So I went ahead and picked these spells up, (wasn't going to but did) and I actually used them. Now, could someone tell me what they are good for? I did not notice anything changed. I used taunt (generate threat on all enemies) and it showed it hit both bad guys, but nothing ever came of it. Any ideas?
NPC opponents tend to choose who they attack based on threat. Threat builds up as players deal damage to a opponent, or as players heal. If you play with necromancers, the lifesteal effect of many of their attacks usually means they very quickly find themselves as the center of unwanted attention.
Taunt and distract build threat up on the caster. This means things are much more likely to attack you. In solo play, this means little, since you're the only target for them anyways. But in group play, this means that the ice mage can keep all the hostiles occupied while the rest of the group (including the chain-feinting necromancers) are free to obliterate the opposition without fear of reprisal.
Of course, the ice mage needs a way to survive all that attention. Tower shields, ice armor, and stuns are great ways to buy time, and spending some training points in the life school never hurts.