|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.)|
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, to save a creature that would otherwise go to the graveyard. It could not be activated nor triggered any other time. In the Sixth Edition rules changes, the damage prevention step became obsolete, and damage was no longer "assigned" before being 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 in 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.
As Aaron Forsythe stated, "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 cards will no longer be made which include the phrase "can't be regenerated".
- To replace a permanent’s destruction with an alternate sequence of events. See rule 701.15, “Regenerate.”
- 701.15. Regenerate
- 701.15a If the effect of a resolving spell or ability regenerates a permanent, it creates a replacement effect that protects the permanent the next time it would be destroyed this turn. In this case, “Regenerate [permanent]” means “The next time [permanent] would be destroyed this turn, instead remove all damage marked on it and tap it. If it’s an attacking or blocking creature, remove it from combat.”
- 701.15b If the effect of a static ability regenerates a permanent, it replaces destruction with an alternate effect each time that permanent would be destroyed. In this case, “Regenerate [permanent]” means “Instead remove all damage marked on [permanent] and tap it. If it’s an attacking or blocking creature, remove it from combat.”
- 701.15c Neither activating an ability that creates a regeneration shield nor casting a spell that creates a regeneration shield is the same as regenerating a permanent. Effects that say that a permanent can’t be regenerated don’t preclude such abilities from being activated or such spells from being cast; rather, they cause regeneration shields to not be applied.
- 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.
Creature — Troll
: Regenerate Cudgel Troll. (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.)
Enchantments that grant just regeneration
Aura (enchanted creature)
- Blessing of Leeches
- Jolrael's Favor
- Soul Channeling
- Strands of Undeath
- 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.