The Nova class is a female class that uses a Morning Star (Mace) as her main weapon and a Quoratum (Tower Shield) offhand. Unlike all other classes in the game, Nova is an actual specific person in the main story quest line. She has unique dialogue in the story and some NPCs may interact differently with her. Nova is the last of the royal lineage and was forgotten in history when the republic was formed. She now masters the elite Thornwood Guards and embraces the darkness to help reclaim her kingdom. Her pre-awakening skills have a chess and ice theme as she uses the Thornwood guards to aid her in her battles with aggressive or defensive commands.
At level 56 she unlocks the succession or awakening path. Her succession skills enhance pre-awakening and allow her to summon the Axian monster. While her awakening is unlocked when she acquires the “Sting” weapon in a duel. The weapon has magical power and can switch its form from a sharp rapier-like sword to a scythe. This allows her to make quick piercing attacks and she gains a lot of mobility. Awakened Nova also acquires a new resource called “Star’s Breath”, this is shown under your HP bar and will accumulate when Nova successfully hits an enemy. Once Star’s Breath has reached its full capacity, it can be consumed by Nova to empower her and enhance her skills for a short period of time.
Awakening VS Succession
Nova Succession and Awakening can be unlocked after level 56 after speaking to the Black Spirit and completing the Awakening and Succession quests under the suggestions tab.
- The Awakening will unlock a completely new skill tree, which will be your primary skills from now on. The skills in the pre-awakening are mostly utility skills, and your main damage dealers will be your Awakening skills.
- The Succession skill kit enhances your Morning Star skills instead and only has a few awakening skills.
Most players tend to prefer Awakening and it is the more popular spec out of the two because it is currently much better at PVE grinding.
In PVP in comes down to preference and is difficult to compare the two because they are completely different playstyles.
Succession is much slower and some players feel it is similar to Guardian in that way as well as being more “new player friendly” due to its slower speed. It has good protection and control, making it strong in Arena of Solare PVP. Awakening is much more fast-paced with far more mobility, and also more of a glass cannon class. She has high burst and the Vacuum skill for group PVP.
Awakening is considered more difficult because there is less room for error and you need to manage your Star’s Breath bar whilst managing cooldowns and rotating your skills well.
Since the skill point update in late 2022, you can obtain all skills for approximately 1,000 skill points. Focus on your main skills first, then level the passives. The Weight Training skill should be leveled last, since it only gives you weight limit increase.
It is important to read through your skills to understand which skills have protection and crowd control effects. Read through your skills carefully to get familiar with what each skill does. You can also filter the different effects in the Skill Window (K).
- Super armor (SA)
- This means you cannot be crowd controlled while this effect is active (except grab/grapple), but you will still take damage from any attacks
- Forward guard (FG)
- This means you will block damage and crowd control effects coming from the front direction of your character. The block can be broken if you take enough damage and you will see a blue shield with a number, indicating the % left of the block.
- Some classes have an “S block”. This means you will automatically use Forward Guard when moving backward with “S”.
- Invincible (I-frame)
- This means that you will not take damage and cannot be crowd controlled from any direction for the duration of the effect
|Pre-awakening / Succession|
|Storming Star||Shift + E||Super Armor while using the skill|
|Punishing Trap||W + E||Forward Guard for surface hits(s)|
|Quoratum’s Opening||E after certain skills||Forward Guard|
|Quoratum’s Protection||Q||Forward Guard|
|Command: Rime Ice||S + F||Super Armor while using the skill|
Prime: Quortum’s Ascension
|W + F||Super Armor|
|Mauling Star||LMB after certain skills||Super Armor|
|Command: Frozen Earth
Prime: Frozen Earth
|Quickslot only||Super Armor|
|Shift + LMB||Super Armor|
|Command: Frozen Darkness
Prime: Frozen Darkness
|Shift + RMB||Super Armor during the skill|
|Command: Stamma’s Mate
Prime: Stamma’s Mate
|Shift + Q||Super Armor|
|Command: Blooming Icy Thorns
Prime: Entangling Icy Thorns
|Shift + F||Super Armor|
|Queen’s Gambit||E (Magnus Skill)||Super Armor|
|Prime: Star’s Call||S + C||
Invincible while moving backward
|Prime: Swooping Ring||W + C||Forward Guard|
|Command: Passed Pawn
Prime: Passed Pawn
|SPACE after certain skills||Forward Guard|
|Command: Opening||Quickslot only||Forward Guard|
|Icy Fog||SHIFT + W/A/S/D||
Invincible during skill (PVE only)
Prime: Distorted Guard
|Quickslot only||Super Armor|
|En Garde||E||Super Armor while using the skill
Super Armor for 10 sec after using the skill
|Combust Life||Shift + E||Super Armor while using the skill|
|Slicing Ring||Q||Forward Guard while using the skill|
|Swooping Ring||W + RMB||Super Armor while using the skill|
|Royal Fencing: Remise||S + LMB||Super Armor while using the skill|
|Royal Fencing: Fleche||W + F||Super Armor while using the skill|
|Frozen Ring||Shift + Q||Super Armor while using the skill|
|Break Orbit||Shift + W/A/S/D||Invincibility -> Super Armor while using the skill|
|Twisted Orbit||LMB during Break Orbit||Super Armor while moving|
|Royal Fencing: Riposte||S + Q||Forward Guard during Swinging Attack|
|Star’s Call||Shift + LMB||Forward Guard|
To lock a skill, press the lock icon on the top of each skill icon in the skill window (K).
These are the skills I recommend locking:
Evasion, Icy Fog (Awakening only)
To lock a skill, press the lock icon on the bottom right of each skill icon in the skill window (K).
Most players tend to lock Icy Fog for awakening to make the awakening dash flow better and then will use the Quoratum’s Closing skill to switch to pre-awakening instead since it has a frontal guard.
These are the minimum skills I recommend putting on your hotbar
Quaratum’s Guard, Command: Frozen Earth, Command: Opening, Winter Testudo, Quaratum’s Binding, Quaratum’s Earth, Queen’s Gambit, Frozen Ring, Brutal Ring
You may also want to put more skills on your hotbar and cooldown slots to keep track of them. For more information about how to do this, check out our Edit UI and Settings Guide.
Core skills are a way of upgrading 1 skill from your awakening skill kit.
Core skills are usually down to preference but most players choose Starfall for the Super Armor in PVE, or Frozen Ring for PVP.
- Core: Swooping Ring: Stiffness on good hits.
- Core: Royal Fencing: Remise: Bound on good 1st hit.
- Core: Comet: Forward Guard while using skill.
- Core: Royal Fencing: Fleche: Stiffness on good 1st hit.
- Core: Frozen Ring: Stiffness on good hits.
- Core: Starfall: Super Armor while using skill.
Skill Enhancement (Rabam) Skills
Skill Enhancement skills can be obtained in the Skill Window (K) under the “Skill Enhancement” tab at the top. At levels 56, 57, and 58, you will have 2 different options to choose between. These skills have no skill points cost, but you have to have other skills leveled up to be able to take them.
Level 56 – [SHIFT + X]
- Quoratum’s Closing – Requires [Icy Thorns IV] and [Quoratum’s Ascension IV]
- (Preferred Choice)
- Frozen Chain – Requires [Icy Thorns IV] and [Chain Strike IV]
I would recommend Quoratum’s Closing because the skill is useful for switching into pre-awakening and will debuff the target with Movement Speed, Attack Speed, and Casting Speed -30% for 10 seconds. It has a forward guard whilst moving and stiffness on good hits. The only downside is that the skill cannot be canceled and that you are not protected the entire time, which is quite a large window for you to be CC’d so you need to learn to use it effectively. Frozen Chain on the other hand has a small super armor on the first hit and can inflict a float on a good 2nd hit.
Level 57 – [SHIFT + Z]
- Bitter Star– Requires [Bitter Reign V] and [Vengeful Star V]
- (Preferred Choice)
- Binding Star – Requires [Bitter Reign V] and [Quoratum’s Binding III]
I would recommend Bitter Star. Neither of the skills have any protection on them and are quite underwhelming, but Binding Star has a long cooldown of 30 seconds which makes Bitter Star the preferred choice.
Level 58 – [Quickslot Only]
- Enter the Darkness – Requires [Command: Frozen Darkness V] and [Command: Frozen Earth V]
- Quoratum’s Earth – Requires [Command: Frozen Darkness V] and [Mauling Star IV]
Quoratum’s Earth can be useful as a filler skill in PVE or closer in PVP if you are succession nova. While Enter the Darkness is useful as an extra protected skill with a small amount of HP regen. I would personally recommend Quoratum’s Earth since it is a useful quick swap and has good damage with a Downsmash in PVP. However, both choices are viable and completely down to preference.
Below are some examples of PVE skill add-ons you can take.
If you would like example skill add-ons for other scenarios, please refer to the Class Discord and its resources.
I recommend experimenting with your add-ons and figuring out what is best for you because it really depends on your personal preference and how you play your class. If you’re simply not sure what to take then you can blindly follow the examples below and they will still be effective.
You can also check our Skill Add-on guide for a complete list of Skill Add-ons.
|Awakening PVE Add-ons
|Extra AP Against Monsters +20 for 7 sec|
|Succession PVE Add-ons: (Credit: Velika)
Extra AP Against Monsters +30 for 7 sec
Example Skill Combos
For your armor, you will make a choice between Damage Reduction or Evasion gear. I recommend reading our guide about the two different DP stats if you want to learn what the two different stats do.
Generally, you are recommended to build Damage Reduction on Nova.
There are various different accessories in the game. At first, just focus on using the accessories that give you the highest AP in each slot.
There are also “free” accessories that all new players should get:
Common Starter PVE accessories:
- TET Black Distortion Earrings or TET Narc Ear Accessory (PEN Capotia Earring)
- TET Basilisk’s Belt (or PEN Capotia Belt)
- TET Ring of Crescent Guardian
- TET Ogre Ring/Laytenn’s Necklace (or PEN Capotia Necklace).
Below is an example starter Crystal build for PVE. Some of the crystals are expensive. You can obtain the Rebellious Crystal by completing the main story questline. For more example crystal builds, including an end-game PVE crystal build, and PVP Crystal builds, check our Crystal Preset Guide.
- Ah’krad Crystal x2
- Rebellious Spirit Crystal x2
- Red Battlefield Crystal: Adamantine x2
- Ancient Magic Crystal of Crimson Flame – Power x2
- Dark Red Fang Crystal – Valor x2
- Corrupted Magic Crystal x2
- Max HP +350
- All AP +34
- All Accuracy +6
- Extra Damage to Monsters +20
- Hidden Damage Reduction -4
- Knockdown/Bound Resistance +50%
- Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance +10%
- Critical Hit Level +4
- Critical Hit Damage +22%
- Skill EXP +10%
This is an example PVP Build for Novas using Damage Reduction Armors and going full Human Damage (glass cannon). For more example crystal builds, check our Crystal Preset Guide or the Class Discord.
- Glorious Crystal of Gallantry – Olucas x2
- Red Spirit Crystal x2
- Crystal of Elkarr x2
- Corrupted Magic Crystal x2
- JIN: Magic Crystal – Viper x2
- Red Battlefield Crystal: Viper x2
- Red Battlefield Crystal: Carmae x2
- Ancient Spirit’s Crystal – Swiftness x1
- All accuracy +70
- Ignore All Resistance +20%
- Max HP +200
- All AP +14
- Extra Damage to Humans +56
- All Damage Reduction -4
- Critical Hit Damage +22%
- Attack, Casting Speed +2%
- Attack Speed +6
- Casting Speed +4
- Critical Hit +2
- Movement Speed +2
Artifacts and Lightstones
There are a few different viable choices for both Artifacts and Lightstone combos. Nova is the “Melee Damage” type so you want to go for Melee Accuracy and Melee Damage for offensive artifacts.
For PVE Lighstones there are a few different options to min-max. For certain spots, you may want to use Species damage combos (eg. The Wild: Demihumans, The Wild: Kamaslyvia, The Wild: Humans). Species damage combos perform better if you are reaching the monster AP caps at a certain zone.
A more generic PVE combo is listed below that is recommended for your class and will work at any spot.
You can also find more information about Artifacts and Lightstones, and how to obtain them, in our guide. We also have a list of Best in slot Artifacts and Lightstones.
Artifacts for PVE:
Marsh’s Artifact – Extra AP Against Monsters
- (Extra Damage to Monsters +6)
Lesha’s Artifact – Monster Damage Reduction
- (Monster Damage Reduction +9)
Artifacts for PVP:
Marsh’s Artifact – Melee AP
- (Melee AP +4)
Marsh’s Artifact – Melee Accuracy
- (Melee Accuracy +8)
|PVE Lightstone Combo|
|Total Combo Effects:
Monster AP +16
Critical Hit Chance +14%
|PVP Lightstone Combo|
|Total Combo Effects:
All AP +10
All Accuracy +16
Maximum Stamina +100
Critical Damage +6%
I highly recommend checking out the Nova Class Discord for resources about your class. The class discords always have the most up-to-date information and tons of experienced players that can help with questions or gearing advice. I would like to give a shoutout to the Moderation and Helper Roles in the Nova discord for all their hard work gathering resources. You can find some of their own guides below. I honestly cannot recommend enough to join the discord.
Useful links to check out:
- Official Nova Forums
- Nova Complete Add-on List by the Nova Discord
- Nova Awakening & Pre-awakening Swaps by the Nova Discord
- Nova Succession Cancels and Chain List
- Nova Awakening Guide by Xiomaro
- Nova Succession Guide by Lyantha
- Nova Awakening PVP Guide by Emmi
- Nova Awakening PVP Guide by Stratisfied
PVP Montage Videos:
Credits Disclaimer: Since there are now 26 BDO classes, it is impossible for me to keep class guides fully maintained. My main class is Ranger and I don’t claim to be the best in any class. Therefore, I use resources and recommendations from the Class discords since (as all other players would agree) this is the best source. I also ask for advice from friends who are more experienced in the class. Where possible, I credit specific players for information such as Add-ons, and combos. However, sometimes there is no player mentioned as the original sharer. If there are any issues with credit or you would like certain information removed/changed, please reach out to me!