What are the benefits of Chroma that deal damage?

There are a small handful of Chroma that can deal damage to enemies, such as Mindstrike or Greenbane (only against Banyari). However, these all seem to do equal or less damage than using regular attacks, while also having added costs and/or risks associated with them (as well as requiring being a Skyborn in the first place, which all PCs are, but is implied to be special and powerful).

A normal attack deals 1 damage per success, allowing up to 6 damage. Other than using your turn in combat, there is no additional cost. Comparatively, Mindstrike deals 2 damage for 2 successes, 3 damage for 4 successes, or 6 damage for 6 successes (slightly less). Mindstrike also requires passing an additional check in the form of an Open Test against the foe, lest the damage be completely negated. Furthermore, all Chroma require spending 1 to 4 valuable Spirit points in order to cast, with the additional risk (albeit an avoidable one) of Shattering.

Greenbane, when used as a combat spell, is similar. It deals equal damage to a normal attack (1 damage per 1 success), but only against Banyari, costs Spirit Points, and can Shatter. The description notes that this is considered a heinous war crime, despite its lack of added effectiveness compared to other forms of murder.

Why would I go through the effort of all these extra steps, costs, and risks to channel these Chroma when I could just hit someone with my sword (or axe, knife, fists, etc)? Are there any additional benefits to using Chroma in combat?


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