Gorebyss, The South Sea Pokémon. Gorebyss lives in the southern seas at extreme depths. Its body is built to withstand the enormous pressure of water at incredible depths. Because of this, this Pokémon's body is unharmed by ordinary attacks. Although Gorebyss is the very picture of elegance and beauty while swimming, it is also cruel. When it spots prey, this Pokémon inserts its thin mouth into the prey's body and drains the prey of its body fluids. Its swimming form is exquisitely elegant. With its thin mouth, it feeds on seaweed that grows between rocks. In the springtime, its pink body turns more vivid for some reason.
As the better of two eels, Gorebyss is certainly laughing it up over her evolutionary counterpart, Huntail. While both have pretty lackluster stat spreads all around, Gorebyss ended up being the special attacker while Huntail was the physical attacker. As a result, compared to Huntail, Gorebyss packs a stronger Scald, a stronger coverage move in Ice Beam, and generally better coverage in general by better utilizing Hidden Power. Of course, none of this would matter were if Gorebyss didn’t have something to set itself apart from the rest of the ocean of water types out there, considering how many Pokemon outclass it based on stats alone. But fortunately, much like its outclassed counterpart, Gorebyss has access to the lethal combination of Shell Smash and Baton Pass. Shell Smash is an amazing boosting move on its own, but the ability to Baton Pass it makes it a potent win condition for a team. Unfortunately, it’s still got its share of flaws. Both its HP and Speed are poor, meaning that it’s not especially bulky nor especially fast prior to getting off a Shell Smash. It’s also stuck with two abilities that don’t do a whole lot for it, given they’re both dependent upon weather. As such, you pretty much always want to use the “SmashPass” combo if you’re using Gorebyss, since it is Gorebyss’s best niche, and the whole reason to use it at all. If you’re not, there’s definitely a water type that can do its job better… but hey, at least it outclasses Huntail!
Swift Swim: When rainy, The Pokémon’s Speed doubles. However, Speed will not double on the turn weather becomes Heavy Rain. - Swift Swim’s actually a pretty potent ability. Doubling your speed stat in the rain can make a Pokemon extremely difficult to outpace, even one with a low base speed like Gorebyss. Unfortunately, if there’s no rain… then this ability does nothing. Still, it’s the better of its two abilities, since if Rain is up, speed is always useful.
Into the Gorebyss
And here we have it, Gorebyss’s main set, and the main reason it’s usable, even in higher levels of play. Shell Smash is the crux of this set, and if you haven’t figured out by my ravings about it by now, this move is amazing. Shell Smash is like a Swords Dance, Nasty Plot, and Agility all rolled into one, at the cost of -1 defense and special defense, which can be offset by the hold item, White Herb, turning it into a one-time free +2 Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. That’s good news for Gorebyss, but what makes it even better is being able to Baton Pass that boost to another Pokemon. Passing all those stat boosts to something like Nidoking, Kyurem-Black, Mega Diancie, etc., who already have solid mixed stats, can turn them into a nuclear-powered bringer of doom, which can be an easy “win condition”. Of course, sometimes maybe you don’t need to pass those Shell Smash boosts. Maybe sometimes, you need to stay put and remind people that Gorebyss is something to be feared. In which case, a STAB attack to punish things with that +2 Special Attack boost that Shell Smash brings is a no-brainer. Surf has superior damage, but Scald has the ever-annoying 30% burn chance if you feel like rolling the dice in exchange for a little bit of power. For its final moveslot, it can opt for Ice Beam to take on a more offensive role, which provides great coverage alongside its Water STAB, hitting things such as Dragon and Grass types who resist water for super effective damage. On the other hand, Substitute can block attempts to cripple Gorebyss or its Baton Pass recipient with status. It can also help make it easier to Baton Pass to frailer recipients, since the Substitute will take the attack for them when Baton Passed. The lack of coverage may seem like a problem, but in general, Gorebyss should always seek to Baton Pass its Shell Smash, since although it can use its own Shell Smash boosts, it faces stiff competition from Omastar in terms of a pure Shell Smasher with no Baton Passing involved.
The given Speed EVs allow Gorebyss to outspeed speed natured base 135 Pokemon after a Shell Smash, which includes Mega Lopunny and Mega Manectric. The remaining EVs are put into its low base HP to maximize its bulk, with the leftover 4 EVs being put into Special Defense. A Calm Nature helps to patch up Gorebyss’s underwhelming special bulk, especially considering that the extra speed from Timid or extra power from Modest is often unneeded after a Shell Smash boost. A White Herb is always preferred as Gorebyss’s item to allow it to offset the defense drops of Shell Smash.
It’s also worth noting that Gorebyss greatly appreciates Dual Screen support to provide itself with an opportunity to safely boost. Its bulk is only average at best due to its low HP, so the defensive support of Dual Screens can help Gorebyss survive some otherwise deadly attacks, making it that much easier to Baton Pass those Shell Smash boosts.
-Coil is a surprising option that Gorebyss has access to in OR/AS, but even more surprising is the fact that Huntail tends to use it better since it can actually utilize the attack boosts in a pinch. Not really worth it for Gorebyss to carry it.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Gorebyss is the more commonly seen evolution of Clamperl in the competitive world. It's Special attack is higher than Huntail's and Gorebyss's offenses can't be slowed down with Burns or Intimidates. It can Smash Pass or Smash and Sweep... if it's able to get that set up turn in edgewise that is. Not many players will ignore Gorebyss, knowing fully well how much damage it or it's pass partner can do after a Shell Smash
Gorebyss has higher base Special Attack than Sylveon and has access to a Double Dragon Dance of sorts. Though missing out entirely on the STAB Pixeliated Hyper Voices. Gorebyss can dedicate itself to one of two roles featuring Shell Smash, the first is Baton Passing the Smash to something deadly like Mega Salamence, the second being to attempt a sweep on its own through +2 STAB Water moves and coverage. Scald is a beautiful move. 100% accurate STAB with 30% Burn rate, arguably the best water type move overall. Muddy Water gets mentioned here because it is double target with a NASTY 30% chance to drop accuracy one stage. Factoring in Accuracy this will happen to an opponent about 25% of the time when the move is selected. Ice Beam is filler/coverage, but Psychic, Shadow Ball, Icy Wind and even Signal Beam can be used here depending on what your team needs coverage against. Max investment in a positive speed nature will have Gorebyss Speed tie +1 Nuetral base speed 100's like Zapdos after a Shell Smash. Foregoing the positive Speed will have Gorebyss speed tie with Positive Choice Scarf Smeargle after a Shell Smash. Hydration is preferred over Swift Swim because being able to dodge Paralysis or Sleep in Rain. Also Swift Swimmers enjoy using their boosted speed to lauch hard hitting attacks as fast as possible in rain, not use a turn to set up and sweep.
Gorebyss appreciates being able to set up safely, so Fake Out or Redirection support will be necessary to get the most out of Gorebyss. Friend Guard Eviolite Clefairy can protect not only Gorebyss, but also whoever Gorebyss decides to Smash Pass to. Kanghaskhan has Fake Out and enough presence to be considered a bigger threat than Gorebyss, which is redirection in itself.
Gorebyss isn't exactly a bulky water type, so switching in safely is a delicate matter, a lack of strong coverage moves leaves it unable to deal serious damage to common Pokemon like Wash Rotom or other Water types in general. Also after Shell Smashing it is very vulnerable to priority attacks like Sucker Punch and Talonflame's Brave Bird. Like Smeargle however, don't ignore it outright, handle it on sight, because a free turn or two for them can spell disaster for the battle.
The combination of Shell Smash and Baton Pass may be potent, but there are a few things you can do to circumvent it. In the formats where Gorebyss is most common, the easiest thing to do is obviously to Taunt Gorebyss with something like Mismagius who already outspeeds it, or trick a Choice Scarf on it with something like Rotom or Mesprit. Doing either of these will stop Gorebyss from setting up and/or passing its boosts. Likewise, Encore can lock Gorebyss into Shell Smash, forcing it to continue to smash its defenses, making it easy pickings. Liepard gets special mention as being a Prankster user of the move, so it can switch-in on a predicted Shell Smash and lock Huntail into it. If you want to KO Gorebyss though, there’s a few Pokemon who can deal with it rather well. An offensive Lanturn is only 3HKO’ed a little over half the time by +2 Surf, while 1HKOing Gorebyss with Specs Volt Switch the majority of the time. Defensive Lanturn is 5HKO’d by +2 Surf, while it 2HKOs with an Electric STAB if Stealth Rock is up. Mantine is immune to Surf thanks to Water Absorb, and can stall Gorebyss out with Ice Beam only being able to 5HKO. Lucidolo packs a 4x resistance to Surf, but has to be wary of Ice Beam which can 2HKO at +2. That said, it can soundly 1HKO with a Modest LIfe Orb Giga Drain, and heal back the damage taken at the same time. Jynx is an odd counter, as its dry Skin lets it absorb Surf, and Ice Beam only 4HKOs at +2. Meanwhile, Jynx can 4HKO with Psyshock, 2HKO with Psychic, Trick a Scarf onto Gorebyss, or put Gorebyss to sleep with Sweet Kiss. In addition, Scarf sets outspeed Gorebyss even after a Shell Smash. Poliwrath fears only the rare HP Grass, but it is only 6HKO’ed by Ice Beam. Meanwhile, it can just phase Gorebyss (or its Baton Pass recipient) with Circle Throw to rid them of their boosts. Quagsire can utilize Unaware to ignore those boosts, can can stall out Gorebyss with Toxic and Recover. It has to be wary of Hidden Power Grass, but fortunately Surf only 3HKO’s. All of the Rotom Forms can check Gorebyss, since with a Choice Scarf they outspeed Gorebyss even after a Shell Smash, and with Stealth Rock up Thunderbolt has over a 90% chance to 1HKO. Lilligant can be an interesting check, since it can put Gorebyss to sleep with Sleep Powder to stop it from setting up, or KO it with Giga Drain, but it can’t switch in since Ice Beam 1HKO’s at +2. Vileplume is in the same boat, being able to soundly 1HKO with Giga Drain on offensive sets, and having Sleep Powder to try and neuter Gorebyss lacking Substitute. Meowstic can be a panic button of sorts by utilizing Prankster Thunder Wave to paralyze Gorebyss, but it does have to watch out for Substitutes being up.
In more inclusive formats, it’s not unheard of to see Gorebyss for its SmashPass prowess, but there are more hurdles for Gorebyss to overcome. Things like Mega Venusaur, Azumarill (especially with Assault Vest), Rotom-W, and Ferrothorn are all difficult for Gorebyss to break, even at +2, and all of the above can 1HKO or 2HKO Gorebyss without duress. In addition, many have status or secondary effects (Sleep Powder, Knock Off, Play Rough, Will-o-Wisp, et.) that can screw over potential Baton Pass recipients. Chansey is of course an insurmountable obstacle for Gorebyss as it is for all special attackers, as Chansey is capable of stalling out Gorebyss. Unaware Clefable is only 4HKO’ed by Surf, and can beat Gorebyss with a combination of Moonblast and Softboiled. Manaphy has the bulk to only be 4HKO’ed by +2 Surf, and can 2HKO with an unboosted Energy Ball, or just boost with Tail Glow or Calm Mind. Assault Vest Raikou has a very low chance to be 2HKO’ed, to the point where it’s more often 3HKO’ed, but it can 1HKO Gorebyss with Thunderbolt. Kyurem-B is only 3HKO’ed by Ice Beam at +2, but can 1HKO with Fusion Bolt. Empoleon’s typing and bulk allows it to survive any attack Gorebyss can throw at it, even at +2, and subsequently use Roar to phase out Gorebyss (or is Baton Pass recipient) to get rid of those Shell Smash boosts. Specially Defensive Poyrgon2 is more often than not 4HKO’ed by +2 Surf, but can 2HKO with Thunderbolt, cripple with Thunder Wave if a Substitute is not up, and use Recover to stay healthy. Goodra’s Assault Vest set has enough bulk to only be 3HKO’ed by +2 Ice Beam, while it can 2HKO with Draco Meteor or Thunderbolt, or phase it out with Dragon Tail. Milotic is only 5HKO’ed by +2 Surf, and it can stall Gorebyss out with Toxic+Recover, or phase it out with Dragon Tail. Virizion can check Gorebyss even at +2, as it survives a +2 Ice Beam and can 1HKO with Giga Drain about 40% of the time (a guarantee with Stealth Rock Up). It’s also possible for many Pokemon to utilize Knock Off against Gorebyss to rid it of its White Herb, which means that it gets, and has to pass, the defense drops that come with Shell Smash, which can make revenge killing easier. In the end though, most strong special attackers can 2HKO Gorebyss by hitting its weaker special defense, and if it can’t get off the Shell Smash, it’s a pretty lackluster eel, and one that’s not difficult to deal with. Just watch out for whatever it may be passing its Shell Smash to, especially if it’s got Dual Screen support to make it easier for Gorebyss to survive.
Clamperls Before Swine
Clamperl has such a serene and innocent face… and one that belies the fact that it has one of the most devastating, nuclear-powered special attack stats in the entirely of the Little Cup. A base 74 Special Attack stat might not seem like anything special, but with its trademark item, the DeepSeaTooth, its special attack stat is doubled, giving it a base 34 special attack with a timid nature. This is absolutely unprecedented, and unlike things such as Choice Items or Life Orb, there are no drawbacks whatsoever. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Well it gets even better, because Clamperl’s got access to Shell Smash as well, which turns that 34 special attack into a terrifying 68 special attack. Not only that, but it gets its speed doubled as well, which is good because Clamperl’s speed is pretty low. However, unlike its evolution, it doesn’t have the luxury of carrying a White Herb, so it does have to deal with the defense drops, which can leave it prone to revenge killing. As you might guess, Surf is Clamperl’s main STAB attack. It’s perfectly accurate and hits decently hard. Pretty self explanatory, really. Ice Beam, on the other hand, can wreck the grass types who might think they can switch into Clamperl’s STAB, and with Clamperl’s high special attack it can 2HKO even Foongus, who is is among the bulkiest grass types in the tier. For its last slot, Hidden Power can expand Clamperl’s coverage. Hidden Power Grass can deal with other water types, such as Chinchou and opposing Clamperl, while Hidden Power Fire can fry Ferroseed, who is otherwise a pretty solid counter. Just be warned though; Clamperl may hit like a truck, but it’s pretty slow. Even after a Shell Smash, it’s only reaching 26 speed, which means that faster Choice Scarf users can outspeed it. Its special bulk is also relatively low, and Shell Smash makes it easier to revenge kill with the defense drops. Still, Clamperl is something to be feared.
The nature and EVs maximize Clamperl’s speed and special attack. A modest nature can be considered for a little more power, but unfortunately it makes it even easier to revenge kill by Choice Scarf users, so Timid is usually your best bet. 80 EVs are put into special defense to patch up the weaker side of its bulk. As for its ability, Rattled can allow Clamperl to eat a U-Turn, Sucker Punch, or Knock Off to net a speed boost, so it’s usually preferable.
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