Nova Build Guide “Ready to have your mind blown?”
Welcome to our guide for Nova, a Ranged Assassin in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
Nova is a Stealthed ranged damage dealer. Her strongest point is her exceptional long-ranged single-target burst damage. As a fragile Hero with no movement Ability, she must rely on deception and killing her foes before they can respond. Quick fingers and accurate shots go a long way to playing Nova and forcing opponents to play overly defensively.
Nova's Strengths and Weaknesses
Nova's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Pinning Shot BuildRecommended
Holo Decoy BuildSituational
Nova's Synergies and Counters
As a ranged Assassin with little in the way of escaping, Nova players must rely on burst damage and long-ranged attacks to perform well. As such, she tends to struggle with anything that has a reliable means of mitigating damage for oneself or for allies or closing the gap to get up close and personal with her.
Nova is a good choice on 2-lane Battlegrounds as they do not require a high amount of waveclear and they give her many opportunities to gank isolated enemy Heroes who tend to expose in the solo lane (such as Hanamura Temple).
Due to her lack of waveclear, Nova is usually a bad choice on 3-lane Battlegrounds, especially if their Objective takes too long for her high Mana consumption to not be an issue (for example Alterac Pass) and/or requires to kill multiple Monsters at the same time (such as Infernal Shrines).
Nova's Tips and Tricks
- Practice often to acquire and maintain your Snipe accuracy. If you cannot reliably land Snipe, you cannot play Nova.
- Snipe stacks fall off only if you fail to hit anything at all, including Minions, Structures, and Mercenaries.
- Use Pinning Shot to make your Snipe and Precision Strike much easier to land.
- Holo Decoy is useful to to intercept dangerous skillshots.
- An opposing Keep is nearly destroyed, but your team cannot quite get to it? Try Precision Strike.
Nova's Role in the Current Meta
Nova's uniquely high ranged burst damage allows her to kill certain Heroes in a single successful Ability chain. She is also permanently Stealthed while out of combat, which makes tracking her position difficult. This deadly combination makes her a prime candidate for roaming. The psychological pressure caused by a Nova pick is evident in and of itself: while she is out of sight, opposing players tend to play more defensively, opening up windows of opportunities for your own teammates. She forces fragile Heroes to constantly have to consider their positioning in order to avoid her damage, which reduces their effectiveness.
Nova's binary nature of being outstanding versus fragile Heroes and subpar versus everything else, on top of her limited utility, makes her a niche Hero that is easily countered. She is therefore typically picked late into drafts to specifically punish compositions that rely on many fragile Heroes or lack instant defensive tools.
- 25 Apr. 2021 (talents page): Holo Decoy build updated.
- 17 Apr. 2021 (talents page): Builds updated.
- 17 Apr. 2021 (this page): Builds updated.
- 11 Apr. 2021 (talents page): Builds updated.
- 11 Apr. 2021 (this page): Builds updated.
- 25 Feb. 2021 (talents page): New layout.
- 14 Dec. 2020 (talents page): Builds updated.
- 14 Dec. 2020 (this page): Guide updated.
- 23 Sep. 2020 (talents page): Builds updated.
- 23 Sep. 2020 (abilities page): Minor fixes.
- 23 Sep. 2020 (this page): Builds updated.
- 30 Aug. 2020 (this page): Role in Current Meta section updated.
- 05 Apr. 2020 (talents page): Descriptions updated for Covert Ops and One in the Chamber.
- 13 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note about current Anomaly.
- 11 Oct. 2019 (talents page): Talent builds and recommendations reviewed and updated.
- 11 Oct. 2019 (abilities page): Abilities section reviewed.
- 11 Oct. 2019 (this page): Guide updated.
- 03 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Updated Talent discussions following patch v2.40.1 changes.
- 16 Dec. 2017 (talents page): Updated Talent discussions following Stealth and Nova rework patches.
- 16 Dec. 2017 (abilities page): Updated page following Stealth and Nova rework patches.
- 16 Dec. 2017 (this page): Guide fully updated to account for the Stealth changes and Nova update patches.
- 27 Sep. 2017 (talents page): Updated Talent discussions following the changes in Ana's patch.
- 06 Jan. 2017 (this page): Guide updated for the Zul'jin patch and moved to the new format.
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