Hey, guys! Arklaine here, and welcome to Cloud Nine’s competitive Lucario amiibo training guide!
Lucario can track a form of energy called an aura, given off by all living creatures. Lucario is the only known Fighting- and Steel-type Pokémon and evolves from Riolu during the day when its happiness is high enough. Lucario specializes in attacks that use aura energy, like Dark Pulse, and its can’t-miss move, Aura Sphere.
This guide is up-to-date as of version 1.1.7 of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Table of Contents
- Section 1: Amiibo Overview / Pros & Cons
- Section 2: Recommended Equipment
- Section 3: Leveling up your Amiibo
- Section 4: Post Level-50 Training
- Section 5: Conclusion & Credits
Lucario cements itself as one of the most prominent offensive threats in the amiibo metagame thanks to its extremely high damage and knockback output. This is due to Lucario’s unique Aura mechanic, which increases the potency of its entire moveset when its own damage percentage increases. An injured Lucario is at its most dangerous, and depending on its Aura and Attack stat, an uncharged smash attack can finish off an opponent at around mid to high percentages. Speaking of smash attacks, Lucario has three powerful smashes that deal great damage, knockback, and shield pressure – they can even break full shields with proper timing! If a Lucario with high Aura gets a shield break and charges up a smash attack, a clean KO is almost always guaranteed. Lucario’s special moves have their uses, too – Force Palm, Lucario’s side special and arguably its best move, gains more range and power as Aura builds up and serves as the most reliable shield-breaking move in Lucario’s arsenal; Aura Sphere, Lucario’s only long-range projectile (but a great one at that), increases in size and strength as Aura itself increases. Along with those, Lucario has a great recovery in Extreme Speed, in which its distance increases depending on the Aura level, and a powerful counter in Double Team, though this can sometimes be difficult to land due to its somewhat sluggish retaliation speed. Finally, to complement its Aura, Lucario is classified as a heavyweight, aiding in its survivability to utilize Aura to its maximum capabilities.
Lucario is not without its faults, though. While Aura helps Lucario nab KOs easier at high percentages, it sometimes works against Lucario – being at high percentages to boost Aura puts Lucario at risk of being KO’d itself. Powerful characters such as Ganondorf and Bowser can threaten and KO Lucario with their own strong set of smash attacks if Lucario cannot finish them off first, and Lucario may also find itself overwhelmed if a fighter with faster attacks, like Luigi or Mario, dodges Lucario’s attacks and gets in close. Lucario, more often than not, also finds itself having to rely on shield break punishes to hit with its smash attacks since all three of them are very slow on their own and can be tough to land, but breaking shields generally isn’t too much trouble for the Aura Pokémon. Lucario also has an unreliable command grab in Force Palm – though the grab itself is stronger than the blast, it has a very disappointing range, being located directly in Lucario’s palm. Not only that, but if Lucario actually manages to grab an opponent with this move, the foe has a huge chance of escaping if they’re equipped with Improved escapability (which they’ll most likely have, seeing as it’s the most common bonus effect run on tournament amiibo). And last but not least, Lucario has two notable AI issues – the first being that it has trouble charging up Aura Sphere, and the second is that it self-destructs with Extreme Speed, though the chances of this actually occurring are very rare. Thankfully, both of these problems can be remedied with proper training.
Lucario is a prime example of a “high-risk, high-reward” amiibo – as its percentage and likelihood of being KO’d grows, so does its power and knockback, growing to a point where a fully-charged smash attack may as well be classified as a one-hit-KO, even on opponents at 0%. The reward outweighs the risk in most cases; due to this, Lucario should definitely not be underestimated as an opponent. It’ll still require some training to become a force to be reckoned with, but that’s why this guide exists: to help you with that training!
Lucario – Recommended Stats & Bonuses
It’s time to train up your own tournament champion! Let’s begin by planning out what equipment your amiibo will have. To many new trainers starting out their journey, this step can be quite difficult due to the many complexities it contains – luckily, this section is dedicated to providing recommended stat spreads and bonuses for your amiibo. Here is my recommended loadout for Lucario:
Point Distribution: +120 Attack / +200 Defense / -200 Speed
Known as “Overload Defense,” this stat spread is exactly what its name sounds like – maximizing Lucario’s defensive capabilities while providing a great boost to Lucario’s offenses as well. With 200 Defense, Lucario is able to utilize Aura to its fullest potential, and with 120 points in Attack, its power is strengthened as well. Speed is lowered all the way to -200 since Lucario’s recovery is great even with the lowest possible amount of speed. Alternatively, you can run “Overload Attack,” where Lucario has +200 Attack and +120 Defense, as opposed to the recommended setup, but it’s generally not advocated due to Lucario’s survivability being of greater concern considering the bonuses the amiibo may run with its spread.
- Improved trade-off attack OR Lifesteal
- Improved trade-off defense OR Improved escapability
- Improved trade-off ability OR Improved trade-off attack
As you can see, you have many options for bonus combinations. To help you not get confused by the many choices available, the recommended setup for Lucario is highlighted in bold. Improved trade-off attack increases Lucario’s preset damage by 30% but boosts attack by 15%, Improved trade-off defense adds another 30% to damage but increases defense by 20%, and last but not least, Improved trade-off ability adds a whopping 60% worth of damage on top of that, but provides Lucario with the following boosts: a 10% increase in attack power, a 20% increase in defense, a 28% increase in ground mobility, an 18% increase in air mobility, and a 15% increase to jump height (that’s a lot of boosts!). Altogether, these three bonuses have Lucario start off at 120% each stock, which sounds crazy in theory, but in practice synergizes amazingly with Lucario’s Aura and defensive stats, turning it into a tanky nuke that presents itself as a huge threat to opponents at any percent. If you do not want to take the risk of Lucario already being at a decent KO range, there are many alternatives: Lifesteal can heal away half of the damage Lucario deals in a single hit 50% of the time; Improved escapability is an option if you fear Lucario will be at the mercy of amiibo with powerful throws such as Charizard or Ness; and a second Improved trade-off attack along with the first will boost Lucario’s attack and percentage by 10%, keeping its combined attack power and percentage at 25% and 40%, respectively. As stated before, you have many choices for your own Lucario’s setup – your best bet is to go with the recommended bonus combination, but the choice (and risk) is ultimately your own decision.
If you feel that you aren’t confident in the stat spread and bonus combination listed above, there’s another page here at Cloud Nine that goes more in-depth on several different setups you could potentially use on your Lucario amiibo, which you can check that out by following this link.
If you didn’t know by now, the bonuses “Critical-hit capability” and “Explosive perfect shield” are banned in the online competitive amiibo scene. That’s why these weren’t mentioned at all. While these two bonuses are banned online, some real-life tournaments, which are far and few in-between, don’t ban them. If you’re reading this guide because you want to prepare for a real-life tournament that allows all types of equipment, use this setup instead:
Point Distribution: +120 Attack / +200 Defense / -200 Speed
- Critical-hit capability
- Explosive perfect shield
- Improved escapability
This is, without a doubt, the greatest bonus combination in the game. Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are incredibly powerful in tandem with each other, as a single perfect shield can possibly inflict up to 45% on an opponent. With this setup, all you really have to do is teach your Lucario to block with perfect accuracy, and it wins – unless the opponent blocks better. Improved escapability rounds out the set, and it’s just as important in real-life tournaments as it is in the online scene.
Just be sure to carefully read the rules of any amiibo tournament you enter, whether it be online or real-life. As stated before, Critical-hit capability and Explosive perfect shield are both banned in online tourneys, so make sure to carefully read the rules before entering. You certainly don’t want your Lucario getting disqualified after all of your “hard work”! If you’d like to learn more about online amiibo tournaments and how to enter one, take a look at this page.
Lucario – Recommended Custom Moves
- Snaring Aura Sphere: A custom for Lucario’s neutral special. This custom travels slower than the default but sticks around for much longer and has a vacuum effect, sucking opponents in. Lucario’s default Aura Sphere is fine as is, but if you want to give this custom a whirl, go ahead.
- Glancing Counter: This custom for Lucario’s down special is considered inferior to the default – it doesn’t actually have a counter effect, but Lucario dodges automatically and retaliates back, even if it isn’t attacked. This is a pretty niche choice; your amiibo could accidentally use its default counter in an undesirable situation, so fixing that problem up with an attack is a possible solution. Otherwise, stick with Double Team.
Feeding your Amiibo
Now you should know exactly what stats and bonuses you will want to equip your amiibo with. It’s time to go ahead with your plan and get your amiibo all set up with its proper equipment pieces! Once you’re ready to roll, boot up your copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, navigate to the Games & More menu, and then go to the amiibo section. Scan in your Lucario amiibo (on Wii U, tap it to the left side of the Gamepad; on the Nintendo 3DS, you must use an NFC reader (sold separately); and on the New Nintendo 3DS, tap the figurine to the console’s bottom screen), and you’ll see a status menu that details its current stats and bonus effects.
Don’t worry about your amiibo’s current level or if you have trained it before. Don’t reset your Lucario just to use this guide – remember, it’s always possible to correct an amiibo’s bad habits.
Step 1: Equipping Three Bonus Effects
We’re going to begin by setting your amiibo up with its three bonus effects. From your amiibo’s status screen, go to the “Feed Equipment” option, and sort your equipment stash alphabetically. You’ll notice that each piece has a “prefix”, and this prefix determines what bonus effect it yields. Here’s a list of some common bonuses and the prefixes you should search for – find the three bonus effects you decided on from the list below, and then feed them to your amiibo in-game. The bonus effects I recommended for Lucario will be underlined.
- All-Around Trade-off (Improved trade-off ability)
- Auto-Healer (Auto-heal capability)
- Escape Artist (Improved escapability)
- Gluey Edge (Easier edge grabs)
- Hyper Smasher (Hyper smash attacks)
- Moon Launcher (Improved launch ability)
- Nimble Dodger (Improved dodge ability)
- Perfect-Shield Helper / Perfect-Shield Whiz (Easy perfect shield)
- Shield Healer / Healing-Shield (Health-restoring shield)
- Shield Reflector / Shield Counter (Mirror shield)
- Shield Regenerator / Speedy Shield Recharge (Improved shield regeneration)
- Trade-off Attacker (Improved trade-off attack)
- Trade-off Defender (Improved trade-off defense)
- Trade-off Speedster (Improved trade-off speed)
- Vampire (Lifesteal)
If you scroll up a bit, you’ll see a visual example image of what the equipment menu looks like, sorted alphabetically. If you find that you don’t have one of the bonuses you wanted to give to your amiibo, leave one of its bonus slots blank, and you can feed the missing bonus effect later. For more information on amiibo equipment, including how to farm for bonus effects and custom moves, check this page before moving on.
Step 2: Rounding Out Stat Values
For many, this is the most difficult step in feeding your amiibo: evenly distributing its stat points. If you decided to follow the recommended stat spread, your ultimate task is to give your amiibo 120 points in attack, 200 points in defense, and -200 points in speed. Don’t worry if your numbers aren’t exact – we’re aiming for a ballpark range with your Lucario’s stats. If you don’t know this already, each piece of equipment has one of three different colors: orange, blue, or green. Orange pieces will increase an amiibo’s attack power but decrease its defense. Blue pieces will increase its defense but lower its speed. A green piece will increase its speed, but lower its strength. You’ll need to use these equipment pieces to balance your amiibo’s stats to the values you want them to be.
Step 3: When Your Amiibo Gets Full
Your amiibo can only eat so much equipment before it becomes full and can’t eat anymore. It’s possible to feed your amiibo more equipment by battling it. You don’t want to formally start your training until your amiibo is complete with the correct stats and bonuses, so if your amiibo becomes full midway through the feeding process, hop into a quick 1-stock game as any character. When the match begins, run off the stage and KO yourself. Your amiibo’s tendencies and habits won’t be negatively affected, regardless of whether it is Level 1, Level 50, or anywhere in between. Your amiibo will then be ready to eat more equipment, and you’ll be one step closer to completing this whole process. Keep repeating this step until your amiibo has your desired stat spread.
Completing the Feeding Process
Once your amiibo is set up with its stat points, bonus effects, and custom moves, you’ll be ready to begin your training. (Or continue it, if your amiibo is already Level 50 and will be using this guide for the first time.) It’s quite easy to make mistakes while feeding your amiibo, however, and if you run into a problem of some sort that you can’t resolve, you can always hop into the community Discord server to ask a question.
Raising your Amiibo to Level 50
Note: If your Lucario amiibo was trained prior to using this guide, do not reset it. This section does talk about raising your amiibo to Level 50, but it also contains helpful tips to use when mirror matching your amiibo. They’ll still be helpful to you even if your amiibo is already at Level 50. Take a look at Section 4 of the guide, which talks about additional post-Level 50 training techniques.
Raising an amiibo to Level 50 is possibly the most boring and tedious part of training that you will ever experience. Since aerial training is frowned upon in the competitive metagame due to how easy an amiibo can block an aerial opponent, you can’t go all-out against your amiibo with combos and edgeguards and expect it to become great – you have to play against your Lucario amiibo very carefully. That’s why, for this step, you’ll be mirror matching your amiibo all the way to Level 50. A “mirror match”, known by some as a “ditto match”, is when you fight your amiibo while playing as its character – so in this case, you’ll need to play as Lucario against your Lucario amiibo. I recommend playing timed matches (anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes will do, but 5 is preferred) on Ω-form stages only.
We haven’t talked much about defense in this guide yet, have we? Well, it’s one of, if not the most important of components towards an amiibo’s success. In the competitive Super Smash Bros. metagame (human players vs. human players), success is all about getting off the strongest combos, playing a good neutral game, and outsmarting and predicting your opponent. But in the amiibo metagame, success is having your amiibo block, then counterattack. To support these components, I’ve put together a list of defensive training tips. Be sure to play by them at all times during your training.
Defensive Training Tips
- Do not jump or use aerials. Amiibo can be trained to block incoming attacks within a fraction of a second – faster than any human. If your Lucario is airborne, it can’t block at all, so if it misses an aerial move, it’ll be left vulnerable to a counterattack. Remaining grounded at all times is every amiibo’s best option and safest playstyle. There have been over 100 tournaments thus far, and each one has shown that amiibo who use or rely on their aerial attacks do not perform well at all.
- Block and dodge attacks as often as you can. Since amiibo can react so quickly, you shouldn’t teach yours to randomly throw out different attacks – instead, your amiibo’s approach should be calm and calculated. During training, block as many of your amiibo’s attacks as you can. After perfect shielding or dodging, respond with a move of your own. When your Lucario is at low damage, use tilts and jabs more often than smash attacks. When it’s taken a lot of damage, switch it up – start using more smash attacks than tilts and jabs.
- Do not make any attempt to combo. Amiibo can only use combos that are hard-coded into their AI, and even these combos aren’t very effective tools in the amiibo metagame. Plus, since amiibo can block and dodge with incredible accuracy, combos will usually be ineffective against them. Focus on well-timed blocks, dodges, and counterattacks instead.
- Don’t be too picky. If you mess up during training, don’t get frustrated and reset your amiibo. In fact, you should never reset your amiibo, because it’s always possible to correct bad habits. If you do make a mistake, shrug it off and just keep going. The level-up process isn’t too important; at the end of the day, it’s the training you execute on your amiibo after it has reached Level 50 that counts.
The defensive training tips apply to every amiibo character. However, there are some tips that apply specifically to Lucario that you will need to play by to ensure your amiibo’s success.
Lucario Training Tips
- Primary damage-racking moves: forward tilt, up tilt, down tilt, and Force Palm. Lucario’s side special is its best move thanks to its overall power and great range, and luckily for us, the amiibo can learn to spam and use it to great effect. Use this move a lot during training – it’s one of Lucario’s primary shield-breaking attacks. As for tilts, every one of them is a viable attack, since they each cover a specific area of range.
- Primary KO moves: forward smash, up smash, down smash, and Aura Sphere. Lucario’s smash attacks, while slow, possess good strength and even greater power when Aura is in effect. If you manage to get a shield break on your amiibo, always charge up a forward smash. In any other situation, use forward smash as well, especially as an edgeguard – Lucario’s forward smash is great at catching opponents off the stage. Aura Sphere is another KO option – but since Lucario, like many other amiibo, have trouble fully charging moves, so always charge up to a full Aura Sphere before unleashing one (the same applies to Snaring Aura Sphere).
- Use Double Team occasionally. While not as good as the other counters in the metagame (such as Marth’s and Ike’s), Lucario can benefit from learning that it carries counter capabilities. Use this sparingly, preferably on Lucario’s slower attacks since they’re easier to telegraph. If your Lucario is packing the Glancing Counter custom, don’t bother using it that much, if at all – it’s inferior to Double Team and only serves to prevent your amiibo from using counters poorly in an unforgiving situation.
If you started using this guide with a Level 1 amiibo, it will take some time for it to reach Level 50. If your Lucario began its training anywhere in between Level 1 and Level 50, it shouldn’t take too long to level it up depending on how much training it originally had. As long as you play by the tips provided, you’ll be well on your way to creating a strong foundation for your amiibo to build on later. Keep in mind that you can refer back to this list at any time in case you want to mirror match your amiibo to refresh its skills after it hits Level 50.
When your Lucario amiibo finally reaches Level 50, its training will truly begin. Much like a real player, amiibo need match experience and practice against different characters, stages, and situations. When you’re all done here, we’ll move on to the most important section of the guide – honing your Level 50 amiibo’s skills and turning it into a champion!
Now that your Lucario amiibo has reached Level 50, things finally get interesting. It’s time to really make it great. Defense and counterattacks are important to your amiibo’s success and all, but match experience is even more important. Your amiibo will need to be exposed to the many possible situations it could face in a tournament setting.
Your Amiibo’s Match Experience
Every character in the Super Smash Bros. roster has their own unique playstyle and a variety of different moves to use. It’s a good idea to expose your Lucario to as many different fighters as possible. The best way of doing this is to have your Lucario fight other amiibo characters. Set the stock to 2, the time to 6 minutes, and have them play three matches. The first character to win 2 matches wins the set, just like in a real tournament! Here at Cloud Nine, we have guides for every amiibo character, so if you have any other amiibo characters left untrained, train them up with their own personalized character guide.
Mirror Matches, Defense, and Counterattacks
As your amiibo’s knowledge of other characters expands, its knowledge of its own moveset will diminish – in other words, your Lucario’s fighting skills will wear down. Don’t get me wrong, match experience is great and all – but your Lucario will require your intervention now and then in order to be successful. Mirror matching your amiibo every so often is a great way to refresh its skills. Remember Section 3 of this guide, where we went over a list of tips you should use as you mirror match your amiibo? Yeah, refer back to that list, and also remember to stay on the ground at all times, and to play defensively.
Speaking of playing defensively, now that your amiibo is Level 50, you can put it through some advanced defensive training. The aptly-named defensive training session will help your amiibo to block incoming attacks and then counter with greater precision. It’s also another great way to refresh your amiibo’s skills, in addition to the mirror match above. To keep your amiibo fresh and at its best, repeat both mirror matches and the defensive training session as much as it’s needed.
Training a champion amiibo isn’t a simple feat, and it certainly isn’t as easy as following a step-by-step guide from start to finish – it requires innovation, creativity, and a lot of patience. Amiibo are finicky things at times, and yours will likely develop a habit you aren’t so fond of; it might use too many aerials or walk right into attacks, for one. Luckily, several resources at Cloud Nine exist to help you to correct these problems. The FAQ will answer most of your questions, but if your question isn’t there, you can join Cloud Nine’s Discord server for additional help.
Thanks for reading this guide all the way to the end! You toughed it out – good job! Though the guide may be wrapping up, your training won’t be done anytime soon. There’s always a way forward with an amiibo, and your Lucario amiibo is no exception to this rule. Again, if you run into any roadblocks along the way, check out Cloud Nine’s Discord server.
If your desire to read amiibo training guides and articles hasn’t been completely satisfied, there are some more posts here at Cloud Nine that you might like. The official amiibo tier list ranks every amiibo’s overall capabilities, and you might learn something new if you take a look at it. The FAQ is another good resource worth checking out. Alternatively, you can head to the master list of guides for even more amiibo training methods!
If you noticed any spelling, grammar, or formatting errors while reading this guide, please either join the aforementioned Discord server to tell us about the mistake. Your help is much appreciated – thank you in advance!
I may be experienced in training Lucario’s amiibo, but I couldn’t have written this guide on my own – many thanks to Blakers, Kausonic, and LittleFang for sharing their knowledge on Lucario! All images you see in this guide were taken in-game by Cloud.