A beatstick, as its name suggests, is a Monster that is used primarily to attack due to its high ATK. Usually, a beatstick has a low Level, making it easy to Summon. While one would think of Normal Monsters like "Gene-Warped Warwolf" (a 2000 ATK, Level 4 Monster) or "Frostosaurus" (a 2600 ATK, Level 6 Monster), the "best" beatstick Monsters usually have any or all of the following properties:
- Effects that aren't prejudicial to its owner (like a "Skilled Dark Magician" in a Deck without "Dark Magician").
- Effects that allow them to be Special Summoned without a major setup, and thus, allowing the player to summon a lot of monsters in one turn (like "Silpheed", "Cyber Dragon" and "Gigantes").
- Effects that actually help the player (like "Gigantes", "Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer" and "Elemental Hero Stratos").
- Effects that raises their own ATK (like "Hunter Owl", "Amazoness Paladin", "Genex Turbine" and "Elemental Hero Heat").
Also, for a low-level Monster to be considered a beatstick, it must have at least the "standard" ATK points to be considered a "strong" attacker, or being able to raise its own ATK to the "standard" levels easily and without a major setup. While it depends on the Metagame entirely, the usual ATK score for a low-level beatstick is between 1700 and 2000 ATK. For a high-level Monster to be considered a beatstick it should have any or all of these properties:
- Have a very high ATK that can't be reached easily, like "Blue-Eyes White Dragon".
- Require only 1 or no tributes, like "Summoned Skull" or "Cyber Dragon".
- Being able at least to tie with the "standard" ATK power of Tribute Monsters (that standard being usually 2400 ATK, the ATK score for any "Monarch" and "Jinzo"), or having an effect that allows it to raise its own ATK above the standard (like "White-Horned Dragon").
- Having an effect that allows them to be Summoned more easily (like "Cyber Dragon", "Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest" or "Evil Hero Malicious Edge").
"Cyber Dragon" is considered one of the best beatsticks ever printed: its effect allows it to be easily Special Summoned, to the point that one could count "Cyber Dragon" as a level 4 Monster, while its 2100 ATK is enough to destroy almost any low-level monster, and even some high-level monsters like "Vampire Lord" or "Airknight Parshath" (and thus, those monsters saw a huge decrease in play: it's meaningless to tribute for something that a non-tribute monster can destroy easily). Other good beatsticks commonly used are "Gene-Warped Warwolf" (as well as the recent "Alexandrite Dragon"), "Berserk Gorilla" and any 1900 ATK Monster with a low-level.
Some monsters are considered good because of their effects and good ATK. The common saying for this is: "when this Monster's Effect isn't useful, you can always use it as a decent beatstick". Examples of those cards are "Royal Firestorm Guards", "Herald of Creation", "Harpie Queen" and "Mei-Kou, Master of Barriers".
Finally, some of the best Monsters in the whole game include beatsticks that have outstanding effects and are easily Summoneable. "Dark Armed Dragon", "Judgment Dragon", "Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon" and "Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning", they're extremely easy to summon, all of them have a very high ATK, and they all have game-breaking effects. But also, cards like "Elemental Hero Stratos" (that searches either the monsters you need or acts similarly to "Breaker the Magical Warrior"), "Dark Grepher" (that allows one to fill the Graveyard with any DARK Monster you can need VERY quickly), "Doomcaliber Knight" (that has 1900 ATK and can negate any Monster effect) or "Zombie Master" (a Monster that combined with the likes of "Mezuki", "Il Blud" and "Card of Safe Return" makes a Zombie Deck deadly) are excellent Monsters with great effects and a very good ATK.
A variant of the famous Beatdown Deck consists in the use of several beatsticks. The objective of this Deck is to overpower the opponent with brute force, having so many strong monsters that when your opponent runs out of Card Effects to get rid of your monsters, he/she cannot fight back and be overwhelmed by monsters he/she can't defeat in battle. Of course, this strategy is outdated, since Card Effects play a major role on today's dueling. But even then, one must not underestimate the threat of a high ATK score, since a pair of direct blows and it could be the end of your Life Points.