Theme Guide: Toa Mata

When the Great Spirit was cast into a deep slumber, the Toa Mata were the six heroes sent out to rectify the situation. However, some faulty equipment caused them to miss their intended landing point and float in the ocean for a thousand years before they could actually begin their mission, turning them into the colorful sentai team of amnesiac skeletons we know and love today. Now, it is time to dive into the cards representing these central figures of Bionicle lore and their tale.

Tahu

Toa Mata Tahu

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2500 / DEF 1500

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 FIRE or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Tahu”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster battles, after damage calculation: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; its ATK becomes 0, also if it is destroyed by battle this turn your opponent takes damage equal to its original ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)

Tahu triggers after a battle has occured to target another opponent’s monster and “set it on fire”. This lowers its ATK 0 permanently and makes it so that being destroyed by battle during the same turn will result in an explosion that directly damages your opponent.

Gali

Toa Mata Gali

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)

Gali‘s effect can be chained to any monster effect activated by the player whose turn it currently is not. She allows you to target a monster and negate its effects, and this also makes herself gain 700 ATK permanently, building towards a truly torrential force with enough patience.

Onua

Toa Mata Onua

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2100 / DEF 2100

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 EARTH or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Onua”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is sent from the hand or Deck to the GY: You can target 1 card in either GY; place that target on the top or bottom of the Deck, and if it was a monster whose original ATK in the GY was lower than or equal to this card’s current ATK, gain LP equal to the difference.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Onua triggers when a monster is sent from the hand or Deck to the GY. He lets you target a card in either GY, place it on the top or bottom of the Deck, and gain LP if it was a monster with sufficiently low ATK. This Earthshattering Event has extremely varied applications, ranging from recycling your own cards to disrupting your opponent’s combos to setting up a dead draw for the next turn.

Pohatu

Toa Mata Pohatu

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2400 / DEF 1700

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 EARTH or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Pohatu”. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, or a monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck activates its effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy that target, also, if you control a Rock monster, you can destroy 1 additional Spell/Trap on the field.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Pohatu destroys a Spell/Trap when a monster is Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, or when such a monster activates its effect (on a new chain after resolution, because it is still a Trigger Effect). And if you are roleplaying the “kicking rocks” theme of this effect so well that there actually is a Rock monster on your field, you get a second pop, too.

Kopaka

Toa Mata Kopaka

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2000 / DEF 2500

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. If this card attacks, it is changed to Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase. If this card is in face-up Defense Position, your opponent’s monsters cannot target monsters for attacks, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. Once per turn, if another card(s) you control leaves the field because of an opponent’s card effect: You can banish 1 card your opponent controls.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

Kopaka triggers when your opponent causes another of your cards to leave the field, and will non-targetingly banish one of their cards in a freezing retaliatory strike.

Much like he is the one Toa Mata to hold two different pieces of equipment in his hands, a sword and a shield, he is also the only one to have another effect on the field. After battle, he will automatically change to Defense Position to become a respectable 2.5k wall, and this wall is further strengthened by the fact that your opponent cannot attack your other monsters while he is in that state.

Lewa

Toa Mata Lewa

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Lewa triggers off any Special Summon from the hand, Main Deck, or GY that happens while he is already on the field (so no, his own Summon doesn’t count). His effect lets you target a monster on the field and bounce it back to the hand, as is common in the WIND Attribute, and if that monster was previously on your field, you also get to bounce a second monster chosen at resolution. This basically allows you to bypass targeting protection at the cost of having to remove some of your field as well.

Aside from the individual traits outlined in the tabs above, there are some noteworthy shared aspects to discuss. The Toa Mata are all Warriors of varying Attributes, and they are Level 6 because that’s kind of an iconic number and also feels like about the right placement for Toa in general – they’re too special to be among the low-level “fodder”, but also not that individually powerful compared to some of the other crazy beings that can be found in the Matoran Universe.

This choice of Level means they require a Tribute to Normal Summon and are therefore horrendous unplayable bricks by default. The normal (and most effective) way to work around this would be adding some handy built-in Special Summoning conditions, but to properly match the delayed arrival of this Toa team, I went with something slower instead and made a “simplified” Tribute Summon the standard method of bringing them out. What that means is that they all share an effect that allows their Tribute to come from the hand instead of the field, provided it is either another Toa Mata or a different monster of their same Attribute. This way, they are actually pretty easy (though still somewhat expensive) to Summon provided you are playing them in either a dedicated Toa Mata deck or an Attribute-based strategy (likely their village‘s), which is exactly how they’re meant to be used.

Once you get the monsters on your field, they each provide different effects meant to represent their elemental powers. These effects are relatively strong, but bogged down by another intentional inconvenience included in the design: As the Toa Mata are fundamentally a reactive force created to respond when the universe is in danger, their effects too will only activate in response to certain events. The trigger conditions are mostly generic enough that you can reasonably set them off yourself and not wait for your opponent to play into them, but that still means a Toa Mata alone is often no more than a beatstick. Refer to the individual descriptions for more detail on these effects and how to trigger them.


What we have so far is just a lineup of mighty heroes with some pretty inconvenient downsides, so it’s going to take a bit of external help to work around those downsides and build a deck that feels good to play. Luckily the Toa Mata had some ridiculously good support infrastructure despite being stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, so the lore gives us plenty of setup here.

First and foremost, there’s the 12 Kanohi each of them had access to, but those are covered in detail in a different guide, so let’s just quickly note that they are Equip Spells that grant different effects to Toa and each of the 6 Great ones has a GY effect which banishes a monster from the GY to search the Toa Mata who mainly wears that mask.

To manage the many Kanohi and ensure you have the correct power when you need it, a Suva is absolutely essential, but in a proper Toa Mata strategy, these shrines can do even more than that.

Suva

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

The mask-swapping effect is in fact sandwiched between two other abilities that help the Mata. Since the Suva counts as all Attributes except DARK in the hand, you can always Tribute it for any Toa without even Summoning it first, granting a big consistency boost. And the fact that it comes back from the GY once per turn if you control a Toa immediately offsets the Tribute cost, while ensuring fairly reliable access to any Kanohi you have in the hand or GY.

If Suva is so good, why isn’t there a Suva 2? Well, there is.

Suva Kaita

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

While in your hand or GY, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card, then target 1 Level 6 “Toa” monster in your GY; Special Summon that target. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 of your banished “Toa” monsters; you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except “Toa” monsters, also Special Summon that target in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Suva Kaita” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Situated at Kini-Nui, the Suva Kaita is a central shrine built not to store Kanohi, but as a gathering point and entrance into what lies beneath the island. It’s mostly symbolic really, but that doesn’t stop me from giving it effects to aid the Toa Mata in working together. Like the regular Suva, it counts as all the Attributes you need while in the hand (and also in the GY – more on that below), and comes with two effects for Special Summoning Toa. The one on the field is a Quick Effect and gets exactly a Level 6 from the GY, but requires the Suva Kaita to Tribute itself. The one in the GY gets back any banished Toa and costs you nothing except banishing the already spent Suva Kaita, but it’s instead restricted by only summoning in Defense Position and comes with an archetypal Extra Deck lock for the rest of the turn. Both of these can be used in the same turn, so with sufficient setup a single Suva Kaita can already get you a Rank 6.

The Great Temple, Kini-Nui

Field Spell

During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.) If a “Toa” monster(s) is Tributed for the Tribute Summon of a “Toa Mata” monster and sent to your GY: You can target 1 of those monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position, but banish it when it leaves the field. During the End Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck. You can only use each effect of “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Zooming out a bit, Kini-Nui is also an important piece of Toa Mata support. As the very location in which the full team finally came together after separate adventures in their respective regions, this is pretty much the Field Spell that does everything the Toa Mata monsters themselves don’t do to directly support each other as a functioning archetype. It grants an additional Normal Summon to make up for the lack of built-in Special Summons (though this part is more relevant to hybrid strategies that also want to play a non-Toa Normal Summon), turns Toa used as Tributes for Toa Mata (often from the hand!) into additional monsters on the field to again enable Rank 6 plays, and fetches either Suva or Suva Kaita from the Deck in the End Phase at the cost of itself.

Since I keep mentioning Rank 6 Xyzs every time an opportunity to put multiple Toa Mata on the field together comes up, I should probably start introducing the Extra Deck monsters that go with the archetype. First off, three mid-bosses representing the teamwork of pairs of Toa Mata.

Magma

Toa Mata Combination – Magma

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1200

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
You can detach 2 materials from this card; send 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, you can halve the ATK/DEF of 1 monster your opponent controls. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 FIRE and 1 EARTH monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Magma” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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

Toa Mata Combination – Storm

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2200 / DEF 0

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
During the Main or Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster from your Deck, but its ATK becomes 0 and it cannot be used as material for a Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon, also banish it during the End Phase of the next turn. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 WIND and 1 WATER monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Storm” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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

Toa Mata Combination – Crystal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2000 / DEF 2700

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
When a Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; negate that effect, and if you do, banish that card. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 WATER and 1 EARTH monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Crystal” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Magma combines the powers of Tahu and Onua to call forth something like a volcanic eruption, detaching all materials in one huge burst to both launch a Rock (Hint: The Rock is one of the Suvas) into the GY and make an opponent’s monster’s stats shrink to half under the heat.

Storm is a collaboration of Gali and Lewa, as seen in canon, calling forth a fierce thunderstorm in which the bolts of lightning are replaced by Toa Mata coming out from the Deck during either player’s turn. As such brief flashes, they are robbed of their ATK, can mostly not be used as material for anything, and disappear at the end of the next turn, but their effects remain usable, so this is a great way to throw in a little surprise when your opponent is just about to do something that happens to meet a trigger condition.

Crystal features the iconic tag team of Pohatu and Kopaka, mixing the former’s Spell/Trap hate with the latter’s banishing into a banishing Spell/Trap negate. This is a type of effect missing from both the regular Toa Mata and the generic Rank 6 pool, so it seemed like a useful addition.

To properly link these combinations to their intended materials, they share a second effect where they can, once used up completely (but not on the same turn they used their other effect), tag out for a pair of Toa Mata with exactly the correct Attributes. Due to overlapping Attributes, you can slightly cheat by e.g. turning a Crystal into Gali and Onua, but close enough. In terms of gameplay, this is another way to get the right trigger effects to your field at convenient times and provides a clear long-term resource advantage to using the archetypal Xyz over generic stuff.

A cut above that are the big bosses, the canonical combination models: The Toa Kaita, who come with their own Kanohi as well.

Akamai (+ Aki)

Akamai, Toa Kaita of Valor

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 3000 / DEF 2000

3 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects during the Battle Phase. If this card battles an opponent’s monster, that monster has its effects negated until the end of the Damage Step. Once per turn, if this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: You can detach 1 material from this card; inflict damage to your opponent equal to the destroyed monster’s original ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Aki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, gains 1000 ATK, and can attack all monsters your opponent controls once each, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Wairuha (+ Rua)

Wairuha, Toa Kaita of Wisdom

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2600 / DEF 2600

3 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation. If a material(s) is detached from this card (except during the Damage Step): You can declare 1 card type (Monster, Spell, or Trap); your opponent reveals 1 random card in their hand and the top card of their Deck. Then, apply these effects, in sequence, based on the number of cards of the declared type revealed. You can only use this effect of “Wairuha, Toa Kaita of Wisdom” once per turn.
●1+: Draw 1 card.
●2: Banish 1 card your opponent controls or in their GY.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Rua

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent must keep their hand revealed. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

While Summoning 2 Toa Mata at a time is relatively easy, getting the third one usually requires either multiple turns or a really good hand plus setup, so these are intended as legitimate win conditions for the deck.

Akamai is a certified unga bunga way to end a game. With 3000 ATK, locking your opponents effects in the Battle Phase, negating effects such as battle protection of whatever he is fighting, and burning after winning a battle, the Toa Kaita of Valor pretty much guarantees you at least 3000 damage all by himself. The Kanohi Aki further elevates this to solo OTK potential with 1000 more ATK, piercing damage, and being able to attack all the monsters.

Wairuha on the other hand is the more defensive option you go into if you expect the game to continue. I don’t think it needs to be said that an omninegate, even a non-destroying one, is a pretty strong effect, but in the hands of a wise player, the Toa Kaita of Wisdom grants even more power than that. As a second effect that triggers when a material is detached (and therefore immediately after using the negate), you get to play a little guessing game regarding your opponent’s hand and top of the Deck, and depending on how correct you are, win some crazy plusses. The Kanohi Rua enhances this package with effect immunity so you don’t have to waste the negate on protecting Wairuha, as well as revealing your opponent’s hand to give you an edge when guessing.

Since the two Kanohi that only work on Toa Kaita would be extremely dead draws most of the time, they have a secondary effect when equipped to a regular Toa to let you Xyz Summon with an additional material from your hand. This gives you another way to hit the necessary 3 with reasonable effort.

After introducing the characters, the stage, and the props with which they interact, all that’s missing from this grand show is the story itself. That part is told through a series of three Spells and Traps supporting the Toa Mata archetype.

Call of the Toa Stones

Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

It all begins with the Call of the Toa Stones, a failsafe activated by the adventurer Takua to call the Toa lost at sea towards the island where they were meant to be. This is essentially the Toa Mata archetype’s standard issue search Spell, but I got carried away and made it way more complicated. Instead of simply adding a monster to the hand, you excavate equal to a die roll (resemblance to the “excavate 6” in Takua’s own effect very intentional), add 0-2 Toa Mata you find to your hand, shuffle the rest back, and then proceed in different ways depending on how many you actually added. This means the randomness just changes your plays and mostly can’t ruin them, and since you get to pick how many you add, higher rolls and more hits can only expand your options.

If you found 2 Toa Mata, your Call has succeeded, the Toa have arrived, you broke even on card advantage, and to celebrate all that you gain a bunch of LP. If you only found 1, you’re able to also grab a Suva or Suva Kaita to support that single Toa, offsetting the initial discard cost in a different way. And if you did not add any cards, you’ll have to live with the minus, but in exchange you can immediately continue the story in the proper way with the Coming of the Toa.

Coming of the Toa

Trap

Target up to 3 monsters with different names in your GY; Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster from your Deck with the same Attribute as each target, but they cannot attack, also return them to the hand during the End Phase. Then, if all targets are in the GY because they were sent there this turn, you can place 1 “Quest for the Masks” from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You cannot Special Summon monsters with 2000 or more ATK the turn you activate this card, except “Toa” monsters. You can only activate 1 “Coming of the Toa” per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

This one, as random Trap Cards in archetypes usually need to be, is kind of crazy. Best case scenario, it gives you three Toa Mata and a Continuous Spell on the field. Potentially during the first turn if you get it with Call and are also able to execute a combo that puts the necessary Attributes in the GY. Even with less perfect setup, you’ll still be able to Summon at least one monster from your Deck, and that tends to be pretty good.

There of course need to be downsides to balance this out, which are as follows:

  1. No attacking with the Summoned monsters.
  2. Everything goes back to the hand at the end of the turn.
  3. The Toa Mata need to be in your Deck.
  4. The only monsters with 2000 or more ATK you can Special Summon during the whole turn you activate this are Toa.

It’s the last two points especially that disqualify this card from being splashable to a degenerate level, since Toa Mata by themselves can be huge bricks in a deck that doesn’t also play their support and making a Wairuha turn 1 is a lot less good when it locks you out of pretty much all other boss monsters. Meanwhile, a dedicated Toa Mata strategy doesn’t have such an easy time setting up the GY for big Coming plays early in the game (hence the Suva Kaita’s ability to substitute for any Attribute), so this mostly acts as another way of throwing whichever Toa Mata your opponent is about to trigger onto the field.

And finally, what the Toa embark on after their Call and Coming is a Quest for the Masks.

Quest for the Masks

Continuous Spell

When a “Toa” monster is Normal Summoned: You can equip 1 “Great Kanohi” or “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to it. You can send any number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells from your hand to the GY; draw that many cards. You can only use this effect of “Quest for the Masks” once per turn. Once per turn, during the End Phase: You can target 1 of your banished monsters whose Level is less than or equal to the number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells with different names in your GY; Special Summon it, then destroy this card.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

This is slightly more generic support for Toa and Kanohi in general, and particularly good in Toa Mata since it’s searchable. It equips Kanohi from the Deck on Normal Summon and trades Kanohi you bricked on for draws, but especially notable for the purpose of this guide is the End Phase effect to trade itself for a banished monster. This is meant to synergize with the Great Kanohi’s cost of banishing a monster to search their respective Toa Mata, but also has other uses like bringing back a Suva Kaita (only needs one Kanohi!) that used both its effects already.

Sample Decks

A relatively pure way to play Toa Mata is by mixing them with Kanohi, in particular the “Great” subset of them. The basic win condition of this deck is establishing one or more Toa on the field together with a Suva, and filling the GY with as many Kanohi as possible. This gives you a boss monster that can be endowed with any necessary protection or offensive boost at will, while possibly also disrupting the opponent with its own effect depending on which Toa you picked.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is obviously Isolde, who turns any two Toa on the field into a full Kanohi setup plus a fresh Toa on the field. But you also have more thematic ways of gathering Kanohi via Quest for the Masks, Gift of the Shrine, and the Golden Kanohi, and by using those you keep your Toa on the field free to overlay into the archetypal Xyz Monsters, which are also capable of using Kanohi powers. The major weakness of this deck is the sheer amount of Kanohi it plays, making it very easy to find multiple in your opening hand instead of directly playable cards. When that happens, you better hope Quest for the Masks is also there to unbrick you.

Shout out to Skill Drain for being the only non-custom card in the Main Deck, it just makes too much sense when the strategy is beatsticks who gain their powers from Equip Spells.


If you want to be a bit more experimental, but still remain lore-friendly, you can consider an alliance of the Toa Mata with the Chronicler’s Company, AKA C.C. Matoran. Instead of stuffing the deck with all the Kanohi it can take, we just play a few particularly useful ones to enable Isolde combos, which the C.C. Matoran can execute easily while climbing into Link-4 boss monsters. Doing so will automatically give you access to some Toa by searching them with Kanohi or setting up Attributes for Coming of the Toa in the GY, and those can either become additional threats right away (if you have a spare Normal Summon via Kini-Nui or got Coming from Call) or serve as powerful followup on subsequent turns.

Due to these basically guaranteed searches, the deck plays only one of each Toa Mata, so Call of the Toa Stones will most frequently be used to Set a Coming of the Toa that can be activated during the same turn. For these situations, I:P Masquerena is especially handy because ending on her and Isolde means you don’t Special Summon any non-Toa monsters with 2000 or more ATK, can use Coming to ideally get a Toa Kaita on turn 1, and then link into an indestructible Avramax during your opponent’s turn.


And if you really want to make sure you don’t brick on any Kanohi, here’s a somewhat less immersive deck that gets away with playing zero of them. Instead, we use Prank-Kids as our main combo to make the usual Battle Butler and then use the plethora of Attributes in the GY for a big Summon with Coming of the Toa on the next turn. This is strictly a multi-turn setup even if you get the quick activation for Coming with Call of the Toa Stones, since Prank-Kids Dodo-Doodle-Doo (why are their names like this?) will usually be needed to complete the main combo and has just enough to ATK to clash with the restriction on Coming of the Toa.

The uneven ratios of Toa here, with 2 Tahu, 2 Lewa, and 1 of everyone else, are just to reduce the chances of not having an Attribute left in the Deck. This way, opening Tahu or Lewa still leaves you with a FIRE/WIND target for Coming of the Toa.

Demo Video

Best of Test: Toa Mata

The tests shown here span multiple versions, so you can even see a few different iterations of the decks I came up with. The Toa Mata generally performed really well in tests against the AI, with some obvious bricking issues in the more Kanohi-heavy builds, and a hilariously large part of that seems to be how often they just happen to have the largest ATK stat on the field.

My feeling is that the high winrate is more due to the bots having trouble with stuff like that than the archetype being (too) strong, but there were a few interactions that occasionally felt just a little broken. It wasn’t enough to convince me I need to change something, but if you also happen to notice something like that, I’d be very grateful for a comment so I have more data to work with here. On that note, all other feedback is of course also very welcome.

Conclusion

The Toa Mata are an archetype centered around six strong, but somewhat unwieldy high-level Warrior monsters with varied effects that allow you to respond to different in-game events. Their individual flaws are compensated by their interactions with a wide range of external support, including masks, shrines, a temple, and a story told through Spells and Traps making it easy to get the team to your hand and field. Further power can be unlocked by using the Xyz bosses that represent them working together, finally culminating in their actual physical combined forms, the Toa Kaita.

Theme Guide: Kanohi (BCOT)

The masks of power known as Kanohi play a central role in the story of Bionicle from start to finish, so obviously they also get a fair amount of representation in this humble card game adaptation. With Equip Spells, Yugioh provides a pretty obvious niche for placing inanimate objects that grant their wearer additional powers, but making Equip Spells remotely worth playing in this day and age always takes a bit of creativity. Let’s take a look at what I came up with for the Kanohi featured in BCOT.

Great Kanohi

Hau (Shielding)

Great Kanohi Hau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving that monster. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Tahu” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Hau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)
Kaukau (Water Breathing)

Great Kanohi Kaukau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, unless they target it. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Gali” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Kaukau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)
Pakari (Strength)

Great Kanohi Pakari

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)
Kakama (Speed)

Great Kanohi Kakama

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it can attack all monsters your opponent controls once each. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Pohatu” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Kakama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)
Akaku (X-Ray Vision)

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Kopaka” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Akaku” once per turn. While equipped to a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster you control, this card gains these effects.
●Your opponent must keep their hand revealed.
●Once per turn, if your opponent adds a Spell/Trap(s) to their hand (except during the Damage Step): You can banish that Spell/Trap(s) until the End Phase.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Miru (Levitation)

Great Kanohi Miru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, negate any effect activated by your opponent that targeted it. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Lewa” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Miru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

The first thing to notice here are some common elements to all these effects. They begin with a continuous effect ensuring one can only wear a single Kanohi at a time, by simply blowing up the moment a second one becomes equipped – this allows for the important mask-swapping mechanic, unlike a simple restriction preventing the equipping of additional Kanohi.

Then there are one or more effects that are only active when equipped to monsters from certain archetypes, in the case of Great Kanohi usually Toa or Makuta. These correspond to the actual abilities granted by the mask, and having them limited this way both simplifies design by not having to worry about random synergies and matches the lore, where Kanohi were indeed only usable by certain races with sufficient willpower.

Finally, they have an effect that triggers when sent to the GY. Unlike the previous two components which are meant to be universal to all Kanohi, this one is unique to the six Great Kanohi worn by the Toa Mata, though it does represent a more general design philosophy that Kanohi cards should do something beyond granting power when equipped. GY effects are particularly nice for this role due to Isolde exactly making it piss easy to mill Equip Spells while doing a combo, and even without that particular broken card, gathering a stockpile of Kanohi in the GY was already an intentional part of their strategy when I came up with the original version in ancient times before Link Monsters. Anyway, for these six Great Kanohi in particular, their secondary effect is simply that they can search the matching Toa by banishing a monster from the GY when they are sent there, which helps maintain hand advantage and incentivizes running the correct pairs.

Last but not least, to quickly summarize the on-field effects and what Kanohi powers they represent:

  • Great Kanohi Hau, Mask of Shielding – Lets the wearer generate a protective force field, in this case guarding only against battle destruction and damage (because the shield probably won’t be up outside battle, I guess).
  • Great Kanohi Kaukau, Mask of Water Breathing – Lets the wearer breathe water. To get a useful effect, I generalized this to protection from adverse environmental conditions, meaning immunity to all non-targeting effects.
  • Great Kanohi Pakari, Mask of Strength – Increases the wearer’s physical strength. This is simply and straightforwardly implemented as an ATK increase, plus the ability to inflict piercing damage because they become strong enough to punch straight through walls.
  • Great Kanohi Kakama, Mask of Speed – Lets the wearer move at great speed. Great enough to attack all of the opponent’s monsters in a single Battle Phase, in fact.
  • Great Kanohi Akaku, Mask of X-Ray Vision – Allows the wearer to see through solid objects. Here, it sees through the opponent’s hand, and to provide a more active component, can snipe a freshly added Spell/Trap out of it for a turn.
  • Great Kanohi Miru, Mask of Levitation – Allows the wearer to float in the air, outside the range of targeting effects from which it grants protection. The specific method of negating the effect entirely is for compatibility with Kanohi-swapping Quick Effects (see Support section below).

When the Toa Mata combine into Toa Kaita, so do their masks, forming two even more powerful Great Kanohi.

Great Kanohi Aki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, gains 1000 ATK, and can attack all monsters your opponent controls once each, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Rua

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent must keep their hand revealed. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

The Aki combines the powers of Hau, Pakari, and Kakama, while the Rua does the same for Kaukau, Akaku, and Miru – in both cases with some omissions, because there’s no way the full effects would ever have fit on the cards. However, these insanely powerful abilities are only available to the Toa Kaita, and a sole Toa Mata equipped with one of these cards will instead merely receive some assistance in forming such a combination. Still pretty useful.

And finally, the ultimate “boss” of the Great Kanohi is that which lies beyond the Quest for the Masks, accessible only to a Toa who has gathered all of the six individual masks: The Golden Kanohi.

Great Golden Kanohi

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. While this card is equipped to a “Toa” monster: You can banish 6 “Great Kanohi” Equip Spells with different names from your GY, and if you do, replace this effect with those banished cards’ original effects. If this card is sent to the GY: You can send 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to the GY; add this card to your hand, then place 1 card from your hand on the bottom of the Deck. You can only use this effect of “Great Golden Kanohi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

By banishing exactly 6 Great Kanohi gathered in your GY, it gains their powers as long as it remains on the field. A rather reckless all-in move since it permanently removes the masks you copy and loses to Spell/Trap removal, but certainly satisfying when it works out. The first hurdle is obviously setting up the GY, which the Golden Kanohi itself helps with: Send it to the GY and it will mill you another Kanohi and return to your hand or Deck, continuing to wait for its time to be activated.

This one is technically not a Great Kanohi by name just so nobody can be funny and copy a Golden Kanohi with a second Golden Kanohi.

Noble Kanohi

Huna (Concealment)

Noble Kanohi Huna

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and you control another monster, your opponent cannot target the equipped monster for attacks. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Vakama” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Huna” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)
Rau (Translation)

Noble Kanohi Rau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Each turn, if the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster, the first activated effect that targets it becomes “You can move 1 monster in the Main Monster Zone to another Main Monster Zone on its controller’s field, then your opponent can move 1 monster in the Main Monster Zone to another Main Monster Zone on its controller’s field”. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Nokama” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Rau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)
Ruru (Night Vision)

Noble Kanohi Ruru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. You can only use each of the following effects of “Noble Kanohi Ruru” once per turn.
●If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster: You can target 1 Set card your opponent controls; reveal it. If it is a Spell/Trap Card, inflict 500 damage to your opponent. If it is a monster with lower ATK than the equipped monster, inflict damage to your opponent equal to the difference.
●If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Whenua” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)
Komau (Mind Control)

Noble Kanohi Komau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and your opponent controls 2 or more monsters, the monster(s) with the lowest ATK your opponent controls cannot activate its effects. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Onewa” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Komau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)
Matatu (Telekinesis)

Noble Kanohi Matatu

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster: You can change the battle position of 1 monster on the field. The equipped monster cannot attack the turn you activate this effect. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Nuju” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Matatu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)
Mahiki (Illusions)

Noble Kanohi Mahiki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and you control no other monsters: You can Special Summon 1 “Illusion Token” (Spellcaster/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0), but destroy it when this card leaves the field. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Matau” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Mahiki” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

The Noble Kanohi worn by Turaga follow the same general structure, but predictably also grant their special powers to said Turaga. In exchange, the abilities themselves have lower impact and/or stricter conditions and drawbacks. As their secondary effect, these Kanohi do not search their matching Turaga, but instead act as a revival Spell from the GY by tributing a monster you control, which is useful for rebuilding a broken board or just Link climbing. They also conveniently equip themselves when reviving a Turaga this way.

The powers of the Noble Kanohi included in this expansion are:

  • Noble Kanohi Huna, Mask of Concealment – Hides the wearer from the opponent’s attacks, but only while there are other monsters to hide amongst.
  • Noble Kanohi Rau, Mask of Translation – “Translates” the text of an effect targeting the wearer into a different effect that geometrically “translates” monsters along the Main Monster Zones. It’s basically a convoluted negate based on a stupid pun.
  • Noble Kanohi Ruru, Mask of Night Vision – Illuminates a face-down card and inflicts damage if it’s a Spell/Trap or a monster smaller than the equipped one.
  • Noble Kanohi Komau, Mask of Mind Control – Mentally influences your opponent’s weakest monster(s) into being unable to activate its effects, but only if your opponent actually controls multiple monsters. As indicated by “monster(s)”, this can theoretically affect all opponent’s monsters at once if they have the same ATK.
  • Noble Kanohi Matatu, Mask of Telekinesis – Telekinetically (and non-targetingly) changes the battle position of a monster, but the focus required means the wearer does’t get to attack that turn.
  • Noble Kanohi Mahiki, Mask of Illusions – Generates an illusory Token that stays as long as the mask is active, but doing so requires the wearer to be alone on your field.

Support

That’s it for the masks of power themselves, but there are some other cards that interact with them as well.

Suva

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

The Suva is the Kanohi-storing shrine that supports the Toa Mata by allowing them to switch between the masks they have collected at will, and in relation to Kanohi that is indeed exactly what this card does as well. With the additional limitations of a small LP cost and not being able to re-equip a Kanohi destroyed the same turn, you can equip any Kanohi in your hand or GY to any Toa you control (not just Mata!), which will conveniently cause any already equipped Kanohi to self-destruct, effectively accomplishing the swap.

Gift of the Shrine

Quick-Play Spell

Target 1 face-up monster you control, then activate 1 of these effects;
●Equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your hand or GY to that target.
●Banish 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF you control or in your GY, and if you do, equip 1 “Noble Kanohi” or “Great Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to that target.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Gift of the Shrine is just that effect on a Quick-Play Spell, giving you another option in case the Suva itself becomes unavailable. By banishing a Suva (or a monster with an identical statline – as of this writing, the real game has none), you can also use an alternate effect that equips a Kanohi directly from the Deck instead. This part is explicitly limited to Noble and Great Kanohi, just to make sure it’s not quite so easy to acquire the yet-to-be-implemented Legendary Kanohi. Another difference from the Suva’s effect is that the target of this Spell doesn’t need to be a Toa, so you can use it with Turaga or even just equip a Kanohi from your Deck to a monster that can’t use it only to get it into circulation.

Quest for the Masks

Continuous Spell

When a “Toa” monster is Normal Summoned: You can equip 1 “Great Kanohi” or “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to it. You can send any number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells from your hand to the GY; draw that many cards. You can only use this effect of “Quest for the Masks” once per turn. Once per turn, during the End Phase: You can target 1 of your banished monsters whose Level is less than or equal to the number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells with different names in your GY; Special Summon it, then destroy this card.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Quest for the Masks simulates the Toa Mata’s search for their respective set of Great and Noble Kanohi after arriving on Mata Nui. The first stage of this is that any Normal Summoned Toa (not just Toa Mata – I figure this card might be useful for future teams and their Kanohi as well) immediately gets to equip a Great/Noble Kanohi of your choice from the Deck, finding that mask and permanently adding it to your Suva-accessible collection. Second, if you happen to find any Kanohi by drawing them, you can throw them into the GY to further progress the quest and draw the same number of fresh cards that are probably more useful in your hand. And finally, once you have gathered a sufficient amount of Kanohi, you can declare the Quest for the Masks completed at the end of the turn, recover a banished monster as a reward, and destroy the Continuous Spell. You specifically get to bring back monsters with a Level up to the number of different Kanohi you have, which fits nicely because a complete set of 6 will exactly get you a Toa and if you somehow gather both Greats and Nobles for a total of 12, your options include literally any leveled monster in the game.

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

The Copper Kanohi of Victory is not so much a support card as it is a honorary member of the archetype, being a mask that neither contains special powers nor is actually meant to be worn like one. Given that second point, it might be unfitting for it to even have the usual self-destruct when another Kanohi shows up, but if it didn’t it would still cause the previous Kanohi to blow up, and I figured having different mechanics depending on the order in which masks are equipped would just be weird.

Anyway, what this trophy mask actually does is simply granting “victory” in battle to the entire Matoran evolution line, by destroying itself along with the opponent’s monster. Like the actual Kanohi, it also offers a secondary effect in the GY, and this one acts as a kind of battle trap, equipping to the current “champion” among your monsters on attack declaration.

Theme Guide: C.C. Matoran

The Chronicler’s Company was a group of Matoran from all of Mata Nui’s villages gathered by Takua to assist the Toa Mata in their quest. In BYE, they form a sub-archetype of Matoran with the unique property of directly supporting each other across the Attribute boundaries between villages.

Their founder, leader, and curiously not member of the archetype by name is the Chronicler himself, Takua.

Matoran Chronicler Takua

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Warrior | ATK 350 / DEF 350

If this card is Normal Summoned: You can take 1 of your “C.C. Matoran” monsters from your Deck, GY, or that is banished and place it on top of your Deck, and if you do, this card’s Attribute becomes that monster’s original Attribute. During your Main Phase: You can excavate the top 6 cards of your Deck, and if you do, you can Special Summon 1 excavated “C.C. Matoran” monster or add 1 excavated “The Chronicler’s Company” to your hand, also shuffle the rest into your Deck. You can only use this effect of “Matoran Chronicler Takua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

As in the story, his role is to travel across the six villages, in the process meeting his allies that would later become part of the Company. This is reflected in an excavation effect that digs exactly six cards deep to find and Special Summon a C.C. Matoran, potentially also picking up the card that represents the Chronicler’s Company as a whole while he’s at it. To make sure you don’t discard and excavate only to find nothing, he can set up a C.C. Matoran to find when he’s Summoned, while at the same time changing his own Attribute as a color-changing Av-Matoran. This means using him in a Koro deck to quickly access the sole resident C.C. Matoran, and from there the Turaga, is also a legitimate option.

Now, to understand what the archetype is actually meant to do, let’s look at the aforementioned card that shows them collectively.

The Chronicler’s Company

Continuous Trap

You can only control 1 “The Chronicler’s Company”. This card gains these effects based on the number of “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control.
●1+: Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 “C.C. Matoran” monster from your hand or GY with a different name from the monsters you control.
●3+: Once per turn: You can target 2 “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control and 1 card your opponent controls; return them to the hand.
●6: You can send this face-up card to the GY; shuffle all cards on the field into the Deck, except “C.C. Matoran” cards. Neither player can activate cards or effects in response to this effect’s activation.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

Clearly a significant element is swarming the field with C.C. Matoran monsters, since this Trap Card gains better and better effects as you assemble more of them. If you have at least one, you get to bring out a fresh name from your hand or GY, getting you closer to the next tier, setting up combos, and interacting with the overall gimmick in a neat way that will soon become clear. At least three, and you get to bounce 2 members of the Company and any (targetable) card your opponent controls – anything written on a Trap Card is a Quick Effect by default, so this is disruption, hence the uneven trade (also, these Matoran are small, one of them alone won’t get anything off the field). And if you’re enough of a madman to fill every single Monster Zone, Main or Extra, with C.C. Matoran, you can just unrespondably wipe the field of everything else. The insane strength of this last effect reflects how little I expect it to happen.

So if we want to fill everything including the Extra Monster Zone, that means there must be some archetypal Extra Deck Monsters, right? Not quite, the trick instead lies in the next key card to consider.

C.C. Matoran Hafu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 700 / DEF 400

If this card is Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your hand or GY, but its effects are negated, also banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Hafu” once per turn. A monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck using this card as material gains this effect.
●While face-up on the field, its name is also treated as “C.C. Matoran Hafu”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

In addition to getting another Level 2 Warrior (so any C.C. Matoran, but also Tuners like Junk Anchor for Synchro plays) when Special Summoned, making him usually the best thing to get with Takua, any Extra Deck monster that used Hafu as material will become a “Hafu Original” that bears his very name, C.C. Matoran archetype and all. This is how you make them count for The Chronicler’s Company, and it also renders your boss monsters receptive to our actual gimmick: The fact that most of the same monsters you use to combo also significantly power up other members of the archetype on the field.

C.C. Matoran Kapura

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 600 / DEF 200

If a “C.C. Matoran” monster you control attacks, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated until the end of the Damage Step. At the start of your Battle Phase: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 face-up monster you control that was not Summoned this turn; it can make up to 2 attacks on monsters during this Battle Phase. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kapura” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

C.C. Matoran Kopeke

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 600

If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up: You can add 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “C.C. Matoran Kopeke”, then, if it is not a WATER monster, place 1 card from your hand on top of your Deck. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kopeke” once per turn. If another “C.C. Matoran” monster you control would be destroyed, you can change this card to face-down Defense Position instead.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

C.C. Matoran Tamaru

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WIND Warrior | ATK 400 / DEF 400

If you control a Warrior monster with 1000 or less ATK: You can discard 1 card; Special Summon this card from your hand or GY, but place it on the bottom of the Deck when it leaves the field. During your Main Phase: You can activate this effect; your “C.C. Matoran” monsters can attack directly this turn, also return this card to the hand. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Tamaru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

The clearest examples of this are Kapura, Kopeke, and Tamaru, who respectively provide unstoppable attacks, destruction protection, and the ability to attack directly. Not exactly impressive when they only affect these absolutely tiny shrimps, but things suddenly look very different when you, for example, make a generic 3000 ATK boss monster with Hafu, bring back Kapura with the Continuous Trap, get Tamaru to the field with his own effect, and throw those 3000 into a direct attack with no responses allowed during the Damage Step.

Slightly different are the boosts provided by Maku and Taipu:

C.C. Matoran Maku

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 500 / DEF 200

When your opponent activates a card or effect on the field (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from your hand or GY to your Main Monster Zone in the same column as that card, and if you do, change 1 face-up monster on the field to Defense Position. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up card you control; for the rest of this Chain after this effect resolves, or until the end of this turn if it is a “Matoran” monster, it is unaffected by other card effects, except its own. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Maku” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

C.C. Matoran Taipu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 1000 / DEF 500

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand), but you cannot declare an attack for the rest of this turn, except with “C.C. Matoran” monsters. You can only Special Summon “C.C. Matoran Taipu” once per turn this way. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can target 1 face-up monster you control with less than 2000 ATK; it gains 1000 ATK/DEF until the end of the next turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

The former can give protection to any face-up card, but it will only last for a single Chain (so basically the one effect you’re responding to) unless that card is a Matoran – not specifically a C.C. Matoran, gotta have that Huki synergy. In Taipu’s case, he doesn’t directly provide a benefit, but instead allows C.C. Matoran to ignore the attack restriction that forms the drawback of his free Special Summon from hand.

Sample Deck

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9804806

The core of the deck is formed, obviously, by the C.C. Matoran and Takua, with the number of each reflecting how much having them in hand helps getting combo fodder – if we just manage that, everything else can be searched one way or another. The basic line of play first makes Isolde and uses her to get either Takua or Hafu, whose effects in turn provide you with the multiple monsters you need to keep going. Neo Space Connector and Aqua Dolphin are just another way to accomplish that.

In most cases, the payoff from Isolde will be no less than three Level 2 Warriors, which opens up different options depending on what they are. If all of them are Matoran, you can go for the Diminished Matoran Kaita, which can variably be a beater, a wall, and/or an extender. If you have a Tuner in there – such as Junk Anchor or T.G. Striker – you can instead go through a combo that moves through Stupid Bitch Cupid Pitch and ends on a Level 8 Synchro like Borreload Savage Dragon or PSY-Framelord Omega (Road Warrior is also funny for basically Summoning anything from the archetype for free) while searching a Hop Ear Squadron that can be used on your opponent’s turn to upgrade to Satellite Warrior and destroy a bunch of cards. Whichever boss you end on, Hafu will probably be involved, thus letting you utilize The Chronicler’s Company to get some monsters back, maybe have some extra disruption, and maybe maybe finish things with a legendary blowout.

And it’s also nice that all this still leaves a bit of room for handtraps and generic staples in the Main Deck – certainly not something that can be said for every archetype I’ve come up with here.

Best of Test

Best of Test: The Chronicler’s Company

Conclusion

The Chronicler’s Company are an archetype with the dual focus of comboing into generic boss monsters and powering up those same monsters by treating them as part of the archetype so they benefit from the support effects the monsters provide. The ability to search out and Special Summon monsters in various ways usually makes getting the necessary pieces to accomplish all this to the field a fairly simple task, and the Continuous Trap acts as a kind of archetypal boss that can help with setup, disruption, and straight up winning the game depending on how well you are doing.

Theme Guide: Turaga (BCOT)

The six Turaga of Mata Nui function as the leaders of the island’s villages, and much like the villages themselves, the Link-2 monsters representing those wise elders are best talked about within the context of the respective Koro strategy, so check out the Theme Guides linked in each tab for that.

Vakama

Theme Guide: Ta-Koro

Turaga Vakama

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [◀ ▼] | FIRE Spellcaster | ATK 1400

2 monsters, including a FIRE Warrior monster
You can activate this effect; each player reveals the top card of their Deck, and if it is a FIRE Warrior monster, they Special Summon it. Otherwise, they Special Summon 1 “Vision Token” (Warrior/FIRE/Level 3/ATK 1500/DEF 0) in Attack Position, but it cannot be Tributed or used as material for a Synchro or Link Summon. When a monster is destroyed by battle: Draw 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Vakama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.0.0)
Nokama

Theme Guide: Ga-Koro

Turaga Nokama

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [▲ ↙] | WATER Spellcaster | ATK 1200

2 monsters, including a WATER Warrior monster
Cannot be destroyed by battle while it points to a monster. (Quick Effect): You can banish 1 card from your GY, then discard 1 card; until the end of this turn, this card and monsters it points to are unaffected by the effects of cards with a different card type (Monster, Spell, or Trap) than the card you banished, except this card’s. During your opponent’s End Phase, if this card points to a monster (Quick Effect): You can target 1 of your WATER monsters that is banished or in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Nokama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.13.6)
Whenua

Theme Guide: Onu-Koro

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 than the monsters in your GY. You can only use this effect of “Turaga Whenua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.13.6)
Onewa

Theme Guide: Po-Koro

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 who has fewer 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 your 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 (v3.15.5)
Nuju

Theme Guide: Ko-Koro

Turaga Nuju

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [◀ ▶] | WATER Spellcaster | ATK 1100

2 monsters, including a WATER Warrior monster
If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 face-up Spell/Trap you control; until the end of the next turn, while you control a WATER monster, that target cannot be destroyed by card effects (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn: You can target any number of cards your opponent controls; change that many monsters you control to face-down Defense Position, and if you do, return the targeted cards to the hand.

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

Theme Guide: Le-Koro

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 this turn. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Aside from helping out their village’s gameplan in some specific way, we can make a few general statements about the Turaga’s design: They are Link-2 monsters that require a Warrior with their same Attribute as material, simultaneously referencing their past lives as Toa and making them easy to access via the Matoran in the main deck. They each have a matching Noble Kanohi Equip Spell that provides some relevant effect on the field (again, refer to Koro Theme guides) and can be used from the GY to revive exactly one specific Turaga by Tributing a monster – useful for Link climbing since it can easily gain you Link Rating. And their ATK stats are on the low end below 1500, because I once designed them as Level 3 Tuners that dodge Bottomless Trap Hole they are relatively frail non-combatants.

What they also share is the ability to be material for Amaja-Nui, a Link-3 monster representing a gathering of Turaga at the titular Circle of Legends.

Circle of Legends, Amaja-Nui

Link Effect MonsterLink-3 [↙ ▼ ▶] | LIGHT Spellcaster | ATK 1900

2+ monsters, including a “Turaga” monster
This card’s Attribute is also treated as the original Attributes of all “Turaga” Link Monsters you control or in your GY. You can only use each of the following effects of “Circle of Legends, Amaja-Nui” once per turn. If this card is Link Summoned: You can send 1 “Turaga” monster from your Deck or Extra Deck to the GY. You can target 1 of your Warrior monsters that is banished or in your GY; Special Summon 1 “Legend Stone Token” (Warrior/ATK 0/DEF 0) with the same Level and Attribute to your zone this card points to, then place that target on the top or bottom of the Deck.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

By taking on the Attribute of every Turaga in attendance and recovering spent Matoran of any matching Attribute, this card can be useful in any of the Koro decks and provides a convenient way to build on top of your Turaga once you no longer need it on the field. When Link Summoned, it can also send a Turaga from the Deck or Extra Deck straight to the GY, potentially giving itself an additional Attribute and setting up …

Turaga Nui

Effect MonsterLevel 9 | LIGHT Spellcaster | ATK 2000 / DEF 3000

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect. You can send this card from your hand and 1 “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to the GY; reveal 1 “Turaga” Link monster in your Extra Deck, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster with the same Attribute from your hand. When your opponent activates a card or effect while there are 6 or more “Turaga” Link Monsters with different names in your GY (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from the GY, and if you do, negate the effects of all face-up cards your opponent currently controls. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

… the Turaga Nui, a being of ultimate wisdom (allegedly) formed from the combination of six Turaga. Rather than a serious option for Koro decks, this is a silly gimmick that has an entirely separate turbo deck built around it – you put it and all six Turaga into the GY and then wait for the right time to negate your opponent’s whole life. If you happen to draw it, it generously puts itself into the GY along with a Noble Kanohi (so you don’t have to entirely rely on Isolde for that) to Special Summon the Warrior material for a specific Turaga from your hand, which is arguably helpful even if you’re a well-adjusted member of society only using one Turaga, but probably not enough reason to play the card.

Theme Guide: -Koro

The -Koro strategies are a series of six themes centered around the Field Spells belonging to the archetype of the same name. Each of them combines an Attribute with a specific playstyle and encourages the use of the matching Turaga, as well as Matoran and other Warriors of the correct Attribute. To learn more about the individual strategies, refer to the dedicated Theme Guides linked below.

Ta-

Theme Guide

Ta-Koro, Village of Fire

Field Spell

While all face-up monsters you control (min. 2) are FIRE, face-up monsters you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. If a FIRE monster you control battles an opponent’s monster with higher original ATK, before damage calculation: You can discard 1 card; that monster you control gains ATK equal to the highest original ATK on the field, until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Ta-Koro, Village of Fire” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.12.10)
Ga-

Theme Guide

Ga-Koro, Village of Water

Field Spell

During your opponent’s turn, if all monsters in your GY (min. 1) are WATER, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the activation of your WATER monster effects as Chain Link 2 or higher. You can banish 1 monster from your GY; Special Summon 1 WATER monster from your hand in Defense Position, but its effects are negated and its Type becomes the same as the banished monster’s, also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except WATER monsters. You can only use this effect of “Ga-Koro, Village of Water” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)
Onu-

Theme Guide

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 during 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 (v3.13.6)
Po-

Theme Guide

Po-Koro, Village of Stone

Field Spell

If a monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish 1 Rock monster you control instead of destroying 1 of those monsters. If you Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon using an EARTH monster as material: You can banish 1 EARTH Warrior monster from your GY; you cannot conduct the same type of Summon for the rest of this turn, also Special Summon “Sculpture Tokens” (Rock/EARTH/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0) equal to the number of EARTH monsters used as material. You can only use this effect of “Po-Koro, Village of Stone” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)
Ko-

Theme Guide

Ko-Koro, Village of Ice

Field Spell

While all face-up monsters you control (min. 1) are WATER, apply these effects.
●If you did not declare an attack during your last turn, monsters your opponent controls cannot attack the turn they are Summoned.
●If none of your opponent’s cards where destroyed or banished by your card effects since your last Standby Phase, monsters you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent cannot target them with card effects.
●If you did not activate any monster effects this turn, negate the effects of face-up Special Summoned monsters while your opponent controls them.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)
Le-

Theme Guide

Le-Koro, Village of Air

Field Spell

Your opponent’s monsters cannot target WIND monsters you control for attacks, except the WIND monster you control with the highest ATK (either, if tied). When you Normal or Special Summon a monster(s) that has a Level: You can target 1 of those monsters; negate its effects (if any) and make its ATK 0, and if you do, add 1 WIND Warrior monster with a different name and an equal or lower Level from your Deck to your hand, also you cannot Special Summon for the rest of this turn, except WIND monsters. You can only use this effect of “Le-Koro, Village of Air” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Meanwhile, this page right here will go over some cards contained in the expansion that can be inserted into any of these six strategies to supplement its respective Turaga, assortment of Matoran, and possibly even Toa.

First of all, we have the one of the few support cards that qualify the -Koro Field Spells for the rank of an archetype rather than a simple series or theme.

The Island of Mata Nui

Field Spell

All Normal Summoned “Toa Mata” monsters gain 600 ATK/DEF. During your Main Phase: You can reveal 1 monster in your hand and add 1 “-Koro” Field Spell card that lists that monster’s Attribute in its text from your Deck to your hand. If you revealed a “Toa Mata” monster, you can add 1 “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” instead. If a card in your Field Zone, except “The Island of Mata Nui”, is destroyed while this card is in your GY: You can activate this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of “The Island of Mata Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

The Island of Mata Nui acts as an additional searcher for your Field Spell(s) and returns from the GY to the field should one get destroyed, allowing you to simply add another copy. The condition is having a monster of the matching Attribute in your hand to act as a “guide” to the village, but that should usually be the case in a properly built -Koro deck. The effects that support the Toa Mata with a stat boost and a search for a different card are actually relevant in these strategies too, as we will see with the following cards.

The Great Temple, Kini-Nui

Field Spell

During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.) If a “Toa” monster(s) is Tributed for the Tribute Summon of a “Toa Mata” monster and sent to your GY: You can target 1 of those monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position, but banish it when it leaves the field. During the End Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck. You can only use each effect of “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Suva

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Kini-Nui and Suva, together with the Toa Mata of the respective Attribute and their matching Kanohi, form a little package that can be inserted into any -Koro deck to get an additional main deck boss with relatively low investment. The extra Normal Summon from Kini-Nui means a Toa in your hand can be brought out without hindering your regular plays, while the Suva’s effects to count as almost all Attributes in the hand and revive itself as long as you control a Toa Mata makes it free Tribute fodder. Kini-Nui can also blow itself up in the End Phase to get a Suva from the Deck to the field, which will conveniently trigger Mata Nui in the GY and provide you with a 600 ATK/DEF boost to your Toa. And of course, the Suva gives you access to any Kanohi in the GY while it is on the field, equipping the Toa of your choice with additional useful abilities.

So there is some clear payoff to running these, but you should also keep in mind that these cards do essentially nothing if they happen to be in your hand without a Toa in sight. The Suva gains its multi-attribute effect on the field as well if you control a Koro, which makes it potentially usable as a combo piece, but that’s about it. It may be a good idea to base the degree to which you commit to this Toa Mata package on the ease with which your Deck can make Isolde, as that is the easiest way to ensure you have the Toa in hand and thus everything else live.

Showcase

A Yu-Gi-Oh Trip Across Mata Nui

Also check the individual theme guides linked above for more in-depth testing videos.

Theme Guide: Le-Koro (BCOT)

In accordance with the frankly inexplicable ordering of Bionicle’s six main elements I mentally insist on, Le-Koro is the final village to receive its updated strategy. As usual, the guiding principle is that of the village itself, and in this case that means “Faith”.

Le-Koro, Village of Air

Field Spell

Your opponent’s monsters cannot target WIND monsters you control for attacks, except the WIND monster you control with the highest ATK (either, if tied). When you Normal or Special Summon a monster(s) that has a Level: You can target 1 of those monsters; negate its effects (if any) and make its ATK 0, and if you do, add 1 WIND Warrior monster with a different name and an equal or lower Level from your Deck to your hand, also you cannot Special Summon for the rest of this turn, except WIND monsters. You can only use this effect of “Le-Koro, Village of Air” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Now what does Faith mean here and how does it align with the effects listed above? Well, according to the BS01 page, “Faith is trusting your allies, and trusting that all will end well” – a definition whose actual origin I cannot verify because I never got past that annoying loadscreen bug in MNOG2 myself. Regardless, it’s what I went with, and so we have one effect to allow weaker WIND monsters safe existence on the field by trusting in their more powerful allies, and another to search a WIND Warrior by disabling a monster on summon, in the faithful belief that this newly arrived ally will cause all to end well. The first of these comes up occasionally (especially against AIs who have no idea how to deal with it), while the second forms an essential enabler for like half your plays.

If you have ever filtered the card pool to WIND Warriors specifically (first question: why?), you may now be wondering “what the heck are you even supposed to search with this?”. The obvious answer is “Le-Matoran”, which is the cue to introduce the resident C.C. Matoran as the preferred search target.

C.C. Matoran Tamaru

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WIND Warrior | ATK 400 / DEF 400

If you control a Warrior monster with 1000 or less ATK: You can discard 1 card; Special Summon this card from your hand or GY, but place it on the bottom of the Deck when it leaves the field. During your Main Phase: You can activate this effect; your “C.C. Matoran” monsters can attack directly this turn, also return this card to the hand. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Tamaru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

The mathematically inclined among you may notice that the range of 1000 or less also includes the number 0, which conveniently is the exact ATK value any monster will have after being used to trigger Le-Koro’s search. So Summoning any Warrior under Le-Koro gives you a Tamaru ready to summon himself (which is free from the hand – “from your hand or GY” means he can be used to fulfill his own discard requirement, just like e.g. Machina Fortress). As the bottom-dwelling type of Le-Matoran who is not particularly fond of heights, he will return to the bottom of the Deck after being summoned this way, but Le-Koro can just add him back at the next opportunity anyway. The second effect is more for use with other C.C. Matoran and references his contribution in clearing a path for the company on the road to Kini-Nui. This includes a self-bounce that is a bit oddly phrased with “also” so that the whole effect works even if Tamaru is marked for returning to the Deck.

Another point to consider about Le-Koro is that it doesn’t start negating your monster’s effects until its search has resolved, which means any on-summon effects chained to it will still go through. And that’s exactly what the other Le-Matoran take advantage of.

Matoran Musician Makani

Tuner Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WIND Warrior | ATK 500 / DEF 400

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned from the hand: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower “Matoran” monster from your hand. If this card is in your GY, except during the turn it was sent there: You can banish this card, then target 1 WIND Warrior monster in your GY, except “Matoran Musician Makani”; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Musician Makani” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Matoran Pilot Kongu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WIND Warrior | ATK 800 / DEF 400

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 Winged Beast “Rahi” monster from your hand or Deck to the GY, and if you do, this card can attack your opponent directly this turn. You can only use this effect of “Matoran Pilot Kongu” once per turn. When this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can banish 1 WIND monster from your GY, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls with DEF less than or equal to that banished monster’s ATK; destroy it.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Makani offers a simple yet enticing array of effects. On Normal or Special Summon, he brings out another Matoran (including visitors from other villages, whom he welcomes musically) from the hand, and in subsequent turns you can recycle a WIND Warrior by banishing him from the GY. Oh, and on top of this he’s a Tuner, giving you access to the pretty decent WIND Synchro pool.

Kongu‘s on-summon effect takes him to the skies on the back of a Winged Beast Rahi milled from the Deck, allowing him to attack directly for a turn. This makes it easy for him to inflict battle damage, which then triggers the effect to banish a WIND monster from the GY (potentially the very Rahi he sent there) and get rid of an opponent’s monster with insufficient defense. And the hidden trick to all this is that you can actually use Kongu even on the very first turn to get more monsters on the field. How? With the right bird, of course.

Kewa, Vulture Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | WIND Winged Beast | ATK 1400 / DEF 400

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
If you control no other cards: You can add 1 WIND monster from your Deck to your hand, except “Kewa, Vulture Rahi”, and if you do, destroy this card during the End Phase. You can only use this effect of “Kewa, Vulture Rahi” once per turn.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower WIND monster from your GY, except this card. If this card is banished: You can add 1 “Rahi” card from your GY to your hand. You can only use 1 “Kewa, Vulture Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

The Kewa is a common ride for Le-Matoran pilots, and makes itself attractive for Kongu’s mill effect by bringing back any other low-level WIND monster when sent to the GY. You do have to set up the GY first to do anything with this, but if you have that, it’s just a free monster on the field. It can also recycle a Rahi in your GY when banished, which might have some applications in this deck. I haven’t tried.

So we have seen that basically all our main deck monsters provide some way to potentially get 2 Warriors on the field, and with 2 Warriors on the field we of course make Isolde because that card is cra- wait, what do you mean Le-Koro locks you to WIND? Well, well, good thing we have a Turaga to go into instead.

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 this turn. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Noble Kanohi Mahiki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and you control no other monsters: You can Special Summon 1 “Illusion Token” (Spellcaster/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0), but destroy it when this card leaves the field. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Matau” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Mahiki” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Matau has a reputation as a jokester, with hilarious jokes such as “summoning a monster in Attack Position but with 0 ATK”. Funny how that just so happens to be a good way of making use of your Le-Koro searches in case they don’t have the ability to Special Summon themselves. Arguably more important, however, is his second effect, representing his other side as a reliable leader in times of crisis: Delayed recycling that comes with a debuff for your opponent’s field if you’re behind.

This is perhaps the single effect that most clearly shows what I’d like Le-Koro as a strategy to be about. While Onu-Koro ensures your ability to recover and make comebacks by refilling your resources in proportion to the work you performed with them, Le-Koro more so aims to achieve the same by giving you access to resources when you need them and allowing you to get the most out of just a few cards.

That second point, and the focus on recovery in general, make the Kanohi Mahiki’s ability to revive Matau a bit more relevant here than it was for the other villages. In particular, there’s a combo where you, starting from an empty field with Matau and Mahiki in GY, just need to Summon any monster, tribute it to get back Matau, summon a Token with the Mahiki, summon a WIND monster with Matau, and you have all the materials for a Link-4 (though one of them being a Token somewhat limits your options). If Matau gave you something back during the Standby Phase, you already have one of the two monsters required for this. If you have Le-Koro, the initial Summon can also be used to ensure you have something to Special Summon with Matau’s effect. If Tamaru is in your GY, you just need a WIND monster and any card, rather than two monsters. Everything has its part to play.

But what about the valiant hero of Le-Koro, the Toa of Air? Well, he doesn’t quite contribute to this directly, but can still make for a nice bonus if you have him around.

Toa Mata Lewa

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Great Kanohi Miru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, negate any effect activated by your opponent that targeted it. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Lewa” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Miru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

With air being the final element in my list, Lewa is also the last member of the Toa Mata to receive his overhaul, so his design is tailored more towards filling gaps in their strategy than towards helping out Le-Koro (partially also because I’ve noticed the Toa have rather limited usefulness in their village’s strategy anyway). Since the Toa Code has made me avoid monster removal so far, that was a pretty obvious gap, and I think bouncing them to the hand – a mechanic already associated with the WIND Attribute anyway – is gentle enough to not count as killing. It can even be non-targeting with the extra investment of also bouncing one of your own monsters, which is a design I’m fairly proud of. As for how this fits into Le-Koro, well, the trigger is Special Summons from just about anywhere other than the Extra Deck, which should be happening a lot with all the revival and re-setup going on. As I said, a nice bonus while you’re doing that.

Finally, the Kanohi Miru protects against targeting effects (“floating” out of their reach), and does it in such a way that equipping it mid-chain (e.g. with a Suva) still stops previously activated effects. No particular relevance to Le-Koro’s strategy here, but cool to have in those occasional instances when you do set up Lewa.

Sample Deck

Since Le-Koro already locks you to WIND, I figured we might as well go for some Speedroids to easily access that Attribute’s Synchro pool, which is probably the most decently equipped Extra Deck toolbox it has to offer. They also happen to be pretty fun, and if I was above playing with toys as a grown man, we wouldn’t be here.

The glaring weakness of the Speedroids is that they aren’t Warriors, and thus neither searchable by Le-Koro, nor qualified as material for Matau, nor able fulfill the conditions for Tamaru to Special Summon himself. Luckily, at this point the expansion includes enough Le-Matoran to easily fill that gap, with triple Makani and Tamaru for the free summons and double Kongu to do funny things with the Kewa if we already have GY setup. Takua is also playable in this deck since we can sneak him in before any WIND locks go into effect, and with that amount of Matoran in attendance, the Vuata Maca Tree can be a pretty good way to provide us with extra gas.

Other inclusions of note are Ghost Mourner – a bad Effect Veiler with a good Attribute – as well as an unusually high number of two copies of the Noble Kanohi Mahiki. This is because, as previously stated, its revival effect is actually relevant to this strategy, and making a Token isn’t bad either. However, the reliance on making Matau means it’s more nice-to-have than essential, so two is the highest I’m willing to go.

The Extra Deck consists of Matau, some generic WIND Links (there really aren’t many, sadly), Isolde for when we aren’t locked and want to set up Kanohi for basically free, Unchained Abomination as a Link-4 that can easily be made from a Mahiki-revived Matau, and WIND Synchros for just about every Level.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Le-Koro

This strategy’s performance in testing was initially quite poor, but eventually improved to more average levels after a lot of fiddling in the deck editor without needing that many signficiant design changes. I think the main problem was just in making what was, at the time of the video, a mashup of a subcritical mass of Speedroids sprinkled with just a few Six Samurai monsters work without the two halves tripping each other up, and I’m sure it could be done much better than I had it at that point (e.g. even one Den-Den Daiko Duke would probably help the recovery focus a lot). Also, firing the Le-Koro search at the wrong point so it either negates an important effect or locks you into WIND too early can screw everything up in an instant, and as the supremely intelligent individual I am it took some practice before I finally learned to not do that.

Conclusion

The aim of Le-Koro as a strategy is to make comebacks and rebuild somewhat decent boards from a bare minimum of resources in your hand and field. This is facilitated by a village that will give you access to more or less any of its villagers if you manage to summon anything, a Turaga who will give you back a crucial resource just in time to start rebuilding, and Matoran who let you easily make the important jump from one monster on the field to two.

Theme Guide: Ko-Koro (BCOT)

When I set out to make Ko-Koro, there were already a few specific goals I was aiming for with the design: It should reflect the principle of Peace that MNOG2 assigned to the village, the playstyle it facilitates should be clearly distinct from the other Koros, and it should especially be incompatible with the Ga-Koro strategy with which it shares the focus on the WATER Attribute. Given these requirements, the following part of the quote at the top of the BS01 “Peace” article stood out to me:

On Mount Ihu, nothing grows and nothing changes. The mountain is perfectly at Peace.

In other words, “Peace” as a concept is (semi-)canonically equated to a lack of change, and in card game terms that comes out to a type of strategy that is as unique as it is controversial – stall. By preventing your opponent from making progress towards victory, you buy yourself the time to achieve some win condition that would normally be too slow to work. And this inherent slowness gives us a nice big point of distinction from Ga-Koro, which is all about quick effects and playing on both your and your opponent’s turn.

Ko-Koro, Village of Ice

Field Spell

While all face-up monsters you control (min. 1) are WATER, apply these effects.
●If you did not declare an attack during your last turn, monsters your opponent controls cannot attack the turn they are Summoned.
●If none of your opponent’s cards where destroyed or banished by your card effects since your last Standby Phase, monsters you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent cannot target them with card effects.
●If you did not activate any monster effects this turn, negate the effects of face-up Special Summoned monsters while your opponent controls them.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

With that settled as the direction I wanted to go in, I sketched up the Ko-Koro field spell with three effects that limit your opponent on the condition that you also limit yourself in a similar way (much like a peace treaty), all under the shared condition that your monsters are all WATER to establish that Attribute focus. While the basic outline of this idea survived testing pretty much unchanged, the details of the effects underwent a lot of changes, so let’s just look at them point by point:

  • If you did not attack during your last turn, your opponent’s monsters cannot attack on the turn they are Summoned. This effect started life as a total attack lock with the same condition and I honestly think that might have been fine in a realistic environment, but apparently the EDOPro AI is completely unable to deal with this type of restriction and it leads to the overly long stall games everybody hates, so I had to tone it down a bit. If the strategy works as intended, this honestly barely makes a difference, for reasons I’ll get into in a bit.
  • If you did not banish/destroy any of your opponent’s cards since your last Standby Phase, your monsters get targeting and destruction protection. This one is super significant since the blanket protection makes it very hard for your opponent to break through even otherwise unimpressive opening boards, enabling you to build on them in consecutive turns until you reach something actually game-winning. On the other hand, the condition attached to it requires you to opt out of the vast majority of removal, massively influencing deckbuilding and the design of other cards related to Ko-Koro. Initially, the restrictions were even harsher as you were not allowed to make your opponent’s cards leave the field with your effects in any way whatsoever, but after one particularly atrocious test duel I realized this just forces you into situations where you cannot possibly clear the way to deal damage and are stuck passing back and forth for like 40 turns. Speaking of damage, I briefly had an extra stipulation that did not allow you to deal effect damage if you wanted this protection (because burn of all things as a win condition for an ice deck is kinda stupid), but then I remembered Wave-Motion Cannon exists and enables burn wins without ever needing to deal damage while you are stalling. So I gave up on that restriction – I will be judging you if you play Ko-Koro Burn, but you are free to do so.
  • During turns in which you did not activate any monster effects, your opponent is pretty much under Lose 1 Turn (sans position changing) Skill Drain (for Special Summoned monsters). The main purpose of this one is to prevent most decks from comboing into big bosses that just win them the game even under Ko-Koro’s restrictions, while also ruining any possible Ga-Koro synergy with its condition. It actually didn’t change much from its very first draft to its initial release, unlike the other two. I honestly think “no monster effects for you” is generally a cool drawback on a big floodgate, as it pretty much prevents it from being used in tandem with an oppressive board of negating and disrupting Extra Deck monsters. One thing that did get dropped on a later revision was the limitation that effects only stay negated during the turn the monster is summoned, because it just made you way too vulnerable to something as simple as Special Summoning a monster during your End Phase.

Overall, the payoffs for these effects make it so that your opponent has a very hard time doing anything to your monsters unless they get an extra turn of setup so they can attack, while the restrictions greatly limit your ways to counteract that setup. The game you play under Ko-Koro essentially consists of using your limited options to keep your opponent off anything that could break them out of this stall situation, while gradually building momentum turn by turn until you reach a point where you are ahead far enough to safely break the peace and go on the offensive.

But if we want to avoid destruction, banishment, and battle, how are we actually supposed to get the opponent’s monsters off the field before they stop being affected by Ko-Koro? Some generic real cards can do that of course, but the answer that exists natively within this village’s support is Turaga Nuju.

Turaga Nuju

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [◀ ▶] | WATER Spellcaster | ATK 1100

2 monsters, including a WATER Warrior monster
If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 face-up Spell/Trap you control; until the end of the next turn, while you control a WATER monster, that target cannot be destroyed by card effects (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn: You can target any number of cards your opponent controls; change that many monsters you control to face-down Defense Position, and if you do, return the targeted cards to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Noble Kanohi Matatu

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster: You can change the battle position of 1 monster on the field. The equipped monster cannot attack the turn you activate this effect. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Nuju” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Matatu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

Being concerned with the future as he is, the first thing Nuju will do upon entering the field is protect a face-up Spell/Trap from destruction for a short while, and he himself doesn’t need to stay around for this – you just need any WATER monster. Now, the idea here is obviously to target Ko-Koro, hopefully leading to a situation where your opponent cannot get rid of your monsters because of the Field Spell, but also cannot get rid of the Field Spell before dealing with your monsters. Other applications are quite limited, and while this one important use case is kinda enough, I am strongly considering also allowing face-down targets for just a bit of extra utility.

But the main point of the card lies in the second effect, representing the most notable trait of the Turaga of Ko-Koro: He communicates almost exclusively in bird language. And thus, he has a removal effect that is tailored for the strategy and designed in the “language” of birds, specifically those of the frosty variety, by which I mean exactly Penguins. By flipping one or more of your monsters face-down, he returns the same number of cards your opponent controls to the hand, resetting any progress made towards escaping the Ko-Koro lock. Get it, because there are Penguins in the game that bounce stuff when they flip, haha

Meanwhile, the Kanohi Matatu is a non-targeting “telekinetic” battle position changer, and one neat way to use it is to flip the monster you used for Nuju’s effect back up and trigger some effect that way. Yes, the mental focus required for that on the noble version means you don’t get to attack with the equipped monster the same turn, but being able to reuse a Penguin Soldier seems well worth that.

Or, if bouncy birds are not your speed, maybe I can interest you in some villagers who also have beneficial interactions with the strategy.

C.C. Matoran Kopeke

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 600

If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up: You can add 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “C.C. Matoran Kopeke”, then, if it is not a WATER monster, place 1 card from your hand on top of your Deck. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kopeke” once per turn. If another “C.C. Matoran” monster you control would be destroyed, you can change this card to face-down Defense Position instead.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

Matoran Scribe Jaa

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 700

You can banish 1 Spell/Trap from your hand or field; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 of your banished Spells/Traps; place it on top of the Deck, and if you do, Special Summon 1 WATER “Matoran” monster from your GY, except “Matoran Scribe Jaa”, but negate its effects, also you cannot Special Summon while you control that face-up monster. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Scribe Jaa” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

Matoran Translator Matoro

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 900

If this card was Normal Summoned or flipped face-up this turn: You can Tribute this card; Special Summon up to 2 Level 2 “Matoran” monsters from your GY, except “Matoran Translator Matoro”. When a monster(s) you control is flipped face-down, while this card is in your GY: You can banish this card; change those face-down monsters to face-up Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Translator Matoro” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Kopeke, the resident Chronicler’s Company member, is a classic searcher on Normal Summon who also works when flipped face-up. This means that in a stall situation where your opponent can’t remove your monsters and you keep flipping and bouncing with Nuju, you get a search every turn. You get to pick from a fairly wide (but not particularly powerful) pool of all Level 2 Warriors, but for best advantage you want to pick the WATER ones, meaning Ga- and most importantly Ko-Matoran.

For example, getting Jaa is an easy way to set up Nuju. This scribe who writes down translations from the Wall of Prophecy has a pair of effects that, if used with Kopeke already on the field, really just amount to a Nuju ready to bounce at least one card and a Spell/Trap stacked on top of the Deck (this one’s the prophecy part). Ko-Koro decks generally being heavy on Spells and especially Traps (because they cannot disrupt with monster effects) means you should usually have the necessary fodder, and the nasty Special Summon restriction on the monster you bring back from the GY is conveniently turned off the moment Nuju flips it face-down.

Going even further beyond, Matoro is a Normal Summon for later in the game and trades himself off for up to 2 Level 2 Matoran in your GY. In his function as Nuju’s translator, he is also able to dispel the confusion caused by the Turaga’s use of bird language on your side of the field, immediately unflipping your newly face-down monsters. This basically speeds you up by a turn, lets you immediately trigger (pseudo-)flip effects, and gives you material for maybe ending the game with a big boss monster while your opponent’s field is clear.

Toa Mata Kopaka

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2000 / DEF 2500

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. If this card attacks, it is changed to Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase. If this card is in face-up Defense Position, your opponent’s monsters cannot target monsters for attacks, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. Once per turn, if another card(s) you control leaves the field because of an opponent’s card effect: You can banish 1 card your opponent controls.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Kopaka” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Akaku” once per turn. While equipped to a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster you control, this card gains these effects.
●Your opponent must keep their hand revealed.
●Once per turn, if your opponent adds a Spell/Trap(s) to their hand (except during the Damage Step): You can banish that Spell/Trap(s) until the End Phase.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Finally, Kopaka is one of the major ways you can actively put pressure on your opponent amidst this stall-focused playstyle, and that is despite him technically being a mostly defensive card. The key point is that he can, to a degree, let you ignore Ko-Koro’s restriction on attacking, as he will change himself to defense at the end of the Battle Phase and proceed to redirect any attacks from your opponent’s side into his hefty 2500 DEF butt (incidentally, this marks the first actual stat change I’ve made in the BCOT overhaul – 2000/2150 was just a bit underwhelming). He also kind of indirectly protects your other cards (such as Ko-Koro itself) from removal effects by punishing any harm to those on his side with a non-targeting banish – this would turn off Ko-Koro’s protection and negation effects, but in the case where that’s the card that got removed, it doesn’t matter, right?

Protecting Ko-Koro is also the intent of the Kanohi Akaku, which uses its power of X-Ray vision to see through the opponent’s hand and can temporarily snipe out a freshly added Spell or Trap with expert precision. Since Spells in particular represent the most common form of generic S/T removal next to Extra Deck monsters that are neutered by Ko-Koro itself, this potentially takes those threats to your attempted lockdown out of the equation until you’ve had time to prepare for them.

Sample Deck

Ko-Koro forces you to forgo monster-based disruption if you want to use it as a proper floodgate, so in order to not get completely wrecked every time an opponent does manage to play through the village’s passive restrictions (or we just don’t draw it), the logical move seemed to be using lots of Traps to fill this hole. And when WATER and Traps are in the requirements, the answer probably lies in Paleozoics with a decent helping of Frogs.

Starting from the boring parts, we have the classic Frog engine of Dupe Frog, Ronintoadin, and Swap Frog plus Paleozoics Canadia and Olenoides to get lots of Aqua Level 2s. Why only two Olenoides in the Main Deck and no Dinomischus? Because we don’t want to destroy or banish anything if we can help it, but also can’t justify skipping out on Spell/Trap removal entirely.

To make Nuju, we need WATER Warriors, and so we have the Ko-Matoran lineup of triple Kopeke, triple Jaa, and a single Matoro. Normal Summoning Kopeke and searching Jaa gives you Nuju with fodder to bounce at least one card, assuming we have access to even a single one of the Spells and Traps that make up more than half of the Deck (an especially good play is using Mata Nui to search Ko-Koro and then using the island still on the field to fuel Jaa’s effect). Matoro is a secondary search target to speed things up a bit once the engine is running, playing more than one would probably be justifiable as well. Our final WATER Warrior is Kopaka, but he’s more for edge cases and lethal pushes than for Nuju material.

The Spells are merely Ko-Koro itself plus its searcher Mata Nui, the Kanohi, and basic consistency stuff, so not much to say there. For non-Paleo Traps, I included Ice Dragon’s Prison as nontargeting removal (clashes with Ko-Koro, but sometimes you can’t avoid that – at least it’s an ice card) and Infinite Impermanence as just about the only major handtrap we can use without disabling the floodgate.

The Extra Deck is a mix of Links and Rank 2 Xyzs, most importantly Nuju and Toadally Awesome. Another inclusion to deal with untargetable stuff is Sky Cavalry Centaurea, and amusingly enough, using that sets you up perfectly for Zeus. Of course, neither of those are WATER, so once you do that you’re at least temporarily abandoning the usual Ko-Koro strategy. But hey, gotta have a Plan Z.

Funny things in the side deck include Gameciel and Sphere Mode Ra for going second, Demise of the Land and Metaverse to hit your opponent with the Ko-Koro floodgate as a surprise, Evenly Matched and Macro Cosmos because even though their effects make cards get banished it doesn’t count as cards being banished by your effects (’tis a very silly game), and Ice Barrier as another nontargeting removal option (also an ice card!).

Best of Test

Best of Test: Ko-Koro (v3.16.6)

This deck performed quite interestingly in testing. Not only did it have the highest winrate out of everything I’ve put through the structured test circuit so far (mostly because the AI is unable to play under Ko-Koro), its good and bad matchups were also quite different from usual. In particular, this was the only deck so far that won its match against the Dragoon AI (by simply never letting the boy come out), and also the only deck that lost the match against the Chain Burn AI (turns out going slow and protecting your field is a bad strategy against heaps of effect damage, and Ojama Tokens screw me over to a hilarious degree).

Conclusion

The central strategy of Ko-Koro is restricting yourself in order to slow down your opponent as well, and then using the fact that you’re better adapted to playing under these limitations to gradully approach a game-winning position. This is a very unusual playstyle with a lot of weaknesses, such as Ko-Koro doing almost nothing against already established boards (though this point was somewhat helped by unlimiting the effect negation), but between the additional support offered by powerful Traps and the AI’s sheer inability to counteract what you’re doing, it worked so well in testing that I kind of had a hard time justifying any buffs. As a result, the cards this time may be a bit undertuned if you wanted to use them against a human opponent with brain cells and all that, but that may not matter much when the main use case for EDOPro custom cards is just the AI.

As a final note, despite my doubts about the powerlevel, I must say I’m very happy with some other aspects of the design, in particular how “icy” it ended up being:

  • It accomodates some ice-related cards like the Penguins, Ice Dragon’s Prison, and Ice Barrier really well.
  • The strategy of going first and preventing battle stands in perfect contrast to Ta-Koro, were you want to go second and battle as much as possible.
  • The crucial need to accurately judge when you can start pushing for victory and turn off Ko-Koro without screwing yourself mirrors the Ko-Matoran’s focus on knowledge and foresight.
  • The deck melts against burn like an ice cube in the sun.

Theme Guide: Po-Koro (BCOT)

Po-Koro, Village of Stone

Field Spell

If a monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish 1 Rock monster you control instead of destroying 1 of those monsters. If you Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon using an EARTH monster as material: You can banish 1 EARTH Warrior monster from your GY; you cannot conduct the same type of Summon for the rest of this turn, also Special Summon “Sculpture Tokens” (Rock/EARTH/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0) equal to the number of EARTH monsters used as material. You can only use this effect of “Po-Koro, Village of Stone” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

Among the villages on Mata Nui, I’d say Po-Koro is pretty high up there in terms of memorable traits. There’s the sculptures made by the resident carvers, the busy trading going on at the bazaar, the entire sport of Koli, and of course that little plague it suffered under in MNOG. For my particular depiction of the Village of Stone, I chose to focus on the first two of these: Trading and carving. (Koli is something I plan to study in more detail when it transforms into Kolhii later down the line, since it gets much more focus in the story then, and the plague is a topic for BCOR.)

Let’s begin dissecting from the second effect, since that will usually be the first you use. This one represents carving, and what it does is, like most Koro stuff, mainly inspired by the corresponding MNOG2 principle. In Po-Koro’s case, that means “Creation”. My first association with this in game terms has alway been the various Extra Deck summons (literally putting your monsters together to CREATE a new one), but upon further reflection I realized that there is one mechanic that creates stuff more literally than any other, and that is Tokens – those straight up don’t exist in any form until an effect says they do. So by combining those two ideas, I ended up with an effect that summons Tokens whenever you Special Summon from the Extra Deck.

“But isn’t that basically just Linkross for every summoning method?”, you might ask, and you wouldn’t be exactly wrong. However, there are some extra hoops to jump through here that hopefully fix the glaring balance issues with the concept. Most trivially, this card is in the Main and not the Extra Deck, so it’s already less consistently accessible by default. Then there are also two points that prevent using it too generically: You need to banish an EARTH Warrior (the “sculptor”) from the GY as cost, and you only get Tokens (the “sculptures”) up to the number of EARTH materials (the “raw materials”) in the summon. Note especially the banishing, which is meant to directly discourage mixing the Po-Koro strategy with Onu-Koro (where the resource loop relies on not getting your monsters banished). They both revolve around the EARTH attribute since Stone doesn’t exist separately in Yugioh, so I made sure to strongly distinguish them by playstyles instead. The final restriction meant to prevent Linkross-tier combos even in those decks that can make Po-Koro work is that whichever summoning method you use to trigger it becomes entirely locked for the rest of the turn (as opposed to just restricting how the Tokens are used). So the moment you make your Tokens, you need to be ready to pivot to something else. In MNOG2 terms, this sensitive issue of timing matches up quite well to the Kolhii skill of Strategy that is derived from Creation. I was quite cautious making this effect since it’s so close to a recently banned card, and initially it was even more restricted, but test runs suggest the current level of power should be fine without causing any notable problems. As usual, feel free to prove me wrong.

The secondary effect (which is listed first because that seems to be the convention for continuous vs activated effects) allows you to save your monsters from destruction by “trading” fancy Rocks, as they do on the Po-Koro bazaar. This is possibly not the best trade since you have to go as far as banishing a monster to protect another, but the Tokens made by the other effect are conveniently Rocks and in their case banishing is no different from destroying, so the idea is to mainly use those. One pesky detail I only noticed after implementing the effect is that it does not protect from full boardwipes because you can’t banish a card already marked for destruction as replacement, but it’s still fairly handy regardless.

If you compare to the other Koro field spells, you might notice that this one is much less xenophobic: You need to play EARTH monsters, including at least one EARTH Warrior, to make it work, but it doesn’t punish you for playing anything else. This is because, in the name of creation and creativity, I wanted to leave it possible to put whatever you want into the Extra Deck, as long as you’re using at least two different summoning methods.

Those were some long-ass design notes, but to summarize and boil the strategy down to its essence: The idea of a Po-Koro deck is simply to spam as much as possible from the Extra Deck, building a board while combining at least two different summoning methods, and any Tokens left at the end of that can act as additional protection.

As usual, the village itself is only part of the equation here, so on to the rest. For example, what could you summon from the Extra Deck to make especially good use of Po-Koro’s effect?

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 who has fewer 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 your 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 (v3.15.5)

Noble Kanohi Komau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and your opponent controls 2 or more monsters, the monster(s) with the lowest ATK your opponent controls cannot activate its effects. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Onewa” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Komau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

Turaga Onewa is meant to be one answer to this question. On having an EARTH monster summoned next to his arrow, he will immediately bring back a banished EARTH Warrior, which transforms the cost to summon Tokens into one more monster on the field. Of course, the summoning restriction means you can’t use all this field presence to just continue Link Summoning, so you’ll need to make sure you have a Tuner or something to really benefit here. One thing I considered doing for a bit was letting Onewa turn the monster he brings back into a Tuner, but what bothered me there was that it would potentially allow you to just use the same Gouki-based deck I had for Onu-Koro and still reliably fulfill the requirement of two Extra Deck summoning methods. Kind of runs counter to the separation I’m trying to achieve, although it would technically be a distinct strategy even if it uses the same cards as its vehicle.

Since you can’t always expect to draw Po-Koro and do the setup that way, Onewa’s first effect provides another way to banish stuff, and comes with a lore gimmick to its math representing his famous ability to resolve disputes fairly. On top of the perfectly neutral action of putting a monster from the GY back into the hand and banishing a card from the hand, it gives a draw to only the player who is currently behind in advantage, so it works out to +1 if that’s you and -1 if it’s your opponent (and neutral in every other case). Fair.

The Kanohi Komau has mind control as its power, and with the original version back in 2014, I was quick to make the obvious association and write an effect that takes control of an opponent’s monster. In hindsight, that’s a bit above the intended powerlevel of Noble Kanohi, so the redesign instead turns it into a passive effect of using mind control to “stun” the weakest enemy (in terms of ATK, because unfortunately there isn’t a willpower stat that could be used for perfect accuracy). This fits well with the Huna and Rau as an effect that just inconveniences the opponent a bit and forces them to play around it, and for Po-Koro’s particular strategy of building a board with Extra Deck monsters, it makes a reasonable addition to the usual negates and disruptions you want to set up. Tributing a Sculpture Token to revive Onewa together with the Komau is something that happened semi-frequently during testing.

One noteworthy aspect of the way Onewa brings back banished monsters is that they are free to use their effects, so we can gain further advantage by using targets with beneficial effects on Special Summon. This is the niche our first Po-Matoran plays into.

C.C. Matoran Hafu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 700 / DEF 400

If this card is Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your hand or GY, but its effects are negated, also banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Hafu” once per turn. A monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck using this card as material gains this effect.
●While face-up on the field, its name is also treated as “C.C. Matoran Hafu”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

Both of Hafu’s effects are essentially retained from his original incarnation, with a bit of adjustment. Being the master carver, he’s fully meant to facilitate more Extra Deck summoning and brings back another Level 2 Warrior (could be another Matoran, or a generic Tuner like Junk Anchor to enable Synchros) when Special Summoned. His other ability is crafting “Hafu originals” in his own likeness, meaning whatever uses him as material inherits his name. This mainly has applications in a dedicated “C.C. Matoran” strategy, where members of the archetype get a range of neat benefits. Here, it’s really just a cute gimmick that barely comes up.

The other thing about Onewa is that you need to Special Summon an EARTH monster to the correct zone so he triggers, which is also something the villagers can assist with.

Matoran Trader Ahkmou

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 400 / DEF 600

During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon this card from your hand to your opponent’s field, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower “Matoran” monster from your hand. You can only use this effect of “Matoran Trader Ahkmou” once per turn. If you activate a monster effect, except “Matoran Trader Ahkmou”: Give control of this card to your opponent.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

Matoran Champion Huki

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 800 / DEF 300

If your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand) in Attack Position to your zone in a column with no monsters. You can only Special Summon “Matoran Champion Huki” once per turn this way. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls in the same column as a “Matoran” monster you control; until the end of this turn, this card gains ATK equal to that target’s current ATK, but it cannot attack directly.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Ahkmou, the perfectly loyal and honest businessman who is definitely not in cahoots with evil or anything, puts himself on the opponent’s field from your hand to allow you a free Special Summon of a Matoran. Not only does this offer an additional way to start and extend combos, it also protects you from handtraps that require an empty field, which is further enhanced by his second effect to betray his current controller whenever they activate another monster effect (including pretty much all other handtraps). Just two things to note about this: It’s a trigger effect and thus won’t happen until after the chain with the monster effect has resolved, and it’s not once per turn in any way, so he might just betray you back right after joining your side.

Koli champion Huki is a very easy Special Summon going second, placing himself precisely in front of any open spots in your opponent’s lineup – ideally one of the two zones Onewa points to. Even going first, you can actually set up his Special Summon with Ahkmou, so that’s potentially neat. Furthermore, as a highly competitive pro athlete, he will rise to any challenge directly facing him or his fellow Matoran, gaining enough ATK to hit over any monster in the same column.

If you’re familiar with the structure of these Koro strategies, you already know that the last piece of the puzzle is the village’s Toa, but in the case of such an Extra Deck focused theme, a Main Deck boss is a bit of an odd fit. Still, I feel like I managed to give him an effect that provides a fair level of utility.

Toa Mata Pohatu

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2400 / DEF 1700

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 EARTH or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Pohatu”. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, or a monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck activates its effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy that target, also, if you control a Rock monster, you can destroy 1 additional Spell/Trap on the field.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Kakama

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it can attack all monsters your opponent controls once each. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Pohatu” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Kakama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

What Pohatu brings to the table is Spell/Trap removal, and to match Po-Koro, he does it whenever monsters are Special Summoned from the Extra Deck. Furthermore, since we don’t want him to be useless after you have already built your board, he has a secondary trigger off the effect activations of Extra Deck monsters. Do note, however, that this is a trigger effect and not a quick effect, meaning it will activate on a separate chain only after the triggering effect has resolved.

The mental image behind this S/T destruction is destroying stuff by kicking a rock at it, and so it’s fitting to have a bonus effect if you actually happen to have a Rock monster (e.g. a Sculpture Token or a Suva). I went with the ricochet idea here, which means you get an additional (non-targeting) S/T destruction in that case. Seeing how the law of creative heroic thinking permits using the environment to harm enemies indirectly, letting the second destruction affect monsters as well may be a viable option, though in that case it would probably be fair to also destroy your Rock monster as a downside.

Finally, the Kanohi Kakama, Great Mask of Speed, lets the equipped monster move fast enough to attack everything in a single Battle Phase, essentially letting you use Pohatu to clear out all the monsters after using his effect to clear up to 2 backrow. This is a scenario that occured exactly 0 times during the test circuit, but hey, theoretically it sounds useful.

Sample Deck

I couldn’t think of any existing EARTH Warrior archetype that focuses mainly on Extra Deck spam while also adhering to the rule of using 2+ summoning methods, so instead of using such a thing as a starting point I just had to jam some appropriate enginges together with Po-Matoran and hope it does what I want. Because of this, the sample deck explanation is a bit more elaborate than usual here.

The route I took to fulfill the 2 summoning method requirement was Link + Synchro, since they’re much easier to pull off than Fusion and immediately put banishable monsters into the GY unlike Xyz. In order to get access to the necessary Tuners, I picked Junk monsters as the EARTH Warrior core: Forward as a free Special Summon to start making Onewa, Anchor as a Tuner that also happens to be a Level 2 Warrior for Hafu, Converter as another Level 2 Warrior who does both searching and setup for Synchron (who is unfortunately not EARTH, but still good), and Servant as a free Special Summon whenever I have any of the others out. For the actual Matoran, we have just one Hafu (he only triggers on Special Summon, so having him in the hand isn’t the greatest), three Taipu because free Special Summon going first (not a Po-Matoran, but since the Chronicler’s Company are meant to work together, I figured there was no way to avoid synergy through the shared attribute in this case), three Ahkmou for the same reason, and two Huki since he’s mainly good going second. Thanks to Taipu’s presence, Hafu’s name change actually matters occasionally, by still letting you attack with some of your monsters from the Extra Deck after you summoned Taipu. The remaining EARTH Warriors are one Super Agent as an unreliable Special Summon and potential Spell/Trap remover, and Pohatu as your main Spell/Trap remover, Kakama search target, and Suva enabler.

Additional Tuners to get us consistent Synchro access are Adamancipator Researcher, whose Special Summon from the hand is enabled by Po-Koro’s Tokens, and Plaguespreader Zombie because this deck has a few garnets we’d like to put back if we draw them.

The Spells can be quickly summarized as Kanohi, searchers, and ways to Special Summon to Onewa’s zone (most interestingly Word Legacy Succession, which does exactly that). And of course, we have the Dragoon package I put in to celebrate the complete freedom of Extra Deck choices and then proceeded to regret immensely because it’s so powerful and easy to make that it ends up distracting from the actual point of the Deck. Which is why I ended up intentionally siding it out for the rest of the match every time I won a duel during testing, even when I didn’t actually use it.

The Extra Deck could probably be filled a million different ways, but what I settled on after trying a lot of variations is:

  • Onewa to get free monsters.
  • Amaja-Nui to get additional Tokens by linking off Onewa.
  • Isolde to trigger the Kakama’s search and to get Hafu or Junk Anchor (either as followup to Onewa or as an alternative if you don’t have the setup to trigger him).
  • Halquifibrax because it has just as much synergy with Po-Koro as it did with Linkross.
  • Desert Locusts to summon via Halq for a discard while potentially triggering Onewa.
  • Link Spider because it can be made with a single Sculpture Token.
  • Avramax as a big dude you can make e.g. with Onewa and Isolde.
  • Herald of the Arc Light as an easy banishing floodgate and negate.
  • Jiujiu as an indestructible removal tool.
  • Marcher and Integrator so you can get to Jiujiu from Researcher and two Sculpture Tokens while drawing in the process.
  • Dragite as a negate and removal tool.
  • Quandax to make Dragite while getting a WATER into the GY so the negate is turned on.
  • Verte Anaconda plus Dragoon in case you mess up the actual combo but feel like winning anyway.

Finally, the side deck is just a pile of EARTH staples and cards that are really good in some situations, plus options to fill the Extra Deck slots left open when removing the Dragoon stuff (Accesscode as an alternate boss, Geonator Transverser as an alternate Link you can make with random monsters).

To see all this in action, continue right on.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Po-Koro (v3.15.5)

Conclusion

Po-Koro decks encourage Special Summoning from the Extra Deck and excel at providing a bunch of material to do so. However, lacking dedicated boss monsters of its own and having some tricky requirements and restrictions on the Field Spell, the success of the strategy is very much dependent on what other cards you combine it with, perhaps more so than any of the other villages. Also, the need to have cards to both make Onewa in the Extra Monster Zone and trigger him with an additional Special Summon can be quite the hurdle to consistency.

Theme Guide: (Exo-)Toa (BBTS)

After collecting all types of Krana and descending into the depths of the Bohrok Nest to stop the swarms for good, the Toa Mata came across a new power to aid them in this quest, sealed deep beneath the earth. Suits of armor equipped with powerful weaponry, at the cost of inhibiting their innate elemental powers.

The Exo-Toa, like the Boxor used by the Matoran, is represented by a Union Monster, but like the Toa, it’s Level 6, so getting it on the field where it can do all the Union stuff is the first challenge. The built-in solution is being able to Special Summon itself if all monsters you control are Normal Summoned Toa, though in hindsight it probably wouldn’t be broken to drop the “all monsters” part. Anyway, equipping it gives an enormous boost of 2000 ATK, but comes with two downsides. First, it negates the monster’s effects (i.e., the “elemental powers”), and second, it robs the Toa of their individuality by replacing their name with “Exo-Toa”. Which, due to the little clause at the start of the card text that I’m pretty sure has never actually been used in history (because why would it?), means the are not technically “Toa” monsters anymore and thus lose access to archetypal support cards. This, unfortunately, includes the Kanohi (even in their most recent and well thought out form as of the time of this writing), which canonically shouldn’t be affected by the armor. Might have to come up with something to fix that.

As if this wall of text wasn’t enough, the Exo-Toa has a final consistency-boosting effect to make sure it’s capable of carrying the frankly kind of useless original Toa Mata designs to playability: After going to the GY, it Sets Exo Armaments from the Deck during the End Phase. And once the next turn starts, you can immediately use this Trap Card to bring out a Toa Mata from your hand and equip it with an Exo-Toa from Deck or GY, completing the package in one shot. This also conveniently makes it so the effect negation is actually relevant on the old versions of the Toa Mata who only had on-summon effects, since this way the negation is already active when that effect tries to resolve.

Once in the GY, the Trap turns into what it really takes its inspiration from, namely the array of equipment found on an Exo-Toa. The “boxing claw” works similar to the Boxor (just because of the name) and prevents your opponent from using effects while an Exo-Toa (which could be the Union Monster itself or a Toa that has been equipped and renamed) battles. The armor simply grants protection as you would expect it to. And the electro rocket flies in a straight line to destroy something in the same column as an Exo-Toa, which can be two columns with one copy if you set up the zones correctly when equipping (one from the equip card, one from the equipped monster). Do note that all of these are Quick Effects due to this being a Trap Card.

So the Exo-Toa has many powerful features, but in the story, they were not enough to overcome the combined power of the Bahrag. And I did indeed design the cards specifically so nothing they do can actually out the Bahrag when paired up with both their protection effects online. Because that requires an ability that can only be used when the Toa shed the armor and return to their own elemental powers.

The Toa Seal is the ultimate finishing move achieved when six Toa of different elements combine their powers, imprisoning whatever is unfortunate enough to be in the middle in an inescapable mass of crystalline Protodermis. Accordingly, this card requires six Toa to activate, but due to Yugioh’s Attribute lineup not quite containing the boatload of elements Bionicle has, we will settle for different names. And since getting 6 monsters on the field is only technically possible, you may also pick from those in your hand and GY, though those will be banished on resolution. The result is a non-targeting mass banishing of up to 6 cards, which easily gets past the mutual protection of the Bahrag queens and wipes out pretty much everything else while it’s at it. The number of cards banished from the hand is limited by the number of Normal Summoned Toa participating in the seal, because just banishing 6 from the hand specifically sounded a bit too broken even with these difficult requirements.

The final new card on the Toa’s side is The End of the Swarm, and it’s a … kinda weird one. Assuming you have a Toa, it grants you the choice between two effects relating to Level 8 or higher monsters (?). One temporarily banishes (??) one of those to recover a Continuous Spell (???) from the GY. The other locks a number of your opponent’s monsters depending on your Level 8+ count into face-down Defense Position and basically makes your monsters go UCT on them, except continuous.

Now I can reveal that the second of these effects represents the deactivation and subsequent cleanup of the Bohrok, referenced in the name of the card. Face-down is their sleeping state, so they get switched into that, and the rest is mostly to bypass their Flip effects because this would be kind of self-defeating otherwise. As for what is going on with these Level 8 or higher monsters, Continuous Spells, and the entire first effect, I will remain quiet. Just enjoy the foreshadowing and wait for the answer to your questions to one day rock your universe (okay, that might be overstating it a bit).

Conclusion

While the Toa Mata are currently undergoing a total redesign in order to make them playable on their own, this was actually one of my first attempts to fix those old designs by introducing a small, consistent combo that they could use in the likely event that Plan A (just somehow summoning a lot of Toa) didn’t work out. It provides a 4k+ ATK beater who, with the Exo Armaments correctly set up in the GY, has access to either an effect lockdown during battle, protection against both destruction and targeting, and a limited Quick Effect destruction. Nothing crazy, but at least good enough to actually start getting somewhere in most games.

Once the BCOT overhaul is done and the Toa Mata are fully updated with a more competent strategy, these cards may have to be adjusted for that. But in the meantime, you can find a sample deck using both them and the old Toa in the BBTS release.

Theme Guide: Matoran (Boxor) (BBTS)

In chronicling the struggle between Matoran and Bohrok, the BBTS expansion obviously also needs to show some stuff on the Matoran side. That mainly means their famous anti-Bohrok invention, but let’s first look at some new cards unrelated to that.

Kotu, serving as the left hand of Turaga Nokama and a Rahi Tender, gets her only real notable bit of screentime in this part of the story, so I took the opportunity to include her. She has the skills to calm aggressive beasts, lowering their ATK, and on Normal Summon can return a monster to the hand in such a way that it’s mainly beneficial in the specific case where your opponent stole one of yours (or you’re just playing Kaijus).

The Chronicler’s Courage depicts Chronicler Takua’s heroic last stand against the swarms invading Ga-Koro, which really just stalled them for that brief moment before the Toa defated the Bahrag. Accordingly, this card simply stalls against battle by bringing out small Warriors to guard against attacks and granting them some protection. Hey, it could potentially buy you a turn.

And now for the main event.

In the village of Onu-Koro lives Nuparu, a Matoran with a passion for machinery. Though this sometimes leads him to neglecting other work such as digging (or attacking, to explain one of the card’s effects already), his time to shine comes when he is trapped in a cave after the Gahlok invade Onu-Koro. There, he and his fellow Matoran discover an Empty Bohrok Shell, the mechanical hull of one of the attackers that has lost its Krana. Nuparu begins tinkering, and soon the machine is remodeled into a new weapon that would shift the power balance between Matoran and Bohrok: The Boxor.

Playing these cards, you too can recreate this grand tale. The Empty Bohrok Shell places itself directly into your GY in order to search any EARTH Matoran, which includes of course Nuparu, but also the Boxor due to its full name. Then, with Nuparu on the field and a Boxor in your hand, you can activate Nuparu’s effect, banish the Shell from the GY, bring out the Boxor, and use its Union ability to equip to a Matoran of your choice. And now you are ready to overcome any Bohrok in battle and even halt the march of the swarms by denying them their monster effects that would call more of them from the Deck. As a bonus, banishing the Shell can unleash some vestiges of the Bohrok’s destructive power (though not during the same turn you used it for searching), and if the Boxor-equipped Matoran is not Nuparu himself, Nuparu can grant that 2000 ATK beater a second attack at the low cost of not attacking with his own measly 600 (though not during the turn he summoned the Boxor).

Demo

Sample duel ft. Bohrok AI from development version (some cards outdated)

Conclusion

These cards still predate the dedicated Koro playstyle just like the ones in BCOR, but in this case that doesn’t matter as much because at least the Boxor series forms its own little combo independent from other strategies. Adding them to a Matoran deck of any kind will significantly increase its power in the Battle Phase, which is a pretty good niche to cover for an archetype of Level 2 monsters with (almost) only three-digit ATK values.

The BBTS release includes a sample Boxor deck, which uses Matoran from BCOR (also included in the link) together with the new cards.