I think he (it?) deserves his own thread. Guy is serious business.
Anyway, discuss tips/tricks/strats/anything you want.
Let’s start with some basics though.
Pros: Solid air and ground game, high combo potential, decent spacing ability, some good priority on most normals, disjointed hitbox, decent recovery, gets stronger as you take more damage.
Cons: Lack of a go-to KO move and generally weak damage potential, Grab range is pitiful and throws are lacking as well, you need to take more damage to get stronger.
Some thoughts on normals.
Useful, very useful. If you feel like it, you can also try for a dash grab, a tilt of your choice, a F-B, or an Aura Sphere to the face after the second punch. The reason I bring this up is because the last hit of the AAA combo, while it can kill, and has good knockback, it can make it hard to follow up because of that, and you want to be in the guy’s face. But anyway, the combo has a lot of uses, and you can usually connect this after getting a couple of Fairs.
So, Fair - Fair - A- A- (whatever you want)
Lucario sticks his foot out and then hits the ground. Not the greatest dash attack, but it gets the job done. Pops them up, and if you get them with the end of it, you can usually chain it into a Utilt leading into some aerial madness. The actual range isn’t that long, so be careful to get correct spacing when doing instant dash attacks or doing it normally.
- Also, Lucario can crawl. This is useful to get under certain projectiles or sometimes for approaching, as you can Dtilt from a crawl
Fast, and useful, sweeps in an arc over his head, launches into the air, and usually the air is where you want the opponent to be with Lucario. It starts from his back and sweeps towards the front, so if you have them behind you and don’t think a Dsmash will be fast enough, use Utilt. Also, if you get this at the end of your dash attack, it connects for free usually, and you may even be able to get two of them in. Afterwards, you can Nair or Usmash, or Uair or whatever you want. So, instant dash attack at the right distance could lead to a couple of these.
I find this more useful than Fsmash. You do less damage, but it’s MUCH faster, and leaves you less open to counter-attacks or just getting your attack beaten out by a quicker one.
Also useful to pop them up into the air, and it is faster than it seems. This and Ftilt are good to use during AAA combos.
This thing can kill and has huge range (around two Lucario lengths away). It’s a semi-useful spacing tool because of the huge disjointed hitbox on it. The downside? It’s slow and takes forever to come out. Use caution with this as you can easily be stuffed by a quicker attack (and there are a whoooole bunch of things faster than this).
This is probably the smash of choice for most people. Faster than Fsmash but still has some decent KO potential (we’re talking like 120% which is pretty average). It hits both sides of you simultaneously, which is also useful to catch rollers. Doesn’t have as much range, but it does cover both sides of you at the same time, so yeah, use it.
I’m personally not very fond of it, I’d rather use Uair or Utilt and then chase. It can kill, but not very well. If someone has more thoughts on its use, please let me know >_<
The hitbox on this is a little strange, he sticks his leg out up and in front of him, but it still can hit on the other side of him. This move can get you aerial KOs if at high enough percentages, so it’s worth chasing with.
Some people like this move a lot (that guide on SWF says this is his “best” aerial), I personally do not agree. It has a sweetspot, which does do a good amount of damage, but it comes out somewhat slow, and has a relatively small hitbox. Another thing to note, like Nair, this move has a lot of lag, and cannot be repeated like Fair, Dair and Uair. Again, any more input would be appreciated, but I don’t use this move very much in favor of Fair/Dair/Uair.
Hits all around you, and has some pretty good knockback on it. The downside is that it lags when used early in a jump. However, if used while close to the ground, the move has close to no lag (EmblemLord brings up that the lag is 3 frames or so). So, this move is good to use after a Fair, as it comes out very quickly and at the right distance above the ground will have next to no lag, setting up follow-ups of your choice. Another thing to note is that it has more knockback/does more damage if you connect right as the move comes out, rather than brushing them with the hitbox.
This is probably the move you’re going to use the most, along with Dair. Kicks out in front of him with good range and some nice priority, and upon connecting, you’re usually able to get your choice of another Fair, Dair or Nair afterward. Doing two of them in a row, you can even get an AAA combo when you hit the ground, and follow that up with whatever you want. In any case, you’re going to be using this a lot.
THE TWO STEP OF FURY! This is arguably Lucario’s best move. Very fast, surprising range below his feet, and good knockback/KO potential. A good move to use when edgeguarding/chasing flyers. Also has little lag. You can use this right after a jump and it will stop your upward momentum, letting you fall right back onto the ground. Also, if you can get a footstool jump, you can get an unblockable hit by Dair’ing right afteward!
Lucario will throw the opponent upwards in front of him. At very low percentages against fast fallers, you may be able to chaingrab. Otherwise, you can try to follow up with some aerial combos.
Kind of like Uthrow, except he bounces the opponent off the ground, causing them to fly much higher. Not so useful if you’re trying to follow directly, but it does give you a bit of breathing room.
Just throws them out in front of you, nothing flashy.
Bounces them off the ground, and they fly horizontally away from you. This one actually has some KO potential. If they’re around 130% or so, Bthrowing when your back is to the edge just might score you a kill. Keep that in mind if you’re aiming to just KO them straight off.
All in all, Lucario’s throw game is nothing great…add to that his absolutely pitiful grab range and even dash grab range, and it becomes obvious that throwing is not one of your best options.
N-B: Aura Sphere
Pretty much the same as Mewtwo’s old fireball. You can charge it up, cancel your charge with a dash or guard, and let it loose whenever you need. I do find this move VERY useful, however, as it helps Lucario deal with tough in-close but rangey opponents (Meta, Marth, Ike) etc, and is an effective zoning tool otherwise. I use it all the time, and it is very effective. Especially after your % has gone up a little, and this thing really starts hitting hard, it becomes a somewhat effective KO move. Using this out of shield is also very good, or after an AAA combo…or while chasing…there are just a lot of instances where this thing can be useful. So use it, and use it well.
Side-B: Force Palm:
This move is tricky, but can pay off. At close range, it’s a grab, otherwise, it’s kind of like an Ftilt. The grab version, at very low percentages, is Lucario’s chaingrab. It can be tricky to set up and pull off, but it is there. This thing doesn’t KO, but it’s there if you need to get it off during an AA combo or something.
D-B: Me First
Lucario’s counter. I don’t really like it that much.
Some input from Rioting Soul:
"-His counter gets stuffed on the first few frames of start up(as does Ike’s). The energy-charging sound plays but Lucario still gets hit.
-You can counter pikmin if they are clinging to him. And since Lucario gets a bonus when he gets higher damage, this is an interesting match. If you counter the clinging pikmin then you will teleport kick where you were, not where Olimar is. Pikmin guarantees a counter activation, if they cling then you can close in with something extra under your sleeve."
His third jump. You have a lot of control over the direction of this move. It’s hard to explain, but the move recognizes the the path you set out for it. So, if you roll the control stick from up-left to up after activating the move, he’ll go up left and up. It takes a bit of experimenting to get used to, but it allows for a variety of approaches back to the stage. I use it horizontally sometimes to evade edgeguarders or to sweetspot horizontally. One thing to note is that this thing goes very far. Another thing is that if you bounce yourself off the ground, you have slightly less lag than just landing normally.
(Some strategy thoughts and notes probably to be added later)