Straight out of apprenticeship, a Magus will have a Magic Theory of at least 3. With a 3 they are limited to 6 pawns of Vis and 3 components for a compound item. So what can we do with that?
- Medium components of Wood, Leather, Cloth, or Glass
- Small components of Bone or Soft Stone
- Tiny components of any Metal (except gold), as well as Hard Stone
So we can pick any three of those to build into it. Looking over the list, we find that a simple stick gets the modifiers for Wand/Staff, Wood(Dead), and the type of wood it is (Oak, Ash, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Blackthorn, Cedar, Cherry, Chestnut, Cinnamon, Cinquefoil, Cypress, Elder, Elm, Fir, Hawthorn, Holly, Hornbeam, Linden, Palm, Pine, Poplar, Rowan, Walnut, Willow, and Yew as a non-exhaustive list all provide bonuses). If the tree the wood was taken from was struck by lightning there is an additional bonus. In general it is overall the best single component within our range.
A straight out of apprenticeship with minimum Magic Theory Magus' two additions to that base wand have a variety of choices. Some of the better choices...
- Basalt: a Hard Stone which provides a bonus to Ignem and Perdo.
- Brass: a bonus to Ignem, Music, and Demons/Devils/Angels
- Bronze: a bonus to Terram and Darkness
- Clear Glass: nearly as good as Quartz at Invisibility and adds a second modifier.
- Copper: a large range of narrow focused modifiers
- Granite: bonus to Wealth and Terram. Use a course rather than gemstone quality piece
- Iron: especially good against Faeries. Depending on the Saga this might be highly valuable or worthless.
- Ivory: good for Healing.
- Lead: bonus for Wards as well as Summoning or Binding Spirits.
- Magnet: bonus to Rego, with a larger one to RegoCorpus and RegoTerram.
- Magnetite: bonus to Animal
- Marble: Hard Stone with bonus to Beauty, Cold, and Wards
- Silver: small bonus to Intelligo and Terram, as well as large bonuses related to lycanthropes.
There are a couple of really good ones that would require two components to get.
- Mercury provides bonuses to Aquam, Terram, and Muto. Though you would have to use something as a container for it (clear glass or a metal).
- Mirror (silver and glass) provides bonuses to Summon/Bind Ghost, See the Truth, Display Images, and Illusions. Combined with the modifiers from Silver and Glass, this gives a very specific set that if it fits the Magus is very useful.
A simple wooden wand, if chosen from a wood that fits the Magus and with two appropriate other components can be enchanted as a Talisman straight out of apprenticeship that provides bonuses to Arts and activities the Magus favors. While yes if you wait you can make a much better (or at least more complicated) one, selection of appropriate parts would allow one any Magus can create to be very useful.
For the earlier question to me, no I do not make every enchantment in a Talisman with a Personal Range. I was simply pointing out that effects a Magus instills which are to be used on themselves, many Magi will use the lower Magnitude of Range Personal to enchant a more powerful or cheaper effect without thinking about "Can someone else use this?". Any effects planned to be used on others will have a range greater than Personal.