|Last Used||Oath of the Gatewatch|
|Reminder Text||(cost): Regenerate (The next time this creature would be destroyed this turn, it isn't. Instead tap it, remove all damage from it, and remove it from combat.)|
History[edit | edit source]
Regeneration was designed by Richard Garfield for Alpha.  Although the current reminder text is fairly elegant, regeneration has historically been a confusing effect. Originally, regeneration was an ability that only could be activated in the damage prevention step, which was a step right after damage was dealt. It could not be activated nor triggered any other time. In the Sixth Edition rules changes, the damage prevention step became obsolete. Damage was no longer dealt ("assigned") and then successfully dealt - it was simply dealt. Damage prevention, regeneration, and other spells and abilities that generated replacement effects were now played just like other instants. As such, regeneration had drifted from the correct flavor, instead of regenerating when a creature was about to die, you set a regenerative shield that would save the creature if it would die that turn.
Aaron Forsythe has stated that, "The word 'regenerate' has been tossed onto cards for years as if it was one of the most simple concepts in the game, along the lines of 'attack' and 'graveyard.' The truth is that the mechanic is so complicated and wonky that we would never greenlight it today, but it has been grandfathered into the fabric of the game, and it does fill a nice niche." 
Starting with Kaladesh, regeneration was finally retired. Instead, the phrase “gain indestructible until end of turn” came into being for new, but similar cards. This also means that no new cards will feature the sentence "can't be regenerated".
Rules[edit | edit source]
Rulings[edit | edit source]
- An effect which says something "can't be regenerated" means that the Regenerate replacement effect won't be applied to that creature even if one is active. If something "can't be regenerated", you can still play spells and abilities that produce a Regenerate effect, but they just won't do anything useful.
Example[edit | edit source]
Enchantments that grant just Regeneration[edit | edit source]
Aura (enchanted creature)
- Blessing of Leeches
- Jolrael's Favor
- Soul Channeling
- Strands of Undeath
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater. (June 8, 2015.) “Evergreen Eggs & Ham”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Brady Dommermuth. (June 1, 2009.) “Mechanically Inclined”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (March 14, 2018.) "On regenerate you stated that it had "drifted from the correct flavor."", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Aaron Forsythe. (August 5, 2005.) “Ninth Time's a Charm: Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 16, 2016.) "May I ask you on... Rush of Vitality?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 17, 2016.) "Re: regeneration turning into indestructible EOT", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 17, 2016.) "Could you change how the action part of regenerate works to make it indestructible until end of turn instead?", Blogatog, Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater. (September 22, 2016.) "Does regeneration going away mean no more "can't be regenerated" phrases on new cards?", Blogatog, Tumblr.