Under the right circumstances, Bane of Progress can be an absolutely devastating card. This 2/2 Elemental destroys all artifacts and enchantments when it hits the board. For many Commander players, this is extremely destructive. If the deck that plays this doesn’t rely on its own artifacts or enchantments to win where others in the playgroup do, it’s a huge blow for only 6 mana.
It gets even better, though, because Bane of Progress also gains a +1/+1 counter for each permanent it destroys. Artifact-based decks simply die to and as many Commander decks rely on their artifacts and enchantments rather heavily, this is a death sentence for some players. Bane of Progress is only a 2/2 by its own merit, but when this card usually comes down it’s going to be a lot, lot bigger than that!
Timing is critical with this card, but played correctly, it’s one of the best investments you can get out of a 6-drop mana slot. Also, the Evasive Maneuvers deck in which it comes depends more on its creatures than its artifacts (which are pretty good themselves) so it’s a fantastic inclusion. Bane of Progress has seen play in a wide variety green-based creature-centric decks, including those led by Animar, Soul of Elements, Riku of Two Reflections, Xenagos, God of Revels and of course, the very Commander that the Bane of Progress came with, Derevi, Empyrial Tactician.
The best possible thing you can do with Bane of Progress is to play it after you’ve put an effect into play that makes all your artifacts and enchantments indestructible. One way to do this is with Elspeth, Knight-Errant‘s emblem, which makes all artifacts, creatures, enchantments and lands you control indestructible. You can also have Avacyn, Angel of Hope on the board, who makes all of your permanents indestructible. Alternatively, you could play a card like Faith’s Reward which restores to the battlefield everything that was sent from your side of the field to the graveyard that turn.
Also, there is a card from Magic 2015, Soul of New Phyrexia, that has an activated ability for 5 mana to make all permanents you control indestructible until the end of turn. Drop a Bane of Progress on a loaded board while having one or more of these effects in your arsenal, and you will be finding yourself with some great value.
All in all, Bane of Progress is an excellent card that’s really only viable in the Commander format, and deployed correctly, it’s a major value card, being able to often destroy quite a few permanents when it enters the field.