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

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

The Kanohi Build

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

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

In summary, the turn 1 payoff consists of:

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

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

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

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

Aristotlean Hybrids

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

C.C. Matoran

C.C. Matoran

Prank-Kids

Prank-Kids

Brave Token

Brave Token

Kaiju

Kaiju

Ghost Girls

Ghost Girls

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

A quick summary of each of these ideas:

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

60 Card Monstrosities

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

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

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

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

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

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

Single Attribute Soup

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

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

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

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

Takeaways

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

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

Release: Le-Koro & The Map of Mata Nui

Download for EDOPro

This month’s release is a double feature: On the one hand, we have Le-Koro, the final village to receive its overhaul with a dedicated strategy – all detail on this can be found in the Theme Guide. On the other, we have one additional card that boosts the consistency of all the Koro-focused decks I’ve been putting together for the past few months: The Island of Mata Nui. With all six villages and the island itself now accounted for, I have also written an overall Theme Guide for this archetype of Field Spells, so just check there to see how exactly all of this works.

In the “Updated” section, there’s just one change to the Kanohi Kaukau that I may have mentioned before. Rather than protecting from Spell/Trap effects, it now protects from all non-targeting effects instead.

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 other Spell/Trap effects. 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 (v3.14.3)
v3.17.4

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)

This was done in conjunction with the Le-Koro release changing the Miru from something that avoids monster effects to something that avoids targeting effects – now they complement each other just as before, and their respective original ideas (protection from environmental conditions vs avoiding stuff by floating out of range) are, in my opinion, represented better than ever.

Finally, it has occured to me that design notes should probably be more separated from theme guides than they have been so far, so for the first time ever I’ll just do them right here in the release post as a quick list.

  • This month I had to split the time allotted to this project between more things than usual (Le-Koro, updating the other Koro strategies with Mata Nui, an additional video, and building the card viewer plugin for the site). Therefore I wasn’t able to do quite as much experimenting and fine-tuning as I would have otherwise, and in particular Matau’s delayed floating might see some changes in the future. There’s some usability concerns with the current version (like having no explicit indication of what the target is in EDOPro), and I’m not sure if it wouldn’t be better to have the bonus in case you’re behind on field presence be something like reducing the stats of the opponent’s monsters to lessen the hurdle of a comeback rather than just giving you an extra card.
  • The Mahiki unfortunately had to lose one of its effects from the old version (making the created Token the only available attack target) to keep the text length within reasonable bounds. Maybe I’ll add it back in as a separate card, but I can’t imagine it being very useful.
  • Lewa is the second Toa Mata after Kopaka to receive a stat change, in this case from 2500 ATK/1400 DEF to 2200 ATK/1900 DEF. This way, the team is spread over the whole ATK range from 2000 to 2500 without any duplicates, and I think it makes sense for the one with the removal effect to have comparatively low utility as a beatstick. I also briefly considered making him 2300 ATK and putting the 2200 on Gali instead, but being able to easily run over Gameciel seemed more valuable to the Ga-Koro strategy.

And with all that said, see you in the next release! Maybe it’s finally time for the Toa Mata to get their Extra Deck back.

Theme Guide: -Koro

The -Koro strategies are a series of six themes centered around the Field Spells belonging to the archetype of the same name. Each of them combines an Attribute with a specific playstyle and encourages the use of the matching Turaga, as well as Matoran and other Warriors of the correct Attribute. To learn more about the individual strategies, refer to the dedicated Theme Guides linked below.

Ta-

Theme Guide

Ta-Koro, Village of Fire

Field Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.12.10)
Ga-

Theme Guide

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 Level 4 or lower 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 (v3.12.10)
Onu-

Theme Guide

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)
Po-

Theme Guide

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)
Ko-

Theme Guide

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 monsters that were Special Summoned this turn while your opponent controls them.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.16.6)
Le-

Theme Guide

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)

Meanwhile, this page right here will go over some cards contained in the expansion that can be inserted into any of these six strategies to supplement its respective Turaga, assortment of Matoran, and possibly even Toa.

First of all, we have the one of the few support cards that qualify the -Koro Field Spells for the rank of an archetype rather than a simple series or theme.

The Island of Mata Nui

Field Spell

All Normal Summoned “Toa Mata” monsters gain 600 ATK/DEF. During your Main Phase: You can reveal 1 monster in your hand and add 1 “-Koro” Field Spell card that lists that monster’s Attribute in its text from your Deck to your hand. If you revealed a “Toa Mata” monster, you can add 1 “The Great Temple, Kini-Nui” instead. If a card in your Field Zone, except “The Island of Mata Nui”, is destroyed while this card is in your GY: You can activate this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of “The Island of Mata Nui” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

The Island of Mata Nui acts as an additional searcher for your Field Spell(s) and returns from the GY to the field should one get destroyed, allowing you to simply add another copy. The condition is having a monster of the matching Attribute in your hand to act as a “guide” to the village, but that should usually be the case in a properly built -Koro deck. The effects that support the Toa Mata with a stat boost and a search for a different card are actually relevant in these strategies too, as we will see with the following cards.

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)

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)

Kini-Nui and Suva, together with the Toa Mata of the respective Attribute and their matching Kanohi, form a little package that can be inserted into any -Koro deck to get an additional main deck boss with relatively low investment. The extra Normal Summon from Kini-Nui means a Toa in your hand can be brought out without hindering your regular plays, while the Suva’s effects to count as almost all Attributes in the hand and revive itself as long as you control a Toa Mata makes it free Tribute fodder. Kini-Nui can also blow itself up in the End Phase to get a Suva from the Deck to the field, which will conveniently trigger Mata Nui in the GY and provide you with a 600 ATK/DEF boost to your Toa. And of course, the Suva gives you access to any Kanohi in the GY while it is on the field, equipping the Toa of your choice with additional useful abilities.

So there is some clear payoff to running these, but you should also keep in mind that these cards do essentially nothing if they happen to be in your hand without a Toa in sight. The Suva gains its multi-attribute effect on the field as well if you control a Koro, which makes it potentially usable as a combo piece, but that’s about it. It may be a good idea to base the degree to which you commit to this Toa Mata package on the ease with which your Deck can make Isolde, as that is the easiest way to ensure you have the Toa in hand and thus everything else live.

Showcase

A Yu-Gi-Oh Trip Across Mata Nui

Also check the individual theme guides linked above for more in-depth testing videos.

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.

Rewinding that a bit, I did just establish that searching Tamaru with Le-Koro after Summoning a Warrior gives you Tamaru 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 target 1 other WIND monster in your GY; during the Standby Phase of your next turn, add that target to your hand, then, if your opponent controls more monsters than you do, draw 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Turaga Matau” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.17.4)

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 draw 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 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

https://www.duelingbook.com/deck?id=9363457

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. The unfortunate reality is that WIND Warriors are almost as poorly represented as WATER Warriors, and after some digging the best I could find to fill this role was Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki combined with the Six Samurai Tuners Fuma and Genba to summon with his effect and help with Synchro plays (Genba is not WIND, but I wanted a Level 2 so I can get Tamaru from Le-Koro and go off from there, which isn’t possible with Fuma). Shien’s Smoke Signal is a searcher for all these monsters that isn’t even once per turn, making them quite consistently accessible. Other than that, Hornet Drones gives us another potential low-ATK Warrior for Tamaru and Ghost Mourner is a bad Effect Veiler with a good Attribute.

The custom cards are in here more or less as you’d expect, but it may seem weird that the titular Le-Koro only appears twice. This is because Mata Nui effectively serves as additional copies, and having multiple copies of a Koro in hand actually seems to negatively impact playability (I suspect this is the exact reason it has increasingly become a convention in the real game to have Field Spells act as archetype searchers). So I did the math and found that 5-6 ways to get your Field Spell in a 40 card deck is the range where there’s a good balance between the chance to open one and the chance to open multiple, which is the number I’m playing if you also count the Terraforming. The other notable unusual choice here is playing two copies of the Mahiki, 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, Totem Bird as a Spell/Trap negate that is often accessible through both Kageki and the Speedroids, 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 this 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 have it at this 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 a Matoran who lets you easily make the important jump from one monster on the field to two. A notable omission so far that would really go with the idea well is monsters that generate value from the GY (Tamaru technically does, but due to the way his effect works he’s rarely in the GY to begin with), so that indicates a fairly obvious design direction for future Le-Matoran.