Lucario was a top-tier threat in Super Smash Bros. 4. In that game, its Aura mechanic was stronger than ever; when paired with equipment, its attacks could reach nuclear power levels. Just one forward smash from Lucario was enough to KO an opponent. For its appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Lucario was significantly nerfed, and so it’s kind of fallen off the radar. It’s still got potential, though, and that’s what we’re here to discuss today!
Lucario is a polarizing fighter — perhaps more so than any other. Ultimate has changed the strength of its Aura, so at 0%, Lucario’s attacks deal 0.66x their usual damage. This means the Aura Pokémon is quite weak at low percentages, though its power does notably increase when highly damaged. Lucario is a middleweight fighter with average endurance, but its long-distanced recovery helps it survive to dangerous percentages. With maximum Aura, Lucario deals a lot of damage and can use its powerful smash attacks to KO enemies at early percentages.
Lucario’s Aura mechanic is its greatest strength and greatest weakness. As mentioned earlier, it’s quite weak when healthy, essentially forcing it to take damage to become threatening. Without Aura, most of its moveset is unimpressive, lacking the power and speed it needs to keep up with faster characters. In fact, if Lucario lacked an Aura mechanic, it would likely lurk in the lower rankings of our tier list.
Luckily, though, Lucario’s Aura is strong enough to warrant its placement in our metagame. With careful training, a Lucario amiibo can learn to play patiently and even make comebacks in tough matches. We do have a wiki page on Lucario that goes a bit more in-depth on its moveset and attributes, so be sure to check that out if you have the chance.
When it comes to Spirits, Lucario is a bit of an odd case. Armor Knight is actually considered a suboptimal bonus on it! As you might expect, Autoheal is counter-productive, as Lucario wants to be at high percentages to maximize its power. Super Armor, then, is likely its best build; Slow Super Armor paired with Trade-Off Speed ↑ is another option that increases Lucario’s damage at the start of each of its stocks.
Lucario is the only character in the game to benefit from Aura Attack ↑, so it’s no surprise we’re starting this section by mentioning it. Exclusive bonuses aside, Lucario enjoys the strength of Ultimate’s Trade-Off effects. Trade-Off Defense ↑ is excellent on Lucario, as it makes it more difficult to KO at high percentages. Trade-Off Ability ↑, Trade-Off Attacks ↑, and Trade-Off Speed ↑ all work just as well. Note that you can include multiple Trade-Off bonuses on an amiibo, but more than two might be risky. If you don’t want to take a gamble with Trade-Offs, Hyper Smash Attacks is a fine alternative.
Lucario’s stat spreads are clear-cut. Too much Attack, and it will die too early to benefit from its Aura. Too much Defense, and it won’t get to high percentages fast enough. As a result, you’re going to want to go with a balanced spread (2100 / 2100). Don’t worry if you can’t get the numbers exactly right.
If you’re an avid reader of our amiibo training guides, it should come as no surprise that mirror matching your Lucario amiibo will lead to the best results. As always, I recommend fighting it until it reaches Level 50. If you’re satisfied with its gameplay at around Level 30, feel free to turn its Learning off and level it up with a different method. During training, be sure to rely on the following attacks:
- Forward smash: It’s Lucario’s main kill move and should be heavily prioritized as a result.
- Side special: At high percentages, this move’s range increases. It beats most projectiles and outranges several ground attacks.
- Neutral attack: Any character with a decent jab should use it, and Lucario is no different. It’s quick and can get it out of trouble in a pinch.
- Back aerial: It kills rather early depending on Lucario’s Aura level, and its wide hitbox makes it useful and easy to land.
- Forward aerial: Fast and has a lot of combo potential.
- Up smash: It can be used against opponents in the air or on platforms. Either way, it’s a must-have! It’s got kill power and a sizable hitbox.
There are a few more moves to consider as well, but they aren’t quite as useful as the ones listed above. Use them every once in a while, but don’t prioritize them over the attacks we already talked about.
- Neutral special: Ultimate’s Figure Players struggle to use charge shot moves. They’re categorized as charge in the game’s data, meaning the AI’s goal is to charge them, not fire them. That being said, Lucario uses its Aura Sphere surprisingly well, though it will occasionally shoot them uncharged. Use Aura Sphere every once in a while. Be sure to fully charge it.
- Forward tilt: It’s a good move, but it isn’t so good when Lucario decides to use it instead of a forward smash when its opponent is within kill range. Teaching the FP to use its forward tilt is a risk, but it serves a purpose either way.
- Up tilt: It’s in the same situation as forward tilt. It’s good, but becomes problematic if Lucario prioritizes it too heavily. Be careful when teaching this move.
The only truly bad move in Lucario’s kit is its down special, Double Team. FPs don’t use their counters well, often spamming them and missing their target. Lucario attempts to use its counter more than other characters, so be sure to avoid using it during training.
If a move you’re thinking of wasn’t discussed in this section, it means it wasn’t good or bad enough to include. Feel free to use the move you’re considering anyway, but keep in mind that it isn’t at all instrumental to Lucario’s success. Its grab and throws were not included because they are somewhat weak and do not KO enemies until extremely high percentages.
Lucario is certainly a tough character to train correctly. It needs to be at high percentage to deal the highest amount of damage, but it also can’t be too reckless or else it will be KOed. But there’s certainly potential to be found here, and we hope this guide might motivate some trainers to give Lucario some time in the spotlight. If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, feel free to join our Discord server and ask them — we’d be happy to help. Thank you so much for reading. Happy training!
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