Say I have a Chronozoa with no counters and a free sacrifice outlet on the field when an opponent overloads Cyclonic Rift. If I were to sacrifice the Chronozoa in response, what happens? Will I create the tokens that are copies of it before or after the CR Overload resolves?
Your Chronozoa's ability would resolve first, and you would lose the tokens you got to the opponent's Cyclonic rift.
Whenever an ability triggers or is activated, is goes on top of the stack, and the stack resolves from top to bottom.
So, assuming you both pass after each step:
- Opponent casts Cyclonic Rift, stack has just Cyclonic Rift
- You respond by activating something that lets you sacrifice Chronozoa, Chronozoa's ability triggers and goes on top of the stack. (We will assume for now that the sacrifice didn’t add anything else to the stack, such as Ashnod's Altar).
- Chronozoa's ability resolves giving you 2 tokens.
- Cyclonic Rift resolves, returning tokens to your hand, which cease to exist because tokens can’t be in your hand.
There is no other time that you could sacrifice Chronozoa to get around this problem.
405.1. When a spell is cast, the physical card is put on the stack (see rule 601.2a). When an ability is activated or triggers, it goes on top of the stack without any card associated with it (see rules 602.2a and 603.3).
405.5. When all players pass in succession, the top (last-added) spell or ability on the stack resolves.