How To Beat Champion Lance in Pokémon HGSS

Lance Battle Vignette in the Elite Four Champion battle (Pokémon HeartGold)

Lance’s fight is difficult mostly because of his 3 Dragonites with incredible Stats. But his Dragonites are extremely weak to Ice-type moves. So moves like Ice Beam or Blizzard will help a lot for this fight.

All of Lance’s Pokémon also have moves that can make your Pokémon flinch. To combat this, you might choose to use Pokémon with the Ability Inner Focus so that they’re immune to flinching.

Magneton and Lapras will excel in this fight, due to having STAB on super-effective moves, as well as resisting many of Lance’s coverage moves. You could also choose to mirror him and have a Dragonite on your team.

How To Defeat Lance (Quick Tips)

Your strategy will vary based on your team, but we’ve listed down some important things to remember when fighting the Champion:

  • Lance’s strongest Pokémon is Level 50. Try to match his level before attempting to battle him.
  • All of Lance’s Pokémon have ways of making your Pokémon flinch. Try having Pokémon with the Ability Inner Focus, as they are immune to flinching.
  • Make sure to lead your party with a Special Attacker. His Gyarados will immediately lower your Pokémon’s Attack with Intimidate.
  • Try to use Reflect and Light Screen if possible. These moves will halve the damage you take from Physical and Special moves, respectively.
  • Try to use Electric-type moves against Gyarados. This is because its typing makes it take quadruple damage from Electric moves.
  • Try to use Rock-type moves against Charizard. Because its typing makes it take quadruple damage from Rock moves.
  • Try to paralyze Aerodactyl with Thunder Wave. This will significantly reduce its Speed and help you get a leg up against it.
  • Dragonite is weak to Dragon and extremely weak to Ice. Try to use Ice-type moves as it is easier to get STAB with them.
  • You can target each Dragonite’s relatively-inaccurate moves by reducing their Accuracy. You might try using moves like Sand-Attack and Flash, or increasing your own Evasion with Bright Powder or status moves like Double Team and Minimize.

Lance’s Team

Lance has all draconic-themed Pokémon in his team, although not all of them are Dragon-type.

Pokémon Level Type/s Ability Held Item Moveset

Gyarados (♂)

Lv. 46 Water/Flying Intimidate
Lowers the foe’s Attack stat.
  • Waterfall
  • Dragon Pulse
  • Ice Fang
  • Flail

Aerodactyl (♂)

Lv. 48 Rock/Flying Pressure
The Pokémon raises the foe’s PP usage.
  • Rock Slide
  • Aerial Ace
  • Crunch
  • Thunder Fang

Charizard (♂)

Lv. 48 Fire/Flying Blaze
Powers up Fire-type moves in a pinch.
  • Air Slash
  • Fire Fang
  • Dragon Claw
  • Shadow Claw

Dragonite (♂)

Lv. 49 Dragon/Flying Inner Focus
The Pokémon is protected from flinching.
  • Dragon Rush
  • Thunder Wave
  • Thunder
  • Hyper Beam

Dragonite (♂)

Lv. 49 Dragon/Flying Inner Focus
The Pokémon is protected from flinching.
  • Dragon Rush
  • Thunder Wave
  • Blizzard
  • Hyper Beam

Dragonite (♂)

Lv. 50 Dragon/Flying Inner Focus
The Pokémon is protected from flinching.
Sitrus Berry
  • Outrage
  • Safeguard
  • Fire Blast
  • Hyper Beam

This iteration of Lance’s Champion battle is by far the hardest. Not only because of his team’s great coverage, but also due to his main gimmick.

Every single one of his Pokémon has ways of flinching your Pokémon, which can potentially prevent you from attacking if your Pokémon moves after his. If you have slow Pokémon, getting unlucky flinches can lose you the battle.

Dragonite using Dragon Rush, which has a 20% chance to flinch / Pokémon HG/SS
Dragonite using Dragon Rush, which has a 20% chance to flinch.

Pokémon with the Ability Inner Focus are immune to flinching, which will make your battle more predictable.

Crobat, Alakazam, and Dragonite are good examples of Pokémon with Inner Focus.

And his three Dragonite all have similar movesets, each having:

  • A STAB Dragon move
  • A Status move
  • A TM-learned move
  • And Hyper Beam

Although his three Dragonite are the main threats, do not discount the strength of his other Pokémon.

His Gyarados has the Ability Intimidate, which will lower your Pokémon’s Attack Stat.

Gyarados’ Ability Intimidate / Pokémon HG/SS
Gyarados’ Ability Intimidate.

Aerodactyl is also very dangerous, with an incredibly high Speed to complement its high Attack Stat. At this point in the game, Electrode is the only Pokémon you can get that can outspeed it at the same Level.

Charizard does not have very strong STAB moves but can be very dangerous if left at critical health due to its Ability Blaze.

Preparing Your Party

Here is a list of Pokémon that we suggest you put in your party, in order of importance. Essential Pokémon, Abilities, and Moves are in bold text.

Pokémon Type/s Level Ability Suggested Move(s) Location
Lapras Water/Ice 50+ Any Ice Beam Union Cave (B2F, Fridays)
Magneton Electric/Steel 50+ Any Discharge Evolve Magnemite:
Routes 38 & 39
Dragonite Dragon/Flying 55+ Any Blizzard
Evolve Dragonair:
Dragon’s Den
Feraligatr Water 50+ Any Dragon Claw
Evolve Totodile:
Prof. Elm’s Lab
Typhlosion Fire 50+ Any Eruption Evolve Cyndaquil:
Prof. Elm’s Lab
Meganium Grass 50+ Any SolarBeam
Evolve Chikorita:
Prof. Elm’s Lab
Note: We have only listed locations that are accessible at this point in the game.

We also have a more complete list of Pokémon you might bring with you against Lance in our Elite Four Guide.

Dragonite is a great Pokémon to use against Lance due to being able to learn Dragon-, Electric- and Ice-type moves, and even having STAB for Dragon-type moves. Since you will need to train your Dragonair to Level 55 to evolve it, you will likely win against Lance just with the Level gap alone.

Lapras has the highest Base Stat total of all the Ice-type Pokémon available. It also readily learns Ice Beam, removing the need to teach it via TM.

We’re not using Blizzard because Lapras’ Special Attack is high enough that we can one-hit KO Dragonite with STAB Ice Beam.

Magneton is also a decent option, as Steel is the only type that resists Dragon. Magneton also has access to STAB Electric-type moves, which is super-effective against half of Lance’s team.

If you are running Magneton on your team, just be careful of Lance’s Charizard and Dragonite with Fire Blast.

But what about your starter?

Feraligatr will fare the best when compared to the other starters, due to its ability to learn Dragon Claw and Blizzard.

Meganium and Typhlosion will struggle against Lance because he has plenty of coverage moves that deal with both Grass and Fire. They will also not be able to deal significant damage in return, but of course they’re still running if they’re at a high enough level.

Our Team

The team we used for this guide is as follows:

Pokémon Type/s Level Ability Held Item Moves
Magneton Steel/Electric 51 Sturdy
The Pokémon is protected against 1-hit KO attacks.
Quick Claw
  • Discharge
  • Flash Cannon
  • Light Screen
  • Thunder Wave
Lapras Water/Ice 47 Water Absorb
Restores HP if hit by a Water-type move.
Shell Bell
  • Ice Beam
  • Surf
  • Thunder
  • Rain Dance
Heracross Bug/Fighting 48 Guts
Boosts Attack if there is a status problem.
Choice Scarf
  • Brick Break
  • Aerial Ace
  • Night Slash
  • Earthquake
Umbreon Dark 47 Synchronize
Passes a burn, poison, or paralysis to the foe.
Bright Powder
  • Dig
  • Payback
  • Confuse Ray
  • Quick Attack
Xatu Psychic/Flying 47 Synchronize
Passes a burn, poison, or paralysis to the foe.
King’s Rock
  • Psychic
  • Pluck
  • Reflect
  • Roost
Typhlosion Fire 50 Blaze
Powers up Fire-type moves in a pinch.
  • Flamethrower
  • Eruption
  • Swift
  • SmokeScreen

This is the same team we have used for our Elite Four battle guide as well. So you can check that out for a more in-depth explanation of our team composition.

Battling Lance

Lance will begin the battle with Gyarados.

We recommend opening with a Special Attacker who knows Reflect.

Most of his STAB moves are Physical, so we suggest that you refresh Reflect whenever it expires.

Xatu using Reflect / Pokémon HG/SS
Xatu using Reflect.

Once you’ve set up your Reflect, you may attack Gyarados with an Electric-type move. Any decently strong Electric-type move should knock it out.

Magneton using Discharge against Gyarados / Pokémon HG/SS
Magneton using Discharge against Gyarados.

Against Aerodactyl, unless you’re significantly overleveled or are using Electrode, it will always outspeed all your Pokémon without Speed boosts.

We recommend that you try inflicting Paralysis or reducing its Speed if you’re not confident that you can faint it in one turn.

Magneton using Thunder Wave against Aerodactyl / Pokémon HG/SS
Magneton using Thunder Wave against Aerodactyl.

Steel-types are optimal against Aerodactyl since they resist most of its moves. Magneton in particular will resist all its moves and will also be able to deal STAB super-effective damage against it.

Charizard is not as threatening compared to Gyarados and Aerodactyl.

If you have an advantageous matchup, you can choose to heal your team up and/or stack buffs on your Pokémon while Charizard is out.

Tip: Don’t forget that you can also use Battle Items like X Speed and X Attack!

When fighting Dragonite, take note of its level.

Lance’s Level 50 Dragonite will have Fire Blast.

It will be difficult to tell which Level 49 Dragonite has Thunder and which one has Blizzard, so just be wary when using Pokémon that are susceptible to these moves.

Keep in mind that the flinching mechanic of Paralysis stacks with regular flinching, so plan ahead if Dragonite randomly uses Thunder Wave on you.

Lance’s Dragonite using Thunder Wave / Pokémon HG/SS
Lance’s Dragonite using Thunder Wave.

A single Ice Beam should be able to dispatch each Dragonite.

However, since Lapras is slower, make sure that it can survive at least one hit.

Lapras using Ice Beam against Dragonite / Pokémon HG/SS
Lapras using Ice Beam against Dragonite.

Lance’s three Dragonites are the main threats in this fight.

So once you’ve beaten them you should have an easier time dealing with the rest of his team.

Lance being defeated / Pokémon HG/SS
Lance being defeated!

Once you’ve defeated Lance, he will escort you to the next room where you and your team will be added to the Hall of Fame.

Crumble Thorn

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Game Developer, Digital Artist, and Lifelong Pokémon enthusiast. Writes about pretty much anything Pokémon-related, and also covers other games that they happen to hyperfixate in.

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