For the first time in the history of this site, we are entering a fresh new expansion, and that means a whole lot of new cards and archetypes to explore! As the first step, here’s a bit of everything, to give you an idea what’s in store.
Read right ahead for not only design notes on the above cards, but also some more details on what I have planned for the themes they represent.
Energized Protodermis ChamberEffect MonsterLevel 2 | LIGHT Aqua | ATK 0 / DEF 0
If only your opponent controls a monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). If this card is Normal or Special Summoned (except during the Damage Step): You can Fusion Summon 1 Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck using this card and 1 monster in your hand as material. If this card is used as material for a Fusion Summon, except by its own effect: Target 1 monster on the field; send it to the GY. You can only use this effect of “Energized Protodermis Chamber” once per turn.
First off, we have the substance that gives the expansion its name: Energized Protodermis. Contact with this sapient liquid transforms those who are destined to, and destroys those who are not. Similarly, its first representation as a card is a monster that acts as Fusion Spell and material in one, but will exhibit potent destructive properties when used for a Fusion by any other effect. That second part is mandatory and thus cannot be avoided, but since you can choose to aim it at any monster on the field, it might just end up beneficial anyway. On top of all that, you can bring this out without spending your Normal Summon if only your opponent controls a monster, because to be quite honest the playability of the entire Toa Nuva archetype hinges on this card and I really need it to be as convenient as possible.
For the broader Energized Protodermis archetype, which will be the focus of the next release, I have the following things in mind – spread across some number of cards:
- A search spell (that maybe Special Summons from Deck directly at some significant cost?)
- A way to fuse with a monster on the field rather than one in hand
- A way to fuse with monsters in the GY (maybe)
- A Fusion of 2 “Energized Protodermis” monsters that does something valuable on turn 1 when sent from field to GY, so you have another way to weaponize the drawback in a “pure” Energized Protodermis strategy
Toa Nuva OnuaFusion Effect MonsterLevel 8 | EARTH Warrior | ATK 2500 / DEF 2500
“Toa Mata Onua” + 1 “Energized Protodermis” monster
If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, then discard 1 card. During the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 card in either GY; place it on the top or bottom of the Deck, then gain 1000 LP. You can only use each effect of “Toa Nuva Onua” once per turn.
The primary output of transformations induced by Energized Protodermis are the Toa Nuva, the evolution of the Toa Mata from BCOT. Simply enough, they are Fusions of a specific Toa Mata each and some Energized Protodermis, and their main effects are more or less the same thing they had in their previous forms – for Onua, that means simply returning a card from either GY to the Deck and gaining some LP. However, while the Toa Mata had the intentional inconvenience of only being able to use their effects when specific events happen, the Toa Nuva can do so freely on either player’s turn, allowing you to get a whole lot more value.
Separate from that, they are also planned to all share the effect where they can search a “Nuva” Spell/Trap on Fusion Summon (and then discard a card so you don’t go +1, because even with HOPT there’s going to be six of these available!). This serves to ensure consistent access to some major cards that further power up the Toa from the backrow, first and foremost the Nuva Symbols containing their elemental powers.
Nuva Symbol of Deep WisdomContinuous Spell
You can only control 1 “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom”. You can place this card you control on the bottom of the Deck; add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card or “Toa Mata Onua” from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Deep Wisdom” once per turn. Once per turn, if a “Nuva” Fusion Monster you control activates its effect while you control “Toa Nuva Onua”: You can pay 1000 LP; draw 1 card. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Toa Nuva Onua” you control; negate its effects, and if you do, banish 1 card from your hand face-down.
Each Toa Nuva has one of these, and they all follow a simple structure of three effects:
- Return it to the Deck to search one of the corresponding Toa Nuva’s materials, for when you’re still setting up. Once again, there are going to be six of these when all is said and done, so I’m not sure allowing the search targets to freely include any “Energized Protodermis” card is really the best idea – I just haven’t come up with a good limitation that fits inside a reasonable wordcount yet.
- Provides some additional benefit to all your Toa Nuva if you control the right one. In this case, controlling Onua Nuva lets you pay LP (the exact amount you get from his own effect, by the way) for a draw, which means putting any card from your GY on top of your Deck becomes adding that card to your hand.
- If it leaves the field, the matching Toa Nuva’s powers will also be lost entirely, and if that happens, you suffer a punishment opposite the benefit you gain from the Symbol, in this case losing a card in your hand.
Now #3 has some interesting mechanical details to consider. First of all, the latest ruling is that “leaves the field” effects do not trigger if the card returns to the Deck, which means you could theoretically take advantage of the cost of #1 to remove the Nuva Symbol from the field before it becomes a liability. Also, the effect targets the Toa Nuva whose powers are about to be lost and will only reach the “punishment” part if that exact target actually has its effects negated, so if something were to remove it from the field before resolution, you’d dodge the drawback entirely. Even better if that something would then return the Toa Nuva to the field, and hell, why not add the Nuva Symbol back to your hand as well while we’re at it? Yes, if only something like that existed.
The End of the SwarmQuick-Play Spell
If you control a “Toa” monster: Activate 1 of these effects;
●Target 1 Level 8 or higher monster you control; banish that target. During the End Phase of this turn, return that banished monster to the field, and if you do, you can add 1 Continuous Spell Card from your GY to your hand.
●Change face-up monsters your opponent controls to face-down Defense Position, up to the number of Level 8 or higher monsters you control. A monster changed to face-down Defense Position by this effect cannot change its battle position, also, if it is attacked, send it to the GY at the start of the Damage Step, then inflict 1000 damage to your opponent.
Anyway, having followed up on that bit of foreshadowing from 2.5 years ago, time to move on to the next group of “Nuva” Spell/Traps: The Kanohi Nuva.
Great Kanohi Pakari NuvaEquip Spell
If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell 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; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva” once per turn. While equipped to a “Nuva” Fusion Monster, this card gains these effects.
●The equipped monster gains 1000 ATK, also if it attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage.
●Once per turn: You can make all monsters you currently control gain 500 ATK, until the end of your opponent’s turn.
Just like the Toa Mata evolved, so did their masks, and while their powers are now usable only by the Toa Nuva, they also come with the fantastic ability to share those powers with allies, including those that cannot use Kanohi at all. So the Pakari Nuva does what the Pakari did, but on top of that lets you grant a similar buff to your whole field for a limited time. It also retains the part where it can banish a monster from your GY to search something when sent there, but instead of a specific Toa Mata it lets you get a Nuva Symbol … which can then search a specific Toa Mata, so from a consistency perspective the Kanohi Nuva do decently well replacing regular Kanohi in a Toa Mata/Nuva deck. They also fall under the category of “Nuva” Spells/Traps, so if you use a Toa Nuva’s on-summon effect to search a Kanohi Nuva and then discard it, you can get the Nuva Symbol at the cost of your GY instead of your hand.
One aspect I’m a bit unsure about, and this applies to the Nuva Symbols as well, is identifying the Toa Nuva as “Nuva” Fusion Monsters. I kind of want to avoid making “Toa Nuva” a proper archetype because that’s awkward to implement when both “Toa” and “Nuva” are independent archetypes as well, but I foresee the current solution causing some false positives down the line. For one thing, just “Nuva” monsters in general is right out because Takanuva is also around the corner, and despite the name that guy sure shouldn’t be able to use Kanohi Nuva. And even with the extra requirement of being Fusions, there’s still Takutanuva, a result of Energized Protodermis transformation and literal Fusion of two beings that most certainly does have “nuva” in the name despite not being a Toa Nuva. So yeah, this part is probably just going to change to “Toa Nuva” unless I find a more elegant trick to use.
The most interesting application of Energized Protodermis and Toa Nuva (in so far they already exist) I’ve thought up at this point is a little pile deck I have chosen to dub Protodermically Energized Nuva Invoked Shaddoll, for … reasons.
I’ll wait until the Toa Nuva have more than one member to make a full theory post on this one, but the basic idea is that Shaddoll Fusion can potentially use Energized Protodermis Chamber in the Deck as material for El Shaddoll Construct, while Invocation can use it in the GY to make Invoked Mechaba. In both cases, you trigger the effect that sends a monster from the field to the GY while not actually spending much of your own resources, so it’s an extremely strong play going second. Oh, and sometimes you draw Onua and can make Onua Nuva as an alternate form of interaction.
Bohrok Gahlok-KalXyz Effect MonsterRank 4 | WATER Machine | ATK 2200 / DEF 2100
2 Level 4 “Bohrok” monsters
Place materials detached from this card on the bottom of the Deck, instead of sending them to the GY. Once per turn: You can attach 1 “Krana” monster from your hand, field, or GY to this card as material. At the start of the Battle Phase: You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; that target cannot attack until the end of the next turn, also you can equip 1 other monster on the field to it. You can only use this effect of “Bohrok Gahlok-Kal” once per turn.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the conflict, the Bohrok swarms send their own evolved forces into the fray, in the form of the six Bohrok-Kal. These elite units introduce Xyz to the colorful Extra Deck options available to the swarms, and befitting their role as a last resort released after the invasion is stopped, their effects are meant to improve the deck’s performance against established boards. A peculiar design element they have in common is that their detached materials return to the Deck, which keeps the infinite recursion of the Bohrok fueled. It also ensures that the second shared effect, using Krana from almost anywhere including the GY as additional materials, does not get too out of hand, since detaching the Krana will take it out of circulation this way.
Their first implemented member, Gahlok-Kal, boasts magnetic powers that can root other beings to the ground or make them stick to each other to take them out of the fight. This translates to an extremely versatile effect that can not only stop a monster from attacking, but also serve as unique and powerful removal by non-targetingly equipping any other monster on the field to its initial target. This is a lot of power to get out of just one material and is therefore limited to the start of the Battle Phase, but I’m also considering making it so you can only equip monsters in the zones adjacent to or in the same column as the target. That would serve as a pretty neat representation of limited magnetism range, encourage clever counterplay through zone management, and wouldn’t actually restrict your removal options all that much since you can always put your own monster in the right column if needed (though it won’t be able to attack, which is a fair tradeoff).
Elite Bohrok require elite Krana, and so we get to the other new Extra Deck lineup, the Krana-Kal.
Krana Ja-Kal, TrackerLink Effect MonsterLink-1 [◀] | DARK Zombie | ATK 0
1 “Bohrok” or “Krana” monster
Cannot be used as Link Material. You can Tribute this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 “Bohrok” monster from your hand or GY, but shuffle it into the Deck if it leaves the field. A “Bohrok” Xyz Monster that has this card as material gains this effect.
●Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card, then declare 1 card name; your opponent cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with that original name, until the end of their turn.
These Link-1 monsters come in the same 8 flavours as the regular Krana and can be made not only with those, but also with any Bohrok monster – though they themselves cannot be Link Material, so no switching from one Krana-Kal into another. Their first effect varies depending on where the arrow is pointing, with the one on the left-pointing Ja-Kal allowing you to tag it out for any Level 4 Bohrok in your hand or GY. This has no once per turn at all, and combined with the non-HOPT removal effects on the Bohrok that also leave them on the field in some cases, it may be very, very abusable. But if it is, I’d really like to see it because it sounds fun, so for now I’ll keep it this way. Making a loop here is at least not entirely trivial, since shuffling the monster back when it leaves the field means the line Ja-Kal -> Bohrok -> Ja-Kal already leaves one less Bohrok in your hand or GY. Maybe the shuffle should even be a banish, since returning Bohrok to Deck does refuel the engine and can be seen as kinda beneficial.
The actual Krana powers are represented by effects granted to Bohrok Xyz Monsters (i.e., Bohrok-Kal) while attached as material. The Ja-Kal offers sensory powers similar to the plain Krana Ja, which had the ability to neutralize visible threats during the turn following its activation. In its enhanced Kal form, it can even “sniff out” threats that are not yet directly visible and shuts them off from the moment it resolves until the end of the next turn, though it’s limited to focusing on a single target since it’s a “Tracker”. Sometimes in testing it does feel like in-archetype Psi-Blocker is a bit broken, but my testing is also against AI that is both predictable and has no concept of playing around locks on specific combo pieces, so I’m guessing it would be fine in a more realistic setting.
Since both new cards for the Bohrok live in the Extra Deck, you can pretty much play them as before, just with some additional options, as seen in the following short video.
Also notable is the use of a Special Summoned Bohrok Va to get a second Level 4 Bohrok via the Krana Ja-Kal, which is how you can make Xyz plays quickly without needing to wait for Flip effects to go off.
For the updates, I decided to improve the Bohrok’s general playability by fixing two frustrating restrictions found on cards from BBTS.
First is the shared last effect of the Krana Xa, Yo, Ca, and Ja – here represented by the Ca because it’s probably the simplest. Previously, these cards operated like Cardcar D in that they would replace themselves with a Bohrok from your Deck and then immediately end your turn, ensuring that you could neither use the summon from Deck for any crazy combos nor somehow abuse the lack of OPT to spam infinite Bohrok. The general idea behind the effect was that it should help consistency by giving you access to a Bohrok even if you drew too many Krana, but in practice, doing that and then ending the turn was basically no better than doing nothing at all.
Under the new restrictions, the turn continues, but the Bohrok you bring out is mostly unable to do anything for its duration – except be used as material, which opens up at least some lines of play, especially factoring in the new Krana-Kal and Bohrok-Kal. Additionally, the Krana now cannot access this effect if it was Special Summoned itself, which should quite effectively limit it to something you can do only once or maybe twice per turn, outside scenarios where you can somehow perform an obscene amount of Normal Summons (in which case there’s way more broken stuff you could do anyway).
The other change is to Premature Bohrok Beacon, and it’s really quite simple: Instead of being able to activate it from hand “If there are no face-up monsters on the field”, you can now do so “If you control no face-up monsters”. Because being mostly unusable when you go second was a really annoying weakness in an archetype that already struggles in that scenario, being composed of Flip Monsters and all. I originally did it that way because I was worried there might be something broken about just having a fast effect you can activate from hand to flip any face-down monster, not just Bohrok, face-up, but now we have Sol and Luna, which is just that exact effect with upsides specifically when your opponent controls face-up monsters. So clearly there’s no need to hold back after all.
Really minor thing, but we have a Card of the Day visible in the sidebar and on the linked page now. It automatically switches to a different random card each day (using a hash of the date modulo the number of cards, if anyone cares), so now there’s some dynamic content between the occassional updates.