"Crystal Beast", known as "Gem Beast" (
The seven "Crystal Beasts" appear in the artwork of "Crystal Conclave"
The "Crystal Beasts" made their first appearance in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, used by Jesse Anderson. In the English dub, each of the "Crystal Beast" monsters, except "Ruby Carbuncle", imitates the voice of a real life movie celebrity. Upgraded forms known as the "Advanced Crystal Beasts" were used in the anime, although they have not been released in the TCG or OCG.
The "Crystal Beasts", whose original name is "Gem Beasts", as their name says, are all animals which have each a different kind of gem in their bodies. Their different gems' colors form the seven colors of the rainbow, reflecting the name and design of their ace, "Rainbow Dragon". Their nomenclature is "Crystal Beast (gem) (animal)", and their attack names are "(gem) (part of their body/attack)".
In their Advanced form, their attack names keep the same, with the addition of the word "dark" between the gem and the attack/part of their body.
|Color||Crystal Beast||Origin||Unique effect|
|Red||Ruby Carbuncle||Ruby||Carbuncle||Special Summon as many "Crystal Beast" monsters from its controller's Spell & Trap Zone as possible when it is Special Summoned.|
|Orange||Amber Mammoth||Amber||Mammoth||Redirects an attack targeting another "Crystal Beast" monster on its controller's side of the field to itself.|
|Yellow||Topaz Tiger||Topaz||Tiger||Gains 400 ATK when attacking an opponent's monster during the Damage Step.|
|Green||Emerald Tortoise||Emerald||Tortoise||Changes one of its controller's monsters that attacked this turn to Defense Position once per turn.|
|Blue||Cobalt Eagle||Cobalt||Eagle||Returns a "Crystal Beast" card on its controller's side of the field to the top of their Deck once per turn.|
|Indigo||Sapphire Pegasus||Sapphire||Pegasus||Places a "Crystal Beast" monster from its controller's hand, Deck, or Graveyard face-up in their Spell & Trap Zone as a Continuous Spell Card when it is Summoned.|
|Violet||Amethyst Cat||Amethyst||Cat||Attacks the opponent directly, but the battle damage it inflicts when using this effect is halved.|
"Crystal Beast" Decks tend to have a wide variety of searching options for putting "Crystal Beast" cards on the field, either Summoned as monsters or placed in the Spell & Trap Zone as an effect-less Continuous Spell Card, and they have a couple of extra drawing options to speed up the use of the Deck. Because of these effects working in conjuction, "Crystal Beast" users can wind up many cards ahead of their opponent, and the various searching options facilitate the Summoning of "Rainbow Dragon" far quicker than would otherwise be possible. The archetype also supports come-from-behind wins quite easily due to the double whammy of "Crystal Abundance" and the Field Spell Card of the archetype, "Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins", which gains a new effect for every "Crystal Beast" Continuous Spell card you control.
One thing that becomes apparent almost immediately is the overall age of the archetype: Of the seven Main Deck "Crystal Beast" monster, only two manage to make the cut to be rated good, those two being "Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus for being an excellent playstarter and "Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle" which has the ability of filling your entire field with monsters with relative ease. "Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth" draw attacks to itself, which is almost irrelevant without any protection on its own; "Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat" can be become a laughably weak direct attacker; "Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger" can reach 2000 ATK via its effect and has nothing else going for it; and "Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise" can switch your own monsters into defense after attacking, which is supposed to protect you from retaliation damage due to your opponents attack, but is ultimatively useless. Lastly, "Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle" isn't exactly the cream of the crop either, but can help recycle "Sapphire Pegasus".
The prior paragraph deals some harsh critism to the monster line-up. However, the monsters play a secondary role in "Crystal Beasts"; the real power comes from the Spell & Trap support. "Crystal Bond" is an absolutely insane +1 in card economy for "Crystal Beasts", as it searches for a "Crystal Beast" monster and puts another one into the backrow. Combine this with "Crystal Beacon" and you can summon four monsters with two cards: Play "Crystal Bond", searching for "Sapphire Pegasus" (as the hand card) and any other "Crystal Beast" (excluding "Ruby Carbuncle) as backrow, play "Sapphire Pegasus, searching for another non-"Ruby Carbuncle" card for the backrow, play "Crystal Beacon" summoning "Ruby Carbuncle" and summon the monsters in the backrow via "Ruby Carbuncle's" effect. This is only one of the applications for these two cards and there is more to come. "Crystal Abundance" is a variant of "Soul Charge", except without the drawback and with a neat in-build field nuke. "Crystal Blessing", "Crystal Promise" and "Rare Value" are all situational cards, but can be considered for the deck if necessary. The aforementioned "Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins" has a plethora of effects, which bring negation, card draw and monster summoning in one neat package. Lastly, "Rainbow Bridge" brings even more consistency by making almost every Spell/Trap card in the archetype searchable, and should always be played at maximum.
However, all of these brilliant cards do nothing if they aren't supported by a winning strategy. Unfortunately, all "Crystal Beasts" lack in the stat department and, as mentioned before, their effects will not make the opponent cower in fear. For this reason, the "Crystal Beasts" are supported by yet another small groud of monsters called "Ultimate Crystal". This group consists of three monsters: "Rainbow Dragon", "Rainbow Dark Dragon" and "Rainbow Overdragon". "Rainbow Dragon" is the original boss monster of "Crystal Beasts", sports a massive 4000 ATK, can boost itself even further and gives the player the option to reset the board. "Rainbow Dark Dragon" is, as the name suggests, the dark version of the original "Rainbow Dragon" and trades the overall useful effects for an effect that effectively makes you go all-in while only receiving ATK boosts in return. Worse, to even play this card, one needs to play "Advanced Dark", a sup-par Field Spell to even access the possibility of summoning a worse version of "Rainbow Dragon". "Rainbow Overdragon" is the newest "Rainbow Dragon" variant and can be summoned via "Ultimate Crystal Magic".
Although "Rainbow Dragon" is the boss monster of this archetype, its inclusion is more likely to be a hindrance. To bring it out quickly, players need a good strategy to get lots of Crystal Beasts out in one turn. Because of this, "Hamon, Lord of Striking Thunder" is often used in its place, but "Malefic Cyber End Dragon" avoids both the lengthy set-up and the hefty costs of the previous bosses, and boasts the same 4000 ATK; it can be removed easily from the field due to the fact that it gets destroyed once your Field Spell card is removed from the field. "Malefic Cyber End Dragon" requires a Field Spell to be Summoned and is the only monster allowed to attack once it is on the field, so you may not want to put this card in your Deck.
One of the more viable "Crystal Beast" strategies back in the day was to create a Lockdown, preventing the opponent from making any moves. "Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins" could negate the opponent's Spells and Traps, while a simple Xyz Summon of "Number 16: Shock Master" would have negated monsters. However, "Number 16: Shock Master" hit the banlist for all the right reasons. Alternatively, "Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo" would have stopped Special Summons, while "Number 39: Utopia" prevented attacks.
Nowadays, being capable of swarming the field with whatever monsters are available is considered a good thing. Any "Crystal Beast" monster that would have been ineffective without further plays can now be used for Link Summons. The aforementioned combo of "Crystal Bond" and "Crystal Beacon" allows for the summoning of most viable Link-4 monsters, like "Saryuja Skull Dread" or "Borrelsword Dragon"; the first one getting even better, since choosing four different monsters with the combo is incredibly easy and triggers all of "Saryuja Skull Dread's" effects.
Since the interaction with monsters as Continous Spells is a little weird, here are some helpful tips regarding the issue:
- Crystal Beast support cards such as "Crystal Beacon" reference monsters in the Spell & Trap Zone. Because these effects do not specify that the "Crystal Beasts" must be in their Continuous Spell Card form, you can use them even if they're being equipped by effects such as that of "Destiny HERO - Plasma".
- If a card such as "Macro Cosmos" is preventing cards from reaching the Graveyard, this will NOT prevent "Crystal Beasts" from using their effects (as they would never hit the Graveyard in the first place).
- While "Dimensional Fissure" is active, Crystal Beasts that are removed from the field by cards like "Rare Value" or "Mystical Space Typhoon" will be sent to the Graveyard, not banished.
- The management of maintaining vacant Zones in the Spell/Trap Card Zones can be irksome sometimes for this kind of Deck due to the balance between "Crystal Beasts" in said Zone for certain support cards as well as regular Spell/Traps to help this Deck further, a possible annoyance that can be hustled via cards like "Xing Zhen Hu", "Xing Zhen Hu Replica" and "Seismic Shockwave".
- Cards like "Banisher of the Light", "Dimensional Fissure", "Masked HERO Dark Law" and "Macro Cosmos can cripple this Deck since you can't summon "Rainbow Dragon" with banished Crystal Beasts, albeit they're easily counterable with "Imperial Iron Wall" and "Chaos Hunter".
- Once "Rainbow Dragon" or "Hamon" were Summoned, they can easily be iced with "Torrential Tribute", the "Solemn" Counter Traps and "Bottomless Trap Hole".
- Furthermore, "Fortune Lady Fire", "Nitro Unit" and "Mini-Guts" can also threaten "Rainbow Dragon" and "Hamon" because of the massive Burn damage that's the result of these effects.
- "Shield & Sword" and "Inverse Universe" can also force "Rainbow Dragon" off the Field through battle and regardless if its abilities are activated before then, that's still a foremost horsepower monster off the Field.
- Beatsticks and Beatdown Decks can possibly deter "Crystal Beasts" as the majority of them have inadequate ATK and DEF.