I am doing my second ever playthrough of BG2, this time with SCS (tactics difficulty, with improved mind flayers, dragons, priests, mages, better calls for help and removing some overpowered items, not to say robe of vecna). As always, I am doing a run with a good-aligned party, and non-negotiable members of my team are
CHARNAME: Priest of Lathander
Imoen later on
Which leaves one more space for a mage-like character, plus one more character until I get to Spellhold. Options are obviously Jan, Nalia and Aerie. My original plan was to use Jan and Nalia and then ditching the latter before the Spellhold and keeping Jan. The main motivation being that he can get really good in Detect Illusion, and in BG1 and SOD everything and their mother cast improved invisibility left and right and if BG2 SCS adds SI:Divination to that, detect illusion remains the only option of disabling mages before they unleash their avalanche of disabling spells on my party (which, somehow, always manage to land).
So, my question is - who would you chose as a secondary mage permanently and who would you have in party until Imoen becomes available? As I see it, advantages of each of them are:
Jan : thief, and since Imoen has good open locks & detect traps, he can focus on detecting illusion and hiding in shadows + backstabbing, plus he is a mage specialist.
Nalia - pure mage, so faster advancement in spells, but overlaps with Imoen
Aerie - cleric spells, but slooow progression to higher-level spells in either ciricle
In particular, I wonder:
1) How important Detect Illusion is with improved mages in SCS? Can you live without it (especially with Keldorn's True Sight?
2) Is one cleric enough for the party? In particular, for CHARNAME I use mostly his steroid spells (holy power, boon of Lathander, DUHM and righteous magic, if I am not horribly wrong, make a cleric more devastating frontliner than a pure fighter of the same level). However, with improved mind flayers and mages, is it necessary to have lots of death wards/chaotic commands memories, effectively making another cleric a necessity (Jaheira doesn't count, cause she has shit wisdom and can cast only a few 5th level spells until very late in the game)?
3) Are there enough scrolls in the game to have, essentially, three good mages with good high level spells (two of the above until Spellhold, and Imoen plus the remaining one after it)?
Sorry for a long post!