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 levels of power — just one forward smash from Lucario was often enough to KO its opponent! For its appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Lucario was significantly nerfed, and so it’s kind of fallen off the radar. If you’d like to learn more about its full metagame history, please refer to its corresponding wiki page. Otherwise, let’s jump right into today’s training!
Special thanks to jozz for contributing Lucario’s training information!
Do you want to equip your Figure Player with a Spirit team? If so, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got a whole bunch of optimal Spirit builds included below that you can try out. As always, you’ll want to finalize your FP’s Spirit team before you begin its training. If you want to learn why that is, we explain it in greater depth over at our full Spirits guide. Without further ado, here are all of Lucario’s best setups:
- Banned bonuses: Lucario is a bit of an odd case when it comes to banned Spirit effects: it doesn’t pair particularly well with any of them. As you can imagine, Autoheal and Great Autoheal are counter-productive since Lucario wants to be heavily injured to maximize the strength of its attacks. This leaves Armor Knight and Super Armor as the only viable options here — when using Armor Knight, include Trade-Off Ability ↑ in the third slot.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: When it comes to Spirits that aren’t part of the “big five”, Lucario is ridiculously strong. The Aura Attack ↑ and Physical Attack ↑ Support skills boost almost every one of its attacks, and then you can use Trade-Off Ability ↑ to load on even more stat buffs. Critical-Health Stats ↑ and Critical Immunity activate once per stock, and grant Lucario another slew of boosts and full invincibillity, respectively. Critical Super Giant generally isn’t very good, but it increase Lucario’s damage output by a whopping 1.84x. Pair that with its built-in Aura boosts, and… there simply aren’t any words for that kind of power.
- Raid Boss bonuses: If you’re going the Raid Boss route, any of the Spirit effects listed above work here too! Pick and choose the ones that sound most appealing to you. There aren’t many specific bonuses a Raid Boss Lucario should employ that a competitive one can’t; the only one would be Move Speed ↑ to increase its mobility.
In terms of stat spreads, we’d normally suggest a balanced distribution — but that wouldn’t necessarily be optimal for a fighter like Lucario. Instead, you’re better off focusing on increasing its attack power (2500 / 1700) while retaining a lower defense investment for some extra cushioning. Make sure your FP’s Spirit-type is Neutral before you start its training routine!
Walk. Parry. Go off-stage. Follow these three rules, and you’re golden! This means you’ll have to forgo dashing and running entirely, which might sound strange at first. If you’re interested in reading more about why walking is an FP’s best way to navigate the stage, please read our wiki page on optimal movement. To train the strongest possible Lucario amiibo, you’ll need to refer to the list of moves below and use them all as instructed:
- Forward smash covers a wide range, and it becomes even stronger with Aura active. Forward tilt and down tilt work well at close range, too; when using down tilt, follow up with a dash attack afterward. Down smash strikes on both sides, so it’s great for covering areas that forward smash and forward tilt can’t hit.
- Grabs rank high among Lucario’s best moves. Your go-to grab combo is down throw into two forward airs; this builds up lots of damage and is hard-coded into the AI at later levels. You can also use up throw into back air!
- Up tilt can combo into neutral air or back air. Up smash is incredibly powerful – especially with Aura active – and should only be used to intercept your FP as it tries to land.
- Lucario can afford to edgeguard off-stage, and it’s all thanks to its excellent up special (Extreme Speed). Down air is all you need for a successful gimp — use that move off-stage (and don’t use any other aerial in its place).
While training Lucario, don’t use or get hit by Aura Sphere or Double Team. To be honest, Aura Sphere is more trouble than it’s worth — it’s incredibly difficult (if not flat-out impossible) to teach a Lucario FP to consistently charge and fire the projectile. Counter moves are generally rather weak in competitive amiibo training, and Double Team is no exception. It doesn’t even have a proper damage multiplier!
Raid Boss Training
Raid Boss training can be tough — specifically, selecting the right fighter to raise. Half of the characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have poor AI, and another quarter of the roster struggles with lackluster offensive options. Lucario falls into the latter category; its special moves don’t bring the FP much benefit — not even against human players. This means you’ll have to focus on tilts and aerials, which winds up being a bit of a disappointment. Here’s our optimal Raid Boss Lucario move list, then:
- First up, you’ll want to grab your FP a lot. At low percentages, use a down throw and then follow up with two forward airs. At medium-high percentages, use an up throw instead and then follow up with a back air or an up air. Both of these combos are hard-coded into the AI at later percentages!
- Down tilt and forward tilt are OK for close-range situations. Down tilt combos into a dash attack at lower percents, and forward tilt can be angled upward or downward. Angle it downward at the ledge, and there’s a chance that you’ll hit your FP as it’s hanging from the stage.
- Up tilt and occasionally up smash are great for juggling! Up tilt also leads into a neutral or back air, which can help build up damage in a pinch.
- Each of Lucario’s aerial moves should be used. Forward air is fast and combos into itself, up air sets up for juggles, and back air is super-strong! Neutral air and down air are best used off-stage; Lucario can afford to edgeguard thanks to its top-tier recovery potential.
- Forward smash, up smash, and down smash should be mixed in as well. They’re really powerful with Aura active and can net some early KOs. Don’t use them too often, though!
There is one unique benefit to training Lucario: the character really enjoys wielding a Spirit team of its own, especially if you load up on attack power. Between Spirits and Aura, a well-trained Lucario Raid Boss should have no problem wiping the floor with unprepared opponents. Remember to steer clear of Aura Sphere and Double Team; the former is hard-coded at later levels and need not be taught, while the latter rarely connects and leaves Lucario vulnerable to incoming danger.
Lucario is a difficult fighter to train. Its damage percentage needs to be high in order to maximize its strength, but it can’t be too reckless or else it’ll be KO’d and lose its Aura buffs. Regardless, there’s definitely potential to be found here, and we hope this guide might motivate you to spend some time training your own Lucario amiibo! Feel free to direct any questions you may have to our Discord server, and be sure to check out our tournaments guide if you’re looking to compete. If our guides have helped you in the past, we’d appreciate it if you checked out our Patreon and donation box. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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