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I play Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker as a commander and his ability states that an opponent needs to put cards in their graveyard. Waste Not says when a player discards a card then one of three things happens. My question is in the fine details of what "discard" means: will Mirko trigger Waste Not?

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No.

“Discard” specifically means to move a card from your hand to the graveyard:

701.8. Discard

701.8a To discard a card, move it from its owner’s hand to that player’s graveyard.

Further, MTG cards are very precise with their language. Only an effect that tells you to “discard” a card would count as discarding.

  • What I thought but disappointing! – Ross Aug 14 at 5:49
  • @ikegami I think my last paragraph clarifies that... I actually had almost added a specific sentence discussing that exact wording, but I wasn't sure on any rule or example to point to. – GendoIkari Aug 14 at 14:01
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    @Gendolkari, There's no need for such a rule because that's always the case. 121.5 is what I call a "reminder rule". (I bet there's currently nothing other than discard moves a card from hand to a graveyard.) – ikegami Aug 14 at 14:03
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    It is presumably the same way that "destroy" doesn't happen every time a permanent moves from the battlefield to a graveyard. – Arthur Aug 14 at 14:14
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    On the other hand, this does seem like a reasonable question to ask—because "die" is defined to mean "moves from the battlefield to the graveyard", so it's believable that "discard" could be defined similarly. – Draconis Aug 14 at 18:53
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No.

Waste Not's abilities only trigger when a player is instructed to discard a card, period. If the word "discard" was not used, then no card was discarded. If a card is moved from a player's hand to a graveyard by some other means, none of Waste Not's abilities will trigger. If a card is move from a library to a graveyard, they definitely won't trigger.

This is always the case for keywords in Magic. For example, Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted's ability only triggers if the word "draw" was used. It doesn't trigger if a card is otherwise moved from the library to someone's hand, such as with Beast Hunt.

Note that no keyword action or keyword ability corresponds to "move", "put" and "return". Because these terms are not defined in the rules, they use their standard English meaning, and they are therefore synonymous.

Note that no keyword action or keyword ability corresponds to "dies". Any permanent that moves to the graveyard is said to have died.

  • Last sentence is inaccurate; only creatures and planeswalkers "die". – GendoIkari Aug 14 at 14:21
  • Now I'm confused... the glossary seems to contradict 700.4.... – GendoIkari Aug 14 at 14:21
  • "A creature or planeswalker “dies” if it is put into a graveyard from the battlefield. See rule 700.4." – GendoIkari Aug 14 at 14:21
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    @Gendolkari, "Dies" will only be used on cards in a situation where the permanent is expected to be a creature or Planeswalker (e.g. "Whenever a creature dies" vs "Whenever an artifact is put into a graveyard from the battlefield"). However, it is possible for non-creatures to die because of type-changing effects and such. The glossary is meant to be a quick reference, so they used a clearer definition that's right 99.999% of the time while referencing the precise definition. – ikegami Aug 14 at 14:23
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    I deleted my comment because I think that this question which I linked to in the comment might actually serve as an example. – GendoIkari Aug 14 at 14:31

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