The Gladiator Beasts are a series of cards released in Gladiator's Assault, themed after the famed ancient Roman Colosseum slave-warriors, and consist of many different Attributes and Types, (though Beasts, Beast-Warriors and Winged Beasts are the most prominent). With few exceptions, the Gladiator Beasts all have the effect to return to the Deck during the end of a Battle Phase if it battled, and then Special Summon another Gladiator Beast Monster to replace it, with most gaining new effects when Summoned in this manner. Because of this, and the fact that many Gladiator Beast Monsters are fairly weak, most of their support cards are designed to either protect them during battle (thus ensuring they can return to the Deck to Special Summon another Gladiator Beast Monster) or return unwanted Gladiator Beast cards in the player's Hand or Graveyard to the Deck, where they can be brought out more readily by the effects of the others. To fuse Gladiator Beasts, the key monster and any other Gladiator Beasts must be on the field to Special Summon the monster. Fusions between Gladiator Beasts do not require Polymerization. Also, nearly every card in the archetype is capable of being returned to the Hand, Field, or Deck from the Graveyard. Since nearly every card in this Archetype can be accessed at will by the user or recycled in some way, a Gladiator Beast Deck is probably the most flexible one can make, even more so than a Hero Deck, for while a Duelist may be able to fuse almost any combination of Heroes, he must still rely on acquiring a fusion card to conduct it. The Gladiator Beasts are a mix of destruction, aggro, and toolbox tactics, making them very aggressive, strategic and fast paced in a themed Deck. It is this versatility which landed this deck as one top decks in Shonen Jump Circuit. However, with the March 2009 Lists coming into effect, and Gladiator Beast Bestiari becoming Limited, this deck will slow down considerably, like the Teleport Dark Armed deck, maybe even so much that keeping up with the Lightsworns may be very difficult; but with the new Gladiator Beast Samnite combined with Rescue Cat and Test Tiger, Gladiator Beasts may even be faster than Lightsworn.
Optional Support Cards
- Witch Doctor of Sparta - The effect of this card works well in Gladiator Beasts deck since each time a Gladiator Beast is Special Summoned from the deck, the opponent will lose 500 LP.
- Rescue Cat - This card has become recently popular in Gladiator Beast Decks since the new release of Gladiator Beast Samnite. Its release provided Gladiator's with tremendous speed. It can be sent to the Graveyard to Special Summon two Test Tigers, two Gladiator Beast Samnites, or even one of each from your Deck. However, rescue cat is currently forbidden in the advanced format.
- Shield Warrior - This card is good to get the effects on the Gladiator beast to work.
- Hedge Guard - This card is a slightly harder defense for the opponent to anticipate
- Waboku - This card is almost identical to Defensive Tactics, but unlike Defensive Tactics, it can be activated if you control no face-up monsters, or no monsters at all, so you can use it if you play a weak Gladiator Beast in face-down Defense Position, trigger it when the opponent declares an attack, then summon a Gladiator Beast afterwards.
- My Body as a Shield - Gladiator Beast Heraklinos can jam almost any Spell or Trap card your opponent uses, but it has no defense against monster effects, and there are two monsters in particular that are the greatest threat to Heraklinos - Judgment Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon, either of which can appear without warning and wipe you out. My Body as a Shield can also be used to stop destructive Spells or Traps if you don't have Heraklinos out.
- Cold Wave - While a Gladiator Beast Deck relies heavily on its Spells and Traps, it can easily build up advantage using monsters only. When used at the right moment, this card can offer you the edge you need to win. It can prevent your opponent from using destructive cards like Mirror Force, Torrential Tribute, Bottomless Trap Hole and Lightning Vortex to destroy your Gladiator Beasts, while you keep gaining advantage with their effects. It is significantly less effective against other Effect Monster centered Decks, however, so be careful.
- Shrink and Rush Recklessly - Instead of using Waboku or Defensive Tactics, these cards can turn the tables on an attacking opponent, letting you destroy their monster and/or summon another Gladiator Beast. They're also Spells, not Traps, so an opponent using Jinzo or Royal Decree won't be able to stop them.
- Wild Nature's Release - While there are many different equip cards for Gladiator Beasts, this card turn the tables on even the higher ATK based monsters, and better yet, won't destroy yours because they return to the deck at the end of the battle phase rather than have them destroyed at the end phase. Gladiator Beast Dimacari, is a very good choice for this card because he has rounded ATK and DEF stats, plus the ability to attack twice, making him a very difficult enemy to deal with.
- Elemental Hero Prisma - You can reveal Gladiator Beast Gyzarus in your Extra Deck deck to send Gladiator Beast Bestiari to the Graveyard. Then special summon Test Tiger and Tribute it, send in Prisma in your Deck, Special Summon Gladiator Beast Darius and summon Bestiari from the Graveyard. Summon Gyzarus before the Battle Phase, destroy two cards, and then attack.
- Behemoth the King of All Animals - Use this card to recycle your Gladiator Beasts. Since Test Ape, Test Tiger, Gladiator Beast Dimacari, Gladiator Beast Alexander and Gladiator Beast Samnite are all recyclable its a great tactic to summon Alexander again, since you can't special summon him from the Graveyard. Beside this, Behemoth is also a good combination with Ultimate Offering. Summon Behemoth with one Tribute and get Gladiator Beast Alexander to your hand, then summon Gladiator Beast Dimacari by paying 500 points and summon Alexander in your next turn by Tributing Gladiator Beast Dimacari.
- Enraged Battle Ox - This card makes most Gladiator Beasts do Piercing damage just by being on the field. If you already have several Gladiator Beasts out, this can result in a rapid win against a defending opponent. This is a more viable option for granting Piercing damage than an Equip Spell Card like Fairy Meteor Crush since Gladiator Beasts are constantly swapping in and out and Fairy Meteor Crush would be destroyed after one turn.
- Kaiser Colosseum is effective if you want to restrict the number of monsters your opponent can have because a gladiator beast deck is focused on switching Gladiator Beasts.
- Phantom of Chaos can be used as a double for Gladiator Beast Bestiari to summon multiple Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, or to tag out for a new Gladiator.
- Summoner Monk can you discard 1 Spell card and summon a level 4 monster from your Deck.
- Prideful Roar is effective when your opponent attacks your Gladiator Beast with a monster with a higher attack. When the ATK of your battling monster is lower than the ATK of your opponent's, and pay Life Points equal to the difference in ATK. Your monster gains ATK equal to that difference +300 during damage calculation only.
- Ancient Forest - This card allows Gladiator Beasts to attack and tag out before being destroyed.
Weaknesses and Counter-Strategies
Gladiator Beast monsters and support are spread over six booster packs evenly, making them more difficult to get.
Gladiator Beasts are currently one of the most tournament-competitive deck types, due to their incredible flexibility. However, they are not invincible. Some good ways to overcome a Gladiator Beast user are as follows:
- Prevention of Special Summoning -- This is the big one, the one sure-fire way to shut down a Gladiator Beast deck. Vanity's Fiend, Vanity's Ruler, Deck Lockdown, Royal Oppression and others all prevent Gladiator Beasts from swapping out or performing Contact Fusion, paralyzing the deck. Jowgen the Spiritualist and Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo also have the ability to destroy any Special Summoned monster already on the field in addition to preventing Special Summoning.
- Counter-Destruction -- Often, it is the Gladiator Beasts with the effect to destroy cards that are the most troublesome, but there are a few good cards that specifically prevent that in use. Destruction Jammer, Stardust Dragon, Prime Material Dragon and Divine Wrath all work well. These also work against Gladiator Beast Heraklinos when it activates its effect to negate and destroy a Spell or Trap.
- Monster Effects - Since Gladiator Beasts must battle to gain their effects, monster card effects that trigger during battle are highly effective. Note, however, that Gladiator Beasts have access to "Gladiator Beast War Chariot", so be prepared with something like "Trap Jammer" or "Counter Counter" to lock that card out. Here are some good monster card effects:
- Monsters that destroy the monsters that attacked them - Newdoria, Man-Eater Bug, Old Vindictive Magician, Exploder Dragon,Yomi Ship,Yubel - The Ultimate Nightmare
- Monsters that return the cards that attacked them - Wall of Illusion, Hyper Hammerhead, Morphing Jar #2, Penguin Soldier, Nightmare Penguin, Legendary Jujitsu Master, Neo-Spacian Grand Mole : These cards are even better than the destroyers above, since they can get around Gladiator Beast's Battle Archfiend Shield, and the Gladiator Beasts cannot be brought back with Gladiator Beast Darius.
- Monsters that remove from play the cards that attacked them - D.D. Warrior, D.D. Warrior Lady, D.D. Assailant - Even worse for the opponent than the destroyers or returners, since though they have a heavy focus upon recycling or hand exchanging, Gladiator Beasts have no internal method of re-using removed-from-play cards.
- Trump-card monsters with mass-destruction effects - Cards like these can destroy the Gladiator Beasts by effect, preventing their battle-swap from activating, or they can destroy the support cards that prevent the Gladiator Beasts from being destroyed by battle. A few can even do both. Some of these include: XYZ-Dragon Cannon, Red Dragon Archfiend, Judgment Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, Demise, King of Armageddon, Volcanic Doomfire, and Beast King Barbaros. Judgment Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon, in particular, are great because they can appear suddenly without warning to wipe out most everything the opponent has. Yubel - Terror Incarnate is especially devastating, destroying the whole field at the end of your turn except for itself.
- Destroy on Summoning - "Trap Hole","Bottomless Trap Hole" and especially "Mirror of Oaths" can take down the opponent's cards before they even have a chance to attack your own cards. Also in the newest set "Swallow Flip" will greatly hurt any gladiator beast deck when special summoning using the Gladiator Beasts effect.
- Trap Negation - "Jinzo" and "Royal Decree" both prevent the opponent from using Waboku or Defensive Tactics, the two greatest thorns in the side of anyone trying to destroy Gladiator Beasts by battle. The opponent might still be able to use a Gladiator Beast's Battle Manica, but you'll be able to see that beforehand.
- Effect Canceling - Cards such as Skill Drain or Angel 07 can prevent your monsters from tagging out or negate the effects of the ones that are Summoned leaving your monsters defenseless against some of the more powerful ATK monsters. G.B. Hunter is exclusively designed to stop the Gladiator Beasts to come back to the deck.
- Attack Negation/Prevention - You can only "tag out" a Gladiator Beast for another if the first Gladiator Beast "attacked or was attacked". Unlike most card effects with a similar activation requirement, the battle must "go through", ie. instead of just declaring an attack or being targeted as the target of an attack, the battle has to go into and apply Damage Calculation (even if the damage for that battle would be 0. Therefore, any Spell, Trap, or Monster Effect that lets you negate a monster attack would prevent the opponent from tagging out their Gladiator Beasts.
Total:21  - Gladiator Beast Laquari x3
- Gladiator Beast Bestiari x1
- Gladiator Beast Darius x2
- Gladiator Beast Equeste x2
- Gladiator Beast Samnite x2
- Gladiator Beast Hoplomus x1
- Gladiator Beast Murmillo x3
- Gladiator Beast Retiari x1
- Gladiator Beast Secutor x1
- Gladiator Beast Spartacus x1
- Test Tiger x3
- Gladiator Beast Alexander x1
- Gladiator Beast Dimacari x1
Total: 14 - Book of Moon x1
- Gladiator Beast Respite x1
- Gladiator's Return x2
- Mystical Space Typhoon x2
- My Body as a Shield x1
- Dark Hole x1
- Monster Reborn x1
- Gladiator Proving Grounds x3
- Torrential Tribute x1
- Mirror Force x1
- Bottomless Trap Hole x2
- Solemn Judgment x1
- Waboku x2
- Double Tag Team x2
-Starlight Road x2
- Gladiator Beast Gyzarus x3
- Gladiator Beast Heraklinos x2
-Gladiator Beast Gaiodaz x2
-Stardust Dragon x2