Pokemon Sword and Shield are the newest installments in the Pokemon franchise but that doesn’t mean old favorites are irrelevant.
One of the best examples of this is Lapras, a powerful Pokemon from the first generation that is better than ever in Sword and Shield. All of its strengths from the olden days remain, but the Pokemon is made even better by its Gigantamax form.
Here’s how to catch Lapras in Pokemon Sword and Shield, and the best way to use it once it’s in your lineup.
Lapras can be caught like any other Pokemon in a wide variety of locations in Pokemon Sword and Shield. The place where players can catch Lapras the earliest is Route 9, where they have a 1% chance of reeling in Lapras while fishing.
Lapras can also be found in Lake of Outrage and North Lake Miloch in the Wild Area, and on Route 2 as a special daily encounter. The only catch is that Lapras can only be found in these places on the water, meaning players cannot catch Lapras in these spots without the Water Rotom Bike, which replaces the Surf HM in previous games. Lapras can be found on the Lake of Outrage during most weather conditions, and in North Lake Miloch when the weather is normal, rainy, snowing, thunderstorming, or foggy.
Players can also find Lapras in a wide variety of Max Raid dens as either a rare or five-star encounter. Because of this, players ought to keep their Y-Comm enabled and searching for Max Raid stamps to look for other players looking to party up. Outside of Wild Area events, Gigantamax Lapras can only be found in Pokemon Shield in the Giant’s Seat raid den near the lake in an empty area.
Pokemon Sword players, or anyone that doesn’t want to bother tossing Wishing Pieces into this den, can instead simply catch a regular Lapras and turn it into a Gigantamax Lapras by bringing it to the Isle of Armor and giving it Max Soup.
Lapras is a powerful Pokemon both offensively and defensively. Lapras has combined base stats of 535, comparable to those of fully evolved starting Pokemon like Charizard and Blaziken. It has a particularly high base HP and solid offensive and defensive stats. Though it has below-average speed, it’s not prohibitively slow with 60 base speed.
The combination of high HP and strong base defenses makes it a strong bulky option. This is complemented by a solid water-ice typing that gives it just a few weaknesses and no double-weaknesses. While that’s strong on its own, the cherry on top that transforms Lapras from a bulky option into a legitimate wall is its Gigantamax move, G-Max Resonance which deals damage and leaves an Aurora Veil that protects the team.
Offensively, Lapras is powerful without any investment thanks to its excellent coverage. Lapras is a legitimate boltbeam attacker that can also use Sparkling Aria, Psychic, Ancient Power, and Sheer Cold. Its physical attack offering is even more diverse, with powerful moves including Ice Shard, Outrage, Megahorn, Iron Head, Drill Run, and Body Press.
From a typing perspective, Lapras has weaknesses to fighting, rock, electric, and grass attacks. That said, because Lapras isn’t doubly weak to anything and is defensively tanky, it doesn’t have to concern itself too much with this.
Strategically speaking, the big knock on Lapras is that while its defenses are strong, they’re not strong enough to shrug off physical or special wallbreakers. Pokemon like Xurkitree, Urshifu, and Pheromosa are all capable of handling Lapras. Similarly, Lapras’ offensive potency isn’t strong enough for it to handle any similarly bulky opponents like Porygon 2 or Ferrothorn.
The best Lapras build in Pokemon Sword and Shield maxes out the EVs for HP and special attack with the last point going into either speed or defense. A moveset that includes Thunder, Hydro Pump, either Freeze-Dry or Ice Beam, and Sheer Cold lets Lapras find super effective moves against most Pokemon and one-hit KO offensively weak walls with Sheer Cold.
Lapras in Pokemon Sword and Shield is a strong Gigantamax option thanks to G-Max Resonance, and gets a lot of mileage out of Light Clay as a result.Weakness Policy and Assault Vest are also viable options that boost either offense or defense, respectively.