I think we can all agree with Dsraider, as it's cool.
In response to magic schools countering one another...
I dislike that... I'll cede right off the bat that, yes, it works, and the 'Why fix what isn't broken,' approach is just fine, especially given the setting...
But Magic is supposed to be... Well, magical... It never made a whole lot of sense to me for magic to be so neat and ordered. Rather, it's meant to be chaotic power bursting forth from the hands of someone capable of Channeling that power. NOT controlling, but Channeling. It always seemed to me Magicians, Wizards, what have you, shouldn't be in direct control of their power, but rather, borrowing it from the already powerful forces of life, death, and nature, which, by definition, are chaotic at best, completely and utterly unpredictable at worst.
A true master of Magic, (Pun not intended, I swear,) would just be well versed in a massive deal of the possible effects of her/his spells, either through practice, or study under one experienced in magic.
While it makes perfect sense for spells to need to be dug up and researched to be gained, being able to cast a spell, and knowing what it does are two different things, at least in my mind. You could cast what you assume is a fireball... And it is a fireball... You're now holding that fireball far too close, if not directly in your hand... That can NOT be good for your skin. Or your health.
Now, naturally, we assume our magician would have enough practice and common sense to, once summoned, toss/hurl/lob/throw/etc. said fireball... Let's say though, that another magician entirely is trying to make the fireball leave his/her hand... And it does... But now that it's left their hand, they've let their focus wander, thinking it's fire-and-forget. (Dear God, what is with the unintentional puns in this post?!) Suddenly, their fireball blows up in their face...
My point is, magic should, by it's very nature, be a chaotic force, and strange things, even... *Gasp* Magical things, should be possible using it. Predicted or not. That's not to say the effects should be unpredictable in E:WoM, but that the idea of counters is silly. Magic should only be limited by the imagination, and by this reasoning, counters to everything, and nothing, should exist within each circle... Meaning, they should all balance out, not be limited in greater effectiveness to diametric opposites.
Last example... This time, though, we'll be using two experienced magicians in combat against one another.
Earth Magician has Fire Magician pinned far too close to a cliff. He channels his power to shake the cliff-face, causing a rock-slide, trying to crush the Fire Mage. Fire Mage tosses a Fireball and causes it to explode behind the falling rocks, flinging them outwards towards the Earth Mage. In response, he calls forth an Obsidian Shield to protect him from the falling boulders. Now Fire Mage channels a jet of flame at his Obsidian Shield, quickly heating it up, and therefore, somewhat cooking the Earth Mage inside. So Earth Mage dissolves the areas of the shield not being directly targeted, giving himself some air. He then causes the remaining part to violently shatter, thrusting in the direction of the Fire Mage. He then uses his Flame Jet like a Jet-Pack to escape... Etc, etc... I could go on FOREVER.
Granted, stuff like this wouldn't be possible in E:WoM... I'm just re-affirming my point, and opinion, that magic should NOT be a structured, orderly force, that hard-counters are silly, and that any circle, in skilled hands, should be as good as the next.