Rationalizing the Toa Nuva's defeats

The Toa Nuva are the most powerful Toa in the Matoran Universe, perhaps only rivaled by the Toa Inika. It is odd, then, that the Toa Nuva lost fights against Rahkshi and, most famously, the Piraka- especially considering they successfully combated more powerful enemies in the Makuta of Karda Nui later on. Further, the Toa Nuva (and other, weaker Toa) demolish countless Skakdi and Rahkshi throughout both Teridax’s reign and the Battle of Bara Magna- the same enemies they had fought one-one-one before and lost to.

I’m going to attempt to justify these inconsistencies with primarily speculation as well as some canon material.

-The Piraka-
The Piraka are physical powerhouses who can tolerate most physical and elemental attacks: this is a Skakdi’s nature.The Piraka aren’t normal Skakdi, though. They’ve received Dark Hunter training for over 5000 years, and some, including Vezok, Reidak, and Avak, are sent out to complete gravely significant missions, such as releasing the Kanohi Dragon and bargaining with Turaga Dume, or in Thok’s case, kidnapping him. The Skakdi are sent out on these important missions by The Shadowed One despite betraying him, and thus it can be concluded that choosing them for the job was probably based upon skill and merit.

Even before joining the Dark Hunters, The Piraka must have been significant in some way or another. The Dark Hunters have a general policy regarding Skakdi: they’re too treacherous to be trusted. After Spiriah’s experiments, Makuta Krika took over in his stead and quarantined the island. Skakdi were not allowed to leave; somehow the Piraka were successful in either leaving or causing large enough a disturbance as to be spirited off Zakaz by Dark Hunters.
(Quotes from BS01)
Regarding Reidak:
“He engaged in an argument with one of the order enforcers, which escalated into a series of disputes that erupted into a war on the island, resulting in much of it being destroyed, and all the inhabitants except himself fleeing it.”

Regarding Avak:
“Almost immediately, he was a problem. Complaining, questioning authority, scheming against his betters… all of this earned him his share of dangerous missions and a number of sessions with the masters of pain. Somehow, he survived all of it…”
-The Shadowed One

The Piraka are far more combat effective than regular Skakdi, and thus are not comparable to, for example, the horde of Skakdi defeated when “[Brutaka] sent [a] structure toppling down on a mob of Skakdi. When the dust cleared, all of them were trapped beneath the rubble.”
Can you picture the Piraka being defeated all at once by a toppling structure?
Probably not.
(Well, maybe Hakann(see the comics))

There is a reason the Piraka are so infamous, even amongst their own people. Their predisposition to excellence, in addition to extensive training by dark hunters, something no other Skakdi received, is why the Piraka were able to defeat the most powerful Toa Team in existence, when dozens of other Skakdi fall before them.

-The Rahkshi of Mata Nui-
A battle that should have been won with ease, but was instead hard-fought, was the fight between the Toa Nuva and six Rahkshi upon Mata Nui.

First and foremost, it should be noted that Teridax intended only to capture the Mask of Light, not to harm the Matoran or Toa nor damage the island. This is the first and only serious move against the residents of the island. He has been recorded as reasoning that he hadn’t sent the Rahkshi to Mata Nui due to their destructive nature, and only the advent of the discovery of the Mask of Light caused him to reveal his hand. This is probably true: the Rahkshi, unmonitored, would have probably ravaged the island and killed the Matoran and Turaga(In the Toa’s absence). Teridax intended for the Matoran to return to Metru Nui safetly. If Teridax were controlling and directing them with greater focus and precision, he could mitigate their destructiveness, and- though this is highly speculative- increase their combat effectiveness.
If Teridax has more mental focus put upon a few particular Rahkshi, it would seem likely to me that his heightened influence would strengthen the Rahkshi, particularily if he is influencing their specific actions.
The Rahkshi army Teridax unleashes upon Voporak have one objective, and a simple one: engage Voporak. They don’t need much direction; they don’t need to be monitored. Therefore, they’re probably going to be less effective than a Rahkshi Teridax is keeping his focus on. These six are bolstered by his presence, and thus are more able to stand up to the Toa Nuva.

Sorry this whole thing deflated at the end, I’ll probably edit it in the morning but I’m tired and it’s three in the morning.


Completely agree with what you said. The main problem I always had with the Nuva’s defeat at the hands of the Pirka was how the Inika had no real trouble at all against them, though.

I’d also say that in terms of pure elemental power the Toa Nuva are the most powerful Toa, but Toa like Helryx or Teridax’s Toa Hagah I’d actually consider “stronger” given that they have way more experience.


Maybe I’m misremembering the comics but I remember the inika basically dodging their way through their battles with a few big hits, and having axonn on their side, aside from that they had forewarning, and they didn’t defeat the piraka so much as vezon did and they just kind of nudged the battle in their favor.


The Toa Nuva also weren’t as united as the Inika, though, unless they absolutely had to be, possibly due in part to their amnesia.
True, they were trained by the Order, and did acquire ridiculous amounts of power, but muscle memory can only take one so far. Given that they couldn’t even remember who they were at first, it’s not really that much of a leap that they lost all of their prior experience in regards to teamwork and strategic thinking as well, which would, at least partially, help explain away some of their more reckless behavior. And, by extension, why it seemed like everyone and their mother was perfectly capable of easily handing them their own butts in regards to combat encounters.
Think of it this way; if you took Einstein, arguably one of the greatest minds in the realm of physics, and then gave him a lobotomy, he’d probably start having just as much trouble with the subject as the average high school student at first too, provided that he was able to sufficiently recover. A lot of people seem to think that it’s something that can simply be brushed off, but mental trauma’s kind of a big deal.

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With great power… does not come knowing how to use it.

Let’s look at who the Toa Nuva fought since becoming Toa Nuva

The Bohrok-Kal – who they never actually defeated.

The Rahkshi – Who they did defeat, except for Turahk, it just took them a few tries

The Piraka – who utterly defeated them, BUT, let’s not forget that the Nuva did manage to take down Reidak, and at least temporarily took down Avak.

The Makuta – who wanted them to succeed anyway.

The Nuva are like an ape with an AK-47 = power, but without the capability to actually use it.

Also, let’s look at the Inika “defeating” the Piraka. As Yink points out, the Inika kinda just survived, mainly due to the Piraka finding out where the Mask of Life was and being impatient to get to it. Let’s go over the Inika’s fights.

Against Vezok – One Piraka can be taken by a team of Toa, it’s only the united Piraka that pose a threat. Even the Toa Nuva defeated Reidak.

At the Piraka Stronghold – Unlike the Toa Nuva, the Inika now knew their enemies, thanks to the Yoyatoran. Avak and Zaktan were defeated, yes, but what about the others?
Thok – nearly took out Hahli, and probably did take out Matoro and Hahli to be able to get to Hakann
Hakann – held his own against Jaller
Reidak and Vezok aren’t mentioned, but they weren’t defeated.
And Brutaka was defeated, but only temporarily, and would’ve wrecked the place had his power not been stolen.

At the stairway entrance – The Inika succeeded in returning Brutaka’s power, only to be defeated again.

At the bridge – The Inika are defeated again. Hewkii even mentions it

Then the Inika face Vezon, who was able to defeat the Piraka, and they only win thanks to a special Zamor Sphere.

Long Story short – The Inika are powerful, but they only succeeded in surviving the events on Voya Nui. The Nuva are powerful, but they really aren’t that good.



I’ve got some issues regarding your analysis of the first Piraka-Inika engagement.
Here’s a Quote from Hakann, on page 78 of Power Play.

“Hakann looked around the chamber with increasing worry. Avak and Zaktan were down or gone, and the other Piraka were at best deadlocked with their opponents.”

Lets do the matchups:

At first, Hakann is waiting for Brutaka, so that he can steal his power. He isn’t fighting.
Jaller is fighting Reidak
Hewkii is fighting Brutaka
Kongu vs. Avak
Hahli vs Thok
Matoro vs ???
??? vs Vezok
Nuparu vs Zaktan

(Refferenced solely from Power Play)
1)Hewkii entraps Brutaka
2)Nuparu and Zaktan are taken out of the conflict
3)Kongu defeats Avak
4)Hewkii engages Reidak alongside Jaller
5)Jaller abandons his fight with Reidak, leaving him to Hewkii
6)Jaller engages Hakann
At some point during this, Hahli engages Thok, and at some point, Matoro saves her from his attack. This fight is only in the comic, and is not described in Power Play

Now here’s the speculation.
Vezok is the only individual not mentioned at all during the fight.
Matoro is the only Toa who doesn’t have an initial opponent.
Therefore, it is likely that Matoro fought Vezok, and it is also likely that Matoro was able to come to Hahli’s aid after defeating him, temporarily or not. We know he didn’t flee from Vezok, because Hakann’s quote tells us that Vezok’s best circumstance could have been a stalemate- or worse. Hakann’s quote regards Rediak, Thok, and Vezok. Rediak was likely in a stalemate with Jaller, and as Jaller seemed quite comfortable leaving Hewkii alone to combat Reidak as he engaged Hakann- who Jaller thought was leaving.

“Jaller spotted Hakann in the shadows, no doubt planning an escape. He couldn’t allow that to happen. The Piraka had to be defeated right here and now and then made to tell what had happened to the Toa Nuva.”(79)

Jaller is clearly confident enough in the Inika’s victory that he prevents a combatant from exiting while leaving his companion to battle Reidak alone. Jaller is focused on justice, wheras the Nuva were fighting for their very lives.

Of course, Kongu is the wild card. We aren’t privy to the exact timing of all the fights, and so it is possible that Kongu defeated Avak whilst Matoro (Presumably) fought with Vezok, and thus engaged Vezok with him, allowing Matoro to save Hahli from Thok. Avak is, after all, recovered and on his feet in time to witness Hakann steal Brutaka’s power.

However, Kongu is able to “gulp a mouthful of air before the sphere turned into a vacuum chamber.” (76)
Therefore, a notable amount of time goes by with Kongu in the vacuum- for moments before Kongu assaults Avak with his mask, he “calculated he had about four seconds to live.”(77)
Because Kongu is able to inhale a large breath of air, the time it took for him to have only four more seconds worth was perhaps long enough for Matoro to dispatch Vezok and save Hahli unassisted. Additionally, Avak only passed out- and one can recover from a choke-hold in as little as three seconds.
The more likely option to me is that, if Kongu defeated Avak before most of the events in the fight had occured, he would have gone to help Hewkii against Reidak, a tougher opponent.

Now for specific counterarguments.

Yes, Matoro had to save Thok. But to say that it’s more likely that Thok took out two Toa Inika than he simply ditched the fight in order to catch Brutaka’s powers with Hakann? That’s unreasonable. Every one-one-one fight we know of skewed in favour of the Inika, and Thok was struggling with Hahli- he was face-down in the dirt when he animated the stone that bound her. Thok isn’t known for his combat effectiveness; Reidak and Hakann have both been known to beat him in fights. Thok is known for using trickery and manipulation to win, and it fits with his character as well as the sequence of events that he abandoned his fight with the two Toa to grab power.

I suppose so- but their fight was quick, and neither were able to fully showcase their abilities. Not to mention that Hakann more than held his own against the Toa Nuva.

Reidak was mentioned. And you can’t say they weren’t defeated, we have no idea what happened to Vezok. Both could have been defeated and revived in time to witness Hakann’s and Thok’s ascension, just as Avak was.

Brutaka is not a Piraka, and didn’t participate in the big fight between the Nuva and Piraka. Despite his irrelevance to the origianl discussion, it is worth noting that he was defeated by Hewkii alone, when all six Toa Nuva lost to him. Different circumstances, sure, but notable all the same.

Defeated by Hakann using Brutaka’s power. When the Toa Nuva fought the Piraka, they didn’t have access to Brutaka’s power. There is no comparison to be had.

This really isn’t the same either. Kongu knocks down a bridge and the Inika lose the Piraka. There isn’t a big fight like the other instances, and there is almost no combative skill to observe.

The Piraka are defeated when Vezon uses Reidak and Vezok to take out the others. The Piraka didn’t last against Vezon for a minute. Vezon even mentions that Toa don’t break as easily as the Piraka- and they don’t. The Toa Inika are depicted as fighting a long-winded, devastating battle and are successful in knocking the duo into the lava. Of course they only win due to the Zamor. Vezon and Fenrakk were invincible. How else would they have won?[quote=“Willess12, post:5, topic:41323”]
Also, let’s look at the Inika “defeating” the Piraka. As Yink points out, the Inika kinda just survived, mainly due to the Piraka finding out where the Mask of Life was and being impatient to get to it. Let’s go over the Inika’s fights.

I’ve saved your first argument for last.
Hopefully, in this colossal post, I’ve demonstrated that the Inika did, in fact, fare well against the Piraka. The Inika did not “Just survive”; they absolutely castrated them. The fight didn’t end when the Piraka found out the location of the mask, the fight ended when the Hakann and Thok stole Brutaka’s power, demolished Toa and Inika alike, and forced the information out of Brutaka. When the Piraka fought the Inika with ionly their own power, they inevitably would have lost. something else I’ve neglected to mention is Brutaka’s presence. The Nuva fought six-on-six; the INika fought six-on-seven and still would have pulled a victory. [quote=“Payinku, post:3, topic:41323”]
Maybe I’m misremembering the comics but I remember the inika basically dodging their way through their battles with a few big hits, and having axonn on their side, aside from that they had forewarning, and they didn’t defeat the piraka so much as vezon did and they just kind of nudged the battle in their favor.

Finally, and I do mean finally, the Toa Inika didn’t have Axonn on their side. But the Piraka did have Brutaka.

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Hmm, yeah, I forgot that line.

It could be that Hakann was only generalizing. After all, Matoro is the least capable warrior in the team – it’s possible, likely even, that he couldn’t take out Vezok.

Matoro had to save Thok from Hahli’s ire had he actually hit her.
(sorry, couldn’t resist)

I reread Power Play after posting this, and apparently he just knocked Matoro down and ran to Hakann. So you’re right.

Sorry, bad wording; I meant their battles, the outcomes, aren’t described. Yes, we know Hewkii fought Reidak, but that’s it.

I was only using him as a reference to the Inika.

This does bother me, because Brutaka is never shown to be that strong again. Brutaka loses against many other opponents after this, including Hewkii.

Not exactly. They do knock him off-balance, sure, but he falls in on purpose to become more powerful.

Okay, yes, I have to agree. And I would guess this is in part because the Inika knew their opponents, thanks to the Matoran resistance. Kongu, for example, knew to assault Avak’s mind to escape his cage. Perhaps the Inika were stronger than the Nuva, too, but they’ve also fighting for hundreds of years (except perhaps Matoro) while the Nuva for maybe a year. As Matoran, granted, but it has to count for something.



It is true he’s the least experienced fighter, but we don’t see Vezok anywhere else in the fight. He isnt pictured anywhere in the third ignition comic, even in the fight against Hakann and Thok- Zaktan is the only other Piraka not pictured fighting them, and he, as we know, was knocked out by Nuparu. One woud think that if Matoro was unable to defeat Vezok, he would be furiously attacking Hakann, the Piraka he hates most. And while it is possible Hakann is generalizing, I find it unlikely. When he refers to the “other Piraka”, he is only talking about Reidak, Vezok, and Thok. It would be easy to simply observe three battles, especially when he isn’t himself fighting at the time.[quote=“Willess12, post:7, topic:41323”]
Matoro had to save Thok from Hahli’s ire had he actually hit her.

Got me there :stuck_out_tongue:

Fair enough. It is worth noting, though, that none of the Toa Nuva were able to fight Reidak one-on-one in their big fight, if i remember correctly. Lewa was able to knock him down, but he was never seriously in danger(Again, correct me if I’m wrong)

But we can’t use him as a reference point in this discussion, because the point is to compare how the Inika and Nuva compared against the Piraka in their respective battles. If the Nuva didn’t face Brutaka, claiming he would have mopped the floor with the Inika is a moot point. I see where you’re going, but it doesn’t work in the context of this discussion.[quote=“Willess12, post:7, topic:41323”]
This does bother me, because Brutaka is never shown to be that strong again. Brutaka loses against many other opponents after this, including Hewkii.

Totally agree. It doesnt even make physical sense, being able to hit twelve foes with his blade. It isn’t even long enough in the set to do that, and with the differing heights of the Toa Nuva and voyatoran, he would have had to basically hit the Toa Nuva in the gut and Voyatoran in the head. Plus, since he is so tall, he’d have to be bending over to hit them all. Not to mention, as you said, he isn’t this powerful anywhere else. Just a pretty silly scene.

This is tricky. I checked both Inferno and the fifth Ignition comic to see what happened, and this is what I found. In the Comic, it couldn’t be more obvious that Jaller actually does cause Vezon and Fenrakk into the lava. You can check. Jaller says, “We might as well go down fighting.” he blasts the stone Fenrakk stands upon, and Vezon says
“What–??” before the narrator says:
“Off-balance, Vezon and Fenrakk topple into the lava.”
Read the comic, it’s very clear.
The book, however, is not.
Jaller causes Fenrakk to lose his balance, but Vezon seems to urge him into the lava.
Hewkii comments, “He… he did that to himself!”(96)

So we have conflicting accounts- but even so, it doesn’t matter. The Inika objectively fared better- way better- against Vezon than the Piraka, which is the underlying point of the argument.

Perfect! That’s exactly what the original post was dedicated to doing- explaining why they lost the battles they did, when they are supposed to be the most elementally powerful Toa. We only started discussing the Toa Inika because people don’t give them enough credit- The Inika would have beat the Piraka in a six-on-six battle, while the Toa Nuva lost. Now that we’re in agreement( for the most part), you’ve come up with some really good reasons as to why this is. I’d also propose that the Nuva lack the physical strength of the Inika, due to the degradation of their organic tissue in the canisters, and this could be why the Inika beat foes they could not.

He does have that energy blast he downed Axonn with in the comics. And I guess if it could down one super-tough guy, it could down 6 Toa who aren’t at their full strength yet* and some weaker-than-average Matoran.

*Yes, they had their Masks back by now, but they’ve been fighting and moving around without masks for awhile, I’d imagine it would take a little while for them to be at full strength again.

It does make it seem that way, but I imagine that’s just due to how fast-paced the comics are, how much was cut from them. And this is the same comic that has Vezok frozen in ice for no reason in the last panel – how accurate is it, really?


Regarding Brutaka: Fair enough- but as you said earlier, it’s still much greater a feat than he normally displays.

As for knocking Vezon into the lava or not- and I don’t think the comics should be disregarded completely, even for the reasons you gave. It explicitly states Fenrakk slips, not that Vezon drives him into the lava- and despite it being fast paced, it would have been easy to claim the latter in as few words. Regardless, whether the Toa knocked him in or not, it doesn’t really matter- they still put up a fight against Fenrakk and even Kardas, something the Piraka failed to do. The point of the discussion is comparing power levels between the Piraka, Inika, and Nuva. So if the Inika fought against Fenrakk and Vezon and the Piraka fell immediately, that’s what really matters(In this specific context).

I say plot convince and lazy writing

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