What IS Regenerate?!

Regenerate – MTG Mechanics Explained

Card KingdomStrategy

Regenerate is odd. A formerly evergreen way to protect a creature that is often telegraphed to your opponent, with old removal spells designed specifically to counteract it and a lot of confusion around how it actually functions (especially for newer players), let’s unravel this a bit, shall we?

Regenerate is a replacement effect that can be put on a permanent that states “the next time this permanent would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage marked on it and its controller taps it. Remove it from combat.” So, practically speaking, if a creature has a regenerate effect active on it and it would die, it instead ends up tapped.

That’s essentially it, but there’s always a lot of questions around regenerate, so let’s answer some.

  • A creature that regenerates in combat still deals combat damage.
  • If a creature is in combat and gets regenerated before damage is dealt, it is removed from combat and tapped. Any creature it may have been blocking is still considered blocked.
  • A permanent can be regenerated multiple times in a turn, but a new regeneration effect will need to be made each time.
  • You technically can put multiple regeneration effects on a permanent at once, but the multiple effects serve no real purpose and will all go away the next time the permanent would be destroyed that turn.
  • If an effect says that a permanent can’t be regenerated, no regeneration effect will apply when that permanent is destroyed, even if the effect was put in place after the “can’t be regenerated” effect.

Regenerate is a confusing, clunky mechanic that made for some unfun gameplay and gummed-up boardstates. Since its retirement after Oath of the Gatewatch, a couple of more streamlined effects have taken up the niche it used to fill: Indestructible, and more recently shield counters. While Regenerate may still show up in supplemental sets on throwback cards every now and then, don’t expect to see it in a Standard legal set again.

Regenerate the state of your collection over at cardkingdom.com!