Home > 2010/08 - Gen Con Indy, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Deck Profile: Gladiator Beasts – Today & Tomorrow

Deck Profile: Gladiator Beasts – Today & Tomorrow

August 8th, 2010

A new Forbidden & Limited Cards List will take effect on September 1. In the aftermath of this Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series, we checked in with a few Duelists running some of the most popular Decks from the last few months, to take a look at how they’ve been playing the Deck, and what they might change starting next month.

When the dust settled at the U.S. World Championship Qualifier, the United States team headed to the World Championship was made up of three X-Saber Duelists and Daniel LaMartina, a Gladiator Beast Duelist. Gladiators are popular because of the Deck’s flexibility. It can deal with all kinds of enemy Decks really well.

Each time a Gladiator Beast monster attacks, it can be returned to the Deck at the end of the Battle Phase to Special Summon another; and when a Gladiator Beast is “tagged in” it hits the field with an additional effect, like destroying 1 monster on the field, or removing 1 card from the opponent’s Graveyard. Those “tagging” effects are the basis of the Gladiator strategy.

Gladiator Beast Decks got a boost with the release of Starlight Road. They Set a lot of cards to their back row, so it fits right in to play 2-3 copies of Starlight Road. This protects their set-ups of Traps like Gladiator Beast War Chariot, which can negate monster effects. Another typical play is Waboku, which stops a Gladiator Beast from being destroyed when it’s attacked, but stills means that it “was attacked,” so it can tag out at the end of the Battle Phase.

Daniel LaMartina has distinguished himself as one of the most successful Gladiator Beast Duelists in recent memory, making Top 4 at the U.S. World Championship Qualifier and chalking up back-to-back top cut qualifications with another big showing here this weekend. He took Gladiator Beasts all the way to the Top 8. Here’s how LaMartina did it:

Monsters: 19

2 Gladiator Beast Laquari

2 Gladiator Beast Equeste

1 Gladiator Beast Murmillo

1 Gladiator Beast Retiari

1 Gladiator Beast Secutor

3 Test Tiger

1 Rescue Cat

1 Gladiator Beast Bestiari

1 Gladiator Beast Darius

1 Gladiator Beast Hoplomus

1 Elemental Hero Prisma

2 Thunder King Rai-Oh

2 Gladiator Beast Samnite


Spells: 10

3 Gladiator Beast’s Respite

1 Heavy Storm

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Cold Wave

1 Enemy Controller

3 Book of Moon


Traps: 13

3 Gladiator Beast War Chariot

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Dust Tornado

1 Trap Stun

1 Dimensional Prison

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Solemn Judgment

1 Compulsory Evacuation Device

1 Starlight Road

1 Trap Dustshoot


Side Deck: 15

2 Cyber Dragon

2 Consecrated Light

1 Starlight Road

1 Trap Stun

1 Mind Crush

1 Enemy Controller

1 Spirit Reaper

3 Dimensional Fissure

1 Dimensional Prison

1 Brain Control

1 Smashing Ground


Extra Deck: 15

3 Gladiator Beast Gyzarus

2 Gladiator Beast Heraklinos

1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon

2 Stardust Dragon

1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

1 Naturia Beast

1 Red Dragon Archfiend

1 Colossal Fighter

1 Black Rose Dragon

1 Goyo Guardian

1 Ally of Justice Catastor


Old school Gladiator Beast Decks sometimes focused on Elemental Hero Prisma’s ability to mimic Gladiator Beast Bestiari’s name for the summoning of Gladiator Beast Gyzarus. But that strategy hasn’t been very popular this Summer. Most Duelists realized pretty quickly that when you’re Dueling against Infernities and X-Sabers, it’s more important to disrupt your opponent’s Synchro Summons and keep them from putting combos together. That led to a huge upswing in Gladiator Beast use of Thunder King Rai-Oh. Add Rescue Cat for its combo potential with Gladiator Beast Samnite and Test Tiger, and you’ve got the groundwork for the deck LaMartina played this weekend.

LaMartina also ran three copies of Gladiator Beast’s Respite, letting him make the most of his twelve Gladiator Beast monsters. Besides drawing cards. it also gives him more ways to shuffle Gladiator Beast Retiari, Gladiator Beast Murmillo, and Gladiator Beast Hoplomus back into his Deck when he doesn’t need them.

Starting September 1

Looking ahead, LaMartina didn’t think that much would happen to Gladiator Beasts on September 1st. But he was willing to talk about how he would adapt his deck to potential changes anyways. His thoughts? “Bestiari to 3 and Gyzarus gone: I don’t see that happening. If Rescue Cat was gone, I’d probably drop a Samnite from the Deck. I’d still run the 1, because the effect is still decent. I definitely wouldn’t need 2, though.” Samnite’s search effect is still extremely valuable in those games where LaMartina just can’t get to War Chariot any other way.

“If Cold Wave is gone, I mean… It’s [a good card], but if it’s gone I can just go back to Dust Tornado or Trap Stun. Trap Stun is like a mini Cold Wave. Cold Wave is good, but if it gets Forbidden, it doesn’t affect the deck much. You can still run Gladiator Beasts without it.” And what was he hoping to see in September? “I just really wish they’d put Bestiari to 2. Bestiari to 2 would be so good. It would make the Deck so much faster, and you could go back to the Prisma and Stratos version if Bestiari went to 2. There’s no way Cat’s going to 2; they have 3 Test Tigers and 3 Gyzarus; so I don’t think there’s much else that could make a positive impact. Bestiari’s definitely not going 3.”

With a strong presence in the last big events of the March 1st Advanced Format, and an all-new Format on the way September 1st, it’s a good time to be a Gladiator Duelist. LaMartina’s Top 8 finish this weekend is a reminder that Gladiator Beasts remain a top Deck in tournaments.

Daniel LaMartina