Question regarding investigation. If I create a copy of a clue token (e.g. with Saheeli Rai), does that count as investigating for Erdwal Illuminator?

701.34a "Investigate" means "Put a colorless Clue artifact token onto the battlefield. It has ‘2, Sacrifice this artifact: Draw a card.'"

So to turn it around: if I put a colorless clue artifact token on the battlefield have I not "investigated"?

  • To clarify the logic at the end: say I put a creature onto the battlefield. Can you assume that I cast it? Similarly, "Investigate" isn't a word to describe the event where someone creates Clue; it's an action that does so, but it doesn't exclude other actions from doing so.
    – Samthere
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 10:12

1 Answer 1


No, you have not. Just because an effect might be the same as that of a keyword (or for investigate keyword action) that does not mean you have done that keyword (action).

One similar example I can think of is Darksteel Pendant. When it was printed Scry did not exist (it would come out in the next set), so its activated ability reads 'Look at the top card of your library. You may put that card on the bottom of your library.'. Now this text is exactly the same as Scry 1, however since it did not actually have Scry it didn't trigger abilities like Flamespeaker Adept's that look for 'Whenever you scry'.

Note that since Magic Origins scry has become an evergreen keyword action and Darksteel Pendant has been updated to have Scry 1, so it does trigger Flamespeaker Adept's ability now. However at the time of the Adept's printing the Pendant did not trigger the Adept.

  • 5
    Another example that's commonly and incorrectly used synonymously is putting a card in hand counting as drawing a card, which likely fits better than the example given in your answer, since it's not relying on terminology not existing at a certain point in time. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 15:27
  • 2
    Darksteel Pendant's Oracle text actually says "Scry 1", so that's probably not the best example.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 16:08
  • 6
    @murgatroid99 I specifically state that it no longer works that way. But it is the only thing I can think of for an example of a keyword action that was at one time actually spelled out on a card.
    – diego
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 16:09
  • 3
    @John Technically, "Whenever ~ deals damage, you gain that much life" isn't functionally equivalent to Lifelink. It's a triggered ability, so it goes on the stack, but life gain from Lifelink happens immediately.
    – murgatroid99
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 18:05
  • 2
    I think the example is fine, given the clarification in the last paragraph that the card has changed and thus the example. Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 21:13

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