How do create multiple semi unique objects form a singular prefab or template?

I want to create many different enemies from a single source prefab or template to build randomly generated armies of 10 to 15 different enemy types from one source prefab and then just add the sprite and a stat set at random.
Is there a better way to pull a prefab into the game world than instantiate that would allow the resulting objects to be edited individually? or an alternative to prefabs that could what I want?

Figured it out, i put the script that sets the sprite component onto the prefab itself instead of in the script that created the object
a line like this and each object sets its own sprite

void Start () {
	this.gameObject.GetComponent<SpriteRenderer>().sprite = this.GetComponentInParent<MobSpawning>().spawnNormalEnemy();


getMinionSprite returns the sprite I want the enemy to look like from