Release: Unity Evolved

Featuring Xyz made from Fusions, Fusions made from Xyz, a Rank-Up (that also goes down?) and … Mata-less Nuva?

In the spirit of evolution, we have also evolved past the need for download links – the expansion is now available as a repository integrated with EDOPro, automatically updating in the background whenever you open the game!

To set that up, all you need is a simple edit to a config file – see here.

The one thing that doesn’t include is decks, which you can instead get from this archive. This update brings a whopping 5 new ones, so we’ll cover that in addition to the usual notes.

New Cards

Let’s start with the odd one out, the one that doesn’t relate to the overall Kaita theme of the release. A new “Nuva” Continuous Spell called Tales of the Nuva.

Tales of the Nuva

Continuous Spell

When this card is activated: You can add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card from your Deck to your hand. If a “Nuva” Spell/Trap(s) is sent from the hand and/or Deck to your GY: You can target 1 of them; Set it to your field. If your opponent activates a monster effect: You can send this card to the GY, then target 1 “Toa Nuva” monster you control or in your GY; shuffle it into the Deck, and if you do, you can Special Summon 1 “Toa Nuva” Fusion Monster with a different name from your Extra Deck. You can only use each effect of “Tales of the Nuva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

The name and image on this one borrow from Tales of the Masks, the fourth book in the Bionicle Chronicles series, in which the Turaga tell each other stories of the Toa Nuva’s exploits while dropping Metru Nui foreshadowing left and right because it was already late 2003. We aren’t quite that far yet, however, so rather than foreshadowing, this card is motivated by two other specific aims:

  • Providing a Continuous Spell that isn’t a Nuva Symbol . While I do quite like the shared structure of search + major benefit + punish I put together for those, it’s proven to be a bit of an annoyance in deckbuilding – the search part makes it feel like you’re missing out if you’re not also playing the matching Toa Mata (i.e., a Level 6 Main Deck Brick), while the lore-relevant punish gives your deck a whole new weakness you really might rather avoid. But if you then decide not to play the Nuva Symbols, the half of the Kanohi Nuva that searches Continuous Spells becomes useless, which also doesn’t sit right with me. Thus the conclusion: We need a “Nuva” Continuous Spell that is not a Nuva Symbol, doesn’t require playing a Toa Mata, and doesn’t risk accidentally losing you the game!
  • Dabbling in designing a “custom card”, in the meaning of the term used when talking about actual Konami-published Yugioh product. That is, a support card printed a wave or two after the core of its archetype, featuring a patently ridiculous lineup of effects that resolve a bunch of outstanding issues and make a flawed deck seriously playable overnight. I figured a boost like this might be needed after the Isolde ban kneecapped my previous Toa Mata/Nuva builds (Warriors and Equip Spells!), and thematically it fits this particular card because the book it’s based on was also a late addition to the Toa Nuva vs Bohrok-Kal part of the story.

So what issues does this actually resolve? Well, on activation it searches you an Energized Protodermis card , giving you a bridge from our numerous Nuva Spell/Trap searchers into our fusion enablers – one that doesn’t need a specific Toa Mata in hand to work. While on the field, it lets you Set a Nuva Spell/Trap that was sent from the hand or Deck to the GY, offsetting the discard required by the aforementioned searches in situations where you can’t do so with a Kanohi Nuva. Finally, when your opponent does stuff, it can send itself to the GY to swap a Toa Nuva into a different one, allowing you to make better use of the toolbox offered by their various effects. And because this can also target a monster in the GY, it doubles as a way to recover after the front row of your board is broken.

Overall, the structure here is search + minor benefit + major benefit, so just from that you can tell this card is deliberately set up to be a bit ahead of the curve balance-wise. However, to keep things somewhat fair, it does have a few drawbacks the Nuva Symbols don’t suffer from: The search only works on activation, meaning you can’t get it if it’s placed via a Kanohi Nuva, and it has to remove itself to activate its major benefit, so you can’t use it turn after turn. Remember, the Toa Nuva only search when properly Fusion Summoned, so swapping them in with this won’t help you get to another copy that would let you do it again!

In those decks I tested that played both this and the Nuva Symbols, it definitely did feel like the latter were still more powerful options in many situations, so I do think I managed to hit about the powerlevel I was aiming for. The card is crazy, but not in such an all-encompassing way that it totally eclipses the other members of its design space.

One small thing of note is that the swap actually lets you target any Toa Nuva, not just Fusions. This paves the way for distant-future synergy with Phantoka and Mistika, but more immediately works with our freshly introduced Xyz Monsters: The Toa Nuva Kaita.


Akamai, Toa Nuva Kaita of Valor

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 8 | FIRE Warrior | ATK 3400 / DEF 2400

3 Level 8 monsters
After this card was Xyz Summoned during your turn using a “Toa” monster as material, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects for the rest of that turn, except during the Main Phase 2 and End Phase. You can detach 1 material from this card; add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Akamai, Toa Nuva Kaita of Valor” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

Great Kanohi Aki Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Nuva” Xyz 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. While this card is equipped to a monster: You can reveal 1 “Toa” monster in your Deck or Extra Deck, then target 1 monster you control with a Level; its Level and name become the same as the revealed monster (until the end of this turn), then destroy this card.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

Wairuha, Toa Nuva Kaita of Wisdom

Xyz Effect MonsterRank 8 | WIND Warrior | ATK 3000 / DEF 3000

3 Level 8 monsters
When your opponent activates a card or effect while this card has a “Toa” monster as material (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, you can banish both that card and the top card of either player’s Deck. Then, if you banished 2 different card types (Monster, Spell, Trap), draw 1 card. You can detach 1 material from this card; add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand. You can only use 1 “Wairuha, Toa Nuva Kaita of Wisdom” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

Great Kanohi Rua Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Nuva” Xyz Monster, it is unaffected by your opponent’s card effects, also your opponent must keep their hand revealed. While this card is equipped to a monster: You can add 1 “Nuva” Normal or Quick-Play Spell from your Deck to your hand, then destroy this card. You can only use this effect of “Great Kanohi Rua Nuva” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

Like all the other Toa Nuva, both of these guys share a Nuva Spell/Trap search effect – but through the power of three combined, they can even do it without discarding. Their other effects are more or less direct upgrades from their Mata counterparts, so let’s take them one at a time.

Akamai is still an OTK enabler that locks your opponent out of doing stuff in the Battle Phase, be it responding to attacks or triggering floaters. However, the Nuva incarnation covers its bases even further and applies the lock from the instant of its summon to when you’ve finished your one-sided beatdown. That means there’s no risk of getting outed before going to battle, and you can even safely make additional plays to get enough damage on board. That last part is a bit worrying because you can also do it going first and then still go for a degenerate combo that is now impossible to interrupt, but I did not manage to figure out a restriction that would prevent that without harming the intended use cases and/or being an unreadable word salad. So I’m just banking on there not being a way to make this turn 1 while still retaining resources and without offering ample opportunity for disruption before you get to that point, which seems to be true so far. Do correct me in the comments if you have a different idea, though!

Besides that, Akamai Nuva does … nothing. While his previous form also made sure to negate continuous effects of what he battles and burned upon victory, I ended up cutting these features here to stay at a nice compact 2 effects. Being able to search already offers plenty of OTK help in and of itself, because one of the targets is the Kanohi Aki Nuva, granting exclusively Toa Nuva Xyz Monsters the same benefits its base form gave to the base Kaita – more ATK, more attacks, piercing, and battle protection. And for secondary utility, it lets you disguise a monster as a Toa to help with Xyz plays.

Wairuha , meanwhile, retains his role as an omni-negate for turn 1 setup. Where the original version had its “Wisdom” component implemented as a little guessing game on a separate effect, the Nuva incarnation already gives you (a less versatile form of) the banishing reward for free with the negate, and then also a draw on the same effect if you wisely choose between the players’ decks.

Now the reason I originally split the game from the negate was that the game, by virtue of involving a draw, is vulnerable to Ash Blossom. That isn’t a weakness you typically want on a disruptive effect, but for Wairuha Nuva I found it acceptable because it’s in some way offset by the search effect. If that already eats an Ash, that’s one thing less to worry about with the negate, and if it doesn’t, it just adds the Kanohi Rua Nuva, which makes him immune to all effects including those that would negate the negate. This specific interaction is why I made the effects share a HOPT clause here, because otherwise you either let the search go through and have to deal with an omninegate Towers … or you try to stop the search, get negated, and still have to deal with an omninegate Towers. That felt like an unfun kind of interaction, so I wanted to prevent that. Might still soften that to only forbid using them in the same Chain though, or walk this back entirely – not sure yet if it makes sense to put an Xyz with a Fusion as material under the same scrutiny as famous 1-card Synchro Chixiao.

Anyway, the Rua Nuva also lets you see if anything threatening is in the hand. And for utility, it searches those Nuva cards none of the other Kanohi get and then blows itself up. Can you tell I’ve been playing Infernoble?

In general, despite being two Ranks higher, these cards are not strictly stronger than their predecessors – in fact, they do lack some specific features those had. That is because their most significant upgrade is instead in the materials line, which just says “3 Level 8 monsters” – they’re generic, though with the big caveat that their true boss effects only work with a Toa as material. Putting out 3 Toa Nuva just did not seem realistic, and if you look at actual card releases, almost all Xyz Monsters have been generic for ages. Once in a while there’s a Type restriction, but archetype ones are basically unheard of nowadays.

The implication of this is that something like a Horus deck that can easily make a Rank 8 before breakfast is now able to access the Nuva Spell/Trap lineup, and if you throw some actual Toa Nuva into the mix, even gets a nice big boss monster on top. One of our new decks covered below takes advantage of exactly this.

In those last few paragraphs, several things were casually brought up that do not fully make sense relative to the cards shown so far. Why does Akamai Nuva specify it only locks if Summoned during your turn? What does the Rua Nuva actually search if there aren’t any Nuva Normal/Quick-Play Spells? And why do the Kaita work with any Toa as material even though the Toa Nuva are the only Level 8s?

The answer to all those questions lies in the cover card of this release and the namesake of this part of the expansion: Nuva Rank-Up-Magic Protodermic Evolution.

Nuva Rank-Up-Magic Protodermic Evolution

Quick-Play Spell

During the Main Phase: Target 1 Warrior monster you control with “Toa” in its original name; Special Summon, from your Extra Deck, 1 Warrior Xyz Monster whose Rank is 2 higher than that target’s Rank or 2 lower than that target’s Level, by using it as material, and if you do, you can attach 1 other card from your hand or face-up field to the Summoned monster as material, except this card. (This is treated as an Xyz Summon. Transfer its materials to the Summoned monster.)

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

From the very moment I settled on the set name “Protodermic Evolution”, I was thinking “that sounds like a RUM“. And here it is, the so far one and only Nuva Quick-Play Spell, allowing you to flex your Toa into all kinds of Warrior Xyz above their Rank or below their Level. Specific use cases include:

However, with apologies to the Dark Infinity stans in the audience, I may yet end up futureproofing this to only summon up to Rank 8. Just because there isn’t a crazy R10 Warrior yet doesn’t mean there’ll never be, and at that point this would be searchable access in any deck that can make 3 Level 8s.

And let’s not forget about the other side of the conflict. The Bohrok-Kal only have two cards here, but that’s enough to get them all geared up and ready to fight a Kaita battle.

Kaita Za

Bohrok-Kal Kaita Za

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 9 | LIGHT Machine | ATK 3000 / DEF 0

“Bohrok Tahnok-Kal” + “Bohrok Nuhvok-Kal” + “Bohrok Pahrak-Kal”
Must first be Fusion Summoned, or Special Summoned by Tributing the above cards you control. You can banish up to 3 “Bohrok” cards from your GY; until the end of this turn, this card gains 1000 ATK for each, also it can make up to that many attacks on monsters during each Battle Phase this turn. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 “Bohrok” Xyz Monster in your GY; Special Summon it, and if you do, attach this card to it as material. You can only use each effect of “Bohrok-Kal Kaita Za” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)
Kaita Ja

Bohrok-Kal Kaita Ja

Fusion Effect MonsterLevel 9 | LIGHT Machine | ATK 2500 / DEF 2900

“Bohrok Gahlok-Kal” + “Bohrok Kohrak-Kal” + “Bohrok Lehvak-Kal”
Must first be Fusion Summoned, or Special Summoned by Tributing the above cards you control. (Quick Effect): You can banish up to 3 “Bohrok” cards from your GY, then target 1 monster in either GY, or if you banished 2 or more, you can target 1 monster on the field instead; equip it to this card. If you banished 3 cards to activate this effect, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 “Bohrok” Xyz Monster in your GY; Special Summon it, and if you do, attach this card to it as material. You can only use each effect of “Bohrok-Kal Kaita Ja” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

Like their non-Kal counterparts, these are meant to deal specifically with situations that their components alone cannot handle, and use banishing from the GY as cost to go with the Fusion Spell .

Kal Kaita Za is for when all effect removal fails and you must simply unga the bunga, either to hit over something specific or to deal massive damage. Rising up to 6000 ATK, it gets even bigger than the original Kaita Za, and while it lacks the protection at full tilt, it instead doubles, nay, triples down on offense by also gaining additional attacks. I think this effect remained unchanged from the very first draft, because it arrived fully formed in my head the moment I actually built the combiner. Seriously, what else could fit “Tahnok-Kal with beefy arms” better than dealing three big hits to the face? Except I allowed the extra hits to be on monsters only, because 18k direct damage seemed just a tad too extreme.

Kal Kaita Ja has the, among Kaita, rare privilege of having its effects based on something it actually did in the story: Showing up for a few comic panels so Wairuha Nuva can job hard enough to completely erase the concept of Toa Kaita from all following installments. Accordingly, its effect is basically a combination of Gahlok- , Kohrak- , and Lehvak-Kal tuned to beat specifically Wairuha Nuva, as well as other negates and disruptive monsters. The whole thing is tied into a neat, yet still somehow really wordy modular package that lets you access more of the effect depending on how much you banish for cost. For 1, it’s GY disruption, for 2 it can also be removal, and for 3 your opponent can’t even do anything about it.

A point of distinction from the original Bohrok Kaita is that the costs on these let you banish any Bohrok card, not just monsters. This is partially to expand the recycling capabilities of Bohrok Swarm Fusion , and partially because being forced to banish your own Bohrok-Kal with these would really, really suck. You see, in addition to their situational effects on the field, the Bohrok-Kal Kaita have a floating effect that massively boosts your recursion once you get them into rotation: When sent to the GY, they bring back a Bohrok Xyz from there (not the banishment!) and attach to it as material. Now if that material gets detached, it returns to the Extra Deck, but if the Xyz as a whole leaves the field with it attached, that means the Kaita is sent to the GY and triggers again! If it’s not the same turn, anyway. I did have the presence of mind to put a HOPT on these.

I feel like I also need to say something about the fusion materials, because didn’t I mention before that getting out 3 Toa Nuva was unrealistic? Yet now we are demanding not just 3 Bohrok-Kal, but even specifically named ones? Even with a contact fusion clause, that seems quite hard to achieve, no?

Well yes, kinda. The reason we can’t make these anymore generic is that a) Fusions don’t really do generic materials (for obvious reasons) and b) Bohrok have an in-archetype fusion substitute “monster” , so not having a specific name in the materials would have been anti-synergistic. The most that could be justified is something like “X-Kal”, “Y-Kal”, or “Z-Kal” + 2 “Bohrok” Xyz Monsters, but even that’s extremely questionable.

Also, funnily enough, between contact fusions not working with substitute materials and Bohrok-Kal Strategy providing plenty of searching for the Fusion Spell while you set up your Xyz, it actually seems to be easier to make these by fusing the normal way. A surprise, but a pleasant one, because that means you can also get an extra draw while you’re at it.


A sweeping change that barely affects anything is that cards which previously said “Nuva” Fusion Monster now say “Toa Nuva” monster so as to also include the Toa Nuva Kaita. That means all the Kanohi Nuva, all the Nuva Symbols, and also Nuva Emergence for consistency (still only lets you Fusion Summon Fusion Monsters though – shocking, I know). I’m only putting up one representative for each category here, surely nobody needs more to get the idea.

Kanohi Nuva

Great Kanohi Pakari Nuva

Equip Spell

If another “Kanohi” Equip Spell becomes equipped to the equipped monster, destroy this card. If the equipped monster is a “Toa Nuva” 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, and you have not activated any “Kanohi” Equip Spell effects in the GY this turn: You can banish 1 monster from your GY; place 1 “Nuva” Continuous Spell from your Deck face-up in your Spell & Trap Zone, also if you control a “Toa Nuva” monster, all monsters you currently control gain 600 ATK until the end of your opponent’s turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)
Nuva Symbol

Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage

Continuous Spell

You can shuffle this card you control into the Deck; add 1 “Toa Mata Tahu” from your Deck to your hand, or reveal it in your hand and add 1 “Energized Protodermis” card instead. You can only use this effect of “Nuva Symbol of Burning Courage” once per turn. If your “Toa Nuva” monster battles, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step. If this card leaves the field: Target 1 “Toa Nuva” monster you control; negate its effects, and if you do, skip the Battle Phase of your next turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)
Nuva Emergence

Nuva Emergence


Fusion Summon 1 “Toa Nuva” Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, by shuffling the Fusion Materials listed on it into the Deck, from among your hand, GY and/or face-up banished cards. If your opponent controls a monster, you can also banish 1 monster from your Deck as Fusion Material. During the Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card from your GY; add 1 “Nuva” Spell/Trap from your Deck or GY to your hand, except “Nuva Emergence”, then discard 1 card. You can only use each effect of “Nuva Emergence” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

And balanced as all things should be, the Bohrok-Kal also get a little tweak, this one just consisting of me finally finding the right wording for what I wanted the effect to do all along. Bohrok-Kal Strategy now only lets you trigger both effects at once if you do an actual proper Xyz Summon, courtesy of Progression Playoffs staple Dimension Slice.

Bohrok-Kal Strategy

Continuous Spell

When this card is activated: You can Special Summon 1 “Bohrok” monster from your hand. If a “Bohrok” monster(s) is Special Summoned to your field (except during the Damage Step): You can activate 1 of these effects, or, if the Summon is an Xyz Summon, you can activate both, in sequence;
●Target 1 other Spell/Trap on the field; destroy it.
●Add 1 “Bohrok” Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand, except “Bohrok-Kal Strategy”.
You can only use this effect of “Bohrok-Kal Strategy” once per turn.

Bionicle: Protodermic Evolution (v4.6.5)

Ever since Kalifornication got added, it bothered me a bit that I could just throw out a Bohrok-Kal on both my and the opponent’s turn to simultaneously remove backrow and search cards, even if the monster itself didn’t do anything before going back. Not to mention that Special Summoning even a poopy little Bohrok Va in the presence of a Kal would get the same crazy benefit.

Now, however, all has become as it should be. Cheating with Kalifornication only gets you one of the effects, merely summoning stuff while you have an established Bohrok-Kal only gets you one of the effects. Only good, proper overlaying of two Level 4 monsters as Astral intended gives you access to the glorious “Both” option. Or doing it with a Krana-Kal , we’re not that picky.


Bohrok-Kal with Kaita

Not much different from previous Kal builds, except you spend two spots in the Extra Deck on the Kaita and one in the Main Deck on Bohrok Swarm Fusion . If you ever find yourself in a spot where you have two appropriate Bohrok-Kal and Strategy on the field, simply bring back a Beacon from your GY to search the Fusion Spell, and you get to enjoy all the benefits of a Kaita. Granted, in those spots you’re already winning anyway most of the time, but might as well be fancy about it.

A detail worth mentioning is that the specially tight ED space forced me to put the two Regulus enablers as well as the King himself into the side deck this time. Going first, you can make room by taking out the Bahrag, since they only serve to accelerate your Kalifornication into established boards.

Also, regarding Kalifornication, I somehow only recently noticed a trick with it that always existed: use the effect to bring out a Bohrok-Kal, have it attach the Krana Vu-Kal , use the gained effect to banish until the End Phase … and just like magic, the part of the effect that would return it to the Extra Deck in your opponent’s End Phase fails to apply. Certainly helps with getting those Kaita materials ready.

Mata-less Nuva

A new possibility that opened up thanks to Tales of the Nuva alleviating the Toa Mata dependency is “Mata-less Nuva” – Toa Nuva builds that use fusion substitute monsters to stand in for all the different named materials you’d normally need. The advantage, other than removing bricky Level 6 monsters from the decklist, is that you can use the same substitute for any of the 6 Toa Nuva, so you have more freedom to choose between the options in your toolbox for a given situation. The downside is that these faux materials don’t work while in the Deck or banished, so Nuva Emergence specifically loses some versatility.

Now obviously, “put in random substitutes and hope you draw them” isn’t exactly a better use of deck space than just playing the Toa Mata, so instead I looked for a strategy that actually makes good use of those monsters already. Which of course brings us straight to notorious meta kingpin Tearlaments, where King of the Swamp has seen play quite unironically as a way to pretend Kitkallos isn’t banned. Other than that, the main synergy points are that the Toa Nuva’s on-summon searches discard as part of the effect so you can trigger Tear cards, and that milling a Kanohi Nuva, or any Nuva Spell/Trap while Tales is active, gets you something for your backrow.

Strategy-wise, the deck primarily aims for the very funny combo line where you overlay Kashtira Fenrir and Tearlaments Kashtira to get Dracossack, link the Tokens it makes into Cherubini to send King of the Swamp, link the Cherubini and something else into Sprind to send Merrli, and Fusion Summon to your heart’s content, usually for a Rulkallos. If the Dracossack stays around, Sprind doubles as an additional disruption, and if anywhere in your opening hand or many, many mills you found an extra King of the Swamp and access to Nuva Emergence, that’s all you need to also have full access to the custom half of the Extra Deck.

Now if Kitkallos actually was still around, the Energized Protodermis cards would go super crazy in here due to being hybrid Fusion Spells and materials that are also Aqua, and fusing them with a Tearlaments monster puts the the latter into the GY where it immediately triggers to fuse again. But sadly LIGHT Aqua + Tearlament does not actually make anything currently legal, and so I appear to have missed that window of opportunity. Unless there’s progress on Master Duel modding …

For a different take on the concept, I remembered that around the time Branded Fusion was first revealed, people quickly came up with the idea of sending the LIGHT and DARK Hex-Sealed Fusions as material for Albion or Lubellion, then proceeding to reuse them with those cards’ own fusion effects to make stuff like Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. Now there’s an issue here for our purposes: Thanks to fusion substitution not working in the Deck, as well as a Konami-said-so ruling declaring that “Fallen of Albaz” cannot be impersonated when using Branded Fusion, we can’t actually get both substitutes into the GY off a single activation. But doing fancy Dragoon plays obviously removes whichever one we sent from the GY, and then it won’t substitute anymore …

So instead, you either make Mirrorjade and leave the substitute around for later, or spend it on a Granguignol that sends Muddy Mudragon to replace it. Of course, if you factor in the cards in your hand that aren’t Branded Fusion, it’s perfectly possible to also make both of those together, or one of them plus Dragoon, or maybe all three plus Nuva access – it really depends on the materials available in the specific situation.

Ultimately, to make a Toa Nuva you need both a substitute you aren’t using for anything else and some access to either Nuva Emergence or an Energized Protodermis card. Branded Fusion can provide one or the other, but for the second piece of the puzzle you’re just kind of reliant on luck, and without the ability to go through a good chunk of your Deck like the Tear build does, that means you can expect to just be playing plain old Branded a decent chunk of the time. For this reason, I consider this variant the less successful one of the two, but still, when it works it works. Finding a way to play less than 48 cards may help as well, despite what they say about 50-card Branded being “optimal”.

Some test footage of both variants can be seen in this video:

Behold: Mata-less Nuva!

Protodermic Evolution

Now for the big shiny Rank-Up of the release, the first deck I attempted to put together was … this. It’s not very good, sadly. The idea was to just skip out on the Toa Nuva entirely and play classic Toa Mata, leveraging Protodermic Evolution to either access Rank 4s from a single Main Deck Toa, or the Nuva Kaita themselves from a Toa Mata Combination. In the former case, your options would be King Dempsey to get a little Warrior/FIRE Link climb going, or Raider’s Knight for big damage on turn 2 and beyond.

Unfortunately I appear to have underestimated just how little this archetype actually does without “Isolde send 6” holding it together. Or maybe I’m just still too stuck on the plays and combos I remember from back when that was allowed, even though something completely different would be needed in this new era – perhaps a blind second board-breaking approach could work?

Will have to investigate this some more before I decide what, if anything, should be done to fix the issues. In the meantime, if you have an opinion or idea, do speak up – additional viewpoints certainly don’t hurt.

So after mostly giving up on R6->R8, I started looking into the other way to reach the Nuva Kaita: Hard making them with three Level 8s. Conveniently, recent set releases have given us some dudes who easily provide the required bodies: The Horus monsters. Of them, we’re playing just enough names to overlay into what we need, a trio consisting of Imsety (of course), Hapi, and … Gesundheit. Add the King’s Sarcophagus, and surprisingly we find ourselves left with more than enough space to play a fat Nuva package of actual Toa Mata, Nuva Symbols, and even the coveted Cube . Which in turn makes our Kaita quite powerful even when made with only Horus materials, because the search then gives us whatever we were missing to enable Fusion Summons. Even better, Horus combos don’t require the Normal Summon, so if necessary we have the option to spend that on an Energized Protodermis Chamber , or bring out a Toa Mata to fuse away with Destiny .

The Rank-Up still appears in this list, and has some reasonable utility here and there. While you won’t ever Summon two Toa Mata to get into a Rank 6 you can turn into a Rank 8, what you can do is turning a lone Toa Nuva into a Rank 6, either the base Kaita or specifically Toa Mata Combination – Storm , actually still a pretty nice tool to throw a specific Toa Mata on the board in the very instant the condition for its trigger effect would be met. Better yet, the lock preventing those free monsters from being used as material just so happens to omit Fusion Summoning, so an activation of Energized Protodermis Destiny takes you straight into your next Toa Nuva. This is far from your main play, but does come up and feels quite good to pull off.

Overall, I’m super happy with how this one turned out. It lets the Nuva Kaita fully utilize their dual role as Extra Deck search cards that can also on rarer occasions act as crazy boss monsters. Usually your very consistent access to Toa Nuva, which can still very much be considered bosses in their own right, is the foremost way you take control of the game, but every once in a while you can also enjoy Wairuha as a beefy negate or Akamai as an OTK enabler, giving you a nice cherry on top of an already functional strategy.

Speaking of functional, now begins the countdown of a few months until I hope to roll up with properly functional Rahi designs. O joy.

Well, see you then!