When I first started playing Magic, I received an Unlimited Starter Deck from my brother along with a booster pack. The first rare card I pulled out of the Unlimited deck was a Fork. I must admit that I was a bit puzzled by the graphic… a lightning bolt skewering what looked like two orange chocolate chip cookies.
The ability of the card, to basically make an exact copy of any spell, did not strike me as particularly powerful at the time since I was just starting out. Like everyone else, I was led astray in the biggie creature cards like Nightmare, Vesuvan Doppleganger, and Force of Nature. Luckily though, I held onto this card instead of trading it away immediately as I did with many other rares (Illusionary Mask, groan…)
I’m surprised that Fork actually lasted into Revised for the basic set… I thought that what with timing confusion and the fact that it seems inherently a “blue” type of spell (well, I guess it could be a little “chaotic”, which red is known for - but not really a “chance” type of spell) they would have dumped it early. But no, they left this confusing spell in for quite awhile…
Card Name: Fork
Set: A,B,UL,Revised,not reprinted
Card Cost: RR
Card Type: Interrupt
Artist: Brian Snoddy
Text: Any one sorcery or instant spell just cast is duplicated. Treat Fork as an exact copy of target spell except that Fork remains red. Caster of Fork chooses the copy’s target.
Rules Text (Oracle):Put a copy of target instant or sorcery spell onto the stack, except that it copies Fork’s color and you may choose new targets for the copy.
I always thought it interesting that the color of Fork remained red no matter what. The new rules say that it copies Fork’s color rather than always being red. Other rulings also state that the amount of mana spent (if an X spell) and the number of targets for a spell must be the same in the copy. Fork was always good for doubling up a “big hit” of damage such as a creature with Berserk or Howl from Beyond played on it, red X damage like Fireball. It also was handy to double up Stream of Life.
Among our friends, this card was often called Spork because like the spoon/fork combination it had a variety of uses.
Players who Forked a Timewalk usually caused an opponent to go take a bathroom break or get something to eat, LOL. I used to delight in turning the tables on Blue counter decks by Forking a Counterspell (well, you could just Red Blast but Fork was usable in so many more ways).
Although Fork was really nice when copying your own spells, it suffered a bit when copying your opponents spells because it didn’t necessarily prevent the original spell from going through. Unlike a card like Deflection which changes the target of the spell Fork merely copies it so if you were hit with a 10 point Fireball the best you could do was hit them back with one as well. Not a bad thing to hit your opponent back with a 10 point Fireball though!