Lucina was the strongest amiibo in the late Smash 4 amiibo metagame. While she hasn’t shown that same level of dominance in Ultimate, a handful of determined trainers are bent on proving her worth; as a result, Lucina has achieved consistently high tournament results that have reserved her place in the higher end of the tier list.
Changes from Super Smash Bros. 4
In terms of her power level, Lucina has dropped off quite a bit in comparison to the previous title. Ultimate’s updated AI places less emphasis on counter moves and no longer spams Dancing Blade. Furthermore, aerial play has become much more prevalent, and this hurts Lucina’s viability due to her exploitable recovery. Despite these nerfs, Lucina has retained many of her key strengths from Smash 4 including her signature power and range.
Stats & Spirit Effects
In terms of stats, Lucina is fairly adaptable; using a balanced spread (2100 / 2100) or a fully defensive one (0 / 4200) are both great options that work well on the character.
Like most fighters, Armor Knight and Move Speed ↑ is most optimal on Lucina. This setup’s defense and attack enhancements are too good to pass up, and the slight reduction in recovery potential barely affects her performance.
Other options include Weapon Attack ↑, Air Attack ↑, and Special-Move Power ↑. The current metagame is heavily defensive in terms of Spirit setups, so forgoing Armor Knight in favor of a different bonus is not recommended.
An amiibo becomes strongest if it is mirror matched all the way to Level 50 with its Learn button switched on. Playing a best-of-five match (configurable via the rules menu) will cause it to level up much faster.
Lucina does not benefit from the introduction of off-stage play; in fact, it serves as an incredible detriment to her viability. As a result, she is best played on-stage and should not take risks to gimp opponents. Here is a full breakdown of Lucina’s moveset and which attacks to focus on during training.
- Neutral attack: A pair of sword wipes that serves as a useful mix-up. It’s also Lucina’s fastest move, but forward tilt and downo tilt tend to be more useful due to their increased damage and knockback.
- Forward tilt: A handy interrupt that can punish attacks that forward smash would be too slow to react to.
- Up tilt (Anti-air Slash): Up tilt and up aerial compliment each other quite nicely. Use up tilt and then follow up with an up aerial.
- Down tilt: It can rack up a lot of damage if used repeatedly. Use it several times in a row, but use the actual move somewhat infrequently.
- Dash attack: A great grounded option to punish moves with high ending lag. Combine this move with effective dash dancing and it really shines.
- Forward smash (Dragon Killer): Lucina’s best move. It can be used to rack up damage or net a KO. It is especially useful to punish ledge options.
- Up smash (Justice Sword): Should only be used on Battlefield-form stages to hit opponents on platforms. On flat stages, forward smash is almost always the better option.
- Down smash: One of Lucina’s fastest smash attacks, but it’s overshadowed by forward smash, which is always a better option due to its increased power.
- Neutral aerial: The AI will use its neutral aerial whether it is taught to or not. It’s a useful aerial move that should be used infrequently as the AI will generally teach itself as it levels up.
- Forward aerial: It can combo into itself and can be used for situational edgeguarding.
- Back aerial (About Face): It can be used to kill, but forward smash is generally a better KO option. Can still be used infrequently.
- Up aerial: Lucina’s best aerial move. Use it to juggle opponents and KO at higher percentages. It synergizes with down throw, up tilt, and itself.
- Down aerial: Avoid this one at all costs, as it’s exceedingly laggy and doesn’t accomplish very much.
- Forward throw: Should only be used to throw opponents off-stage. It doesn’t combo into anything.
- Back throw: Just like forward throw. Use it to throw enemies off-stage. Doesn’t combo.
- Up throw: It’s Lucina’s strongest throw and can KO at high percentages. It can combo into up aerials at low percentages.
- Down throw: Can combo into an up aerial or back aerial at medium to high percentages, but doesn’t have much use otherwise.
- Neutral special (Shield Breaker): The AI has trouble with chargeable moves, and Shield Breaker is no exception. It’s best to avoid it entirely.
- Side special (Dancing Blade): Formerly the best move in Lucina’s kit, Dancing Blade has fallen from its Smash 4 grace. The AI does not angle the move properly and seems to aim it at random. It’s probably best to avoid it altogether, but it can be used to rack up damage every once in a while.
- Up special (Dolphin Slash): Recovery purposes only. Whiffing a Dolphin Slash on-stage leaves Lucina vulnerable to attack.
- Down special (Counter): Avoid Counter where possible. The AI has trouble using its counters reactively and often miss the move entirely.
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