Nova, the stealth ranged assassin, meme hero, troll pick and the generally inconsistent Starcraft hero has been in a poor place for years. She’s difficult to fit into a number of drafts, without forcing her, and when selected, she often leaves her team heavily lacking in key areas. Valeera causes the same issue, although Zeratul and Samuro picks don’t cause the same draft issues as they can effectively soak a solo lane and help out more in the early game, without focusing solely on ganks and team fights.
This rework idea is designed to give Nova a modern feel and refreshed kit, whilst increasing her general effectiveness and keeping her kill pressure relevant and appropriate. These suggestions are based around a balance in her overall, numbers, but her Q will be her main chunk of her power pie, moving her more into a skill shot hero in order to be the most effective.
Her stealth element is the main area for Nova’s play and counter play. She can feel repressive when bursting you out of nowhere and often has enough tools to get her out of trouble against less-skilled players. The counter-play is key in keeping her in a balanced state across all skill levels and so her re-cloaking and get-out-of-jail-free button should have more risk/reward attached to it.
Trait – Holo Cloak – 10/60 second CD.
Nova’s new trait bakes in her E, Holo-Decoy, with her emergency stealth, giving her a meaningful choice which can backfire if used with greed, like laning with D.Va and getting ganked when Boosters are on CD because you cleared a wave quicker with it.
Passive – Gain stealth after avoiding damage, or not dealing damage, for 4 seconds. Whenever Nova becomes stealthed, she is unrevealable for 1.5 seconds.
Active (when stealthed) – Creates a Holo-Decoy of Nova at the target locations for 3 seconds, that deals no damage baseline (but has some interesting talents later on), and has 40% of Nova’s HP. Triggers a 10 second CD for both parts of this Trait.
Active (when unstealthed) – Stealths Nova and creates two Holo-Decoys at her location. Triggers a 60 second CD, but a Holo-Decoy can be cast after 10 seconds.
Q – Snipe – 8 second CD – Functions as is, but now instantly kills minions, with longer range if stationary (Hanzo Storm Bow quest range), stacks up to 5 times with +15% damage per stack. Lose all stacks if Snipe misses.
W – Pinning Shot – 12 second CD – Functions as is, slows by 35% for 2 seconds.
E – Pulse – 14 second CD – Feels like a KT, traited Q, with Flamethrower range. Deals 50 damage, 100 damage against non-heroes, reveals targets and marks them for 4 seconds. The next damage Nova inflicts against a marked target removes the mark and gains—
Q – Double Stacks, with +25% bonus damage when at 5 stacks. W – Roots for 1 second, then 35% slow for 1 second. AA – Deals +40% damage and gains +2 Range.
Triple Tap – CD 70 seconds – Now function like Ana’s Eye of Horus, but with 3 shots. Shots hits the first enemy hero, but are blocked by buildings. Damage adjusted, but if multiple shots hit the same target, the second shot gains +50% damage and the third +100%, i.e. (assuming 200 base damage), 1×200, 1×300, 1×400.
Precision Strike – CD 60 seconds – As is, but now deals more damage closer to the centre.
Q – Long Shot – Snipe gains +20% range, 40% when stationary. This takes her range of out of her standard vision, so a small area around the end of her Snipe is revealed, allowing for sniping as enemy heroes come around corners and plays into the sniper fantasy.
D – Advanced Cloaking – As is for speed, but kills reset the CD of Nova’s Trait and Holo Decoy has +25% CDR whilst stealthed.
Active/AA – Covert Mission – As is for stacks, but successful bribes increase the damage of Nova’s first AA from Stealth by a stacking 5% damage increase. Passive – AAs from Stealth have +1 range.
E – Pulse Dispersion – Increases the range of Pulse by 50% and reveals the area for 4 seconds.
D – Advanced Projections – Combines the effects of Rapid Projection and Holo Stability
Active – Scanner – Reveal an large area for 3 seconds with global range. 60 second CD.
Level 7 – Perfect Shot and One In The Chamber as is.
AA – Anti-Armour Shells – Do not reduce attack speed. Damage bonus is +30%, 60% if marked, with 15 armour reduction.
Level 13 – Waveclear tier.
Q – Explosive Rounds – Snipe explodes around the target for 75% damage to non-heroes.
E – Orbital Sensors – Pulse gains a second charge. Increases radius by 30%, deals 350% damage against non-heroes.
AA – One-Shot Kill – AAs instantly kill minions and deal +35% damage to Monsters and Mercenaries.
Q – Precision – Snipe now stacks up 10 times, with +10% damage for stacks 6-10. Snipes award +1 stacks, +3 when marked.
W – Crippling Shot – Pinning Shot reduces enemy armour by 30, which rapidly decays after 0.5 seconds over the next second. Reduce pinning shot CD by 4 seconds.
Active – Lethal Decoy – Create a Lethal Decoy at the target location, gaining the benefit of other Decoy talents, which marks enemy heroes with its AA. Can be re-activated once to fire a Snipe from its location. Do not lose Q stacks if this misses. 15 second CD.
R – Fast Reload – Hits give Triple Tap a 10 second CDR each, kills reset its CD.
R – Precision a barrage – As is.
E – Pulse Array – Pulse gains +100% radius, duration and targets stay marked and revealed for up 8 seconds and for the next 4 uniques sources of damage from Nova (Q, W, E, AA).
D – Apollo Suit – Gain 100% CDR to Holo Cloak and Holo Decoy whilst Stealthed. Permanent Stealth reduced to 3 seconds and gain 30 armour when losing Stealth.
The tweaking, combining and moving of Nova’s talents will give her defined builds, with options for higher-risk, higher skill builds, such as long range Snipe, or more consistent damage and utility. She now gains power spikes at set levels, 1, 7, 16, as well as having a dedicated waveclear tier at 13 so she doesn’t struggle in this area for the whole game.
Nova’s choice of ‘when’ to attack is now more of a considered decision as she’s more vulnerable now before re-cloaking and can be easy to kill.
Scouting is a bigger piece of Nova’s kit and allows her to use her intel gained to decide when to engage and how to open up her attack, as utility for her team, such as through her root, may secure a kill over a Nova dealing more damage herself.
Overall, this should bring Nova more in the meta as a skill-based assassin, without (hopefully) her feeling too oppressive or annoying.
Let me know your thoughts.
Next on the rework block, it’s everyone’s favourite mage, Kael’thas!
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