Interview: Emon Ghaneian

Kevin Cavanagh


Author's Note - This article and interview was written prior to Indianapolis...

Finding a consistent player in Magic the Gathering or the Vs. System isn’t overly challenging, its’ finding one in Yu-Gi-Oh that is special. In a game that continues to be described as a “luck” based game, one player has been able to prove otherwise over the last couple of months…Emon Ghaneian.


Emon Ghaneian won both of his Shonen Jumps when he was 17 years of age and only recently turned 18. He’s been playing Yugioh competitively for about two years now and considers himself to be “new” to the game in regards to other top players like Anthony Alvarado, Matt Peddle, and Eric Wu. He spreads around his playtesting time on the west coast, playing in three different locations. He tends to play Yugioh most at 8-ball and Comic Odyssey while occasionally playing at Frank and Son’s card show.


Kevin Cavanagh- What do you think is the best deck in the format right now? Do you think it is Chaos Return? Recruiter Chaos? Cyber-Stein OTK? Or something completely different?

Emon Ghaneian- The best deck in the format is Chaos return with a good Royal Decree switch up in the side deck. The deck just gains way too much advantage and it has a very viable win condition. It has an aggressive, yet conservative edge which makes it the best deck in the format at the moment. You have access to Cyber Dragon for start your field presence and a high count of flip effect monsters to set with it to continue to build board presence. Not to mention that while you’re gaining all of this board presence you’re gaining Lights and Darks for your Chaos Sorcerer. I feel Chaos should be being run in 3’s to gain automatic advantage upon his summoning.

Kevin Cavanagh- A lot of players have begun to put Cyber-Stein in the main / side just as a random splash to use with Last Will. What is your take on Cyber-Stein in the main? Is it a good idea that's here to stay or just a metagame trend that will fade away?

Emon Ghaneian- Cyber-Stein is such a horrible card and I think it only works for bad players. I tried it in the main deck and it failed. I am not at all that type of player that wants to risk the whole game on 1 card and just go for it. Using Cyber-Stein is like using a Morphing Jar; Other than tricking people with it to gain advantage it is also a card for bad players.

Kevin Cavanagh- How is it that you came to be on Overdose? When / Where did they ask you to be on there team and how did it feel to be on arguably the best team in the entire country?

Emon Ghaneian- Well in Orlando I was able to make the top 8 after defeating Anthony on the bubble. That was the Shonen Jump where I showed up late, hence me not being able to take down the event. After that event I took a trip up to New York to visit my sister and I stayed with Anthony Alvarado while I was there. I was able to get to know him, Bryan, Kris, and the whole team a lot better. While I was staying there they asked me if I wanted to join. When they initially asked me to be on Overdose I was a bit hesitant of the idea. I had to tell them I was committed to Team Naruto at the time, so I declined the offer. Soon after however, that team feel apart and I was on my own. After that incident I won SJC Columbus and the offers to be on a team continued to grow. I got phone calls from Jonathan LaBounty and Mike Pianka from Team Rampage, asking if I would like to join forces with them. I told them I wasn’t sure and called up Anthony to talk about the situation I was now in. He informed me that Levitan and Scurry were coming over to Overdose and figured it would be a good idea to be on the “ultimate” team. I feel it has paid off, seeing as we are the best team in the game right now. I feel we are better then Rampage, Comic Odyssey and all the rest.

Kevin Cavanagh- Why do you think you have been able to be so successful lately? In a game where people say, "No one can be that consistent," you have proven otherwise. Have you been successful because of good support from family and friends, long playtesting hours, or something else?

Emon Ghaneian- I am a very committed player. Players online always say that I lucksack at every event I go to, but they don’t understand how many hours of playtesting I’ve put into this game. Not only do I put in so much time, but I believe I do well because of something I call “higher level thinking.” It’s just one of those things that grows on to you after you’ve been playing the game for such a long time. You begin to fully understand the timing of when to do things, how important field presence is, and the right way to use psychology to your advantage. It takes a lot of work to improve on all these things and having patience and a dedicated work ethic is key to becoming a better player. I am still improving my game to this very day and I know that I have things even I can improve on.

Kevin Cavanagh- Aside from being able to handle the pressure of the top tables, what do you feel is the most important quality for a player to have in this game?

Emon Ghaneian- Patience is the most important aspect of this game. Impulsivity will be your greatest downfall and that is where mistakes come from. I am human and I also am impulsive, we all are. I always try to gain control and be calm, alert, and relaxed. I always look at my opponent, trying to get the slightest read or hint on what he is planning on playing in the next couple of turns. Body language is so important in this game and your opponent will often continually be giving you hints that you can pick up. You just have to make sure to watch your opponent very carefully and make your move off of your new gained knowledge.

Kevin Cavanagh- Let's say Nationals had no influence on who went to Worlds. Let's say you, Emon, got to pick the 4 individuals who represented the US at Worlds. The best 4 players in the game you could say. What 4 players would you pick and in what order?

Emon Ghaneian-

1. Me
2. Anthony Alvarado
3. Shane Scurry
4. Jerry Wang

Kevin Cavanagh- What have you done with the two Shrink's you've won? Did you end up selling them or keeping them as a trophy?

Emon Ghaneian- Both of the Shrinks are still in my possession but 1 has all ready been sold. Someone bought the Shrink and is paying me off slowly in payments. I plan on selling the other Shrink but have yet to find a buyer for it.


Emon has proven he is one of the best players in the world, racking up quite an array of accomplishments. With four Shonen Jump top 8’s under his belt and 2 wins to go with it, he plans to perform well at the Shonen Jump that is coming up in Toronto in the upcoming weeks.

Until Next Week,

-Kevin Cavanagh

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