Great good grief, not having my usual double spellcheckers was terrible wasn't it? Well I suppose that's what I get for using paid commercial products for my typing.
Devoted spirit sword school.
L1: flails and aid another actions. Ok, so flails have the nice property of not being able to be parried, but a downside of less overall awesome weapons available & damage done. Aid another, it mentions that the attack related benefits apply to the aided attack. Coordinate with another melee combatant and that could get nasty, you aiding them on their manoeuvrer and they on yours. Like.
L2: -2 restriction - make an alignment check with a +2 bonus as part of the manoeuvrer. Hm. The peasant class gets the luck feat and the paladin class track gets pure faith (+2 on alignment checks) and devoted spirit. Plus there's always hero points for a reroll.
+1 or +3 advantage - heal an adjacent ally for one or two points of damage. Not stackable. Does not require that attack to hit, it's just a result of the manoeuvrer. Yes, two people coordinating could get very nasty very fast.
L3: -1 restriction - add a medicae + wisdom roll in addition to the attack roll to hit.
+2 advantage - I quote: "If you roll a 10 on damage with this attack, roll an additional 2 dice for the exploding die instead of just one." Ow.
L4: +1 advantage (stackable) - an adjacent ally gets +2 static defence, may be split between any/all adjacent allies.
Bonus - get +4 hit points. That's like 400xp worth of sound constitution feats there.
L5: +4 advantage - if the attack hits the head or gizzards get bonus damage equal to your devotion. Excuse me? I fart in your general direction? You're level 5 and paid 400xp to get access to this ability, which will cost another 200xp to stick into a manoeuvrer. Take a +2k0 damage and the level 3 double explosion dice instead, save yourself 400xp for more manoeuvrers or something.
Well it definitely benefits from allies. As long as you have the Pure Faith feat that L2 restriction isn't bad, your minimum is 5. Weirdly that means that it's a worse choice for Chosen exalts because they want to have a high devotion score but for anyone with a 5 devotion it's basically free.
Double exploding damage dice and +4 hit points are very nice indeed.
The level 5 ability is, this time, complete crap. The absolute best it does is +10. 7k3 gives 40/50/60 percentiles at 25/26/29, while 8k4 (7k3+1k1) gives 32/34/37 which means 200xp of standard universal advantages is equal to about +8 and has been available since level 1. Or hey, 10k3 & +2 pen gets you... ok only +3 to +5 before ignoring 2 more points of armor. Right, checked. going from 6k4 to 10k4 is an increase of 7 to 8, going from 8k2 to 10k3 is a +10, 5k2 to 6k3 is an increase of 7 to 9. I'd have to modify my die roller program to accommodate the double explosions, which may not happen.
That's a pretty good sword school as long as you don't take the capstone.
Diamond mind sword school.
L1: fencing weapons and feint manoeuvrers. The attack after the special manoeuvrer feint may not itself be a special manoeuvrer, but it can be any kind of regular attack. Fencing weapons just all get +1k0 to parrying and not amazing damage (2k2, 3k2, like flails).
L2: -2 restriction - this move can only be used as a opportunity attack or a delayed action. Interesting, that's a sort of bonus on the L1 and it gives you more advantages to play with.
+2 advantage - +5 to parry until the start of your next turn. Pleasant, if not amazing. Not sure it's worth a full +2 though.
L3: -1 restriction - the scrutiny + composure in addition to the attack roll.
+3 advantage (stackable, but at +3 not very stackable) - Oh, just right out get an extra attack. No resource expenditure needed. Well, ok. That's worth the +3.
L4: +4 advantage - if the attack hits the target makes a dexterity check vs. 20 or drop anything they're holding.
Bonus - after a feint you can use any sort of attack. Oh, up until now apparently it could only be a standard attack after a feint.
L5: +2 advantage (stacking) - targets hit by this attack lose a resource point. You can stack this one up to 5 times. Not bad, even if it only really works against exalt type entities. They're the dangerous ones any ways.
So at level 3 you can drop 450xp on a manoeuvrer. Once a scene, on an opportunity attack, make a scrutiny check, then make 4 attacks at +1k0 damage. Hmmm, level 3, say 3 strength & composure, 4 weaponry & scrutiny skills, a phase sword... Opp attack provokes -> 7k3r1 scrutiny vs. static defense (avg. 28) -> 4 attacks at 6k4r1 (move the -1k0 penalty from damage to the attack roll, still avg. 32) -> each hit does 6k2 rending & penetration 7 (avg. 18 & ignores anything less than full plate @ AP 8) -> three hits... drops an elite soldier in carapace armor to 0 HP & crit 1 or 3, gives a lesser incarnate daemon a crit 3 or 4, and a greater loses 1/3rd of it's HP (probably more, almost half, since it has a static defense of 14).
Hm, level 4 and some exalts get to take full actions as a half action (or just an extra half action). You could manage a feint and then a dual wield multi-attack for lots and lots of stabbing.
Good sword school. Who gets it? Ah, bard and rogue class tracks.
Iron heart sword school.
L1: ordinary weapons and the aim action. Like diamond mind the attack for the aim action manoeuvrers can't be another manoeuvre. Aim however does not stipulate that you have to do a standard attack afterwards.
L2: -2 restriction - minus 10 static defense until the start of your next turn.
+2 advantage - the attack becomes tearing (minimum one wound as long as it penetrates armor).
L3: -1 restriction - perception check as part of the attack.
+2 advantage - the attack does explosion typed damage. Well that's nastier crits than impact and rending.
L4 +4 advantage - the weapon is effectively a power weapon for the attack.
Bonus - all attempts to dodge or parry your attacks (actually worded as "all responses") get -1k0 dice.
L5: +5 advantage - the attack cannot be dodged or parried. Just suck up the damage you poor bugger.
Not bad, not amazing, mostly just type enhancements to your attacks. The level 5 is nice, you can drop 250xp to say that all your standard attacks can't be dodged or parried. I'm not too impressed with tearing, and making things power weapons. Those are a touch niche and not really anything very impressive.
Setting sun sword school.
L1: unarmed attacks and fighting defensively (-1k0 attacks, +1k0 dodge & parry).
L2: -2 restriction - may only use the manoeuvre as part of a grapple.
+2 advantage (stacking) - on a hit the target takes a level of fatigue, even of they don't take damage. That could get harsh, although there are things immune to fatigue.
L3: -1 restriction - deceive check as part of the attack roll.
+2 advantage - anyone damaged by the attack takes +1k0 to all rolls until the start of your next turn. A minor debuff.
L4: +4 advantage - the attacks gains the shocking property (constitution vs. 15 or be stunned your next turn).
Bonus - get +5 to initiative. Eh? Going first is nice and this pretty much assures your spot in first place, but it only really helps that first round.
L5: +2 advantage - use the target's weapon as the base damage for the attack. Well. Replace that 1k1 penetration 2 cestus damage of yours with their 2k3 penetration 4 tearing chain axe damage. Not a bad price for it either.
Honestly the shocking property has never done too much in game. I'm sure it works well against constitution 2 creatures, but those are actually kind of rare. The desert wind L2 advantage is better than that L3 debuff, it can last longer. But that fatigue stacking can get nasty fast if your target isn't immune.