We at the Spellsouls team have interesting shader in Unity but nothing revolutionary as @NikolaD said. Most of the options are well known for people who do VFX, but the way our shader is build it gives us options to experiment and all made with sliders and check boxes. So potentially i can go around and click random stuff and have a lot of different effects which makes it like a toy
-Using different channels of texture for different things (Green as emission/lighting, Blue as translucency/alpha and Red for grayscale which is manipulated with LUT textures)
-Use RGB texture for color
-Use alpha for "erosion"
-How much alpha impacts color.
-Use of second texture for blending (we only blend between 2 cos of limitations for mobile devices but you can have 4 if you want)
-having 11 options for Blend Source and Blend Destination (textures blending modes as Additive, multiply etc.)
-and many other options which gives us a lot of experimentation
All of this options give you freedom to test out stuff how they fit one with another.
I find myself spending some time with blending modes and changing options for Blend Source and Blend Destination
e.g. The other day I was experimenting with some blending modes and found that:
Plane with the texture of radial gradient and blend mode of
Source - OneMinusDistColor
Destination - OneMinusScrAlpha
Inverse the colors of the texture beneath it.
If you are more interested in how this stuff work i suggest you to look at this https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/SL-Blend.html
Also found out that its possible to make BlendAdd (as Blizzard call it) if i am not mistaken it should be:
Source - One
Destination - OneMinusSrcAlpha
And in our case use Blue channel as Alpha
which is great for any kind of effect that has nice colored outline because it keeps inner effect blend normally and outline be additive (e.g. white strike of Lightning with blue outline)
you can find it here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1017660/Technical-Artist-Bootcamp-The-VFX
I must admit that though everyday work I am looking for that happy accident and the best way to trigger it is to have flexible enough shader that updates stuff in realtime so you can go wild
In the ShowReel that Nikola showed i dont think we used any of blend modes from above but they are coming soon with new effects for the next big update of Spellsouls
And if you guys have any questions we are here to help!