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Nova Talents

Last updated on Sep 27, 2017 at 18:15 by Oxygen 46 comments

Table of Contents

Nova Image

General Information

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

Level Choices
1 Advanced Cloaking Longshot Covert Ops
4 Rapid Projection Holo Stability Covert Mission ?
7 One in the Chamber Anti-Armor Shells ? Snipe Master ?
10 Triple Tap Precision Strike
13 Double Tap Psionic Efficiency Explosive Round
16 Perfect Shot Crippling Shot Lethal Decoy
20 Fast Reload Precision Barrage Rewind Ghost Protocol ?
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

One in The Chamber Build (talent calculator link)

One in the Chamber Icon 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 Icon Rapid Projection, Double Tap Icon Double Tap, and Rewind Icon Rewind. This build also provides aggressive utility for your teammates to capitalise upon through he aforementioned Double Tap Talent and Crippling Shot Icon Crippling Shot.

3. Level 1 Talents

Nova Advanced Cloaking
Advanced Cloaking (Level 1) Starcraft Nova

While Stealthed, Nova gains 2 Mana per second and 25% increased Movement Speed.

Nova Longshot
Longshot (Level 1) Starcraft Nova

Increases the cast range of Pinning Shot by 30%. Pinning Shot also increases the range of Nova's next Basic Attack by 2.

Nova Covert Ops
Covert Ops (Level 1) Starcraft Nova

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.

3.1. Discussion

Advanced Cloaking Icon 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 Icon Longshot improves the reliability of Pinning Shot Icon 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 Icon Anti-Armor Shells.

Covert Ops Icon Covert Ops's effect is reasonably powerful, but must compete with other Talents we feel better complement Nova's playstyle.

4. Level 4 Talents

Nova Rapid Projection
Rapid Projection (Level 4) Starcraft Nova

Reduces Holo Decoy's cooldown and Mana cost by 40%.

Nova Holo Stability
Holo Stability (Level 4) Starcraft Nova

Increase the cast range and duration of Holo Decoy by 100%.

Nova Covert Mission ?
Covert Mission (Level 4) Starcraft Nova
  • 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.

4.1. Discussion

This tier's choice comes down to Rapid Projection Icon Rapid Projection versus Holo Stability Icon Holo Stability. Both talent fulfill the similar function of improving Holo Decoy Icon Holo Decoy's uptime. If Rapid Projection provides more opportunities to use Holo Decoy Icon Holo Decoy, Holo Stability makes the Ability last much longer, allowing the Decoy to absorb more damage. Rapid Projection's Cooldown reduction effect does provide more opportunities to trigger One in the Chamber Icon One in the Chamber, however.

Covert Mission Icon 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, but the Talent may find use on Battlefield of Eternity and Infernal Shrines, where capturing the Fallen Shaman Mercenary Camp can be effective when timed right before the Maps' respective Objectives.

5. Level 7 Talents

Nova One in the Chamber
One in the Chamber (Level 7) Starcraft Nova

After using an Ability, Nova's next Basic Attack within 3 seconds deals 80% additional damage.

Nova Anti-Armor Shells ?
Anti-Armor Shells (Level 7) Starcraft Nova

Nova's Basic Attacks deal 250% damage and decrease the Physical Armor of Heroic targets by 10 for 3 seconds, but her Attack Speed is proportionally slower.

Nova Snipe Master ?
Snipe Master (Level 7) Starcraft Nova

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.

5.1. Discussion

One in the Chamber Icon One in the Chamber provides more DPS than Anti-Armor Shells Icon 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 Icon 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. Anti-Armor Shells is particularly powerful against nimble Assassins such as Genji, Li-Ming, and Tracer, as burst damage tends to force such Heroes to play more defensively.

Snipe Master Icon Snipe Master, as its name implies, is reserved to Snipe Icon Snipe masters. If you are able to reliably hit with over 90% of your Snipes, Snipe Master can end up providing more sustained damage and burst damage than its alternatives. Lesser levels of accuracy will punish the use of this Talent. Try and target Heroes standing in front of other entities; if Snipe misses them but still hits something, Snipe Master stacks will not be expended.

6. Level 10 Talents

Nova Triple Tap
Triple Tap (Level 10) Starcraft Nova
  • 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.

Nova Precision Strike
Precision Strike (Level 10) Starcraft Nova
  • Mana: 100
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

After a 1.5 second delay, deals 456 (+4% per level) damage to enemies within an area. Unlimited range.

6.1. Discussion

As mentioned on the Abilities page, Precision Strike Icon 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 Icon Snipe and Anti-Armor Shells Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Precision Strike to yield deadly results.

As mentioned on the Abilities page, Triple Tap Icon 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 Icon Precision Strike.

7. Level 13 Talents

Nova Double Tap
Double Tap (Level 13) Starcraft Nova

Pinning Shot now has 2 charges.

Nova Psionic Efficiency
Psionic Efficiency (Level 13) Starcraft Nova

Removes Snipe's Mana cost and increases its range by 15%.

Nova Explosive Round
Explosive Round (Level 13) Starcraft Nova

Snipe also deals 50% damage to enemies near the impact.

7.1. Discussion

Double Tap Icon Double Tap synergises very well with some of our other recommended Talents, though notably with Crippling Shot Icon Crippling Shot. The movement speed reduction provided by Pinning Shot Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Explosive Round's area of effect radius is too small to realistically be useful.

8. Level 16 Talents

Nova Perfect Shot
Perfect Shot (Level 16) Starcraft Nova

Hitting an enemy Hero with Snipe reduces the cooldown by 3 seconds.

Nova Crippling Shot
Crippling Shot (Level 16) Starcraft Nova

Pinning Shot lowers a Hero's Armor by 25 for the duration of the slow, causing them to take 25% increased damage.

Nova Lethal Decoy
Lethal Decoy (Level 16) Starcraft Nova

Holo Decoy deals 40% of Nova's damage.

8.1. Discussion

Crippling Shot Icon Crippling Shot provides a significant damage increase for yourself and your entire team against anything Pinning Shot Icon 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 Icon Double Tap for sustaining the armor reduction effect.

Although there is notable synergy between Perfect Shot Icon Perfect Shot and One in the Chamber Icon One in the Chamber, Crippling Shot Icon Crippling Shot will almost always yield more overall damage through the armor reduction effect it provides. Perfect Shot is also notable for its synergy with Snipe Master Icon Snipe Master.

Lethal Decoy Icon Lethal Decoy suffers from an atrociously clunky AI that makes the Decoy target otherwise undesirable enemies, such as Minions. Otherwise, Crippling Shot Icon Crippling Shot would still yield more overall damage than Lethal Decoy might, making the Talent a moot one to consider.

9. Level 20 Talents

Nova Fast Reload
Fast Reload (Level 20) Starcraft Nova

Triple Tap's cooldown is reset if it kills an enemy Hero.

Nova Precision Barrage
Precision Barrage (Level 20) Starcraft Nova

Precision Strike holds 2 charges with a 3 second cooldown between using each charge.

Nova Rewind
Rewind (Level 20) Starcraft Nova
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Activate to reset the cooldowns of your Basic Abilities.

Nova Ghost Protocol ?
Ghost Protocol (Level 20) Starcraft Nova
  • 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.

9.1. Discussion

Precision Barrage Icon Precision Barrage has the potential to inflict a significant amount of area of effect damage. This damage potential is, however, gated behind Precision Strike Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Holo Decoy, making it utterly impossible to tell Nova apart. Rewind also synergises with One in the Chamber Icon One in the Chamber.

Although Ghost Protocol Icon 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 Icon The Hunt or Kael'thas' Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast. Otherwise, you should focus on dealing damage through other Talents.

Fast Reload Icon Fast Reload is a winmore talent that relies on the unlikely event that you directly kill a Hero with Triple Tap Icon Triple Tap. Rewind Icon Rewind is simply more useful and reliable.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 27 Sep. 2017: Updated talent discussions following the changes in Ana's patch.
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