Lucina (ルキナ, Lucina) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. She was confirmed as a playable character on June 12th, 2018. She is an Echo Fighter of Marth, thus being classified as fighter #21ε.
Similar to Rosalina & Luma, Cloud and Hero, and unlike other Fire Emblem characters, rather than replacing Laura Bailey with Alexis Tipton, who voiced her in Fire Emblem Heroes and Fire Emblem Warriors, the former's portrayal from SSB4 was repurposed for the English version of Ultimate. Yū Kobayashi's portrayal from SSB4 was repurposed for the Japanese versions of Ultimate as well.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of the third method, Lucina must then be defeated on Arena Ferox.
As in SSB4, the primary difference between Lucina and Marth is that Lucina lacks a tipper, meaning that her sword attacks deal equal damage throughout her blade. While her sword attacks deal more damage and knockback than Marth's weak sourspots, they deal less damage and knockback than his powerful tipper sweetspots. Theoretically, Marth should deal more overall damage when played optimally and can kill earlier, but Lucina can deal consistent damage and kill more reliably without worrying about precise spacing, and her KOing potential is significantly more consistent in comparison, especially at higher percents.
Overall, whether a person wants to use Lucina or Marth is based on their playstyle. Marth relies on spacing, more defensive play, and early KOs with his powerful tippers. Lucina can be played more aggressively, and relies on her more effective combos to increase the damage enough so she can KO the opponent. Marth can be more rewarding if used right, but Lucina's consistent damage and knockback gives her a stronger up-close game, makes her attacks significantly safer on shield and on hit than Marth's sourspotted moves, and gives her better matchups against smaller or faster characters that Marth can have a hard time landing his tippers against, such as Pikachu or Fox. Even without a tipper, Lucina is still extremely effective at spacing. She also shares Marth's other strengths, such as his decent mobility, above-average frame data, strong juggling and edgeguarding capabilities, and decent out of shield options. As such, she is considered to be one of the easiest and most versatile characters in the game, even when compared to Marth.
Lucina's special moveset also possesses immense utility, and in two cases, more than that of Marth. Shield Breaker can break shields thanks to its high shield damage, even when uncharged, and it is useful for punishing rolls. It also grants some horizontal movement, which is amplified when fully charged, deals additional damage should it directly strike an opponent's head, and deals consistent damage unlike Marth's version. Dancing Blade can be used to punish sidesteps and boasts combo, mix-up, KO and even recovery potential. Unlike Marth's version, the move is easier to properly connect due to its consistent hitboxes. Dolphin Slash has quick start-up, provides intangibility during its startup, and is relatively strong upon coming out. These attributes make it Lucina's primary method of recovery, as its speed can make it difficult to intercept, especially from out of shield. In addition, its power makes it capable of breaking combos, and even stage spiking reckless edgeguarding attempts. Lastly, Counter is a counterattack with a 1.2× damage multiplier that can KO an opponent who uses a sufficiently strong attack, and can also be used to edgeguard many recovery moves with damaging hitboxes.
Despite her strengths and versatility, Lucina is not without flaws, most of them shared with Marth. As a solely sword-based character, her otherwise-excellent neutral game suffers from her lack of a projectile, and she can struggle against projectile-heavy characters and playstyles. This ties in with her vulnerability once she loses the neutral game, as despite having a below-average weight and only average falling speed, Lucina is susceptible to combos, and her tall hurtbox provides an easy target. Dolphin Slash is her only reliable combo-breaker, but as it leaves her helpless, it can inadvertently put her in an even worse position. Also, while Counter can be used defensively, it leaves Lucina extremely vulnerable to punishment should it whiff. Lucina also has little defense against juggling, as her aerials are ineffective at relieving pressure; though her attacks have quick startup and decent range, many of them come with high ending lag, and also suffer from short hitbox durations.
Like with Marth, Lucina's lackluster grab game is another notable weakness. Except for her up throw, all of her throws have low knockback scaling, preventing them from KOing at realistic percents, while up throw can only KO starting at extremely high percents if Lucina has no rage. Her only other throw with utility is her down throw, which has limited combo potential outside of lower percents due to its high base knockback. However, it should be noted that the high base knockback of her forward and back throws allow Lucina to take advantage of her good edgeguarding capability, especially at the edge.
Lucina herself is somewhat vulnerable to edgeguarding, though she has options for mix-ups with her recovery. Dolphin Slash is her only reliable vertical recovery option, and while it is still a threat to edgeguarders due to its speed and high stage spike ability, its path is linear and its distance fixed, making it fairly predictable. Additionally, since this move grants little horizontal distance, Lucina is vulnerable to semi-spikes. While Shield Breaker can aid her horizontal recovery, it covers little distance without charging. Lucina is also heavily reliant on her double jump for mix-ups in her recovery, and is in significant danger if offstage without it.
Overall, Lucina is a "lower-risk, higher-reward" version of Marth, and her strengths outweigh her weaknesses. She trades Marth's stronger KO potential courtesy of his stronger but notoriously inconsistent tippers for more consistent spacing and damage-racking abilities, better close-range capabilities, as well as more consistent KO potential. She has a low learning curve thanks to her straightforward playstyle, since she benefits from spacing at close range while also having several fast and reliably strong KOing options. As a result, Lucina has a very large playerbase, and has achieved excellent results and representation courtesy of players like Mr. E and ProtoBanham; as such, she is considered to be a competitively viable character. In recent times, however, her placings have somewhat diminished over time: other sword characters such as Roy and Chrom have achieved higher placings and representation. As such, while Lucina is still widely considered a top-tier character, her overall position remains debatable.
Differences from Marth
As mentioned above, the primary difference between Lucina and Marth is that Lucina lacks a tipper, meaning that her sword attacks deal equal damage throughout her blade. This means that Lucina will be able to rack up damage and KO much more consistently, but in turn does not have the option to KO as early as Marth does.
Lucina was also slightly recloned from her previous appearance in SSB4, as she is no longer smaller than Marth (which increases the size of her hurtbox but improves her range), her up tilt will now move her forward slightly, and she no longer keeps her momentum on her neutral attack and up tilt. Despite losing these somewhat negligible differences, she keeps one other difference from SSB4: her up tilt has a unique sweetspot based on how late into the swing the opponent is hit. This ensures that she can rack up damage more easily with her up tilt as long as she is facing away from her opponent.
While Lucina and Marth have largely identical attacks, mobility attributes and frame data, the lack of a tipper spreads across Lucina's entire moveset, making her one of the more unique Echo Fighters alongside her father Chrom and Ken. As such, these three characters are expected to have their own spots on the tier list, and are expected to be permitted to be used alongside their base fighters in Squad Strike. Lucina has obtained excellent results and representation early in the Ultimate metagame, especially compared to Marth; as such, she is near-universally considered to be the best swordfighter in the game.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
Like her ancestor Marth, Lucina was a high-ranking character near the end of SSB4's lifespan, especially after receiving major buffs from game updates, thanks to her combination of speed and range. Lucina has received a mixture of buffs and nerfs in the transition to Ultimate, although she was overall buffed despite her high-tier placement.
Compared to other characters, Lucina has received few major, direct changes between games, with most of her notable nerfs being shared with Marth. Her previously weak grab game was further weakened, with her throws losing most of their combo and emergency KO potential, which weakens her options against shields. Her KO potential was also weakened, with her forward smash, forward aerial, Shield Breaker and Dancing Blade receiving knockback nerfs. Dolphin Slash and Counter are also slightly more punishable than before. Lastly, her neutral attack, previously an excellent combo starter and neutral tool due to its first hit, has been altered as with most neutral attacks so that it can only follow up into the second hit from the first, completely removing its powerful jab cancel from SSB4 that was vital to Lucina's gameplan. Additionally, Lucina's linear already linear recovery was also made less safe by the changes to air dodging as well as the reduction in edge sweetspot size, making her easier to edgeguard and thus worsening her survivability.
In spite of these nerfs, Lucina benefits from the gameplay changes to an extent far greater than Marth. The ability to dash cancel into any attack improves her grounded spacing ability (especially for her tilt attacks), and allow her to bait attacks with fox-trotting; this is all further compounded by her fast running speed, which has also been improved due to the universal increase in mobility. The reduction in landing lag on her aerials makes them safer for spacing and approaching, while also enhancing their combo ability. The general increase in shieldstun also makes the majority of her attacks safer on shield. All of these changes improve her more aggressive game compared to Marth, as the game's faster pace fosters more aggressive playstyles than in Smash 4, allowing her greater close-combat capabilities to be an advantage in far more situations. Lastly, the changes to air dodge mechanics also greatly enhance her juggling and edgeguarding capabilities, as they provide less leeway for opponents to recover against her wide aerials, further improving her edgeguarding game to the point it is among the most fearsome.
Lucina also received a few noteworthy direct buffs, the most notable of them being to Dancing Blade: the move was sped up greatly, allowing her to link each hit into one another more reliably. A few of her moves received slight damage increases, further helping her damage racking game. Lastly, her dash attack, previously one of her more mediocre options in the previous game, also received a knockback buff, giving it more utility.
Overall, the benefits Lucina has gained from the game's engine have benefited her in several ways that heavily compensate for the direct nerfs she has received, as said nerfs affect her much less than they did to Marth due to Lucina not relying on tippers at all, while the direct buffs she received complement this. As a result of her positive changes, Lucina has been a very high-placing character in Ultimate's metagame so far, with impressive representation and results from the likes of Laid, MkLeo, Mr E and ProtoBanham. As such, she is generally considered to be a top- or high-tier character, and is usually regarded as the best swordfighter in the game, akin to her ancestor in Melee, Meta Knight in Brawl and Cloud in SSB4.
Throws and other attacks
Unlike Marth, who has remained largely intact, Lucina has been slightly nerfed overall, likely as a result of her perceived top-tier status. Update 3.0.0 increased the range of her dash grab, much like Marth, Roy and her father. The nerfs to the shield damage of various projectiles also benefits Lucina, making it easier for her to overcome projectile camping from various characters. However, update 3.1.0 reduced the knockback scaling of her forward smash and forward aerial, somewhat hindering her KO ability, though forward aerial's combo potential has somewhat improved as a result.
For a gallery of Lucina's hitboxes, see here.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
In competitive play
Lucina has seen strong potential even before the release of Ultimate. Pre-release tier lists ranked her as one of the best characters in the game. Many top professionals noticed her strengths over her original fighter Marth, lacking tippers on her hitboxes. She is also complemented with a low learning curve possessed with a simple neutral, above-average edgeguarding, and consistent KO power. She has been a popular choice among all levels of play. MkLeo and Nairo were early pioneers for the character utilizing her as a strong secondary to their mains Ike and Palutena, respectively. Leo went on to win GENESIS 6 and be the runner up for Frostbite 2019. Later on, players, such as Mr. E, Etsuji, and ProtoBanham, use her as a solo main to consistently do well in tournaments. ProtoBanham notably placed well in Japanese tournaments with a 2nd place finish at Umebura Japan Major 2019 and in American tournaments with a 5th place finish at EVO 2019. Although she has seen remarkable success at the top level of play, her results have steadily decreased because of the simple playstyle she has, enabling players to quickly learn the matchup and become more used to how she plays. In the present day, Lucina is still widely considered a top tier and one of the best swordfighters in the game along with Shulk and Roy. Other players, such as Mew2King and Armada, view her as a high tier due to her easy learning curve.
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: A Path of Heroes
All of Lucina's opponents are Fire Emblem characters. They appear in reverse of the order their respective games were released, likely referencing Lucina traveling into the past in her own game.
Note: Additionally, every stage plays a track from the Fire Emblem universe, no matter what universe the stage originates from.
Role in World of Light
Although Lucina does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, she was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (excluding Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Lucina was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. She can be found in the area that resembles the remains of a clockwork guarded by the spirit of Omega Ridley.
Lucina's Fighter Spirit can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. It is also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Lucina 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 it with the fighter's artwork in Ultimate.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Character Showcase Video