Could effects be implemented as requirements? For example, an Imp can't use Fireball unless a Demon Lord has cast Hellfury on it which lasts for 1 minute, thus the player has to make a Demon Lord and have it cast Hellfury on all the Imps so they can use their more powerful Fireball attack?
This feature becomes really powerful if used with emanations as I would like to use it for morphing a building, for example:
A Town building would need at least 3 houses and 5 hovels before its morph command can be used to morph it into a city. It detects how many houses and huts are nearby using their emanations, so houses would put the house effect on nearby units and the hovels a hovel effect, the Town would then check to see if it has 3 stacks of the House effect and 5 stacks of the Hovel effect before the player is allowed to use the Morph to City skill.