Deck Doctor #17: Gladiator Beast and Fire King/Fist

tyler nolanHey readers, this we’re going to start off by taking a look at Rahul Pandya’s Gladiator Beast deck.

Monsters: 15
2 Effect Veiler
1 Glad Beast Bestiari
2 Glad Beast Darius
1 Glad Beast Equeste
1 Glad Beast Hoplomus
3 Glad Beast Laquiari
1 Glad Beast Murmillo
2 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
2 Maxx C

Spells: 11
1 Book of Moon
1 Dark Hole
3 Forbidden Lance
2 Gladiator Proving Ground
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
2 Mystical Space Typhoon

Traps: 14
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
3 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Gladiator Beast War Chariot
2 Mischief of the Yokai
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Solemn Warning
1 Starlight Road

Gladiator Beast BestiariI’m sure by now most of us are familiar with Gladiator Beasts, since their release in Gladiator’s Assault they’ve been a popular theme. While not the powerhouse they once were, Gladiators are still an extremely fun control deck with a unique playstyle. I’ve doctored Gladiator decks previously, but those were more aggressive lists aiming to spam Gyzaruses through Prismas, and Test Tiger plays. This list plays more like a T.G. deck, where it makes aggressive card advantage pushes early on and tries to prevent the opponent from ever getting a chance to establish their own gameplan.

The first cut I want to make here are the two copies of Mischief of the Yokai. While it’s a cute tech pick against Dragons, and to an extent Evilswarm, but it does literally nothing versus Spellbook, and even in the matchups where it’s good, there would be better cards to run like Vanity’s Emptiness, or even Stygian Dirge.

starlight roadStarlight Road isn’t very good right now. Versus Spellbook it’s almost completely dead, and versus Dragons all you can hope to hit with it is Heavy Storm, or possibly Dark Hole. More often than not, the card is just going to sit dead in your backrow without being used. Sure, you feel safer while it’s down, but the feeling of security isn’t worth the dead card. I’d prefer something like Dark Bribe, or even Magic Drain in this slot if Storm is really that scary for you.

The next cut I want to make are the two Effect Veilers. A large reason as to why Veiler is even a real card right now is because he’s a tuner, and decks like Dragon and Prophecy can take advantage of that. In this deck, however, he’s just a mediocre hand trap. If your opponent is able to field something you need to Veiler, like a Dracossack, or Big Eye, and you don’t have another answer to actually get rid of the big monster, the Veiler doesn’t even help you. In this deck, I’d rather run Fiendish Chain, and even that card is kinda iffy since you still can’t win the game without first answering that big monster you just chained. Typically, when Veiler is relevant as a hand trap, it’s to negate turn 1 effects that nothing else can deal with, such as Rescue Rabbit, or Tour Guide. Right now, and especially in this deck, there aren’t cards like that to worry about.

forbidden lanceForbidden Lance isn’t my favorite card right now, though I acknowledge it actually serves a real purpose in this deck. The biggest issue I have with Lance is how bad it is versus Dragon. You can Lance a Dracossack, or Big Eye down to 1800 so that you can what, ram with Laquari? If they make Master of Blades it’s even worse, as you just can’t do anything with the Lance. The only reason I’m keeping any number of copies in, is because it’s one of the best cards in your deck versus rogue decks. I’m just going to cut one copy to make space, but if your local is heavy on Dragon and Spellbook, definitely consider cutting all 3.

The cuts in summary:
-2 Mischief of the Yokai
-1 Starlight Road
-2 Effect Veiler
-1 Forbidden Lance

mirror forceNow to add cards. The first thing I want to add is 2 copies of Mirror Force. I feel like Mirror Force is one of the most underrated traps in the game right now, it’s much better than Dimensional Prison at least. Versus Spellbook you can often kill 2 monsters with it, and even if you just kill 1 the deck plays so few monsters that it doesn’t matter. Blocking a Spellbook of Power is also huge. While it seems that Wisdom is so searchable that you’ll never get there with Mirror, they have so many other cards they’d rather be searching that Mirror gets there more often than not. Versus Dragon, they can’t safely make tokens off Dracossack against you, as you threaten the free tags by running over them. It’s very easy to kill their entire team, and thwart pushes with Mirror in that matchup as well.

Adding the 3rd Chariot seems like a no-brainer to me as well. It’s the one card in your deck that you almost always want to see, and drawing multiples isn’t a problem due to how useful the card is. Versus Spellbook you can often lock them out of the game by just summoning a Gladiator, setting Chariot, and denying them when they try to summon Priestess/Magician. Even later on in the game, Magician will always be Chain Link 1 when he’s summoned, meaning you get to chain Chariot before they get to use Fate.

Next, the monster count is rather low at effectively 13 monsters. I’m going to add the 3rd Proving Ground to bump that up a bit.

Lastly I want to add 2 one-ofs, mostly as ideas for you to test and see what you like. Magic Drain, and Vanity’s Emptiness. Drain versus Dragon seems interesting, they don’t play that many spells, and all the ones they do play are worth negating. Catching a Seven Star Sword, or even a Super Rejuvenation that they went hard on is game changing. It also gives you a soft answer to Heavy Storm. Versus Spellbook, it’s not quite as strong, but I can see it ruining their plans, especially if they try to play around Droll&Lock.

Additions in summary:
+2 Mirror Force
+1 Gladiator Beast War Chariot
+1 Gladiator Proving Ground
+1 Vanity’s Emptiness
+1 Magic Drain

EffectVeiler-ORCS-EN-SR-LENext let’s take a look at Mason Broadway’s “King of Fists” deck

Monsters (17):
3x Fire King High Avatar Garunix
3x Fire King Avatar Yaksha
3x Fire King Avatar Barong
3x Brotherhood of the Fire Fist-Bear
2x Coach Soldier Wolfbark
1x Brotherhood of the Fire Fist-Gorilla
2x Effect Veiler
Spells (15):
3x Onslaught of the Fire Kings
3x Circle of the Fire Kings
3x Fire Formation-Tenki
1x Fire Formation-Tensu
2x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Monster Reborn
1x Heavy Storm
1x Forbidden Lance
Traps (8):
1x Solemn Judgement
1x Solemn Warning
2x Torrential Tribute
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
2x Call of the Haunted

Now that JotL is released, both of these themes got some new toys to play around with, and I figure with the set just releasing now is a great time to take a look at this deck. Tenki is the glue that holds this deck together, it can play like a traditional Fire Fist deck early on by searching for Bears, and having the Bears replace themselves, then it can easily transition into a Fire King gameplan by searching for a Yaksha, or Barong after drawing a Garunix/Circle.

Similar to the previous deck, you don’t use Veiler as a tuner, and that is a huge reason why the card is playable right now. As a hand trap he’s actually pretty mediocre. You also play enough traps that if Veiler is the kind of effect you need, Breakthrough Skill just fills the role better if you’re scared of Big Eyes or something.

I really don’t feel like this deck needs to run the 1-of Gorilla. A large reason why the card was played pre-LTGY was because you could run over Lindes and get your search, while also blocking Pike. Now, with defense position monsters becoming less and less prevalent, Gorilla doesn’t really fill a role anymore.

Aside from that, everything else looks fairly solid. The only other cuts I would make would possibly be some number of copies of the Fire King monsters, I’m not sure running the full 9 is necessary considering you have Tenki. However that is a change that would need to come with extensive playtesting to figure out the proper ratios.

The cuts in summary:
-2 Effect Veiler
-1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Gorilla

blasterWith very few cuts, that means we have very few slots to add cards. I’m using all 3 of the slots to add 3 copies of Blaster. There just isn’t a good reason to not be playing Blaster in this deck. Early on, you can pitch dead Garunixes, or extra monsters to destroy things, and later on he’s another big monster who doesn’t die. Your deck isn’t especially reliant on the graveyard, so summoning him doesn’t have much of a cost. He’s certainly not the same boost Tidal gave to Mermail, but a 2800 monster who keeps coming back isn’t something to laugh at for a deck like this.

Additions in summary:
+3 Blaster, Elemental Dragon of Infernos

Well, that’s all for this week. If you have a deck you’d like either Johnny or myself to doctor, send us a message on our facebook page

Until next time readers, Play Hard or Go Home!