Release: Tale of the Toa

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At last, the time has come. BCOT has had its last few cards remade, and is now only one final round of polish away from its complete release that will be followed by the next evolution of BYE. But for this month, the news are just the cards added to the current version and a small adjustment of the roadmap.

Oh, and also adding these last few cards has finally made it possible to write the last two remaining Theme Guides, where you will find detailed information on the strategies mainly affected by this update:

And so, design notes.

New/Reworked Cards

The titular Tale of the Toa is represented by a series of three cards chronicling the Toa Mata’s arrival on the island of Mata Nui.

1.0.0

Call of the Toa Stones

Trap

You take no Battle Damage this turn, also shuffle your entire hand into the Deck and draw the same number of cards, then you can activate any of the following effects in sequence, depending on the number of “Toa” monsters in your hand, and discard 1 card.
●0: Add 1 “Toa” monster from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand.
●1+: Special Summon this card as a Normal Monster (Rock-Type/LIGHT/Level 6/ATK 0/DEF 0). It cannot be destroyed by card effects.
●2+: Special Summon 1 “Toa” monster from your hand.
●3+: Add 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell Card from your Deck to your hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.21.5

Call of the Toa Stones

Spell

Discard 1 card; roll a six-sided die and excavate cards from the top of your Deck equal to the result, and if you do, you can add up to 2 excavated “Toa Mata” monsters with different names to your hand, also shuffle the rest into the Deck. Then, apply this effect, based on the number of cards added to your hand this way. You can only activate 1 “Call of the Toa Stones” per turn.
●0: Set 1 “Coming of the Toa” directly from your Deck. It can be activated this turn.
●1: Add 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to your hand.
●2: Gain 2000 LP.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

First on the list is Call of the Toa Stones, and I just had to put the comparison between the old and new versions in for this one because holy shit almost everything changed. What was previously a Trap Card meant to keep you alive for a turn after you bricked while also replacing the brick with something more playable is now a Spell that directly searches you the cards you need to play in the most convoluted way possible. The image is now also different. And obviously the effect has been updated into something more functional.

The change of card type is because it occured to me that, in a game where a single undisrupted turn can very well make a setup that locks the other player out of the game, taking that long to repair a terrible opening hand is probably a bad idea even if you’re guaranteed to technically not die. And it also kind of sucks to have one of your main consistency cards be a Trap in an archetype that would otherwise be pretty decent going second. By making it a Spell, we get to do the unbricking quickly and proactively enough to actually be useful, and the part where the card prevents damage is still kind of sneakily represented by the 2000 LP it gains you if you’re really lucky.

As for the different image, I’ll have to honestly admit that I never actually played Quest for the Toa (where both images are from) and just got the artwork from BS01 back in the day. It was only when I watched the game’s ending sequence more recently that I noticed the wiki’s gallery is actually missing a shot, and that particular one happens to be a much better fit for a square canvas while also showing the “Call” itself more clearly. So obviously I had to swap it in, and I think the result is a clear improvement.

Some things I would like to note about the updated effect is that excavating up to 6 cards is a direct reference to Takua, who was of course majorly involved in the depicted event, and that the die roll to decide the number of excavated cards was mostly added because one of the few people who actually comment on my Youtube videos suggested I do some gambling effects. As I always say, I do appreciate any input I can get.

1.0.0

Coming of the Toa

Trap

Target up to 3 Level 4 or lower monsters in your Graveyard that were destroyed this turn; Special Summon 1 “Toa” monster with the same Attribute from your hand or Deck for each of these monsters. Monsters Special Summoned by this effect cannot attack during the turn they are Summoned. If this face-down card is destroyed by your opponent’s card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can destroy all monsters you control (min. 1); Special Summon 1 “Toa” monster from your hand or Deck. You can only activate 1 “Coming of the Toa” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.2.15

Coming of the Toa

Trap

Target up to 3 monsters with different names in your GY; Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster from your Deck with the same Attribute as each target, but they cannot attack, also return them to the hand during the End Phase. Then, if all targets are in the GY because they were sent there this turn, you can place 1 “Quest for the Masks” from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You cannot Special Summon monsters with 2000 or more ATK the turn you activate this card, except “Toa” monsters. You can only activate 1 “Coming of the Toa” per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Coming of the Toa changed much less drastically, but since we were already comparing I might as well keep doing that. In both the old and the new version, the idea is to get a bunch of Toa at once to your field after your GY has been filled with monsters of matching Attributes. The old one was much more restrictive about this, letting you only work with monsters that were destroyed the turn you activate it, and thus needed a second effect to still bring out a Toa if it was destroyed before the activation conditions were met. The new one drops both the same-turn requirement and the secondary effect, instead making it a convenient chainable Trap Card at any point after you have set up your GY. It also adds some harsher restrictions to balance out its powerlevel, which the card most likely should have had in the first place anyway.

Special thanks to the card Doll House released in 2021, which provided some nice compact PSCT wording for effects that do something “for each” of a number of targets. The EDOPro script was also a good starting point for setting up the complicated targeting procedure this needed.

1.0.0

Quest for the Masks

Continuous Spell

When a monster your opponent controls is destroyed by battle: You can send 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell Card from your Deck to your Graveyard. You can send this card from the field to the Graveyard; add 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell Card from your Graveyard to your hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.21.5

Quest for the Masks

Continuous Spell

When a “Toa” monster is Normal Summoned: You can equip 1 “Great Kanohi” or “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to it. You can send any number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells from your hand to the GY; draw that many cards. You can only use this effect of “Quest for the Masks” once per turn. Once per turn, during the End Phase: You can target 1 of your banished monsters whose Level is less than or equal to the number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells with different names in your GY; Special Summon it, then destroy this card.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

The changes to Quest for the Masks are also fairly tame and basically amount to a speed and utility boost. The part where the Toa gather their masks now happens by equipping when they are Normal Summoned (which kind of recreates the Normal Summon effect the Toa Mata themselves had back then) rather than by milling on battle destruction, and the reward for quest completion was changed from simple Kanohi recycling to a revival from banished that actually takes into account how many masks you really collected. And as a third (second, in terms of order) effect, you now have a way to trade away bricks in Kanohi-heavy decks, a service previously provided by the Kini-Nui.

1.0.0

Gift of the Shrine

Quick-Play Spell

Target 1 “Toa” monster you control and 1 “Suva” you control or in your Graveyard; Banish the second target, then destroy all Equip Spell Cards equipped to the first target and equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell Card from your hand, Deck or Graveyard to it, also you gain 800 LP for each “Kanohi” card in your Graveyard.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.21.5

Gift of the Shrine

Quick-Play Spell

Target 1 face-up monster you control, then activate 1 of these effects;
●Equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your hand or GY to that target.
●Banish 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF you control or in your GY, and if you do, equip 1 “Noble Kanohi” or “Great Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to that target.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Gift of the Shrine kind of almost got nerfed, with it no longer restoring a bunch of LP in addition to equipping a Kanohi. But the new version represents a massive convenience gain, since it can now target monsters other than Toa and has a less powerful effect to use if you don’t have a Suva ready to banish.

1.0.0

Golden Great Kanohi

Equip Spell

Must be equipped to a “Toa” monster that has no “Kanohi” card equipped by banishing 6 “Kanohi” Equip Spell Cards with different names that could be equipped to that monster from your Graveyard. This card gains the effects of each card banished by its effect as long as they remain banished. During each of your End Phases: Shuffle 1 of your banished “Kanohi” Equip Spell Cards into the Deck.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.21.5

Great Golden Kanohi

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. While this card is equipped to a “Toa” monster: You can banish 6 “Great Kanohi” Equip Spells with different names from your GY, and if you do, replace this effect with those banished cards’ original effects. If this card is sent to the GY: You can send 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to the GY; add this card to your hand, then place 1 card from your hand on the bottom of the Deck. You can only use this effect of “Great Golden Kanohi” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

The Great Golden Kanohi underwent a name change to take it out of the “Great Kanohi” sub-archetype. Mechanically, the main adjustments are that copying Kanohi powers now happens as a separate effect while the card is already equipped, that you can only copy Great Kanohi now (to match the lore), and that it actually keeps the copied powers indefinitely. In fact, you could say the effect that returns banished Kanohi was almost reversed into one that helps you set them up in the GY to prepare the Golden Kanohi. I figured something like that was more reasonable to include than a glaring intentional weakness, seeing how banishing your Kanohi stockpile is already such a risky move and the whole thing completely loses to backrow removal.

1.0.0

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

Cannot be destroyed by card effects. You can shuffle this card from your hand into the Deck, and if you do, draw 1 additional card for your next normal draw. If you draw this card during your Draw Phase: Discard it. If this card is banished: Place 1 “Copper Kanohi of Victory” from your Deck on top of your Deck. When this card is sent from the hand or field to the Graveyard, activate 1 of the following effects:
●Send 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell card from your Deck to the Graveyard, except “Copper Kanohi of Victory”.
●This turn, if a “Toa”, “Matoran”, or “Turaga” monster battles an opponent’s monster, destroy that opponent’s monster before Damage Calculation.
You can only activate 1 effect of “Copper Kanohi of Victory” per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.21.5

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. At the start of the Damage Step, if a “Matoran”, “Turaga”, or “Toa” monster equipped with this card battles an opponent’s monster: You can destroy both this card and that opponent’s monster. When a monster declares an attack while this card is in your GY: You can equip this card to the monster you control with the highest ATK, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “Copper Kanohi of Victory” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

For the Copper Kanohi of Victory, I left behind the admittedly cute and unique mechanics centered around randomly drawing the card and instead made it something more in line with the general pattern used by other Kanohi. That said, “victory” is still the basic idea behind the effects, and the main one on field is pretty much just an adaptation of the most useful thing it did originally.

1.0.0

Makoki Stone

Continuous Trap

When the effect of a “Toa”, “Matoran”, or “Turaga” card is activated: Place 1 counter on this card. During either player’s turn: You can send this card with 6 or more counters to the Graveyard; Add 1 Spell/Trap Card from your Deck to your hand. You can only control 1 face-up “Makoki Stone”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v1.0.0)
3.21.5

Makoki Stone

Continuous Trap

When this card is activated: Banish 1 card from your Deck, face-down. Each time an effect of a “Matoran”, “Turaga”, or “Toa” card is activated, place 1 Key Counter on this card when that effect resolves (max. 6). You can send this card with 6 Key Counters to the GY; add the card banished by this card’s effect to your hand. You can only control 1 face-up “Makoki Stone”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

The Makoki Stone now more accurately reflects the idea of sealing something and then unsealing it when 6 keys are gathered, by simply banishing the card you want to get at activation. To make up for the additional risk taken this way, it can now also search monsters, even if the lore technically has no precedent for sealing a living creature or something like that.

Initially my overhaul also had a condition that prevented using the searched card the same turn you add it to your hand, but between the inherent delay of a Trap card and the need to get 6 effects off for the keys, it was just way too slow to ever work. By the way, the wording may sound like you can also gain counters by activating archetypal Spells and Traps like “Coming of the Toa”, but as I learnt after looking up rulings, this clause does in fact ignore the activations of Spell/Trap Cards (but not their effects when they are already on the field, GY, etc). Might still change this to explicitly say “monsters” to avoid confusion, since there aren’t really any other Matoran/Toa/Turaga cards that qualify currently.

Updated

3.11.0

C.C. Matoran Kapura

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

If a “C.C. Matoran” monster you control attacks, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated until the end of the Damage Step. At the start of your Battle Phase: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 face-up monster you control that was not Summoned this turn; it can make a second attack during this Battle Phase. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Kapura” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.0.0)
3.21.5

C.C. Matoran Kapura

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

If a “C.C. Matoran” monster you control attacks, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated until the end of the Damage Step. At the start of your Battle Phase: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 face-up monster you control that was not Summoned this turn; it can make 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 (v3.21.5)

This one has been mentioned before, so no surprises here. Kapura now only grants a second attack on monsters rather than a second attack in general, since the restriction to monsters not Summoned that turn proved too light when cards like Omega can basically fulfill it without risk or effort.

3.20.4

Matoran Musician Makani

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

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower “Matoran” monster from your hand. If this card is in your GY, except during the turn it was sent there: You can banish this card, then target 1 WIND Warrior monster in your GY, except “Matoran Musician Makani”; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Musician Makani” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)
3.21.5

Matoran Musician Makani

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

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned from the hand: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower “Matoran” monster from your hand. If this card is in your GY, except during the turn it was sent there: You can banish this card, then target 1 WIND Warrior monster in your GY, except “Matoran Musician Makani”; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Musician Makani” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Makani‘s overall level of convenience just felt a bit too high despite the individual effects all being fairly tame, so I limited the effect on Summon to trigger only if you are bringing him out from the hand. This stops it from having synergy with Isolde and revival effects, while still working the same as a Normal Summon or when Special Summoned by Matau in a Le-Koro deck.

3.20.4

Turaga Matau

Link Effect MonsterLink-2 [↙ ▶] | WIND Spellcaster | ATK 1400

2 monsters, including a WIND Warrior monster
During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower WIND monster from your hand in Attack Position, but its ATK becomes 0. If this card is sent from the field to the GY: You can activate this effect; during the Standby Phase of your next turn, add 1 other WIND monster from your GY to your hand, then, if your opponent controls more monsters than you do, you can make all monsters they currently control lose 700 ATK/DEF until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)
3.21.5

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

That same Turaga Matau also got a change of exactly 1 word in this update, but rather than a balance improvement, this one is just to avoid some annoying edge cases. Previously, his delayed effect that adds a WIND monster from GY to hand during your next Standby Phase after he goes there couldn’t be used to recycle himself, but in theory, “1 other WIND monster” COULD be the same physical copy of Turaga Matau if it somehow leaves the GY and returns there during the delay. That is very stupid, so I just went and dropped the “other” to avoid the problem entirely.

Roadmap Change

Just a slight change of plans: Instead of doing both the final refactoring/release of BCOT and the update to 4.0 with the first BPEV cards in June, I’ve decided to focus on BCOT only that month and push the new cards back by one release cycle, so to August. I fear I’d end up half-assing the important last layer of polish due to lack of time otherwise, and I also might to do some internal updates to my tools and workflow before starting on the next expansion. This unfortunately means we won’t be getting to the Bohrok-Kal this year, unless something else goes faster than expected.

The main roadmap post has already been updated with this information.

Theme Guide: Toa Mata

When the Great Spirit was cast into a deep slumber, the Toa Mata were the six heroes sent out to rectify the situation. However, some faulty equipment caused them to miss their intended landing point and float in the ocean for a thousand years before they could actually begin their mission, turning them into the colorful sentai team of amnesiac skeletons we know and love today. Now, it is time to dive into the cards representing these central figures of Bionicle lore and their tale.

Tahu

Toa Mata Tahu

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

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 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 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 (v3.14.3)

Tahu triggers after a battle has occured to target another opponent’s monster and “set it on fire”. This lowers its ATK 0 permanently and makes it so that being destroyed by battle during the same turn will result in an explosion that directly damages your opponent.

Gali

Toa Mata Gali

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

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Gali”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if 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 (v3.14.3)

Gali‘s effect can be chained to any monster effect activated by the player whose turn it currently is not. She allows you to target a monster and negate its effects, and this also makes herself gain 700 ATK permanently, building towards a truly torrential force with enough patience.

Onua

Toa Mata Onua

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

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 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 that target on the top or bottom of the Deck, and if it was a monster whose original ATK in the GY was lower than or equal to this card’s current ATK, gain LP equal to the difference.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Onua triggers when a monster is sent from the hand or Deck to the GY. He lets you target a card in either GY, place it on the top or bottom of the Deck, and gain LP if it was a monster with sufficiently low ATK. This Earthshattering Event has extremely varied applications, ranging from recycling your own cards to disrupting your opponent’s combos to setting up a dead draw for the next turn.

Pohatu

Toa Mata Pohatu

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Pohatu destroys a Spell/Trap when a monster is Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, or when such a monster activates its effect (on a new chain after resolution, because it is still a Trigger Effect). And if you are roleplaying the “kicking rocks” theme of this effect so well that there actually is a Rock monster on your field, you get a second pop, too.

Kopaka

Toa Mata Kopaka

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

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. If this card attacks, it is changed to Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase. If 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 because of an opponent’s card effect: You can banish 1 card your opponent controls.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

Kopaka triggers when your opponent causes another of your cards to leave the field, and will non-targetingly banish one of their cards in a freezing retaliatory strike.

Much like he is the one Toa Mata to hold two different pieces of equipment in his hands, a sword and a shield, he is also the only one to have another effect on the field. After battle, he will automatically change to Defense Position to become a respectable 2.5k wall, and this wall is further strengthened by the fact that your opponent cannot attack your other monsters while he is in that state.

Lewa

Toa Mata Lewa

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

To Tribute Summon this card face-up, you can Tribute 1 WIND or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Lewa”. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the hand, Main Deck, 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 while on the field, you can return 1 additional monster on the field to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Lewa triggers off any Special Summon from the hand, Main Deck, or GY that happens while he is already on the field (so no, his own Summon doesn’t count). His effect lets you target a monster on the field and bounce it back to the hand, as is common in the WIND Attribute, and if that monster was previously on your field, you also get to bounce a second monster chosen at resolution. This basically allows you to bypass targeting protection at the cost of having to remove some of your field as well.

Aside from the individual traits outlined in the tabs above, there are some noteworthy shared aspects to discuss. The Toa Mata are all Warriors of varying Attributes, and they are Level 6 because that’s kind of an iconic number and also feels like about the right placement for Toa in general – they’re too special to be among the low-level “fodder”, but also not that individually powerful compared to some of the other crazy beings that can be found in the Matoran Universe.

This choice of Level means they require a Tribute to Normal Summon and are therefore horrendous unplayable bricks by default. The normal (and most effective) way to work around this would be adding some handy built-in Special Summoning conditions, but to properly match the delayed arrival of this Toa team, I went with something slower instead and made a “simplified” Tribute Summon the standard method of bringing them out. What that means is that they all share an effect that allows their Tribute to come from the hand instead of the field, provided it is either another Toa Mata or a different monster of their same Attribute. This way, they are actually pretty easy (though still somewhat expensive) to Summon provided you are playing them in either a dedicated Toa Mata deck or an Attribute-based strategy (likely their village‘s), which is exactly how they’re meant to be used.

Once you get the monsters on your field, they each provide different effects meant to represent their elemental powers. These effects are relatively strong, but bogged down by another intentional inconvenience included in the design: As the Toa Mata are fundamentally a reactive force created to respond when the universe is in danger, their effects too will only activate in response to certain events. The trigger conditions are mostly generic enough that you can reasonably set them off yourself and not wait for your opponent to play into them, but that still means a Toa Mata alone is often no more than a beatstick. Refer to the individual descriptions for more detail on these effects and how to trigger them.


What we have so far is just a lineup of mighty heroes with some pretty inconvenient downsides, so it’s going to take a bit of external help to work around those downsides and build a deck that feels good to play. Luckily the Toa Mata had some ridiculously good support infrastructure despite being stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, so the lore gives us plenty of setup here.

First and foremost, there’s the 12 Kanohi each of them had access to, but those are covered in detail in a different guide, so let’s just quickly note that they are Equip Spells that grant different effects to Toa and each of the 6 Great ones has a GY effect which banishes a monster from the GY to search the Toa Mata who mainly wears that mask.

To manage the many Kanohi and ensure you have the correct power when you need it, a Suva is absolutely essential, but in a proper Toa Mata strategy, these shrines can do even more than that.

Suva

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand, and while face-up on the field if you control a “-Koro” Field Spell Card, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 500 LP, then target 1 “Toa” monster you control; equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your hand or GY to that target, except a card that is in the GY because it was destroyed while face-up on the field and sent there this turn. If you control a “Toa” monster: You can Special Summon this card from your GY. You can only use this effect of “Suva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

The mask-swapping effect is in fact sandwiched between two other abilities that help the Mata. Since the Suva counts as all Attributes except DARK in the hand, you can always Tribute it for any Toa without even Summoning it first, granting a big consistency boost. And the fact that it comes back from the GY once per turn if you control a Toa immediately offsets the Tribute cost, while ensuring fairly reliable access to any Kanohi you have in the hand or GY.

If Suva is so good, why isn’t there a Suva 2? Well, there is.

Suva Kaita

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand or GY, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card, then target 1 Level 6 “Toa” monster in your GY; Special Summon that target. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 of your banished “Toa” monsters; you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except “Toa” monsters, also Special Summon that target in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Suva Kaita” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Situated at Kini-Nui, the Suva Kaita is a central shrine built not to store Kanohi, but as a gathering point and entrance into what lies beneath the island. It’s mostly symbolic really, but that doesn’t stop me from giving it effects to aid the Toa Mata in working together. Like the regular Suva, it counts as all the Attributes you need while in the hand (and also in the GY – more on that below), and comes with two effects for Special Summoning Toa. The one on the field is a Quick Effect and gets exactly a Level 6 from the GY, but requires the Suva Kaita to Tribute itself. The one in the GY gets back any banished Toa and costs you nothing except banishing the already spent Suva Kaita, but it’s instead restricted by only summoning in Defense Position and comes with an archetypal Extra Deck lock for the rest of the turn. Both of these can be used in the same turn, so with sufficient setup a single Suva Kaita can already get you a Rank 6.

The Great Temple, Kini-Nui

Field Spell

During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.) If a “Toa” monster(s) is Tributed for the Tribute Summon of a “Toa Mata” monster and sent to your GY: You can target 1 of those monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position, but banish it when it leaves the field. During the End Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck. You can only use each effect of “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Zooming out a bit, Kini-Nui is also an important piece of Toa Mata support. As the very location in which the full team finally came together after separate adventures in their respective regions, this is pretty much the Field Spell that does everything the Toa Mata monsters themselves don’t do to directly support each other as a functioning archetype. It grants an additional Normal Summon to make up for the lack of built-in Special Summons (though this part is more relevant to hybrid strategies that also want to play a non-Toa Normal Summon), turns Toa used as Tributes for Toa Mata (often from the hand!) into additional monsters on the field to again enable Rank 6 plays, and fetches either Suva or Suva Kaita from the Deck in the End Phase at the cost of itself.

Since I keep mentioning Rank 6 Xyzs every time an opportunity to put multiple Toa Mata on the field together comes up, I should probably start introducing the Extra Deck monsters that go with the archetype. First off, three mid-bosses representing the teamwork of pairs of Toa Mata.

Magma

Toa Mata Combination – Magma

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1200

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
You can detach 2 materials from this card; send 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, you can halve the ATK/DEF of 1 monster your opponent controls. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 FIRE and 1 EARTH monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Magma” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Storm

Toa Mata Combination – Storm

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2200 / DEF 0

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
During the Main or Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster from your Deck, but its ATK becomes 0 and it cannot be used as material for a Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon, also banish it during the End Phase of the next turn. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 WIND and 1 WATER monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Storm” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Crystal

Toa Mata Combination – Crystal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2000 / DEF 2700

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
When a Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; negate that effect, and if you do, banish that card. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 WATER and 1 EARTH monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Crystal” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Magma combines the powers of Tahu and Onua to call forth something like a volcanic eruption, detaching all materials in one huge burst to both launch a Rock (Hint: The Rock is one of the Suvas) into the GY and make an opponent’s monster’s stats shrink to half under the heat.

Storm is a collaboration of Gali and Lewa, as seen in canon, calling forth a fierce thunderstorm in which the bolts of lightning are replaced by Toa Mata coming out from the Deck during either player’s turn. As such brief flashes, they are robbed of their ATK, can mostly not be used as material for anything, and disappear at the end of the next turn, but their effects remain usable, so this is a great way to throw in a little surprise when your opponent is just about to do something that happens to meet a trigger condition.

Crystal features the iconic tag team of Pohatu and Kopaka, mixing the former’s Spell/Trap hate with the latter’s banishing into a banishing Spell/Trap negate. This is a type of effect missing from both the regular Toa Mata and the generic Rank 6 pool, so it seemed like a useful addition.

To properly link these combinations to their intended materials, they share a second effect where they can, once used up completely (but not on the same turn they used their other effect), tag out for a pair of Toa Mata with exactly the correct Attributes. Due to overlapping Attributes, you can slightly cheat by e.g. turning a Crystal into Gali and Onua, but close enough. In terms of gameplay, this is another way to get the right trigger effects to your field at convenient times and provides a clear long-term resource advantage to using the archetypal Xyz over generic stuff.

A cut above that are the big bosses, the canonical combination models: The Toa Kaita, who come with their own Kanohi as well.

Akamai (+ Aki)

Akamai, Toa Kaita of Valor

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 3000 / DEF 2000

3 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects during the Battle Phase. If this card battles an opponent’s monster, that monster has its effects negated until the end of the Damage Step. Once per turn, if this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: You can detach 1 material from this card; inflict damage to your opponent equal to the destroyed monster’s original ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Aki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, gains 1000 ATK, and can attack all monsters your opponent controls once each, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Wairuha (+ Rua)

Wairuha, Toa Kaita of Wisdom

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2600 / DEF 2600

3 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation. If a material(s) is detached from this card (except during the Damage Step): You can declare 1 card type (Monster, Spell, or Trap); your opponent reveals 1 random card in their hand and the top card of their Deck. Then, apply these effects, in sequence, based on the number of cards of the declared type revealed. You can only use this effect of “Wairuha, Toa Kaita of Wisdom” once per turn.
●1+: Draw 1 card.
●2: Banish 1 card your opponent controls or in their GY.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Rua

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent must keep their hand revealed. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

While Summoning 2 Toa Mata at a time is relatively easy, getting the third one usually requires either multiple turns or a really good hand plus setup, so these are intended as legitimate win conditions for the deck.

Akamai is a certified unga bunga way to end a game. With 3000 ATK, locking your opponents effects in the Battle Phase, negating effects such as battle protection of whatever he is fighting, and burning after winning a battle, the Toa Kaita of Valor pretty much guarantees you at least 3000 damage all by himself. The Kanohi Aki further elevates this to solo OTK potential with 1000 more ATK, piercing damage, and being able to attack all the monsters.

Wairuha on the other hand is the more defensive option you go into if you expect the game to continue. I don’t think it needs to be said that an omninegate, even a non-destroying one, is a pretty strong effect, but in the hands of a wise player, the Toa Kaita of Wisdom grants even more power than that. As a second effect that triggers when a material is detached (and therefore immediately after using the negate), you get to play a little guessing game regarding your opponent’s hand and top of the Deck, and depending on how correct you are, win some crazy plusses. The Kanohi Rua enhances this package with effect immunity so you don’t have to waste the negate on protecting Wairuha, as well as revealing your opponent’s hand to give you an edge when guessing.

Since the two Kanohi that only work on Toa Kaita would be extremely dead draws most of the time, they have a secondary effect when equipped to a regular Toa to let you Xyz Summon with an additional material from your hand. This gives you another way to hit the necessary 3 with reasonable effort.

After introducing the characters, the stage, and the props with which they interact, all that’s missing from this grand show is the story itself. That part is told through a series of three Spells and Traps supporting the Toa Mata archetype.

Call of the Toa Stones

Spell

Discard 1 card; roll a six-sided die and excavate cards from the top of your Deck equal to the result, and if you do, you can add up to 2 excavated “Toa Mata” monsters with different names to your hand, also shuffle the rest into the Deck. Then, apply this effect, based on the number of cards added to your hand this way. You can only activate 1 “Call of the Toa Stones” per turn.
●0: Set 1 “Coming of the Toa” directly from your Deck. It can be activated this turn.
●1: Add 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to your hand.
●2: Gain 2000 LP.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

It all begins with the Call of the Toa Stones, a failsafe activated by the adventurer Takua to call the Toa lost at sea towards the island where they were meant to be. This is essentially the Toa Mata archetype’s standard issue search Spell, but I got carried away and made it way more complicated. Instead of simply adding a monster to the hand, you excavate equal to a die roll (resemblance to the “excavate 6” in Takua’s own effect very intentional), add 0-2 Toa Mata you find to your hand, shuffle the rest back, and then proceed in different ways depending on how many you actually added. This means the randomness just changes your plays and mostly can’t ruin them, and since you get to pick how many you add, higher rolls and more hits can only expand your options.

If you found 2 Toa Mata, your Call has succeeded, the Toa have arrived, you broke even on card advantage, and to celebrate all that you gain a bunch of LP. If you only found 1, you’re able to also grab a Suva or Suva Kaita to support that single Toa, offsetting the initial discard cost in a different way. And if you did not add any cards, you’ll have to live with the minus, but in exchange you can immediately continue the story in the proper way with the Coming of the Toa.

Coming of the Toa

Trap

Target up to 3 monsters with different names in your GY; Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster from your Deck with the same Attribute as each target, but they cannot attack, also return them to the hand during the End Phase. Then, if all targets are in the GY because they were sent there this turn, you can place 1 “Quest for the Masks” from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You cannot Special Summon monsters with 2000 or more ATK the turn you activate this card, except “Toa” monsters. You can only activate 1 “Coming of the Toa” per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

This one, as random Trap Cards in archetypes usually need to be, is kind of crazy. Best case scenario, it gives you three Toa Mata and a Continuous Spell on the field. Potentially during the first turn if you get it with Call and are also able to execute a combo that puts the necessary Attributes in the GY. Even with less perfect setup, you’ll still be able to Summon at least one monster from your Deck, and that tends to be pretty good.

There of course need to be downsides to balance this out, which are as follows:

  1. No attacking with the Summoned monsters.
  2. Everything goes back to the hand at the end of the turn.
  3. The Toa Mata need to be in your Deck.
  4. The only monsters with 2000 or more ATK you can Special Summon during the whole turn you activate this are Toa.

It’s the last two points especially that disqualify this card from being splashable to a degenerate level, since Toa Mata by themselves can be huge bricks in a deck that doesn’t also play their support and making a Wairuha turn 1 is a lot less good when it locks you out of pretty much all other boss monsters. Meanwhile, a dedicated Toa Mata strategy doesn’t have such an easy time setting up the GY for big Coming plays early in the game (hence the Suva Kaita’s ability to substitute for any Attribute), so this mostly acts as another way of throwing whichever Toa Mata your opponent is about to trigger onto the field.

And finally, what the Toa embark on after their Call and Coming is a Quest for the Masks.

Quest for the Masks

Continuous Spell

When a “Toa” monster is Normal Summoned: You can equip 1 “Great Kanohi” or “Noble Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to it. You can send any number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells from your hand to the GY; draw that many cards. You can only use this effect of “Quest for the Masks” once per turn. Once per turn, during the End Phase: You can target 1 of your banished monsters whose Level is less than or equal to the number of “Kanohi” Equip Spells with different names in your GY; Special Summon it, then destroy this card.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

This is slightly more generic support for Toa and Kanohi in general, and particularly good in Toa Mata since it’s searchable. It equips Kanohi from the Deck on Normal Summon and trades Kanohi you bricked on for draws, but especially notable for the purpose of this guide is the End Phase effect to trade itself for a banished monster. This is meant to synergize with the Great Kanohi’s cost of banishing a monster to search their respective Toa Mata, but also has other uses like bringing back a Suva Kaita (only needs one Kanohi!) that used both its effects already.

Sample Decks

A relatively pure way to play Toa Mata is by mixing them with Kanohi, in particular the “Great” subset of them. The basic win condition of this deck is establishing one or more Toa on the field together with a Suva, and filling the GY with as many Kanohi as possible. This gives you a boss monster that can be endowed with any necessary protection or offensive boost at will, while possibly also disrupting the opponent with its own effect depending on which Toa you picked.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is obviously Isolde, who turns any two Toa on the field into a full Kanohi setup plus a fresh Toa on the field. But you also have more thematic ways of gathering Kanohi via Quest for the Masks, Gift of the Shrine, and the Golden Kanohi, and by using those you keep your Toa on the field free to overlay into the archetypal Xyz Monsters, which are also capable of using Kanohi powers. The major weakness of this deck is the sheer amount of Kanohi it plays, making it very easy to find multiple in your opening hand instead of directly playable cards. When that happens, you better hope Quest for the Masks is also there to unbrick you.

Shout out to Skill Drain for being the only non-custom card in the Main Deck, it just makes too much sense when the strategy is beatsticks who gain their powers from Equip Spells.


If you want to be a bit more experimental, but still remain lore-friendly, you can consider an alliance of the Toa Mata with the Chronicler’s Company, AKA C.C. Matoran. Instead of stuffing the deck with all the Kanohi it can take, we just play a few particularly useful ones to enable Isolde combos, which the C.C. Matoran can execute easily while climbing into Link-4 boss monsters. Doing so will automatically give you access to some Toa by searching them with Kanohi or setting up Attributes for Coming of the Toa in the GY, and those can either become additional threats right away (if you have a spare Normal Summon via Kini-Nui or got Coming from Call) or serve as powerful followup on subsequent turns.

Due to these basically guaranteed searches, the deck plays only one of each Toa Mata, so Call of the Toa Stones will most frequently be used to Set a Coming of the Toa that can be activated during the same turn. For these situations, I:P Masquerena is especially handy because ending on her and Isolde means you don’t Special Summon any non-Toa monsters with 2000 or more ATK, can use Coming to ideally get a Toa Kaita on turn 1, and then link into an indestructible Avramax during your opponent’s turn.


And if you really want to make sure you don’t brick on any Kanohi, here’s a somewhat less immersive deck that gets away with playing zero of them. Instead, we use Prank-Kids as our main combo to make the usual Battle Butler and then use the plethora of Attributes in the GY for a big Summon with Coming of the Toa on the next turn. This is strictly a multi-turn setup even if you get the quick activation for Coming with Call of the Toa Stones, since Prank-Kids Dodo-Doodle-Doo (why are their names like this?) will usually be needed to complete the main combo and has just enough to ATK to clash with the restriction on Coming of the Toa.

The uneven ratios of Toa here, with 2 Tahu, 2 Lewa, and 1 of everyone else, are just to reduce the chances of not having an Attribute left in the Deck. This way, opening Tahu or Lewa still leaves you with a FIRE/WIND target for Coming of the Toa.

Demo Video

Best of Test: Toa Mata

The tests shown here span multiple versions, so you can even see a few different iterations of the decks I came up with. The Toa Mata generally performed really well in tests against the AI, with some obvious bricking issues in the more Kanohi-heavy builds, and a hilariously large part of that seems to be how often they just happen to have the largest ATK stat on the field.

My feeling is that the high winrate is more due to the bots having trouble with stuff like that than the archetype being (too) strong, but there were a few interactions that occasionally felt just a little broken. It wasn’t enough to convince me I need to change something, but if you also happen to notice something like that, I’d be very grateful for a comment so I have more data to work with here. On that note, all other feedback is of course also very welcome.

Conclusion

The Toa Mata are an archetype centered around six strong, but somewhat unwieldy high-level Warrior monsters with varied effects that allow you to respond to different in-game events. Their individual flaws are compensated by their interactions with a wide range of external support, including masks, shrines, a temple, and a story told through Spells and Traps making it easy to get the team to your hand and field. Further power can be unlocked by using the Xyz bosses that represent them working together, finally culminating in their actual physical combined forms, the Toa Kaita.

Release: Heroes Unite

Download for EDOPro

With all the villages implemented, Bionicle: Coming of the Toa is approaching completion, and this release gives those titular heroes a significant boost to their strategy as a team. However, there is still one more support wave for them I need to bring over from the ancient scriptures, so the theme guide explaining the whole picture in detail will have to wait a bit longer. Instead, here’s a slightly longer release post to briefly go over the new additions.

Sample Duel

New/Reworked Cards

Suva Kaita

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand or GY, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card, then target 1 Level 6 “Toa” monster in your GY; Special Summon that target. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 of your banished “Toa” monsters; you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except “Toa” monsters, also Special Summon that target in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Suva Kaita” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

As the sole new Main Deck monster, the Suva Kaita provides an additional way of summoning multiple Toa while having the same conveniently searchable statline as the regular old Suva. Also like the Suva, it’s treated as multiple Attributes in the hand for Toa Mata Tribute Summoning purposes, but why it does the same thing in the GY is at this point still a secret. The Suva Kaita’s on-field effect requires you to tribute it and only fetches the Level 6 (i.e., Main Deck) Toa, but being a Quick Effect means you can use it to set up a Toa Mata at exactly the right time for its effect to trigger during your opponent’s turn. The GY effect is slower and locks you into “Toa” Extra Deck monsters after using it, but in exchange it works on any banished Toa and actually nets you an additional monster on the field.

But wait, “Toa” Extra Deck monsters? Yes, that’s the other major contribution of this release, starting with three monsters depicting scenes of the Toa Mata uniting their elemental powers.

Magma

Toa Mata Combination – Magma

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 2900 / DEF 1200

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
You can detach 2 materials from this card; send 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, you can halve the ATK/DEF of 1 monster your opponent controls. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 FIRE and 1 EARTH monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Magma” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Storm

Toa Mata Combination – Storm

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2200 / DEF 0

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
During the Main or Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster from your Deck, but its ATK becomes 0 and it cannot be used as material for a Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon, also banish it during the End Phase of the next turn. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 WIND and 1 WATER monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Storm” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Crystal

Toa Mata Combination – Crystal

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2000 / DEF 2700

2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
When a Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; negate that effect, and if you do, banish that card. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card with no material, then target 2 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters (1 WATER and 1 EARTH monster) in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use 1 “Toa Mata Combination – Crystal” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

As momentary alliances rather than wholly new beings, all of these 2-material Xyz share a Quick Effect to split apart into two Toa Mata of the appropriate Attributes once they run out of materials, kind of a roundabout way of rewarding you for actually using the correct team members. As for what benefit summoning them brings:

  • Magma (Tahu + Onua) is simply big and can use up all its materials in a single volcanic burst that both launches a Rock into your GY (where both your Suvas can be useful) and optionally makes an opponent’s monster wilt under the heat. The ability to immediately detach 2 materials also means the tagout effect is already available on the opponent’s following turn.
  • Storm (Gali + Lewa) – the only one of these with a concrete basis in the story – serves as the ultimate way of setting up exactly the right Toa Mata in exactly the situation where its effect can be triggered, by summoning them directly from Deck as brief flashes of lightning. One fun thing you can do, for example, is bring out Kopaka in response to an effect that will remove another card you control, thereby letting you banish something in retaliation.
  • Crystal (Pohatu + Kopaka) rounds out the trio with a solid defensive option in the simple form of a Spell/Trap negate. I always feel a bit bad giving a card boring old negation rather than something more unique, but in this case the old version already had an effect to negate what targets it (now made redundant by the Kanohi Miru) and both Toa Mata and the Rank 6 Xyz pool at large are a bit lacking in ways to guard against blowout Spells and Traps, so I figured it was justified here. Needing to detach both materials for the cost is half a balancing measure and half a trick to ensure you can set up the tagout effect quickly.

At this point you may have noticed that, should one of these Toa Mata Combinations ever wind up banished, a Suva Kaita in the GY can bring it back, at which point it will be without material and thus able to turn itself into 2 Level 6 Toa Mata. And if you can just get a third from somewhere, that naturally opens the door to the most obvious choice for the archetype’s ultimate bosses: Toa Kaita.

Akamai (+ Aki)

Akamai, Toa Kaita of Valor

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 3000 / DEF 2000

3 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects during the Battle Phase. If this card battles an opponent’s monster, that monster has its effects negated until the end of the Damage Step. Once per turn, if this card destroys an opponent’s monster by battle: You can detach 1 material from this card; inflict damage to your opponent equal to the destroyed monster’s original ATK.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Aki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it cannot be destroyed by battle, gains 1000 ATK, and can attack all monsters your opponent controls once each, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
Wairuha (+ Rua)

Wairuha, Toa Kaita of Wisdom

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 6 | WIND Warrior | ATK 2600 / DEF 2600

3 Level 6 “Toa Mata” monsters
Once per turn, when a card or effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation. If a material(s) is detached from this card (except during the Damage Step): You can declare 1 card type (Monster, Spell, or Trap); your opponent reveals 1 random card in their hand and the top card of their Deck. Then, apply these effects, in sequence, based on the number of cards of the declared type revealed. You can only use this effect of “Wairuha, Toa Kaita of Wisdom” once per turn.
●1+: Draw 1 card.
●2: Banish 1 card your opponent controls or in their GY.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Rua

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Kaita” monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent must keep their hand revealed. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa Mata” monster you control: You can Special Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster with the same Level from your hand, then, immediately after this effect resolves, Xyz Summon 1 “Toa” Xyz Monster using monsters you control, including that Special Summoned monster.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

As acquiring the materials for these amalgamations of three Toa Mata is a feat that either requires using quite a few cards or having a bit of prior setup, they’re designed as outright win conditions for the deck, with the decision which one you summon dependent on the particular game state you find yourself in.

Akamai is an incredibly straightforward tool for ending games: It locks your opponent out of all activated effects as soon as you enter the Battle Phase, negates continuous effects (including battle protection) of anything it fights for good measure, and then inflicts burn damage after destroying a monster. While not quite an OTK on its own, the Toa Kaita of Valor does get rid of just about any monster under 3000 ATK with no fear of consequences and may finish off an already damaged opponent.

Wairuha is the more forward-thinking option in case you expect the duel to continue past the current turn, backing you up with the simple yet devastating power of a singular omninegate. This negation, notably, does not come with built-in destruction, and that’s because it is instead followed by a slightly more amusing aftermath. After a material is detached from Wairuha, including for the negation cost, you may choose a card type based on your understanding of your opponent’s hand and deck, and if you choose wisely, the rewards include both drawing a card and banishing from the opponent’s field or GY. This is a separate trigger effect for the simple reason that I didn’t want the negation to be dependent on the opponent having a hand or vulnerable to Ash Blossom. While not quite an unbreakable board on its own, the Toa Kaita of Wisdom still serves as an annoying piece of disruption with the potential to bring its controller great benefits.

And now that I’ve used the phrasing “not quite […] on its own” for both of them, it’s time to cover the final extra piece that changes this. Both of the Toa Kaita come with their unique Kanohi that grants only them the combined power (more or less) of three Equip Spells. Akamai’s Aki (Hau + Pakari + Kakama) upgrades it to a 4k attacker that inflicts piercing and hits all monsters while being indestructible by battle – usually enough for an OTK. And Wairuha’s Rua (Kaukau + Akaku + Miru) grants full protection from all effects while allowing you to see the opponent’s hand (giving you an advantage in the wisdom game) – making it the fabled omninegating Towers that basically only falls to Kaijus.

Both of these Kanohi also do something when equipped to the main deck Toa Mata, namely summoning another from the hand to immediately overlay (originally I just wanted the effect to be treating them as 2 materials for an Xyz Summon, but it turns out that doesn’t exist in the real game and is only supported in EDOPro if you use a hardcoded effect type, which I didn’t like). Another point they share in common is that both of their names also refer to characters in the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, but our scientists are still working on figuring out what that might mean.

Updates

Some tweaks have been made to a few cards other than the new additions as well. Least among them are tiny stat changes on Onua (DEF 2000 -> DEF 2100) and Pohatu (DEF 1650 -> DEF 1700), for an overall smoother DEF curve from Tahu’s 1500 to Kopaka’s 2500. Not even going to waste a card viewer block on this.


Next, a tributed Toa Mata summoned back to the field by Kini-Nui will now be banished when it leaves the field.

v3.18.5

The Great Temple, Kini-Nui

Field Spell

During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.) If a “Toa” monster(s) is Tributed for the Tribute Summon of a “Toa Mata” monster and sent to your GY: You can target 1 of those monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position, but banish it when it leaves the field. During the End Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck. You can only use each effect of “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
v3.14.3

The Great Temple, Kini-Nui

Field Spell

During your Main Phase, you can Normal Summon 1 “Toa Mata” monster in addition to your Normal Summon/Set. (You can only gain this effect once per turn.) If a “Toa” monster(s) is Tributed for the Tribute Summon of a “Toa Mata” monster and sent to your GY: You can target 1 of those monsters; Special Summon it in Defense Position. During the End Phase: You can destroy this card, and if you do, Special Summon 1 Level 1 Rock monster with 0 ATK/DEF from your Deck. You can only use each effect of “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)

This means making Isolde with Kini-Nui is slightly worse (and provides you one less Kanohi search opportunity), but the archetypal Xyz Monsters conveniently bypass this change. It might also serve as another way to set up the Suva Kaita GY effect.


The Suva now requires a cost of 500 LP for each Kanohi change, similar to the built in swapping of the old Kanohi.

v3.18.5

Suva

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand, and while face-up on the field if you control a “-Koro” Field Spell Card, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 500 LP, then target 1 “Toa” monster you control; equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell from your hand or GY to that target, except a card that is in the GY because it was destroyed while face-up on the field and sent there this turn. If you control a “Toa” monster: You can Special Summon this card from your GY. You can only use this effect of “Suva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
v3.14.3

Suva

Effect MonsterLevel 1 | LIGHT Rock | ATK 0 / DEF 0

While in your hand, and while face-up on the field if you control a “-Koro” Field Spell Card, this card is also WIND, WATER, FIRE, and EARTH-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can target 1 face-up “Toa” monster you control; equip 1 “Kanohi” Equip Spell Card from your hand or GY to that target, except a card that is in the GY because it was destroyed while face-up on the field and sent there this turn. If you control a “Toa” monster: You can Special Summon this card from your GY. You can only use this effect of “Suva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.14.3)

This came about because something about the whole dynamic of filling your GY with Kanohi and then freely accessing them via Suva while potentially triggering a search effect each time felt pretty unfair, and after spending a while warily staring at said search effects and their +1 nature in card advantage, I came to the conclusion that the problem is in the Suva being a completely free once-per-chain effect. Because getting a specific Level 6 monster that most of the time requires a Tribute Summon to hit the field honestly deserves to be a plus even if there’s a combo that allows doing it repeatedly, especially when each search does have a tangible cost of banishing a monster from the GY. Meanwhile, being able to just spam the Suva effect to cycle through Kanohi as much as you want not only almost makes it so that all of them are equipped at once, but also that as many of them as the present GY setup allows can and will trigger each turn. And don’t get me started on negating your own Suva with Wairuha just so you can use the detach effect while losing absolutely nothing. An LP cost may be the most insignificant of costs, but at least it disincentivizes and punishes spam that doesn’t lead to worthwhile benefits. I went with 500 LP rather than the classic 800 because I wanted cycling through a set of 6 Kanohi to cost less than half of the starting 8000, which I guess would also work if it was 600. Might still play around with the value a bit.


Turaga Nuju can now bounce not only one target at a time, but as many as you want if you just have the same number of monsters to flip face-down in exchange.

v3.18.5

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 that many monsters you control to face-down Defense Position, and if you do, return the targeted cards to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)
v3.16.6

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 1 card your opponent controls; change 1 monster you control to face-down Defense Position, and if you do, return that target to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

This helps Ko-Koro’s terrible going-second ability a bit, but more importantly plugs a gaping hole in the gameplan where it was really hard to keep your opponent locked down as intended if they ever managed to put out multiple monsters. Now, you just have to make sure they can’t exceed your field presence in a single turn while restricted by Ko-Koro and you should be good. Do watch out for the devil in the details of the new effect, though: While (according to the precedent I found) it will resolve even if not all the targets are on the field any more, you will still have to flip “that many” (the original targeted number) of your monsters, and if you can’t, you bounce nothing.


The Kanohi Akaku got a little overhaul motivated by some realizations I came to while designing for and testing Toa Mata decks. One, there’s no way anything as fancy and complicated as the original effect can even partially fit into the Rua’s text. And two, a Kanohi that needs to be on the field at a certain point to gain its effect and also permanently ceases to apply once no longer on the field sucks ass in a strategy that involves rapidly changing masks in response to the situation. Thus, the fancy complicated “hand sniping” effect was replaced by a continuous hand reveal just like the Rua (if it’s fair on Mind on Air then it shouldn’t be a problem on an archetype-restricted Equip Spell) plus a simpler hand sniping effect that just banishes for a turn.

v3.18.5

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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 (v3.18.5)
v3.16.6

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if this card is equipped to a “Toa” or “Makuta” monster you control and your opponent draws a card(s): You can activate this effect; your opponent reveals that card(s) (until your next End Phase). Spells/Traps revealed by this effect cannot be activated or Set while you control this face-up 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.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

And that concludes the information on the Version 3.18.5 release. We’re still only about halfway through the month, so maybe there’s enough time left to also implement a certain Chronicler … ?

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 (v3.17.4)

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 (v3.17.4)

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 during the turn it was sent there: You can banish this card, then target 1 WIND Warrior monster in your GY, except “Matoran Musician Makani”; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Musician Makani” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.5)

Noble Kanohi Mahiki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is 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 (v3.17.4)

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 1 WIND or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Lewa”. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the hand, Main Deck, 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 while on the field, you can return 1 additional monster on the field to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

Great Kanohi Miru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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 (v3.17.4)

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 (min. 1) are WATER, apply these effects.
●If you did not declare an attack during your last turn, monsters your opponent controls cannot attack the turn they are Summoned.
●If none of your opponent’s cards where destroyed or banished by your card effects since your last Standby Phase, monsters you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent cannot target them with card effects.
●If you did not activate any monster effects this turn, negate the effects of face-up Special Summoned monsters while your opponent controls them.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

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 that many monsters you control to face-down Defense Position, and if you do, return the targeted cards to the hand.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Noble Kanohi Matatu

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Once per turn, if the equipped monster is 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 (v3.16.6)

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 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)

Matoran Scribe Jaa

Effect MonsterLevel 2 | WATER Warrior | ATK 300 / DEF 700

You can banish 1 Spell/Trap from your hand or field; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 of your banished Spells/Traps; place it on top of the Deck, and if you do, Special Summon 1 WATER “Matoran” monster from your GY, except “Matoran Scribe Jaa”, but negate its effects, also you cannot Special Summon while you control that face-up monster. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Scribe Jaa” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

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 1 WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Kopaka”. If this card attacks, it is changed to Defense Position at the end of the Battle Phase. If 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 because of an opponent’s card effect: You can banish 1 card your opponent controls.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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 (v3.18.5)

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 (v3.15.5)

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 who has fewer 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 your 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 (v3.15.5)

Noble Kanohi Komau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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) with the lowest ATK your opponent controls 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 (v3.15.5)

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 its effects are negated, also banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “C.C. Matoran Hafu” once per turn. A monster Special Summoned from the Extra Deck using this card as material gains this effect.
●While face-up on the field, its name is also treated as “C.C. Matoran Hafu”.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.15.5)

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 (v3.20.4)

Matoran Champion Huki

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

If your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand) in Attack Position to your zone in a column with no monsters. You can only Special Summon “Matoran Champion Huki” once per turn this way. Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls in the same column as a “Matoran” monster you control; until the end of this turn, this card gains ATK equal to that target’s current ATK, but it cannot attack directly.

Bionicle: Challenge of the Rahi (v3.20.4)

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 1 EARTH or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Pohatu”. Once per turn, if a monster(s) is Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, or a monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck activates its effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy that target, also, if you control a Rock monster, you can destroy 1 additional Spell/Trap on the field.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Kakama

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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 (v3.15.5)

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.

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

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

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

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

Theme Guide: (Exo-)Toa (BBTS)

After collecting all types of Krana and descending into the depths of the Bohrok Nest to stop the swarms for good, the Toa Mata came across a new power to aid them in this quest, sealed deep beneath the earth. Suits of armor equipped with powerful weaponry, at the cost of inhibiting their innate elemental powers.

The Exo-Toa, like the Boxor used by the Matoran, is represented by a Union Monster, but like the Toa, it’s Level 6, so getting it on the field where it can do all the Union stuff is the first challenge. The built-in solution is being able to Special Summon itself if all monsters you control are Normal Summoned Toa, though in hindsight it probably wouldn’t be broken to drop the “all monsters” part. Anyway, equipping it gives an enormous boost of 2000 ATK, but comes with two downsides. First, it negates the monster’s effects (i.e., the “elemental powers”), and second, it robs the Toa of their individuality by replacing their name with “Exo-Toa”. Which, due to the little clause at the start of the card text that I’m pretty sure has never actually been used in history (because why would it?), means the are not technically “Toa” monsters anymore and thus lose access to archetypal support cards. This, unfortunately, includes the Kanohi (even in their most recent and well thought out form as of the time of this writing), which canonically shouldn’t be affected by the armor. Might have to come up with something to fix that.

As if this wall of text wasn’t enough, the Exo-Toa has a final consistency-boosting effect to make sure it’s capable of carrying the frankly kind of useless original Toa Mata designs to playability: After going to the GY, it Sets Exo Armaments from the Deck during the End Phase. And once the next turn starts, you can immediately use this Trap Card to bring out a Toa Mata from your hand and equip it with an Exo-Toa from Deck or GY, completing the package in one shot. This also conveniently makes it so the effect negation is actually relevant on the old versions of the Toa Mata who only had on-summon effects, since this way the negation is already active when that effect tries to resolve.

Once in the GY, the Trap turns into what it really takes its inspiration from, namely the array of equipment found on an Exo-Toa. The “boxing claw” works similar to the Boxor (just because of the name) and prevents your opponent from using effects while an Exo-Toa (which could be the Union Monster itself or a Toa that has been equipped and renamed) battles. The armor simply grants protection as you would expect it to. And the electro rocket flies in a straight line to destroy something in the same column as an Exo-Toa, which can be two columns with one copy if you set up the zones correctly when equipping (one from the equip card, one from the equipped monster). Do note that all of these are Quick Effects due to this being a Trap Card.

So the Exo-Toa has many powerful features, but in the story, they were not enough to overcome the combined power of the Bahrag. And I did indeed design the cards specifically so nothing they do can actually out the Bahrag when paired up with both their protection effects online. Because that requires an ability that can only be used when the Toa shed the armor and return to their own elemental powers.

The Toa Seal is the ultimate finishing move achieved when six Toa of different elements combine their powers, imprisoning whatever is unfortunate enough to be in the middle in an inescapable mass of crystalline Protodermis. Accordingly, this card requires six Toa to activate, but due to Yugioh’s Attribute lineup not quite containing the boatload of elements Bionicle has, we will settle for different names. And since getting 6 monsters on the field is only technically possible, you may also pick from those in your hand and GY, though those will be banished on resolution. The result is a non-targeting mass banishing of up to 6 cards, which easily gets past the mutual protection of the Bahrag queens and wipes out pretty much everything else while it’s at it. The number of cards banished from the hand is limited by the number of Normal Summoned Toa participating in the seal, because just banishing 6 from the hand specifically sounded a bit too broken even with these difficult requirements.

The final new card on the Toa’s side is The End of the Swarm, and it’s a … kinda weird one. Assuming you have a Toa, it grants you the choice between two effects relating to Level 8 or higher monsters (?). One temporarily banishes (??) one of those to recover a Continuous Spell (???) from the GY. The other locks a number of your opponent’s monsters depending on your Level 8+ count into face-down Defense Position and basically makes your monsters go UCT on them, except continuous.

Now I can reveal that the second of these effects represents the deactivation and subsequent cleanup of the Bohrok, referenced in the name of the card. Face-down is their sleeping state, so they get switched into that, and the rest is mostly to bypass their Flip effects because this would be kind of self-defeating otherwise. As for what is going on with these Level 8 or higher monsters, Continuous Spells, and the entire first effect, I will remain quiet. Just enjoy the foreshadowing and wait for the answer to your questions to one day rock your universe (okay, that might be overstating it a bit).

Conclusion

While the Toa Mata are currently undergoing a total redesign in order to make them playable on their own, this was actually one of my first attempts to fix those old designs by introducing a small, consistent combo that they could use in the likely event that Plan A (just somehow summoning a lot of Toa) didn’t work out. It provides a 4k+ ATK beater who, with the Exo Armaments correctly set up in the GY, has access to either an effect lockdown during battle, protection against both destruction and targeting, and a limited Quick Effect destruction. Nothing crazy, but at least good enough to actually start getting somewhere in most games.

Once the BCOT overhaul is done and the Toa Mata are fully updated with a more competent strategy, these cards may have to be adjusted for that. But in the meantime, you can find a sample deck using both them and the old Toa in the BBTS release.

Theme Guide: 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 during 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 (v3.13.6)

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 than the monsters in your GY. You can only use this effect of “Turaga Whenua” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.13.6)

Noble Kanohi Ruru

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. You can only use each of the following effects of “Noble Kanohi Ruru” once per turn.
●If the equipped monster is a “Turaga”, “Toa”, or “Makuta” monster: You can target 1 Set card your opponent controls; reveal it. If it is a Spell/Trap Card, inflict 500 damage to your opponent. If it is a monster with lower 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 (v3.14.3)

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 face-up 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 (v3.15.5)

Matoran Tender Midak

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

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

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 1 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 that target on the top or bottom of the Deck, and if it was a monster whose original ATK in the GY was lower than or equal to this card’s current ATK, gain LP equal to the difference.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.18.5)

Great Kanohi Pakari

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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 to your opponent. 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 (v3.14.3)

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 (min. 1) are WATER, your opponent’s cards and effects cannot be activated in response to the activation of your WATER monster effects as Chain Link 2 or higher. You can banish 1 monster from your GY; Special Summon 1 WATER monster from your hand in Defense Position, but its effects are negated and its Type becomes the same as the banished monster’s, also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except WATER monsters. You can only use this effect of “Ga-Koro, Village of Water” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

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, or Trap) than the card you banished, 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 (v3.13.6)

Noble Kanohi Rau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. Each 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 (v3.14.3)

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 that shown monster’s Level. Otherwise, discard this card. If this card is sent from the hand or field to the GY and you have no Spells/Traps in your GY: You can send 1 Spell/Trap from your Deck to the GY. You can only use each effect of “Matoran Astrologer Nixie” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.20.4)

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 Main Monster Zone in the same column as that card, 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 after this effect resolves, or until the end of this turn if it is a “Matoran” monster, it is unaffected by other card effects, except its own. You can only use each effect of “C.C. Matoran Maku” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)

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 1 WATER or “Toa Mata” monster in your hand, except “Toa Mata Gali”, instead of a monster you control. Once per turn, if 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 (v3.14.3)

Great Kanohi Kaukau

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card is 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 (v3.17.4)

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.