Lucario V
Lucario V

Lucario V
– Champion’s Path

Date Reviewed:
September 29, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:


While this is a top 10 countdown, we’re doing something a little different.  Sometimes, there are cards so closely related that to review one basically means reviewing the other.  Instead of our past solutions, we’re just covering the lead-in card before the actual one to claim the place in the countdown.  We are also including some “Honorable Mentions”, cards which didn’t make the list… but perhaps they should have.  Which brings us to today’s subject, Lucario V (Champion’s Path 027/073)!  There are no [F] type counters in Standard, but there also isn’t any support worth mentioning besides Karate Belt and Martial Arts Dojo.  Both [F] Weakness and Resistance are relatively common, but the Weakness mechanic is more powerful, given the x2 multiplier, so this is still a net positive.  Especially when one of the “big” current decks (Eternatus VMAX) is [F] Weak!

As a Pokémon V, Lucario V gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, can’t make use of certain helpful effects, and is vulnerable to certain counters specific to Pokémon V (or Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V).  This comes with some benefits, though.  Lucario V is a Basic – the overall best Stage – instead of the merely “okay” Stage 1 of baseline Lucario cards.  It also enjoys 210 HP, a good 80-100 more than recent single-Prize Lucario cards, and the same as the Stage 1 Lucario-GX.  It is enough to often survive an attack, and typical of Basic Pokémon V.  Its [P] Weakness is currently not a big deal, as the strong [P] decks from the end of the previous Format seemed to be wiped out due to their [D] Weakness: we’ll have to see if some of the Champion’s Path releases change that.  No Resistance is the worst but still not bad because it is so common, and a Retreat Cost is neither good nor bad.

Lucario V knows two attacks, the first of which is “Aura Sphere”, priced at [F].  This does 40 damage to your opponent’s Active and 20 to one of their Benched Pokémon (your choice); as usual, Weakness/Resistance apply to the Active but not the Benched Pokémon.  A total of 60 for one is not bad, and we’ve seen two different past [F] Pokémon with slightly different attacks – Landorus-EX and Buzzwole-GX – enjoy good runs as highly competitive decks based largely on said attacks.  As for the second attack, “Beatdown Smash” requires [FFC] and prevents Lucario-V (“this Pokémon”) from using Beatdown Smash during your next turn.  Your payoff is a solid 180, enough to OHKO even Eternatus VMAX thanks to that Pokémon’s [F] Weakness.  Sans Weakness, you’re in 2HKO range for most targets, and shaking the “can’t use” condition is relatively simple with the right build.

Lucario V has a shot at competitive success, but it is riding mostly on exploiting Weakness against Eternatus VMAX.  Aura Sphere’s capacity to spread damage, possibly to be followed up by Beatdown Smash, might be enough to handle the rest of the metagame.  Without combos, you’re only able to OHKO multi-Prize Pokémon like Dedenne-GX using Beatdown Smash, and Aura Sphere crestricted to OHKOing the smaller Pokémon (the smallest if Weakness isn’t a factor).  One combo that is almost a given is Martial Arts Dojo; it won’t boost your attack’s Bench damage, but it means 50 to the Active or (when you have more Prizes remaining) 80, which Weakness can translate to 100 or 160.  For Beatdown Smash, Martial Arts Doju ups things to 190 or 220, the latter actually being good.

Karate Belt might be another worthy addition; use Aura Sphere “for free” if you’re behind, and the iffy combo of being down a Prize, Karate Belt, your manual Energy attachment for the turn, and “heads” on a Turbo Max immediately readies Beatdown Smash.  Add in some switching cards and a pivot Pokémon, and I think we have a deck!  Martial Arts Dojo is still probably a must, and backing them would probably be either control elements, or a way of getting extra damage counters on the field.  If you want to focus as much or more on Aura Sphere, Landorus-EX used to be backed by Crobat (XY – Phantom Forces 33/119) and Goldbat (XY – Phantom Forces 32/119; Generations 31/83).  Lucario V can try something similar with Galarian Zigzagoon (Sword & Shield 117/202) and Galarian Obstagoon (Sword & Shield 119/202).  Such a deck will also want to include disruption, because it will take some time to actually rack up your KO’s.

Expanded can try to handle things the same as in Standard, but why pass up all the damage buffs that are available: Diancie {*}, Fighting Fury Belt, Regirock-EX, Muscle Band, and Strong Energy.  There are some other tricks for [F] as well, such as Focus Sash.  Nothing concrete, but plenty of potential, assuming you’re not better off with – for example – Buzzwole-GX or Landorus-EX.  Landorus-EX can use Scoop Up Net, after all… but you’ll loose everything attached when you bounce, so maybe stick with the Pokémon V friendly Supporter, Acerola?  Pre-Releases aren’t happening for this set, nor are there even Pre-Release kits for sale to still try it at home or some informal event.  If you insist, you can do it old school without the Evolution booster, so I’ll score for that… and Lucario V is pretty impressive.  All the worthwhile [P] attackers premium rarity cards, less likely to show up.  This means your Weakness isn’t a problem, and while Beatdown Smash’s effect probably can’t be shaken, alternating between it and Aura Sphere should make quick work of your opponents, whether in a Mulligan build or with additional Pokémon.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 4/5

Probably should have had this card in my Top 10, but I’m not sure what to cut for it.  Even with all the good that I mentioned, for now, Lucario V is another good-but-not-great card.  Recent releases in Japan offer more promise, as they include some new [F] support, so Lucario V may be worth revisiting after the next set or two.

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