This Handbook uses the following system for ratings:
Red: This is either completely worse than another choice, or is just plain ineffective.
Purple: This has its uses for certain builds, but there are probably better options.
Black: Taking this will not hurt you, though there may be better options.
Blue: This is a very solid choice, and should always be considered.
Sky Blue: You should think hard before not taking something with this ranking.
Gold:You will need to take this if you want to be considered optimized in any meaningful fashion.
This Handbook covers the following sources:
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DP - Divine Power
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
Du XXX - Dungeon Magazine, issue XXX
E1 - Death's Reach (Adventure)
Ebr - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
Homm - Village of Hommlet (Adventure)
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotEC - Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
HotFey - Heroes of the Feywild
HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
MME - Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
MotP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2- Martial Power 2
NW- Neverwinter Campaign Setting
P1 - King of the Trollhaunt Warrens (Adventure)
P2 - Demon Queen Enclave (Adventure)
P3 - Assault on Nightwyrm Fortress (Adventure)
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHB D - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHB T - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
PP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power
LordDuskblade, for the format being used.
Lord_Ventnor, Cecil90670, DwarvenSpartan, and all those who have posted on the swordmage before.
Robert Quill, for the artwork being used in the title post.