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I've noticed that in most cases when a unit has an ability to search for and play another unit that it triggers the deploy ability for that unit. I would like to know, are there exceptions to this rule?

  • Deploy is quite different from Hearthstone's Battlecry, which is based on a Minion being played from hand, but is easy to confuse, especially since it's one of the few other cases where this kind of effect qualifier has a keyword in the first place (most TCGs like Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic have both variants and explain them in detail in each card's text rather than shortening them to a keyword like Deploy or Battlecry, so you'll see wordings like "When this card enters play"). – scenia Nov 2 '17 at 22:53
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The definition of the Deploy keyword is as follows

Deploy: Trigger this ability when the card is placed on the Board.

This means that as long as the card enters the board, whether it be from a spawn or card effect, it will trigger its deploy effect.

If an exception arises, it would likely be in the card text of the summoner.

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    It is worth noting that at least one card has an ability that specifies its effect triggers before the deploy ability of an enemy card. So there are some cases where a card will enter play, but its deploy effect may not get triggered (i.e. the card is destroyed before deploy triggers). – Beofett Aug 25 '17 at 19:16
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No (as of December 2018).

There are some cards that "Summon" another cards, for example Carantir Ar-Feiniel:

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Which has this description:

Summon: Move automatically to he battlefield (not considered played)

So summoned cards won't have their Deploy ability activated.

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