Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Be Alive...

Hello Friends, today is a pretty simple topic, being alive and being happy.

What a thought eh? But why is this such a big deal to me? Well I think it mostly comes from the fact that a lot of my ideas tend to have a dark undertone of sorts, And I think sometimes, especially with my own history, it's important to look at life and reflect on everything you have going for you. I get caught up at times with everything that I don't have, and yeah, I get into a slump about things. But the reality is, I've got a lot going on these days and a lot to look forward to as well. School has been a great learning experience for me, work has been good as well although I am thinking of looking for new opportunities. I have the ability to go as far as I want to go with my creativity and my craft, and I plan to go as far as possible and beyond. I don't want to become ruled by my fears, doubts and insecurities. 

I've got a lot ahead of me these next weeks as I aim to complete 22 pages of my very own first independent comic book, Brewgatory! It's exciting and fun project, but it's a lot of work! For anyone who has ever tackled this, I am in awe of your power! And for those who are thinking about doing one, by all means go for it, just know that it is a dedication, you can't half ass this one. I am missing out on a lot of social gatherings and outings, but I know this is the only thing that makes any sense to me, there's nothing more important for me. And when you find your passion, you have to go all in. 

I am still waiting to hear back from a certain comic book convention that takes place at the end of the summer, but here is hoping I can get a spot on the floor. This would be the first time on my own at a show, but with the experiences I've had with my friends and brothers in the comic book art scene I aim to take everything I've learned and make my mark in this business. I am not the prettiest, not the flashiest, but God damn it I plan to be a part of this world! Come hell or high water, I am going to be a comic book artist! 

So to you mt dear friend, if you are living with depression or anxiety or any mental health problems, take it from me. You are not your mental health, it is a part of you but it is not what defines you. And even though some days it is harder than others, fight, fight with everything you've got and create something incredible. I know you can do it. 

Until then, keep chasing the Storm. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

It's All in my Head...

Hello friends,

I think I had a mental collapse last night. I don't do well with accusations or with hatred, I always take someone else's hatred personally. Why? I don't know. It gets to me though and I sink into darkness, it doesn't help being alone or having your family tell you these wonderful little gems...

"You don't have depression, get over it."

"Grow up."

"Your too old to have depression."

If you are reading this, please, never deny help to a friend or a family member. Mental health is real, just cause your parents or their parents didn't come to term with their own mental health problems, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And don't tell someone that nothing is wrong with them, you don't know and so you shouldn't say anything. Listen and reach out to help however you can, don't make them feel alone. I know one thing for sure, I need to get more help and see my therapist as well. 

I really hope to be stronger, maybe tomorrow or maybe a month from now or possibly a decade from now, but I just want to be a mentally stronger person. I think I can get there through my work, reaching out to others in the world and trying to change the way we see things. 

Thank you friends, thank you for everything you've done for me. And for you, I will be better and I will be stronger. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Thing About Love...

Hello friends.

Well it is here, one of the most dreaded holidays, I would even say possibly the most dreaded holiday celebrated here in North America. It is Valentine's Day. A day built on expectations. What you need to do if you are with someone and how you should feel if you are alone. But that is the thing about expectations, you don't need them. I wanted to write to you today, because I know what you might be going through if you are indeed alone this time of year, what you might be feeling. And if I can help you feel just a little bit less lonely, well it would help me out as well.

This year, by societies standards, I am alone. But here is the thing, while I might be on my own today, I know I am loved and I have been loved. And that is something no one can take away from me and they sure as hell can't take it from you. I have some incredible people in my life, I am truly blessed, just on my last post friends wanted to make sure I was alright and let me know they are there for me. I also have an incredible family that while is scattered through out the world in South America, Asia and here in Canada, I know they love me and are always making sure to stay in touch. It would be stupid and ungrateful of me if I didn't recognise all the love in my life, and I know it is hard at times but you need to see and feel all the love around you. 

It's also important to understand the importance of self. In this life you need to be the best you that you can be if you want to share your life with someone, mentally and physically. If I have learned anything from relationships, it's not about doing everything you can so you can stay together. I do mean that you should be the best partner you can be for your loved one, of course, but I think it's about being strong enough in your life with or without that someone by your side. It's never easy to say goodbye or to let a beautiful union go, but the love that was there is something that will always be there. I've been really lucky in my life, I've had some really incredible relationships with some incredible girls, who have grown to be even greater women. And I am really happy to see them living a life filled with joy and surrounded by love as well. And I will be the first to say, nothing makes me happier than seeing my friends and family find true love with an awesome partner, I am a sucker for true love. It's the Disney princess part of my mind for sure, but it's a part of me. 

Do I want to find true love? Well, I've already found it. What I need to find now is a peace of mind, I need to find the man that I am going to be and what I am going to for the world of tomorrow, what role will I play? Because take it from me, you are not a pawn in this game. So aim for the throne, become a queen or be the loyal knight. Whatever you choose to be, go forward with love inside your heart. Thanks for reading friends, until then keep chasing the storm. <3 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Depression, my monkey...

Hello friends.

It's been awhile since I've written one of these. Especially one that I completely break down all my walls and express myself for a few paragraphs. I hope you get the chance to read this, that would be nice and maybe you get to feel better from this as well, maybe this can help you. Lord knows I could use some help right about now. That is always the hardest part really, getting help. I think it's our nature to associate help with weakness. A lot of times I know I would use alcohol, drugs and especially sex as a form of help. But honestly, I think sometimes it makes it worst. When you don't have the vice of choice, you start to lose your mind even more and more. It's a dark path, and one that I can't go down on again. I am not okay and yes, I need help.

The worst part of all this is really it is my fault for not taking care of my mind in 2016, I didn't seek any professional help in the entire year. And I've been away from a lot of friends and my family, I've felt pretty isolated in a place I decided to move out to, the price of independence and all. I wasn't healthy enough to start a relationship with another person, I sure as hell wasn't ready for when it all came to an end. I am not okay, I am a sick depressed individual who needs to be loved, feel loved and feel wanted. I am not comfortable with my own solitude, and ironically I spend most of my time alone and disconnected. I am doing my best as anyone with depression knows to make face, at work and in public. I don't want to worry my family and friends, at the same time I don't think anyone really understands. And this is part of the sickness, because I am very well aware of all my friends who are fighting their own mental health battles, anxiety and depression and many others. Some are braver than me and post online and make videos talking about it, I don't think I am important enough to do that. Until now that is, I am writing this and trying to reach out to someone, to something. I am not posting this on Facebook though, I haven't logged on in over a month and I don't want to log back in, because f*ck does it hurt to see happy people, beautiful people, perfect people. I can't do it, it hurts way too much.

But if you want to share this, by all means. If it is something you feel strongly about and think others should read, well kudos and thanks. I think if we can talk about this, it would be great. If you feel like this and wanted someone to talk to, I want to be there for you.

I am gonna use this blog to talk to you more, about me and well everything that is wrong with me. I am going seek help, I am going to take care of myself and focus on being the best me I can be. It's not going to be easy, everyday I wake up will be a victory and it should be for you as well. I know I am the only overly emotional f*cker with depression, I am just sharing my story and you should share yours as well. Because we don't hear this too often, but I want to hear your story. I want to know how you are doing and what do you do to stay out of the deep waters of mental health. So expect many more of these kind of posts, I will keep you in touch.

Until then my friends, keep chasing the storm.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Mail Magic #2

I've got a bunch of cards to look through thanks to plenty of trades. If you don't know what I do here, by all means check out my first post on Mail Magic, but I share with you guys all my recent cards acquired through Puca Trade. I take a look at some strategies with these cards as well or reasons on why I wanted a specific card. With that said let's get going!

Spelltwine (Jace vs Vraska): Something you should know about the way I play Magic, I love me some spells! The game typically wants to create a more creature versus creature battleground, but I am a classic Wizard kind of guy and love to casts all sorts of spells. So yeah, I am a Blue/Red Planeswalker all over and Spelltwine is an absolutely wonderful spell for many reasons. Not only do you get to reuse any spell in your graveyard, you can casts any spell from your one of your opponents graveyard. So if you want to use a board wipe from a the White mage, you can do that and play that Blue spells that gives you a turn or two. You can play your opponents spells against them and bring back another one of yours, two spells for the price of one. Sign me up! 

This is a Blue Commander staple in my books, if you have Blue in your deck then you should really consider a Spelltwine. Great for Mizzix, Melek, Talrand, Yidris and Riku of Two Reflections! Hell in this trade alone I got four sent to me, and I plan on using one in each and every single Blue deck I play. 

Yisan, the Wanderer Bard (M15): A sort of banned Commander depending on your play group, I had no idea he had already many decks that made him go sideways. I figured Green players were playing mostly Ezuri Elves or Titania Lands decks. I got him because his ability got me curious to try and build something around him, But since he can't be the Commander doesn't mean he can't be an incredible force in a lot of decks as part of the 99. Any Simic based Proliferate decks can totally abuse his ability for sure. 

Oh, and Atraxa. Yah. 

Serra Avatar (Commander 2014): A classic powerhouse, I remember when I first was playing MTG and my brother showed me this card for his UW Control deck. I couldn't believe it, this was at worst a 15/15 creature a lot of the times, but since it was in White you could gain as much life as you wanted or add a Spirit Link for absolute insanity. And over the years a lot of crazy big creatures have come and gone, you forget some cards after awhile. But as you guys know I've got Brion Stoutarm deck, a WR deck with an Equipment sub theme. So you can image my reaction to the idea of throwing a 40/40 Serra Avatar at one of my opponents, I had to get this monster in my deck. 

But Serra Avatar works really well in a lot of other Commander strategies like Trostani, Selesnya's Voice or Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim.

Temple of Abandon (Theros): Kids, something you are going to learn in Magic is that dual lands are important in every single format you play, the ability to play the game depends on the mana. If you can't play it, you aren't gonna win a lot of games. So take it from me, take what you can get in terms of dual lands, especially in Commander. The Theros block had a collection of lands that while they do come into play tapped, add two colors and let you Scry 1 when they hit the board, which lets you fix your next draw, a small scry goes a long way especially in colors that don't have as much card drawing power as Blue or Black.

The "Temple" cycle is a pretty underrated set in my opinion, I would recommend this for a lot of players on a budget. I got three alone from this trade and I have all the combinations on my trade list, you can can't go wrong with a little mana fixing.

Chandra, Pyromaster (M15): So I wanted to take a little longer look here at this Chandra. By no means the best Chandra available but I think there is a lot more to her if we take a closer look. Off the bat, all Planeswalkers are extremely powerful cards, even Tibalt can be used to some effect. At worst they take attention off you and some possibly strategies you are trying to brew. They can give you a slight edge every turn, drawing a card or even untap a permanent per turn can go a long way. So let's take a look at Pyromasters abilities here...

+1: Chandra, Pyromaster deals 1 damage to target player and 1 damage to up to one target creature that player controls. That creature can't block this turn.

So this ability is really good if you pair it with creatures you need to get through to your opponents, especially if the board has limited blockers available, playing Red you should be burning and removing any opposition in your way. You can even combined this with Gruul or Vampire cards that have the Bloodthrist ability, all it takes is one damage to make it trigger. I really like this ability in creature based strategies.

0: Exile the top card of your library. You may play it this turn.

So this ability is a sudo card draw of sorts, you have to try and control the situation as best as possible. You can know and be ready if you had a Scry lined up, maybe from a Temple land perhaps. This ability also works really well in Rakdos Hellbent strategies, the card is technically not in your hand. You don't gain any loyalty from using the ability which is a bit of a drawback but when you need a last resort answer, Chandra can do that for you.

-7: Exile the top ten cards of your library. Choose an instant or sorcery card exiled this way and copy it three times. You may cast the copies without paying their mana costs.

Yes. So you remember at the top of the post, I was saying how much I love spells, this is the ultimate ability that Izzet Mages dream of! The possibilities are endless, you could take six turns with a Time Stretch or steal three creatures with a Bribery. Or even casts a Spelltwine three times for a potential of six spells from the graves! So many possibilities! Though some things to keep in mind, if you don't have a lot of spells, you could end up with nothing to show and that would be a big bag of not fun. I would say make sure you trust your deck to have the spells ready for the onslaught.

So one think to see here in her design, she fits a lot of different strategies, which is a good and bad thing. When you are a jack of all trades, you are a master of none. While her ultimate is great for spell based decks, can you take advantage of her +1 at all, spell deck creatures are support or defensive cards for the most part. Though I don't doubt players finding a deck that is perfect for her, I worry that her better designed incarnations will find more playtime in various different strategies. But if you got big dreams for spells, I highly encourage the Pyromaster in your decks.

So there you have it, a new batch of cards from trades and ready to be used in my Commander decks. What do you guys think of these cards, do you use any of these in your decks? Any strategies you want to share, by all means leave a comment below or you can reach me over on Twitter @ChileanStorm and on Instagram as well. And also a big thanks goes to fellow trader CRONUS TITAN for these awesome cards. If you are interested in joining Puca Trade as well and maybe trade some cards with yours truly, you can join here and start your trades. Until then guys, I got more cards to look at and maybe a Commander deck tech in mind as well, until then keep chasing the storm! 

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

I Am Retro

I think one day, we will all get to a point in our lives where everything we love will in one way or another become, retro. That is of course the nice way of saying old, the problem with old we associate to fragile, weak and ultimately death. But if Pokemon is the proof of anything it is that some old things never truly die. And now I am at that point in my life, I feel like I am looking back on any memories I can muster, and oddly enough scatter through my fandoms are precious memories of my younger years. I can tell you my first issue of Daredevil I ever bought in a dollar bin or the first Nintendo 64 game that me and my brother purchased on Boxing Day. It seems like a small moment in the massive ocean that is the galaxy of our own existence, but every tiny cell matters. And I think I am getting way better with my memory and if that is thanks to these kind of moments, I am not going to take that for granted at all. 

This past weekend, I turned 30. Welcome to retro,

I wanted to take the time to say thank you, to everyone who made not only this weekend an incredible time but to everyone who was there for me in some way or another. The truth is I wouldn't be who I am without all of you who have touched my life in some way or another.

To my family, everyone in Canada and Chile, you have all always been with me. To my mother, my greatest hero, the strongest person I know. A women who defined herself through love, compassion and kindness. If I can be half of what you are today, I know I've lived a good life. To my father, I missed you so much and these years getting to know each other have been absolutely wonderful. I hope to share more memories with you soon. To my sister, thank you for inspiring my creative mind from a young age, you are so damn talented and creative, you don't need anyone to approve of your talents. Keep creating beautiful art sis. To my brother, you know how much love you, I hated being away from you when we were kids and some days it's hard being oceans apart. But the fact is you have gone where you said you wanted to go, spoken the language you were never meant to speak. Nothing is impossible for you Fernando, and I wish I can show you what I am capable of as well. To my Grandparents as well in Chile, the humble little farm of Maipo, that safe place from my childhood. I know my Grandmother is always thinking about us, having all of us in her prayers and keeping us safe. To my Grandfather, such a kind and strong man, my role model growing up. I will be coming back to see you guys soon. To my uncles and aunts, cousins and nephews as well, I love you guys and not a day goes by where I don't think about you guys as well. And as well to family friends and partners to my parents, thank you for everything you have done for me, I wish I was a better kid some days but I am going to make sure I am a better man today. 

My dream come true...
Caitlin, my beautiful girlfriend. It's only been a year but it has been a wonderful year together, one that I will never forget. You are such a strong and independent women, as smart as you are absolutely talented at all the things you do from dance to guitar and songwriting. You inspire me every single day, to do as much as I can and more every single day. A kind spirit who knows how to love every single creature on this planet. And quick thank you to all the wonderful people I got to meet this year through you, family and friends who confirm to me all the incredible things that you are. And a big thank you to Bella Mae, yes she is a dog but doesn't make her love and energy any less. 

This is Bella, my "Woof Muffin".
My friends, my wonderful incredible strange family. From different times and places, all of you who keep me in your hearts, I can't thank you enough and you haven't seen the best of what I can do yet, so keep watching. But I did want to mention a few names for sure as well, those who have stayed close to me over these years. My roommate and brother, Toby. You are the best dude, the Rocket to my Groot or the Flounder to my Ariel. You've had to endure a lot of my silliness over the years but at the end of the day you've got a big heart inside. You are going to do some great things in this life, you hardworking little dude. To my big brothers, Aaron and Vince and as well as many incredible artist that I have the privilege to call friends; Paul, Kev, Shane, Hugh, Dave, etc. There is a lot but you guys know who you are and you know I love y'all. I wouldn't be half the artist that I am today if it wasn't for your guidance and friendship. Seeing my fellow artist create everyday keeps me inspired as well and makes me want to create more and more. To my fellow brothers, George, Drew and Steve. You guys are the absolute best, it's been an incredible journey so far and I can't wait to see where we all go from here. 

Yes there are many of you in my life and even if I didn't mention you personally, know that I love you and everything you've done for me. 

So yes, this is a big thank you blog, but if I have learned anything in my life it is that we need to be thankful for all of life's little moments and the beautiful people who make the world what it is today. I have seen my fare share of things in my life so far, and yet so little, this world is waiting to be explored. And so I just want to close with a last thank you to you, the reader. I hope you enjoyed this and past posts as well and keep coming back. Until then, keep chasing the storm.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Mail Magic #1

So as you may or may not know, I love me some Magic:The Gathering. A trading card game I've been playing ever since the Pokemon trading game wasn't filling the void anymore and a very special pass time activity to me, mainly based on how much my big brothers and friends love to play the game as well. So I've recently joined up on Puca Trade, a card trading site which let's you trade cards for points which then other traders use and send you cards you've been looking for, straight to your front door. Nothing makes a bad day great like opening an FNM promo card or that rare card from the set you never got a chance to play. I've been doing this for a little while now, and I think it's a really cool and great system. And sure there have been complaints, but it mostly comes from people who are looking for "value" or something to that degree. Honestly the way I see it, if I have a bunch of cards from Kamigawa and you need them, I will send them. If you've got cards from Shards of Alara, send them this way. That's all there is to it. Not arguing about dual lands for 2 hours and not making a trade at the end, send your cards to players who want them, why not? Anyways, I thought it would be cool to share with my Storm Clouds all the different cards I received and explain why I was looking for these cards, also looking into some strategy in casual formats like Commander and Cube. With that said, let's get started! 

•Immolating Glare (Game Day Promo): This is the full art promo for Oath of the Gatewatch release day tournaments. This is the one you get for participating in the tournament, which I never got a chance to do. So getting this sweet looking uncommon is just too sweet! An amazing art of an Eldrazi getting destroyed.

The card itself is fine overall, for two mana (1W) you can destroy an attacking creature. Great in any format, particularly in the early game since most early attacks won't have the ability to regenerate or even counter the spell. Not really great late game if you are facing Hexproof or Indestructible monsters coming your way. 

I use this in my current Boros Commander deck. 

•Priest of Norn (Mirrodin Bisiege): At a glance a 1/4 Vigilance creature for three mana (2W) doesn't look like much. Does anyone remember Standing Troops? But add a little bit of Phyrexia in the form of Infect and you got one hell of a creature now. With Infect you can casually attack for one in the early game before really big creatures come down. You force your opponent to turn their 3/3 or 2/2 creatures into 2/2 or 1/1 or even have them killed off. The alternative is taking a Poison counter and then start counting to ten until game over.

Infect is an extremely powerful effect in any and every format it is available in and I didn't get a lot of these cards in general, I've got a lot of these Infect cards on my trade list. Going to see if I can work on an Infect deck of sorts for Commander. 

•Fuel for the Cause (Mirrodin Bisiege): When you are paying four mana (2UU) for a Counterspell, it better have a good effect or can tip. Proliferate is a very good effect to have on a card. Especially in decks that use a lot of Planeswalkers, Infect, Energy, Experience or +1/+1 counters as well. 

I've got one of these in my Simic Commander deck, but I needed one for Mizzix deck. 

•Treasure Mage (Mirrodin Bisiege): This card works really well in any Artifact combo strategy. For three mana (2U) you get a 2/2 creature that searches your library for your big bad machines, any artifact card with converted mana cost 6 or greater. And you can par this up with a Show and Tell or even a Sneak Attack. 

You really can't go wrong with Treasure Mage, just be ready to cause some damage as soon as you play him. Watch out for discard and countering cards.

•Unsubstantiate (Game Day Promo): Another full art promo card, this time from the recent trip to Innistrad in Eldritch Moon. What we get is an extremely versatile spell for two mana (1U), which is perfectly paired with Isochron Sceptre. You can choose to return any spell or creature to it's owner's hand. Perhaps the best counter card in Standard at the moment, this card can do so much. It can disrupt early and throw an opponents tempo off and in a pinch it can get rid of a big attacker or blocker that is in your way. 

Very cool art as well, as with all of the full art promo cards. I am probably going to try and have one of these in all my Blue decks in Commander and Cube as well. I love me some Unsubstantiate!

•Incorrigible Youths (Game Day Promo): The last of the three full art promo cards I received in this trade, this one is from Shadows Over Innistrad set. A 4/3 Vampire that can be played for three mana (2R Madness costs) and with Haste, meaning it can attack right away for some early damage. Pretty good. You'll need to be playing with some discard mechanics and/or other Vampires to really get the most out of them, but even in a Cube deck it can do great damage. 

A solid addition to any BR Vampire deck strategy for sure, in Standard or Commander. 

•Into the Core (Mirrodin Bisiege): I honestly didn't even know this card existed, now sure Shatterstorm destroy all artifacts in play and this only targets two, the big difference is in the exile effect. I find in Commanders a lot of permanents and spells have plenty of ways of coming back into the game. Not to mention indestructible effects on a lot of artifacts and you are going to need some strong answers. 

At instant speed as well, you can respond to two darksteel artifacts coming your way. You can take away mana sources or combo pieces, maybe even that Darksteel Foundry. 

I think I am going to place it in one of my Commander decks for sure, possibly Mizzix or Brion.

•Brass Squire (Mirrodin Bisiege): And speaking of Brion! In my current Boros deck, I use a lot of Equipment cards. It's one of the strategies of the deck, a lot of WR cards that benefit from Equipment. And Brass Squire helps the team out a lot, for three Colorless mana you get 1/3 who is able to tap and attach any Equipment you control to any of your creatures. 

This works really well in my kind of deck with all the different Equipment cards and seeing how a lot of creatures will be launched by Brion, Brass Squire helps get the next creature ready for action. 

A pretty low key card, highly suggest it for Equipment based decks. 

•Hedron Archive (Battle for Zendikar): I am going to say this now for every Commander player. Get your Archives now, don't wait until they are gone. I got 4 more copies in this trade and I value you these artifacts very high. For 4 Colorless mana, you get a mana rock that gives you 2 extra Colorless or can be ditch for two cards. 

What deck couldn't use a mana boost or some emergency card drawing? Every single deck needs one of these and that's why I wanted to get them now, before they surge in price. Although I wouldn't be surprised to find them in future Commander products.

•Phyrexian Juggernaut (Mirrodin Bisiege): Holy butts! A 5/5 Infect creature for 6 Colorless mana. Sign me up. The attack every turn if able drawback isn't a big deal at all, you know being 5/5 and having Infect. You can pump this guy up, place Rancor on him or any Equipment you have available and it gets more vicious. Even a 10/10 creature blocking it will be brought all the way down to a 5/5 size, which is brutal! 

Going in my Brion deck for sure, I can't wait to play this against my opponents. It's a wild Phyrexian bull on the loose and no one is safe! 

So there you have it, a whole lot of Game Day promos and plenty of cards from Mirrodin Bisiege, it's nice to get cards from sets you didn't play too much or at all. Which I find is the beauty of Puca Trade, highly suggest you guys check it out here and big thanks to trader ASGARDIAN for sending me these cards in the first place, I am going to make sure these cards find a good home in my decks! 

So what do you guys think, any of these cards caught your attention? Any strategy suggestions you have? Let me know in the comments below or you can reach me over on Twitter @ChileanStorm on Instagram and Tumblr as well. Thanks again guys, and as always keep chasing the Storm!