In Project M, Lucas boasts excellent mobility with fast, low commitment neutral tools, versatile combo tools, and insanely powerful smash attacks. His out-of-shield game also grants Lucas good neutral or punishing options, such as his down aerial. His recovery, while risky, is extremely versatile and can travel long distances very quickly using his double jump (which can be cancelled into an aerial or airdodge), z-tether, a fall-decelerator in PSI Magnet which can also be jump cancelled similarly to Fox's Reflector, and his Thunder-looping. PSI Magnet also lets him deal with camping by absorbing energy projectiles, and to help with this he can also access his new neutral special Offense Up. This move increases the power of his already devastating smash attacks, especially useful as it increases the size of his up smash alongside its power.
His ledge options are serviceable, such as stalling with PK Thunder, gaining back his invincibility with a z-tether, threaten at close range with a ledge-hop PSI Magnet, and make use of his passable ledgedash. He also has access to one of the most technically difficult techniques in the game in the "snekdash", which if the demands are met can make some of Lucas' ledge options completely invincible. PK Freeze is a decent projectile that can lead into multiple followups, one of these followups being his extremely dangerous DACUS, which can make it unsafe to be above Lucas and can finish off combos from entire stages. He additionally has ease in hit-and-run combat courtesy of his extremely fast mobility on the ground. To a lesser extent, his double-jump cancelled aerials and b-reverses also give him long-distance mobility. Lucas has excellent shield pressure due to his DJC-aerials, powerful up throw that ignores weight, long wavedash, and jump-cancelled PSI Magnet. All of these build onto his greatest strength: his combo ability. His versatile options across the board, ability to traverse whole stages very quickly, and very early KO moves make it not unreasonable for Lucas to bring someone from 0% to a KO.
However, Lucas also has weaknesses. His subpar tech roll and bad combo weight make it easy to punish and fatally chain Lucas if he makes a mistake. He also has short range and poor edgeguarding abilities, which slightly dampen his stellar combo ability and can make it difficult to secure a KO. His unique double jump also gives him trouble against platform camping, as he can't quickly punish his opponent for doing so. His ability to start combos is also slightly weakened by his tether grab, which doesn't have great range by the standards of tethers but is still rather slow.
Overall, Lucas is a character who can make it very difficult for opponents who have bad out of shield options or moves that are less safe on whiff. His power additionally gives him an upper hand against characters who would otherwise survive longer at early percents. However, he has a hard time dealing with characters who can easily out-range or gimp him and have good tech-chasing options or chaingrabs. Overall, Lucas has significantly better matchups than he did in Brawl, and that has led to above average tournament results and representation.
Changes from Brawl to PM
Lucas was heavily buffed from Brawl to Project M, as he was given many new options to combo and KO opponents on-stage. While it may seem Lucas's recovery has been nerfed due to the shorter distance that his up special travels, the new air dodge and tether mechanics allow him to come back on stage with greater ease than before. He is also far less vulnerable to grab release followups due to the changes to the grab release mechanics and the fact that he no longer suffers from additional lag from a ground release.
Lucas has received some nerfs however. The main nerfs he received were to the range of his PSI attacks. Many of his attacks have reduced range and it is more difficult to land the sweetspot for some attacks such as forward tilt and forward aerial. Lucas has also lost many of the advanced techniques he had with his side special and his endurance is much worse due to his lighter weight and he is much more vulnerable to combos himself.
Grabs and Throws
Up to date as of version 3.6.
In competitive play
Lucas has been given an alternate costume based on a segment in Mother 3 where Lucas is mistaken for the Pigmasks' general, the Masked Man, and passes as him for a while. Lucas's costume features no changes to the visual effects of his attacks, other than that his forward smash now uses the Masked Man's energy sword instead of a stick.
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