Gorebyss – Fusion Strike

Date Reviewed:
December 13, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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Gorebyss (SW – Fusion Strike 067/264) is another Fusion Strike Pokémon.  Not quite a baseline Pokémon, but close as it has no Rule Boxes.  Being a Fusion Strike Pokémon is a good deal, granting access to cards like Fusion Strike Energy.  Being only worth a single Prize is kind of nice at the moment as well.  Gorebyss is a Water-type.  Spoiler, we’re not going to be attacking with this, so how often it runs into Weakness and Resistance doesn’t matter.  It probably isn’t being run in a Water deck, so how it interacts with Water support doesn’t matter, either.  Anti-Water effects might matter; I haven’t heard of anyone doing well while including Flareon (SW – Vivid Voltage 026/185), but I suppose if a Fire type that was all about its Ability became popular, it could happen.

Gorebyss is a Stage 1, evolving from Clamperl.  Clamperl can also evolve into Huntail, and we’ll discuss that a bit more later.  For now, know that being a Stage 1 is decent; Gorebyss would be a lot better if it were a Basic, but it isn’t horrible trying to work a Stage 1 line into a deck.  Gorebyss has 110 HP, low enough to still be a probable OHKO once your opponent’s deck is up and running, but too big for low HP support like Level Ball.  This does make its [L] Weakness and lack of Resistance less meaningful.  [L] attackers doing 60 through 100 damage score a OHKO they otherwise would have missed.  Any Resistance is better than none, but none is normal.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; low enough you can often pay it if you must, and relatively easy to zero-out.

Gorebyss has an Ability and knows one attack.  Since I brought it up as not worth using earlier, we’ll get the attack out of the way first.  For [WC] Gorebyss can use “Draining Kiss” to do 50 damage to your opponent’s Active while healing 20 damage from itself.  Competitive two-energy attacks generally need to hit harder and/or have a better effect, especially on something as small as Gorebyss.  So, what is the Ability?  “Rapid Strike Canceler” stops your opponent’s Rapid Strike Pokémon from having Abilities.  Not that I expect you’d run Gorebyss alongside Rapid Strike Pokémon, but it does spare you own.

Okay, now for what is related to Gorebyss.  The older Gorebyss cards that are still Expanded-legal aren’t anything to write home about, so let’s talk about Clamperl.  Clamperl (SW – Fusion Strike 065/264) is a 60 HP, Basic Fusion Strike Pokémon with [L] Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [CC], and the attack “Bursting Bubble” that costs [C] and does 10 damage.  Yeah, pure filler.  Still, it is your best option since it is the only Clamperl that is also a Fusion Strike Pokémon.  Maybe in Expanded, you should consider Clamperl (SM – Celestial Storm 41/168), as you don’t actually have to evolve from a Fusion Strike Pokémon from a Fusion Strike Pokémon.  Its “Evolutionary Advantage” Ability lets you immediately evolve it on your first turn if you’re going second; in other words, on Turn 2 and only Turn 2.

The other card to consider is Huntail (SW – Fusion Strike 066/264), as it also Evolves from Clamperl.  Granted, the same is true of all other Huntail cards, but I don’t think any of the older options still legal in Expanded are worth it.  What makes the Fusion Strike version an exception is its own Ability… and you can read more on that in its own Card of the Day article that was also posted today.

Getting back to Gorebyss, I believe it to be viable TecH.  A 1-1 line could be a lifesaver against some of the more popular Rapid Strike decks.  Or a 2-1 line, 2-2 line, etc. especially if Huntail proves worthwhile.  Here’s a quick list of the Rapid Strike Pokémon with Abilities that I know have at least some proven competitive value:

  • Empoleon V
  • Inteleon (SW – Chilling Reign 043/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH113; SW – Evolving Skies 227/203)
  • Inteleon VMAX (SW – Fusion Strike 079/264, 266/264)
  • Octillery (SW – Battle Styles 037/163, 173/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH089)
  • Passimian (SW – Chilling Reign 088/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH115)
  • Rayquaza VMAX
  • Sylveon V

Yes, Fusion Strike Energy can offer protection against something like the above Inteleon and Inteleon V, but this goes beyond that… and doesn’t require dedicating Special Energy to protect Bench-sitters you don’t plan on attacking with.  I don’t know if anyone has tried this and succeeded, but it should be at least plausible.  Maybe it sounds generous, but that’s good enough for a three-out-of-five.  In Expanded, I’m also going to be generous, with a two-out-of-five.  How is that generous?  If you just want to counter Abilities in general, you have better options in Expanded.  The same if you just want to counter Abilities on Basics.  I don’t know if there are enough Rapid Strike Abilities doing well in Expanded to be worth even a true TecH slot, even with access to tricks like Ditto {*}.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

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