All nine of these sword swing FX were made with the same material.
The goal for this project was to create a material that I could use in the future to generate any number of stylized weapon trails.
The material graph makes use of lots of Static Switch Parameters to give users plenty of options to tweak the sword swing as much as they want.
The Trail itself has an option to be affected by UV distortion. All the distortion options are editable in the Material Instance menu.
The (optional) breakup texture, can add variation on each sword swing and can effect the color or the opacity (or both or neither). I included several smooth-step switches to let users tweak the grey-scale values of the textures.
Particle alpha controls an erosion effect, with an adjustable base softness value, which causes the trail to dissolve in visually appealing ways along the length of the mesh.
Users have the option to either color the trail via gradient mapping, which can give a rich diverse color palate to an effect; or use the particle color to drive the hue of the trail (which saves a texture sample and a few instructions).
Users have the option to switch the blend mode of the material as well, and I provided node inputs to ensure that the effect would work whether it was Translucent, Alpha Premultiply, Opacity Masked, or Additive.
The Material Instance neatly categorizes every option provided, under groups, and even hides parameters that are disabled by other parameters. You can download the material, as well as some of the textures I used, here.