Regeneration loop?

Asked by midnight426 2 years ago

If I have a Blessing of Leeches out, and a Creakwood Liege , but then my opponent drops in an Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite , whose -2/-2 ability is more than enough to kill my Creakwood.

However, I can regenerate him, which will leave him tapped, but then the Norn's ability would still be in effect, so he'd just die again? It seems to me this then becomes a "regeneration loop" where the Creakwood Liege is now constantly tapped, but can otherwise remain there forever? But what about the Creakwood's abilities? The regeneration action doesn't remove it from play, right (it's not like it's flickering in and out of existence)? So it will still be on the battlefield for the beginning of my upkeep's trigger to happen?

BlueScope says... #1

Disregarding your entire bottom half of the question: You can activate Blessing of Leeches ability, but it won't regenerate the Liege, as Regereration only prevents destroy effects. A creature put into the graveyard for having 0 or less toughness is no such effect.

And even if it would - you can't activate the ability in response to Elesh Norn's static ability (because it doesn't use the stack, and certainly doesn't use the stack repeated times) - you would have to activate it in response to the spell on the stack, which you can do multiple, but not infinite times - and as I said, it doesn't help against toughness reduction either way.

August 3, 2017 3 a.m.

TehGrief says... Accepted answer #2


The Regeneration ability works to remove Damage, or prevent effects that would say "Destroy".

Because Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is applying a static global -2/-2 effect, it is neither damage, nor is the creature being 'destroyed'.

The creature in question, Creakwood Liege, being only a 2/2 innately is going to be removed from the battlefield as a Stat-Based Action, due to a creature with zero toughness equating to a creature with no life that cannot possibly exist.

Official rulings are as follows:

"701.12a 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 its an attacking or blocking creature, remove it from combat."

To put it into simpler terms:

Blessing of Leeches can prevent damage effects and effects with the keyword "Destroy".

August 3, 2017 10:11 a.m. Edited.

Gidgetimer says... #3

Destroy isn't a keyword...

August 3, 2017 10:30 a.m.

TehGrief says... #4


I am sorry, but you appear to be mistaken; "Destroy" is, in fact, a keyword action.

Please refer to rule set 701.7. 'Destroy'.

That being said, the question being asked here was not about the 'Destroy' rule, but rather the 'Regenerate' Rule.

It is important to know that there is a time and place for everything.

August 3, 2017 10:41 a.m. Edited.

Gidgetimer says... #5

Hmm apparently I am. I was under the impression that only abilities were keywords, but apparently anything with a specific MtG definition is considered a keyword. Like "cast", "play", "discard", etc.

August 3, 2017 10:47 a.m.

BlueScope says... #6

@TehGrief: Your explanation of the Regeneration effect are not entirely accurate. You write...

The Regeneration ability works to remove Damage, or prevent effects that would say "Destroy"

...which isn't accurate. Regeneration means, as you quoted, that the next time a creature would be destroyed, instead it's regenerated. It doesn't somehow remove damage by arbitrary rules, it only ever kicks in if the creature would be destroyed.

Blessing of Leeches can prevent damage effects (...)

This is wrong for the same reasons, on top of which, "damage effects" is something that's not coined within the rules. Interpreted freely, I'm thinking of effects that modify damage dealt, such as Deathtouch, Infect, Wither, or Lifelink - Regeneration doesn't prevent those effects whatsoever, it only ever changes what the outcome might be:

  • Infect/Wither damage still puts -1/-1 counters on the creature instead of dealing damage. Regeration will never affect anything here, as the creature is never destroyed (similar to Elesh Norn in the question)
  • Lifelink will still gain the creature's controller that much life, because Regeneration doesn't prevent damage
  • Deathtouch also still applies in the sense that any amount of damage is enough to destroy the creature dealt damage. Now, because this is a destroy effect, Regeneration is able to "save" a creature from being destroyed this way, but the damage being dealt is still not affected.
August 3, 2017 10:49 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #7

Regeneration does remove all marked damage from the creature, and the things you all are choosing to argue about are mostly irrelevant to the original question.

The point is that regeneration can only save a creature from being destroyed, either by lethal marked damage (damage equal to or greater than the creature's toughness, or any amount of damage from a source with deathtouch) or effects that specifically say "destroy". Dying for 0 or less toughness isn't a "destroy" effect and regeneration can't stop it.

August 3, 2017 10:54 a.m.

BlueScope says... #8

...and of course, "puts -1/-1 counters on the creature instead of dealing damage" which I wrote isn't accurate, because that is the damage being dealt. ;) In any case, it's not prevented in any way.

August 3, 2017 10:56 a.m.

BlueScope says... #9

@Rhadamanthus: I know it removes damage, but only when the Regeneration event applies, not at any point prior to that.

I chose to write that because the logical next question could've been "so if Regeneration prevents damage, does my creature survive being dealt 2 Infect damage when I regenerate it?"

It's an important distinction to tie Regeneration to the event of a permanent being destroyed, not damage being dealt to it. If dmage would cause that creature to be destroyed - fair enough, but what matters for Regeneration is only that it's being destroyed. Regeneration is not a prevention effect, only a replacement effect.

August 3, 2017 11:01 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #10

In my experience, laying out a bunch of fine detail when it's not necessary runs the risk of making the overall confusion even worse. If any erroneous details in another response need to be corrected then it's better to just stick to the ones that are actually relevant. "Regeneration doesn't prevent damage, which can matter in situations such as (simple example)".

But this is really just a matter of style and preference, and it's not like I'm your boss or anything. Just letting you know about my point of view.

August 3, 2017 11:17 a.m.

TehGrief says... #11

I'm in agreement with Rhadamanthus;

Magic is an interesting and unique game where you can always add "... unless otherwise stated." to the end of every rule ever written.

Unfortunately, rather than answering the original question that midnight426 had posed regarding the interaction between 'Regeneration' Vs. Static Global Effects like that of Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, the discussion has devolved to explaining irrelevant rules and interactions, as well as slandering other comments.

This whole thread has now become a confusing mess opposed to being a quality Q&A.

I would ask in the future that you be more considerate before commenting; always try maintaining relevance.

As for now, the thread is beyond repair.

August 3, 2017 11:38 a.m.

Rhadamanthus says... #12

Not helping...

August 3, 2017 11:52 a.m.

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