Every new Magic: The Gathering set that comes out is filled with three types of cards at common:
- Awesome, flavorful, or intriguing cards that could stand alone
- Cards that feature and show off a new mechanic or theme
- Cards that support and play off a new mechanic or theme
The difference between the second and third types can be a thin, vague line. Here’s one that straddles the space between:
Steady Progress is a typical blue card in new sets as it has one of the new mechanics and draws you a card, generally referred to as a cantrip. Proliferate is looking to be a very useful mechanic in Scars of Mirrodin Limited and I’m sure there will be many “Proliferate, add a poison counter to you. Proliferate, add the tenth poison counter to you?” situations.
However Scars of Mirrodin has infect, which means there will be -1/-1 and poison counters flying everywhere, as well as artifacts with charge counters, like Tumble Magnet. Most cubes, mine included, don’t have a theme of counters. My cube specifically doesn’t have planeswalker cards (Due to rarity, obviously!) which have arguably the strongest counter to increment.
Steady Progress has a place in Magic and may end up as a solid blue instant within Scars of Mirrodin Limited but will likely never be more than a cute trick in a pauper cube.