Ira D. Jones' Gladiator Beasts
Top 16 at SJC Edison
Gladiator Beasts Gameplay
Monster Total: 22
Spell Total: 5
Trap Total: 13
Deck Total: 40
Gladiator Beasts as a strategy demands an element of careless abandon and fearlessness, as most powerful effects only trigger at the end of the Battle Phase. Once the engine gets going you’ll be speeding past your opponent in terms of card advantage, as your Contact Fusion monsters are able to destroy your opponent’s resources via effect and negate their Spells and Traps. Additionally, Gladiator Beasts have access to a powerful Counter Trap which negates monster effects and destroys them.
Gladiator Beasts cycle through their monsters by shuffling their glorious combatants back into the deck to Special Summon gladiators with different names, triggering powerful effects upon resolution. When summoned by the effect of a Gladiator Beast monster: Bestiari destroys a Spell/Trap on the field; Darius revives a vanquished Gladiator Beast; Equeste recycles Gladiator Beast cards (including Gladiator Beast War Chariot); and Murmillo destroys a face-up monster. Gladiator Proving Ground allows you to search out whichever Gladiator Beast you need in order to overcome a challenge in battle and get your engine going. As contact fusions do not require the use of Polymerization, the strategy for summoning each specific Fusion monsters is facilitated by Elemental HERO Prisma whose effect allows him to dump a Gladiator Beast from the deck in order to copy its name. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the contact fusion is that facedown Gladiator Beasts can be used so long as the fusion recipe is respected, making the strategy impervious to Book of Moon. Test Tiger is not only an extender but can be summoned via Rescue Cat to cycle through several Gladiator Beasts before even proceeding to the battle phase, as Test Tiger tributes itself to tag out a face-up Gladiator Beast for one in the deck, triggering its effect! Finally, Gladiator Beast War Chariot provides monster effect negation and destroying for the meager cost of possessing a face-up Gladiator Beast, providing the strategy with a powerful means of trading 1 for 1 on significant plays. The archetype’s method of tagging members out from the field and in from the deck provides protection from having too many pieces removed from the game while in the graveyard.
Gladiator Beasts' Strengths and Weaknesses
As the Gladiator Beast strategy is vulnerable to disruption, as it relies on monsters successfully remaining face-up on the field until the end of the Battle Phase in order to trigger. A well-timed Book of Moon can allow the tides of battle to shift, especially because Gladiator Beasts MUST survive each battle in order to "tag out" during the end of the Battle Phase, and thus can be set back by destroying them via battle. Additionally, the members are of many different types and are thus vulnerable to stun strategies incorporating Rivalry of the Warlords.