Bionicle’s most important liquid gets a batch of new cards – the first of many, assuming I ever reach 2004 and beyond.
Didn’t have all that much time available this month, so some things here are more preliminary than usual. For the same reason, I didn’t make a Theme Guide for Energized Protodemis yet, but there is a Best of Test showcasing what it does so far.
Now, design notes.
Energized Protodermis DestinyQuick-Play Spell
Target 1 face-up monster you control; Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis Token” (Aqua/LIGHT/Level 2/ATK 0/DEF 0), then apply 1 of these effects.
●Send the targeted monster to the GY, and if you do, you can destroy that Token and Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster from your Deck.
●Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster that mentions an “Energized Protodermis” monster as material from your Extra Deck in Defense Position, using only that Token and the targeted monster as Fusion Material.
You can only activate 1 “Energized Protodermis Destiny” per turn.
The foremost addition to the Energized Protodermis archetype is the Quick-Play Spell Energized Protodermis Destiny, which provides dynamic utility while pretty neatly encapsulating the destruction/transformation dichotomy that lies at the core of the whole substance. Mechanically, the way it does this is a design I’m personally pretty fond of, so allow me to break it down a bit.
The things that always happen when activating Destiny is that you choose one of your face-up monsters as the subject whose “destiny” is to be determined, and an Energized Protodermis Token is created to carry out the test. After that, however, the effect splits into two paths. If you are able to make a Fusion Monster that explicitly mentions Energized Protodermis as material using your target and the new Token, you can Summon that monster, thus completing the destined transformation. But if that is not the case, the only choice you have left to finish resolving the effect is the path of destruction – sending your targeted monster to the GY and leaving behind the Token alone. Well, as a consolation prize, you are allowed to swap it out for any Energized Protodermis monster in your Deck (which means exactly the Chamber, for now), so that also has its uses.
Pretty much the only thing on this one I would consider changing is that it can currently only Fusion Summon in Defense Position. That was initially put in as a standard precaution against squeezing too much damage out of fusing a monster that already attacked during the Battle Phase, but it might be fair to allow that when you can only access a limited pool of Fusions anyway.
Among that limited pool is also Energized Protodermis Flow, the actual in-archetype Fusion Monster.
Energized Protodermis FlowFusion Effect MonsterLevel 4 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0
2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters
If this Fusion Summoned card is sent to the GY by a card effect: Look at your opponent’s Extra Deck and send 1 monster from it to the GY. During your Main Phase: You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing 2 Fusion Materials mentioned on it from your GY, including this card. You can only use each effect of “Energized Protodermis Flow” once per turn.
Yes, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel so hard for Energized Protodermis content in this part of the lore that I was forced to make a card out of some vague state of the stuff, represented by some vague AI-generated image.
The purpose of this one is pretty much to provide a productive outlet for Energized Protodermis’s mandatory drawback of sending a monster to the GY when used as material by a different fusion effect. Obviously the best option is (ab)using it to take out an opponent’s monster, but in case that’s not possible you can hit this card to instead go after the Extra Deck. I also considered having it remove a card from the hand instead, but this way is probably more fair and fun, especially when Instant Fusion is able to make and trigger Flow in any deck. On the other hand, -1 Extra Deck is in most situations weak enough that it might actually be fine to lift the need to be sent by a card effect specifically – so you’d also be able to use the effect after linking off.
Anyway, it ultimately doesn’t matter too much what the card does when it goes to the GY, because it definitely provides value once it’s there by acting as a GY-based fusion “spell”. Like Chamber, it is limited to using exactly itself and 1 other monster, but even that allows for some fun plays such as making Augoeides from zero resources in hand or field. And all the Toa Nuva, of course.
And now we enter the more unfinished part of this release. I figured that the two EP cards alone probably wouldn’t be enough to fill the month, and also threw in another Toa Nuva in anticipation of the next release to come. Enter the team’s hotheaded leader, Toa Nuva Tahu.
Toa Nuva TahuFusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1900
“Toa Mata Tahu” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up Attack Position monster on the field; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, this card gains ATK equal to that monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.
Like Onua previously, the basic design concept is that the trigger effect he had as a Toa Mata (setting a targeted monster’s ATK to 0 after battle and adding burn damage if it’s destroyed) turns into a quick effect that does roughly the same thing in a somewhat streamlined fashion. In this case, that means draining an Attack Position monster to 0 ATK while gaining its original ATK himself, setting up an enormous hit of battle damage.
This effect hasn’t changed yet from its first draft, and probably will get some adjustments for the proper Toa Nuva release, since there’s at least three specific points I’m unsure about:
- It only works during the Main Phase. This was done to keep consistency with Onua Nuva and is also in line with the restriction Despian Quaeritis has on a similar effect, but it’s kind of a waste to have stat manipulation not be usable during the Damage Step.
- It only works on Attack Position monsters, which is in line with how I’ve envisioned its use (make big number, hit small number), but also weirdly more restrictive then Tahu Mata’s effect.
- It can also drain the ATK of your own monsters. That means more flexibility, obviously, but it’s hard to find a good justification of why Tahu would willingly turn his elemental powers on his own allies. Arguably this point is kind of the root of all evil, since one legitimate purpose of the restriction to Main Phase is that it keeps you from attacking with a big monster and then using its ATK again via Tahu Nuva, and the restriction to Attack Position monsters adds a neat risk factor to draining your own monsters.
So the next revision might be to only allow targeting the opponent’s monsters, but regardless of battle position and phase. Might even do something like letting you force the target into attack position for maximum chance of ungabunga, but we’ll see in a while.
Nuva Symbol of Burning CourageContinuous Spell
You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Tahu” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage” once per turn. If your “Nuva” Fusion Monster battles, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, skip the Battle Phase of your next turn.
With Tahu’s Nuva Symbol, we can already see some tweaking has happened to the general layout of the Nuva cards. I did mention last time that having any Energized Protodermis card freely searchable by at least six different cards might not be a good idea, and now that search has been locked behind already needing to have the appropriate Toa Mata in your hand to reveal – otherwise you’re limited to getting exactly that Toa Mata. Still a good way to fetch the materials you need for a Toa Nuva, and nicely inefficient to abuse for any other purpose. A subtler change to this effect is that it now shuffles the card into the Deck rather than placing it on the bottom, because you’d have to shuffle after searching anyway.
Also significant is that the abilities granted by Nuva Symbols are now no longer reliant on having exactly the correct Toa Nuva on your field, and conversely the backlash of losing the Symbol can also hit any Toa Nuva. This little break from lore came about because it turned out Toa/Symbol mismatches are already annoying as hell even when a deck only has Tahu and Onua, so I don’t even want to imagine how it would go with all six.
As for the specific effects of Burning Courage itself, it simply plays into Tahu’s focus on attacking for massive damage by shutting off your opponent’s effects while a Toa Nuva is battling, thus ensuring the attack goes through. Meanwhile, the matching punishment for losing the symbol is that you lose an entire Battle Phase.
Great Kanohi Hau NuvaEquip Spell
If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Hau Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving it.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; face-up monsters you currently control cannot be destroyed by battle, until the end of your opponent’s turn.
Tahu’s Hau Nuva largely follows the pattern already known from Kanohi Nuva – fetches a Nuva Symbol from Deck when it goes to the GY, grants Toa Nuva the same benefit it had as a Great Kanohi (in this case, battle protection), and has an activated effect while equipped that extends some of that benefit to your whole field. That last one, however, now comes with a discard cost, because activating it every turn for free seemed slightly silly. However, I have no real idea if that’s at all balanced, because these field boosts did not come up a single time in testing after I made the change.
That’s just one of many reasons the Kanohi Nuva are likely to get restructured quite a bit in the upcoming proper Toa Nuva release. Sharing the abilities with others is one of their major distinguishing features in the story, but as it is right now, it barely ever comes up in gameplay because getting a Toa Nuva equipped with a Kanohi Nuva is already such a major feat. Maybe it would be different in a pure Toa Mata/Nuva deck that also has cards like the Suva to aid the equipping process, but further testing is definitely needed once the team is complete. Another issue with the current structure is that I’m always dangerously close to beating the record for most words on a Spell Card, which I’d prefer to avoid. And with the Hau Nuva in particular, the battle protection it inherits from its Great form is actually rendered kind of useless by the fact that Tahu Nuva can drain ATK before battle, rather than needing to battle before he does that. Very much a work in progress.
The main Energized Protodermis monster receives a slight adjustment to its “drawback” when fused away by means other than its own effect, namely that the target you send to the GY must be a Special Summoned monster. In most cases this doesn’t make a difference, but it nicely increases the risk of backfire in various corner cases, which I felt was needed in order to make the mandatory S E N D not feel completely like a convenient weapon (even though it’s very much meant to be used as one).
Other than that, Onua’s Nuva Symbol and Kanohi Nuva have also received the general updates I already talked about.
A not-yet mentioned change is that Nuva Symbols are no longer limited to 1 per name on the field and instead Deep Wisdom’s draw effect has become HOPT (by use of the game’s weirdest HOPT clause). There’s no deeper reason to this than the fact that the unique constraint took up text space and made the cards feel more cluttered than they needed to be.
Unfortunately no legacy updates this time, since I barely squeezed this out between other stuff going on. Not sure yet how things will change in the coming months, but there’s a chance I might be forced to make releases less frequent than currently planned, so be ready for that I guess.