At first glance, Lapras seems inferior to the UU Water-types due to its Ice typing, but it has a couple of useful traits that it can utilize well. Its high HP and Special Defense make it an excellent counter to common UU Water-types such as Milotic and Omastar. Lapras's Stealth Rock weakness may seem disappointing, but this is balanced by the ability to heal itself with Water Absorb, which allows Lapras to switch into any Water-type move and heal a quarter of its health. Due to Lapras's wide movepool, it can be used as a sweeper or as a supporter. This versatility gives the opponent a tough time at predicting what role Lapras plays on its team. These traits also make Lapras a reliable check to common Rain Dance teams thanks to Water Absorb, its 4x resistance to Ice-type moves, access to Thunderbolt, and its mammoth HP stat. All in all, Lapras should not be underestimated.
This set focuses on Lapras's excellent defensive stats and the ability to hit many UU threats with its great type coverage. Surf, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt together hit every Pokemon in the UU tier for neutral damage (barring Lanturn and Shedinja). The final slot brings a support move to the set, allowing Lapras to heal its team or cripple an opponent.
The choice between Surf and Hydro Pump depends on whether you prefer power or accuracy. Hydro Pump is recommended if you wish to play more offensively. For example, with Life Orb equipped, Hydro Pump scores OHKOs on both Nidoqueen and Absol, which Surf cannot do. In the second slot, Ice Beam strikes Pokemon such as Venusaur and Altaria for major damage. To round off the coverage, Thunderbolt hits helpless Water-types such as Milotic and Blastoise for super effective damage. Finally, the last slot depends on what role you wish Lapras to fulfill. Toxic allows it to wear down walls such as Lanturn and Chansey, Perish Song allows Lapras to force switches when it is faced with an unfavorable match up, and Heal Bell allows it to support its teammates by removing crippling status.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
On this set, Dragon Dance is used in order to raise Lapras's average Attack and Speed stats into much higher degrees. Lapras makes an excellent Dragon Dance user thanks to its respectable defenses and Water Absorb ability, giving it numerous opportunities to switch in and boost its stats.
A combination of Waterfall and Return provides near-perfect type coverage in UU, with Shedinja being the only Pokemon who is immune to both moves. Zen Headbutt is an option if you need Lapras to hit Weezing and Fighting-types such as Poliwrath or Toxicroak harder. However, if you leave out Return, Slowbro will cause problems. Substitute grants Lapras safety from crippling status moves, but Ice Beam, although being a special attack, will hit Grass-types for more damage than any of Lapras's other physical options.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set functions as a wallbreaker; with Lapras's above-average offensive stats and great type coverage, it is capable of removing some of UU's most troublesome walls, including Steelix and Chansey. This set also utilizes Dragon Dance, which boosts Lapras's Speed and Attack, and turns it into a powerful sweeper.
Dragon Dance gives Lapras a great boost in power and the Speed to outrun common UU threats such as Drapion and Houndoom. The choice of which physical move to pick depends on your personal preference: use Waterfall for flinch rate and power, or use Return to damage Water-types. With 64 Special Attack EVs and a Life Orb, Hydro Pump gives Lapras a chance to OHKO the most defensive Steelix with Spikes support, while also dealing huge damage to Donphan and Weezing. The final slot depends on whether you wish to hit Grass-types super effectively with Ice Beam, or if you want Lapras to hit Water-types with Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is recommended if you use Waterfall as your physical option.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Lapras's huge HP and respectable Special Defense stats make it an ideal Curse user. Curse allows Lapras to boost its Attack and Defense stats at the cost of lowering its Speed, which turns it into a monstrous tank who is difficult to remove without landing a critical hit or leeching its health with Toxic or a burn.
Ice Shard works great with Curse as its priority will negate the drop in Speed. Avalanche is another option, as it doubles in power by moving last, which Lapras will almost always be doing after a Speed drop. Waterfall is a strong STAB attack that will deal huge damage to any Pokemon without a resistance or immunity after a few boosts from Curse. Return provides excellent type coverage alongside Waterfall, while Rest allows Lapras to fully restore its health and remove harmful status. Using a Chesto Berry with Rest is a good option as it wakes Lapras up instantly.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Lapras has a great variety of moves not listed on the above sets due to the lack of moveslots. Body Slam can be used on the Dragon Dance set if you wish to abuse the 30% paralysis rate, though Return is probably better due to its higher Base Power. Confuse Ray is a risky option, but deals huge damage to an incoming Choice Band user if it hits itself. Icy Wind is an option for overcoming Lapras's average Speed, though the low Base Power can be a turn off. Rain Dance alongside Thunder and Hydro Pump is an excellent offensive option for Lapras. It can also support other teammates who have abilities that benefit from the rain, Water-type attacks, and Thunder. With Rain Dance, a Damp Rock can be used to prolong the rain, or a Life Orb can be used to deal more damage. Sing is an option on the Special Attacker set, though the low accuracy makes it unreliable. Finally, Hidden Power Grass can be used to hit Quagsire, who is immune to Thunderbolt and Water-type moves due to its Water Absorb ability.
Checks and Counters
Lanturn is the best all-around counter to Lapras, as it can switch in on Thunderbolt thanks to Volt Absorb and takes little damage from either of Lapras's STAB attacks. It can then proceed to hit Lapras with an STAB Thunderbolt or cripple it with Toxic. Venusaur can also easily switch in on any move barring Ice Beam or Avalanche and threaten Lapras with a super effective Grass-type attack or Sleep Powder. It also benefits from Lapras's huge HP stat, as it will recover more health with Leech Seed. Venusaur's ability to absorb Toxic Spikes is useful as well.
Chansey can counter special attacking sets with ease, though it should beware of any physical or mixed sets due to its lower Defense stat. Natural Cure lets Chansey laugh at Lapras's Toxic all day. It can then cripple Lapras with Toxic or Thunder Wave and attempt to weaken Lapras with Seismic Toss. Clefable makes an excellent counter with Encore, which allows it to foil Lapras if it decides to set up with Dragon Dance or Curse. With its high defensive stats, Clefable can switch in on unboosted attacks with little trouble, while Magic Guard will prevent poison damage.