Since the original team building thread has been abandoned i thought i'd make a new one that i can keep updating with all the great info in this forum and hopefully help to answer some of the most common questions we get asked.
So let's get into it.
Building a Nova Team Basics - What does he need?
Nova is primarily played as a point character, he is usable in all positions but due to his assists not offering a huge amount to the neutral game, he is most commonly seen out front with other assists to support him. There are some shells that use his assists to good effect, more on that later, but for now we will be focusing on point Nova.
Potential Nova Shells
Ideally Nova wants a neutral assist that covers horizontal space such as a Beam, Arrows or similar as well as a lockdown assist that lets him apply his high/low/throw game once he's in. He can also function with one assist that does both of these things reasonably well such as Doom Plasma Beam.
Nova can also benefit from a low hitting assist such as Felcia's Rolling Buckler or Deadpools Quick Work, to create the threat of unblockables with his Square Dash H and Centurion Rush M
A shell is a combination of two characters who have great synergy and create a solid core of a team that a third character can be added to, think Morrigan/Doom, Zero/Dante or Wolverine/Akuma
A very popular shell, Doom is most commonly used with Plasma Beam, but Missiles are also very good. Beam controls Nova's go to horizontal space better, but missiles provide better lockdown and damage, take your pick.
Dooms Sphere Flame DHC is also perfect for Nova as his max damage combos often end in an airborne Super Nova Hyper and Sphere Flame follows this up perfectly.
Also Doom can be raw tagged in off any Nova airthrow to unscale the damage, this creates meter positive Touch of Death combos on many of the cast
With Doom on point Nova's Centurion rush can be used effectively for incoming mixups, creating unblockables with Doom's chainable lows and extending Doom's combo enders (Air M Plasma Beam OTG + Nova, Standing H Plasma Beam xx Photon Array).
Potential third characters to consider for this shell are:
Amaterasu: Grants the Doom/Ammy THC and a fantastic lockdown assist for Nova, Order: Nova(Rush)/Doom(Beam/Missiles)Ammy(Cold Star)
Magneto: Provides a beam for Nova coverage and Magneto/Missiles is a fabulous shell in itself, Order: Nova(Rush)/Magneto(Disruptor)/Doom(Missiles)
Dormammu: Dark Hole is a good lockdown choice and creates good combo extensions, Dorm/Doom is a great keepaway shell in its own right. Order: Nova(Rush)/Dorm(Dark Hole)/Doom(Missiles)
Spencer: See Nova/Spencer shell below
Frank: See Nova/Frank shell below
Another hugely popular shell, innovated by Flying V, popularised by Combofiend and Infrit. The key here is that Spencer's slant shot assist is the only assist in the game that allows Nova to combo Nova Strike H into a full crumple. This not only extends Nova's damage potential but opens extremely dirty resets and even allows for raw tags to a third character.
The flaw in this shell is that Slant Shot does not do much for Nova except combo extensions and incoming mixups, so this shell requires a third assist tailored to both Nova and Spencer.
Spencer does not have a DHC option that can connect from an airborne Super Nova super, but because of the crumple this is not an issue.
Potential third characters for this shell are:
Dr Strange: Bolts of Balthak is a good assist for both Nova and Spencer, it encourages players to crouch which is superb for Nova's unreactable instant overhead j.L, but most importantly raw tagging into Strange after a crumple combined with mastery of the Flames of the Faltine loop leads to massively meter positive kills on the whole cast.
Sentinel: Drones are excellent for both Nova and Spencer, not much more to be said.
Dr Doom: See Nova/Doom shell above
Taskmaster: Taskmaster's arrows are good for both Nova and Spencer, Nova offers good extensions to Task's combos and creates the threat of unblockables from Task's excellent low normals. Nova/Task could certainly be considered a shell in its own right.
Nova is in the top tier of characters that allow Frank to skip his early levels and come in full levelled, which should be the aim of a Frank team. DHCing early from an aerial Super Nova into Whiffed Survival techniques allows for two pictures and instant Lv.5 using Centurion Rush assist.
Frank's Shopping Cart assist is a good balance between horizontal coverage and lockdown and creates both easy confirms and great opportunities for mixups.
With Frank on point, Nova's assist allows for a double picture ender, netting you at least level 3 from one combo, opens up unblockable opportunities with Frank's Cr.H and can create enormous damage combos from Frank's airthrows, knee drops or Jumping MMS confirms by saving or resetting the ground bounce in situations where Frank would usually have to use it immediately.
"While there's a million and one things I could talk about regarding frank/nova synergy (most of which focus on frank's end since I'm a frank specialist), there's really only two I'd point out for the purpose of this thread. One, Nova can hit confirm an H rocket punch off of a shopping cart assist, energy javelin, and raw tag frank. It's a wee bit picky (and you need to be quick in noticing the confirm to time the punch), but it does offer an alternative to leveling besides raw tags. That said, I honestly don't use it much. Two, Frank on point with nova backing him up also means you can tack on 70-120k damage at the end of pretty much any combo via roundhouse + assist tools M 1-2 (dependent upon whether or not you used your wallbounce). Other assists can do this certainly, but pretty much nobody does it as well as Nova. same with FFC resets at the end of combos."
The FFC resets he is referring to are the absolute best kind of resets and are inescapable by most of the cast (anyone without an instant air movement option or invincible air super.) Check out the great thread on them from the Frank forums: http://shoryuken.com/forum/index.php?threads/unblockable-funny-face-crusher-resets-level-3-and-4-5.153077/
Potential third characters for this shell are: Anyone who creates a backup plan for Frank whilst also offering some utility to Nova, these include Amaterasu, Rocket Racoon, Dr Doom, Dante and Vergil amongst others.
From Marvelo: "Nova/Strider I can give input on. There's always a ton of things you can talk about when regards to a shell. I feel that Vajra is likely one of Nova's best assists when used properly. It gives Nova easy confirms off his Cent Rushes, it prevents chicken blocking, Vajra with energy javelin is amazing since you can spam both together and the javelin can OTG the Vajra confirm, gives you arguably one of the strongest anchors in the game, Nova can confirm easily with one of his 3 OTG's, and it extends his combos very nicely and in multiple ways. Also, it helps vs a ton of matchups. Vajra in general is just a borderline broken assist.
Vajra also sets up cross up overheads since Strider kinda kicks him in a direction. So if timed properly you can very easily cross them up. Strider also takes advantage of Centurion Rush M assist in a couple ways. If you have Strider and Nova with meter vs the last character you can essentially Bird Bomb the incoming character, pop orbs+x-factor, call Nova, and slide for an unblockable setup."
"Nova/Dante is also a great shell. Nova can take advantage of both Weasel Shot and Jam Session. Nova with Weasel Shot is very very good. Weasel Shot pins you down longer than most assists and is pretty safe to call out since he jumps behind you. It also sets up the cross up overhead nicely since it doesn't push them back much while they're getting hit. It's range/durability is however much less than the other projectile assists so getting close to your opponent is the goal. Once Weasel Shot tags them however, you always get a clean mix up because of the length of time they're put into blockstun. It's like a cold star that doesn't scale as much with the trade off of less blockstun. You also get clean confirms off of cent rushes with usually just 1 or 2 of the Weasel Shot bullets hitting. Scales your combo only slightly.
Jam Session is also good. However, unless you already have a horizontal assist you should use Weasel Shot since Jam Session scales your combo way too much for Nova to make amazing use from it. Jam Session does indeed extend his combos very well and give him a ton of blockstun to go for mixups.
Dante can also be raw tagged anywhere on the screen for at least 800K unscaled meter positive damage so that's always good.
Nova/Dante team super can kill assists pretty quickly especially if you have red life http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mzhfy68iQm4#t=438s
and gives you a couple times to mixup the opponent if you x-factor with overheads and such. You can also devil trigger out of any hit from Nova's HST Super, jump up and get a full confirm so having him gives you full confirms from any height.
Incoming with Weasel Shot is very good as well since you can call it and do a ghetto Sentinel/Akuma incoming where they don't know whether you're crossing up or not then if they block you still get another mixup since Weasel Shot is still hitting them.
Dante takes advantage of Nova's assist pretty pretty nicely, but I feel that's a discussion for the Dante forums. He can create unblockables using reverbshock+deviltrigger while calling Nova, off of weasel shot, and off any j.H where they don't chicken block. He can extend his combos using the assist and also combo into the grapple at the end of any combo midscreen and including the corner for a possible reset at any point. Nova/Dante is legit."
As mentioned before, most of Nova's optimal combos will end in an airborne Super Nova hyper high in the corner of the stage. This can be tough to get a DHC to connect from, so below is a list of potential second characters that can connect a Lv.1 DHC off a Super Nova in this scenario.
Ryu - Shinku Hadouken Up
Zero - Rekkoha
Dr. Doom - Sphere Flame
Dr. Strange - Spell of Vishanti
Hawkeye - Gimlet
Hulk - Gamma Crush
Iron Fist - Volcanic Roar
Taskmaster - Legion Arrow Up
The above list does not include Hypers that will connect from an early DHC that causes the Hard Knockdown, nor does it include Hypers that create minimal extra damage in the corner because of positioning such as Wesker's Phantom Dance or Vergil's Dimension Slash.
Nova As Support/Anchor
Assist A - Gravimetric Pulse: This is the H version of Gravimetric Pulse which places a shield on screen which will neutralise projectiles and cause damage to any character that touches it. It can be a useful tool but is generally not used since it will consume any Red Life that Nova has to power it up, and the regular no red life version does not have a huge amount of durability.
Assist B - Centurion Rush: This is generally Nova's go to assist, it is one of the few high hitting assists in the game and can therefore be used to create unblockables, it also forces a groundbounce even if your bounce has already been used up and furthermore can actually reset your groundbounce (let you use a second groundbouncing move in a combo) if you can get it to hit and prevent it from causing the bounce, such as during Frank West's Levelled Up s.H or Vergil's Lunar Phase. Despite this being Nova's go to assist, it is still primarily a combo tool and not a neutral game assist.
Assist Y - Nova Strike: This is the M version of Nova Strike, causing a Wall Bounce and not a Crumple. Although this can be used to create many of the same extensions that Centurion Rush assist does, the fact that this lacks the forced bounce, the overhead property and the reset glitch means that it is generally considered inferior
As mentioned above, Nova is primarily seen as a point character, but he can be successful in second or in anchor. As an anchor he can easily kill three characters in the span of one X-Factor activation and has adequate go nuts factor. With meter he can spam Human Rocket on reaction to anything and get a full combo into death, or ride away to safety if its blocked. He also has air dash and flight options to escape incoming mixups and allow him to play.
The simple fact is, his assists do not offer enough to most characters to justify him being taken off point, but there are exceptions.
By using Spiral Swords to lock the opponent in place and combining Centurion Rush assist with a low normal, Vergil can get nearly guaranteed unblockables in many situations, add to this that Nova allows Vergil to convert from Helm Breaker without using meter or X-Factor and that Centurion Rush can reset the groundbounce for Vergil by hitting during Lunar Phase and you have a potent combination
More to come?
Nova Forums opinion on optimal Nova Teams
Bear in mind that this is by no means a definitive list of all Nova's potential partners, this should simply be used to give you an idea of the sort of support Nova wants, and for you to go out and discover the next crazy Nova team for us all to steal
That's all for now, welcome to the Nova Corps! Hope you achieve your Centurion rank in no time! I will try my best to keep this thread updated with all the great info from all the awesome Nova heads in here.