It is a well-known fact that not all Pokémon are created equal. With well over seven hundred of them already in existence and many more on the way with Generation seven and the Alola Region just around the corner, it’s no surprise that for every awesomely designed Pokémon with massive competitive potential there’s another that just doesn’t cut it. Mega Evolution is an opportunity for those Pokémon that just aren’t that useful in the competitive scene to rise up from the ashes and become viable, but sadly not all the Pokémon that need or deserve a Mega Evolution have got one yet.
The Make-a-Mega series aims to remedy that problem, asking the PokeCommunity’s competitive battlers to collectively select a Pokémon to create a hypothetical new Mega Evolution for and then making the needed changes to its stats, type and ability required to give it some use. Meanwhile the artists of the community work to create a design for the chosen Pokémon’s new form to match its new competitive prowess. Last month we developed a fearsome Mega Luxray, this time we tackle Lapras (and let me tell you, it’s super-effective). You can view the discussion on Mega Lapras here and see all the submitted designs here.
The elegant Lapras has been a fan favourite since way back in the first generation of Pokémon games but has long since ceased to be of any use in a competitive setting. Banished to the murky cesspool of the PU tier, Lapras does have a few positives that let it function as a reasonable wall-breaker there. Unfortunately, once Lapras tries to play with the big kids it is swiftly decimated.
Classification: Transport Pokémon
Ability: Water Absorb/Shell Armour/Hydration
Sp. Atk: 85
Sp. Def: 95
Looking at its stats, abilities and movepool, one can see that Lapras does have a few positives. Unfortunately though, these positives are largely rendered moot by an impeding factor or are simply not enough to allow Lapras to rise to a higher tier.
Offensively, Lapras has extremely mediocre stats with a base eighty-five for both its Attack and Special Attack and an appalling base sixty Speed. These offences are good enough to allow Lapras to function as a decent slow wall-breaker in the PU tier, but this is a tier populated entirely by the weakest and most useless Pokémon from a competitive standpoint. In a higher tier however, Lapras would be lucky to even dent a Pokémon with at least moderate bulk even with its wide movepool which includes the powerful boosting moves Curse and Dragon Dance.
Defensively, Lapras has a little bit more going for it. It has massive bulk in the form of its monstrous base one-hundred-and-thirty Hit Points and decent base eight and ninety-five Defence and Special Defence. Its abilities also allow it the power to completely absorb Water-typed attacks, heal crippling status afflictions in the Rain or be immune to critical hits. Lapras also has access to one of the best clerical moves in the game, Heal Bell, which cures your entire team of any status ailments. Sadly for Lapras, its amazing defensive stats are rendered all but irrelevant thanks to its pitiful defensive typing that leaves it weak to four fairly common types whilst only providing resistances to Water and Ice (its own types). This problem is further exacerbated by a lack of reliable Recovery and the ever-present Stealth Rock that deals super-effective damage to Lapras every time it switches in. Even its Water Absorb ability is rendered somewhat pointless by Lapras’ typing whilst Hydration is a ridiculous notion when Lapras already can carry the vastly superior Heal Bell.
Lapras’ stats and abilities make it clear that it is meant to be a defensively oriented Pokémon, however its combination of a terrible defensive typing and borderline useless abilities render it completely ineffective in this role. Instead Lapras has been doomed to the PU tier where it instead serves as a wallbreaker despite having extremely limited offensive capabilities. In short, Lapras’ various attributes leave it a mismatched wreck of a Pokémon that is in dire need of some help.
New and Improved
Sp. Atk: 105
Sp. Def: 125
Before Mega Evolving, one of Lapras’ biggest weaknesses was that its impressive bulk was rendered redundant by a terrible defensive typing. It was weak to four types, including common offensive types, and only resisted Water and Ice. Mega Lapras however, has shed its Ice typing and replaced it with the Dragon type. This means that Mega Lapras possesses only two weaknesses (Dragon and Fairy) and is hit neutrally by all the types it was previously weak to. It also now sports three resistances, two being 4x resistances.
Mega Lapras is primarily a defensive Pokémon and with its new typing it prominent bulk is no longer compromised. With a massive HP stat of one hundred and thirty supplemented by a one hundred and ten Defence and one hundred and twenty-five Special Defence, only powerful super-effective attacks are likely to do much damage. This powerful defence is further augmented by easy recovery due to Mega Lapras’ new ability: Regenerator. Now whenever your Lapras switches out it will regain one third of its Hit Points, keeping it fresh and able to continue walling your opponent. Combining this with the extremely useful Heal Bell, which cures your team of any status ailments, or Curse, which increases a Pokémon’s Attack and Defence, would make Mega Lapras one of the hardest Pokémon to break through.
Mega Lapras is no slouch offensively either. Its base one hundred and five Attack and Special Attack are very hefty for a defensively-oriented Pokémon. Added to this, it has access to a potent movepool containing powerful STAB moves such as Outrage and Waterfall, hitting four types super-effectively with them. Further still, Mega Lapras also has excellent coverage, including Iron Head which takes care of its remaining weakness. Lapras can further boost its Attack stat with Curse or Dragon Dance which, when combined with its near unbreakable defences, can allow Mega Lapras to smash through offensive teams or weak walls with ease.
As powerful as it is, Mega Lapras is not invincible however – which is a good thing for any meta containing it. Its Speed stat remains at a pitifully low base sixty. This means that it would take several boosts with Dragon Dance to make it fast enough to outspeed even Pokémon in an average Speed tier. Access to a priority move in Ice Shard can also help remedy this problem, but Mega Lapras may still face problems against extremely fast attackers, especially if it hasn’t been able to get a boosting move in. Mega Lapras will also face problems against Unaware Clefable or Quagsire which are extremely bulky themselves and will completely ignore any boosts to Lapras’ stats.
Despite its limiting factors, Mega Lapras would easily make the OverUsed competitive tier and could potentially see use beyond that in Ubers. Its close to impenetrable defences and easy recovery would make it the master of stall and other defensive play styles whilst its notably boosted offensive stats would render it capable of dealing decent amounts of damage as well. The PokéCommunity’s Mega Lapras doesn’t just look the part with its fantastic new design, it could potentially become one of the most dangerous threats in the meta.
Edited by bobandbill.