The steps for the glow effect were to first create a sprite for the glow. This was done in Photoshop by just using the sprite that I want to have glow and adding the "Outer Glow" blending option to the layer. I gave it a pretty large spread and make the color white. The white color is the important part, everything else can be done to taste. What the white color does is allow you to set a color overlay in Unity such that when it comes down to setting custom glow colors, we can allow our designers to pick a color in the Unity Inspector. Back in Photoshop, once the glow looks good, save the blend options. You can right click on the layer effects and select "Create Layer". From there, I had to create a mask of the sprite upon the glow layer so there was a shape of my sprite cut out of the center of the glow layer. I had to do this because, in Unity, I couldn't figure out how to get the glow sprite to be behind its parent's sprite. If I could, then this glow could be applied to any sprite.
I added the glow sprite to a child object of the prefab of the GameObject I wanted to add the effect to and by default had the Sprite Renderer disabled. The script was pretty complicated and required using Unity's Coroutines to run the animation of fading the glow from full to off. The coroutines had to be stoppable so that recurring events could interrupt any animations currently in play; i.e. losing minions which would cause a red glow that animates for 2 seconds, losing more minions 1 second later could then stop the previous animation and start a new one to last 2 seconds, then adding some minions 0.72 seconds later could interrupt the previous animation to start a new green glow that fades out over 2 seconds, etc. But in the case of the pulse effect, I didn't want the pulse to interrupt itself because the pulse would start and stop so quickly that you could barely see it. But I did want a fade effect to interrupt a pulse, so I just had to include these checkers in the Update() function.
Here's what it looks like the inspector. Again, I take pride in making sure it's easily customizable for the designers sake. I want to give the designer the freedom to tweak it to the desired effect in as many ways as possible.