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: Rahi, Rahi Everywhere

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but the Rahi archetype from BCOR is in a bit of a weird spot design-wise, since I never really got it into a state I’m totally happy with. It’s therefore pretty high on the list of things that might need an overhaul in the future. But until that happens, they’re pretty much a hodgepodge of not entirely thought-out themes and mechanics, and right now I’d like to point out something interesting that emerged from that without much planning on my part.

Pictured above are examples of the three most commonplace variations Rahi come in: Level 4 Pendulum Monsters who can Special Summon themselves from the Pendulum Zone and give effects when used as Synchro Material, Level 3 Pendulum Monsters with effects that trigger when going to the GY or getting banished, and Level 2 Tuners with handtrap effects that require banishing themselves plus a Rahi in the GY. The bottom line here is: Their gameplan involves them appearing in and moving between just about every location the game has (except non-Pendulum S/T Zones).

Why do I feel the need to highlight this? Because, if you think about it, it matches up perfectly with the way all the various non-civilized creatures known as “Rahi” inhabit every nook and cranny of the Matoran Universe. So I’m seriously considering keeping it around as a central point when the eventual redesign happens, even though Pendulum Monsters and GY effects in particular sounds like a somewhat moronic combination. With a bit of streamlining and proper balance considerations, I imagine this gimmick could be a lot of fun.

Designer’s Quip: Elementals

A card from BCOR that actually never came up in the Theme Guides is the Vatuka. This living pile of dirt is quite unusual among the biomechanical creatures of the Bionicle universe, but not actually unique. Other examples include the Avohkah who once lived in Karda Nui, the Fire Entity that Vakama fought at one point in the books, or on the less canon side the Snowbird from Quest for the Toa and the various bosses from Legend of Mata Nui.

The idea I came up with is to implement these types of creatures as Trap Monsters that support a certain Attribute, with the added gimmick that they can be activated/summoned from the hand while you control a Field Spell, because they are born from natural elemental forces (or something like that). So far the Vatuka is the only one, but if/when I get to any of the others, I plan to use the same style.

Interestingly, The Island’s Dark Tyrant also has the clause where you can activate it from your hand if you control a Field Spell. This is because the card shows Makuta controlling the aforementioned “natural elemental forces”, so it’s basically a pseudo-elemental. But only pseudo, because rather than a Trap Monster it only summons a Token. And because it’s a Makuta card, it also works from the GY.

The Element Lords from Spherus Magna are also technically elementals, though of a significantly different nature. Maybe I’ll work them into this concept somehow.

Theme Guide: Makuta (BCOR)

An expansion about Mata Nui’s Rahi must of course also include the evil mastermind controlling them from the shadows. Makuta are sure to become a large archetype of their own when I get to the parts where the Brotherhood becomes relevant, if not sooner, but for now there’s just a small selection of cards representing the one and only Makuta who that name used to mean back in the day.

For starters, we have the Infected Kanohi symbolizing Makuta. It’s an Equip Spell Card just like regular Kanohi, but rather than granting positive effects it just destroys any Kanohi equipped in parallel and then attempts to take control of the opponent’s monster it is equipped to. “Attempts” because they can struggle against it by losing a card every turn, and one more every time that monster dares attack you.

But that is only the prelude to the actual Makuta cards, of which there are three in this set.

I am Nothing“, declares the dark lord before the final battle commences, and thus is the name of the Ritual Spell used to Summon this particular form of Makuta. Besides the standard condition of Tributing monsters from hand or field, you can also pay the cost by putting a Kanohi from the field or either GY back into the Deck – which could be your opponent’s actually beneficial Kanohi, or simply your own Infected model. Moreover, you can also banish the Ritual Spell from the GY for another Ritual Summon from that same location, at a slightly higher cost. Spells and Traps with GY effects, especially Ritual Spells, are a theme I decided on pretty early for the Makuta archetype, so expect more of that in future expansions. It just feels properly villainous to me.

The Makuta is then implemented as the Ritual Monster to match the Spell, with a tiny Level of 2 since he is taking the form of a diminished Matoran here. His on-summon effect lets him take out Special Summoned monsters with high Level or Rank, which sure is a lot less useful in an age of Link Summoning than it used to be when I made it. Still, it works on the intended targets (the Toa Kaita), so as far as the lore is concerned everything’s fine. Makuta’s second effect allows him to leave the stage and return to the position of the evil power pulling the strings behind the Rahi invasion, where the size of the Rahi he can bring out is dependent on your GY setup to go with the general GY-based nature of Makuta.

Completing the trio is Mangaia, Lair of Makuta. This Field Spell lays the groundwork for Makuta’s big entrance with a search on activation and with an effect that simultaneously sets up the GY and makes your opponent’s monsters into suitable targets for the incoming mass bounce. It even goes as far as preventing any negations against Makuta, for there is no stopping him within his own domain. Finally, this card of course has a GY effect, in this case simply adding itself back to the hand forcibly by destroying a Spell/Trap on the field.

Fun fact to close this out: The Island’s Dark Tyrant is more of a Rahi support card than a Makuta support card, but the Type and Level of the Tokens it Summons are actually based on the Ritual Monster seen above – hence the name “Rahi Overlord Token”. The matching Level means you can simply Tribute a single one of these Tokens for Makuta’s Ritual Summon, so I guess there is some incidental synergy.

Conclusion

At this point, Makuta is not yet an archetype and instead just a single small engine that helps out GY-centric Rahi builds with a powerful, but situational removal effect and immediate access to almost every monster in the deck. An example of the cards being incorporated that way can be found in the 60 Card Graverahi decklist from the BCOR release.

Theme Guide: Matoran (BCOR)

BCOR expands the Matoran archetype beyond the special case of the Chronicler’s Company, with the addition of six iconic villagers of different occupations and a few support cards.

Leading the charge is the mightiest scion of Ta-Koro, Jaller his name*. The captain of the guard, in accordance with his occupation, helps you assemble a fighting force with an extra Normal Summon and prepares them for battle against your opponent’s monsters with a potentially really big ATK boost.

* Or Jala at this point, actually. I originally wanted to only use the final version of any changed names for consistency across expansions, but later decided there wasn’t really any point to that. Jala, Maku, etc also technically are canon due to Naming Day, so it makes more sense to keep them in. Since BCOR is from before that change of plans, it still uses the final names.

Another source of significant benefits for groups of Matoran is Hewkii (Huki), Koli Champion of Po-Koro. His abilities can be summarized as taking the attention of his opponent’s monsters off his fellow Matoran, persevering through difficult battles as long as he has others to protect, and potentially pulling off an unexpected victory agains particularly powerful enemies. Very champion-like, though in hindsight I feel the last effect shouldn’t really work when attacking.

With Rahi being the central focus of the BCOR expansion, it only seems correct to also examine the more peaceful side of the Rahi/Matoran relationship from the perspective of the Matoran. That brings us to the following two villagers, whose occupations both utilize tamed Rahi.

Onepu summons out an “Ussal” (here broadly represented by Beasts or Winged-Beasts in general) from the Deck and “rides” it, increasing his power in battle. This is a Special Summon from Deck covering the Level 4 or lower range of two entire Types without any restrictions such as negated effects, so basically the only reason I could have possibly thought this was remotely ok was because I didn’t for a single second consider how to break it. If you have read the Rahi guide, you might note that Ussals are indeed Beast, but the addition of Winged-Beast to this effect is a bit puzzling. The explanation is that I wanted the two Rahi-related Matoran from this set to build upon each other’s effects, so I made sure to have both of their effects use both relevant types.

Hence, Kongu has the ability to pilot whatever Onepu has summoned by turning it into an equip card for himself. Riding his glorious flying (yes the Beasts fly too shut up) steed, he will then pass over enemy lines to attack directly, and while he’s at it take out some of the more vulnerable monsters. Furthermore, even if he’s taken out, his steed will still be there to fight for you.

Hahli is designed to quite literally assist her fellow Matoran, letting herself be Special Summoned if you control them and protecting them from effect destruction. On top of that, she can search Matoran once per turn. Not even hard once per turn. And the Special Summon can be repeated as much as you want, too. Definitely another case where the card’s existence proves I don’t think things through very well.

Matoro the Matoran, whose name holds the same energy as Hubert the Human, is a straightforward revival option, and he brings back not one, but two Matoran. In exchange, it only works during the turn he was Normal Summoned and requires him to sacrifice himself. So basically ;_;7

The fact that he’s a Tuner comes from his job as Nuju’s translator, based on the original version of the Turaga being Tuners as well.

In addition to these six monsters, BCOR enriches the Matoran archetype with a small lineup of supporting Spell Cards.

Probably the most important is the Vuata Maca Tree, the natural power source utilized by the villages of Mata Nui. Being a feature of the location, the tree requires a Field Spell to support its continued existence, though a one-time use is fine anyway. Its effect utilizes the highly entertaining excavation mechanic to either Special Summon Matoran (and their other forms) from hand/GY or add one that you happen to find.

Perhaps a bit less central to Matoran society on Mata Nui, but still a lot more present in official material are Lightstones, which are the focus of our final pair of cards.

The Lightstone itself has various effects related to illumination, first and foremost making both players reveal their hands for a turn. If you activate this while your hand is bigger than your opponent’s, you unfortunately reveal more information than you get, but to make up for that difference, additional effects of the Lightstone begin to apply. In total, it can potentially let you see and reorder the top of the opponent’s Deck, see all their Set cards, and explode into some burn damage on the next draw (which you can set up with the reordering), so there’s definitely an argument to be made that the extra information revealed on your part is worth it.

Cavern of Light, being the location where Lightstones are mined, provides easy access to them, as you would expect. It also establishes the actual connection to the Matoran archetype by replenishing used-up Lightstones as long as you have the required miners or simply creatures of the EARTH to dig them up.

Conclusion

BCOR introduces various Matoran support cards that provide aid in playing a deck composed of Matoran, Turaga, and Toa from across Mata Nui, but in doing so produces a few honestly quite broken effects. Also, this concept was already kind of used for the Chronicler’s Company in BCOT and was a lot more appopriate there than on other Matoran that actually stay in their own villages most of the time. An update of the expansion would probably involve rethinking them as support for their respective Koro strategies introduced in the redesign of BCOT, though some of them (like Jaller) already kind of fit in.

In their current state, the overarching theme of the Matoran shown here could be considered providing passive field-wide buffs that turn these small monsters into a formidable fighting force when Summoned en masse. With the Rahi-taming Matoran and the Lightstone cards, there are also some more gimmicky ideas here that I’m quite fond of, even though they may need some balancing fixes.

A sample Matoran deck can be found in the BCOR release.

Theme Guide: Rahi (BCOR)

The Rahi that live on Mata Nui form a huge archetype consisting of several subthemes, each of which follows a different common design idea. Since archetypal support cards work for all of them, they can be combined in a variety of ways, though not all of them necessarily make sense or function. I think the most straightforward way to do this would be to look at each of the subthemes separately, so here we go.

Big Rahi (Normal Pendulums)

The Rahi mainly featured in the 2001 storyline were the larger types, sold as sets in pairs – mostly just two of the same species, but also the combination of Muaka & Kane-Ra. Based on this idea, these Rahi are Normal Pendulum Monsters with the gimmick that the scales (one 3 and one 8, to comfortably cover all their levels) are meant to match in terms of Type. The Reptile Tarakava is paired with the Reptile Sand Tarakava, the Beast Kane-Ra with the Beast Muaka, and the Insect Nui-Jaga with the Insect Nui-Rama. When this is the case, the shared effects split between the two sides of each pair make it so that your Pendulum Scales become indestructible and your Pendulum Summons cannot be responded to, basically setting the whole mechanic to easy mode.

In addition, each of them has a unique second Pendulum Effect, probably best to explain this with a little table:

Name
Type
Scale
Effect
Explanation
Tarakava, Lizard Rahi
Reptile
3
Self-destruct to summon Rahi Pendulum from ED on direct attack
Tarakava are known for surprise attacks, in this case launched from the Pendulum Zone/ED
Kane-Ra, Bull Rahi
Beast
3
If only face-up monster you control is a Rahi, it gets +1000 ATK and effect protection
Kane-Ra are not herd animals, so solitary Rahi get buffs
Nui-Jaga, Scorpion Rahi
Insect
8
Add Rahi Pendulum from ED to hand, then destroy card in Pendulum Zone
No particular lore relation intended, could be Nui-Jaga calling each other?
Muaka, Tiger Rahi
Beast
8
Gain LP when Rahi destroys opponent’s monster by battle
Opponent’s monsters get eaten by your Rahi
Nui-Rama, Fly Rahi
Insect
3
Summon Rahi with same type as and lower or equal level than a Rahi you control from Deck
Nui-Rama form large swarms, this helps you do the same
Sand Tarakava, Lizard Rahi
Reptile
8
Place Rahi you control in Pendulum Zone (Quick Effect)
No particular lore relation intended, but complements Tarakava’s effect

So, you have set up the paired scales of your choice and Pendulum Summoned a bunch of monsters in one turn, now what do you do with them? The Rahi archetype offers two answers that fit in this section.

You could just use them as tributes to summon the Manas, a big beefy boss with protection from targeting and effect destruction that can also power itself up further with heat (where heat means Spells and Traps). Or, if you want something more creative, you could add to the mix the Fikou, a little Level 1 Rahi that can banish itself from the GY and reduce a Rahi’s Level by 1 to Special Summon another Fikou from the Deck. Since it also happens to be a Tuner, this opens the path to some more big Rahi that live as Synchro Monsters in the Extra Deck.

Basically, these are the combiners made from the Level 5 and above Rahi shown before, with a Mukau Mata Nui Cow snuck in because I guess it’s a combiner as well. All of them require a Rahi Tuner, and, the obvious bovine exception aside, are one level higher than their corresponding main deck monster. So that + Fikou makes the respective combiner. Since there aren’t really any major common features beyond that, I’ll have to briefly explain their designs one by one.

Tarakava-Nui, the king of the punchy lizards, punches things so hard they go back into the Deck. Rather than a regular once per turn restriction, each use is paid with 1000 of its 2900 ATK, so theoretically there’s nothing stopping you from buffing it a whole bunch and getting rid of the entire field that way. Might not be okay that that’s allowed. Well, at least there’s a clause preventing you from summoning multiple in a turn to make abuse a bit harder.

Kuma-Nui, the Muaka & Kane-Ra combiner that obviously represents a rat, can blow up Spells and Traps on the field at the start of the Battle Phase and buff itself if it hit any of yours. The choice between face-up and face-down cards grants you a limited way to control what exactly is affected, so you can selectively use it either for the ATK boost or to clear out backrow.

The Gukko-Kahu, a very important Rahi for the Matoran society and an alternate model of the Nui-Jaga set, couldn’t be screaming any louder to use it as an intermediary step in Synchro climbing. It straight up gives a draw when it enters the field and a search when it leaves.

The Mukau Mata Nui Cow is a Rahi that is not built from other Rahi, but from two Toa, namely the Gali and Pohatu sets. Therefore, its effects (which use the same triggers as the Gukko-Kahu) are modeled after the original versions of those Toa: One destroys Spells and Traps, the other recycles monsters in the GY.

The Nui-Kopen, alternate Nui-Rama model, played a significant role in the 2001 storyline’s most prominent example of mind control via infected masks, so it has an effect that lets you take control of an opponent’s monster. The excavation stuff to go along with that really doesn’t have any deep reason, just thought it would be fun when I made this. I wasn’t wrong.

Finally, the Mana-Ko is the biggest Rahi so far, outdoing even the Manas (its base model) with a Level of 11 and 3500 base ATK. On the effect side, it’s immune to control changes (Order of Mata Nui mental shielding, says the LORE), halves your opponent’s monsters’ ATK during their Battle Phase to make destruction by battle unlikely, and has a different third effect depending on its materials. If there was just one non-Tuner, it floats into that monster, which will usually be a Manas. If there were multiple, it instead gains the same protection as the Manas. Since this is the final big boss, it has the special condition of requiring Rahi for both the Tuner and non-Tuner materials.

Level 4 Rahi (Effect Pendulums / Synchro Fodder)

Moving on to less gargantuan beasts, we have a category mainly composed of models from the Master Builder Set (which was technically from 2002, but contained a lot of Rahi that already appeared in 2001 material). Their shared features are exactly two:

  • They can be Special Summoned from the Pendulum Zone if you control no monsters.
  • Using them as Synchro Material grants the summoned monster additional effects.

Beyond that, they can be divided more or less loosely into three distinct subgroups. The first is what I sometimes call the “negation Rahi”.

All of these grant the Synchros summoned with them a nearly identical effect, which allows negating activations of a certain card type by shuffling Rahi Pendulums from the Extra Deck back into the Deck. This is also not once per turn, so it can get really oppressive depending on how loaded up on ammo you are. Their unique Pendulum Effects are designed to work as a little engine that helps set all of this up, so this trio of Rahi actually serves as a pretty good centerpiece for a deck.

As the second group we have “destruction Rahi”, which are connected through their Pendulum Effects that all trigger when another card in the Pendulum Zone is destroyed.

This potentially serves as a counterplay to an opponent’s attempt to destroy Pendulum Scales (though hitting the monster with the destruction trigger would avoid this, so you can’t really expect it to happen), but more importantly has synergy with some other Rahi that blow themselves up with their Pendulum Effects. We have already seen the Tarakava, and a few others will follow in the Level 3 section.

The Pendulum Effects can be quickly summarized by saying that the Fusa replaces the destroyed scale, the Husi gets you a Special Summon from it, and the Makika destroys an opponent’s card in retaliation. The monster effects on the other hand are a bit more diverse.

The Fusa makes it so the Synchro Monster that used it as material shuts down all your opponent’s effects during the Battle Phase.

The Husi, similar to its Pendulum Effect, makes the Synchro float into reviving a lower Level Rahi monster.

And the Makika also continues its original theme of retaliation by allowing a Synchro Monster to strike back in a rather painful way against any monster that destroys it by battle.

With these two sub-sub-themes done, it’s about time to admit I lied a little when I said there were three groups. It’s actually more like two groups plus the rest that doesn’t fit into either of them. Each of these leftover Rahi instead just kind of synergizes with itself.

The Takea can double a Rahi’s battle damage from the Pendulum Zone, and a Synchro Monster summoned with it can Special Summon additional Rahi from the Deck in proportion to the battle damage it inflicts.

The Bog Snake makes Synchros gradually damage your opponent as they play, and in the Pendulum Zone lets you have a free draw per turn if your opponent takes effect damage.

The Vako gives Synchro Monsters a chance to increase their ATK when they battle, or alternatively just draw you a card. The Pendulum Effect lets you have the best of both worlds from this effect because you can immediately recover a Rahi from the GY if your Rahi destroys an opponent’s monster by battle.

Finally, there is a Synchro specifically designed to go with these cards.

The Dikapi, a combiner of Pohatu and Onewa, has exactly the right level to be made with a Level 4 Rahi plus the Fikou. Once on the field, it can then change itself to any lower level and reuse the Rahi Pendulum Monster sent to the Extra Deck this way for another Synchro Summon. So Level 4 Rahi + Fikou makes any Synchro from Level 5 to 9, which then gains whatever effect the Level 4 grants.

Level 3 Rahi (Effect Pendulums / GY and banish shenanigans)

One step further down on the Level ladder, we find another type of Rahi. These are characterized by having two monster effects that trigger when sent to the GY and banished, respectively, plus one Pendulum Effect following no particular pattern. Their Pendulum Scales are all 2, so when paired with the Level 4 Rahi who all have a Scale of 5, it becomes possible to summon exactly the Rahi from this section and the previous one.

There is one additional pattern that can be found in some of these monsters, namely that the GY trigger effect consists of Special Summoning another Level 4 or lower monster of the same Attribute from the GY. This obviously has some really broad synergy with the non-custom card pool, so chances are they’re completely broken in the hands of someone making even a little effort to abuse them. Anyway, let’s look at what else they do.

Name
Attribute
Pendulum Effect
Banish Effect
Ussal, Crab Rahi
EARTH
Allow Pendulum Summoning Rahi from GY
Special Summon Level 3 or lower Rahi from GY
Kewa, Vulture Rahi
WIND
Search a WIND monster, destroy self during End Phase
Add Rahi card from GY to hand
Daikau, Floral Rahi
WATER
Send Rahi Pendulum from Deck to GY to reduce ATK of opponent’s monsters
Discard Rahi to destroy monster with <=2000 ATK

Other Level 3 Rahi provide a variety of effects to support the archetype, and mostly its Level 3 or lower subset.

The Mahi‘s Pendulum Effect provides the solution to the glaring inherent problem Pendulum Monsters with GY effects have: They go from the field to the Extra Deck rather than to the GY. This effect allows you to send a Rahi where you actually need it to be and then destroys the Mahi itself, potentially triggering the effect of the other Scale. Its own GY trigger is a simple search for Level 3 or lower Rahi monsters (notably, even itself – not sure anymore how intentional that was), and its banish trigger brings a Rahi banished in a previous turn back to your hand.

The Moa can switch its Pendulum Scale to another Rahi monster’s by banishing that monster directly from the Deck, which of course has the very valuable alternate use of just immediately triggering any banish effect you might want. When sent to the GY, it puts any Rahi card back into the Deck, and when banished it Special Summons a Level 3 or lower Rahi from the hand.

The Brakas has overall much less archetypal effects and is another of those cards that mainly has synergy between its own different effects. When sent to the GY, it places any Rahi card from the Deck on top of the Deck. When banished, it lets you draw a card. And in the Pendulum Scale, it gives you the option to banish that card (which may very well be a Rahi with a banish trigger) to immediately draw one more.

For this group as well, there are some Synchro Monsters that go with it. Both of them are based on official models that also came out in 2001, but don’t have any actual relation to the sets that were sold in stores.

Kirikori-Nui is itself a Level 3 Rahi, meaning it can be made just by putting any of the main deck monsters from this section on the field while having a live Fikou in the GY. And it is also a valid target for any of the many effects specifying Level 3 or lower Rahi, like the Ussal or Mahi. With its own effects, it can send a Rahi directly from the Deck to the GY to reach a more respectable ATK value, or non-targetingly get rid of another card by temporarily banishing itself.

The Ranama offers a similar form of removal, but instead temporarily banishes both itself and the other card. However, this does target, so which is more effective mostly depends on the situation.

Level 2 Rahi (Tuners / Handtraps)

With all these Pendulum Monsters and Synchro Monsters, it’s starting to look like the Fikou is a bit overloaded as the sole main deck Tuner of the archetype. And that’s why there are also others.

These Level 2 Rahi all have powerful handtrap-like effects that require you to banish themselves from the hand or field and an additional Rahi from the GY, so combining them with the Level 3 Rahi is key to using them to their fullest potential.

The Hoto banishes a Spell or Trap from the field, the Ruki destroys a monster, the Shore Turtle changes all battle positions on the field in response to an attack (I’ve had a lot of fun with this one), the Lightning Bug negates a face-up monster’s effects, and the Cliff Bug makes a monster unaffected by a certain card type depending on what your opponent is trying to do.

A particularly fruitful strategy is combining these little guys with the Mahi from the Level 3 section, which searches them when it goes to the GY and can recycle a monster banished in a previous turn when it gets banished as cost. With multiple of them, you can set up a nice stable loop.

Rahi Spells/Traps

In addition to the plentiful monster lineup, there are also some spells and traps belonging to or supporting the Rahi archetype. Keeping with the theme of Pendulum Monsters with GY effects and to establish a connection with Makuta, all the Spells also have secondary effects that can be activated by banishing from the GY.

The cards that are formally part of the Rahi archetype depict various key events in the struggles between the Matoran of Mata Nui and the Rahi controlled by Makuta.

Devastation of the Rahi is based on the battle that became the origin of the charred forest, and with its main effect essentially provides that kind of brutal mutual (brutual?) destruction between your Rahi and whatever the opponent is playing. The GY effect further makes use of any Rahi that may have ended up there to banish something from the field.

Siege of the Rahi takes its inspiration from the Tarakava attack on Ga-Koro, using the pressure of a big Rahi on the field to make small monsters your opponent summons take refuge in the face-down Defense Position, rendering them mostly useless. However, the Siege ends as soon as you do not have said big Rahi anymore, so the GY effect simply helps you protect them.

Infection of the Rahi, the only Trap bearing the Rahi name, covers the devious scheme of a certain Po-Koro merchant collaborating with Makuta. Rather than simply beating down their enemies, your Rahi will now be used to infect them, which lets you take control of them at the end of the turn. This only lasts as long as the card remains intact, but it deals some damage when it leaves just to be petty.

Rahi Swarm is about the Nui-Rama swarms attacking Le-Koro, and similar to the concept of the Nui-Rama’s own effect, it searches Rahi with matching types – so you can complete the properly paired scales of the big Rahi in one shot. In the GY, the word “swarm” is taken literally in a different sense, and it just helps you swarm the field.

Rahi Hive Showdown, the card version of the iconic battle between Onua and an infected Lewa, takes control of one high-ATK monster your opponent controls if they have multiple, pitting the two heroes against each other. In the GY, it can steal a small monster from your opponent during their Main Phase, which is obviously quite annoying. Yeah, despite being a Rahi card in name, this doesn’t really interact with the Rahi archetype at all, other than being searchable and stuff.

The opposite is true for the following three cards, which support Rahi without having them in their name.

The Island’s Dark Tyrant represents Makuta’s ability to control not only the Rahi, but the very land itself. Which he barely ever used, but whatever. The main thing this card does with both its regular activation and banish-from-GY effects is Special Summoning a Token that also counts as a Rahi, which can then be used as Synchro fodder. And with an active Field Spell, it can be activated from the hand.

Encounter in the Drifts is a Counter Trap that responds to an opponent’s Summon by having a Rahi suddenly pop out. So suddenly, in fact, that there is not even a way to respond to the Summon. Technically the restriction of only being able to Summon Rahi of lower or equal levels than the opponent’s monster contradicts the depicted scene of a Muaka (Level 7) surprising Matoro (Level 2), but this way is pretty fun anyway.

The Ussalry Arrives works more or less like Super Rejuvenation, giving you a number of draws in the End Phase equal to how many Rahi you banished for their own effects this turn. Meanwhile, in the GY, it can just recycle itself and some banished Rahi card into the Deck in order to draw yet another card. You can always count on the Ussalry as reliable backup.

Conclusion

There are a lot of Rahi. There are, in fact, way too many Rahi to really say there is one specific way of playing them. Depending on how you mix and match the different Level ranges and themes, you could

  • go full caveman beatdown with Kane-Ra, Muaka, Kuma-Nui, Takea, Vako, etc.
  • use the Hikaki/Kofo-Jaga/Taku negation trio to make arbitrary Synchro Monsters into game-controlling bosses.
  • use cards like Siege, Showdown, or the Level 2 Tuners to constantly interfere with your opponent’s attempts to play.
  • do any combination of the above.
  • probably follow some other (possibly broken) strategy I didn’t even consider.

The broadest statement I can make is that whatever you play, you’re probably going to get a lot of mileage out of filling up the GY, which is kind of a funny property for a Pendulum archetype to have. If (when?) I eventually update these designs, I definitely want to keep that aspect, and I’ll probably focus more on establishing concrete sub-strategies for the archetype (perhaps divided by Type?) so it becomes easier to balance in a controlled way. This seems especially important considering new Rahi will be added for many, many expansions (hell, Rahi Beasts didn’t come out until 2005), and I’ll have to find a way to design them so they fit neatly into the archetype’s card pool. That’s going to be a challenge, a Challenge of the Rahi you could say. Ha.

Various sample decks are included with the BCOR release in the deck folder.