Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Do not be fooled by Gorebyss's docile appearance. Access to Shell Smash, one of the best set-up moves in the entire game, makes it quite a threat to deal with, especially in the rain. As if that weren't enough, Gorebyss can also support its team by Baton Passing this boost, turning the receiver into an absolute monster. However, it does have a few flaws, such as low HP, poor Special Defense, and a heavy reliance on White Herb. Nevertheless, Gorebyss is a surprising threat that every team should be prepared for.
Gorebyss is one of three Pokemon who can pass a Shell Smash boost to another team member, blessing the recipient with +2 boosts in Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. However, Shell Smash also lowers both defenses by one stage; this makes Gorebyss heavily reliant on White Herb, so you usually have only one chance of getting it right. Ideally, Gorebyss should be brought in against a Pokemon who can barely threaten her, such as a Starmie locked into Ice Beam. From there, Gorebyss should use Shell Smash, and depending on the situation, use Baton Pass or attack directly. Surf is a powerful and reliable STAB move. Substitute is essential to this set because it protects Gorebyss from status and keeps it healthy. Passing an intact Substitute to a receiver is also a bonus. Alternatively, you may want to use Ice Beam to nail any Grass- or Dragon-type Pokemon who happen to switch in. Ice Beam also allows Gorebyss to deal with phazers such as Roar Latias and Dragon Tail Gyarados.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With a single Shell Smash, Gorebyss obtains a +2 boost for its Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats, making it a formidable threat. The ability to double its offensive stats makes it a great sweeper in rain (although rain is not required). However, Shell Smash also comes at the cost of lowering both of Gorebyss's defenses by one stage, making it vulnerable to priority. For these reasons, Gorebyss is best used as a late-game sweeper, when all dangerous threats have been taken care of.
After a Shell Smash boost, Surf can easily OHKO or 2HKO the majority of Pokemon who do not resist the attack. The other attacks are for coverage. Hidden Power Grass hits Jellicent, Gastrodon, Quagsire and other Pokemon immune to Water-type attacks, who could easily wall this set. Hidden Power Fire, on the other hand, enables Gorebyss to hit Ferrothorn and Abomasnow, two common switch-ins. As a small note, do not shy away from using Hidden Power Fire if Gorebyss is used on a rain team, because the attack will still be super effective against the two aforementioned threats. Ice Beam allows Gorebyss to punish phazers such as Roar Latias and Dragon Tail Salamence. The move also hits Grass-type Pokemon if Hidden Power Grass is selected.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Gorebyss does not have too many alternate options. it can use Psychic and Shadow Ball, but a STAB—potentially rain-boosted—Surf will usually deal more damage. Confuse Ray is always a fun option, but Gorebyss is usually strapped for moves. Hydro Pump may be used for raw power, but it is extremely risky since its shaky accuracy makes Gorebyss vulnerable to attacks if it misses. Gorebyss has several other options it can pass along with or in place of Shell Smash, such as Aqua Ring, Agility, Iron Defense, and Amnesia. Amnesia deserves a special mention, as it patches up Gorebyss's less-than-average Special Defense stat. Finally, Gorebyss can manually summon rain in order to use Swift Swim without relying on Drizzle Politoed, but there are other Pokemon who can do this more easily thanks to their higher defense stats.
Checks and Counters
Although, rain support is not required for any Gorebyss attempting to use Shell Smash for sweeping, removing it makes taking it down much easier. Ninetales can easily switch in and not even flinch with its stellar 100 base Special Defense, not to mention its neutrality to Water-type attacks due to Drought, and threaten Gorebyss with either Energy Ball or SolarBeam. Abomasnow has to be wary of Hidden Power Fire, but it easily can smash Gorebyss with its STAB Wood Hammer. Tyranitar absolutely hates Surf, but can easily prey on Gorebyss's -1 defenses. Hippowdon should avoid switching into Gorebyss altogether, but can come in on a less threatening Pokemon and remove the rain.
Gorebyss will always have a perfect counter, depending on which Hidden Power it chooses to run. If Hidden Power Grass is chosen, then Ferrothorn can easily switch in and proceed to set up Spikes, Thunder Wave it (or, if Gorebyss is running the Baton Pass set, Thunder Wave the receiver), or outright attack with Power Whip. If running Hidden Power Fire, Pokemon who are immune to Water-type attacks, such as Gastrodon and Vaporeon, can wall her. Speaking of walling, Blissey and Eviolite Chansey can sponge Gorebyss's attacks and cripple it with Thunder Wave or Toxic. However, great care must be taken if Gorebyss is on a rain team, as a +2 Life Orb and rain-boosted Surf can 2HKO Chansey after Stealth Rock damage. Pokemon with the Prankster ability, such as Whimsicott and Tornadus, can also cripple Gorebyss with their priority status attacks or prevent it from using Shell Smash with Taunt.