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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, while he also boasts a large number of high-damaging and powerful attacks that can KO at early percents.
Arguably Lucas's greatest strength is his extremely dangerous edgeguarding game, which is among the greatest in Ultimate, and allows him to easily KO off-stage opponents at unusually early %. PK Freeze freezes opponents and now launches opponents horizontally with powerful knockback, enabling it to KO off-stage opponents at ludicrously low % and making it one of his most infamous edge-guarding techniques. Its incredibly large hitbox makes it an excellent 2-frame punish tool, can be used to punish rolls or techs, and can also be used as a deadly stage spike and ledgetrapping option. PK Fire can be used to snipe offstage opponents for a KO. The orb of PK-Thunder has very high base knockback and hitstun making it extremely useful for dragging the opponent to the blastline, stage spiking them, and sending off-stage opponents far enough from the stage to completely prevent them from recovering. PK Thunder is especially effective against characters with poor horizontal recoveries, who rely on tether recoveries or characters who recover from below, and Lucas can nearly effortlessly gimp them at awkwardly early percents (as low as 0%), while he remains almost completely safely on-stage. PSI Magnet contains a windbox at the start-up of the move 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 or even outright gimping opponents. The move's semi-spike hitbox can KO off-stage opponents at reasonable percentages or put them in a bad position off-stage. Alongside his special moves, Lucas has some of the strongest smash attacks that are also excellent at edgeguarding and KOing, especially his down smash; the first hit is among the most powerful in the game and can KO under 60% at the ledge. Similarily to PK Freeze, it has an extremely large hitbox and a long duration that make it an incredibly deadly tool for 2-frame punishes, and ledgetrapping, while it can successfully catch opponents under certain stages and punish rolling or teching opponents. Also, a reverse down smash can potentially stage spike opponents at the edge, and all 3 hits can even sometimes land if the opponents don't tech the individual hits successfully. Lucas's forward smash is a strong and quick smash attack that can efficiently KO opponents who recklessly air dodge towards the stage. Lucas's up smash is among the absolute strongest and has invincibility on frames 1-7, which allows it to punish ledge attacks with proper timing (although it is situational), and can catch some characters hanging on the edge (although it doesn't work on about half of the cast). Lucas's back and forward throws are strong (with the former being among the strongest) and can force edgeguarding situations and KO at high percentages at the ledge. Lucas also possesses two meteor smash aerials, his back and down aerials, while his forward aerial deals strong knockback and is a reliable KOing option. Overall, Lucas has one of the best 2-frame punish abilities in Ultimate, with his PK Freeze, down smash, forward tilt, dash attack, and down tilt being very efficient (especially the former three), while forward tilt and dash attack are surprisingly powerful for attacks of their type.
Alongside his great edgeguarding potential, Lucas' recovery is among the longest and most flexible 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 a much greater distance, allowing him to safely go far off to the sides or far below the stage to edge-guard his opponents and quickly recover on-stage after efficiently edgeguarding or gimping them. 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. However, it 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 occasionally have some angling issues, and has long ending lag, making Lucas vulnerable to gimps and punishes by some characters.
Another one of Lucas's greatest strengths lies in his excellent comboing capabilities. Thanks to his ability to loop his moves into each other fairly easily, Lucas's combo game is incredibly dangerous and can be heavily mixed-up. 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", the tether grab can combo into itself across the entire stage and can lead to potentially unavoidable and heavily damaging combos, as well as dangerous edgeguarding situations. Up air can also combo into itself multiple times; when utilized alongside platforms for assistance, it can potentially rack up to 70%. Down tilt is fast enough to be able to loop into itself, jab, forward tilt, forward air, a grab or even forward smash, 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, forward air, or another off-stage down air if used close enough to the edge. 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%, and can even lead to an off-stage meteor smash KO when used close enough to the ledge, even though this is more niche and harder to pull off as all the other loops. To compliment his great combo potential, Lucas has many reliable combo finishers; most notably, his powerful and quick forward smash, as well as his exceedingly powerful down smash, are extremely useful for ending jab lock combos as well as down aerial loops.
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. While his forward smash is not nearly as strong as his other smash attacks in terms of range and knockback, it makes up for it by being his fastest smash attack, while still being powerful; this move also has the ability to reflect projectiles and is a great combo finisher. 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 being one of the strongest down smashes in the game). The move is incredibly useful for ending jab lock combos, ledgetrapping 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 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. Alongside his forward and back throws, his up throw is also among the strongest and can KO reliably at high percentages.
Outside of edgeguarding, Lucas has very versatile special moves, PK Freeze has great maneuverability and can be a useful pressuring and anti-air attack. 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 sometimes be used as a combo extender. PK Thunder does not disappear upon hitting an opponent like Ness's but instead the tail hits multiple times. This, coupled with its very high hitstun, makes it possible to combo into itself and is a great damage-racking and shield poking tool. 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, while lacking the early KO potential of Ness's, deals an extreme amount of damage and is also strong enough to KO at the top blast line at reasonably low percents. 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 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). Finally, Lucas has strong wavebouncing abilities, as each of his special moves (except for PK Thunder) gives him a significant recoil which can be very useful for mindgames.
However, Lucas is not without his drawbacks. While he has a powerful pressuring game and can force opponents in a disadvantage state fairly easily, Lucas, himself, has almost non-existent anti-pressuring options, thus, his biggest flaw is his horrible defensive game. Because grabs out of shield have an additional 4 frames of start-up in Ultimate and Lucas lacks a fast grab, up special and up smash, while none of his aerials hit before frame 7, 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 when put high above his opponents, as he doesn't have a good hitbox under him to force landings and being floaty makes him extremely susceptible to getting juggled, while Lucas is nearly incapable of escaping juggles against characters with great juggling abilities (such as Mario) due to him lacking a useful combo-breaking move. As such, Lucas overall has a terrible disadvantage state and one single mistake can potentially cause him the loss of a stock rather quickly.
Outside of his lack of defensive options, despite Lucas having a solid neutral game thanks to his strong zoning options in his PK Fire, his forward aerial and his Zair, he is otherwise 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 underwhelming out of shield options. Also, Lucas notably struggles against characters without energy-based projectiles (most notably Link), as he cannot make use of his PSI Magnet to heal himself against them, and although he has a reflector in his forward smash, it cannot be used in the air, severely hindering his neutral game, while Lucas is virtually unable to succesfully approach without getting hit by a single projectile, while his own PK Fire is too laggy and short-ranged to be useful in camping in those matchups, preventing him of winning any projectile wars against characters without energy-based projectiles.
Also, Lucas has a poor grab game. Despite having decent range, his grab is slow and is easily punishable, while his throws have little utility outside of edgeguarding and KOing. His down throw, in particular, which has been severely nerfed from SSB4, is completely unreliable at setting up follow-ups above low percentages, while it is by far his weakest throw and cannot KO reliably at realistic percentages. Additionally, his DJCZ, while extremely dangerous when mastered, requires perfect timing as to correctly chain it. As such, Lucas' combo game, while extremely deadly, is very hard to master and thus requires good reads and additional high execution in order to get high damage started, and gives him a relatively high learning curve.
In the end, Lucas is gifted with an extremely versatile moveset, with one of the best edgeguarding games in the game, some of the most powerful smash attacks and throws, a long and flexible recovery and great comboing and pressuring tools, Lucas has an excellent advantage state and can rack up damage very easily with his highly-damaging combo strings or with his high-damaging and powerful moves, while he usually does not have much trouble KOing opponents at early percents either with edgeguarding or with his powerful smash attacks. 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 take advantage of his deadly edgeguarding tools by forcing his opponent off-stage with his powerful throws, with many of his aerials, his smash attacks and his special moves being powerful enough to gimp or KO his opponent at exceedingly 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 his decidely average mobility and underwhelming 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 Link) or great recoveries that are difficult to edgeguard (such as Peach), and has an extremely high learning curve.
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, although he recieved much more buffs, 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 comparatively 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 aforementioned 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 through 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 drastically better edgeguarding game, Lucas is overall a much 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. As a result of this, he has a relatively higher learning curve and he now plays better with a mix-up playstyle. 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. Nowadays, he is usually considered as a upper-mid tier or even a high tier character, although it is very much split as to where Lucas really is.
Throws and other attacks
Lucas was buffed slightly via game updates.
Starting with update 2.0.0, neutral aerial was buffed, allowing Lucas to grab edges earlier and having reduced 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. And finally, update 8.0.0 improved the consistency of Lucas' pivot grab by adjusting its axis positioning.
Overall, Lucas is slightly better than he was at Ultimate's launch.
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 mix-up style. He is capable of zoning, primarily through the usage of PK Fire, forward aerial 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 players like Mekos and ChocoTaco. As a result, top professional players tend to be indecisive on placing him: MkLeo, MVD and ESAM place him in high tier; Mew2King and Hungrybox place him in upper-mid tier; and Dabuz places him at low tier. Overall, his current place and viability in the meta is heavily debatable.
Most historically significant players
See also: Category:Lucas professionals (SSBU)
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's fighter spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 300 Gold, but only after Lucas has been unlocked. 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. His fighter spirit has an alternate version that replaces it with his artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Fighter Showcase Video