Lapras

Lapras, The Transport Pokémon. A smart and kindhearted Pokémon, it glides across the surface of the sea while its beautiful song echoes around it. Crossing icy seas is no issue for this cold-resistant Pokémon. Its smooth skin is a little cool to the touch.

Overview

Probably the most iconic bulky water Pokemon as its sprite was used for surfing in generations 1 and 2. Lapras is a Pokemon that hasn't stood the test of time well until recently, being cursed with Ice as a secondary type and no base stat over 100 bar health. Lapras can come off as underwhelming but shines with its massive coverage options, giving it great flexibility despite middling offenses. Lapras is also one of few Pokemon with an actually fantastic Gigantamax form that makes it a top threat in any format where its Gigantamax form is allowed. This in combination with its G-Max move, G-Max Resonance, makes G-Max Lapras an immense threat to deal with late game.

Lapras is one of the few Pokemon that received a G max form and is a nice option. Fitting the lore of Lapras as a helpful Pokemon, G-Max Resonance sets Aurora Veil, reducing damage its team takes for 5 turns. This makes Lapras immensely annoying as its massive health compounded with the reduced damage, and ability to use Hydration/Rest due to Max water moves starting rain means it will last for a while and deal decent damage. This also makes Lapras a deadly user of Weakness Policy with its fantastic coverage, since it becomes very difficult to KO Lapras with a super-effective move.
Positives
High health makes it quite durable, especially since its defenses are alright at base 80 Defense and base 95 Special Defense.
Lapras has solid coverage options making it hard to pivot around, which is compounded by the fact that many Lapras run Weakness Policy to boost itself further.

Negatives
Ice secondary typing makes Lapras weak to a lot of common threats such as Stealth Rock, Keldeo, and Terrakion. In contrast though, this can be seen as a positive since it makes it easier for Lapras to activate Weakness Policy.
85 base offensive stats means that even with Lapras coverage there's not a lot of damage going around if the opponent avoids activating Weakness Policy.
60 base Speed means Lapras won't outrun anything except for slow defensive foes.

Abilities

Hydration - Heals status conditions while in rain - On a rain team, this is excellent as Lapras can abuse Rest to heal off damage it takes, but otherwise its move slots are often too tight to fit Rain Dance in. This does also pair well with Max Geyser's rain setting option, but it's not always easy to take advantage of this.
Shell Armor - Prevents critical hits - Overall subpar to the other abilities, but this is very useful against Scope Lens Super Luck Togekiss if you rely on Lapras as a Togekiss answer.
Water Absorb - Prevents Water damage and heals ź maximum health - The best in most situations, having an extra immunity that can heal Lapras is very valuable. Unless you're playing with rain support, run Water Absorb.

Movesets

Weakness Policy

-Sparkling Aria
-Freeze-Dry
-Thunder / Thunderbolt
-Ice Shard
Item Attached: Weakness Policy
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs and Nature:
244 HP / 252 SpAtk / 12 Speed
Modest Nature

The premier Gigantamax Lapras set, Weakness Policy is what turns Lapras from a moderate threat to a major problem for most teams. With G-Max Resonance and its insane HP, Lapras becomes incredibly bulky which forces many Pokemon to attack Lapras with super-effective moves to threaten it, thus activating Weakness Policy. Sparkling Aria is Lapras's most reliable Water-type STAB, boasting the same power as Surf but with the added bonus of being a sound move. Freeze-Dry provides the best coverage by hitting Water-types as well as usual Ice-type effectiveness, and also provides G-Max Resonance when Gigantamaxed. Thunder and Thunderbolt both provide coverage against Corviknight and opposing Lapras, and it most comes down to preference of reliability versus power. Ice Shard may seem awkward with a Modest nature, but the priority STAB option is valuable on its own for picking off weakened foes especially after Weakness Policy boosts.

Lapras wants to hit as hard as possible while also having as much HP as possible to take advantage of its bulk with Aurora Veil up. Lapras can choose to run more Speed to outrun other slow Pokemon such as Corviknight, which prevents awkward Roost scenarios. Weakness Policy allows Lapras to pressure a lot of foes that want to attack it with super-effective moves, giving it a lot of added power. Any ability choice is valid, but Water Absorb tends to be the safest to take advantage of Lapras's bulk.

Assault Vest

-Sparkling Aria
-Freeze-Dry
-Sheer Cold
-Ice Shard
Item Attached: Assault Vest
Ability: Water Absorb / Shell Armor
EVs And Nature:
244 HP / 252 SpAtk / 12 Speed
Modest Nature

Mostly similar to the Weakness Policy set, Assault Vest Lapras takes a more defensive approach that does not necessarily utilize the Gigantamax form. Sparkling Aria and Freeze-Dry remain the most reliable STAB options, providing a wide range of utility for dealing with Substitute and Water-types. Sheer Cold may not always be fair game depending on the rules you agree too, but otherwise makes up for Lapras's middling offenses and gives it a way to pressure defensive teams. A 30% chance to remove a threat that ignores any accuracy or evasion changes is nothing to ignore, think of it as an all-or-nothing variant of Scald. Ice Shard is still useful solely for the priority option to pick off weakened foes or Focus Sash users.

Lapras wants to be as bulky as possible, so you can even choose to reduce Special Attack investment in favor of some added physical bulk. Otherwise focusing on HP and Special Attack is ideal, since Lapras still wants to be able to do damage without Sheer Cold. Assault Vest gives Lapras a lot of added special bulk, making it an excellent pivot. Water Absorb is the safe ability choice as usual, but Shell Armor is also good if you're worried about a Scope Lens Super Luck Togekiss breaking you down with its 50% critical hit chance.

Bulky Attacker

-Freeze-Dry
-Thunderbolt
-Hydro Pump / Sparkling Aria
-Ice Beam / Rest
Item Attached: Choice Specs / Life Orb
Ability: Water Absorb / Hydration
EVs And Nature:
244 HP / 252 SpAtk / 12 Speed
Modest Nature

Hydro Pump is the main move of the set having high base power and with a STAB bonus. However, Sparkling Aria is can be used if a more accurate option is desired, which has the bonus of being a sound-based move to ignore Substitute. Freeze-Dry allows Lapras to hit Water types for super-effective damage due to its effect, as well as having solid damage and STAB bonus. Thunderbolt allows Lapras to hit most Water-types that aren't weak to Freeze-Dry, most notably opposing Lapras. Last slot is open for Ice Beam for a more powerful Ice-type STAB, but with Life Orb and Hydration, Rest is an option.

Lapras wants all the offensive power it can get, so Choice Specs and Life Orb with maximum Special Attack investment allows Lapras to hit as hard as possible. Lapras isn't going to be outspeeding much though, so HP investment works out better to increase its overall bulk. Realistically, any of the ability options are valid, though Water Absorb is the preferred choice to effectively punish opposing Water-types so that Lapras can safely retaliate with Freeze-Dry.

Partners

Dragon-types - Lapras does quite well with boosting Dragons as partners due to it baiting in things such as Keldeo and Terrakion, and taking chunks out of them due to its coverage. This can make it easier for Pokemon such as Hydreigon and Dragpault that said Pokemon would revenge kill. Lapras also excels at pivoting into Ice type moves and pressuring other Dragon types with its Ice STAB.
Fairy-types - Similar to Dragon-types, Lapras pairs well with Fairy-types like Mimikyu and Togekiss which easily punish Fighting-types such as Conkeldurr which otherwise threatens Lapras. This also makes it awkward for Galarian Darmanitan to choose a move to lock itself into, often forcing it to U-turn out instead.

VGC & Double Battle Options

Even in Doubles, Lapras finds itself standing out with a valid niche thanks to its fantastic Gigantamax form. G-Max Resonance is a powerful tool even in Doubles, where screens only reduce damage by one third rather than half. Lapras also boasts useful coverage for the Doubles metagame, hitting major threats such as Dragapult, Togekiss, Excadrill, and Incineroar, while also threatening the option of Weakness Policy. Unlike in Singles, the opponent also has less control over whether Lapras gets to activate Weakness Policy, since there are two threats to worry about now. Depending on the setup, Lapras can even rely on a teammate to hit it with a weak Fighting-type move to activate the Weakness Policy. However, the biggest draw to Lapras is still the powerful Aurora Veil support via G-Max Resonance, since now the support is more easily reaching the entire team, rather than in Singles where the Aurora Veil is more self-serving for Lapras rather than its teammates.

Guard Order

- Hydro Pump
- Freeze-Dry
- Perish Song / Thunder
- Protect
Item Attached: Light Clay / Weakness Policy
Ability: Shell Armor / Water Absorb
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Speed
Modest Nature

Hydro Pump may suffer from awkward accuracy, but Lapras also does not have any other reliable Water-type STAB that doesn't also hit its teammate. This issue can be alleviated with Max Moves, and Hydro Pump makes for a stronger Max Geyser so this works out anyway. Freeze-Dry is the best Ice-type STAB Lapras can offer, hitting all the things that Ice-type moves normally hit while also having an option against Gastrodon. Perish Song works out as a late-game cleaning tool that can effectively checkmate an opponent once Lapras has broken its way through the first two Pokemon. However, Thunder can also be used so that Lapras has an option in the mirror match, and the accuracy can even be addressed via Max Lightning, or even from setting rain via Max Geyser. Protect is the supreme defensive positioning utility move, though it also helps Lapras stall out a turn for Perish Song if necessary so there's even greater benefit here.

Lapras can be very flexible with its EV spread, it can go for a simple approach into HP and Special Attack but it also greatly benefits from extra Defense to handle physical attacks from the likes of Excadrill. The EV spread largely depends on what you want out of Lapras though, as it can justify going more offensive or more defensive. Light Clay is the preferred item to make the most of the Aurora Veil set by G-Max Resonance, though this item slot can end up being wasted if Lapras isn't using the Dynamax slot. Weakness Policy can be used to deal with this issue if it's not being used elsewhere on the team, though either way Lapras teams usually prioritize using the Gigantamax form or otherwise have team options that can justify benching Lapras anyway. Shell Armor is by far the preferred ability here since Scope Lens Super Luck Togekiss is a menace in VGC, so denying the critical hits is highly valuable here. However, if you fear Water-type attacks then Water Absorb is also valid.

Other Options & Team Ideas

- Dusclops is a very popular teammate for Lapras for a variety of reasons. Helping Hand is useful to boost Lapras's damage output which it wants as much as possible, and Trick Room can turn its poor Speed into an advantage as well. Dusclops can even utilize Brick Break to self-activate Lapras's Weakness Policy, which will do little damage due to Dusclops's poor Attack. Note that this does break your own Aurora Veil, but you can even use this to your advantage to reset the Aurora Veil counter.
- Fairy-types such as Togekiss and Mimikyu provide useful support against Conkeldurr, which otherwise threatens Lapras with Guts boosted Fighting-type attacks. Togekiss can even redirect attacks from Conkeldurr, forcing it to use Thunder Punch rather than its more powerful Fighting-type attacks.
- Conkeldurr itself is also a good teammate for Lapras to help deal with Tyranitar, which is otherwise an awkward matchup to deal with. Conkeldurr can even reduce the strain of needing Thunder for opposing Lapras matchups, allowing it to more easily justify Perish Song.
- Lapras is already bulky as is, but Intimidate support from Incineroar or Arcanine can make it even more of a pain to take down. Incineroar can even provide Fake Out support, and Parting Shot to annoy dangerous foes further, while Arcanine provides better Snarl support due to its higher Speed.

Countering Lapras

Keldeo - Choice Specs Keldeo is a huge problem for Lapras as Secret Sword plays off its high Special Attack. While its won't OHKO Lapras at full health, Keldeo will outrun Lapras and does not fear being OHKOed in return by Lapras. That said Lapras will still do big damage with Freeze-Dry and will actually OHKO if Weakness Policy is a factor, which can make things awkward
Conkeldurr - While being slower than Lapras is annoying, Conkeldurr doesn't fear being OHKOed by any unboosted attack from Lapras. As a bonus, being slower does also mean it gets to hit Lapras hard after Lapras has attacked, allowing Conkeldurr to avoid eating a Weakness Policy boosted hit from Lapras.
Tyranitar - Despite a Water-type weakness, Tyranitar turns the Weakness Policy problem on its head and can punish Lapras back with a Weakness Policy of its own. Tyranitar's own Sand Stream gives it the bulk to easily take a Water-type Attack while Dynamaxed, and otherwise threatens Lapras heavily with Rock-type attacks.
Kommo-o - While weak to Ice-types, Assault Vest Kommo-o is a menace with its massive offensive stats and powerful STAB moves, namely Close Combat which hit Lapras on its softer defense stat.

Locations in Games

Red/Blue/Yellow:
Silph Co. Gift

Gold/Silver/Crystal:
Union Cave

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:
Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen/XD

FireRed/LeafGreen:
Icefall Cave

Colosseum/XD:
Snagged from Cipher Admin Eldes in Citadark Isle (XD)

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum:
Victory Road

HeartGold/SoulSilver:
Union Cave, Safari Zone

Black/White:
Village Bridge

Black 2/White 2:
Village Bridge

X/Y:
Route 12, Azure Bay, Friend Safari

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X & Y

Sun/Moon:
Poni Wilds

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Poni Breaker Coast

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Route 19, Route 20.

Sword/Shield:
Route 2, Route 9, Lake of Outrage, North Lake Miloch
Max Raid Battles: Bridge Field, Dusty Bowl, East Lake Axewell, Giant's Cap, Giant's Mirror, Lake of Outrage, South Lake Miloch, Stony Wilderness, West Lake Axewell (Sword)
Max Raid Battles: Bridge Field, Dusty Bowl, East Lake Axewell, Giant's Cap, Giant's Mirror, Giant's Seat, Lake of Outrage, South Lake Miloch, Stony Wilderness, West Lake Axewell (Shield)

Anime Appearences

Lapras has made a couple of appearances in the anime. Most notably, it was used by Ash during the Orange Islands

# -English Episode Name- -Jap. Episode Name- Pics
65 Holiday Hi-Jynx Jynx and Christmas Pics
P1 Pikachu's Vacation Pikachu's Summer Vacation Pics
86 The Lost Lapras Lapras In Bonds! Pics
87 Fit to be Tide Orange League! Mikan Gym! Pics
88 Pikachu Re-Volts Mystery of the Disappearing Pokémon! Pics
89 The Crystal Onix The Crystal Onix! Pics
90 In the Pink The Island of Pink Pokémon! Pics
91 Shell Shock Secret of Fossil Kabuto! Pics
93 Bye Bye Psyduck Adios Psyduck, Hello Golduck Pics
94 The Joy of Pokémon Nurse Joy Sailing! Raging Waves! Pics
95 Navel Maneuvers Navel Island! Battle on Snow Mountain Pics
96 Snack Attack! Hungry Snorlax! Great Panic! Pics
97 A Shipful of Shivers Phantom Pokémon of the Phantom Ship! Pics
98 Meowth Rules! Lord Meowth's Island!? Pics
99 Tracey Gets Bugged Scyther - Soldier's Pride Pics
100 A Way Off, Day Off It's the Southern Islands! Everyone Gather! Pics
105 Misty Meets Her Match! Trovita Gym Type Battle! 3 vs. 3! Pics
106 Bound For Trouble Pikachu Vs. Meowth!? Pics
107 Charizard Chills Charizard! I Choose You! Pics
M2 The Power of One Revelation Lugia Pics
108 Pokémon Water War Fire Extinguishing Showdown! Squirtle Vs. Wartortle! Pics
109 Pokémon Food Fight Snorlax's Power! Pics
110 Pokémon Double Trouble Tag Match! The Last Gym! Pics
111 The Wacky Watcher Magikarp! The True Secret! Pics
112 The Stun Spore Detour Poliwag and Misty Pics
113 Hello Pummelo Winner's Cup! 6 vs. 6! Pics
114 Enter The Dragonite Final Battle! Dragonite's Appearance! Pics
115 Viva Las Lapras Goodbye Lapras! Pics
C4 Pikachu's Winter Vacation: Delibird's Dilemma Delibird's Present! Pics
Pikachu's Winter Vacation: Snorlax Snowmen White Story! Pics
218 Dueling Heroes Whirlpool Cup! Great Battle in the Water Colosseum! Pics
C1 Legend of Thunder Raikou! Legend of Thunder! Pics
240 Nice Pryce Baby Mahogony Gym! Ice Battle!! Pics
M5 Heroes - Latios & Latias The Guardian Gods of Altomare - Latias and Latios Pics
259 Lapras of Luxury The Song of Lapras! Pics
C15 Putting The Air Back Into Aerodactyl! Pokémon Researcher Gary & The Revived Aerodactyl! Pics
456 May, We Harley Drew'd Ya! Begin! Pokémon Contest - Grand Festival! Pics
457 Thinning the Hoard May VS Harley! Double Battle On Stage!! Pics
458 Channeling the Battle Zone May VS Drew! The Final Battle! Pics
M9 Pokémon Ranger & The Temple of the Sea Pokémon Ranger & The Prince of the Sea - Manaphy Pics
559 One Team, Two Team, Red Team, Blue Team! The Final Showdown! Pokémon Triathlon! Pics
S23 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky - Beyond Time & Darkness Pokémon Mystery Dungeon - Sky Expedition Pics
M13 Zoroark - Master of Illusions Phantom Champion Zoroark Pics
802 Best Wishes Until We Meet Again! Best Wishes! Until The Day We Meet Again!! Pics
804 Kalos, Where Dreams and Adventures Begin! We've Come to Kalos Region! Dreams and Adventures Begin! Pics
852 Bonnie for the Defense! Mobilise, Lapras Defense Corps! Bonnie Does Her Best!! Pics
943 Till We Compete Again A Zero With No End! Till the Day We Meet Again!! Pics
944 Alola to New Adventure! Alola! New Islands, New Pokémon!! Pics
948 Yo, Ho, Ho! Go, Popplio! Popplio, Do Your Balloonest! Pics
963 Partner Promises! The Promise Between Ash and Pikachu!! Pics
969 So Long, Sophocles! Farewell, Sophocles! Pics
M20 Pokémon I Choose You! Pokémon I Choose You! Pics
992 Mission: Total Recall! Lillie & Silvally: Memories Reborn! Pics
1036 Lillier and the Staff! The Hero Lilliel and the Alolan Cane! Pics
1037 A Haunted House for Everyone! Ghost Pokémon Everywhere! Everyone's Haunted House!! Pics
1042 We Know Where You're Going, Eevee! Where is Eevee Going? To the End of the World for the Sake of a Meeting! Pics
1071 League Offenders and Defenders! The Curtain Rises! The Alola Pokémon League!! Pics
1090 Enter Pikachu! Pikachu is Born!! Pics
1114 TBC A Battle Festival Exploding With Life! VS Mega Lucario!! Pics
1126 TBC I Am Back! Nice to See You, Alola! Pics