Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
In the past, Gorebyss was almost solely used as a rain sweeper or a Baton Pass user, and she received stiff competition for both roles. Luckily, BW gave her Shell Smash, which casts Gorebyss into the limelight as one of the most notable Pokemon in UU. Shell Smash is a great blessing for offensive Pokemon, as it doubles their Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats, and Gorebyss is one of only three Pokemon that can pass on the boost. Gorebyss may even use the move to sweep herself, and unlike the past generation, she does not need rain support in order to do so (although it does help greatly). However, Shell Smash's drop in Defense and Special Defense often forces her to carry White Herb in place of another item. This means that Gorebyss will usually get only one chance of passing on Shell Smash without the drops, and clever opponents will stop at nothing to exploit this fact. In addition, Gorebyss's HP and Special Defense stats are abysmal, so she can be knocked out easily even without Shell Smash's drops. Nevertheless, the prospect of having a sweeper with +2 in both offensive stats and Speed is appealing to many players, and this high risk, high reward strategy will not die off anytime soon.
Gorebyss is one of three Pokemon that can "SmashPass," that is, pass on the boosts provided by Shell Smash, making it a very popular choice among offensive teams. However, this set is also quite risky to use due to the drops in Defense and Special Defense, so Gorebyss will usually have only one chance of successfully passing on the +2 boosts without also passing on the drops. Therefore, it is very important that you assess the foe's team in Team Preview and bring Gorebyss out at the right time. Substitute is a useful move to have in the last moveslot since it blocks status conditions. In addition, if Gorebyss finds herself using Shell Smash without White Herb, then Substitute can shield her (and her receiver) from a potentially fatal attack. If Substitute is not needed, Hidden Power Electric is a good way to deal with bulky Water-type Pokemon, such as Empoleon, Suicune, and Milotic, which may otherwise threaten to phaze her.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Gorebyss is commonly seen as a SmashPasser, she can easily use Shell Smash to sweep with her fantastic base 114 Special Attack. This set can be used on a rain team or as a standalone sweeper, although it is important to note that rain support enables her to outspeed far more Pokemon. Surf is absurdly powerful, rain or not, and can 2HKO almost any Pokemon that does not resist it. For even more power, you may opt to use Hydro Pump in place of Surf, however, this is only recommended if Gorebyss is using White Herb instead of Life Orb. Otherwise, Hydro Pump's 80% accuracy would make it very risky to use since Gorebyss will have -1 defensive stats after using Shell Smash. Ice Beam and Hidden Power Electric complement Surf by hitting Dragon-, Grass-, and Water-type Pokemon that could otherwise switch into Surf.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Gorebyss does not really have any other options left. She can pass on other boosting moves such as Amensia and Iron Defense along with Shell Smash, but this would be incredibly risky and leave Gorebyss vulnerable to Taunt. On the sweeper set, Psychic is a good option to hit all of the Poison- and Fighting-type Pokemon that are running over UU. If used on a rain team, Gorebyss herself can set up Rain Dance, but this is best done by other Pokemon. As a final note, Gorebyss can opt to go mixed on the Offensive set by using Aqua Tail, but Huntail arguably does a better job at this, since it has a higher Attack stat.
Checks and Counters
The best way to shut down the SmashPass set is through the use of phazers, although it is important to note that Gorebyss's Surf can dish out quite a lot of damage after a Shell Smash. If Gorebyss does not run Hidden Power Electric, then Water-type Pokemon, such as Milotic, Suicune, and Empoleon, will take next to nothing from Surf and can easily phaze it out with Dragon Tail and Roar. Prankster Whimsicott can quickly Taunt Gorebyss before it uses either Shell Smash or Baton Pass, effectively shutting it down. Besides phazers, another way to stop Gorebyss is by hammering her with a barrage of powerful attacks, since she has pitiful HP and Special Defense stats despite significant investment in the former. If using this strategy, beware that Gorebyss is commonly paired with dual screens, and focus your attacks on the screener first.
The sweeper set can be a bit trickier to handle, since there are very few Pokemon that can safely switch into her attacks after a Shell Smash. If Gorebyss is not used on a rain team, then sending out a revenge killer can dispatch her quickly. Choice Scarf Flygon, for example, can outspeed +2 Gorebyss outside of rain and prey on her -1 Defense stat with Outrage. If Gorebyss is using White Herb over Life Orb, then she will lack the neccessary power to get through special walls such as Snorlax. Conversely, if Gorebyss uses Life Orb over White Herb, then she becomes vulnerable to priority attacks from Pokemon such as Ambipom, Hitmontop, and Honchkrow.