"Ritual Beast", known as "Spirit Beast" (
This archetype seems to be the remnants/successor of the "Gusto" archetype in the Duel Terminal Storyline, as "Ritual Beast Tamer Elder" is a grown-up "Kamui, Hope of Gusto". Their team symbol is a sphere encircled by four-pointed star (different style for each pair), which shaped similarly as the crest of the "Gusto", further reinforcing the connection between them. In addition, the artwork of the cards features the coiled foliage seen in many "Naturia" cards, implying that these monsters may inhabit the "Naturia Forest". This connection is cemented by the art of "Ulti-Gaiapelio", which depicts "Naturia Gaiastrio" as part of a "Ritual Beast" pair. The Fusion monsters of the archetype also serve as a throwback to the original "Gem-Knight" Fusion Monsters, forming the same Pyro - Aqua - Thunder trinity (albeit in WIND as opposed to EARTH and with the exception of "Ulti-Gaiapelio", which is LIGHT/Psychic).
Below is the list of the original members of the archetype and how they are related with each other.
|Spiritual Beast||Ritual Beast Tamer||Ritual Beast Ulti-|
|Apelio||Lara||Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio|
|Cannahawk||Elder (Kamui)||Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk|
|Pettlephin||Wen||Ritual Beast Ulti-Pettlephin|
|Apelio + Naturia Gaiastrio||Lara||Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio|
Names in the TCG
In French, Italian and Portuguese, the archetype is called "Spiritual Beast", since the implied "Ritual/Spiritual" pun wouldn't work in those languages due to the backward word orders. For example, in French, if "Ritual Beast" were to translate to "Bête Rituelle" and "Spiritual Beast" to "Bête Spirituelle" instead, the "Spiritual Beast" archetype would then be split from "Ritual Beast", or the whole card text wording would be unnecessarily complicated. As for German, the word "Geist" ("ghost; spirit") appears to be the most common but it seems too short and not to be able to bear such a pun.
The Spiritual Beast have dwelt on this world since time immemorial and possess mystical powers. They live together with the Ritual Beast Tamers, and together both man and beast combine their powers together to try and prevent any disaster that comes their way.
Each of the "Ritual Beast Tamer" monsters have a tendency of swarming the Field (with the exception of "Ritual Beast Tamer Zefrawendi"), in order to ease their Contact Fusion, either by Special Summoning one of the banished or deceased "Ritual Beast" monsters, allowing an extra Normal Summon, or even Summoning monster from the Deck or Extra Deck.
On the other hand, the "Spiritual Beast" monsters banish 1 "Ritual Beast" card from the Hand, Deck, Graveyard, or Extra Deck in order to get rid of problematic opposing cards, search for a card on the long run, give a power boost, or setting up combos, respectively.
Each of the Main Deck monsters also shares a restriction that only allows them to be Special Summoned once per turn.
The original "Ritual Beast Ulti-" Fusion Monsters are all Level 6 and their ATK and DEF have a sum of 3000. They have effects that are somehow related to their ATK and DEF stats:
- "Ritual Beast Ulti-Pettlephin" bears a solid DEF and a passive effect that gives it immunity against destruction effects.
- "Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk" has medium ATK and DEF and features a supportive effect that gives its owner card advantage by returning banished "Ritual Beast" cards to the Graveyard in order to search for resources;
- "Ritual Beast Ulti-Apelio" has a high ATK and offensive effect that renders it immune to any effect while it is attacking;
- "Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio" is the strongest among the "Ritual Beast Ulti-" monsters, with Level 10, 3200 ATK and an omnipotent effect that can negate the activation of any card or effect, putting heavy pressure on the opponent and preventing them from counterattacking; however, it has a more difficult Summoning requirement.
In addition, with the exception of "Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio", all of them share the following effect:
"During either player's turn: You can return this card you control to the Extra Deck, then target 2 of your banished monsters (1 "Ritual Beast Tamer" monster and 1 "Spiritual Beast" monster); Special Summon them in Defense Position."
This ace effect is one of their biggest strength; by utilizing it, they can dodge most dangerous cards, such as "Bottomless Trap Hole", "Number 101: Silent Honor ARK", "Scrap Dragon", etc. This ability also allows the player to utilize certain "Once per turn" effects multiple times per turn (mostly "Spiritual Beast" monsters and "Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk"), effectively accumulating massive resources, enabling many combos, and often, leads into OTK in just a few turns.
The archetype also has a pair of Pendulum Monsters, "Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica" and "Ritual Beast Tamer Zefrawendi", with Pendulum Scales of 1 and 7 respectively, allowing the Deck to Pendulum Summon.
Due to the Limitation of "Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk" by the November 2015 Lists in TCG, the deck's major play becomes even riskier than usual, and somewhat suffers a consistency hit, but still quite powerful.
- "Imperial Iron Wall", "Chaos Hunter" and "Artifact Lancea" prevents cards from being banished, preventing their Contact Fusion and most of their effects.
- As all of their effects activates on the field, "Skill Drain" can be a nuisance for this deck. It won't stop them from conducting Contact Fusion or de-fusing, but does shut down the search effect of "Ulti-Cannahawk" (without its de-fuse trick), or most of its Main Deck monsters.
- However, this can also benefit "Ulti-Apelio" in some way, since without its immunity effect, it can gain ATK boosts from "Spiritual Beast Apelio", allowing it to destroy bigger monster in battle.
- Due to their "de-fusing" capability, most targeting effects are particularly ineffective against them. But it still won't save them from cards like "Artifact Moralltach", "Madolche Queen Tiaramisu", "Nekroz of Trishula" or even the opposing "Ritual Beast Steeds". Effect negation or destruction negation effect are particularly important against those threats.
- "Denko Sekka", "Royal Decree", or "Trap Stun" can shut down both "Ritual Beast Steeds" and "Ritual Beast Ambush", which most Ritual Beast decks depends on to secure field presences. "Denko Sekka" is the most dangerous of them all, since its Continuous Effect doesn't leave any chance for player to respond with on-field cards at all; but can still be stopped by either hand traps like "Effect Veiler", or Counter Traps like "Solemn Warning" or "Chaos Trap Hole".
- Counter Trap Cards that can negate Special Summons can effectively disrupt the deck's major play, since not even the de-fuse abilities of "Ritual Beast Ulti" monsters can dodge it. Negating the Summon of "Ulti-Cannahawk", in particular, can almost completely paralyze the deck. To stop them, cards like "Wiretap" or "Trap Stun" (activated beforehand) can be useful. Spell/Trap destruction cards such as "Mystical Space Typhoon", "Night Beam" or "Twin Twisters" can also helpful against these threats.
- This archetype's Contact Fusion style is similar to that of A-to-Z monsters, albeit with the ability to freely reverse the fusions.
- Their constant "tagging out" mechanic between their Main Deck monsters and Fusion monsters is also similar to Gladiator Beast archetype, albeit without specific named materials on their Fusion Monster.
- All monsters in this archetype have their formal names derived (in whole or in part) from Ainu, the only remaining (though nearly extinct itself) language of the ethnic group of the same name. This language was also featured on members of the "Gusto" archetype– most notably "Kamui, Hope of Gusto", whose name comes from the Ainu word for "deity". 
- ↑ The Organization - New Duel Terminal World Lores
- ↑ The Organization - Names and Etymology EP2: Ainu, Language of the Spirits