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When the end of my turn comes around, Meren of Clan Nel Toth lets me target a creature in my graveyard to either bring back to the battlefield or return to my hand. In response to this trigger being put on the stack, could I sacrifice a creature with something like Ashnod's Altar or High Market, thus killing it and sending to the graveyard and being able to be targeted by Meren of Clan Nel Toth's ability?

The reason I am asking is so to see if I can flicker a creature with Conjurer's Closet, then sacrifice it, then reanimate it with Meren of Clan Nel Toth.

  • Small note: generally exiling a creature and then immediately returning it to the battlefield is called "flickering" or "blinking". "Bouncing" a permanent refers to returning that permanent from the battlefield to its owner's hand. – murgatroid99 Sep 28 '18 at 6:41
  • @murgatroid99 edited and noted – Shadow Z. Sep 28 '18 at 7:32
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You cannot sacrifice a creature in response to Meren's triggered ability and then bring that creature back with the ability, but you can sacrifice a creature at any time before that in the turn and bring it back with the ability.

For all abilities and spells, including triggered abilities like on Meren, you choose targets as part of the process of putting the spell or ability on the stack. So by the time you have a chance to respond, the target is already set. In the situation you describe, the sequence of events plays out like this:

  1. The end step begins. Meren's ability triggers.
  2. You put Meren's ability on the stack. As part of the process of doing that, you choose the target, which has to be a creature card that is in your graveyard at this time.
  3. You gain priority, which means that you have a chance to respond. At this time you can sacrifice a creature.
  4. Meren's ability resolves and it returns the creature chosen in step 2 to the battlefield or your hand.

Adding in a Conjurer's Closet doesn't really change anything, but that situation plays out like this:

  1. The end step begins. Meren's ability and Conjurer's Closet's ability both trigger.
  2. You put Meren's ability on the stack first. As part of the process of doing this, you choose the target, which is a creature card that is in the graveyard at this time.
  3. You put Conjurer's Closet's ability on the stack second, on top of Meren's ability. As part of this process, you choose the target, which is a creature you control.
  4. You have a chance to respond with both abilities on the stack.
  5. Conjurer's Closet's ability resolves. It exiles the creature chosen in step 3, then returns it to the battlefield.
  6. You have a chance to respond to Meren's ability. At this time you can sacrifice a creature.
  7. Meren's ability resolves and it returns the creature chosen in step 2 to the battlefield or your hand.
  • Would there be a window where I could do what I was trying to do in the last line? Flickering, sacrificing, and reanimating? Or would the stack and such prevent me from doing all of it (without a sacrifice at end of turn effect). – Shadow Z. Sep 28 '18 at 7:33
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    Your question indicates to me that you may not have a full understanding of the basics of how the stack works, so I would suggest that you find an article about that. I'll edit in a more detailed description when I get a chance tomorrow, but the short answer is that doing another thing in response to Meren's ability doesn't change the fact that if you sacrifice a creature in response to Meren's ability, it is too late to reanimate it. A "sacrifice at end of turn effect" still wouldn't help because you would be doing it with Meren's ability on the stack, which is still too late to reanimate it. – murgatroid99 Sep 28 '18 at 7:52
  • @ShadowZ. the latest time you have priority, before you have to choose the target of Meren's ability, is in your postcombat main phase. If you have anything else to do in that phase, the sacrifice can be the final thing you do. Note that your opponent will always have a chance to respond to the sacrifice before you choose the target of Meren's ability – Caleth Sep 28 '18 at 11:35
  • @ShadowZ. This answer helped me understand the stack when I was new to the game. – doppelgreener Sep 28 '18 at 12:00

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