I read a lot of guides on how to build Nova in Heroes of the Storm. They all recommend taking Ambush Snipe for level 1 talent over Psi-Op Rangefinder. However, Ambush Snipe only gives bonus to while cloaked or 1 second before going into cloak. This becomes almost useless in late game since at level 16, Crippling Shot gives a 25% to damage boost and it is recommended for all the guide I read.

The rotation opens with Crippling so you get the 25% and now Ambush Snipe is not active anymore. The early game lasts only so long, I don't understands why Ambush Snipe is highly recommended when 20% range in the late game is much better

  • As a 100+ games of Nova experience, I'd suggest you consider the build and rotation I have mentioned in my answer. I started just like you, I took increased duration on Pinning Shot and took 25% damage on Pinning Shot at level 16. Later, I tried other builds and the deadliest one is the one I mentioned below:)
    – Varaquilex
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 2:53
  • HotS is already out? Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 10:07
  • @RandomDisplayName it's in alpha
    – Huangism
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 12:54
  • I wonder why questions about it are allowed, its not available for everyone yet Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 12:59
  • @RandomDisplayName why wouldn't it be allowed? There are tons of forum for the game that's publicly accessible. I don't think Blizzard is trying to hide anything
    – Huangism
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 13:38

3 Answers 3


I avoid playing as Nova because I don't agree with the spike amounts, but in terms of what I could pull up based on your questions this is what I've found.

Duration References:
Cloak refreshes after 2.5 seconds.
Pinning shot lasts 2.25 seconds.
Attack speed 1 second (3 seconds if Hot Shots talent).

I can only think of one strongly valid rotation:

  • Open with Pinning Shot for 2.25 seconds.
  • Follow with a Snipe for the bonus 25%.
  • Hot Shots would follow and also do the 330% + 25% bonus.
  • If you have time here to chase, you might get another snipe in from cloak since Snipe will be off cooldown 2 seconds before another Pinning Shot would.

I can't see any strong reasoning either that says you'd want to start with a cloaked Snipe 20% bonus unless you knew you could get the kill with just the 20% + Hot Shots so you didn't drain mana. Hopefully something can branch off these scenarios to help you sort out why. In theory, the range isn't completely necessary, but it is nice. I like Zagara's baneling range, too.

** Note: Removed all the Rewind-based suggestions since that choice is no longer a part of Nova's talent options.

  • I have played around with both range and extra damage and the range seems a lot better since I can fire from longer distance. Better for safety too.
    – Huangism
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:46
  • 2
    @Huangism I agree that the 20% seems too situational late-game. However, early/mid-game kills do give you an advantage for the first 16 levels. Those get you to 20 earlier and may be why you could be ahead on mechanics. All I can say based on my many years of WoW playing and talent building: Don't strictly follow guides. Build what you can play efficiently. If talent A does a 50% bonus, but you can only do that 30% of the time, whereas talent B does 30%, but you have a 90% uptime, then B is your best option.
    – Xrylite
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:56
  • I see you have a reasonable answer given the question but that talent tree on the guides are not meant for the rotation you mentioned. What are your thoughts on my answer?
    – Varaquilex
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 5:56
  • You might want to update your answer, now that Rewind instantly clears cooldowns on basic abilities. Edit: Rewind is not a Nova skill anymore too. :/
    – Jeff Noel
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 19:09
  • 1
    @JeffNoel Yeah, I believe the concept will still be in place, but the Rewind comments should go. Thanks for the reminder ^^.
    – Xrylite
    Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:36

You're missing a very key part of the ambush snipe skill. The bonus damage applies when fired from cloak or a second after decloaking. This means that you can open with crippling shot and immediately fire a snipe. Both bonuses will apply and stack, resulting in insane damage.


The general idea behind taking Ambush Snipe over other talents is that you won't use Pinning Shot for the 25% increased damage on level 16. Instead, you will take Overdrive so that you can use overdrive just before opening and get 45% increased damage on Snipe followed by a 330% hot shots basic attack, which in turn provides more burst. Also the Precision Strike deals 25% more damage to anyone it hits while overdrive is active.

So your rotation changes a bit:

  • (2) Overdrive
  • (Q) Snipe
  • Auto Attack
  • (W) Pinning Shot
  • (1) Rewind
  • (Q) Snipe
  • (R) Precision Strike

Since overdrive doesn't break cloak, you get to deal more burst. Also Overdrive + Precision Strike is far more deadly than Triple Tap if you can hit multiple targets. It's a real nice wombo combo material, these Overdrive and Precision Strike talents.

  • The guides I read always takes pinning shot over overdrive which is why I ask the question, but if you take overdrive then it makes more sense
    – Huangism
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 12:56

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