Fabulously fearsome. I mentioned in the reservation thread that I'd like to do a Roserade revamp once the metagame begins to settle down after Keldeo is out. This set, however, isn't on the OU analysis yet - I think it deserves a place. Before the obligatory comparison to Latios is made, it does have a niche in being virtually immune to status moves and absorbing Toxic Spikes. Also, since it wasn't in the format announcement, I really don't know where to put the ability line. I'm sticking with after EVs for now, but if it's wrong I'll change it. --------------------------------------------------------------- [SET] name: Offensive move 1: Leaf Storm move 2: Sludge Bomb move 3: Hidden Power Fire / Hidden Power Ground move 4: Sleep Powder / Rest item: Life Orb ability: Natural Cure nature: Timid evs: 24 HP / 252 SpA / 232 Spe [SET COMMENTS] <p>While Roserade's most common role is as an offensive user of Toxic Spikes, it can pull off a surprisingly good offensive set due to its excellent Speed and Special Attack stats. 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 an immunity to poison might seem redundant in conjunction with its ability, Natural Cure allows it to practically shrug off paralysis and sleep, which would otherwise effectively remove any other offensive Pokemon from the match.</p> <p>First and foremost, Roserade's powerful STAB Leaf Storm—running off of its high Special Attack—is the strongest unboosted Grass attack in OU. Leaf Storm's unfortunate side effect often forces it out after one hit, however, so Sludge Bomb provides a powerful secondary STAB attack. 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, who 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 Rest allows Roserade to heal itself completely and switch out to wake up.</p> [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS] <p>As Hidden Power Fire requires a lowered Speed IV, the set's 232 Speed EVs allow Roserade to reach 300 Speed and outrun neutral base 100 Pokemon by one point. Although mostly barren, Roserade's movepool is surprisingly large for a Grass / Poison Pokemon, and as such it has a a couple more options to run in the fourth slot. Shadow Ball provides the best coverage with the given moves, while Weather Ball is an excellent move on weather teams and allows Roserade to run a different Hidden Power. Growth is Roserade's only boosting move, but Roserade is too frail to boost effectively, and Leaf Storm will simply remove the boost. Leech Seed can catch Blissey and Heatran off-guard on the switch and help make up for Life Orb recoil. Stun Spore and Aromatherapy can provide some extra team support if you already have a sleep move on your team. Hidden Power Ice can be used in the third slot to hit Pokemon such as Dragonite, but this leaves Roserade helpless against Steel-types.</p> <p>Roserade can be paired with a wide variety of teammates. It loves fast partners with Ground, Fighting, or Water moves, to remove Steel- and Fire-types from the match. Good options for these include Starmie, Terrakion, and Dugtrio, the latter of whom can also trap grounded Steel- and Fire-types and destroy them with Earthquake. If running Weather Ball, Roserade fits nicely onto weather teams. Ninetales allows it to run Weather Ball with Hidden Power Ground, while it can use Weather Ball and Hidden Power Ice if paired with Politoed. Both options allow it to hit Steel-types, particularly Heatran, more effectively. Furthermore, physical walls can soak up attacks aimed at Roserade's awful Defense stat. A special mention goes to Slowbro, who resists all the elemental types Roserade is weak to bar Flying and can switch out and regain health through Regenerator. Heatran resists Flying, is immune to Fire, and can set up Stealth Rock to help Roserade secure some KOs. Finally, Roserade is an excellent partner for any Pokemon that fears status afflictions, such as bulky Waters or Choice attackers, due to its innate immunity to Toxic and Natural Cure to remove status.</p> <p>Any offensive Pokemon has its counters, and Roserade is no exception. Since this set lacks entry hazards, it can be outright walled, whereas other sets can still set up their hazard against walls. Blissey and Chansey take a pittance from its attacks, and Heatran is immune to two of its three most common moves and can threaten back with its Fire STAB, though it fears Hidden Power Ground or a Weather Ball in rain. Speedier variants of Volcarona can set up on it or just KO it outright with Fire attacks, but is in general a riskier counter as standard 240/216+ bulky Volcarona is outsped and almost 2HKOed by Sludge Bomb, which also has a 30% chance of inflicting poison. Espeon is in a similar boat to Volcarona, as it outspeeds and OHKOs with Psychic but is destroyed by Leaf Storm if it switches in. Thankfully, a Terrakion or Infernape carrying a Choice Scarf is able to defeat these Pokemon easily with a quick Stone Edge or Close Combat. Any faster physically based Pokemon or priority attacker, such as Landorus or Scizor respectively, can easily capitalize on Roserade's garbage Defense stat. No matter how well a Pokemon fares against Roserade, however, it risks being crippled by Sleep Powder, possibly for the entirety of the match.</p> Skeleton (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Skeleton (open) Skeleton (close) While Roserade is normally seen as a Spiker, it can perform an offensive role quite well due to its high Speed and Special Attack One of the best weatherless offensive absorbers of Toxic Spikes Natural Cure allows it to simply switch out if it's statused Its Leaf Storm backed by a base 125 Special Attack stat makes it the strongest unboosted Grass attack in the tier. Unfortunately, the drop means it can't stay in after using it Sludge Bomb provides a strong secondary STAB while HP Fire rounds off the coverage Hidden Power Fire requires a 30 Speed IV, lowering its Speed by one point; with this in mind, 232 Speed EVs allow Roserade to outrun neutral base 100s, and the rest is thrown into HP to slightly cushion incoming hits. If running a Hidden Power that allows a 31 Speed IV, 28 HP and 228 Speed EVs can be run, or you can use 252 Speed to catch up to Roserade's natural Speed tier Sleep Powder is an excellent support move and a decent way to scout switchins, assuming Sleep Clause is inactive Rest allows Roserade to fully heal its HP and then switch out, thus waking up and being fully healed - great for a frail, hit-and-run attacker like Roserade Additional comments: While Sleep Powder is probably the best option in the last slot, Roserade has a few other offensive options Shadow Ball offers the best super effective coverage alongside the three listed moves Weather Ball on a Sun or Rain team gives a powerful Fire or Water attack, respectively. This allows you to run Hidden Power Ground or Hidden Power Ice, respectively, over HP Fire HP Ice allows it to hit OU's many Dragons super effectively, but with only three attacks, this leaves you walled by the many other Steel-types in the tier Growth is Roserade's only boosting move, but Leaf Storm's dropping effect and Roserade's frailty make this a poor option Leech Seed can catch switchins off-guard and helps make up for hazard and Life Orb damage Defensively, Stun Spore and Aromatherapy are decent options if another team member has a Sleep move Teammates & Counters Dugtrio removes annoying Steel-types such as Heatran and Magnezone, as well as faster threats like Alakazam Politoed's Drizzle helps rectify its Fire weakness and allows it to capitalize on Weather Ball + HP Ice, while Ninetales's Drought allows Weather Ball + HP Ground Fast Pokemon with Ground, Fighting, or Water moves can remove problematic Pokemon such as Heatran, Volcarona and Blissey - think Landorus, Terrakion, Scarf Politoed, etc. Physical walls can take powerful attacks that Roserade fears; special mention to Slowbro, who resists all of Roserade's weaknesses except for Flying Any Pokemon that fears status appreciates Roserade's ability to soak up Toxic Spikes and remove any other status effect with Natural Cure A Pokemon to set up hazards is quite welcome - Heatran is notable both for excellent type synergy with Roserade and immunity to Fire All potential counters are incapacitated by Sleep Powder, and must beware of it Blissey and Chansey can take anything Roserade throws at them, but can't do much in return; defensive Latias can take a hit and retaliate with Hidden Power Fire or Psyshock Heatran is immune to two of its three moves and can threaten with powerful Fire attacks, but fears HP Ground or Weather Ball in the rain Volcarona can set up on it or hit it with strong Fire attacks, but switching in is a risky move - the standard bulky set for Volcarona is outsped and almost 2HKOd by Sludge Bomb, and the 30% chance to inflict poison makes it hard to come in. Volcarona must run Timid with 252 EVs in Speed to reliably beat it. Any Pokemon with a faster or priority physical move can easily capitalize on its garbage Defense - special mention to Scizor, who only fears HP Fire Depending on how long it takes this to go through QC and whether or not it gets banned, Meloetta and Keldeo might get mentions as counters or teammates.