Release: Kalifornication

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

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

And from here, on to the design notes.

New Cards

Bohrok Kalifornication

Continuous Trap

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

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

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

Krana Ca-Kal, Seeker

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

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

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

Krana Xa-Kal, Liberator

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

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

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

As It Was in the Before-Time

Quick-Play Spell

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

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

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

Krana Yo-Kal, Excavator

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

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

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

Krana Bo-Kal, Visionary

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

1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your hand or GY in face-up or face-down Defense Position, but shuffle it into the Deck if it leaves the field. A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains this effect.
●Once per turn: You can look at all Set cards your opponent controls, also look at as many random cards in their hand as possible, up to the number of “Bohrok” monsters you control.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

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

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

Bohrok Pahrak-Kal

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

2 Level 4 “Bohrok” monsters
Place materials detached from this card on the bottom of the Deck, instead of sending them to the GY. Once per turn: You can attach 1 “Krana” monster from your hand, field, or GY to this card as material. At the start of the Damage Step, if this card battles: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; banish all cards they control in its column. Then, if this effect banished exactly 1 card, inflict 1200 damage to your opponent. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Pahrak-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

Bohrok Kohrak-Kal

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

2 Level 4 “Bohrok” monsters
Place materials detached from this card on the bottom of the Deck, instead of sending them to the GY. Once per turn: You can attach 1 “Krana” monster from your hand, field, or GY to this card as material. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; change all other monsters on the field to Defense Position, also negate their effects until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Kohrak-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

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

Bohrok Lehvak-Kal

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

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

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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


Two simple updates on the Bohrok side.

Bohrok-Kal Strategy

Continuous Spell

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

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.5.6)

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

Bohrok Gahlok

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

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

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v4.5.6)

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

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

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

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