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Top 3 Most Useful Schools of Magic

ZagaciousZagacious Member Posts: 63
I haven't played around with the schools of magic too much and I was wondering what you think the best ones are. Since it may be hard to narrow it down to just 1, list your top 3. It'd be interesting to see what you think are the worst schools of magic as well.

I define the school of magic to be useful if it has spells that can do some or all of these 4 things: damage, utility, protections, and buffing/cursing. There are other more subtle benefits to certain spells (like being able to interrupt casters with Magic Missile), but to make things simpler try to stick to these categories when deciding which schools are the most useful:
  • Damage is just anything that's pure damage such as: Magic Missile, Fireball, Skull Trap.
  • Utility is some sort of usefulness outside of just combat. Many skills are both utility and buff/curse. Charm,Invisibility, and Friends are utility, although Charm and Invisibility can also be used in battle.
  • Buffs/Curses are any type of magic that changes an ally or enemy like Luck, Haste, Charm, or Ray of Enfeeblement. I excluded Shields/Protections from Buffs because they are such a huge category.
  • Protections and shields are any type of spell or damage protection, including level 1 Armor, Ghost Armor, or Protection from Stone Turning (forget what it's called).

Post edited by Zagacious on


  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    Illusion - Spook, Invisibility (and its extended, awesome, family), Project Image, Mirror Image.
    Alteration - Stoneskins, Polymorph Self, Time Stop, (i)Haste, Strength, Fireshields (Fireshields are Alteration/Evocation dual school spells), Shapechange.
    Abjuration - Protection from Petrification, Imprisonment and Freedom (aka infinite Exp), PfMW, Spell Immunity, Breach and its whole family, Spell Trap (aka infinite spells), Dispels.

    These three schools contain most of what makes mage and mage multiclasses the strongest things in the game, namely the ability to become immune to pretty much anything and render entire encounters irrelevant. Hard to number them, since they're all three so valuable and powerful.

    Evocation, with its Web, Magic Missiles, Fire Shields, Cloudkill, Mordenkainen's Swords and sequencers is honourable fourth place. Not quite necessary to be a godwizard, but a lot of great stuff that would be hard to do without.

    Enchantment, while fantastic and powerful with Sleep/Emotion/Braindeath and Malaison spells can be done without, and worked around using other spells like Web.

    Conjuration's best features are Find Familiar, Power Word Blind, and Symbol of Stun. Nice, but nowhere near mandatory.

    Necromancy can largely be replicated with other schools, and is pretty meh overall. Death spell is nice for Trolls and summons of course, but if it was one of the more powerful schools then Gnomes would get it.

    Divination gives almost nothing that can't be replicated by a thief, intelligent scouting, and 100 GP.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,025
    Echantment, Illusion, Abjuration.

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