Table of Contents
- +Abilities and Strategy
- ×Talent Build
On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Nova in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.
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 Master player, he enjoys playing all Heroes and roles.
1. Talent Build
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|4||✘ ✔ ✔ ✘|
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|13||✔ ✘ ✘|
|16||✘ ✔ ✘|
|20||✘ ✔ ✔ ?|
2. Common Talent Paths
One in The Chamber Build (talent calculator link)
One in the Chamber Build revolves around the idea of exploiting the eponymous Talent to maximise Nova's offensive utility and damage potential. This is achieved by weaving Basic Attacks in between every Ability cast. Since the build's effectiveness is a direct result of how many Abilities you are able to cast, its Talent choices provide Cooldown reduction or Charges, such as Rapid Projection, Double Tap, and Rewind. This build also provides aggressive utility for your teammates to capitalise upon through he aforementioned Double Tap Talent and Crippling Shot.
3. Level 1 Talents
While Stealthed, Nova gains 2 Mana per second and 25% increased movement speed.
Increases the cast range of Pinning Shot by 30%. Pinning Shot also increases the range of Nova's next Basic Attack by 2.
After being Stealthed for 5 seconds, Pinning Shot's slow is increased to 55% and costs no Mana. Bonus is lost after losing Stealth for 1 second.
Advanced Cloaking provides a reasonable amount of Mana regeneration, allowing Nova to roam with Health as her only true limiting factor. The Talent also enables the use of Abilities in PvE situations, whereas Mana would otherwise be a major concern. The added mobility is also welcomed in combat, as it allows you to reposition quickly between bursts. You should still, however, see to remain Mounted while generally traveling, as your Mount still proves to be faster than walking.
Longshot improves the reliability of Pinning Shot, which in turn improves the reliabilty of your other Abilities and Basic Attacks. The increased Basic Attack range clause of the talent synergises particularly well with Anti-Armor Shells.
Covert Ops's effect is reasonably powerful, but must compete with other Talents we feel better complement Nova's playstyle.
4. Level 4 Talents
Increases Holo Decoy cast range by 100% and its sight range by 50%.
Reduces Holo Decoy's cooldown and Mana cost by 40%.
Increases the duration of Holo Decoy by 120%.
- Cooldown: 0 seconds
- Charges: 4
Enemy Minions killed near Nova grant a stack of Bribe. Hero Takedowns grant 10 stacks of Bribe. Use 25 stacks to bribe a Mercenary, instantly defeating them. Does not work on Bosses. Maximum of 100 stacks. If a camp is defeated entirely with Bribe, the camp respawns 50% faster.
This tier's choice comes down to Rapid Projection versus Holo Stability. Both talent fulfill the similar function of improving Holo Decoy's uptime. If Rapid Projection provides more opportunities to use Holo Decoy, Holo Stability makes the Ability last much longer, allowing the Decoy to absorb more damage.
The effects of additional range and vision radius are rather difficult to quantify. In general, however, Remote Delivery is deemed to not be nearly as useful as its two rivaling Talent choices, as its defensive properties are lesser.
Covert Mission stacks are rather difficult to acquire given Nova's role as a roamer. Even if you do manage to get enough kills to readily make use of Covert Mission, you still end up sacrificing significant utility and damage potential for a few Mercenary kills. The tradeoff is difficult to gauge.
5. Level 7 Talents
After using an Ability, Nova's next Basic Attack within 3 seconds deals 80% additional damage.
Nova's Basic Attacks deal 250% damage, but her Attack Speed is proportionally slower.
Hitting an enemy Hero with Snipe permanently increases the damage of Snipe by 15%. Stacks up to 5 times. All stacks are lost if Snipe fails to hit an enemy.
One in the Chamber provides more DPS than Anti-Armor Shells, but comes at the cost of requiring better uptime and weaving Basic Attacks in between every Ability cast. One in the Chamber tends to be better against teams that do not have the means of pressuring you so that you may maximise the efficiency of your attacks.
Although Anti-Armor Shells may seem like an unintuitive choice at first, the usefulness of delivering nearly 3 seconds worth of Basic Attacks in an instant is indisputable. Leaving aside the fact that burst is harder to respond to than sustained damage, the attack speed reduction allows you to freely move for ~2.5 seconds between each and every attack all while sustaining optimal damage per second. This indirectly increases your survivability.
Snipe Master stacks are nearly impossible to maintain in practice. Even if one actually managed to do so, the damage increase provided by this talent is too small to justify the loss of Anti-Armor Shells or One in the Chamber.
6. Level 10 Talents
- 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 338 (+4% per level) damage each.
- Mana: 100
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
After a 1.5 second delay, deals 456 (+4% per level) damage to enemies within an area. Unlimited range.
As mentioned on the Abilities page, Precision Strike deals a significant amount of damage in a large area from global range, meaning that you do not to be physically present to partake to large combos. Its Cooldown is also relatively short when compared to most other Heroic Abilities. Successfully hitting with a Precision Strike, Snipe and Anti-Armor Shells ability chain will outright kill most non-Warrior class Heroes, however, Precision Strike's 2-seconds delay makes it easy to avoid. Pinning Shot, as well as crowd control effects provided by your allies, can ease or secure hits.
The abilities in the list below can combo nicely with Precision Strike to yield deadly results.
- Howling Blast (Arthas)
- Apocalypse (Diablo)
- Mosh Pit (E.T.C.)
- Grav-O-Bomb 3000 (Gazlowe)
- Ring of Frost (Jaina)
- Primal Grasp + Impaling Blades (Kerrigan)
- Entangling Roots (Malfurion)
- Storm Bolt (Muradin)
- Zombie Wall (Nazeebo)
- Leap (Sonya)
- Earthquake (Thrall)
- Divine Storm (Uther)
- Devouring Maw (Zagara)
- Graviton Surge (Zagara)
- Void Prison (Zeratul)
As mentioned on the Abilities page, Triple Tap, while able to deal an unparalleled amount of single-target damage against isolated targets, suffers from the fact that its projectiles can be intercepted by undesirable targets such as resilient Heroes and structures. This makes the Ability only situationally powerful. Furthermore, its lengthy channeling time — which you may not manually interrupt, should you be endangered — leaves you open and vulnerable. Its Cooldown is also much longer than that of Precision Strike.
7. Level 13 Talents
Pinning Shot now has 2 charges.
Removes Snipe's Mana cost and increases its range by 10%.
Snipe also deals 50% damage to enemies near the impact.
Double Tap synergises very well with some of our other recommended Talents, though notably with Crippling Shot. The movement speed reduction provided by Pinning Shot combined to the armor reduction provided by the Cripping Shot Talent allows Nova to threaten even tanks, assuming that your teammates provide some damage of their own.
Psionic Efficiency is unimpressive; the range increase is minuscule, and the Mana cost removal is superficial to Nova, whose Mana consumption is minimal.
Explosive Round's area of effect radius is too small to realistically be useful.
8. Level 16 Talents
Hitting an enemy Hero with Snipe reduces the cooldown by 3 seconds.
Pinning Shot lowers a Hero's Armor by 25 for the duration of the slow, causing them to take 25% increased damage.
Holo Decoy deals 40% of Nova's damage.
Crippling Shot provides a significant damage increase for yourself and your entire team against anything Pinning Shot hits, which is incidentally almost always your intended kill target. Crippling Shot is a key talent for burst team compositions, especially when picked with the Hero Level 13 Talent Double Tap for sustaining the armor reduction effect.
Lethal Decoy suffers from an atrociously clunky AI that makes the Decoy target otherwise undesirable enemies, such as Minions. Otherwise, Crippling Shot would still yield more overall damage than Lethal Decoy might, making the Talent a moot one to consider.
9. Level 20 Talents
Triple Tap's cooldown is reset if it kills an enemy Hero.
Precision Strike holds 2 charges with a 3 second cooldown between using each charge.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to reset the cooldowns of your Basic Abilities.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to gain Stealth and become Unrevealable for 2 seconds. Nova's attacks and Abilities will also not break Stealth during this time.
Precision Barrage has the potential to inflict a significant amount of area of effect damage. This damage potential is, however, gated behind Precision Strike's archetypal weakness of relying on crowd control for successful hits. Against team compositions that either prevent you from isolating vulnerable targets for effective Rewind kills, Precision Strike's long range is a boon. When ahead of your opponents in terms of Hero Levels, and especially before Bolt of the Storm comes into play, Precision Barrage allows for successive kills that are extremely hard to avoid, something that Rewind does not do.
Rewind allow you to rapidly cast all of your basic Abilities twice in a row. A proper Rewind chain essentially allows you to kill all but the toughest of characters. It even has defensive properties in the form of spawning 2 decoys through Holo Decoy, making it utterly impossible to tell Nova apart. Rewind also synergises with One in the Chamber.
Although Ghost Protocol has some offensive applications through the unbreakable Cloaking effect it provides, it is particularly useful to avoid strong single-target Heroic Abilities, such as Illidan's The Hunt or Kael'thas' Pyroblast. Otherwise, you should focus on dealing damage through other Talents.
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