This month it’s two different requests from two different people. The first is a fellow staffer over at Diehard GameFAN who requested a moveset for Roserade. The other is a reader who called himself “RISK.” He writes,
Ok, I’d like a strong Psychic type on my team, but I’m not too enthused about using Alakazam again, as I used it through Pearl and it’s traded, so it doesn’t always obey when you’re starting out.
Now, the only Psychic type that comes even close to Alakazam’s stats (that I have access to via Sinnoh dex) is Espeon, but I don’t really like its moveset or what it learns from tutors.
So keeping in mind I don’t like using TMs, what would you recommend? Or am I too picky and should just nix Psychic from my team entirely?
Actually I’ve always loved Espeon ever since Silver. I mean, here’s a Psychic that knows a Dark move. He’s a freakin’ Mewtwo killer. These days you have other equally fine choices out there like Starmie, Slowking, Gardevoir, Metagross and Gallade, but Espeon holds a special place in my heart due to Gold and Silver nostalgia. So today, we’ll take a look at him and see what we can build for this statistcally superior Psychic Pokemon.
First, the key is to level up your Espeon at level 29 or 30. That way your Espeon will learn the Dark Move Bite. This is key towards letting Espeon take down other Psychic Pokemon. It also helps that the move also has a 30 percent chance of causing the Flinch status. This does however mean Espeon will miss out on Confusion and Swift though. What else is worth learning? Well Psychic should be obvious. It does a ton of damage and has a 100% accuracy. It can also lower Special Defense. Your third move should be Morning Sun. Any time your Pokemon can learn a healing move, you should strongly consider it. This is akin to Alakazam’s Recover, but the amount Espeon heals is based on weather.
Now we have two attacks and a healing move. Your attacks are strong against Fighting, Psychic, Ghost and Poison types. In fact, just with this natural moveset, the only things Espeon doesn’t do normal or Super Effective damage to are Steel and Dark Types. There is nothing we can do against Steel with Espeon’s natural moves so we’re going to do one of two things. We’re either going to take the Eevee move Quick Attack to at least let Espeon hurt Dark Pokemon, or better yet, we are going to make sure Eevee evolves into Espeon exactly on level 29 so he can learn Bite, then evolve, then learn Swift as well. Swift is a never miss attack that uses Espeon’s Special Attack stat, so this is by far the better choice. Now you have three pretty good moves and the ability to heal yourself. This is about as good as you can get with natural moves, but it’s still a decent enough moveset to make Espeon a contendor.
Natural Moveset for Espeon: Psychic, Bite, Morning Sun, Swift
Now for the TM’s, which is where you can really help Espeon to shine. If you’re looking for a really defensive Espeon, you can learn Sunny Day which will maximize Morning Sun’s healing ability. For me, I prefer a straight forward offensive Espeon. One of the first things I would do is replace Bite with Shadow Ball. Shadow Ball is a Ghost Move, and so you’ll stay Super Effective against Psychic and Ghost Types, but you’ll lose the weakness against Fighting Types. Shadow Ball also uses Espeon’s Special Attack instead of Attack and it has a higher base damage, ensuring you’ll maximize your Espeon.
At this point you keep Psychic and you have Shadow Ball. With Morning Sun and Swift, you could just stop here and have a pretty good all Special Attack using Espeon. The attack TM’s Espeon can learn aren’t worth it as things like Iron Tail and Dig use Attack. Grass Knot is too unpredictable, and Hyper Beam and Hidden Power may seem tempting, but their downside makes them not worth keeping. So instead, let’s look at potential DEFENSIVE moves for it.
Calm Mind is worth checking out as it raises both Specials. However, that’s a round where your opponent also has a free shot at you. Substitute and Double Team are good defensive moves, as always, as you use them and they create a chance your opponent will waste his turn as well. If you’re going for a defensive Espeon, I’d get rid of Swift and put on Substitute. Substitute plus Morning Sun gives you a nearly immortal Espeon. So even if he can’t put a dent in say, Metagross, you can use this particular Espeon to waste a huge amount of your opponent’s PP. If you really wanted to be a jerk, you could get rid of Shadow Ball and take Double Team as well, but then Espeon would have little to no use offensively and with such a high Speed and Special attack, that’s a bit of a waste.
Offensive Espeon: Psychic, Shadow Ball, Morning Sun and Substitute or Swift
Defensive Espeon: Psychic, Morning Sun, Substitute and Double Team or Shadow Ball
There are no Egg Moves worth learning, but there IS a Move Tutor attack worth learning. It’s called Signal Beam. It’s a BUG based attack meaning you now can take down Dark Pokemon and only Steel Pokemon will cause Espeon any worry. It’s also based off Special Attack and it can confuse your opponent. So you know have three attacks, two of which lower Special Defense and one that can cause Confusion. Your Espeon is now pretty much ready for anything. Go out there and kick some butt.
Move Tutor Espeon: Psychic, Shadow Ball, Signal Beam and Morning Sun
Roserade is a Grass/Poison Pokemon which is an odd combo as it leaves the Pokemon weak to the four of the most popular attack Types: Ice, Fire, Psychic, and Flying. It’s only defensively strong against Water, Electric, Grass, and Fighting. This makes keeping a Roserade in tournaments a bit hard to keep alive more than a round or two. It also doesn’t help that it has a VERY low Defense score. Because of its low defense it is IMPERATIVE that your Roserade be one whose Pokemon Ability is Poison Point rather than Natural Cure. Poison Point has a 30% chance of inflicting Poison on any Pokemon who uses a Physical Attack, which is the very weakness Roserade possess. This gives Roserade a decent amount of protection against its otherwise Achilles Heel.
Let’s talk natural moves now. Once you evolve a Roselia into Roserade it can no longer learn any moves naturally, so it’s important to do this right. First off, let’s nix the moves that look good but aren’t worth it. These include Stun Spore and Grasswhistle. With a 75 and 55 percent Accuracy each, these moves are too risky to use in PVP setting and in the Battle Tower. Remember, 90 percent or higher accuracy or ignore them.
Let’s look at healing moves at Roselia can learn FOUR different ones: Leech Seed, Giga Drain, Synthesis and Ingrain. That right there can be a moveset in itself, if you’re looking just to ensure Roserade can only be taken out by one hit KO’s. The problem with Ingrain is that once you use it, you can’t switch out. Roserade is in there until Knocked Out. Any good Trainer will see you use Ingrain and then switch to an Articuno or Charizard and you can kiss Roserade good bye in two turns or less. Instead, stick with Giga Drain as it does damage AND heals you at the same time. Leech Seed is tempting but it’s very little healing and it takes a full round to take effect. In that same round you can be taken out. Synthesis on the other hand can heal half of Roserade’s Hit Points in a single turn but it does have a little hit points over a long period of time effect that Leech Seed does. It’s really up to you which you go with. Both have their plusses or minuses, but I would certainly take Giga Drain and one of the other two, if not both.
I would next take Magical Leaf as it’s a medium level damage attack that never misses. Because you can only learn Grass Attacks naturally with a Roserade, you’re a bit stuck here. If you are using Leech Seed, you may want to pair it with Toxic Spikes as most people will switch out their Pokemon rather than let Leech Seed work. With Toxic Spikes, your opponent will take damage for switching out Pokemon, forcing them to let Leech Seed do its job. Finally, if you’re going the straight healing route with Roserade, strongly consider Toxic. It has only an 85% accuracy, but the poison damage doubles with each passing turn, making it extremely lethal when in conjunction with Giga Drain. Still, it’s a risk due to the below 90% accuracy, but with Giga Drain and Synthesis working for you, this should counteract the chance of a big miss.
Natural Moveset One: Giga Drain, Leech Seed, Toxic Spikes, Magical Leaf
Natural Moveset Two: Giga Drain, Magical Leaf, Synthesis, Toxic
Now it’s time for TM’s which are where Roserade really shines. First off, take Sludge Bomb. It’s the most powerful move Roserade can learn in terms of pure damage. It has an one hundred percent accuracy, a 30% chance of Poisoning your opponent and it finally gives Roserade an offensive move that isn’t Grass based. We can also learn Energy Ball, which has a 20 Point higher Base damage than Giga Drain or Magical Leaf and it can lower Special Defense. It’s up to you which double effect you want. I personally would go with Giga Drain or Energy Ball.
If you are going for a purely offensive Roserade, pick up Shadow Ball as well. Now you have Grass, Ghost, and Poison attacks, making you Super Effective against six different types of Pokemon. Now the only Pokemon Type you are doing less than normal damage to is Steel. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about that.
If you are thinking about a defensive Roserade, there’s a whole new route to go which also lets you finally make Solarbeam worthwhile. Hear me out. Solarbeam + Substitute equals a protective cushion for that round you are charging. Then on the next round, you let loose with Grass’ most powerful attack and you have taken the usual sitting duck damage! Keep Synthesis around to keep your health up when your Sub finally falls and keep a second attack around as Solarbeam only has ten PP. I’d go with Sludge Bomb or Shadow Ball so you don’t have to double up with Grass attacks. Giga Drain is nice, but you already have Sub and Synth keeping you alive. Note also that the Substitute-Solarbeam combo also works nicely with Giga Impact and Hyper Beam.
TM Offensive Moveset: Giga Drain OR Energy Ball, Sludge Bomb, Shadow Ball, and Synthesis
TM Defensive Moveset: Solarbeam, Substitute, Synthesis and Sludge Bomb or Shadow Ball
There are no Move Tutor or Egg Moves worth going after with a Roserade so one of these four movesets should help you out. Roserade’s not really a top tier Pokemon in a tournament setting due to its combination of types, but with one of these movesets, you can at least keep it active long enough to do some damage and maybe even take out a few of your opponent’s Pokemon.
With these movesets, you now have both an Espeon and a Roserade that can heal without potions, inflict status effects without using a move through their Pokemon Abilities and they’ll both be offensively successful against anything save Steel. Make sure you have a Heatran or Groudon to use with one of them in a double battle!