Nova's Matchups

Just a thread to discuss the finer points of Nova’s matchups, particularly the bad ones but anyone is fair game. I’m gonna speak my mind on one that really bugs me, feel free to post your own thoughts. Doesn’t matter if it’s one of the tippy-top tiers like Zero or Vergil, let’s see your thoughts.


Nova struggles in this matchup at a very basic level. Box dash H is completely shut down by Dante’s anti-airs and air-to-airs (the M’s), and he can actually zone him out really well. I feel like another problem is Devil Trigger, you kind of just have to hold Thunderbolt and not try to punish lest you get hit by Vortex.

Here’s some tips from Marvelo, quoted from another thread:

From my experience, a straight-through assist like Plasma Beam or Aim Master Alpha really helps Nova’s RTSD approach, and your main goal is to get his ass into the corner, where his normals can’t hit you as safely.

Overall: 4/6 matchup, far from unwinnable but really annoying.

Nice idea. I’ve been wanting to start a Nova guide in our part of the forum similar to the Ultimate Dormammu guide in their forum. I was emailed the template, but I haven’t had a chance to put it together. Having a match-up thread is awesome! So anyone that wants to contribute here is welcome to! Obviously everyone will have their own opinion on the match-up, but i’ll start with giving some of mine. Nova’s worst I think are Captain America, Trish, Dante, Vergil, Wolverine, and Taskmaster. Everyone else is even or in Nova’s favor.

**Wolverine **
Any good Wolverine, though this is the same for almost everyone, at the start of the round will never let you breathe. Nova needs space to get his offense going I feel. Wolverine doesn’t give you the space ever. You can however zone him if you get the space, but if he has Tatsu, Drones, or Plasma beam, good luck. Nova’s biggest weakness I feel is he’s so susceptible to whiff punishing. If you’re fighting a Nova that just keeps canceling his cr.M to his cr.H, you can easily push block his cr.M, dash and punish him after he whiffs his cr.H for example. Wolverine is so fast he could punish anything you do. It’s like Magneto vs Wolverine, but worse because Magneto has better movement. Unless he has Tatsu. Then the match-up is just that much harder.

What to do?
If the Wolverine is somehow scared of holding forward vs you at the start of the round then you’re lucky and you have a great chance to body him. Zone him, Play solid, and try to catch him with cr.M. Wolverine needs to stay on the ground. You need to play footsies with him and catch him with a good slide. Punish whiffed St.H’s with the slide sorta like this.

Once you have space, start putting pulses and force him to block a cent rush with an assist. Then you get a mixup and you can start pressuring him. Easier said than done, but that’s what you gotta do. Practice your movement. That’s the key. Don’t get hit airdashing.

**Overall: 4/6 matchup, ** it could just be a lack of match-up experience, but he’s really one the only match-ups I struggle with and I find other good Nova’s do too. Moons and Infrit were both beat by Ricky O’s Wolverine at SBa for example.


That match-up fucking sucks, but maybe I’m just pringles to Wolverine.

I’d personally consider Wolverine/Nova more in the 5-5 department. Wolverine clearly has the advantage on the opening gauntlet, but once Nova gets space the match shifts back to him (granted, Wolverine always gets the opening advantage; Nova doesn’t always get space). Pulses are the way to go, but smart pulse management is important; the difference between what you do what an assist tears through the pulse via durability (aka Wolverine has no cover) and what to do when wolverine blocks the pulse and the assist is coming (aka get the hell outta there while wolverine’s in blockstun) is a big deal, and not realizing which is occurring will kill you. Regarding Wolverine pushblock punishing a C.M, C.H string, once you know you’re opponent will be aiming for that (it’s the same with Vergil, Ghost Rider, Weskers and a few others) cancel the C.M into a Centurion M instead. You’ll crush any low punish attempts, and likely be at advantage/slight disadvantage even if they block since they pushblocked you. As for Tatsu, put the Grav pulse in the air instead of the ground; if you space it properly it’ll pop Akuma on the head instead of being nullified. That said, Wolverine will then have some attacks that’ll go underneath the pulse, so be mindful of that.

I personally find Nova’s bad matchups are when my opponent’s fit two criterion; I can’t zone them and It’s not easy to approach them. Two characters in particular to me fit this criterion: **Deadpool **and Vergil. Because of the stupid ways projectiles trade, not even red health pulses nullify guns (even though by the numbers even the regular one should), and Deadpool’s keepaway eats air dashes for free. Really need to get in his face early or make a good read on a Centurion H or Rocket Punch vs air M guns. Vergil on the other hand can cut through pulses free (not to mention judgement cut them, teleport them, etc etc) and if he really wants to play defensively (which is rare, but the smart vergils will) Nova can’t really easily get in, even with assists backing him up (Vergil S too good). I’d also give an honorable mention to point Arthur, because he fits the same criterion (double lance beats pulse and you pretty much only can slide under hit air projectiles. Fortunately Arthur has fundamental weaknesses and is less common).

My 2 cents on a couple of the one Marvelo remarked on:

Cap- You can rocket punch under air shield slashes and hit (he recovers until landing), pulses on the ground vs charging star is mostly about knowing the spacing and baiting it. I don’t find it particularly hard, but Cap’s definitely got tools.

Dante- Nova and Dante are toolbox characters; Dante’s toolbox is bigger. This sucks. Fortunately Dante often puts himself in the air and in places to be thrown or jabbed out of with s.L. Definitely Dante’s favor, but a winnable matchup.

Trish: Trish is annoying for everybody, but I don’t find her particularly bad for Nova. Grav pulses can both eat her projectiles and hinder her movement if she wants to rushdown (place them at jump height), and rocket punches can punish her setting up air defense if you make a good read (it nullifies peekaboo too!). I’d say much like Zero, it’s a matchup few excel at, but Nova at least has more tools than most.

Taskmaster: Grav pulse and arrows nullify each other, making the zoning game a bit of a wash (Task admittedly recovers faster though). Approaching is difficult but manageable, mostly dependent on who makes the better call on L vs M arrows and slide vs air dash. Assists make a huge difference in this matchup, so having strong backup is a great way to shift this one into your favor.

Yeah, I very rarely go for the cr.M, cr.H string. I’ll be putting up a video that details how to properly rushdown with Nova. Just giving an example. You’re absolutely right about the Cent Rush canceling though. That I feel is the key to his rushdown. Wolverines speed is the problem. Good Wolverines are way different than average Wolverines. Like I said though, Maybe I don’t know the match-up well enough. As far as Deadpool. I think it’s 5/5. I have a Deadpool player that plays in SFL and I rarely have issues with dealing with him. Though I use Strider, so that might be it? His mobility isn’t very good so I end up pressuring him non-stop.

Trish I feel might be in Nova’s favor slightly if you use Strider assist. Unfortunately if you don’t, I feel the match-up is in Trish’s favor. Her normals all beat Nova’s. You can’t rush her down. Peekaboo is very problematic in the match-up. You can’t fuck with her divekick/instantoverheads. Zoning her actually works, but if you get predictable you’ll get punished. Trish with missiles, morriganmeterassist, or a projectile is what’s pretty difficult. Trish has all the tools to deal with you, but then you do too. Only really good Trish’s pose to be problematic. I know the match-up very well since both Flocker and Green Ace play Trish. It might actually be even, because I feel though she has the advantage slightly, it might not even be enough to be considered bad. So we can ignore her.

Vergil, I completely agree with. Vergil is probably his worst match-up, just because rushing him down becomes very difficult. You can’t pulse because he can nullify it. Helm Breaker beats all of your options. It beats your slide, your airdash H, your cent rushes. All very clean. His normals beat you easily. However, you can whiff punish him and tag him with your assist. It’s definitely in Vergil’s favor, but Nova always has options.

Captain America is really rough if he’s a good one. TK L shield slashes beat everything. You need to respect his spacing. Good Captain’s beats Nova clean.
By the time you’re able to get one mixup on him, he’ll have mixed you up at least 3 times. That’s why the match-up is in his favor.

Taskmaster is another character that poses to be problematic for Nova because his normals beat Nova’s clean. However, the Taskmaster has to be really good and he has to be using missiles. Missiles are great vs Nova since he has a long recovery on his normals. Taskmaster missiles is pretty broken. Taskmaster without missiles I think is 5/5.

Dante, I feel everyone agrees with. It’s a tough match-up, but winnable.

Setting up the pulse in the air vs Wolverine might be an awesome idea. It’ll prevent divekick’s and force him to stay on the ground. I don’t know why I never tried that! I’m trying that next time!

I definitely feel that Nova can beat anyone though and there’s no match-up that is completely 1 sided. Except for maybe Vergil, but he beats everyone.

Looking forward to that; myself and my training partners all agree my rushdown nova is the last missing piece for my team (followed by a more versatile raccoon, but the point character is always more important). Was hoping to get a lesson at UFGT9 ;).

Admittedly, Chicago has no top-tier wolverines, so opinion could certainly change if I get a chance to run a long enough set with one. I can see his power even on a bad wolverine though and if they’re good enough to stay in the argument for shifting the matchup is entirely reasonable. Having a quick assist to throw out there though (yay shopping cart!) helps a ton though.

Assists are definitely a huge contributor into matchups. I could see Vajra being very, very useful for deadpool, whereas my normally uber-effective log trap doesn’t work too well because M guns will hit raccoon. And yeah, deadpool’s effectiveness is very much based on mobility (and momentum); if he has neither I imagine the matchup wouldn’t prove difficult. On the other side though, Raccoon does a great job thwacking Trish and Cap out of the sky, so if Trish is forced to keep her distance or Cap stuck on the ground the matchups are no longer a concern.

The only other thing I can think of for Vergil is biting the bullet and going for a Centurion H if you have an assist to cover it. His attacks are primarily single hits so a good read will tear right through him. Same thing with Dante. Neither of them are easy though, but man is it satisfying to armor through a Hammer or Helm Breaker.

Comments so far:
Wolverine- I think this is 5/5 as well, as long as Nova can build his space. Like most matchups it changes significantly based on what assists both characters have, and I feel like Nova with a beam, as usual, shuts down Wolverine’s approach from afar. He can Berserker Slash through Grav Pulse H at the right angle, but this is very easy to bait and punish. The problem is that when Wolverine is on top of Nova, he has trouble getting out. s.L is a useless anti-air against the dive kick, and with assist cover like drones you really can’t do much at all. I’ll have to try that air Grav Pulse H next time though, sounds interesting.
So basically, this is a 5/5 match that shifts radically depending on assists and spacing. Also, you can try and implement this

Cap- I hate this matchup in general, and I feel like Nova gets the shaft as bad as the rest of my characters. The only tip I can give is to get the heck out of the range of Charging Star, i.e. 2-ish screen lengths, and bait it. This won’t work over and over in a long set or against an experienced Cap, but I think this is Nova’s ideal range, especially with a keepaway assist. Set up the shield, chuck javs, fly away, be patient. Nova’s at a disadvantage if he tries to close in on Cap, so try to force him to you. I’m curious to see how well HRP can get under TK Shield Slash as Zansam indicated.
I think this is theoretically 5/5, just really annoying.

Vergil- Dude’s a dick, everything you guys have said about him so far, I can agree with. He can stinger through the shield or any other grav pulses, he can zone, he can lock you down, he’s a pain. The only way I can deal with my friend’s Vergil is to just stay on top of him and pressure with IA j.L and Cold Star. He can’t swing at that range and opening him up can lead to a kill combo since his life is so low. Vergil with Strider is 7/3 against Nova, otherwise it’s 6/4 (at least in my experience).

Task- I don’t play enough Tasks to really comment on this, but I can see why it would be annoying. Just stay on him… I know you don’t like this match Marv, but it seems like Vajra would really help keep him out of the air and force him into a range Nova can deal with. His only option up close is Charging Star, which is baitable and not great against Nova’s longer-ranged normals. But again, I haven’t played enough Tasks, point or otherwise, to really give worthwhile input.

Trish- Seems pretty even to me, again I only play against a dude’s B Team Trish, but Energy Javelin forces her out of her prime spot (the air, while flying), and as you said Vajra probably helps even more (why don’t I play Strider?). The problem is keeping her on the ground and not running into Peekaboo. Obviously Missiles makes her infinitely more annoying. Not too fit to comment on this one either, but I think it’s 5/5 in theory.

Also, some significant matchups I feel are in Nova’s favor: Magneto and Morrigan (I actually did alright against Rattana’s Mags and Morridoom, and he’s way way waaay better than me. s.L beats Magneto’s tridash pretty decently, Nova has ways to get around Disruptah. Speed Tackle keeps Tia & Tamara in check.), Sentinel (big whoop), Spencer (good luck approaching against the master of air grabs, buddy), and Dormammu (easy to approach and get through his BS, has to play really patiently).

And one more match I cannot deal with at all: Hulk. More on that next time.

Yeah, Cent Rush H works really really well here. If it’s blocked, you can always cancel to HST to bait a punish. And I think you’re right. Different characters will be harder if you use different assists.

Missiles kinda shit on Strider unfortunately, and Taskmaster is really good at protecting Doom. Also, I agree with Vergil/Strider being so dumb for Nova. That shit sucks lol. Once we get a good discussion going on here, we should get a sticky that has everyone’s opinions on each character. That way it’s kinda easier to look stuff up.

Agreed agreed agreed. Also thinking of setting up a consensus matchup table Eventhubs-style. :smiley:

In the lab right now with TK Shield slash. Dirtier than I thought, I’ll admit that (guess the caps I’ve ran into just regular jump it). Rocket Punch isn’t as viable in that instance, but Centurion L/M/H all are (L is fast enough if you see it coming, M goes over the shield, and H just nullifies or armors through it). Any shield slash in the air he’s prone until he lands, so as long as you can find some way to tear through or avoid the shield you don’t have to worry about the attack being unsafe (and even then from midscreen Cent L/M should be fine even if he manages to block). Plus if you get space you can just grav pulse it (making sure you’re in a spot where he can’t charging star it on reaction of course). So I’m personally not sold on Cap being a bad matchup, but my experience against good Caps is admittedly limited. At the very least I could see the problems but I believe there’s practical solutions/deterrents.

I’m really liking this thread. Although I kind of just skimmed through it, I definitely picked up some good info. If it makes a difference to anyone, Nova vs Vergil is psychological warfare in my opinion. Zero also. I’m not exactly the most technical when it comes to match ups and stuff…I really just play the game and do what I do but I feel like when you decide not to respect characters like Vergil and Zero, the player gets a bit mindfxxked. Of course this is coming from the POV of someone that only really plays casual and maybe some $5 money matches in college but Idk…I’ve beaten people that play pretty legit just by not respecting them lol. The second I see Vergil teleporting/rapid slashing, I get ready to grab…Zero too. I guess what I’m trying to say is understand and acknowledge the options of characters like them and then just say “I don’t care”. But yeah…just giving another point of view. I’ll probably try to give some more helpful/formal advice one of these days lmao

Wooo bad match-ups, I love this discussion, especially for nova. These are my opinion of the worse match-ups for nova.

Wolverine Vs. Nova
The mobility of both character is what makes this a pretty fair match-up, so mobility wise its fair. However, when a wolverine has a frank west assist or tatsu assist or beam assist… it becomes REALLY hard to keep him off. Everyone is correct about keeping him out with pulse, but once your in the corner… that’s gg for you lol. After playing Ricky, PR Rog, and NoelB, the goal is just to stay mid-screen against wolverine. If you are in the corner, super jump forward or rocket punch out lol. You can punish berserker slash and Dive kicks (If miss spaced) with Cr.M. Grabbing berserker slash is also a option due to the grab range Nova has.
Recommended assist against Wolverine: Any beam assist will make this a lot easier in my opinion. Hawkeye arrows, Disruptor, drones, but not doom beam because it can be ducked.

Deadpool Vs. Nova

Watch this link, this is a good example how a keep away deadpool team gives nova a lot of trouble. However, with the right beam assist that comes out fast, it makes the match up pretty even. I have messed with Grav Pulse.H and tbh, it isn’t worth using due to the slow start up, however; 10% health eats about one rep of the gun, about 30% red life absorbs about two reps. Grab his overhead by not push blocking it if they are going in but don’t have an assist backing them up.
Suggested assist: Disruptor, Hawkeye, Strider, Bolts of Ball Sacs, Task Arrows.

Captain A Vs. Nova
Okay… This match up is by far annoying lol. Pulse at 3/4 screen stops any random charging stars… If they are Shield slash heavy captain in the air, just normal jump over them and come down with H so he is forced to block, but while u jump, be holding back in case he throws the shield straight. If this doesn’t work, focus on Super Jumping quickly over the shield and coming down with H to put pressure on him. Avoiding the shield to getting in is pretty key, but don’t force yourself every single time. If it doesn’t work once, back off and play the pulse game.

Task Vs. Nova
Overall this is a fair match up until Task has missiles… I suggest going in slowly and only air-dashing in at a distance where you can block because shield skills completely beats your box jump.H, play heavy footsies with task, be patient, and choose your openings. Always push block the shield skill, if you don’t you risk the chance of the task player to go under you and cross you up with S during your box jump. I remember once before I pushed block the Shield skill, my opponent cancelled into arrows instead of the Stab command grab and I was able to Cr.M under the arrows… I’m a test this more later.

Vergil Vs. Nova
RIGHT NOW, this feels 5/5 for me because I have fought so many vergils being from Norcal and there are punishes, however; as vergil players become more used to cancelling moves into safe move, this match up becomes 6-4 in Vergil. Cr.M punishes whiffed helm breaker if spaced right. Pulse is very useless in this match-up. Rapid slash is grabbable if they do it raw OR they do it after stinger. Finally, play a HEAVY ground game vs. Vergil if you fight one with Vajra assist. You can play a heavy ground game, especially if you have missiles to cover the vajra assist.

Dante Vs. Nova
This has been explained by Marvelo so I don’t need to explain this match-up.

I’m typing this while in class, so I added as much as I can that was on my mind right now. I hope to help everyone out with match-up knowledge later on. Thanks for making this thread.

You sir, are godlike.

I’ve actually come to the conclusion after learning the Wolverine match-up this weekend @NEC, that unless they have Tatsu or Drones, it’s 5-5. and even then It ain’t all that bad. I played a fuck ton of Wolverines this weekend. Nova just needs to escape the opening. I was just pringles to that shit. cr.M shits on him pretty bad and so does H Pulse. Vergil I feel is still in his favor, but I think it’s all doable. Nova is the fucking king. I’ve never fought a high level Deadpool, so I can’t argue that. Nice stuff man! I agree with everything you’ve said. Task is only a problem when he has missiles.

No, thank you for contributing your knowledge. Hopefully some more top Nova players can bring their insight soon!

I’m gonna be in Japan for the next 5 weeks and am planning on hitting up Black Eye and FRB, maybe I’ll try to meet Nemo and pick his brain about Nova’s matchups :smiley:

Wolverine also gets a lot easier if you fight fire with fire; I use Frank myself so having shopping cart helps a ton. I usually pair it up with spitfire so that I have complete ground dominance. If you own the ground, you’re at the advantage against Wolverine.

For deadpool, only full red health pulse nullifies a full round of gunshots. On paper, a non-red health pulse should do it, but given how poorly projectiles trade in this game (it’s a stupid system that goes beyond the stated point values) they don’t. Gotta be patient and get in on hin.

There’s no way Vergil v Nova is 5v5. My primary training partner has point Vergil, and he can completely shut down my footsie/neutral game just by knowing when to punish the approach. The entire gameplan of my team is to have a stronger neutral game than my opponent and he shuts that down using one character, patience and well placed normals. It’s immensely irritating, and Vergil’s the only character in the game that forces you to play the way he wants you to. Nova can mix him up once he gets in, but the approach is seldom free. The derp a derp vergils with rapid slashes and round trips and teleports + assists are 5-5 maybe, but the smart ones? 6-4 at best.

O__O if that’s derp then what’s smart? LMAO. But on a serious note, as ass and inexperienced as I am, i definitely agree that H pulse helps with Wolverine…get some space in the beginning and set that up and you control so much.

So I got some significant time in against these characters last night. Kind of in a rush so this is just a placeholder for a longer post later on.

Chris- I think this is pretty much even. Chris’s 6H beats a lot of Nova’s close-up pressure but Nova has no trouble whatsoever getting in and staying in.
Spencer- I think Nova wins this slightly, grav pulse H destroys his approach as long as you’re smart with it.
Strange- I think this is even but really really fucking annoying with certain assists.
Thor- Nova wins this handily.
Cap- I’ve already had a lot of Cap experience, but for some reason he’s incredibly popular in Japan so I got to play 4-5 different Caps. I can now say this is definitely an even match, just annoying.

However, I think a fair footnote to every matchup is that Vajra makes things really annoying for Nova. Anyway, more later.

I agree with Chris and Spencer. However, I think Nova beats Strange pretty badly and Cap has advantage I think. Depends on the assists you use I guess.

Also, Vajra is annoying for everyone! Which is why I use it . :3

I’ve personally never found Vajra to be that scary. Most people don’t cover it well and it only takes one meaty launcher MMH Nova force to get a dead hiryu. Hell, you can just mash on s L and you’ll hit him out of it about 50% of the time.

Not to mention for me personally I have the super-secret flying ninja teleport counter; a gigantic log.

I guess I’ve just been playing a lot of people who have good placement on their Vajra calls. I only sniped JEO’s once out of 60-something games. It is nice that Nova can just kill him with one bar more or less unpunishably. Actually, you can do Gravimetric Blaster from full screen, and whether you catch Strider in startup or right before he hits, it will hit him, though you’ll probably have to DHC to kill him.