Disclaimer: As with all things you read on message boards (or on GameFAQs) about fighting games, you should not take what I write as truth without examining it for yourself. I am, in fact, quite awful at fighting games. I am impatient, I watch my own character instead of my opponent, and I get easily frustrated. I have, however, lots of free time (at least until recently) to read all kinds of stuff and pick up bits of knowledge. Hopefully some of it can help others out.
Adapting from CvS2
HSFA Green S-ism
HSFA Blue S-ism
New System Matchups
Rolento first shows up in A2, but makes appearances in A3 and CvS2. He remains fairly similar in all of these iterations. You must become familiar with some basics about Rolento before you can be effective. He is an excellent character to learn because he will force you to improve your overall games.
Rolento requires a more solid foundation in the basics than probably any other character. He lacks easy, abusable moves. Instead, he will force you to use movement and his specialized normal attacks carefully to win. It is nearly impossible to play Rolento and have success without a good understanding of controlling space (footsies), advantage/disadvantage (related to frame data), hitboxes vs. hitable boxes and invincibility (priority), and the tendencies of your opponents. As much as any other character, you will be forced to learn these things if you want to have any success with him.
Rolento does not have many of the standard attacks other characters have. Rolento’s special moves, with the exception of patriot circle, are not straight away attacks. He does not have a DP, he does not have a fireball, and he does not have a low risk forward-moving special. He has no close anti-air/anti-crossup to speak of, and he has limited options when up close. As a result, you must play him in a very specific way depending on the conditions.
Rolento can and must run-away, control midrange, and pressure up close at different times. Despite his limitations, Rolento is very capable and is competitive in all of his incarnations. You will have a chance to win in any situation, provided that you can properly adapt to it.
I trust you can find a movelist for A2/A3 somewhere, so I won’t go over that. General match strategy goes something like this:
When you don’t have meter, run away and build meter. Meter gives you the ability to deal with your opponents up close when you aren’t at an advantage. This is in the form of Alpha Counters and the invincibility in attacking with CCs, VCs, and Supers. Without it your footsies game up close is very weak, and you are at a disadvantage. Get out of there with your special moves. MD Escape, an empty MD Air Raid, an empty MD attack, or a high jump/scouter jump are all ways to put space between you and your opponent. Keep your distance, get in attacks where you can, whiff moves if you have to, but build that bar up.
If you’ve got meter, stand your ground and try to gain advantage. On the ground, you can control your opponent’s space with c.hp and c.mk, or knock down with c.hk. You do have anti-air options with s.mp and s.hk, or better, j.lp. If your opponent gets in close, you can make careful use of your meter to take control. If the situation gets too disadvantageous, run away and reset.
If you’ve got advantage, force decisions on your opponent to create mistakes. This is where you will score the majority of damage. With walk-up lp pressure and the occasional HK Stinger, you can mix up additional attacks that leave you at advantage along with throws to land CCs, Vcs, and your B&B combo: counter hit lp (hit confirm)->c.mk->HP Patriot Circle.
Adapting from CvS2
If you’re already familiar with Rolento in CvS2 and are just looking to adapt, the basics stay the same but there are some subtle differences:
[LIST]Scouter jump is no longer KK. It is a standard high jump motion (df/db->ub/uf).Your alpha counter(s) is different. It is either the end of patriot circle (P/Standard), or you jump behind them(K).Steel Rain is still useless.In most isms, jumping d+mk with cause you to pogo hop, whether you like it or not.No more ludicrous throw range. Cry.c.mk link to tripwire isn’t there, losing a verifiable way to land super (cam347)
Alpha 2 Rolento
[LIST]Patriot Circle is different from all future games. The second spin does not move you forward, so the B&B from future games is not present in A2.Jumping d+mk does not cause pogo hopAlpha counters are the final spin of patriot circle §, and an evasive jump forward (K)HUGE damage CCss.mk animation is the same as s.hkMore normal->normal links. s.lp (no counter hit)->c.mk, et al (Best Kind Boxer)[*]hitting with the end of c.hk will not cause knockdown
Good use of MD Escape, crossup trickery, and High Jump CCs are the name of the game. You do not have the counter hit lp->c.mk->patriot circle in A2, so you must find other ways to get to c.mk safely. Deep air attacks and crossups work well in that regard.
Rolento has good damage CCs in A2 as a result of his special High Jump. Normal ground damage in CCs is cut down to prevent 100% damage combos from just mashing on HK, and also the average character cannot jump during a CC. However, Rolento’s high jump allows him to get airborne very quickly, and exploit the fact that air attacks are not affected by the same rules as ground attacks. So, a combo as simple as Activate->c.hk->[high jump -> lkx3] xN will do massive damage.
Alpha 2 Gold Rolento
Has few differences from A2. They nerfed the damage on his high jump CCs, making him much weaker. BKB tells us about the pogo hop attacks being in A2G, but that needs to be explored more.
Alpha 3 X-ism
[LIST]No normal jump forward/backward. Replaced with scouter jump.d+mk doesn’t cause pogo hopOnly super is tripwire…not much of a loss thoughNo alpha counter, though the P one isn’t too hot anywaysMore damage. Yay!Unlike much of the rest of the cast, actually a viable Ism option
Rolento loses alpha counter , 2 crappy supers, and air blocking, but gains increases in damage and doesn’t pogo hop on d+mk. End result is a Rolento with more damage and far greater air control. Classically regarded as the best Ism for Rolento. Rolento is pretty fast to start with, but the d+mk will give you some control on that speed. The combination of this with the scouter jump can take you from 3/4 screen away to crossing someone up in half a second, but still able to land and be in control.
I’m not a fan of X-ism, so I know I am missing stuff here. Hopefully someone else can help fill it out.
Alpha 3 A-ism
[LIST]Has the mediocre Patriot Circle ACd+mk causes pogo hop, during which you can do nothing[*]Mostly unremarkable
Minesweeper and Steel Rain are mostly useless, leaving tripwire and alpha counters to use the meter. Air d+mk is dangerous because of the forced hop, leaving you to dig deeper for crossup tricks. Doesn’t have much over X-ism but lacks the damage of X-ism. A-ism Rolento is usually passed over in favor of the X or V-ism variants.
Alpha 3 V-ism
[LIST]d+mk still causes hop, but you can attack on your way down from the hopVCs, although not impressive in damage, do provide corner unblockable and a reversal threat up closeCrouch Cancel semi-infinite in j.mp, although very difficultAlpha counter is a hop behind your opponent
The abilities available to Rolento in V-ism allow him to have a more rounded, complete game than the other 2 A3 isms, even if that doesn’t necessarily translate directly to more damage. The combination of the d.mk with the attack during the landing does create some mixup opportunites that aren’t available elsewhere, but you will leave yourself in an undesireable position if your opponent sees it coming.
HSFA Green S-ISM
[LIST]Based on A-ism, lame pogo hop includedmultiple aerial attacks per jump, but no plausible jump infinites on tall people as far as I can tellBecause your alpha counters are now free, you get out of the corner for freepush block is good too[*]More guard bar than A-ism (I think?)
Defensively, this ism makes any character a beast. Rolento gets excellent benefits to his runaway. At midrange, the ability to cancel the c.hp to whiff c.hk helps with positioning, although I’m not sure how dangerous it is in reality (for sure, it isn’t mathematically safe). The peculiar hitboxes on his air moves will force any new air-to-ground chains to start with j.mp or j.mk, probably going to j.hk. I still feel like I’m missing the air control of d+mk though.
HSFA Blue S-ISM
[LIST]Based on the X-ism set, including no hop and no normal jumps forward/backwardParry to handle crossups, possibly better than it appears[*]can cancel super from specials, but tripwire won’t connect while opponent in hitstun
The benefits/drawbacks of Rolento in a parry groove were played out over CvS2, and the ultimate verdict came back on the side of alpha counters. That being said, the low angle scouter jump may make a difference. I don’t know how well parries handle unblockables and things of that nature.
New System Matchups
[LIST]A/A2: Lack of guard bar takes away the guard crush threat. You’ll have to watch out for unblockables and longer chain combos.HSFA Green S-ISM The defensive tools puts the up close game in jeopardy. Runaway still works, but you have to question your damage potential.[*]HSFA Blue S-ISM: Nearly everything Rolento has can be parried down. Standard jumpins are even more dangerous given Rolentos normally slow and exagerrated jumps. I’ve yet to test the ability for different timings on the guard crush chain to avoid parries. Might still have that, at least.