Lucario Meta Analysis: The Aura Welding Warrior

LucarioFightingSteel

Being one of the most iconic Pokémon in the franchise, Lucario has always gone on to occupy a spot in the stable of most trainers. And rightfully so!

Lucario is blessed with pretty good stats, an excellent typing that combines one of the best offensive types with the best defensive type and moves that can change the face of the battle.

In today’s article we’ll go over the complete meta defining role that Lucario plays, both in PvP and PvE scenarios of Pokémon GO.


Introduction

Needless to say, Lucario is a meta defining Pokémon at the absolute highest level. In addition, it is one of the most difficult Pokémon to obtain owing to the fact that it is obtainable only as a Riolu hatching from 10 km. Yes, some recent events have boosted the general availability of Riolu through eggs obtained from gifts. Even the shiny is available.

Yet, obtaining a Riolu of desired IVs, giving it a 2nd charge move and maxing it out can indeed be a challenge for a good number of trainers. However, it is all extremely rewarding.
It is totally worth getting a powerful Lucario on your side.

This Sinnoh mascot can kick some real butt and attain some notable KOs for your team. It has some amazing niche uses in Pokémon Go:

  • Is one of the best Pokémon to take on the Team Go Rocket battles. With the right matchups, Lucario even has the potential of sweeping all three Go Rocket Pokémon all by itself.
  • Currently the best Pokémon for cleaning gyms. As simple as that.
  • Pretty good in PvP, with the rare distinction of getting better as the battle progresses.
  • Boasts resistances to some of the strongest types in the meta.
  • Is blessed with a movepool that works wonders in raids, gyms, Team Go Rocket battles as well as PvP. You name it!
  • Last but not the least, its shiny is dope!

With all that being said, let’s dive into the hype surrounding this spirited fighter and check out just how strong its aura is!


Typing and Match-ups

Lucario has a Maximum CP of 2703 at Level 40. It has a dual typing of Fighting and Steel and as such, is weak to Fighting Fire and Ground types.

The combination of Fighting and Steel is excellent and gives it great offensive coverage (due to the Fighting typing) and a whopping 9 resistances (due to the Steel typing). Its set of resistances include these types:

Lucario’s resistance chart
Bug Poison

Rock

Dragon Dark

Ice

Steel Grass

Normal

Stats

Lucario has the following stat distribution in Pokémon Go:

LucarioFightingSteel
Max CP 2703
ATK 236 DEF 144 HP 172
Weak to Strong Against
Fighting Fire Ground Dark Rock Ice Normal Steel Fairy

Moveset Analysis

Lucario can learn the following moves in Pokémon Go:

Fast Moves Charged Moves
  • Counter Fighting
  • Bullet Punch Steel
  • Aura Sphere Fighting
  • Power-Up Punch Fighting
  • Close Combat Fighting
  • Flash Cannon Steel
  • Shadow Ball Ghost

Ruler of the Fighting throne

Lucario from Sinnoh, first of its name, detector of Aura and ruler of the Fighting type meta with iron fists (literally!).

The December 2019 update gave Lucario its signature move: Aura Sphere.

And it turned out better than we expected.

Aura Sphere propelled Lucario right to the summit of the Fighting type meta, finally taking the crown from Machamp.

  • Obligatory note: Machamp, we love you. Thanks for the memories. It was good while it lasted. You’ll still be used.
  • Obligatory note (2): Poor Conkeldurr. You were slated for glory. But those concrete blocks in your hands weren’t good enough for Lucario’s steel projections on his hands. Sigh.

Aura Sphere is theoretically the best charge move in the game and makes Lucario dominate raids and gyms.

The Power (up) to understand Go Rocket science!

Power-Up Punch is a really cool move.

No seriously! How cool is it to see “ATTACK ROSE!” each time you use the move Power-Up Punch in trainer battles until your Lucario’s ATK stat is buffed up to 3 times?!

Also, did I mention that Lucario is blessed with Counter, quite possibly the best fast move in Pokémon Go PvP?

Imagine getting buffs to STAB Counter as the battle progresses? Truly a recipe of defeat for your opponent!

Iron fists

Lucario’s secondary Steel type often doesn’t make sense figuratively. But it’s good that it got this typing.

With Bullet Punch and Flash Cannon, Lucario can certainly pack a punch. But it’s just not that big of a deal in the Steel department with the likes of Metagross and Dialga being around.

A fighter rising above the shadows

Lucario has access to the awesome Shadow Ball, giving it some neat neutral damage and helping it against many of the top meta picks. Not bad at all!

To sum up: Two makes it too good

Lucario is one of those Pokémon that really needs a 2nd charge move to shine.

Counter is the unanimous fast move for Lucario. Great damage and good energy gains make it a wonderful fast move for both PvE and PvP.

Bullet Punch is nice but pales in comparison with Counter.
For gyms and raids, Aura Sphere is a no-brainer. It is this move which earns Lucario the bragging rights to its Fighting type crown.

Power-Up Punch is an absolute must have for Lucario. It is its most lucrative 2nd charge move in PvP, earning it a 100% ATK boost for up to 4 times. This is why Lucario gets better as it goes. Coupled with Counter, a boost or two can help Lucario take out almost everything out there simply through Counter.

Shadow Ball hits like a truck. Wide neutral coverage always helps. In PvP, Shadow Ball can devastate the likes of Giratina (both forms), Mewtwo, Lugia and Metagross.

Close Combat heavy hitting move that charges fast but gives Lucario a drop in defense. It’s up to you if you want to use it or not. Personally, I’m not such a huge fan of Close Combat being run on a Pokémon who doesn’t boast of good bulk. But it’s still good nonetheless.


Lucario’s Ideal Moveset

The ideal moveset for Lucario would be Counter paired with Power-Up Punch and Aura Sphere.

This pure Fighting type set lets Lucario function like a Swiss knife, making it a reliable and highly functional Pokémon in all situations.

Note: The choice of Lucario moveset is subjective. Both Shadow Ball and Close Combat are extremely workable.

  • If you want Lucario to function purely for PvP, you can replace Aura Sphere with Close Combat (charges relatively quickly) or Shadow Ball (nice coverage).
  • Power-Up Punch is a must have for PvP. You can actually take out Pokémon purely by boosted Counter, when unresisted.
  • The combination of Aura Sphere and Power-Up Punch lets you take on any meta, when unresisted.

Note (2): Even the Steel type moveset, though underwhelming in PvE, can take out those pesky Fairy types in PvP!

Pro tip!!!

Riolu

Lucario’s base form, Riolu, is a baby Pokémon. Therefore, don’t forget to give your Riolu a 2nd charge move at a cost of just 25 candies and 10,000 stardust.

Lucario, on the other hand, requires a costly investment of 75 candies and 75,000 stardust.
Going by the rarity of Lucario candies, it would be a nightmare to improve Lucario’s level/CP if you try to give it a 2nd move after evolving.

So, give Riolu a 2nd move first and then evolve into Lucario.


Performance in Trainer Battles

Ultra League and Master League

Lucario is a pretty good for in PvP, owing to the following reasons:

  • Access to the ATK boosting Power-Up Punch and STAB Counter.
  • Various resistances due to the Steel typing
  • Some key matchups against some of the best Pokémon in the PvP meta.

While Lucario is not a top tier Pokémon in PvP due to its just decent bulk, it does have its moments. The fact that it gets better as it goes through a battle and has the potential to trouble powerful PvP Pokémon such as both forms of Giratina, Dialga, Lugia, Tyranitar, Snorlax, Metagross, Togekiss… that is extremely impressive!

Irrespective of how you use Lucario, it always has a high chance of creating a huge dent in your opponent’s stride.

Team Go Rocket Battles

One of the prime reasons why Lucario has risen in popularity, those goons love to throw out Shadow Pokémon, which are basically Pokémon on steroids.

Even if we easily get through the grunts, Arlo, Sierra and Cliff, the boss himself, Giovanni, has always troubled us with his Persian.

With its Steel type resistances, Fighting type super effective coverage (highest of them all, tied with the Ground type) and Counter + Power-Up Punch, Lucario is quite possibly the best Pokémon to ace this rocket science!


Performance in PvE

Raids

Lucario is an excellent Pokémon to solo 3* raids and under ideal conditions and some luck, even a 4* raid boss like the coveted Tyranitar. In a nutshell, Lucario is always your go-to Pokémon to take out a sizeable chunk of the raid boss’ HP.

Gyms

A fighting type Pokémon with the right moves and stats is always bound to be am excellent gym sweeper.

With an impressive ATK stat and the sheer power of Aura Sphere, Lucario finally manages to pin Machamp and Conkeldurr and become the undisputed Fighting type champion of the world!


Conclusion

The best thing going for Lucario is its versatility.

Be it move pool or usage, Lucario always manages to find its niche. It is one of those Pokémon that functions as an ever reliable lead for your team.

Remember me telling you about Lucario having the potential to get stronger as the battle progresses? Fortunately, this reflects even in the meta of the game as a whole. With a possible mega evolution at the horizon, Mega Lucario is undoubtedly a prize to unwrap!

A proud and noble warrior that senses aura and fights like a champ. Goes without saying that Lucario is always a wonderful partner to have!

MeteorAsh15

My name is Niladri Sarkar. A lvl 40 Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown, where I particularly excel with Dragon types, Sandstorm and Rain teams. I love to apply my knowledge and experience of the competitive scene to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go. I also enjoy sarcasm and being a chef.

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