Lucas is a rather interesting Figure Player. In Super Smash Bros. 4, he was considered much worse than Ness, but in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the opposite is true! That being said, Lucas generally isn’t quite as popular in tournaments as Ness is, but he’s still a solid contender in both games. Exion has two main resources available for Lucas amiibo trainers: the Smash 4 guide and the Smash Ultimate guide!
Strengths & Weaknesses
Lucas has several strengths that Ness does not. His current claim to fame is his up smash, an immensely powerful multi-hit attack that can brute-force its way through parries while dealing tons of damage and knockback. It can be used at close range, for juggling, and to KO at early percentages! If you recall, FPs in this game often only block the first strike of a multi-hit, which means they’ll try to challenge Lucas’s up smash but take damage from its second hit. Lucas also has an excellent close-ranged option in his forward tilt, which comes out fast and deals respectable damage when sweetspotted. There are some traits that Lucas shares with Ness, too. For one, he can use PK Fire to play keep-away on the ground; at the ledge, his forward tilt, down smash, and PK Thunder combine to create a truly formidable edgeguarding game.
However, Lucas does have a few weaknesses, too. Just like his fellow EarthBound representative, he’s vulnerable off-stage — but not quite as much as Ness is. Lucas’s PK Thunder isn’t as powerful, but sends him much farther. That being said, there’s still a brief moment of vulnerability where an opponent can rush in and intercept with an aerial move. Unlike Ness, Lucas also cannot use his grab well; if the AI is taught to grab, it will often learn to spam its grab aerial as well. Furthermore, it often uses its down throw against highly damaged opponents instead of an actual kill throw. Lastly, Lucas has mediocre landing options, so you may notice your FP getting juggled a bit more often than other fighters.
Compared to Ness, Lucas is safer, but slightly less effective. He can’t deal ludicrous amounts of damage in just a few seconds like Ness can, but he also rarely self-destructs at low percentages. This means his tournament results are much more consistent, and don’t usually run hot and cold. Lucas has solid matchups across the board, though he tends to struggle against Bowser and Incineroar.
In addition to the AI flaws listed above, there are a few more quirks worth going over. Here’s an important note: while recovering, if Lucas is facing backwards, he will always recover with PK Thunder. When facing forwards, he’ll usually go for his grab aerial instead. This is fine against AI opponents, but humans might be able to predict this behavior and close in for a kill. He sometimes aims PK Thunder slightly above the ledge when recovering, which leaves him vulnerable to moves like down smashes when used at the edge. Sometimes when Lucas is at the ledge and edgeguarding an opponent with PK Thunder, he will hit himself with the projectile by mistake. This usually sends him towards center-stage, but it’s important to note regardless.
During training, you might notice Lucas combo a down tilt into PSI Magnet. This combo doesn’t work very well, but it’s hard-coded. The only way to get him to stop is to avoid using down tilt! Lucas also has spam issues with his neutral air and grab aerial, so you’ll want to do your best to avoid using these moves as you train it.
In short, Lucas’s AI is decent, if not a bit predictable. He’s a much more stable fighter than Ness, so you generally won’t have to worry too much about self-destructs at low percentages. With that said, you’ll have to take extra care to make sure Lucas doesn’t spam his neutral or grab aerials. Keep him grounded!
Metagame History (Super Smash Bros. 4)
By the end of the Smash 4 metagame, Lucas was ranked as a B tier character. In this game, he is almost entirely outclassed by Ness. Lucas’s PK Fire lacks combo potential, and his PK Thunder is comparatively weak. Remember, in Smash 4, Ness and Lucas couldn’t use PK Thunder’s projectile to chase down enemies — they’d launch themselves with it instead, even while on-stage. It seems Lucas’s AI has at least been partially copy-pasted from Ness’s, because any time he launches himself with PK Thunder on-stage there is a chance that he flies right off the ledge to his death. This is because Lucas’s AI doesn’t know that its PK Thunder travels farther. Another flaw Lucas suffers from in this game is high base ratios of PK Fire, PK Thunder, and grab aerial. This means it may become spammy with these moves if left unchecked.
Even so, Lucas still has some strengths of his own. He’s got an excellent set of smash attacks; his forward smash comes out fast and can reflect projectiles while his up smash is one of the strongest aerial punishes in the game. PK Freeze can temporarily immobilize opponents, and equipping the Improved launch ability bonus effect actually increases its freeze time by 1.3x! As mentioned before, Lucas’s PK Thunder travels farther than Ness’s, making it safer for recovery. He can also choose to recover with his tether grab, which Ness lacks access to altogether.
Throughout this game’s life span, Lucas accrued just about average tournament results and representation, and is thought to be objectively inferior to Ness in terms of competitive viability. Supernova is one of Lucas’s top trainers, and has won several tourneys using the character. Lucas was a DLC fighter in Smash 4, so he was one of the last new amiibo figures released for the game.
Metagame History (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Lucas was a powerful contender in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from the very beginning! This game allowed Figure Players to consistently leave the stage and edgeguard for the very first time, and Lucas was one of the best characters for this role. He could end enemies’ stocks incredibly early with a well-timed back air or down air, and could still make it back to the ledge thanks to his tether recovery and PK Thunder. In the early days of the Spirits metagame, Lucas would run Armor Knight and edgeguard off-stage to great effect. Thanks to his relative simplicity and edgeguarding abilities, Lucas’s early tournament results were much stronger than Ness’s.
Over time, Lucas lost popularity. Trainers spent time with other fighters, testing them out and developing their metagames. When a new wave of Lucas trainers appeared, players realized training the FP to stand at the ledge and edgeguard with PK Thunder was safer and more effective. While Lucas’s off-stage aerials are potent, he himself is vulnerable to aerials off-stage if he tries to edgeguard an opponent with a strong recovery. He can’t be edgeguarded if he never leaves the stage, so that’s why most modern Lucas FPs just use PK Thunder at the ledge instead. One interesting off-stage interaction is with Mega Man: if Lucas uses his up special but bounces on Mega Man’s recovery trampoline, he will almost always self-destruct as the AI cannot detect that its position has changed. Luckily, this scenario is extremely rare in competitive matches.
Overall, Lucas has accrued strong tournament results and representation in this game. Leaf’s Lucas amiibo kickstarted the fighter’s metagame progression in early 2019. More recently, gamer’s Lucas amiibo has been extremely successful in tours, and has won over fifteen of them. Other notable Lucas trainers include TraumatizedBaconbits and MTJgator, who have also won tourneys with the character.
If you’re looking for additional training resources, we have a few right here! If you have any questions regarding Lucas and amiibo training, you’re welcome to join our Discord community and ask them anytime. Good luck!
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