I wrote two blog posts on the magic rules in Shadowrun 5th Edition, specifically Spellcasting, and Conjuring. I wanted to take a moment and write one more post about an interesting opinion I read online while building my canned characters for my first session.
"Being an aspected mage actually penalizes for taking power limitations at priority C. (At priority B, aspected magicians are equal to magicians at least in terms of the karma value of their bonuses.) At priority D, obviously there isn't a comparison. The obvious conclusion however is that nobody should ever play an aspected magician except at priority D, unless you are going to be a conjurer, and even that is debatable. (Of course, then there is the question of why you would ever want to be a magician instead of a mystic adept, since Mystic Adept > Magician > Aspect)."
Courtesy of Ricochet here
Now, let's look at this a bit closer. At priority A, there's no Aspected Magician, so you have to choose Magician, or Mystic Adept. I cannot fathom why you would take priority A for Magic. By taking A in Magic you are selling yourself short. So much of the game focuses on Attributes, and Skills, I cannot fathom why you would waste A on Magic. Especially when B is nearly as good, and leaves your top spot open for Attributes.
Priority B is where I like to start with every Magician I've built. I look at it like this: If I'm building a human Character, then Mystical Adept, Magician, or Aspected Magician all make sense. Remember, if you're going to take Magician, you might as well take Mystical Adept. You don't have to buy the power points, but having the choice doesn't cost anything, and can leave interesting growth options open to you down the road. If I'm building a non-human character and I'm not going to have a large number of extra points to add to my Edge, and Magic, then I prefer the Aspected Magician at this level, as the one higher point in Magic can help offset the lack of special attribute points from the metatype. That being said, a full Magician at priority B can be solid with a non-human metatype, you need to balance the metatype choice, and the rest of your priority choices though.
Priority C is the first level where I'd actually consider taking an Adept. You have a reasonably high Magic, and you've left Priority A, and B, free for attributes, skills, or metatype. Though again, I'd caution against taking Priority A as anything other than attributes. For Magician, Mystic Adept, or Aspected Magician I have to agree with Ricochet. The skill group for the Aspected Magician simply isn't enough of a benefit to make me not want to take the full Magician or Mystic Adept. Magic 3 is still solid, especially if you're playing a human, or other metatype with a few special attribute points to bolster your magic rating.
Priority D, this is an interesting one. You're left with Adept, or Aspected Magician. You get no spells, or skills, for free. Why would you bother taking Priority D for Magic? Honestly, I would only take Adpet at this Priority. Given that all Adepts have to buy power points with Karma you might as well take Attributes, Skills, and Metatype/Resources as A, B, and C, and use the special attribute points to up the magic attribute, and the skill and attribute points to build a solid foundation for a character. I can't advise taking Aspected Magician at D, as there's simply too many demands on your skill picks, and karma, to make a mage work at such a low priority.
This is one of the only failings of a priority based build system. You end up with character builds that simply aren't as good, or aren't even viable. In the end, you're going to see a lot of Human Mystic Adpets. If this was intentional by the designers, or not, this is definitely the way I see things going.
Magic: B (Mystic Adept)
Metatype: D (Human (3))
That's your cookie-cutter mage build, in my opinion.
I'm curious though, does anyone have an idea for a character that doesn't seem possible? I'd like a challenge. If you can think of a character concept post in the comments, and tell me what the character concept is, and what you'd pick for Metatype, Attributes, Skills, Resources, and Magic. I'll pick a few I like and see if I can actually build them.