Lucas (リュカ, Lucas) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was revealed along with all other previous veterans on June 12th, 2018 and is classified as fighter #37.
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, average 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.
Lucas's greatest strength lies in his ability to loop moves together. At low %, neutral air combo's into itself; this was mostly popularized by Remi. 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 and can, thanks to the help of platforms, do up to 60%. Down tilt can also loop into itself starting at around 80% until the opponent is in KO% for up throw if they are playing a fast-faller like Fox or Greninja. Because of changes in the engine from Smash 4 to Ultimate, grounded spikes cannot be teched. This gives Lucas the ability to loop down air into itself and finish the opponents off with a forward smash or forward air. And lastly aerial spikes aren't techable if they reach a certain knockback this causes back aerial to loop into itself as well at around 60%, even though this is a lot 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 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 combo's into jab, forward tilt, forward air, and (at really high % or fastfallers) Grab and 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 Up-B OoS. 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 Shorthop Macro. Jab is a useful "get off me" tool, but overall outclassed by down tilt's framedata and utility. Dash Attack comes out fairly slow, and lowers Lucas' ground speed while executing it but its hitbox is pretty large and can 2-frame/ hit people on the ledge. It suprizingly doesn't kill as early as you'd expect for this kind of dash attack. For example Mario gets KO'd at 105% at the ledge.
Lucas's smash attacks also have a lot of utility. While his forward smash is the weakest in terms of range and knockback (though still decent), 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 kills 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 very useful for ending jab lock combo's, edge-guarding and 2-frame punishes. His up smash has invincibility on frame 1-7 which therefore also avoids grabs. 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 option.
Shortly coming back to Lucas's aerial game. His neutral aerial has a small hitbox and loses to nearly any hitbox in the game. However it's also active for 15 frames straight making it ideal to catch airdodges, spotdodges and jumps from the ledge. 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 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 has a few 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 kill-confirm (such as forward 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's 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, 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. 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 and drag the opponent to the blastline. 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's, 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, Lucas has a very potent edge-guarding game.
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 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 and KO opponents at high percentages.
However, Lucas is not without his drawbacks. Because Grab Out of Shield has an additional 4 frames start-up in Ultimate and Lucas doesn't have a fast aerial or up smash, his Out of Shield game is one of the slowest in the game. Additionally because his walk, dash and run speed are average at best, Lucas primarily struggles when he gets rushed down as he isn't unable to keep out the opponent with forward air and forward tilt. Lucas also struggles in disadvantage as he doesn't have a good hitbox under him to force landings and being floaty makes him extremely suspectable to getting juggled. Lastly Lucas' combo game even though extremely deadly and having safe starters is also slow thus requires a read and additional high execution in order to get high damage started.
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. Most of Lucas's biggest strengths from the previous game have been significantly nerfed, and 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 his severely worsened combo game; previously renowned for being incredibly dangerous and for Lucas's ability to heavily mix it up, 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 potentially unavoidable and heavily damaging strings, semi-guaranteed KO set-ups from his down throw (into back aerial at the edge, or to up aerial at high percentages), or to footstool-based combos unless the opponent isn't able to tech in time. Aside from the nerfs to his combo game, 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), and slightly compensates for his watered down combo game. 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. 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, 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 edgeguarding potential, and leaves opponents frozen for a much longer period of time at higher percentages. PK Fire also sends at a lower angle, making it a more viable projectile; PK Thunder travels faster; and PSI Magnet is faster.
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's strongest trait in his combo game was considerably toned down, many of his most glaring weaknesses were notably improved, some of his less-potent moves became stronger, and the changes to the game's pace have provided more leeway for him, granting him far more options than he had in SSB4. This makes him more of an all-rounder, making him more similar to his fellow EarthBound representative Ness, though with more options and a better recovery at the cost of simplicity and combo capabilities. 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.
Throws and other attacks
Lucas has been slightly buffed via game updates. Update 2.0.0 buffed his neutral aerial by allowing him to grab edges earlier and reducing its landing lag. Update 4.0.0 buffed Lucas in a few more ways: forward tilt's knockback was increased, dash attack's duration was lengthened, up smash gained more invincibility frames during start-up, and up aerial and PK Fire had their ending and landing lag decreased, respectively.
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 ZeRo and 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