Copyright 2010 Wizards of the Coast.

This post is part of a series! Click here to see the others.

Like the ghouls we just covered, fire giants are classic monsters that appeared both in the original Monster Manual, and who would appear again in the upcoming Monster Vault. The MM3 gives a selection of fire giant stat blocks that complements that of the MV.

The Lore

The lore for fire giants remains pretty much the same as it was in the MM/MV. The new bits here add that the ancient fire giant empire had close contact with the efreets of the Elemental chaos, and that their many volcano fortresses were linked to each other and to the City of Brass via teleportation circles and portals. Most of these portals are deactivated in the present day, though the giants labor to reignite them wherever they find one.

As usual, fire giants love to team up with other fire creatures, preferrably ones they can dominate and command. Some of them end up in the service of more powerful masters like efreets or the older red dragons, but since fire giants always think they should be the ones in charge they make for untrustworthy subordinates.

The Monsters

Fire Giants are Large Elemental Humanoids with the Giant keyword. They have a ground speed of 8 and Resist 15 Fire.

Fire Giant Lavamaster

Here’s a name that looks like it came from the writer’s 8-year-old child. Lavamasters are… masters of lava! Their magic allows them to control magma and use it both as a weapon, and to heal their allies. Lavamasters are Level 17 Controllers with 164 HP and the Leader tag.

They project an aura (2) of Hearthflames that hurts enemies and bolsters allies. Enemies caught inside take 10 fire damage; bloodied allies recover 10 HP when they start their turns inside the aura. This is not any kind of “drain” effect. Allies recover HP regardless of whether there are enemies to damage or not.

The lavamaster attacks with a Molten Sword that deals fire damage, and can also use several spells. Magma Lash is a ranged attack that deals a bit more fire damage than the sword, and pulls the target 4 squares. If the target ends up adjacent to the lavamaster, the giant grabs them. The spell recharges when the giant has no target grabbed. Magma Burst is like an at-will mini-fireball that leaves a fiery zone in its affected area. The zone lasts for a turn, counts as difficult terrain, and deals fire damage to enemies inside.

If the lavamaster has an enemy grabbed, Fiery Vendetta allows the lavamaster itself or one of its allies to make a free attack against that enemy whenever the enemy attacks the lavamaster.

A good tactic here is to keep away and repeatedly fireball the enemy, grabbing anyone who gets too close. Keep a Brute or two nearby as bodyguards so they can make free attacks against the grabbed victim and benefit from that healing aura.

Fire Giant Flamedancer

This martial artist is trained in an ancient style developed by the efreets. It combines mobile spear fighting with fire-based teleportation magic. Flamedancers are Level 18 Skirmishers with 174 HP.

Their Nimble Reaction trait gives them +4 to AC vs. Opportunity Attacks, and their Whirling Spear basic attack deals fire damage and allows them to shift 2 squares on a hit. They can also make at-will double attacks, which must be against different targets.

Once per encounter they can make a Flameburst Leap as a move action, teleporting 8 squares and dealing automatic fire damage to any enemies adjacent to them at the starting point.

You wouldn’t expect a giant to be this agile! The same stat block can be used for a slightly lower-level efreet without much issue.

Fire Giant Smokecaller

Smokecallers are what passes for a “subtle” fire giant spellcaster. They surround themselves in clouds of volcanic smoke, and attack by turning that smoke into a pyroclastic cloud aimed at their enemies. It’s “subtle” without necessarily being “stealthy”, unless you’re already in an environment naturally choked with sulphurous smoke. Which is… actually a common situation when you’re fighting fire giants.

Smokecallers are Level 19 Lurkers with 140 HP and a nice speed of 10. They fight with a Smoldering Whip that has a fantastic reach of 5. It targets Reflex, does fire damage, and pulls up to 3 squares on a hit.

Its main tactic consists of two abilities: Smokecloud creates a zone of smoke in a Close Burst 3 that lasts for a turn. It blocks line of sight for all creatures except the smokecaller. While inside this zone, the smokecaller can use Cindersmoke to attack all enemies in a Close Blast 5. This deals fire damage on a hit, and it ends the smokecloud immediately.

Both are standard actions, which means the lurkery routine here is Smokecloud followed by Cindersmoke on the next turn. Cindersmoke does the same damage as a whip attack to each target. This means the whip is only worth it if its forced movement component would synergize with something. An example is when you have multiple smokecallers and one of them wants to pull a PC into its buddy’s upcoming Cindersmoke area.

Final Impressions

Like the ghoul entry, this one feels like it was designed to fit together with the (upcoming, at the time) Monster Vault. The giants here all use the same improved math as the ones that would appear on the MV, and they fill roles which the more “classic” MV lineup does not. Combining the two gives you enough ready-made stat blocks to make a dungeon inhabited solely by fire giants, though you might also want to sprinkle in some hell hounds, elementals, and enslaved azer that just need that final push to revolt.