Sand Tomb inflicts 1/16 of the target's maximum HP as damage for two to five turns upon use, in addition to the damage dealt when it is used. When successful, the text "<Pokémon> was trapped by SAND TOMB!" appears. It also traps the target, preventing switching and escape. If the user switches out, the target will be freed. If a trapped Pokémon uses Rapid Spin, it will be freed. If a wild Pokémon uses Sand Tomb on the player's Pokémon, the player may escape if the affected Pokémon has Run Away or is holding a Smoke Ball. However, these do not allow the player to switch the Pokémon out.
Sand Tomb has a power of 15 and an accuracy of 70.
In Generation IV, if the user of Sand Tomb is holding a Grip Claw, the duration will always be 5 turns. Also, if an affected Pokémon is holding a Shed Shell, it can switch out.
Sand Tomb's power and accuracy were increased to 35 and 85 respectively, and now lasts four to five turns. If a Binding Band is held by the user, the damage done at the end of each turn will increase from 1/16 of the target's maximum HP to 1/8. The text was also altered to, "<Pokémon> became trapped by Sand Tomb!"
The end turn damage of Sand Tomb is increased from 1/16 to 1/8 of the target's maximum HP. If the user is holding a Binding Band, the end turn damage of Sand Tomb will increase to 1/6 of the target's maximum HP. Ghost-type Pokémon cannot be trapped by Sand Tomb.
Gabite waves its arms to one side, kicking up sand. Then, it waves its arms to the other side and a cyclone of sand is fired at the opponent. When the sand reaches the opponent, it spins around it like a tornado, or Gabite crouches down and medium sized sand dunes rise out of the ground and around Gabite.