Grim Lavamancer's Friend

Posted in Arcana on July 26, 2011

By Monty Ashley

Come with us now into the distant past of Magic Arcana! All the way back to January 25, 2002! We're going to paraphrase that Arcana (the seventeenth one ever) and then tie it in to the modern day. It'll be fun!

The Backstory

When the Odyssey flavor text was being written, one of the writers came up with a character named "Matoc, lavamancer."

Ashen Firebeast
Molten Influence

The creative team loved the idea of a lavamancer and looked around to find a card that could embody this concept. But none of the available art seemed to fit. Finally, they decided to use a card that could plausibly claim to depict a lavamancer.

Obstinate Familiar

Obstinate Familiar | Art by Terese Nielsen

A familiar's got to have a master, right? And the art for Obstinate Familiar has a hooded wizard in it, so that was picked to be the lavamancer. In the next set, Torment, the creative team commissioned some art to be the lavamancer. And they made sure to include the familiar to remind people who it was. Essentially, they moved the camera around to the other side of Obstinate Familiar.


Grim Lavamancer | Art by Jim Nelson

Modern Day

The original Arcana on this topic says, "[T]he Lavamancer never goes anywhere without his familiar." So when new art was commissioned for Grim Lavamancer's appearance as a judge promo, the creative team made sure to include that detail. The card later appeared with the new art in Premium Deck Series: Fire & Lightning:


Jim Nelson | Art by Michael Sutfin

See? The lavamancer really doesn't go anywhere without his familiar!

Anyway, that's the art that was used for the Magic 2012 version. That's the point of all this.


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