The “next end step” means the very next one to begin (usually in the same turn).

Seance is an interesting card that lets you trade a creature card in your graveyard for a temporary creature on the battlefield. The only caveat is that your new best friend (or rather your returned best friend) will only remain on the battlefield until “the beginning of the next end step.” So what does that mean? Well, assuming no shenanigans, the exile of your Seance’d creature will happen on the same turn as you conjured him.

While Seance only lets you create your token on an upkeep, there is another similar card with no such restrictions – Mimic Vat. Mimic Vat also creates a token with a limited life expectancy, also requiring you to exile the it at the beginning of the next end step. While the Seance token requires some work to survive into another turn, there is a pretty simple trick to get some extra value out of a Mimic Vat token. If you decide to activate it during an end step, it will survive until the “next end step” begins (with an emphasis on “next”), which will be on the following turn, since the current end step already began.

For example, let’s say I have a Seance and a Mimic Vat in play. On my opponent’s upkeep, I exile Ghoultree from my graveyard with Seance. Our opponent decides to attack us with a Primeval Titan, and I block it with my temporary 10/10. I imprint the Titan on my Mimic Vat and my opponent has no more plays for the turn. When his end step begins, our Ghoultree token triggers and gets exiled. Then still in the end step, I activate Mimic Vat, netting a token copy of Primeval Titan that will survive until the next end step begins, which won’t happen until my turn. I will untap with a Primeval Titan, and I can use Mimic Vat again on my turn to get a second Titan token to attack with. At the beginning of my end step, both Primeval Titan tokens will have to be exiled.

Today’s Rules Tip written by
Jorge Pinto, Level 1 judge from Santiago, Chile

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