Written in collaboration with Green

Table of Contents


Introduction & History

Gladiator Beasts have a long and rich history throughout the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game. They were first released in Japan with the Gladiator's Assault booster pack on July 21, 2007. The Gladiators dominated the TCG throughout 2008 and were the winners of the Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship that year. Gladiator Beasts were released in Duel Links in the pack Galactic Origin and have been a common fixture on the ladder and in tournaments since.

The Gladiator Beasts use a mechanic in Yu-Gi-Oh commonly referred to as “tagging out”. This is a fan created term referring to special summoning a Gladiator Beast at the end of the battle phase from the deck by returning a Gladiator Beast that attacked or was attacked. The second mechanic that Gladiator Beast use is called Contact Fusion. This is fusion conducted by returning monsters from the field to the deck to special summon from the extra deck without using cards like Loading.... The deck uses a small monster core supported by a strong suite of spells and traps which protect the Gladiators to support the tagging out mechanic, generating card advantage and removing threats from the opponent's board. It is important to note that a Gladiator Beast cannot tag itself in, for example, you cannot tag out Loading... to summon Gladiator Beast Murmillo.

The Gladiator Beast deck is easy to use but difficult to master; this deck punishes the pilot’s mistakes and rewards optimal play. Gladiator Beasts have been an important aspect of the metagame for almost half a year, since our decks core engine is small (7-9 monsters) and can run any backrow card our builds can be incredibly versatile and adapt to anything Konami throws at us. If we can survive Abyss Encounters and come out strong, we can survive anything. The recent addition of side decking in community events improves our versatility even more so you should always be prepared to face Gladiators in a tournament.

About the Author

Brenduke played the TCG competitively up until 2010 and achieved multiple regional tops in the UK with Gladiator Beasts. He only quit the TCG due to starting University which meant that time and money became more restricted. When Duel Links was released he was instantly hooked and has achieved King of Games six times so far, four of which were with Gladiator Beasts. He has topped multiple tournaments and popularized 3SD Gladiators. He is currently Deck Expert for Gladiator Beasts in the Duel Links Meta Discord.

Green played the TCG competitively for years. He comes up with original and creative deck ideas, completely new to the meta. He has achieved King of Games multiple times, and is currently the head coach for Creeping Death in Team Wars. He focuses heavily on deck analysis, and meta prediction to spur creativity. He has actively posted in the Gladiator Beast discord channel since its inception.

A Guide to the Guide

This will be a living guide which will be updated once per month to reflect new card releases and changes in the metagame. The guide has three main sections:

  • Building Your Gladiator Beast Deck

    • In this section we discuss the cards which form the core of the deck, the spells and traps the deck can use effectively and some tech options.
  • The Gladiator Beast Skills Guide

    • This section discusses the top 5 skills for Gladiator Beasts and provides a link to the main skills guide which discusses 23 different skills we can use.
  • The Match Up Guide

    • Firstly, we will discuss the mirror match in depth. This is a good place to start since it will also teach you some core mechanics of the deck.
    • We then go onto to discuss how we fare against the Tier 1-3 decks as defined by Duel Links Meta and the Top Player Council.
    • A separate guide discusses ladder matchups which can be found in #gladiator-tips on the DLM Discord.

Building your Gladiator Beast Deck

This section will cover the relevant monsters, spells and traps the deck uses. It will not discuss in any length cards we do not often use, for example, Augustus, Secutor and Alexander will not be discussed in detail.

Monster Core