I main Ken and started to use Rose as a side character recently. As I like to keep it simple cause I’m still pretty new to fighting games I wrote down a simple game plan. I just wanted to see if I missed something important.
Basically all I do at the moment is poke and run.
Pokes I use: st.HK, f.HK, cr.MP
Combos: cr.MP or cr.HP xx Soul Spiral
Anti Air: cr.Hp
From time to time I dash up and do a throw.
That’s basically it. Anything I really should implement? And what should I use to keep up pressure after a knockdown? Crossup j.MK, cl.MK, cr.MP xx Soul Spiral comes to my mind, but I’m not sure about that.
Try to practice a few more anti-air options: slide, jumping HK, ex soul spiral and ex soul throw. In some matchups cr.HP alone is easily beaten and you’ll have to mix them up. Also learn to focus backdash any jumping attack that you are not confident about (crossups in particular).
For pokes, pretty much all of her far normals and command normals have a function, unlike most other character that rely only on a small subset of their moves. At least start by adding cr.MK -> ex spiral, slide, and raw spiral to the mix.
Cl.MK is too slow to combo after a crossup MK most of the time, you want cl.MP or cr.LP -> cr.LK instead. All of these have a 1 frame link into cr.MP .
In general since Rose has the advantage in the footsie game, the first thing you need to learn is to discourage the opponent from jumping and from throwing fireballs (fireballs are really problematic for her until you learn how to absorb them, relect them and ex-spiral through them consistently).
If you focus backdash instead of backdashing the opponent won’t be able to use options selects to punish you. If you have less than 2 ex bars, focus backdash by pressing LP+LK+MP+MK, which will give you a throw tech.
“Poke and run” is basically 2/4ths of Rose’s game plan. The other 2/4ths would be throw/frame trap and zone/counter-zone. Rose is a fairly flexible character, so her game plan varies quite a lot from matchup to matchup. Against some characters with better pokes and/or zoning tools she will want to rush down (Dhalsim), and against others (Guile) she will want to play defensively. Against certain grapplers she will want to rush down (Makoto), some she will want to turtle (T. Hawk, Zangief) and some she wants to shift between the two styles (Abel).
St.MK is a great poke that you absolutely have to integrate into your game. St.MK’s lack of a low hurtbox makes it great for crushing moves with low hitboxes (e.g. your standard shoto cr.MK). It has a slightly lower hitbox than st.HK which means it will connect against pokes that st.HK whiffs against (e.g. your standard shoto cr.MK). St.MK also recovers incredibly quickly, so if you need something with more range than cr.MP but don’t necessarily want to commit to a slower, laggier normal like st.HK because you’re afraid your opponent might jump at you, use st.MK.
In regards to AA, you will want to learn the timing for AA EX Soul Throw and EX Soul Spiral and the spacing for st.HP.
Rose is incredibly dominant on the ground against the majority of the cast but she struggles against characters that have strong air approaches (e.g. almost any and every character with a divekick - Rufus, Yun etc.) or can mix it up witth a decent ground game (e.g. Cammy, Yang). Against these characters, cr.HP is very unreliable so you have to learn how to use EX Soul Throw and EX Soul Spiral.
That being said, both are still timing-sensitive. EX Soul Throw, due to its limited invincibility frames (6f startup, 6f invincibility) must be done either very early (the moment your opponent reaches the heigh of their jump arc) or very late (when the opponent is nearly on top of you). EX Spiral is fairly forgiving when it comes to spacing but it must be done quite early because of its slow 13f startup.
St.HP is mostly used to deal with longer range jumps if you don’t want to spend the meter on EX Spiral. Even timed and spaced correctly it can trade if your opponent commits to a jump-in heavy or medium normal, and lose outright against lights and select mediums and heavies (e.g. Ken’s j.HK from near max-range and Honda’s j.MP).
Rose isn’t a very combo-intensive character, as a significant amount of her damage comes from landing pokes, chipping opponents with Spiral and Spark, and catching jump-ins but it’s essential that you learn her cr.LK->cr.MP and cl.MK->cr.MP links. The former link is a key part of her standard hit-confirm (cr.LP, cr.LK->cr.MP xx Spiral) and latter is what makes Rose’s frame trap/throw game so threatening. Both are essential if you want to play Rose at the intermediate level. She also has good FADC combos if you want a bit more damage. Cr.HP xx LP/MP Spark FADC->cr.HP xx Spiral does about 330 damage and only requires a 2f link.
Rose’s mixup game is fairly straightforward and revolves almost entirely around frame traps and throws. Crossup j.MK isn’t a bad option, but don’t get predictable with it. Some characters can dash right under the j.MK (e.g. Cody, Adon, Juri) and others can AA with a delayed uppercut (e.g. Ryu, Fei, Ken, etc.). Also keep in mind that unless you hit late with j.MK, almost any followup normal can be interrupted by an invincible reversal. Your safest and often most effective pressure after a knockdown is simply walk up and throw/frame trap/bait.