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GeneralZorpa on Yugioh
Beasts of Burden: The Gladiator Beast Question
March 9, 2009

This One's For All You Beasts Out There...
 
There is a ton of speculation out there about one of my all-time favorite decks, Gladiator Beasts. The release of key cards like Samnite and Summon Priest has sparked a rather heated debate among players as to what they really think is the best way to run the beasts, as they themselves have far more support than can really be thrown into a deck.
 
This is not going to be a discussion of a single deck or build that I will endorse. I intend just to go over my findings from several formats of running the deck as well as a few things that I picked up from Lightsworn and Tele-DAD decks that have so thoroughly dominated the game since they came to power.
 
I have to say, I love the Beasts. They are versatile, aggressive, unpredictable and thoroughly able to adapt to most strategies that your opponent can throw at them. They can incorporate the best cards in the game and their suite of powerful monster effects and ATK points allowed them to become a major force in the game.
 
Mom, Henry Ran Into the Sliding Glass Door Again
 
This is one innovation that I actually picked up online somewhere, though I don't actually remember where because it was such a long time ago. I have always been a big fan of Mirror Wall. The ability to shut down an opposing Battle Phase is amazing and add to that the ability to kill your opponent's monsters and you know you have a winner.
 
I have always viewed the lifepoint cost to keep it around as a little extravagant, but in general will not even become an issue. Most of the time, you just need it once to kill an opponent's monster. After it has been activated, there is no more element of surprise, so your opponent will not attack into it again.
 
However, on the other hand, we have Shrink. This is a quickplay spell, so you can play it on your opponent's turn as well as yours. You do lose the ability to affect the field or keep it around, but there is no lifepoint cost associated with it. This makes people certainly think that Shrink is better.
 
I do not take sides in this conflict of ATK altering cards, but instead ask, how many should I play? Surprise is one of the Gladiator Beast deck's strengths. An opponent that sees Shrink will really not be expecting Mirror Wall. This will definitely make an opponent pause before they do anything, as atthis point, they will have to be ready for anything.
 
My Heart Is Heavy
 
Probably the most amazing breakthrough in Gladiator Beast testing that I have done is Burden of the Mighty. The little Continuous Spell that could, it was overshadowed by it's far flashier roommate, Dimensional Prison. I actually took note of this card the second I saw it and thought "Someone is going to break this".
 
That someone was Tomas Mijares, who brought it up into the spotlight with his "Middle City" build. Well, props to you Tomas, but I am about to take your innovative creation and adapt it for use in the Coliseum.
 
You see, Gladiator Beasts thrive on being able to attack. Without the ability to attack, they cannot really do a whole lot. Burden allows that to be a possibility. The best cards to kill with it are of course, Synchros. Colossal becomes 2000 without a boost, and after you attack over it, Murmillo can finish it off. Stardust Dragon becomes a 1700 ATK weakling. And that is only from one copy of Burden!
 
Multiple copies weaken your opponent's monsters even more, without any detrimental effect to your own. As Gladiator Beasts have an extremely high average ATK, they can really take advantage of any chink in your opponent's armor. Often, I have had opponent's not target my facedown Trap card, but instead get rid of Burden just to be able to attack.
 
Burden is extraordinarily good in matchups where your opponent is not expecting it, which is pretty much all of them. The best part of it is, that you can easily trade some side deck stuff in order to get the most out of your Burdens. This is a ticket from Tomas' train. You can side in King Tiger Wanghu. While he will not kill a big Synchro, he will kill anything with less than 1900 ATK with his effect and then take out anything else in battle.
 
You can even side out the Burdens for the cool tech of Dimensional Fissure. Your opponent will never see it coming and you still get to disrupt your opponent while they are still on the lookout for your Burdens. In fact, I have won about half of my games recently with Gladiator Beasts through the use of the powerhouse that is BUrden of the Mighty.
 
And With My Last Gasp, I Summon Thee!
 
Arr, mateys! Summon Priest and Crush Card Virus be the cards we talk about in this here section. There has been a lot of discussion about these two cards in particular.
 
Crush Card was traditionally put into Gladiator Beasts because they are excellent with good hand control. CCV allowed that as well as access to the powerful D.D. Crow, Sangan and Spirit Reaper without making you feel guilty about splashing such weak monsters into your deck.
 
I have just recently gotten a CCV back, and guess where it is? Not in my Gladiator Beast deck. They have no more reason to run D.D. Crow, they have Retiari. Hoplomus replaces Spirit Reaper, and Sangan has been outdone by Gladiator Proving Ground and Gladiator Beast Samnite and Rescue Cat.
 
As there are no real targets to run for CCV, why would you run it? CCV and it's targets are great for many decks, but you lose much of the natural synergy that Gladiator Beasts have if you don't run enough Gladiator Beasts. Now, if they ever made a DARK Gladiator with 1000 or less ATK, you would see me put CCV in so fast I would outrace the Flash. As of now, I will not ruin my whole deck just to splash a card that really has no business in there.
 
Now for Summon Priest. He is one of the best cards in the game, and I am rejoicing much for his release in the new Spellcaster Structure deck. However, he does not necessarily need to be in Gladiator Beasts.
 
Now I know that about 1/3 of you are screaming "Blasphemy!" and running from the webpage. We'll let those people go................. Good, they are all gone now. For all those of you remaining, I think I will make my case.
 
Gladiator Beasts are an aggressive deck, yes? They need to be able to attack each and every turn that they can so that they can cycle around, gaining advantage and ATK points. Summon Priest is great for getting a monster to the field, but horrible at being aggro. The summoned monster cannot attack, making it hard for you to accomplish what you need to do.
 
Even though you do get the choice of any Gladiator, and you CAN use that monster that turn to Contact Fuse, the situations are sparse to where I would need to play it. Gladiator Proving Ground is rather superior most of the time, allowing you the choice of ANY Gladiator, and not just the level 4 ones, at spell speed 1 and able to thin your deck a little at the same time.
 
So the only difference between the two cards is that you have a 1600 defense monster, lose a valuable spell and cannot attack if you choose Summon Priest. Wow. I think I will take my aggro and not providing a target for opposing Gladiator Beast decks to attack with impunity.
 
As far as I am concerned, Summon Priest is REALLY good, but he loses a lot of his power in the Gladiator Beast deck. In this deck, you need every card to count, and most of the time I would rather have the spell that I am discarding for the Preist's effect than the monster that the priest would get.
 
Thus, I added it all up, and I do NOT like Summon Priest in Gladiator Beasts. Future testing might prove me wrong, and if it does, I would happily embrace the Priest. But after a couple of days of theory and testing, I just can't see it.
 
Kitty!
 
Now, here we get some stuff that I can really sink my teeth into! Rescue Cat has been used to get Neo-Spacien Dark Panther and Test Tiger for a long time, but now his new buddy is in town, meet Gladiator Beast Samnite!
 
Weighing in at 1600 ATK and 3 stars, he is the perfect target for Kitty's effect. You can get two Samnite, a Samnite and a Test Tiger, or two Test Tigers for whichever situation you need them for. You can even play such cool stuff as X-Saber Airbellun (when released) and Gyaku-Gire Panda for maximum flexibility.
 
The ability to search for monsters from your deck and Special Summon them is incredibly powerful. Both recruiting monsters and Emergency Teleport are amazing cards, but they don't hold a candle to Kitty. He can get you pretty much anything you need. You have a troublesome spell or trap? get Samnite and Test Tiger and Tag for Bestiari. A monster? Do the same thing with Murmillo.
 
On a topdeck, this guy tops them all. You can attack for 3200 and then tag out before the monsters are destroyed by Kitty's effect. I was skeptical at first, bit now that I have tried it, it works fabulously. There really is never a time that I don't want Kitty, unless of course I have already used his targets up.
 
In order to keep Kitty in maximum effectiveness, we need to also run the max of Samnite and Test Tiger. 2 is just not quite enough. I actually found that Samnite fills the space that Bestiari used to fill quite easily, even fetching the little bird when he kills an opposing monster. Not to mention that he has 100 more ATK.
 
Well, I hope you enjoyed my talk about what I think of Gladiator Beasts. They are such an amazing deck that I can't help but feel that they will give Lightsworn a run for their money. Try out my choices. If they don't work for you, fine. Use your own. If you do use them, just be sure to give me props and spread the word. The Gladiator Beasts are back in town!
 
You can reach me at raptor1k@hotmail.com for any YGO questions. Be sure to put YGO in the title so that I do not discard your email. I will try to get back to you asap, but I am a busy man with many demands on my time (friends, staying in shape and school) so please allow me about 3 days to get back to you.
 
Thanx for Reading!
GZ

 

 

 


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