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Last playthrough, i picked her up for wife and cleric support only. I did not bother casting a single arcane spell with her, because my main had been a berserker mage (THE man). Now i am considering a Kensai Thief for main, and picking her up, especially since she is available early on, makes her a useful mage. But is she up to the task? And most importantly, is her wisdom high enough to get those wish spells successful? (was 16)
Used correctly, Aerie is one of the most formidable characters in BG2. Her WIS is fine, but like her INT can be boosted at times of importance, like Wish spells. She is very dependable, but make sure you pack some potions of Fortitude, or give her the Belt of Fortitude, and (when you get it) Crom Faeyr. She's unique as a spellcaster NPC, and it shows!
16 WIS will be fine for Limited Wish, but it won't get you the top tier of stuff for actual 9th-level Wish (which requires 18). Wish is so random that you rarely get exactly what you want anyway, though, so it's not a big deal.

Aerie is a perfectly capable arcane spellcaster, but she doesn't get the higher-level spells as fast or in as large numbers as the single-class mages do. I often use her as a secondary mage to Imoen for more Haste castings and whatnot, but she can handle the job by herself as long as you don't mind the slower high-level spell progression. By the end of the game, she'll have nearly as many mage spells as the full mages, but she gets there a lot slower. The big issue with her is that her hitpoints are so phenomenally low. Any stray dragon breath or Horrid Wilting is likely to kill her outright, and you've got to be careful with your own fireballs as well.

The really nice things about Aerie, though, are the fringe benefits she gets from her classes. She can wear elven chainmail and use shields, the Robe of Vecna decreases the cast time of priest spells as well as mage spells, and she can load priest spells into a spell trigger or contingency, which gives her great versatility.
As the others have said, if you use her correctly, she's pretty awesome. In all of my first few times through the game, I pretty much discounted her. But when I finally decided to give her a shot, I found out how truly awesome she can be.
Imo Aerie shouldn't be used like your regular single class mage or cleric. Sure, if you do things right she can manage as the only spellcaster in SOA, but due to her being multiclass she will be severely handicapped in TOB, as she won't have many high level spells. (Or at least I don't remember her having 9th level ones, but maybe I just didn't reach the exp. cap) In my experience, the best way to make use of her abilities is either to combine her mage and cleric spells in sequencers to debuff enemies, or buff her with things like draw upon holy might, holy power, stoneskin mirror image, prot. from magic weapons etc. (this is more advisable in TOB as she will have more to choose from) and let her loose on the frontlines. Equipped with the Staff of the Ram or Energy Blades, she wreaked havoc in my game.
These are great suggestions. Hmmm, elven chainmail is great, especially the one you forge in TOB. Robes of Vecna will suit her well, and coupled with Amulet of Power will work wonders! But what am i going to wear if i give power amulet to her...? The "only" thing i do not like about her, is that i cannot export her. Damn, all this time and effort it is going to cost me to collect ALL wizard spells...
Just wanted to add that while I would not rely on Aerie for main arcane in a 6 man party, multiclassing is significantly less crippling with smaller parties. I ran a 4 man party with Jan as my only mage and he spanked. I think I was getting HLA's while still in the Underdark... it was fun. :)
I like Aerie's personality (sure she can come off as too whiny at times, but she does have a form of PTSD to it's understandable) and she's makes a good character to be in a romance with (Jaheria is too much of a Tsundre for my taste. And Viconia is too evil for my taste). But as a dependable character......I'd rather have someone else. Especially as a dependable cleric and/or mage. She is just simply too weak and can die easily. Sure, you can boost her but I prefer characters who can depend on their natural stats rather than artificial. A character that depends on boosting, you have to keep in track of their stat boosting and supplies that enable their boosting. It's just drive me nuts to constantly keep in track of that stuff, ad rather focus more on planning ahead (especially for tough bosses such as those pesky dragons).

But that's just me.
Post edited March 30, 2014 by T-6000
Aerie is my Cleric of choice, simply *because* she duals as a Mage. Her divine and arcane spell repertoire is absurd! Just be sure to keep her *far* away from the front lines and try to bolster her against ranged attacks.

As a character she is one of the more interesting ones, but after a while her banter keeps hitting on the same points like a dead horse. It doesn't take her long to shut up though :) and her selection sounds are more pleasant than most, if not particularly catchy or amusing. At least they're not (too) obnoxious. :P

Hook Aerie up with a sling and she's good from afar.

She's also my preferred romance choice for guys in BGII (compared to the alternatives). If you hang with a certain other character, though, he'll make you work for her affection which can be a welcome challenge.

I will vouch for her, sure. She's versatile, and Mages really rule BGII. I've stuck with her since the game started cuz she's good a covering a whole lot.

As far as being suitable as the "main" mage (I assume you mean the *only* mage) ... Yes. She has a vast repertoire of arcane spells available to suit almost any situation. Unfortunately her WIS and INT are *just* shy of spectacular ... but again, I mention her versatility. BGII has few "pure" mages anyway, so you'll have to make due either way.

The biggest problem with relying on her solely as a mage is that while she's casting divine spells she is *not* casting arcane spells. This is why I find it handy to maintain a second mage. So she's not perfect as the group primary, but she'll suffice well enough on her own.
Post edited March 31, 2014 by eVinceW21