FAQs are only helpful if you know about them.
I'll have to give it a look
Dominant Ideal seems like a nice away to make Metapsionic feats more manageable which is why I was considering the feat battery as a way to have access to most of them. I was going for a mix melee & range ardent using the energy mantle as range blasting.
However when I look at the PP cost of the powers vs their damage the more it seems like a lossing propasition as it doesn't scale that nicely, especially compared to casters. The majority of powers are basically a 1 PP = 1d6 damage ratio. So early levels I get 4-5 cast with it maxed, then later when Dominate Ideal would kick in I would get 8-10 full blast per day. Given that I'm also melee and looking to do buffs I don't wanna be blowing all my PP on those blast, combined with my limited choice of powers in mantles to begin with. I'd be stuck for 16 power choices in 4 mantles until I hit level 15.
I don't seem dominant ideal helping the other 3 mantles that much as it's mostly buff spells which only really benefit from Extend. But those spells tend to either last hours or minutes per level. By level 10 I figure 10 hours is pretty much all day for most adventuring and 10 minutes is pretty much one combat, unless you run to the next. So extending those powers to 20 hours or 20 mins isn't going to be much help. The problem is it being restricted to just that one mantle, as it would be nice if it applied to all my powers.
As for the "Smash it all to bits" I was thinking more along the lines of helping tank and draw fire. Sure it losses hardness and has low HP but there are plenty of creatures with High AC it can turn into, and even something possibly with DR. Have him fight defensively with Combat expertise for more AC if need be. Then there was a feat I saw, which I don't recall the name of, that let's you share your combat expertise AC bonus with adjacent allies. So the Crystal is fighting next to me in a sort of defensive position boosting my defense and it's own.
The other potential option was actually along the "smash it all to bits", though I only started considering that after all the talk of PA/LA/Shock Trooper I was seeing. Basically the idea was cast metamorphsis on it so it becomes something nasty, it has power attack, leap attack, and shock trooper(much like that big guy is with me spin of has). I then also cast the Lion's charge on it so it can make full attack round while getting all the bonuses.
Just wandering but since lion's charge is swift and metamorphsis is standard I can cast them both in the same turn right? Basically the attack dog setup, best thing is I can keep the crystal on me then drop it in combat and have it charge some weak target, like the spell caster in back, once charging lines are open.