I want to be able to add an issue link to an issue and have the blocker issue automatically change to the Blocker type and flag the issue for higher visibility. How can I do that?
This is one of the biggest misses in JIRA, IMO.
First of all, why wouldn't you visually indicate that a card is blocked on the Agile Board? That's very important info.
Second, why is the "Blocker" checkbox called "Blocker". Shouldn't it be called "Blocked?" On the Agile board the issue appears to be blocked, based on the icon. I have seen many teams use the "Blocker" checkbox to indicate that the card is blocked, not the other way around.
This is not something that's standard in JIRA and JIRA Agile.
You could take a look at the Scriptrunner plugin or create jelly script to simply run a script once in a while that edits all issues that have an issue link called 'is blocking' and are still open.
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