Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Nov 19, 2011

Gladiator Beast Duelists command a toolbox of tricks: when one Gladiator makes a successful attack, it can tag out back to the Deck to Special Summon another Gladiator Beast, and each has a unique effect.  Since there are lots of different Gladiator Beasts, there are lots of different abilities, but a few were especially useful at YCS Columbus.  With Decks like Synchro Summon, Master Hyperion, and Dark World all making powerful plays with monsters from the Graveyard, Gladiator Beast Retiari’s ability to banish cards is more powerful than ever before.  Most Decks wield powerful monster effects, so Gladiator Beast War Chariot is extremely good.  And the wrecking-ball of the Gladiator strategy, Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, wreaks havoc against Duelists who play just a few Trap Cards.  The result is opportunity: Gladiator Beasts are back, and Robert DiMartino has the Top 32 finish to prove it.

Robert DiMartino (Top 32) – Gladiator Beasts – 42 Cards

Monsters: 15

3 Test Tiger

2 Gladiator Beast Laquari

2 Gladiator Beast Equeste

2 Gladiator Beast Darius

2 Elemental Hero Prisma

1 Gladiator Beast Retiari

1 Gladiator Beast Secutor

1 Gladiator Beast Murmillo

1 Gladiator Beast Bestiari

Spells: 10

3 A Hero Lives

2 Pot of Duality

1 Smashing Ground

1 Book of Moon

1 Dark Hole

1 Heavy Storm

1 Monster Reborn

Traps: 17

3 Gladiator Beast War Chariot

2 Solemn Warning

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

2 Dimensional Prison

2 Trap Stun

1 Trap Dustshoot

1 Compulsory Evacuation Device

1 Starlight Road

1 Solemn Judgment

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Mirror Force

Extra Deck: 15

3 Gladiator Beast Gyzarus

2 Gladiator Beast Heraklinos

1 Gladiator Beast Essedarii

2 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon

1 Stardust Dragon

1 Black Rose Dragon

1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

1 Ally of Justice Catastor

1 Number 39: Utopia

1 Steelswarm Roach

1 Leviair the Sea Dragon

Side Deck: 15

3 D.D. Crow

3 Cyber Dragon

2 Consecrated Light

2 Debunk

2 Chain Disappearance

2 Kinetic Soldier

1 Gladiator Beast Retiari

There are lots of ways to build a Gladiator Beast Deck, but two of the best focus on controlling the opponent’s Graveyard.  Dimensional Fissure allows the Gladiator Duelist to banish any monster that would be sent to the Graveyard: since Gladiators don’t need Graveyard effects to win, Fissure makes more trouble for the opponent than it will for its controller.  But Duelists like DiMartino go the other way: they play Elemental HERO Prisma to load their Graveyard for combos that can unleash Gladiator Beast Gyzarus.  Gyzarus’ effect destroys up to two cards on the field when it’s Summoned, and when it makes an attack, it can tag out for two more Gladiator Beasts – that’s the perfect time to take a chunk out of the opponent’s Graveyard with Retiari.  DiMartino played a second Retiari in his Side Deck, letting him strip his opponent’s Graveyard of up to two cards a turn.

To Summon Gyzarus, you send Gladiator Beast Bestiari and another Gladiator Beast from the field back to your Deck.  Bestiari is Limited, but playing Prisma works around that.  Prisma’s ability lets you reveal a Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, to send one of the Fusion Materials on the revealed card from your Main Deck to your Graveyard.  Then, Prisma’s name becomes the name of the card you sent until the end of the turn.  If you reveal Gyzarus, you’ll send Bestiari to the Graveyard and then turn Prisma’s name into “Gladiator Beast Bestiari”.  From there, you can use Prisma for a bunch of combos that all lead to Gyzarus.

It’s an old trick, but the Spell Card A Hero Lives from Generation Force puts a new twist on it.  A Hero Lives lets you pay half your Life Points to Special Summon a Level 4 or lower “Elemental HERO” like Prisma straight from your Deck.  That makes it  easy to get to Prisma in every Duel, and since A Hero Lives Summons Prisma without using your Normal Summon for the turn, it makes Gladiators really fast.  Thanks to A Hero Lives, there are lots of ways to Summon Gyzarus.  Activate it to Summon Prisma; send Bestiari to the Graveyard; and then do any of the following…

-Set another Gladiator Beast, and send the Gladiator and Prisma back to the Deck.

-Normal Summon another Prisma, and reveal Gladiator Beast Heraklinos to send Gladiator Beast Laquari to the graveyard.  Tag out both copies of Prisma.

-Special Summon another Prisma with a second copy of A Hero Lives.

-Special Summon back Bestiari with Monster Reborn.

-Special Summon Test Tiger and Tribute it for its effect.  That lets you tag out Prisma, and Special Summon Gladiator Beast Darius.  Darius’ ability lets you Special Summon back Bestiari from your Graveyard.

With impressive destructive power thanks to Gyzarus, Bestiari, and Murmillo, this deck is really good at destroying the opponent’s cards.  The trick is to keep wearing the opponent down, because once  he can’t defend himself, you can make more attacks and claim more Gladiator effects.  DiMartino played seventeen Trap Cards, clearing the field of monsters and locking down the opponent’s back row with Trap Stun.  Defense is really important here: not only does monster removal help you make direct attacks, but it let DiMartino play just fifteen monsters, three of which were Test Tigers.

One of the smart things DiMartino did with this Deck was to carefully build it to beat Thunder King Rai-Oh.  Most Gladiator Beast Duelists run Gladiator Proving Ground, a Spell Card that adds a Level 4 or lower “Gladiator Beast” monster from your Deck to your hand.  It’s usually a good choice, and helps the Deck play very few monster cards.  But Thunder King’s effect stops Duelists from searching cards directly from their Deck, and since it’s so popular, DiMartino didn’t play Proving Ground at all.  Instead, he ran cards that can beat Thunder King like Smashing Ground and Compulsory Evacuation Device, and then stuck with just Pot of Duality.  Since Thunder King can also negate the Special Summon of Gyzarus, playing more cards to beat it appears to have paid off.  Note that DiMartino didn’t play another popular Gladiator pick – Forbidden Lance – which helped him outplay Decks that ran low Trap counts.

Robert DiMartino’s Deck is an example of just one of the ways Gladiator Beasts can succeed in today’s tournaments.  By adapting Gladiators to be faster and better at outplaying Thunder King, he found a winning game plan that took him all the way to the Top 32.

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