Japanese Name: ロズレイド (Rozureido)
Classification: Bouquet Pokémon
Weight: 32.0 lbs
Gender Ratios: Male 50% – Female 50%
Base Stats: HP 60 / Atk 70 / Def 55 / SpAtk 125 / SpDef 105 / Spd 90
Abilities: Natural Cure / Poison Point / Technician (Hidden Ability)
Roserade is one of several additional species of Pokemon added in with the 4th Generation “reboot” of a number of Pokemon, such as Rhyperior, Togekiss, Weavile and Gliscor, adding another evolutionary stage and considerably greater power and range of effect to help a number of 2nd and 3rd Generation Pokemon gain a foothold in general use. While Roselia has a solid root in RU, Roserade shines in UU/OU, being a premier caster of Spikes with the added benefit of scaring away common Spinners like Starmie and Donphan while working magic in a Sandstorm-heavy metagame. That said, Roserade only has an above-average Speed, and her stats make her a rather specialized Pokemon to have on a team. Many faster casters of Spikes and Toxic Spikes, or even bulkier casters, are often chosen over Roserade, which means that for her to work on a team one needs to have proper support for her, appropriate partners, and be able to utilize the unique options she can bring to the table.
Roserade’s most attractive stat options revolve around her Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed. With a base Special Attack of 125, even an uninvested Roserade can hit shockingly hard, and with Giga Drain as an attack option, Roserade can gain a great deal of health back for herself. Roserade also has a fantastic Special Defense, permitting her to survive attacks that Grass/Poison typing often leaves her vulnerable to. While Roserade sits at a base 90 Speed, which is passable, what role she plays and what moves she can use are ultimately what make or break her when compared to this stat. Base 90 isn’t terribly fleet-footed, and leaves her vulnerable to counter-attack or revenge kill, particularly when an opponent can predict a Grass or Poison attack, which makes up most of Roserade’s arsenal.
As with the majority of stereotypical flower metaphors, Roserade is quite fragile and almost delicate on the physical end. With an HP stat of 60 and a Defense of 55, Roserade abhors rough-and-tumble activity, making her deployment somewhat situational. Though Giga Drain, Rest and Synthesis are all reliable ways to cover HP, Roserade won’t be taking too many physical hits, so use caution. Ironically, Roserade learns a large number of physical attacks, like Razor Leaf, Pin Missile, Poison Jab, Seed Bomb, Natural Gift and Giga Impact, despite (or perhaps in spite of) her base 70 Attack stat, making those moves, no matter their power, a far weaker option than her Special Attack options.
Roserade’s attack options are best summed up in her Grass and Poison Special moves: Sludge Bomb, Hyper Beam, Giga Drain, Magical Leaf, Solarbeam, Petal Dance, Energy Ball, Leaf Storm and Venoshock are all effective moves that work with her STAB bonuses. Grass Knot alone has incredible value against Sandstorm abusers Tyranitar and Hippowdon, both of whom are much slower than Roserade and won’t appreciate a STAB Grass Knot one bit. Though Politoed has a great deal of Special bulk, it also will not appreciate being countered with HP-sapping STAB Grass moves, making Roserade an excellent counter to these types of weather-inducers. Roserade also has access to Shadow Ball and Extrasensory, but are somewhat weak coverage options. As stated earlier, her Physical attacks are slightly more varied, but ultimately suffer at the hands of her base 70 Attack stat.
What Roserade lacks in type coverage, though, she makes up for in Status moves. With Natural Cure as an ability, Rest becomes an effective way to cure off conditions and heal up, then switch for the removal of the self-induced Sleep status. Synthesis is a powerful self-healing move, but needs to be used with caution with Sandstorm lurking around many corners. Aromatherapy, while normally a staple of other Pokemon like Blissey, can be used to great effect on Roserade, making her an invaluable way to cure Burns and Paralysis from your teammates. Toxic, Stun Spore, Sleep Powder, Grasswhistle and Cotton Spore are all ways for Roserade to spread chaos and discord in a team’s lineup, and Sunny Day and Rain Dance can help support an appropriate team. Psych Up is a great way to duplicate stat-up effects to add more power to Roserade, and while Swords Dance looks okay from the outside, its Attack stat and the time it takes to set up the Dance makes it a rather unpopular strategy. Worry Seed and Leech Seed are also options, with the former making a Rest/Chesto wall unable to Rest or Chesto, and the latter draining away even more HP, making a combination of Leech Seed and Giga Drain extremely effective. Without a doubt, however, Roserade’s most popular Status moves are Spikes and Toxic Spikes, enabling Sash-breaking and allowing Poisoned or Badly Poisoned status to be employed against an enemy team.
Roserade’s abilities are Poison Point, Natural Cure, and the as-of-yet-unreleased Technician. Poison Point is almost always unused due to the fact that contact attacks that would activate the ability are almost always Physical hits, which Roserade would fall prey to. Natural Cure is by far Roserade’s best option, allowing for Rest/switching with no need to have a Chesto Berry or other similar item, and it allows her to absorb predicted status conditions and relieve them by a simple switchout. Technician is its own bag of cats, though. Many of her physical hits have a base power at or below 60, allowing Technician to do its work, but short of Choice Banding or Swords Dancing, getting her stats to back up the Technician-boosted attacks is a rough sell.
For teammates, Roserade loves Pokemon that can take the field when her inevitable weaknesses rear their ugly heads. Blastoise and Swampert are great choices for bulky Water types capable of taking Psychic, Fire or Ice attacks. For spin blockers, Ghosts like Cofagrigus and especially Flash Fire Chandelure are fantastic partners. Along that same route, Houndoom is capable of absorbing Fire hits and replying back with even stronger Fire attacks. Pokemon with strong Electric attacks are also nice to have in order to blast Flying types out of the sky, and Rock attacks can leave Flying, Fire and Ice types quaking in their boots. Taunt Aerodactyl is great at shutting down walls that Roserade might have trouble outlasting and can fire off Earthquake and Stone Edge, being able to punch holes in her weaknesses and powering off Special walls.
All things considered, Roserade is an excellent Pokemon, well-deserving of its current place in UU/OU. Invaluable as a Grass-type Spiker with the power to put fear into the hearts of Water- and Ground-type Spinners, and renowned as a potent, if situational, special attacker and cleric, the Bouquet Pokemon has a lot to bring to your team in terms of support or firepower, and will be a valuable asset when the situation calls for her.