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Using Magar of the Magic Strings my Wail of the Nim has become a creature. I attack with my Wail of the Nim and a few other creatures with no abilities. My opponent's creatures block my other creatures, and my other creatures would die, but my Wail of the Nim would deal combat damage to my opponent. Does casting Wail of the Nim to regenerate all of my creatures save my creatures that would've died this combat? Or is that regeneration effect essentially too late, damage having already been dealt? Or something else entirely?

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  • You might want to use Faith's Reward instead
    – Ivo
    Oct 17, 2022 at 7:56
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    @Ivo (It's for an EDH deck, and my meta's house rule is that you can have a legendary Un- creature (or other Un- legendary that says that it can be your commander) so long as the rest of your deck except basic lands is made up only of cards that were printed at least once at common rarity. Thank you for the suggestion, though!) Oct 17, 2022 at 11:38

2 Answers 2

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It is too late. All combat damage is dealt simultaneously, and regenerate must be active before damage is dealt.

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.”

After damage is dealt, your creature will die the next time state-based actions are checked. This happens before you get to cast your instant, and definitely before the instant would resolve.

If your creature had first strike then this would work.

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    @Mazura I'm not entirely sure what you're referring to, but couldn't you always do that? (At least since the introduction of the stack back in 6th edition; I don't know enough about how things worked before then.)
    – Arthur
    Oct 17, 2022 at 9:14
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    @Mazura I'm a little lost now… and I don't want to be as I plan to use this combination. Does adding mana to one's mana pool somehow preempt or cause to fizzle the Wail of the Nim's regeneration "shield"? Or is this frustration about the concept of the regeneration shield in the first place? Or something else? Oct 17, 2022 at 12:04
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    @Joshua Can you explain? A lot of regeneration spells/abilities say "regenerate target creature", that's the most common way a regeneration spell would work. This example is only different in that instead of targeting a specific creature, it regenerates "each creature" you control. Works the same either way.
    – GendoIkari
    Oct 17, 2022 at 16:08
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    @Joshua Yes, but that instant must be played before the creature dies, since after it does it's a creature card in the graveyard, not a "target creature". There have been some changes to how combat damage is handled, but it's always been simultaneously applied to all recipients - you'd never have Wail of Nim deal combat damage to the opponent before other creatures in combat received their combat damage. All combat damage is applied at once. Oct 17, 2022 at 18:14
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    @Joshua There has never been an opportunity to cast a spell or activate an ability between when lethal damage is marked on a creature and when that creature gets put into the graveyard (at least since the stack has existed). There was a time when combat damage went on the stack, so you could regenerate a creature between when combat damage went on the stack and when it was actually dealt to creatures, but that changed back in 2010. Oct 17, 2022 at 20:21
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Abilities that say “when” or “whenever” are triggered abilities. If the condition is fulfilled, the effect is put onto the stack. So when Wail of the Nim deals damage, the effect “you may create a copy of the card with the noted name. You may cast the copy without paying its mana cost” goes onto the stack. Before that resolves, state based actions are checked, and the game sees the damage marked on your creatures, and so they go to the graveyard. Then once all the SBA resolve and everyone passes priority, the Magar of the Magic Strings effect resolves, at which point you cast the copy, so now you can put “Regenerate each creature you control” on the stack, and then that resolves, and then your creatures would get a regeneration shield, but by then they are dead.

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