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 Aura Attack ↑ in the third slot.
- Tournament-legal bonuses: When it comes to Spirits that aren’t part of the “big five”, Lucario is ridiculously strong. Its best setup is Aura Attack ↑, Trade-Off Ability ↑, and Critical-Health Stats ↑. These effects will increase the strength of its attacks and then increase all of its stats for a short time at high percentages. You could swap out Critical-Health Stats ↑ with Critical Immunity, if you’d like!
- 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, and don’t charge smash attacks. 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:
- At the beginning of each match, charge up an Aura Sphere — but don’t use it. At high levels, Lucario’s AI is hard-coded to use the move at the ledge. By charging the attack and then not using it, you’re preventing the FP from spamming uncharged projectiles in neutral and encouraging it to fire a fully-charged one when standing at the edge.
- 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.
- Off-stage play is a mixed bag for Lucario. Its recovery is solid enough, but opponents can potentially tip the scales and meteor smash it to its death instead. Ideally, you’d wait at the ledge while training Lucario and fire off a fully-charged Aura Sphere. If you really want to edgeguard off-stage, do so with down air — just keep the risks in mind.
While training Lucario, don’t use or get hit by Double Team. 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! You can occasionally mix in some Force Palm attacks, but only do so infrequently from a distance. Its range increases as Lucario takes more damage.
This playstyle rounds out Lucario’s fighting abilities. Its two main moves, forward smash and forward tilt, serve two different purposes: to deal damage and KO and to bypass perfect shields. Forward tilt strikes twice, and AI opponents in this game almost always let their guard down after a single hit of an attack. From there, Lucario can use up tilts to start aerial combos or juggling chains.
Raid Boss Training
With the right setup, Lucario becomes a fearsome Raid Boss — it already becomes stronger and stronger as it takes damage, and Spirits take that power to another level. If you loaded up your FP with damage-boosting Spirits, you can safely rely on tilts and aerials – its fastest moves – to rack up damage and score KOs. Here’s our optimal Raid Boss Lucario move list:
- 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 donation box. Thanks so much for reading! Until next time — happy training!
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