Two of the three spectral effects that have been announced have been released already - both are a little bit on the expensive side, though:
Eventide Structural Effects Fission - splits transient and tonal parts of a signal and allows for separate pitch-shifting, EQing and other effects. Very handy as a mixing tool for nearly everything from subtle manipulations to complete drum-reshaping and other stuff. Especially nice for drums, vocals and effect sounds in a mixing context imho. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
Zynaptiq Wormhole - a tool for pitch and frequency shifting and spectral-warping that has the nice advantage of integrating a morph function (a simplified version of Zynpatiq Morph) between wet and dry version instead of a simple crossover fader. I heard some good and some bad things about the quality of the new pitch- and frequency-shifting algorithm, I personally think it does the job well but it may not be the best tool if you are looking for a simple pitchshifter. Instead, it is really good for harder transformation of voices and other signals and then morphing between wet and dry versions. Also, it is great for crazy modulated spectral manipulations, but Zynpatiq does not provide any modulation options inside of the plugin so you have to use your DAW for that. If you are shopping for spectral tools but want internal modulation I would recommend waiting for Unfiltered Audio SpecOps, since their products always have a great modulation system. [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
I'm having a lot of fun with Scapes by twistedtools. It's a granular delay effect so that's nothing new, but it is to me and it packs a whole lot of options that make it really usable and playable.
It has step sequencer, can receive midi notes and there's 6 layers that can be incoming audio, loops, or oscillators which can then be manipulated individually with easy sliders. If you've ever used anything by twistedtools before, it should be familiar right away.
Unfortunately, I think the answer is layering. But maybe someone could make some new effects that kinda layer different effects together. Introducing the Cave VST- reverb and physics modeling. The wideness of a cave and all those little plinka plonks you could hear inside a cave. All those juicy fruit splash epic caveness you hear in modern electronic music in one vst.
using long effects chains and then recording to audio and repeating works well. modulating the effects in a musical way with each other like you would regular music notes will get you things you wouldn't expect, especially when used in large amounts. just put all your effects on one track and bada bing bada boom. f*** it!
All the spectral tools I was talking about some months ago are out now: Fission, Wormhole and SpecOps. After testing all I would probably recommend SpecOps for most creative applications because of its flexibility and internal modulation system. Fission is a great mixing tool, especially fur drums, mixed beats and basically everything with transients but I don't use it much for sound design. Wormhole has a great sound but very limited flexibility and no internal modulation. A really nice bonus is the morph function to morph between wet and dry signals, though, awesome for sound design.