Lava provides no advantages to the player as liquid lava will burn you alive taking massive chunks of health off you. Zombies are not affected by Lava and are sometimes seen spawning from a pool of lava itself. Lava in block form is not deadly at all and simply functions as a light source and turns to rock when mined.
Lava blocks are only mineable by the diamond pickaxe and the bloodstone pickaxe. When Lava/Magma has spawned, it will emit a faint light that will help players traveling around the cave and let them know when they are getting close to the lava.Also, note that lava itself serves as a filler in the underworld. If you dig down far enough, you can take damage similar as to how you take it from lava. This is because the developers put an invisible lava barrier that damages you if you dig too far down, despite there being no lava.
- Lava was not mineable until the 1.4.2 update.
- Pools of lava can only be found in hell, and can NOT be mined.