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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
-Thunder / Thunderbolt
Item Attached: Weakness Policy
Ability: Water Absorb
EVs and Nature:
244 HP / 252 SpAtk / 12 Speed
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.
Item Attached: Assault Vest
Ability: Water Absorb / Shell Armor
EVs And Nature:
244 HP / 252 SpAtk / 12 Speed
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.
-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
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.
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.
- Hydro Pump
- Perish Song / Thunder
Item Attached: Light Clay / Weakness Policy
Ability: Shell Armor / Water Absorb
EVs and Nature:
252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 Speed
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.
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
Silph Co. Gift
Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen/XD
Snagged from Cipher Admin Eldes in Citadark Isle (XD)
Union Cave, Safari Zone
Black 2/White 2:
Route 12, Azure Bay, Friend Safari
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X & Y
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Poni Breaker Coast
Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Route 19, Route 20.
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)