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The Gladiator Beasts are a series of cards released in Gladiator's Assault, themed after the famed ancient Roman slave-warriors of the Colosseum. Most Gladiator Beasts have the effect to return to the Deck during the end of a Battle Phase if it battled, and then Special Summon another Gladiator Beast Monster to replace it, with most gaining new effects when Summoned in this manner. The strongest Gladiator Beasts are Fusion Monsters that are brought to the Field by returning two or more Gladiator Beasts on your side of the Field to the Deck.
Certain Gladiator Beasts that cannot return back to the deck are not used commonly since they can stop the flow of switching and make you lose. Those cards however, if used correctly, can add extremely valuable effects.
The monsters are the main part of this deck, they can usually be used like a Toolbox allowing you to bring out the Gladiator Beast that you need depending on your situation. One of the best support for Gladiator Beasts is Test Tiger which allows you to switch in a weak (or strong) Gladiator Beast and activate it's effect. Elemental Hero Prisma allows you to contact fuse into Gyzarus by sending Bestiari with it's effect then use Test Tiger's effect and summon Darius and Special Summon Bestiari. Once Gladiator Beast Samnite gets released, Rescue Cat and be used with it and Test Tiger to activate one of the Gladiator Beasts effect. This type of deck is known as "Rescue Gladiator Beast". Shield Warrior allows a near unavoidable way to switch your Gladiator Beast by taking a few damage. The optional tech, Enraged Battle Ox, gives Gladiator Beasts Piercing damage so you can inflict more damage to your opponent.
Shrink can help a Gladiator Beast a lot by destroying a monster most of the time and being able to bring out another Gladiator Beast at the same time. A much weaker alternative, Gladiator Beast's Inner Strength gives a 500 ATK boost and can recycle Gladiator Beasts in the graveyard if you don't want to wait for a Darius or Equeste. Mystical Space Typhoon and Heavy Storm are Splashable cards that work well in this deck. Since Gladiator Beasts don't rely on Spells and Traps too much, you can easily get a attack through with Cold Wave. Gladiator Beast's Archfiend Shield can help prevent a Gladiator Beast from being destroyed. Reinforcement of the Army can search out a Elemental Hero Prisma from your deck. My Body as a Shield can protect your monsters from being destroyed if you don't have the right cards on the field yet, Divine Wrath can patch up Heraklinos's weakness to monster effects. Most Gladiator Beast decks tend to only have 1-3 Gladiator Beast on the field to win, Kaiser Colosseum can take advantage of that by preventing your opponent from swarming. Burden of the Mighty can weaken your opponent's monster for your Gladiator Beasts to destroy.
- Gladiator Beast Hoplomus
- Gladiator Beast Bestiari
- Gladiator Beast Murmillo
- Gladiator Beast Laquari
- Gladiator Beast Equeste
- Gladiator Beast Samnite
- Gladiator Beast Darius
- Test Tiger
- Shield Warrior
- Elemental Hero Prisma
- Gladiator Beast's Inner Strength
- Gladiator Proving Ground
- Mystical Space Typhoon
- Heavy Storm
- Gladiator Beast's Battle Archfiend Shield
- Cold Wave
- Book of Moon
Weaknesses and Counter-Strategies
Gladiator Beasts are currently one of the most tournament-competitive deck types, due to their incredible flexibility, but they are not invincible. Some good ways to overcome a Gladiator Beast user follow:
- Prevention of Special Summoning -- This is the big one, the one sure-fire way to shut down a Gladiator Beast deck. Vanity's Fiend, Vanity's Ruler, Deck Lockdown, Royal Oppression and others all prevent Gladiator Beasts from swapping out or performing Contact Fusion, paralyzing the deck. Jowgen the Spiritualist and Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo also have the ability to destroy any Special Summoned monster already on the field in addition to preventing Special Summoning.
- Counter-Destruction -- Often, it is the Gladiator Beasts with the effect to destroy cards that are the most troublesome, but there are a few good cards that specifically prevent that in use. Destruction Jammer, Stardust Dragon, Prime Material Dragon and Divine Wrath all work well. These also work against Gladiator Beast Heraklinos when it activates its effect to negate and destroy a Spell or Trap.
- Monster Effects - Gladiator Beast Heraklinos is incredibly powerful, but has no innate defense against monster card effects. Since Gladiator Beasts must battle to gain their effects, monster card effects that trigger during battle are highly effective. Here are some good ones:
- Monsters that destroy the monsters that attacked them - Newdoria, Man-Eater Bug, Old Vindictive Magician, Exploder Dragon, Adhesive Explosive, Blast Sphere, Yomi Ship
- Monsters that return the cards that attacked them - Wall of Illusion, Hyper Hammerhead, Morphing Jar #2, Penguin Soldier, Legendary Jujitsu Master, Neo-Spacian Grand Mole : These cards are even better than the destroyers above, since they can get around Gladiator Beast's Battle Archfiend Shield, and the Gladiator Beasts cannot be brought back with Gladiator Beast Darius.
- Monsters that remove from play the cards that attacked them - D.D. Warrior, D.D. Warrior Lady, D.D. Assailant - Even worse for the opponent than the destroyers or returners, since though they have a heavy focus upon recycling or hand exchanging, Gladiator Beasts have no internal method of re-using removed-from-play cards.
- Trump-card monsters with mass-destruction effects - Cards like these can destroy the Gladiator Beasts by effect, preventing their battle-swap from activating, or they can destroy the support cards that prevent the Gladiator Beasts from being destroyed by battle. A few can even do both. Some of these include: XYZ-Dragon Cannon, Red Dragon Archfiend, Judgment Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, Demise, King of Armageddon, Volcanic Doomfire. Judgment Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon, in particular, are great because they can appear suddenly without warning to wipe out most everything the opponent has. Yubel - Terror Incarnate is especially devastating, destroying the whole field at the end of your turn except for itself.
- Destroy on Summoning - "Trap Hole" and especially "Bottomless Trap Hole" can take down the opponent's cards before they even have a chance to attack your own cards.
- Trap Negation - "Jinzo" and "Royal Decree" both prevent the opponent from using Waboku or Defensive Tactics, the two greatest thorns in the side of anyone trying to destroy Gladiator Beasts by battle. The opponent might still be able to use a Gladiator Beast's Battle Manica, but you'll be able to see that beforehand.
- Attack Negation/Prevention - You can only "tag out" a Gladiator Beast for another if the first Gladiator Beast "attacked or was attacked". Unlike most card effects with a similar activation requirement, the battle must "go through", ie. instead of just declaring an attack or being targeted as the target of an attack, the battle has to go into and apply Damage Calculation (even if the damage for that battle would be 0). Therefore, any Spell, Trap, or Monster Effect that lets you negate a monster attack would prevent the opponent from tagging out their Gladiator Beasts.
- G.B. HUNTER - As the name obviously states, this is a perfect counter for Gladiator Beasts, preventing them from using their key feature - their ability to "tag out" for their various effects and to Contact Fusion their powerful Fusion Monsters. As such, the only way for a Gladiator Beast duelist to overcome this monster is to destroy it by battle with a more powerful monster (like a "tagged-in" Laquari or one of the level 5 and higher Gladiator Beasts), or use monster destruction effects that have been listed on here as being counters to a Gladiator Beast deck.