In Magic the Gathering's plane of Innistrad, mysteries are rife. Be it the petty crimes of Humans or the larger threats of the monsters outside a town's walls, the Cathars are on hand to serve the people and act as soldiers, guards, and sometimes even detectives.

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The many detectives and mysteries of the multiverse are represented in-game through the Investigate mechanic. But how do you search for clues, and what are they good for? Here's everything you need to know about Investigate.

What Is Investigate?

Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth by Jarel Threat
Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth by Jarel Threat

Investigate is a keyword action that simply means "create a clue token".

There are lots of ways to investigate. There are instants and sorceries that make them, like Confirm Suspicsions, Declaration in Stone or Press for Answers. It's frequently found on enchantments and artifacts too, thanks to cards like Search the Premises, Ongoing Investigation, Tamiyo's Journal and Trail of Evidence. Finally, it tends to be found on Human creatures (though there are exceptions, like the adorable Floodhound) like Thraben Inspector, Eloise Nephalia Sleuth, Chief Jim Hopper, and Dennick Pious Apprentice.

The real question, then, is what is a clue token? A clue token is a token artifact that allows you to pay two generic mana, tap it, and sacrifice it to draw a card. It's similar in a lot of ways to food and treasure tokens, and is often grouped with the two in token artifact deck strategies.


Like all tokens, clues only exist on the battlefield. If they leave the battlefield in any way, such as being sacrificed, bounced, or destroyed, they go into exile and simply cease to exist. Clues are meant to serve as small boosts to card draw that you exhaust to get an advantage.

How To Use Investigate?

Survive the Night by Svetlin Velinov
Survive the Night by Svetlin Velinov

Investigate can be useful in a wide variety of decks, simply because any extra card draw is always good.

However, Investigate really thrives in artifact decks, where it can be produced in large numbers to help with things like Affinity and Improvise. Academy Manufactor is an incredible card that, whenever you make either a clue, food, or treasure, makes the other two at the same time, really speeding up this kind of deck.

You can even turn your clue tokens into attackers if you need to. Rise and Shine makes every artifact you control into a 0/0 with a +1/+1 counter on it, letting you either use them for draw or swing them at an opponent for extra damage.

Lots of cards care about when you sacrifice a clue. Daring Sleuth, Eloise, Fleeting Memories, Lonis Cryptozoologist and Thorough Investigation all work specifically with clues, while other sacrifice-matters decks like Blood Aspirant, Bloodbriar, and Sorcerer's Broom all work off sacrificing anything including a clue.

What Colour Is Investigate?

Dennick, Pious Apparition by Chris Rallis
Dennick, Pious Apparition by Chris Rallis

Investigating is all about seeking knowledge, making this primarily a blue mechanic. It is found in other colours as well, though.

There are 41 cards that specifically use the word "investigate". Nine are white, nine are green, 13 are blue, one is black, none are red, and two are colourless.

Though there are no mono-red Investigate cards, there are a few with red in multi-colour. There are seven colour pairs with Investigate: one Azorius (white and blue), one Dimir (blue and black), one Gruul (red and green), one Orzhov (white and black), one Boros (red and white), and two Simic (green and blue).

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