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Nova Abilities

Last updated on Mar 15, 2016 at 06:30 by Oxygen 24 comments

Table of Contents

Nova Image

General Information

Below, we give you a brief overview of the abilities that Nova has access to. You should read these ability descriptions before reading further, because the other pages of the guide assume that you have a basic knowledge of Nova's abilities.

The other pages of our Nova guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

Oxygen is a veteran of the MOBA genre, which he has been playing for nearly 15 years. He has coached some of Heroes of the Storm's most prominent North American players and teams alike, including Team Liquid. As a Rank 1 Flex player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.

1. Snipe

Nova Snipe
Snipe (Q) Starcraft Nova
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 6 seconds

Deals 680 (323 + 4% per level) damage to the first enemy hit.

Snipe Icon Snipe causes Nova to instantly fire an extremely fast projectile towards the targeted location. This projectile heavily damages the first enemy it touches.

As Nova's main source of burst damage, Snipe is an essential ability to master. Clever opponents will stand behind undesirable targets such as Minions, summons, Structures, or resilient allied Heroes in order to prevent you from directly hitting them. They can also move in eccentric patterns or use displacement abilities in an attempt to dodge the projectile. Crowd control effects such as stuns, roots, and slows will help landing Snipe, but they are not available to Nova beside through Pinning Shot Icon Pinning Shot ability. Opponents that are distracted by certain tasks, such as killing Mercenaries or dealing with Map Objectives, are also significantly easier to hit. But, in the end, nothing makes up for being able to predict enemy movement and behaviour, for which you will unquestionably need to practice.

2. Pinning Shot

Nova Pinning Shot
Pinning Shot (W) Starcraft Nova
  • Mana: 65
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

Deal 242 (115 + 4% per level) damage to an enemy and slow it by 40% for 2.25 seconds.

Pinning Shot Icon Pinning Shot damages the targeted enemy and reduces its movement speed by 40% for 2.25 seconds.

Pinning Shot's unmissable nature and speed reduction effect make it an excellent ability to use in conjunction with Snipe Icon Snipe and Precision Strike Icon Precision Strike in order to improve your accuracy. The ability's damage is so unremarkable that it should almost exclusively be used when the slowing effect will be useful to you or a teammate. Due to its range and reliability, Pinning Shot is typically used as an opening ability when ganking, allowing your allies to follow up with their own damaging or crowd controlling abilities. As with most movement reduction effects, it can also be used for peeling or hindering the escape of an opponent. Pinning Shot prompts Nova to automatically attempt to use a Basic Attack on the ability's target if she is still within attack range, unless ordered otherwise.

3. Holo Decoy

Nova Holo Decoy
Holo Decoy (E) Starcraft Nova
  • Mana: 50
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Create a Decoy for 5 seconds that appears to attack enemies. Using this Ability does not break Cloak.

Holo Decoy Icon Holo Decoy causes Nova to summon a lifelike Decoy of herself at target location for 5 seconds. To your opponents, this Decoy looks exactly like Nova, sharing her current Health and Mana levels on cast, although its vision radius is only about half that of Nova. Unable to deal any damage before picking up the Level 16 talent Lethal Decoy Icon Lethal Decoy, the Decoy will attempt to move about in a random pattern while using Basic Attacks, Snipe, and Pinning Shot (which does NOT slow), prioritising Heroes. While the Decoy can block skillshots and interrupt channeled objectives with its attacks and abilities (through Lethal Decoy), it has no collision.

Holo Decoy's usage varies widely based on your opponent's team composition. In general, placing the Decoy in a location where you could reasonably be, such as behind your team or in a bush or smoke vent, will make it difficult for your opponents to recognize which is the true Nova in order to attack you. In a best-case scenario, ability cooldowns may be used against your Decoy instead of you or your teammates. The Decoy's attacks can also be used to force your opponents to dismount. Holo Decoy is also useful for scouting bushes and smoke vents, as its death is irrelevant beyond the used cooldown.

Against Heroes with line skillshot abilities such as Storm Bolt Icon Storm Bolt, Hook Icon Hook, Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit, Hungering Arrow Icon Hungering Arrow, Singularity Spike Icon Singularity Spike, Decoy should almost exclusively be used to proactively prevent these abilities from reaching you or your teammates... although with enough experience and finesse, you can even use Decoy to reactively block these abilities after you see them being cast. This has the advantage of making it impossible for your opponents to hold onto their cooldowns for after your hologram has vanished.

4. Triple Tap

Nova Triple Tap
Triple Tap (R) Starcraft Nova
  • Heroic Ability
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

Locks in on the target Hero, then fires 3 shots that hit the first Hero or Structure they come in contact with for 741 (352 + 4% per level) damage each.

Triple Tap Icon Triple Tap causes Nova to lock onto her target for 3 seconds, leaving her unable to act. During this time, she releases 3 large projectiles which slowly move towards the target. These projectiles will stop at the first enemy Heroic or Structure they contact, dealing heavy damage.

Triple Tap's unmissable nature, extremely high damage, and long range make it a threat to any fragile or low-health Hero. The slow movement of the projectiles fired by Triple Tap, on top of their very obvious travel pattern, means that clever opponents will move behind undesirable targets such as Structures or resilient allied Heroes in order to prevent you from hitting them. Coordinated teams make using Triple Tap even harder, as the projectiles are likely to be intercepted by the well-intentioned allies of your target. Most of these issues can be avoided by carefully selecting isolated targets that have no Structure or allies to use as cover. It should be noted that, as a channeled ability with a long casting time, Triple Tap can — and will — easily be interrupted by stuns, knockbacks, and silences. Its long range should be used to prevent this.

5. Precision Strike

Nova Precision Strike
Precision Strike (R) Starcraft Nova
  • Heroic Ability
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

After a 1.5 second delay, deals 1000 (475 + 4% per level) damage to enemies within an area. Unlimited range.

Precision Strike Icon Precision Strike causes Nova to deal damage over a large area after a 2-seconds delay. Precision Strike can be cast globally. A large beam of light signals all players of impending Precision Strikes.

Precision Strike is notable for its ability to deal a high amount of damage to any desired location of the battlefield. The 2-seconds impact delay means that it is prone to be avoided by attentive players. As such, Precision Strike is typically used with strong area of effect crowd control abilities such as Apocalypse Icon Apocalypse, Mosh Pit Icon Mosh Pit, Grav-O-Bomb 3000 Icon Grav-O-Bomb 3000, Leap Icon Leap, Divine Storm Icon Divine Storm, and Void Prison Icon Void Prison. Casting Precision Strike on the escape path of a fleeing opponent may also force them to take the ability's damage or momentarily stop their withdrawal. The ability's global range makes it useful for safely finishing off badly damaged structures.

6. Permanent Cloak, Sniper (Trait)

Nova Permanent Cloak, Sniper
Permanent Cloak, Sniper (D) Starcraft Nova
  • Trait
  • Cooldown: 3 seconds

Gain Stealth when out of combat for 3 seconds. Taking damage, attacking, using Abilities, or channeling reveals you. Basic Attack range is 20% further than other ranged Heroes, and you see 10% further than other Heroes.

Permanent Cloak, Sniper Icon Permanent Cloak, Sniper passively causes Nova to become cloaked when out of combat for 3 seconds. The cloaking effect makes Nova untargetable by single-target abilities and basic attacks, prevents minions from engaging her, adds a large amount of transparency to her model, and prevents opponents from seeing her minimap portrait.

Cloak is lost when any of the following conditions is met:

  • using a Basic Attack;
  • taking damage;
  • being hit by revealing abilities such as Oracle Icon Oracle, Farsight Icon Farsight, and Clairvoyance Icon Clairvoyance;
  • casting abilities, including talent-based abilities such as Rewind Icon Rewind, with the sole exception of Holo Decoy;
  • channeling Map Objectives;
  • mounting up or using the Hearthstone;
  • being near the opposing team's Core structure.

Permanent Cloak, Sniper Icon Permanent Cloak, Sniper is a fundamental element of Nova's gameplay, allowing her to position herself to deliver her burst damage to the intended target. It is therefore essential that you learn the area of effect and cooldown of the abilities that can reliably be used to break your cloak. Common examples include Globe Of Annihilation Icon Globe Of Annihilation, Arcane Flare Icon Arcane Flare, Moonfire Icon Moonfire, Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam, Psionic Storm Icon Psionic Storm, El'Druin's Might Icon El'Druin's Might, Holy Radiance Icon Holy Radiance, and Multishot Icon Multishot.

It should be noted that the cloaked state does not make Nova fully invisible, though she can not be directly targeted or clicked. She instead appears to be transparent and heavily distorted, a visual effect often described as a shimmer. Attentive players can spot this shimmer and thwart your surprise attack attempts.

7. ChangeLog

  • 15 Mar. 2016: Ability descriptions updated to account for the Mar 15 patch changes.
  • 02 Feb. 2016: Ability descriptions updated to account for the Feb 02 patch changes.
  • 18 Nov. 2015: Updated the Gathering Power description to account for changes brought about by the Cho'gall patch.
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