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I cast Slickshot Lockpicker, which says:

When Slickshot Lockpicker enters the battlefield, target instant or sorcery card in your graveyard gains flashback until end of turn. The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost.

In my graveyard I have Skewer the Critics which has:

Spectacle {R} (You may cast this spell for its spectacle cost rather than its mana cost if an opponent lost life this turn.)

I have thus 2 alternative cost at the moment. One is the mana cost (from flashback), one is the spectacle cost (assuming an opponent did lose life this turn).

How do I choose which cost apply? Can I replace the mana cost with the spectacle cost, and end up flashbacking for {R}?

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No, you can't combine alternative costs. You have to choose between the original cost of 2R, Spectacle R, and Flashback 2R. Since the card is in your graveyard and only Flashback lets you cast it from there, you can only choose Flashback 2R.

Alternative costs are only an alternative to a spell's mana cost, not to other alternative costs:

118.9. Some spells have alternative costs. An alternative cost is a cost listed in a spell’s text, or applied to it from another effect, that its controller may pay rather than paying the spell’s mana cost. [..]

601.2b If the spell is modal, the player announces the mode choice (see rule 700.2). If the player wishes to splice any cards onto the spell (see rule 702.47), they reveal those cards in their hand. If the spell has alternative or additional costs that will be paid as it’s being cast such as buyback or kicker costs (see rules 118.8 and 118.9), the player announces their intentions to pay any or all of those costs (see rule 601.2f). A player can’t apply two alternative methods of casting or two alternative costs to a single spell. [..]

Hypothetically, if Slickshot Lockpicker granted you the ability to generically cast Skewer the Critics from your graveyard, rather than just granting it Flashback, you could cast it for its spectacle cost.

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  • I take it if Ancient Grudge is targeted, it can be cast for 1R or G? The sentence "The flashback cost is equal to its mana cost." doesn't overwrite the previous flashback cost? Commented May 24 at 23:04
  • @Acccumulation The Flashback rules don't say it explicitely, but if a card has multiple instances of Flashback, you choose the one you want to use. Flashback is simply an ability added to the object and does not overwrite other abilities. So yes, you could pay either 1R or G.
    – Hackworth
    Commented May 25 at 6:56

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