- This article is about Lucario's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. For this Pokémon in other contexts, see Lucario.
Lucario (ルカリオ, Rukario) is an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, who, like Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Squirtle, Charizard, and Ivysaur, originates from the Pokémon universe. Confirmation of Lucario's inclusion in Brawl was leaked before the game's release through a promotional video on the Japanese Wii website about sticker power ups. An evolution of Riolu, Lucario is a dual Fighting/Steel type Pokémon, and is the first Pokémon to possess either of these types in a Smash game. It is also the first Pokémon in a Smash game that is able to speak English, and it is the only Pokémon in Brawl that speaks in full sentences.
A common belief is that Lucario "replaced" Super Smash Bros. Melee's Mewtwo (particularly around the time of Brawl's release), primarily as they share a few superficial properties. Aesthetically, they have the ability to speak human language through the use of telepathy, and Lucario's Aura is similar in appearance to Mewtwo's shadow energy. Both characters also possess floaty air movement, fast and long distanced rolls, and similar neutral special moves - Lucario's Aura Sphere grows in size as it is charged and damages opponents who contact it during its charging phase, as does Mewtwo's Shadow Ball. However, there is no evidence that Lucario was intended to "replace" or exist as a clone of Mewtwo in Brawl; on the contrary, Mewtwo's unfinished character data on Brawl's disc suggests that the two were supposed to appear alongside each other as playable characters. Lucario's moveset and character design as a whole is also vastly different from Mewtwo's, lending even less credence to the claim that Lucario was included as a replacement for Mewtwo.
Lucario is currently ranked 11th on the tier list at the very top of mid-high tier. Lucario is most known for its Aura property that increases its power as its damage goes up and is bolstered even further when at a stock disadvantage. At high percentages, Lucario possesses KO power that rivals Ike, Bowser, and Ganondorf, while its attacks are much faster. Outside aura, Lucario possesses what is considered one of the strongest aerial games, with its above average air speed and floaty falling speed giving it strong aerial movement, while its amazing and well balanced aerial attacks give it some of the best offensive and defensive aerial capabilities. Lucario additionally possesses a strong defensive game to bolster its aura property farther, possessing good movement, great reach, a strong and spammable projectile in Aura Sphere, and extremely fast and long distanced rolls. Lucario also has one of the strongest comboing abilities in Brawl, possessing several effective combo starters and attacks that flow into each other well, as well as a strong grab and throw game. Lucario's Aura property acts as a double-edged sword however, as its attacks are extremely weak at low damage percents. Since Lucario lacks an effective gimping move and has only a couple of moves that aren't affected by Aura (neither of which are reliable KO moves), Lucario has to be at high damage percentages to KO effectively, where it is then vulnerable to KOs itself. Lucario also has a poor recovery; even though Lucario can cover good distance when recovering and its recovery move ExtremeSpeed is versatile with unique properties, ExtremeSpeed lacks invincibility frames and damaging hitboxes while also not being very fast. This makes ExtremeSpeed heavily vulnerable to edge hogging and makes Lucario one of the easier characters to edge guard. Overall, Lucario has strong matchups, with only two countered matchups against Meta Knight and King Dedede, and Lucario has achieved strong tournament results.
Lucario's selection sound
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, the player must then defeat Lucario on Spear Pillar in order to unlock it.
Lucario is a character with relatively fast attack speed and decent maneuverability. It has a very strong air game due to the speed and knockback of its aerials; its forward and up airs are great for juggling and stringing into each other at low percents, the forward air is also useful as a defensive move and general combo-filler, and its down air has very fast start-up and strong edge-guarding ability. Lucario's aerials in general give it a good set of approaching and defensive moves, due to having floaty physics, decent air speed, and the ability to wall jump and wall cling. Lucario's recovery move ExtremeSpeed is bendable, allowing a variety of unpredictable recovery angles, and the ability to wall cling and wall jump after use. Most of Lucario's attacks have unexpectedly large hitboxes, most notably its forward smash.
Of course, Lucario's biggest advantage is its aura. A Lucario at KO percent gains enough extra damage on its attacks to reduce the opponent's survivability by a few dozen percent, in addition to increasing the already-large hitbox size of most of its moves. Aura also increases Lucario's power when it is behind in the match; both these factors combined allow it more chance to stage a comeback than some other characters. Other tools include Aura Sphere, a multi-purpose projectile that can bother approaches or KO at high percents (for both players).
While Lucario's floatiness gives it control in the air, it does leave it susceptible to juggling despite its down air's momentum-halting properties. Most of its ground attacks are also on the slow side, and its ground speed is slightly below average (although it does have a fast fox-trot), so it must use its aerials to keep the opponent out of close range. But the biggest problem is that aura is a two-way street; when at low damage (such as at the start of every stock) Lucario's entire moveset is weakened, and when it has a lead in stocks its power decreases even further, which makes it difficult to make headway on the opponent at the start of a match and can make it harder to hold a lead than some other characters. The reduced damage also comes with reduced power, meaning Lucario has a hard time KO'ing opponents until its damage reaches a certain amount. It also lacks a meteor smash outside of Footstool Jumps, its recovery cannot deal damage and so is a bit easier to interrupt (plus it cannot fight off edgehoggers at all), and its counter move (Double Team) is too slow to be useful, and the counterattack can even be shielded.
Lucario is the epitome of risk versus reward. Its aura rewards it for falling behind and punishes it for pulling ahead, encouraging close matches and come-from-behind victories.
In team play, the strength of Lucario's aura is based on the amount of stocks it has compared to all of the other players, including its teammates. The aura grows stronger when Lucario has less stocks than everyone else, and weaker when it has more. A Lucario can be at very high power if it has only one stock remaining but its teammate has three. The stock count and high damage can combine to provide maximum power to Lucario's aura. This phenomenon is known as the Anubis combo. In doubles matches where the Anubis combo is exploited, the Lucario is usually the aggressor, dealing high amounts of damage and knockback as the aura grows stronger after losing stocks, while the other player camps and avoids combat, holding onto their stocks for as long as possible. Mew2King (Meta Knight) and Trela (Lucario) were a notorious team at SKTAR that utilized this strategy, winning the doubles tournament after being knocked into losers' bracket.
- Neutral attack - Lucario waves its hand forward, does a palm thrust, and then kicks high. Each hit has blue aura accompanying it and moves Lucario a fair bit forward. The first hit can combine with other attacks well, especially grabs. By using the first strike, Lucario can initiate a Force Palm grab, standard grab or tilt to start a combo. Initial damage: First hit does 3%, second hit is 2% and the third hit is 5%. At its maximum potential this combo delivers moderate to high knockback. Has a start-up of 6 frames.
- Dash attack - Lucario slides one leg forward on the ground, hitting low. Aura is not involved in this attack. Does 10% damage at outset, with useful pop-up behind Lucario should the move land towards its end. Like most dash attacks, very vulnerable to shieldgrabs. Sourspotted does 7%. Hitbox out on frame 7-18.
- Down tilt - Sweeps one leg out along the ground. Paws flare with aura when it does this. Hits in front and in back. Has a small amount of IASA frames. Does 7%. Hits on frame 9-15.
- Forward tilt - Puts its paws together in front of itself with two small blasts of blue aura. Quicker and shorter ranged than its forward smash. Can be aimed up or down a bit. Small amount of IASA frames allow it to cancel into itself effectively. Each blast does 8% at max range, 6% if too close, and 5% if too early. Has a start-up of 12 frames and it ends on frame 19.
- Up tilt - Swings its leg in an arc over its head. Quick and can juggle. Hitting with only the Aura-powered foot gives the move a sweetspot for higher damage/knockback. Similar to Donkey Kong's up tilt. Does 6%. Hitbox out on frame 5-15. It should be noted that this attack is a partial lock.
- Forward smash - Lucario places its paws together in front of itself and shoots a blast of blue aura energy, with great range and a good amount of active frames. Attack is strongest when only Aura blast connects. When sourspotted, damage is equal to a down smash. The move has IASA frames very quickly after active frames finish, making it unusually difficult to punish for such a strong move, though the start-up is still very punishable (frame 21-30). When Lucario is at high percentages it is one of the strongest side smashes in the game, otherwise below average knockback. Does 14% with little knockback, or 16% with a good amount of knockback when sweetspotted.Slow start-up time is significantly decreased if charge attack at beginning (minus 2 frames). This move has the fourth largest knockback of side smashes when at 170% only losing to Snake, Ike and King Dedede. When fully charged and sweetspotted at 170% or above, the move can KO at 44% (58% when sourspotted) - if the stock modifier is counted, the move KOs even earlier than Dedede's forward smash.
- Down smash - Lucario brings its paws down to either side of it in a downwards slapping motion. It has rather slow start-up (frame 17-23) and noticeable ending lag for a down smash, but it is the strongest down smash in the game when at full power, and has the fastest start-up among its smash attacks. Does 14%.
- Up smash - Lucario holds its paw above its head, with a large burst of blue aura from it, and spins in place. Damages enemies in front and behind of Lucario, with the attack having an exceptional amount of active frames (lasting until nearly the end of the move). Its a great anti-air attack. Hitbox to the sides is greater when opponent is behind Lucario than in front of it. Does 13% at outset and 9% late.
- Ledge attack - Lucario quickly gets back on the stage, attacking with a burst of Aura. Excellent range and a disjointed hitbox make this a very good ledge attack. Does 8% or 6% damage.
- Over 100% ledge attack - Lucario slowly brings its feet over its head (a semi-flip) and kicks, releasing aura. Rather slow and not recommended unless as surprise attack. Stronger than most 100% ledge attacks because of how it cannot be used unless Lucario's aura is above baseline. Does 10%.
- Floor attack - Spins around while getting up, kicking on one side, and punching on the other. Very good floor attack, insanely fast, and unexpected with decent knockback. 6%. Aura is not involved.
- Trip attack - Lucario kicks forwards, then backwards. Slow start, does 5% each kick. aura is not involved.
- Neutral aerial - Lucario extends both of its hands with blue energy, and spins. It has long ending lag in the air, but minimal landing lag along with almost no start-up (6 frames). Deals 11% at its weakest and does strong horizontal knockback at its strongest; does 7% when connects late. Great for setting up another attack after landing on the ground due to the minimal lag, but can only be done at low percentages.
- Forward aerial - Lucario kicks forward with a slight upwards tilt. The end has a small burst of blue aura energy, like most of Lucario's moves. It can also hit twice in one short hop and can always hit another time if an enemy is hit with the first one. This can combine with other attacks well. Does 5%. Becomes harder to combo with at max power. Hitbox extends everywhere except above Lucario. Has a start-up of 7 frames. Lucario's fastest aerial.
- Up aerial - Lucario kicks similarly to its forward aerial, but higher, hitting in front of its head. The hitbox covers its entire body, but the sweetspot is the Aura burst near the foot. This aerial has the good defensive capabilities due to the hitbox covering its body. Does 10%. Hitbox out on frame 10-22.
- Down aerial - Lucario pauses in the air, thrusts its feet together downwards, and lets out a fairly large burst of aura energy. Fairly long duration, and has unique properties that make it an incredibly useful attack. When it starts the move, all of its momentum is immediately canceled. It can be used to perform a "pseudo-SHFFL": if used immediately after jumping, Lucario will cease to jump and immediately use the attack, making it one of the lowest possible attacking aerial moves. There is also no landing lag when doing this, as the entirety of the move is performed stationary in midair. Hits twice for 8% each hit. Excellent knockback on 2nd hit, which allows Lucario to stage spike with it. Often considered its best attack due having almost no start-up lag and being a great combo finisher. First hit on frame 4-7, second hit on frame 11-14. This move also makes it that Lucario can make the smallest jumps in the game.
- Back aerial - Lucario slams one paw backwards, similar in appearance to Ganondorf's back aerial. Accompanied by standard little burst of blue aura. Significant start-up time (15 frames but the move only ends at frame 29) and landing lag, making it a poor choice near the ground, but a lasting hitbox makes it powerful for edge-guarding. It has great horizontal knockback along with a large hitbox with good horizontal reach. This move also is a good defense and approach option. A good strategy for defense is to get the hitbox inside the character model for Lucario to serve as a multi-opponent surprise attack option. This is performed by jumping backwards or moving backwards in the air. The range then makes it only good for close range combat only. Does 12% or 9% depending on timing.
- Pummel: Sends an instant pulse of Aura into its opponent with little lag (if any). Very fast. Very low damage at low damages makes up for speed, being the only pummel in the game capable of doing no damage on a hit. 1% damage. Only the first hit counts towards Stale-Move Negation.
- Forward throw: Uses Aura to blast opponent forward. Good horizontal knockback at higher damages. Lucario's fastest throw. Can be an effective KO move at high percentages on the edge. Excellent to put room between Lucario and opponent to provide breathing space. When at max power, this is the strongest and most damaging forward throw in the game. 10%.
- Down throw: Slams opponent straight into the ground in front of Lucario. Aura is not used in this attack. Can set up an aerial combo at low to mid percentages quite effectively. It starts becoming less useful for set ups at higher percentages (around 80% and up), where the up throw starts becoming more effective. This move heavily depends on the opponent's DI, but leaves them in a vulnerable position regardless of where they are sent flying. This move can also set up an early KO by dragging the opponent offstage with a barrage forward aerials and then a down aerial near the edge for a KO. Does 10%.
- Back throw: Turns and slams the opponent behind itself. Aura is not used in this attack. Has strong horizontal knockback for a throw along with relatively fast speed, can KO on the edge at high percentages. Does 10%.
- Up throw: Uses aura to hit the opponent upwards with its paw. Does 1% with the hit and 5% with the throw. Extremely low knockback and damage increase (even with Aura) allows this to set up additional attacks at practically any realistic combat percent. Can chain throw heavyweights and fast fallers at very low percentages. This throw is generally better than Lucario's down throw at later percentages.
- Up: Rises into the air, yells, and blue aura is emitted from its body.
- Side: Moves its paws and puts one forward, and blue aura is emitted from that paw.
- Down: Takes a martial arts stance similar to Link's taunt from the original.
Lucario's NTSC and PAL cheer
Lu ca ri o! (Group chant)
- See also: Category:Lucario professionals (SSBB)
Tier placement and history
Lucario has always been one of the prominent high tier characters in Brawl. It was ranked 9th on the first tier list (September 2008). Though it dropped to 14th place on the third tier list (July 2009), players such as Junebug, Trela, and Lee Martin gained great tournament results with Lucario, allowing it to be able to maintain a position around 11-12th since then. Lucario is currently ranked 11th place in the upper-mid tier, in the eighth and current tier list, as of April 2013.
Lucario plays a supporting role in the Subspace Emissary near the climax. It mostly interacts with Meta Knight. Meta Knight is making his way up a snowy mountain with the Ice Climbers in pursuit. Meta Knight is trying to catch the Halberd which has flown overhead. At the top, it encounters Lucario in a meditative stance on the peak of the mountain. Lucario challenges Meta Knight and the two fight, as the Ice Climbers nervously watch on. After the battle, the victor revives the other from their trophy state. The pair deem each other worthy and shake hands, making an alliance. Suddenly the Halberd slams the Great Fox into the mountain, and Lucario and Meta Knight board it whilst the Ice Climbers are knocked off the mountain into the valley below. After managing to get onto the Halberd, the two pass by Snake, who is hidden in his box. Lucario, being the only one who notices something suspicious about the box, uses its aura to peer into it. Seeing Snake huddled inside, Lucario removes it, and Snake realizes that his cover is blown. Meta Knight draws his sword, but just as it and Snake prepare to fight, Lucario steps in, having sensed a mass of Primids approaching, and the three team up to fight through.
Not long after, the trio meets up with Zelda and Peach as their trophies are cloned by the Shadow Bugs. Once the clones are taken care of, Snake, Lucario and Meta Knight discover that the Halberd bridge is being piloted by a group of Mr. Game & Watches. The three of them knock all of the Mr. Game & Watches out of the window, where they land near Peach, Zelda, and Fox who have gathered on the deck of the ship. The Mr. Game & Watches then revert into Shadow Bugs, which fuse into Duon. Lucario and Snake leap from the bridge to the aid of the trio already there, and they are joined by Falco, who skydives from his Arwing. They battle and defeat the monster, who collapses into wrecked metal, Shadow Bugs, and Mr. Game & Watch's trophy. Peach revives it, and it subsequently joins the player's party. Meta Knight, with the Halberd once again in his control, steers his vessel into brighter skies.
Lucario is later selectable in the Entrance to Subspace level and is present when Tabuu turns all characters back into trophies. The player must find its trophy in one of the Subspace levels, then they may choose it as part of their team for the Great Maze and for the fight against Tabuu himself.
The following stickers can either only be used by Lucario, or can only be used by a select few, including Lucario:
- Charizard: [Arm, Leg] Attack +10
- Deoxys: [Slash] Attack +10
- Entei: [Flame] Attack +20
- Goldeen: [Leg] Attack + 4
- Gulpin:[Electric] Attack +16
- Jigglypuff: [Body, Spin] Attack +31
- Jirachi: [Arm, Leg] Attack + 7
- Meowth: [Slash] Attack + 5
- Metagross: Launch Resistance +23
- Mew: [Body, Spin] Attack + 4
- Moltres: [Flame] Attack +20
- Pokémon Trainer: [Arm, Leg] Attack +13
- Staryu: [Specials: Direct] Attack + 3
- Togepi: [Body, Spin] Attack +11
- Torchic: [Flame] Attack + 8
- Box Boxer: [Aura] Attack +26
- Chikorita: [Aura] Attack +13
- Chozo Statue: [Aura] Attack +25
- Dry Bones: [Aura] Attack +17
- Lakitu: [Aura] Attack + 6
- Lucario: [Aura] Attack +41
- Munchlax : [Aura] Attack +13
- Rachel: [Aura] Attack +11
- Rayquaza: [Aura] Attack +24
- Starman: [Aura] Attack + 6
- Event 25: The Aura Is With Me: As Lucario, starting at 182% damage, KO Ness and Sheik, on Spear Pillar.
- Event 39: All-Star Battle x2: As any character, KO the following characters: King Dedede, Ike, Lucario, R.O.B., Toon Link, Snake, Sonic, and Wolf, on Skyworld.
In co-op event matches
Lucario's alternate costumes in SSBB
Lucario's trophy is obtained by clearing Classic Mode with Lucario.
Lucario's trophy in Brawl
An Aura Pokémon. It can track energy called Aura, which is given off by all living creatures. It's a unique combination of both Fighting- and Steel-type Pokémon. Lucario evolves from Riolu during the day if its happiness has reached a certain point. It specializes in attacks that use Aura energy, like Dark Pulse and a can't-miss technique, Aura Sphere.
- : Pokémon Diamond/Pearl
- Lucario is one of only three characters in Brawl able to perform three aerials in one short hop (in Lucario's case, rising forward aerial, two down aerials), the others being Meta Knight (three up aerials) and Luigi (rising forward aerial, forward aerial, then neutral aerial or up aerial).
- Lucario and the Pokémon Trainer are the only characters in Brawl that have a different dubber in every language.
- Lucario and Sonic are the only characters to wear their default costumes in team battles when they are on the blue team.
- When dashing, the first few frames of Lucario's animation seem to look like it is levitating.
- Lucario is voiced by Bill Rogers. Rogers also plays the role of Brock in the Pokémon anime series. In Japanese, it is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa, who has voiced Lucario in the original Mystery of Mew Movie.
- Lucario is the only Pokémon character whose stage appearance doesn't involve being released from a Poke Ball.
- If Lucario is at above 170% and is behind by two stocks, its forward smash will become the most powerful in the game, with even more knockback than King Dedede's.
- Lucario has the highest traction of any character in Brawl.