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    Skills Guide by Mister Sinister

    Updated: 05/21/08 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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                       -   I.M.M.O.R.T.A.L   T.H.R.O.N.E   -
                                                   Copyright Mister Sinister, 2007
                                                            Dedicated to Padopolis
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    As you already know, there are NINE different Schools of Training that you can
    follow in Titan Quest - EIGHT in regular Titan Quest, and NINE in the Immortal
    Throne Expansion Pack, yep ?
    Well because I'm feeling generous, I think it's about time to go through, in 
    some more depth, the nine schools of training, each of their powers, what they
    do and whether (in my opinion) they are worth their weight in gold, or plop.
    Before we do so, however, I need to point out that even though I have played
    the game many, many times, I have (for obvious reasons) not been able to play
    every single combination of character class available and so, whilst I have 
    used all the skills in the game, I have not fully developed all of them, and
    so whilst my thoughts are both genuine and sincere, you may not always agree
    with them.
    Therefore IF any of you read this and think "he's got that wrong, because xyz"
    or what have you, then please do feel free to drop me a line.  If you're 
    respectful and make sense, I'll happily include your thoughts in this section
    and give you full credit (up to the point where it becomes more like a thread
    than an FAQ !!).
    So without further ado, let's get cracking !!
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       Game Description : Excels at dealing massive lightning and cold damage to
                          single opponents or small groups.  The Stormcaller has
                          limited personal defences but can slow, freeze, and 
                          stun enemies with frost and thunder attacks.
       Sinister says    : In my opinion Storm is one of the best schools in the
                          game.  As with all schools it has offensive and defensive
                          skills, but it has two of what are, I believe, THE best
                          skills available - chain lightning and summon wisp.  
                          There are some skills that you are generally quite 
                          unlikely to use, however.
          Skill Name    : ICE SHARD
          Description   : Projects a deadly shard of ice at the target inflicting
                          cold damage and temporarily slowing them.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Whilst ok as a low-level projectile, it quickly loses
                          out to skills like Lightning Bolt.  You can augment it
                          at higher levels to increase the speed and number of 
                          shards, but it's still not your handiest skill.
          Other Ideas   : [Viro Melchior says]
                          "I've played all the way through Normal and Epic, and up 
                          through the end of Egypt with a friend (Hunter/Rogue) in 
                          Legendary.  I rely almost completely on Ice Shards for 
          Skill Name    : STORM NIMBUS
          Description   : When active, the player is imbued with the power of the
                          storm, causing their attacks to strike with cold and 
                          lightning damage
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : VERY handy to have if you choose the Storm School, this
                          adds damage to EVERY attack you to.  Unfortunately it 
                          places what's called a reserve on your energy, meaning
                          a block of it becomes unusable whilst the skill is in
                          effect, but in my opinion this is a VERY handy low-level
                          Storm Skill.
          Skill Name    : SPELL BREAKER
          Description   : A pulse of negatively charged energy dispels hostile 
                          enchantments on allies or, when cast on enemies, breaks
                          their beneficial enchantments and negates a portion of 
                          their energy.  This attack inflicts bonus damage when
                          used against Magical creatures.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : In my opinion this skill is not one you will use very
                          often.  It's just easier to make spellcasters your 
                          primary targets when you encounter them than faff about
                          dispelling their spells (although it CAN be quite fun if
                          you have the patience) ;)
          Skill Name    : THUNDERBALL
          Description   : Hurls a ball of electrical energy that damages and stuns
                          enemies in a small blast radius.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Whilst it looks and sounds cooler than the Ice Shard, it
                          isn't THAT much better in my opinion.  At higher levels
                          you have the option of adding mini Thunderballs to it, to
                          big-up the radius and stun-effect, but as with the Ice
                          Shard it's quite a slow-moving projectile, and sometimes
                          you will find your enemies just move away, which is quite
          Skill Name    : HEART OF FROST
          Must Have     : STORM NIMBUS
          Description   : When Storm Nimbus is active, the air around the player
                          becomes icy cold and slows any attackers within its 
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : I think if you are going to sink points into Storm Nimbus
                          then there is absolutely NO reason not to big-up that 
                          skill, by adding cold damage and slowness for your foes
                          with this skill (and lightning damage at higher levels
                          with another skill).  Bear in mind this affects you
                          ALL the time, and whilst it does mean you have to give
                          up a bit more energy in reserve, I think it's worth it.
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : SPELL SHOCK
          Must Have     : SPELL BREAKER
          Description   : Inflicts energy burn damage and disrupts enemy spell-
                          casters' ability to use skills as their beneficial 
                          enchantments are abruptly shattered by Spell Breaker.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : Whilst a nice add-on to the Spell Breaker skill, I don't
                          think it's genuinely worth sinking any more than 1 point
                          into this ability.
          Skill Name    : VELOCITY
          Must Have     : ICE SHARD
          Description   : Increasing the speed and damage of Ice Shard.  Gives each
                          shard a chance to punch through its target and keep going.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : If you're REALLY serious about keeping the Ice Shard power
                          and maxing out its effects, then you will definitely want
                          to invest in this skill.  I personally think it might be
                          worth sinking 1 point into, just to keep Ice Shard in 
                          reserve (although I myself chopped the whole skill in
                          favour of higher-powered ones when I played).
          Skill Name    : SQUALL
          Description   : Creates a wind storm in the target area that decreases
                          the projectile attack accuracy of enemies caught within
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : Whilst it CAN be useful in rare situations - like when
                          you are absolutely swamped with a sea of archers or 
                          spellcasters, it is rare that you will find a use for
                          the Squall power.
          Skill Name    : FREEZING BLAST
          Description   : Encases enemies in ice, immobilising them but also making
                          them more difficult to damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Useful AND surprisingly satisfying.  Like when Jean Grey
                          freezes Toad in midair in X-Men 1.  Unfortunately you can
                          virtually FORGET smashing more powerful enemies to bits
                          though, as the ice protects them to some degree from
                          taking damage, making this a more flash-than-substance
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : LIGHTNING BOLT
          Description   : Calls down a powerful bolt of lightning from the heavens
                          to decimate your target.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : YES !!  Now THIS is what I'm talkin' bout !!  With a 
                          judicious use of the shift key, you can call down bolts
                          of lightning to strike target WAY outside your normal 
                          range, and there is very little time between casting the
                          skill and the impact from the blast, which means it is
                          easier to target enemies that are on the move.  Love it !
          Skill Name    : CONCUSSIVE BLAST
          Must Have     : THUNDERBALL
          Description   : Enhances the power of Thunderball causing sparks to leap
                          from the initial explosion.  Each spark that hits an enemy
                          inflicts lightning damage and stuns.
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : Useful ONLY if you are looking to use Thunderball on a 
                          repeat basis, which is kinda doubtful.  It does have a 
                          satisfying effect insofar as it DOES stun enemies that
                          are close to the blast radius of the initial Thunderball,
                          but beyond that it is rather limited in its effect.
          Skill Name    : OBSCURED VISIBILITY
          Must Have     : SQUALL
          Description   : Reduced visibility inside the Squall makes it difficult
                          for enemies to effectively attack or defend themselves.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : Kinda the same effect as narrowing your eyes to slits
                          then yeah ?  Thought so.  Butt-useless unless you're 
                          heavily reliant on the Squall effect.
          Skill Name    : STATIC CHARGE
          Must Have     : STORM NIMBUS
          Description   : Electrical energy builds inside the player while Storm
                          Nimbus is active and passes through enemy weapons that 
                          come in contact, delivering a powerful shock.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Since this is more a reactionary power than the Storm
                          Nimbus I can't really give it a 5 - however it is a very
                          useful addition, and keeps those sonsofb!tches that want
                          to hurt you really painfully at bay somewhat :)
          Skill Name    : ENERGY SHIELD
          Description   : Creates a shield of energy that will nullify all incoming
                          damage from electrical attacks.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : I think this is a VERY useful power to have as it protects
                          you from both lightning AND cold damage, and you will come
                          across PLENTY of that in the game.  Unfortunately it does
                          nothing to protect you from physical hand-to-hand damage,
                          but it looks cool, AND you can cast it on other people 
                          too !!
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : TORRENT
          Must Have     : ICE SHARD
          Description   : Increases the number of shards cast, sending a deadly 
                          torrent at enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : If you are dead set on keeping Ice Shard then this is a
                          MUST-HAVE skill for you, as it increases the number of 
                          shards you can throw.  At maximum level it adds another
                          4 shards to your arsenal, bringing the total you can 
                          possible throw up to a whopping 5 !!
          Skill Name    : SUMMON WISP
          Description   : Summon an immortal Storm Wisp from the atmosphere to 
                          battle your enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : The Storm Wisp is one of the single greatest skills you
                          can master in the Storm School.  Although the little 
                          fella might not LOOK like much, if you check out his 
                          stats you will see that he has a LUDICROUSLY high chance
                          of dodging any attacks (hand-to-hand and projectile alike)
                          which makes him THE bane of bosses and sub-bosses let me
                          assure you.
          Skill Name    : STORM SURGE
          Description   : When activated, each enemy hit has a chance of unleashing
                          a violent squall of storm energy
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Handy to keep on as it gives you a chance of countering
                          any hand-to-hand strike you suffer with a storm blast.
                          This does combined cold and lightning damage to your foes
                          AND stuns them for a split-second as well !!  BONUS :)
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : CHAIN LIGHTNING
          Must Have     : LIGHTNING BOLT
          Description   : Causes electricity to leap from the target of your 
                          Lightning Bolt skill and strike additional nearby enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : The COOLEST Skill in the Storm School.  Chain Lightning
                          causes a regular lightning bolt spell to chain to nearby
                          adversaries, causing MUCH hilarity and LOADS of damage.
                          GET ... IT ... NOW !! =)
          Skill Name    : EYE OF THE STORM
          Must Have     : SUMMON WISP
          Description   : A wisp ability that increases the lightning and cold 
                          damage of all nearby allies for a duration and provides
                          protection from lightning and cold damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Since your wisp is never going to be that far from your
                          side in combat, this is a VERY handy skill to add to your
                          repertoire.  See how handy this little guy is !! :)
          Skill Name    : REFLECTION
          Must Have     : ENERGY SHIELD
          Description   : Gives Energy Shield the ability to reflect a portion of
                          enemy attack damage back at enemies who hit it.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : If you're going to go for the Energy Shield (which I did),
                          why not go for the Reflection Spell to fling some of that
                          damage back at your enemies ?  Works for me !! ;)
       Conclusions      : The Storm School is great for those of you that like to
                          pummel enemies from afar with either spells or arrows,
                          and the Summon Wisp and Chain Lightning skills are LEGEND
                          in my opinion.  This is a school well worth considering.
                          It lets itself down a little in hand-to-hand unfortunately
                          so anybody that is big into that type of fight should
                          consider their alternatives.  The biggest drawback for 
                          Storm for ME is that some of its best powers (it's going
                          to sound stupid to say) take a LONG time to get ahold of,
                          which CAN make it less gratifying than, say, the Earth 
                          School where damage-dealing is THE main focus of play.
       Sphere Rating /5 : 4
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       Game Description : Adept at raining down destruction over large hordes of
                          enemies.  With most skills designed to deal damage, the
                          Pyromancer relies on a colossal Earth Elemental to hold
                          the attention of enemies.
       Sinister says    : If you like fire and earth then this is the school for 
                          you, plain and simple.  Its skills are, as the game says,
                          aimed almost solely at battering and damaging your foes
                          using magic, and so there isn't a whole lot of diplomacy
                          or subterfuge ... or subtlety for that matter ... involved
                          in studying this school.
          Skill Name    : EARTH ENCHANTMENT
          Description   : Imbues your weapons and the weapons of nearby allies with
                          the power of rock and flame.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Adding luscious fire damage to your weapons AND those of
                          your allies early on in the game is a simple MUST-HAVE
                          skill for any serious pyromaniac.  Get it !! ;)
          Skill Name    : FLAME SURGE
          Description   : Three jets of flame erupt from the caster's hands each
                          inflicting incinerating fire damage to enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Whilst this is far from your most devastating power, and
                          you will in all likelihood wind up downsizing it later
                          in the game, it is a good skill to pick up early on, and
                          offers you the chance to get the drop on multiple enemies
                          that are bound for hand-to-hand combat with you.
          Skill Name    : BRIMSTONE
          Must Have     : EARTH ENCHANTMENT
          Description   : Boosts the physical damage of attacks and provides a 
                          chance of causing critical fire damage while under the
                          effects of Earth Enchantment
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : If you, like most people, are going to be using Earth 
                          Enchantment religiously during your campaign, then this
                          is another must-have power for you !!
          Skill Name    : HEAT SHIELD
          Description   : Casts a protective head shield on the target that absorbs
                          damage caused by fire.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Annulling fire damage is a handy skill indeed.  It will
                          help you with traps, flaming arrows, Flame Liches and all
                          sorts of other nastiness that you will encounter, PLUS you
                          can cast it on other people to help them out too ;)
          Skill Name    : RING OF FLAME
          Description   : Encircles you in a searing ring of flames burning all
                          enemies that come within its radius.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A great power to have, as it has a good chance of burning
                          anybody that enters hand-to-hand combat with you, in 
                          addition to which it looks kinda cool.
          Skill Name    : VOLCANIC ORB
          Description   : Lobs a burning orb of fiery brimstone that explodes when
                          it hits the ground inflicting fire and physical damage to
                          enemies in a small radius.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : The Volcanic Orb is a damned handy skill, marred only by
                          the fact that it must be lobbed, hence taking a little
                          while to get to its target area.  It can be augmented at
                          higher levels making it more appealing, and should not
                          be overlooked as part of your arsenal.  Use the shift key
                          whilst throwing it to increase your target-range on
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : STONE FORM
          Description   : An impervious layer of rock envelops you for a short 
                          duration boosting regeneration but prohibiting movement
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : This is one of those 50/50 powers in my opinion.  It does
                          give you a FREAKY regeneration rate whilst it is in use,
                          but you are completely unable to move, meaning your foes
                          are able to get into better positions to batter you from
                          when the Stone Form is dropped.  Used sparingly, it can
                          be a life-saver.
          Skill Name    : SUMMON CORE DWELLER
          Description   : Draws forth a powerful elemental guardian from the Earth's
                          fiery depths.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A simple must-have power for anybody in this school in my
                          opinion - the Core Dweller is a fearsome beast to behold
                          and whilst he is slow to move, he can batter your enemies
                          good and proper, plus he can be augmented at higher 
          Skill Name    : BARRAGE
          Must Have     : FLAME SURGE
          Description   : Reduces the recharge time of Flame Surge allowing it to
                          be cast more frequently and efficiently.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : If you're going to rely on Flame Surge than consider 
                          popping some points into this skill.  If, like me, you
                          downgrade your Flame Surge skill, then you should look
                          to bleed points from this skill first.
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : STONE SKIN
          Must Have     : EARTH ENCHANTMENT
          Description   : Tempers armour, increasing protection and fire resistance
                          while under the effects of Earth Enchantment.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : A very handy skill indeed - it will make you battle-ready
                          and able to withstand a greater pounding during combat
                          than you otherwise might be able to, REGARDLESS of what
                          type of armour you are wearing.
          Skill Name    : INNER FIRE
          Must Have     : SUMMON CORE DWELLER
          Description   : Increases the Core Dweller's speed and adds fire damage
                          to its attacks.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Reducing the worst point of the Core Dweller's power - its
                          basic lack of speed - is surely a good thing.  This is a
                          very handy skill to give the big dude, and at its best
                          level you will find he becomes really quite sprightly !!
          Skill Name    : SOFTEN METAL
          Must Have     : RING OF FLAME
          Description   : Intense heat from the Ring of Flame softens the metal of
                          enemy armour and weapons, decreasing their effectiveness.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Handy insofar as it weakens the attack strength of those
                          people that are looking to batter you in hand-to-hand,
                          however the Ring of Flame will often strike those foes
                          before they strike you, and so this skill is more useful
                          for those of you that like to wade in rather than think
                          fights through before entering them.
          Skill Name    : CONFLAGRATION
          Must Have     : VOLCANIC ORB
          Description   : Increases the explosion radius of Volcanic Orb and causes
                          enemies hit by it to catch fire and suffer burn damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : A good skill if you are heavily reliant on Volcanic Orb,
                          however if you are not, then it is one to be avoided.
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : MOLTEN ROCK
          Must Have     : STONE FORM
          Description   : Adds retaliation fire damage to Stone Form.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : To be honest, this skill REALLY isn't worth putting any
                          more than one point in.  At best it does 15 fire 
                          retaliation damage, and that just won't make much of a 
                          mark on your enemies by the time you come to do battle
                          with them at level 24.  Best avoided unless you just HAVE
                          to have it ;)
          Skill Name    : WILDFIRE
          Must Have     : SUMMON CORE DWELLER
          Description   : Allows the Core Dweller to ignite an area of ground 
                          causing severe burn damage to enemies within.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : A good move to give your Core Dweller, as it gives him
                          a ranged move to compliment your already brimming ... get
                          it ?  Brimming ??  Arsenal of weapons ... hehehe.
          Skill Name    : FLAME ARCH
          Must Have     : FLAME SURGE
          Description   : Increases the damage and number of flame jets created by
                          Flame Surge
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : If you keep Flame Surge on, then this is a MUST-HAVE add-
                          on for that skill.  Even if you don't put many points in
                          it, it augments (as it says) both damage AND quantity of
                          flame jets ;)
          Skill Name    : FRAGMENTATION
          Must Have     : VOLCANIC ORB
          Description   : Causes the Volcanic Orb to violently explode on impact
                          sending out fragments of rocks that each inflict physical
                          damage to the enemies they hit.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A SERIOUSLY impressive add-on for those people that want
                          to use Volcanic Orb.  I personally only ever sink a few
                          points into it, but it really does mount up :)
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : VOLATIVITY
          Description   : Enhanced by the volatile energy of the Earth, your fire
                          attacks have a chance of inflicting greatly increased 
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Worth sinking a couple of points into just for the chance
                          of doing a damage modifier, this is a cool skill that
                          boosts all your fire attacks' chances of doing more 
                          damage, and that CAN'T be a bad thing, non ?
          Skill Name    : METAMORPHOSIS
          Must Have     : SUMMON CORE DWELLER
          Description   : Under tremendous head and pressure, the composition of 
                          the Core Dweller hardens making it more resistant to 
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : To be honest I never put THAT much into this skill, just
                          because it's not that much more inconvenient to just
                          summon another Core Dweller when the first one dies than
                          it is to keep it in the fight longer.  Sometimes summoned
                          creatures can be a BIT of a pain (particularly if they
                          are in a provocative mood) ...
          Skill Name    : ERUPTION
          Description   : Volcanic fissures form in the ground, emitting deadly 
                          geysers of molten flame and fiery chunks of brimstone.
                          Each fragment inflicts physical and fire damage to the 
                          enemies it hits.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : DEFINITELY a skill to pick up.  You pick where you want
                          your miniature volcano to erupt (preferably right under
                          the feet of some unsuspecting foe), and WHAMMO !!  Toast.
                          You can increase your casting range by holding the shift
                          key when you use this power to make it even BETTER !!
       Conclusions      : With damage-dealing powers coming at you left, right and
                          centre, it's hard to see the drawbacks of the Earth school
                          unless, of course, earth and fire are NOT your favourite
                          elements (as was the case with me).  The Core Dweller is
                          handy, but sluggish, and this school offers you benefits
                          in both hand-to-hand and ranged spells, so it's a good
                          damage-heavy school to follow for heavy-hitters.
       Sphere Rating /5 : 4
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       Game Description : The Warrior excels at dealing out physical damage but 
                          pays little heed to defence.  With higher mastery levels
                          the Warrior can learn to deal damage to several 
                          adversaries at once.
       Sinister says    : You can say THAT again !!  In my opinion there is nobody
                          better at doing large amounts of hand-to-hand damage to
                          individuals or small groups of enemies than the Warrior
                          School ... with Dream and Rogue being hot on its heels.
                          Forget range - this is about close-quarters brutality,
                          pure and simple !!
          Skill Name    : WEAPON TRAINING
          Description   : Years of training with the sword, axe and club allow you
                          to attack faster and react quickly to enemy attacks.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : ANY skill that increases your attack speed is tops in my
                          book, but this one also increases your offensive ability
                          which increases your chances of doing critical strikes,
                          and general effectiveness in combat.  Coolness :)
          Skill Name    : BATTLE RAGE
          Description   : Each enemy hit has a chance of sending you into a battle
                          rage that adds bonus damage to attacks and increases
                          Offensive Ability for a short duration.
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : Were it not for the very low chance of activation (even
                          at its highest level you have a paltry 12% chance of using
                          this skill), I would give it a 4.
          Skill Name    : ONSLAUGHT
          Description   : When used as your default weapon attack, Onslaught charges
                          up as you hit enemies causing increased damage.  The first
                          hit always charges Onslaught to the first level of the 
                          skill and it continues to charge until it reaches your 
                          current skill level.  Onslaught dissipates rapidly when
                          not actively attacking.  Apply this skill to your left 
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : One of the handiest skills for the Warfare Master, and it
                          is available at level 1 !!  You can one level of charge
                          for each level of skill you have in this ability, and
                          it can HUGELY affect the amount of damage you deal in 
                          combat, so it is WELL worth purchasing.
          Skill Name    : DUAL WIELD
          Description   : Learn to effectively wield two weapons.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : It is a pity that only the Warfare School has this power
                          at its disposal, because it is SO very very very useful
                          it's unreal.  Wield two single-handed weapons instead of
                          just a weapon and shield combo.  This can MASSIVELY 
                          increase your damage-dealing potential.
          Skill Name    : DODGE ATTACK
          Description   : Even the sturdiest armour has its chinks.  The best way
                          to stay alive is to not get hit.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Never a truer word spoke !!  At maximum level, this power
                          will give you a 21% chance to dodge attacks, which is 
                          quite decent really, and worth investing in.
          Skill Name    : IGNORE PAIN
          Must Have     : ONSLAUGHT
          Description   : Total focus in the heat of battle allows you to ignore 
                          physical and piercing damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Decent resistance (15% at maximum level) to both piercing
                          and regular damage is not to be sneezed at, but it isn't
                          as glamorous as some of the other Warfare skills by ANY
          Skill Name    : WAR HORN
          Description   : The triumphant call of your war horn temporarily stuns
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Good, but the duration of the stun effect is unfortunately
                          random, and will range at maximum level from 1.5 - 6.5 
                          seconds, which can be PLENTY of time to inflict massive
                          amounts of pain and damage in combat, or surprisingly 
                          little, depending on how lucky you are really !!
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : HEW
          Must Have     : DUAL WIELD
          Description   : A Dual Wield technique that causes increased damage by
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Definitely worth purchasing to compliment your regular
                          Dual Wield skill.
          Skill Name    : CRUSHING BLOW
          Must Have     : BATTLE RAGE
          Description   : Provides a chance for attacks to cause bonus damage while
                          in Battle Rage
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : IF and ONLY if you are going to rely very heavily on the
                          Battle Rage power, then this is a VERY capable addition
          Skill Name    : BATTLE STANDARD
          Description   : Throw down a mighty standard to embolden the hearts of 
                          nearby allies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Battle Standard may LOOK plop at lower levels, but at 
                          its highest level it gives you a SHEDLOAD of bonuses, 
                          which can really help to turn the tide of battle for you
                          AND your allies.
          Skill Name    : WAR WIND
          Description   : Executes a devastating spinning attack that can damage
                          up to four enemies.  Initially each hit is not as powerful
                          as a normal attack but the effectiveness increases every
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : At its highest level, you can hit up to 7 targets at the
                          same time, making this a real crowdpleaser of a skill.
                          Attach it to the right mouse button and use it sparingly
                          to maximise the movie-style fight quality of your scraps.
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : CROSS CUT
          Must Have     : DUAL WIELD
          Description   : A Dual Wield technique that can hit up to 2 enemies with a
                          cross-cutting scissor motion.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Reasonably good, and definitely worth putting at least a 
                          couple of points into as part of your AWESOME Dual Wield
          Skill Name    : HAMSTRING
          Must Have     : ONSLAUGHT
          Description   : An attack aimed at the enemy's legs reduces their ability
                          to run and increases their vulnerability for a short 
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : It slows your victims, and reduces their defensive ability
                          AND armour, making it worthwhile - especially considering
                          you don't actually have to independently select it - it
                          will just be a part of your regular Onslaught skill !!
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : COUNTER ATTACK
          Must Have     : BATTLE RAGE
          Description   : Provides a chance to counter attack an enemy after being
                          hit in Battle Rage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : Maximum 15% chance to do a modest counter-attack ?  I 
                          think you can do MUCH better at this level, so I wouldn't
                          sink more than 1-2 points into this skill personally.
          Skill Name    : TRIUMPH
          Must Have     : BATTLE STANDARD
          Description   : Seeing the inevitability of your triumph, enemies lose
                          hope and the strength of their attack diminishes.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Definitely one to add to the already impressive Battle 
                          Standard, as at maximum level this baby will reduce the
                          amount of damage your enemies can inflict by 40% !!!!!
          Skill Name    : LACERATE
          Must Have     : WAR WIND
          Description   : Adds bleeding damage to War Wind and increases the 
                          number of enemies hit.  Requires at least one weapon be
                          a sword or axe.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Decent attack that can hit up to 3 enemies at maximum
                          level, but which requires you to have a sword or axe in
                          your hand (which is POSSIBLE but not 100% certain given
                          your style of play obviously), reducing the appeal of
                          this power.
          Skill Name    : DOOM HORN
          Must Have     : WAR HORN
          Description   : Your War Horn heralds the doom of your enemies, shattering
                          their nerves and reducing their ability to defend 
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Since it gives you (at maximum level) a 25% reduction in
                          your enemies' health, PLUS reduced armour, I think it is
                          worth at LEAST 2-3 points personally.  Assuming you have
                          the War Horn skill at any rate !!!!!
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : TUMULT
          Must Have     : DUAL WIELD
          Description   : A Dual Wield technique that hits up to 3 adjacent enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : A good, firm attack that perfectly rounds off what is 
                          without a DOUBT one of the Warfare Master's greatest 
                          skills - Dual Wield.  Definitely sink something into this,
                          even if it's just 1-2 points !!
          Skill Name    : ARDOR
          Must Have     : ONSLAUGHT
          Description   : You build momentum as you drive your attack forward, 
                          attacking and moving more rapidly.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : As I have said previously, ANY skill that benefits your
                          attack speed gets two thumbs up in my book, and this one
                          works in conjunction with your Onslaught skill, meaning
                          that the more you hit people, the more powerful you 
                          become AND the faster you move AND STRIKE !!!!! =)
          Skill Name    : ANCESTRAL HORN
          Description   : The ominous call on this ancient heirloom will summon
                          forth ghostly heroes of old from the Elysian Fields to do
                          battle once more.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Whilst it is undoubtedly a very impressive skill, being
                          as it is in fact the ONLY summon-skill which the Warfare
                          Master has at his disposal, it is time-limited, which 
                          SUCKS in my opinion.  At maximum level you will benefit
                          from the assistance of 5 warriors for a paltry 24 seconds
                          so this skill, whilst powerful, MUST be reserved for 
                          desperate situations.  It is DEFINITELY worth having, but
                          use it wisely.
       Conclusions      : If you have ever wanted to be in the movie 300 ... or 
                          Gladiator ... or ANY other similar movie, then this is 
                          MOST DEFINITELY the School for you.  It has virtually NO
                          ranged attacks, and can only work its wonders up-close and
                          personal, like a good warrior should ;)
       Sphere Rating /5 : 5 if you like up-close and personal, 3 if you don't.
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       Game Description : The Theurgist combines offence and defence with insidious
                          life stealing skills that leech enemies' vitality while
                          bolstering their own.  At higher levels the ability to 
                          summon a powerful Liche King dramatically increases 
                          damage-dealing ability.
       Sinister says    : NICE !!  This School boasts some of the most VICIOUS
                          skills in the game, with powers such as Cascading Life
                          Drain and Enslave Spirit.  It is definitely NOT one for
                          the goodies two-shoes out there, and it is HEAVILY 
                          reliant on range for its powers to take full effect,
                          so those that like to wade in might want to avoid it, 
                          unless it is coupled with Warfare of course.
          Skill Name    : DEATHCHILL AURA
          Description   : A deathly chill radiates from the character slowing the
                          attack and movement of enemies as it diminishes their life
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : A decent aura, and a very helpful one to have early on in
                          the game.  You might wind up reducing it in favour of 
                          other skills later on, but I would never want to be 
                          totally without its benefit.
          Skill Name    : LIFE DRAIN
          Description   : Leeches life from an enemy to replenish your own.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : YES !!  THIS is what it's all about.  Not only does this
                          power enable you to bleed life directly from your enemy
                          from afar, but it transfers a portion of it back to you,
                          healing you in the process !!  We LOVE it !!  At maximum
                          efficiency, it converts 260% of the attack damage back
                          to you as health ;)
          Skill Name    : TERNION ATTACK
          Description   : This powerful wizard's trick causes your staff to shoot
                          three projectiles by channeling magical energy into it.
                          Initially each hit is not as powerful as a normal attack
                          but the effectiveness increases every level.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4 (if playing a wizard) 1 (if playing anything else)
          My Comments   : This skill is either great or worthless, depending on the
                          type of character you want to play.  Basically, if you
                          are going to be using a staff ?  Then it can (if you have
                          a HUGE bank of energy to draw from) level large groups
                          of monsters in no time flat.  If you are playing ANY other
                          type of character (hand-to-hand, archer, assassin, etc.)
                          then it is UTTERLY worthless.
          Skill Name    : RAVAGES OF TIME
          Must Have     : DEATHCHILL AURA
          Description   : Accelerates the effects of time on adjacent enemies' 
                          equipment causing weapons to dull and armour to crumble.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : If you are going to be retaining the Deathchill Aura, then
                          this is a REALLY cool skill to use to augment its power.
                          At its highest level, it will deal a whopping -36% damage
                          to your enemies when they get into hand-to-hand, and that
                          CAN'T be bad news for you.
          Skill Name    : VISION OF DEATH
          Description   : Assaults the minds of surrounding enemies with images of
                          their own death causing the weak-hearted to flee in horror
                          and more resolute foes to fight less effectively.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Purely on the basis that fleeing enemies are still going
                          to return, I have to give this a 3.  It may buy you some
                          time - perhaps time enough to destroy 
          Skill Name    : SPIRIT WARD
          Description   : Casts a protective ward that will reduce the damage of
                          undead attacks on the player and nearby allies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : Whilst it does its job well, and benefits both you AND
                          any nearby allies, at the end of the day all this power
                          actually does is protect you from Undead, so it's NO 
                          use against other types of creatures.
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : CASCADE
          Must Have     : LIFE DRAIN
          Description   : Causes Life Drain to blast through the primary target
                          and hit multiple enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : WICKED skill.  This is the equivalent of Chain Lightning
                          to the Storm School, and you get it in a third of the 
                          time !!  Cascade makes Life Drain snake from one target
                          to another to another and so on (depending on the level)
                          which is VERY cool.
          Skill Name    : DARK COVENANT
          Description   : Mysterious otherworldly entities offer great power to
                          Spirit Masters who can commune with them.  The cost, 
                          however, is measured in life.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : To be honest the bonuses this skill imparts are poor
                          when contrasted with its cost.  Any skill that bleeds 
                          you of life to keep it running should be viewed VERY 
                          sceptically in my eyes.
          Skill Name    : SUMMON LICHE KING
          Description   : In ages past, powerful sorcerers learned how to cheat 
                          Hades and persist as undead liches long after death had 
                          robbed their bodies of life.  A dangerous practice of 
                          Theurgists is to bind the souls of these ancient liches
                          to their will, thus acquiring their powers.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This is the first of TWO summons which the Spirit School
                          has to offer, the other being the Outsider.  The Liche 
                          King is a ranged unit, but a DAMNED handy one, who is 
                          heavily upgradable.  Whilst he won't last long if he is 
                          made the object of repeat enemy fire, he can dish out 
                          PLENTY of damage considering his frail exterior, and 
                          makes a worthy addition to your entourage in my opinion.
          Skill Name    : SPIRIT BANE
          Must Have     : SPIRIT WARD
          Description   : Adds damage against undead to the attacks of those under
                          the effects of Spirit Ward.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : If you're going to, then sink 1-2 points into this skill,
                          but think carefully before you put any more in, as in my
                          opinion it ISN'T all that useful.
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : ARCANE LORE
          Must Have     : TERNION ATTACK
          Description   : The magic practitioners of older civilisations devised
                          many insidious techniques to bolster the destructive 
                          capabilities of their magical staves.  Knowledge of these
                          methods will unlock the true power of your staff attacks.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4 (if you have a staff), 1 (if you do not).
          My Comments   : If you HAVE a staff and intend on relying on it almost
                          exclusively ?  Then this is a REALLY cool skill.  Its 
                          only real drawback is the amount of energy that it takes
                          to cast, but this isn't so terrible at higher levels.  If
                          you have no intention of using a staff, then you can and
                          SHOULD totally avoid this skill.
          Skill Name    : NECROSIS
          Must Have     : DEATHCHILL AURA
          Description   : Weakens the constitution of adjacent enemies making them
                          more susceptible to attacks that directly damage their 
                          life such as vitality damage and life leeching.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : A healthy addition to the Deathchill Aura - why not sink
                          just a couplea points into it for good measure ?  You 
                          might as well, plus the benefits are quite good :)
          Skill Name    : ENSLAVE SPIRIT
          Description   : Slip through the barriers of your enemies' consciousness
                          and dominate their mind, binding them to your will.  While
                          enslaved your enemy will be forced to obey your commands
                          but eventually they will regain control of their mind and
                          turn against you.  Ineffective against monsters five or
                          more levels above you.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : I would have given this skill a 4 but the restrictions on
                          its use mean that you have to be dealing with characters
                          of your own level or only slightly higher (or much lower)
                          to get it to work, and later on in the game you will wind
                          up fighting beings that are CONSIDERABLY more powerful
                          than you are, which is when this skill comes a cropper.
                          It is DEFINITELY worth having, and it can get you out of
                          a LOT of jams ... but longer-term, think carefully about
                          it - you MIGHT want to reassign some points from it to 
                          other skills.
          Skill Name    : DEATH NOVA
          Must Have     : SUMMON LICHE KING
          Description   : Emits a wave of death that will deplete life from any 
                          living being it contacts.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Even if you only sink a point into this skill, it adds 
                          another death-dealing attack to the repertoire of the 
                          OH so cool Liche King, and that cannot be a bad thing :)
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : UNEARTHLY POWER
          Must Have     : DARK COVENANT
          Description   : Draw upon even greater otherworldly powers to augment 
                          yourself and allies in battle, but be wary of the cost 
                          exacted from your own vitality.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : Again, it's OK insofar as it benefits you and your 
                          buddies, but the cost is direct to you, so it cannot be
                          sustained indefinitely, and it will leave you vulnerable
                          to attack from others.  Perhaps best used (if at all),
                          in the presence of powerful allies ;)
          Skill Name    : WRAITH SHELL
          Must Have     : SUMMON LICHE KING
          Description   : Allows the Liche King to diminish its corporeal presence
                          making it less vulnerable to all types of damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This increases the life (or unlife) expectancy of your 
                          Liche King, and that is a GREAT thing in my book.  The 
                          poor lad has a tendency of dying (again) prematurely 
                          otherwise =./
          Skill Name    : CIRCLE OF POWER
          Description   : Creates a circle of power that protects allies from the 
                          undead and damages any undead creatures that pass within
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Compared with the Spirit Ward and its upgrade, I find
                          this to be a MUCH more useful power.  You can target a 
                          specific area for it to affect, and if you are in ANY 
                          doubt about just how effective it can be, just do battle
                          with some Empusa Soul Carvers, and you'll see ;)
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : DEATH WARD
          Description   : Places a magical ward on the player that protects them
                          from death by granting additional life when their life
                          gets dangerously low.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3 (sceptical)
          My Comments   : This is going to sound REALLY stupid, but I couldn't seem
                          to get this skill to work ... I just ... died !!  I think
                          that, in order for it to work, the person hitting you 
                          must knock you down below the pre-defined level of health
                          (which is calculated on the basis of your level of skill
                          with this power).  Take too much damage too quickly, and
                          you're screwed.  I think it's worth a point just for the
                          odd time it saves your life, but as I say, for ME ?  It
                          just didn't seem to want to work =./
          Skill Name    : SUMMON OUTSIDER
          Description   : Calls forth a powerful extra-dimensional entity from 
                          beyond the ether.  The link can only be maintained for
                          a short time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Although he is only available for a short period of time,
                          the Outsider can help you to turn the tide of battle in
                          your favour, as he is a BIG boy, quick, and reasonably 
                          powerful to boot.  At the very least he can act as 
                          cannon fodder whilst your Liche King moves into a better
                          position to zap your enemies from afar ... and you just
                          throw your head back and cackle with glee !!!!! =)
          Skill Name    : ARCANE BLAST
          Must Have     : SUMMON LICHE KING
          Description   : Drawing upon ancient arcane craft the Liche King forms
                          deadly bolts of elemental energy and launches them at 
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : BIG ... UP ... THE LICHE ... KING !!  These things are 
                          VERY cool, and have a good range to boot !!  Multiple
                          blasts and at higher levels, really quite good damage.
                          Definitely one to outfit the dead dude with.
       Conclusions      : The Spirit School boasts some impressive and powerful 
                          skills, but its reliance on magic over physical attacks
                          is sure to be its greatest pitfall.  When paired with 
                          something like Warfare or even Defence, it would be 
                          quite interesting though !!
       Sphere Rating /5 : 4
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       Game Description : The Defender specialises in surviving battles but offers
                          little in the way of offensive enhancements.  Many skills
                          focus on utilising the shield to deflect attacks and
                          disable enemies.
       Sinister says    : Yyyyyyyyyyyyeah.  Whilst this School of Training DOES 
                          have SOME natty skills ?  Like the Shield Charge ?  For 
                          me it is WAY too reliant on your having a shield.  If 
                          you like Eric from Dungeons and Dragons then this is 
                          DEFINITELY the School for you - otherwise be VERY VERY
                          CAREFUL when picking it.  You don't want to come a 
                          cropper, especially since you can't undo it later ;)
          Skill Name    : CONCUSSIVE BLOW
          Description   : Adds a chance for attacks to stun enemies and increases
                          the duration of stun attacks when wielding a club type
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Stunning is COOL because it gives you the opportunity to
                          inflict even MORE damage on hapless opponents as they are
                          staggering about in their stupored state.
          Skill Name    : BATTLE AWARENESS
          Description   : Enter a state of heightened awareness that allows you 
                          and your allies to perceive and respond to attacks more
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Granting a bonus to your Defensive Ability is never a 
                          bad thing, and you must have this skill to be able to 
                          benefit from its modifications further up the food chain.
                          I wouldn't sink TOO many skill points into it though ...
          Skill Name    : BATTER
          Description   : A shield attack that hits for increased damage and slows
                          enemies' attacks for a duration.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 (if you rely on a shield), 1 (if you don't)
          My Comments   : A shield-only skill, but one which does have good 
                          benefits.  It is good being able to use what would 
                          otherwise be a solely defensive tool for a bit of an 
                          ass-whupping ;)
          Skill Name    : ARMOUR HANDLING
          Description   : Understanding how to properly adjust and move in armour
                          allows you to wear heavier armour and shields than an 
                          untrained warrior of equivalent strength could manage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Good Armour = Good Defence; Good Defence = Less Dying.
                          The reasons for having this skill are mathematically
                          simplistic - get it !! ;)
          Skill Name    : ADRENALINE
          Description   : Each enemy hit has a chance of triggering an adrenaline
                          rush that boosts life regeneration.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Fair play whilst I don't really like the Defence School,
                          I DO love this skill.  They hit you and it makes you heal
                          quicker ?  BRING IT ON !!!!! =)
          Skill Name    : RALLY
          Description   : The resolute call of your horn can turn the tide of 
                          battle, inspiring all in its range to fight with renewed
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A decent skill which promotes your health regeneration
                          for a given period.  Since it benefits your allies as 
                          well as yourself, it can really help to turn battles in
                          your favour.
          Skill Name    : QUICK RECOVERY
          Description   : A strong shield arm allows you to block multiple attackers
                          with amazing speed when necessary but it can only be kept
                          up for a short time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Considering that you lack range with Defence Mastery, you
                          could benefit from being able to block physical attacks
                          in multiples, and at high speeds.  Therefore this skill
                          is well worth studying.
          Skill Name    : SHIELD SMASH
          Description   : A shield fighting technique that inflicts damage with both
                          the weapon and the shield.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Turn the shield into a WEAPON ??  BONZA !!!!!  Definitely
                          one to invest in, even if only a couple of points.
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : RESILIENCE
          Must Have     : ADRENALINE
          Description   : Increases how often an Adrenaline rush can be triggered.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Big-up the number of times you can use the Adrenaline 
                          Rush in a given period of time ?  YES PLEASE !!
          Skill Name    : FOCUS
          Must Have     : BATTLE AWARENESS
          Description   : Focus allows you and your allies to react quickly to 
                          enemy attacks increasing the chance of a successful 
                          shield block.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 (if you rely on a shield), 1 (if you don't)
          My Comments   : Another very useful skill if you are going to be relying
                          on a shield.  If not then it's one to avoid really !!
                          But then if you AREN'T going to be relying on a shield,
                          why the HELL did you choose Defence Mastery !?!?! :)
          Skill Name    : SHIELD CHARGE
          Description   : A running attack that slams into the enemy with your 
                          shield causing bonus damage and stunning them.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This skill is definitely one of the best the Defence 
                          School has to offer.  It enables you to close the gap
                          between you and your enemies rapidly, and to slam into
                          them causing damage and stunning them.  It is also one
                          of the most visually impressive skills in the Defence 
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : INSPIRATION
          Must Have     : RALLY
          Description   : Gradually restores lost energy to allies allowing them
                          to continue the fight.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : I like this skill.  Using an aura to bolster the health
                          recharge rate of your allies is COOL, as whilst they are
                          alive they WILL keep fighting for you.  TO THE DEATH !!
          Skill Name    : REND ARMOUR
          Must Have     : BATTER
          Description   : Increases the effectiveness of Batter causing it to hit
                          three targets with enough force to dent their armour.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 (if you rely on a shield), 1 (if you don't)
          My Comments   : As I have said repeatedly of these types of skills, if 
                          you HAVE an intent to rely on a shield in combat in 
                          general ?  Then this is a cool skill to have, DEFINITELY.
                          If you do NOT ?  Then why waste the points !!
          Skill Name    : DISABLE
          Description   : A fighting technique that utilises the shield to crush
                          foes and throw them off-balance.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3 (if you rely on a shield), 1 (if you don't)
          My Comments   : To be honest I think this skill arguably loses out to 
                          Shield Charge - however it does give decent slow effects
                          at higher levels ... even if the damage isn't really 
          Other Ideas   : [Viro Melchior says]
                          "Disable is amazing.  You are comparing it to Shield 
                          Charge, but Disable (and the other two abilities on the 
                          right hand edge of the Defender menu) are passive.  
                          There is a chance every time you attack that they are 
                          used, for ZERO energy.  Plus they all add your shield 
                          damage into the equation, which later on gets to be +100 
                          damage or more (my Defender/Pyro has a purple shield
                          that hits for 199 damage)."
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : DEFENSIVE REACTION
          Must Have     : ADRENALINE
          Description   : Increases damage and attack speed during an adrenaline
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Adrenaline Rush is one of your handiest skills, so if I
                          were you I would kit it out with additional powers at 
                          every possible opportunity.  This skill should get MORE
                          than a 5, as it increases your attack speed and you KNOW
                          how much I love that ;)
          Skill Name    : IRON WILL
          Must Have     : BATTLE AWARENESS
          Description   : Grants allies the resolve to hold out against great 
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of this power.  It gives
                          stun resistance, reduces entrapment duration, reduces 
                          freeze duration and gives skill disruption protection ...
                          but it's like Han Solo said ... it's no match for a 
                          Blaster at your side ;)
          Skill Name    : DISRUPTION
          Must Have     : SHIELD CHARGE
          Description   : Increases the shock effect of Shield Charge, startling
                          adjacent enemies and disrupting spell use for a time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 (if you rely on a shield), 1 (if you don't)
          My Comments   : I think this is a really handy skill to have to be honest.
                          I SERIOUSLY rate the Shield Charge skill, and being able
                          to increase the number of people that you hit is ALWAYS
                          a good thing ... BRING THE NOISE !! :)
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : DEFIANCE
          Must Have     : RALLY
          Description   : A percentage of all damage inflicted by enemies will be
                          revisited back upon them for a short time after using 
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Using this skill you gain increased elemental resistance
                          and can reflect some damage back at your enemies.  At 
                          maximum level 60% of it to be precise !!  However the 
                          effects are transient, and don't last too long ...
          Skill Name    : COLOSSUS FORM
          Description   : Assume the form of a towering Colossus and lay waste to
                          your enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Whilst I really do love this power ... and I do ... as
                          I cannot HELP but utter the words "Magic Sceptre ... make
                          my Monster GROW" every time I use it ... and it is REALLY
                          good for enabling you to cover distance very quickly and
                          to smite your enemies LIKE the Colossus ?  Try going 
                          through a door ... or down a flight of stairs, and you 
                          will very quickly learn its shortfalls.  It's CR@P at 
                          that sorta thing !!
          Skill Name    : PULVERISE
          Description   : A fighting technique that utilises the shield to slam
                          into enemies, knocking them senseless.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : This power gives you the ability to strike multiple foes
                          causing damage, reducing their offensive ability, and 
                          creating a skill disruption effect.  In short, ruining 
                          their day.  It's not fantastic, but it ain't half bad ;)
       Conclusions      : Of the 20 skills in this School, 9 of them rely on you 
                          having a shield in your possession, so if you are not 
                          planning on using one, forget this school.  Also, think
                          VERY CAREFULLY before pairing Warfare and Defence.  They
                          may SOUND like they go hand-in-hand, but you will be 
                          sacrificing almost all your ranged powers, PLUS you will
                          have to have two weapons on your primary, and a weapon
                          plus a shield in your secondary, to make full use of the
                          combined powers of both Schools.  Defence is a handy 
                          school, so don't think I'm being TOO harsh with it, but
                          for me it just doesn't cut the mustard.
       Other Ideas      : [Thomas Graham has gotten in contact with me to give you
                          guys a different perspective on the Conqueror (Warfare+
                          Defence Mastery), as he loves it.  He says]
                          "(The Conqueror) was my very first character ... and 
                          he's currently my strongest.  Basically I gave him a 
                          shield and grabbed all the shield attacks from Defence 
                          and buffed him up with all the other melee power from 
                          Warfare - completely ignoring dual wield/war wind/
                          ancestral horn. I took War Horn though, as it's useful 
                          for running out of trouble. I also ignored Concussive 
                          Strike from Defence as maces are really slow as to not 
                          really make it worth it (As I also prefer to hit as fast 
                          as possible, gives me more chances to get a shield 
                          attack in).
                          "I always keep a bow handy in the second slot. I use it 
                          for overly tough boss fights (Typhon on Normal, the bull 
                          on epic and legendary etc) and for pulling out groups of 
                          monsters in rooms where it'd be suicide to go Shield 
                          Charging in. Generally he can wipe the floor with most 
                          monsters and with Armour Proficiency, Ignore Pain and 
                          all those other skills, he soaks it up very nicely too. 
                          Not to mention that Warfare and Defence have the most 
                          Health bonuses of all the schools as you level them up. 
                          I also keep Shield Charge handy for getting rid of those 
                          pesky archers and casters (Especially Machae Archers), 
                          and even using it in melee range to just pummel some 
                          "The slowing effect on Batter is great, it really 
                          reduces the amount of pain coming your way and as a 
                          general rule I find my shield does more damage than my 
                          weapons. This also makes it great for Disable, Pulverize 
                          and Shield Bash. The slowing effect on Disable is too 
                          chancey to rely on, but I only max it out because it's 
                          another chance of hitting with my shield instead (Which 
                          tends to deal a FAIR bit more damage than my main 
                          weapon.) He also has Onslaught which powers him up 
                          quite considerably. With +Speed and skills like Weapons 
                          Training and Ardor, I seem to have hit some kind of 
                          Weapon Speed cap =(. Nothing I do can make him strike 
                          any faster than now - not even activating a Battle 
                          [He also points out that, if you check out the bonuses 
                          gained from levelling up your masteries, Defence gives 
                          the most health of all of them).]
       Sphere Rating /5 : 2
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       Game Description : The Wanderer can call on denizens of the forest to deal
                          damage and shield them from enemies.  Healing and 
                          defensive auras allow allies to survive longer and fight
                          more effectively.
       Sinister says    : Find me a RAINBOW !!  Ok so it's not that bad really - 
                          Nature Mastery DOES give you control over more creatures
                          than any other School - three in total - and it has a 
                          healthy emphasis on healing and restoration which can 
                          compliment other schools well - it just isn't that strong
                          as an offensive school unfortunately.
          Skill Name    : REGROWTH
          Description   : A wave of healing energy rapidly restores lost life to
                          the target ally.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Basically ESSENTIAL maintenance for those times when you
                          get caught with no potions left ... and you will ;)
          Skill Name    : CALL OF THE WILD
          Description   : Summons a wolf companion to fight with you in battle.  At
                          higher levels more wolves can be controlled at once.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 to begin with ... 2 as the game progresses
          My Comments   : You can summon a wolf, which is cool because no other 
                          School will give you a summon THIS quickly - however the
                          wolf is available at level 1 for a reason.  At its best
                          level, this skill will enable you to summon 2 wolves - 
                          however they are EXTREMELY prone to premature death - 
                          especially when they face more powerful monsters later 
                          in the game.  Even when souped-up, they aren't all that,
          Other Ideas   : [Viro Melchior says]
                          "I'd agree with (your ranking above) *until* you go to 
                          Epic.  All summoned monsters are given more hp and armor 
                          at the Epic and Legendary thresholds.  So while your 
                          pets get ripped to shreds in the Orient and Hades of 
                          basic difficulty, they are much tougher once you go up 
                          to a harder mode.  And because the "difficulty" scales 
                          slower in these modes (along with your levels going up 
                          slower), the pets remain useful in Orient + Hades on the 
                          higher difficulties."
          Skill Name    : HEART OF OAK
          Description   : Bolsters the life-force of yourself and nearby allies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Boasting a steady increase to your health regeneration
                          rate, and extending same to nearby allies, this is a 
                          COOL skill to have.
          Skill Name    : ACCELERATED GROWTH
          Must Have     : REGROWTH
          Description   : Allows Regrowth to be cast more frequently.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Even if you only sink a couplea points into this skill,
                          being able to heal yourself more frequently means you are
                          likely to survive longer.
          Skill Name    : MAUL
          Must Have     : CALL OF THE WILD
          Description   : A gnawing attack that rends enemy flesh causing bleed
                          damage for a short duration.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Whilst I would only learn this skill if you are SERIOUSLY
                          a dog lover, if you DO want to keep the wolves on, then
                          I would strongly recommend it be studied.
          Skill Name    : PLAGUE
          Description   : Plague afflicts nearby enemies with a debilitating ailment
                          that reduces their health and quickly spreads to other
                          nearby creatures.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Poison damage rocks - just ask the Rogue !!  Being able
                          not only to poison your enemies, but also to see that 
                          poison spread to their allies, is just plain fun :)
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : BRIAR WARD
          Description   : A protective grove of briars grows around you that 
                          enemies cannot pass through.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : To be honest, most reasonably powerful enemies are just
                          going to smash their way through this, so it is of 
                          SERIOUSLY limited use.  It grows all around you, so you
                          cannot really use it to escape ... it is a PLOP power.
          Skill Name    : SURVIVAL INSTINCT
          Must Have     : CALL OF THE WILD
          Description   : An instinctual will to live is triggered whenever health
                          is low.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Again - a seriously cool power but only for the hardcore
                          dog lovers out there.  It allows your poochies to absorb
                          a percentage of the damage they inflict, and to do more
                          damage than usual ... unfortunately it usually won't be
                          enough to save their furry little hides =./
          Skill Name    : FATIGUE
          Must Have     : PLAGUE
          Description   : Saps the strength from diseases enemies causing them to 
                          move more slowly and fight less effectively.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Offering a myriad of nasty potential effects, this is 
                          worth sinking at least a couple of points into as and
                          when you get the opportunity ... it can reduce enemies'
                          health, damage AND speed !!
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : TRANQUILITY OF WATER
          Must Have     : HEART OF OAK
          Description   : Provides a chance to use skills at 50% reduced cost while
                          under the effect of Heart of Oak.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Giving you the POSSIBILITY (as even at maximum power it
                          is a reasonably modest 28% possibility) to use your other
                          powers at a 50% reduction to their energy cost is worth
                          taking a gamble on - even if it's just one point you
                          sink into it as a skill, non ?
          Skill Name    : DISSEMINATION
          Must Have     : REGROWTH
          Description   : Causes regrowth energy to disseminate from the initial
                          target and leap to additional nearby allies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : VERY very useful when you are doing larger-scale combat
                          in Elysium later in the game.  This is, in fact, the 
                          power that the Elysian Warriors use to heal each other.
                          I definitely recommend getting at LEAST 2-3 points in
                          this power.
          Skill Name    : STINGING NETTLE
          Must Have     : BRIAR WARD
          Description   : Causes enemies who hit the Briar Ward to suffer poisoning.
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : Ok so it makes the Briar Ward a little bit more manly,
                          but still - it's a bit naff.  Stinging Nettle ?  Paleeze.
          Skill Name    : SYLVAN NYMPH
          Description   : Summons a powerful forest Nymph who can bring down enemies
                          with her magical bow and cast enchantments to strengthen
                          allies in battle.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : She's quick, she's mean-tempered and she has a VERY 
                          naughty laugh when she does things she knows she shouldn't
                          like shooting monsters in the eye from afar.  Also, you
                          can choose where you want her to materialise (which is of
                          very little consequence, but a nice touch).  The Nymph
                          has a high rate of fire, but skips (SKIPS) everywhere
                          she goes, which is really NOT good if you are trying to
                          play a manly character.  She is the second (or third if
                          you sank loads of points into the Call of the Wild) 
                          summon for this School.
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : PERMANENCE OF STONE
          Must Have     : HEART OF OAK
          Description   : Protects allies from the elements, reducing the damage
                          caused by elemental based attacks.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Whilst it may SOUND naff, and even at its highest level
                          you get a maximum of 18% resistance, this is ELEMENTAL
                          resistance - i.e. resistance to ALL the elements and, as
                          such, it cannot be sneezed it.
          Skill Name    : STRENGTH OF THE PACK
          Must Have     : CALL OF THE WILD
          Description   : The howl of your wolves emboldens the hearts of those who
                          hear it causing them to fight more fiercely.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : I like this skill, as it enables the wolves to do 
                          something for you and your other allies (if you have any)
                          for a change.  You will benefit from increased damage and
                          speed, and you KNOW that added speed makes me go weak at
                          the knees ... heh.
          Skill Name    : OVERGROWTH
          Must Have     : SYLVAN NYMPH
          Description   : Allows the Nymph to create a living shield around allies
                          that absorbs damage and harms enemies that strike it.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Another natty power - this enables the Nymph to give you
                          a level of protection from physical damage, PLUS it has
                          a chance to perform piercing retaliation against those
                          who would harm you whilst under its protection.
          Other Ideas   : [Viro Melchior says]
                          "Overgrowth is nearly useless.  [The Nymph] doesn't cast 
                          it often, and it isn't enough damage on any difficulty 
                          to really make a difference considering how fickle she 
                          is with it."
          Skill Name    : SUSCEPTIBILITY
          Must Have     : PLAGUE
          Description   : Weakens the constitution of adjacent enemies making them
                          more susceptible to physical and elemental damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Giving negative modifiers to the Damage Resistance and
                          Elemental Resistance of those people standing around an
                          afflicted (poisoned) adversary, this just makes the 
                          pleasure spread like wildfire through the ranks !! :)
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : REFRESH
          Description   : Substracts time from recharging skills allowing you to use
                          them more frequently.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : I think this is a MUST HAVE skill for the Nature Master,
                          as it can enable you to employ some of your most powerful
                          skills more often.  At its highest level it reduces the 
                          recharge time of skills by 52 seconds when used, and that
                          can mean the difference between life eternal and a quick
                          and painful death on the battlefield.
          Skill Name    : SANCTUARY
          Must Have     : BRIAR WARD
          Description   : The power of the grove revitalises those within and 
                          reduces the energy consumed by skill use.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : If ever you GET Briar Ward to this level, then I would
                          seriously look to invest in this skill, as it boosts both
                          Health AND Energy Regeneration whilst you are within the
                          Ward and, since you cannot go anywhere whilst it's up ?
                          That sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me !!
          Skill Name    : NATURE'S WRATH
          Must Have     : SYLVAN NYMPH
          Description   : Imbues the Nymph's attacks with the power of the elements.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Giving that tricksy little Nymph the power to fire arrows
                          through her enemies (a skill otherwise reserved for the 
                          Hunting School Masters out there), and enhancing her 
                          strikes with Elemental Damage is COO-WELL !! :)
       Conclusions      : Clearly NOT a School for those people that like to fight
                          in the front lines, unless backed up by something very 
                          physical like Warfare or Earth, Nature can easily be as
                          much a hindrance as a help.  HOWEVER, when paired up 
                          intelligently with other schools (i.e. using Nature as 
                          pretty much a supporting School), it can be put to VERY
                          good use and, if you are looking to become a Druid, then
                          this is the way to go !!
       Sphere Rating /5 : 3
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                                                           / ¦
                                                          /  ¦
       Game Description : Master of bow and spear combat.  Piercing attacks 
                          penetrate enemy armour and high level bow skills will tear
                          through large groups of enemies.  The Hunter must rely on
                          speed and range to stay out of the reach of enemies.
       Sinister says    : I really like this School.  If you want to fashion your 
                          character into an archer, then this is the way to go.  
                          NOBODY wields a bow and arrow better than those that 
                          follow the Hunting School ... NOBODY.  Of course if you 
                          want to get up-close-and-personal ?  Then this is NEVER
                          going to be a school for you.
          Skill Name    : ENSNARE
          Description   : Casts a weighted net around the feet of an enemy holding
                          them in place but not preventing them from attacking if 
                          you are within their range.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This is quite simply one of the single best low-level
                          skills in the whole game.  You can pin a single enemy,
                          whether a low-level grunt or even in some cases a boss,
                          in place for a given period of time, which gives you 
                          (depending on the level of the skill) usually plenty of
                          time to riddle them with arrows or other attacks.  Go 
                          on ... tie it to your right mouse button and have a 
                          Legolas moment ;)
          Skill Name    : TAKE DOWN
          Description   : A brutal thrust from your spear delivers devastating 
                          piercing damage to enemies and diminishes a portion of 
                          your enemy's total life.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 (if you wield a spear regularly), 1 (if you do not)
          My Comments   : Only of any use if you wield a spear as a regular part
                          of your arsenal.  I never do, so this skill is totally
                          lost on me.
          Skill Name    : WOOD LORE
          Description   : Central to survival in the wilderness is the ability to
                          hunt with bow and spear.  Great familiarity with these
                          weapons allows you to wield them with exceptional speed
                          and precision.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : ANY skill that increases your attack speed is quite 
                          simply a must-have in my opinion, and this is one of 
                          those.  Increased speed gives you increased damage-
                          dealing potential :)
          Skill Name    : MARKSMANSHIP
          Description   : Marksmanship skill allows you to create and fire arrows
                          that fly faster and increase pierce damage.  Apply this
                          skill to your left mouse button.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A very useful and improvable skill is Marksmanship.  It 
                          increases the effectiveness and damage of all your regular
                          arrow attacks, and as the Hunter you will be using PLENTY
                          of those !!
          Skill Name    : ART OF THE HUNT
          Description   : Hunting experience gives you the edge when facing familiar
                          quarry such as Animals and Beastmen.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Whilst I heavily improved this skill during my playtime,
                          it is best implemented against animals and beastmen, and
                          so part of its effectiveness is lost when it is used 
                          against tougher and more powerful enemies ...
          Skill Name    : HERBAL REMEDY
          Description   : Living off the land, you learn to identify and utilise 
                          medicinal plants to create healing salves.  When applied
                          it will fortify against poison and healing is accelerated
                          for the duration.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : It's good to be able to use a healing skill now and 
                          again, and this one is reasonably cool because it also
                          helps protect you from poison damage.  I have never ever
                          used it in-game to be truthful, largely because being a
                          ranged character you tend to try and avoid taking hits
                          wherever possible, but it's cool to know it's available
                          should you want to learn it :)
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : BARBED NETTING
          Must Have     : ENSNARE
          Description   : Barbed hooks on the hunter's Ensnare net tear into 
                          enemies as they struggle causing them to bleed.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Whilst I have never bothered to put any appreciable 
                          number of points into this skill - I think I just put
                          one in for good measure - it is totally worth having,
                          as the opportunity to inflict additional damage on a 
                          paralysed foe appealed to me ... and still does !!
          Skill Name    : CALL OF THE HUNT
          Description   : Those who answer the call of the hunt will fight with
                          increased speed and cunning.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A GREAT skill which is only restricted by the time limit
                          imposed upon it - however at higher levels it runs for a
                          respectable amount of time, and can DRAMATICALLY improve
                          your fighting skills for the duration (as well as those
                          of your allies !!)
          Skill Name    : EVISCERATE
          Must Have     : TAKE DOWN
          Description   : Targeting vital weak-points on your enemy causes sustained
                          damage from bleeding.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 (if you wield a spear regularly), 1 (if you do not)
          My Comments   : Again, if the spear is your weapon of choice, then this 
                          is going to be a very popular skill for you.  If, like 
                          me, however, you virtually NEVER use a spear, then this 
                          skill is NEVER going to make your highlight reel.
          Skill Name    : MONSTER LURE
          Description   : Drops down a decoy to attract the attention of nearby 
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : To be honest I think this is the worst skill in the whole
                          School.  It creates a dummy a VERY short distance away
                          from you, which lures monsters to it until they smash it
                          to pieces.  Since it's very close to you to start with,
                          they are not guaranteed to spot it and might hit you a
                          few more times until it catches their eye, so this isn't
                          a fantastic skill by any means :(
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : STUDY PREY
          Description   : By observing your prey from a distance you may discover
                          its weakness, resulting in greater pierce damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : This is a skill which you can use to target a small area
                          of enemies at a distance, increasing the amount of 
                          piercing damage they take for a little while.  A green
                          eye appears over their heads - it's the same power the
                          centaurs use on you ALL the BL**DY TIME !!
          Skill Name    : PUNCTURE SHOT ARROWS
          Must Have     : MARKSMANSHIP
          Description   : Incorporating a more streamlined shaft into your arrows
                          allows them to pass through targets and hit additional 
                          enemies in their path.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : I would give this ability MORE than 5 if I could - it is
                          DEFINITELY one to get if you use a bow-and-arrow.  The
                          chance of penetrating the bodies of your enemies and 
                          hitting the people behind them increases as the skill 
                          improves, as does the satisfaction of using this skill !!
          Skill Name    : GOUGE
          Description   : A combat technique that uses the spear or bow to inflict
                          deep wounds that will result in prolonged bleeding.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Increasing the amount of bleeding damage your spear OR 
                          bow does, makes this a good skill to add to your 
                          repertoire regardless of whether you prefer to use the 
                          spear or the bow - I would recommend sinking at least 
                          1-2 points into it personally.
          Skill Name    : FIND COVER
          Must Have     : ART OF THE HUNT
          Description   : Making use of available cover as you press your attack
                          allows you to avoid unnecessary damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Since you are at range anyway, you should find you are
                          able to avoid the majority of attacks - just stick and
                          move and you will be able to avoid many projectiles.  This
                          is one of those nice to have powers, but I wouldn't say
                          it is in ANY way mandatory for this School.
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : EXPLOIT WEAKNESS
          Must Have     : CALL OF THE HUNT
          Description   : Take full advantage of your enemy's mistakes and 
                          vulnerable moments to inflict savage wounds.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This skill enables you to inflict additional piercing and
                          bleeding damage when attacking.  Consequently it is well
                          worth investing some pointage in ;)
          Skill Name    : TRAIL BLAZING
          Must Have     : ART OF THE HUNT
          Description   : Grants those who follow the hunt endurance to relentlessly
                          track their quarry, preventing even the most tangled 
                          thicket from slowing pursuit.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This skill doesn't benefit your attack speed per se, but
                          instead it increases your movement speed.  This has 
                          certain obvious advantages insofar as you can peg it away
                          from combat quickly, or take advantage of mistakes your 
                          enemies make in double-quick time.
          Skill Name    : DETONATE
          Must Have     : MONSTER LURE
          Description   : Adds a hidden explosive charge to the monster lure causing
                          it to detonate when destroyed.  In order to detonate the
                          lure must be at full energy.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : Ok ... whilst I admit that love almost EVERYTHING about
                          this School, THIS and Monster Lure I just really don't 
                          get.  What makes THIS power really pants in my opinion
                          is that whilst it can cause the Monster Lure to explode
                          when it reaches zero health, it doesn't always, as the 
                          Monster Lure MUST HAVE full energy to discharge this 
                          power !!  Why bother !?!?!  Just SHOOT your enemies - 
                          don't wait in hiding for this thing to take them out ...
                          JUST ... SHOOT ... THEM !!
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : FLUSH OUT
          Must Have     : STUDY PREY
          Description   : Draw your enemies into the open, making them more 
                          vulnerable to attack.
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : If you're a big fan of using Study Prey, then this power
                          should go from a 2 to a 4.  I never use it personally, so
                          this is rather lost on me.  However I can tell you that
                          it does reduce both the Defensive Ability AND the 
                          Elemental Resistance of those enemies it affects.
          Skill Name    : SCATTER SHOT ARROWS
          Must Have     : MARKSMANSHIP
          Description   : A secret of master fletchers is the ability to craft 
                          special arrow heads that burst on impact sending out 
                          razor-sharp fragments in all directions.  Each shard
                          delivers piercing damage to the enemies it hits.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : ANOTHER power which I would cheerfully give more than 5
                          points to were I able ... this one gives you a chance to
                          have any given arrow you fire explode into a set of 
                          smaller barbs, each of which does additional damage.
                          Using this with the other Marksmanship upgrades can level
                          large (and I do MEAN large) numbers of enemies in one or
                          two arrows - it's SO COOL !!!!! :)
          Skill Name    : VOLLEY
          Description   : A combat technique that uses the spear or bow to rapidly
                          strike three times in succession.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : YET ANOTHER kickass power for the Hunting School - THIS 
                          little beauty enables you to fire three arrows (from 
                          time to time - there is a percentage chance that it will
                          work), which means you do even MORE damage to even MORE
                          monsters with your bow and arrows ... YEEEEEEES !!!!! =)
       Conclusions      : If you are an archer or have even the SLIGHTEST liking
                          for Legolas from the Lord of the Rings, then you should
                          SERIOUSLY consider this school.  Whilst its emphasis is 
                          on wielding a bow and arrow, it does have some spear 
                          skills available, and some modest healing powers should
                          you want to brush up on those, so it caters to pretty 
                          much two main types of warrior - the Archer and the 
                          Pikeman.  The biggest drawback of this school is in its
                          total lack of summons, but apart from that I love it !!
       Sphere Rating /5 : 4
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       Game Description : The rogue is unmatched at dealing rapid damage to single
                          opponents or wearing them down with poison and bleeding.
                          Reliant on hit-and-run tactics, the Rogue is less well
                          suited for handling hordes of enemies and must employ
                          trickery to avoid being overwhelmed.
       Sinister says    : Ooh !  NASTY.  I love it !!  I agree with the game - the 
                          emphasis of this School is DEFINITELY on doing large 
                          amounts of damage to very specific targets.  Later on you
                          can pick up a couple of skills that will sort out larger 
                          groups of enemies, but the mainstay of the skills 
                          available in this School are for the Assassins out there.
                          People that single-out their targets and go for the 
          Skill Name    : CALCULATED STRIKE
          Description   : Used in place of your normal attack, every fourth hit
                          with calculated strike will deliver increased damage.
                          Apply this skill to your left mouse button.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This is a GREAT skill to pick up early on in the game.
                          It doesn't matter what type of weapon you wield - every
                          fourth time you strike with this power it makes a cool
                          noise, and your enemy goes DOWN ... it's cool !! :)  Of
                          course it stops being QUITE so cool when you're fighting
                          stronger adversaries later on in the game, but UP UNTIL
                          that point it rocks.
          Skill Name    : BLADE HONING
          Description   : While active, this skill ensures that the blades on the
                          swords or spears of yourself and allies will remain razor
                          sharp and inflict increased piercing damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Similar to Marksmanship or Earth Enchantment, this power
                          can remain constantly active - however it is limited in
                          that you must be wielding either a sword or a spear for
                          it to remain on.  Therefore even if your second weapon
                          is a bow and arrow, if you switch to it (i.e. away from
                          either a sword or spear), this power will automatically
                          switch itself off, which is a pain in the butt.
          Skill Name    : ENVENOM WEAPON
          Description   : Coats your weapon with deadly poison while activated.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Adds poison damage to all your attacks, which is great !
                          BE an Assassin ... g'wan ... ;)
          Skill Name    : THROWING KNIFE
          Description   : Throw a piercing blade at your opponent capable of causing
                          prolonged bleeding.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5 at the outset - 2 later on in the game
          My Comments   : When you first use this power you will throw your head
                          back and laugh with glee - I virtually guarantee it.
                          It's one of those "you think you have me ?  Well think 
                          again !!" kinda powers - however when you're throwing
                          these beauties into the knees of a cyclops and he's about
                          to hammer you into the ground with his club ?  You will
                          come to see its limitations =./
          Skill Name    : DISARM TRAPS
          Description   : Expertise with traps and magical devices allows the Rogue
                          to easily disable them and avoid their damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Even if you just put a point onto this skill, its effect
                          is passive, so you never need to activate it, and it does
                          reduce the likelihood of traps going off in your face.
                          However if you have a good sense of hearing, reduce the
                          rating I have given this skill to 1 as you will be able 
                          to get around traps that way.
          Skill Name    : NIGHTSHADE
          Must Have     : ENVENOM WEAPON
          Description   : Oils harvested from deadly Nightshade plants give your
                          Envenomed Weapons the ability to slow enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Since the poison effects you get from envenom weapon
                          work with your regular attacks, why not bolster them at
                          every opportunity ??
          Skill Name    : FLASH POWDER
          Description   : A magician's trick turned to more nefarious purposes, 
                          flash powder blinds adjacent enemies impairing their 
                          ability to hit with weapons and potentially disorienting
          My Rank (/5)  : 1
          My Comments   : I LOVE this power, but it has all the practical use of 
                          popping a balloon as a method of distraction.  You throw
                          the powder down and BOOM - where's he gone !?!?!  Oh 
                          look !!  He's RIGHT where he was to begin with !!  GET 
                          HIM BOYS !!!!!  It's like that ;)  It works great on
                          low-ranking enemies, so it might be worth a point or
                          two, but I wouldn't bother with any more than that ...
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : LUCKY HIT
          Must Have     : CALCULATED STRIKE
          Description   : Uncommonly good fortune provides a chance that calculated
                          strikes will slip past enemy armour causing tremendous
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Even if you just pop a point or two into this skill, it
                          actively increases the chances of calculated strikes 
                          doing more damage.  I can't do maths to save my life, 
                          but it's an (x)% chance of doing more damage on every 
                          1 in 4 hits ... which is kinda slim, but worth adding
                          for the crack ;)
          Skill Name    : OPEN WOUND
          Description   : Adds a chance that weapon attacks will inflict bleeding
                          damage when using a sword, spear, bow, or axe.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Given that this skill can affect your bleeding damage
                          chances with no less than FOUR main weapon groups, I 
                          think it deserves a high rating.  Bleeding damage takes
                          a little while to slay your enemies, but it can weaken
                          them to the extent that they are like leaves on the 
                          wind - pushovers in other words ;)
          Skill Name    : LAY TRAP
          Description   : Drops a mechanical bolt trap that will trip when enemies
                          draw near and rapidly fire out deadly bolts.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : GREAT when it comes to weakening larger numbers of enemy
                          troops (which as I have said before is something that 
                          the Rogue School is a bit thin on the ground at doing
                          otherwise).  It doesn't slay huge amounts as the bolts
                          are a bit hitty-missy, but it does its job well, PLUS
                          you can lob it ... use the shift key whilst aiming to
                          increase the range ;)
          Skill Name    : POISON GAS BOMB
          Description   : Lobs a bomb that will burst on impact releasing a cloud
                          of toxic gas that damages enemies and impairs their 
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Another lobbable weapon - this one causes a cloud of 
                          toxic fumes to arise, poisoning all within the blast 
                          area.  Unfortunately it doesn't do huge amounts of 
                          damage until higher levels, but it can be upgraded so it
                          is definitely worth putting at least a couple of points
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : LETHAL STRIKE
          Description   : A single deadly hit that multiplies the damage of a normal
                          weapon attack.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : THIS skill is simply BEAUTIFUL.  Think of it as focusing
                          your hatred and energy into doing just ONE hit ... JUST
                          one ... but that hit is usually going to be powerful 
                          enough to slay the enemy you are aiming for.  Simple, 
                          effective ... just like an Assassin should be !
          Skill Name    : RAPID CONSTRUCTION
          Must Have     : LAY TRAP
          Description   : Expertise in assembling traps reduces the amount of time
                          it takes to create a new trap after one has been set.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : I think it's worth having even if just on a low-level,
                          as the quicker you can roll out your traps, the more 
                          chance they have of damaging your enemies ... obviously !!
          Skill Name    : TOXIN DISTILLATION
          Must Have     : ENVENOM WEAPON
          Description   : Learn alchemical processes to distil natural toxins, 
                          increasing the potency and duration of all poison attacks.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Increasing power and duration of ALL your poison attacks ?
                          HELL YEAH !!  BRING IT ON !!!!! :)
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : ANATOMY
          Description   : With a deep knowledge of anatomy, attacks can be directed
                          at vital points in the body increasing the chance and
                          effectiveness of bleed damage.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Since poison and bleeding are two of the main weapons the
                          Rogue Master has at their disposal and, consequently, two
                          of the main areas which you should upgrade wherever the
                          opportunity presents itself.
          Skill Name    : MANDRAKE
          Must Have     : ENVENOM WEAPON
          Description   : Adds a chance for poison to cloud an enemy's mind, sending
                          them into a state of confusion.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : And here's another example of that !  With a chance of 
                          sending your enemies loopy for a moment or two, you can
                          focus your attacks on those that are compus mentis, and
                          then pick off the stragglers afterwards.  I love it !! :)
          Skill Name    : SHRAPNEL
          Must Have     : POISON GAS BOMB
          Description   : Packed with volatile liquid and metal scraps, the Poison
                          Gas Bomb will explode violently on impact showering the
                          area with deadly Shrapnel.  Each fragment of shrapnel 
                          inflicts piercing damage to the enemies it hits.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Expanding on the damage potential of the already rather 
                          cool Poison Gas Bomb, once that explodes, additional 
                          smaller fragments spray out in all directions, causing
                          EXTRA damage, and making a really cool snapping sound.
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : MORTAL WOUND
          Must Have     : LETHAL STRIKE
          Description   : Stuns victims of Lethal Strike and greatly magnifies the
                          impact of poison and bleeding damage caused by the attack.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Giving you a percentage modifier to both bleeding and 
                          poison damage, this is YET ANOTHER must have skill for
                          the Rogues and Assassins out there.
          Skill Name    : FLURRY OF KNIVES
          Must Have     : THROWING KNIFE
          Description   : Learn to throw additional knives at once and cut down 
                          enemies with a lethal flurry of razor-sharp metal.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Being able to throw not just one, but a whole BUNCH of
                          knives has a fantastic appeal I must say.  It's kinda
                          like the ultimate in goodbye fatalities ... however
                          as with the Storm Skill Torrent, there isn't really a 
                          whole lot of control you can exert over the direction
                          the additional knives go, making this a less than ideal
                          skill.  It also gives the knives additional piercing 
                          damage ;)
          Skill Name    : IMPROVED FIRING MECHANISM
          Must Have     : LAY TRAP
          Description   : Modifications to the Bolt Trap increase the number of 
                          bolts fired per round.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Even if you don't like to set traps, I would sink at least
                          one point into this skill, as it will benefit any and 
                          all traps you create.  You never know when it might come
                          in handy, non ?
       Conclusions      : If you like the idea of being an Assassin, or just 
                          focusing all your energy and attacking power into beating
                          your foes down, one at a time in devious and often brutal
                          ways ?  Then this is a SERIOUS contender as a school for
                          you.  If you like the wholesale slaughter of LARGE numbers
                          of troops at the same time ?  Then consider looking at 
                          other schools before plumping for this one.
       Sphere Rating /5 : 4
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       Game Description : Expand your consciousness to draw more deeply from the 
                          power of the dream realm and exert your will upon 
                          physical reality.
       Sinister says    : Ah yes, the NEWCOMER School.  Dream wasn't available for
                          us to play about with in regular Titan Quest, and so it
                          is the one EVERYBODY that used to play Titan Quest wants
                          to explore.  Is it worth it ?  Read on ;)
          Skill Name    : SANDS OF SLEEP
          Description   : Puts enemies to sleep, rendering them immobile for a 
                          duration or until awakened by an attack.
          My Rank (/5)  : 3
          My Comments   : Oh deary ... deary me.  The first skill in this new school
                          and it's the power to send people to ... sleep ??  Truth
                          be told it's not THAT pants, but they will wake up as soon
                          as you hit them, which makes it more useful as a "let me
                          slip by" skill than a "now you DIE" skill.  Having said 
                          that, it does of course enable you to get a free hit in
                          before they can counter, so it's not THAT bad really !!
          Skill Name    : PSIONIC TOUCH
          Description   : Psionic energies focused within your weapons will create
                          a bone shattering resonance when they contact your 
                          enemies.  Apply this skill to your left mouse button.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : A skill which augments your regular attacks, enabling you
                          to do both Vitality Damage AND a percentage of additional
                          damage to boot ?  FAIR PLAY !!  The maximum you can do
                          using this skill is an additional 96% TOTAL Damage, in 
                          3 charge levels.  Pick it up !!  PICK IT UP NOW !!!!! :)
          Skill Name    : DISTORTION WAVE
          Description   : A wave of force is projected outward that forms chaotic
                          ripples in the fabric of reality and delivers devastating
                          damage to the body and mind of enemies.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This is the same power that the Cyclops Polyphemus uses
                          against you when you fight him - a direct-line attack
                          that sends a wave of force out towards your adversaries.
                          It's upgradable, and impressive, and should form a good
                          part of your arsenal early-on in the game.
          Skill Name    : TRANCE OF EMPATHY
          Description   : Force enemies to share the damage they inflict upon you 
                          by forming a telepathic link to their minds that conveys
                          only pain and siphons life in retribution.  Trance 
                          Skill - Only one trance can be active at a time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : The first of three Trance skills that are available to 
                          you as a result of studying this school, none of which
                          are dependent on each other to exist.  This is one of
                          the best of them in my opinion - it converts a percentage
                          of the damage you do to your enemies back into life for
                          you, AND reflects a portion of the damage they do to you
                          back against them.  KILLER :)
          Skill Name    : LUCID DREAM
          Description   : Increased conscious control over your dream state enhances
                          abilities that derive power from the dream world.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Even if you don't heavily upgrade it, this skill will 
                          add damage, electrical burn damage AND vitality damage
                          to your dream powers (all as percentages - NOT fixed 
                          numbers), so it's well worth having.
          Skill Name    : PHANTOM STRIKE
          Description   : Vanish from the waking world and reappear before a target
                          enemy to deliver a monstrous attack.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : AGAIN I find myself giving a 5 to a power in this school.
                          This is an AMAZING power to watch.  You turn invisible in
                          a cloud of dream energy, and stalk your prey until you are
                          within striking distance, whereupon you decloak yourself
                          and hit them.  If your enemies are closer to you than 
                          their regular starting positions, they will try and fall
                          back to their regular starting positions which can help
                          or hinder you, depending on how many enemies stand by them
                          and where they started.  Once upgraded sufficiently, you
                          can hit more than one person (six at the highest level)
                          with your strike.  GET THIS SKILL RIGHT NOW DAMMIT !! :)
       LEVEL 10 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : PREMONITION
          Must Have     : LUCID DREAM
          Description   : A precognitive sense of the imminent future allows you to
                          stay one step ahead of your enemies in combat.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Giving you bonuses to both your Offensive AND Defensive
                          Abilities is less than awe-inspiring, but you should feel
                          the benefits in battle.  It's worth picking up even if
                          you don't sink massive amounts of points into it.
          Skill Name    : SUMMON NIGHTMARE
          Description   : Calls forth a nightmarish phantasm from the dream world
                          to serve as your familiar.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : The only summon that you can have in the Dream School, 
                          and he is QUITE the little devil bless him.  He can be
                          upgraded later on to give him extra powers, some of which
                          are quite unique.  You should definitely get this little
                          dude at your back.
          Skill Name    : PSIONIC BURN
          Must Have     : PSIONIC TOUCH
          Description   : Psionic energy within the target ignites and explodes 
                          outward, burning through their material being and 
                          inflicting severe damage to adjacent targets.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : There is absolutely NO reason not to get this skill.  It
                          gives you additional Electrical Burn Damage AND a bonus
                          percentage damage against Demons.  The only reason I 
                          wouldn't give it a 5 is because the additional percentage
                          damage you get only affects Demons.  The Electrical Burn
                          bit affects everybody though ;)
          Skill Name    : DREAM STEALER
          Must Have     : PHANTOM STRIKE
          Description   : Devastate your enemies and steal their power by ripping
                          the very dreams from their minds.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Since Phantom Strike is such a cool skill, I would put
                          a few points into this skill as well.  It gives you energy
                          leech potential, stun time and additional damage for your
                          enemies, so it's the icing on an already kickass cake.
          Skill Name    : CHAOTIC RESONANCE
          Must Have     : DISTORTION WAVE
          Description   : Amplifies the physical distortion effect, causing it to
                          shatter armour and break bones
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : This skill increases the damage of the Distortion Wave,
                          and reduces the Armour Rating of your opponents.  Another
                          cool skill for the Dream School !!
       LEVEL 16 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : TRANCE OF CONVALESCENCE
          Description   : A restful state of mind causes increased life recovery
                          and damage absorption for the player and allies.  Trance
                          Skill - Only one trance can be active at a time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Ah yes, the second Trance skill.  This one increases 
                          both your health and energy regeneration (but not to 
                          insane levels), and gives you the ability to absorb a 
                          percentage of the damage you sustain, which is nice.  15%
                          at its highest level.
          Skill Name    : HYPNOTIC GAZE
          Must Have     : SUMMON NIGHTMARE
          Description   : The mesmerising stare of the Nightmare is able to 
                          dominate lesser minds and throw them into a state of 
                          confusion, causing them to wander aimlessly and attack
                          phantom images.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : There is something very satisfying about a pet that is 
                          able to think for itself.  Your nightmare is quite the
                          little puppetmaster !!  He can possess your enemies, 
                          just as a Spirit Master might, and cause them to fight
                          at your side for a spell.  Well worth having !!
          Skill Name    : DISTORTION FIELD
          Description   : A field of psionic power bends for fabric of reality
                          around the player, negating some of the damage from 
                          enemy attacks and dealing retaliatory damage to enemies
                          that strike you.
          My Rank (/5)  : 2
          My Comments   : Warping the fabric of reality to both absorb some of the
                          damage that is dealt to you, and dealing damage to your
                          enemies in retaliation is all well and good, however at
                          its MAXIMUM level of power, there is a paltry 5% chance
                          that this skill will work ... which is MEGA plop.  I'd
                          get it, but I wouldn't rely on it too heavily.
          Skill Name    : DISTORT REALITY
          Description   : Sends out a powerful ripple of distortion around the 
                          player that tears the fabric of reality, causing severe
                          damage to enemies caught within it.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : THIS is, in my opinion, the best skill in this School.
                          It sends out a circular shockwave of force from you at
                          the centre through your enemies.  The amount of damage
                          that it inflicts is great at higher levels, and the 
                          attack can be further upgraded so as to freeze those 
                          enemies that it doesn't kill outright !!  I LOVE IT !! :)
       LEVEL 24 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : TEMPORAL FLUX
          Must Have     : LUCID DREAM
          Description   : A subtle acceleration of time around the player allows
                          them to move more quickly, anticipate attacks, and 
                          negate the slowing effects of enemy skills.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Giving you the powers of additional total speed, together
                          with a chance to avoid projectiles AND a resistance to 
                          being slowed is NOT something to be sneezed at.  It is
                          not the greatest of powers, but it can prove to be a VERY
                          helpful addition to your arsenal.
          Skill Name    : PSIONIC IMMOLATION
          Must Have     : DISTORTION WAVE
          Description   : Psionic energies ignite into a surge of electrical power
                          that causes horrific burning over a short duration.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Causing massive amounts of Electrical Burning Damage, 
                          together with a bonus modifier when used against Demons,
                          this skill is a GREAT add-on for your Distortion Wave.
       LEVEL 32 SKILLS
          Skill Name    : TRANCE OF WRATH
          Description   : Waves of negative psionic energy emanate from the player,
                          disrupting enemy thoughts and burning through their 
                          physical being.  Trance Skill - Only one trance can be
                          active at a time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 4
          My Comments   : Interestingly this skill isn't so dissimilar to the Earth
                          skill "Ring of Flame", which is available at level 4.  It
                          actively attempts to zap anybody that comes within a 
                          certain distance of you, and can be maintained for as long
                          as you wish (or have the energy to support it).  It takes
                          a barely noticeable amount of energy to use, and can help
                          ward off those pesky hand-to-hand warriors that get a bit
                          too close for comfort.
          Skill Name    : MASTER MIND
          Must Have     : SUMMON NIGHTMARE
          Description   : The Nightmare is able to speak to the minds of your other
                          minions and coordinate their attacks, making them more 
                          effective in combat.
          My Rank (/5)  : 1-5, depending on what other School (if any) you pick !
          My Comments   : First off, this skill ONLY affects other pets, so don't
                          misread "minions" and think it means "allies".  Therefore
                          if you pair Dream with either Hunting, Defence or Rogue
                          say ?  FORGET this skill entirely as it will do you NO
                          good at all.  If you are a Nature Master or a Storm or
                          Earth Master for example ?  Then it's well worth it, as 
                          it gives your pet/s bonus Damage and increased Health
                          and Energy Regeneration rates.
                          John Jackson has been in touch with me to point out that
                          the Master Mind Skill does increase the regeneration and
                          the damage of the Nightmare himself as well as his efforts
                          in training up your other minions, and additionally, the
                          level of regeneration it gives is PERCENTILE-based, rather
                          than integer-based, meaning (for example) that a standard
                          12hp/sec regeneration would, if this skill were cranked-up
                          to grant a 150% bonus, result in your pets recovering over
                          30hp/sec (when you take into account the standard recovery
                          rate), which isn't bad at all !!  Thanks mon ami :)
          Skill Name    : TEMPORAL RIFT
          Must Have     : DISTORT REALITY
          Description   : Enhances the power of the distortion ripple, unleashing a
                          surge of psionic energy that causes massive damage to 
                          enemies and temporarily freezes them in time.
          My Rank (/5)  : 5
          My Comments   : Petrifies those enemies that are not automatically slain
                          outright by the power of the Distort Reality skill, and
                          gives a great big fat Electrical Burn Damage bonus to
                          the latter as well.  I HIGHLY recommend this skill.
       Conclusions      : Well I have to say I am VERY ... V-E-R-Y impressed with
                          the newcomer school.  It has something for everybody 
                          really.  Phantom Strike is a GREAT hand-to-hand skill, 
                          the Trances serve to benefit you and your allies, the 
                          Nightmare is a very clever little pet, and can help out
                          other pets as well depending on what School (if any) you
                          pair Dream with, and your ranged attacks (both mid-range
                          as Distort Reality, and long-range as Distortion Wave)
                          are among some of the most powerful in the game.  Bonza !
       Sphere Rating /5 : 4
    A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S                                                 
    This guide is dedicated to my good friend Padopolis - mon canard !!
    Thanks to John Jackson for his insight into the Master Mind Skill of the Dream
                                                   Copyright Mister Sinister, 2007

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