I haven't had a chance to play this patch a ton because things like work and sleep keep getting in the way, but I have had some ideas to make magic and shards more awesomer.
Shard Spells: There should be more spells that play off of shards.
1. Shard Scrying. This spell could have several power levels. The first would just reveal a shard with in a certain radius of the sovereign. The spells could go up in power until they reveal all shards on the map in the middle-late game. By then a player should have explored thoroughly, but seeing extra shards never hurt. Have the area revealed around the shard either be just the square the shard is on or a one square radius.
2. Shard Alignment. Eventually it will come to pas that there are too many of one type of shard and none of another. A spell to readjust the type of shard you have would be neato.
3. Shardsplosion. Magically blow up a shard, rendering the land around it unusable. Maybe crystallize the surrounding landscape?
Prismatic Shards: It would also be nice to have a type of shard that can become any elemental type. The prismatic shard would be great for the same reasons listed above for spell number 2.
Shard Seeding: You find a shard sliver on a quest. You can plant the sliver along with some of your essence. A set number of turns later a full grown shard emerges.