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Gladiator's Triumph
May 14, 2009

Have At Thee!

Gladiator Beasts, after an unimpressive showing at SJC Anaheim, are considered by many to be a zombie archetype. They are dead, they just don't know it yet. I say that is borsht! There is no way that Gladiators can die, not when they have some of the best cards in the game on their side.

The first reason they are not dead is Rescue Cat. You can really use the Kitty to get some massive advantage through Samnite and Test Tiger and then tagging for even more advantage. Rescue Cat is quickly becoming one of the best cards in the game, so it is great that Gladiators can use it.

The second reason for that is solely Gladiator Beast War Chariot. It is abusable (Gladiator Beast Heraklinos), searchable (Gladiator Beast Samnite), reusable (Gladiator Beast Equeste) and simply devastating to your opponent. It is far better than Skill Drain, being costless and being a Counter Trap. Together with Solemn Judgment this keeps your opponent off of the field and your Gladiators in play.

The last reason is that they are a durable deck. There are very few cards that simply destroy the Gladiator Beast deck to the point where it can't come back. Their effects allow them to quickly overcome adversity and all you need is to create an opening for an attack.

What is the Plan of Attack Sire?

Gladiator Beast decks failed at SJC Anaheim not because they were a bad deck or player, but because they were a poorly built deck. Yeah I said it, almost everyone that brought a Gladiator deck to Anaheim (as far as reporting and my friends said) built it like the old Prisma builds.

The older decks relied on Gyzarus far too much in order to gain advantage, favoring Prisma and even Stratos as their backup plans. We need to treat Gladiators as if they were a toolbox deck, because in fact, that is what they are. You need to be able to force your way into a battle situation using cards like Cold Wave and Heavy Storm to clear the way and then fall back on Chariot and Solemn to defend.

The decks at Anaheim relied far too much on Samnit'e effect. They tended o summon Samnite to use with his effect. That is hardly a good idea, as Samnite is not that powerful. As they relied too much on Samnite, they ran only one or two Chariots as they would be able to search out cards from Samnite, right?

Wrong! That allowed openings in your defense and you do not further your ability to win by doing that. Chariot needs to be run at three, it increases your chance of winning the game almost completely by %50 when you can get it out.

The other problem with the Anaheim Gladiators was that they were trying to do too much with it. I tried using Sangan, D.D. Crow, Crush Card Virus and Summon Priest, but you just lose far too much as far as the Gladiators themselves are concerned. Gladiators are no longer a combo deck, they are an aggro deck that falls back on combo cards and strategies in order to win.

I will provide a decklist of the deck that I have right now. It won a sneak peak and three tournaments within the last 2 weeks and has smashed Lightsworn and OCunter Fairy decks like they were simply dust scattering before a wind. In fact, in a single tournament, I beat a Lightsworn deck 2 times 2-0.
Beware the Sharp Pointy Teeth!
3x Test Tiger
3x Gladiator Beast Samnite
3x Gladiator Beast Laquari
2x Gladiator Beast Darius
2x Gladiator Beast Equeste
2x Rescue Cat
1x Gladiator Beast Murmillo
1x Gladiator Beast Octavius
1x Gladiator Beast Bestiari
1x Gladiator Beast Retiari

3x Gladiator Proving Ground
1x Smashing Ground
1x Heavy Storm
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Brain Control
1x Monster Reborn
1x Shrink
3x Solemn Judgment
3x Gladiator Beast War Chariot
2x Waboku
2x Icarus Attack
1x Mirror Force
1x Torrential Tribute
Side Deck
3x Dimensional Fissure
3x Burden of the Mighty
3x Trap Eater
2x Lightning Vortex
1x Neo Spacien Grand Mole
1x Giant Trunade
1x Waboku
1x Shrink
It IS The Rabbit!
The deck certainly has faults. Stardust Dragon falls particularly into that slot as I am not playing Summoner Monk. I might actually take out the copies of Icarus Attack as being too situational since I took out an Equeste.

The deck is very aggro oriented, allowing for me to press an attack at a weak point by opening up lanes of attack with Icarus Attack, Smashing Ground and Brain Control while defending as well as opening up my opponent with Chariot, Solemn and Waboku.
The deck works fairly well, easily dealing with Swarm decks like Blackwings. It has more trouble with Lightsworn, but Chariot and Solemn both can keep them under check and then the side deck just destroys the Lightsworn matchup.
Against Skill Drain decks there is the amazing card known as Trap Eater which eats up Royal Oppression and Skill Drain while providing you with a 1900 ATK Tuner. Those are the two matchups the side deck is geared for, but i also have multi-use things. Dimensional Fissure works against most decks and Burden of the Mighty is, to quote one of my opponents, "Frickin annoying!"
Behold! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch!
For your reference, I have compiled a list of cards that should NOT be in the Gladiator Beast build as it makes the deck's central theme completely unbalanced and inconsistent.
-Crush Card Virus
-D.D. Crow
-Summoner Monk
-Elemental Hero Prisma
Now here is a list of cards that you SHOULD have in the deck at at least two of and not singletons at all.
-Gladiator Beast Laquari
-Gladiator Beats Samnite
-Gladiator Beast Darius
-Gladiator Beast Equeste
-Gladiator Beast War Chariot
-Gladiator Proving Ground
So in short, the Gladiator Beast decks failed at Anaheim because of the cards that they were running to "improve" the deck. Well, I beat one of these "improved" Gladiator decks at my sneak 2-0 and won with Octavius both times. And if you are asking, he was not a n00b, he was a practiced semi-pro player.
Well, that is it for this article. Next week will be an article on tech cards for all decks. And Dark paladin and I have a joint article coming up. We want to make it REALLY special for you guys so we are taking a lot of time to put it all together.
You can reach me at raptor1k@hotmail.com for any questions, decks or comments on anything Yu-Gi-Oh! related. Just please put YGO in the title so I don't delete your article!
Thanx for reading!


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