With all the villages implemented, Bionicle: Coming of the Toa is approaching completion, and this release gives those titular heroes a significant boost to their strategy as a team. However, there is still one more support wave for them I need to bring over from the ancient scriptures, so the theme guide explaining the whole picture in detail will have to wait a bit longer. Instead, here’s a slightly longer release post to briefly go over the new additions.
Suva KaitaEffect 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.
As the sole new Main Deck monster, the Suva Kaita provides an additional way of summoning multiple Toa while having the same conveniently searchable statline as the regular old Suva. Also like the Suva, it’s treated as multiple Attributes in the hand for Toa Mata Tribute Summoning purposes, but why it does the same thing in the GY is at this point still a secret. The Suva Kaita’s on-field effect requires you to tribute it and only fetches the Level 6 (i.e., Main Deck) Toa, but being a Quick Effect means you can use it to set up a Toa Mata at exactly the right time for its effect to trigger during your opponent’s turn. The GY effect is slower and locks you into “Toa” Extra Deck monsters after using it, but in exchange it works on any banished Toa and actually nets you an additional monster on the field.
But wait, “Toa” Extra Deck monsters? Yes, that’s the other major contribution of this release, starting with three monsters depicting scenes of the Toa Mata uniting their elemental powers.
As momentary alliances rather than wholly new beings, all of these 2-material Xyz share a Quick Effect to split apart into two Toa Mata of the appropriate Attributes once they run out of materials, kind of a roundabout way of rewarding you for actually using the correct team members. As for what benefit summoning them brings:
- Magma (Tahu + Onua) is simply big and can use up all its materials in a single volcanic burst that both launches a Rock into your GY (where both your Suvas can be useful) and optionally makes an opponent’s monster wilt under the heat. The ability to immediately detach 2 materials also means the tagout effect is already available on the opponent’s following turn.
- Storm (Gali + Lewa) – the only one of these with a concrete basis in the story – serves as the ultimate way of setting up exactly the right Toa Mata in exactly the situation where its effect can be triggered, by summoning them directly from Deck as brief flashes of lightning. One fun thing you can do, for example, is bring out Kopaka in response to an effect that will remove another card you control, thereby letting you banish something in retaliation.
- Crystal (Pohatu + Kopaka) rounds out the trio with a solid defensive option in the simple form of a Spell/Trap negate. I always feel a bit bad giving a card boring old negation rather than something more unique, but in this case the old version already had an effect to negate what targets it (now made redundant by the Kanohi Miru) and both Toa Mata and the Rank 6 Xyz pool at large are a bit lacking in ways to guard against blowout Spells and Traps, so I figured it was justified here. Needing to detach both materials for the cost is half a balancing measure and half a trick to ensure you can set up the tagout effect quickly.
At this point you may have noticed that, should one of these Toa Mata Combinations ever wind up banished, a Suva Kaita in the GY can bring it back, at which point it will be without material and thus able to turn itself into 2 Level 6 Toa Mata. And if you can just get a third from somewhere, that naturally opens the door to the most obvious choice for the archetype’s ultimate bosses: Toa Kaita.
As acquiring the materials for these amalgamations of three Toa Mata is a feat that either requires using quite a few cards or having a bit of prior setup, they’re designed as outright win conditions for the deck, with the decision which one you summon dependent on the particular game state you find yourself in.
Akamai is an incredibly straightforward tool for ending games: It locks your opponent out of all activated effects as soon as you enter the Battle Phase, negates continuous effects (including battle protection) of anything it fights for good measure, and then inflicts burn damage after destroying a monster. While not quite an OTK on its own, the Toa Kaita of Valor does get rid of just about any monster under 3000 ATK with no fear of consequences and may finish off an already damaged opponent.
Wairuha is the more forward-thinking option in case you expect the duel to continue past the current turn, backing you up with the simple yet devastating power of a singular omninegate. This negation, notably, does not come with built-in destruction, and that’s because it is instead followed by a slightly more amusing aftermath. After a material is detached from Wairuha, including for the negation cost, you may choose a card type based on your understanding of your opponent’s hand and deck, and if you choose wisely, the rewards include both drawing a card and banishing from the opponent’s field or GY. This is a separate trigger effect for the simple reason that I didn’t want the negation to be dependent on the opponent having a hand or vulnerable to Ash Blossom. While not quite an unbreakable board on its own, the Toa Kaita of Wisdom still serves as an annoying piece of disruption with the potential to bring its controller great benefits.
And now that I’ve used the phrasing “not quite […] on its own” for both of them, it’s time to cover the final extra piece that changes this. Both of the Toa Kaita come with their unique Kanohi that grants only them the combined power (more or less) of three Equip Spells. Akamai’s Aki (Hau + Pakari + Kakama) upgrades it to a 4k attacker that inflicts piercing and hits all monsters while being indestructible by battle – usually enough for an OTK. And Wairuha’s Rua (Kaukau + Akaku + Miru) grants full protection from all effects while allowing you to see the opponent’s hand (giving you an advantage in the wisdom game) – making it the fabled omninegating Towers that basically only falls to Kaijus.
Both of these Kanohi also do something when equipped to the main deck Toa Mata, namely summoning another from the hand to immediately overlay (originally I just wanted the effect to be treating them as 2 materials for an Xyz Summon, but it turns out that doesn’t exist in the real game and is only supported in EDOPro if you use a hardcoded effect type, which I didn’t like). Another point they share in common is that both of their names also refer to characters in the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, but our scientists are still working on figuring out what that might mean.
Some tweaks have been made to a few cards other than the new additions as well. Least among them are tiny stat changes on Onua (DEF 2000 -> DEF 2100) and Pohatu (DEF 1650 -> DEF 1700), for an overall smoother DEF curve from Tahu’s 1500 to Kopaka’s 2500. Not even going to waste a card viewer block on this.
Next, a tributed Toa Mata summoned back to the field by Kini-Nui will now be banished when it leaves the field.
This means making Isolde with Kini-Nui is slightly worse (and provides you one less Kanohi search opportunity), but the archetypal Xyz Monsters conveniently bypass this change. It might also serve as another way to set up the Suva Kaita GY effect.
The Suva now requires a cost of 500 LP for each Kanohi change, similar to the built in swapping of the old Kanohi.
This came about because something about the whole dynamic of filling your GY with Kanohi and then freely accessing them via Suva while potentially triggering a search effect each time felt pretty unfair, and after spending a while warily staring at said search effects and their +1 nature in card advantage, I came to the conclusion that the problem is in the Suva being a completely free once-per-chain effect. Because getting a specific Level 6 monster that most of the time requires a Tribute Summon to hit the field honestly deserves to be a plus even if there’s a combo that allows doing it repeatedly, especially when each search does have a tangible cost of banishing a monster from the GY. Meanwhile, being able to just spam the Suva effect to cycle through Kanohi as much as you want not only almost makes it so that all of them are equipped at once, but also that as many of them as the present GY setup allows can and will trigger each turn. And don’t get me started on negating your own Suva with Wairuha just so you can use the detach effect while losing absolutely nothing. An LP cost may be the most insignificant of costs, but at least it disincentivizes and punishes spam that doesn’t lead to worthwhile benefits. I went with 500 LP rather than the classic 800 because I wanted cycling through a set of 6 Kanohi to cost less than half of the starting 8000, which I guess would also work if it was 600. Might still play around with the value a bit.
Turaga Nuju can now bounce not only one target at a time, but as many as you want if you just have the same number of monsters to flip face-down in exchange.
This helps Ko-Koro’s terrible going-second ability a bit, but more importantly plugs a gaping hole in the gameplan where it was really hard to keep your opponent locked down as intended if they ever managed to put out multiple monsters. Now, you just have to make sure they can’t exceed your field presence in a single turn while restricted by Ko-Koro and you should be good. Do watch out for the devil in the details of the new effect, though: While (according to the precedent I found) it will resolve even if not all the targets are on the field any more, you will still have to flip “that many” (the original targeted number) of your monsters, and if you can’t, you bounce nothing.
The Kanohi Akaku got a little overhaul motivated by some realizations I came to while designing for and testing Toa Mata decks. One, there’s no way anything as fancy and complicated as the original effect can even partially fit into the Rua’s text. And two, a Kanohi that needs to be on the field at a certain point to gain its effect and also permanently ceases to apply once no longer on the field sucks ass in a strategy that involves rapidly changing masks in response to the situation. Thus, the fancy complicated “hand sniping” effect was replaced by a continuous hand reveal just like the Rua (if it’s fair on Mind on Air then it shouldn’t be a problem on an archetype-restricted Equip Spell) plus a simpler hand sniping effect that just banishes for a turn.
And that concludes the information on the Version 3.18.5 release. We’re still only about halfway through the month, so maybe there’s enough time left to also implement a certain Chronicler … ?