Lucario (ルカリオ, Lucario) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It was confirmed as a playable character on June 12th, 2018. As in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Lucario is unlockable, instead of being available from the start. Lucario is classified as Fighter #41.
Sean Schemmel, Daisuke Namikawa, Jean-Marc Delhausse, Carlos Lobo, Gerhard Jilka and Luigi Fantino's portrayals of Lucario from Super Smash Bros. 4 were repurposed for the English, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, and Italian versions of Ultimate respectively.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Lucario must then be defeated on Spear Pillar.
In terms of physical attributes, Lucario is a middleweight fighter (same weight as Ice Climbers, Steve, Wolf, and Villager, making it on the lower end of middleweights) with average height, a below-average walking speed and an average running speed, a very fast initial dash (tied for 5th fastest with Bowser, Mewtwo, Marth, and Lucina), above-average traction, very high air speed (6th fastest in this category), above-average air acceleration and falling speed, and below-average gravity; Lucario can also crawl, wall jump, and wall cling. These traits make Lucario a somewhat floaty character who can maintain aerial presence for a long time, be it onstage or offstage, while also having decent mobility and control on the ground due to its fast dashing speed and above-average traction; collectively, Lucario's overall mobility meanders between average and above-average.
Lucario's most notable strength comes from its unique fighter ability, Aura, in which damage and knockback multipliers are applied to all of its attacks depending on how much damage Lucario has taken, with the multipliers being directly proportional to its percent; the multiplier is x0.66 at 0%, increases to x1.0 (base power) at 65%, and caps out at 190% with a multiplier of x1.67. Aura multipliers are also affected by differences in stocks, with it increasing when Lucario is behind in stocks and decreasing when it is ahead. Additionally, Aura also affects the properties of its special moves; as Aura increases, the size of Aura Sphere becomes larger when charging and when fired, the blast from Force Palm has greater range, and Extreme Speed travels a greater distance. In turn, this ability can allow Lucario to rack up large amounts of damage and kill at very early percents when it has taken a lot of damage, making it useful as a comeback mechanic when Lucario is falling behind.
In terms of its grounded moveset, while its neutral attack has little to no use due to having low damage output relative to its speed, dealing only 9% at base power despite coming out at frame 5 (for reference, faster jabs such as Mario's come out frame 2 and deal 8% while slower jabs such as Bayonetta's come out frame 9 and deal 21%) its other grounded moves have some utility; forward tilt has its use as a spacing tool due its ability to be angled and kills middleweights at 145% on the edge of Final Destination at base power, up tilt is a combo starter that can combo into itself at low percents and into neutral aerial, forward aerial, and up aerial at mid percents, down tilt can combo into dash attack and forward aerial at mid percents while also having its use as a spacing tool, and dash attack, while not being very useful for killing, is a decent burst option due to it coming out fast as well as because of its fast initial dash.
Its smash attacks also have their uses as disjointed kill options. Up smash has its use as an anti-air that kills middleweights at 105% at base power and it can also hit grounded opponents up close with its initial scooping hitbox, making it a situational out of shield option against laggy moves. Down smash covers Lucario from both sides and kills middleweights at 115% from center stage at base power. Forward smash has the greatest amount of kill power and horizontal range out of its smash attacks, being able to kill middleweights at 90% from center stage at base power while also having the potential to be safe on shield if spaced well. Its grab game also has utility. Up throw and down throw can be used as combo starters, with the former being able to combo into forward aerial at low percents and neutral aerial at mid percents (as well as up aerial on bigger characters), while the latter can combo into forward aerial at low percents (with down throw > forward air > forward air > up air being its most damaging combo at low percents). Forward throw and back throw don't have much use outside of being positional throws, though the latter can have a situational use as a late kill throw.
Lucario's aerial moveset also has good utility. Neutral aerial hits twice, covers Lucario from both sides and has a good amount of active frames, making it a useful edgeguarding tool that compliments its ability to maintain aerial presence. It can also combo into up tilt, down tilt, and dash attack at low and mid percents when SHFF'd. Forward aerial is fast and can combo into itself when SHFF'd, up aerial and back aerial are vertical and horizontal kill options, with the former killing middleweights at 110% at base power near the top blast zone and having situational combo potential into itself and neutral aerial when SHFF'd, and the the latter kills at 115% from base power at center stage while also being slightly disjointed. Down aerial is also unique in its uses; it is its fastest aerial at frame 4, allowing it to be an out of shield option, it stalls its movements which allows it to mix up its disadvantage and edgeguarding, and it has its use as a kill option, killing middleweights at 135% from the edge of Final Destination at base power.
Lucario's special moveset sports great versatility as well. Aura Sphere is useful as a projectile and as a kill option, with a fully charged one killing middleweights at 150% from center stage at base power. In addition, the move also maintains a hitbox behind Lucario as it is being charged, giving it use as an approach mixup and sometimes as a situational kill confirm into back aerial. Force Palm is unique in the fact that it functions as a ranged blast from a distance and as a command grab at point blank range, giving it use as an out of shield option and a kill option, as it kills middleweights at 140% at base power from center stage. Extreme Speed, being its primary recovery option, travels a good distance and has a hitbox that enables it to be used as a mixup for onstage recoveries. Finally, Double Team is a counter that has greater utility than conventional counters; the distance the move covers allows Lucario to punish the opponent when countering a projectile, and the fact that the strength of the counter is based on Aura as opposed to the strength of the countered move allows it to kill middleweights at 115% at base power regardless of the move being countered.
All in all, these traits give Lucario a decent neutral game with Aura Sphere, good advantage state, edgeguarding capabilities, and a decent disadvantage state with its fast air mobility and two specials that can be B-reversed and versatile special moves, as outside of Mewtwo, Lucario is the only character that has both a chargeable projectile that can be stored and a command grab in their special moveset, not to mention that Lucario is the only character who has a projectile that has a hitbox during its charging animation as well as a move that functions as both a command grab and a ranged attack with Force Palm. In addition, Aura gives Lucario the potential to take early stocks and to comeback from percent and stock deficits.
However, Lucario also has notable flaws. Ironically, a lot of its flaws come from its most notable strength, Aura, as the fluctuating nature of the ability makes it inconsistent in a few ways. One thing Aura makes inconsistent is how Lucario is rewarded for winning neutral; because Aura has a x0.66 multiplier, this means that Lucario starts off the match and fresh stocks as a character with extremely poor damage output, meaning that it will have to win neutral many times and/or maintain advantage really well just to rack up decent damage with little to no Aura all while the opponent can have an easier time closing those percent deficits due to not being burdened with a damage reducing multiplier. In addition to having the issue of being burdened by low Aura, it is also difficult for Lucario to make the most out of high Aura because Lucario's average weight makes it very unlikely for it to be alive at very high percents, much less at 190% for him to use the highest Aura multiplier of x1.67, and then losing a stock only becomes even worse because it puts Lucario back to being burdened by the x0.66 multiplier; this essentially means that Lucario is only at its strongest state when it is also at its most vulnerable state. Aura's inconsistency not only affects the consistency in which it can rack up damage, but also the consistency at which it can kill; the kill percents mentioned earlier are at base power when Lucario has already taken at least 65%, meaning that those kill percents are far higher when its Aura is lower, and while it can also kill at far lower percents with high Aura, the consistency of that is also hindered by its average weight. Another thing that Aura makes inconsistent is its combo game; while other characters have their bread and butter combos and kill confirms at certain percent ranges, Lucario's combos and confirms are far less consistent because the knockback of moves will keep fluctuating as Aura increases, making it so those combos at low and mid percents won't always land due to Aura giving moves too much knockback.
Outside of Aura's inconsistencies, another flaw Lucario has revolves around its frame data, as while it isn't as slow as characters like Ganondorf and King K. Rool, it is still somewhat sluggish; its jab (frame 5) and forward tilt (frame 12) are slow relative to other jabs and forward tilts while also having poor damage output and/or kill power unless it is at high Aura, all of its smash attacks come out at frame 15 or slower, and all of its aerials barring forward aerial and down aerial come out at frame 10 or slower, with such issues making its already inconsistent kill power even more inconsistent on top of the fact that its throws outside of Force Palm have very little kill power unless it is at high Aura. Its poor frame data also hinders its ability to approach, which is also worsened by its somewhat floaty nature.
Finally, Lucario's special moveset, despite being versatile, doesn't come without its flaws, as Force Palm has hitbox issues that cause the command grab to not be triggered when at close range, and Double Team can put Lucario deeper in disadvantage if used hastily. However, the most glaring flaw with its special moveset is its recovery; while Extreme Speed travels fast and covers good distance, the fact that it has 47 frames of startup makes it vulnerable to edgeguarding. Additionally, the move is also inconsistent due to not always grabbing the ledge as well as the fact that the speed and distance change with Aura, making it possible to overshoot its recovery and self destruct.
Overall, Lucario is a very high risk, high reward character. Essentially being most powerful when most vulnerable, players need to know when to play recklessly and when to play carefully. Either kill sooner and get killed sooner, or kill later and get killed later. Lucario's flaws outweigh its strengths; despite the strengths it has in its special moveset and in its aerial and offstage game as well as the potential to secure early stocks and comebacks with high Aura, the potency of these strengths are undermined by Aura's many inconsistencies and its damage reducing multiplier when at percents less than 65%. On top of that, its below-average frame data and its floaty nature make its approaches inconsistent and its recovery is exploitable due to its long start-up. It is primarily from Aura's inconsistencies that players consider Lucario to be a low-tier character who is poorly designed, with many players suggesting that the character need to be reworked entirely. Because of this, Lucario is not a popular character to use as a main, especially in high level competition.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Lucario has received a mix of buffs and nerfs in the transition from Smash 4 to Ultimate, receiving buffs in game updates but being significantly nerfed overall. The most notable nerf is to its Aura mechanic, as Lucario's Aura multiplier is worse than it was in Smash 4 despite 1v1 multipliers now giving a slight advantage. This, when combined with the universal weakening of the rage mechanic, makes Lucario noticeably less powerful at higher percentages, while its reduced weight makes it even easier to KO and makes it harder for it to rely on rage and Aura combined. Furthermore, some of Lucario's most reliable moves have been made less effective, with down aerial halting its momentum less if overused, back aerial being weaker, Double Team having a drastically shorter duration and intangibility and Aura Sphere can no longer be grab-canceled. While Lucario still has a strong recovery, Extreme Speed's controls have been modified to the point where holding down the control stick can accidentally lead to self-destruction, it covers less distance overall and stops its momentum at the end, worsening its recovery, especially at lower percentages. Finally, the changes in DI and air dodging, has the overall effect of limiting or even outright removing some of Lucario's previously guaranteed combos from throw, which were some of the only reliable ways for it to add damage.
However, it did receive some buffs. Lucario's overall mobility has been greatly improved due to faster horizontal movement, while the universal 3-frame jumpsquat further improves Lucario's ability to traverse the stage. Many of its attacks in general, notably its dash attack, forward smash, neutral aerial, and forward aerial, are faster, more reliable and less of hindrance, while its special moves have also been improved: Aura Sphere can now be cancelled into a jump or any ground attack during a charge, allowing for mixup options, Force Palm has more range, Double Team can now home in on opponents and is much faster overall, and Extreme Speed is overall safer due to its ending and previously notorious landing lag both being lowered.
Despite its many buffs, Lucario's nerfs generally outweigh the buffs it received and is considered to be worse than its iteration in Smash 4 at launch. To make matters worse, Lucario was nerfed again in patch 2.0.0 which led to ANTi dropping the character as well as Lucario not having a significant impact in America. However, Tsu continues to use Lucario and has done very well at many Japanese tournaments.
Throws and other attacks
Lucario received a significant nerf in update 2.0.0 with Aura Sphere having noticeably less hitlag, leading to significantly less combo potential. Since then, however, Lucario has been mostly buffed via game updates.
For a gallery of Lucario's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
When Ultimate was released, many players believed that Lucario had a lot of potential and that it was better than its already strong Smash 4 incarnation. This was due to many of its moves either becoming faster or more reliable along with the character greatly benefiting from the game's mechanics. On top of this, Donkey Kong, who was previously considered to be a hard counter to Lucario in Smash 4, was now an easier matchup. Because of this, many players considered Lucario a solid high-tier character with some saying it had the potential to rise into the top tier.
Unfortunately, as the meta advanced, players recognized that the character's nerfs overshadowed the many buffs it received. This was because of aura's overall weaker damage multiplier, down air not being as safe for disadvantage, Aura Sphere having less versatility, its recovery being worse, the removal of some of its kill confirms, and some characters such as Bowser, Wario, and Ness proving to be very troublesome matchups for Lucario. As a result, players' opinions on Lucario dropped and it obtained a below-average player base throughout Ultimate's metagame, with many players such as ESAM and Dabuz claiming that it's a low-tier character at best. Despite this, players such as Tsu and Jeda have still placed fairly well at tournaments: Tsu placed 5th at Umebura Japan Major 2019, while Jeda placed 13th at Syndicate 2019 and 17th at Albion 4.
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Fall 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from July 13th, 2019 to December 15th, 2019.
Classic Mode: Counter Encounters
Lucario fights characters with counterattacks.
Role in World of Light
Lucario was among the fighters summoned to the cliffside to fight against the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, Lucario was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed his beams of light. Lucario dodged a beam of light using Double Team, but was hit by a beam Greninja avoided a moment later, vaporizing it and placing it under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters, excluding Kirby.
In the mode proper, Lucario can be found on the corner of a stone wall.
Lucario's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Lucario in World of Light allows the player to preview the spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As a fighter spirit, it cannot be used in Spirit Battles and is purely aesthetic. Each fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, Lucario's Mega Evolved form appears as a primary spirit.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video