Cardiovascular regenerative therapies are pursued on both basic and translational levels. Although efficacy and value of cell therapy for myocardial regeneration can be debated, there is a consensus that profound deficits in mechanistic understanding limit advances, optimization, and implementation. In collaboration with the TACTICS (Transnational Alliance for Regenerative Therapies in Cardiovascular Syndromes), this review overviews several pivotal aspects of biological processes impinging on cardiac maintenance, repair, and regeneration. The goal of summarizing current mechanistic understanding is to prompt innovative directions for fundamental studies delineating cellular reparative and regenerative processes. Empowering myocardial regenerative interventions, whether dependent on endogenous processes or exogenously delivered repair agents, ultimately depends on mastering mechanisms and novel strategies that take advantage of rather than being limited by inherent myocardial biology.