Lapras - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle | Pokemon Sword and Shield

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This is a strategy guide for using Lapras in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, and Held Items to use with Lapras, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Lapras - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Lapras Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Lapras Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle Gigantamax LaprasGigantamax Lapras

Basic Information for Lapras

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Water Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Ice Type
Shell Armor The Pokemon is protected against critical hits.
Water Absorb Restores HP if hit by an Water-type move.
Hydration (Hidden) Heals status problem if it is raining.

Type Defenses

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Water Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Ice Image
Takes 0x damage

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
130 85 80 85 95 60

Best Nature for Lapras

Best Natures
(+SpAtk, -Atk)
(+SpAtk, -Spd)

What are Natures?

How to Learn Lapras's Egg Moves

Freeze-Dry Inherit from Eiscue (learns at Lv. 36)
Sparkling Aria Inherit from another Lapras (learns as Egg Move)
Lapras caught in Raids or with glowing auras will know this move rarely

Singles Movesets for Lapras

Weakness Policy Moveset & Best Build

Weakness Policy Lapras.png

Nature Modest (+Sp.Atk, -Atk)
EV Spread Def 236 / Sp.Atk 252 / Spd 20
Final Stat Values HP 205 / Def 130 / Sp.Atk 150 / Sp.Def 115 / Spd 83
Ability Shell Armor
Held Item Weakness Policy
Moveset Freeze-Dry
Sparkling Aria
Sheer Cold

By switching in on a super-effective move, this set gets offensive boosts thanks to Weakness Policy. When partnered with Lapras' generous bulk, this Pokemon becomes a great all-rounder who can take damage and deal it back.

About Lapras's Moves

Freeze-Dry and Sparkling Aria serve as Lapras' main STAB-Moves. It's interesting to note that the combination of these two moves offer perfect neutral coverage because of Freeze-Dry's unique effect.

When Gigantamaxed, Freeze-Dry becomes G-Max Resonance, a damage dealing move which also has the added effects of Aurora Veil. This is another reason why Lapras can be so hard to take down.

Sheer Cold and Thunder round out Lapras' moveset by offering stronger damaging moves. Sheer Cold can be unreliable, but will OHKO any opponent if it hits. Thunder, on the other hand, has great synergy with Max Geyser since Thunder will be 100% accurate in the rain.

About Lapras's EV Spread

We're maxing out our Sp.Atk to maximize the damage that Lapras will deal out, while also making sure to balance out its bulk by investing in Defense.

About Lapras's Ability

Shell Armor protects Lapras from critical hits. This gives the opponents an even more difficult time to take Lapras out without overcoming its defenses.

About Lapras's Held Item

Weakness Policy gives Lapras the offensive stat boosts it needs to deal more damage.

Other Viable Moves

Surf An equally valid alternative to Sparkling Aria.
Hydro Pump A much stronger alternative than either Surf or Sparkling Aria, but is less accurate.
Ice Beam A stronger alternative to Freeze-Dry, but you'll lose the perfect neutral coverage provided by the Freeze-Dry + Water combo.
Ice Shard Priority move that can get some use in certain cases when you just need a little bit more damage to knock the opponent out.

Light Clay Moveset & Best Build

Light Clay GMax Lapras.jpg

Nature Modest (+SpAtk, -Atk)
EV Spread HP 140 / Def. 88 / Sp.Atk. 252 / Spd. 28
Final Stat Values HP 223 / Def. 111 / Sp.Atk. 150 / Sp.Def. 115 / Spd. 84
Ability Water Absorb
Held Item Light Clay
Moveset Freeze-Dry
Sheer Cold

About Lapras's Moves

Gigantamax Lapras's unique move, G-Max Resonance, reduces the damage received for five turns. This combines with Lapras's already high defensive stats to make it a veritable tank who can stay in the battle for a long time. Additionally, G-Max Resonance allows you to use Aurora Veil without the need for hail.

About Lapras's EV Spread

In order to maximize Attack power, Special Attack has the maximum number of EVs. Speed EVs are set to allow it to outspeed a Tyranitar with 12 EVs in Speed. The HP EVs are set to the 16n-1 value to allow it to take reduced damage from status effects and weather. The remaining EVs are placed in Defense to cover its low base Defense.

About Lapras's Held Item

While Light Clay is held, Aurora Veil can last for up to 8 turns, providing heavy protection for your team after having Lapras has left the battlefield.

Other Viable Moves

Sparkling Aria A sound-based move with the ability to pass through Substitute. However, it will unwittingly heal an opponent's Burn, so check your other party members before using.
Hydro Pump A Water-type move with high firepower. An alternate for Surf or Sparkling Aria for when you want to put power over accuracy.
Ice Beam For when you want to prioritize Accuracy over Power.
Ice Shard Attack first, even against opponents with maxed out Speed.

How to Use Lapras Effectively

A defensive Pokemon effective against Special attackers

With Lapras' high Base HP and Special Defense, simply by placing a few EVs in HP, it can withstand most of the super-effective secondary moves used to handle Pokemon of its types. As its Attack and Special Attack are also nothing to scoff at, it can both bear the brunt of enemy attacks while dishing out its own.

G-Max Resonance's Outstanding Utility

G-Max Resonance provides so much in one move. Not only does it deal damage, but it also provides the effects of Aurora Veil without the need for Hail. This provides immense defensive boons to Lapras' team that hyper offense teams will struggle to power through.

Use Freeze-Dry Against Bulky Waters

Freeze-Dry's unique type effectiveness gives Lapras a unique tool against other bulky water types. Notably, Lapras' Freeze-Dry allows it to take out Dracovish, Gyarados, and Quagsire with a 4x effective move. This makes Lapras a good Pokemon to partner with Offensive Pokemon such as Zacian who would greatly appreciate getting Quagsire out of the way.

How to Build a Team with Lapras

Wall Builder for an Offense Team

Example Offensive Team

Physical Sweeper Special Sweeper Wall Builder
Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian Pokemon SWSH - Zapdos ImageZapdos Pokemon SWSH - Lapras ImageLapras

Zacian's unprecedented levels of Physical Offense allows this team to shred through opponents easily, but its teammates can handle those who may try to stand in it's way.

Lapras can use Freeze-Dry deal with Pokemon who commonly outspeed Zacian such as Landorus (Therian Form), and Kyogre. Its Water-type moves also help it against Fire-types such as Ho-Oh.

Most importantly, Lapras can take care of Quagsire who often ignores Zacian's boosts thanks to Unaware.

Zapdos works as a great teammate who can also spread paralysis to the enemy team to cripple their offenses. It can also be effective against other common threats or walls in the metagame such as Rillaboom and Ferrothorn.

Learn How to Build an Offensive Team

Counters for Lapras

Weakness Pokemon Grass Image Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Rock Image

Blow it out of the Water with High Attack

Although Lapras has high defensive stats overall, its Attack and Special Attack are not particularly high, so it can be overwhelmed by a Pokemon that deals consistently high damage. When attacking its weak spots, it becomes a simple task to take it out.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★★
・Libero Cinderace with STAB High Jump Kick can take Lapras out.
・Since Libero Cinderace's type switches a lot, it'll be harder for Lapras to counterattack with a supereffective move.
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Pokemon SWSH - Zacian ImageZacian Ranking: ★★★★★
・Behemoth Blade offers a super effective STAB move against Lapras which can be even more deadly once Lapras has Gigantamaxed.
・Resists Lapras' Ice-type moves.
Moveset & Best Build for Zacian
Pokemon SWSH - Nihilego ImageNihilego Ranking: ★★★★★
・Meteor Beam deals significant damage against Lapras.
・Its high Special Defense allows it to take Lapras' special attacks with ease.
Moveset & Best Build for Nihilego
Pokemon SWSH - Rillaboom ImageRillaboom Ranking: ★★★★★
・Choice Banded variants can deal significant priority damage with Grassy Glide.
Moveset & Best Build for Rillaboom
Pokemon SWSH - Regieleki ImageRegieleki Ranking: ★★★★
・Life Orb / Choice Specs Regieleki can deal significant damage thanks to Transistor-boosted STAB Electric-type attacks.
Moveset & Best Build for Regieleki
Pokemon SWSH - Wash Rotom ImageWash Rotom Ranking: ★★★★
・Can use Electric-type attacks to dent Lapras' defenses.
・Can Trick Choice items onto Lapras to cripple move selection.
・Has to be careful of Freeze-Dry.
Moveset & Best Build for Wash Rotom

Stall Out Aurora Veil

Lapras may be able to reduce damage thanks to G-Max Resonance, but that damage reduction doesn't last long. It would be best to stall out the turns then take Lapras out near the end of the duration of Aurora Veil. This ensures that the rest of it's team won't benefit from the increased defenses.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Necrozma (Dusk Mane) ImageNecrozma (Dusk Mane) Ranking: ★★★★★
・Resists Lapras' Ice-type attacks.
・Psychic Fangs removes the effects of Aurora Veil.
Moveset & Best Build for Necrozma (Dusk Mane)
Pokemon SWSH - Ferrothorn ImageFerrothorn Ranking: ★★★★
・Can stall out turns with Leech Seed and Protect.
・Can get unlucky and die to Sheer Cold.
Moveset & Best Build for Ferrothorn
Pokemon SWSH - Mimikyu ImageMimikyu Ranking: ★★★★
・Disguise can earn extra turns.
Moveset & Best Build for Mimikyu
Pokemon SWSH - Sylveon ImageSylveon Ranking: ★★★★
・High Special Defense will make it difficult for Lapras to take it out.
・ Can also stall out turns by putting Lapras to sleep with Yawn.
・ Has access to Mystical Fire which can lower Lapras' Special Attack
Moveset & Best Build for Sylveon

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

Competitive Guides for Pokemon Sword and Shield

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Pokemon SWSH - Tier ListTier List Pokemon SWSH - Best BuildsBest Builds Pokemon SWSH - Series 8 Tier List ContendersSeries 8 Tier List Contenders
Pokemon SWSH - Doubles Tier ListDoubles Tier List Pokemon SWSH - Competitive Team BuildingTeam Building Pokemon SWSH - Rental TeamsRental Teams

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