How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Lucas must then be defeated on New Pork City.
Being a pseudo-clone of Ness, Lucas shares attributes with him in terms of special moves. However, the two are very different from each other in gameplay. Lucas is a middleweight that has slow walking speed, average dashing speed and gravity, fast air speed, and below-average falling speed. He makes up for his lack of ground mobility with the speed of his attacks, with many possessing low lag, allowing him to rack up damage quickly and safely.
One of Lucas's greatest strengths lies in his excellent comboing and aerial games. At low to mid percents, neutral air combos into itself, which was mostly popularized by Remi, and all of his aerials, being one of his best combo starters. His forward air also has the ability to chain into itself at low percents. Because Lucas can cancel his jump by using an technique called "Double Jump Cancel Z-air" as the tether grab can also combo into itself across the entire stage. Up air can also combo into itself multiple times; when utilized alongside platforms for assistance, it can potentially rack up to 70%. Down tilt can also loop into itself starting at around 80% until the opponent is primed for up throw, forward smash, down smash or forward tilt, especially against fast-fallers like Fox or Greninja and large characters like Bowser. Because of changes in the engine from SSB4 to Ultimate, grounded spikes cannot be teched. This gives Lucas the ability to loop down air into itself and finish the opponents off with forward smash, down smash or forward air. Lastly, aerial spikes aren't techable if they reach a certain knockback this causes back aerial to loop into itself and his other aerials as well at around 60%, even though this is more niche and harder to pull off as all the other loops.
His Rope Snake tether grab has very low endlag and moderate range. His up and back throws are among the strongest of their kind, making them good KOing options. His forward throw is also very powerful, though not to the same degree as his up and back throws. His down throw however, has been severly nerfed compared to SSB4, as Lucas is virtually unable to get any follow-ups from down throw if the opponent is past 30%. This made players uncertain how to judge and play Lucas, as he was a pseudo-grappler in SSB4.
Lucas also possesses some strong ground moves, primarily down tilt and forward tilt are worth noticing. Down tilt doesn't have a lot of range but it makes up for it by being just as fast as R.O.B.'s down tilt and only being 1 frame laggier. Combined with the fact that the close hitbox can combo into jab, forward tilt, forward air, and (at high percents or against fast-fallers) a grab, it's definitely a grounded move to respect. Forward tilt is a strong disjointed poking tool that when angled up can anti air a plethora of moves. It can also easily 2-frame recoveries when angled down. It's also extremely safe on shield and can only be punished by Link's Spin Attack from out of shield. Up tilt is also used to pop opponents out of the air similar to forward tilt but can combo into up air if they are around 30%. Tap jump is advised in order to do so as that's the only way to bypass the short hop macro. Jab is a useful "get off me" and combo tool, but overall outclassed by down tilt's frame data and utility. Dash attack comes out fairly slow, and slows Lucas' ground speed while executing it. However, its hitbox is pretty large and can 2-frame or hit an opponent on the edge. Unlike most dash attacks, it can function as a reasonably strong KO option, as its sweetspot is strong enough to KO Mario at 105% at the edge. In comparison, its sourspot is much weaker, yet dash attack's decent interruptbility and its sourspot's higher launching angle make it serviceable for setting up aerial pressure.
Lucas' smash attacks also have a lot of utility, being overall among the strongest smash attacks in the game. While his forward smash is his weakest in terms of range and knockback (though still high), it makes up for it by being his fastest smash attack, this move also has the ability to reflect projectiles. Lastly, forward smash also has a tipper hitbox that KOs a lot earlier. Down smash has Lucas strike the ground three times in front of him; each hit getting progressively larger, but also getting progressively weaker (with the first hit of the move possessing very high knockback). This makes the move incredibly useful for ending jab lock combos, edge-guarding and 2-frame punishes. It also has a large hitbox that enables it to catch opponents directly below certain stages, thus being one of his best edgeguarding and KOing moves. His up smash has invincibility on frame 1-7 (also avoiding grabs) which therefore allows it to be used as a situational counter-attack tool. It also has extremely high knockback that can KO reliably at low percentages. However, the start-up and recovery is extremely high thus making it a "high risk, high reward" read and punish option. These smash attacks altogether give him a great punish game.
Shortly coming back to Lucas' aerial game. While his neutral aerial has a small hitbox and loses to nearly any hitbox in the game, it is active for 15 frames straight making it ideal to catch airdodges, spotdodges and jumps from the ledge, as well as being an effective combo starter and extender. His back aerial is a meteor smash when sweetspotted and slightly disjointed. His forward aerial is his best spacing aerial as it has massive range, is one of the safest aerials in the game, can combo into itself repeatedly and has strong knockback making it a reliable KOing option. His up aerial is a juggling tool and combo starter that can KO at really high percentages. His down aerial consists of four hits with the final hit having a modest meteor effect and is very versatile overall, having some notable uses: dragging opponents down to the bottom blastzone, short hop chaining the move on grounded opponents at certain percentages to rack up damage, and the grounded meteor smash can be comboed into a KO confirm (such as forward smash, down smash, forward aerial, or up aerial). Finally his grab aerial sends out Rope Snake who deals damage and can be used as a tether recovery, its ability to be double jumped canceled makes it a useful combo tool and to move opponents across the stage.
Three of Lucas' special moves, PK Fire, PK Thunder, and PSI Magnet, share the same name as Ness but function differently, while PK Freeze is unique to him. PK Freeze freezes opponents and now launches opponents horizontally with high knockback, enabling it to KO off-stage opponents at ludicrously low % and making it one of his most infamous edge-guarding techniques. PK Fire sends a fiery bolt straight forward which explodes on contact. It doesn't explode on shields however. It's a decent spacing tool that deals moderate knockback and can be used to snipe offstage opponents for a KO or even as a combo extender. PK Thunder does not disappear upon hitting an opponent like Ness's but instead the tail hits multiple times. The orb of PK-Thunder has very high knockback and hitstun even at lower % making it possible to combo into itself, drag the opponent to the blastline and send off-stage opponents far enough from the stage to completely prevent them from recovering, making it an amazing gimping option. It does disappear when it collides with a hard platform or wall. It also disappears when an opponent hits Lucas while he is doing the attack. PK Thunder 2 sends him a much greater distance than Ness', making it a much safer and reliable recovery and allows him to safely go far off to the sides or far below the stage to edge-guard his opponents, though it lacks the early KO potential of its counterpart. Thanks to these special moves, along with his smash attacks and his forward, back and down aerials, Lucas has one of the best edge-guarding games among the cast, being able to KO many off-stage characters at unusually early %.
Finally, PSI Magnet absorbs energy based projectiles. The amount of damage it heals depends on the projectile's power as it heals 1,66x more as the projectile capping at 30%. This makes the move useful for improving Lucas' survivability and to discourage projectile camping from characters with energy projectiles. If projectiles are absorbed while grounded, the end lag after the absorption can be cancelled on the same frame as the absorption with a jump, dodge, or spot dodge, improving the move's safety on the ground. The initial startup of the move contains a windbox that will pull opponents closer to Lucas, in the air, the strength of the windbox scales based on the opponents percentage, which can be useful for setting up an edge-guard situation. The move also has a semi-spike hitbox upon releasing the special button. Said hitbox is also one of the safest non projectile moves on shield in the game (being +0 on block), and can lead into some combos at low percentages (PSI Magnet into dash attack or grab aerial being some examples) and KO opponents at high percentages.
However, Lucas is not without his drawbacks. Arguably his most noticeable flaw is his poor defensive game. Because grabs out of shield have an additional 4 frames of start-up in Ultimate and Lucas lacks a very fast up smash and long-ranged aerials, his out of shield game is among the worst in the cast. Additionally, because his overall grounded mobility is average at best, and some of his attacks have rather short range, Lucas primarily struggles with rushdowns, as he can find it difficult to keep out the opponent with forward air and forward tilt, especially if the opponent has superior range and priority than Lucas. He also struggles in disadvantage, as he doesn't have a good hitbox under him to force landings and being floaty makes him extremely susceptible to getting juggled.
Outside of his horrid defensive game, despite Lucas having a great zoning game thanks to his PK Fire, his forward aerial and his Zair, he also otherwise has a mediocre approach game, being over-reliant on those aforementionned moves to force approaches, which leads to his approach becoming predictable and leaving him with few reliable options, especially against fast characters and characters with even longer and more disjointed attacks, as most of his other attacks suffer from relatively short range despite being disjointed, which can result in him getting overwhelmed by many of those characters and forcing him to rely on his overused zoning options and his few short-ranged out of shield options.
Lucas' recovery is among the most flexible and longest in the game, thanks to his Zair tether recovery, his long directional air dodge, and his long-distanced PK Thunder 2. His PK Thunder travels in a tighter arc than Ness' and doesn't disappear when hitting an enemy, unlike the latter, while his PK Thunder 2 sends him much farther, allowing him to quickly recover on-stage after efficiently edgeguarding or gimping off-stage opponents. Additionally, if he bumps into part of the stage or a wall, he can use his PK Thunder a second time for a limited time, making his recovery even longer overall. Although Lucas' recovery is long and flexible, it still has some flaws. His up special recovery can still be exploited by some characters, as it is rather slow overall and his PK Thunder can be absorbed or reflected by some characters, while projectiles can disrupt it efficiently. His PK Thunder 2 also can occasionnally have some angling issues, and has long ending lag, making Lucas vulnerable to gimps and punishes by some characters.
Additionally, despite Lucas' combo game being extremely deadly and having safe starters, it can be dependent on the timing of his attacks and the weight of his opponent. Particularly, his DJCZ, while extremely dangerous when mastered, requires perfect timing as to correctly chain it. As such, Lucas' combo game can occasionally be slow against lightweight and floaty characters, thus requiring good reads and additional high execution in order to get high damage started, and also giving him a relatively high learning curve.
In the end, Lucas fits best into the mix-up type. He has useful zoning options and he can be effective when controlling foes' space and options thanks to his PK Fire, quick disjointed normals, and Rope Snake. However, he can be a formidable foe at close-ranged combat thanks to his amazing comboing and KOing ability, along with his great aerial game. Lucas players must also take advantage of his fantastic edgeguarding game by forcing his opponent off-stage with his powerful throws, with many of his aerials, his smash attacks, his PK Freeze, his PK Fire and his PK Thunder being powerful enough to gimp or KO his opponent at extremely early percents. However, they must be careful in approaching because his zoning options can quickly become predictable, and he can quickly become overwhelmed by his opponents if he is not careful enough, as some of his below-average ranged attacks and his horrible defensive game can easily be exploited due to his almost non-existent out of shield options, while his floatiness and lack of a reliable hitbox under him can make him very vulnerable to juggles. As a result of this, Lucas is especially vulnerable against characters with superior mobility and longer disjointed range (such as Lucina or Zero Suit Samus), superior zoning abilities (most notably Samus) or great recoveries that are difficult to edgeguard (hindering one of his greatest strengths).
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Near the end of SSB4's metagame Lucas was considered a high tier character (28th out of 55), being tied with Ness. In the transition to Ultimate, Lucas has received a mix of buffs and nerfs, but it's difficult to determine whether he has been buffed or nerfed overall. Some of Lucas's biggest strengths from the previous game have been noticeably nerfed, and some of his mix-up options are not as effective as before, but his moveset as a whole is much more consistent, granting him many more options he lacked in the previous game.
Lucas has received comparetively few nerfs, though most of them have been heavy, with the most notable of these nerfs being the loss of some of his best KO setups, his down throw no longer combos into any of his aerials beyond very low percentages, and the universally techable footstools and changes to locking have significantly hindered his previously guaranteed setups into said combos. Overall, Lucas no longer has access to semi-guaranteed KO set-ups from his down throw (into back aerial at the edge, or to up aerial at high percentages), and his footstool-based combos are much less useful unless the opponent isn't able to tech in time. Aside from those nerfs, PK Thunder 2 now has halted momentum at the end of its animation, which shortens his recovery. Lucas also has a slightly harder time landing due to PSI Magnet no longer halting his momentum in the air.
In spite of these nerfs, Lucas has nevertheless predominantly received many more significant buffs. His frame data and damage output have all been strengthened as a whole, which has made his attacks generally safer than in SSB4 (especially if sweetspotted, due to their electric effect). Lucas's approach and aerial game are much more effective, as his forward, back and up aerials all are now capable of autocanceling from a short hop, the former is a much more viable move for KOing, and the latter's hitbox now matches its animation more correctly. His grab aerial can now be double-jump canceled as well, which now gives him an additional option for approaching and can be chained into itself repeatedly or forward air, giving it great combo ability. Also, his down aerial can now loop into itself at mid to high percentages, while being very difficult to SDI out of, and set-up kill confirms (most notably forward and down smash, and forward air), and the inability to tech grounded meteor smashes benefits his back aerial, which can also loop into itself and his other aerials. Thanks to these buffs, the aforementionned nerfs to his combo game have been somewhat compensated, with the latter and his mix-up options still being extremely effective in his metagame. His grounded game has seen several noteworthy improvements, as forward tilt has more range and power, his up and down tilts have more combo ability, his sweetspotted forward smash is more powerful, up smash has exponentially increased power and now renders him invincible for longer, and down smash can now once again hit opponents multiple times. Finally, Lucas's special moves have all been improved as well; in particular, PK Freeze has been drastically improved as it, no longer makes Lucas helpless, can travel trough soft and semi-soft platforms, now follows the ground on contact with hard platforms, sends at a lower angle that gives it fearsome edgeguarding potential, and leaves opponents frozen for a much longer period of time at higher percentages. PK Fire also sends at a lower angle and has more knockback, making it a more impactful projectile when it connects; PK Thunder travels faster and is an even better edgeguarding and gimping tool; and PSI Magnet absorbs and recovers faster, but the hitbox is 2 frames slower on the release. Thanks to the significant power buffs to most of his already powerful finishers, along with his significantly better edgeguarding game, Lucas is overall a significantly more powerful character, now being able to KO his opponents much more easily and having a considerably better punish game.
Aside from the changes to footstooling and locking, some of the universal changes made to Ultimate's engine have significantly benefitted Lucas overall. Like with most other veterans, his previously lacking mobility is somewhat better thanks to his faster dashing and air speeds; combined with his improved aerials and PK Fire, this gives him a significantly more useful neutral game. The increased shieldstun further improves the safety of Lucas' attacks on shield, especially if they're sweetspotted. Thanks to the changes to air dodges and the return of directional air dodges, Lucas has another option to mix up his recovery, furthermore, like Ness, Lucas's directional air dodge travels farther than other characters. Adding to this, because characters can only air dodge once before landing or getting hit, when combined with a retooled PK Freeze, Lucas's edgeguarding game is much more lethal than before. On the other hand, the ability to air dodge once before landing or getting hit has further worsened his ability to land.
In the end, while Lucas no longer has access to KO setups from his down throw and his footstool and locking based combos are less effective, many of his most glaring weaknesses were notably improved, some of his less-potent moves became much stronger, the significant buffs to his already great edgeguarding game and his much more powerful and damaging finishers have significantly improved his KOing ability and the changes to the game's pace have provided more flexibility for him, granting him far more options than he had in SSB4. While Lucas's changes makes it uncertain as to whether he was buffed or nerfed, most players agree that Lucas has generally improved at the pace the rest of the cast has. So far, despite Lucas's playerbase remaining small in competitive play, he has achieved above average to strong results at the local and regional levels, thanks to players such as ChocoTaco, Mekos and WhYYZ, though they have been more sparse in national tournaments. As of now, Lucas's viability in competitive remains up for debate, although he is generally agreed to remain a viable character, likely moreso than in SSB4. Even in 2020 to 2021 onwards, it is still in debate as to where Lucas exactly is in the metagame, but it has become much more clear and the direction of where Lucas might be seems to have stabilized to some degree. Many Lucas players tend to have mixed or different opinions on where he is in the current and future meta. Thoughts ranging from higher-mid tier to lower part of high tier. It is very much split as to where Lucas there is no definitive answer technically but this is likely due to how different of an entry Smash Ultimate is but it is also still growing with barely 2 years in it's competitive lifespan, the vastness of the character roster and the roster is still not yet complete as not all the DLC has been released and this makes it harder to decide the viability of so many characters and how they have been the closest in viability than in any other smash title.
Throws and other attacks
Lucas has been buffed slightly via game updates. Update 2.0.0 buffed neutral aerial by allowing him to grab edges earlier and reducing its landing lag. Following this, update 4.0.0 buffed Lucas in a few more ways. Forward tilt's sweetspot gained a larger hitbox (albeit only during the first 2 frames) and higher base knockback, both of which make it a deceptively useful KO option, especially when angled upward as a follow-up from down tilt. Dash attack's duration was lengthened, although its sourspot was inadvertently nerfed slightly, as it is now 2 frames less advantaged on hit. Up smash became safer thanks to gaining more invincibility frames during start-up. Lastly, up aerial and PK Fire had their ending lag and landing lag decreased, respectively. Most recently, update 8.0.0 improved the consistency of Lucas' pivot grab by adjusting its axis positioning.
For a gallery of Lucas' hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Lucas is a character who generally plays a mixup style. He is capable of zoning, primarily through the usage of PK Fire and Zair, but many players underestimate his abilities in close range combat, in which he is more than capable due to several fast, safe moves such as Down Tilt and Forward Tilt. His results and representation were pretty scarce in early Ultimate. However, he has achieved some level of representation through the players of Mekos and ChocoTaco. As a result, top professional players, such as Mew2King, ESAM, and Armada value him as an upper mid tier. Dabuz, on the other hand sees Lucas as a low tier. However, some players, such as MkLeo, view him as a high tier, with good combo ability and edgeguarding through PK Freeze and PK Fire. Overall, his current place and viability in the meta is debatable.
Classic Mode: Magic, Sacred Powers, and PSI!
All of Lucas' opponents have supernatural abilities.
Note: All stages Lucas travels to are Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS stages.
Role in World of Light
Lucas can be found on a village covered in fog as a callback to his home of Tazmily Village.
Lucas's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Lucas in World of Light allows the player to preview the first 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.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video