Lucario: now with a few more tricks up its sleeve. Written. http://www.serebii.net/pokedex-bw/448.shtml Status: Done. [Overview] <p>The introduction of Black and White has given Lucario two useful toys that enable him to sweep. Lucario gained Nasty Plot, enabling him to sweep from the special side. He also gained a boost in ExtremeSpeed +2 priority enabling him to sweep more easily on the physical side. Combined with base 110 Attack and 115 Special Attack, this means that he'll hit hard with either offensive stat. Additionally, with a great Fighting STAB along with immunity to Toxic Spikes and a 4x resistance to Stealth Rock, Lucario isn't crippled by entry hazards. However, faster Pokemon that exist in the fifth generation along with Pokemon like Excadrill and Conkeldurr that can stop Lucario's sweep, Lucario will have a hard time cleanly punching his way through teams. Additionally, Lucario has severe four move slot syndrome and has great difficulty covering every relevant threat. Nevertheless, Lucario is still ready to demolish unprepared teams.</p> [SET] name: Swords Dance move 1: Swords Dance move 2: Close Combat move 3: ExtremeSpeed move 4: Crunch / Ice Punch item: Life Orb ability: Inner Focus nature: Adamant / Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Lucario's standard boosting set from fourth generation has come back with vengeance. Not much has changed since then in terms of Lucario's movepool, but not much has to. Unprepared teams fall to the sheer power of Lucario while even prepared teams can have difficulty if they falter.</p> <p>Swords Dance boosts Lucario's Attack to sky-high levels, preparing him for a sweep. Close Combat serves as Lucario's main STAB move, capable of OHKOing physically defensive Skarmory after a Swords Dance. With ExtremeSpeed's boost to +2 priority, Lucario can now outspeed all other offensive priority moves except for Fake Out. This means that he no longer has to worry about Pokemon that use Mach Punch or Vacuum Wave as long as he can KO them with ExtremeSpeed. Crunch hits Pokemon like Jellicent and Reuniclus while Ice Punch hits Gliscor and the genie Pokemon on the switch-in.</p> [Additional Comments] <p>Stone Edge can be used in the last moveslot in order to hit things like Gyarados, Salamence, and Dragonite, the first two of whom can ruin Lucario's sweep with Intimidate and can live a +1 LO ExtremeSpeed even after Stealth Rock. Bullet Punch still has some utility in hitting Gengar, Terrakion, and Choice Scarf Tyranitar, but Lucario loses a useful coverage move in the process. Lucario can also use a Jolly nature in order to outspeed Jolly Gyarados and Timid Suicune, but generally Pokemon that run a positive Speed nature in order to outspeed Lucario are KOed by ExtremeSpeed with an Adamant nature.</p> <p>Stealth Rock is very useful in helping Lucario set up a sweep because it gradually wears down the opposing team. Balloon Heatran, Celebi, Ferrothorn, and Hippowdon are all great partners to set it up. Furthermore, in order to fully assist Lucario's sweep, Pokemon that are weak to Dark-type moves are good partners, luring opportunities for Lucario to set up on a Pursuit or Crunch. Latias and Latios are both resistant or immune to all three of Lucario's weaknesses and can smash through opposing Pokemon with a STAB Draco Meteor. Meanwhile, Lucario resists all three of their weaknesses, enabling him to set up on the moves that threaten them.</p> <p>If Bullet Punch isn't used, a Pursuiter is useful for eliminating Gengar, who is immune to two of Lucario's moves and can KO with Focus Blast. Choice Scarf Tyranitar is a great check for Gengar because he can outspeed Gengar and KO with a Pursuit. Gliscor is also a problematic Pokemon if Lucario is not carrying Ice Punch as he has the defenses to take any hit and KO back with a STAB Earthquake. Rotom-W is immune to Ground-type moves and can hit Gliscor with a Hydro Pump. Bulky Mach Punchers like Conkeldurr can survive a boosted ExtremeSpeed and KO back. Gliscor can easily take any attacks and threaten Conkeldurr with Earthquake. Furthermore, both Gliscor and Rotom-W help against Excadrill because they're immune to Earthquake while Excadrill outspeeds Lucario in sandstorm and can KO with his own Earthquake.</p> [SET] name: Nasty Plot move 1: Nasty Plot move 2: Aura Sphere move 3: Dark Pulse move 4: Vacuum Wave / Hidden Power Ice item: Life Orb ability: Inner Focus nature: Modest / Timid evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>With access to Nasty Plot, Lucario can finally sweep from the special side efficiently. The strong threat of Swords Dance Lucario results in many opponents switching in a physical wall only to be met by a +2 Special Attack Lucario. Aura Sphere and Dark Pulse gain near perfect coverage, only missing out on Heracross and Toxicroak. Dark Pulse gets the nod over Shadow Ball due to its handy flinch rate, which can be helpful in taking down bulkier Pokemon like Reuniclus. Additionally, there's little fear of Dark- and Steel-type Pokemon switching into Dark Pulse because of their weakness to Aura Sphere. Vacuum Wave serves as priority to take down Excadrill and Terrakion along with weakened opposing Pokemon. Hidden Power Ice can hit Landorus, Thundurus, Gliscor, Salamence, Garchomp, and other Pokemon that are weak to Ice-type attacks.</p> [Additional Comments] <p>Modest is used to allow Lucario to gain maximum power in order to sweep through the opposing team. Timid has more merit on this set than Jolly does on the Swords Dance set because of the very real power gap between ExtremeSpeed and Vacuum Wave. The extra speed will enable Lucario to outspeed Pokemon like positive natured Togekiss, Gyarados, Suicune, and Nidoking.</p> <p>Like the Swords Dance set, Stealth Rock support is appreciated to make Lucario's job easier. Heatran and Hippowdon are both great partners for Lucario as Heatran is immune to Fire-type moves and Hippowdon has the physical bulk to take Earthquakes and Mach Punches. Pokemon weak to Pursuit are still helpful, such as Latios, Latias, and Gengar. The Lati twins can smash through the opposing team with their STAB Draco Meteors while Gengar can wear down Blissey and Chansey enough so that Aura Sphere can KO. Gliscor, if Lucario is not using Hidden Power Ice, can be checked by Rotom-W, who can threaten back with a STAB Hydro Pump. If Lucario's not using Vacuum Wave, Excadrill and Terrakion can be checked by Gliscor, who can hit them back with an Earthquake. Gliscor can also check Conkeldurr because Lucario can't KO him with a boosted Vacuum Wave.</p> [SET] name: Agility move 1: Agility move 2: Close Combat move 3: Crunch move 4: Ice Punch item: Life Orb ability: Inner Focus nature: Adamant evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Lucario also has access to a third boosting move: Agility. The previous sets suffer from being outsped by revenge killers like Excadrill and Terrakion. In order to combat this weakness, this set concentrates on boosting Lucario's Speed so that common revenge killers won't be able to outspeed him and quickly revenge kill him. However, this does leave the user with a weaker Lucario because he has no means of boosting his attack.</p> <p>Agility is the main move in this set, enabling Lucario to outspeed Pokemon like Landorus, Garchomp, and Latios. Close Combat gives Lucario the power he needs in order to truly sweep and has 100% accuracy so it won't miss unlike Hi Jump Kick. Crunch hits Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon like Jellicent and Reuniculus that are immune or resistant to Close Combat. Ice Punch rounds out the set by hitting Flying-type Pokemon like Landorus and Dragonite that are resistant to Lucario's main STAB move. It also hits Gliscor although it doesn't have the power to KO it unless he's severely weakened.</p> [Additional Comments] <p>Due to the Speed boost from Agility, Lucario can choose to drop some Speed EVs in order to increase his bulk. 188 Speed EVs enable Lucario to outspeed positive natured Choice Scarf base 110s while 136 Speed EVs allow Lucario to outspeed Choice Scarf Garchomp after an Agility.</p> <p>Without the ability to increase his power, Lucario appreciates entry hazard support to weaken the opposing team. Spikes support is more necessary than the previous sets, making Pokemon like Ferrothorn and Skarmory prized teammates. Skarmory is immune to Ground-type moves while Ferrothorn can switch into multiple Pokemon and set up entry hazards. Ghost-type Pokemon work well with Lucario in order to block Rapid Spin and to enable Lucario to set up on a Pursuit. Jellicent is the best choice because he resists or is immune to two of Lucario's weaknesses.</p> <p>In order for Lucario to beat Gliscor with this set, he needs to be severely weakened. Powerful Pokemon like Haxorus and Dragonite can smash through the opposing defenses and have good defensive synergy with Lucario as well. Latios can launch Choice Specs Draco Meteors and Surfs at the opposing team to quickly decimate it. Despite these powerful partners, there are still Pokemon that can easily check Lucario. Conkeldurr can bypass the Agility boosts with Mach Punch while a healthy Gliscor can survive an unboosted Ice Punch and KO back with Earthquake. Your own Gliscor and Rotom-W can help check both Conkeldurr and Gliscor.</p> [SET] name: Choice Specs move 1: Aura Sphere move 2: Dark Pulse move 3: Hidden Power Ice move 4: Vacuum Wave item: Choice Specs ability: Inner Focus nature: Modest / Timid evs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Lucario is fully capable of hitting hard from the start without the need to boost his stats. While the previous three sets are concerned with taking advantage of a free turn to set up, this set attempts to hit the opposing team hard and never look back. Furthermore, it can catch physically-defensive Pokemon off guard should they switch in expecting a physical move.</p> <p>Aura Sphere leads the set off, boasting both STAB and perfect accuracy. Dark Pulse, in conjunction with Aura Sphere, attains near perfect coverage in just two moves. Additionally, it can flinch the opposing Pokemon, meaning that Lucario can get off a second attack. Hidden Power Ice hits Gliscor, a major threat to Lucario, as well as Dragonite and Landorus. Vacuum Wave can KO weakened Pokemon and deals massive damage to Excadrill, making Lucario a decent check to Excadrill.</p> [Additional Comments] <p>Dragon Pulse can be used over Hidden Power Ice as a general move to cover Gyarados, Conkeldurr, and Gliscor. However, the ability to nab a quick KO on Gliscor is vital for Lucario's role in luring Gliscor in and KOing him, making it an inferior option. The question between more power and more Speed is evident once again. Since this set is based around hitting hard and switching when needed, Modest is more beneficial. However, a Timid nature is still useful to outspeed Pokemon like Suicune and Nidoking.</p> <p>With the pressure that Lucario places on the opposing team, Stealth Rock support is once again vital to capitalize on forced switches. Hippowdon and Ferrothorn both have the bulk to take hits should Lucario be forced to retreat. Lucario also fulfills a role for offensive teams in luring Pokemon like Gliscor in and KOing him with Hidden Power Ice. This makes Pokemon like Conkeldurr and Excadrill good partners because the two of them are stopped by Gliscor. Furthermore, a Pokemon that doesn't mind coming in to Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon is useful to support Lucario after he locks himself into Aura Sphere. Calm Mind Jirachi and Latias as well as Scizor with Roost both help against Pokemon like Reuniclus and Gengar due to their bulk and STAB attacks. Tyranitar is a shakier choice due to his large Fighting-type weakness, but he can threaten the Psychic- and Ghost-type Pokemon with his STAB Pursuit and Crunch.</p> [SET] name: Choice Scarf move 1: Close Combat move 2: ThunderPunch move 3: Ice Punch move 4: Crunch item: Choice Scarf ability: Inner Focus nature: Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Lucario is extremely versatile in both movepool and potential set options. With his wide type coverage, Lucario can use a Choice Scarf to patch up his shaky Speed and revenge kill many Pokemon on the opposing teams. Additionally, immunity to sandstorm and Toxic Spikes and a 4x resistance to Stealth Rock means Lucario can come in many times if necessary.</p> <p>Close Combat serves as Lucario's main STAB move, enabling Lucario to have the power he needs to KO some opposing Pokemon. Also, the extra Speed from Choice Scarf leaves weakened teams hard pressed to stand against a continuing barrage of STAB Close Combats. ThunderPunch hits Pokemon like Gyarados, Jellicent, and Starmie for large amounts of damage. Ice Punch covers Dragonite, Gliscor, Landorus, Garchomp, and other Pokemon. Lucario's decreased power leaves him even more dependent on Super Effective hits. Crunch rounds out the set giving it nearly unresisted coverage with Close Combat and hits Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon like Jellicent and Reuniclus.</p> [Additional Comments] <p>Bulky Water- and Ground-type Pokemon can easily switch into Lucario because of the lack of power behind his attacks. Hippowdon can tank anything Lucario throws at him while Ferrothorn can come into three of Lucario's moves and freely set up entry hazards. To check those Pokemon, your own Ferrothorn is helpful. Not only can he launch powerful Power Whips, but he can also set up Spikes and compensate for Lucario's decreased damage output with residual damage. Latias can come into the various Water-type Pokemon and set up Calm Minds to stop them. Meanwhile, Latios can launch off boosted Draco Meteors.</p> [SET] name: Choice Band move 1: Close Combat move 2: ExtremeSpeed move 3: Crunch move 4: Ice Punch / Stone Edge item: Choice Band ability: Inner Focus nature: Adamant / Jolly evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>Although Lucario's base 110 Attack may be lower than his Special Attack, he can still utilize a Choice Band set effectively due to the sheer power of the moves, especially Close Combat's superior base power. A STAB Choice Banded Close Combat will destroy anything that doesn't resist it, and can still potentially maim enemies unless they are completely immune to it. ExtremeSpeed outpaces all other offensive priority moves except for Fake Out, allowing Lucario to easily pick off opposing Pokemon with the Choice Band boost. Crunch hits Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokemon that resist or are immune to Close Combat like Reuniclus and Jellicent. Ice Punch hits Gliscor, Landorus, and Dragonite, while Stone Edge hits Gyarados, Tornadus, and Thundurus harder than Ice Punch.</p> [Additional Comments] <p>Bullet Punch can replace either of the last two moves to cover Gengar, Tyranitar, and Terrakion if it's necessary, but the loss of type coverage will surely be missed. Similar to the Choice Specs set, Adamant enables Lucario to hit harder with ExtremeSpeed while Jolly lets Lucario outpace opposing Adamant Lucario as well as Timid Suicune.</p> <p>Stealth Rock is helpful in deterring switching and makes it harder for the opposing team to take Lucario's powerful attacks. Ferrothorn and Hippowdon are both good choices for providing Stealth Rock support. With Ghost-type Pokemon being immune to two moves on this set, a Choice Scarf Tyranitar or a specially defensive variant can be used to Pursuit them in order to enable Lucario to freely launch off Close Combats. Choice Band Scizor is also a good choice for that role, but beware as both Tyranitar and Scizor share a weakness or two with Lucario. Gliscor can check Lucario if he doesn't come in on an Ice Punch, making Rotom-W a good partner to tank Earthquakes. Excadrill and Conkeldurr both outspeed Lucario and can KO him, so having your own Gliscor to check both of them is very valuable.</p> [Other Options] <p>Anywhere you see Dark Pulse, you can use Shadow Ball over it. Shadow Ball has a chance to reduce the opposing Pokemon's Special Defense drop, meaning that the following attacks will hit harder. The Special Defense drops can entice the opponent to switch out, causing more entry hazard damage. Additionally, Shadow Ball obtains perfect coverage with Aura Sphere.</p> <p>Hi Jump Kick can be used over Close Combat on all of the sets for a slightly stronger move. However, because it only has 90% accuracy, a miss can be fatal and end Lucario's sweep. Additionally, due to Lucario's poor defenses, the defensive drops from Close Combat don't matter as much. Calm Mind can be used on Lucario to take weaker special hits. However, it doesn't boost as fast as Nasty Plot, which is unappealing when considering Lucario's general defensive frailty. A mixed Cheer Up set can work to utilize both of Lucario's offensive stats, but Lucario's "only" above average 110 and 115 Attack and Special Attack become extremely lackluster without full EV investment, and his ever disappointing Speed and defensive stats compounds the problem.</p> <p>Balloon can work on the Swords Dance set for Lucario to beat Excadrill and Hippowdon. However, without Life Orb, Lucario loses out on a lot of power in his ExtremeSpeed, severely hampering his sweeping abilities. Reversal is an option due to Lucario's immunity to sandstorm and Toxic Spikes. However, like the Swords Dance set, it faces issues with coverage. Additionally, the prevalence of priority makes it harder to actually pull off a successful Reversal sweep.</p> [Checks and Counters] <p>Gliscor can come in on anything except for a Hidden Power Ice or a boosted Ice Punch and KO back with Earthquake. Although Excadrill can't take a hit as easily, he can still outspeed Lucario in sandstorm and KO him with Earthquake. Because of Conkeldurr's bulk, he survives even a +2 Life Orbed ExtremeSpeed and can deal massive damage back with Mach Punch or Drain Punch. Although he can't switch into Fighting-type moves, Choice Scarf Heatran can come in on anything else and KO with a STAB Flamethrower or Fire Blast. Gengar can come in on an Aura Sphere, Close Combat, or ExtremeSpeed and either KO with Focus Blast or deal large amounts of damage with Hidden Power Fire.</p> <p>Intimidate can put a damper on Swords Dance Lucario's sweep and helps its users check Lucario more easily. Salamence ends up living a +1 Life Orb ExtremeSpeed and can KO back with Earthquake or Fire Blast, while RestTalk Gyarados has the bulk necessary in order to take any hit except for Stone Edge. Choice Scarf Tyranitar can check Lucario with Superpower and Earthquake as long as Lucario doesn't have Vacuum Wave, Bullet Punch, or some form of Speed boost. In the same vein, Terrakion functions similarly to Tyranitar and can KO Lucario with Close Combat or Earthquake.</p> <p>If Lucario doesn't have ExtremeSpeed or hit it on the switch with Hidden Power Ice or Ice punch, Landorus can outspeed Lucario and KO him with Earthquake. Without Crunch, Shadow Ball, or Dark Pulse, Reuniclus can survive any hit and KO back with Focus Blast. It should be noted that the majority of the Pokemon listed above are not true counters and will take heavy damage or be outright destroyed should they switch into the wrong attack. Some of the Pokemon listed, like Excadrill and Salamence, take large amounts of damage even on a resisted move.</p> [Dream World] <p>Lucario's Dream World ability, Justified, is a very useful one, especially on the Swords Dance set. It means that coming in on a Crunch or a Dark Pulse nets Lucario a +1 Attack boost. The additional power boost is extremely useful. For example, Salamence can't live a +2 Life Orb ExtremeSpeed after Stealth Rock and Garchomp can't live a +3 Life Orb ExtremeSpeed after Spikes damage. The Choice Band sets would also like the extra added power.</p> <p>However, due to breeding and tutoring incompatibilities, Lucario loses out on Agility, Crunch, Ice Punch, ThunderPunch, and Bullet Punch, meaning that Lucario has to use Stone Edge as his main fourth move on the attacking sets. He is also forced to use Stone Edge on the Choice Band set. Additionally, with Justified, Lucario gives up Inner Focus. However, since the Pokemon that force him out don't utilize flinching moves, that's not really an issue. The loss of Inner Focus makes itself more apparent against Fake Out users or paraflinch users like Jirachi and Togekiss.</p> <p>As for special sets, they should stick to Inner Focus unless you want to bluff a physical set. However, the loss of Vacuum Wave hardly justifies whatever benefit could come from Justified mind games.</p> Disclaimer: I wrote the Dream World section assuming the released Lucario is male and was released as a Riolu. If it's released as a Lucario, the last sentence should be removed as Nasty Plot is a Riolu level up move. If the released Riolu/Lucario is female, then Lucario gets a big boost and shall be written to accommodate that.