Magic card concepts, like the card mechanics, can come from the unlikeliest of places. The idea of the Lavamancer was created during the Odyssey flavor text process. One of the flavor text writers came up with a couple cool lines and needed a character to quote. The character had to be a destructive red mage, so he came up with the name "lavamancer." The Creative Text team liked the name so much they wanted to use it as a card name. Unfortunately, the art had already been commisioned and none of the illustrations seemed to fit. Well, except one. The art of Obstinate Familiar showed the lizard sitting on a wizard's shoulder. The Creative Text team decided that the wizard was a perfect fit for the Lavamancer. So in Torment, they made sure to concept one of the red creatures as the Lavamancer. And since the Lavamancer never goes anywhere without his familiar, it was pictured on his should in the new art. The one change was that the new illustration showed the Lavamancer from a new angle so we could finally see his face.
Posted in Arcana on January 25, 2002