Poor unloved Conkledurr. Before it came out, the pitiable pillar Pokemon was destined to rise to the top of everyone’s list and finally unseat Machamp, the perennial king of Fighting types. With strictly better IVs and the exact same ideal movepool, there was seemingly nothing that could stand in its way… until Niantic randomly granted Aura Sphere to Lucario with unexpectedly ridiculous numbers. Even after a slight nerf, Aura Sphere is so insanely powerful that it singlehandedly made up for Lucario’s unremarkable stats. This makes him the best Fighting type available. Poor Conky found himself out of the ring before he was even added to the game! There’s just not quite as much glory in being “the second-best Fighting type”, especially when Machamp is far more available, affordable, and only a tiny bit weaker.
But enough about Conkledurr! Since Lucario’s power comes from its moveset, not its stats, it’s in a weird situation where there are a ton of different ways to stat him out to make an effective Pokemon. Here are five different ways to create a Lucario who excels in different situations:
1. Counter, Aura Sphere and Shadow Ball:
This is the best possible Lucario for raids and gyms, possessing the two hardest-hitting Fighting moves in the game and an amazing coverage move with Shadow Ball. Combined with its Steel subtyping resisting Blissey’s Dazzling Gleam, it can solo gyms while hitting anything for at least neutral damage, and is unlikely to lose his crown anytime soon.
2. Counter, Power-Up Punch and Shadow Ball:
This Lucario is statted out as a generalist for PvP, where Aura Sphere’s stats pale in comparison to Power-Up Punch due to the latter’s lightning-fast charge-up time. You can fire off a new PuP every few seconds, which will make short work of your opponent’s shields. It also boosts your attack by 10% every time. And like above, Shadow Ball is for those times when your opponent resists Fighting.
3. Counter, Aura Sphere and Power-Up Punch:
This Lucario is strictly worse than the last two at their specialty, while being able to fill either role in a pinch. This is the Lucario I use, since Riolu candies are really hard to get and I’m not made of stardust. The loss of Shadow Ball is a bummer, but I appreciate being able to use the same dude for any situation requiring a Lucario.
The above three are by far the most common ways to stat out Lucario. But there are two more options that are even more specialized in their specific niche:
4. Bullet Punch, Flash Cannon and Shadow Ball:
Lucario is also a Steel-type, and this moveset is the only real option if (for whatever reason) you wanted to stat Lucario out as the best non-legendary non-legacy Steel attacker in the game. That being said, it’s generally not worth using. Especially when the best Pokemon in the game, Meteor Mash Metagross, will forever be the undisputed king of that category.
5. Counter, Power-Up Punch and Close Combat:
This is another PvP Lucario, and works especially well against Rocket enemies because of how quickly both moves charge up. Close Combat hits a lot harder than PuP. Both moves will change your stats to be more and more of a glass cannon with every charge move you fire off. If the other PvP Lucario is a generalist, this one is the best Fighting-type specialist for that mode.
Wow! That’s a lot more builds than most Pokemon get. Hopefully someday Niantic loosens their pursestrings and gets more generous with the Riolu candy. There are so many unique uses for Lucario, it’d be a shame if they’d forever be so difficult to get.