I’m having good vibes with Terminus shell + multiple FoN and triple Vendilion Clique maindeck. Narset doesn’t really fight with Terminus, cause you’ve: a) plenty of other targets, b) can hardcast it kinda easily, c) can shuffle it back with Jace. Narset is mostly a hate card, anyway, and IMHO shouldn’t be in too many copies.
Runed Halo seems like it would be good in Hogaak matchup. Name Alter, they can't target you, already have rip/leyline in play? Name Ghast (Just in case they destroy RIP later on in the game) or one of their beaters. Also combos with Baby Tef to name a more relevant threat in play.
I wouldn’t suggest exactly it, but the list in TheAnnihilator signature is a good starting point (I would play second Sphere and a pair of little Teferi/Narset instead of FoF).
Well, I'm glad you feel that way about my list, haha. I never actually switched away from Terminus. 4 mana wraths kept leaving me ready to get blown out after not exiling or tucking, or simply by followup plays.
I played Narset/T3feri briefly in the main, but they felt bad -- Narset because of it's bad with Terminus and doesn't actually impact the board, Teferi because it only makes a relative impact in Control matchups. Otherwise T3feri's a 3 mana, sorcery-speed bounce spell with gain ~1 life, which isn't really an effect I'm looking for in UW. In fact, even when Teferi stuck, he didn't actually do anything. One bounce, and 3 turns of nothing until a 2nd bounce? Yikes. FoF seems bad too, but it's a flex spot right now and it seems like it at least warrants testing.
Is it time to consider main decking wheel of sun and moon? Doesnt exile your yard so knot and snap still have use over a md RiP, can target yourself vs a mill strategy to shut them down, and makes dredge and Phoenix have a bad day. Just something I've been considering to go along with 2 md surgical with all of the explosive graveyard decks in the meta right now.
That's definitely an upside over RiP, but not dealing with what is already in the graveyard is a hefty price to pay. In Modern you can get a dozen cards in the graveyard by turn 2, and not handling those as well might make Wheel just a bit too ineffective. A fair amount of the time RiP is just too slow, and with Hogaak things seem to be speeding up.
Is surgical good to main deck anymore? Nassif on his stream said he doesn't think so. It's not really the best hate card vs hogaak. You need to surgical both hogaak and bridge, and still deal with vengevines and bloodghasts. Sure it does give you a better chance to win game one, but is it that good versus the field (new meta?). You want surgical game 1 vs storm, valakut, UR phoenix, tron, and classic dredge. I think those decks are on the decline. Hogaak is a better dredge deck. Tron isn't that good vs hogaak, unless they start main decking 3-4 relics. Storm will also be on the decline (i think humans will see an uptick), and Mono R Phoenix is probably going to pass UR phoenix in popularity. R phoenix is more threat dense than UR phoenix, so surgical isn't as strong. Valakut decks are too slow, and there are not many green creature decks that it preys on. Surgical is theoretically good vs amulet titan, but i feel like it's really hard to extract titans vs a good amulet player. I think humans is going to go in an uptick again, which surgical is awful there.
Here is someone with a good pedigree with the hogaak deck, he says UW control, elves, burn, bridge/prison decks, tron with relics main, and company decks are all bad match ups. Also i've been reading comments about this eldrazi tron player just crushing all the people playing hogaak in modern leagues. You can expect to see an uptick in those decks, which surgical is awful against (except regular tron).
Based on that reddit thread, UW is still good vs hogaak, and if you main surgical it gives you a shot game 1. Looking at the sideboard guide in the reddit thread, they bring in a ton of answers (6, 8 if you include thoughtseize) to RIP. That's not an unbeatable plan as current UW boards can combat that. But is surgical worth it vs the field? Probably not?
As for relic, the UW aficionados tested that card and they think it sucks. It messes with snap and logic knot, and then UW doesn't have a fast enough clock to make that short term disruption matter. UW aficionados would rather experiment with a prison version of the deck with main deck RIPs and no snaps. But I think you want 3 if not 4 RIPs (in the 75) if hogaak is popular in your meta.
What I've done with Jeskai before is run a tiny black splash just to play Nihil Spellbomb. Gives you access to the Exile effect even if you don't have black yet, and you can go fetch black later when necessary. In Jeskai I did this with 8 fetchlands and a single Watery Grave, UW runs less fetches so it'd require a little more effort. Maybe get to 12 black sources and run some Fatal Push when we're at it anyways
Maindeck Rest In Peace is WAY more narrow than Relics, though. Relic always cycles itself, it’s like an overcosted cantrip. When RIP is dead, is dead. It’s a good sb card, certainly not maindeck material.
They can claim it on our turn if they're not bad.
Its unlikely that this will be reliable in the future.
Only if you cast the RIP into an open green source, which won't always be the case. They usually spend the first few turns spending their mana. Otherwise we get to untap and can protect with our other countermagic as well.
Don't forget, a lot of hogaak lists are running wispmare as well as trophy/claim, and force doesnt protect vs the evoke. I think some persistant hate mb is the answer, since surgical is no longer enough, and they fight through multiple pieces of one shot hate like tormods and relic.