We had a look at Lucario last time, but this time around, we'll discuss him in a bit more detail as far as what his new options afford him the ability to accomplish. Combos are the name of the game with Lucario. His individual attacks aren't especially powerful, so to rack up the damage and prep for a kill, you'll want to string together as many quick hits as possible, always aiming to end with Force Palm. And let's be honest - the new aerial Force Palm is just so fun to use. Just be weary of good techers; they'll be waiting to punish you, so follow with a down air or neutral air to be safe.
Buffering was touched on quite a bit before, but the creative player can do some great things with it. For instance, on larger and/or heavier characters (Bowser, DK, Captain Falcon, Fox, etc), at low damage, you can rather easily string together loops of a jab > jab > force palm combo. For spacing, you can use forward tilt in place of some jabs, as it covers a bit of distance or your dash attack. The ability to act out of moves so quickly is a huge advantage, as your individual attacks don't deal a huge amount of damage. If you're making contact on anything outside of a smash, you should be aiming to continue the onslaught or end it with Force Palm. Rush and chase; don't let up on the pressure.
If you find yourself edgeguarding an opponent and they're aiming for a ledgegrab, be liberal with your use of down tilt. The trajectory it pops the opponent up at gives you a great opportunity to hop up and use that new aerial Force Palm. If you jump out a bit, you can toss them to their death, and if you have an aura charge (ex move) available, use it here; you'll toss them down and away from the stage. Keep in mind there's no penalty to the aura charge if you miss; you'll only lose it if you connect. At low damage, the opponent can act out of this state quite quickly; don't be deceived by the laziness of the AI. Characters with long/high recovery, such as Snake and DeDeDe won't die to this technique so easily, so that aura charge is well reserved for this position. Don't forget that if you whiff that Force Palm and you haven't finished a full jump, you're going to be fighting to get back to the stage, so weigh your options. If you find yourself recovering, don't be afraid to aura charge cancel your ExtremeSpeed and air dodge at the ledge.
|As satisfying as it gets.|
One last thing; don't forget that your dash attack can cancel into your tilts, smashes and specials. On connection, you can quickly transition into those all-important force palm combos and at medium damage, you can move from dash attack into a well timed up smash. If you don't get "all of it", you can follow up with a neutral air for space; if you do, the last hit of up smash is quite strong and an effective kill. Experiment with Lucario; the combo options are limited only by your imagination and reflexes.
Lucario combos are incredibly fun to string together - tell us your favorites or link us some videos in the comments! Next up, we'll have a look at the new and improved Wolf.