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Forgotten But Not Lost

January 15, 2009

Wipe Away the Sands of Time
The thing that gets my goat is that Gladiator Beasts has some of the best theme support in the game. Then it gets promptly pushed aside for Elemental Hero support, something that should not rightly be in the deck in the first place. Well, I have delved into my junk commons and rares pile and come up with a few gems for the Gladiator Beasts, and the best thing is that your opponent will never see it coming.
The first card is Gladiator Beasts Battle Manica. The second is Coliseum, Cage of the Gladiator Beasts. The third is Gladiator Beast Equeste. The fourth is Gladiator Beast's Battle Archfiend Shield. And the last is Gladiator Beast's Respite. All of these cards are potent in their own right and can get you out of tight spots that you never saw coming. Of course they only work for Gladiator Beasts, so you can bet that they were overlooked for specifically that reason.
The Cage
Coliseum, Cage of the Gladiator Beasts is an amazing card. How do you ask? Well, the first is that it has a built in protection effect. You can discard another copy of the Coliseum in order to save your on field copy, meaning that it is never going to be a dead card in your hand. The second reason that this card is great is that it has almost unlimited potential for ATK increase. Even the Lightsworn's Realm of Light has a limit on it, as you can only send so many cards form your deck to the graveyard.
When you think about it, there are so many effects that will Special Summon a monster from the deck. Mystic Tomato and his recruiter friends are the classic example. Then there is the little spell called Emergency Teleport that is in the top deck right now. Follow that up that a standard Gladiator Beast deck will Special Summon from the deck 3 times a turn and you have a card that can make even Gladiator Beast Murmillo a threat to be dealt with.
Perhaps I should relate the effect of this card. Whenever a monster is Special Summoned form the deck, you get a counter on your Cage. For each counter on it, Gladiator Beast monsters gain 100 ATK. Notice how it can be any monster. That is why you can even use your opponent's Special Summoning effects in order to pump your beasts. I once had a point in which my Gladiator Beast Heraklinos was at 4300 due to the Cage.
The most important part of the Cage is of course that it is able to make even your little guys rather strong. Laquari is already huge at 2100, but will lose out to that Wulf that your opponent milled last turn. Cage gives Laquari a fighting chance, as well as making Equeste and Darius deadly threats when your opponent is least expecting it.
Of course this card would be nothing if it was half as versatile as it is. The simple fact that it has the words "Gladiator Beast" in it's card name mean that it has potential to combo with many great cards. Chief among them are Gladiator Beast's Respite and Gladiator Beast Equeste. They both allow you to use any card with Gladiator Beast in their card names for their effects.
This means that Equeste can get back a destroyed Cage to protect another on field one, meaning that your opponent simply cannot get rid of your beasts because of your ATK boost nor get rid of the card boosting them. When paired up with Gladiator Beast War Chariot and Solemn Judgment your opponent will be hard pressed to do anything to get out from your controlling beast swarm.
Suit Up
Gladiator Beast's Battle Manica is probably the most misunderstood card in the game. People would rather play Defensive Tactics or Waboku instead of this card. I say NAY! This card is good simply for the fact that it is a Spell card, which means that if you have to get rid of that DAD right now, you can equip the Manica and go at it, allowing you to take out the DAD by tagging into Murmillo.
This instant battle protection is far more valuable offensively than defensively, but it can be used really well when you have a War Chariot down. The War Chariot will protect your beast from destruction, the Manica from battle and then you can tag out to Equeste in order to get back the Chariot and continue the lock.
The Manica will also force your opponent to waste their non-monster based removal (Crush Card Virus, Brain Control) in order for them to deal with the Manica'd monster. When used defensively, it can turn your monster into a Spirit Reaper, which can stall long enough for you to get to that all important Bestiari for Contact Fusion. To be used offensively, basically you suicide into the opponent's monster in order to tag out to Laquari or Murmillo in order to take out the monster. You can add the Manica back to your hand when you tag out, so your new beast will get the protection form it as well.
Like the Cage, Manica can be used with Gladiator Beast Respite and Gladiator Beast Equeste. This allows you to have a continual source of protection and draw fodder. Something that previously only Destiny Heroes had access to in the form of Destiny Draw, Destiny Hero Diamond Dude and Destiny Hero Disc Commander.
Because it is a Gladiator Beast Equip Spell, we can add one more combo to the already dangerous amount that we already have. Gladiator Beast Spartacus is an amazing 2200 ATK and if you are playing Hoplomus, you can bring him out by tag. Once you do, you get a Gladiator Beast Equip Spell from your deck. Meaning that Battle Halberd, Gladius, Archfiend Shield and Battle Manica can all be searched out for whatever situation you need. Cool Huh?
What Do Archfiends Have to Do With Gladiators?
A very good question, but one that I am not in a hurry to have answered. This equip Spell is one of a kind, protecting any Gladiator Beast from any sort of destruction. You just have to sacrifice the Shield in order for it's effect to go off. This is rarely a problem, as you can easily get it back via Equeste. Yes, you can get back the Archfiend Shield with Equeste as well.
The thing that this card has over Battle Manica is tha it prevents any sort of destruction, which is a nice option when you are up against Lightsworn. This way, you are prepared for with Celestia or Honest. This is a question tht vexes many players who have played against Lightsworn. Often it is easy to tell, but other times either one is just as likely. At this point, the Shield comes in handy.
This also works very well against Destruction heavy decks like Gadgets where you could be attacking into a Sakuretsu Armor or Mirror Force. Definitely not a pleasant experience for Gladiators. A surprise Shrink will also not hurt your monster as much, as the Shield takes the brunt of the attack and allows your monster to tag out so that you can bring more +1's to the table. Unlike Gadgets which can only get you other Gadgets, Equeste allows you to get this card back to continue the mayhem. Nice.
It's A Bird! It's A Horse! It's Equeste!
Gladiator Beast Equest simply MAKES the modern Gladiator Beast deck. There is almost no situation in which you will not want to tag into this card. Gladiator Beasts needed an instant +1 when tag summoned card. Now they have it in Equeste. Equeste allows you to get any Gladiator Beast card from your graveyard to your hand when he is tag summoned.
This is excellent, as you can not only get back important Gladiator Beast monsters like Laquari and Retiari, but also get back Spell and Trap cards as well. Gladiator Beast War Chariot is a Divine Wrath with no cost, and you can continually use it's power through nearly endless summons with Equeste. Draw power is no problem as well, as Respite becomes a +1 when you get it's target or itself back from the graveyard.
Simply put, if you do not run at least 1 Equeste in your deck you are a fool. It is a common card, so you have no excuses there. It has 1600 ATK which is rather nice there. It is a Gladiator Beast, which allows it to activate War Chariot, as well as get the bonus from Cage and use al of the potent Equip Spells that were just mentioned above.
What is really broken is tagging a pair of them in after attacking with Gyzarus. Assuming that you destroyed 2 cards with Gyzarus' effect and you get two cards from your tagged in Equeste, that is a 4 card swing! It is really hard to come back from that. Not to mention that you likely got back Spell and Trap cards that make your Equeste's destruction that much harder to do, you have put your opponent between a rock and a hard place, as if they do not get rid of both of them, they will likely be facing Gyzarus again next turn! 
Another combo with Equeste is Icarus Attack. This card lets you destroy a Winged-Beast monster in order to destroy two of your opponent's cards. Both Equest, Bestiari and the maligned Octavius are Winged-Beasts, meaning that it is insanely easy to get Icarus Attack off, and then you can just get back the card that you tributed with another Equeste!
Equeste is most famous for being the purveyor of the Chariot Lock, where Solemn Judgment and Chariot keep your opponent from doing anything while your tagged Beasts give you the damage as well as the materials to keep the Chariots coming. Basically I cannot find a reason to run less than 2 of these guys in a Gladiator Beast deck, even the horrible E-Hero build.
Rest, and Let Yourself Dream of Victory!
 Gladiator Beast's Respite is perhaps the most underused Draw Spell in the entire game. It is comparable to Allure of Darkness in that it is a 2 for 2 without adding anything to your graveyard. Instead it puts those cards back into your deck where they belong.
This card is huge when you have an all monster hand, usually something that spells doom for Gladiator Beasts. The Respite returns all of those useless monsters back to your deck in order for you to get a chance to draw that much needed Test Tiger or Solemn Judgment. I once played out of an all monster hand by playing Respite, allowing me to win against Lightsworn, the Gladiator's most hated foe.
You can return any card back to thedeck with Gladiator Beast in it's name, so all of their Equip Spells, the Cage and all of their monsters can be used to activate Respite's effect. Keep in mind that Respite's effect that returns cards to the deck is activated, it si part of the effect, not a cost. So if it is negated, you do not have to send cards back to your deck.
When used in conjunction with Proving Ground or Equeste, you can either thin your deck by one more card, or make the effect of the Respite a +1. Either is welcome in the Gladiator Beast deck, as they tend to draw more monsters as the game goes on.
That is all from the Gladiator Beast front for today. You can reach me at raptor1k@hotmail.com if you have any questions, ideas or comments that you want me to see.
Thanx for reading!


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