Pokemon GO How to beat Lapras

Lapras is one of the few survivors from the metagame of the early days of Pokémon GO. Even after its famous late nerf, it is still considered to be a meta-relevant Pokémon. It’s purpose is not the same one as it used to be and the introduction of new Generations has slightly reduced its viability, but it is still an interesting Pokémon to use.

Pokémon Stats Max CP
LaprasLapras Water Ice 165 180 260 2603

Lapras overview

Lapras is not an easy Pokémon to get in Pokémon GO. It is neither the best Water type attacker in the game nor the best Ice type Pokémon in the game, but its bulk and good stats overall make it a viable Pokémon to add to your team nonetheless. It takes super effective damage from Rock, Electric, Grass and Fighting. Unfortunately for Lapras, there are plenty of great attackers in the current metagame with moves of these types.

Its attack stat is too low to be considered one of the best Water or Ice attackers in the game, especially when there are Water type Pokémon such as Gyarados and Kyogre with 237 and 270 base attack stats respectively, and Ice type Pokémon such as Jynx, Articuno or even Walrein with greater offensive power too. However, mainly due to its great base stamina stat, Lapras is still a good defender to place in a gym. Furthermore, its typing and moves can counter two of its weaknesses, rock (with water type moves) and grass (with ice type moves).

Its main strengths are:

  • It is still a useful bulky Ice type attacker in the game
  • With plenty of Dragon type Pokémon in gyms and raids, Lapras is a decent choice to take them down. Some of them have a double weakness to ice type attacks, and this is where Lapras comes in handy
  • It has great bulk and Stamina and taking it down won’t be an easy task. There are better gym defenders, but it is still a decent choice to leave in a gym
  • For those gym attackers with Dragon type generalists, facing a Lapras will probably force them to switch fearing its Ice type moves

However, its main weaknesses should be mentioned too:

  • It takes super effective damage from Rock, Electric, Grass and Fighting. Raikou and Machamp (two of the most common gym sweepers in the current metagame) won’t suffer too much when facing it in a gym
  • Offensivewise, it is clearly inferior to Gyarados and Kyogre as a Water type attacker and Jynx, Articuno and even Walrein as an Ice type attacker. Its attack stat is just too low
  • Its best ice type move on defense, Ice Beam, is now a legacy move
Best Lapras movesets
 Role Quick move Charge move
Gym offense Frost Breath ice Ice Beam* ice
Gym defense Ice Shard* ice Ice Beam* ice
PvP (speculative) Frost Breath ice Ice Beam* or Blizzard ice

* Legacy move

Best Lapras moves in Pokémon GO

The following Table compares the cycle DPS (with STAB) of every single moveset that Lapras is able to learn. Some movesets are more viable or commonly used than others. Keep in mind that some movesets might not top the DPS charts but could be good to use in certain scenarios. As an example, Ice Shard is a good alternative for gym defending purposes. Lapras has quite a large movepool, with some of the moves being legacy, and thus the Table is not small.

Lapras moves in Pokémon GO
Fast Move Charge Move Cycle DPS (STAB)
Frost breath Ice Blizzard Ice 21.32
Ice Shard Ice Blizzard Ice 21.07
Water Gun Water Blizzard Ice 21.06
Frost breath Ice Hydro Pump Water 21.03
Frost breath Ice Surf Water 20.89
Ice Shard Ice Hydro Pump Water 20.75
Water Gun Water Hydro Pump Water 20.75
Ice Shard Ice Surf Water 20.60
Water Gun Water Surf Water 20.59
Frost Breath Ice Ice Beam Ice 20.50
Ice Shard Ice Ice Beam Ice 20.24
Water Gun Water Ice Beam Ice 20.24
Frost Breath Ice Dragon pulse Dragon 17.89
Ice Shard Ice Dragon Pulse Dragon 17.44
Water Gun Water Dragon Pulse Dragon 17.44

*Keep in mind that STAB cycle DPS calculations just compare the different movesets and they are not Pokémon-specific

  • Frost Breath and Blizzard (its dual Ice type moveset) is the one that tops the DPS charts. However, Ice Beam (legacy move) is often preferred for offensive purpose for consistency. There will be plenty of situations when you won’t be able to fire it off before fainting, and the energy gained will go to waste. However, with Ice Beam (and multi-bar charge moves in general), you are more likely to fire one off before fainting and the energy waste is generally less significant. That’s why Frost Breath and Ice Beam is recommended for offensive purposes despite not being first on the list
  • Vaporeon, Milotic and other Water types are better Water type gym defenders than Lapras. Lapras is able to learn Surf, which is a decent move for defensive purposes, but its move cooldown and late damage window allow gym attackers to dodge it in most cases
  • Dragon Pulse is a cool legacy move to have, but it is not the best choice if you plan to use Lapras on a regular basis. Every single Ice type move will generally deal more damage to Dragon type Pokémon out there. If you’re a collector, though, do not TM that move away

Lapras counters in Pokémon GO

Supreme Counters

 Pokémon Fast move Charge move
RaikouRaikou Electric Thunder Shock Electric Wild Charge Electric
JolteonJolteon Electric Thunder Shock Electric Thunderbolt Electric
MachampMachamp Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting
HariyamaHariyama Fighting Counter Fighting Dynamic Punch Fighting

Raikou is the best Electric type attacker in the game, followed by Zapdos. Zapdos has a slightly higher attack stat than Raikou, but Raikou’s moveset is significantly better, which puts it ahead of Zapdos. If Zapdos ever gets Thunder Shock, it will probably be on par with Raikou. However, keep in mind that Zapdos is also a Flying type Pokémon, which makes it weak to Ice type attacks. Thus, Raikou is significantly better as a Lapras counter.

Another interesting non-legendary alternative is Jolteon. Jolteon is less bulky than the other two but it has a very high attack stat (not as high as Raikou’s or Zapdos’, but still very high). Thunder Shock and Thunderbolt is a fun moveset to use, as it allows the user to dodge the incoming attacks. Given how fragile Jolteon is, that is probably the perfect moveset for it. It is just an Electric type (like Raikou), and thus it won’t take super effective damage from any of Lapras’ attacks.

Machamp is also one of the top choices when it comes to fighting Lapras, followed by Hariyama. The main difference between these two Pokémon is that Machamp will finish the job faster than Hariyama (since it has a higher attack stat) but Hariyama will probably have higher HP due to its greater bulk. From a time to win perspective, Machamp wins, but Hariyama is a very good alternative that costs less candies to evolve.

Other viable alternatives

 Pokémon Fast move Charge move
ZapdosZapdos Electric Flying Charge Beam Electric Thunderbolt Electric
MewtwoMewtwo Psychic Confusion Psychic Focus Blast Fighting
BlazikenBlaziken Fire Fighting Counter Fighting Focus Blast Fighting
VenusaurVenusaur Grass Poison Vine Whip Grass Frenzy Plant Grass
ExeggutorExeggutor Grass Psychic Bullet Seed Grass Solar Beam Grass

Blaziken is an interesting case in this list. It is a more fragile option that takes super effective damage from Water type attacks but resists Ice type attacks. Furthermore, it learns Focus Blast as a charge move, which is not as consistent as Dynamic Punch. Use it at your own risk, but it is a good alternative to the ones listed as supreme counters.

Mewtwo is listed as a generalist. Its fast moves won’t deal super effective damage but Focus Blast paired up with Mewtwo’s incredible attack stat will deal significant damage to Lapras, and thus it has been included as a viable alternative.

Venusaur and Exeggutor are its best Grass type counters. They are great options BUT they are weak to Ice type moves. Lapras is generally used as an ice type attacker, and thus we strongly recommend to use electric or fighting types to take it down. However, if it has water type moves, these two are great options as well.

Other options such as Rock Throw/Stone Edge Golem or Bite/Stone Edge Tyranitar were not considered due to the fact that there are far better options for this matchup.

Weather influence

Weather Pros Cons
Sunny Boosts super-effective Grass type moves
Partly Cloudy Boosts super-effective Rock type moves
Cloudy Boosts super-effective Fighting type moves
Rainy Boosts its Water type moves Boosts super-effective Electric type moves
Windy Boosts its Dragon type moves
Snow Boosts its Ice type moves

Viability in raids

Lapras is not the best Ice or Water type Pokémon to use in raids. The most important metric in raids is normally time to win, and thus other options such as Jynx, Gyarados and especially Kyogre are better than Lapras. We just recommend using Lapras if you do not have any better Ice type attackers and the raid boss you’re facing has a double weakness to ice type attacks (Rayquaza, as an example). Keeping that in mind, here is a compilation of the raids in which it is a decent counter (or filler for your team), despite existing better options:

 Raid Boss Fast move to use Charge move to use
PiloswinePiloswine Ice Ground Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water
GolemGolem Rock Ground* Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water
RhydonRhydon Ground Rock* Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water
HoundoomHoundoom Dark Fire Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water
MoltresMoltres Fire Flying* Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water
EnteiEntei Fire* Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water
LatiosLatios Dragon Psychic Frost Breath Ice Ice Beam or Blizzard Ice
LatiasLatias Dragon Psychic Frost Breath Ice Ice Beam or Blizzard Ice
GroudonGroudon Ground* Frost Breath Ice Ice Beam or Blizzard Ice
RayquazaRayquaza Dragon Flying* Frost Breath Ice Ice Beam or Blizzard Ice
RegirockRegirock Rock** Water Gun Water Hydro Pump or Surf Water

*Legacy raid boss **Potential future raid boss


Lapras. This intellectually advanced Pokémon is able to understand human speech. With its mild temperament, Lapras prefers to carry humans on its back, rather than engage in Pokémon battles.


 Pokémon Attacker Defender Generalist Overall Tier
LaprasLapras Water Ice 2.5/5 3.5/5 2/5 3/5 III

Lapras is a useful bulky ice type Pokémon in the game. With plenty of dragon type Pokémon in gyms and raids, Lapras is a decent choice to take them down. Some of them have a double weakness to ice type attacks, and this is where Lapras comes in handy. Even though there are better gym defenders, Lapras is still a great defender due to its bulk and movepool. For those gym attackers with dragon type generalists, facing a Lapras will probably force them to switch fearing its ice type moves.