Lucario Super Smash Bros Ultimate Guide
This speedy ninja pokemon carries with them enough power to punch above their tier more often than not, Learn how!
Lucario's comeback mechanic, his aura power, is one of the most powerful ones in the game. His quick speed and excellent scaling at higher percentages allow him to dominate most of the stage with a threatening presence. Knowing how to play as or against Lucario is a matter of grasping the basics and knowing when you have an advantage over opponents in the air.
How to Unlock Lucario
You have 3 different ways to unlock Lucario in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The first is to fight him in the World of Light at The Cliffside Rapids. The second is to play classic mode with Yoshi, as Lucario is the first character to be unlocked. Finally, you can play VS matches until you face him, he should be the 27th fighter on that list.
Key Strengths & Weaknesses
Lucario's main mechanic is his Aura. As the character takes damage, their power increases. At 0%, he is slightly nerfed, baking able to use only 0.66x of his damage. When damaged to 65%, Aura will boost that to its full damage, and once Lucario hovers at 190%, he will be outputting 1.67x times the damage. Roughly doubled that of his 0%. Beyond pure damage, Aura also affects some of the properties of other attacks. Such as his Force Palm, which gets bigger the more Aura power he has. Maximizing Lucario's play can feel like a high-risk, high-reward play. The added damage, while at high percentages, is extremely powerful, but the fact that the advantage can go away with one mistake can pile on the pressure. Regardless of its power, it is best to play optimally at all Aura levels, then try to go for a late stock comeback.
A core component of Lucario's strength is his neutral game, both on the ground and in the air. Many of his smash attacks feature disjointed hitboxes while still doing a lot of damage and his normals have a lot of utility. His forward tilt can be angled, combo into itself, and secure kills in the high 140-150%. His neutral air hits both sides of the character and can hit twice, a great choice for edge guarding opponents. The rest of his aerial kit is on par, giving him a clear advantage in any on-stage and edge-type fight.
This versatility and relative simplicity come at a cost, however. Much of Lucarios potential requires a lot of investment into the character. His frame data is not the best on the roster. Damage, before Aura begins to kick into high gear is rather disappointing and can even be inconsistent if you haven't practiced for just how sluggish it can feel to perform a smash attack for it to deal a rather small amount of damage. Something to note about Lucario's moveset is that even though much of its base values live in the lower end, once Aura begins to kick in, even neutral attacks can have KO levels of power.
|Neutral Jab||A two-part jab that starts with a downward punch and is followed by a quick jab.||Low||Low|
|Forward Tilt||A high, low, or mid-kick, depending on tilt angle, it can hit twice.||Low||Low|
|Up Tilt||Has a sweet spot covering Lucario's foot, great anti-ait, and is often used for combo juggling.||Low||Low|
|Down Tilt||A low kick with a decent range.||Low||Low|
|Dash Attack||A flying kick with a good amount of speed and damage behind it.||Low||Low|
|Forward Smash||Creates a small burst of energy in front of Lucario, with higher Aura, this attack becomes absolutely deadly.||Medium||Low|
|Up Smash||One of Lucario's strongest Smash attacks, and practically the game's strongest at high aura.||Medium||Medium|
|Down Smash||Attacks both sides and is remarkably powerful, even at low Aura.||Medium||Medium|
|Neutral Air||Often used as part of combo soon before landing.||Low||Low|
|Forward Air||Can combo into itself and Neutral Air attacks.||Low||Low|
|Back Air||One of the strongest Back Aerials in the game but it has a long wind-up.||Medium||Medium|
|Up Air||Great juggling tool, especially useful for setting up other KO moves.||Medium||Low|
|Down Air||Two rapid downwards kicks that stall Lucario in the air.||Low||Medium|
|Grab||A standard grab.||-||-|
|Pummel||Faster than other pummels.||Low||Low|
|Forward Throw||At high Aura, it is one of the most powerful in the game.||Low||Medium|
|Back Throw||A lot of damage and knockback packed into one throw.||Medium||Medium|
|Up Throw||Often used as a combo starter.||Low||Low|
|Down Throw||Neutral and Forward Air can be used after for added damage.||Low||Low|
|Neutral Special||Lucario charges up an Aura Sphere. Damage and hitbox grows alongside the Aura Buff||Medium||Medium|
|Side Special||A stream of Aura blasts from Lucario dealing a lot of damage and knockback to close opponents.||Medium||Medium|
|Up Special||Lucario flies up powered up by his aura. In turn, the more aura, the further he will go.||Low||Low|
|Down Special||A powerful counterattack, instead of scaling off the opponents' attack, it will scale based on Lucario's Aura.||Medium||Medium|
Best Lucario Moves
Although primarily a close-quarters attack, Force palm can also be used at a slightly longer range. At high Aura percentages, the attack becomes more and more viable at longer ranges and the damage coupled with extreme knockback means that it remains a threatening tool for most opponents past the 50-60% damage percentage. One oddity of Force Palm is the fact that its command grab property sometimes won't trigger properly, potentially leaving you exposed.
It's a good idea to mix in Force Palm with other KO moves, as leaning too hard on its KO capability when Lucario has a good amount of Aura can lead to easy reads that ultimately expose Lucario and allows opponents to simply get out the way of the blast and punish.
A great combo tool. Although your starters might rely on grabs to get them going, Neutral air is a great way to chain them with other powerful attacks. Furthermore, its sweetspot and normal hit spots, mean that there is an actual reason to hit with one or the other at close range. One will deal more damage but also put opponents out of reach past a certain percentage, while the other keeps options open for follow-ups. A final touch that makes his neutral air a move to practice and master, it is very safe against shielding opponents.
Ways to Punish
Quite a few of Lucario's attacks are on the slower side, making it difficult to find the time to truly punish a bad move. His great dash is a good way to get around it, by making it harder to pinpoint from which side a Lucario might strike. His Dash attack is also fast and has enough range to threaten opponents who fail to approach him.
For the most part, as the Lucario player, you want to get into the fight early and trade blows with your opponent. You are unlikely to get a KO in the first few bouts, but if the opponent becomes complacent in the first few clashes and Aura levels slips off their mind, you can get one strong and Aura buffed attack in with enough power to get them off the stage and potentially off the stock.
Lucario Core Combos
- Up Throw, F-air, F-air
- Up tilt, F-air, F-air, Up air
- Neutral Air (landing), Hop F-air, Hop F-air, F-air
- Down Tilt, F-air, F-air, Up air
Playing Against Lucario
In short, keep your distance if you can and hit hard once near the Aura Threshold, around 60%. His recovery is very predictable, so the best place to hold a Lucario player is outside the stage. Be warned, this is also where at high percentages they have the best chance to land a strike powerful enough to send you flying into a KO. Some good characters against are Lucas, Wario, and Wolf.