects;
●Target any number of “Bahrag” cards you control; destroy them, then draw 1 card for each card destroyed.
●Shuffle 2 “Bahrag” cards you control with different names into the Extra Deck; send all cards on the field to the GY, except “Bohrok” and “Krana” cards.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

Both of these Krana-Kal have the Xyz shortcut effect previously seen on the Vu-Kal , because that is in my opinion the strongest of the Krana-Kal utility effects and so balances the granted effects not working without a Bahrag setup. The other two types of utility effects get a new card each, too.

Krana Yo-Kal, Excavator

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

1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. If an opponent’s monster this card points to battles a “Bohrok” monster, that opponent’s monster’s ATK/DEF become 0 during the Damage Step only. A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains this effect.
●This card can attack directly, also if it attacks, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

The Yo-Kal is the brainwashing type, which I consider the weakest because it never helps you combo. Accordingly, as material it gives a very powerful effect that lets an attacking Bohrok-Kal tunnel straight past any monsters or responses your opponent may have. If you ever get to a point where you have two Krana-Kal attached (the lore weeps), this can make for an easy way to trigger the Xa-Kal, but more realistically it’s just solid help in getting in possibly lethal damage.

Krana Bo-Kal, Visionary

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 in face-up or face-down Defense Position, 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 look at all Set cards your opponent controls, also look at as many random cards in their hand as possible, up to the number of “Bohrok” monsters you control.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

Finally, the Bo-Kal represents the third type previously seen only on the Ja-Kal , trading itself for a Defense Position Bohrok. This is the “mid-tier” effect that has no single massive payoff but broad utility, from flexing a face-up setup into a face-down one to recycling a Bohrok’s removal effect, or just simply getting extra material. When attached itself, it just does its Night Vision and X-Ray combination thingy to look at face-down cards and hand alike. The latter is limited by how many Bohrok are in attendance since hand knowledge is so powerful, but I’ve worded it in a slightly novel way so it automatically looks at the maximum number possible without needing two confirmation prompts on the way. You’re welcome.

Another general thing to say about Krana-Kal is that their Link-1 nature provides a fairly reliable way to set up a Kalifornication summon, since Krana on the field can be used to pay the cost as well. So any Bohrok turning into any Krana-Kal and going to the GY immediately fulfills the preconditions.

Finally, the stars of the show, the remaining three Bohrok-Kal.

Bohrok Pahrak-Kal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 4 | EARTH Machine | ATK 2400 / DEF 1900

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 Damage Step, if this card battles: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; banish all cards they control in its column. Then, if this effect banished exactly 1 card, inflict 1200 damage to your opponent. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Pahrak-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

Pahrak-Kal, wielder of plasma, takes until battle to fire its effect, but once it does, there goes an entire column, banished to smithereens. And if that column didn’t have much in it? Then we have enough plasma left to burn the opponent’s LP as well. Advantages on the side are that it only costs one material despite potential multi-removal (because the timing is so inconvenient) and it all happens in the Damage Step, so a wide variety of effects that may stop it simply cannot be chained at that point. None at all, in fact, if you have a Yo-Kal attached – Pahrak-Kal is on that card art for a reason.

Bohrok Kohrak-Kal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 4 | WATER Machine | ATK 2300 / DEF 2000

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. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; change all other monsters on the field to Defense Position, also negate their effects until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Kohrak-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

Kohrak-Kal, certified noise machine, gives you another way to disrupt on the opponent’s turn, by unleashing a blast of sound that forces all other monsters to abandon their effects and go to defense. All monsters including your own, however, so it’s not exactly a team player. This card is actually at its strongest when you manage to make it alone against an established board that has exhausted its relevant disruptions, because then you can detach 2 to shut everything else down, attack over or into something (Defense Position means Kohrak-Kal survives no matter what), and then attach a Krana before stacking up into a Zeus that clears the field. Puts you in a pretty good position as long as you have some kind of followup.

As a brief experiment, I also took the once per turn away from this effect entirely in an intermediate version; the idea being that, should you ever stack up enough materials, being able to negate even through a response seems like a nice ability to have. This was reverted not because it turned out to be broken, but because it never actually came up within the archetype – the only fringe line that ever gets you 4 materials involves Bohrok Counterattack , which already takes care of responses by itself. So the only ones to possibly benefit would have been unrelated Rank-Up strategies or something like that, and I didn’t want to specifically support those.

Bohrok Lehvak-Kal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 4 | WIND Machine | ATK 1900 / DEF 2400

2 Level 4 “Bohrok” monsters
Place materials detached from this card on the bottom of the Deck, instead of sending them to the GY. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other card you control or in either GY; attach it to this card as material. If this card has 5 or more materials: You can detach all of this card’s materials, and if you do, destroy up to that many cards your opponent controls, then you can attach 1 of those destroyed cards to this card as material. You can only use each effect of “Bohrok Lehvak-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

And finally, Lehvak-Kal … breaks the pattern. Yes, the effect to attach a Krana is here replaced by a more generic vacuum-sucking Quick Effect that works on anything on your field, or in either GY. That can be wielded as disruption against cards that like to be in the GY (and if detached, you don’t even need to put them back), to save your other monsters from targeting effects, or simply to flexibly get something like a Su-Kal in response to a destruction effect. In exchange for such a wide range of applications, the effect that actually does something to the field – the massive vacuum blast blowing away all that stands in its path – is firmly locked behind a minimum of 5 materials. That means in absence of external help, a Lehvak-Kal needs to survive a full turn cycle to actually start destroying cards, but once it does, you get to immediately start the process again by attaching one of those destroyed cards (possibly keeping something like Waking the Dragon from triggering, too).


Two simple updates on the Bohrok side.

Bohrok-Kal Strategy

Continuous Spell

When this card is activated: You can Special Summon 1 “Bohrok” monster from your hand. If a “Bohrok” monster(s) is Special Summoned to your field (except during the Damage Step): You can activate 1 of these effects, or, if you control a “Bohrok” Xyz Monster, you can activate both, in sequence;
●Target 1 other Spell/Trap on the field; destroy it.
●Add 1 “Bohrok” Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand, except “Bohrok-Kal Strategy”.
You can only use this effect of “Bohrok-Kal Strategy” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

Bohrok-Kal Strategy previously was intentionally designed so you could only activate 1 copy per turn, but use the effects of as many as you want once you have them. The addition of an additional good search target that also lets you Xyz Summon on the opponent’s turn made it quite apparent that this has potential to get horrendously out of hand, so now it’s a regular old HOPT. The flipside is that the activation limit has been lifted, so you can get multiple Bohrok out of (your) hand in a turn instead. Solves some specific bricks that can theoretically happen.

Bohrok Gahlok

Flip Effect MonsterLevel 4 | WATER Machine | ATK 1700 / DEF 1600

FLIP: Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your Deck in face-down Defense Position, except “Bohrok Gahlok”.
Once per turn: You can activate the following effect, based on the type of card on top of your opponent’s GY. During the End Phase of the turn you activated this effect, shuffle this face-up card into the Deck.
●Monster: Target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy that target.
●Spell: Negate the effects of 1 face-up monster your opponent controls, until the end of this turn.
●Trap: Banish 1 random card from your opponent’s hand, until the End Phase.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v4.5.6)

The base Gahlok has been a thorn in my eye since I made the first Bohrok-Kal deck and realized the Bohrok with delayed shuffling cost on their effects are really convenient because you can use them as material after firing them. Their weaker removal effects generally balanced this out, except for the Gahlok: Its drawback should be that it only gets to destroy when a monster is on top of the opponent’s GY and does other things otherwise, but those “other things” were so overtuned that it was generally the best Bohrok effect in almost any situation. Now the Spell option only negates a monster’s effects but doesn’t take away its ATK (we have Krana for that anyway), and the Trap option doesn’t permanently handrip (with actual handtraps in the game, it was possible to do this turn 1 and its a soft once per turn, so obviously a big no-no).

I believe with these changes, all the Bohrok are finally properly balanced for their respective type of cost. Even in the material-hungry Kal builds, something like a Lehvak now feels like a justifiable inclusion for the reliable removal it offers, which is about where I want to be.

And for my closing words, I will note that the roadmap for the coming year has been released – mostly covering the same things as the new video (but in much less detail and special effects, seriously, watch it).

Designer’s Quip: Rahi with a side of …

A little addendum to the Rahi Type groupings that were recently completed, because for some reason I neglected to go over generic support cards that already exist for each Type – even though those should play a major role in any design decision, whether you want to ensure synergy or deliberately conflict for balancing reasons.

We’ll go over this for each of the major Types that contain a lot of Rahi, which means this article can also double as a collected recap of the results previously reached for each of them. The minor Types that only contain a few Rahi can be disregarded since they either don’t cover enough cards to matter much, or they have a very specific playstyle that will have to be engineered from scratch once we get there anyway.


Main Article

Playstyle: Beatdown with big Synchro bosses

One option that immediately comes to mind is Tri-Brigade, a Link-spamming engine of the three Types Beast, Beast-Warrior, and Winged Beast. Now this is already kind of at odds with the concept of the Beast Rahi as an aggressive Synchro spam that should eventually end on the massive Tahtorak, but perhaps a free Link monster somewhere could be a useful bonus. The Tri-Brigades do not technically lock us out of any Synchro plays, for what it’s worth.

In fact, their proper Beast member Kerass does something that lines up pretty well with how Rahi currently function: It discards a monster from hand to Special Summon itself, which is one of the ways to trigger the GY effects on our Pendulum Rahi. And the effect to cheat out a Link that all Tri-Brigades share has a cost to banish, so that’s the trigger for the other standard Rahi effect right there.

Another classic support card is Obedience Schooled, a mass Special Summon of Level 2 or lower Beasts from the Deck. The low Level cutoff, effect negation, and strict Beast lock prevent the card from working too well in most recent Decks that use Beasts, and similar issues apply to Rahi – for one thing, the Beast Rahi start at Level 3 currently, and by current design patterns, all Level 2s would be Tuners anyway. Though if that last point were to change, this card would be easy Synchro access up to Level 6 …

Still not as easy as Cattle Call, however, because that just trades any Beast for a Beast Synchro of any Level, or another Extra Deck monster of the same Type. It’s not allowed to do anything, of course, but being easy fodder for an Accel Synchro might already be enough value by itself if you’re trying to do a Tahtorak combo. That said, there’s one thing to be careful about: This card sends from field to GY as cost, which means it straight up doesn’t work with Pendulums. That might be an issue.

What doesn’t fall into this trap is Tributing, which brings us to Cocatorium. Of course, the real point of this one would be the effect that banishes from your Deck as cost, providing pretty much the best way to trigger those on-banish effects. Sure, it’s technically a Winged Beast, but not after it resolves the effect. And we might join those Types together a bit anyway, considering the whole Tri-Brigade shtick.

Other options like Melffys and the Mystical Beasts suffer from the same Level 2 or lower issue we saw on Obedience Schooled, so they probably won’t be usable.

Aqua/Fish/Sea Serpent

Main Article

Playstyle: Board control via removal effects

Looking at the Types mixed together here and the strategy they’re supposed to be following, the first and foremost thing to come to mind is the non-archetypal series of cards colloquially known as “Generation Fish“. After all, it consists of small Level 3 Aqua, Fish, and Sea Serpent monsters that use their effects to remove stuff from the field and gradually inflict damage, with the added element of banishing themselves … a thing that Rahi very much also do.

Numerous support cards such as the beautifully named Counter Trap Oh F!sh! or Fish and Kicks further reinforce the idea that getting banished is what you’re supposed to do under the seas, so going into that direction almost seems to be the only reasonable choice. Of course, most of these cards are pretty old, so they might not be useful directly, but the general design pattern continues to be used to this day – just look at Minairuka, a card from <the current year> of 2023.

Also recent and related, though only to the Fish third, is the whole Ghoti archetype. In their case, banishing facilitates Synchro plays, making the connection to another of the general properties Rahi have – in contrast to the Generation Fish, which were more made for Xyz. Now the unfortunate part about these is that they only work with Fish, so mixing them into the deck might run into some conflicts. Maybe the Extra Deck ones would work fine though, that could be interesting to try.

A similar one-Type support card is the iconic Deep Sea Diva, though she should be comparatively easy to integrate since you don’t need a critical mass of Sea Serpents or anything – just one good low-level Sea Serpent Rahi somewhere in the Deck would be enough to get value. Which, looking at the analysis again, is actually not certain to ever exist. But if it does after all, this would be a good way to get to it.

And while we’re on the topic of classic moist monsters already, can’t forget the whole Mermail and Atlantean archetypes, with their members spread across just these three Types. Rather than banishing, these cards like to have WATER monsters sent to the GY, especially from the hand. That, once again, is something Rahi in their current state also enjoy being involved in, so it’s looking more and more like the Aqua/Fish/Sea Serpent segment especially should stick with the focus on those particular mechanics.

Of course, we shouldn’t forget that the Mermail and Atlantean gimmick is based on the WATER Attribute rather than any Types, so the synergy might be limited to only a (fairly large) part of the Rahi under consideration here – maybe there will be multiple ways to build decks depending on what support you want to align with.


Main Article

Playstyle: Broad toolbox that can be mixed with other deck types

Insects are kind of known for having a long history of support that somehow all works together in a big pile (kind of like Dinosaurs), so let’s see if we can make it through all that.

Starting with the gross ones, the “C”s have special synergy with Insect decks, specifically those that fit Contact‘s requirement of EARTH and <1500 ATK. Among the Rahi, our beloved Fikou already falls in that range, and the spreadsheet lists a lot of other tiny EARTH critters that eventually could. But in an environment where the Maxx one is banned, the roaches probably aren’t the most relevant support cards.

Sticking with the Contact-searchable EARTH Insects, there’s also Resonance Insect, a monster with one effect when sent to the GY and another when banished … wait a minute that’s just a Rahi. Maybe the real mid-Level Insect Rahi were the generic support cards Konami made along the way. Gokipole fits too, to some extent, despite our lack of Level 4s in the Rahi archetype proper. Level 5 and up for Resonance has some options though, and the part where it mills an Insect is always going to have its uses.

Another card that can do that, and is often used with the ones mentioned before, is Giant Ballpark. It can send any Level 4 or lower Insect, which covers most of the Rahi that might be relevant, and gets a bonus for Normal Monsters, which unfortunately doesn’t work because our only Normals are Nui-Jaga and Nui-Rama , merely one Level too high. I don’t think it’s worth wasting a slot on a low-Level Normal Insect Rahi just to enable that litte bit of extra swarming.

We’ve already seen that the generic support covers the GY/banish aspect of mid-Level Rahi monsters, but what about the Synchro stuff? Well, there are some good Insect Tuners available as well, such as Dragonbite or Fairyant – once again, a Level 3 and a Level 4, just the area where Insect Rahi are scarce. Given that the generic Tuners are here as well, it might make sense to have some non-Tuners among the various small Insect-Type Rahi monsters.

Speaking of Fairyant, that card is shared support for Insects and Plants, which is actually a pretty common combination. Hell, it even has its own Dragon Ruler in Beargram, who would be pretty fun to use for a Rahi build as well. Plant Rahi were already discussed in the article about the weirdly Typed ones, with the conclusion that there’s at most one of them, so there won’t be a lot happening on that front. Luckily Beargram works even with just Insects.

That more or less covers the generic pile stuff, but we’re far from done yet. Because now, there are still various Insect archetypes, most of which interact and mix with the pile in some way. The shit you have to put up with just to properly design some bugs.

Battlewasps are the main representative of Insect Synchro in the actual game, though I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen anyone in the wild playing them as an archetype. For the most part, their relevance is anchored entirely by the fact that Pin the Bullseye is a free Special Summon that aligns conveniently with time rules at tournaments, so we might be fine ignoring them. Maybe not entirely, since the fact that Rahi also make Synchros (if Insects end up following that) might make these cards fit in better than they usually do.

With some more relevance in the current decade, we have Beetroopers, a well-disciplined army of insects that literally does not even know what a Synchro is. Instead they spam Links and sometimes Fusions, which is of some interest for Rahi purposes since we already said Insects might not actually be a Synchro-based strategy and instead branch out in the Extra Deck a bit. Even without that, there’s interesting things in the Beetrooper Main Deck, be it free summons or the searchable Counter Trap.

And since we’re going through the Extra Deck Types already, Xyz have Digital Bugs. I guess. They’re a Rank 3-7 LIGHT Insect strategy with a gimmick of changing battle positions (also built on by other Insects like Cicada King). Given the general lack of Insect Rahi in those middle Levels, I feel like we wouldn’t be able to make these work even if we did go in an Xyz direction. Plus they specifically need LIGHT Insects, of which we don’t have many in the spreadsheet either.

Finally, a special mention goes to Inzektors for being a DARK Insect archetype, which is a typing we have already strongly considered for Visorak in particular. However, they themselves don’t really interact with the DARK Attribute in any special way, so their gimmick of equipping monsters to each other might be of interest for other Insect builds as well. For example, Picofalena is often used to set up Resonance Insect’s effect, so maybe similar Rahi effects could also benefit – except you can’t get Pendulums to the GY that way …

Overall, I don’t get the feeling there’s going to be much success integrating the existing generic support into such a thing as an Insect Rahi deck. Those engines and combos are already so complete that going out of our way to align with them would more likely just make our Rahi work in service of the standard Insect pile. Now I do want to do something with banishing since that has historically been a Rahi thing and Beargram is too juicy to pass up, but beyond that I’ll probably not go out of my way to connect to anything here.

But also, given the idea of Insect Rahi as a portable toolbox, it’s possible they’ll be given the role of generic shared Rahi support rather than being their own strategy. And in that case, having a second life as part of an unrelated big bug spam deck may prove entertaining.


Main Article

Playstyle: Midrange deck with backrow/Pendulum Scale manipulation gimmick

Alright, here’s Snake Rain. The fact that triggering 4 GY effects at once is always just one unsearchable Spell and a discard away is pretty much a key design guideline for all Reptile archetypes. Basically, you want to get some use out of this card without breaking it, so while Reptiles do frequently have GY effects, they’re either not too impactful or apply relatively heavy restrictions to make up for the ease of access. I guess we’ll be sticking to that too, and make sure to make at least 4 names we want in the GY.

Another nice things Reptiles have is an Extra Deck searcher in King of the Feral Imps, and it comes with the added “benefit” of being an Xyz, thus detaching even Pendulums to the GY. Looking through the spreadsheet, the medium Reptiles tend to be Level 4 more than Level 3, so in light of Snake Rain as well, we might break with tradition and make the 4s the ones that want to be dumped in this case. Also, if you add a card to hand you generally want to use it, so there should be Reptile Rahi that do something in hand even after investing in a whole Xyz.

The most recent Reptile archetype I can think of is Ogdoadic, very clearly built with Snake Rain in mind and thus designed around the principles described before. If we also want to follow those principles, it might make sense to mix and match with whatever these guys are supposed to be, but there’s just a teensy little problem: Ogdoadic supports LIGHT and DARK Reptiles. Barely any Reptile Rahi are LIGHT or DARK. Not zero though, so maybe a crossover point can be found.

Reptilianne are a purely DARK Reptile archetype that likes monsters with 0 ATK on both sides of the field, which I suppose could be arranged with all the frogs and slugs and maybe worms on our schedule. The main issue is again the DARK Attribute, but we do actually have some critters that could slide in there, like the Spine Slug or the Night Creeper. Also, Reptiliannes are a Synchro archetype, so maybe their actually quite good modern tuners like Lamia can be put to work.

And for the pure LIGHT Reptile archetype, there’s Worms, with the main point of interest probably being the generic support card W Nebula Meteorite. It flips monsters, draws cards, and then summons a big LIGHT Reptile from Deck. Great.

In fact, the only LIGHT Reptile Rahi we have – Red Serpent and Crystal Serpent – are pretty large, so this could be a good enabler for them if we can just find fodder to flip. Those two are actually key to the whole “scale manipulation” gimmick, so more ways to get to them are certainly nice.

From these archetypes, it has become apparent that having mostly EARTH/WATER/FIRE/WIND Reptiles among the Rahi actually limits our options quite a bit, which is in some way a good thing because it gives us more freedom to make good cards without worrying what they could be combined with. Perhaps a clause like “non-DARK/non-LIGHT Reptile” could even make an appearance somehwere.

One last side note before moving on:

Specifically the Rahi known as Red Serpent spawned the idea of a gimmick where monsters are shoved into backrow and/or Pendulum Zones, and looking back that sure is reminiscient of the Snake-Eyes, an archetype of serpentine FIRE monsters that shove monsters into the backrow. I would just like to document here that a) they’re not actual Reptiles, so not relevant to the topic and b) the original Reptile article was in March and these came out in July in Japan, so Konami actually owes ME royalties.

DO NOT check the release date on Sinful Spoils of Subversion. That is all.

Winged Beast

Main Article

Playstyle: Combination of multiple small, efficient combo lines

The Tri- in Tri-Brigade stands for the three Types it consists of and supports. Given that we’ve already talked about having the few Beast-Warrior Rahi mixed into the Beasts, I’m strongly considering going all the way by including Winged Beast Rahi in that group as well. In that case, Tri-Brigades and other Tri-Typed support would work perfectly. Might really be a good idea to provide a Link of our own in that case too … (there may or may not be something planned for MoL already).

As for dedicated Winged Beast support, we have a very strange one in Floowandereeze. These migrating birbs embrace the spirit of old-school Yu-Gi-Oh by not Special Summoning at all … and then throw it out by Normal Summoning a million times instead. The strict restriction on every effect makes it hard to combine with an archetype that doesn’t follow the same alternative lifestyle, but historically, unrelated high-Level Main Deck Winged Beasts have made good bosses here, so maybe that’s worth keeping in mind?

The Simorgh archetype is also interested in Normal Summoning, but not quite so obsessive about it – they still do a bit of Special Summoning on the side. There are also some weird gimmicks of mixing DARK and WIND and wanting your opponent’s Spell/Trap Zones to be empty, but the main draw is probably that Bird of Perfection is Mathmech Circular if you squint really hard, and it works with all Winged Beasts.

Speaking of empty Spell/Trap Zones, Harpies are pretty good at accomplishing that. They’re not exactly an archetype that can be mixed into stuff easily since they tend to need a lot of each other, but Cyber Slash Harpie Lady is generic for Synchro decks and has a decent bounce effect that can even trigger by activating Pendulum Scales. And she enables Feather Storm from hand, which is funny. Theoretically the synergy could be taken further by having Rahi Spells/Traps/Pendulums that like to be destroyed, but I’m not sure it would pay off.

Continuing the theme of birds with faces, Lyrilusc are a Rank 1 Xyz archetype of Winged Beasts. That means their poopy little Levels don’t exactly lend themselves to Synchro or Pendulum Summoning, but they already swarm like crazy by themselves and their bosses can do some neat stuff like attacking directly 5 times and then making a big Zeus, so this is another thing that could work as an independent engine. However, the lack of Level 1s in the spreadsheet probably means the synergy is very limited.

And then there’s them, of course. The DARK Winged Beasts. Blackwings and Raidraptors. Two unrelated archetypes that both happen to revolve around the same Attribute/Type combination, but one of them is Synchro and the other Xyz, meaning they aren’t generally played together anyway. The question is, can we do anything with Rahi to benefit from the existence of these cards?

Blackwings of course have their fair share of Tuners to contribute if we’re hurting for those, but since Rahi also have a Pendulum side to them, I think good old Zephyros may actually be the most relevant thing. Bouncing scales can be useful for resetting something, and we could be cute and provide effects that trigger off the self-damage, particularly on our DARK Winged Beast Rahi. Currently that’s on an Aqua , funnily enough.

As for Raidraptors, while Xyz Summoning and the whole Rank-Up searching that particular archetype does isn’t really part of the Rahi gameplan, these birds also offer shockingly strong support to the general category of exactly Level 4 DARK Winged Beasts. Which means if we make sure to hit just that Level/Attribute/Type alignment, we can use Force Strix and Wise Strix to get them straight from the Deck – and neither of those locks us out of Synchros!

Overall, I’m not convinced the Winged Beast archetypes are really worth designing around much, with the exception of simply making the DARK ones Level 4 to unlock all that Raidraptor support. The spreadsheet currently has some for Level 3 and Level 5, so we’d only need to take a bit of creative liberty to allow that. And of course, linking (haha) up with the Beast Type for that Tri-Brigade engine is probably a good idea.


I know I JUST repeated this, but my biggest takeaway from this probably is that Beast/Beast-Warrior/Winged Beast should be joined together for the Rahi as well. Other than that, it’s nice to see that there are several specific points of synergy for the GY and banish gimmicks I currently have on Rahi – that’s a good sign for maybe being able to keep that focus intact on at least some Types. And identifying certain statlines that align with existing support, such as low-Level Beasts, high-Level Insects, or Level 4 DARK Winged Beasts, is exactly what I was hoping to get out of a list like this.

Finally, seeing all these cards that have huge potential if played in a Deck that sticks to their respective Type(s) has once again made me feel confirmed in my decision to separate the Rahi out this way. Can’t wait to figure out all the possible builds that might be able to use this stuff. On the other hand, that design goal will be difficult to balance with the wish for a generic support lineup that avoids the pitfall of needing to clone the same Utility effects for each Type, so that should be the next thing we look at in this series.

They banned Isolde

Those bastards.

Anyway, “ban list reaction” is a new genre of post here, but I thought I’d make one just this once since that card has been a key component of most of our Warrior-centric, Kanohi-equipping decks through BCOT and BPEV. Long story short, Kanohi builds are dead until further notice because Equip Spells suck too much to be worth using in significant quantities without that bandaid. I was hoping it’d continue dodging the list, considering it wasn’t really dominating the meta because – again – Equip Spells suck, but I guess the amount of combo nonsense it technically enables finally got on people’s nerves enough. I get it.

One side task for 2024 is now going to be re-updating the Koro, Toa, etc decks to work in a different way without Isolde, and I’m honestly kind of looking forward to that. Having to build everything around that one card was getting a bit annoying, especially since it being a LIGHT Warrior screwed up the entire Koro Attribute theming. Now that it’s officially gone, the combo crafters’ cabal of the TCG might come up with some new ideas to make Warriors work smoothly, and maybe those can be integrated. We’ll see.

For what it’s worth, the currently in-development Toa Nuva are probably not that impacted by this change, as they can still trigger their Kanohi GY effects with the discards of their own searches (the way it’s actually meant to happen). I even have a build on the back burner that’s meant to run without any Warrior combos, will be showing that one off at some point.

Designer’s Quip: And Then There’s These Rahi

Having pondered in some detail the various monster Types that are found commonly among Rahi, what now remains must be, by process of elimination, only those that are uncommon. Here go the leftovers.

See also:

General Stats

The major Types we have covered so far include 152 of the Rahi in the spreadsheet, or 91.56%. The remainder we are about to deal with makes up a mere 28 entries, or 16.87%. Huh? That clearly adds up to more than 100%? Because in many cases, more than one Type is under consideration, and if one of those is common and the other not, the Rahi in question counts for both.

Interestingly, only 2 of those 28 have been implemented so far, so segmenting by “current” and “potential” members probably makes no sense here. Instead, we’ll go Type-by-Type.


In general, most of the rare humanoid Rahi could go in here, however the argument for it is not all that strong when cards like Danger! Bigfoot already show Beasts can perfectly well be humanoid as well.

Speaking of which, the Bigfoot of Bionicle is Keetongu, so that’s a prime example right there. Back in the Beast article, it was noted that his healing abilities suggest a defensive focus that is otherwise not how Beast Rahi operate, so if that difference is at odds with the playstyle more than it supplements it, a class change to Beast-Warrior would be an easy way to circumvent the issue entirely. Having a rare Type would also serve to highlight Keetongu as special, similar to how the story doesn’t really treat him like a Rahi at all. It’s just the idea of having the two Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) in different Types that makes me a bit uneasy about this …

On the other hand, minotaurs and centaurs are pretty consistently Beast-Warrior, and since the Artakha Bull is somehow both, it seems like a perfect fit. They’re even legendary beings much like Keetongu, making it thematic by our own logic as well. There were some ideas of possible Beast synergy back in the other article, but also there’s no rule saying you can’t play a Beast-Warrior in a Beast Rahi deck – maybe that’s not a bad route to go.

The last strong candidate, who may not even get implemented for lack of relevance, is Mutran’s hybrid of Rahi and shadow Matoran – practically a Beast-Warrior by definition. With Keetongu (and maybe the Bull) being LIGHT and this one obviously DARK, that even gives us an opportunity for chaos stuff, but “Chaos Beast-Warriors” isn’t exactly a term that rings a lot of bells.

A less relevant LIGHT-DARK pair consists of the Visorak’s Colony Drones (vaguely humanoid creatures enslaved as cattle against their will; probably just going to be Beast on account of how ordinary the are), and the Dark Hunter Minion (humanoid result of a Rahi experiment; dubious if he’s even to be made part of the archetype, and I’m leaning towards no). Both fairly unlikely to actually end up as Beast-Warrior Rahi.

Conclusion: We are going to have between 0 and 3 monsters in this Type when all is said and done, with the only “relation” being that two of them are kind of mythical and considered highly intelligent. As a result, I could see them serving as a special class of boss monsters in a Beast deck, but in that case I might decide to just make them Beasts after all. Depends on what works in practice.


We never made it to the actual Dinosaurs of Bota Magna in the Bionicle story, but that means the Type is perfectly free to be used for particulary ancient and/or dino-like Rahi. In fact, a similar design approach was already used for the technically-not-Rahi Gahdok and Cahdok a while ago.

When it comes to true Rahi that are also Dinosaurs, though, none have been implemented as of yet. So what are the candidates? Well, the first pair actually hails from the BPEV expansion that is currently under development.

(Fanart by Vrahno)

The Rahi Nui – never officially depicted beyond its Nui-Jaga tail – is a DARK amalgamation of the five main Rahi of 2001 (i.e., the Normal Pendulums), which already provides two good reasons to make it a Dinosaur. One, being a hypothethical mega-combiner of multiple large sets certainly gives it the size one associates with those creatures, and two, it needs a Type distinct from its Insect/Beast/Reptile components to make clear it’s a mashup, not an upgrade of just one of them. The latter point is also important gameplay-wise, since currently it’s planned as a Fusion that inherits the Types of its materials on top of its native Type – obviously using the canon materials should provide maximum effect rather than having one of them be redundant.

In relation to that, the Subterranean Worm is another Dinosaur candidate, for reasons of gameplay more than lore. There is that one bit where Turaga Whenua tells Onua that “This creature has existed on Mata Nui longer than either of us”, but that doesn’t have to mean much with Bionicle’s general weird timeline. No, I mainly want to make this one a Dinosaur because the Rahi Nui should also be getting a contact fusion procedure that requires DARKs, the Subterranean Worm would be a DARK Rahi Synchro (thus always accessible), and so having it be a Dinosaur provides a natural drawback to that convenient method of access since it basically gives you -1 Type on the big guy. I’ll have to test if this pans out, but the idea sounds nice to me.

The other area of high Dinosaur probability are the First Rahi, those primordial sea creatures created directly by the Great Beings in the time before time. I already went over them in the Sea Serpent article and sketched out the idea that they (and their Matoran buddy Mavrah) could be a little self-contained mini-archetype using some kind of “ancient” mechanic design like Ritual Summoning. So aside from the way the Dinosaur Type obviously lines up with their age, it would also serve to make them more isolated from the more modern Rahi species since they wouldn’t share Types with most of them. Even the Rahi Nui overlap would probably be irrelevant if they’re not DARK. However, if Sea Serpent synergy actually ends up fitting them really well, that other option absolutely is still on the table.

And with much lower probability, there’s the Rock Raptor and the Troller mentioned in the spreadsheet – the former because of its name, and the latter because it’s supposedly really big. Neither is a very compelling reason, and with everything else so far clearly painting Dinosaurs as a very rare and unique class of Rahi, we probably shouldn’t pollute the pool. Consider those two rejected.

Conclusion: The BPEV DARK Dinosaur Rahi, Rahi Nui and Subterranean Worm, are pretty much already confirmed since the weird uncommon Type has actual gameplay significance for them. I mean, I could also make them Wyrms or something, but that’s even more random thematically. The non-DARK Dinosaurs that might join them in Metru Nui have yet another totally different playstyle planned for them, so I guess you could say Dinosaur is just what we use for big dudes that are intentionally meant to sit apart from all the broader Rahi Type groupings.

As a side note, being built to work in specific and unusual ways by themselves will also make these monsters harder to incorporate into the general Dino pile of Yugioh, which in turn makes things easier in the design phase because we don’t have to consider all those interactions too much.

Dragon (and Wyrm)

Speaking of piles, D R A G O N S are up next. Here we actually find one of the two currently implemented examples, the Hikaki.

Hikaki, Dragon Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 4 | Scale 5/5 | FIRE Dragon | ATK 1900 / DEF 700

Pendulum Scale = 5
[ Pendulum Effect ]
When a “Rahi” monster(s) is Special Summoned: You can add 1 “Rahi” Tuner from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Hikaki, Dragon 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.
● When a Trap Card is activated (Quick Effect): You can shuffle 1 face-up “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your Extra Deck into the Deck; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

This is explicitly and evidently (look at its cute little wings) some kind of miniature dragon, and also one of the most generically useful Rahi monsters in the current arsenal. The Pendulum Effect searches you a Tuner to go with that Rahi you just Special Summoned, and a Synchro Monster made with this card gets a bonus Trap negation effect. This, of course, is part of the package it forms with the Insect Kofo-Jaga and the Winged Beast Taku – a group that was assembled based on no particular reasoning I can recall. Arguably, the Hikaki is the most interesting out of them all because not being tied to any of the major Types makes it very suitable to be reimagined as a general-purpose shared utility for any kind of Rahi deck, something that will probably be needed to avoid making the same basic effects over and over again. But more about that another time.

Another small dragonic Rahi is the Phase Dragon, a fire-breathing speed freak that avoids crashing into things by becoming intangible. For the latter ability, I also have it under consideration for a Wyrm-Type – because what could be more “Phantom Dragon” than a dragon phasing out of reality? But since that’s the only time Wyrm appears in the spreadsheet, it should probably be a Dragon just so there’s a few other companions in the archetype, unless there’s some unique benefit to be gained out of having exactly 1 Wyrm. In any case, the lore on this one is well positioned to be another generic utility thing, such as a searcher temporarily banishing itself for cost.

The Cable Crawler that was already considered for Beast and Reptile could also be a mid-sized Dragon, because I have no idea what it’s supposed to be and there’s fire coming out of its butt. Probably not though, just the presence of a Rhotuka effect already runs counter to the idea of widely usable Rahi support I’ve been building up in this section so far.

And with that, we’ve reached the actual big legend-class Dragons, such as Kardas. This final boss of 2006 was previously seen in the DARK Rahi article, following the logic that it should match the Attribute of the Fenrakk it mutated from, and as noted there, making it a Synchro would tie in well with all the DARK Dragon support from the approximate direction of Red Dragon Archfiend.

On the other hand, being a mutation rather than a natural Rahi also raises the possibility of a non-Synchro Extra Deck type, and if it was FIRE we could maybe have all the Dragon Rahi with the same Attribute ….

Because this last one sure is FIRE as hell.

The Kanohi Dragon is THE giant dragon of Bionicle lore, once requiring an entire extra-large Toa team including four Toa of Ice to defeat. It also happens to be part of the “Kanohi” archetype, but I’m not sure there’s a way or even a reason to make that relevant, considering in-universe it’s only called that because its scales kind of look like masks.

Both of these could just serve as generic top-end bosses for all kinds of Rahi, slightly less useful than the Type-specific options but still powerful. That way, the dragonic spirit of sharing remains intact even at the largest scale.

Conclusion: Much like that era of Yugioh where every deck had to have a Dragon somewhere, Dragon Rahi are well positioned to provide splashable support to all Rahi regardless of Type, be it through Main Deck utility cards or large Extra Deck boss monsters. My only worry is how they need to be simultaneously strong enough to be worth using everywhere and weak enough to not overshadow the actual stars of each deck, but surely a sweet spot for that can be figured out in testing.


Yep, there’s a Machine Rahi. Maybe.

The Toa Terrain Crawler is more like a Sea Serpent in its naturally occuring state, but the specific one that appears in the story is so heavily mechanized it probably qualifies for a Type change. And there’s even more weird things going on with it, from being part of a “vehicle Rahi” subtheme already covered in the Sea Serpent article to technically belonging to the “Toa” archetype (well, I guess we can put on the Exo-Toa clause).

Conclusion: It’s just one thing and already belongs to a weird subtheme that doesn’t really need to interact with other Rahi at all, I don’t think it even matters if it’s Machine or not.


Yep, there’s a Plant Rahi. But not really.

Daikau, Floral Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | WATER Plant | ATK 1500 / DEF 300

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
You can send 1 “Rahi” Pendulum Monster from your Deck to the GY; all monsters your opponent currently controls lose ATK equal to that monster’s ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Daikau, Floral Rahi” once per turn.
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower WATER monster from your GY, except this card. If this card is banished: You can discard 1 “Rahi” card, then target 1 monster with 2000 or less ATK on the field; destroy it. You can only use 1 “Daikau, Floral Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Daikau has already been implemented as part of the Rahi archetype along with most of its fellow Quest for the Toa enemies, but technically speaking that is not accurate. This isn’t a Makuta-made Rahi, but rather some weird semi-sentient plant thing with no clear lore explanation, born from the Energized Protodermis based disguise function that created the whole island of Mata Nui.

Should it therefore not be archetypal? There’s precedent for that with the Vatuka , a similarly non-Rahi enemy mob from the same game, but instead it belongs to a subtheme of Trap Monsters I have previously called “Elementals“. The Daikau doesn’t go in there either, so it’s in a strange position of its own.

Thematically, I could see this being some form of Trap Monster anyway, what with the whole carnivorous plant chomping whatever walks into it, and perhaps one that works well with Rahi without being part of the archetype. But such a change would need to be coordinated with everything else, since the current effects are clearly built around stuff Rahi currently do, and in particular the GY one is the WATER side of the recurring revival series.

Conclusion: It’s certainly a plant, but its fate is uncertain to the point where we can’t even say yet whether or not it will remain in the Rahi archetype. Either way, it’s once again just one single card and thus won’t have much of an impact.


Yep, there’s a Psychic Rahi. Maybe two.

Krahka, antagonist of a cool little novel-only Metru Nui sidequest, would be pretty hard to pin down to a Type on account of being a shapeshifter. But that’s some kind of special power, and on top of that in this case it even includes partially copying the mind when impersonating a sentient being, so Psychic seems about right … or maybe Illusion is the best fit now that it exists?

In any case, given the story role, this would most likely be a standalone boss monster, and the original Type shouldn’t matter too much since changing shape ought to overwrite it with the target’s. Mechanically, I’m pretty settled on this being an Extra Deck monster (because it’s even a combiner) with a standard stat and effect copying ability, so how it interacts with the archetype doesn’t seem all too relevant – you just make it to do all kinds of fancy stuff.

The other candidate is the Kratana, a vision-granting creature that looks like a cross betweene Kraata and Krana – so it could be a Psychic, a Fiend, or a Zombie. I’m most inclined to go with the first option because it actually describes its nature rather than just its looks, but what are the implications of that? It’s certainly not a boss monster like Krahka, so presumably it would have to find its way into a Main Deck as some kind of little guy, and thus it would be off-Type in just about any kind of Rahi deck. Might be fine depending on how much I plan to integrate general-purpose Rahi that can be shared between Types, but otherwise, there’s also the option of having it be something like a low-Level Synchro or a Link-1. Hell, since it just appears one time as a plot device, it might as well be a Spell Card that just does some vision-y thing.

Conclusion: There are possibly multiple monsters here, but still below the critical mass that would allow them to have a dedicated playstyle, and with not enough connection to any other Type to ride along there. These would have to be fairly splashable general-purpose cards, or alternatively niche options that you build a deck around with no regards for Type synergy.


The lone Pyro Rahi is really more a representative of the aforementioned Elementals, but since it has been decreed a Rahi by the mighty power of SSGS (i.e., Some Shit Greg Said), we might as well include it. The Fire Entity, I mean.

Being an Elemental in all but technical classification, this will probably go somewhere near the Trap Monster lineup, maybe simply a member of it with a Rahi name so you get a direct link into the archetype. Or a regular Rahi monster that acts as support for the other Elementals.

Conclusion: Yet another standalone that has its synergies cut out for it by lore, and thus doesn’t require much hard thought in advance.


There are actually quite many, and by that I mean 5, entries in the spreadsheet for the Rock Type. But before you get your hopes up, all but one have it as a secondary option with exactly Beast as the primary. Let’s start with the definite Rock, I guess.

On the island of Xia stands what is simply known as The Mountain, a gigantic Rahi acting as a man-eating landmark of cultural significance. It’s a bit arguable if this is really a Rahi and not some other kind of lifeform that just happens to come from a Makuta lab, but assuming it is, it would be the largest Rahi by a significant margin. So large, in fact, that including it in the usual Level hierarchy for denoting size seems incorrect. Maybe a Link or Xyz would be the way to go.

The other option we should consider for a moment is making it a Field Spell, since it is basically part of the island. That would, however, mean it has neither Type nor Attribute, so Rock Rahi might not exist at all. On the other hand, it gives us an excellent excuse to provide a Rahi Field Spell, though with the varying needs of many Rahi subthemes and how late in the game it would show up, it’s hard to imagine that being very practical. As it stands right now, I much prefer the idea of having it be an Extra Deck monster without a Level. Maybe including different stages of its growth could even result in a whole Link climb strategy in the same vein as Sunavalon?

The question for the shakier candidates then becomes whether or not they could nicely support something like that. Starting from the smallest, we have a Rock Ussal, which should probably be some kind of offensive tool since that’s the main thing contrasting it from the regular variant. Which, by the way, is firmly in the Beast Type, so I don’t feel too good about diverging for this one. Moving on, the Rex Rock Raptor is already somewhat larger and also feels more at home in Beasts since most of its ecosystem interactions are with other Beasts. The potential sole exception would be the even bigger Spiny Stone Ape, but well, if that one’s a Beast as well it still works out. Finally, the Rock Lion, as cool as FIRE Rock sounds, is also too large and boss-like to really go with a Link climb or anything like that just trying to ladder into a big Mountain.

Conclusion: Despite many candidates, I really feel like it would be best to keep this exclusive to The Mountain and put everything else in Beasts. However, the idea of including multiple developmental stages of The Mountain does still open up a way to get a little subtheme out of this Type.


Once more an Elemental sneaks into the Rahi archetype, this time with the Avohkah, living bolts of lightning that the Toa Mata exterminated from Karda Nui in the time before time. Not exactly the biggest claim to relevancy, but I always thought these sounded super cool and would very much like to include them. However, with the second Elemental now having revealed itself to be a Rahi, I also find myself seriously questioning if we shouldn’t just include all of them just for consistency’s sake. The Vatuka is the main exception and also the only currently implemented one, and it actually has a confirmed non-Rahi origin related to Energized Protodermis, so things are weird on multiple Levels here. Difficult.

Conclusion: Whether we formally recognize this as a Rahi or not, it’s going to be first and foremost a part of the Elementals and thus a Trap Monster, meaning the Type matters very little, as with previous similar cases.


There are exactly three candidates for this Type. One is the Kratana, as previously explained because it’s similar to a Krana; and as previously explained, I’d rather make it Psychic to reflect its actual nature. The other two are the lich-like Cliff Screecher and the questionably canon “Worm“, but since the alternatives of Winged Beast and Insect respectively are such large groupings, they’re probably much better off staying in there and benefiting from the free support. Maybe the Cliff Screecher could turn itself into a Zombie via effect, that seems neat.

Conclusion: Among all the candidates, there is not one for which I actually prefer the Zombie Type over the other options, so I expect it won’t end up being used for any Rahi after all.


One Rahi for which I couldn’t find a Type at all, and which actually isn’t even counted in the statistics I wrote at the start, is the Sand Screamer. Look, what am I supposed to do with a creature whose entire gimmick is that nobody knows remotely what it looks like or what it does other than scream in the desert? I guess the combination of being predators and their place of residence makes me think of some kind of desert antlion thing, so Insect may be on the table. Or the move might just be to represent them with a Spell/Trap and dodging the issue of Monster Card properties entirely. If I even consider implementing them, that is – not like they’re relevant to the main plot in any way.

Conclusion: Well we can’t not give it a Type if we make it a monster, so either it gets whatever I feel like or it won’t be a monster. Simple as that.

Overall Conclusion

Well, well, well, looks like some of these actually have a good reason to exist. Here are once again the verdicts in summary:

  • Beast-Warrior: Likely yes – for some special cases related to the Beast strategy.
  • Dinosaur: Yes – DARK Dinosaur very soon, a few more probably later.
  • Dragon: Yes – splashable utility and/or boss monsters.
  • Machine: Maybe – only example is too much of a special case to matter.
  • Plant: Maybe – it already exists, but might not actually be a Rahi.
  • Psychic: Likely yes – Rahi with mental powers, meaining unique effects.
  • Pyro: Likely yes – related to Elementals, exact synergy to be determined.
  • Rock: Yes – only The Mountain, possibly different stages of its growth.
  • Thunder: Likely yes – see Pyro.
  • Zombie: No – all possible members are better placed elsewhere.

In general, we can say that these Types are going to be either splashable support for all Rahi decks, slightly weird add-ons to previously defined groups, or standalone strategies of a few monsters united by more than just their Type.

And now that we’ve figured that out, all that’s left to cover are some more ways to group the Rahi we’ve already seen, but this time without taking into account their typing – stay tuned for that. The Rahi Update draws ever closer!

Deck Idea: Kenny and Genny go to Po-Koro

A slightly belated article for a build cooked up throughout the past week and first posted in video form a few days ago. You can find that right here:

Kenny and Genny go to Po-Koro

So what is the idea? Well, it revolves around Ken the Warrior Dragon and Gen the Diamond Tiger, a pair of TCG-exclusive cards Konami released in the latest set (as of this writing). Their effects essentially let you artificially create a situation where your opponent controls a monster and has activated its effect before even getting a turn, letting you freely use things like Triple Tactics Talent and Thrust when you’re going first. This, combined with additional benefits they provide, enables all manner of bullshit in decks like Mikanko and Dark World, but when I saw them, the pile of goo I call a brain was permeated by but one thought:

“Oh, these are Warriors, now which Koro deck can spare a summon?”

Since the best fit seemed to be Po-Koro with its buttload of extenders, here we are. And then I also made a Chronicler’s Company variant because I was laughing so hard about the thought of these weirdos showing up and thrusting their talents around until they just get shoved into the next best band of zany characters.


As per usual, this build simply aims to spam lots of monsters with the help of Po-Koro generating Tokens and Onewa bringing back banished EARTH Warriors. Ken & Gen here simply act as options to Normal Summon (or Special Summon off Isolde) that most importantly let Thrust act as a searcher for things like ROTA, Terraforming, or revival cards to help assemble the combo. Also they fulfill Huki ‘s Special Summoning condition when placed correctly, so that’s cool. I went with a ratio of 3 Gen and 1 Ken, since Gen is the one you want to Summon first so that Ken triggers on the opponent’s field to draw you 2 cards, increasing the chance of finding the Triple Tactics Spells that make them go from good to insane.

The combo itself uses another fairly new card in Revolution Synchron, searchable by Junk Converter, which is in turn searchable by Turaga Whenua – and its required discard can be your Isolde search. What this line accomplishes is reliable Tuner access, which is exactly what we need to properly utilize the Po-Koro Tokens despite the fact that making them locks us out of the Summoning mechanic used to do so.

What I consider the best play is to get Junk Converter banished (by Onewa’s effect 0r a Kakama search), Special Summon one of your Level 2 extenders to Onewa’s zone so he triggers and brings back the Converter, and then combine the Revolution Synchron in your hand with those two monsters to make Power Tool Dragon. Then Converter brings back the Synchron, you make a Level 10 with those two EARTH monsters (Chengying, Baronne, whatever you prefer), and Po-Koro makes two Tokens that are free to be linked into I:P. Yes, it needs to be specifically Power Tool because it’s the only EARTH that works with Revolution – our boy is finally relevant.

Beyond that, the deck contains other formidable boss monsters like Borreload Savage, Crystal Wing, Naturia Beast, and Avramax that can be made either on subsequent turns or in case you can’t quite assemble the primary goal.

It’s all quite flexible, but any significant amount of disruption is still going to ruin your day, and the end boards are still fairly breakable. I doubt this is much of a competitively viable strategy, more of an exercise in creativity putting together a reproducible combo with some new cards while working under Po-Koro’s strange requirements and restrictions.

Chronicler’s Company

This one isn’t too different from a regular C.C. deck, with the main Extra Deck payoffs being I:P, Avramax, and/or a Borreload Savage made with Cupid Pitch so you can get your Hop Ear Squadron to upgrade into a Level 10 or the Level 4 Herald of the Arc Light. But the presence of Ken and Gen adds the interesting aspect that sometimes, you just have an additional Level to work with since they’re 3s rather than 2s. And the wacky alternate Synchro boss I found for those cases is Power Tool Braver Dragon, continuing the theme from Po-Koro.

With the help of the Equip Spells you run anyway for Isolde, it can negate a monster or change its battle position, and the latter option is even worth considering when one of your Equips is specifically Life Extreme, which has a destruction effect triggered by just those battle position changes. We still use Cupid Pitch in this line, so Psychic End Punisher also makes the cut as a Level 11 Hop Ear target.

Other than that, it’s worth nothing that you don’t really want Ken or Gen to be your Isolde summon here, since at that point you need to focus on gathering up the Level 2s so the numbers work out optimally. Unlike in Po-Koro, where it was legitimate to bring them out one way or the other, here you’re generally only going to use them if you open Gen as your initial Normal Summon. On the other hand, there is one unique benefit this deck also gets if you do that: Place the monster you give your opponent in an empty column, and the activation of its effect will also allow you to bring out Maku from your hand or GY, who can then protect another card from disruption once while you perform the rest of the combo. Oh, and the battle position change that she does on summon also triggers Life Extreme. Truly the age of Power Tool is upon us.

Designer’s Quip: Recycling

Surprise, one of these that isn’t part of the ongoing dissertation in Rahi zoology for once.

The topic this time is “recycling”, i.e., returning cards that have been previously used up to advance the game state into a location where they can be used once more at a later point. This was on my mind with the last update specifically because Nuva Emergence does it, and so do the Bohrok and Bohrok-Kal that are the other focus of BPEV.

But before we go into these details, I actually want to start off with a more general tangent on the concept.

Recycling in Yugioh

Looking at the history of the actual game, there’s an argument to be made that recycling is one key thing that can contribute a lot to making a deck powerful, particularly in modern formats where you can make a lot from just the right few resources.

For example, Gladiator Beasts are often considered one of the first major decks with something resembling a modern playstyle, and sure enough a form of recycling is baked right into their core mechanics. Whether you tag out after battle or go into a Fusion, the monsters all return to the Deck, exactly where you want to have them for the next tag-out. This is what I would call “long-term recycling” – you don’t immediately get resources back, but it basically ensures you never run out of plays. Balancing-wise, it’s interesting to note that, because there is no direct advantage gain and because you technically lose potential resources on the field and such, this can be (and often is) even coupled with other benefits.

Later in history this long-term recycling also starts extending to the truly “spent” cards that are banished or in the GY, such as in the case of Thunder Dragon Fusion, a card that puts stuff back in deck with the side benefit of, once again, a Fusion Monster. On top of that, it also has a search effect in the GY itself, so over the course of two turns it alone lets a single monster perform a full circuit from GY/banished back to hand. Another common dynamic is recycling things into the Deck for draws, from Pot of Avarice to Runick Fountain. And in the Madolche archetype, we see returning to Deck not as something tied to an immediate benefit, but still as something all the monsters just do for free.

Of course, we can’t talk about long-term recycling without mentioning what is now widely known as perhaps the most powerful and versatile archetype ever printed, Tearlaments. Like Thunder Dragons, they can recycle fusion materials from the GY (though not banished) back into the Deck, and like Gladiator Beasts, they do this without the need for a Fusion Spell, instead using an effect on the same monsters you use as material. The result is a strategy that essentially makes its boss monsters at the “cost” of an infinite resource loop. It’s this entire concept we’ve been talking about taken to a logical extreme.

But that’s not even all Tear has to offer, because if you look at the Spells and Traps, you will find that many of their secondary effects when sent to the GY allow you to bring spent cards from all kinds of other locations back to your hand. Yes, this archetype also has short-term recycling, and there’s our segue.

By “short-term recycling”, I mean giving resources back into play directly, usually to the hand or field.

A personal favourite of mine that makes use of this a lot is Speedroid, including Speed Recovery, which actually does both revival and adding back to hand. Similar features are present on the three Synchro Monsters that help you climb into big bosses: Cork Shooter immediately brings its materials back to the field on Summon, Hagoita can revive itself if you control a Tuner, and Puzzle gives you a monster back in the End Phase to ensure followup. What we can see on all these effects is that, in contrast to the long-term recycling, the part where you get back a card is purely a payoff balanced by some kind of condition or cost. Which makes perfect sense when you consider the simple key difference that short-term recycling generates immediate advantage.

For our final example, let’s look at the Invoked engine, where Aleister searches Invocation, gets fused away and banished, and is added back to hand so you can also use him as a stat booster or to repeat the combo next turn. At the same time, Invocation itself gets put back into the Deck as long-term recycling, with the short-term recycling in and of itself being what you gain from doing so.

This is entirely in line with our overall hypothesis: Long-term recycling is a cost, short-term recycling is a benefit – and clearly the former can even pay for the latter.

Recycling in BYE Themes

Onu-Koro, Village of Earth

Field Spell

You can target up to 5 EARTH monsters in your GY; shuffle them into the Deck, then gain 600 LP for each card shuffled into the Main Deck this way. If your LP are higher than your opponent’s: You can send 1 EARTH monster from your hand or field to the GY, then pay LP in multiples of 1000 (max. 3000); draw 1 card for every 1000 LP paid, then, if your LP are lower than your opponent’s, send that many cards from your hand to the GY. You cannot Normal or Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this effect, except EARTH monsters. You can only use each effect of “Onu-Koro, Village of Earth” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Starting in BCOT, our foremost representative of long-term recycling is Onu-Koro. Nothing makes this more evident than the effects of its central Field Spell, letting you shuffle back EARTH monsters to gain LP that can subsequently be converted into multiple draws. The theme here is being rewarded for the “work” you did putting those monsters into the GY, and that’s probably also a core reason shuffling stuff back is generally treated as a cost- it requires setup.

Turaga Onewa

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [↙ ↘] | EARTH Spellcaster | ATK 1450

2 monsters, including an EARTH Warrior monster
You can target 1 Level 4 or lower EARTH monster in your GY; the player with the fewest total cards in their hand and field draws 1 card, also add that target to your hand, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand. If an EARTH monster(s) is Special Summoned to a zone(s) this card points to: You can target 1 of your banished EARTH Warrior monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Onewa” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The village for truly short-term recycling is Po-Koro, where you just try to build big boards through elaborate combos and therefore have a strong interest in getting your resources back as quickly as possible. However, the fact that you tend to use up those recycled cards immediately makes this strategy surprisingly weak at recovery, and thinking about that made me just realize a hidden third mode of recycling I haven’t been distinguishing so far.

Turaga Matau

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [↙ ▶] | WIND Spellcaster | ATK 1400

2 monsters, including a WIND Warrior monster
During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower WIND monster from your hand in Attack Position, but its ATK becomes 0. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can activate this effect; during the Standby Phase of your next turn, add 1 WIND monster from your GY to your hand, then, if your opponent controls more monsters than you do, you can make all monsters they currently control lose 700 ATK/DEF until the end of that turn. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Le-Koro has recovery as its explicit focus, and to achieve that, it does a lot of “mid-term recycling”, as you might call it. Matau is a perfect example with his ability to return a monster from your GY on the next turn, but there’s also Makani’s delayed recycling of WIND Warriors and Tamaru’s ability to come back out of the GY with any discard. These effects are clearly more like short-term than long-term recycling since they’re still treated as benefits, but the delay associated with them acts as part of the tradeoff in the equation.

Rahi Swarm


If your opponent controls a monster and you control no monsters: Add 2 “Rahi” monsters with the same Type, but different names, from your Deck to your hand. For the rest of this turn, your opponent takes no damage. You can banish this card from your GY; Special Summon 1 “Rahi” monster from your GY, but it cannot attack, also it is destroyed during the End Phase. You can only use 1 “Rahi Swarm” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

There’s no dedicated recycling theme in BCOR (… yet!), but there certainly lies some potential in the fact that most Rahi Spells and Traps have additional effects in the GY restricted by a shared HOPT with the regular effect. That means after (hypothetically) building a big Rahi board, if it gets broken and the turn passes back to you, you could (hypothetically) use that accumulated stock of effects as followup to rebuild and remove whatever your opponent put up. Might be an idea worth exploring in an upcoming overhaul.

Bohrok Lehvak

Flip Effect MonsterLevel 4 | WIND Machine | ATK 1400 / DEF 1900

FLIP: Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your Deck in face-down Defense Position, except “Bohrok Lehvak”.
During your Main Phase 1: You can shuffle this card into the Deck; destroy 1 card on the field.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

Bohrok Nuhvok Va

Tuner Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Machine | ATK 700 / DEF 1000

If you control “Bohrok Nuhvok”, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon “Bohrok Nuhvok Va” once per turn this way. You can send 1 card from your hand to the GY; draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Nuhvok Va” once per turn. During the End Phase, if this card is in the GY because it was sent there from the field this turn: Shuffle 2 “Bohrok” monsters, except “Bohrok Nuhvok Va”, from your GY into the Deck, then draw 1 card.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

And that brings us straight to BBTS and the Bohrok, an archetype equipped with massive long-term recycling capabilities because it needs to keep up the illusion of an endless swarm despite being limited to 3 of each monster. The Level 4 Bohrok put themselves from the field back as cost for their destructive effects, while (some of) the Level 2 Bohrok Va put monsters from the GY back as cost for a draw. All just as observed above, which is funny considering I had none of this theory really figured out back when I made these cards.

Bohrok Tahnok-Kal

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

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. (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; it cannot attack or activate its effects this turn, also you can detach 1 more material from this card, and if you do, destroy all monsters your opponent controls with less than 2000 ATK. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Tahnok-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.3.3)

Anyway, the Bohrok-Kal act as a logical extension of the concept with their shared clause of putting detached materials back into the Deck. However, this one is actually pulling triple duty because not only does it enable your resource loop, it also limits the ability to attach Krana from the GY by not putting them back there and can keep your opponent off GY resources if you snatch up some of their cards with Bohrok Counterattack .

Nuva Emergence


Fusion Summon 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by shuffling the Fusion Materials listed on it into the Deck, from among your hand, GY and/or face-up banished cards. If your opponent controls a monster, you can also banish 1 monster from your Deck as Fusion Material. During the Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “Nuva Emergence”, then discard 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Nuva Emergence” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

Meanwhile on the Toa’s side, the aforementioned Nuva Emergence is the main point of recycling, being a classic Fusion Summon by shuffling back materials. However, this is less good in this particular strategy than it has historically been because the materials you can recycle are limited to Toa Mata and Energized Protodermis, meaning it can’t get spent Toa Nuva themselves back into rotation. That’s why it also has a way to use a material from the Deck, so you have a better chance to assemble what you need for the Nuva that are still available.

The secondary effect, meanwhile, is our mid-term recycling that can also act as a search, which is the same effect all the Nuva have on Summon. The key advantage it boasts on this card is the fact that you can do it without having to pull off a Fusion Summon, which is obviously greatly appreciated whenever you aren’t in a particularly good spot – the exact times you can really use some recycling.


Where was I going with all this? Good question. Just consider it my recent thoughts on the topic in somewhat organized form. Key points as takeaways:

  • Long-term recycling is beneficial, yet also treated as a cost due to the setup it needs.
  • Short-term recycling is a payoff that is balanced by some form of cost, which can even be long-term recycling.
  • Mid-term recycling is like short-term recycling, but delayed and cheaper.
  • Archetypes that are good at recycling have a strong track record of being both successful and seen as fun to play.
  • I should design more archetypes than I already have with recycling in mind.

And that’s all. Now time to get back on that Rahi classification grind!

Release: Emergence

Those who read the previous release post to the very end already know what should be in this one, and in a miraculous alignment of planning and execution, that also happens to be what is in this one: The remaining Toa Nuva, and a card that provides recursion in order to let you Fusion Summon on your opponent’s turn as well, as Spright Elf once did. Now, let us see what has emerged from the hidden pool of Energized Protodermis.

Download for EDOPro

Some concepts for Toa Nuva decks can be found over here. Release notes below.

New Cards

Nuva Emergence


Fusion Summon 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by shuffling the Fusion Materials listed on it into the Deck, from among your hand, GY and/or face-up banished cards. If your opponent controls a monster, you can also banish 1 monster from your Deck as Fusion Material. During the Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “Nuva Emergence”, then discard 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Nuva Emergence” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

Starting off, the title and cover card of this release is precisely the aforementioned upgrade of our fusion capabilities: Nuva Emergence. By default, it lets you fuse by shuffling materials back into the Deck, but if you wait for your opponent to have a monster first, you can also flip the script and banish one of the materials from your Deck – potentially even an Energized Protodermis Chamber that then acts as free removal as well.

The ability to do that is why I initially didn’t want to make this yet another cheap fuse-from-deck card, but the math just didn’t work out that way, so as a compromise it now lets you conditionally get just one of the two materials from there. That means you can recycle the Chamber from the Toa Nuva made turn 1 to make a different one turn 2, or recycle the Toa Mata to make the same one and trigger a fresh Chamber, or get both a different Toa Nuva and a Chamber trigger if you’ve managed to set up an additional Toa Mata as material somehow. Fairly reasonable tradeoffs that give you a surprising amount of flexibility.

Later on, the Nuva Emergence can also be banished from the GY to do the same search-and-discard all the Toa Nuva do on Fusion Summon, and while you can’t directly get another copy, you can do it indirectly via some updated Kanohi Nuva, as we’ll see a bit further down. This way, we have the issue of repeatability somewhat covered as well.

In the meantime, the remaining two Toa Nuva join the team with effects following the usual pattern. Almost.

Toa Nuva Pohatu

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2800 / DEF 2100

“Toa Mata Pohatu” + 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 destroy Spells/Traps your opponent controls, up to the number of Rock monsters you control +1. You can only use this effect of “Toa Nuva Pohatu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

Pohatu Nuva is just a straightforward upgrade of his Mata form , replacing the Trigger Effect to destroy a Spell/Trap (and another if you control a Rock) with an unconditional Quick Effect to destroy a Spell/Trap (and as many more as you control Rocks). Subtle differences, but they provide powerful advantages.

Nuva Symbol of Granite Tenacity

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Pohatu” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. If a monster(s) is Special Summoned, and you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower monster from your hand or GY. You can only use each of the preceding effects of “Nuva Symbol of Granite Tenacity” once per turn. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, then Tribute 1 non-Fusion Monster.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

The Nuva Symbol of Granite Tenacity provides one way to assemble the Rocks needed to really take this effect over the top, by giving you a Level 4 or lower Special Summon from hand or GY whenever anyone Special Summons (if you have a Toa Nuva). This extends to all monsters in the Level range and doesn’t negate effects or anything, so you can also use it to bring out anything from starters to extenders to a bit of extra battle damage – Pohatu is a sociable guy, after all. However, the loss of elemental power upon removal of the Nuva Symbol will force you to Tribute a monster instead, with Fusions being exempt because lore-wise the Toa Nuva does have to stay around in its negated state.

You might notice the direct synergy between the effects of Pohatu and his Nuva Symbol is relatively thin, and indeed I have been considering an additional portion of Pohatu Nuva’s effect that summons a Rock Token when you e.g. destroy a face-up card. That would not only give you a built-in ramp to reach a higher number of pops, but also provide a trigger for Granite Tenacity to do its thing. But in testing, Pohatu just kind of seemed good enough already that it felt hard to justify the significant amount of extra text a Token would have brought with it, so for now the effect remains short and crispy.

Great Kanohi Kakama 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 can attack all monsters your opponent controls, once each. 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; Set 1 “Nuva” Trap directly from your Deck, also if you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, the monsters you currently control can attack directly this turn, but if they do so using this effect, their ATK is halved during damage calculation only.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

The Kakama Nuva is our first special case here, because it is one in the lore as well: This Kanohi Nuva alone provides not only a strengthened and shareable form of the power it had before its transformation, but also an entirely new ability of phasing through solid objects. Accordingly, the on-field effect has remained identical to the base Kakama , but the bonus effect it can grant from the GY instead lets your monsters attack directly. The halved ATK when doing so proved absolutely necessary to not make winning way too easy, and implementing it revealed to me that almost all the direct-attack cards in EDOPro are coded wrong since they don’t let you select which of multiple stacked effects of that type to use on a specific attack. At least Cyberdark Edge does it right.

Also don’t overlook that this card’s GY effect Sets a Trap rather than placing a Continuous Spell. That new feature was added to several Kanohi Nuva so that you can easily access and loop Nuva Emergence (or, more rarely, the Nuva Cube ).

Toa Nuva Kopaka

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2400 / DEF 2900

“Toa Mata Kopaka” + 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. Once per turn, during the Main Phase, if you control no other monsters (Quick Effect): You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; banish it. While this card is in face-up Defense Position, your opponent’s monsters cannot target other monsters for attacks, also your opponent cannot target other cards you control with card effects.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

In the case of Kopaka Nuva, we leave the regular upgrade patterns aside pretty much immediately. Granted, Kopaka Mata had a similarly nonstandard sword-and-shield effect setup going, so obviously translating that requires a different approach.

For the “sword”, we still banish (freeze), but now it can be used freely as long as Kopaka is working alone … and isn’t non-targeting against all cards any more, because that would be a bit broken when it’s so much easier to use.

For the “shield”, the condition is still being in Defense Position, and the effect is still preventing your other monsters from being attacked. Oh, and your other cards from being targeted. One might suggest this could be toxic when combined with various floodgates, and I am not legally required to respond to these allegations. Don’t worry, it’s totally just for the Nuva Symbols.

Notably, the effect to change to Defense Position (and thus make your other cards untargetable) after battle was dropped to save space, as it isn’t really all that necessary on a Fusion Monster that can be summoned in defense to begin with anyway. It does make attacking with Kopaka Nuva a serious investment that leaves you unguarded for a turn, but for how broad the protection is that’s probably fair.

Nuva Symbol of Frigid Serenity

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Kopaka” 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 leaves the field because of an opponent’s card: You can banish 1 card from your opponent’s hand (at random) or their field. You can only use each of the preceding effects of “Nuva Symbol of Frigid Serenity” once per turn. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, your opponent can add 1 of their banished cards to their hand.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

The Nuva Symbol of Frigid Serenity then answers the remaining question of “but what if they go after Kopaka since they can’t target anything else?”. If that happens, or generally if your opponent dares remove a Toa Nuva, they’ll find themselves on the receiving end of a true non-targeting banish. And this one can even reach the hand, just so it still works if they drop a Kaiju right away. Unfortunately this does not help you recover your lost monster in any way, so it can almost feel a bit underpowered at times. But boy is it fun to swap it in with a Nuva Cube at the right moment.

The punish for letting this symbol get removed is, aside from the usual negate, an opportunity for your opponent to add back a banished card. The impact of which ranges from nothing to devastating depending on whether or not Pot of Desires previously resolved on their side. That’s right, face-down banished cards are also allowed.

Great Kanohi Akaku Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control, your opponent must keep their hand revealed. 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; Set 1 “Nuva” Trap directly from your Deck, also if you control a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, look at your opponent’s hand.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

Finally, the Akaku Nuva also deviates from the norm in its GY effect, but this time not because of the lore but because I could not come up with any way (that’s not horribly convoluted) to grant your entire field the power of revealing the opponent’s hand. Instead, it’s just a one-and-done hand reveal you get along with your Trap if a Toa Nuva is present. This card is also missing the banishing part of the base Akaku , because a) pretty hard to find the space for that, b) I think we’ve been doing quite enough banishing over here already, and c) just the information by itself is enough to make it worthwhile when every Toa Nuva can trigger it on summon.


The updates this time are numerous, but easily explained. You know how the Toa Nuva previously all said “You can only use each effect […] once per turn”? That says “this effect” now. That’s it. That’s the update. Check the sweet version selection dropdown I can enable in card blocks now.


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. If your opponent controls a monster (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 this effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

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 this effect of “Toa Nuva Gali” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

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 this effect of “Toa Nuva Onua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

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 this effect of “Toa Nuva Lewa” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

Okay but why do we suddenly not want the search effects to be HOPT anymore? Multiple reasons for that, but I’ll be honest, the main one is that Kopaka Nuva already has a lot of words and can get away without a HOPT clause if we do that. I strongly doubt this can enable any serious abuse since you can use this exact same effect on 6 different names anyway (7 if we count Emergence), and the discard means it doesn’t even plus you – unless you weave in a Kanohi Nuva, which are collectively HOPT in their own right.

Oh, and apparently I totally forgot to put a little update Tahu Nuva got into the overview image. His effect to drain ATK now only works if the opponent controls a monster, which is my solution to how easy it was to OTK into an emtpy field by draining your own monster in the middle of the Battle Phase. Tahu may be a hothead at the expense of his own allies sometimes, but probably not so much in cases where there isn’t even an enemy in front of him.

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 your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.4.4)

The tweak for the Pakari Nuva is technically a regression to a detail of its AoE ATK boosting effect from several versions ago, namely that it lasts through your opponent’s turn even if it was activated on yours. This is sort of a consequence of the Kanohi Nuva being split into Spell searchers and Trap searches, with one criterion being that the Spell ones ( Hau , Kaukau , Pakari) should have bonus effects more useful on your opponent’s turn and the Trap ones (Kakama, Akaku, Miru ) on yours. But there are other factors such as balancing things between Attributes, and through those the Miru with its targeting protection effect ended up split from Hau and Kaukau with their battle and effect protection. So to counterbalance that little mixup, the Pakari got similarly tweaked so its bonus effect works no matter whose turn you activate it on. Not sure that really makes sense, but it seems to go well in practice.

And with that we’ve also taken care of everything I wanted to say about the Miru Nuva, which only got changed to a Trap searcher and remained the same otherwise. Allow me to close this article with another fancy version-selectable card block.

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; Set 1 “Nuva” Trap directly from your Deck, 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 (v4.4.4)

If you’ve gotten addicted to dropdowns, I can warmly recommend our shiny new card viewer page (that you may already have seen behind the hoverable card links, which are also a thing that exists now). It has EVEN MORE DROPDOWNS!!1!

Until next time.

Deck Idea(s): Things You Can Do With Toa Nuva

Back when the Toa Mata first (or second, if you want to be technical) assembled in card form, I put together a few different builds to help get a handle on how they could be played and how to approach the remaining support. With the newest release, that time has come for the Toa Nuva.

This can also be considered a follow-up to the deck featuring Isolde and Spright Elf that has been included in recent versions. Or rather, the experimentation documented here started mainly because that particular deck was ruined once Elf got banned, which is why the first ideas still resemble it pretty closely

For a quick overview and duel footage of each deck, you can also check out the video.

Toa Nuva: Beyond the Elf

Spright Cope Nuva

This is the same convoluted Elf replacement I came up with in the previous release already, but to briefly reiterate: Isolde plus a Level 2 Warrior summoned with her effect makes Gigantic Spright, which summons Spright Jet, which searches Spright Double Cross, which revives Chamber on the next turn for another Fusion Summon. Unfortunately you need an extra monster to do your first Fusion Summon and set up said Chamber via Energized Protodermis Destiny , so the Warrior you bring out is ideally Hafu while another Level 2 Warrior is already in the GY.

Such conditions as well as the various bricks you need to play make this approach pretty clumsy and you’re probably better off just playing triple Emergence . This particular build is here mostly for historical reasons.

As with most decks of this form, you can pretty much play any assortment of Mata/Nuva you want along with their matching symbols. The Kanohi Nuva are similarly exchangable, but you should make sure to always have a Spell searcher and a Trap searcher (unless you e.g. forgo Nuva Symbols entirely). For a 40 card deck, four Toa seems to be the most that can really be fit in – here Gali, Kopaka, Lewa, Onua, but it could be any other four. I even awkwardly shoved a whole Pohatu package into the side deck to potentially swap if needed.

2 Attributes Nuva

Here’s what it looks like if you just play triple Emergence, with the extra twist that our four Toa Nuva are limited to two Attributes, WATER and EARTH. This doesn’t do anything other than make it marginally more likely you might be able to Tribute Summon a Toa Mata at some point, but it’s a nice way to identify the deck. Irrespective of that, this arrangement of Toa just happens to be pretty decent since it offers monster negation , GY control and recycling , Spell/Trap removal , and monster removal and blanket protection .

The Extra Deck also features some minor, but impactful tweaks compared to older builds, namely double Onua to be extra sure your Toa Nuva stay in rotation and Underworld Goddess to deal with monsters that resist everything else we can do.

60 Cards Nuva

If 40 cards fit four Toa Nuva, then it is only logical that 60 cards would fit all six. And for the rest of the slots, we might as well include a bunch of Toa Mata support since we need to play those anyway. So the basic idea behind this deck that mostly operates along the standard combo lines, but occasionally can also do a whole bunch of other neat things that are best explained via reference to the Toa Mata Theme Guide.

In the spirit of being fancy, I’ve even included Energized Protodermis Flow without so much as an Instant Fusion, so if you ever open with two Chambers you can turn them into an Extra Deck rip and eventually a Fusion from the GY. That’s one less way to brick at least, shouldn’t hurt when the deck is 60 cards thick.

EARTH Pile Nuva

Wait, what’s this? Where are the Isolde combos? Well, dear reader, this is a deck that makes use not of the Warrior type, but of the EARTH Attribute. Vernusylphs let us search and send Ishizu millers and shufflers to promptly fill up and curate the GY, modern Naturias provide a repeatable combo line, and Emergence lets us recycle materials amidst all of that to make Toa Nuva for even more GY control or just to pop some cards. Also Kashtira Fenrir is here.

Aside from the various engines doing their thing, I would like to draw attention to the fact that Energized Protodermis Flow is here with Instant Fusion this time. Since it’s Level 4, we can use it to overlay into Gallant Granite and search Nemeses Keystone, which is an extender if you have a banished monster (shufflers make this easy) and recycles itself if it’s banished e.g. by a Kanohi Nuva. Once you manage to resolve Emergence with this setup, that essentially means a Special Summon of a Rock each turn, which is pretty powerful with Pohatu Nuva and Granite Tenacity . Or you can just put up a Barrier Statue. You know, for those among us who enjoy “”fun””.

Kopaka’s Bad Day

Speaking of “”fun””, this one is what I came up with trying to abuse the fact that controlling exactly a single Kopaka Nuva in Defense Position translates to a monster banish every turn while all your backrow is untargetable.

Foolish Burial Goods, Ice Barrier, and maybe Trap Trick help you set up what you need to make the icy dude, while There Can Be Only One and Summon Limit act as the best floodgates we can hide behind the protection without interfering with it. Ko-Koro complements that as a one-sided effect negate and protection for Kopaka so long as we don’t use his activated banish effect. What’s still missing from the equation is a way to win the game while ideally keeping Kopaka in Defense Position, and there Cauldron of the Old Man and Amano-Iwato come in. The former fits in perfectly as backrow, while the latter can be summoned on your turn after using up the OPT banish, attack for some damage, and go back to the hand in the End Phase so your banish is live once again.

So is it good? Not really, setting up Kopaka Nuva is actually pretty hard when you don’t want there to be any other monsters on the field at the end of it, and even then you instantly lose to standard board wipes like Harpie’s Feather Duster and Lightning Storm unless you lucked into drawing exactly The Huge Revolution Is Over. But this failure in deckbuilding is perhaps indicative of a success in design, since apparently Kopaka’s unrestricted targeting protection isn’t that easily abusable after all. Or maybe I just tried to hard to also make the banish work, and setting up a bunch of toxic monsters alongside him would be the way to go.


Unlike the case of the Toa Mata, this exploration of the deck space was not really meant to inspire the design of future support as much as it was checking how the potential of the current cards can be unleashed. Still, I suppose it might be useful to consolidate the experience into a few useful points.

  • The shared HOPT on all the Kanohi Nuva GY effects is the biggest limiting factor to how much you can pop off, and makes it absolutely crucial to Fusion Summon on as many turns as possible. The newly added Nuva Emergence has proven to be the best and most splashable way to do so.
  • Isolde is a powerful setup tool, but kind of railroads you into playing a lot of Warriors. Other strategies are well worth exploring.
  • I wonder what you’d play in WATER Pile Nuva …