Despite finding itself in an increasingly hostile metagame, Roserade still manages to stand tall. Not only is it one of the few Pokemon to possess both Spikes and Toxic Spikes, but it also combines 105 base Special Defense with crucial Water and Electric resistances. Combine this with Natural Cure, and you've got a Pokemon that can switch into Volt Switches, Scalds, and even some Thunders with impunity. To top it off, it's even got an excellent 125 base Special Attack and decent 90 base Speed, giving it the ability to really turn up the heat on opposing teams. Factor in Sleep Powder and the explosive force of STAB Leaf Storm, and Roserade has a lot going for it.
However, not everything is coming up roses for Roserade in OU. Competition from Tentacruel and Ferrothorn cut into its appeal, and its limited coverage can make it a liability against some dangerous Pokemon, such as Latias, Multiscale Dragonite, and Kyurem-Black. Finally, as an offensive force, Chlorophyll users like Venusaur just bring more to the table. Still, with all it brings to the table, Roserade is more than capable of fitting into teams of any stripe.
This is perhaps Roserade's best set in the OU metagame, using its typing and excellent support movepool to its advantage. Roserade's calling card over other Grass-types is its access to both Spikes and Toxic Spikes, a trait only shared with Forretress and Cloyster in OU. Roserade's typing is quite useful for defensive teams, as it lets Roserade absorb Toxic Spikes and resist Water, Fighting, Grass, and Electric. This typing allows it to go toe-to-toe with Keldeo, Rotom-W, and Jellicent, Pokemon that defensive teams have trouble with, and thanks to Natural Cure it can absorb stray status moves and even set up on bulky Water-types without fearing Scald. It does a decent job at breaking VoltTurn as well if it can avoid taking too much damage from strong U-turns or other powerful physical attacks..
Roserade's most important move on this set is definitely Spikes, its best available entry hazard. Giga Drain allows it to take a chunk out of Water-types and Terrakion, while Hidden Power Fire lets it hammer Ferrothorn, Forretress, and Scizor. Rest lets it heal up to full HP in order to continue its job later in a battle. On most Pokemon, Rest is looked down on, as these Pokemon are stuck asleep for two turns or more. Roserade, however, can heal itself just by switching out thanks to Natural Cure. Roserade is an excellent user of Toxic Spikes as well as Spikes, and can run it over Spikes or Hidden Power Fire. The EV spread listed allows Roserade to take a Choice Band Bullet Punch from Scizor and a Choice Specs Secret Sword from Keldeo.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
While Roserade's most common role is as a somewhat offensive user of Spikes and Toxic Spikes, it can pull off a surprisingly good offensive set due to its surprisingly decent Speed and amazing Special Attack. Its typing and ability provide even more benefits not commonly seen in the OU tier. Due to its Poison typing, it is one of the best offensive Toxic Spikes absorbers, and while its ability might seem redundant in conjunction with its immunity to poison, Natural Cure allows it to practically shrug off paralysis and sleep, which would effectively remove any other offensive Pokemon from the match.
First and foremost, Roserade's powerful STAB Leaf Storm, augmented by its excellent Special Attack, packs an incredible punch. Leaf Storm's unfortunate side effect often forces Roserade out after one hit, however, so Sludge Bomb provides a powerful secondary STAB attack with the added benefit of hitting Latios, Dragonite, and Salamence on the switch. Hidden Power Fire rounds off Roserade's coverage and allows it to hit Pokemon such as Skarmory and Ferrothorn super effectively. Hidden Power Ground is an alternative that allows Roserade to hit Heatran, which otherwise walls it, and gives a 31 Speed IV. However, it comes at the cost of the ability to hit many of OU's Steel-types. Sleep Powder is an excellent utility move that can remove a problematic Pokemon from the match, while Toxic Spikes provides nice team support rarely seen on an offensive Pokemon.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Weather Ball is pretty awesome on weather teams. Rain and sun essentially give Roserade a 150 Base Power Water- or Fire-type move and grant you the ability to use Hidden Power Ice or Hidden Power Ground respectively, although you're really better off using a Chlorophyll sweeper such as Venusaur on Sun teams. Sandstorm gives Roserade a Rock-type Weather Ball, which provides some useful coverage on Flying-type switch-ins. Hail makes Weather Ball Ice-type, which provides amazing coverage with Hidden Power Fire; this compounds your Hail team's weakness to Fire-type moves, however. Extrasensory smacks Infernape as it switches in and hits Poison-types hard, making it wonderful alongside Toxic Spikes. Leech Seed can be used to bug Heatran and sap ridiculous amounts of health from Blissey and Chansey. Aromatherapy is a great support option, but unless you have a very status-weak team, it's probably outclassed by another move.
A set utilizing Choice Scarf is a nice idea; it might surprise faster Pokemon such as Terrakion and Keldeo. An EV spread of 64 HP / 252 SpA / 192 Spe with a Modest nature allows Roserade to outspeed all base 130 Pokemon. An offensive set using Technician and Magical Leaf could be used to allow Spikes on an offensive set, but the loss of Natural Cure hurts pretty badly.
Checks and Counters
Strong priority moves from the likes of Scizor, Mamoswine, and Lucario easily take out Roserade, especially since they target its low Defense stat. SubDisable Gengar resists Roserade's STAB moves, blocks Sleep Powder with Substitute, and can prevent it from using its coverage moves. Most Dragon-types can set up on Roserade, but they are hit hard by Sludge Bomb. Chansey and Blissey wall Roserade all day. Xatu and Espeon reflect its hazards and threaten back with their STAB moves, but must be careful around offensive variants. Heatran is arguably Roserade's best counter, but fears Hidden Power Ground. Latios and Latias take its hits and can use Psyshock to wipe it out. Ferrothorn in the rain is rather annoying as it can set up as many hazards as it wants against Roserade. Most Fire-types can beat Roserade, but if they are outsped, they can be 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb—even Volcarona can't switch in on that. Tornadus easily outspeeds and destroys Roserade with Hurricane, though it must switch in on a support move or a weakened Hidden Power to safely do so. Gothitelle can't take repeated hits but can easily trap and OHKO Roserade with Psychic. Dugtrio can trap and kill a weakened Roserade. Tentacruel takes Leaf Storm like a champ and spins away Roserade's hazards. Reuniclus doesn't care about entry hazards, takes Roserade's hits relatively well, and KOes in return with its own STAB moves. Fortunately for Roserade, all of its counters (except Magic Bounce users) can be neutered with a well-timed Sleep Powder.