Release: The Matoran Update

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Yep, it’s a big one. Just as foretold in the ancient prophecies of the roadmap, this month was focused on giving the Koro strategies I’ve been building up throughout the BCOT overhaul some more material to work with. One half of that was making the older Matoran from BCOR and BBTS align with their respective village’s newly established gameplan, and the other was introducing actually new cards representing Matoran of varying irrelevancy. This was a lot to get done in not a lot of days and as a result testing was a bit more minimal for these, so if you see something that looks blatantly broken, definitely speak up because there’s a good chance you’re right.

Rather than the usual release note structure of New / Updated, I think it makes more sense to go village by village here and investigate how each deck is impacted by its new options. At some point I’ll also have to update the old theme guides with that information, but for now let’s just put it here.

General

First of all, we should get the two tweaks with a more global impact out of the way.

3.19.4

Matoran Chronicler Takua

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

If this card is Normal or Special 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. You can discard 1 card; excavate the top 6 cards of your Deck, and if you do, you can Special Summon 1 excavated “C.C. Matoran” monster, also you can 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 (v3.19.4)
3.20.4

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)

Takua now only does the convenient setup for getting a C.C. Matoran from the Deck when he is Normal Summoned, which means you’re in gambling territory if you Special Summon him using Isolde, for example. However, after implementing this and testing, it became apparent that outside a deck filled to the brim with Chronicler’s Company members, the discard cost before excavating was never worth paying given the tiny chance of actually finding anything. So away went the discard, and along with that, the option to add “The Chronicler’s Company” (the archetypal Trap Card) was transformed from a lucky bonus to an alternative. Otherwise you’d be looking at a potential +2, which probably isn’t too healthy of a design.

With this change, Takua seems to perform well both in various Koro decks and in the main C.C. Matoran strategy. But he was also an essential component in the gimmicky Turaga Nui Turbo deck, and there, the inability to stack the deck and change his Attribute when Special Summoned actually does completely break one part of the combo. Thankfully, I was able to fix this issue by changing another card, Amaja-Nui, in a way that I think even improves it from a lore adaptation and balance standpoint.

3.19.4

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 Level 4 or lower “Matoran” monsters with the same Attribute as this card that is banished or in your GY; Special Summon it to your zone this card points to.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)
3.20.4

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)

The old version let you bring back a Matoran with the same Attribute as Amaja-Nui (meaning LIGHT or the Attribute of any Turaga you’ve used) as if calling them before the gathering of Turaga, which kind of fails to convey the core purpose of the location – telling stories and legends. On the other hand, the latest update changes this to creating a Token inheriting Level and Attribute of a spent Warrior monster, representing the stones within Amaja-Nui that were a key device in exactly this storytelling. The original monster is then placed on the top or bottom of the Deck, which is also important to recreating the combo that used to be possible with Takua.

Previously, what you would do is revive Takua with Amaja-Nui, stack Kapura on top of your Deck, and then use Takua (now FIRE) and another monster to make Vakama, who is then able to summon a FIRE Warrior from the top of your Deck and thus give you an extra body to continue the combo. Now, you instead directly target a FIRE Warrior with Amaja-Nui, place it on top of the Deck, and then use the Token you get to make Vakama for the same result. Only downside is you now need to get a FIRE Warrior banished or into the GY first, but that can be done pretty consistently by adopting Sublimation Knight as one of the starters in the deck.

Speaking of Kapura, he’s this month’s winner of the “should probably fix this but haven’t yet” prize. Specifically, in the final few test duels of the latest version, I noticed that letting any monster that survives a turn attack twice enables OTKs that just feel undeservedly sudden. Especially taking into account that the wording of the limitation as “not Summoned this turn” means something like a PSY-Framelord Omega coming back to your field after your opponent had no opportunity to interact with it at all is also a valid target.

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 a second attack during this Battle Phase. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kapura” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.0.0)

The very simple solution I’m considering here is making that second attack on monsters only, which is a common restriction on effects of this type and greatly limits the potential damage output. In the Ta-Koro strategy itself, attacking monsters is what you want to do anyway, so it shouldn’t make any problems there.

Ta-Koro

(Theme Guide)

The unga bunga strategy of Ta-Koro, a simple beatdown that hopes to OTK and benefits from destroying monsters in battle, receives an updated version of the captain of the guard himself as their first new asset.

3.15.5

Matoran Guard Captain Jaller

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 800 / DEF 500

While your opponent controls a face-up monster, “Matoran” monsters you control gain 400 ATK for each “Matoran” monster you control. During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Matoran” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn) You can only control 1 face-up “Matoran Guard Captain Jaller”.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

Matoran Guard Captain Jala

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 800 / DEF 500

While your opponent controls a face-up monster, Level 4 or lower FIRE Warrior monsters you control gain 400 ATK for each “Matoran” monster you control. During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Matoran” or FIRE “Toa” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn) You can only control 1 face-up “Matoran Guard Captain Jala”.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Where Jala previously buffed all other Matoran, that same buff is now applied to all your FIRE Warrior monsters up to Level 4, so it also affects the Tokens Vakama creates when his effect misses. And the additional Normal Summon can now be spent on not only Matoran, but also a FIRE Toa, which at this point means exactly Tahu. This part of the design I’m not terribly happy with, because it feels extremely forced and out of line with the other Matoran who do not directly reference the Toa (after all, they were fighting without them for a thousand years). The reason it’s in here for the time being anyway is that Tahu’s effect to both lower ATK and inflict burn damage upon battle destruction is extremely helpful when it comes to pulling off an OTK, but you also don’t really have the spare Normal Summon to get him out in the same turn you set up all your other stuff. If I eventually figure out a way to get around this without an ugly crutch, Jala is presumably going to change accordingly.

Moving on, this village’s contribution to the lineup of fresh Matoran is perhaps the most irrelevant of them all: Lhii, the legendary lava surfer.

Matoran Legend Lhii

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 0 / DEF 0

During the Damage Step, when your FIRE monster battles an opponent’s monster (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand to the GY; until the end of this turn, that opponent’s monster loses 500 ATK/DEF, also negate its effects. If your FIRE Warrior monster destroys an opponent’s monster by battle, while this card is in your GY: You can Special Summon this card, and if you do, it gains ATK equal to the destroyed monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use 1 “Matoran Legend Lhii” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

This entirely fictional (as in, more fictional than the rest of the story) individual was only found as a brief mention in some sections of the website in the early years, and only much later properly established to be a legend told in memory of the deceased Toa Lhikan. What this translates to is a 0 ATK/DEF monster (because he is not, in fact, real) that supports the residents of Ta-Koro by acting as a handtrap enabling destruction by battle where it would normally not have been possible, and by returning from the grave as a source of additional damage to close out games. These effects were chosen mostly because they were useful to the deck, but the fun thing is that I could potentially come back and reference them when I eventually implement the actual Lhikan, thus creating a solid piece of L O R E from absolutely nothing.

Another downside of Lhii being such an absolute background detail is that there wasn’t any official depiction of him, so rather than go look for fanart and having to deal with nuisances such as “permissions” and “credit”, I just went and made my own – a task only slightly complicated by not actually possessing the ability to draw. Praise be unto Krita and its wide array of brushes that can be spammed randomly until the image looks kinda decent.

Art for Lhii in full size

The simple concept here is to show the Legend of Lhii being told through fire and smoke, with the fire being the lavaboard and the smoke the rest of the body. Hope that’s recognizable at least. From what I’ve found, there’s also the idea that Lhii is supposed to wear a Kanohi Pakari floating around, but that doesn’t seem to be backed by very solid evidence, so I went with the more obvious approach of giving the Matoran based on a Hau-wearing Toa a Hau.

… Did you notice the lava surfer in the background?

Ga-Koro

(Theme Guide)

For Ga-Koro’s signature playstyle that involves a lot of both defensive and offensive actions on the opponent’s turn, we have Hahli as the updated BCOR Matoran.

3.15.5

Matoran Assistant Hahli

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

If you control a “Matoran” monster other than “Matoran Assistant Hahli”, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). Other “Matoran” monsters you control cannot be destroyed by card effects. Once per turn, if you control another “Matoran” monster: You can add 1 “Matoran” monster from your Deck to your hand, except “Matoran Assistant Hahli”.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

Matoran Assistant Hahli

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

Other “Matoran” monsters you control cannot be destroyed by card effects. You can only use each of the following effects of “Matoran Assistant Hahli” once per turn. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can inflict 400 damage to your opponent. If a WATER “Matoran” monster(s), except “Matoran Assistant Hahli”, is sent to your GY, while this card is in your GY (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card, but banish it during the End Phase.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Unchanged is the destruction protection granted to other Matoran, but the rest of the card, a combination of a non-OPT Special Summon from hand and soft OPT Matoran search, was frankly broken as hell and needed to go. In it’s place comes a Quick Effect that does nothing but inflict a little bit of damage, reflecting the basic, yet helpful chores Hahli had to do in her position as assistant flax maker. The purpose of this is really just letting you easily get to Chain Link 2 on the opponent’s turn (the threshold where Ga-Koro makes all your effects unrespondable), so the amount of damage might even need to be lowered a bit. The other thing new Hahli has to offer is the ability to Special Summon herself from the GY when another WATER Matoran goes there, for example via being discarded for Nokama’s cost. Effects that trigger when sent from the hand or field to the GY are, to give a little spoiler, a staple of Ga-Matoran, so by having this trigger at the same timing, Hahli can once again “assist” in building Chain Links. I think it might make sense to have this effect happen during the opponent’s turn only so you can’t easily dodge the EP banish and instead need to recycle with Nokama, but the extra setup tool felt kinda important during testing, so for now it’s staying like this.

Before we get to the new face, there’s also a Matoran from BBTS that has received an update this time.

3.15.5

Matoran Tender Kotu

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

The monster(s) your opponent controls with the highest original ATK loses 800 ATK during the Battle Phase only. If this card is Normal Summoned: You can target 1 monster on the field; its owner draws 1 card, and if they do, return that target to the hand. You can only use this effect of “Matoran Tender Kotu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

Matoran Tender Kotu

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

During the Main or Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can make the monster(s) your opponent currently controls with the highest ATK lose 800 ATK, until the end of this turn. If this card is sent from the hand or field to the GY: You can target 1 monster on the field; its owner draws 1 card, and if they do, return that target to the hand. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Tender Kotu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.20.4)

Kotu only got very slight changes to her mechanics so they align better with the deck – reducing the opponent’s largest monster by 800 ATK is now an activated Quick Effect for dem Chain Links, and her previous effect on Normal Summon is now one of those effects that trigger when sent to the GY. Otherwise, it still does the same.

New to the crew is Ga-Koro’s astrologer Nixie.

Matoran Astrologer Nixie

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

When a monster effect is activated while you control a WATER monster and this card is in your hand (Quick Effect): You can draw 1 card and show it, then if it is a monster, Special Summon this card, and if you do, its Level becomes that shown monster’s Level. Otherwise, discard this card. If this card is sent from the hand or field to the GY and you have no Spells/Traps in your GY: You can send 1 Spell/Trap from your Deck to the GY. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Astrologer Nixie” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

As her job involves observing the stars, I wanted to do something with Level manipulation, and since Ga-Koro tends to use Synchros, that went well with making her a tuner. The effects are once again a pair of a Quick Effect – this time triggering from the hand – and a trigger effect when sent from hand or field to the GY. The former makes you draw a card, check its Level (or “observe its stars” if you will), and Special Summon Nixe with the same Level, or discard her if it’s not a monster (though you still get to keep the card). The latter simply puts a Spell/Trap in a GY that doesn’t have them, to help set up Nokama’s protection.

Final tweak is on Ga-Koro itself, and simply consists of lifting the Level limit on WATER monsters you can Special Summon from your hand.

3.12.10

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 Level 4 or lower 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 (v3.12.10)
3.20.4

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)

There are already several official cards that can do the same thing, so it’s pretty safe to say it doesn’t enable degenerate bullshit, and this way you can more easily make powerful Synchros worth protecting with Nokama.

Onu-Koro

(Theme Guide)

The key feature of Onu-Koro is its ability to constantly replenish your resources, and this release supplements that with a nice little resource loop facilitated by an adjusted Onepu, the Ussal from the Rahi archetype, and the newly added Midak.

3.15.5

Matoran Racer Onepu

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

During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Beast or Winged Beast monster from your Deck in face-up Defense Position, and if you do, this card gains 800 ATK until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Matoran Racer Onepu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

Matoran Racer Onepu

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

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

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

Ussal, Crab Rahi

Pendulum Effect MonsterLevel 3 | Scale 2/2 | EARTH Beast | ATK 1000 / DEF 1000

Pendulum Scale = 2
[ Pendulum Effect ]
Once per turn: You can reduce the Pendulum Scale of the card in your other Pendulum Zone by 1 until the End Phase; this turn, while this card is in your Pendulum Zone, you can also Pendulum Summon “Rahi” Pendulum Monsters from your GY, but monsters Summoned this way are destroyed during the End Phase.
—————————————-
[ Monster Effect ]
If this card is sent to the GY: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower EARTH monster from your GY, except this card. If this card is banished: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower “Rahi” monster from your GY. You can only use 1 “Ussal, Crab Rahi” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)

Matoran Tender Midak

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

To walk you through the play quickly: Putting Onepu on the field fulfills the condition to activate Midak in your hand, sending him and an Ussal from your Deck to the GY and being rewarded with 400 LP because he did his job as an Ussal handler. This will trigger the Ussal to bring back another EARTH monster from your GY, such as Midak. Furthermore, Onepu’s effect allows him to bring out the Ussal from the GY as well (and not from the Deck like in the old version, that was pretty stupid), and suddenly you have three whole monsters on the field. After using them all as material for something, Onepu and Midak will be in the GY where Onu-Koro can put them back into your Deck so they’re ready to go again, except Midak will avoid the darkness of the Deck and instead claim a bright spot in your hand – he’s not the Midak Skyblaster’s namesake for nothing. Meanwhile, the Ussal remains banished, but if you can just manage to find Onepu again, his other effect allows you to recycle that as well, with a bonus of gaining an LP reward depending on how many Matoran are in attendance to be awed by the tales of the great Ussal Racer’s achievments. And at this point, you might have noticed, you’re at the exact point where the combo started and can do it all over again.

Po-Koro

(Theme Guide)

Po-Koro follows the tried-and-true principle of Special Summoning a bunch of monsters and using them as fodder to bring out bosses from the Extra Deck via various mechanics. Their new support helps with this in what I find to be interesting ways, starting with Huki.

3.15.5

Matoran Champion Hewkii

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

Your opponent cannot target “Matoran” monsters for attacks, except “Matoran Champion Hewkii”. Once per turn, if you control another “Matoran” monster, this card cannot be destroyed by battle. At the end of the Damage Step, if this card battled a monster with 2000 or more ATK: Destroy that monster and inflict damage to your opponent equal to its ATK.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

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)

Special Summoning from the hand with some funny column shenanigans obviously helps you combo, especially if you manage to hit a zone Onewa points to (thus triggering further Special Summons). Meanwhile, the ATK boosting effect is a more balanced replacement for the old version’s crazy blowout effect when battling powerful monsters. I think I may have even overbalanced it by making its activation condition stand at odds with the Special Summon condition, but who knows.

And to be entirely honest, a lot of this effect was designed to interact specifically with Maku and thus recreate the most classic ship from a world where love is not canon. I even made a little video to illustrate.

Shippers Rejoice

I know, I’m a comedic genius.

Anyway, there’s another Po-Matoran to talk about, and among the new additions he stands out as easily the most plot-relevant one. It is none other than the prolific traitor trader Ahkmou.

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)

The trade deal offered by this trustworthy merchant involves placing him on the opponent’s field in exchange for bringing out one of your Matoran from the hand, but he will in fact change sides at the drop of a hat, or rather at the activation of a monster effect. What this does in practical terms is putting a monster on your opponent’s field going first, turning off certain interruptions like Infinite Impermanence or Gamma and softening the blow of others by giving you an additional monster to work with once the chain resolves. Just make sure you don’t accidentally lose his allegiance again before you can use him. Oh, and Ahkmou can enable Huki’s inherent Special Summon turn 1, which is also pretty cool.

Ko-Koro

(Theme Guide)

For the stall strategy of Ko-Koro, the new release provides more ways to get yourself the advantage in field presence you need to keep the game locked down until you win. As the BCOR updatee (is that a word?), we have Matoro, Nuju’s translator.

3.15.5

Matoran Translator Matoro

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

If this card was Normal Summoned this turn: You can Tribute this card; Special Summon up to 2 Level 2 “Matoran” monsters from your GY, except “Matoran Translator Matoro”. You can only use this effect of “Matoran Translator Matoro” once per turn.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

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)

His original ability to revive others by Tributing himself (based on, well, the obvious) remains pretty much unchanged, with the only difference being that it now also works if he was flipped face-up that turn, since Nuju flips your own monsters to clear the opponent’s field. This leads us straight to the second effect, which replaces the Tuner designation as the representation of his job as translator. Because if the monsters being flipped face-down is meant to be Nuju confusing his allies by speaking in bird language, then obviously Matoro clearing up the confusion would simply revert the flip.

In the new slot, we have Jaa, one of the scribes in charge of writing down Wall of Prophecy translations. Where did those prophecies even come from? Honestly I’m not sure, but it probably also doesn’t matter.

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)

Jaa takes advantage of the large amount of Spells and Traps you run in a Ko-Koro deck (since you don’t want to use monster effects on the opponent’s turn) and uses them as fodder to put himself on the field, making him a useful on-Attribute search target for Kopeke. Later, when he hits the GY, he can put the card banished for his Summon back on top of the Deck (as if writing down a prophecy of your next draw) and simultaneously bring out another WATER Matoran from the GY. With the tiny drawback of getting locked out of all Special Summons. Which you can turn off by simply flipping the monster face-down to bounce something with Nuju. I think you get the idea. Do note that the Special Summon is mandatory, so activating the effect to get back a banished card may bite you in the ass – an intentional flaw to make sure he isn’t quite so easy to use as a generic Spell/Trap recycler.

Ko-Koro also got one little update to patch a somewhat fatal flaw. While it previously only negated the effects of your opponent’s Special Summoned monsters for a single turn, this negation is now permanent – as long as the other conditions of only controlling WATER monsters and not having activated monster effects that turn are fulfilled, of course.

3.16.6

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 monsters that were Special Summoned this turn while your opponent controls them.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)
3.20.4

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)

This way you aren’t totally helpless against opponents who can bring out a monster during your End Phase or something like that, and I figure it’s still not all that terribly oppressive and unfun as far as lockdowns go, since you need to keep actively removing monsters anyway if you want to keep yourself safe from battle as well.

Le-Koro

(Theme Guide)

Most important to Le-Koro is the ability to recover and rebuild starting from minimal resources, and the first new piece of support for this is another Matoran/Rahi combo in the form of Kongu and the Kewa.

3.15.5

Matoran Pilot Kongu

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

Once per turn: You can target 1 Beast or Winged Beast monster you control; equip that target to this card. (You can only equip 1 monster at a time to this card with this effect.) While equipped with a monster by this effect, this card can attack your opponent directly. When this card inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls with DEF less than or equal to the ATK of the monster equipped to this card; destroy it. When this card is destroyed while equipped with a monster by its effect and sent to the GY: Special Summon that monster from the GY.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.15.5)
3.20.4

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)

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)

Replacing super gimmicky and overly complicated equip shenanigans is something that may feel familiar from the Onu-Koro section. Indeed, the Kewa is the same type of Rahi as the Ussal, and provides the same service when sent to the GY, just for WIND monsters. Kongu, meanwhile, is the way to get the birb there, symbolically allowing him to fly over the enemy lines and attack directly. Which you may not use if you’re instead using him and the monster revied by the Kewa as material, but if you do, there’s also the additional utility of destroying monsters with sufficiently low DEF after inflicting battle damage.

The final new card of the release is Makani, whom you may know from the famous Le-Koro Band. Or from the Elementsaber archetype. Turns out naming a wind guy after the Hawaiian word for “wind” isn’t the most unique idea.

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)

Aside from being a Tuner (because music), Makani provides a very simple pair of effects: Bring out another Matoran on Summon – regardless of Attribute, since he plays music to welcome travellers as well – and recycling a WIND Warrior in your GY on later turns. This, as it turns out, is a much more potent combination than I had anticipated, and in testing Makani seriously feels like one of the most useful Matoran cards to date. Not sure if it’s actually to the point of requiring some kind of nerf, but he’s certainly good.

Something I should point out is that both Kongu and Makani having effects that trigger when they are Summoned reflects an important design element for Le-Koro, since it lets you chain them to the Field Spell’s search effect and get value before the negate from that hits.

Last but not least, the second effect of Matau received some changes.

3.17.4

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 target 1 other WIND monster in your GY; during the Standby Phase of your next turn, add that target to your hand, then, if your opponent controls more monsters than you do, draw 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)
3.20.4

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 other 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 (v3.20.4)

One thing is that it doesn’t target the monster to get back during the next Standby Phase at activation anymore, mostly because EDOPro didn’t really make that easy to keep track of. Instead you get to choose when it resolves, which I think might pose some issues with the requirement of “other WIND monster” (since Matau may have left and returned to the GY in the meantime) – if so, I’ll probably either remove the other or strengthen it to “except Matau”. The other change is that the bonus draw in case your opponent controls more monsters was replaced with a temporary ATK/DEF reduction for your opponent’s field, potentially making the board easier to break when you make your comeback. I think this is better because it incorporates the prankster aspect of Matau, and now you can get an extra card to your hand by simply having Makani in GY anyway.


This was long and I am very sorry for that. Respect to you if you actually read it all.

The 2022 Roadmap

Did you know that it’s possible to plan development work ahead of time and then proceed along a fixed schedule, thus spotting potential problems well in advance? Sounds like witchcraft, but let’s try it. Just keep in mind that anything “planned” here is still subject to change for literally any reason whatsoever.

Pushing out an update every two months has proven to be a functional and sustainable pace, so using that as the basis:

  • February 2022: The Matoran Update – Polishing and extending the Koro strategies a bit more by taking another look at the Matoran cards in BCOT, BCOR, and BBTS … plus maybe also adding some new ones?
  • April 2022: Tale of the Toa – Final wave of Toa Mata support, and also final wave of reworked BCOT cards.
  • June 2022: Big refactoring run for BCOT scripts (and maybe the other expansions while I’m at it), first look at the Protodermic Evolution archetypes (Version 4.0 !).
  • August 2022: Energized Protodermis (1st Wave) First look at the Protodermic Evolution archetypes (Version 4.0 !)
  • October 2022: Toa Nuva (1st Wave) Energized Protodermis (1st Wave)
  • December 2022: Bohrok-Kal (1st Wave) Toa Nuva (1st Wave)

June August is an important milestone to watch out for, because the results of testing the first cards of BPEV will influence what their further support is like, which may change how much of it I have to make and in what order. So the plan for the second half of the year is more of an educated guess at this point, and the “(1st Wave)” notes don’t necessarily mean all of these things will get another wave next year.

(Updated 2022-04-28: Version 4.0 pushed back to August, following releases shifted accordingly)

Release: BCOR and BBTS – The EDOPro Update

The first three expansions I made as part of this project (Coming of the Toa, Challenge of the Rahi, and Beware the Swarm) were developed for YGOPro Percy, which means the old releases have some compatibility issues with the current EDOPro. For BCOT, I’m currently in the process of resolving this by doing a complete overhaul that also fixes the glaring design flaws in there, and fixing the rest was kind of put off until after that. But then, I figured some basic compatibility updates couldn’t take that long, and here we are: The first complete release of the Bionicle YGOPro Expansion for EDOPro!

Download here

Since overarching lore connections already resulted in some dependencies between different expansions “packs”, I’ve been meaning for a while to move from the single-pack release mode to one where all of them are treated as an unified whole, so this is a very good step in the right direction. On that note, it’s worth pointing out that this is essentially only a new release mode, not a new version – only scripts were updated and no card designs were changed from the latest v3.15.5, so that number remains in effect for all the cards found here.

In the future, all updates will come as this kind of full package, even if all cards changed are from one single expansion pack. This will simplify future cross-expansion updates, such as redesigning the Rahi archetype which has members in both BCOR and BBTS, as it allows smoothly doing those whenever I feel like it without needing to touch the rest of the respective expansions.

Anyway, for a quick look at the updated scripts and some of the cards that are now available for play, look no further than the video below.

As you can see, there’s a lot to try out, so if you haven’t already, I recommend you click the download link near the start of the post and have some fun! As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Designer’s Quip: The Thin Line Between Victory and Defeat

Notice the similarity between these cards? That’s right, both are Quick-Play Spells that let you activate one of two effects if you control a specific category of monsters. Even more, in both cases the first effect has lower requirements and provides some simple utility, while the second needs more setup but deals a potentially game-ending blow.

This is, of course, no coincidence. As It Was in the Before-Time shows the scenario in which the Bohrok swarms successfully eliminate everything else that dwells on the surface, and The End of the Swarm shows the scenario of their defeat that eventually came to pass in the 2002 storyline. They are victory and defeat, so they naturally form a pair – though which one is which obviously depends on what deck you are playing.

No, I am still not going to explain what’s going on with the Level 8+ monsters and Continuous Spells. Try to figure it out on your own if you really want to know already, or just wait patiently 😉

Designer’s Quip: The Unintended Jahnok Combo

Splashability is when a card or group of cards can be used outside their own deck/archetype to achieve benefits in combination with entirely unrelated cards. Taking this into account when making custom cards adds a lot of depth and therefore fun to the process while also achieving more balanced results, but for a long time I didn’t really do that. So once in a while I have the funny experience of looking back at older designs and realizing they do something generically useful I wasn’t actually going for. Here’s one such example.

Bohrok Tahnok can shuffle itself into the Deck to destroy a face-up monster, and this is a Quick Effect. Already seems quite useful, but between having to return to the Deck, the limitation of the targets to only face-up monsters, the fact that it targets at all, and the lack of a built-in way to easily bring it out, it probably wouldn’t be that good to just splash it into random stuff.

In comes the second card of this package, the Krana Ja. By discarding it from your hand while you control a Bohrok, you can scout ahead and render everything that is already visible on your opponent’s field ineffective during the following turn, and like many other Krana it can return from the field to your hand during Main Phase 1 to bring out a Bohrok from the Deck at the cost of immediately ending the turn.

The bottom line is that by just getting a Krana Ja on the field somehow in your Main Phase 1 (e.g. with One for One or simply a spare Normal Summon), you can easily out any single monster that can have its effects negated. Return the Ja to your hand to Special Summon a Tahnok from your Deck, activate the Ja from your hand during the immediately ensuing End Phase (since you do have a Bohrok now), then in the following turn activate the Tahnok’s Quick Effect to target and destroy whatever you like. At this point all protection and/or negation on your opponent’s field will be negated by the Ja, so you don’t have to worry about that stuff at all.

Now, this does ultimately cost you your Battle Phase and only takes care of a single monster, so it probably isn’t really that impactful in the grand scheme of things. But I found it pretty funny that these two cards on their own could pull this off even though neither of their designs was in any way geared towards it. The Tahnok just has a Quick Effect because it’s fast, and the Krana Ja does what it does because it’s literally a Scout.

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.

Theme Guide: Rahi (BBTS)

The Bohrok invasion also introduced some new Rahi into the story, because the designers came up with a bunch of combiners and had nothing better to do with them. This means the Rahi archetype experiences a bit of growth in this expansion.

For the Level 4 group (Remember: Special Summon themselves from the Pendulum Zone, grant effects when used as Synchro Material), there are two new additions.

The Waikiru is a creature with two sides in multiple ways: Slow on land but quick in the water, and docile at rest but aggressive when threatened. It changes much like monsters change their battle positions, so that’s the theme for this Rahi’s effects. A Synchro monster summoned with it gains a position-changing Quick Effect, and in the Pendulum Zone it grants appropriate buffs to your monsters when their battle position changes.

The Ghekula, natural enemy of the Bog Snake, is entirely built to be a counter to that exact Rahi from BCOR (which had effect damage as its gimmick), granting a Synchro Monster the ability to effectively redirect effect damage you take to your opponent. And if you don’t want to wait for your opponent to damage you, the Pendulum Effect provides a good source of damage as well.

A battle between Ghekula and Bog Snake, captured in the wild (little known fact: swamps have wooden floors)

The Level 3s with the banish/GY triggers get 3 new members.

The Infernavika is a small bird that protects itself from predators by hiding among streams of lava, and thus has a Pendulum Effect that can cause battles to take place in an environment hostile to all but FIRE monsters. The attribute theming continues with its effect when sent to the GY, which complements the Daikau, Ussal, and Kewa from BCOR by reviving a FIRE monster, and when banished, it can deftly escape to the Extra Deck while banishing the top card of your Deck in its place.

Serving as a steed to Matoran in the battle against the Bohrok swarms, the Keras helps out your small monsters with both its Pendulum Effect (aiding them in battle for an ATK boost) and its GY effect (carrying them across difficult terrain to protect against effects). The remaining effect that triggers when banished is anti-Bohrok rather than pro-Matoran, but still derives from the same idea.

Perhaps the most notable addition is the Hapaka, a Rahi used to safeguard flocks of other Rahi. Accordingly, its Pendulum Effect boosts the DEF of Rahi and prevents their destruction, but the more interesting part is the GY effect, or lack thereof. Instead, it has a Special Summoning procedure from hand or GY by “guarding” another small Rahi. And when banished, including as a result of its own summoning condition, it will return “stray” (banished) Rahi to the “herd” (GY).

Finally, there are two new Level 2 Tuners, both of them coincidentally birds.

The Pokawi disorient enemies by moving quickly in great numbers, so its effect weakens your opponent’s monsters in proportion to how many Rahi you have gathered up in the banished “zone”. Mata Nui Fishing Birds have a habit of swooping in to annoy larger predators and then escaping again, which I translated into a “swoopy” (if that makes sense) temporary banishment effect that includes an extra reward if used against large monsters.

Conclusion

These new cards mostly focus on fitting the available tidbits of lore on these Rahi into the established frameworks of the archetype from BCOR, so while they do introduce some new gimmicks and options, I’m pretty sure there isn’t any real change in terms of the overall playstyle. The possible exception is the Hapaka, which actually does break with the framework a bit and introduces an entirely new way to get a Level 3 Rahi on the field. But given the myriad of unpredictable deckbuilding options Rahi have in their current wonky state of design, it probably isn’t even feasible for me to conduct enough tests to confidently confirm or deny this assessment.

Anyway, the BBTS release includes not only a sample deck featuring all of the new Rahi, but also decks built entirely around the Waikiru’s and Ghekula’s respective gimmicks. They also require cards from BCOR, so be sure to use the complete version linked above rather than just the standalone BBTS expansion.

Theme Guide: Bahrag (BBTS)

At the top of the Bohrok swarms stand the Bahrag, ancient twin queens utterly dedicated to carrying out their one and only mission. As the final bosses of the 2002 storyline, it is only appropriate that they are also the ultimate boss monsters of the Bohrok archetype.

Since I like to make pairs into Pendulum Monsters, that’s what they are, and also Synchros to complement the Fusion Bohrok Kaita and the Xyz [REDACTED]. Their Pendulum Effects attempt to alter the way Bohrok function in order to let them take better advantage of Pendulum Summons: Cahdok lets you put a Bohrok into face-down Defense Position when it’s Summoned face-up, with added protection to make sure you’ll get to the Flip effect. Gahdok replicates the recursion ability of Pendulum Monsters by returning a Bohrok that gets sent from the field to the GY to your hand.

In the Monster Zone, their shared gimmick is that they gain and grant each other protection if you control the other Bahrag anywhere on the field (including as a Pendulum Scale!), with Cahdok protecting from effects and Gahdok protecting from battle. Both of them also place themselves in the Pendulum Zone if they are face-up during your Standby Phase – their shadowy presence behind the Bohrok swarms cannot be easily eliminated, and if you successfully summon them once you will have access to them for the rest of the Duel.

Finally, each queen has the ability to Special Summon certain members of the swarm (the Level 2 Bohrok Va for Cahdok, the Level 4 Bohrok for Gahdok) from the GY if it is the only face-up monster you control. This has a lot of situational utility since there are no restrictions on attacks or effects for the Summoned monster, but the main intent actually is simply to help assemble the materials for the other Bahrag (usually you need 1 Bohrok Va + 2 Bohrok).

A potentially simpler, if temporary, way to get to the Bahrag is Queens’ Illusion, a Trap Card based on, well, the queens’ ability to generate illusions. By shuffling the materials from hand, field, or GY into the Deck, it places an “illusory” Bahrag in the Pendulum Zone and imposes attack restrictions based on its stats. The illusion ends after a turn, but while it is active you can freely use the Pendulum Effect and potentially enable another Bahrag’s protection with the added name.

And once you do get the Bahrag out, is there anything you can do other than sitting on them and throwing Bohrok at your opponent? Well yes, there’s a card specificall to ensure that all shall be …

Representing the final goal of the Bahrag and their Bohrok swarms, As It Was in the Before-Time is the ultimate payoff to assembling the pair. By activating this Quick-Play Spell and returning both of the Bahrag (either as monsters or as Pendulum Scales) to the Extra Deck, you can send everything on the field except the swarms themselves to the GY, completing the great mission of cleaning it all. Somehow I feel like that sounded more impressive before Konami made Zeus, but whatever. To make the card not completely useless outside the absolute best case scenario, it can also be used as a draw spell at the cost of destroying a number of Bahrag cards equal to how much you want to draw (again, these can be monsters or just Pendulum Scales). With the Bahrag automatically returning from the Extra Deck each Standby Phase, this is usually a pretty good trade.

Conclusion

Sucessfully setting up the Bahrag provides significant lasting benefits to a Bohrok strategy, and on top of that they simply serve as nice big boss monsters to go into. This makes them into a package that can be included both as just an additional option and as the main win condition.

The BBTS release provides examples of the former approach in any of the multiple Bohrok decks, and of the latter in the Bahrag deck specifically.

Theme Guide: Krana (BBTS)

The eight types of Krana are sentient, organic beings that provide the guiding intelligence as well as a set of special powers to the Bohrok swarms, so the BBTS expansion implements them as monsters that allow Bohrok access to some effects that are generally a bit more clever than what the archetype otherwise does. Each Krana essentially has two effects: One that activates in the hand and is different for each monster while following one of two templates, and another that can only be one of two options, each of which is shared by half the Krana.

Let’s just use those second effects to segment the Krana in the following explanation and cover the rest as we go.

Based off the idea that Bohrok are really just robot suits piloted by the Krana inside them, these monsters have the ability to return themselves from the field to the hand to get any of the Level 4 Bohrok directly from the Deck. This is not something you want to rely on unless you need to since it only works during your Main Phase 1 and then ends the turn, but having the option at least avoids total bricks when playing a lot of Krana.

Regarding the first effect, the Krana Yo and Krana Ca follow the template of equipping themselves to a Level 4 or higher Bohrok from the hand in order to grant some continuous benefit. The Yo, holding the power to let its Bohrok dig through most substances, allows the equipped monster to attack directly. The Ca with its shielding powers protects all of your Bohrok from battle, but only once per turn for each.

Krana Xa and Krana Ja feature the alternative effect template, which means you can activate them by sending them directly from the hand to the GY at a certain timing. With the Xa, which are mainly in charge of formulating the more complex strategies of the plans, you can counteract negations or other responses to your Bohrok effects. It can be activated in any chain that has a Bohrok monster’s effect anywhere but as the last link and will negate the effects of all non-Bohrok cards on the field that appear in this chain. This lasts all the way to the end of the turn, so you might be able to disable something vital using this if you can just bait an activation out of it first. Another mass effect negation option is provided by the Krana Ja, which gives the swarms advance warning of known threats and thus renders everything that is visible on your opponent’s field useless during the following turn. This effect can be activated at any time as long as you control a face-up Bohrok, so you’d probably want to use it during the End Phase for maximum effect.

The other group of Krana are those that can banish themselves from the GY to steal a monster destroyed by a Bohrok from your opponent’s GY, controlling their enemies to make them part of the swarm. The monsters are Special Summoned in face-down Defense Position for thematic reasons and there’s a restriction on it that effectively prevents you from doing it more than once per turn, but even with that it’s obviously a damn strong move.

The equipping Krana among these are the Krana Za and Krana Su. The squad leader-type Za allow Bohrok to communicate and coordinate telepathically, which in this case is used to protect the equipped monster via strategic retreats of your other monsters (including face-down ones) while also keeping up the card supply. The Su is the caveman among the Krana, merely granting a stat boost, but that is very versatile in its simplicity, especially considering the equipping is a Quick Effect.

The pure hand effects here belong to Krana Vu and Krana Bo. The Vu makes Bohrok capable of flight, so it can be used to dodge targeting effects and even goes as far as negating and destroying the card in question to really make your opponents think twice about targeting your Bohrok with anything. The Bo can be triggered in response to your Bohrok cleaning up any card with their removal effects, using its night vision capabilites to track down further copies of the same card hiding in the darkness of your opponent’s hand and get rid of them for good.

On the topic of Krana that can steal your opponent’s monsters, we should take another look at Bohrok Confrontation, which was already covered in the main Bohrok article. What it does is send a Krana from your Deck to the GY to boost a Bohrok’s ATK/DEF, and knowing what we do about Krana now, the idea is obviously to have a Bohrok run over a monster in battle and then immediately steal it with the Krana.

There are other cards that further expand on the idea of Krana mind control. The following four monsters, for which I like to use the umbrella term “Servants of the Swarm”, represent the unwilling victims of this power.

Bohrok Servant is the generic standin for arbitrary beings under the control of a Krana. Its purpose is basically to make immediate use of the face-down monsters you get from the stealing effect, by contact fusing them (remember, that works when face-down) with a Krana from pretty much anywhere, banishing both and giving you a monster that at least copies the stats of whatever you stole.

The remaining Servants of the Swarm are a bit more specific, each of them being based on one particular inhabitant of Le-Koro that was possessed by a Krana during the takeover of that village. They generally work by sending a Krana from the Deck to the GY to neutralize an opponent’s monster and set up a situation where you can easily steal it, though the way in which they do so differs greatly.

Matoran of the Swarm counters Xyz Monsters by attaching to them as a material, which locks their effects and makes their ATK/DEF become 0 during battle with a Bohrok. It can also attach itself from the GY to your Xyz Monsters that are flipped face-up, obviously so a stolen Xyz can actually have material.

Turaga of the Swarm interferes with Synchro Summons in a particularly funny way, inserting itself on the opponent’s field in place of a Tuner and immediately forcing a Synchro Summon. When used as material, it gives you control of the Summoned monster for a turn and permanently makes it so its ATK/DEF become 0 when battling a Bohrok. This approach comes from the fact that Turaga were originally Tuners, so now that the BCOT remake is changing them to Link Monsters this card might be due for a redesign sooner or later as well.

Toa of the Swarm is the simplest of these, since it just Tributes over an opponent’s high-level monster and then surrenders itself willingly by making its ATK/DEF 0 when battling a Bohrok. The Level restriction was already iffy to begin with and is even more so when considering the prevalence of Link Monsters, so I might eventually tweak that to something like “2000 or more ATK”.

Finally ,we have a funny little card that simultaneously supports and counters Bohrok/Krana decks. Krana Pit lets you protect a card from destruction each turn by banishing a Krana monster from the GY instead, but since this works on both GYs you can just as well use it if your opponent is the one playing Krana. Similarly, it allows recovering a banished monster when there are 2 or more Krana banished, without specifying whose Krana they must be.

Conclusion

Krana add quite a few sophisticated effects to the Bohrok toolbox, giving you interesting options to interact with your opponent beyond just razing their field to the ground. The ability to steal a destroyed monster makes the Bohrok’s effects and attacks a bit more threatening than they already were, and with the Servants of the Swarm can itself be made into a central strategic element of your deck.

A selection of Krana can be found sprinkled throughout the sample Bohrok decks in the BBTS release, while the Servants of the Swarm usually appear as Side Deck options.