Co-op Commander Guide: Nova

Dominion Ghost

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Commander Summary

Nova is a deadly covert operative that uses highly-trained soldiers to control the battlefield.

Level Unlocks

Level/Icon Name Description
Covert Ops Covert Ops Nova has a 100 supply maximum, but her units and structures have increased life, deal additional damage, and are resistant to stun effects. Trained units are instantly deployed onto the battlefield.
Griffin Airstrike Griffin Airstrike Unlocks the ability to call down the Griffin, which deploys several explosives along a targeted path. Call down the Griffin from the top panel.
Assault Mode Assault Mode Unlocks the ability to swap between two equipment loadouts in the field. Nova gains access to different abilities and a different weapon with each loadout.
Barracks Upgrade Cache Barracks Upgrade Cache Unlocks the following upgrades at the Barracks Tech Lab:
  • Unlock the Elite Marine's Super Stimpack ability, which increases their attack and movement speeds while healing them over time.
  • Equip the Marauder Commando with an additional weapon that attacks their current target.
Tactical Airlift Tactical Airlift Unlocks the ability to call down the Griffin to rapidly transport your units to a targeted location. Call down the Griffin from the top panel.
Factory Upgrade Cache Factory Upgrade Cache Unlocks the following upgrades at the Factory Tech Lab:
  • Enable Hellbat Rangers to leap toward enemy ground units and stun them on impact.
  • Enable Strike Goliaths to stun enemy mechanical air units and disable their detection.
  • Increase the Heavy Siege Tank's attack range over time while in Siege Mode.
Automated Refineries Automated Refineries Refineries automatically harvest Vespene Gas with the need for SCV's.
Covert Ops Upgrade Cache Covert Ops Upgrade Cache Unlocks an upgrade at the Barracks Tech Lab that enables Spec Ops Ghosts to fire two additional shots when using Snipe.

Also unlocks an upgrade at the Ghost Academy that increases Nova's life regeneration rate.
Tac Nuke Strike and Holo Decoy Tac Nuke Strike and Holo Decoy Unlocks the Tac Nuke Strike ability, which allows Nova to call down a nuke while in Stealth Mode.

Also unlocks the Holo Decoy ability, which allows Nova to create a duplicate of herself that will attack on its own while in Assault Mode.
Starport Upgrade Cache Starport Upgrade Cache Unlocks the following upgrades at the Starport Tech Lab:
  • Unlock the Covert Banshee's Rocket Barrage ability, which deals damage to all enemy ground units in a target area.
  • Allow Raid Liberators to transform faster.
  • Allow Raid Liberators to attack structures while in Defender Mode.
Research and Development Research and Development Reduces cost and time required to research upgrades at Tech Labs and the Ghost Academy by 50%.
Raven Upgrade Cache Raven Upgrade Cache Unlocks the following upgrades at the Starport Tech Lab:
  • Increase the healing of the Raven Type-II's Bio-Mechanical Repair Drone and allow it to cloak units while healing them.
  • Allow the Raven Type-II to store 2 additional charges for each of its abilities.
Military Hardware Military Hardware Increases Nova's maximum number of Defensive Drone charges by 2 and reduces their cooldown by 30 seconds.
Nova Upgrade Cache Nova Upgrade Cache Unlocks the following upgrades at the Ghost Academy:
  • Allow Nova to regain 50% of Snipe's energy cost after killing a unit with it.
  • Increase the range of Nova's Penetrating Blast.
Stance Dance Stance Dance Reduces the cooldown of Stealth Mode and Assault Mode by 15 seconds. Nova gains maximum energy when switching modes.

Switching to Stealth Mode grants temporary invulnerability and switching to Assault Mode grants a temporary bonus to damage dealt.

Highlighted rows denote large power spikes for the commander.

Achievements

The commander-specific achievements for Nova are:

Achievement Name Description
Air Raid Air Raid Deal 50,000 damage with Griffin Airstrike in Co-op Missions.
Cloak and Dagger Cloak and Dagger Deal 200,000 damage with Nova while she is in Stealth Mode.
Drone It Out Drone It Out Absorb 10,000 damage for your ally with Nova's Defensive Drone in Co-op Missions.
Riding Shotgun Riding Shotgun Deal 200,000 damage with Nova while she is in Assault Mode.

Calldowns

The calldowns for Nova, at level 15, with no mastery points added are:

Calldown Name Description Recommended Usage Numbers
Defensive Drone Defensive Drone Provides friendly units with shields that absorb up to 200 damage. Lasts for 60 seconds.
  • Should be used when defending and attacking to protect your army.
  • Can be used as a distraction to draw aggro away from your air units.
  • Can also be used to keep vision in an area temporarily.
  • Coolup: 60 seconds
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds
  • Max Charges: 5
Griffin Airstrike Griffin Airstrike Calls down the Griffin to deal 500 damage to all targets in its flight path after a short delay.
  • Great way of dealing with tough attack waves.
  • Useful for weaking enemy bases before pushing in.
  • Coolup: 120 seconds
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds
  • Mineral Cost: 1000
Tactical Airlift Tactical Airlift Instantly transports friendly units in the target area to a targeted location.
  • Can be used to move troops to an area with vision.
  • You have a 20-second window to select the drop-off location.
  • Can be used to dodge skill shots.
  • Coolup: 120 seconds
  • Cooldown: 120 seconds
  • Mineral Cost: 200
Instant Regeneration Instant Regeneration Requirements:Nova recovering in statis

Instantly revives Nova at the target location. Resource cost is determined by the amount of time remaining.
  • Cost gets reduced by 5 minerals per second.
  • Only use it if having Nova on the battlefield is vital.
  • Mineral Cost: 450

Masteries

Below are the three Power Sets for Nova with the recommended point allocations for each. Note that these are meant to serve a general, all-purpose build that is effective across all maps. You are highly encourged to change these masteries to suit your playstyle and particular challenges you face (e.g. Weekly Mutations).

Power Set 1:

Power Value Recommended Points to Add Further Considerations
Nuke and Holo Decoy Cooldown -3 sec per point
-90 sec maximum
0 Due to the high cooldown time of Nuke/Holo Decoy, it is generally not viable to go for the cooldown mastery. However, for players who use this ability liberally, and find they are just short of some time before they can use it again, the mastery might be worth adding a few points into.
Griffin Airstrike Cost -10 per point
-300 maximum
30

The reduction to the Nuke cooldown is irrelevant here (and Holo Decoy is not very useful). Griffin Airstrike has a lot more utility.

Power Set 2:

Power Value Recommended Points to Add Further Considerations
Nova Primary Ability Improvement 1.67% per point
50% maximum
30 The attack speed mastery can benefit units like Siege Tanks and Liberators during long, sustained engagements. If that is required by the player, this mastery might be useful, especially if Nova can 1-shot units like infested anyway.
Combat Unit Attack Speed +0.5% per point
+15% maximum
0

Increasing Nova's Snipe and Penetrating Blast damage can make a huge difference on the battlefield.

Power Set 3:

Power Value Recommended Points to Add Further Considerations
Nova Energy Regeneration 1% per point
30% maximum
20 A split is generally recommended here to ensure units have some healing. Nova's energy regeneration is critical though, as it will allow you to spam her abilities more often.
Unit Life Regeneeration 0.2 per point
6 maximum
10

The split here is to allow your units to regenerate themselves on the battlefield when out of combat, at a reasonable rate while still ensuring Nova has enough energy regeneration to spam skills.

Hero Unit

Nova

Spawn time: 4:00

Respawn time: 1:30

The abilities for Stealth Mode Nova are:

Ability Name Description Cooldown
Snipe Snipe Deals 200 damage to target enemy ground or air unit from long range.

Can target biological and mechanical units.
0 seconds
Sabotage Drone Sabotage Drone Deploys an undetectable explosive drone that deals 200 damage (400 vs Structure) to enemy ground units in the target area. 45 seconds
Tac Nuke Strike Tac Nuke Strike Calls down a Nuclear Strike at the target location, dealing 600 damage in a large radius after 5 seconds. 420 seconds

The abilities for Assault Mode Nova are:

Ability Name Description Cooldown
Penetrating Blast Penetrating Blast Deals 50 (100 vs Light) damage to enemy ground units in a wide arc.

Does not damage friendly units.
10 seconds
Blink Blink Teleports Nova to a nearby location. Nova gains a temporary shield that absorbs up to 200 damage for 8 seconds.

Ability regains a charge every 8 seconds. Can store a maximum of 3 charges.
8 seconds
Holo Decoy Holo Decoy Deploys a holographic duplicate of Nova that automatically attacks enemy units. The holo decoy lasts for 60 seconds. 420 seconds

The upgrades for Nova are:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Ghost Visor Ghost Visor Grants Nova detection, allowing her to see and track cloaked and burrowed enemy units. 75/75 45 seconds
Caduceus Reactor Caduceus Reactor Increases Nova's life regeneration rate to 10. 75/75 45 seconds
Operational Efficiency Operational Efficiency Refunds 50% of Snipe's energy cost when Nova uses it to kill an enemy unit. 100/100 60 seconds
Infernal Projectiles Infernal Projectiles Increases the range of Nova's Penetrating Blast by 2. 100/100 60 seconds

Combat Units

For more information on unit stats, comparison between units and upgrade calculations, visit the Data Tables page.

Nova's combat units are listed below:

Elite Marine

Elite Marine

  • Does high DPS.
  • Super Stimpack upgrade is vital for survivability.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Super Stimpack Super Stimpack Heals the Elite Marine for 2 life per second and increases its attack speed by 33% and movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds. 20 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Laser Targeting System Laser Targeting System Increases the Elite Marine's vision by 2 and its weapon range by 1. 50/50 30 seconds
Super Stimpack Super Stimpack Heals the 2 life per second and increases its attack and movement speeds for 15 seconds. 75/75 45 seconds
Marauder Commando

Marauder Commando

  • Good against armored targets.
  • Upgrades not necessary.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Magrail Munitions Magrail Munitions Deals 90 damage to target enemy unit. 30 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Suppression Shells Suppression Shells Units hit by the Marauder Commando have temporarily slowed attack and movement speeds (50%). Has a reduced effect on heroic units (20%).

Massive units are immune.
50/50 30 seconds
Magrail Munitions Magrail Munitions Equips Marauder Commandos with an additional weapon that deals 90 damage to their target every 30 seconds. 75/75 45 seconds
Spec Ops Ghost

Spec Ops Ghost

  • Provides great burst damage against biological targets.
  • "EMP" can be used against energy-based targets to render them useless, such as Hybrid Dominators.
  • "Triple Tap" can increase the damage they do significantly.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Snipe Snipe Deals 170 damage to target enemy biological unit.

Mechanical units are immune.
30 seconds 0
EMP Round EMP Round Deals 100 damage to shields and depletes the energy of enemy units in the target area. Cloaked units are revealed for 10 seconds after being hit. 45 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
EMP Round EMP Round Allows Spec Ops Ghosts to use EMP Round, which deals 100 damage to shields and depletes the energy of enemy units in the target area. Cloaked units are revealed for 10 seconds after being hit. 50/50 30 seconds
Triple Tap Triple Tap Spec Ops Ghosts fire 2 additional shots that deal 85 damage each when using Snipe. 75/75 45 seconds
Hellbat Ranger

Hellbat Ranger

  • Generally not worth making.
  • They jump out of range of Defensive Drones and end up getting killed.
  • They have poor DPS.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Jump Jet Assault Jump Jet Assault Launches the Hellbat Ranger toward nearby enemy ground units. Briefly stuns enemy units on impact and gains +4 armor. 5 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Infernal Pre-Igniters Infernal Pre-Igniter Hellbats deal +15 damage to light units in both modes. 50/50 30 seconds
Jump Jet Assault Jump Jet Assault Launches the Hellbat Ranger toward nearby enemy ground units. Briefly stuns enemy units on impact and gains +4 armor. 75/75 45 seconds
Strike Goliath

Strike Goliath

  • Useful against air targets, due to its "Lockdown Missiles" upgrade which can stun.
  • Ineffective against ground targets.

Skills: None

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Ares-Class Targeting System Ares-Class Targeting System Increases the Strike Goliath's anti-air weapon range by 3 and its ground weapon range by 1. 50/50 30 seconds
Lockdown Missiles Lockdown Missiles Stuns and disables the detection of mechanical units hit by the Strike Goliath's anti-air attacks for 3 seconds.

Heroic units are immune.
75/75 45 seconds
Heavy Siege Tank

Heavy Siege Tank

  • Can deal a large amount of splash damage.
  • Can deploy Spider Mines to further defend a position.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Deploy Spider Mines Deploy Spider Mines Spider Mines pursue enemy units that come in range, and detonate for heavy area damage. Buried Spider Mines can only be seen by enemy detectors. (Costs 50 minerals). 30 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Spider Mines Spider Mines Allows Heavy Siege Tanks to deploy Spider Mines, which pursue enemy units that come in range, and detonate for heavy area damage. Buried Spider Mines can only be seen by enemy detectors. 50/50 30 seconds
Graduating Range Graduating Range Increases the Heavy Siege Tank's attack range by 1 every 3 seconds while in Siege Mode, up to a maximum of 5 additional range. 75/75 45 seconds
Raid Liberator

Raid Liberator

  • Provides great anti-air.
  • "Raid Artillery" upgrade can be obtained if you want to deal damage to structures.
  • "Smart Servos" upgrade is a necessity if you intend on switching modes often.

Skills: None

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Raid Artillery Raid Artillery Allows Raid Liberators to attack structures while in Defender Mode. 50/50 30 seconds
Smart Servos Smart Servos Allows Raid Liberators to transform between modes four times faster. 75/75 45 seconds
Covert Banshee

Covert Banshee

  • Generally not made as other units can better fit the role.
  • Can be used against certain ground compositions with the "Rocket Barrage" ability.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Rocket Barrage Rocket Barrage Deals 75 damage to enemy ground units in the target area. 15 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Advanced Cloaking Field Advanced Cloaking Field Allows Covert Banshees to remain permanently cloaked. 50/50 30 seconds
Rocket Barrage Rocket Barrage Allows Covert Banshees to use Rocket Barrage, which deals 75 damage to enemy ground units in the target area. 75/75 45 seconds
Raven Type-II

Raven Type-II

  • A must-have in any army composition.
  • Can heal your army with the Bio-Mechanical Repair Drone.
  • Can deplay Railgun turrets to further fortify a position.
  • Seeker Missiles can deal a lot of damage, particularly to clumped up enemies.

Skills:

Skill Name Description Cooldown Energy Cost
Build Railgun Turret Build Railgun Turret Automated defensive turret. Damages all enemy ground units in a straight line. Lasts for 60 seconds.

Can attack ground units.
30 seconds 0
Deploy Bio-Mechanical Repair Drone Deploy Bio-Mechanical Repair Drone Heals nearby biological and mechanical units. Lasts for 30 seconds. 60 seconds 0
Predator Missile Predator Missile Deploys a missile that pursues target enemy unit, dealing 100 (+35 vs. shields) damage in a wide radius upon contact. 45 seconds 0

Upgrades:

Upgrade Name Effect Minerals/Gas Research Time
Covert Triage Covert Triage Increases the healing of the Raven Type-II's Bio-Mechanical Repair Drone by 25% and allows it to cloak units that it is currently healing. 75/75 45 seconds
Enhanced Manufacturing Enhanced Manufacturing Allows the Raven Type-II to store up to 3 charges for each of its abilities. 75/75 45 seconds

Build Order

Below is the standard economic build order for Nova. For more information on how to read and construct your own build orders, please check the Build Order Theory page.

14 Refinery
15 Refinery
18 Command Center
19 Barracks
22 Marines -> Rocks

Gameplay Guide

Playstyle Traps

Many players prefer to use Assault mode to deal with units when pushing into enemy bases. However, Nova's strength is with her Snipe ability that can be used to target Mechanical units. Use Nova's Snipe to take out high value targets and minimize your army losses. Combined with the "Operational Efficiency" upgrade, you'll be able to clear out a lot of high-damage units very quickly.

Playstyle Tips