One thing people come to me with regularly is a desire to get a really crazy effect.  They want their guitar to sound like a light saber or something.  I can understand the desire, as maybe you really hate your tone or you feel uninspired lately.  The thought is that some wild noises will get you excited about playing.  Sometimes a giant multi-effects box will help turn things around.

But it won’t last.

This is a temporary fix for a lot of reasons.  Aside from all the various psychological problems, a core issue is that goofy sounding effects are not usable on any kind of regular basis (for MOST guitarists).  If you get a pedal that shifts two octaves up while doing a rotary effect and harmonizing a minor 7th, it’s something that might be neat in small doses but would cause headaches after a full song.

Since I drink (a lot), I naturally compare effects to alcohol in this case.  When I’m shopping for effects pedals, I look for things I can use in a lot of scenarios.  With booze, stuff like gin/vodka/rum/etc are the foundation of most drinks.  They’re like a good overdrive.  Liqueurs and mixers like vermouth, simple syrup, and lime juice are all essentials of a bar that help build a cocktail.  You could compare them to a delay or tremolo.  The crazy imaginary harmo-roto-octavia pedal I described before would be like orange sherbet flavored vodka or apple pie bitters.

Certainly there’s a place for extremely unique effects – but just take caution when buying them.  I only suggest something very unusual if the player has a specific use in mind before making a purchase.  If you buy on weird-factor without any clue how it will fit into your playing/sound, you’re likely to be throwing that thing on ebay a few weeks later and starting the cycle all over again.