Holo Nova is Queen + Videos (Updated for Viking Patch) by EvilMonkey7

Holo Nova is Queen + Videos (Updated for Viking Patch)

By: EvilMonkey7
Last Updated: Mar 1, 2015
44 Votes
Build 1 of 1


Build: Holo Decoy Burst

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
  No Threat
  No Threat
  No Threat
  No Threat
  No Threat
Brightwing Can easily interupt any combo you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap with multiple skills. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities
E.T.C. Can easily close the gap and interupt any combo you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap with multiple skills. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities. Best to stay at a distance.
Tassadar Can't break your combos unless his wall displaces you. Can use his Trait to find cloack units. Can use his [[Tempest Storm]] to find cloacked units. Can easily avoid both ultimates.
Tyrande Can easily interupt any combo you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities
Kerrigan Can easily close the gap and interupt any combo you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap with multiple skills. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities.
Muradin Can easily close the gap and interupt any combo you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap with multiple skills. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities.
Diablo Can easily close the gap and interupt any comob you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap with multiple skills. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities.
Stitches Can easily interupt any combo you are doing that includes [[Overdrive]]. Can interupt Tripple Tap with multiple skills. Can easily Break cloak with multiple abilities. If he eats you are are as good as dead.
Tyrael Very strong engage and chase able to interrupt with two abilities depending on talents.

Intro Top

- One ofthe best burst damage in the game.
- Permanent Clock, Sniper
- One of the best roamers and gankers.
- Can assist one lane over on almost all maps using Triple Tap or globally with Precision Strike

- Can be reliant on mana.
- Dies easily if caught out. Has no escape other than cloak and Decoy.
- VERY squishy
- Difficult to solo camps. Very vulnerable if she does.
- Very bad at pushing lanes. Can't fight off a large minion wave without Precision Strike.
- Very high risk reward. If you are caught or engage you are likely to die.
- Terrible in lane solo. Since Jaina patch nerfs (as well as the base attack damage bug) her Anti-Armor Shells no longer one hits minions until late into the game) this means you have to damage all minions in the lane down too 5% health then let your minions kill them or your turrets. This is very very inefficient.

Abilities Top

Cloak Snipe Pinning Shot
Holo Decoy Triple Tap Precision Strike

Talents Top

Level 1:

ALWAYS PICK Ambush Snipe
MAYBE Tazer Rounds
NEVER Conjurer's Pursuit
NEVER Psi-Op Rangefinder

Level 4:

NEVER Remote Delivery

Level 7:

TOP PICK Anti-Armor Shells
NEVER Explosive Round
NEVER Covert Ops
NEVER One in the Chamber

Level 10:

PERSONAL PREFERENCE Triple TapVery powerful single target ult. Does over twice the damage of Presicsion Strike but is missunderstood. See spoiler for for common misconceptions.
PERSONAL PREFERENCE Precision Strike - Medium damage AOE, L10=650 damage, L16=860.

Level 13:

TOP PICK Lethal Decoy
NEVER Spell Shield
NEVER Advanced Cloaking

Level 16:

TOP PICK Crippling Shot
NEVER Overdrive
NEVER Railgun

Level 20:


Harassing and How to play Nova Top

Early game the only ability you should be using is Ambush Snipe to harass. It is by far the most mana efficient ability. Only use Pinning Shot if it will result in the a kill.

Only use Holo Decoy if you think it will block a skill shot or save you. Do not use holo decoy to bait skills or abilities until much later. Can no longer be used to block a players movement.

At level 4 you make the choice to either go for Perfect Shot Envenom or Gathering Power. Perfect Shot allows you to harass and stay in lane all day. The other two make your 1v1 stronger but your team presence weaker.
See the talents section for more details.

Generally you will want to start each map in the middle lane, even if someone else is there. Harass mid lane a bit, then sneak off to gank either top or bottom lane. Repeat this cycle from whatever lane you are in visiting fountains on the way.

Try not to stay in any particular lane too long. Always keep the other team guessing. What this does and is one of the most important parts about playing Nova, is force the other team to play safely. Where as your team can take risks (unless they have a stealth too). So try not to show yourself on the Map unless you have to or you are ganking.

Example: Say you are top lane and it's pushed. You notice bot could be en easy gank soon. Head mid. Harass only long enough for one or two auto attacks then walk into a bush and head bot lane.

Other players hate Nova, always have map awareness and continiously poke someone and then move back and come at them from a different direction. You will be able to bait players often as Nova.

Try to stay just on the outskirts of team fights. You should not be initiating fights and you should hang around other squishys to protect them. Once two or three of your team mates have engaged you can enage. Use Lethal Decoy to bait opponents.

Combos Top

All damage worked out at level 16. Note some of the math might have old values, but the totals are accurate and tested ingame. (may not reflect slightly lower values to Anti-Armor Shells.

There is really only one viable combo on Nova now fortunately it is also the best combo and only ever did slightly less damage than rewind combo.

HOLO COMBO (Usable at Level 13)

Lethal Decoy-> Crippling Shot-> Snipe-> Anti-Armor Shellsx2 =3035 (you must cripple imediately after casting decoy, this combo requires you to do all abilities as fast as possible. This combo is for baiting with decoy.

Crippling Shot-> Snipe-> Lethal Decoy-> Anti-Armor Shellsx2 (for extra slow and extra cripple for your team mates, space out your decoy a second after you engage. Decoy last also means your ult will be amplified.

Crippling Shot-> Snipe-> Lethal Decoy-> Anti-Armor Shellsx2-> Precision Strike=4110
Crippling Shot-> Snipe-> Lethal Decoy-> Anti-Armor Shellsx2-> Triple Tap=5163-5315

Holo Combo Detailed Explanation
Triple Tap Damage Range Explanation

Conclusion and Videos:

Overdrive is more useless than it used to be, Holo Combo is really the only optoin here. Fortunately it was always the best option.

You can do Holo Combo every 15 seconds at a very low mana cost. You can also choose if it is worth doing your ult last or not based on how well your combo went. Did they jump away? Did you miss a skillshot or were they healed or shielded etc? It works well with either Ult.

Nova is very mana dependent so Holo combo is great for that, and she can last almost indefinitely using this combo with perfect shot. Also it is a very easy relaxed 3-4 button combo.

Also you are Crippling Shot for your team mates with Lethal Decoy.

Video showing how to solo kill someone with Holo Combo with slow motion replay. Upto four times in 1 minute.

Video Showing fastest variation of Holo Combo. Instant kill Nova vs Nova.


Tips and Tricks Top

Permanent Cloak, Sniper

-Now on a three second timer which makes re-cloaking when running almost impossible.
-It is much harder to see a cloaked unit when they are stationary.
-It is easier to see a cloaked unit who is mounted. It is around twice the size or more.
-At night is is much harder to see a cloaked unit. It is much harder to see a cloaked unit in brush.
-Change direction the instant you cloak. Or stand still especially when entering bush.
-There is an indicator above your head (a white eye with bars) that shows you are cloaked or not visable while in brush.
-This changes to Red if you lose cloak to some reason such as T***idar Trait.
-Useful for moving around the map, finding Murky's Spawn Egg and Abathur inside bases as watchtowers and forts will not break cloak, only Citadel. Can move through creep waves without being attacked.
-If an auto attack is launched and you cloak when it is mid air it will miss.

Anti-Armor Shells

-High instant high damage and run poke (is basically a free snipe that can't miss every three seconds).
-Resets slightly after you cloak.
-Dodge around until you cloak, then attack again.
-Never sit still and wait for it to attack, as it will show a targeting laser that gives away who you are attacking. (Unless you are doing minion camps or bosses).
-Chests on black hearts bay are hit based not damage based, so Nova with Anti-Armor Shells takes a very long time to kill it.


-Use quick cast on release in hotkey options. You can hold down Q and get a reticle showing you exactly where Snipe will go and the range. (right click to cancel) This allows you to hit targets at the very end of your range as well as slot your shots through or past minions.

Pinning Shot

-Try not to use it instantly if you don't have to for a combo. Save it until they run. You want to cast it as soon as they start to run.

Holo Decoy or Lethal Decoy

(Note: Your decoy uses mana, if you do not have enough mana to do decoy then snipe then pinning shot the decoy won't either. If you don't have enough mana to even Snipe it will sit there and not even auto attack. I believe this might be fixed in the future. Also perfect shot talent is not being applied to the decoy which probably needs fixing too).

-TOP TIP: If running. Place Decoy on top of yourself as you enter a bush. This is highly effective as you will not be visible as you enter the bush and you will not be visible as you exit.
-When it uses abilities it also applies any effects from Talents. For example Pinning Shot+ Crippling Shot and Snipe+ Explosive Round
-Decoy now appears cloaked if you are. Will not auto attack until it uses an ability or if you are not cloak/using abilties/AA. This makes Anti-Armor Shells much more valuable.
-A single drone placed by itself can do around 350+ damage at level 13.
-Can be used to slow a fleeing Hero that you are not within range to cast Pinning Shot on.
-Can be used to kill a fleeing Hero that you are not with range of.
-Can do 400+ damage at level 13 to a creep camp as well as tanking the creep. This does not include potential bonus damage given to your team mates from Drones Crippling Shot. Also does not include any AOE damage the Drone may do from Snipe. Note Double Fake talent will mess up drone's ability to tank.
-Can be used to scout and give vision over walls, gates and in bushes.
-Can be used to knock opponents off their mounts from range and without losing cloak. Often will knock more than one especially if you have Explosive Round+ Lethal Decoy.
-Can be used to slow Heroes you are fleeing from with Drone's Crippling Shot. Works great on heroes stopping to try and mount.
-Can be used to detonate mines or nests.
- Lethal Decoy is often confused with the real Nova because it uses abilities that do damage. Especially if it moves.
-If placed directly on top of you, your opponent can lose track of which one is you or make it hard to target you.
-Can be used to block skill shots including Triple Tap.
-Always Snipes first, then Auto attack, followed by Pinning Shot(since Jaina patch)
-Prioritizes Heroes
-Can no longer obstruct movement.

Double Fake

-Can do most of the above tricks
-Spawns one where you specify and one near you that runs away. Both will use abilties which apply talent effects which is nice.
-They both move but it is very predictable. Players will soon learn how to tell which one is you.
-It actually can work so well that you confuse yourself so be careful.
-Arbathur can give you away.
-Often doesn't add much extra damage compared to a single drone as one spawns and runs in the opposite direction.
-Spawn decoys from cloak then engage at the same time, and it is near impossible to tell which one is the real one if you move too.

Triple Tap

-Any basic combo then Triple Tap will kill any squishy if not interrupted or blocked.
-Often worth using point blank range if you know they can't interrupt you.
-Huge Range, use it from behind walls and obstructions.
-Only one burst needs to hit the target for Fast Reload to reset as long as the target dies before the third burst hits the target or if the third burst lands the killing blow.
-Can't be avoided by blink or teleports anymore. Can't be avoided by stealth (infact it will keep a stealthed unit visible for the duration as soon as you lock on).
-T***idar E can waste the cool down if used after the first burst is cast not before.
-Friendly Team mate Stitches will cause your ult to do no damage if he eats them.
-Void Sphere from any Zeratul can be used to stop the damage from this or Precision Strike.
-Does over double the damage of Precision Strike but has a longer cooldown.
-Fixed so it does not go on cooldown if interrupted before the first shot is fired.

Precision Strike

-Does half the damage of Triple Tap (but has a shorter cooldown).
-Works best with any kind of CC. Such as Zagara, Zeratul (timing can be tough), E.T.C..
-Works well with Pinning Shot+ Crippling Shot
-Can be used to zone out Heroes
-Anyone with dodge can easily avoid it.
-Anyone not CC'd can easily avoid it, even if aimed directly on center.
-Global presence.
-Works well in a rewind combo.
-Level 20 Precision Barrageis very strong.
-Can be used to interrupt things like tribute gathering, coin hand ins and dragon spawning.

Nova's Bugs Top

Triple Tap

-Some abilities such as Zeratul Blink still cause one and sometimes if done correctly two bullets to miss and disappear into nothing. This was supposed to be fixed several patches ago but it is not.
-Sometimes randomly fails for unknown reasons.
-If standing with your back to an enemy wall sometimes the wall will still take the hits even if you are firing away from the wall.

- Anti-Armor Shells has a slight lag to it's animation. Not sure if this is intended or not but means Nova has to pause for a split second to shoot it.

- Holo Decoy If decoy gets turned into a sapling from Terror Nova also gets the visual impairment on her.

-Not just nova but all champs got a level 1 bug in Jaina patch where their damage at level 1 doesn't get the damage bonus for level ( it used to). So all heroes that rely on auto attacks and skills that scale with attack damage got a slight nerf. Applies to champs like nova and Valla.

Wrap up Top

Conclusion: Since the Jaina patch Nova doesn't feel right. Her risk vs reward is just too high. She is still by far the easiest Hero to kill in the game.

She can deal some excellent damage and has great harass. But Zeratul is a much safer and probably better pick (he is just harder to get good at). He can easily 100-0 squishies just as well, but with almost 100% safety with the correct positioning. He can also clear mines, clear waves and solo camps and kill chests all of which Nova can't do. He also has one of the best Ults (even with the changes) for team fights.

She is countered by tanky teams and teams with shields and heals. Any damage she does is easily mitigated with heals.

Cloak becomes less useful the better your opponent is (and the three second recloak change really hurts Nova). If they guess you are around they can easily watch out for the cloak blur. Teams calling her position cut down her threat alot as well.

Any stun will shut her down pretty easily. T***idar and Uthur are not required to counter Nova. Any tanky or semi tank team will make life hard for Nova. Any gap closers or characters with AOE abilities such as Stiches and Tychus can be very anoying. Zagara's minions also make snipe difficult.

Any char that can dodge will be hard to 1 shot. Any opponent with a healer or shielder nearby will be hard to one shot. Be very careful of bright wing. She can easily save anyone and polymorph and kill you with Envenom.

She now has pretty much no variation in talent choice other than ult, Perfect Shot gathering power] and [[envenom.

Nova is purely there for killing other heroes. She can't push lanes, kill camps, clear minions waves or kill chests. And she can't siege either.

I think after the Thrall patch has been fleshed out a bit more we will see some buffs to Nova. S

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