The sword and the shield have their uses as transmutation fodder that doesn't need relockering. They overlap in this regard, however. RBS has become a staple of my routine and I prep it for a lark often (and convert once I check the bosses / deal with problem ones). Knockback mace is knocback mace. It gives you knocback. You can go places with a 25% damage boost, not to mention the hilarity of finding another one in the bricked up blackmith stash. I find the wand rather nice - cheap to prep, easy to ditch, clears passageways and gets you clutch resourceless boss fight lvlups.
The badge is great, bit it's a mathematicians item. Guys I'd prep it for are ussually better served with the mace, unless inventory management is key to victory, but if that's the case I go with the easily disposable wand more often.