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 Lucario Analysis

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steel dragons
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PostSubject: Lucario Analysis   Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:58 pm

LucarioAura Pokemon
---
2x
1x
1/2x
1/4x
0x
HP70250-344
Atk110202-350
Def70130-262
SpA115211-361
SpD70130-262
Spe90166-306
Type
Normal Abilities
Dream World Ability
Inner Focus / Steadfast
Justified

Overview

Lucario can be a very threatening Pokemon for many reasons. Lucario has access to a number of good stat-boosting moves, like Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, and Agility, and it has great offensive stats to use these moves with. In spite of its average Speed, Lucario can pick off faster opponents with Swords Dance and Nasty Plot sets by using its powerful priority moves, like Extremespeed and Vacuum Wave. Lucario can have near-perfect move coverage on its move sets due to its access to STAB Fighting moves and strong Dark or Ghost moves. This allows Lucario to be a good offensive Pokemon, and Lucario can take on many common Pokemon in OU with ease. In spite of its low Defensive stats, Lucario has a very good defensive typing, with ten total resistances. Lucario also resists Stealth Rock, and is not affected by Toxic Spikes. These resistances can give Lucario the opportunity to sweep the opposition. Lucario does have its faults though. It has weaknesses to the common Fighting, Fire, and Ground moves, and its low Defenses don't do it any favors. Also, its base 90 Speed is rather low in comparison to other Pokemon, so faster Pokemon can potentially destroy Lucario. Despite these faults, Lucario can be a threat to many teams when used to its full potential.

Sets

Swords Dancer
Lucario w/ Life Orb
Ability: Justified / Inner Focus
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 Atk; 252 Spe; 4 Def
-Swords Dance
-Close Combat / Hi Jump Kick
-Extremespeed
-Crunch / Ice Punch / Bullet Punch

This was Lucario's most popular set last generation, and it is still popular today for good reason. This set utilizes Lucario's great physical offensive capabilities to seek to destroy the opponent's Pokemon. Lucario is even a threat to fast Pokemon, due to its powerful Extremespeed. For the second slot, Close Combat is recommended, mainly due to its 100% accuracy. Hi Jump Kick can be used here, because it does have more power than Close Combat. However, Hi Jump Kick only has 90% accuracy, and it heavily damages Lucario if it does not hit the opposing Pokemon. For the last move, Crunch is recommended to get rid of the Ghost Pokemon that resist Lucario's other moves. After a boost, Crunch specifically helps Lucario destroy Jellicent and Reuniclus. On the other hand, Ice Punch helps Lucario with Gliscor, which otherwise walls Lucario. Ice Punch can also help Lucario with KOing various Dragons, specifically Dragonite, which Lucario out-speeds. Bullet Punch doesn't provide Lucario with any additional coverage, but it can be used to specifically deal with Gengar and Terrakion, which otherwise provide issues to Lucario.

For this set, max Attack and Speed EVs, along with an Adamant nature and Life Orb, are necessary to deal as much damage as possible. Specifically, 252 speed EVs (without a boosting nature) allows Lucario to out-speed max Speed Heatran by one point. A Jolly nature can be used to out-speed additional threats, but none of these threats are particularly notable. Justified is preferred here, because it allows Lucario to get free attack boosts when switching into Dark-typed moves, and Lucario only takes 25% damage from Dark moves. Inner Focus is also a good ability, so that Lucario can hit foes through Fake Out, and be immune to Togekiss' and Jirachi's flinching tactics.

Nasty Plot Sweeper
Lucario w/ Life Orb
Ability: Inner Focus
Nature: Modest
EVs: 252 SpA; 252 Spe; 4 Def
-Nasty Plot
-Aura Sphere
-Vacuum Wave
-Shadow Ball / Hidden Power Ice

Lucario can also use Nasty Plot in order to attempt a sweep. Lucario actually has higher Special Attack than physical attack, which adds to the appeal of this set. Like the previous Swords Dancer set, this set has a powerful priority move in Vacuum Wave, allowing Lucario to pick off some faster Pokemon. Aura Sphere is the recommended Fighting move here because it has a good 90 base power and perfect accuracy. Vacuum Wave is used as a powerful priority move, capable of taking out faster or weakened Pokemon. Shadow Ball is recommended for this set in order to give Lucario perfect coverage, as well as enabling Lucario to hit the Ghosts that resist its Fighting moves. Hidden Power Ice is also an option, as it allows Lucario to hit certain targets, like Gliscor and Dragonite, that Lucario would otherwise have trouble with.

Similar to the Swords Dancer est, max Special Attack and Speed EVs, along with a Modest nature and Life Orb, are recommended in order to deal as much damage as possible. Inner Focus is the best ability to use on this set, as Justified only boosts physical attack and not special attack

Agility Sweeper
Lucario w/ Life Orb
Ability: Justified
Nature: Adamant
EVs: 252 Atk; 252 Spe; 4 Def
-Agility
-Close Combat
-Crunch
-Ice Punch

This set trades the power of the first two sets for the ability to out-speed nearly any threat after an Agility boost. This set has certain advantages over the other boosting sets, as it can beat many faster threats that would otherwise be a problem, like Salamence, Starmie, Latios, Gengar, Infernape, and Terrakion. Going with only physical moves is probably the best option here, simply because, with the appropriate EVs, Lucario deals more damage with Close Combat than with Aura Sphere. Lucario's last two moves, Crunch and Ice Punch, are designed to deal with many of the threats that usually give Lucario problems. Note that Ice Punch does not outright KO the standard 252 HP; 184 Def; 72 Spe Impish Gliscor though, only doing 76.8 - 90.4% damage.

Again, max Speed and Attack EVs, along with the Adamant nature and Life Orb, are recommended to deal as much damage as possible. Lucario may not need all 252 Speed EVs in most instances, but it is still helpful to out-speed Heatran without the Agility boost. Justified is preferred for this set, as an attack boost will really aid Lucario in its chances of sweeping the opposing team. Inner Focus is also a good option, but in this case a possible atttack boost is more important than a flinch immunity.

Banded Lucario
Lucario w/ Choice Band
Ability: Justified / Inner Focus
Nature: Adamant / Jolly
EVs: 252 Atk, 252 Spe, 4 Def
-Close Combat
-Extremespeed
-Ice Punch
-Crunch / Bullet Punch

This variant of Lucario allows Lucario to hit hard right away without the need to use a stat boosting move. Close Combat is Lucario's Fighting move of choice, and Extremespeed is used to pick off the faster threats that may trouble Lucario. Ice Punch is included on this set because of the fast that a Band-boosted Ice Punch KOs the typical Gliscor, and that Lucario is usually faster than Gliscor. For the last slot, Crunch is preferred to deal with the Ghost Pokemon, but Bullet Punch can be used instead to deal with Gengar, Terrakion, and even Tyranitar better.

Max speed and max attack EVs are used to maximize Lucario's potential. An Adamant nature is preferred for the extra power, but a Jolly nature can be used instead, allowing Lucario to outspeed more threats, most specifically Timid Suicune and most other Lucarios. Justified is again the superior ability here, with Inner Focus having its merits as well.

Specs Lucario
Lucario w/ Choice Specs
Ability: Inner Focus
Nature: Modest / Timid
EVs: 252 SpA, 252 Spe, 4 Def
-Aura Sphere
-Shadow Ball
-Hidden Power Ice
-Vacuum Wave

This set aims to take advantage of the fact that most Lucarios run physical sets. Many physical walls like Skarmory and Hippwodon do well taking Lucario's physical attacks, but don't do well taking Lucario's special attacks. Aura Sphere is used here as Lucario's main fighting move. Shadow Ball is used to take care of Pokemon that resist fighting moves like Gengar, Jellicent, and Starmie. Hidden Power Ice mainly targets the common Lucario counter Gliscor, as well as other Pokemon like Salamence and Landorus. Vacuum Wave provides Lucario with a good form of priority, and also enables Lucario to heavily damage Terrakion, which otherwise could be a problem for Lucario.

Max special attack and max speed EVs are used to (wait for it...) maximize Lucario's offensive potential. A Modest nature is preferred for this type of set for the added power, but running a Timid nature does allow Lucario to outspeed certain Pokemon as well like Suicune and most other Lucario. Again, Justified only boosts physical attack, so use Inner Focus for this set.

Scarfed Lucario
Lucario w/ Choice Scarf
Ability: Justified / Inner Focus
Nature: Jolly / Adamant
EVs: 252 Atk, 252 Spe, 4 Def
-Close Combat
-Crunch
-Ice Punch
-Stone Edge

While unexpected, this Lucario can be a good revenge killer. Lucario has many resistances, as well as a resistance to Stealth Rock, immunity to Sandstorm, and immunity to Toxic Spikes, meaning that it can switch into play many times over the course of a battle. In addition, Lucario's moves hit many Pokemon for decent amounts of damage, meaning that it can be threatening to quite a few Pokemon. Close Combat is recommended for the main Fighting move here. Hi jump Kick does have extra power, but smart opponents will take advantage of the fact that Hi Jump Kick does massive damage to Lucario if it misses. Hi jump Kick also has only 90 accuracy, so it always has a chance to miss. Crunch is used to hit some Pokemon that resist fighting moves like Starmie, Gengar, and Latios. Ice Punch is used against certain Flying Pokemon that resist fighting moves like Gliscor, Salamence, and Landorus. Stone Edge may not seem to help Lucario at first glance, but it does hit Tornadus, Gyarados, and Volcarona harder than Lucario's other moves.

Again, max speed EVs and max attack EVs are used for this set. With a Jolly nature, Scarfed Lucario outspeeds all scarfed Rotom-Ws and most other Pokemon for that matter. An Adamant nature could be run instead to give Lucario slightly more power, but then Lucario doesn't outspeed as many Pokemon as it would with the Jolly nature.


Other Options

Hi Jump Kick - Could be used on most of Lucario's sets in place of Close Combat. Hi jump Kick does have more power than Close Combat, but it has less accuracy, and a Hi Jump Kick miss costs Lucario a fair amount of HP. In most cases, Close Combat is better because it is more consistent.
Stone Edge - Could be used on the physical Lucario sets. In particular, Stone Edge hits Gyarados, Dragonite, and Salamence hard.
Flash Cannon - Could be used on Lucario's special sets, as it is Lucario's best overall Steel-typed move. It has inferior coverage though when compared to Lucario's other moves.
Work Up - Could be used on a mixed attacking Lucario. However, Lucario is usually better off just doubling its offensive stats with Swords Dance or Nasty Plot.
Magic Coat - Could be used on lead Lucario sets to reflect back entry hazards and status moves. It usually doesn't have a place on most of Lucario's sets though.

Checks and Counters

The thing with Lucario is that many Pokemon work well against it, but many of those Pokemon have to watch out for one of Lucario's moves. Gliscor works very well in countering Lucario, if Lucario doesn't have an Ice move. Gliscor can actually survive an unboosted Ice Punch though, if it has full health, and can KO Lucario with Earthquake. Landorus also counters Lucario well, and is almost always certain to out-speed Lucario, while Gliscor is not. Terrakion can switch into Lucario's Extremespeed and Lucario's Dark, Ghost, and Ice moves, and it can destroy Lucario with its own Close Combat. Terrakion has to watch out for Bullet Punch and Vacuum Wave though. Gyarados counters Lucario very well, since Gyarados' Intimidate weakens physically based Lucario, and its typing allows it to resist Lucario's Fighting moves. Salamence also works well against Lucario for many of the same of the reasons that Gyarados works well, but it is weak to Ice moves. Scarfed Heatran and Scarfed Magnezone also work well in getting rid of Lucario, just watch out for Fighting moves. Gengar resists Lucario's Fighting and Normal moves and out-speeds Lucario, but needs to watch out for Lucario's 'Ghost hitting' moves, as well as Lucario's Bullet Punch. Also, fast Pokemon that resist Fighting moves like Latios, Deoxys-S, and Starmie can KO Lucario, but need to watch out for its Extremespeed attacks. Lucario's defenses aren't that great, so if a strong Pokemon can switch in safely into Lucario and survive its priority moves, then it can do well in countering Lucario.

Teammates

Entry hazards really work well with Lucario, as they make Lucario's sweep easier. In terms of Pokemon, Rotom-W works very well with Lucario because its moves dispatch of many of Lucario's counters, and because it can switch into most of those counters with relative ease. Starmie also works well with Lucario, and it out-speeds many of Lucario's counters, unlike Rotom-W. Latios also works well with Lucario in the same manner, and Latios and Lucario resist each others' weaknesses. Skarmory walls many of Lucario's physically based counters, and can either set up entry hazards or phaze the counters away. Gastrodon can switch into Pokemon like Gliscor, Gyarados, Heatran, and Magnezone, and proceed to either status them or just outright wall them.


Last edited by steel dragons on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:30 pm; edited 6 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lucario Analysis   Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:01 pm

Justified can be used now, so I prefer that

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PostSubject: Re: Lucario Analysis   Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:37 pm

Ok, all finished with the formatting stuff. Any suggestions / comments / thoughts?

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PostSubject: Re: Lucario Analysis   Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:09 am

You never mentioned Drain Punch. Lucario can learn Drain Punch, which can be used for healing over sheer power. Always mention it in Other Options.

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PostSubject: Re: Lucario Analysis   Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:42 pm

I think Drain Punch belongs on a Bulk Up set, I played with the idea a little, but I don't have good EVs for it atm.

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PostSubject: Re: Lucario Analysis   Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:45 am

I just don't think that Drain Punch works well on Lucario. It does have a decent defensive typing, but it has 70 / 70 / 70 defenses, which really limits its defensive potential. I mean...if someone has a proven Bulk-Up set that works well, then I'll add it, but I don't see any reason to use a 75 base power attack over an 120 base pwoer attack (Clsoe Combat) on most of its sets.

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