What's your favorite reprinted card in Magic 2012, and why?
Tom LaPille: My favorite reprint in Magic 2012 is Grim Lavamancer. It also happens to be my favorite Magic card ever, and I was proud to seize the opportunity to put it back into Standard for a while.
There is a whole category of "smart red cards" that I love playing with. Spikeshot Elder, Staggershock, Orcish Artillery, Lava Dart, Ember Hauler, and so on are all cards that feel red, but give the red player lots of choices to make. I enjoy playing these cards much more than I enjoy cards like Keldon Marauders or Ball Lightning that force you to move all in on attacking, potentially leaving you in the lurch if you end up needing to play a long game.
Grim Lavamancer was the first of these cards that I fell in love with, and it's also one of the more powerful ones. Grim Lavamancer's power in Extended and Legacy comes from fetch lands like Wooded Foothills and Scalding Tarn, and M12 was my very last chance to get it into Standard with Zendikar's version of these lands. We'll have that interaction for three months, but I'm sure the card will be more than glood enough after they rotate as well.
Another part of the reason I love Grim Lavamancer so much is that it was a key part of the deck I played in Grand Prix Philadelphia to a Top 16 finish:
Tom LaPille's Zoo
Grand Prix Philadelphia
I discovered after I got to Wizards that this particular tournament finish was important to the opinion that I was worth bringing in as an intern, as I was hired only a month later. I've now been at Wizards for three years, so it seems like everyone involved is happy with that decision. I would not have done so well at that tournament without Grim Lavamancer, and I am grateful for its help.
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