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    Sorceror by blah

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 06/27/02 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    blah's Neverwinter Nights Sorc FAQ v1.0 ( 06/27/02 )
    Table of Contents - to skip to a section merely ctrl-f and search for the
    accompanying greek letter (case specific)
    1.) Race ( Alpha )
    2.) Stats ( Beta )
    3.) Skills ( Gamma )
    4.) Feats ( Delta )
    5.) Familiars ( Epsilon )
    6.) Equipment ( Zeta )
    7.) Spells ( Eta )
        a.) Zeroeth Level Spells ( Theta )
        b.) First Level Spells ( Iota )
        c.) Second Level Spells ( Kappa )
        d.) Third Level Spells ( Lambda )
        e.) Fourth Level Spells ( Mu )
        f.) Fifth Level Spells ( Nu )
        g.) Sixth Level Spells ( Xi )
        h.) Seventh Level Spells ( Omicron )
        i.) Eighth Level Spells ( Pi )
        j.) Ninth Level Spells ( Rho )
    1.) Race ( Alpha )
    There are really only two races to consider when building a sorc, Gnome and
    -starts with automatic Spell Focus in Illusion
    -minus 2 strength allows you to boost stats higher
    -starts with automatic Skill Focus in Concentration
    -extra feat gives you greater flexibility
    -extra skill point every level
    Basically, if you plan on choosing Weird (ninth level spell, see Spells
    section) and are willing to sacrifice carrying capacity for increased hp then
    Gnome is the logical choice.  If, however, you don't plan on taking Weird
    and/or want more than two skill points a level then I would recommend Human.  I
    personally prefer Human, but either race makes an excellent sorc.
    2.) Stats ( Beta )
    Strength: (8) You would assume that strength is of negligible importance for
    the sorc, and initially this is indeed correct, however, as the game goes on it
    gets really old not having enough strength to carry around all the items you
    acquire and Bull's Strength helps only so much.  All that being said, I really
    don't recommend increasing your strength above 8, it simply isn't worth the
    Dexterity: (14) Initially I assumed this would be rather important for a sorc
    but the fact is if you're in melee combat then you're really doing something
    wrong.  In addition you will rarely find yourself dodging because your armor
    class simply won't be any good.  Boosting dex is still worth it, however, if
    for no other reason than reflex saving throws.  I really recommend against
    raising this above 14, however, as then it starts to become too costly to be
    worth it.
    Constitution: (14) Obviously an important skill for all classes con raises your
    hp total which increases your chances of surviving when something does get
    through your damage shields.  As with dex I advise leaving it at 14 because
    after that it's not worth the points.
    Intelligence: (10) Perhaps an argument could be made to raise this to acquire
    additional skill points, but I really see no other skills worth investing in
    that I can't get with three points a level.
    Wisdom: (8) With my first sorc I neglected wis, and although I honestly didn't
    feel very many harsh effects from this, I didn't feel that my high dex was that
    beneficial.  I would probably recommend sticking with a 14 dex and an 8 wis,
    but it's definitely up to individual preference.  In the end it doesn't make
    that much of a difference either way.  The only reason I lean more towards dex
    is because you are attacked physically much more than you are hit with spells,
    and protection from spells is much more easily granted via spells of your own.
    Charisma: (18) Obviously the most important stat for sorcs there is absolutely
    no reason whatsoever to have this at anything but 18 to start.
    Lastly, every time you have an additional stat point to distribute you should
    throw it into charisma without any hesitation.
    3.) Skills ( Gamma )
    Concentration: In pitched battles a Concentration check can often be the
    difference between victory and defeat or life and death.  A successful
    Concentration check to get off that Premonition or Stoneskin will save your ass
    when you find yourself surrounded by Slaads just as getting off a Time Stop can
    save your entire party from certain doom when you suddenly come across an
    Ancient Red Dragon.  Without a doubt you should pump this skill every single
    level and max this skill out.
    Spellcraft: This skill might seem less useful if you don't plan on using your
    sorc to counterspell often, but it offers a bonus to all saving throws against
    spells for every five ranks in it and is worth it for that alone.  This and the
    complete lack of other worthwhile skills makes this skill an excellent choice. 
    I recommend putting two points into this skill every other level, which will
    effectively max it out.
    Persuade: Your charisma is so ridiculously high anyway, why not put it to good
    use?  I personally am a big fan of Persuade, but others might tell you it's
    useless.  In the end it depends on how you want to play your character.  If you
    particularly enjoy the roleplaying aspect of NWN then this spell is probably a
    good choice for you.  If on the other hand you care nothing for roleplaying and
    just want your character to be able to dominate anything a DM can throw at him,
    Search might be a better choice for you.  I recommend putting one point into
    this skill every other level.
    4.) Feats ( Delta )
    Must Have Feats
    Maximize Spell: Far and away the most useful meta-magic feat it's a must have
    for any sorc as it transforms your mid-level damage spells into awesome spells
    of mass destruction.  It's rather nice to know that your Flame Arrow will hit
    for 60 dmg even against a succesful reflex save.  In the endgame your strategy
    will essentially revolve around Time Stopping and then unleashing as many
    maximized spells as you can before the Time Stop ends.
    Empower Spell: Nearly worth it for empowered Spell Mantle alone it also works
    nicely for Delayed Blast Fireballs.
    Extend Spell: Although I could certainly see an argument that this isn't that
    big of a deal for a sorc I personally think it's worth it just for summoning
    your Celestial Avenger.  Obviously if you take Gate or another ninth level
    summoning spell instead then it becomes a moot point, so you'll have to decide
    for yourself.  Extended buffs tend to be handy as well, particularly ones that
    you really don't want to run out in the middle of combat.
    Quicken Spell: The biggest problem with Quicken Spell is that only up to fifth
    level spells can be quickened.  That being said it's rather nice to be able to
    cast an extra Flame Arrow every round, or to throw up Improved Invisibility
    instantly when you find yourself in trouble.
    Spell Penetration: One would think that a +2 bonus isn't that big of a deal,
    but in my experience this feat is invaluable and it would be foolhardy to not
    take it.  If you decide you don't want it, and then find your spells are often
    resisted, you have no one but yourself to blame.
    Other Useful Feats (Choose Two)
    Combat Casting: Considering the amount invested in Concentration by 20th level
    it will be very rare to miss a Concentration check, so perhaps you can afford
    to skimp on this feat, but I personally tend to view is as a "better safe than
    sorry" feat.  Perhaps it won't make a difference, but if you ever find yourself
    dead because you failed a Concentration check while casting Time Stop or
    Premonition you can just remember that you decided not to take this feat.
    Spell Focus: Because I'm a Wail of the Banshee fan I went ahead and took Spell
    Focus in Necromancy, it helped along the way with Circle of Death and Finger of
    Death as well.  If you prefer Weird then you'll likely want to take Spell Focus
    in Illusion.  If neither Weird nor Wail of the Banshee strikes your fancy then
    perhaps you'll want a Spell Focus in Evocation.  Overall it's a personal
    choice, and for some it may make sense not to take a Spell Focus at all.
    Silent Spell: The only real reason I even consider Silent Spell is because it
    allows you to cast spells at variable levels.  For instance, if you are out of
    level eight spells for the day but want to cast Horrid Wilting you could cast
    it at ninth level.  I don't really see this as that large of a plus, however,
    mainly because most of the spells that you might want to do this with can also
    be extended, which also is a level increment of one.
    5.) Familiars ( Epsilon )
    Each familiar has their own advantages and disadvantages, and in the end it
    really comes down to personal preference.  The pixie is probably the most
    practical in her ability to detect and disarm traps and open locks, but
    personally that noise she makes gets on my nerves so I refuse to use her. 
    Rather I've found the raven can spot traps just as well but doesn't annoy the
    hell out of you with a tinkling sound.  Sure he can't disarm them, but that's
    what Summon Creature I is for.  Lastly, if you're looking for any sort of
    damage output out of your familiar than you really should go with the panther,
    none of the others can really dish it out at any decent rate.  The panther
    tends to not live that long, however, unless you buff him to hell.  I
    personally favor the raven, but if you can stand the annoying noise I'd go with
    the pixie.
    6.) Equipment ( Zeta )
    This section is going to be very minimal because there really isn't that much
    to say.  There is no "best" equipment in NWN because every DM can create their
    own items, which means you have to decide on a case by case basis what the best
    items to wear are.  In addition you'll often find yourself changing equipment
    situationally, with the main exception being charisma boosting gear.  In
    general your first priority is boosting your charisma and anything that
    accomplishes this should be worn.  The higher your charisma the more spells you
    get per day and the harder it is for enemies to resist your spells.  Going
    along with this any items you can find that grant you additional spell slots
    per day are excellent and should be prioritized accordingly.  I've found AC
    boosting items to be less useful than almost everything else, and generally
    choose bonuses to saving throws and similiar items over AC boosting ones. 
    Lastly I think it's important at higher levels to always keep an item on you
    that grants immunity to death magic, or else you may find yourself dropping
    dead on a bad saving throw roll.
    7.) Spells ( Eta )
    Zeroeth Level Spells ( Theta )
    Summary: Clearly you will take all of these since there are only four.  The
    only two I ever found useful were Light and Resistance.
    Recommended Spell Choices: All.
    Daze: Relatively useless, perhaps if you are having troubles at lower levels
    then you might find this of use, but I certainly never found any reason to use
    this spell.  At the point in this game that the spell would function
    effectively the monsters all die in one to two hits anyway, so it's rather a
    moot point.
    Light: If you can't figure this spell out on your own then you really should
    restart the game with a half-orc barbarian and be done with it, that or go back
    to Diablo II, I'll leave the choice up to you.
    Ray of Frost: Essentially breaking the number one rule regarding cantrips
    originally setup in first edition rules this spell does minor damage and is
    enough to kill most creatures you'll find early.  However, casting this spell
    from memory is completely moronic as the game grants you an unlimited use rod
    during the prelude, which you should use for all castings of this spell, not
    that it's really essential you be able to cast any of the other level zero
    Resistance: The only level zero spell you'll find of use throughout your
    adventuring career, it never hurts to cast this before you head into battle.
    First Level Spells ( Iota )
    Summary: At the start you'll be looking for damage from these spells but by
    even the middle and especially the end of the game there are only one or two
    uses for these spells.
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Mage Armor, Burning Hands, Identify, Magic
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Identify, Mage Armor, Magic Missle, Protection
    from Alignment, Summon Creature I
    Mage Armor: At low levels this spell will provide a definite AC boost that will
    help you stay alive while at higher levels it is a solid choice merely because
    it can provide a minimal bonus and functions as the fifth choice by default.
    Burning Hands: At the end of the prelude you are essentially third level
    guaranteed, add in the fact that Burning Hands can affect multiple enemies
    while Magic Missle only hits one and you have an open and shut case for Burning
    Hands.  That being said, Magic Missle has different uses and after level 5 is
    definitely a superior spell.  At higher levels burning hands becomes
    essentially useless and I would recommend dropping it when you find it's no
    longer practical to use.
    Identify: In BG2 the popular opinion was that Sorceror's ought not waste a
    spell slot on Identify, but in this game things are completely different. 
    Without a party you either take this spell or be forced to spend the gold to
    identify every item you find.  Not that the gold is a huge deal later on, but
    it's much better to just be able to identify items on the spot, that way you
    don't always have to take them with you if you don't want to.
    Magic Missle: At level five this spell will really begin to shine for you and
    will replace burning hands as your major attack spell, but eventually you will
    find that it simply doesn't do enough damage to have any noticeable effect on
    enemies.  However, I do recommend keeping it around as it works excellently for
    opening trapped chests and locked chests and doors.
    Protection From Alignment: There is simply no reason not to take this spell;
    it's the only level one buff that will remain useful throughout the game as the
    increased saving throws will save you time and time again.
    Summon Creature I: You're probably wondering why I would possibly list this
    spell as a useful end-game spell.  Well, admittedly, as vicious as the dire
    badger is, his ferocity in combat is not the primary reason for summoning him. 
    Rather, he works excellently for taking hits from floor traps.  If you see a
    floor trap but don't feel like going to pick up the thief to disarm it, simply
    cast this poor fella overtop of it and say a prayer for him.  Just hope the
    SPCA people don't pick up on this.
    Second Level Spells ( Kappa )
    Summary: This level offers your stat buffing spells and that's essentially what
    it will eventually become used for.  At the start, however, you'll wish to
    utilize the damage and protection spells offered here.
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Ghostly Visage, Melf's, Resist Elements
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Eagle's Splendor, Endurance, Owl's Wisdom,
    Bull's Strength, See Invisibility
    Ghostly Visage: Early on this spell will save your life whenever you find
    yourself swarmed in melee with enemies closer than you may like.  At the point
    when you're using it likely nothing will have nice enough weapons to damage you
    and very rarely will they do more than ten damage.  This spell will toughen you
    up and allow you to survive if you find yourself suddenly surrounded, but it
    certainly doesn't make you a tank and loses it's usefulness rather quickly as
    the enemies get stronger.  The immunity to spells would certainly help, but at
    this point in the game you aren't fighting many mages so it's a moot point, and
    by the time that you do start fighting magic users they are casting lvl 2+
    spells which aren't absorbed by Ghostly Visage.
    Melf's Acid Arrow: The big stick in your arsenal when first obtained it quickly
    becomes obsolete as it scales up rather poorly, taking way too long to do any
    sizable damage.  It's one marginal use is disrupting enemy spell casters, but
    concentration all too often makes that a moot point and you're going to want
    them dead as quickly as possible, making the long duration moot.  It does do a
    nice job of opening chests and doors later on, but Magic Missle works just as
    well and there aren't as many attractive level one spells as there are level 2.
    Resist Elements: Granted, there won't be that many enemy spell casters early
    on, but there will be alot of elemental traps, and this spell will guarantee
    you live through them.  About the only traps my sorceror ever got damaged by
    were negative energy, and eventually even those can't do you any harm. 
    Obviously, however, this spell becomes outdated when energy buffer becomes
    available to you.
    Eagle's Splendor: Self explanatory, charisma booster, casting it empowered or
    maximized isn't a bad idea later on.
    Endurance: Same as above, it's usefulness varies and in general it isn't as
    useful as you might otherwise think, mainly because everything that's tough
    enough to get through your damage shield will kill you in one hit anyway.  It
    does help for fortitude saving throws, however.
    Owl's Wisdom: Cast it maximized every day, it helps a ton for will saving
    throws and can really save you.
    Bull's Strength: As the game progresses you'll find yourself carrying more and
    more items, and it gets rather annoying to not be able to carry any amount of
    weight at all.  This spell fixes that problem, a definite must have for any
    Cat's Grace: Improved reflex saves and improved AC, what more could you want?
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Fox's Cunning: I truly can find no great advantage to artificially increasing
    your intelligence with this spell, but perhaps others out there will have more
    luck with it than I.
    Invisibility: Such a temporary fix, if you need to turn yourself invisible then
    you are likely losing the battle anyway.  Sure there is a place for stealth,
    but that place is that of the thief, not the sorc's.  Thieves are stealthy, you
    are a walking artillery platform.
    Knock: Currently this spell is completely useless because every single chest
    and door in NWN that isn't protected against everything can be destroyed, hence
    anything you can pick with a thief you can kill with a Magic Missle.  Why take
    knock when Magic Missle does the same thing and there are other useful level 2
    See Invisibility: I considered it for a long time, but in the end there simply
    aren't that many good sixth level spells so you might as well take True Seeing.
    Third Level Spells ( Lambda )
    Summary: Fireball, Flame Arrow, and Haste stand out here, with very little else
    looking attractive at all.
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Fireball, Haste, Flame Arrow, Dispel Magic
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Flame Arrow, Haste, Fireball, Vampiric Touch
    Fireball: When you first acquire this spell it will become your main weapon and
    will remain rather effective until about thirteenth level.  At that point it
    remains a decent spell, but just doesn't pack the punch neccessary to be a
    major factor.  That being said maximized fireballs still offer reason enough to
    keep this spell around and it works great for opening multiple chests at once
    that are in close proximity.
    Haste: Simply a great spell, there is no reason not to select it.  IF for some
    odd reason you aren't wearing boots of speed then you can buff yourself with
    this but much more often I use it to buff my minions.  If a Celestial Avenger
    is fine then a hasted Celestial Avenger is divine.
    Fire Arrow: Probably the most under-rated spell in your arsenal and the only
    low level damage spell that will remain useful all the way up to 20.  A
    maximized Fire Arrow will always do sizable damage because it scales up in
    arrows all the way up to level 20, at which point it does 120 if they fail the
    reflex save and 60 even if they succeed.  That being said, at early levels
    Fireball is a better choice because it affects more creatures and scales up
    every level, rather than every four.
    Dispel Magic: Early on this spell is the only means to strip enemy mages of
    their protections but obviously later level spells accomplish the same thing
    with superior results.
    Vampiric Touch: Extra HP, no saving throw, what isn't to like.  Sure you have
    to succeed with a touch attack but your strength should be buffed and it
    shouldn't be that difficult.  Vampiric Touch + Timestop = HP Galore.  Note that
    you really don't ever want to cast this spell other than maximized, as it's a
    waste to succeed at a touch attack and not get max hp from it.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Lightning Bolt: Usually won't hit as many targets as Fireball and does the same
    damage, I can see no logical reason to select it unless you just happen to like
    lightning and think this spell looks cool, which it admittedly does.
    Magic Circle Against Alignment:  Personally, I see no advantage over the level
    one spell.  In a multiplayer setting you can just cast the level one spell as
    many times as neccessary, unless you have a rather large party it won't become
    an issue, and for large parties you should have at least one other spell caster
    to help you with buffs.  This really should be the job of the cleric anyway,
    buffing is hardly the domain of a sorc.  Let the wizard or cleric handle group
    buffs, your first job always remains to unleash hell on anything that moves. 
    As for the mind-affecting spell immunity, I'm unwilling to bank on it merely
    because neutral creatures could still nail you so you'll have to invest in
    Lesser Mind Blank anyway.
    Protection From Elements: The extra ten points is negligible early on and later
    on Energy Buffer surpasses it in every way.
    Slow: I truly wish you luck in getting this to hit consistently on any
    creatures that you would actually need it against.  Hasting your entire party
    is a much better solution as they won't try and save against it.  As a level
    three spell the chances of this one sticking on later creatures is very, very,
    very low.
    Invisibility Sphere: I think I covered my disdain for the whole "sneaking
    around" thing when addressing Invisibility.  You aren't a thief, don't try to
    be one, it's a waste of time and spell slots.
    Detect Traps: That's what thieves are for, besides, you have to go around
    constantly casting this to put it to any use, and chests you can just as easily
    destroy as checking to see if they are trapped.
    Fourth Level Spells ( Mu )
    Summary: Initially these spells will be rather nice but as you level very few
    will prove to have any long term use.
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Stoneskin, Ice Storm, Lesser Spell Breach
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Ice Storm, Improved Invisibility, Elemental
    Shield, Enervation
    Stoneskin: Finally, your first complete physical damage reduction spell.  Early
    on this spell is a saviour and casting it on you and your merc at the start of
    each day is a given.  Clearly this spell gets replaced by Greater Stoneskin and
    Premonition, but it's very nice till then, and is worth keeping around even at
    mid-levels just to buff your merc.
    Ice Storm: Although the damage on this spell is rather low comparatively, the
    lack of any saving throw makes it worth it and maximized Ice Storms work
    wonders when you've run out of maximized Cones of Cold.
    Lesser Spell Breach: This spell represents your first anti-protection spell and
    generally is more effective than Dispel Magic.  As with Dispel Magic it
    obviously becomes obsolete as you level and get more advanced spells.
    Improved Invisibility: Although I generally regard invisibility spells as
    rather useless for a spell caster this one grants a continual bonus even after
    you act, therefore it's worth taking and is actually a rather useful spell
    later on.
    Elemental Shield: The manual lists this spell as fifth level, but it is indeed
    a fourth level spell.  This reminds me somewhat of Ice Bolt which Blizz
    originally had listed incorrectly in all documentation as for some reason it
    was the only spell tagged at 8th level.  Regardless, this is a quality spell
    that can really save you and is worth it for the 50% resistance to fire/cold. 
    The damage done to melee attackers is just a nice bonus, but not very useful
    later on.
    Enervation: Maximized Enervation is fun for the whole family, besides, there
    aren't any other useful level four spells.  Sure I guess you could keep
    Stoneskin around, but buffing your summon with it won't really do that much to
    help them and you can always resummon a new one anyway.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Bestow Curse: Enervation is better in every way...
    Evard's Black Tentacles: Sure it looks cool, but boy does it kill your fps. 
    Add in the fact that the damage is negligible and it doesn't scale up as you
    scale up in levels and it's relatively useless.
    Wall of Fire: Again, if it scaled up as you leveled maybe I'd consider it.
    Remove Curse: You aren't a cleric, so don't try and do his job, save your
    spells for what you're good at, and if you need healing go see a cleric (or
    drink a potion).
    Phantasmal Killer: Early on this spell might actually hit, but at that point
    most enemies will drop in one or two spells anyway, so why bother only
    targeting one at a time when your fourth level castings can be much more
    effective casting Ice Storm and Stoneskin.  Later on it will be very rare for
    anything to fail both a will and fort saving throw.
    Fear: Sure you could make them run away, but then you just have to chase them
    Fifth Level Spells ( Nu )
    Summary: The first level of spells that really starts to have long term
    application this level offers two of your major spells that you will use
    throughout your career as a sorc.
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Cone of Cold, Lesser Spell Mantle, Energy
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Cone of Cold, Energy Buffer, Dismissal, Lesser
    Mind Blank
    Cone of Cold: Right from the start this becomes your major damage spell, and
    later on maximized Cones of Cold during Timestops will be your main method of
    Lesser Spell Mantle: The application and use of this spell is rather obvious,
    it will save you from enemy mages early on.  As with other spells, however, it
    will become outdated when you gain higher level spells.
    Energy Buffer: Your highest elemental damage absorbsion spell you'll keep on
    using this for the rest of your adventuring career.
    Dismissal: This spell is rather self-explanatory.  The only time I really find
    it of any use is when an enemy mage decides he wants to summon a Balor, pretty
    much anything else can be killed just as easily as dismissed.  Nine times out
    of ten, however, it's just as easy to kill the enemy mage.
    Lesser Mind Blank: Again, it's of rather limited use but it's a good idea to
    throw it on yourself before any major battle just so you don't find your sorc
    deciding they'd rather fight for the other team.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Cloudkill: Useless, any creatures that are actually difficult to kill won't be
    affected by this spell.
    Dominate Person: Why bother charming them when you can just kill them.
    Feeblemind: What a horrible spell, there's really nothing else I can say about
    this one.  If you actually get a caster to fail a saving throw I'd much rather
    have it be to a spell that actually does something productive.
    Hold Monster: Again, why not just kill them.
    Mind Fog: It seems like it'd be an okay spell, but then you realize that they
    have to fail the initial saving throw in order to be affected, so why not just
    cast another spell initially.
    Sixth Level Spells ( Xi )
    Summary: This level offers more quality spells that continue to serve you
    throughout the game and is one of the first where spell selection becomes truly
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Greater Stoneskin, Circle of Death, Greater
    Spell Breach
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Chain Lightning, Globe of Invulnerability,
    True Seeing
    Greater Stoneskin: Finally you get your upgrade to Stoneskin, but for a bit
    it's best to keep Stoneskin and Greater Stoneskin memorized, as casting
    Stoneskin on your merc before you head into battle works wonders.
    Circle of Death: Until enemies begin to consistently save against this spell,
    and/or are immune to it, it will represent a quick way to wipe out the majority
    of a large enemy force.  Quickly after it's obtained however, its use runs out.
    Greater Spell Breach: An upgraded version of Lesser Spell Breach, you can
    either pick this up and free up another fourth level spell slot or go with
    something else, I personally recommend picking it up as it as a rather marked
    improvement over Lesser Spell Breach.
    Chain Lightning: Although I'm not a huge Chain Lightning fan on the rare
    occasion that some crazy dm out there decides to create something resistant to
    fire and ice, this will come through for you, and maximized chain lightning can
    do some damage to a group that's rather spread out and impossible to all hit
    with a Cone of Cold.
    Globe of Invulnerability: Is it neccessarily needed, no, but it's nice to have
    and there's no reason to take any other sixth level spells over it.
    True Seeing: Kind of sucks to burn a slot on it, but it's neccessary for
    battling thieves and others who like to hide themselves.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Ethereal Visage: Other damage shields are much more effective and it's
    certainly not worth it just for immunity to first and second level spells.
    Mass Haste: Cast Haste multiple times, problem solved.
    Seventh Level Spells ( Omicron )
    Summary: A good selection of spells, still, however, you'll find the initial
    spells you take won't be the ones you'll want in the long term.
    Recommended Early Spell Choices: Finger of Death, Mordenkainen's Sword, Delayed
    Blast Fireball
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Delayed Blast Fireball, Spell Mantle, Shadow
    Finger of Death: What fun this spell is when you first get it.  It's very rare
    for enemies to actually save against it initially, but later on this becomes
    much more common.  It won't stay in your arsenal for long, but it was one of my
    favorites while it was there.
    Mordenkainen's Sword: The first summon I actually recommend for combat, the
    summoned helmed horror can hold his own against pretty much anything,
    especially if he's buffed with Haste and Stoneskin.
    Delayed Blast Fireball: Initially this spell isn't any better than others in
    your arsenal but as you continue to level it becomes more and more useful. 
    This spell is also excellent for setting up four or five of them in an area
    then luring a creature into it.  I can remember one dragon going down
    completely to just such a trap.
    Spell Mantle: An empowered Spell Mantle is superior to a Greater Spell Mantle
    so pickup up Spell Mantle here allows you to free up a ninth level spell slot
    for something else.
    Shadow Shield: It's a tough call on whether this spell or Protection From
    Spells is superior for your last slot, but in the end I decided on this spell
    because it helps protect against negative energy traps as well as allowing you
    to not have to always wear an item that grants you immunity to death magic,
    although it's still not a bad idea.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Protection from Spells: An excellent spell, without a doubt, but considering
    you ought to have a spell mantle up at all times it isn't incredibly useful in
    most situations.  If not for the ability to be immune to death magic this spell
    would be alot more valuable.
    Prismatic Spray: It's definitely a neat idea for a spell, unfortunately it's
    just not very practical and not very useful.  The damage isn't consistent
    enough to waste a seventh level spell slot and the random effects are almost
    always resisted.
    Eighth Level Spells ( Pi )
    Summary: For the second highest level they sure don't have many quality spells.
     I find myself wishing I could take an additional level seven spell and scrap
    one of my eighth level ones.  That being said, the three to take are pretty
    clear cut.
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Premonition, Horrid Wilting, Greater Planar
    Premonition: Finally you get your best damage shield and it definitely was
    worth the wait.  Although it still falls rather quickly when you find yourself
    surrounded by Fire Giants, it is pretty much the only thing between your sorc
    and a quick one hit death.
    Horrid Wilting: This looks to be in theory an excellent spell, and indeed it is
    very nice, but it isn't as useful as one may think, mainly because it doesn't
    apply it's damage very quickly and can't be stacked during a Time Stop.  That
    being said, it still does nice damage and is definitely worth a slot.
    Greater Planar Binding: Your replacement for Mordenkainen's Sword this spell
    summons a Celestial Avenger for a good character, and he is a very able
    warrior.  When hasted he seems to dish out a rather healthy quantity of pain. 
    You could also theoretically use this spell to paralyze an outsider, but as of
    yet I've always just preferred killing them straight out.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Create Undead: Maybe you just like the idea of an undead servant following you
    around, if so, this spell is for you.  To me, it really doesn't matter and I
    prefer the Celestial Avenger.
    Incendiary Cloud: Damage over time is all fine and dandy, but considering most
    enemies won't live through a Time Stop it becomes a moot point.
    Ninth Level Spells ( Rho )
    Summary: The pinnacle of your arcane achievements, ninth level spells indeed
    deliver as promised.
    Recommended Final Spell Choices: Time Stop, Wail of the Banshee, Mordenkainen's
    Time Stop: The ultimate spell in any mage's arsenal this spell is a must have,
    period.  Once you get this one the only challenge left in the game will be
    efficient use of your spells per day.
    Wail of the Banshee: A great way to soften up a room this spell will usually
    kill a minimum of fifty percent on the spot.  Against weaker enemies it's
    almost guaranteed to wipe out the entire group.  Some would argue that Weird
    would be more effective due to it being a will save, but I'd prefer to wipe out
    spell casters so I chose this over Weird.
    Mordenkainen's Disjunction: It slices, it dices, it even does your laundry! 
    This spell is pretty much the panacea to all your troubles with enemy defenses.
     It breaches spell defenses, strips buffs, and even lowers spell resistance,
    I'm not sure what more you could want in a spell.
    Notable Spells I Didn't Take:
    Energy Drain: Certainly an excellent spell, but a maximized Enervate would seem
    to be a better bet.
    Gate: There's no doubt a Balor can tear some shit up, but in the end I decided
    it wasn't worth a level nine spell slot for a small improvement over my
    Celestial Avenger.
    Greater Spell Mantle: An empowered Spell Mantle is superior in every way,
    Meteor Swarm: Certainly an excellent spell, but you can't maximize it and other
    spells will almost always do more damage.
    Shapechange: Very neat spell, but at level 20 I slaughter Dragons and Balors,
    and I won't even talk about what kind of abuse I hand out to Slaads, so why
    would I ever want to change into one of them.
    Weird: As I covered under my discussion of Wail of the Banshee I prefer the
    fort save so that casters will fail it more often, but some might prefer Weird,
    to each his own.  I do think that the damage Weird does is negligible, so don't
    make your decision based on that.

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