The StarCraft assassin Nova is free to play for everyone in Heroes of the Storm this week. Some call the prospect of playing every HOTS match against a perma-stealthed long-range sniper assassin “annoying.” I call it open season.
See, one of the primary sources of Nova’s power on a team is the fact that she’s always invisible unless she attacks someone or she herself is attacked. This makes her very effective at setting up deadly ambushes against unsuspecting opponents.
There’s just one catch: she isn’t completely invisible; she just can’t be targeted. You can still see her if you keep your eyes peeled for a wavy translucent silhouette. Spot her and then hit her with a non-targeted ability, and you can force her out of stealth and, ideally, proceed to destroy her.
Lucky for me, I play as The Butcher. He has an ability that slams the ground in front of him with his massive cleaver, damaging and slowing any enemies caught within its range. This week, that move has basically turned into the “kill Nova” ability, and it feels fan-fuckin’-tastic:
I just have to press “Q,” to do the ground-pound and shove her into the spotlight, then press “E” to charge into her and stun her on impact, and then...well, by that point, she’s usually dead.
A good Nova will be able to tell that an enemy is onto her, though, and start strafing around to avoid being hit. Another Nova I encountered this week made me waste my ult in a frantic attempt to nab her:
...and then I somehow missed her again with my Q:
Dammit! Okay, one more try:
HAH! Try sneaking away now Nova. Oh wait, that’s right, you’re already dead.
I hate Nova so much and I regret nothing about stomping on her face all this week.