SSBU/Lucas/Strategy

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Lucas


Gameplan Summary

The most common gameplan Lucas will be using is focusing on finding the space or position that is most suitable against the opponent. This would be playing at medium ranges or playing closer at unreactable ranges but there are rare cases where he has to play further out midrange or utilize fire when out of normal disjoint reach. Utilizing shorthop fastfall aerial pressure with Fair, using pivot Ftilt and Dash attack for burst mixups and if close enough using Dtilt and Ftilt. When landing from a shorthop or when retreating you can do Fair to space but also Zair is a longer ranged tool for cases where you want to space further and pressure with higher reward on hit. What this means is that Lucas will be using mainly horizontal pressure and creating situations to gain stage control and corner the opponent or force commitments such as airdodge and double jump to kill them from a conversion, ledgetrap or edgeguard from low to medium offstage distances.

Neutral

Lucas offers two distinct gameplay approaches, each tailored for specific situations. Against opponents lacking the range to effectively counter Lucas's F-tilt, F-air, and Z-air attacks, these moves take precedence. It's advisable to minimize the reliance on PK-fire in such cases, as it's generally considered less potent than the other options.

Conversely, when facing foes with superior range, strategically incorporating PK-fire can disrupt their defensive tactics. This strategy becomes particularly crucial when Lucas holds his position at the stage's center or beneath platforms, aligning with his horizontal midrange style.

Furthermore, Lucas can capitalize on N-air as an out-of-shield option when the opponent lacks a reliable counter. This provides a means to apply pressure without significant risk, making it valuable against both grounded and aerial opponents.

It's worth noting that, as you delve into specific matchups, nuanced adjustments may become necessary. Nevertheless, this overarching gameplan aligns with Lucas's character style, emphasizing midrange play, especially around the center and beneath platforms, on medium-sized stages.


There are more detailed or advanced ways to apply his neutral with zair so this will be linked below in the tech section.

[[1]]

Advantage

Juggling

Lucas doesn't excel in juggling due to his floaty nature and limited anti-air tools. Instead, he relies on different strategies:

- Empty Hops: Lucas pressures opponents with empty hops.

- U-tilt: Functions as an anti-air option.

- Shielding: A safe choice; Lucas can anticipate and catch air dodges even while shielding.

Edgeguarding and Setplay

Lucas shines when it comes to edgeguarding and setplay, especially with the right resources. His offstage attacks are noncommittal, and his extensive recovery allows him to go deep. This area is where Lucas truly excels:

- PK Thunder: An effective edgeguarding tool that allows Lucas to stay safe on stage.

- PK Thunder Runoff: A potent, lagless use of PK Thunder for aggressive edgeguarding.

- Ledge Play: Lucas can hang on the ledge and react with options like PK Thunder, PK Freeze, or aerial attacks.

- Conditional Edgeguards: When Lucas has set up a disadvantageous position for the opponent, he can unleash powerful edgeguards using moves like PK Freeze, F-air, B-air, and D-air.

2 Framing

Lucas has potent options for 2-framing opponents:

- F-tilt: Quick and lagless, making it ideal for 2-framing.

- D-smash: Effective against telegraphed recoveries, offering multiple hits and early kills.

- Tether Trumping: Opens up opportunities for true follow-ups, such as DJ D-air or B-air.

Ledgetrapping and Safe Shield Pressure

Lucas employs a diverse set of tools for ledgetrapping and maintains safe shield pressure:

- F-tilt/D-tilt: Effective for pressuring ledgehang, with quick access to shielding.

- Up-Angled F-tilt: A safe option for calling out jumps.

- D-air: While committal, it features a lingering hitbox, and is amazing at punishing shielded ledge attacks.

- Reacting to Neutral Getup: Lucas can choose from options like F-tilt, grab, DA, and Grab, while spacing to avoid most getup attacks.

- D-smash: Disjointed enough to cover multiple ledge options such as ledge jump, neutral getup and ledge attack when spaced while being safe when blocked

- Short Hops (SH): Lucas can apply potent corner pressure with SH options.

- PK Freeze: Forces opponents to choose an option when they have limited ledgegrab intangibility, but doesn't guarantee a punish.

Tech Option Coverage and Safe Shield Pressure

Lucas excels at covering tech options while maintaining safe shield pressure:

- Dash Attack: Strong KO option that can catch tech in place and missed techs with the same timing, and can hit tech roll back if delayed.

- DJCZ for Creative Traps: DJCZ can creatively force opponents into panic options.

- Platform Pressure: Nair and Bair are effective on platforms, forcing opponents to choose between getup attack or tech in place.

- Upair for Tech Coverage: Works well on certain stages, pressuring opponents to make tech choices.

- Dair: Offers high risk, but high reward coverage on platforms.

- Close to Ledge Tech Options: Specific cases are covered with PK Freeze, Utilt, Dsmash, Pivot Grab, and PK Fire.

- Reactionary Ftilt: Ftilt is effective with trained reaction time, covering limited tech options.

- Dtilt Mix-Ups: Dtilt mixes up tech options and baits shields, similar to spotdodges and rolls.

Lucas boasts a versatile advantage state, capitalizing on understanding opponent habits and adapting to different situations. His precision in punishing jab locks, along with his exceptional edgeguarding, ledgetrapping, and safe shield pressure, makes him a formidable character in skilled hands.

Disadvantage

In Lucas's disadvantage state, strategic choices and mixups play a pivotal role in turning the tables. Here are some examples of what you can so when playing disadvantage:

- Special Bouncing + Floating: Lucas can make use of these techniques to mix up his offstage recovery options.

- B-reverse Magnet Offstage**: A potential survival tactic for Lucas.

- Wavebounce PK Fire When High Above the Stage: A tool for creating space and avoiding danger.

- N-airdodge with Lucas Drift: Combine air dodging with precise drifting for survival. - PK Thunder Strategies (Bonking, Wrapping): Understanding Lucas's PK Thunder intricacies can help you intercept his recovery.

- Tether Options: Lucas has a few options with his tether recovery; be prepared to react accordingly.

- Delayed DJCZ from Ledge: Lucas may employ this to regain stage control. - Commit to Ledge Options (Jumping, Drifting, DJing)**: Be very careful when deciding Lucas's ledge choices, which can stem from neutral getups, ledge jumps, or ledge drops as in a game like ultimate getting ledge-trapped well could lead to losing your stock

- Ledge Drop > PKT1: Lucas might opt for this recovery choice; anticipate it.

- Against Shielding Opponents > Ledge Drop > DJ > Footstool: A mixup to surprise shielding foes.

Mixups that Lucas can employ include:

- PK Thunder Boosting: An unpredictable element in his recovery. - Hakadama Angle: Lucas can alter the angle of his PK Thunder. - Snakeskip: A technique that allows him to slip past edge-guarding attempts. - Ledge Jump > Snakeland Onto the Platform > Shield: A maneuver to regain stage control. - Duster Slide: Another option to shake off pursuers. More ledge mixup and disadvantage mixup details in the techniques page [[2]] [[3]]

Stages

Lucas's stage selection depends largely on the matchup and personal preference.

Here are key aspects of stages to consider, with examples to clarify their impact on your choice.

Platforms

Platforms can greatly benefit Lucas by facilitating landing mixups, escaping corners, and enhancing his combo game. Lucas gains access to various movement options on and off platforms, such as snakelanding/full hop DJCZ, B reverse/wavebounces, and extending upair strings for significant damage. Tech chases can be effectively executed on platforms using Utilt, Bair, or throws. However, keep in mind that platforms can also expose Lucas to platform pressure.

Examples:

- Tri-plats: Battlefield, Yoshi’s Story, Lylat Cruise

- Flat stages: Final Destination, Kalos Pokemon League, (Northern Cave)

Stage Width/Size

The stage's width impacts Lucas's strategy. Wide stages offer room to zone opponents, ideal for matchups where close-quarters combat (CQC) is to be avoided. Lucas can capitalize on DJCZ chains for more damage on wide stages. In contrast, smaller stages are favorable when facing zoners or characters aiming to keep Lucas out. Smaller stages simplify setting up edgeguard scenarios.

Examples:

- Wide Stages: Pokemon Stadium 2, Town and City, Hollow Bastion

- Small Stages: Smashville, Yoshi’s Story

Slants: Slanted stages influence Lucas's combos, with N-air autocanceling, making it easier to string moves together without requiring fastfalls. Slants can also block opponent projectiles but may disrupt combo timings, necessitating adaptability.

Examples:

- Slanted stages: Yoshi’s Story, Lylat Cruise

Ledges and Walls

The presence of walls affects Lucas's recovery and edgeguarding. Walls provide more surface area for PK Thunder bonk mixups during recovery. Edgeguarding with PK Thunder can be enhanced when following walls. However, walls may limit recovery options, leaving Lucas exposed. Thin ledges on certain stages can make PK Thunder recoveries challenging.

Examples: - Stages with walls: Yoshi’s Story, Kalos Pokemon League

Blastzones

Blastzone placement affects Lucas's kill potential and recovery dynamics. Close side blastzones amplify the effectiveness of Lucas's horizontal kill options, while close top blastzones benefit up throw kills. High bottom blastzones limit opponents' offstage maneuverability, favoring Lucas's edgeguarding. Conversely, low ceilings are less advantageous for Lucas, as they benefit characters seeking top-kills and can interfere with PK Thunder recovery.

Examples:

- Close side blastzones help Lucas kill earlier with Fair, Ftilt, Bthrow, Fsmash, and PK Fire.

- Close top blastzones facilitate up throw kills.

- High bottom blastzones leave less space for opponents offstage but can eat PK Thunder during recovery.

You can use the [Tournameta website](https://tournameta.com/stage-comparison/) to compare the blastzones of all legal stages.

In summary, Lucas's stage choice should consider these factors, the specific matchup, and the playstyle of the player.

Tips and Tricks

The most important parts to get used to as Lucas is working on your drift and recovery with pk thunder and tether. Besides the very basic necessities there are specifically shorthop fastfall aerials that Lucas heavily benefits from getting used to early on with shorthop Fast fall forward air being the most important aerial out of the bunch to practice for pressure and conversions. In addition it's very useful to get used to b reverses and wavebounce specials, as well as to irar as Lucas as these mechanics help lucas in general be more ambiguous and more quick and fluid with his movement. Getting used to pivot Forward Tilt and dash back F-tilt will also help with your ground game and spacing.

Counterplay

Lucas counterplay is layered based on your tools and consists of knowledge checks and being aware of the playstyle the Lucas has but there are more general ways to deal with Lucas overall.


- Airborne Pressure and limitations: Keep Lucas in the air to exploit his limited vertical options. Lucas cannot hit you too easily if you full hop approach or air camp and platform camp him onstage. This is because of how he is a slower grounded character that is floatier, so his full hops tend to be the most risk way to double jump from the ground as he doesn't have very early autocancel windows as well and he can't protect himself safely. He takes a long time rise from double jump and in some cases you have more jump reach without the need for mobility or reach cause if you have higher or longer lasting jumps. Crouching can help against his rising mixups as his moves usually are the easiest to hit if you are above or he is close to the ground which links into to keeping Lucas in the air as mentioned before.

- Force PK Thunder Predictability: Predictable PK Thunder recovery spots are prime opportunities to secure an advantage, given Lucas's brief intangibility frames during PK Thunder 2.


- SDI Exploitation: Characters with strong SDI capabilities can effectively use it against Lucas's multi-hit aerials and PK Thunder 2, taking advantage of the increased hitstop caused by electric effects for improved SDI reactions.



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