Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Oct 5, 2010

When September began, many Duelists had Gladiator Beasts pegged as the Deck to beat. Without Heavy Storm to ruin their day when they Set 4 cards to go with their Gladiator Beast and with Solemn Warning and Gladiator Beast War Chariot to prevent total field wipes, it seemed like Gladiator Beasts would be back for a repeat of their 2008 performances. They weren’t.

Every Gladiator Beast Deck that made Day 2 of YCS Toronto was eliminated by the time the Quarterfinals were through, and only 1 Gladiator Beast Deck made the Top 32 of San Jose… and went no further. But a Scrap Deck did. A very unique Scrap Deck broke through to the Top 16 in only the second tournament where the Scrap monsters from Duelist Revolution have been legal. One is ancient and appears to be on the decline. One is brand new and trying to make a name for itself. What happens when these two Decks collide? Michael McTavish has the answers in this week’s Monday Night Matchup!

How They Work

Since Gladiator’s Assault, Gladiator Beasts have been a threat in the tournament scene. Despite winning a Championship without his help, it wasn’t until the release of Gladiator Beast Gyzarus in Light of Destruction that Gladiator Beasts truly dominated. Then, with Gladiator Beast War Chariot in The Duelist Genesis, Gladiator Beasts were able to secure their foothold in the tournament scene for years to come as a control deck capable of crippling an opponent from all sides. This is exactly what a Gladiator Beast Deck hopes to do in order to succeed against its opponents.

With a full compliment of Gladiator Beast effects at the Deck’s disposal, the Gladiator Beasts are capable of dealing with almost anything their opponent can dish out. With Gladiator Beast Murmillo to destroy opposing monsters, Gladiator Beast Bestiari to destroy Spells and Traps, Gladiator Beast Equeste to recycle all of your “Gladiator Beast” cards (especially Gladiator Beast War Chariot), and Gladiator Beast Retiari to shut down your opponent’s Graveyard, there isn’t much a Gladiator Beast Deck can’t deal with.

In order to secure its success, a Gladiator Beast Duelist wants to be able to dictateeverything that happens in a Duel. The best way to achieve this end result is to have a Gladiator Beast Heraklinos on your side of the field with multiple cards in hand and a Gladiator Beast War Chariot face down. This means you can protect yourself from all the Spell and Trap Cards your opponent throws your way (except Counter Traps), as well as any monster effect that might threaten your Heraklinos. This means the only ways your opponent can defeat your Heraklinos are through battle or with a Counter Trap like Divine Wrath, and Heraklinos’ 3000 ATK makes it hard for them to achieve victory.

Scrap Duelists have to get the ball rolling with a huge recycling plant of Scrap Monsters. With Scrap Dragon on the field and Scrap Golem as well as the two Scrap Tuner Monsters in the Graveyard, the Scrap players is able to recycle all his monsters, possibly bringing out a Synchro Monster every single turn! With this setup, the Scrap Duelist is able to eliminate at least one of his opponent’s cards each turn while possibly recovering his own thanks to the effects of Scrap Beast and Scrap Goblin. Having Scrap Dragon and Scrap Golem on the field at the same time makes victory academic.

It’s not quite that simple, however. The Scrap Duelist has to get all these cards to the Graveyard before he can start his massive recycling plant. Scrapyard and Scrapstorm are Spell Cards that help you make it happen. Scrapyard allows you to add one “Scrap” Tuner Monster to your hand from your Deck, while Scrapstorm allows you select one “Scrap” Monster you control, send another “Scrap” monster from your Deck to your Graveyard, draw a card, and then destroy the monster you selected.

If you happened to select Scrap Beast or Scrap Goblin for destruction, then you can add the Scrap Chimera you (hopefully!) just sent to your Graveyard to your hand. If you haven’t Normal Summoned yet, you can then summon that Chimera, Special Summon a Tuner from your Graveyard, and instantly Synchro Summon a Scrap Archfiend or Scrap Dragon.

From that point on, you can just continuously recycle all your Scrap Monsters, especially if there’s a Scrap Golem in your Graveyard. When your Scrap Dragon gets destroyed, you can Special Summon the Golem from your Graveyard. Then you can use the Golem’s effect to Special Summon a Tuner from your Graveyard and immediately Synchro Summon for yet another Scrap Dragon! This cycle is hard to break without the right cards and is a very simple way for the Scrap Duelist to secure victory.

How To Win

If you’re playing Glaidator Beasts… you have a few key cards you’ll need to use as often as possible: Gladiator Beast Murmillo, Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, and (Most importantly!) Gladiator Beast War Chariot. Murmillo and Gyzarus allow you to destroy Scrap Goblin without activating its effect, whereas Gladiator Beast War Chariot allows you to negate all your opponent’s recycling effects. You can then give Scraps a taste of their own medicine and use the effect of Gladiator Beast Equeste to recycle your Chariots again and again. Without a Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy your Chariot, the Scrap Duelist will slowly but surely fall to your Beasts.

As with any duel, the best way to secure your victory as a Gladiator Beast Duelist is to get your Gladiator Beast Heraklinos out with a Gladiator Beast War Chariot face down and multiple cards in your hand. The easiest way to make this happen is Gladiator Beast Secutor. If you can slam your Secutor into an opposing Scrap Goblin, you can Special Summon two more “Gladiator Beast” monsters from your Deck and use them to Summon Heraklinos. Set a Chariot face down with Heraklinos out, and there’s little your opponent can do to come back regardless of what Deck they play.

If you’re playing Scraps…you lose access to a lot of your normal strategies. While a Scrap Duelist may normally feel completely safe in placing a Scrap Goblin in Defense Position or using a Scrapstorm to eliminate their own monster, this isn’t appealing against Gladiator Beasts. Since one free attack is all the Gladiator Beast Duelist needs to start gaining ground on you, a different strategy needs to be employed.

You need to get the big guys like Scrap Golem and Scrap Dragon out as soon as possible and in order to do this you need to fill up your Graveyard. The best way to achieve this against Gladiator Beasts is to use Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter to destroy attacking Gladiator Beasts and send cards from your Deck to the Graveyard. If you’re using other “Lightsworn” monsters as well you can use those as well as Charge of the Light Brigade to help out too! Once you have Scrap Golem out it’s an easy enough task of Special Summoning Scrap Goblin and you have yourself an instant Stardust Dragon which is often the best choice against a Gladiator Beast player. Just remember that Gladiator Beast Decks are very likely to pack 3 Solemn Warnings.

Another great idea is to include a heavy Side Deck for Gladiator Beasts, by using Swallow Flips to stop your opponent’s Gladiator Beasts from being Special Summoned and by using Dust Tornado to eliminate Gladiator Beast War Chariot and Solemn Warning, you can open up access to your effects and are free to start up your recycling plant like you would against any other Deck. It’s also very important to save your Graveyard from Gladiator Beast Retiari as he can singlehandedly ruin your combos.

While Gladiator Beasts may be a tough match for the Scrap Duelist, it’s very simple to stop them in their tracks, if you can block attacks and protect your cards for long enough, it’s easy for the Gladiator Beast Duelist to run out of monsters and/or lose the effect they are looking to use. With most duelists using only one Gladiator Beast Murmillo and one Gladiator Beast Retiari, you can cause a great deal of grief to your opponent by destroying one or both of those. Even more so if you can remove them from play with a card like Dimensional Prison.

Regardless of the results, Duelists aren’t going to give up Gladiator Beasts. It’s also safe to say that Scrap Decks are going to pick up steam. That means that knowing how to beat these Decks should be a great boost to your tournament performance, no matter which side of the Duel you’re on.

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