"Gladiator Beast", known as "Gladial Beast" (剣闘獣Guradiaru Bīsuto) in the OCG, is an archetype of cards released in Gladiator's Assault. They resemble futuristic versions of the ancient Roman Colosseum slave-warriors, and consist of many different Attributes and Types, primarily Beast, Beast-Warrior and Winged-Beast. With a few exceptions, all non-Fusion "Gladiator Beasts" have an effect to return to the Deck during the end of a Battle Phase when it battled, and then to Special Summon another "Gladiator Beast" monster to replace it (this is also known as 'tagging out'). The newly Special Summoned "Gladiator Beast" monsters usually gain another effect when Special Summoned in this way.
"Gladiator Beasts" also have four Fusion Monsters, three of which require a specific "Gladiator Beast" monster and either one or two other "Gladiator Beast" monsters as Fusion Material. However, "Polymerization" is not required to Fusion Summon these monsters. Instead, the correct "Gladiator Beast" Fusion Material Monsters are returned to the Main Deck to Special Summon the appropriate "Gladiator Beast" Fusion Monster. This process is otherwise known as Contact Fusion. Several of the "Gladiator Beast" Fusion Monsters are also able to 'tag out' to Special Summon 2 or more "Gladiator Beast" monsters from the Deck.
Nearly every card in the archetype is capable of being returned to the hand, field, or Deck from the Graveyard by utilizing the effects of "Gladiator Beast" monsters or their support cards. The "Gladiator Beast" Deck includes a mix of destruction, aggro, and toolbox cards and tactics. It is this versatility which landed this Deck as one of the top Decks in the Shonen Jump Circuit.
Also known "Prisma Glads", this Deck introduces "Elemental HERO Prisma" into the standard "Gladiator Beast" build. The effect of "Elemental HERO Prisma" treats it as "Gladiator Beast Bestiari", allowing it to be used in the summoning of "Gladiator Beast Gyzarus". After destroying two cards and attacking, you can return "Gladiator Beast Gyzarus" to the Extra Deck to summon "Gladiator Beast Darius", allowing you to resurrect "Bestiari" from the Graveyard. You can then summon "Gladiator Beast Gyzarus" once more, destroying more cards in the process, and putting "Bestiari" back in the Deck to be used again.
Another useful strategy in this Deck involves Special Summoning "Test Tiger" and tributing it to send an "Elemental HERO Prisma" that is being treated as "Gladiator Beast Bestiari" back to the Deck to Special Summon "Gladiator Beast Darius". "Darius" can then use its effect to Special Summon the "Bestiari" in the Graveyard, allowing you quick access to "Gladiator Beast Gyzarus". If you have another "Gladiator Beast" monster in your Graveyard, this can be followed up by tagging out with "Gyzarus" to Special Summon "Darius" and "Gladiator Beast Laquari", with the former resurrecting a third "Gladiator Beast". These 3 materials allow you to summon "Gladiator Beast Heraklinos" efficiently.
Prevention of Special Summoning - As "Gladiator Beast" Decks focus heavily on Special Summoning, they become crippled by cards that prevent it. "Solemn Warning", "Archlord Kristya" and "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" are all common Main Deck and Side Deck cards that prevent Special Summoning, or neutralize it. In the case of "Archlord Kristya", the Deck finds it hard to get over a monster with 2800 ATK without Contact Fusion, as long as it is protected from the high Trap Card count with cards like "Forbidden Lance". Other options include "Vanity's Fiend", "Vanity's Ruler", "Deck Lockdown" and "Corridor of Agony".
Counter-Destruction - Often, it is the "Gladiator Beasts" with the effect to destroy cards that are the most troublesome, but there are several cards that can be used to combat this. "Starlight Road" is a common card that is particularly effective against "Gladiator Beast Gyzarus". Other options include "Divine Wrath".
Monster Effects - As "Gladiator Beasts" must battle to gain their effects, monster effects that trigger during battle are highly effective. Note, however, that "Gladiator Beasts" have access to "Gladiator Beast War Chariot", so be prepared with something like "Dark Bribe" or "Seven Tools of the Bandit" to negate it. Here are some good monster card effects:
Effect Canceling - Cards such as "Skill Drain", "Chivalry" or "Effect Veiler" can prevent your monsters from tagging out or negate the effects of the ones that are Summoned, leaving them defenseless against high ATK monsters.
Attack Negation/Prevention - You can only 'tag out' a "Gladiator Beast" when it "attacks or is attacked", therefore, any Spell, Trap, or Monster Effect that lets you negate a monster attack would prevent the opponent from tagging out their "Gladiator Beasts".