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It's been a long time coming, but I finally have the next interview in my series, with World Championship finalist, lyingdragon.

Let's kick things off with the usual general questions ...

I am guessing this isn't your first trading card game. What others have you played and how did you get into Shadow Era?

I knew the rules of MTG a few years ago. I haven't really played it seriously as it costs too much. I also played Yu-Gi-Oh. In real world, I am also a tournament bridge player. I came to shadow era as I got the recommendation as it is a very good iPhone strategy game.

How many games have you been playing per week?

I've not counted. Maybe more than fifty or eighty?

Do you run just one deck or try others out too?

I tried multiple decks. I like to win, but also want to find something not common. In v1.23, everyone played Elaswin, I tried Zaladar; in v1.24 Zaladar was the king and I was playing Majiya; in v1.25 I changed to Jericho; in 1.26, I start to test some other heroes.

Your ranking is very high at the moment, so I am guessing that you playtest with a separate account?

Yes. Whilst I really admire what the developers have done so far with the game, the rating system should really be improved.

Before the official Shadow Era tournament, you had already came second in an unofficial tournament. What deck did you play there?

A Jericho deck without Plague.

What made you play Zhanna in the official tournament? Was it due to the overwhelming popularity of Majiya in the 40-card format? Are you surprised more people didn't come to the same conclusion and play Zhanna?

It's not because of the 40-card format, but due to the fact and estimation that my most opponents would be playing Majiya and Jericho. (In the A1 Alliance guild, Rumsey and Yaemon had the same idea.) I am not surprised that only I did that, because it is very hard to tune a working Zhanna deck - even the one I brought to match this time, I don't consider it is 100% tuned well.

What's the reasoning behind playing Bazaar in your deck instead of Bad Santa?

Well, when vs Majiya, I could save the shadow points for healing while keep the card draw. Theoretically, when vs Jericho, it should help you make the balance if you don't have the staff and your opponent has - unfortunately, it didn't work out in the first game of the final match.

Do you think the perception of Bazaar will now change, after seeing it used effectively in the tournament?

Not really. Bazaar is not overlooked, but it is really hard to decide whether to sacrifice it and whether to cast it. It is a good card design from the developer team.

How important was Aeon to your deck?

Very important. If there is no friendly allies on the battlefield, I can cast Aeon to protect my hero.

If the Aeon change had been introduced sooner, would you still have played Zhanna?

It is still OK because Aeon is also somewhat useful and I can use Raven.

Let's get onto specifics of the tournament now. What was the local time for you when you were playing in the World Finals?

As I am in GMT+10, the match start in middle night and ends at around 3AM to 4AM.

Do you think that had any impact on your performance? You seemed to be doing all the right things, from what I could see.

No, I was not actually doing very well, if you could see the replay with the hand revealed. I made a big mistake (click the wrong card and casted) which costed a game in the quart-final, and made a non-technical error in the semi-final. In the later phase of the second game of the final, I made some doubtful play and not sure whether it affected the result - maybe I'd still lose anyway ...

What was your toughest match in the finals?

All the three matches in the final, and the Asian final with Kakamong were very tough. And of course, the world final was toughest.

You are clearly an exceptional deck builder and player. What advice do you have for other aspiring players?

Well, it is too hard to conclude in one or two sentences, I might write an article for it. But firstly - trying to play and test the deck with strong players, it would not benefit you to win many games vs a random player in main server in current matching system.

If you were on the design team, what changes would you make today, if any?

I'd improve rating/ranking/matching system.

Fast forward two years, how is Shadow Era doing? Are you still playing?

I hope the game will be doing well, 3 sets has been finished and I am playing the well-rewarded in-game tournament and finally win an iPad5.

Hehe. I hope you're right on all accounts and wish you the best of luck for future tournaments. Thanks for taking part in this interview.

Just one last question though: who do you think I should interview next?

Yaemon, he is a good player and the winner of last player-hosted tourney.

OK, great. I'll try to track him down. Thanks again.

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