From the Sutrayana perspective enlightenment is achieved through having accumulated enough merit plus enough awareness both. So the accumulation of merit is important indeed.
Dedicating merit for the sake of all beings is the best dedication. The appearance of a buddha in the future (you) is to their benefit. However the point of no regression is a pretty high up there level of realization. It's one of the higher bodhisattva levels if I remember correctly.
Unless I am quoting scripture or a recognized authority my posts are my opinions only and not "Dharma". I offer my posts for entertainment purposes only. I hope you find them either interesting or enjoyable--but don't take anything I say to heart without running it by your own teacher first!