Nova is a Stealthed long-range damage killer. Her strongest point is the special long-range single-target continuous damage. As a fragile Hero with the ability to move, she must rely on deception and kill her enemies before they can respond. Fast fingers and precise shots will help her play for a long time and force opponents to play defensively too tightly.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Nova
- Extremely good burst damage
- Long Basic Attack and Ability range
- Stealthed when out of combat
- Gank effectively and threatens your presence on the battlefield
- Low base Health
- Vulnerable to crowd control
- No movement Ability
- Mediocre sustained damage
- Depends on a good location to shoot skills
- Extremely poor waves and encirclement
Talent Build of Nova
Pinning Shot Build
Longshot (lv1), Covert Mission (lv4) – Rapid Projection, One in the Chamber (lv7) – Anti-Armor Shells – Perfect Shot, Precision Strike (lv10) – Triple Tap, Double Tap (lv13), Crippling Shot (lv16), Rewind (lv20) – Precision Barrage.
Her Pinning Shot build offers outstanding single-target damage late game thanks to Double Tap at level 13 and Crippling Shot at level 16.
Synergies and Counters
Nova works best with Heroes providing one or more forms of crowd initiation or control. Her high explosive damage also benefits from modifier spells and debugging. Since her combat presence is considered low, it is advisable to avoid using her alongside Heroes like Abathur, Murky, or The Lost Vikings.
As a ranged Assassin with very little escape, Nova players must rely on burst damage and ranged attacks to perform well. As a result, she has a tendency to struggle with anything that reliably minimizes damage to herself or her ally or to close the gap to get close and personal to her.
Maps of Nova
Her role as a wanderer and a terrible tsunami means she stands out on the Map with plenty of opportunities for ganking and a lackluster choice for everything else, but especially for Maps has a lot to do with pushing and sieging or killing Monsters.
Tips and Tricks
- Practice regularly to get and maintain your Snipe accuracy. If you can’t reliably land Snipe, you can’t play Nova.
- Snipe stack will only drop if you don’t hit anything, including soldiers, buildings, and mercenaries.
- Use Pinning Shot to land your Snipe and Precision Strike much easier.
- Holo Decoy is useful for intercepting dangerous skills.
- An opposing Keep is almost destroyed, but can’t your team complete it? Try Precision Strike.
Role in the Current Meta
Her unique long-range explosive damage allows her to kill certain Heroes in a successful Abilities sequence. She is also permanently Stolen when not fighting, which makes it difficult to track her location. This deadly combination makes her a top contender for roaming.
Her psychological pressure of choice is evident in herself: while she is out of sight, enemy players tend to be more defensive, opening up opportunities for your teammates. She forces the fragile Heroes to constantly review their positions to avoid her damage, which reduces their effectiveness.
Her binary nature is to stand out from fragile Heroes and subpar in comparison to everything else, aside from limited utility, making her a suitable Hero susceptible to a counterattack. As a result, she is often chosen late in drafts to specifically punish layouts based on fragile Heroes or lack of immediate defensive tools.