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Grimmer
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Joined: 10/1/2001

Quote: "Stop being little girls and learn to suck up to the mods like normal people!" --Shinta Kenshin

 

The Regeneration FAQ 6/21/2004 4:43:05 AM

Regeneration is one of the more confusing and asked about abilities in Magic: the Gathering. How does the regenerated creature interact with the graveyard? How is tapping involved? When can you regenerate? In what cases will regeneration work? This FAQ is intended to help everyone understand the regeneration ability. The following questions will be addressed:

* What is regeneration and how does it work?

* What is a “regeneration shield”?

* When can I regenerate?

* How long does the effect last?

* What happens when I regenerate?

* Is a regenerated permanent put into the graveyard and then returned to play?

* Do enchantments, equipment, counters, etc. “fall off” the regenerated permanent?

* Can I return a creature card from the graveyard to play if it has regeneration?

* If I regenerate an attacking or blocking creature is it still considered attacking/blocking and does it still deal combat damage?

* Can I regenerate from a sacrifice? Can I regenerate a creature with 0 toughness?

* Can I regenerate a tapped creature?

* Can I regenerate more than once per turn?

* Can I regenerate anytime, even if the creature isn’t about to be destroyed?

* Can I regenerate something to tap it/remove it from combat?

* Can I regenerate a creature that has “summoning sickness”?

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What is regeneration?

In simple terms, regeneration keeps a creature from being destroyed. The Magic: the Gathering glossary definition of regeneration (using more complex terminology) is found below:

Regenerate
Regeneration is a destruction-replacement effect. "Regenerate [permanent]" means "The next time [permanent] would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage from it, tap it, and (if it's in combat) remove it from combat." Because it's a replacement effect, it must be active before the attempted destruction event. Abilities that trigger from damage being dealt still trigger even if the permanent regenerates. See rule 419.6b.

It is important to note that "regeneration" consists of two parts, similar to the Schwartz... there is the ability that generates a replacement effect and the replacement effect itself. This is the most common source of confusion because both parts are referred to as "regeneration." They are, however, two very distinct things so I prefer to refer to them as the regeneration ability (the ability that generates the replacement effect) and the regeneration effect (the replacement effect itself). When a regeneration ability (activated or triggered) is played, it generates a replacement effect that will be applied the next time the creature is destroyed or dealt lethal damage.

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What is a “regeneration shield”?

"Regeneration shield" is simply a term applied to the replacement effect that was generated for a creature and that is waiting to be applied. When you activate a regeneration ability, it essentially generates a "regeneration shield" on the creature which means "The next time this creature is destroyed or dealt lethal damage, instead remove all damage from it, tap it, and (if it's in combat) remove it from combat." This "regeneration shield" remains in place until it is used up or until its duration ends, whichever comes first.

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When can I regenerate?

You may play an activated regeneration ability anytime you have priority and the resources necessary to pay the costs. However, the "regeneration shield" must be in place before the creature is actually dealt lethal damage or destroyed. In other words, you cannot wait until after the creature has been destroyed in order to activate the ability and you cannot return a creature card in the graveyard to play using regeneration.

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How long does the effect last?

If you activate a regeneration ability and the creature is not destroyed or dealt lethal damage before the Cleanup Step (see the Magic Turn Structure Chart), the "regeneration shield" simply wears off with other "until end of turn" effects.

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What happens when I regenerate?

When you activate a regeneration ability, a "regeneration shield" is generated.

When the creature would be destroyed or dealt lethal damage, the "regeneration shield" takes effect and the regeneration effect results in the following:
1- All damage is removed from the creature
2- The creature is tapped.
3- If the creature is in combat, it is removed from combat.

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Is a regenerated permanent put into the graveyard and then returned to play?

No. The regeneration effect replaces the creature being destroyed, so the destruction never happens. Since the destruction never happened, the creature is never put into the graveyard. This means the permanent will not trigger "comes into play" or “leaves play” triggers when it regenerates.

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Do enchantments, equipment, counters, etc. “fall off” the regenerated permanent?

No. The regeneration effect replaces the creature being destroyed, so the destruction never happens. Since the destruction never happened and the creature is never put into the graveyard, equipment stays attached and enchantments continue to enchant the regenerated creature.

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Can I return a creature card from the graveyard to play if it has regeneration?

No. A regeneration ability can only be used while the creature is in play. Once the creature is in the graveyard, regeneration will no longer be useful.

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If I regenerate an attacking or blocking creature is it still considered attacking/blocking and does it still deal combat damage?

Activating or triggering a regeneration ability does not remove the creature from combat or prevent it from dealing damage. It simply creates a "regeneration shield". Unless the creature is dealt lethal damage or destroyed, the regeneration effect will not be applied so the creature will still be attacking and still deal/receive combat damage as normal.

If, before the Combat Damage Step, the creature is destroyed or dealt lethal damage, the regeneration effect will be applied and remove the creature from combat. In this case, the creature will cease to be an attacking/blocking creature. It must still be an attacking or blocking creature when its combat damage would be assigned in order for it to deal combat damage.

Note that if, after blockers are declared, the blocking creature is regenerated and removed from combat, the attacking creature is still considered blocked. It will not deal damage to the opponent unless it has trample.

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Can I regenerate from a sacrifice? Can I regenerate a creature with 0 toughness?

No to both. Regeneration only replaces destruction and lethal damage. Sacrifice means to put the permanent into the graveyard from play and is not associated with destruction. A creature with 0 or less toughness is put into the graveyard as a state-based effect and is not the same as the state-based effect associated with lethal damage.

Instances where regeneration works:
--Lethal Damage (combat damage, Lightning Bolt Buy, etc.)
--"Destroy" effects (Akroma's Vengeance Buy, Shatter Buy, etc.)

Instances where regeneration does NOT work:
--"Destroy and cannot be regenerated" effects (Dark Banishing Buy, Wrath of God Buy, etc.)
--"Remove from the game" effects (Worldgorger Dragon Buy, Altar's Light Buy, etc.)
--"0 toughness" (Mutilate Buy, Irradiate Buy, etc.)
--"Sacrifice" (Chainer's Edict Buy, Goblin Bombardment Buy, etc.)

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Can I regenerate a tapped creature?

Yes, as long as the regeneration ability doesn't include the symbol. If it includes the symbol, you are unable to pay the costs associated with the regeneration ability, so you can't regenerate the creature.

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Can I regenerate more than once per turn?

Yes, as long as the regeneration ability doesn't specify that it can only be used once per turn.

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Can I regenerate anytime, even if the creature isn’t about to be destroyed?

You may activate a regeneration ability anytime you have priority and the resources necessary to pay the associated costs. The destruction or lethal damage doesn't have to be on the stack. For example, you could play a regeneration ability and let it resolve before playing Akroma's Vengeance Buy.

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Can I regenerate something to tap it or remove it from combat?

No. Simply activating a regeneration ability will not tap the creature. The regeneration effect must be applied before the creature becomes tapped. Playing a regeneration ability of a creature that has been attacked by a Krosan Vorine Buy will not tap it and make it unable to block unless you are also able to destroy it or dealt it lethal damage. Only if you do manage to destroy it or deal it lethal damage will the regeneration effect tap it and remove it from combat.

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Can I regenerate a creature that has “summoning sickness”?

Yes, as long as the regeneration ability isn't an ability of the creature itself that includes the symbol. If it is an ability of the creature with "summoning sickness" and the ability includes the symbol, you are unable to pay the costs associated with the regeneration ability, so you can't regenerate the creature.

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I killed your cat! Why?! I thought it would bring closure to our relationship!

 

     

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