Release: Energized

Bionicle’s most important liquid gets a batch of new cards – the first of many, assuming I ever reach 2004 and beyond.

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Didn’t have all that much time available this month, so some things here are more preliminary than usual. For the same reason, I didn’t make a Theme Guide for Energized Protodemis yet, but there is a Best of Test showcasing what it does so far.

Best of Test: Energized Protodermis

Now, design notes.

New Cards

Energized Protodermis Destiny

Quick-Play Spell

Target 1 face-up monster you control; Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis Token” (Aqua/LIGHT/Level 2/ATK 0/DEF 0), then apply 1 of these effects.
●Send the targeted monster to the GY, and if you do, you can destroy that Token and Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster from your Deck.
●Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster that mentions an “Energized Protodermis” monster as material from your Extra Deck in Defense Position, using only that Token and the targeted monster as Fusion Material.
You can only activate 1 “Energized Protodermis Destiny” per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

The foremost addition to the Energized Protodermis archetype is the Quick-Play Spell Energized Protodermis Destiny, which provides dynamic utility while pretty neatly encapsulating the destruction/transformation dichotomy that lies at the core of the whole substance. Mechanically, the way it does this is a design I’m personally pretty fond of, so allow me to break it down a bit.

The things that always happen when activating Destiny is that you choose one of your face-up monsters as the subject whose “destiny” is to be determined, and an Energized Protodermis Token is created to carry out the test. After that, however, the effect splits into two paths. If you are able to make a Fusion Monster that explicitly mentions Energized Protodermis as material using your target and the new Token, you can Summon that monster, thus completing the destined transformation. But if that is not the case, the only choice you have left to finish resolving the effect is the path of destruction – sending your targeted monster to the GY and leaving behind the Token alone. Well, as a consolation prize, you are allowed to swap it out for any Energized Protodermis monster in your Deck (which means exactly the Chamber, for now), so that also has its uses.

Pretty much the only thing on this one I would consider changing is that it can currently only Fusion Summon in Defense Position. That was initially put in as a standard precaution against squeezing too much damage out of fusing a monster that already attacked during the Battle Phase, but it might be fair to allow that when you can only access a limited pool of Fusions anyway.

Among that limited pool is also Energized Protodermis Flow, the actual in-archetype Fusion Monster.

Energized Protodermis Flow

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 4 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters
If this Fusion Summoned card is sent to the GY by a card effect: Look at your opponent’s Extra Deck and send 1 monster from it to the GY. During your Main Phase: You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing 2 Fusion Materials mentioned on it from your GY, including this card. You can only use each effect of “Energized Protodermis Flow” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

Yes, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel so hard for Energized Protodermis content in this part of the lore that I was forced to make a card out of some vague state of the stuff, represented by some vague AI-generated image.

The purpose of this one is pretty much to provide a productive outlet for Energized Protodermis’s mandatory drawback of sending a monster to the GY when used as material by a different fusion effect. Obviously the best option is (ab)using it to take out an opponent’s monster, but in case that’s not possible you can hit this card to instead go after the Extra Deck. I also considered having it remove a card from the hand instead, but this way is probably more fair and fun, especially when Instant Fusion is able to make and trigger Flow in any deck. On the other hand, -1 Extra Deck is in most situations weak enough that it might actually be fine to lift the need to be sent by a card effect specifically – so you’d also be able to use the effect after linking off.

Anyway, it ultimately doesn’t matter too much what the card does when it goes to the GY, because it definitely provides value once it’s there by acting as a GY-based fusion “spell”. Like Chamber, it is limited to using exactly itself and 1 other monster, but even that allows for some fun plays such as making Augoeides from zero resources in hand or field. And all the Toa Nuva, of course.


And now we enter the more unfinished part of this release. I figured that the two EP cards alone probably wouldn’t be enough to fill the month, and also threw in another Toa Nuva in anticipation of the next release to come. Enter the team’s hotheaded leader, Toa Nuva Tahu.

Toa Nuva Tahu

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1900

“Toa Mata Tahu” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up Attack Position monster on the field; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, this card gains ATK equal to that monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

Like Onua previously, the basic design concept is that the trigger effect he had as a Toa Mata (setting a targeted monster’s ATK to 0 after battle and adding burn damage if it’s destroyed) turns into a quick effect that does roughly the same thing in a somewhat streamlined fashion. In this case, that means draining an Attack Position monster to 0 ATK while gaining its original ATK himself, setting up an enormous hit of battle damage.

This effect hasn’t changed yet from its first draft, and probably will get some adjustments for the proper Toa Nuva release, since there’s at least three specific points I’m unsure about:

  • It only works during the Main Phase. This was done to keep consistency with Onua Nuva and is also in line with the restriction Despian Quaeritis has on a similar effect, but it’s kind of a waste to have stat manipulation not be usable during the Damage Step.
  • It only works on Attack Position monsters, which is in line with how I’ve envisioned its use (make big number, hit small number), but also weirdly more restrictive then Tahu Mata’s effect.
  • It can also drain the ATK of your own monsters. That means more flexibility, obviously, but it’s hard to find a good justification of why Tahu would willingly turn his elemental powers on his own allies. Arguably this point is kind of the root of all evil, since one legitimate purpose of the restriction to Main Phase is that it keeps you from attacking with a big monster and then using its ATK again via Tahu Nuva, and the restriction to Attack Position monsters adds a neat risk factor to draining your own monsters.

So the next revision might be to only allow targeting the opponent’s monsters, but regardless of battle position and phase. Might even do something like letting you force the target into attack position for maximum chance of ungabunga, but we’ll see in a while.

Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Tahu” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage” once per turn. If your “Nuva” Fusion Monster battles, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, skip the Battle Phase of your next turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

With Tahu’s Nuva Symbol, we can already see some tweaking has happened to the general layout of the Nuva cards. I did mention last time that having any Energized Protodermis card freely searchable by at least six different cards might not be a good idea, and now that search has been locked behind already needing to have the appropriate Toa Mata in your hand to reveal – otherwise you’re limited to getting exactly that Toa Mata. Still a good way to fetch the materials you need for a Toa Nuva, and nicely inefficient to abuse for any other purpose. A subtler change to this effect is that it now shuffles the card into the Deck rather than placing it on the bottom, because you’d have to shuffle after searching anyway.

Also significant is that the abilities granted by Nuva Symbols are now no longer reliant on having exactly the correct Toa Nuva on your field, and conversely the backlash of losing the Symbol can also hit any Toa Nuva. This little break from lore came about because it turned out Toa/Symbol mismatches are already annoying as hell even when a deck only has Tahu and Onua, so I don’t even want to imagine how it would go with all six.

As for the specific effects of Burning Courage itself, it simply plays into Tahu’s focus on attacking for massive damage by shutting off your opponent’s effects while a Toa Nuva is battling, thus ensuring the attack goes through. Meanwhile, the matching punishment for losing the symbol is that you lose an entire Battle Phase.

Great Kanohi Hau Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Hau Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving it.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; face-up monsters you currently control cannot be destroyed by battle, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

Tahu’s Hau Nuva largely follows the pattern already known from Kanohi Nuva – fetches a Nuva Symbol from Deck when it goes to the GY, grants Toa Nuva the same benefit it had as a Great Kanohi (in this case, battle protection), and has an activated effect while equipped that extends some of that benefit to your whole field. That last one, however, now comes with a discard cost, because activating it every turn for free seemed slightly silly. However, I have no real idea if that’s at all balanced, because these field boosts did not come up a single time in testing after I made the change.

That’s just one of many reasons the Kanohi Nuva are likely to get restructured quite a bit in the upcoming proper Toa Nuva release. Sharing the abilities with others is one of their major distinguishing features in the story, but as it is right now, it barely ever comes up in gameplay because getting a Toa Nuva equipped with a Kanohi Nuva is already such a major feat. Maybe it would be different in a pure Toa Mata/Nuva deck that also has cards like the Suva to aid the equipping process, but further testing is definitely needed once the team is complete. Another issue with the current structure is that I’m always dangerously close to beating the record for most words on a Spell Card, which I’d prefer to avoid. And with the Hau Nuva in particular, the battle protection it inherits from its Great form is actually rendered kind of useless by the fact that Tahu Nuva can drain ATK before battle, rather than needing to battle before he does that. Very much a work in progress.

Updated

4.0.4

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)
4.1.3

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 Special Summoned monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

The main Energized Protodermis monster receives a slight adjustment to its “drawback” when fused away by means other than its own effect, namely that the target you send to the GY must be a Special Summoned monster. In most cases this doesn’t make a difference, but it nicely increases the risk of backfire in various corner cases, which I felt was needed in order to make the mandatory S E N D not feel completely like a convenient weapon (even though it’s very much meant to be used as one).

Other than that, Onua’s Nuva Symbol and Kanohi Nuva have also received the general updates I already talked about.

4.0.4

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can make all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)
4.1.3

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can discard 1 card; all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)
4.0.4

Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom

Continuous Spell

You can only control 1 “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom”. You can place this card you control on the bottom of the Deck; add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card or “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. Once per turn, if a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect while you control “Toa Nuva Onua”: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Toa Nuva Onua” you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)
4.1.3

Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. If a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. You can only use each of the preceding effects of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.1.3)

A not-yet mentioned change is that Nuva Symbols are no longer limited to 1 per name on the field and instead Deep Wisdom’s draw effect has become HOPT (by use of the game’s weirdest HOPT clause). There’s no deeper reason to this than the fact that the unique constraint took up text space and made the cards feel more cluttered than they needed to be.

Unfortunately no legacy updates this time, since I barely squeezed this out between other stuff going on. Not sure yet how things will change in the coming months, but there’s a chance I might be forced to make releases less frequent than currently planned, so be ready for that I guess.

Release: BPEV First Drafts

For the first time in the history of this site, we are entering a fresh new expansion, and that means a whole lot of new cards and archetypes to explore! As the first step, here’s a bit of everything, to give you an idea what’s in store.

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Read right ahead for not only design notes on the above cards, but also some more details on what I have planned for the themes they represent.

New Cards

Energized Protodermis Chamber

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0

If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

First off, we have the substance that gives the expansion its name: Energized Protodermis. Contact with this sapient liquid transforms those who are destined to, and destroys those who are not. Similarly, its first representation as a card is a monster that acts as Fusion Spell and material in one, but will exhibit potent destructive properties when used for a Fusion by any other effect. That second part is mandatory and thus cannot be avoided, but since you can choose to aim it at any monster on the field, it might just end up beneficial anyway. On top of all that, you can bring this out without spending your Normal Summon if only your opponent controls a monster, because to be quite honest the playability of the entire Toa Nuva archetype hinges on this card and I really need it to be as convenient as possible.

For the broader Energized Protodermis archetype, which will be the focus of the next release, I have the following things in mind – spread across some number of cards:

  • A search spell (that maybe Special Summons from Deck directly at some significant cost?)
  • A way to fuse with a monster on the field rather than one in hand
  • A way to fuse with monsters in the GY (maybe)
  • A Fusion of 2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters that does something valuable on turn 1 when sent from field to GY, so you have another way to weaponize the drawback in a “pure” Energized Protodermis strategy

Toa Nuva Onua

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2500 / DEF 2500

“Toa Mata Onua” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 card in either GY; place it on the top or bottom of the Deck, then gain 1000 LP. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Onua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

The primary output of transformations induced by Energized Protodermis are the Toa Nuva, the evolution of the Toa Mata from BCOT. Simply enough, they are Fusions of a specific Toa Mata each and some Energized Protodermis, and their main effects are more or less the same thing they had in their previous forms – for Onua, that means simply returning a card from either GY to the Deck and gaining some LP. However, while the Toa Mata had the intentional inconvenience of only being able to use their effects when specific events happen, the Toa Nuva can do so freely on either player’s turn, allowing you to get a whole lot more value.

Separate from that, they are also planned to all share the effect where they can search a “Nuva” Spell/Trap on Fusion Summon (and then discard a card so you don’t go +1, because even with HOPT there’s going to be six of these available!). This serves to ensure consistent access to some major cards that further power up the Toa from the backrow, first and foremost the Nuva Symbols containing their elemental powers.

Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom

Continuous Spell

You can only control 1 “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom”. You can place this card you control on the bottom of the Deck; add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card or “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. Once per turn, if a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect while you control “Toa Nuva Onua”: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Toa Nuva Onua” you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

Each Toa Nuva has one of these, and they all follow a simple structure of three effects:

  1. Return it to the Deck to search one of the corresponding Toa Nuva’s materials, for when you’re still setting up. Once again, there are going to be six of these when all is said and done, so I’m not sure allowing the search targets to freely include any “Energized Protodermis” card is really the best idea – I just haven’t come up with a good limitation that fits inside a reasonable wordcount yet.
  2. Provides some additional benefit to all your Toa Nuva if you control the right one. In this case, controlling Onua Nuva lets you pay LP (the exact amount you get from his own effect, by the way) for a draw, which means putting any card from your GY on top of your Deck becomes adding that card to your hand.
  3. If it leaves the field, the matching Toa Nuva’s powers will also be lost entirely, and if that happens, you suffer a punishment opposite the benefit you gain from the Symbol, in this case losing a card in your hand.

Now #3 has some interesting mechanical details to consider. First of all, the latest ruling is that “leaves the field” effects do not trigger if the card returns to the Deck, which means you could theoretically take advantage of the cost of #1 to remove the Nuva Symbol from the field before it becomes a liability. Also, the effect targets the Toa Nuva whose powers are about to be lost and will only reach the “punishment” part if that exact target actually has its effects negated, so if something were to remove it from the field before resolution, you’d dodge the drawback entirely. Even better if that something would then return the Toa Nuva to the field, and hell, why not add the Nuva Symbol back to your hand as well while we’re at it? Yes, if only something like that existed.

The End of the Swarm

Quick-Play Spell

If you control a “Toa” monster: Activate 1 of these effects;
●Target 1 Level 8 or higher monster you control; banish that target. During the End Phase of this turn, return that banished monster to the field, and if you do, you can add 1 Continuous Spell Card from your GY to your hand.
●Change face-up monsters your opponent controls to face-down Defense Position, up to the number of Level 8 or higher monsters you control. A monster changed to face-down Defense Position by this effect cannot change its battle position, also, if it is attacked, send it to the GY at the start of the Damage Step, then inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)

Anyway, having followed up on that bit of foreshadowing from 2.5 years ago, time to move on to the next group of “Nuva” Spell/Traps: The Kanohi Nuva.

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can make all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

Just like the Toa Mata evolved, so did their masks, and while their powers are now usable only by the Toa Nuva, they also come with the fantastic ability to share those powers with allies, including those that cannot use Kanohi at all. So the Pakari Nuva does what the Pakari did, but on top of that lets you grant a similar buff to your whole field for a limited time. It also retains the part where it can banish a monster from your GY to search something when sent there, but instead of a specific Toa Mata it lets you get a Nuva Symbol … which can then search a specific Toa Mata, so from a consistency perspective the Kanohi Nuva do decently well replacing regular Kanohi in a Toa Mata/Nuva deck. They also fall under the category of “Nuva” Spells/Traps, so if you use a Toa Nuva’s on-summon effect to search a Kanohi Nuva and then discard it, you can get the Nuva Symbol at the cost of your GY instead of your hand.

One aspect I’m a bit unsure about, and this applies to the Nuva Symbols as well, is identifying the Toa Nuva as “Nuva” Fusion Monsters. I kind of want to avoid making “Toa Nuva” a proper archetype because that’s awkward to implement when both “Toa” and “Nuva” are independent archetypes as well, but I foresee the current solution causing some false positives down the line. For one thing, just “Nuva” monsters in general is right out because Takanuva is also around the corner, and despite the name that guy sure shouldn’t be able to use Kanohi Nuva. And even with the extra requirement of being Fusions, there’s still Takutanuva, a result of Energized Protodermis transformation and literal Fusion of two beings that most certainly does have “nuva” in the name despite not being a Toa Nuva. So yeah, this part is probably just going to change to “Toa Nuva” unless I find a more elegant trick to use.

The most interesting application of Energized Protodermis and Toa Nuva (in so far they already exist) I’ve thought up at this point is a little pile deck I have chosen to dub Protodermically Energized Nuva Invoked Shaddoll, for … reasons.

Sample Duel: Protodermically Energized Nuva Invoked Shaddoll

I’ll wait until the Toa Nuva have more than one member to make a full theory post on this one, but the basic idea is that Shaddoll Fusion can potentially use Energized Protodermis Chamber in the Deck as material for El Shaddoll Construct, while Invocation can use it in the GY to make Invoked Mechaba. In both cases, you trigger the effect that sends a monster from the field to the GY while not actually spending much of your own resources, so it’s an extremely strong play going second. Oh, and sometimes you draw Onua and can make Onua Nuva as an alternate form of interaction.


Bohrok Gahlok-Kal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 4 | WATER Machine | ATK 2200 / DEF 2100

2 Level 4 “Bohrok” monsters
Place materials detached from this card on the bottom of the Deck, instead of sending them to the GY. Once per turn: You can attach 1 “Krana” monster from your hand, field, or GY to this card as material. At the start of the Battle Phase: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; that target cannot attack until the end of the next turn, also you can equip 1 other monster on the field to it. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Gahlok-Kal” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

Meanwhile, on the other end of the conflict, the Bohrok swarms send their own evolved forces into the fray, in the form of the six Bohrok-Kal. These elite units introduce Xyz to the colorful Extra Deck options available to the swarms, and befitting their role as a last resort released after the invasion is stopped, their effects are meant to improve the deck’s performance against established boards. A peculiar design element they have in common is that their detached materials return to the Deck, which keeps the infinite recursion of the Bohrok fueled. It also ensures that the second shared effect, using Krana from almost anywhere including the GY as additional materials, does not get too out of hand, since detaching the Krana will take it out of circulation this way.

Their first implemented member, Gahlok-Kal, boasts magnetic powers that can root other beings to the ground or make them stick to each other to take them out of the fight. This translates to an extremely versatile effect that can not only stop a monster from attacking, but also serve as unique and powerful removal by non-targetingly equipping any other monster on the field to its initial target. This is a lot of power to get out of just one material and is therefore limited to the start of the Battle Phase, but I’m also considering making it so you can only equip monsters in the zones adjacent to or in the same column as the target. That would serve as a pretty neat representation of limited magnetism range, encourage clever counterplay through zone management, and wouldn’t actually restrict your removal options all that much since you can always put your own monster in the right column if needed (though it won’t be able to attack, which is a fair tradeoff).

Elite Bohrok require elite Krana, and so we get to the other new Extra Deck lineup, the Krana-Kal.

Krana Ja-Kal, Tracker

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

1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your hand or GY, but shuffle it into the Deck if it leaves the field. A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains this effect.
●Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then declare 1 card name; your opponent cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with that original name, until the end of their turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.0.4)

These Link-1 monsters come in the same 8 flavours as the regular Krana and can be made not only with those, but also with any Bohrok monster – though they themselves cannot be Link Material, so no switching from one Krana-Kal into another. Their first effect varies depending on where the arrow is pointing, with the one on the left-pointing Ja-Kal allowing you to tag it out for any Level 4 Bohrok in your hand or GY. This has no once per turn at all, and combined with the non-HOPT removal effects on the Bohrok that also leave them on the field in some cases, it may be very, very abusable. But if it is, I’d really like to see it because it sounds fun, so for now I’ll keep it this way. Making a loop here is at least not entirely trivial, since shuffling the monster back when it leaves the field means the line Ja-Kal -> Bohrok -> Ja-Kal already leaves one less Bohrok in your hand or GY. Maybe the shuffle should even be a banish, since returning Bohrok to Deck does refuel the engine and can be seen as kinda beneficial.

The actual Krana powers are represented by effects granted to Bohrok Xyz Monsters (i.e., Bohrok-Kal) while attached as material. The Ja-Kal offers sensory powers similar to the plain Krana Ja, which had the ability to neutralize visible threats during the turn following its activation. In its enhanced Kal form, it can even “sniff out” threats that are not yet directly visible and shuts them off from the moment it resolves until the end of the next turn, though it’s limited to focusing on a single target since it’s a “Tracker”. Sometimes in testing it does feel like in-archetype Psi-Blocker is a bit broken, but my testing is also against AI that is both predictable and has no concept of playing around locks on specific combo pieces, so I’m guessing it would be fine in a more realistic setting.

Since both new cards for the Bohrok live in the Extra Deck, you can pretty much play them as before, just with some additional options, as seen in the following short video.

Gahlok-Kal demo

Also notable is the use of a Special Summoned Bohrok Va to get a second Level 4 Bohrok via the Krana Ja-Kal, which is how you can make Xyz plays quickly without needing to wait for Flip effects to go off.

Updated

For the updates, I decided to improve the Bohrok’s general playability by fixing two frustrating restrictions found on cards from BBTS.

3.15.5

Krana Ca, Clearance Worker

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | DARK Zombie | ATK 0 / DEF 0

Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Level 4 or higher “Bohrok” monster you control; equip this card from your hand to that target. While this card is equipped to a “Bohrok” monster, the first time a “Bohrok” monster you control would be destroyed by battle each turn, it is not destroyed. During your Main Phase 1: You can return this card you control to the hand; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your Deck in face-up Attack Position, then it becomes the End Phase of this turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)
4.0.

Krana Ca, Clearance Worker

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | DARK Zombie | ATK 0 / DEF 0

Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Level 4 or higher “Bohrok” monster you control; equip this card from your hand to that target. While this card is equipped to a “Bohrok” monster, the first time a “Bohrok” monster you control would be destroyed by battle each turn, it is not destroyed. You can return this Normal Summoned/Set card to the hand; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your Deck in face-up Attack Position, but it cannot attack or activate its effects this turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v4.0.4)

First is the shared last effect of the Krana Xa, Yo, Ca, and Ja – here represented by the Ca because it’s probably the simplest. Previously, these cards operated like Cardcar D in that they would replace themselves with a Bohrok from your Deck and then immediately end your turn, ensuring that you could neither use the summon from Deck for any crazy combos nor somehow abuse the lack of OPT to spam infinite Bohrok. The general idea behind the effect was that it should help consistency by giving you access to a Bohrok even if you drew too many Krana, but in practice, doing that and then ending the turn was basically no better than doing nothing at all.

Under the new restrictions, the turn continues, but the Bohrok you bring out is mostly unable to do anything for its duration – except be used as material, which opens up at least some lines of play, especially factoring in the new Krana-Kal and Bohrok-Kal. Additionally, the Krana now cannot access this effect if it was Special Summoned itself, which should quite effectively limit it to something you can do only once or maybe twice per turn, outside scenarios where you can somehow perform an obscene amount of Normal Summons (in which case there’s way more broken stuff you could do anyway).

3.15.5

Premature Bohrok Beacon

Trap

Target 1 face-down Defense Position monster you control; change that target to face-up Attack Position. If there are no face-up monsters on the field, you can activate this card from your hand. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can Special Summon this card from your GY as an Effect Monster (Machine/DARK/Level 4/ATK 1400/DEF 1400), but banish it when it leaves the field. (This card is NOT treated as a Trap.) If Summoned this way, this card can be used as a substitute for any 1 Fusion Material whose name is specifically listed on a “Bohrok” Fusion Monster, but the other Fusion Material(s) must be correct. You can only use this effect of “Premature Bohrok Beacon” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v3.15.5)
4.0.4

Premature Bohrok Beacon

Trap

Target 1 face-down Defense Position monster you control; change that target to face-up Attack Position. If you control no face-up monsters, you can activate this card from your hand. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can Special Summon this card from your GY as an Effect Monster (Machine/DARK/Level 4/ATK 1400/DEF 1400), but banish it when it leaves the field. (This card is NOT treated as a Trap.) If Summoned this way, this card can be used as a substitute for any 1 Fusion Material whose name is specifically listed on a “Bohrok” Fusion Monster, but the other Fusion Material(s) must be correct. You can only use this effect of “Premature Bohrok Beacon” once per turn.

Bionicle: Beware the Swarm (v4.0.4)

The other change is to Premature Bohrok Beacon, and it’s really quite simple: Instead of being able to activate it from hand “If there are no face-up monsters on the field”, you can now do so “If you control no face-up monsters”. Because being mostly unusable when you go second was a really annoying weakness in an archetype that already struggles in that scenario, being composed of Flip Monsters and all. I originally did it that way because I was worried there might be something broken about just having a fast effect you can activate from hand to flip any face-down monster, not just Bohrok, face-up, but now we have Sol and Luna, which is just that exact effect with upsides specifically when your opponent controls face-up monsters. So clearly there’s no need to hold back after all.

Site Updates

Really minor thing, but we have a Card of the Day visible in the sidebar and on the linked page now. It automatically switches to a different random card each day (using a hash of the date modulo the number of cards, if anyone cares), so now there’s some dynamic content between the occassional updates.

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)