Regeneration and Infect

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Okay, I was just watching the Scars of Mirrodin Introductory Videos, and the one on Infect confused me.

In one example they have Cystbearer (a 2/3 creature with infect) equipped with Behemoth Sledge so that it's a 4/5.  The player with Cystbearer attacks, and the defending player blocks with Cudgel Troll

Here is where I got confused.

The defending player paid to regenerate the Troll.  However, the Cystbearer still did 3 damage damage to it in the form of 3 -1/-1 counters.

I even looked in the comprehensive rules to try and help me and this is what I found:

701.11a 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.”

So from what the comprehensive rules say, the regenerated Troll should have been removed from combat, and therefore would not have gotten any -1/-1 counters. 

So did MtG make a mistake in their video or am I not understanding this correctly?
So did MtG make a mistake in their video or am I not understanding this correctly?

You're not reading the rule correctly; take a closer look.

701.11a 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.

Simply activating the Troll's ability only creates a 'shield' around it that will protect it the next time something attempts to destroy it. It doesn't do anything else. It's only when something actually makes that attempt and the shield kicks in that it does anything else.

In the case of Infect, however, nothing is attempting to "destroy" it. (That word is important.) When a creature's toughness is 0 or less, it's put directly into the graveyard; the important point is that this is not the same thing as 'destroy'ing the permanent. And since it isn't destroying it, regeneration doesn't help.

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So from what the comprehensive rules say, the regenerated Troll should have been removed from combat, and therefore would not have gotten any -1/-1 counters.


A regenerated creature doesn't actually get removed from combat until the regeneration effect is applied.  And that doesn't happen as soon as the ability resolves, what the ability does is it sets up what we call a "regeneration shield" that waits to be used up until whatever time the creature would be destroyed.  Technically, "Regenerate [this creature]" means "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."
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Now I get it =)

Thanks.

Edit: Magus just confused me.

Magus, as you described it this is how I see it:

1. 4/5 Cystbearer is blocked by 4/3 Cudgel Troll
2. Cudgel Troll's controller activates the regeneration ability, giving it the regeneration 'shield'
3. Cystbearer deals it's damage as 3 damage to Cudgel Troll, and 1 damage tramples to the player.
4. Cudgel Troll's regeneration shield activates and prevents the 3 damage from the cystbearer, preventing the 3 -1/-1 counters

That's how I see it, but I think I am wrong.  But I can't wrap my head around WHY I am wrong...

Regeneration doesn't prevent damage - it removes damage after it's been dealt (and tried to destroy the creature - regeneration replaces the destruction).  However, regeneration can only remove damage that's "marked on" the creature, which means only "normal" damage.  Damage that's dealt as -1/-1 counters (from sources with infect or wither) isn't marked on the creature (it causes -1/-1 counters to be placed instead), so it can't be removed in regeneration.

In the example you cited, there's really not much point to giving the Cudgel Troll a regeneration shield.  The three -1/-1 counters from infect will reduce the Troll's toughness to 0, and so the Troll is put into its owner's graveyard and the regeneration shield doesn't accomplish anything.
The part you have wrong is #4. Regeneration doesn't have anything to do with preventing damage. Being regenerated removes the (normal) damage that's already marked on a creature; it doesn't prevent damage that's about to be dealt. (And it's impossible to prevent damage that has already been dealt.)

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okay, NOW I get it.  Thanks everyone =)
Destroy has a specific meaning in Magic.

It can come in 3 basic ways:
1) Destroy effects (Day of Judgment, Terminate)
2) Lethal damage (ie. marked damage >= creature's toughness)
3) Deathtouch damage (ie. damage received from a source with deathtouch)

Infect and Wither do not mark damage, they give -1/-1 counters instead.

If a creature's toughness ever dips below 1, it goes to the graveyard. This is not a destroy effect so regenerate does nothing.

The reason Regenerate removes marked damage is because...
If I Lightning Bolt your Runeclaw Bears your 2/2 has 3 damage marked on it (which is lethal) therefore you creature is destroyed, but you regenerate it which prevents the destruction, if it doesn't remove the damage the game will still see it lethally damaged and attempt to destroy it again right after which we don't want to happen.

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When a creature with wither or infect deals combat damage to a creature is it still considered as dealing combat damage? No Mercy and Infect.
When a creature with wither or infect deals combat damage to a creature is it still considered as dealing combat damage? No Mercy and Infect.

Yes. No Mercy will trigger if a creature with infect attacks and is unblocked, resulting in it dealing combat damage.

I have another question for regeneration then, since it's not combat damage, does Guul Draz Assassin still kill and stop regeneration on a Phyrexian Monitor if he uses his level 4 activated ability?
If a creature has 0 or less toughness then it is sent to the graveyard, this is not destroy so things like regeneration and indestructible will not stop it. In this case after applying the -4/-4 he would be a -2/-2 creature and be sent to the graveyard.
Note that if you use the Assassin's level 2-3 ability, the Monitor will become a 0/0, and will also be put in its owner's graveyard. Using either one doesn't stop regeneration, it simply bypasses it by killing the creature in another way.
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Wait -1/-1 can kill indestructible creatures? Oh man, I have a wither deck just for my friend's green deck with Eldrazi Monument!
The part you have wrong is #4.



Actually, #3 is wrong too- the trample damage would be dealt in the form of a poison counter seeing as Cystbearer has Infect!