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Nova Guide (the best hero for newer players)


Doom
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Introduction

 

Hello and welcome to my Nova guide! This guide is here almost exclusively for new players, so if you've played more than a handful of games, you might find portions of it obvious and tedious. I shall attempt to discuss at great length the items, talents, and skill builds, that you should go for, the tactics you should employ, as well as match ups to seek or avoid, both in lane, and in the later phases of the game.

 

 

Strengths & Weaknesses:

Nova is the perfect hero for new players, because she is safe. She has a very long range basic attack, and good mobility. She does not dominate the early game, but because of those two attributes, is nearly impossible to shut down. The most important thing to note is this: you are not under any pressure to do well early on. You do not need to take any risks, get any kills, or perform sick outplays. If you can keep up in last-hits (if you don't even know what that is, fear not, we'll go into greater detail later) and keep the number of your own deaths to a minimum, you will be very powerful later on.

 

Talent, Skill, and Starting Item Builds:

 

Skill Build:

 

A skill build is simply the order in which you level your abilities. You gain experience from being close to enemy minions, towers and heroes when they die, and upon attaining enough, you level up, becoming able to learn and upgrade abilities unique to your hero. The optimal skill build is listed below. You can chose to learn E first or second instead, if you are afraid of early pressure.

 

W -- Q -- E -- Q -- Q -- R -- Q -- E -- E -- E -- R -- W -- W -- W -- stats -- R -- Stats -- Stats

 

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Talent Build:

 

If you are new, you might not have known that these existed. Press "N" in game, or the Talents button in the Menu. Basically, talents are bonuses to your hero. You can pick only 7 of these bonuses. Eventually, as you learn different heroes, you should create unique talent builds for each role, but below are the talents you want for Nova.

 

From the Offence tree:

 

Might, Fury, Veteran, Bloodthirst

 

From the Defense tree:

 

Fitness

 

From the Utility tree:

 

Swiftness, Youth

 

 

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Starting Item Build:

 

You start the game with 650 minerals. You want to spend them in such a way as to be able to stay the longest in lane, as well as be able to maximize additional income in lane, by being able to last hit minions better, and/or win trades and get kills on enemy heroes. One of the best early game items in the game is Doran's Blade. You can choose to begin building it with a Fusion Blade, which will give you 9 agility (+6.3 weapon damage, and negligible amounts of weapon speed and armor for 250 minerals) or go the slightly more expensive, but all around better item in lane, the Quantum Spade (+10 weapon damage, for 325 minerals). You can buy more than one of these, but the remainder of your money is better spent on lane sustain. The single best lane sustain item is Soul Engine (285 minerals for a little movement speed, and an active that restores health and energy by consuming stacks you gain from killing minions) but it requires you to be able to comfortably last hit minions. You'll eventually get there with practice, but for your first few games, it's function will be replaced with a whole heck of consumables (active items with one time use, that restore health and energy). It may seem silly to take so many, but it pays off in a big way. Consumables give you an advantage that is worth a lot more than their humble costs (60 minerals for health consumable, 40 for energy consumable, 75 for a ward that will ensure you don't meet with any nasty surprises.)

 

TL;DR

 

First few games:

 

Quantum Spade (325) + Ward (75) + Hp Consumable (x2) (120) + Energy Consumable (x3) (120) -> total = 640

 

After practising last hitting:

 

Fusion Blade (250) + Soul Engine (285) + Energy Consumable (x3) (120) -> total = 655

 

 

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Main Item Builds:

 

Before you buy items, you need to consider several things. Firstly, how good are you? Do you remember to use item actives in stressful situations? Do you position yourself well, or do you absolutely need mobility items because you constantly overextend and have to run for your life? Are you experienced enough to go deep and correctly determine if you should engage or not? How confident are you at using your dash to get kills? At team fights, do you just A-move the nearest target, or are you capable of more? I shall provide one build for both less confident and more confident players.

 

 

The advanced build rely more on use of actives and scoot and shoot micro, but ultimately are more rewarding. Final note: don't buy Arcbound Ravager. It's a terrible item. In fact every crit item other than Khali (or lethal barb if you are Boros) is pretty bad. Yes, you miss out on crit chance, but it doesn't matter. There are way better weapon speed items (even now that TS was removed, and Sliptide nerfed), and most weapon damage items also give defensive stats and/or actives as well as more overall dps.

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The basic DPS build for those less confident in their abilities.

 

Duran's Blade -> Pyre Weapon Speed component -> Khali Blade -> Pulse Hammer -> basic 10% leech item (x2) -> complete Pyre -> complete Naix Claw -> Complete FoE -> Cauterizer -> Zenomorph Cleaver

 

Final Items therefore will be: Khali Blade, Pyre, Naix Claw Force of Entropy, Cauterizer, and Zenomorph Cleaver

 

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Advanced DPS build for those reasonable certain in their ability to keep themselves alive and properly use actives. It is nearly identical, but more glass-cannon-y, and a slightly different order, causing different timings on your power spikes.

 

Duran's Blade -> Khali Blade -> Pyre Weapon speed Component -> Cauterizer -> Zenomorph Cleaver -> Shinobi Style/Galactic (Galactic vs burst, Shinobi if not a lot of team support, Zeno if team support and/or lots of armor-stacking on enemy team) -> Pyre -> Naix Claw -> Khali #2 (yes, I know the passive doesn't stack, but hey, lot's of damage, and crit chance).

 

 

Full Build looks like so: Khali Blade (x2), Pyre, Cauterizer, Naix Claw, Shinobi/Galactic/Zeno

 

 

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Lane Phase

 

Nova is quite weak early on, in a straight up 1v1 duel. She has limited burst, low hp, and no CC. So don't fight anyone that has more than 50% health for any reason other than you having help to take them out. Nova is best placed in the mid lane, where she can farm indefinitely, and be safe from ganks, or laning partners skimming xp and minerals. That said, a support buddy that allows you to take all the last hits, protects and wards for ganks, and can help you get a kill is also acceptable. A good laning partner has a strong combination of cc, hp, and kill potential. Micro, Roach, Justicar, Rancor, Kharyak, and Mandrake are good for an agressive lane, medic or Egon for a defensive one. Q anything that's about to die. Free money, even if you miss a cs, or are denying your own wave. It costs energy, which requires energy pots which cost a little money..... you will snowball off of creep waves faster than anyone else, so if your team doesn't feed anyone, you will be the richest person on the map in no time. Don't die. It's common sense for any hero, but for nova it is more important than any other. You have next to no cc. You manage to fall behind, you will be worthless until everyone is maxed. You break even, and everyone will fall to their knees in terror.... except the many broken heroes that will kill you in one second, or tank your damage indefinitely.

 

 

Post-Lane Phase

 

Stick with your team, always try to be earning money. Don't wonder about aimlessly, set short term and long term goals. Tower. Aeon. Creep Wave. Enemy Feeder. Levi. Take everything and more, get ahead, murder everything any every one. Also, stay with your team. No stun knife means no more solitary adc roaming. In teamfights, remeber, stay alive. Always try to be auto-attacking from max range. Your ult is a defense skill. So is your E. Do not be greedy with them, do not trade one for one for anyone. The greater the percentage of time that you are alive and doing something useful, the greater the likelihood of your team winning. Ask people to build support items for you, Eternal Drive if ANYONE on the other team has heavy CC. Don't try to make fancy plays and outplays. Avoid things that can kill you like the plague. Just common sense adc stuff.

 

Good luck, and have fun.

Edited by Doom
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1. Why you no get Hunter's Hatchet??!!!!!

 

2. This one is purely opinionated, but I believe that many believe that Q is a shap ability that has stats leveled over it.

 

3. For your "Advanced DPS" build, your full build and full build order don't exactly match up....where did Xenomorphic Cleaver go?

 

4. Personally I like Sliptide...there are instances where slows from Pulse Hammer/Force of Entropy are not enough to keep up with the opponent (ex. Boros with Spellstorm),

and in such a case Increased Movement Speed from Sliptide that works independently of what your opponent is doing is immensely helpful. That (along with its stats) is the reason why I personally get Sliptide, not for its puny Spell Damage unique.

 

5. I feel like you do not quite have enough Weapon Speed but I could be completely wrong here.

Edited by taznkid
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1. Why you no get Hunter's Hatchet??!!!!!

 

2. This one is purely opinionated, but I believe that many believe that Q is a shap ability that has stats leveled over it.

 

3. For your "Advanced DPS" build, your full build and full build order don't exactly match up....where did Xenomorphic Cleaver go?

 

4. Personally I like Sliptide...there are instances where slows from Pulse Hammer/Force of Entropy are not enough to keep up with the opponent (ex. Boros with Spellstorm),

and in such a case Increased Movement Speed from Sliptide that works independently of what your opponent is doing is immensely helpful. That (along with its stats) is the reason why I personally get Sliptide, not for its puny Spell Damage unique.

 

5. I feel like you do not quite have enough Weapon Speed but I could be completely wrong here.

 

1. It's no longer worth on ranged. Just +10 damage with creeps, and 95 hp.

2. NAWW you get like 50% extra money per every creep, when its maxed out, and decent poke vs champs.

3. You're right... fixing.....

4. After whale decided to nerf it... maybe it's placebo effect, but it seems less good now.

5. Pyre and Cauterizer give pretty close to maxed. You are rarely going to get an opportunity to stand still and attack anyways, except vs towers or while splitpushing creeps, so you lose out on less dps in a teamfight when you have to kite. It doesn't matter if you have an attack every .5 of a second, if you have to scoot and shoot, since most newer players would not be able to do more than an attack per second while trying to escape terrifying melee heroes.

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I don't really understand why you would get a second khali blade, after the recent changes it only gives as much wd as galactic/naix/shinobi, so you would probably just be better off building either galactic or shinobi, because even with the recent nerf they still give good stats and have powerful actives.

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