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Gladiator Beast Guide

by Blue-Eyes White Kid

Basic Gladiator Beasts

Mechanics

A Gladiator Beast deck, also known as a GB deck, operates on a strategy called 'Toolboxing' - the deck has a card for almost any situation that can be easily searched out. The deck also has Beatdown and Control aspects to it. When a GB attacks or is attacked, and survives the battle, they can 'tag-out', which means they return to the deck for a different Gladiator Beast. This creates the Toolbox effect.
The key to the deck is to trigger that reaction by either attacking an opposing monster, or by a card effect protects them during a battle. Once they Special Summon themselves from the deck, they gain a special effect. Previously weak monsters now have devastating effects that can easily turn the tide of a game. Upon their 'tagging-in', some Gladiators destroy cards, and others gain ATK and DEF. Other Gladiator Beast's effects include searching, reviving, and recylcing different Gladiator Beast cards.
But, the driving force of a GB deck is their fusions. There are four in total, but only two are mentionable, named Gladiator Beast Gyzarus and Gladiator Beast Heraklinos. Gyzarus has the ability to destroy up to two cards when it is Special Summoned, and Heraklinos can negate a spell of trap's effect at the cost of discarding one card! And those are only the monsters.
GB spell and trap cards are used to control the opponent, or gain card advantage. Gladiator Beast War Chariot is debatably the most powerful of them, able to negate a monsters effect and destroy it for free. Gladiator Proving Ground is similar to Reinforcement of the Army, and helps create consistency in the deck. Indomitable Gladiator Beast is used to help 'tag-out', and can recycle fallen Gladiator Beast monsters. Now you can see why this deck is one of the best in the world.

Rank in General Meta

Gladiator Beasts ranked are around second in the world-wide Metagame, only beaten by Blackwings. That does not mean they have not beaten, or cannot beat that deck.
The thing this deck holds over others is it's consistency - there are very few Dead Draws in a good GB build. While Lightsworn decks mill away the cards they need, Gladiators can add them to their hands through a number of card effects. Another reason they are winning is because of Card Advantage. Every time one is summoned by the effect of another, you gain a free effect. That gives you a +1. Eventually, those +1s add up into +10s, and will only grow as the duel goes on. That is one of the keys to winning: not losing card advantage.

Building the deck

Cost/Return

Competitive Gladiator Beast decks are a fairly cheap to make compared to others. Most of the cards are less than $1, except for a few, including Gladiator Beast Murmillo, Gladiator Beast Laquari, Test Tiger, and Gladiator Beast War Chariot. Expect to pay $100-$130 for a competitive GB deck with a proper Extra Deck. But, the return will be huge. A proper build paired with a favorable play-style will make a Gladiator Beast deck very hard to beat.

Deck oddities

When playing GBs, expect to have a high trap card count. 9 to 15 traps in your deck should suffice, because any less would compromise the deck's control, and any more would make the deck slow and unbalanced. Most GB decks have less than or equal to 20 monster cards in the main deck, so you have room for all of the supportive spells and traps.

Card Choices

The un-starred cards are essential in the deck. You will need at least one of them. Feel free to add in Staple cards as you please.

Monsters:

Test Tiger. Tagging-out without attacking is a great asset in this deck, and it can also be summoned with Rescue Cat. This card is also key in many combos, and can return unwanted Gladiator Beasts from your field to your deck. This card is essential, so use as many as you can.

Gladiator Beast Laquari. You must have this in order to create Heraklinos, and it is a nice beatstick, too. You should play him in multiples, just in case he gets removed from play or sent to the graveyard.

Gladiator Beast Samnite. This guy rocketed the GB archetype back to tier one. He has a great effect which allows him to freely add a GB card from your deck to your hand when he destroys a monster. Use him in conjunction with Book of Moon, which helps him destroy more monsters.

Gladiator Beast Equeste. You must use this card. Gladiator Beasts should never be left in the graveyard for long periods of time, because they are much more helpful in your hand or deck. This card can even return any spell or trap card from the graveyard to your hand, as long as it has Gladiator Beast in the card name! That includes all of the equip spells, Gladiator Beast's Respite, and even Gladiator Beast War Chariot.

Gladiator Beast Darius. This monster is the main reason you can summon your Fusion monsters. Use it in multiples if you have Elemental Hero Prisma in your deck, because you will need to revive lots of monsters to effectively utilize Prisma's effect, and you can't do that if your only Darius is in your hand or graveyard.

Gladiator Beast Bestiari. This bird is needed to make Gyzarus, and can also destroy a spell or trap while it is at it. Definitely use this card. Sadly, it is limited, so play it with caution, because if it gets removed from play, you have just lost a major weapon.

Gladiator Beast Murmillo. Free, reusable monster removal makes this a great monster. You should only play 1 of them though, because while he is good, he is only good in the deck, where you have access to him. If you draw him, he will be hard to get back in the deck because of his low attack.

Gladiator Beast Hoplomus. Set this guy, and you basically get a free tag-out. Your opponent will fear having another GB on the field, leaving him no choice but to attack it. If they don't, you can still use him to help create a fusion monster. He is a powerful force when combined with War Chariot too, and can stall your opponent until you draw the right card(s).

Gladiator Beast Secutor.* Power is Secutor's middle name, but he is a perfect example of a dead draw. He can get out the fusions with ease, but be cautioned, because you don't want to draw it.

Gladiator Beast Retiari.* This is a great card, but it is very vulnerable while on the field. It's main use is to remove powerful cards from your opponent's graveyard, like Mezuki, Necro Gardna, Plaguespreader Zombie, or anything else threatening. He is a bad draw, so only use one. And, while he is not essential, he can be useful if your local metagame is full of Graveyard-dependent decks.

Gladiator Beast Dimacari.* This guy can be good, but most times he is a waste of space. And, with so many good cards, you will find a hard time finding room for him. If you can find room, you can use this guy.

Gladiator Beast Alexander.* He is hard to get out, and can be dead in your hand. He has a so-so effect as well. He is definitely not the best GB. Most people don't use him, but he can still be useful every once in a while.

Gladiator Beast Spartacus.* Only use this if you use the themed equip spells en masse. Even so, he is so hard to get out, and is a dead draw. It doesn't that good of a return on it's effect, either. He is not a good GB.

Gladiator Beast Octavius.* Discarding in a GB deck can be detrimental to the deck's strategy. GBs, by nature, have a low hand count, because they only draw once per turn, and set alot of trap cards, so decreasing your hand count is never good. I would use him with caution, because leaving him out can hurt your chances of winning.

Test Ape.* This guy is okay, but not the best because it will take time to activate it's effect, which makes him slow. Use him if you want to, but most people don't.

Gladiator Beast Torax.* No. Never use this. It is a disgrace to the GB name. It has a terrible effect, doesn't tag-out when normal summoned, and when he tags-out, you don't get to tag-in a GB!

Extra Deck:

Gladiator Beast Heraklinos. When you get this card out, most duelists give up. That is how powerful he is. With a simple discard, you can negate a spell or traps effect. Once you get him out, you should back him up with a War Chariot, just to be protected from the Honests or Kaluts. This card is a must have in your extra deck. If you use Synchro monsters, use only two of him to make room for more Synchros.

Gladiator Beast Gyzarus. By returning Bestiari and another GB to the deck, you can get out this beast. it destroys two cards on impact, and can tag out to the extra deck for two more Gladiator Beasts! You must have at least 1 in your GB extra deck. He is an indispensable tool.

Gladiator Beast Gaiodiaz.* Use this only if you use Spartacus. His effect isn't as good as the other Fusion Monsters, and you will rarely get him out. Gyzarus blows two cards up, Heraklinos negates most spell and trap cards, but this only guy inflicts minimal burn damage if he successfully attacks. He will only take up space in your Extra deck.

Spells:

Gladiator Proving Ground. Use this to add a Hoplomus to your hand in a pinch, or Bestiari for quick field-clearing. Laquari is also a good choice. This card helps the deck run smoothly. Try it out in multiples.

Indomitable Gladiator Beast.* Use this if you want. It is okay because it can return two GB cards from your grave to your deck to recycle itself, but that is not always good. Equeste already does what this card does, and Equeste does it better. It also becomes a dead draw if you don't have any monsters out.

Gladiator Beast's Respite.* This card is great early-game, nice mid-game, and terrible late-game. In the early game, your hand will be full of GBs that are dying to get back in your deck, but later on when you don't have many cards in your hand, it becomes worthless. It can be useful when combined with Heraklinos, because if you discard it for Heraklinos' effect, you can bring it back with Equeste. Then again, the same can be said for every other GB card, so...

Gladiator Beast's Battle Halberd.* You should only use this card if you use Spartacus. Otherwise, it is a waste. Equip spells become dead draws if you have no monsters, and monster removal is common in today's meta.

Gladiator Beast's Battle Archfiend Shield.* You should only use this card if you use Spartacus. Otherwise, it is a waste. Equip spells become dead draws if you have no monsters, and monster removal is common in today's meta.

Traps:

Gladiator Beast War Chariot. It can be searched via Samnite, and it is free! It is a must-have, so use it at three.

Defensive Tactics.* Waboku is better, but this is still usable. Waboku doesn't require you to have a GB on the field, or even a monster; while this card does. The only thing it holds over Waboku is that it returns to your deck after use, which is also not always good.

Gladiator Lash.* Interesting card, this is. It has a nice effect, but I don't see a need for it. You can use it if you can find room.

Double Tag Team.* This is slow, and isn't chainable - two bad things in this Metagame. It can still be useful, though.

Trojan Gladiator Beast.* Using this in a normal GB deck isn't a popular choice, but in a dedicated Trojan GB deck, it can be somewhat useful. Trojan GBs are full of weak GBs to take advantage of Trojan's effect. This variant died off when Bestiari was limited, because the main combo of the deck included Bestiari.


The following cards are completely optional. They are not needed, but can help the deck win.

Monsters:

Elemental Hero Prisma. A powerful combo involves this card and Test Tiger: while this card is face-up, activate his effect, and reveal Gladiator Beast Gyzarus in your Extra deck to send Gladiator Beast Bestiari from your deck to the graveyard. Now that Elemental Hero Prisma is treated as Gladiator Beast Bestiari, Special Summon Test Tiger from your hand, and tribute it to tag-out Prisma for Gladiator Beast Darius. Darius' effect activates, and revives the Bestiari that was sent to the graveyard for Prisma's effect. Now, you can Contact Fuse Darius and Bestiari for Gladiator Beast Gyzarus. This card should be used along with Reinforcement of the Army and/or E - Emergency Call to help search it out.

Elemental Hero Stratos. This card is used in decks that use Elemental Hero Prisma to search it out. This card should also be used in conjunction with Reinforcement of the Army and/or E - Emergency Call to help search it out.

Rescue Cat.This is used to search out Gladiator Beast Samnite, Test Tiger, X-Saber Airbellum, or any combination of the above. You can then tribute Test Tiger to tag-out Samnite, and get a free GB with it's effect. Or, you can use this cards effect to summon Samnite and Airbellum, and Synchro Summon Goyo Guardian. This is limited, so I would recommend you use the highest amount possible: 1.

X-Saber Airbellum. Airbellum gives the deck access to powerful Synchro Monsters, it has a useful effect, AND can be searched out with Rescue Cat. A popular play would include Test Tiger, this card, Rescue Cat, and Samnite. Normal Summon Rescue Cat, use it's effect to get out this card and Samnite, and then Special Summon Test Tiger for the Synchro Summon of XX-Saber Gottoms or Mist Wurm.

Summoner Monk. Summoner Monk is mainly used in the Synchro variants of GB decks. He can search out Rescue Cat, Laquari, Bestiari, or any other 4 star monster you have. He speeds up the deck, but if you want to consistantly use him, your deck should have more spells so you can activate his effect more.

Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind. This card can be very useful at times. It can take down Gladiator Beast's worst enemy, Stardust Dragon, single-handedly, but it can also fetch you a Black Rose Dragon for a quick field-clearing. If you use this, you will probably want to put a Blackwing Armor Master in your Extra Deck, just because it is a great card.

Cyber Dragon. This card is used as a beatstick that can bait out Bottomless Trap Holes, and it can combo with Gale if you use it. You should start off using one.

Spells:

Cold Wave. This is used to prevent spells or traps from destroying your GBs or interfering with your combos.

Book of Moon. Book of Moon is a highly flexible Quick-Play spell. It's main use is to protect the Battle Phase when dueling Blackwing and Lightsworn decks. The card does that by flipping any monster you attempt to attack face-down, preventing your opponent from using Honest and Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow. It can also negate monster effects and Bottomless Trap Hole. This is a definite staple in GB decks.

Reinforcement of the Army, E - Emergency Call. These cards are used in decks that use Elemental Hero Prisma to search it out.

Smashing Ground, Fissure. Basic monster removal. They are all 1 for 1, which means they replace themselves through card advantage and field advantage.

My Body as a Shield. This is like a toned-down Solemn Judgment, and can be useful in today's meta. Cards like Judgment Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon are seen all the time in these days.

Shrink. This may not be the most popular card, but it can be a great tool. Book of Moon should be the first choice for this card slot because it is more flexible and has more uses than Shrink. But, Shrink does have some redeeming qualities. It can be used to dodge the effect of Bottomless Trap Hole, providing protection for your vulnerable Bestiari. It also lets your Samnite or Equeste take down a Judgment Dragon, forcing out cards like Honest. Not to mention it is the solution to Stardust Dragon, letting almost any GB beat it down. This one is nice - if you can find room for it.

Ancient Forest.* Gladiator Beasts find yet another card to take advantage of, and it can be a powerful weapon in this deck. Too bad it is a massive dead draw, and is a pain to keep on the field. By the way, it's effect doesn't affect GBs, because the turn player can choose which effect activates first at the end of the Battle Phase.

Dimensional Fissure.* Gladiator Beasts will only be tagging out so you do not need to worry about your graveyard. So this card can be a pain for your opponent to get rid of. Plus this card only gets rid of monsters so you can still reuse your gladiator beast war chariot

Traps:

Waboku. This card is better than Defensive Tactics in almost every way, because it doesn't require that you have a GB on the field, or even a monsters in general. This card is used because it triggers the 'tag-out' effect. I would use this in multiples.

Bottomless Trap Hole, Dimensional Prison, Compulsory Evacuation Device. Basic monster removal. They are all 1 for 1, which means they replace themselves through card advantage. GB decks require you to use at least two of one of these cards.

Trap Stun. This is used to prevent traps from destroying your GBs or interfering with your combos. Use it against: Icarus Attack, Royal Oppression, Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute, and the like.

Icarus Attack. As you may know, three of the Gladiator Beasts are Winged Beast-typed, so this can be a helpful card. Make sure you are prepared to lose one of your precious tools, because tributing your last Equeste to activate this card may not be the best idea. Also, this card can be a dead draw, so if you choose to use it, use it with caution.

Starlight Road. This card can be extremely powerful, but useless at times. It helps protect your big plays from Torrential Tribute, Mirror Force, or can be used defensively to stop powerful monsters like Judgment Dragon and Black Rose Dragon. This card can also protect your spells and traps from cards like Heavy Storm. Certain decks don't often kill multiple cards, so this card isn't always great, but it protects your plays, and gives you a free one-time-use Stardust Dragon, which is devastating. If you choose to use it, use one or two.

Sample Deck

The purpose of the following deck is to help readers build the deck, and not to provide an exact list to be net-decked. Please use this as an example to base your own deck off of, and not to use as your own deck.

March '10 Gladiator Beasts

Fissure Gladiator Beasts

Mechanics

Rather than follow the Metagame, this deck choses to stand against it. Meet Dimensional Fissure GBs. It uses the power of the Different Dimension to stop other meta decks in their tracks. Lightsworns, Blackwings, other GBs, Plants, and Zombies are all dependent on the grave. Take it away, and they can't do anything. Speedy decks slow down, and poweful cards turn into dead draws. Of course, the deck is designed in a way that Dimensional Fissure doesn't hinder you.
This is a Anti-Meta build, so it won't be as fast as Basic Gladiator Beasts. Don't worry, though, because the deck will slow your opponent down as well.
This deck has been hurt by the limitation of Solemn Judgment, which leaves it unable to defend the face-up Dimensional Fissure, and if you loose that card your chances of winning will fall. You will have to suffice with one Solemn Judgment and three Dark Bribe.

Rank in General Meta

Anti-Meta builds usually aren't as poweful as Meta builds, and this holds true for this deck. It is probably ranked around 7th in the general Metagame.

Building the deck

Cost/Return

Expect to pay around $160 for a good build. It used to be alot more expensive, but now that Dark Bribe got reprinted as a common, the cost of the deck has dropped. And, in return, you have a very annoying to deck to duel against. I won't guarantee you'll top your local tournament weekly with this deck, but it will still be a powerful contestant. It should only be used by experienced duelist, and is not a good starter deck.

Deck oddities

Unlike other GB decks, this deck doesn't use Elemental Hero Prisma or sometimes even Test Tiger. It barely even special summons. Expect to use a ton of traps (around 15), and very few monsters and spells.

Card Choices

The un-starred cards are essential in the deck. You will need at least one of them. Feel free to add in Staple cards as you please.

Monsters:

Test Tiger. Tagging-out without attacking is a great asset in this deck, and it can also be summoned with Rescue Cat. This card is also key in many combos, and can return unwanted Gladiator Beasts from your field to your deck. This card is essential, so use as many as you can.

Gladiator Beast Andal. This guy has high attack, and is good in an Anti-Meta build like this.

Gladiator Beast Laquari. You must have this in order to create Heraklinos, and it's a nice beatstick, too. You should play him in multiples, just in case he gets removed from play or sent to the graveyard.

Gladiator Beast Samnite. This guy rocketed the GB archetype back to tier one. He has a great effect which allows him to freely add a GB card from your deck to your hand when he destroys a monster. Use him in conjunction with Book of Moon, which helps him destroy more monsters.

Gladiator Beast Equeste. Gladiator Beasts should never be left in the graveyard for long periods of time, because they are much more helpful in your hand or deck. Equeste can return any monster, spell, or trap with Gladiator Beast in it's name from your graveyard to your hand, so you can see why it is so useful. That includes all of the equip spells, Gladiator Beast's Respite, and even Gladiator Beast War Chariot. This card can work in a Dimensional GB deck because Dimensional Fissure doesn't remove spells and traps from play when they are sent to the graveyard.

Gladiator Beast Bestiari. This bird is needed to make Gyzarus, and can also destroy a spell or trap while it is at it. Definitely use this card. Sadly, it is limited, so play it with caution, because if it gets removed from play, you have just lost a major weapon.

Gladiator Beast Murmillo. Free, reusable monster removal makes this a great monster. You should only play 1 of them though, because while he is good, he is only good in the deck, where you have access to him. If you draw him, he will be hard to get back in the deck because of his low attack.

Gladiator Beast Hoplomus. Set this guy, and you basically get a free tag-out. Your opponent will fear having another GB on the field, leaving him no choice but to attack it. If they don't, you can still use him to help create a fusion monster. He is a powerful force when combined with War Chariot too, and can stall your opponent until you draw the right card(s).

Gladiator Beast Secutor.* Power is Secutor's middle name, but he is a perfect example of a dead draw. Use one of it so you don't draw it, and use him with caution.

Thunder King Rai-Oh. This guy is extremely powerful, but his effects can interfere with some other cards in this deck. You can't use Gladiator Proving Ground with this card face-up, and his negation effect doesn't work with Dimensional Fissure on the field. But, if you can get him out on the first turn, and keep him there, Lightsworn, Zombies, Blackwings, and other GB decks can't do much.

Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind.* This card can be very useful at times. It can take down Gladiator Beast's worst enemy, Stardust Dragon, single-handedly, but it can also fetch you a Black Rose Dragon for a quick field-clearing. If you use this, you will probably want to put a Blackwing Armor Master in your Extra Deck, just because it is a great card.

Cyber Dragon. This card is used as a beatstick that can bait out Bottomless Trap Holes, and it can combo with Gale if you use it. You should start off using one.

Extra Deck:

Gladiator Beast Heraklinos. When you get this card out, most duelists give up. That is how powerful he is. With a simple discard, you can negate a spell or traps effect. Once you get him out, you should back him up with a War Chariot This card is a must have in your extra deck. If you use Synchro monsters, use only two of him to make room for more Synchros.

Gladiator Beast Gyzarus. By returning Bestiari and another GB to the deck, you can get out this beast. it destroys two cards on impact, and can tag out to the extra deck for two more Gladiator Beasts! You must have at least 1 in your GB extra deck. He is an indispensable tool.

Spells:

Dimensional Fissure. This is the card this deck is named after, and should be ran at three in this particular deck. It kills the one thing that all major decks love - the graveyard. No monsters in the grave means no Lightsworn, no Blackwings, no DARK variants, no Plants, no Zombies, no Rescue Glads, no Prisma Glads, and nothing else. This is the all in one, anti-everything card that makes this deck so good. The problem is keeping it on the field.

Gladiator Proving Ground. Use this to add a Hoplomus to your hand in a pinch, or Bestiari for quick field-clearing. Laquari and Andal are also good choices. This helps the deck run smoothly. Try it out in multiples.

Book of Moon. Book of Moon is a highly flexible Quick-Play spell. It's main use is to protect the Battle Phase when dueling Blackwing and Lightsworn decks. The card does that by flipping any monster you attempt to attack face-down, preventing your opponent from using Honest and Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow. It can also negate monster effects and Bottomless Trap Hole. This is a definite staple in GB decks.

Smashing Ground, Fissure*. Basic monster removal. They are all 1 for 1, which means they replace themselves through card advantage and field advantage.

My Body as a Shield.* This is like a toned-down version of Solemn Judgment, and can be useful in todays meta. It is full of card removal, like Dark Armed Dragon and Judgment Dragon, and this stops those cards.

Shrink. This may not be the most popular card, but it can be a great tool. Book of Moon should be the first choice for this card slot because it is more flexible and has more uses than Shrink. But, Shrink does have some redeeming qualities. It can be used to dodge the effect of Bottomless Trap Hole, providing protection for your vulnerable Bestiari. It also lets your Samnite or Equeste take down a Judgment Dragon, forcing out cards like Honest. Not to mention it is the solution to Stardust Dragon, letting almost any GB beat it down. This one is nice - if you can find room for it.

Traps:

Gladiator Beast War Chariot. You must use three of this card. It is like a free Divine Wrath, and it is recyclable with Gladiator Beast Equeste. It creates what is known as a Chariot Lock.

Solemn Judgment, Dark Bribe. These cards protect the all-important Dimensional Fissure. They can also disrupt your opponent's moves, causing their strategy to fall apart even more.

Bottomless Trap Hole, Dimensional Prison, Compulsory Evacuation Device. Simple monster removal. They are also 1 for 1, which means they replace themselves in terms of card advantage.

Waboku. This card is better than Defensive Tactics in almost every way, because it doesn't require that you have a GB on the field, or even a monsters in general. This card is used because it triggers the 'tag-out' effect. I would recommend using this in multiples.

Icarus Attack. As you may know, three of the Gladiator Beasts are Winged Beast-typed, so this can be a helpful card. Make sure you are prepared to lose one of your precious tools, because tributing your last Equeste to activate this card may not be the best idea. Also, this card can be a dead draw, so if you choose to use it, use it with caution.

Starlight Road. This card can be extremely powerful, but useless at times. It helps protect your big plays from Torrential Tribute, Mirror Force, or can be used defensively to stop powerful monsters like Judgment Dragon and Black Rose Dragon. This card can also protect your spells and traps (like Dimensional Fissure) from cards like Heavy Storm. Certain decks don't often kill multiple cards, so this card isn't always great, but it protects your plays, and gives you a free one-time-use Stardust Dragon, which is devastating. If you choose to use it, use one or two.

Sample Deck

The purpose of the following deck is to help readers build the deck, and not to provide an exact list to be net-decked. Please use this as an example to base your own deck off of, and not to use as your own deck.

March '10 Dimensional Gladiator Beasts

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