I guess I should get around to this one before it slips my mind again, huh.
Welcome to the very first Theme Guide featuring BPEV cards, specifically the mystery substance that is secretly the root cause of just about the whole Bionicle lore: Energized Protodermis.
This shiny silver liquid had its first appearance at the end of 2002 and immediately exhibited its strange properties by transforming the Toa Mata into the Toa Nuva when they came in contact with it. As the story went on, we also learnt that it will destroy anything that does not have a destiny to transform, that the substance is in fact sapient, and finally that its discovery on the ancient planet Spherus Magna was what ultimately led to the Core War, The Shattering, and the creation of the Matoran Universe as a whole. So yeah, it’s kinda important.
But as we still remain on the island of Mata Nui, what matters for now is its basic ability to transform those who are destined and destroy all others. Hence its current implementation as a small, simple archetype revolving around two key phrases – “Fusion Summon” and “send it to the GY”.
Energized Protodermis ChamberEffect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0
If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 Special Summoned monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.
Both of them can immediately be seen in our sole Main Deck monster, Energized Protodermis Chamber. When Normal or Special Summoned (the latter of which it inherently allows you to do against established boards), it fuses with exactly 1 monster in your hand, and when fused by any effect except that one, it has a mandatory Trigger Effect to send a Special Summoned monster from the field to the GY.
Let’s unpack that bit by bit. The main effect is obviously the one that performs a Fusion Summon, and the idea is to “induce transformations” by Energized Protodermis to turn the monster in your hand into its upgraded form from the Extra Deck. This paradigm is currently implemented on the Toa Nuva, represented below by their glorious leader.
Toa Nuva TahuFusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1900
“Toa Mata Tahu” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 other face-up Attack Position monster on the field; its ATK becomes 0, and if it does, this card gains ATK equal to that monster’s original ATK, until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Tahu” once per turn.
That, of course, is an entirely separate archetype that just incorporates Energized Protodermis by design, but what’s relevant for this guide is just the first line with the Fusion Materials: A specifically named Toa Mata, plus any “Energized Protodermis” monster. This is how we represent the destined transformations – if exactly the correct individual comes into contact with Energized Protodermis, a new being will be born. Also keep in mind that Toa Mata are Level 6 monsters, so Chamber taking the other material from the hand specifically saves you a Tribute Summon.
The other half of Energized Protodermis is that it will destroy those not destined to transform by it, and this is represented in a slightly roundabout way by the mandatory effect sending a monster to the GY. The idea is that “forcibly” using it as Fusion Material is a violation of destiny, and so the destruction kicks in, eliminating a Special Summoned monster such as the one you just Fusion Summoned. Or, and this is pure bullshit for gameplay convenience, you can also hit any other Special Summoned monster including your opponent’s, so this drawback can be twisted into a major advantage if you play your cards right. It will just sometimes give you trouble when going first. And even though I say “destruction”, it’s implemented as non-destruction removal because of how almost nothing can resist it in-universe.
Funnily enough, as long as you use Chamber’s own effect to fuse, it has no problem whatsoever with making things that aren’t lore-accurate, destiny-conforming transformations. In fact, any Fusion is fair game as long as this particular Level 2 LIGHT Aqua monster is valid material for it, including quite a few pretty significant boss monsters from existing archetypes. That freedom is the main thing allowing us to mix Energized Protodermis with a lot of things other than just the Toa Mata/Nuva.
An additional option you have, at least under somewhat specific conditions, is the archetype’s own Fusion Monster: Energized Protodermis Flow.
Energized Protodermis FlowFusion Effect MonsterLevel 4 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0
2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters
If this Fusion Summoned card is sent to the GY: Look at your opponent’s Extra Deck and send 1 monster from it to the GY. During your Main Phase: You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by banishing 2 Fusion Materials mentioned on it from your GY, including this card. You can only use each effect of “Energized Protodermis Flow” once per turn.
While 2 monsters from the archetype is normally a really easy and generic material requirement, that’s not so true when the archetype currently only has a single Main Deck monster. Basically, Chamber + Chamber is your only means to bring this out, which won’t come up outside of very specific situations.
If it does, though, one of the Chambers would be fused away by an external effect, hence triggering its mandatory effect to send a monster on the field to the GY. Ideally this is aimed at your opponent’s side as removal, but Flow is also built to take a little advantage of the cases where no targets other than itself are available, since it will then proceed to relay the archetypal “send to GY” to the opponent’s Extra Deck. Also, it can be used to Fusion Summon from the GY, which technically works even if it wasn’t on the field before (but it’s kind of hard to usefully mill a 0 ATK monster from the Extra Deck).
To walk back that earlier statement a little, there are a few other ways to make this monster. It’s Level 4, so Instant Fusion works, and the effect to send from the opponent’s Extra Deck will then trigger in the End Phase even if you don’t have a way to e.g. Link it off more quickly. Or you could use the final card currently included in the archetype.
Energized Protodermis DestinyQuick-Play Spell
Target 1 face-up monster you control; Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis Token” (Aqua/LIGHT/Level 2/ATK 0/DEF 0), then apply 1 of these effects.
●Send the targeted monster to the GY, and if you do, you can destroy that Token and Special Summon 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster from your Deck.
●Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster that mentions an “Energized Protodermis” monster as material from your Extra Deck in Defense Position, using only that Token and the targeted monster as Fusion Material.
You can only activate 1 “Energized Protodermis Destiny” per turn.
Energized Protodermis Destiny is the entire transformation/destruction dynamic on which all the effects are based, encapsulated into one neat little Quick-Play Spell.
When you activate this card, you take the role of a Great Being shortly before everything went to shit and conduct an experiment with a little sample of Energized Protodermis in the form of a Token. If the unwitting guinea pig you targeted at activation has a destiny to transform, you can carry out that transformation with a Fusion Summon, limited to Defense Position because this works in the Battle Phase. Otherwise, your only option is to send the target to the GY, but in order to study the strange substance more closely (and still benefit in some way), you can then trade your Token for an actual Energized Protodermis monster in your Deck. Which, notably, will trigger Chamber, so under the right circumstances both options secretly say “Fusion Summon”.
Aside from the straightforward Toa Nuva deck that will be covered in its own guide eventually, you have a couple interesting build options that take advantage of Energized Protodermis and its particular characteristics.
One example I’ve worked out in detail and tested is Pure Energized Protodermis Shaddoll Invoked (P.E.P.S.I).
The key synergy lies in El Shaddoll Construct and Invoked Mechaba having a generic LIGHT material that can be covered by an Energized Protodermis monster, so Chamber + a Shaddoll or Aleister is a hand that makes the respective boss monster in basically a single move. This is especially valuable with the Shaddolls, since it gives you an additional way to send them to the GY and trigger their effects, but on the Invoked side too, having an alternative to the classic combo helps you bait out and play through more things. That’s especially true going second, where you’ll usually be able to Special Summon Chamber and then, should it get negated, just follow up with an unhindered Normal Summon of Aleister to make Mechaba anyway.
Another way the archetypes line up is in the Fusion Spells: Shaddoll Fusion can use materials from the Deck under certain conditions, and Invocation from the GY. That gives you two extremely efficient ways of triggering the mandatory effect on Energized Protodermis Chamber in order to poke a hole in a board of Special Summoned monsters. And since the timing at which it triggers is sharead with the Fusion Summon itself, having Magical Meltdown active will render your opponent unable to respond to this threat.
Finally, we also have Energized Protodermis Flow summonable by Chamber + Chamber, Destiny targeting Chamber, or plain old Instant Fusion. You can get this into the GY at your leisure using Gravity Controller, where it can then create the aforementioned Fusions practically ex nihilo … and also Invoked Augoeides, because as it turns out a Fusion in the GY is still a Fusion.
To take proper advantage of both Shaddoll Fusion and Chamber’s S E N D, this deck tries to go second, which also enables the use of powerful board breakers including Forbidden Droplet and Super Polymerization.
If you lean just a little further into the Bionicle aspect and also add just a smidgen of Toa Nuva to this formula, you obtain another similar recipe that is no longer Pure, but rather Protodermically Energized Nuva Invoked Shaddoll. You’re not getting an acronym for this one.
Of course, Tahu and Onua here could be any other pair of Toa, or even just one to leave a little more space. Either way, there really isn’t much difference to the PEPSI deck – in fact a lot of the time you’re just doing Invoked/Shaddoll stuff and that’s enough to last you a whole game. But the occasional chance you get to bring out a Toa Nuva does feel nice, as does sometimes being able to search your Energized Protodermis cards via Nuva Symbols. While it’s nowhere near as good as a proper Nuva deck and fitting in all the necessary cards is a real struggle, it’s another option to play around with for some fun.
I previously compiled some footage of these two builds into the Best of Test: Energized Protodermis video, as seen below.
Beyond that, there’s some more ideas that could be worth exploring in the future. In a similar vein to Shaddoll, Albion is a Fusion with a generic LIGHT material and Branded Fusion a compatible Fusion Spell using materials from the Deck, so some kind of Branded pile going second could make real good use of Chamber.
Or, to go even more modern, you could follow the Type instead of the Attribute and put Chamber to work as the Aqua material of Tearlaments Kitkallos. Probably not particularly optimal in that Deck since it’s a) useless when milled and b) won’t trigger its removal effect if shuffled back into the Deck as material, but perhaps it could to some degree serve as additional copies of Instant Fusion. Maybe even a replacement in a hypothetical future where that card is banned. Sure, it takes another Tearlaments monster to work, but that monster’s effect would then also trigger to Fusion Summon at least Rulkallos,
in the process triggering Kitkallos to mill 5,I may have managed to forget how Tear fusion effects work in the span of 2 sentences here and holy hell it’s already sounding insane. Might have to try this after all.
Energized Protodermis a substance whose central property is that, upon contact, it transforms those who are destined and destroys those who are not. Translated to cards, this becomes a small Fusion engine whose main monster is a combination of Fusion Spell and material, meant to be merged with certain specific monsters in order to fulfill their destiny of evolution. Meanwhile, fusing it by external means will cause a violent destructive reaction that sends a Special Summoned monster from the field to the GY – potentially an opponent’s monster, so what is a liability going first can be utilized as a weapon going second.
In addition to the currently intended use case with the Toa Nuva, Energized Protodermis can be splashed into a variety of Fusion decks, the one condition being that some purple card in the Extra Deck can use exactly Energized Protodermis Chamber as material. In such a hybrid, the base strategy is enhanced with not only an additional way to Fusion Summon, but also with the potential of targeting non-destruction removal tied to its own Fusion Spells.