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Spell special effects on directX

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Hello, Im currently working on a project using directX 10 and I wondering how I could archive the same effects for spells at games like warcraft 3, diablo, torchlight, wow, starcraft2, etc...

 

I know that fire (and other similar things) I can get using billboards, particles are easy to implement, but things like those spells:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd0xuL8bdBA (0:42 to the end).

 

Can someone tell me examples or articles that I could read?

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I'd say using animated meshes (scale & rotation) plus texture animation on the meshes (i.e. uv, blending). It's probably a combination of different effects (i.e. meshes + particles + lens flares).

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