Gorebyss (Poké Monday 3/21/16)

 RNG (Gorebyss)

Tier: PU
Type: Water
Base Stats: 55 HP, 84 Atk, 105 Def, 114 Sp.Atk, 75 Sp.Def, 52 Speed
Abilities: Swift Swim, Hydration (hidden)

Usable moves: Agility, Aqua Tail, Baton Pass, Blizzard, Body Slam, Coil, Double-Edge, Façade, Frustration, Hidden Power (Electric, Fighting, Fire, Grass), Hydro Pump, Ice Beam, Protect, Psychic, Rest, Return, Scald, Shadow Ball, Shell Smash, Signal Beam, Sleep Talk, Substitute, Surf, Toxic, Waterfall

Overview

Gorebyss is one of 11 fully-evolved Pokémon (4 in its tier) with access to Shell Smash (courtesy of its pre-evolution), a wonderful boosting move introduced in the 5th generation that boosts its offensive stats by 2 stages while lowering its defensive stats by 1 (although note that the stat drops can be restored with White Herb). Because of that—along with a respectable base 114 Special Attack, decent 55/105/75 bulk, and typing you can’t go wrong with offensively or defensively—it is a formidable foe, even if its coverage (which is basically STAB + Ice Beam + Hidden Power) is relatively normal for a Water-type and its below-average base 52 Speed makes it easy to Taunt.

It does also get Baton Pass (and is one of only 3 with access to the combination of Shell Smash and Baton Pass), but the Baton Pass clause makes it so that Speed cannot be passed with any other stat, which in turn makes it illegal to run Shell Smash and Baton Pass on the same moveset.

Even still, Gorebyss is a threat that can wreak havoc if left to set up.

Set

Gorebyss @ White Herb
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 16 HP / 252 SpA / 240 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk / 30 SpA
– Shell Smash
– Hydro Pump
– Ice Beam
– Hidden Power [Grass]

Simple set here. Shell Smash boosts Gorebyss’s strength to impressive levels while patching up its poor Speed stat. Hydro Pump is its strongest STAB and boasts great coverage and power as usual. Ice Beam is mandatory coverage for Grass- and Dragon-types that resist its STAB. Hidden Power Grass grants it further coverage, specifically against opposing Water-types, which especially helps against Pokémon immune to Water such as Lapras and Politoed.

EVs and nature ensure maximum power and slightly add to its bulk while keeping it faster than max Speed neutral-natured base 50s such as Regice and Bellossom. (However, you could go max Speed just to speed tie with Huntail and opposing Gorebyss.) White Herb is used to restore its bulk when it goes for Shell Smash. Swift Swim is the preferred ability because, although the use of rain is rather limited in the tier, a direct Speed boost would be better than situational status prevention in the event that rain does occur (especially against opposing Swift Swim users such as Golduck). IVs are tuned for Hidden Power Grass with minimized Attack to reduce damage from Foul Play and whatnot.

Note that one Shell Smash is not enough to outspeed Choice Scarf Rotom-F. This fact is critical when using Gorebyss. Either eliminate Rotom-F beforehand or try to get another boost before attempting to face it. Sawsbuck, Simisage, and medium-sized Gourgeist are other potentially Scarfed threats to be wary of when using this set.

Other Options

Substitute can be used as a failsafe against the aforementioned Scarfed threats, although it requires giving up offensive coverage and, in some situations, sacrificing Gorebyss’s durability. Hidden Power Electric is an alternative for HP Grass as a means to guarantee OHKOing Swanna regardless of boosts, although keep in mind that it’s less powerful against Relicanth and Whiscash, not to mention it’s useless against Lightning Rod Seaking. That’s all in terms of moves.

As for items, Gorebyss could swap its White Herb for a Life Orb (for extra power) or a Lum Berry (as a failsafe against status conditions such as paralysis). Wacan Berry and Rindo Berry are also options, and the purpose of such items is to make it easier to set up against faster super-effective attackers.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/sqceXuDz

This team contains:

  • Gorebyss (set above)
  • Torkoal for hazards and hazard control
  • Leafeon to complete the Fire-Water-Grass core
  • Ditto to check opposing sweepers
  • Clefairy as a special wall with clerical support
  • Ninjask as a Baton Pass recipient (although its type synergy with Leafeon is not that great)
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