Ghost: A true operator - Assassination Guide by Dogmai by dogmai

Ghost: A true operator - Assassination Guide by Dogmai

By: dogmai
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2015
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Build: Nova: Ghost Operator

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Threats to Nova with this build

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Threat Hero Notes
Abathur At range he can't do much in symbiote, just make sure you aren't too close so he doesn't break your stealth if he's looking for you.
The Lost Vikings Snap, Crackle, and POP!
Murky Poor, poor little murky. By level 7, you see him ... he dies.
Li Li Easy to burst down and you're at range, just make sure you kill her before she can heal like crazy.
Leoric With no engage or stun and him being a melee toon he's little threat to you. You can bust him down because he's a little more squishy compared to other warriors, especially in group fights. The biggest threat from him is if he takes [[entomb]].
Valla Though she can do a lot of damage ... you land your burst combo and you can kill her at above 90% life.
Brightwing He's squishy, just a PITA because of his silence, and if he takes the see invis perk.
Nazeebo Squishy, but able to deal out tons of poison damage.
Kael'thas Wait for him to blow is CDs, his AOEs can get in the way and watch out for walking bomb.
  No Threat
Jaina Jaina can kill you incredibly easy, just make sure she's engaged other targets before you engage ... stay away.
E.T.C. He can stun you and knock you into bad places. Make sure you keep your distance from him.
Tychus He can dash to you then spin up [[overkill]] and happily walk with you as he tears you to pieces. Keep your distance and get the jump on him.
Tassadar Tassadar is high threat because of his see invis trait, if you've gotten paired up against a good Tassadar it could be really annoying.
Diablo He can move you into really bad places and you don't have any escapes ... might be wise to get the bolt of the storm talent if he's wrecking you
The Butcher Onslaught has such incredible range that it's easy for him to chase you down. Make sure that he's recently used it, and lamb to the slaughter will be instant death as well. He's get a big life pool so don't engage him unless he's under 35% life.
Illidan Illidan and his dang cat-like attacks are almost impossible to get away from, especially because you don't have any escape abilities. If he jumps on you just hope you can get him dead before he does you the same favor.


Nova, as a Ghost Sniper, is not a warrior; she is an assassin. They way you should play her is different from any other toon save for Zeratul. As Nova you should be picking people off, you can appear first to burst people down, but you should then move to the flanks, even far behind enemy lines, to finish off your enemies as they try to heal, or teleport to safety. So many of your kills should come from helpless enemies thinking they are safely getting away that they begin to fear team fights, and flee at 80% health.

I open with Pinning Shot because I've taken Crippling Shot and that applies a 25% damage boost against the target toon. I then immediately hit with Snipe because I've taken Ambush Snipe that gives the 20% damage boost for sniping within ONE second of de-cloaking from permanent cloak, sniper. Now, there seems to be an unintended bug with Nova where your auto attacks will seemingly randomly attack a minion 50m in the other direction of your target. This can ruin a potential assassination so it can be very annoying.


-> -> -> if not dead then

** The Precision Strike can be used as the ultimate finisher, though if you're engaging wounded targets you should not need it. The way I normally use Precision Strike is to: A - Help drop some damage in team fights to give my team the mental advantage, and B - finish off the fleeing wounded from it's global range.



This one's a no-brainer: Ambush Snipe is the first choice here because it's giving you the 20% damage boost to your Snipe ability coming out of stealth. We are playing as a stealth assassin here, a Ghost. The one thing you have to watch out for is blocking ... all minions can take the damage of Snipe and it cannot go through enemy walls or buidlings, so you need a clear LOS (line of sight) to properly land your Snipe

I take Gathering Power because this helps us with the burst damage we are going to be doing in order to scare people into believing they are actually playing against a ghost. This gives your Snipe a 5% damage increase up to a max 15% (as you shouldn't be dying, and you should be in on most kills because you're bursting people down you should get, and sustain max damage easily). You will also see that increase to your pinning shot , though it may seem negligible.

This is where the burst shows up because you take Anti-Armor Shells which grants 250% damage to Auto Attacks . This is the bread and butter to this build here. In-turn this slows your auto attack by 250% as well, so you become really bursty and need to stay on the move: shoot and scoot, as they say. Essentially you can burst damage everything, run around for about THREE seconds, which you'll be re-cloaking by that time and you can launch another powerful auto attack. This burst damage can really surprise and scare your enemies, DO NOT fight toe-to-toe.

For my ultimate ability I choose Precision Strike . This gives you global range to deal a lot of damage. Practice with this, so you can hit moving targets and catch enemies grouped up ... just like Chess, stay a few moves ahead of your opponents; know what they're going to do before they even do.

I take lethal decoy because this will help trick your opponents. As more people play against Nova they understand that the Holo Decoy deals no damage and won't react if they don't take damage. This little bit of damage that it deals out can be a game-changer because once their life bar drops a little they instantly react on your Holo Decoy. You can use this to distract an enemy killing and/or chasing a teammate because everyone sees squishy Nova and wants to show her how much they love her.

I like to take Crippling Shot here because it gives a 25% damage taken vulnerability to the enemy for the duration of Pinning Shot. This makes your combo practically disintegrate anything you combo on (unless your auto attack randomly fires at a wall or minion 50m away). And it also allows all the damage done by your team to be increased as well, this is why I take Crippling Shot and not overdrive

Take Precision Barrage at level 20. Usually at this point in the game we are STEAMROLLING to victory; and if you've done your job of making people dead, and disappearing like a good sniper, you should be too. The second Precision Strike from taking Precision Barrage is almost unfair to the enemy team, and if you're good with landing your Precision Strikes then this will really give 'em hell. I find more opportunities, especially with it's global range to kill people (that's plural, as Nova's biggest problem is single-target dps only), to wipe enemies off the map than any other talent chosen here.


With Nova (and keep in mind I've played a lot on her testing out many different builds I have her to Level 12) I have 112 games, 56 wins with 2079 takedowns and 379 deaths. I started playing this build at about level 9 with her and haven't turned back since. I usually average 20+ takedowns with less than 3 deaths, and getting HERO OF THE STORM more often than not.

Thanks for reading, I hope this guide helps you to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, AND TO HEAR THE LAMENTATION OF THEIR WOMEN! -Dogmai

Change Log: Top

    Moved Jaina down a bit, she's squishy just don't get caught with her CDs up

    Added more Char Chars to the threats list

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