Inside the Mind of Shone: one of Sabah’s Top Grand Archive Maestros

Explore the mindset of one of Sabah’s Top Grand Archive Player

Vinces L

Shone, along with three other Sabah players, qualified to compete in the Grand Archive South East Asia Nationals held in Singapore. After seven grueling rounds of best-of-three matches, only one player managed to enter the top 16, and that player was Shone. Nevertheless, let’s not overlook the commendable efforts of the other three qualified players: Small Lyau, Suai, and Jerome.

We are grateful that Shone granted us the opportunity to sit down and chat with him about Grand Archive and its competitive scene.

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Shone on what attracted him to the game

"The gameplay is very unique, the memory system. In Grand Archive, hand management is important, you need to properly ahead to play. The unique gameplay (referring to the memory system) can't be found in other available TCG."


Shone expresses that Grand Archive is very different from other available Trading Card Game, especially the memory system. You have to know how to properly plan ahead and manage your hand cards.

([Picture]Shone, Proudly displaying his two prize cards at TinyRobot)

(To Shone) How do you prepare for major tournaments like the Grand Archive Southeast Asia Nationals? Any specific training routines or strategies you follow?

Shone: First observe meta from other tournaments, luxeramap (tierlist). Then I’ll decide on what deck to use. Last step (I look for) all the cards. 

Shone also expresses that it is more difficult to find cards in Sabah, hence, he had to borrow cards from other players.

(To Shone) What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced during the regionals, and how have you overcome them?

Shone: One of the biggest challenges I've faced during the nationals is the SEA (South East Asia) Meta in Grand Archive. I dont' have a concrete data about the SEA meta unlike different region where they have big tournaments going on like Ascent & Regionals. Eg. US meta lean towards water ally decks and fire erupting build while Oceania meta leans towards wind ally. In SEA, we didn't host a lot of big tournaments like Ascent or Regionals. I find it difficult to analyse and predict the meta for SEA nationals. For me, it is totally unknown in SEA region for the meta. So, since I can't find any solid data to analyse, I just end up bringing a deck that I am comfortable to play with which is the Fire Luxem Zander because rather than stressing myself out predicting the SEA meta, I rather just bring something that I am comfortable (playing) with.

(To Shone) Do you have any mentors or supporters who have played a significant role in your development as a player?

Shone: I would like to thank my team member Suai, Jerome and Small Lyau for sacrificing the time to do deck test with me. Of course, there are advice and suggestion given for my deck and playstyle from them which helped me to get into top 16. Without them, I will not be able to make it to top 16, so to me, this top 16 spot everyone in this team deserve it and I won't take credit for myself alone and every time everybody asked me about it, I would say its team effort. As for supporters, my biggest supporter will be my wife. Even though she did not play the game, but she also did not stop me from playing it. For that I am grateful to her. Also, to the shop owners (TinyRobot, Gathering Hub and Tabletop Arena), thank you for bringing this game in Sabah and hope we can expand the community to an even bigger scale in future. Last but not least, players that are in the Grand Archive community in Sabah (you know who you are :P), thank you for making our community awesome!

(To Shone) Are there any standout moments or matches from the tournament that you'd like to share?

Shone: One of my best matches in Nationals is on round 8 (Day 2) where I faced one of the Creative Shock team members, his name is Luke aka Lunacards in Omnidex. He's playing Fire Crux Hybrid and our matchup is 50/50. I can feel the intensity and sharpness in the game. It feels like one mistake can cost you the game. I played very carefully against him. In game 2 I managed to outplayed him and won 2-0. That was the most memorable moment for me because I managed to fight someone that is very very good and competitive in the game.

(To Shone) What are your goals and aspirations within the competitive Grand Archive scene?

Shone: Initially, I did not put any expectation and target for myself when heading into the competitive Grand Archive Scene as this is my first time attending this kind of big event. All I told myself is just heading there get the feel of atmosphere of the competitive scene and gain experience from it. But after getting into the competitive scene, I realize that there are so much I need to learn in Grand Archive especially the small interaction in gameplay which I did not paid attention to in normal GA games but in competitive scene that small interaction can either make you win or lose the game.

(To Shone) Are there any specific milestones or achievements you're aiming for in the near future?

Shone: I am actually surprised till now that I managed to qualified for top 16. So, in (the) near future, hopefully I can still maintain the consistency of getting into top 16. I don't dare to dream higher than that for now, but who knows, in the future I might be able to make it to the Grand Archive Worlds. But for now, just stay focused for the nationals top 16.

(To Shone) What advice would you give to aspiring players who are looking to improve their skills and compete at a higher level?

Shone: For new players, I would advise to choose the class/champions that best suits your playstyle and polish your skills from there onwards. In Grand Archive, I believe there is no "weak" decks in Grand Archive (it) is just how the players pilot the deck. As long as you play more, you will eventually understand the fundamentals of the game and polish your knowledge in (the) gameplay. If you are heading for competitive, then you will need to study more of the meta decks in competitive scene and you will have two options: either you follow the meta and polish your skills or create a deck that is anti-meta but can be compete in competitive scene. Also, it is good to watch some of the youtube video for GA (eg. True Champion Gaming, Creative Shock, Gazimus etc) as these youtuber will do deck analysis and meta breakdown for viewers like us to understand the deck and reason of playing certain cards and how to play them properly.

Once again, we thank Shone for his time.

All the best to all Sabahan players as they compete for a slot in the Nationals at the upcoming Regional event in Selangor, Malaysia, scheduled for April 14. 

Get a free demo deck for you to start your Grand Archive Journey now at TinyRobot.

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