I always felt AOS expansion nerfed Mages a bit. Mages don't have a good enough variety of elemental damaging spells. Mostly fire and energy doing most damage. With a combined total skills in magery and poisoning of 200 a mage can drop deadly poison fields etc... So firstly is the old school Blade Spirit dealing poison damage as stated above.
My next beef with magery is the summon creature spell. Its not even good enough to be annoying lol! Both blade spirit and summon creature take a long time to cast, so where is the payoff? This version of Summon Creature does what it should have 100% time...Spawn a mount! Now a mage doesn't need a horse he can summon a familiar. One of two possible spawns. A White Charger of the Fallen which cures the rider of poison(unicorn) and does the Kirin special mounted ability(force of nature) Other possibility is a polar bear(we love rideable polar bears man ) and he heals owner like a Cu Sidhe. Both these creature with Greater Healing support will take down a dragon, nice for a mage cartographer.
Idea for an update might be to recognize the mage's karma level and spawn evil looking creatures for negative karma mage types