Double

Vs. Lucario - "Give 'em the Stick"

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Vs Lucario :Lucario:

 

General Advice 

  • In Field Phase, any Side-Y you do can be reacted to and beaten by Lucario’s side-Y try not to use it too much.
  • Rolling Psybeam (side-A) allows you to break tracking on Aura Sphere, use it to return fire and tack on some chip damage.
  • EX Psybeam and EX Fire Blast beat uncharged Aura Sphere, EX Fire Blast especially. Use them to your advantage if they’re projectile happy.
  • At long range in Field, feel free to stack Sunny Days. Until they close in on you, you can gain support meter nearly uncontested. However, this gives them the chance to gain Synergy through Force Palm.
  • In Duel Phase, midrange is where we want to be. We can anti-air jump ins and boomerang is good for stuffing any approach attempts, but if they sniff it out they can preemptively jump and punish. Don’t overuse this tool.
  • Bone Rush is a very fast, unreactable tool. Make sure you block from time to time as a blocked Bone Rush is punishable.
  • Lucario’s CA is jumpable and can be beaten by 4X provided you know the timing, if you see them constantly charging it, give them a reason to stop.
  • For the love of all that is holy, please block Lucario on your wakeup. Eating 90 damage from a grab is better than losing 200+ from getting hit.
  • Try to keep your Assist up for as much as possible, it’s invaluable in this matchup

 

Recommended Supports 

  • Emolga: Works in nearly every matchup. Makes it harder for Lucario to cover distance in both phases without having to commit an option that would leave him in a bad spot. Pairs well with Fennekin for when you feel you’re being too pressured.
  • Snivy: Braixen has relatively weak anti-airs, and Lucario can get a lot off of a successful jump in. Snivy dissuades them from jumping at you as much and acts as a decent counter to pressure since his only pierce is [CA].
  • Sylveon: Defense boosts helps a lot. Sylveon cuts Lucario’s combos, that normally do around 230+, into combos that struggle to break 200.
  • Umbreon: It serves the same purpose as Fennekin, but it lacks a good complementary option for this matchup. However, Umbreon is capable of holding his own as a single support pick and helps mitigate Jirachi users as it drains Synergy and denies them the opportunity to crit you for a while.

 

Videos

Spoiler

FangShaymin (Braixen) vs Zyflair (Lucario)

 

Vesca (Braixen) vs FangShaymin (Lucario)

 

Double (Braixen) vs SuicuneMaster (Lucario)
 

 

Detailed Overview

 

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Field Phase

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At round start a good check against Lucario is to instantly use Golf Swing, Back-Y, to see what they’re doing. Lucario’s Field walk speed isn’t the greatest, and he can’t avoid it without committing to a CA or jumping backwards which gives you a chance to throw either a delayed Psybeam or get a stack or two of Sunny Day. A lot of field will be waiting for your chance to punish and trying to not get shifted by the wall, where you end up shifted in Field affects how you’ll play Duel.

 

At midrange (think slightly closer than how far Boomerang goes), throwing projectiles **is not** an option anymore. At this range you wait for them to act first, Braixen’s Side-Y can be reacted to and beaten by Lucario’s own Side-Y or Bone Rush and losing field isn’t preferable since Lucario can get access to Synergy Burst faster than we do. If you sniff out one of their options, you can throw out a Boomerang to keep them in line but be aware that if blocked it leaves you at a disadvantage.

 

Depending on the assist you run, you can prolong Field even longer, which isn't the worst thing for us. Emolga makes it harder for him to keep close and Snivy allows you to armor through his attacks and get a hard knockdown, allowing you to gain a few more stacks of Sunny Day if you choose to. Don't be afraid to use them if the moment seems right, Braixen gains support meter just by throwing out moves you'll have them back in no time!

 

Homing Attack is something that's best used in surprise situations. Going through with the entire thing will get you smacked by their "Prayer Counter". It deals quite a bit of damage and will leave you knocked down, giving them a free oki opportunity. You can check them with the first and second hits of Homing Attack, but you should never go further than that unless you actually hit them. 


 

Duel Phase

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Duel Phase is most footsie based. There isn’t really a spot where we can be completely comfortable. If you try to play a pure Zoning game, Aura Sphere is durable enough to punch through anything that’s not Enhanced. At mid-range, any wrong option can result in losing a chunk of health. And at close range, the threat of ESpeed is always present to get them out of pressure strings or just as a call out. That doesn’t mean you can’t get in his face and deal some damage or get a few good parting shots as you make him chase after you, as long as you have your assist up, you’re always a threat.

 

So here are some things you could do at each range:

 

Close Range: 5Y/Y/Y, 5X/X, 2A and 2Y are your safest options in an up close skirmish with Lucario. If you mix up whether or not you go for all the hits of 5Y/Y/Y or 5X/X, you can bait some pretty unfavorable guess out of him. Any time he tries to CA in between those hits you can react with an assist call. Given you’re using an assist that pierces, or extends the amount of time they’re in the CA animation by hitting them, you’ve given yourself a chance to punish and get some damage in. 2Y is your safest check against them but be mindful of your usage, Lucario can j.X or 8X over it on a hard read leading to big punish. 2A has the same use, except it hits mid-low instead of just low allowing it to catch people trying to jump (This can still lose to Lucario’s 8X if they read it). If 2A crits it allows for more damage than what 2Y would allow on hit, even with an assist cancel.

 

8X is somewhat of a risk depending on the Lucario’s knowledge and how close you are to the wall. The closer you are to the wall, the bigger risk you take going for 8X. At this point 8X and all followups afterwards become a mixup and which one you go for completely depends on what your opponent knows, and what you think they’ll go for (and don’t get me started on if he calls it out with 8Y). However, until the Lucario shows that they know the punishes, air dash back is still your safest go-to after 8X. If the Lucario is knowledgeable they’ll punish air dash back with Aura Sphere if they’re midscreen or Bone Rush Upper if they’re close to the wall. Taking an Aura Sphere as a punish really isn’t that big of a deal, you take 36hp in damage and 3 PSP meaning that the next combo they get on you (if they get one) will do that much less. Should you be close to the wall, dashing back after 8X becomes a huge risk. If they call out the dash back, and PSP is low, you’re looking at anywhere between 200~260 damage depending on PSP, more if they’re in Rage or Burst. And that point, if you notice they’re punishing it, 8XX becomes an option as it can dissuade the Lucario from going for a punish. Mixing that in from time to time gives you the chance to use air dash back again and suffer only minimal punishes, if at all. All the risk involved with 8X doesn’t mean it isn’t an option in the matchup, we can still use it to call out 2Ys, and it beats their 8X should they guess that we’re going for a low. It’s just an option that we shouldn’t be overly reliant on at close range.

 

Mid Range: This is what I’d call the “guessing” zone of this matchup. Our safest option is to just wait and be ready for whatever Lucario might throw out at you. With the exception of a random Bone Rush all of Lucario’s possible options have simple solutions, especially if you’ve had proper practice on how to deal with them. Boomerang (6Y) at this range is more of a callout tool and shouldn’t be overused. If you use this in a predictable way, or if they just call it out with a jump, you’re going to eat a Lucario combo and depending on PSP, that’s anywhere from 180~250. If blocked, you’re left at a disadvantage and have to take a guess on what to do next. Your best option is to just block, the worst you’ll take is a grab which puts you back in field where his options to shift you back are quite linear. If you’re feeling a bit risky, you could always backdash or jump, but keep in mind that if the Lucario catches on it’s possible you’re going to eat a large chunk of damage. At this range EX Delayed Psybeam is your best option to close the distance, as it’ll give you a “moving shield”. Lucario can’t safely jump it without being anti-aired, and unless he’s preemptive with Bone Rush or Jump he has to block it. Even trying to CA it can end poorly if you punish the CA or CADC properly. Other than that, there really isn’t much more you can do here. Fire Blast and Fire Spin are insanely reactable due to their slow startup and get you in more trouble than it’s worth, it’s better to just be patient and try your best to not get walked into the corner.

 

Full Screen: Wouldn’t say it’s the best range to be at, but it’s definitely the easiest range to deal with. Unless you’re enhanced, most zoning options will just get blown back by Aura Sphere due to Braixen’s projectiles having low durability. Setting up Fire Spin is a bit of a risk because if they decide to rush in while you’re setting it down, you’re in trouble. At this range, you’re better off Light Screening any Aura Spheres they throw at you and using Sunny Day when possible so you can get your assist up. If you’re enhanced Fire Blast or EX Psybeam will cut clean through Aura Sphere and net you a punish. I’d say the slight downside to being at this range is that if he decides to just sit there and wait he can build Synergy Gauge with his High Stance or gain meter by CADCing your projectiles, which depending on the life/synergy situation it can be a bad idea to let him gain meter like that.


 

What to do for oki

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There’s a number of things you can do if you get a knockdown on Lucario. What those options are and when you should go for it completely depend on range. In most situations, a fully charged Fire Spin is the safest option you have. It also leaves you free to either create more distance or exert more pressure making it your best tool if you’re unsure of what to do. If you’re close during the knockdown Delayed Psybeam is a good check on them as their only way out would be CA or ESpeed, both of which can be dissuaded by grabbing them a few times after the Psybeam. Other than that, you have to respect his wake up more than other characters. ESpeed is always a constant threat, even with our various setups.


 

Defense, the quick and easy version

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Defense against Lucario is very simple. *Very* simple. Just block, simple as that. His grab only does 90 damage, and his mixups are very simple to get around once you’re aware of them. So until you get a feel for what that particular Lucario goes for (although there are some common options they tend to share) just hold the block button. But there are a few moves that Braixens have trouble with, so here’s how to deal with them.

 

6[X]: Mostly referred to as “The Elbow” it’s a move that you’ll encounter a lot. Especially if you’ve been knocked down. The best option to deal with this is to block it, and take the Force Palm chip that’s most likely coming afterwards. They’ll be -4 after the Force Palm allowing you the chance to get out of the corner. It’s possible to to CA Lucario’s 6[X] although it’s not really recommended.

 

Most Lucarios will ESpeed if they see you do CA so hold CA just long enough to armor the first hit of ESpeed, then immediately backdash so the second one whiffs and punish from there. If they decide to Bone Rush, most of them will usually perform the Slam follow up in an attempt to get over your CA. In that case, CADC back and take a hit or two of the Bone Rush on purpose (yes, on purpose) and then CA again to armor the Slam and get the punish.

 

Force Palm is a bit tougher to deal with, since you have to already know that they’re going to go for it. To avoid Force Palm, you’re forced to CADC early, which leaves you open to the other two follow-ups out of 6[X]. If you want, you can risk it by letting go of CA early which would beat Force Palm and Bone Rush, but it’d lose to ESpeed unless you were able to get your CA fully charged. In short, unless you block it you’re literally forcing yourself into a mixup one with a much higher risk than there is reward.

 

But again, if you’re not confident in any of the options stated above JUST BLOCK. Taking a little bit of shield pressure and chip is better than losing HP and possibly the game because of it.

 

 

Bone Rush: This move, if blocked, is literally the easiest thing to deal with from Lucario. If he doesn’t do one of the follow ups, or does the upwards swing you can punish it with either grab or 2X depending on range. If he does the slam you can CA it for a punish, if you’re still not completely confident in it you can continue blocking but just know that he’s safe after that.


 

Fighting Burst

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There really isn’t much to add when fighting Mega Lucario. Overall, fighting against Lucario is the same as usual. Respect 6X, which has a much bigger hitbox and is much harder to jump over. Be careful of throwing out anything with a ton of recovery as his Burst Attack goes nearly 3/4's screen at does quite a bit of damage. Braixen’s 8X becomes an even bigger risk as Burst Attack is now a viable punish to air dash back and an ESpeed to beat a Flame Charge hurts much more than usual due to the follow up. Other than that, respect the Burst armor as usual and you should be just fine. And with that, those are all the tips I have for you in the Lucario matchup.

 

From here on, it’s all about how comfortable you are playing neutral against him and your overall decision making. As long as you play safe and minimize risks, you’ll find that Lucario is one of the more fun matchups we have.

 

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me!

Edited by Double
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