You need to remove the cheating.
Every time I played the other player ascended a level higher than me, often all the way up to blue (with me at non ascended). Also the shield swings coincided with my strongest blows. This would be normal if it happened once, but since it happened every single game it seems very likely that the cards play towards the other player. Skill is no use if the other play can do twenty damage for a twelve damage card, and is 6 defence. Mod it a little so that there is equal dealing. Losing really is annoying.