Aura (Japanese: 波導 wave-guiding) is Lucario's fighter ability throughout all its appearances in the Super Smash Bros. series, starting in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It modifies the damage and knockback of Lucario's moves based on its current damage percentage, weakening them at low percents and strengthening them at high percents. The aura mechanic only applies to Lucario, even if another character uses an attack with the aura effect (including Kirby if he copies Aura Sphere), and starting in Super Smash Bros. 4, applies to all of Lucario's attacks regardless of whether or not they have the aura effect.
The functionality of Lucario's Aura is determined by various factors. It has three main stages decided by specific damage percents; a floor percent, a baseline percent, and a ceiling percent, each with a specific damage multiplier that applies to Lucario's attacks. For example, in Brawl, the floor percent is 20% with a damage multiplier of 0.7×, then the baseline percent is 75% with a multiplier of 1×, and finally, the ceiling percent is 170% with a multiplier of 1.4×. These damage multipliers are fully accounted for in the knockback formula, causing Aura to have a drastic effect on knockback, and therefore KO power. It is also worth noting that in Smash 4 and Ultimate, Aura stacks with rage, further increasing the knockback inflicted by Lucario.
The percents and multipliers for the three stages vary from game to game, with the resulting Aura multiplier being linearly determined by the position of Lucario's current percent relative to these stages.
In Stamina mode, Lucario's Aura similarly increases the lower its HP becomes. The damage multipliers for all three stages remain the same, with the multipliers instead being tied to specific proportions of Lucario's remaining HP relative to its starting amount. For example, in Smash 4 and Ultimate, the floor multiplier is used when Lucario has 100% (all) of its HP remaining, the baseline multiplier is used when it has 50% of its starting HP remaining, then the ceiling multiplier is used when it has 10% of its starting HP remaining. In Brawl, if starting with 1 HP, Lucario's Aura immediately reaches its ceiling multiplier.
In addition to Lucario's percent, there is another factor that affects its Aura level; the amount of stocks it has in comparison to its opponents, or score in a time or coin battle, which is collectively referred to as its placing in the match. If Lucario's placing is different from its opponents', it gains an additional aura damage multiplier, which is factored alongside the multiplier obtained by its percent. This secondary multiplier is higher than 1× if Lucario is currently placing lower than its opponents, and lower than 1× if currently placing higher, further strengthening or weakening its attacks (respectively). This allows Lucario's effective aura multiplier to be even higher or lower, although the resulting amount is still limited, with a minimum threshold of 0.6× and a maximum threshold of 1.8×.
In Brawl, Aura multipliers only apply to Lucario's attacks that use the aura; as a result, its dash attack, back throw, down throw, and floor attacks are not affected. From Smash 4 onward, the multipliers apply to all of Lucario's attacks regardless of their effect, although they still do not affect items used by it. Additionally, all of Lucario's special moves except Double Team have other attributes improved as its Aura level rises; Aura Sphere and Force Palm's wave grow drastically in size, while Extreme Speed has increased travel speed and distance.
Aura multiplier by percent
The following table summarizes the percents, remaining HP proportions (in Stamina mode), and damage multipliers for each of the three Aura stages in each game. In Ultimate, the ceiling aura multiplier was 1.6× prior to version 9.0.0.
Overall, Brawl has the least drastic differences in Aura strength, also being the only game where it does not increase as soon as Lucario takes damage, while Smash 4 has the most drastic differences, causing it to be buffed overall. Aura in Ultimate is largely similar to Smash 4's, except the baseline percent and ceiling multiplier are slightly lower, as a respective buff and nerf to it.
Mega Lucario always uses an Aura multiplier of 1.8×, regardless of its damage percent or remaining HP, which is normally the maximum obtainable Aura multiplier for Lucario in combination with the secondary, placing-based Aura multiplier. This is because both Mega Lucario's minimum and maximum total Aura multipliers are set to 1.8×, rather than the minimum being set to 0.6×.
Defense equipment modifiers
In Smash 4 only, Aura has an additional wrinkle when Lucario is given Defense equipment. While the damage multipliers for all three stages remain the same, as does the floor percent, the baseline and ceiling percents (as well as HP proportions in Stamina mode) increase in proportion with Lucario's Defense stat, causing Aura to scale at a slower rate the higher Lucario's Defense is. However, a negative Defense stat does not conversely decrease these percents, so Aura scales at the same rate as with no Defense.
The following table summarizes the resulting changes to Aura's floor and ceiling percents with Defense equipment. Overall, the percents reach 40% of their total increase with 50 Defense, then 70% of their increase with 100 Defense, and finally max out with 200 Defense.
Aura multiplier by placing (Stock Aura)
With other players present, an additional Aura multiplier is factored into the primary, percent-based one, which is based on Lucario's placing in the match relative to other players. This mechanic, usually referred to as Stock Aura, only applies between human players; it neither takes CPUs into account nor affects Lucario CPUs' Aura, and is by extension absent from single player modes.
Generally, the Stock Aura multiplier increases if Lucario is placing lower than other players, and decreases if it is placing higher than them. This factor is known as Lucario's rank, and is stored as an integer ranging from -2 to +2, indicating a lower or higher placing than opponents, respectively. In stock battles, Lucario's rank directly correlates to its stock difference with other players; for example, in a 1v1 battle, if Lucario has four or more stocks and the opponent has two, the rank is +2, whereas if Lucario has one stock in the same situation, the rank is -1. In matches with more than two players, the rank is a sum of two values: Lucario's advantage over the last-placing player, and its disadvantage over the first-placing player, so for example, if Lucario has two stocks, a second player has one (+1), and a third player has four (-2), the resulting rank is -1. This calculation does not take team affiliation into account, but does count eliminated players as having zero stocks, so even if only Lucario and one other player are remaining with equal stocks, its rank will be at least +1 due to the eliminated player.
Every time Lucario's rank changes, the Stock Aura multiplier is updated to a certain value depending not only on the rank itself, but the amount of non-CPU players in the match, with an accountable maximum of four (even with more than four players present in Smash Wii U and Ultimate), and the difference in the multiplier's value being higher with more players. For example, with a rank of -1 in Ultimate, the multiplier is 1.2× in a 1v1 battle, and 1.4× with four or more players, whereas with a rank of +1, the respective multipliers are 0.915× and 0.83×.
Another important factor of the Stock Aura multiplier to consider, however, is that it does not update immediately whenever Lucario's rank changes, instead gradually scaling to the new value over a certain period of time. This period in frames is determined by the formula
Lastly, in modes other than stock, Lucario's rank is determined somewhat differently. In time battles, the rank is +1 if Lucario has from 1 to 4 more points than another player, and +2 if it has at least 5 more points than them; if it has less points, the same rule applies to the equivalent negative values. As each KO in time battles changes the score difference by two (the KO owner gains one point, while the victim loses one), a rank of -2 or +2 is reached with at least three uninterrupted KOs from either player. Conversely, in coin battles, the rank immediately changes to -2 or +2 if Lucario has less or more points (respectively) than another player, even with a difference of only one.
In Brawl and Smash 4, the formula for the Stock Aura multiplier is
Worth noting is that Lucario's minimum and maximum Aura multipliers (with both the percent-based and Stock Aura multipliers factored in) are still capped at 0.6× and 1.8×, respectively, so Stock Aura can cause Lucario to reach these caps drastically earlier, but not surpass them.
Special move effects
In addition to modifying Lucario's damage output, Aura also improves certain properties of its special moves. This only affects Aura Sphere in Brawl, but extends to Force Palm and Extreme Speed as well in Smash 4 and Ultimate. The changes are as follows:
Aura is a concept in the Pokémon franchise associated with Lucario, in particular in the movie Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. It functions as a supernatural sense and can be channeled into the attack Aura Sphere.
Unlike in Super Smash Bros., aura in the Pokémon franchise has no relationship to becoming more powerful when damaged. It has very little mechanical significance in the Pokémon games, mainly being mentioned in Pokédex entries and the name of Aura Sphere. Oftentimes, the existence of aura is presented as a theme when present, rather than a material ability. A black aura is associated with the corrupted Shadow Pokémon in Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. The player's aura is also read during the personality quiz in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, as well as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky prior to becoming a Pokémon.
The only mechanical relevance of aura in the core series games is the ability Mega Launcher, which powers up "aura" and "pulse" moves such as Aura Sphere and Dark Pulse, collectively referred to in Japanese with the term Hadō (はどう). However, this ability is not available to Lucario, instead being given to artillery-themed Pokémon like Mega Blastoise and Clawitzer.
The moves Flail and Reversal work similarly to how works Aura in Smash, being moves that increase in power when the Pokémon has less HP, going up to 200 base power, among the highest amounts possible prior to being boosted by other effects. Reversal has been learnable by Lucario since Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, being learned at level 19 by Riolu; however, Lucario never directly learned it until Pokémon Sword and Shield via Move Reminder in Pokémon Centers or TR21.