Here some examples of how we've been applying special effects in our game of Champions Now, set in Seattle during Spring and Summer of 2020.
The Devil's Deputy, a villain with the ability to turn into a dust devil represented by the mechanical powers of desolidification and teleport. He also has a 4 speed, while all the PCs are 3. He encountered the player character--The Spur--who has the Deputy as a hunted. The Deputry gave Spur a hard time until a teammate, Lord Kelvin showed up. Rolling 4 points of luck, Kelvin arrived in the perfect position to surprise the Deputy. The Deputy had been knocked back into a wall and Kelvin used his ice powers (Force Wall) to encapsulate him. The written rules required an exception on the desolid, which I had set as "hermetic seal." Kelvin's ice capsule fit this perfectly and so the Deputy was captured.
In a later session, The Spur used his lasso (extra limb, stretching, entangle) to belay down the fire escape of a building while in pursuit of a villain. In the same session, his comrade, Mariner, used water powers (blast) to extinguish raging fire set by Holocaust.
In our most recent session, The Deputy aggregates out of dust in the middle of a George Floyd street protest to confront the Spur again. The heroes manage to get both of them out of the crowd (Mariner's wind storm telekenesis), where the Spur entangles the Deputy with his Lasso. The Deputy laughs and cancels his next action to turn into a dust devil (desolid). At this point, Bill, Lord Kelvin's player suggested that feezing airborne moisture (Lord Kelvin's power) would have a significant impact on a dust devil. I, the GM, agreed and Kelvin and Mariner coordinated their Ice and Water blasts and hit the Deputy.
This application took more thought for me as GM, as it wasn't as simple as the previous special effects modifications we'd played. I decided that the mechanic would be entangle, based on half the combined power points of the two blasts. That worked out to a 5d6 entangle. So the Deputy ended up as an inverted cone of frozen mud -- imagine a dust devil solidified. The Deputy could not break the entangle immediately, so the Spur had time to move in for his "Fisticuffs" Martial Punch, with a 2d6 High Impact Strike: Adds to Martial Punch AND (the other players encouraged) pushing of an additional 3d6.
He hit hard. I ruled that because Deputy's Knockback resistance comes from absorbing blows like a dust body, the resistance didn't apply. I also said that the body from the hit broke the entangle. In total, we got two "panels:" one where The Spur shatters the frozen dust devil and a second where the shattered bits hit a wall (taking more knockout) and slumps to the ground, aggregating into the Deptuy's base form, his secret ID, an acquaintance of The Spur!
So--Calling all GMs and players! What examples of special effects modifying play have you seen in your Champions Now games?