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Pojo's Magic The Gathering Card of the Day
Daily Since November 2001!

Forked Bolt
Image from Wizards.com

Forked Bolt
Rise of the Eldrazi

Reviewed June 15, 2010

Constructed: 2.59
Casual: 2.67
Limited: 3.25
Multiplayer: 2.67

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating

Click here to see all our 
Card of the Day Reviews 

BMoor

Forked Bolt

Not only is it not an instant, it does 2 damage instead of 3. Given that Lightning Bolt is still legal in most formats, that's a hard sell. The two things Forked Bolt can do that Lightning Bolt can't are-- kill two creatures of one toughness each, and kill one creature and do 1 damage to an opponent. The latter can also be done by Searing Blaze, at instant speed, with the option of doing 3 damage to each target instead. And the former only works if your opponent has two 1-toughness creatures out, or if you attack into some blockers with creature of power one less than their toughness. The circumstances under which Forked Bolt is provably better than other burn spells in Standard are so narrow, you just shouldn't play Forked Bolt except in Limited, where there is no Lightning Bolt or Searing Blaze and you might not be able to get anything better.

Constructed- 1.25
Casual- 1.5
Limited- 2.75
Multiplayer- 1.5


David Fanany

Player since 1995

Forked Bolt

Forked Bolt invites you to use it against a couple of low-toughness creatures at once, and it's good at what it does. However, Pyroclasm and Volcanic Fallout tend to be preferred for that particular application in competitive constructed. Even so, I think this card might find a niche somewhere: it's quick enough to use against Lotus Cobra to pre-empt the third-turn Baneslayer Angel. It can also target two different players (try it with Furnace of Rath!).

Constructed: 3/5
Casual: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Multiplayer: 3/5

Michael "Maikeruu" Pierno

Today's card of the day is Forked Bolt which can deal one damage to two targets or two damage to one target for a single mana, but only at Sorcery speed.  The slower nature of it is a big drawback compared to Shock or the strictly better than Shock option Burst Lightning.  The only advantage to this card is being able to destroy two creatures with one toughness or spreading an extra damage to an opponent instead of wasting two on a creature that will die from one damage.  Fairly situational, but the option of two for one when needed gives it some value.  This may see some play alongside Pyroclasm or other burn as a support for stopping 3/3 or 4/4 creatures that would otherwise be difficult for Red's usual arsenal to handle.
 
For Limited the large number of 0/1 Eldrazi Spawn tokens are a great target for this spell and in an odd way the Sorcery aspect works as an advantage against their sacrifice ability.  Normally the correct play for a burn spell is to cast it on your opponent's turn, such as before an attack, to reduce their options and make sure you remove the biggest threat possible.  With Forked Bolt being a Sorcery you need to use it on your own turn where an Eldrazi Spawn may be able to be sacrificed for mana, but it won't be available for most spells.  Aside from the free reminder on timing this is a solid removal option, especially when used to get the two for one, and is a good early pick in Booster when playing Red.  For Sealed this card should always be included in a deck with any Red mana as a reliable cheap source of fairly flexible removal.
 
In Multiplayer this card can be used early to clear the first turn plays of two opponents, but as you will likely only be able to attack one the advantage is limited outside of Two-Headed Giant games.  In addition a play like that would create animosity with both players which is rarely a good idea early on or with such minimal endgame impact.
 
Constructed: 3.5
Casual: 3.5
Limited: 4.0
Multiplayer: 3.5


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