Let's say on the board is a creature with toughness 6. I reduce the toughness of this creature by 3 until end of turn. After this spell resolves, I cast a burn spell which does 3 dmg to that creature. Now the creature has 0 toughness and dies but what is the cause of death? And how does this interact with regeneration? As fair as I understand the rules, if a creatures dies because of 0 toughness it cannot be regenerated because its not lethal damage nor a destruction event that causes death.

  • If you read your question carefully, you will see that you answered it just by asking it.
    – Pow-Ian
    May 1, 2014 at 12:21
  • Since the damage from my burn spell actually causes the "lethal" damage (because its toughness is reduced by 3 until end of turn) one could assume cause of death is lethal damage and so it can be regenerated.
    – morpheus05
    May 1, 2014 at 12:25
  • Yep. That is exactly it. Althought I would not say one can assume it is simply fact that the burn spell does three damage to a creature with 3 toughness, so that is lethal damage. The only way they could not be regenerated is if managed to reduce the toughness through -1/-1 counter or some other way to 0. Then as a state based action, it would be moved to the grave yard.
    – Pow-Ian
    May 1, 2014 at 12:27
  • 1
    not an duplicate, but definitely related: boardgames.stackexchange.com/q/11367/3128
    – Colin D
    May 1, 2014 at 13:45
  • 3
    Damage does not reduce the toughness (though damage from sources with wither or infect can give -1/-1 counters which do reduce toughness).
    – ikegami
    May 1, 2014 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


If you reduce a creature's toughness from 6 to 3 you just treat it as a creature of toughness 3. So dealing 3 damage to it can be regenerated. The 3 damage does not reduce the toughness to 0. It will still be a creature with toughness 3 with 3 marked damage on it that will usually die but can be saved with regeneration.

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