Release: The Chronicler’s Company

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As previously hinted, here’s another update to close out 2021. The previous batch of new cards brought together the Toa Mata that had been coming out one by one into a single strategy, and now it’s time to repeat that for the other archetype I have been dripfeeding across the village releases: The Chronicler’s Company, or C.C. Matoran for short.

For a detailed description of how this new strategy plays, refer to their Theme Guide. Or check out Turaga Nui Turbo for a somewhat less reasonable way to use them in conjunction with some other new cards from this release.

Meanwhile, let’s proceed to individual design notes over here.

New/Reworked Cards

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)

First and foremost, let’s talk about Takua, the hidden protagonist of the Mata Nui saga and the Chronicler who gathers the Company. True to his role, his effects allow him to “set his sights” on one of his comrades (matching their Attribute in the process, as a reference to his Av-Matoran color changing abilities) and then “travel” through the six villages to pick them up.

This sounded good on paper, but after testing, I’m starting to feel like I messed up here a little. Since Takua will stack one of the very targets he excavates for on top of your Deck every time you Summon him, the excavation is completely meaningless and the effect may as well just be to Special Summon a C.C. Matoran from any location except the hand at the cost of a discard. The reason he does this is because I wanted him to give 1-card access to the Turaga in each Koro deck (instead of having to come up with six different cards to do that), and since you only run one of the C.C. Matoran in each of those, blind excavation wouldn’t have had a sufficient hit rate. To add back a bit of the gambling excitement, I included a secondary payoff where you get to add the archetypal Trap should you come across it, but in the end that still means there are zero surprises in the Summoning part, and having the chance to offset the discard cost like that may even be a bit too convenient.

The better solution is probably to simply have the stacking happen only on Normal Summon, which I may do in a future update after doing some proper testing with Takua in the Koro decks. An unfortunate detail is that the Attribute change and stacking on Special Summon are integral to one of my favorite parts in the Turaga Nui Turbo combo, but I’m willing to sacrifice that since it’s just a gimmicky side strategy. However, I remain not entirely convinced this is the correct fix, so I’d very much appreciate hearing some outside opinions.


3.19.4

The Chronicler’s Company

Continuous Trap

You can only control 1 “The Chronicler’s Company”. This card gains these effects based on the number of “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control.
●1+: Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 “C.C. Matoran” monster from your hand or GY with a different name from the monsters you control.
●3+: Once per turn: You can target 2 “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control and 1 card your opponent controls; return them to the hand.
●6: You can send this face-up card to the GY; shuffle all cards on the field into the Deck, except “C.C. Matoran” cards. Neither player can activate cards or effects in response to this effect’s activation.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)
1.0.0

The Chronicler’s Company

Continuous Trap

You must control this many face-up “C.C. Matoran” monsters to activate and resolve the following effects:
●1+: Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 “C.C. Matoran” monster from your hand, Deck or Graveyard.
●2+: Once per turn: “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control cannot be destroyed by card effects.
●3+: If a “C.C Matoran” monster(s) you control is sent to the Graveyard: Draw 1 card.
●4+: Once per turn: You can target 1 “C.C. Matoran” monster you control and 1 card your opponent controls; return both targets to the hand.
●5: You can send this card to the Graveyard; destroy all cards on the field, except “C.C. Matoran” cards. You can only activate this effect of “The Chronicler’s Company” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)

Since I mentioned the archetypal Trap up there, I guess I should go over it as well, though there isn’t really much to say. Like its original from back in the day, The Chronicler’s Company accumulates helpful effects as you gather more members of its namesake, but they have been slimmed down to the most significant ones and tweaked a bit. The 1+ tier no longer includes a free Summon from the Deck (since that tends to be a bit broken) and only lets you get those members you don’t have already, the previous 4+ tier is now at 3+ and downgraded to a 2-for-1 trade (it’s still disruption either way), and the previous 5 tier got moved to the more appropriate 6 (thanks, Extra Monster Zone!) and buffed a whole lot because if you ever get there you’ve pretty much won and might as well get to do it in a flashy way.


Diminished Matoran Kaita

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 2 | LIGHT Warrior | ATK 1200 / DEF 1500

3 Level 2 “Matoran” monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle while it has material. If this card is Xyz Summoned: You can detach up to 3 materials with different Attributes from this card, then apply the following effect(s) depending on their Attributes, in sequence. You can only use this effect of “Diminished Matoran Kaita” once per turn.
•WIND: Add 1 Level 2 “Matoran” monster from your Deck to your hand.
•WATER: This face-up card cannot be destroyed by card effects. •FIRE: This card gains 1200 ATK.
•EARTH: Draw 1 card. •LIGHT/DARK: Special Summon 1 Level 2 “Matoran” monster from your hand or GY.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

The Diminished Matoran Kaita went through a few design iterations which all focused on the concept of getting different effects based on the Attributes of its materials, and the one I ended up liking best was immediately detaching the Attributes whose effects you want when its Summoned. This means it’s best when summoned with Matoran of different elements, as it should be (disregarding the lack of STONE and ICE Attributes), and you may run into the interesting dynamic of having to choose between detaching the third material for the effect or keeping it for the battle protection.

The effects themselves are mostly just meant to align with the respective village’s playstyle while remaining generically useful, but it’s a bit concerning that a triple detach of WIND + EARTH + LIGHT/DARK works out to a +1 even factoring in the 3 materials that need to go into the Kaita. May still have to tweak at least one of these effects so it doesn’t give immediate advantage.


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)
1.0.0

Circle of Legends, Amaja-Nui

Field Spell

You can target 1 “Turaga” Tuner monster you control; until the End Phase, it is treated as a non-tuner monster. You can target 1 “Turaga” monster you control; increase or decrease its Level by 1. If you control no monsters: You can Special Summon 1 “Turaga” monster from your Graveyard. When this face-up card is desroyed by your opponent’s card effect and sent to the Graveyard: Target 1 “Turaga” Tuner monster and 1 non-Tuner monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon them. Immediately after this effect resolves, Synchro Summon 1 monster using only those targets . You can only use each effect of “Circle of Legends, Amaja-Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)

The Turaga get a collective updgraded form in Amaja-Nui, which, curiously enough, used to be a Field Spell in the original version. And that makes sense since it is a location, but in order to avoid adding another name to Mata Nui’s search targets and to give the Turaga an easy Link climbing route (which I often felt was missing when testing the villages), this time I chose to focus on Amaja-Nui’s nature as a gathering of Turaga instead. For some reason group shots are within the design space of Link (and Fusion?) Monsters, so this makes it an entirely valid choice for a Link-3.

The two main effects are pretty simple – take on the Attribute of any Turaga you have around (as it’s the gathering of exactly those) and call previously used Matoran of that Attribute back to the field (since the Turaga have authority over them), which should be decently useful to any of the villages. For the sake of Turaga Nui Turbo specifically, it can also send a Turaga from your Main or Extra Deck to the GY when Link Summoned, which could be either the big boss itself or just an additional name and/or Attribute.


Diminished Matoran Nui

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | LIGHT Warrior | ATK 2100 / DEF 1500

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect. You can discard this card; reveal 3 Level 2 “Matoran” monsters with different Attributes from your Deck, your opponent randomly picks 1 for you to add to your hand, and you send the rest to the GY. You can shuffle 6 Level 2 “Matoran” monsters with different names from your GY into the Deck, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; Special Summon this card from the GY, and if you do, destroy that target. You can only use each effect of “Diminished Matoran Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

Turaga Nui

Effect MonsterLevel 9 | LIGHT Spellcaster | ATK 2000 / DEF 3000

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect. You can send this card from your hand and 1 “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to the GY; reveal 1 “Turaga” Link monster in your Extra Deck, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster with the same Attribute from your hand. When your opponent activates a card or effect while there are 6 or more “Turaga” Link Monsters with different names in your GY (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from the GY, and if you do, negate the effects of all face-up cards your opponent currently controls. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)

The Diminished Matoran Nui and Turaga Nui both are powerful entities formed by combining 6 individuals, and they both reflect this through the same design principles. They provide an effect in the hand that trades them for resources which help their respective components, and an effect in the GY that summons them with great impact once you have gathered all six of those components.

Setting up 6 Level 2 Matoran in the GY is fairly easy, so the payoff there is “only” destroying a single monster and getting a decently big body on the field, and it returns the individual Matoran to the Deck so you can’t repeat it right away. On the other hand, getting 6 Turaga Link Monsters in the GY is a fool’s errand that takes something stupid like Turaga Nui Turbo to accomplish within reasonable time, so the Turaga Nui actually lets you keep that setup and just negates your opponent’s entire field when you do manage to Summon it.

Updates

Time was a bit short since I squeezed this into what was left of the month, so I ended up only implementing one of the changes to existing cards I contemplated here and there. That one is Kopeke, who now has a drawback when searching non-WATER monsters.

3.19.4

C.C. Matoran Kopeke

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 600

If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up: You can add 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “C.C. Matoran Kopeke”, then, if it is not a WATER monster, place 1 card from your hand on top of your Deck. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kopeke” once per turn. If another “C.C. Matoran” monster you control would be destroyed, you can change this card to face-down Defense Position instead.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.19.4)
3.16.6

C.C. Matoran Kopeke

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 600

If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up: You can take 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your Deck or GY, except “C.C. Matoran Kopeke”, and either add it to your hand or place it on top of your Deck. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kopeke” once per turn. If another “C.C. Matoran” monster you control would be destroyed, you can change this card to face-down Defense Position instead.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

This replaces the previous weird option to put the card you search on top of your Deck instead of adding it to your hand, which I can now reveal was meant to synergize with Takua’s excavation effect, since Kopeke is himself a future Chronicler. Just kind of unfortunate that Kopeke takes up the Normal Summon, getting Takua with something like Isolde ends up shuffling the Deck, and even using the Matoran Kaita to Special Summon him from hand or GY requires him as the LIGHT/DARK material to begin with, but eh, there are theoretically possible scenarios where it could work.

Anyway, there are two reasons I really like this change from a design standpoint: One, the idea behind Kopeke being the searcher is that he “shapes the hand” as a skilled ice crafter, and that really fits now that he can also remove unneeded elements from it. Two, his shy personality that was already reflected in his protection effect flipping him face-down is further highlighted by the fact that he becomes less effective when interacting with strangers from outside his village. But due to the limited Attributes available, it turns out he’s still completely fine with the ladies from Ga-Koro. What a chad.

Theme Guide: C.C. Matoran

The Chronicler’s Company was a group of Matoran from all of Mata Nui’s villages gathered by Takua to assist the Toa Mata in their quest. In BYE, they form a sub-archetype of Matoran with the unique property of directly supporting each other across the Attribute boundaries between villages.

Their founder, leader, and curiously not member of the archetype by name is the Chronicler himself, Takua.

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 the same as 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 (v3.21.6)

As in the story, his role is to travel across the six villages, in the process meeting his allies that would later become part of the Company. This is reflected in an excavation effect that digs exactly six cards deep to find and Special Summon a C.C. Matoran, potentially also picking up the card that represents the Chronicler’s Company as a whole while he’s at it. To make sure you don’t discard and excavate only to find nothing, he can set up a C.C. Matoran to find when he’s Summoned, while at the same time changing his own Attribute as a color-changing Av-Matoran. This means using him in a Koro deck to quickly access the sole resident C.C. Matoran, and from there the Turaga, is also a legitimate option.

Now, to understand what the archetype is actually meant to do, let’s look at the aforementioned card that shows them collectively.

The Chronicler’s Company

Continuous Trap

You can only control 1 “The Chronicler’s Company”. This card gains these effects based on the number of “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control.
●1+: Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 “C.C. Matoran” monster from your hand or GY with a different name than the cards you control.
●3+: Once per turn: You can target 2 “C.C. Matoran” monsters you control and 1 card your opponent controls; return them to the hand.
●6: You can send this face-up card to the GY; shuffle all cards on the field into the Deck, except “C.C. Matoran” cards. Neither player can activate cards or effects in response to this effect’s activation.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Clearly a significant element is swarming the field with C.C. Matoran monsters, since this Trap Card gains better and better effects as you assemble more of them. If you have at least one, you get to bring out a fresh name from your hand or GY, getting you closer to the next tier, setting up combos, and interacting with the overall gimmick in a neat way that will soon become clear. At least three, and you get to bounce 2 members of the Company and any (targetable) card your opponent controls – anything written on a Trap Card is a Quick Effect by default, so this is disruption, hence the uneven trade (also, these Matoran are small, one of them alone won’t get anything off the field). And if you’re enough of a madman to fill every single Monster Zone, Main or Extra, with C.C. Matoran, you can just unrespondably wipe the field of everything else. The insane strength of this last effect reflects how little I expect it to happen.

So if we want to fill everything including the Extra Monster Zone, that means there must be some archetypal Extra Deck Monsters, right? Not quite, the trick instead lies in the next key card to consider.

C.C. Matoran Hafu

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

If this card is Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your hand or GY, but negate its effects, also banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Hafu” once per turn. A monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck using this card as material gains this effect.
●This card’s name is also treated as “C.C. Matoran Hafu”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

In addition to getting another Level 2 Warrior (so any C.C. Matoran, but also Tuners like Junk Anchor for Synchro plays) when Special Summoned, making him usually the best thing to get with Takua, any Extra Deck monster that used Hafu as material will become a “Hafu Original” that bears his very name, C.C. Matoran archetype and all. This is how you make them count for The Chronicler’s Company, and it also renders your boss monsters receptive to our actual gimmick: The fact that most of the same monsters you use to combo also significantly power up other members of the archetype on the field.

C.C. Matoran Kapura

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 600 / DEF 200

If a “C.C. Matoran” monster you control attacks, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects 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 up to 2 attacks on monsters during this Battle Phase. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kapura” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

C.C. Matoran Kopeke

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 600

If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up: You can add 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “C.C. Matoran Kopeke”, then, if you added a non-WATER monster by this effect, place 1 card from your hand on top of the Deck. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kopeke” once per turn. If another “C.C. Matoran” monster(s) you control would be destroyed, you can change this card to face-down Defense Position instead.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

C.C. Matoran Tamaru

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

If you control a Warrior monster with 1000 or less ATK: You can discard 1 card; Special Summon this card from your hand or GY, but place it on the bottom of the Deck when it leaves the field. During your Main Phase: You can activate this effect; your “C.C. Matoran” monsters can attack directly this turn, also return this card to the hand. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Tamaru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The clearest examples of this are Kapura, Kopeke, and Tamaru, who respectively provide unstoppable attacks, destruction protection, and the ability to attack directly. Not exactly impressive when they only affect these absolutely tiny shrimps, but things suddenly look very different when you, for example, make a generic 3000 ATK boss monster with Hafu, bring back Kapura with the Continuous Trap, get Tamaru to the field with his own effect, and throw those 3000 into a direct attack with no responses allowed during the Damage Step.

Slightly different are the boosts provided by Maku and Taipu:

C.C. Matoran Maku

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 500 / DEF 200

When your opponent activates a card or effect on the field (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from your hand or GY to your zone in that card’s column, and if you do, change 1 face-up monster on the field to Defense Position. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up card you control; for the rest of this Chain, or until the end of this turn if it is a “Matoran” monster, it is unaffected by card effects, except its own. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Maku” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

C.C. Matoran Taipu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 1000 / DEF 500

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand), but you cannot declare an attack for the rest of this turn, except with “C.C. Matoran” monsters. You can only Special Summon “C.C. Matoran Taipu” once per turn this way. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can target 1 monster you control with less than 2000 ATK; it gains 1000 ATK/DEF until the end of the next turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The former can give protection to any face-up card, but it will only last for a single Chain (so basically the one effect you’re responding to) unless that card is a Matoran – not specifically a C.C. Matoran, gotta have that Huki synergy. In Taipu’s case, he doesn’t directly provide a benefit, but instead allows C.C. Matoran to ignore the attack restriction that forms the drawback of his free Special Summon from hand.

Sample Deck

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9804806

The core of the deck is formed, obviously, by the C.C. Matoran and Takua, with the number of each reflecting how much having them in hand helps getting combo fodder – if we just manage that, everything else can be searched one way or another. The basic line of play first makes Isolde and uses her to get either Takua or Hafu, whose effects in turn provide you with the multiple monsters you need to keep going. Neo Space Connector and Aqua Dolphin are just another way to accomplish that.

In most cases, the payoff from Isolde will be no less than three Level 2 Warriors, which opens up different options depending on what they are. If all of them are Matoran, you can go for the Diminished Matoran Kaita, which can variably be a beater, a wall, and/or an extender. If you have a Tuner in there – such as Junk Anchor or T.G. Striker – you can instead go through a combo that moves through Stupid Bitch Cupid Pitch and ends on a Level 8 Synchro like Borreload Savage Dragon or PSY-Framelord Omega (Road Warrior is also funny for basically Summoning anything from the archetype for free) while searching a Hop Ear Squadron that can be used on your opponent’s turn to upgrade to Satellite Warrior and destroy a bunch of cards. Whichever boss you end on, Hafu will probably be involved, thus letting you utilize The Chronicler’s Company to get some monsters back, maybe have some extra disruption, and maybe maybe finish things with a legendary blowout.

And it’s also nice that all this still leaves a bit of room for handtraps and generic staples in the Main Deck – certainly not something that can be said for every archetype I’ve come up with here.

Best of Test

Best of Test: The Chronicler’s Company

Conclusion

The Chronicler’s Company are an archetype with the dual focus of comboing into generic boss monsters and powering up those same monsters by treating them as part of the archetype so they benefit from the support effects the monsters provide. The ability to search out and Special Summon monsters in various ways usually makes getting the necessary pieces to accomplish all this to the field a fairly simple task, and the Continuous Trap acts as a kind of archetypal boss that can help with setup, disruption, and straight up winning the game depending on how well you are doing.

Deck Idea: Turaga Nui Turbo

Do you enjoy unnecessarily long combo lines? Is linking off your Link Monsters to make more Link Monsters one of your primary sources of endorphins in these trying times? Do you consider the existence of handtraps and disruption a mere myth that can be safely ignored? Are you a truly skilled player with the ability to draw exactly the right combination of three cards every game? Do you respect your elders for their wisdom and ability to utilize Noble Kanohi as well as minor elemental powers? Then boy, do I have the deck for you.

As the name may suggest, the centerpiece of this silly little strategy is Turaga Nui, a card first included in version 3.19.4 of the expansion.

Turaga Nui

Effect MonsterLevel 9 | LIGHT Spellcaster | ATK 2000 / DEF 3000

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by its own effect. You can send this card from your hand and 1 “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to the GY; reveal 1 “Turaga” Link monster in your Extra Deck, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Warrior monster with the same Attribute from your hand. When your opponent activates a card or effect, while you have 6 or more “Turaga” Link Monsters with different names in your GY (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from your GY, and if you do, negate the effects of all face-up cards your opponent currently controls. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

This supremely wise sage is the united form of six different Turaga, and like many combination models from the early years, was never ever formed in canon. Similarly, the card’s summoning condition of having 6 different Turaga Link Monsters in the GY makes it so it will likely never hit the field in a sane player’s hands, considering the Turaga aren’t even meant to be used together in the first place. However, if you do make it happen, it acts as an omninegate that hits your opponent’s entire field at once, so that’s a decent motivation to try anyway.

The Deck

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9798612

Basically, the idea is to go through an elaborate Link climb that ideally ends up putting 4 Turaga Link Monsters plus Turaga Nui into your GY while establishing a board consisting of (a relatively small) The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister and Knightmare Gryphon, and then completing the setup using the effect of Dogmatika Maximus.

The main engine carrying the Link climb part are the C.C. Matoran (AKA The Chronicler’s Company), a sub-archetype of Matoran across all Attributes that work together to swarm the field with appropriate Turaga materials. Helping them out is the classic combo of Neo Space Connector and Neo-Spacian Aqua Dolphin, which gets to Isolde while potentially taking out a handtrap, thus increasing the chances of actually pulling off the best-case scenario. For the Dogmatika part, we have Maximus as the crucial piece plus six searchers for it in Nadir Servant and Ecclesia, as well as a Dogmatika Punishment to have an alternate search target for Ecclesia in case we draw Maximus.

While the stated goal is to fully set up the Turaga Nui in one turn, accomplishing that is a bit of a pipe dream, since even in the absence of all disruption, you still need to actually find no less than three different pieces to even stand a chance: A Warrior starter to get you to Isolde, some way to access Dogmatika Maximus, and, curiously enough, a C.C. Matoran Tamaru that is not required to make Isolde – more on that in the following section. Failing that, you can usually still get to the Arrival + Gryphon part of the payoff, which may keep you alive for another turn to finish the job.

The Combo

Turaga Nui Turbo

One of the most ideal combo lines I found is showcased in the above video, and starts with the following cards:

Neo Space Connector
Diminished Matoran Nui
Nadir Servant
  1. Activate Matoran Nui and select Tamaru, Taipu, and a third Matoran of your choice – it doesn’t actually matter which one ends up in your hand, but the most efficient case is Tamaru, so let’s assume that (so Taipu + other Matoran go to the GY)
  2. Normal Summon Connector and use its effect to Special Summon Aqua Dolphin
  3. Optional: Use Aqua Dolphin to discard 1 and look at your opponent’s hand – you can only afford this if Tamaru is in your hand!
  4. Connector + Dolphin -> Isolde, search anything that isn’t mentioned in the following steps
  5. Use Isolde to send two Noble Kanohi to the GY and Special Summon Takua
  6. On Summon, use Takua’s effect to stack Hafu on top of the deck and become EARTH
  7. Discard one of your spare cards to activate Takua and Special Summon Hafu, who in turn Summons Taipu from your hand or GY
  8. Isolde + Hafu -> Onewa in the Extra Monster Zone
  9. Takua + Taipu -> Whenua into a zone Onewa points to – the Taipu summoned with Hafu’s effect gets banished when it leaves the field, so Onewa can immediately summon him back and Whenua can search a second copy
  10. Whenua or Onewa + Taipu -> Amaja-Nui (placed so it points to a free zone), on Summon send Turaga Nui to the GY
  11. Use Amaja-Nui to Summon Takua from your GY to the zone it points to, on Summon stack Kapura on top of the Deck so Takua becomes FIRE
  12. Special Summon the second copy of Taipu from your hand
  13. Takua + Taipu -> Vakama
  14. Use Vakama’s effect to Special Summon Kapura to your field and a Vision Token (or some FIRE Warrior they happen to be playing) to your opponent’s
  15. Special Summon the Tamaru in your hand (by discarding itself for cost) or in your GY (by discarding a spare card)
  16. Tamaru + Kapura -> Matau
  17. Onewa + Vakama + Matau -> The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister (in the Main Monster Zone pointed to by Amaja-Nui, so the upwards arrow only points to the Extra Monster Zone at most)
  18. Activate The Arrival to destroy your opponents Vision Token and give yourself an @Ignister Token
  19. Amaja-Nui + @Ignister Token -> Knightmare Gryphon (co-linked with The Arrival, and not pointing to the opponent’s field)
  20. Optional: If you still have a spare card to discard, you can activate Gryphon’s effect on Summon to draw a fresh card and maybe set a useful Spell/Trap from your GY
  21. Activate Nadir Servant, sending one of your remaining Extra Deck monsters to add Ecclesia (sadly no Turaga can be used here due to their ATK being all below 1500)
  22. Special Summon Ecclesia (linked, because Gryphon!), on Summon search Maximus
  23. Banish something that isn’t a Turaga from your GY to Special Summon Maximus (linked, because Gryphon!)
  24. Activate Maximus, send Nokama and Nuju from your Extra Deck to your GY

Final payoff: Full Turaga Nui setup in the GY, 3000 ATK The Arrival and a Knightmare Gryphon on the field

Many hands fall short of fully achieving this combo due to lacking access to either the Dogmatikas or the free Tamaru to make Matau, but even those tend to manage putting up enough material for Arrival, Gryphon, or both. And if you don’t have a complete Turaga Nui setup, you actually don’t need to leave the previously summoned Turaga in the GY and can instead tribute off stuff like a leftover Token or the Dogmatikas for Onewa + Komau (preventing your opponent from activating the effects of their weakest monster while they control multiple) and/or Vakama + Huna (giving you a draw should something else be destroyed by battle, while not being available as an attack target himself).

Deck Idea(s): Things You Can Do With Toa Mata

At the time of this writing, the Toa Mata have yet to receive their Theme Guide, because even with all members of the team implemented, they’re still missing some support cards from old BCOT that have a major role in their playstyle. However, to modernize those missing cards, I do need to have a solid idea of what the updated Toa can do and what they need help with, so I have been experimenting with a few different builds using what we have so far. This is a brief account of those ideas and the rationale behind them.

The Kanohi Build

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9539889

This one was included with the 3.17.4 release, and represents what is probably the most functional way to play “pure” Toa Mata at this point. The sole combo it revolves around requires a hand of any 2 different Toa Mata plus Kini-Nui (or Mata Nui to search it): Activate Kini-Nui, Normal Summon one Toa by Tributing the other one from your hand, trigger Kini-Nui to revive the Tributed monster, and use the two Toa to make Isolde, searching another Toa for the next turn. Then, you activate Isolde for 6 and watch your opponent quiver in fear at the sight of such a power move while you send all the Kanohi to the GY and Special Summon a Toa Mata from the Deck. The sent Kanohi let you add two more Toa of your choice by banishing the materials used for Isolde, the extra Normal Summon from Kini-Nui means you can get one of those out right away if you wish, and during the End Phase Kini-Nui can summon a Suva from the Deck by destroying itself, which will also bring a Mata Nui in your GY (if there is one) back to the field.

In summary, the turn 1 payoff consists of:

  • 2 Toa Mata with at least 2000 ATK, each providing a more or less potentially disruptive trigger effect during the opponent’s turn (such as monster effect negation, Spell/Trap destruction, bouncing monsters, or returning cards in the GY to the Deck)
  • A Suva that lets you access any of the 6 Kanohi in your GY to buff your Toa Mata with things like protection from either targeted or non-targeted effects, battle protection, or simply +1000 ATK.
  • Isolde (largely useless at this point, but still there)
  • 1 Toa Mata in your hand (searched by Isolde)
  • Optionally Mata-Nui, which gives your Normal Summoned Toa Mata +600 ATK/DEF
  • The 2 other cards that were initially in your hand

Going second, the deck has some convenient properties that may help it do its thing in the face of an established board. First of all, 18 of the 21 monsters it plays have 2000 or more ATK and don’t take any field setup to bring out, so sometimes you can just Normal Summon, immediately hit over a boss monster, and then safely do the combo in Main Phase 2. Also, if the monster you Normal Summon to trigger Kini-Nui is Gali, she will be able to negate one of the monsters on the opponent’s field to prevent interruption (but doesn’t do anything against handtraps, sadly). Lewa can also help clear the field because he’ll be able to bounce something when you summon your Suva (whether from Deck or GY).

If you don’t manage to pull off the combo, what you usually fall back on is still a boss-sized monster that may or may not have meaningful disruption and/or protection, which may just be enough to keep you in the game. And with the Kanohi constantly repleneshing Toa Mata in your hand plus Mata Nui being able to search Kini-Nui every turn, you should be able to try again easily.

Can a deck that puts up 2 disruptions at best, needs intensive micro-managing to achieve protection, and has almost no room to run staples be called good? Probably not. Does it do its thing impressively well for having no major plays beyond a (more or less) 3 card combo? Yes. I rate it “Isolde is a stupid card”/10.

Aristotlean Hybrids

The following decks are all based on the idea of combining the Toa Mata with other archetypes that also have their monsters spread across the Attributes WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH. The idea is basically to perform the usual plays of such an archetype X, ideally get a Kanohi into the GY along the way for a search, and then use either a leftover Normal Summon or the extra one from Kini-Nui on a Toa, adding an extra miniboss or even a Rank 6 to the field. The matching Attributes are meant to help consistency by letting you use excess monsters from archetype X in your hand as Tributes for the Toa Mata, though in practice it certanly felt like hands such as Tahu plus anything except another FIRE monster were way more common than they should be.

C.C. Matoran

C.C. Matoran

Prank-Kids

Prank-Kids

Brave Token

Brave Token

Kaiju

Kaiju

Ghost Girls

Ghost Girls

The order in which the decks appear in the slideshow above is also an approximate ranking of their playability, ranging from actually kinda decent to complete garbage. The ratios in the Toa Mata portion differ between them because I threw them together at various points in time and never tested them deeply enough to figure out what’s best.

A quick summary of each of these ideas:

  • C.C. Matoran: The most lore-friendly of all builds, and quite competent due to both halves being Warrior archetypes. Normal Summoning Kopeke gives you easy Isolde access by searching either Taipu (at the cost of an attack lock) or Tamaru (at the cost of only putting 1 monster in the GY instead of 2), and Isolde can then dump 2 Kanohi to search up to 2 Toa Mata and Special Summon Hafu, who will in turn bring out an additional C.C. Matoran from hand or GY. That gives you the material for a Link-4, and if you have Kini-Nui, a Toa Mata or two to back it up as well.
  • Prank-Kids: The problem with Kanohi being the main searcher for Toa Mata is that you first need to put both the Kanohi and a monster into the GY. A Link-1 is quite possibly the easiest way to accomplish that, and Prank-Kids are an archetype notoriously capable of getting ridiculous value through a simple combo that starts by summoning their (now sadly limited) Link-1 monster. Better yet, the combo doesn’t care if the Prank-Kids stay in the GY beyond their activation as long as you ultimately end up with WIND+FIRE+WATER in your hand or field ready to fuse, so banishing them with a Kanohi along the way is pretty much a free Toa Mata. Only downside is that Prank-Kids usually take up the Normal Summon, but that’s what Kini-Nui is for.
  • Brave Token: The OCG’s recent hot meta thing, the Brave Token AKA Adventurer Token AKA Isekai Engine, also has the correct Attribute mix, and actually gets by with no Normal Summons needed. In fact, it actively discriminates against Normal Summoned monsters by making you unable to activate their effects the turn you use the engine, but since your Normal Summon is going to be a Toa Mata that generally reacts to something during your opponent’s turn, this restriction is quite stomachable. My impression of the deck is that it works, but the Toa Mata’s contributions of big stats, situational disruption, and Rank 6 access unfortunately feel a bit overshadowed by the insanely consistent omni-negate engine that is Brave Token.
  • Kaiju: The main idea behind this one, Attribute matching aside, is that Special Summoning a Kaiju to your opponent’s field triggers Lewa to bounce it back, which is obviously a pretty cool play. Sadly it doesn’t do much more than that plus plain old beatdown, and that’s not quite enough to win unless you get really lucky.
  • Ghost Girls: Stuffing leftover deck space with handtraps is a well-tested competitive strategy, so I figured I’d try doing that as well, using the ones that have the appropriate Attributes. Sadly those particular handtraps aren’t exactly impactful enough to totally prevent an opponent from bringing out anything a big beatstick can’t deal with, so it doesn’t quite see the same results here as it does in actual meta decks.

60 Card Monstrosities

Another archetype with all the right Attributes I tried out was Nemeses, however they are not featured in the previous section because I ran into a bit of a problem: Just like the Toa Mata don’t really do anything unless you can get out multiple and/or set up your GY with a Suva and several Kanohi, Nemeses don’t really do anything unless you get some monsters banished first. And since the main way to get monsters banished also relies on sending Kanohi to the GY, neither half of the deck is particularly capable of getting itself or the other started despite having good synergy once they’re running.

In trying to resolve this, I attempted stuffing a bunch of extra “spicy” techs into the deck, eventually blowing it up to a pile of 60 cards that somewhat reliably worked.

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9557017

Aside from the obvious, the most significant addition here are probably PSY-Framegear Gamma + Driver, as a powerful handtrap that conveniently can also set up some banished monsters for Nemeses plays. Driver also happens to be Level 6, so you can use it to pay the cost of Celestial Observatory and feel like an absolute king. However, at the end of the day, these additions only bring a slight reduction in the amount of luck you need to actually set up the really good plays, so I took a second stab and tried to fill up the 60 cards by bringing in a third archetype instead.

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9557112

C.C. Matoran proved quite competent at quickly dumping a few Kanohi to the GY when I previously tried them as the sole partner archetype for the Toa Mata, so I figured adding them might be a fine way to handle the observed issues with getting the deck to its initial velocity. And it does indeed seem like doing the good old C.C. Matoran play of letting Isolde send 2 Kanohi to the GY provides just enough setup for both the Toa Mata and the Nemeses portion to perform actual plays. Maybe it would even be possible to condense this triple mix down to 40 cards somehow, but I haven’t tried.

Single Attribute Soup

A common problem with the mixed-Attribute decks was getting Toa without any of the right Tributes, so to bypass that issue I also tried building a deck that only uses Toa of the same Attribute along with matching support. The candidates for that would be WATER (Gali and Kopaka) or EARTH (Onua and Pohatu), and I picked WATER because then I can also incorporate Kopeke for that sweet C.C. Matoran Isolde combo.

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9563264

The rest is just Frogs as a compact WATER package with a pretty good payoff, plus a single Ko-Koro to search with Mata Nui. Because I guess falling back to stall in cases where you don’t have anything else might at least keep you alive.

My verdict on this after a brief test run is that it can definitely do something more consistently than the decks that try to make multiple Attributes work, but what it does tends to be less impressive. For example, playing only 2 Toa gives you much less Rank 6 access via Kini-Nui, and even summoning one plus a Suva doesn’t do as much when the Kanohi selection is limited to Akaku and Kaukau. Also, I don’t really like it in concept, because the only reason there even are multiple Toa with the same Attribute is because ICE and STONE aren’t a thing in Yugioh.

Takeaways

The difference between a worthwhile experiment and a waste of time lies in whether or not you learn something in the process, so after trying all this, we face the big question: What does it tell us about Toa Mata and their future design requirements? I will end this on a quick summary of my observations, don’t hesitate to tell me in the comments if you feel I missed something.

  • There need to be more ways to get at least two Toa on the field. Kini-Nui is nice and quite accessible now that Mata Nui exists, but even assuming you find it every game, it’s still a gigantic choke point and negating it might just end your turn on a single big monster with a moderately useful effect.
  • Continuing from that last point, a single Toa Mata should provide a bit more value than it currently does. I kinda made this harder for myself than it needs to be by deciding the standard archetype support effects (searching, revival, etc) should be supplied only by support cards (and eventually Extra Deck monsters) rather than the main monsters themselves, to represent the Toa starting out as scattered amnesiacs before gathering towards the climax of the ’01 story. We’ll see if I can get away with sticking to my guns there.
  • A mix of all the Toa plus another engine/archetype that covers the same Attributes isn’t as good as expected, probably because it gives you more wrong ways to combine Attributes than right ones. As far as Toa Mata Tribute fodder goes, other members of the team or the multi-Attribute (in the hand) Suva have proven to be far more reliable options.
  • Early in the duel, going into Isolde with two Toa Mata and dumping all your Kanohi seems way better than making any Rank 6, which always bothers me a bit. I’d like to design the archetypal Xyzs to provide more value than even that, but it’s hard to imagine a way to do that without getting ridiculous. Maybe the better solution would be introducing additional ways to set up Kanohi, since Isolde is only so crazy good while you haven’t done that yet.
  • Another problem with making a Rank 6 out of Toa is that it usually removes all the Toa on your field, which takes away their potentially disruptive effects, Suva access, and Kanohi benefits. Isolde at least can give you another Toa by dumping 6 Kanohi, so it’s less of an issue there. This honestly might be resolved just by the fact that the upcoming dedicated bosses will also have “Toa” names, but I already have some ideas how this point could be addressed even further.
  • The banishing cost I somewhat spontaneously added to the Kanohi searches so stuff like Isolde wouldn’t get out of hand too much comes with some interesting practical challenges. On the one hand, the fact that you need to get both the Equip Spell and a monster into the GY makes them too unreliable to really act as the archetypal search cards, not to mention they can only get one specific monster each. On the other hand, if you do get them going, and especially if you get a Toa Mata + Suva setup where potentially every Kanohi swap translates to a search, you end up accumulating a lot of banished monsters that don’t really have any use if you’re not playing specifically a Nemeses hybrid. Not sure yet if it makes sense to add support that takes advantage of the big banished pile, since it tends to only exist when you’re already popping off anyway.

Theme Guide: Le-Koro (BCOT)

In accordance with the frankly inexplicable ordering of Bionicle’s six main elements I mentally insist on, Le-Koro is the final village to receive its updated strategy. As usual, the guiding principle is that of the village itself, and in this case that means “Faith”.

Le-Koro, Village of Air

Field Spell

Your opponent’s monsters cannot target WIND monsters you control for attacks, except the WIND monster you control with the highest ATK (either, if tied). When you Normal or Special Summon a monster(s) that has a Level: You can target 1 of those monsters; negate its effects (if any) and make its ATK 0, and if you do, add 1 WIND Warrior monster with a different name and an equal or lower Level from your Deck to your hand, also you cannot Special Summon for the rest of this turn, except WIND monsters. You can only use this effect of “Le-Koro, Village of Air” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Now what does Faith mean here and how does it align with the effects listed above? Well, according to the BS01 page, “Faith is trusting your allies, and trusting that all will end well” – a definition whose actual origin I cannot verify because I never got past that annoying loadscreen bug in MNOG2 myself. Regardless, it’s what I went with, and so we have one effect to allow weaker WIND monsters safe existence on the field by trusting in their more powerful allies, and another to search a WIND Warrior by disabling a monster on summon, in the faithful belief that this newly arrived ally will cause all to end well. The first of these comes up occasionally (especially against AIs who have no idea how to deal with it), while the second forms an essential enabler for like half your plays.

If you have ever filtered the card pool to WIND Warriors specifically (first question: why?), you may now be wondering “what the heck are you even supposed to search with this?”. The obvious answer is “Le-Matoran”, which is the cue to introduce the resident C.C. Matoran as the preferred search target.

C.C. Matoran Tamaru

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

If you control a Warrior monster with 1000 or less ATK: You can discard 1 card; Special Summon this card from your hand or GY, but place it on the bottom of the Deck when it leaves the field. During your Main Phase: You can activate this effect; your “C.C. Matoran” monsters can attack directly this turn, also return this card to the hand. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Tamaru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The mathematically inclined among you may notice that the range of 1000 or less also includes the number 0, which conveniently is the exact ATK value any monster will have after being used to trigger Le-Koro’s search. So Summoning any Warrior under Le-Koro gives you a Tamaru ready to summon himself (which is free from the hand – “from your hand or GY” means he can be used to fulfill his own discard requirement, just like e.g. Machina Fortress). As the bottom-dwelling type of Le-Matoran who is not particularly fond of heights, he will return to the bottom of the Deck after being summoned this way, but Le-Koro can just add him back at the next opportunity anyway. The second effect is more for use with other C.C. Matoran and references his contribution in clearing a path for the company on the road to Kini-Nui. This includes a self-bounce that is a bit oddly phrased with “also” so that the whole effect works even if Tamaru is marked for returning to the Deck.

Another point to consider about Le-Koro is that it doesn’t start negating your monster’s effects until its search has resolved, which means any on-summon effects chained to it will still go through. And that’s exactly what the other Le-Matoran take advantage of.

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 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 (v3.21.6)

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)

Makani offers a simple yet enticing array of effects. On Normal or Special Summon, he brings out another Matoran (including visitors from other villages, whom he welcomes musically) from the hand, and in subsequent turns you can recycle a WIND Warrior by banishing him from the GY. Oh, and on top of this he’s a Tuner, giving you access to the pretty decent WIND Synchro pool.

Kongu‘s on-summon effect takes him to the skies on the back of a Winged Beast Rahi milled from the Deck, allowing him to attack directly for a turn. This makes it easy for him to inflict battle damage, which then triggers the effect to banish a WIND monster from the GY (potentially the very Rahi he sent there) and get rid of an opponent’s monster with insufficient defense. And the hidden trick to all this is that you can actually use Kongu even on the very first turn to get more monsters on the field. How? With the right bird, of course.

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)

The Kewa is a common ride for Le-Matoran pilots, and makes itself attractive for Kongu’s mill effect by bringing back any other low-level WIND monster when sent to the GY. You do have to set up the GY first to do anything with this, but if you have that, it’s just a free monster on the field. It can also recycle a Rahi in your GY when banished, which might have some applications in this deck. I haven’t tried.

So we have seen that basically all our main deck monsters provide some way to potentially get 2 Warriors on the field, and with 2 Warriors on the field we of course make Isolde because that card is cra- wait, what do you mean Le-Koro locks you to WIND? Well, well, good thing we have a Turaga to go into instead.

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 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 that turn. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Noble Kanohi Mahiki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, while this card is equipped to a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and you control no other monsters: You can Special Summon 1 “Illusion Token” (Spellcaster/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0), but destroy it when this card leaves the field. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Matau” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Mahiki” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Matau has a reputation as a jokester, with hilarious jokes such as “summoning a monster in Attack Position but with 0 ATK”. Funny how that just so happens to be a good way of making use of your Le-Koro searches in case they don’t have the ability to Special Summon themselves. Arguably more important, however, is his second effect, representing his other side as a reliable leader in times of crisis: Delayed recycling that comes with a debuff for your opponent’s field if you’re behind.

This is perhaps the single effect that most clearly shows what I’d like Le-Koro as a strategy to be about. While Onu-Koro ensures your ability to recover and make comebacks by refilling your resources in proportion to the work you performed with them, Le-Koro more so aims to achieve the same by giving you access to resources when you need them and allowing you to get the most out of just a few cards.

That second point, and the focus on recovery in general, make the Kanohi Mahiki’s ability to revive Matau a bit more relevant here than it was for the other villages. In particular, there’s a combo where you, starting from an empty field with Matau and Mahiki in GY, just need to Summon any monster, tribute it to get back Matau, summon a Token with the Mahiki, summon a WIND monster with Matau, and you have all the materials for a Link-4 (though one of them being a Token somewhat limits your options). If Matau gave you something back during the Standby Phase, you already have one of the two monsters required for this. If you have Le-Koro, the initial Summon can also be used to ensure you have something to Special Summon with Matau’s effect. If Tamaru is in your GY, you just need a WIND monster and any card, rather than two monsters. Everything has its part to play.

But what about the valiant hero of Le-Koro, the Toa of Air? Well, he doesn’t quite contribute to this directly, but can still make for a nice bonus if you have him around.

Toa Mata Lewa

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2200 / DEF 1900

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute a WIND or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Lewa”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the hand, Main Deck, and/or GY while you control this card: You can target 1 monster on the field; return it to the hand, then, if it was a monster you controlled, you can return 1 additional monster on the field to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Miru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, negate any effect activated by your opponent that targeted it. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Lewa” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Miru” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

With air being the final element in my list, Lewa is also the last member of the Toa Mata to receive his overhaul, so his design is tailored more towards filling gaps in their strategy than towards helping out Le-Koro (partially also because I’ve noticed the Toa have rather limited usefulness in their village’s strategy anyway). Since the Toa Code has made me avoid monster removal so far, that was a pretty obvious gap, and I think bouncing them to the hand – a mechanic already associated with the WIND Attribute anyway – is gentle enough to not count as killing. It can even be non-targeting with the extra investment of also bouncing one of your own monsters, which is a design I’m fairly proud of. As for how this fits into Le-Koro, well, the trigger is Special Summons from just about anywhere other than the Extra Deck, which should be happening a lot with all the revival and re-setup going on. As I said, a nice bonus while you’re doing that.

Finally, the Kanohi Miru protects against targeting effects (“floating” out of their reach), and does it in such a way that equipping it mid-chain (e.g. with a Suva) still stops previously activated effects. No particular relevance to Le-Koro’s strategy here, but cool to have in those occasional instances when you do set up Lewa.

Sample Deck

Since Le-Koro already locks you to WIND, I figured we might as well go for some Speedroids to easily access that Attribute’s Synchro pool, which is probably the most decently equipped Extra Deck toolbox it has to offer. They also happen to be pretty fun, and if I was above playing with toys as a grown man, we wouldn’t be here.

The glaring weakness of the Speedroids is that they aren’t Warriors, and thus neither searchable by Le-Koro, nor qualified as material for Matau, nor able fulfill the conditions for Tamaru to Special Summon himself. Luckily, at this point the expansion includes enough Le-Matoran to easily fill that gap, with triple Makani and Tamaru for the free summons and double Kongu to do funny things with the Kewa if we already have GY setup. Takua is also playable in this deck since we can sneak him in before any WIND locks go into effect, and with that amount of Matoran in attendance, the Vuata Maca Tree can be a pretty good way to provide us with extra gas.

Other inclusions of note are Ghost Mourner – a bad Effect Veiler with a good Attribute – as well as an unusually high number of two copies of the Noble Kanohi Mahiki. This is because, as previously stated, its revival effect is actually relevant to this strategy, and making a Token isn’t bad either. However, the reliance on making Matau means it’s more nice-to-have than essential, so two is the highest I’m willing to go.

The Extra Deck consists of Matau, some generic WIND Links (there really aren’t many, sadly), Isolde for when we aren’t locked and want to set up Kanohi for basically free, Unchained Abomination as a Link-4 that can easily be made from a Mahiki-revived Matau, and WIND Synchros for just about every Level.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Le-Koro

This strategy’s performance in testing was initially quite poor, but eventually improved to more average levels after a lot of fiddling in the deck editor without needing that many signficiant design changes. I think the main problem was just in making what was, at the time of the video, a mashup of a subcritical mass of Speedroids sprinkled with just a few Six Samurai monsters work without the two halves tripping each other up, and I’m sure it could be done much better than I had it at that point (e.g. even one Den-Den Daiko Duke would probably help the recovery focus a lot). Also, firing the Le-Koro search at the wrong point so it either negates an important effect or locks you into WIND too early can screw everything up in an instant, and as the supremely intelligent individual I am it took some practice before I finally learned to not do that.

Conclusion

The aim of Le-Koro as a strategy is to make comebacks and rebuild somewhat decent boards from a bare minimum of resources in your hand and field. This is facilitated by a village that will give you access to more or less any of its villagers if you manage to summon anything, a Turaga who will give you back a crucial resource just in time to start rebuilding, and Matoran who let you easily make the important jump from one monster on the field to two.

Theme Guide: Ko-Koro (BCOT)

When I set out to make Ko-Koro, there were already a few specific goals I was aiming for with the design: It should reflect the principle of Peace that MNOG2 assigned to the village, the playstyle it facilitates should be clearly distinct from the other Koros, and it should especially be incompatible with the Ga-Koro strategy with which it shares the focus on the WATER Attribute. Given these requirements, the following part of the quote at the top of the BS01 “Peace” article stood out to me:

On Mount Ihu, nothing grows and nothing changes. The mountain is perfectly at Peace.

In other words, “Peace” as a concept is (semi-)canonically equated to a lack of change, and in card game terms that comes out to a type of strategy that is as unique as it is controversial – stall. By preventing your opponent from making progress towards victory, you buy yourself the time to achieve some win condition that would normally be too slow to work. And this inherent slowness gives us a nice big point of distinction from Ga-Koro, which is all about quick effects and playing on both your and your opponent’s turn.

Ko-Koro, Village of Ice

Field Spell

While all face-up monsters you control are WATER (min. 1), 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 were 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 (v3.21.6)

With that settled as the direction I wanted to go in, I sketched up the Ko-Koro field spell with three effects that limit your opponent on the condition that you also limit yourself in a similar way (much like a peace treaty), all under the shared condition that your monsters are all WATER to establish that Attribute focus. While the basic outline of this idea survived testing pretty much unchanged, the details of the effects underwent a lot of changes, so let’s just look at them point by point:

  • If you did not attack during your last turn, your opponent’s monsters cannot attack on the turn they are Summoned. This effect started life as a total attack lock with the same condition and I honestly think that might have been fine in a realistic environment, but apparently the EDOPro AI is completely unable to deal with this type of restriction and it leads to the overly long stall games everybody hates, so I had to tone it down a bit. If the strategy works as intended, this honestly barely makes a difference, for reasons I’ll get into in a bit.
  • If you did not banish/destroy any of your opponent’s cards since your last Standby Phase, your monsters get targeting and destruction protection. This one is super significant since the blanket protection makes it very hard for your opponent to break through even otherwise unimpressive opening boards, enabling you to build on them in consecutive turns until you reach something actually game-winning. On the other hand, the condition attached to it requires you to opt out of the vast majority of removal, massively influencing deckbuilding and the design of other cards related to Ko-Koro. Initially, the restrictions were even harsher as you were not allowed to make your opponent’s cards leave the field with your effects in any way whatsoever, but after one particularly atrocious test duel I realized this just forces you into situations where you cannot possibly clear the way to deal damage and are stuck passing back and forth for like 40 turns. Speaking of damage, I briefly had an extra stipulation that did not allow you to deal effect damage if you wanted this protection (because burn of all things as a win condition for an ice deck is kinda stupid), but then I remembered Wave-Motion Cannon exists and enables burn wins without ever needing to deal damage while you are stalling. So I gave up on that restriction – I will be judging you if you play Ko-Koro Burn, but you are free to do so.
  • During turns in which you did not activate any monster effects, your opponent is pretty much under Lose 1 Turn (sans position changing) Skill Drain (for Special Summoned monsters). The main purpose of this one is to prevent most decks from comboing into big bosses that just win them the game even under Ko-Koro’s restrictions, while also ruining any possible Ga-Koro synergy with its condition. It actually didn’t change much from its very first draft to its initial release, unlike the other two. I honestly think “no monster effects for you” is generally a cool drawback on a big floodgate, as it pretty much prevents it from being used in tandem with an oppressive board of negating and disrupting Extra Deck monsters. One thing that did get dropped on a later revision was the limitation that effects only stay negated during the turn the monster is summoned, because it just made you way too vulnerable to something as simple as Special Summoning a monster during your End Phase.

Overall, the payoffs for these effects make it so that your opponent has a very hard time doing anything to your monsters unless they get an extra turn of setup so they can attack, while the restrictions greatly limit your ways to counteract that setup. The game you play under Ko-Koro essentially consists of using your limited options to keep your opponent off anything that could break them out of this stall situation, while gradually building momentum turn by turn until you reach a point where you are ahead far enough to safely break the peace and go on the offensive.

But if we want to avoid destruction, banishment, and battle, how are we actually supposed to get the opponent’s monsters off the field before they stop being affected by Ko-Koro? Some generic real cards can do that of course, but the answer that exists natively within this village’s support is Turaga Nuju.

Turaga Nuju

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [◀ ▶] | WATER Spellcaster | ATK 1100

2 monsters, including a WATER Warrior monster
If this card is Special Summoned: You can target 1 face-up Spell/Trap you control; until the end of the next turn, while you control a WATER monster, that target cannot be destroyed by card effects (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn: You can target any number of cards your opponent controls; change face-up monsters you control to face-down Defense Position, equal to the number of targeted cards, and if you do, return those targeted cards to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Noble Kanohi Matatu

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, while this card is equipped to a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster: You can change the battle position of 1 monster on the field. The equipped monster cannot attack the turn you activate this effect. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Nuju” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Matatu” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Being concerned with the future as he is, the first thing Nuju will do upon entering the field is protect a face-up Spell/Trap from destruction for a short while, and he himself doesn’t need to stay around for this – you just need any WATER monster. Now, the idea here is obviously to target Ko-Koro, hopefully leading to a situation where your opponent cannot get rid of your monsters because of the Field Spell, but also cannot get rid of the Field Spell before dealing with your monsters. Other applications are quite limited, and while this one important use case is kinda enough, I am strongly considering also allowing face-down targets for just a bit of extra utility.

But the main point of the card lies in the second effect, representing the most notable trait of the Turaga of Ko-Koro: He communicates almost exclusively in bird language. And thus, he has a removal effect that is tailored for the strategy and designed in the “language” of birds, specifically those of the frosty variety, by which I mean exactly Penguins. By flipping one or more of your monsters face-down, he returns the same number of cards your opponent controls to the hand, resetting any progress made towards escaping the Ko-Koro lock. Get it, because there are Penguins in the game that bounce stuff when they flip, haha

Meanwhile, the Kanohi Matatu is a non-targeting “telekinetic” battle position changer, and one neat way to use it is to flip the monster you used for Nuju’s effect back up and trigger some effect that way. Yes, the mental focus required for that on the noble version means you don’t get to attack with the equipped monster the same turn, but being able to reuse a Penguin Soldier seems well worth that.

Or, if bouncy birds are not your speed, maybe I can interest you in some villagers who also have beneficial interactions with the strategy.

C.C. Matoran Kopeke

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 600

If this card is Normal Summoned or flipped face-up: You can add 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “C.C. Matoran Kopeke”, then, if you added a non-WATER monster by this effect, place 1 card from your hand on top of the Deck. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kopeke” once per turn. If another “C.C. Matoran” monster(s) you control would be destroyed, you can change this card to face-down Defense Position instead.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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 your 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 (v3.21.6)

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)

Kopeke, the resident Chronicler’s Company member, is a classic searcher on Normal Summon who also works when flipped face-up. This means that in a stall situation where your opponent can’t remove your monsters and you keep flipping and bouncing with Nuju, you get a search every turn. You get to pick from a fairly wide (but not particularly powerful) pool of all Level 2 Warriors, but for best advantage you want to pick the WATER ones, meaning Ga- and most importantly Ko-Matoran.

For example, getting Jaa is an easy way to set up Nuju. This scribe who writes down translations from the Wall of Prophecy has a pair of effects that, if used with Kopeke already on the field, really just amount to a Nuju ready to bounce at least one card and a Spell/Trap stacked on top of the Deck (this one’s the prophecy part). Ko-Koro decks generally being heavy on Spells and especially Traps (because they cannot disrupt with monster effects) means you should usually have the necessary fodder, and the nasty Special Summon restriction on the monster you bring back from the GY is conveniently turned off the moment Nuju flips it face-down.

Going even further beyond, Matoro is a Normal Summon for later in the game and trades himself off for up to 2 Level 2 Matoran in your GY. In his function as Nuju’s translator, he is also able to dispel the confusion caused by the Turaga’s use of bird language on your side of the field, immediately unflipping your newly face-down monsters. This basically speeds you up by a turn, lets you immediately trigger (pseudo-)flip effects, and gives you material for maybe ending the game with a big boss monster while your opponent’s field is clear.

Toa Mata Kopaka

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2000 / DEF 2500

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute a WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”, instead of a monster you control. If this card attacks, it is changed to Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase. While this card is in face-up Defense Position, your opponent’s monsters cannot target monsters for attacks, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. Once per turn, if another card(s) you control leaves the field by an opponent’s card effect: You can banish 1 card your opponent controls.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card 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; add 1 “Toa Mata Kopaka” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Akaku” once per turn. While equipped to a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster you control, this card gains these effects.
●Your opponent must keep their hand revealed.
●Once per turn, if your opponent adds a Spell/Trap(s) to their hand (except during the Damage Step): You can banish that Spell/Trap(s) until the End Phase.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Finally, Kopaka is one of the major ways you can actively put pressure on your opponent amidst this stall-focused playstyle, and that is despite him technically being a mostly defensive card. The key point is that he can, to a degree, let you ignore Ko-Koro’s restriction on attacking, as he will change himself to defense at the end of the Battle Phase and proceed to redirect any attacks from your opponent’s side into his hefty 2500 DEF butt (incidentally, this marks the first actual stat change I’ve made in the BCOT overhaul – 2000/2150 was just a bit underwhelming). He also kind of indirectly protects your other cards (such as Ko-Koro itself) from removal effects by punishing any harm to those on his side with a non-targeting banish – this would turn off Ko-Koro’s protection and negation effects, but in the case where that’s the card that got removed, it doesn’t matter, right?

Protecting Ko-Koro is also the intent of the Kanohi Akaku, which uses its power of X-Ray vision to see through the opponent’s hand and can temporarily snipe out a freshly added Spell or Trap with expert precision. Since Spells in particular represent the most common form of generic S/T removal next to Extra Deck monsters that are neutered by Ko-Koro itself, this potentially takes those threats to your attempted lockdown out of the equation until you’ve had time to prepare for them.

Sample Deck

Ko-Koro forces you to forgo monster-based disruption if you want to use it as a proper floodgate, so in order to not get completely wrecked every time an opponent does manage to play through the village’s passive restrictions (or we just don’t draw it), the logical move seemed to be using lots of Traps to fill this hole. And when WATER and Traps are in the requirements, the answer probably lies in Paleozoics with a decent helping of Frogs.

Starting from the boring parts, we have the classic Frog engine of Dupe Frog, Ronintoadin, and Swap Frog plus Paleozoics Canadia and Olenoides to get lots of Aqua Level 2s. Why only two Olenoides in the Main Deck and no Dinomischus? Because we don’t want to destroy or banish anything if we can help it, but also can’t justify skipping out on Spell/Trap removal entirely.

To make Nuju, we need WATER Warriors, and so we have the Ko-Matoran lineup of triple Kopeke, triple Jaa, and a single Matoro. Normal Summoning Kopeke and searching Jaa gives you Nuju with fodder to bounce at least one card, assuming we have access to even a single one of the Spells and Traps that make up more than half of the Deck (an especially good play is using Mata Nui to search Ko-Koro and then using the island still on the field to fuel Jaa’s effect). Matoro is a secondary search target to speed things up a bit once the engine is running, playing more than one would probably be justifiable as well. Our final WATER Warrior is Kopaka, but he’s more for edge cases and lethal pushes than for Nuju material.

The Spells are merely Ko-Koro itself plus its searcher Mata Nui, the Kanohi, and basic consistency stuff, so not much to say there. For non-Paleo Traps, I included Ice Dragon’s Prison as nontargeting removal (clashes with Ko-Koro, but sometimes you can’t avoid that – at least it’s an ice card) and Infinite Impermanence as just about the only major handtrap we can use without disabling the floodgate.

The Extra Deck is a mix of Links and Rank 2 Xyzs, most importantly Nuju and Toadally Awesome. Another inclusion to deal with untargetable stuff is Sky Cavalry Centaurea, and amusingly enough, using that sets you up perfectly for Zeus. Of course, neither of those are WATER, so once you do that you’re at least temporarily abandoning the usual Ko-Koro strategy. But hey, gotta have a Plan Z.

Funny things in the side deck include Gameciel and Sphere Mode Ra for going second, Demise of the Land and Metaverse to hit your opponent with the Ko-Koro floodgate as a surprise, Evenly Matched and Macro Cosmos because even though their effects make cards get banished it doesn’t count as cards being banished by your effects (’tis a very silly game), and Ice Barrier as another nontargeting removal option (also an ice card!).

Best of Test

Best of Test: Ko-Koro (v3.16.6)

This deck performed quite interestingly in testing. Not only did it have the highest winrate out of everything I’ve put through the structured test circuit so far (mostly because the AI is unable to play under Ko-Koro), its good and bad matchups were also quite different from usual. In particular, this was the only deck so far that won its match against the Dragoon AI (by simply never letting the boy come out), and also the only deck that lost the match against the Chain Burn AI (turns out going slow and protecting your field is a bad strategy against heaps of effect damage, and Ojama Tokens screw me over to a hilarious degree).

Conclusion

The central strategy of Ko-Koro is restricting yourself in order to slow down your opponent as well, and then using the fact that you’re better adapted to playing under these limitations to gradully approach a game-winning position. This is a very unusual playstyle with a lot of weaknesses, such as Ko-Koro doing almost nothing against already established boards (though this point was somewhat helped by unlimiting the effect negation), but between the additional support offered by powerful Traps and the AI’s sheer inability to counteract what you’re doing, it worked so well in testing that I kind of had a hard time justifying any buffs. As a result, the cards this time may be a bit undertuned if you wanted to use them against a human opponent with brain cells and all that, but that may not matter much when the main use case for EDOPro custom cards is just the AI.

As a final note, despite my doubts about the powerlevel, I must say I’m very happy with some other aspects of the design, in particular how “icy” it ended up being:

  • It accomodates some ice-related cards like the Penguins, Ice Dragon’s Prison, and Ice Barrier really well.
  • The strategy of going first and preventing battle stands in perfect contrast to Ta-Koro, were you want to go second and battle as much as possible.
  • The crucial need to accurately judge when you can start pushing for victory and turn off Ko-Koro without screwing yourself mirrors the Ko-Matoran’s focus on knowledge and foresight.
  • The deck melts against burn like an ice cube in the sun.

Theme Guide: Po-Koro (BCOT)

Po-Koro, Village of Stone

Field Spell

If a monster(s) you control would be destroyed by battle or card effect, you can banish 1 Rock monster you control instead of destroying 1 of those monsters. If you Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon using an EARTH monster as material: You can banish 1 EARTH Warrior monster from your GY; you cannot conduct the same type of Summon for the rest of this turn, also Special Summon “Sculpture Tokens” (Rock/EARTH/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0) equal to the number of EARTH monsters used as material. You can only use this effect of “Po-Koro, Village of Stone” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Among the villages on Mata Nui, I’d say Po-Koro is pretty high up there in terms of memorable traits. There’s the sculptures made by the resident carvers, the busy trading going on at the bazaar, the entire sport of Koli, and of course that little plague it suffered under in MNOG. For my particular depiction of the Village of Stone, I chose to focus on the first two of these: Trading and carving. (Koli is something I plan to study in more detail when it transforms into Kolhii later down the line, since it gets much more focus in the story then, and the plague is a topic for BCOR.)

Let’s begin dissecting from the second effect, since that will usually be the first you use. This one represents carving, and what it does is, like most Koro stuff, mainly inspired by the corresponding MNOG2 principle. In Po-Koro’s case, that means “Creation”. My first association with this in game terms has alway been the various Extra Deck summons (literally putting your monsters together to CREATE a new one), but upon further reflection I realized that there is one mechanic that creates stuff more literally than any other, and that is Tokens – those straight up don’t exist in any form until an effect says they do. So by combining those two ideas, I ended up with an effect that summons Tokens whenever you Special Summon from the Extra Deck.

“But isn’t that basically just Linkross for every summoning method?”, you might ask, and you wouldn’t be exactly wrong. However, there are some extra hoops to jump through here that hopefully fix the glaring balance issues with the concept. Most trivially, this card is in the Main and not the Extra Deck, so it’s already less consistently accessible by default. Then there are also two points that prevent using it too generically: You need to banish an EARTH Warrior (the “sculptor”) from the GY as cost, and you only get Tokens (the “sculptures”) up to the number of EARTH materials (the “raw materials”) in the summon. Note especially the banishing, which is meant to directly discourage mixing the Po-Koro strategy with Onu-Koro (where the resource loop relies on not getting your monsters banished). They both revolve around the EARTH attribute since Stone doesn’t exist separately in Yugioh, so I made sure to strongly distinguish them by playstyles instead. The final restriction meant to prevent Linkross-tier combos even in those decks that can make Po-Koro work is that whichever summoning method you use to trigger it becomes entirely locked for the rest of the turn (as opposed to just restricting how the Tokens are used). So the moment you make your Tokens, you need to be ready to pivot to something else. In MNOG2 terms, this sensitive issue of timing matches up quite well to the Kolhii skill of Strategy that is derived from Creation. I was quite cautious making this effect since it’s so close to a recently banned card, and initially it was even more restricted, but test runs suggest the current level of power should be fine without causing any notable problems. As usual, feel free to prove me wrong.

The secondary effect (which is listed first because that seems to be the convention for continuous vs activated effects) allows you to save your monsters from destruction by “trading” fancy Rocks, as they do on the Po-Koro bazaar. This is possibly not the best trade since you have to go as far as banishing a monster to protect another, but the Tokens made by the other effect are conveniently Rocks and in their case banishing is no different from destroying, so the idea is to mainly use those. One pesky detail I only noticed after implementing the effect is that it does not protect from full boardwipes because you can’t banish a card already marked for destruction as replacement, but it’s still fairly handy regardless.

If you compare to the other Koro field spells, you might notice that this one is much less xenophobic: You need to play EARTH monsters, including at least one EARTH Warrior, to make it work, but it doesn’t punish you for playing anything else. This is because, in the name of creation and creativity, I wanted to leave it possible to put whatever you want into the Extra Deck, as long as you’re using at least two different summoning methods.

Those were some long-ass design notes, but to summarize and boil the strategy down to its essence: The idea of a Po-Koro deck is simply to spam as much as possible from the Extra Deck, building a board while combining at least two different summoning methods, and any Tokens left at the end of that can act as additional protection.

As usual, the village itself is only part of the equation here, so on to the rest. For example, what could you summon from the Extra Deck to make especially good use of Po-Koro’s effect?

Turaga Onewa

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [↙ ↘] | EARTH Spellcaster | ATK 1450

2 monsters, including an EARTH Warrior monster
You can target 1 Level 4 or lower EARTH monster in your GY; the player with the fewest total cards in their hand and field draws 1 card, also add that target to your hand, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand. If an EARTH monster(s) is Special Summoned to a zone(s) this card points to: You can target 1 of your banished EARTH Warrior monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Onewa” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Noble Kanohi Komau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster and your opponent controls 2 or more monsters, the monster(s) your opponent controls with the lowest ATK cannot activate its effects. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Onewa” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Komau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Turaga Onewa is meant to be one answer to this question. On having an EARTH monster summoned next to his arrow, he will immediately bring back a banished EARTH Warrior, which transforms the cost to summon Tokens into one more monster on the field. Of course, the summoning restriction means you can’t use all this field presence to just continue Link Summoning, so you’ll need to make sure you have a Tuner or something to really benefit here. One thing I considered doing for a bit was letting Onewa turn the monster he brings back into a Tuner, but what bothered me there was that it would potentially allow you to just use the same Gouki-based deck I had for Onu-Koro and still reliably fulfill the requirement of two Extra Deck summoning methods. Kind of runs counter to the separation I’m trying to achieve, although it would technically be a distinct strategy even if it uses the same cards as its vehicle.

Since you can’t always expect to draw Po-Koro and do the setup that way, Onewa’s first effect provides another way to banish stuff, and comes with a lore gimmick to its math representing his famous ability to resolve disputes fairly. On top of the perfectly neutral action of putting a monster from the GY back into the hand and banishing a card from the hand, it gives a draw to only the player who is currently behind in advantage, so it works out to +1 if that’s you and -1 if it’s your opponent (and neutral in every other case). Fair.

The Kanohi Komau has mind control as its power, and with the original version back in 2014, I was quick to make the obvious association and write an effect that takes control of an opponent’s monster. In hindsight, that’s a bit above the intended powerlevel of Noble Kanohi, so the redesign instead turns it into a passive effect of using mind control to “stun” the weakest enemy (in terms of ATK, because unfortunately there isn’t a willpower stat that could be used for perfect accuracy). This fits well with the Huna and Rau as an effect that just inconveniences the opponent a bit and forces them to play around it, and for Po-Koro’s particular strategy of building a board with Extra Deck monsters, it makes a reasonable addition to the usual negates and disruptions you want to set up. Tributing a Sculpture Token to revive Onewa together with the Komau is something that happened semi-frequently during testing.

One noteworthy aspect of the way Onewa brings back banished monsters is that they are free to use their effects, so we can gain further advantage by using targets with beneficial effects on Special Summon. This is the niche our first Po-Matoran plays into.

C.C. Matoran Hafu

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

If this card is Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 2 Warrior monster from your hand or GY, but negate its effects, also banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Hafu” once per turn. A monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck using this card as material gains this effect.
●This card’s name is also treated as “C.C. Matoran Hafu”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Both of Hafu’s effects are essentially retained from his original incarnation, with a bit of adjustment. Being the master carver, he’s fully meant to facilitate more Extra Deck summoning and brings back another Level 2 Warrior (could be another Matoran, or a generic Tuner like Junk Anchor to enable Synchros) when Special Summoned. His other ability is crafting “Hafu originals” in his own likeness, meaning whatever uses him as material inherits his name. This mainly has applications in a dedicated “C.C. Matoran” strategy, where members of the archetype get a range of neat benefits. Here, it’s really just a cute gimmick that barely comes up.

The other thing about Onewa is that you need to Special Summon an EARTH monster to the correct zone so he triggers, which is also something the villagers can assist with.

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 (v3.21.6)

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)

Ahkmou, the perfectly loyal and honest businessman who is definitely not in cahoots with evil or anything, puts himself on the opponent’s field from your hand to allow you a free Special Summon of a Matoran. Not only does this offer an additional way to start and extend combos, it also protects you from handtraps that require an empty field, which is further enhanced by his second effect to betray his current controller whenever they activate another monster effect (including pretty much all other handtraps). Just two things to note about this: It’s a trigger effect and thus won’t happen until after the chain with the monster effect has resolved, and it’s not once per turn in any way, so he might just betray you back right after joining your side.

Koli champion Huki is a very easy Special Summon going second, placing himself precisely in front of any open spots in your opponent’s lineup – ideally one of the two zones Onewa points to. Even going first, you can actually set up his Special Summon with Ahkmou, so that’s potentially neat. Furthermore, as a highly competitive pro athlete, he will rise to any challenge directly facing him or his fellow Matoran, gaining enough ATK to hit over any monster in the same column.

If you’re familiar with the structure of these Koro strategies, you already know that the last piece of the puzzle is the village’s Toa, but in the case of such an Extra Deck focused theme, a Main Deck boss is a bit of an odd fit. Still, I feel like I managed to give him an effect that provides a fair level of utility.

Toa Mata Pohatu

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2400 / DEF 1700

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute an EARTH or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Pohatu”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, or a monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck activates its effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy it, also, if you control a Rock monster, you can destroy 1 additional Spell/Trap on the field.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Kakama

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it can attack all monsters your opponent controls, once each. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Pohatu” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Kakama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

What Pohatu brings to the table is Spell/Trap removal, and to match Po-Koro, he does it whenever monsters are Special Summoned from the Extra Deck. Furthermore, since we don’t want him to be useless after you have already built your board, he has a secondary trigger off the effect activations of Extra Deck monsters. Do note, however, that this is a trigger effect and not a quick effect, meaning it will activate on a separate chain only after the triggering effect has resolved.

The mental image behind this S/T destruction is destroying stuff by kicking a rock at it, and so it’s fitting to have a bonus effect if you actually happen to have a Rock monster (e.g. a Sculpture Token or a Suva). I went with the ricochet idea here, which means you get an additional (non-targeting) S/T destruction in that case. Seeing how the law of creative heroic thinking permits using the environment to harm enemies indirectly, letting the second destruction affect monsters as well may be a viable option, though in that case it would probably be fair to also destroy your Rock monster as a downside.

Finally, the Kanohi Kakama, Great Mask of Speed, lets the equipped monster move fast enough to attack everything in a single Battle Phase, essentially letting you use Pohatu to clear out all the monsters after using his effect to clear up to 2 backrow. This is a scenario that occured exactly 0 times during the test circuit, but hey, theoretically it sounds useful.

Sample Deck

I couldn’t think of any existing EARTH Warrior archetype that focuses mainly on Extra Deck spam while also adhering to the rule of using 2+ summoning methods, so instead of using such a thing as a starting point I just had to jam some appropriate enginges together with Po-Matoran and hope it does what I want. Because of this, the sample deck explanation is a bit more elaborate than usual here.

The route I took to fulfill the 2 summoning method requirement was Link + Synchro, since they’re much easier to pull off than Fusion and immediately put banishable monsters into the GY unlike Xyz. In order to get access to the necessary Tuners, I picked Junk monsters as the EARTH Warrior core: Forward as a free Special Summon to start making Onewa, Anchor as a Tuner that also happens to be a Level 2 Warrior for Hafu, Converter as another Level 2 Warrior who does both searching and setup for Synchron (who is unfortunately not EARTH, but still good), and Servant as a free Special Summon whenever I have any of the others out. For the actual Matoran, we have just one Hafu (he only triggers on Special Summon, so having him in the hand isn’t the greatest), three Taipu because free Special Summon going first (not a Po-Matoran, but since the Chronicler’s Company are meant to work together, I figured there was no way to avoid synergy through the shared attribute in this case), three Ahkmou for the same reason, and two Huki since he’s mainly good going second. Thanks to Taipu’s presence, Hafu’s name change actually matters occasionally, by still letting you attack with some of your monsters from the Extra Deck after you summoned Taipu. The remaining EARTH Warriors are one Super Agent as an unreliable Special Summon and potential Spell/Trap remover, and Pohatu as your main Spell/Trap remover, Kakama search target, and Suva enabler.

Additional Tuners to get us consistent Synchro access are Adamancipator Researcher, whose Special Summon from the hand is enabled by Po-Koro’s Tokens, and Plaguespreader Zombie because this deck has a few garnets we’d like to put back if we draw them.

The Spells can be quickly summarized as Kanohi, searchers, and ways to Special Summon to Onewa’s zone (most interestingly Word Legacy Succession, which does exactly that). And of course, we have the Dragoon package I put in to celebrate the complete freedom of Extra Deck choices and then proceeded to regret immensely because it’s so powerful and easy to make that it ends up distracting from the actual point of the Deck. Which is why I ended up intentionally siding it out for the rest of the match every time I won a duel during testing, even when I didn’t actually use it.

The Extra Deck could probably be filled a million different ways, but what I settled on after trying a lot of variations is:

  • Onewa to get free monsters.
  • Amaja-Nui to get additional Tokens by linking off Onewa.
  • Isolde to trigger the Kakama’s search and to get Hafu or Junk Anchor (either as followup to Onewa or as an alternative if you don’t have the setup to trigger him).
  • Halquifibrax because it has just as much synergy with Po-Koro as it did with Linkross.
  • Desert Locusts to summon via Halq for a discard while potentially triggering Onewa.
  • Link Spider because it can be made with a single Sculpture Token.
  • Avramax as a big dude you can make e.g. with Onewa and Isolde.
  • Herald of the Arc Light as an easy banishing floodgate and negate.
  • Jiujiu as an indestructible removal tool.
  • Marcher and Integrator so you can get to Jiujiu from Researcher and two Sculpture Tokens while drawing in the process.
  • Dragite as a negate and removal tool.
  • Quandax to make Dragite while getting a WATER into the GY so the negate is turned on.
  • Verte Anaconda plus Dragoon in case you mess up the actual combo but feel like winning anyway.

Finally, the side deck is just a pile of EARTH staples and cards that are really good in some situations, plus options to fill the Extra Deck slots left open when removing the Dragoon stuff (Accesscode as an alternate boss, Geonator Transverser as an alternate Link you can make with random monsters).

To see all this in action, continue right on.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Po-Koro (v3.15.5)

Conclusion

Po-Koro decks encourage Special Summoning from the Extra Deck and excel at providing a bunch of material to do so. However, lacking dedicated boss monsters of its own and having some tricky requirements and restrictions on the Field Spell, the success of the strategy is very much dependent on what other cards you combine it with, perhaps more so than any of the other villages. Also, the need to have cards to both make Onewa in the Extra Monster Zone and trigger him with an additional Special Summon can be quite the hurdle to consistency.

Theme Guide: Onu-Koro (BCOT)

Onu-Koro, Village of Earth

Field Spell

You can target up to 5 EARTH monsters in your GY; shuffle them into the Deck, then gain 600 LP for each card shuffled into the Main Deck this way. If your LP are higher than your opponent’s: You can send 1 EARTH monster from your hand or field to the GY, then pay LP in multiples of 1000 (max. 3000); draw 1 card for every 1000 LP paid, then, if your LP are lower than your opponent’s, send that many cards from your hand to the GY. You cannot Normal or Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this effect, except EARTH monsters. You can only use each effect of “Onu-Koro, Village of Earth” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

In the underground caverns of Onu-Koro, hard work is rewarded with great wealth, at least according to the Principle of Prosperity. For the effects of the Field Spell, I interpreted “hard work” as “putting monsters in the GY”, which is usually a pretty decent indication you’re doing things, and “wealth” as the resources of both LP and cards. So the first effect trades the proof of your work, the monsters in the GY, for wealth in the form of LP, and the second directly trades that amassed wealth for cards.

There are several extra balancing factors to the draw effect, given that it can potentially draw up to 3. First, it only works when you have higher LP, so you have to do some healing and/or damage before using it. Second, you need to send an EARTH monster from your hand or field to the GY, mainly to downgrade the level of advantage you get and to make the effect a bit more conditional, but also as setup for LP regeneration. Third, if you pay so much that you are now behind in LP, you lose an equal number of cards to what you drew, which technically works out to a -1 but is still fairly good since you can freely put anything from your hand into the GY. Fourth, it locks you into only summoning EARTH monsters for the whole turn, just to be extra sure it doesn’t get randomly abused. A proper Onu-Koro deck is mostly okay with this restriction anyway.

It follows that, as an Onu-Koro player, you want to establish a stable loop of putting EARTH monsters in the GY while building your board, shuffling them back to gain LP, and potentially drawing additional cards to further strengthen your position. Now we’ll take a look at how other cards contribute towards that goal.

Turaga Whenua

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [▼ ▶] | EARTH Spellcaster | ATK 1450

2 monsters, including an EARTH Warrior monster
Each time an EARTH monster(s) is sent from your hand or field to the GY, gain 400 LP for each. If this card is Link Summoned: You can pay 1000 LP; add 1 Level 4 or lower EARTH Warrior monster from your Deck to your hand, with a different name from the cards in your GY. You can only use this effect of “Turaga Whenua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Noble Kanohi Ruru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. You can only use each of the following effects of “Noble Kanohi Ruru” once per turn.
●While this card is equipped to a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster: You can target 1 Set card your opponent controls; reveal it. If it is a Spell/Trap, inflict 500 damage to your opponent. If it is a monster with less ATK than the equipped monster, inflict damage to your opponent equal to the difference.
●If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Whenua” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Whenua essentially acts as an overseer of the “work” you perform, providing small rewards in real time for every EARTH monster you put into the GY. On summon, he also helps you solve your current problems by learning from the mistakes of the past, or in non-lore terms, searches a low-level EARTH Warrior that isn’t in your GY yet. Of course, putting stuff back with Onu-Koro expands your search range here.

The Kanohi Ruru, Mask of Night Vision, doesn’t really have a main focus that synergizes with the Onu-Koro deck much – it just reveals Set cards, because that’s the mechanic that historically fits night vision best (for the record, hand reveals would be mind reading). It does also inflict some damage as a bonus, which could at least help achieve the necessary LP difference to use Onu-Koro to its full potential.

The search effect on Whenua is of course meant to fetch Onu-Matoran, and for that we have a few options.

C.C. Matoran Taipu

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 1000 / DEF 500

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand), but you cannot declare an attack for the rest of this turn, except with “C.C. Matoran” monsters. You can only Special Summon “C.C. Matoran Taipu” once per turn this way. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can target 1 monster you control with less than 2000 ATK; it gains 1000 ATK/DEF until the end of the next turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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 in your GY would be returned 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 (v3.21.6)

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)

Taipu is most importantly a free Special Summon from the hand, assuming it is either turn 1 or Main Phase 2 – otherwise there’s an attack restriction that can trip you up sometimes, fitting for a somewhat clumsy Matoran who is always eager to help. Aside from these attributes, Taipu is also notable for his unusual physical strength, reflected in his unusually high ATK stat which matches the stat boost he gives another small monster when sent from field to GY. You can also use that for chain blocking.

Midak, the eccentric Onu-Matoran who likes sunlight and spends his time in a hut full of Ussals on the surface, is the first half of a little engine that takes advantage of the deck’s built in resource cycling. His role is sending an EARTH monster from your Deck to the GY (yes, can be anything, hence the restriction to needing a Matoran on the field) for setup and some immediate LP gain, and later returning directly to your hand when he would be shuffled back by Onu-Koro, because the Deck is too dark for his tastes.

The second half of the combo is Onepu, the proud champion of the Ussal races. Having such a defining relationship with the crab Rahi, he actually interacts directly with it by Summoning it (or any other low-level Beast Rahi) from the GY. On Normal Summon, he can put a banished EARTH monster (such as an Ussal used in a previous iteration) back into your Deck and be rewarded with LP gain proportional to the size of his audience in your hand. So what exactly is the combo I’m talking about here? Well, the one missing key point is that the Ussal, a Level 4 EARTH Beast member of the Rahi archetype, can bring back another Level 4 or lower EARTH Beast monster from the GY when sent there.

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)

What you do is this: Put Onepu on the field, activate Midak in your hand to send himself and an Ussal from the Deck to the GY, the Ussal triggers to bring back Midak, and with Onepu bringing back the Ussal you now have 3 monsters on the field. Do whatever combos you so desire from here, and once you’re done use Onu-Koro to shuffle back a bunch of EARTH monsters, including Midak who will instead come to your hand. Then on a subsequent turn you just need to find Onepu again, and due to him putting back the banished Ussal on Normal Summon everything is ready to go for another round.

A potential hole in our whole strategy of continuously shuffling monsters from the GY back to heal and draw is that we will eventually run out of Spells and Traps, as those are not recycled. It may not matter a lot of the time, but still, to our rescue comes the wise Toa of Earth.

Toa Mata Onua

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2100 / DEF 2100

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute an EARTH or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Onua”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is sent from the hand or Deck to the GY: You can target 1 card in either GY; place it on the top or bottom of the Deck, and if it was a monster whose original ATK in the GY was lower than this card’s current ATK, gain LP equal to the difference.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Pakari

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Indeed, Onua gives us the ability to return any card from the GY to the Deck, assuming the trigger of a monster being sent from hand or Deck to GY applies. And beyond simple recycling, he comes with the benefits of working on both GYs, being able to place the card either on top or bottom of the Deck, and healing you if you return a monster with lower ATK than him. This means he can put your own Spells/Traps just a draw away, place something dead on top of the opponent’s Deck, take something they just sent to the GY away before it can be used, or simply be used for LP regeneration to enable Onu-Koro.

The Kanohi Pakari, Great Mask of Strength, also plays into these LP games. The bonus ATK on Onua makes it so you stand to gain more LP from his effect, and a high-ATK piercer is a pretty reliable way to damage your opponent and help establish the desired LP difference.

Sample Deck

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=6583242

Our goal is to do “work” – putting monsters from hand or field into the GY – as quickly as possible to get our LP and card advantage engine fueled, so this is basically a Link spam deck. In addition to our core engine of Taipu/Onepu/Midak/Ussal, the stars of this deck are the Goukis, which allow us to just keep throwing monsters onto the field while also refilling the hand with their own floating effects, supplementing the draws we get from Onu-Koro later in the game. Visiting the village are the Chronicler Takua and Po-Koro‘s Hafu, which together form yet another way to get out a total of up to three monsters off one card (though banishing the one Hafu summons is a little detrimental to our resource loop).

The ultimate payoffs going first are usually some combination of Knightmare Gryphon, Apollousa, and Tri-Gate Wizard, while going second the big power play is obviously Accesscode. Grandsoil is both a main deck boss and a combo piece that is very easy to use in this strategy, since you can easily control the number of EARTH monsters in your GY.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Onu-Koro

Conclusion

The greatest strength of Onu-Koro decks is the ability to replenish resources, both cards and LP, over and over again. Even if you can’t kill your opponent quickly, you can probably survive long enough to outlast them if things go reasonably well, though most of the time there isn’t a need to drag things out too much.

Theme Guide: Ga-Koro (BCOT)

Ga-Koro, Village of Water

Field Spell

During your opponent’s turn, if all monsters in your GY are WATER (min. 1), your opponent cannot activate cards or effects 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 it becomes the same Type 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 (v3.21.6)

Ga-Koro is a beautiful village of leaf huts swimming on the waters of Naho Bay. According to Mata Nui Online Game 2, the central Principle of the Ga-Matoran is Purity, from which they derive Speed. How these concepts translate to card game mechanics was, at least to me, not entirely obvious at first glance, so let’s go over the design in detail.

Effect #1 preserves the purity of your plays by not letting your opponent corrupt them with any dirty responses, as long as your GY is filled purely with WATER monsters. To make this reasonably balanced, it has an additional restriction of only working on effects activated during the opponent’s turn as Chain Link 2 or higher – which usually means quick effects. Because speed, geddit? Incidentally, quick effects that can be used during the opponent’s turn are somewhat common among existing WATER monsters (e.g. Abyssalacia, Crocodragon, the entire Crystron archetype), so that provides ample deck building options.

Effect #2 grants speed in the form of tempo, specifically an extra summon of a WATER monster at the cost of banishing any monster from the GY (which conveniently helps with the setup for Effect #1). The purity aspect here is that it locks you into only summoning WATER monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of the turn, as is appropriate with this kind of effect. Also, the Type of the summoned monster is changed to match the banished one, which was originally a trick to make up for the lack of WATER Warriors in the game, but is now mostly just another point of purity flavour after I added more Ga-Matoran.

The reason we need specifically WATER Warriors is, of course, the village’s Turaga, Nokama.

Turaga Nokama

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [▲ ↙] | WATER Spellcaster | ATK 1200

2 monsters, including a WATER Warrior monster
Cannot be destroyed by battle while it points to a monster. (Quick Effect): You can banish 1 card from your GY, then discard 1 card; until the end of this turn, this card and monsters it points to are unaffected by the effects of cards with a different card type (Monster, Spell, and/or Trap) than the card banished to activate this effect, except this card’s. During your opponent’s End Phase, if this card points to a monster (Quick Effect): You can target 1 of your WATER monsters that is banished or in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Nokama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Noble Kanohi Rau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster, the first activated effect that targets it becomes “You can move 1 monster in the Main Monster Zone to another Main Monster Zone on its controller’s field, then your opponent can move 1 monster in the Main Monster Zone to another Main Monster Zone on its controller’s field”. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Nokama” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Rau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

In accordance with the particular type of “protection” offered by Ga-Koro, this WATER monster comes with a Quick Effect that you will often want to use on your opponent’s turn: The ability to make Nokama and everything she points to immune to 2 of the 3 card types in the game for the rest of the turn. A funny thing to note is that this immunity, instead of the usual “except its own” clause, makes an exception only for Nokama’s own effects, so you can do stuff like making an opponent’s monster unaffected by its own protection or stat boosts. This way, you can potentially get some benefit out of the arrow pointing to the opponent’s field. Finally, for synergy with both Ga-Koro’s purity concept and the general inclination of WATER monsters towards being discarded for cost, this effect comes at the price of banishing a card from the GY and discarding one. The banished card determines which card type is not included in the granted protection (to keep things a bit more fair and to leave yourself with ways to deal with an opponent’s monster in the relevant zone), while the discard allows triggering effects like Atlantean Heavy Infantry at any time.

Nokama’s other effects further play into this theme of protecting monsters she points to, with herself being indestructible in battle as long as one of those zones is filled (because being unaffected by stuff doesn’t help much if you’re a 1200 ATK monster that can easily be run over) and replenishing the fodder you need for the main effect as a reward if you manage to keep the monster(s) she’s pointing to alive until your opponent’s End Phase. Note that the latter is a quick effect rather than a trigger effect like it would usually be, so you can potentially chain it to something and take advantage of Ga-Koro.

The Kanohi Rau, Mask of Translation, adds a further level of complication by “translating” one targeting effect per turn into a “translation” along the Main Monster Zones. Not only does this functionally negate whatever the original effect meant to accomplish, but it also provides an opportunity to set up a monster placement that is convenient for Nokama.

What’s this? You want more Quick Effects? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because this floating village is populated by more than just its elder.

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 the 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 (v3.21.6)

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)

C.C. Matoran Maku

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 500 / DEF 200

When your opponent activates a card or effect on the field (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon this card from your hand or GY to your zone in that card’s column, and if you do, change 1 face-up monster on the field to Defense Position. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up card you control; for the rest of this Chain, or until the end of this turn if it is a “Matoran” monster, it is unaffected by card effects, except its own. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Maku” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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)

There’s the astrologer Nixie, who can draw you a card and (with some luck) Special Summon herself from the hand in response to any monster effect activated while you control a WATER monster. If you do draw a monster from this effect and thus get Nixie on the field, the included Level modulation combined with her Tuner status could also be helpful in making a big Synchro Monster to pair up with Nokama. If you’re not as lucky with your draw and end up having to discard Nixie, she can potentially still help set up Nokama for granting protection from monsters by putting a Spell/Trap in the GY to banish – but only if you didn’t already have one. This will also trigger when used as material for Nokama or a Synchro or even when discarded for Nokama’s cost, so that particular piece of setup is quite accessible.

Hahli, at this point in time a mere assistant flax maker, does nothing flashy by herself, but provides valuable assistance to her fellow Matoran in various ways. There’s obviously the destruction protection, but the small Quick Effect burn is also not to be underestimated – not because of the damage it deals, but because it gives you +1 chain length and thus a chance to activate more impactful Quick Effects in the range where Ga-Koro shields them from interference, not to mention giving Nixie an opportunity to activate from the hand. The GY effect serves a similar purpose, as it will trigger together with another Ga-Matoran’s floating effect and thus let you either chain block or build the chain the way you want it for Ga-Koro.

Maku even gives us not one, but two quick effects. On the field, you can make a card unaffected by other effects for a single Chain only, which is obviously something that only makes sense as Chain Link 2 or higher and therefore works perfectly for Ga-Koro’s protection. As a little special clause, fellow Matoran get to remain unaffected for an entire turn – imagine it as them being taught to swim, as opposed to just being briefly held above the water like everything else. In the hand or GY, she summons herself when your opponent activates an effect in a free column, which is also inherently at Chain Link 2 or higher.

Finally, Kotu’s Quick Effect lets her calm your opponent’s most ferocious beast with an ATK reduction, a reference to her job of tending to even large Rahi like Tarakava after they leave Makuta’s control. She also comes with a disruptive floating effect (once again, set up so it triggers when discarded for Nokama’s cost) that works best when used on something of yours controlled by your opponent, but may otherwise still be worth it if you can hit a choke point.

And with that, all that’s left is the resident heroine and Main Deck boss, Gali.

Toa Mata Gali

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | WATER Warrior | ATK 2300 / DEF 1800

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute a WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Gali”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, when the turn player’s opponent activates a monster effect, except “Toa Mata Gali” (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up monster on the field; negate its effects, and if you do, this card gains 400 ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Kaukau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, unless they target it. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Gali” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Kaukau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Now, what does the Toa of Water bring to the aid of her village? You guessed it, another Quick Effect. This one can be chained to any monster effects activated by the turn player’s opponent (for Ga-Koro’s purposes, this particularly means your effects during the opponent’s turn), negates a face-up monster, and gives Gali an ATK boost that can potentially stack to infinity with enough patience. So we basically have three main uses:

  • Bonus disruption during the opponent’s turn whenever you already have a monster effect that can activate (e.g. a Ga-Matoran)
  • Shutting down your opponent’s monster-based disruption on the field during your turn
  • Stacking ATK boosts to get over big monsters in battle (something Ga-Koro otherwise struggles with)

Meanwhile, the Kanohi Kaukau, Mask of Water Breathing, offers an additional layer of protection from non-targeting effects, leaving you free to save your Nokama for something else. Though really it’s just a joke about Torrential Tribute if I’m quite honest.

Sample Deck

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=10264388

Being a WATER-based strategy that discards for cost as one of its key plays, it seemed natural to use Atlanteans, and Mermails along with them. Using (restricted versions of) standard issue combos I will not cover in detail here, you can put out big monsters like Abyssmegalo + Mizuchi, Moulinglacia, or any of the high-Level Synchros in your Extra Deck to serve as the target of Nokama’s protection. Possibly the best you can get is Chengying, because Nokama banishing for cost lets you trigger his effect whenever you damn feel like it and just get rid of two of your opponent’s cards.

To make Nokama herself, we just need to find one of our many Ga-Matoran at any point throughout the combo, which is made easy by Nixie being a Level 2 Tuner, well within the range of what good ol’ Halqifibrax can fetch. Even his effect during the opponent’s turn would be pretty good to put a fresh monster into Nokama’s zone when needed, if not for the fact that the two of them tend to compete for the Extra Monster Zone and thus rarely coexist on the field. Finally, Marincess Coral Anemone comes up a fair bit because she not only extends your combos, but also brings back Nokama in just the right spot to make her live, though not necessarily in the strongest possible configuration.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Ga-Koro (v3.12.10)

Conclusion

Decks centered around Ga-Koro focus mainly on quick effects chained to the opponent’s own plays on their turn. By utilizing Nokama’s solid protection in tandem with disruptive effects like Gali, Maku, Kotu, and even Atlanteans, you can establish a successful control strategy to keep your cards on the board while interfering with the opponent enough to keep victory within reach.

Theme Guide: Ta-Koro (BCOT)

Amidst the lava flowing from the Mangai volcano lies the fortified village of Ta-Koro, home to the steadfast Ta-Matoran who live according to the Principle of Courage.

Ta-Koro, Village of Fire

Field Spell

While all face-up monsters you control are FIRE (min. 2), face-up monsters you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. If your FIRE monster battles an opponent’s monster with higher original ATK, before damage calculation: You can discard 1 card; your monster gains ATK equal to the highest original ATK on the field, until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of “Ta-Koro, Village of Fire” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

This principle also guides the design of the Field Spell representing the village, as well as the strategy surrounding it. First you have a protection effect on the condition that you control multiple FIRE monsters (and no others) – a reference to both the solid walls surrounding Ta-Koro and the idea that protecting one’s allies is a notable way to show courage. But most defining for the playstyle is the second effect, which allows your FIRE monsters to always win in battle if they are courageously facing a monster with higher ATK. Higher original ATK, that is.

That last part, as you might imagine, is the one you’re meant to “abuse” in order to win the game. Essentially, a Ta-Koro deck is focused around boosting the ATK of your own monsters and/or reducing that of the opponent’s monsters before you charge into battle and inflict massive damage. Ideally you want 8000 or more, but if you don’t get there, the walls of Ta-Koro might just let you survive a turn so you can finish the job.

The first precondition to making all this work is of course getting Attack Position monsters to both sides of the field, as your damage potential will be considerably limited if you are only attacking directly. Luckily, this basic setup can be guaranteed by the village’s leader, Turaga Vakama.

Turaga Vakama

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [◀ ▼] | FIRE Spellcaster | ATK 1400

2 monsters, including a FIRE Warrior monster
During your Main Phase: You can activate this effect; each player reveals the top card of their Deck, and if a player revealed a FIRE Warrior monster, they Special Summon that monster. Otherwise, they Special Summon 1 “Vision Token” (Warrior/FIRE/Level 3/ATK 1500/DEF 0) in Attack Position, but it cannot be Tributed or used as material for a Synchro or Link Summon. If a monster is destroyed by battle: Draw 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Vakama” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Noble Kanohi Huna

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster, your opponent’s monsters cannot target it for attacks while you control another monster. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 monster, then target 1 “Turaga Vakama” in your GY; Special Summon it and equip it with this card. You can only use this effect of “Noble Kanohi Huna” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Known to experience visions of the future, Vakama comes with an activated effect to peek at the future that is the top card of each player’s Deck, and depending on what is found there, will cause that player to Special Summon a monster to your field. If a FIRE Warrior, which is of course the Attribute and Type of Ta-Koro’s inhabitants, is found, it will come to the field with no strings attached, able to attack, use its effects, or be material to your heart’s content. Anything else will instead be replaced by an Attack Position Token that is pretty much stuck on the field until someone destroys it. Bottom line is that no matter how this effect resolves, it will end with an additional monster on each side of the field, which is exactly what this strategy wants. Even better is the fact that your opponent’s will, in all likelihood, be the Attack Position Token with an ATK stat that is just a little bigger than Vakama’s own and thus enables the boost from Ta-Koro.

The secondary effect simply rewards you for sticking to the battle-focused gameplan with a free draw, which is of course convenient to offset the discard cost of Ta-Koro. It also combos with Vakama’s Mask of Concealment, the Kanohi Huna, which forces the opponent to get over your other monsters first if they want to attack him, thus giving you the opportunity to get another draw before he’s destroyed. And on your next turn, as is generally the case with the Turaga’s Noble Kanohi, you can just Tribute something (though sadly not a Vision Token) to bring the Huna and its wearer right back to the field.

We’ve covered how to get the monsters needed for battle, but to get some really good damage going and deal with potential impediments to our rather simplistic win condition, it’s going to need some more help. This is where the Ta-Matoran come in, making up both the majority of the village’s population and of our Main Deck monster lineup.

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)

C.C. Matoran Kapura

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 600 / DEF 200

If a “C.C. Matoran” monster you control attacks, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects 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 up to 2 attacks on monsters during this Battle Phase. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kapura” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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 its effects are negated. 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 that 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 (v3.21.6)

Jala, as the captain of the Ta-Koro Guard, leads your Matoran (and other low-level FIRE Warriors, including Vakama’s Vision Token!) into battle and boosts their ATK as long as there is actually an enemy force to take on. He also helps you gather your fighters on the field in the first place by allowing an extra Normal Summon of a Matoran or specifically a FIRE Toa (more on that below).

Kapura is a mysterious character mostly known for his skill in traveling quickly by moving slowly, and as a member of The Chronicler’s Company. His first effect is direct support for that group, but also applies to himself in a Ta-Koro deck, making it so your opponent literally gets Kapura’d and cannot react in time to respond whenever he attacks – and with backup such as your Field Spell, this is extremely dangerous despite the low ATK stat. The second effect implements his signature combination of slow and fast, speeding up your damage output with a double attack on the rather slow condition that a monster has to survive a whole turn first. Makes for a good backup plan in case you can’t immediately OTK or are forced to go first.

Lhii the Surfer is a legendary Ta-Matoran who never truly existed and was merely made up by Vakama in memory of Toa Lhikan, which is why his stats are both 0 and he doesn’t actually do anything on the field. However, he makes significant contributions in the Battle Phase by either weakening an opponent’s monster from the hand – allowing you to clear pesky obstacles such as battle protection – or joining the battle himself by rising from the GY with the ATK of an opponent’s monster you just destroyed (but still an original ATK of 0, conveniently). Granted, I’m not sure how that last one makes sense given the fact that he isn’t real, but it certainly is useful to take out that last bit of LP. And of course, you can’t do both in one turn because the discard cost of the hand effect would mean the GY effect could immediately trigger from the same battle, which would be silly.

And if an enemy is too great to defeat even with all the tools the deck has access to in battle? If there are perhaps multiple humongous monsters blocking your way and the single Ta-Koro boost is not enough to get rid of them all? Well in that case, we need a hero.

Toa Mata Tahu

Effect MonsterLevel 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2500 / DEF 1500

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute a FIRE or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Tahu”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if a monster battles, after damage calculation: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; its ATK becomes 0, also if it is destroyed by battle this turn, your opponent takes damage equal to its original ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Hau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, also you take no battle damage from battles involving it. If this card is sent to the GY: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; add 1 “Toa Mata Tahu” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Hau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Tahu is possibly the greatest OTK enabler Ta-Koro has when faced with a large number of monsters. After a battle has occurred (no matter who battled, or who won), he can reduce the ATK of a monster that remains on the field to 0 and make it so that monster’s destruction in battle will burn your opponent for its original ATK this turn. Or in other words, he sets monsters on fire so they can’t fight properly and die in a big explosion when you hit them. And the Kanohi Hau, Mask of Shielding, offers simple battle protection that lets you trigger Tahu’s effect with zero risk.

Sample Deck

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=10262211

Since the Battle Phase is our main win condition and there’s not that much you can do to set up a first-turn board while sticking to FIRE monsters, the deck is generally built to go second. That means we use both handtraps such as Ash Blossom (conveniently matches the Attribute!) and Infinite Impermanence to hopefully stop the opponent from setting up anything we can’t deal with, and cards like Lightning Storm, Harpie’s Feather Duster, and the Kaiju package in the Side Deck to expand the range of what we can deal with. There’s also an argument to be made that you could focus on going first with more diverse Attributes in the Extra Deck (since you aren’t locked or anything) and take advantage of Ta-Koro’s protection and Kapura-granted double attacks, but I haven’t tried that yet, so …

The line you basically want to go for, after using the going second staples to bring your opponent’s field as close as possible to the ideal of “multiple Attack Position monsters that don’t do anything”, is pretty simple: Put as many FIRE Warriors on the field as you can (with some combination of Jala’s extra Normal Summon, Takua getting Kapura from the Deck, and the free Special Summons offered by Red Layer/Sublimation Knight/Renaud), make Isolde and/or Vakama in order to get even more FIRE Warriors on the field, go into whatever Links and Synchros maximize your damage output in the present gamestate, and ideally activate Ta-Koro, bring out Tahu, and get Lhii into your GY. If you manage to do all of these, it’s usually an OTK, if you just do some it’s still a good bit of damage. I:P Masquerena and Avramax are a good combination to have available in case you do find yourself with the need to survive another turn.

Best of Test

Best of Test: Ta-Koro (v3.12.10)

Conclusion

Ta-Koro is a straightforward beatdown deck with OTK potential, whose special thematic feature is that you generally want to courageously hit over monsters (the bigger the better) in order to benefit from the Field Spell’s ATK boost and trigger other effects that significantly increase your damage output. This is helped by Vakama putting a Token on your opponent’s field while also increasing the number of attackers you have available, and if you can’t finish the job in one turn, there’s still at least built-in destruction protection for your FIRE monsters.