Let’s go over what Ledian has going for it:
It’s cute, and its shiny is kinda neat.
Now let’s go over the bad:
Ledian is worthless. But it’s not just worthless. It’s worthless in every game. It’s worthless in the handhelds. It’s worthless in Mystery Dungeons. It has never had a viable Pokemon card. In Pokemon GO, where a lot of previously unviable Pokemon have changed into monsters (Stunfisk and Bastiodon, for examples), it is still beyond terrible.
“But wait! There are a lot of Pokemon like that. They’re Dex Fillers!” You’re right. But, a lot of those Pokemon don’t evolve. You catch that Stantler once and you’re done. You catch that Bouffalant once and you’re done. Or, they’re more exotic and neat Pokemon. Pokemon like Doduo may not be very good (or Dodrio), but they’re found later on in the game, and generally are seen as a Safari Zone Pokemon, making them more unique.
You might then say, what about Ariados? Has Spider Web, which means it can at least be used to trap fleeing Legendary Pokemon. What about Dustox, or Beautifly, or Butterfree? Those are at least serviceable in the early game, Ledian’s stats are so pathetic however that it really isn’t even good for that. And, those Pokemon tend to learn better moves. They can learn draining moves or status moves. Ledian can’t learn status or drain moves; its movepool is terrible.
Its best uses are Reflect/Safeguard/Light Screen, but it’s so frail virtually any Pokemon can use those better. It can also Baton Pass Agility/Swords Dance, but that’s assuming it can live two rounds to do those. As a matter of fact, by the time it’s level 18 (when Ledyba evolves into it), it learns the damaging moves of Tackle (the weakest move in the game arguably), Swift (which is basically the second weakest move in the game), and Mach Punch (terrible unless you have Iron Fist, which to be fair is its Hidden Ability). Speaking of, lets look at its abilities. Early Bird: Worthless, easily one of the worst abilities in the game (don’t say Truant or Slow Start; those exist for reasons). Swarm: Assuming it doesn’t get one shot, not bad, but it’ll probably get one shot. Iron Fist: Works with Mach Punch, Comet Punch (a move so horrifically bad I forgot it even existed), annnddd that’s it, that’s all it works with out of its moves. Two of them. A non-STAB Mach Punch, and Comet Punch that you’d never actually want on it. Oh, except you don’t even want Mach Punch, or Iron Fist at all. Why?
Because now let’s look at its stats… Its base Attack is… 35. Yep. 35. One of the lowest in the game. So throughout your experience of leveling up your Ledian, it won’t be doing hardly any damage at all, because its base Attack stat is so ungodly low. Its Special Defense actually is surprisingly good, and its Speed isn’t terrible (though it’s not great, or good), but its base HP is also abysmally low. Its Defense is bad, and its Special Attack is… 55. Still really, really, really terrible, but at least its 20 higher. So if you run any offensive moves at all, you actually want them to be Special Attacks. Meaning its Hidden Ability is really awful for it, and so are all of its early moves. However, if you actually somehow get one to level 38 and 42, it’ll learn Bug Buzz and Air Slash, finally two usable moves for it… By the time you’re about to finish story mode. Yep. You’re getting towards finishing story mode in your game, and it finally learns moves that are at least workable.
So it has terrible abilities, terrible movesets, can’t be used in the early game for anything despite being a Pokemon you get in the early game (and since you only have a limited pool of what you can catch early on, you don’t exactly get to be a big chooser on what you want).
Even Ariados has 90 base attack, and learns Sucker Punch early on. At least Dustox, with how terrible it is (it’s really bad too), can at least Poison Powder->Venoshock. Beautifly has more serviceable attacking stats, can Paralyze the opponent, and use draining moves. Butterfree can actually Sleep the opponent before doing respectable damage. Beedrill mega-evolves.
Oh, and did you know in the main series games, Ledian is actually version-exclusive? So you have to trade for it if you have the wrong game. You actually have to trade for this pathetic of a Pokemon. Imagine asking your friend “yea I need to give you something of value for a freaking Ledian.” He’ll probably pity you so much he’ll just give you a Ledyba/Ledian, not for one of your weak level 5 Pokemon, but actually he’ll give you a prize for taking it off his hands. Probably a shiny. Because your friend doesn’t want it.
You know, getting back to Pokemon -GO- again, I decided to give Ledian a shot, so I went to PvP Poke, and ran it as a sim. I ran a team of just Ledian, 3 of them. Consistency, A! It actually has a serviceable moveset that works reliably. Bulk, B! Its high Special Defense in the main games translates decently well in GO thankfully, and makes it at least decent. Coverage and Safety: F. Terrible matchups, terrible typing, terrible covering everything. Just about everything beats it. This is in the Great League of course; in the Ultra and Master… no.
Ledian is the worst Pokemon ever. You know what my most hated Pokemon is? Garbador. Its design is awful. It’s disgusting. It’s nasty to look at. I hate it. But you know what? At least Garbador has some very real usage in the Pokemon TCG. At least Garbador wont fail you in story mode of the games, you know, the mode that a 5 year old is supposed to be able to beat with a ragtag team of anything. I hate Garbador, it’s nasty and vile and putrid and I hate it with a passion. But, even I have to admit, it’s not the worst Pokemon.
Change my mind, it’s Ledian.