My preferencesare probably not the best, but they suit my playstyle and I like them.
Altarian/Kingdom because I like Henchmen very much. The +10% Xp and Rush-ability are useful, but were it not for my love of henchmen, I'd probably play Mancer for their +1 Move.
Enchanters - I like to cast much magic and this helps me with mana.
Lucky - I dislike to miss attacks and like it when opponent miss.
Master Scouts - movement is IMHO important. Mancers are probably better, but this is second best.
Quick - will try this for my next game.
No Armor - to pay for 4 choices. In my small experience, the start is more important than end-game-equipment.
Beastlord - to hopefully get some units/scouts early. Warlock, Summoner, General, and Schoolar are probably better choices for mid and end-game, but I want more units early without halting important city improvements. In my set-up the Sov will heal more than cast fireball.
Air - mainly for a quick Tutelage. Also good for Evade on my Sov, Storm a bit later and Cloudwalk in mid/late game.
Life - to heal my troops and henchmen. I get a needed second city buff (alongside Meditation); Sovereign's call.
I really also want Earth (for early Enchanted Hammers and later Set-in-Stone for one production Fortress) and Water (for the alternative early Inspiration and Mantle of the Oceans!!) but my first champions will have to bring these schools asap.
Procipinee's Crown - saves mana as I want to stack all maintenqance spells on my Sov. Staff of Souls maybe give more mana and is better on a Fireball-mage, but I find healing is important /in my play-style/ and at selected occasions rush in an melee attack with a better weapon. The Crown is kept/used to the end, but unless I go for Warlock/Fireballer the staff will be replaced by a high Attack weapon.
Ereog's Token - +3 Def is nice but the real deal is cursing without having to use an action. As soon as I get a Bard Defender tank on a horse, he will take over the Token. As Kingdom I think this is the only way to get Curse.
Brilliant - +10% Xp and Spell mastery helps with taming beasts /I hink at least/.
Clumsy - with some careful unit movements in battle, I can live with it.
With the above I make my Sov a mage. My first Champion gets to be Warrior as I only have so much mana in the beginning. I dislike Sovereign summoning and wait for a Bard/Mage to take that role.