A terror even to OU, Gorebyss somehow found her way down to the depths of NU, where her very presence is almost a death sentence to unprepared teams. Although she was prominent as a Rain Dance sweeper in DPP UU, BW gave her a tool that surpassed all others: Shell Smash. With doubled Special Attack and Speed in one turn, Gorebyss can devastate unprepared teams at a moment's notice. Additionally, Gorebyss has excellent coverage in three moves, shredding through the bulky Water- and Grass-types that would otherwise resist her STAB moves. Rain Dance only bolsters her power even more, as Swift Swim doubles her Speed and the rain provides an additional boost to her STAB attacks.
On paper, very few Pokemon are able to stand up to her onslaught, and as Lanturn and Slowking moved up to RU, her last remaining counters were gone. Regardless of the lack of counters, however, the NU metagame has molded itself around Gorebyss. Many checks have emerged, ranging from fast Choice Scarf users such as Rotom-S, to enormously bulky special walls such as Lickilicky, to priority from the likes of Skuntank. The metagame has made it very difficult for Gorebyss to set up, as well; many teams are built to status Gorebyss as soon as possible, or pack a super effective move on nearly every Pokemon. Her checks have become omnipresent, with many teams even using several of them. With so many obstacles to her success, Gorebyss needs to have plenty of support to be effective in every match.
This set showcases Gorebyss's sweeping potential and amazing coverage, hitting the entirety of NU for at least neutral damage, with the exception of Shedinja. Shell Smash is the cornerstone of every Gorebyss set, as the +2 Special Attack and Speed boosts are invaluable. The use of this set is fairly self-explanatory: find something to set up on, such as Lairon or Regirock, boost up, and proceed to sweep. Surf is the best STAB option, as it's reliable and powerful, but Hydro Pump can be used in its place for incredible power. With a +2 Life Orb Hydro Pump, Gorebyss will knock even dedicated special walls on their haunches—when coupled with a Modest nature, Gorebyss will always OHKO specially defensive Lickilicky after Stealth Rock damage. Ice Beam nails bulky Grass-types, such as Vileplume and Exeggutor, as well as Dragon-types, such as Dragonair and Altaria. On the other hand, Hidden Power Grass provides coverage on the bulky Water-types that resist both Surf and Ice Beam.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although giving up a coverage move drastically cuts her effectiveness, the inclusion of Substitute benefits Gorebyss greatly. Occasionally, a Pokemon that Gorebyss usually forces out will attempt to stay in to prevent Gorebyss from getting a clean sweep. For example, many Regirock run Thunder Wave, which will cut Gorebyss's Speed and crush any hopes of achieving a clean sweep. Likewise, Golem might stay in and use Earthquake on a predicted Shell Smash, then use Sucker Punch for the 2HKO. Substitute allows Gorebyss to assess the situation and respond appropriately, rather than guess what the opponent will do and possibly mispredict. Gorebyss can handle her usual switch-ins behind a Substitute as well; Rotom-S, for example, is OHKOed by unboosted Ice Beam even before Stealth Rock damage. Substitute also prevents status, meaning that if Regirock were to use Thunder Wave, Gorebyss will escape untouched and with a Substitute intact.
Surf provides STAB and is generally a much better option than Hydro Pump, as Gorebyss cannot afford to miss, or her Substitute will be wasted. The choice between coverage moves is a difficult one, but Ice Beam is usually the preferred choice because of the numerous Grass-types in the tier, as well as Altaria and Rotom-S, all of whom would soundly defeat any Gorebyss lacking Ice Beam. On the other hand, Hidden Power Grass has several advantages of its own, namely defeating bulky Water-types such as Alomomola and Lapras.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Outside of Shell Smash, Gorebyss doesn't have very many options. Baton Pass and Shell Smash are illegal together in NU, so Gorebyss is left with Agility, Amnesia, and Iron Defense, all of which are fairly mediocre options in comparison. Psychic and Shadow Ball are among Gorebyss's strongest moves, but Ice Beam and Hidden Power Grass give much better coverage. Gorebyss can use Rain Dance on her own, but a Shell Smash set with Rain Dance support from her teammates is infinitely better, and can often mean instant doom if Gorebyss can get a Shell Smash under rain. A defensive set with Rest and Hydration might seem viable, but without an auto-rain inducer, it puts heavy pressure on you to maintain Rain Dance, and generally isn't effective. Scald's burn rate is nice, but the incredible power of Surf and Hydro Pump is nearly always more useful. Toxic can be used on some of Gorebyss's common switch-ins, such as Lickilicky, but Gorebyss generally will be better off attacking them with the appropriate moves.
Checks and Counters
While no single Pokemon fully counters the mighty Gorebyss, many stand out as checks, and it's wise to carry at least one in a team, if not more. Lickilicky can tank her attacks and hit back hard with Return or threaten to OHKO with Power Whip. Specially defensive Throh will be able to take a boosted Surf and Circle Throw her boosts away, forcing her to take entry hazard damage upon return. Regice can live through even a +2 Hydro Pump and will OHKO with Thunderbolt.
Choice Scarf Rotom-S outspeeds even +2 Timid Gorebyss and can OHKO her with Volt Switch. In general, fast Choice Scarf users such as Raichu and Electabuzz will be able to revenge kill Gorebyss, even after a boost. Finally, one can prey on the imperfect coverage of the Substitute sets: Samurott and Simipour give trouble to non-Hidden Power Grass variants, while bulky Grass-types such as Vileplume will defeat any Gorebyss lacking Ice Beam. Preventing Gorebyss from setting up is the best way to handle her, by bombarding her with attacks or by anticipating her entrance into the battle and switching appropriately.