Deck Idea: Nokama’s Secret Village

Once upon a time (last week or so), in the middle of building this website and uploading cards, my mind wandered to Secret Village of the Spellcasters. And in that moment, it hit me. “Wait a minute”, I thought. “I made Nokama a Spellcaster!”

And thus was the birth of Nokama’s Secret Village.

You see, Turaga Nokama has the effect to make herself and the monsters she points to completely unaffected by two out of the three card types, depending on what you banish from the GY as cost. Secret Village prevents your opponent from activating Spell Cards as long as you control a Spellcaster and they don’t. Therefore, with Secret Village active, Nokama could make herself and one other monster you control unaffected by every single effect your opponent can legally use.

Add to that the other two benefits she gets from pointing to a monster – being indestructible by battle and recycling a WATER monster from GY or banished during each of your opponent’s End Phases – and you end up with a fun little challenge to the opponent. Can they use their restricted options to break through your protection, or will you get to recover your resources for a followup push in the next turn?

This by itself is certainly not an unbeatable challenge. Even assuming just running over the monster next to Nokama’s arrow isn’t feasible (due to protection or beefy stats), it’s still possible to use single cards like Kaijus or Evenly Matched that don’t care about “unaffected by effects”, or just use monster-based removal to get rid of Secret Village before exploiting the Spell-shaped hole in Nokama’s defenses. Since Nokama needs to activate an effect to turn on her protection, a negation or removal in response to that will also really screw up the plan. And if your opponent manages to get at least 9200 damage on board, they can just disregard the challenge entirely and beat you to death straight through your feeble little Turaga.

So to make this idea reasonably effective, we still need to combine it with additional threats and/or disruption. I tried to achieve this by tweaking the Mermail/Atlantean-based build I originally came up with for Ga-Koro a bit, here’s how it turned out.

Theory

Most of this is just standard Mermail/Atlantean stuff and you can probably find much better descriptions of that elsewhere than I’m able to write, so I’ll just explain the other additions that specifically help this deck idea.

Crusadia Arboria, being a WATER Warrior, serves as the honorary Ga-Matoran that allows reliably making Nokama. She can either be Special Summoned directly from the deck by Crystron Halqifibrax, or searched out by ROTA or Mermail Abysspike and then Special Summoned to your zone a Link Monster points to (which is why playing Salamangreat Almiraj can really unbrick certain hands). Instant Fusion and Elemental Hero Steam Healer are also a possible route to Nokama.

In addition to Secret Village itself, we play the extra field searchers Metaverse (because getting to the Village anytime before your opponent’s Main Phase is good enough) and Set Rotation (because giving your opponent Ga-Koro probably isn’t going to hurt much, also they can’t activate it anyway with Secret Village up).

For the Abyss-scales that go on Abyssmegalo or Abyssgaios, I included both Cetus and Mizuchi – the former actually gives some additional benefit (such as negating Evenly Matched) when we’ve already locked the opponent out of Spell Cards, while the latter is much better in cases where we can’t get to Secret Village. And the combined ATK boost from having both equipped makes it a whole lot harder to solve the challenge via battle.

A last-minute addition to the side deck that unfortunately never came up in my brief tests is Ice Dragon’s Prison, which in theory should have a bunch of utility in this deck. You can use it to fill Nokama’s zone during your opponent’s turn in case whatever was there originally gets removed, and chances are you’ll actually get the banish for free since your monster will be unaffected by Traps. Honestly might be main deck worthy, but I’d have to test more to be sure.

Random sample hands:

Again, most of this is standard Mermail/Atlantean stuff that probably could be done better, the interesting part is just how Nokama is worked into this.

Practice

I ran about half the usual AI testing circuit with this deck and got some, well, mixed results. The basic strategy of sitting on an invincible pair of Nokama + big body and recycling monsters every turn does often work, but the fact that it only slightly disrupts the opponent’s plays with maybe an Atlantean discard here and a negation there does give them a lot of room to break through the small gaps that do exist. And if they do, it’s going to be pretty hard to turn the tables back because setting up the initial board eats up a lot of resources. Similarly, if they just don’t bother with Nokama and instead build up an annoying board of their own, the one monster you get back in the End Phase might not be enough to mount the kind of offense you need at that point. These issues could potentially be fixed by moving away from pure WATER monsters a bit and including more cards that hinder your opponent with relatively low investment, but that would take some additional effort to figure out and feels a bit less interesting to me since it’s off-theme.

Also, another source of problems was that I’m straight up not smart enough to play Nokama competently. The fact that she immunizes monsters on both sides of the field against a specific, variable subset of cards has been the source of many fuckups leading to probably avoidable losses. The existence of this effect irrefutably proves that I know much more about making Yugioh cards than about playing them.

Anyway, despite the problems found in testing, there were definitely times when things did go as envisioned and I was able to enjoy being on the dispensing end of a soft lockdown facilitated by a 28-piece Lego set from 2001. For an example, check out the video below.

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.