Before you Read
Lucas even in his lesser technical smash iteration has many unique characteristics he has of both how universal tech works for him and techniques exclusive to him. He may not need them as desperately as before but that doesn't mean it's not applicable, it's a part of his charm as a fighter. Just be mindful that it takes practice and you don't have to learn everything at once.
Tap Jump Full Hop UAir
Normally, Lucas' Utilt is just barely unable to combo into a fullhop Uair, either having an impractically small percent window or simply not working at all depending on the opposing character. However, due to a quirk with the buffering system in Ultimate, fullhop Uair is able to come out a single frame earlier if tap jump is used rather than a jump button. This single frame is enough to give Lucas a fairly reasonable window to combo Utilt into Uair on many characters (24-38% on Mario, for example), allowing him to access significantly greater reward for landing an Utilt.
Instant Double Jump
Lucas unlike other double jump users has a slower rising double jump so buffering it from a jumpsquat can help with reaching your opponent for a trap or string but in some cases full hop is a lot quicker if you can afford to use platforms. Instant double jump is most effectively used with Bair, Uair and Nair
Pivot Canceling is when a character pivots in the other direction during a dash, and then uses a tilt in the direction they were dashing. If done correctly, the character should slide forward a bit during their tilt. Lucas having one of the safest and most versatile Forward tilts in the game means that you will be using pivot cancel tilts. Because of this, tilt stick is recommended heavily for Lucas.
These tether techniques will be ordered with asterisks in terms of difficulty. (Here is also the Tether tech video guide https://youtu.be/lQv3lUMy2iE/)
The stars below are for difficulty based on how easy or hard it is to pick up and use in a match but also the harder ones usually have smaller windows or tight timings.
At most levels this is likely the most balanced techniques out of the tethers as it isn't too hard to pick up and has useful momentum.
Similar to Snake skip but you double jump then tether and time your down input/ tether cancel after you tether first as you will cancel it and land very quickly onstage. The names imply different things, snake skip implying an arch where you don't actually tether to ledge and just move past the normal ledge and duster slide being a quicker onstage tether landing with momentum.
Very important but it takes a lot of practice. Take your time with this and you will be able to tether towards platforms as well as have a decent onstage tether mixup.
The most precise tether tech that allows Lucas to land onstage from tether with practically no lag.This requires extremely tight timing.This is one of the hardest tether techniques so do not start with this.
The difficulty starts to ramp here as air slide looks a tad bit similar to duster slide but has faster variations, it rewards testing on different drift and stick positions.
Start the tether closer to the ledge than duster slide and snake skip.Hold down through the entire sequence.As you double jump rise from above ledge immediately tether right after. As you get better at air slide, you can add further drift to your input if possible. The faster variations have rope snake retracting more of it's body and sliding it's neck upward and forward.
The ledge timings make it harder to time and you could lose your double jump below ledge if you mess or get hit
An air slide but starting from below ledge. You can add further drift tofor tether twist just like with air slide for faster variations.
One of most simple tether techs but not as useful or safe.
One of most simple vertical tether mixups. You just hold down while latching past ledge with a vertical incline from a double jump. You don't have to press any direction besides down and it will stall or keep lucas floating temporarily as he tethers cancels onstage.
Since tether warps are more specific, they are hard to judge for difficulty as they don't apply to every stage and generally they need more specific setups to pull off. Tether warps tend to be stage dependant. They are similar to Tether cancels but require more specific setups and timing with magnet and this allows you to tether onto platforms.
PK Thunder Bonking:
Also coined as Double PK thunder or thunder wall bouncing, this is the ability to do a second PK Thunder if you are colliding with a part of the stage or wall perpendicularly. (You have a 31 frame window to do this) It is a very important mixup and is most consistent done when recovering on the right side ledge and holding down while doing a more horizontal angle. Be mindful that you will have to practice it differently on each stage as they don't work the same cause of wall differences, ledge and stage layout with unique differences.
Reverse PK Thunder:
A reverse PK Thunder recovery refers to starting a PK Thunder recovery covering Lucas from the front and angling from the opposite side, on the right side blastzones, it's left and on the left side, it's on the right.This also can be combined with other PK thunder mixups like bonking.It helps against characters who tend to edgeguard Lucas as is angling his recovery.
PK Thunderboost and PK Thunder death/non recoverable angles:
A Thunderboost is a vertical PK Thunder angle done by holding down for a bit but not grabbing ledge and shooting past where you would normally reach if you didn't hold down. Be careful as if you angle too much to the blastzone or too inward it could lead to losing your chance to recover back entirely if you don't practice and know the right spacing and angling for it.
The name is from a Japanese Lucas player who made the angle more well known. It is a diagonally down and inward angle that rides Lucas up and towards ledge as a lower and more confusing mixup to the opponent as it seems Lucas would not make it back.
The videos linked as well as this document has additional information on PK Thunder mixup techniques and tether tech. There is also the resources page.
Snakedash and Snakeland: A variation of a full hop ZAir on platforms with no hitbox or a shorthop djcz with no hitbox. This is meant to be a mixup bait option. Snakeland is achieved from doing full hop and zair after the apex of a full hop when you reach a platform. On the ground which is what we call snakedash, you have to do the double jump and zair input early right after jumpsquat ends which means it can be done on frames 3-5. This input is much more consistent to do with tap jump on as you can buffer the early input.
Wavebounce Specials (PK Freeze, PK Fire,PSI Magnet: Although this is a more general tech of combining b reverse with turnaround specials. This is very much a early level or important to practice optimization as you can fake out, be safer during pressure and gain more momentum or distance when landing. You can throw out the projectile in advantage or pretend to go offstage and then switch up where you are positioned or returning to a further back position.
For example, Lucas PK fire naturally pushes him away and he goes even further in the air so adding a wavebounce makes it safer by allowing to retreat or to be able to space the projectile from a different position or timing. Wavebounce magnet and freeze can be used at ledge for messing up the opponents recovery routes, confusing them on where you will land. In these cases sometimes the B reverse is enough of a mixup but Wavebounce freeze can be used to act as if you walked off ledge but in actuality you back onstage.
Double Jump Cancel ZAir (DJCZ):
What some abbreviate as "DJCZ" is an ZAir advanced technique exclusive to Lucas utilizing the attributes of his floaty extended double jump when already airborne from a shorthop or fullhop. When grounded from a standing or crouching position while holding the control stick to the direction you want to face or drift towards, Lucas must first initiate a jump to ensure that this is done from a double jump. After the jumpsquat frames( frame 6 onwards in this case is when lucas can act) input a double jump and zair at the same time.
This does not have to be done immediately after the 3 frames of jumpsquat finish as long as you are airborne and input it 6 frames after the first jump as should allow Lucas to and the hitbox won't cancelled by landing. If DJCZ is inputted too early on frames 3-5, there won't be a hitbox to protect Lucas and he will still have 8 frames of endlag,this is called a Snakedash and on platforms this is used for landing quicker than Lucas would with a waveland. The drift from that forward or back control stick input can be transferred to the DJCZ for fadeback and forward momentum mixups. DJCZ can also be done in place by doing the input by holding down. Be aware that you do not get a djcz but instead double jump rising zair if you don't hold a direction.
If you have already jumped before using this technique or are coming off a platform you only have to perform double jump + ZAir and any direction excluding up at the same time as you already are airborne. Tap Jump makes it easier to do the DJCZ input forward and back as you can hold forward after and only need to press a button jump and Grab This is what people refers to as "DJCZ" or zair chains. Don't fall into the habit of only practicing this and nothing else, take your time and maybe learn to use zair and combo and space with it normally before you learn to apply djcz for neutral and additional combo routes. DJCZ allows for more consistent ways to use falling zair frame advantage while moving. This is what allows it to chain into itself and gives you the opportunity to be close.This makes some confirms more reliable which tends to make Lucas' zair confirms to start from other combo starters. or you could corner carry till they are closer offstage for an easier opportunity to kill and if it's too early.
Slingshot and Dash DJCZ):
Since DJCZ for Lucas is basically exploiting the drift and air speed lucas has while falling lower with a double jump like a fastfall zair, there is a lot you can do with it since it's more than just a tech for specific combos.
The slingshot input aids in making the versatile movement and pressure tool more ambiguous. This can be used in neutral or to ledgetrap or have a flow or tempo for your zair movement. It has strong applications due to it already being a strong tool similar to slingshot Nair and Fair. It opens up more opportunities for pressure or in general finding more effective openings such as spacing Pivot Ftilt or dash back Ftilt, wavebounce PK Fire, Landing Fair, faking out and using regular shorthop zair or full hop fastfall zair. Slingshot lets you emulate more rising momentum with the benefit of djcz being input after you do an empty irar/ shorthop out of a slingshot. It lets lucas space more easily while giving him a chance to be aggressive and get closer to pressure with Dtilt or Grab on shield. The existence and openings created from this variation and optimization makes it so crossing up with moves like Nair or approaching with them is less of a risk as it will be hard to anticipate and read what Lucas does.
Applying a dash in between a DJCZ makes confirming to a kill or edgeguard conversion or continuing pressure in general much more easy as you can close the gap in cases where the zair or sweetspot sends too far and you want to hit the sourspot. This is what people refer to as microdash Djcz or dash djcz as it adds further consistency and reach to Lucas' burst with zair but also how far he can reach when aided with a dash while the opponent cannot act.
Situationally useful or lesser used tech
ACJC Upsmash/ Jump cancel AC Usmash: It is an attack cancelled usmash that goes into jump
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