Release: BCOT – Finalized

It’s finally here.

Download for EDOPro

The original of the above image with all the cards at readable resolution is so large that WordPress refuses to display it, but you can find them in an even more convenient form on the BCOT page instead.

Or, if you have a bit of time and prefer to actually see things moving, the following demo video also shows and describes everything:

Anyway, this last update mostly consists of PSCT refinements, refactored scripts (that more correctly handle certain edge cases), and visual improvements. For example:

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)
3.21.6

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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 1 monster you control with the highest ATK (your choice, if tied), but banish this card when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “Copper Kanohi of Victory” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
  • If another “Kanohi” card is equipped -> If another “Kanohi” card becomes equipped (to clarify that the effect happens once at the moment of equipping)
  • When a monster declares an attack while this card is in your GY -> When a monster declares an attack, while this card is in your GY (most similar precedent has the comma)
  • the monster you control with the highest ATK -> 1 monster you control with the highest ATK (your choice, if tied) (clarifies tiebreaking, matches precedent)
  • but banish it when it leaves the field -> but banish this card when it leaves the field (to clarify you banish the Copper Kanohi, not what you equipped it to)

In addition to these text changes, the card image is now noticeably different and in higher resolution. This is owed to the ygopic component of piface314’s ygo-fabrica, which I have finally gotten around to setting up so it can be used for all the cards going forward.

Of course, the higher resolution also looks quite a bit nicer when printed 😉

The attentive reader who happens to be familiar with my versioning system (mostly hypothetical, because why would anyone) may have noticed moving from 3.21.5 to 3.21.6 technically requires some functional changes, rather than just cleanup and maintenance. This is a weakness of the versioning system that probably should be fixed, but for now, I have complied and included some tiny updates I still had in reserve.

Updated

3.18.5

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)
3.21.6

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, this card is also EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and WIND-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 600 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 (v3.21.6)
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)
3.21.6

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 your Deck. Then, apply the following 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 1800 LP.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Long story short, the LP cost and gain on Suva and Call of the Toa Stones respectively were moved to the closest multiples of 600. The basis for this is that I wanted the Suva to be able to cycle through a set of 6 Kanohi for less than 4000 LP total, and 6*600=3600 still fits that requirement. The LP gain from Call then follows from that, as basically 3 additional Suva activations. It’s a bit less arbitrary than the previous 500 and 2000, but probably won’t make any practical difference.

Other News

I’ve added a “Pending Changes” page to keep track of some improvements I still had in mind, but wasn’t sold on enough to actually include them in this final release. It’s not included in the on-site navigation currently, instead I’ll just throw the link at people when asking for feedback in hopes that some outside input will help me make up my mind. I guess if I ever figure out a way to include multiple comment areas and maybe even some kind of voting system on the page, it could be turned into a convenient little feedback hub of its own.


… And with that, on to BPEV!

BCOT Final Release Delay

The finalized release of the BCOT overhaul, with nicely cleaned up scripts and card texts, was meant for release this month, but unfortunately it’s not gonna work out. I seem to have underestimated how much time it would take to apply all the refactoring steps I had lined up to a grand total of 66 cards, and when I was finally through with all of them, I found it was already the last week of June. Making the posts and showcase video I’d like to have as part of this release that quickly just isn’t realistic between other, more urgent obligations, and so I’ve decided to make use of the privilege that separates a true hobby from work: I simply gave up on finishing it within schedule.

Now if you read between the lines, you’ll notice I do have the expansion itself done, and indeed the finalized version 3.21.6 can be found at the top of the Downloads page already. It’s just the promotional material, release notes, etc that will take a bit more time. Might be as soon as next week, might take until the end of July, who knows. I’m hoping the delay at least won’t be any longer than that so I can still stick to the roadmap overall.

Release: Tale of the Toa

Download for EDOPro

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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, this card is also EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and WIND-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 600 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 (v3.21.6)

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 EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and WIND-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; Special Summon it in Defense Position, also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except “Toa” monsters. You can only use each effect of “Suva Kaita” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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 (v3.21.6)

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 EARTH monster and 1 FIRE 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 (v3.21.6)
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 change its ATK to 0, 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 WATER monster and 1 WIND 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 (v3.21.6)
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 EARTH monster and 1 WATER 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 (v3.21.6)

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, when 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 (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Aki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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, while 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 (v3.21.6)
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 the following effect(s) 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 (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Rua

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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, while 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 (v3.21.6)

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 your Deck. Then, apply the following 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 1800 LP.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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, except “Toa” monsters, the turn you activate this card. You can only activate 1 “Coming of the Toa” per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

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 “Noble Kanohi” or “Great 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 (v3.21.6)

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.

Theme Guide: Kanohi (BCOT)

The masks of power known as Kanohi play a central role in the story of Bionicle from start to finish, so obviously they also get a fair amount of representation in this humble card game adaptation. With Equip Spells, Yugioh provides a pretty obvious niche for placing inanimate objects that grant their wearer additional powers, but making Equip Spells remotely worth playing in this day and age always takes a bit of creativity. Let’s take a look at what I came up with for the Kanohi featured in BCOT.

Great Kanohi

Hau (Shielding)

Great Kanohi Hau

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Kaukau (Water Breathing)

Great Kanohi Kaukau

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Pakari (Strength)

Great Kanohi Pakari

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Kakama (Speed)

Great Kanohi Kakama

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Akaku (X-Ray Vision)

Great Kanohi Akaku

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Miru (Levitation)

Great Kanohi Miru

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The first thing to notice here are some common elements to all these effects. They begin with a continuous effect ensuring one can only wear a single Kanohi at a time, by simply blowing up the moment a second one becomes equipped – this allows for the important mask-swapping mechanic, unlike a simple restriction preventing the equipping of additional Kanohi.

Then there are one or more effects that are only active when equipped to monsters from certain archetypes, in the case of Great Kanohi usually Toa or Makuta. These correspond to the actual abilities granted by the mask, and having them limited this way both simplifies design by not having to worry about random synergies and matches the lore, where Kanohi were indeed only usable by certain races with sufficient willpower.

Finally, they have an effect that triggers when sent to the GY. Unlike the previous two components which are meant to be universal to all Kanohi, this one is unique to the six Great Kanohi worn by the Toa Mata, though it does represent a more general design philosophy that Kanohi cards should do something beyond granting power when equipped. GY effects are particularly nice for this role due to Isolde exactly making it piss easy to mill Equip Spells while doing a combo, and even without that particular broken card, gathering a stockpile of Kanohi in the GY was already an intentional part of their strategy when I came up with the original version in ancient times before Link Monsters. Anyway, for these six Great Kanohi in particular, their secondary effect is simply that they can search the matching Toa by banishing a monster from the GY when they are sent there, which helps maintain hand advantage and incentivizes running the correct pairs.

Last but not least, to quickly summarize the on-field effects and what Kanohi powers they represent:

  • Great Kanohi Hau, Mask of Shielding – Lets the wearer generate a protective force field, in this case guarding only against battle destruction and damage (because the shield probably won’t be up outside battle, I guess).
  • Great Kanohi Kaukau, Mask of Water Breathing – Lets the wearer breathe water. To get a useful effect, I generalized this to protection from adverse environmental conditions, meaning immunity to all non-targeting effects.
  • Great Kanohi Pakari, Mask of Strength – Increases the wearer’s physical strength. This is simply and straightforwardly implemented as an ATK increase, plus the ability to inflict piercing damage because they become strong enough to punch straight through walls.
  • Great Kanohi Kakama, Mask of Speed – Lets the wearer move at great speed. Great enough to attack all of the opponent’s monsters in a single Battle Phase, in fact.
  • Great Kanohi Akaku, Mask of X-Ray Vision – Allows the wearer to see through solid objects. Here, it sees through the opponent’s hand, and to provide a more active component, can snipe a freshly added Spell/Trap out of it for a turn.
  • Great Kanohi Miru, Mask of Levitation – Allows the wearer to float in the air, outside the range of targeting effects from which it grants protection. The specific method of negating the effect entirely is for compatibility with Kanohi-swapping Quick Effects (see Support section below).

When the Toa Mata combine into Toa Kaita, so do their masks, forming two even more powerful Great Kanohi.

Great Kanohi Aki

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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, while 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 (v3.21.6)

Great Kanohi Rua

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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, while 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 (v3.21.6)

The Aki combines the powers of Hau, Pakari, and Kakama, while the Rua does the same for Kaukau, Akaku, and Miru – in both cases with some omissions, because there’s no way the full effects would ever have fit on the cards. However, these insanely powerful abilities are only available to the Toa Kaita, and a sole Toa Mata equipped with one of these cards will instead merely receive some assistance in forming such a combination. Still pretty useful.

And finally, the ultimate “boss” of the Great Kanohi is that which lies beyond the Quest for the Masks, accessible only to a Toa who has gathered all of the six individual masks: The Golden Kanohi.

Great Golden Kanohi

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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 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 (v3.21.6)

By banishing exactly 6 Great Kanohi gathered in your GY, it gains their powers as long as it remains on the field. A rather reckless all-in move since it permanently removes the masks you copy and loses to Spell/Trap removal, but certainly satisfying when it works out. The first hurdle is obviously setting up the GY, which the Golden Kanohi itself helps with: Send it to the GY and it will mill you another Kanohi and return to your hand or Deck, continuing to wait for its time to be activated.

This one is technically not a Great Kanohi by name just so nobody can be funny and copy a Golden Kanohi with a second Golden Kanohi.

Noble Kanohi

Huna (Concealment)

Noble Kanohi Huna

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Rau (Translation)

Noble Kanohi Rau

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Ruru (Night Vision)

Noble Kanohi Ruru

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Komau (Mind Control)

Noble Kanohi Komau

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Matatu (Telekinesis)

Noble Kanohi Matatu

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)
Mahiki (Illusions)

Noble Kanohi Mahiki

Equip Spell

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

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The Noble Kanohi worn by Turaga follow the same general structure, but predictably also grant their special powers to said Turaga. In exchange, the abilities themselves have lower impact and/or stricter conditions and drawbacks. As their secondary effect, these Kanohi do not search their matching Turaga, but instead act as a revival Spell from the GY by tributing a monster you control, which is useful for rebuilding a broken board or just Link climbing. They also conveniently equip themselves when reviving a Turaga this way.

The powers of the Noble Kanohi included in this expansion are:

  • Noble Kanohi Huna, Mask of Concealment – Hides the wearer from the opponent’s attacks, but only while there are other monsters to hide amongst.
  • Noble Kanohi Rau, Mask of Translation – “Translates” the text of an effect targeting the wearer into a different effect that geometrically “translates” monsters along the Main Monster Zones. It’s basically a convoluted negate based on a stupid pun.
  • Noble Kanohi Ruru, Mask of Night Vision – Illuminates a face-down card and inflicts damage if it’s a Spell/Trap or a monster smaller than the equipped one.
  • Noble Kanohi Komau, Mask of Mind Control – Mentally influences your opponent’s weakest monster(s) into being unable to activate its effects, but only if your opponent actually controls multiple monsters. As indicated by “monster(s)”, this can theoretically affect all opponent’s monsters at once if they have the same ATK.
  • Noble Kanohi Matatu, Mask of Telekinesis – Telekinetically (and non-targetingly) changes the battle position of a monster, but the focus required means the wearer does’t get to attack that turn.
  • Noble Kanohi Mahiki, Mask of Illusions – Generates an illusory Token that stays as long as the mask is active, but doing so requires the wearer to be alone on your field.

Support

That’s it for the masks of power themselves, but there are some other cards that interact with them as well.

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, this card is also EARTH, WATER, FIRE, and WIND-Attribute. Once per Chain (Quick Effect): You can pay 600 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 (v3.21.6)

The Suva is the Kanohi-storing shrine that supports the Toa Mata by allowing them to switch between the masks they have collected at will, and in relation to Kanohi that is indeed exactly what this card does as well. With the additional limitations of a small LP cost and not being able to re-equip a Kanohi destroyed the same turn, you can equip any Kanohi in your hand or GY to any Toa you control (not just Mata!), which will conveniently cause any already equipped Kanohi to self-destruct, effectively accomplishing the swap.

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 you control or in your GY with 0 ATK/DEF, and if you do, equip 1 “Noble Kanohi” or “Great Kanohi” Equip Spell from your Deck to that target.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

Gift of the Shrine is just that effect on a Quick-Play Spell, giving you another option in case the Suva itself becomes unavailable. By banishing a Suva (or a monster with an identical statline – as of this writing, the real game has none), you can also use an alternate effect that equips a Kanohi directly from the Deck instead. This part is explicitly limited to Noble and Great Kanohi, just to make sure it’s not quite so easy to acquire the yet-to-be-implemented Legendary Kanohi. Another difference from the Suva’s effect is that the target of this Spell doesn’t need to be a Toa, so you can use it with Turaga or even just equip a Kanohi from your Deck to a monster that can’t use it only to get it into circulation.

Quest for the Masks

Continuous Spell

When a “Toa” monster is Normal Summoned: You can equip 1 “Noble Kanohi” or “Great 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 (v3.21.6)

Quest for the Masks simulates the Toa Mata’s search for their respective set of Great and Noble Kanohi after arriving on Mata Nui. The first stage of this is that any Normal Summoned Toa (not just Toa Mata – I figure this card might be useful for future teams and their Kanohi as well) immediately gets to equip a Great/Noble Kanohi of your choice from the Deck, finding that mask and permanently adding it to your Suva-accessible collection. Second, if you happen to find any Kanohi by drawing them, you can throw them into the GY to further progress the quest and draw the same number of fresh cards that are probably more useful in your hand. And finally, once you have gathered a sufficient amount of Kanohi, you can declare the Quest for the Masks completed at the end of the turn, recover a banished monster as a reward, and destroy the Continuous Spell. You specifically get to bring back monsters with a Level up to the number of different Kanohi you have, which fits nicely because a complete set of 6 will exactly get you a Toa and if you somehow gather both Greats and Nobles for a total of 12, your options include literally any leveled monster in the game.

Copper Kanohi of Victory

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” card becomes 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 1 monster you control with the highest ATK (your choice, if tied), but banish this card when it leaves the field. You can only use this effect of “Copper Kanohi of Victory” once per turn.

Bionicle: Coming of the Toa (v3.21.6)

The Copper Kanohi of Victory is not so much a support card as it is a honorary member of the archetype, being a mask that neither contains special powers nor is actually meant to be worn like one. Given that second point, it might be unfitting for it to even have the usual self-destruct when another Kanohi shows up, but if it didn’t it would still cause the previous Kanohi to blow up, and I figured having different mechanics depending on the order in which masks are equipped would just be weird.

Anyway, what this trophy mask actually does is simply granting “victory” in battle to the entire Matoran evolution line, by destroying itself along with the opponent’s monster. Like the actual Kanohi, it also offers a secondary effect in the GY, and this one acts as a kind of battle trap, equipping to the current “champion” among your monsters on attack declaration.