The Nova Cat is a slow 70-ton gunboat omnimech, usually without jumpjets. It has more tonnage to spend on weapons than most other heavies, making it similar in nature albeit generally considered to be inferior to the Night Gyr.
Most of its weapons are carried in its arms, which are spread wide and not particularly high, giving most builds some degree of convergence issues to deal with. The Nova Cat has a decent amount of energy hardpoints, but not enough space for heatsinks, leaving energy-heavy loadouts rather limited in scope.
The Nova Cat's main weakness is its lack of durability. It is not an exceptionally fragile mech, but each of the torsos are very easy to isolate and the mech does not respond very well to twisting. For this reason it excels as more of a second-line support - don't constantly be the first mech the enemy sees and shoots at, because you can't consistently withstand the beating. And don't brawl with it. Be opportunistic and you'll find the Nova Cat offers a wide variety of very potent loadouts which can work in any situation.
|NCT-PRIME||3||2||0||FALSE||280||20.0 kph/s||100o @ 81.0o/s||25o|
|NCT-A||2||2||0||FALSE||280||20.0 kph/s||100o @ 81.0o/s||25o|
|NCT-B||3||1||1||3||0||FALSE||280||20.0 kph/s||100o @ 81.0o/s||25o|
|NCT-C||2||3||0||FALSE||280||20.0 kph/s||100o @ 81.0o/s||25o|
|NCT-D||11||2||0||FALSE||280||20.0 kph/s||100o @ 81.0o/s||25o|
|NCT-CCH||12||1||1||12||0||FALSE||280||20.0 kph/s||100o @ 81.0o/s||25o|
These are builds which can be done on any variant of the Nova Cat, as they do not rely on variant-specific quirks.
See the sections below on each variant to help decide which variants you might prefer to buy.
This is the generic laservomit build for the Nova Cat. The excess tonnage is put into cMPLs instead of your typical cERMLs, so it has less range than most other clan vomit builds, while being generally slower and even having less alpha than some. It makes up for this by having strong DPS and cooling, so it can output damage quickly and continue to do so. It's a very fun and effective build if you can get past the low speed and relative fragility.
Decent range, alpha, and sustain. While mostly unexceptional in all categories it is still a good build capable of doing decent work.
This is a LOT of dakka for a 70-tonner. Still subject to the disadvantages of being a Nova Cat, but the loadout is very potent and capable of dealing significant hurt.
This trades the UAC10 to have matching velocity and more ammo for maximum farm potential. There is a slight amount of ghost heat, but you can afford to ignore it and most of the time one of the guns will be jammed anyways so you won't have to worry about it.
Perhaps the most effective Nova Cat outside of specific So8 builds. Compared to the wubvomit build, this has the capacity for higher burst, higher alpha, and better sustain, but the UACs require more facetime and aren't as good against moving targets. Focus on slower and larger targets when you can and the damage output can be very strong.
This is good heat-neutral DPS even at moderate ranges, but it prefers to be closer if it can. Comparable, but inferior to the same build on a Night Gyr.
Brawling in a Nova Cat is not advisable, but if you insist on doing it anyway then this build at least allows you to twist after each alpha in attempt to spread damage.
Harder to use than other short range Nova Cats. This build needs to be at shorter range to accommodate the SRMs, and it lacks synergy to pinpoint faster targets, but you do get a good one-click alpha with reasonable sustain which is very strong against fat mechs.
This is a build you can do. Technically capable of better sustained DPS than the pure ERLL build, but there's no real reason to run it unless you like playing dual gauss. This is also strictly inferior to a Night Gyr running the same build.
The Prime is the most useful variant due to the number of builds it can run using its So8 quirks for circumventing ERLL ghost heat and boosting PPC velocity. A must-have for ranged trading.
Thanks to the HSL quirk, the stock loadout is actually not bad. This can alpha all weapons without ghost heat, which is pretty handy at mid range and against slower targets for maximum pinpoint. Avoid alpha'ing against moving targets as the PPCs and lasers won't hit in the same place - fire separately when necessary to accommodate for each weapons' needs.
A very strong extreme range trader. The HSL quirk means you can fire 3+2 again and again. The poor geometry of the Nova Cat chassis only precludes this from competing for best long range heavy in the game.
This version equips a TC3, though you can balance TC and DHS however you please. Like so:ERLL
70-ton Warhawk. Maybe it has worse cooling, and worse geometry, but it's still a strong loadout and benefits from the So8 velocity quirk.
This CT and So8 is rather useless and doesn't have any truly significant bonus over any other variant. Refer to NCT-any for applicable builds.
A 70-ton, jumping Warhawk. It's not as good as it sounds, but the So8 range quirk definitely helps.
The So8 quirk combined with a large TC gives this absurd range. In order to achieve this, you're forced to waste tonnage on jumpjets you don't need and give up cooling.
This variant specialises in one thing only - Lurmageddon. If you want to run an LRM Nova Cat, you should put it on this variant.
This variant is also convenient as you can run ATM and SRM builds with the So8 as well, though they don't really benefit from the unique quirk.
LRMs are the only weapon that truly benefits from the So8 quirk, and this is how you build it. You need lots of ammo, and you need heatsinks - don't bother with artemis, LRM90 is enough damage without it and you'll be indirect firing more often than not. It's worth noting that indirect LRM'ing also eliminates one of the main weaknesses of the Nova Cat - its geometry.
This can output pretty obscene damage for a 70-tonner, but your slow speed and lack of backup weapons makes it slightly tricky to manage. Stick with teammates who can defend you under minimum range and you should have a good time.
While this can make use of So8 quirk on the NCT-B, it doesn't actually need it. Feel free to replicate this build on any Nova Cat variant.
This So8, while not as ideal as the Prime's So8, is still capable of having at least one decent loadout for it.
There's a few ways to take advantage of the So8 quirk, this way gets you a nice mixture of DPS, heatsinks, and projectile velocity. It's really similar to NCT-any:Dakkavomit but you trade away better lasers to get better UACs instead, which is a questionable choice.
The NCT-D is very unique in its So8 for the unusual 3x HLL quirk. However, the hardpoints don't give many options and there's only one way to build leveraging the quirk, and that build is nothing special.
No other build really makes any sense, this is the only way to build this So8. It has a decent alpha, but most of it is tied up in the long duration heavy larges, and it tends to be pretty toasty.
The hero Nova Cat is best used as a generic variant for C-Bill farming, which is to say the unique omnipods and agility quirks are not all that useful. There are some unique builds you can do with the new omnipods and So8 quirks, but they are nothing special and you are better off running builds from the NCT-any list - buy this hero if you like those builds.
This makes the best use of the So8 agility, but you end up dealing with convergence issues on the SRMs. At least for your trouble you get very good DPS, sustain, and a decent amount of pinpoint, but you still have the problem of the Nova Cat being a very poor brawler in the first place.