Pokémon Sword & Shield introduces several spectacular characters, but one you hardly interact with much is Galar’s nearly-retired Professor Magnolia. Magnolia is an expert in the Dynamax phenomenon, and she gives you the ability to maximize your Pokémon’s size through your Dynamax Band.
Before passing her role to her granddaughter Sonia, there’s little you get to see of her besides being what seems like a scientific genius who knows Pokémon inside and out. It would only make sense for her to have some skill in battle already, or at least have an interest in perfecting the art, so here are the Pokémon that would perfectly fit her style and personality if she assembled a team.
Professor Magnolia isn’t directly shown to own any Pokémon through the game’s story, but there does happen to be one Pokémon in her possession back at her house on Route 2. This would be a Chewtle, likely caught from the pond nearby and living as a pet in the living room. Since it’s the one Pokémon the game shows her to own, it only makes sense for her to have one in her team.
That said, being as mature and serious as she is implies that she’d be a fairly powerful trainer, and might have a taste for stronger Pokémon than earlier evolutionary forms. Dreadnaw is not too much bigger than a large dog and still fits her great as a pet, but makes for a more intimidating and protective partner than Chewtle could ever be.
In her laboratory, Professor Magnolia has a very particular taste in home decor, and that takes the form of houseplants nearly everywhere. It certainly makes sense given the natural fields of Route 2 and Wedgehurst, but Magnolia’s design choices are significantly more floral compared to the other homes and buildings nearby.
There are tons of Grass-types to choose from, but as a veteran researcher from Galar, it seems more fitting that her team remains mostly exclusive to Galar. Eldegoss is one of only a few new Grass-types in this Pokémon game, and while it isn’t as long and floral as her other plants, this pile of leaves and cotton still fits this nature-loving Professor perfectly.
Magnolia’s clearest trait in Pokémon Sword & Shield is her dedicated research on Dynamax Pokémon. It would make sense for her to gravitate towards Pokémon that go further with this feature, shifting their body features by transforming into unique Gigantamax Forms.
There are tons of these Pokémon and she doesn’t need all of them, so having one that’s exceptionally rare is important for Magnolia’s team to stand out. Appletun fits the earlier nature theme while not being owned by other NPCs in the main storyline, with the exception of Milo during Wyndon Stadium rematches in Pokémon Shield. As a result, a homely pet that changes dramatically would be greatly iconic for her team.
Magnolia’s granddaughter, Sonia, has a much clearer signature Pokémon, even though it doesn’t show up in battle. This would be the electric corgi Yamper, who appears with Sonia both in the anime and the game as a cheery companion. From stickers in her room to a Yamper mug in the laboratory it’s clear Sonia has a blatant favorite.
Since Magnolia and Sonia are from the same family but with a maturity difference, it would be fantastic to see their Pokémon share this trait. Sonia might not suit an older and larger Boltund, but this full-grown dog fits Magnolia’s age perfectly. Boltund is far from elderly, but as a cheerful and enthusiastic partner, it’s a great contrast to the calm and mature Magnolia.
Ghost-type trainers have grown a lot in the past several generations, with the original Agatha from Pokémon Red & Blue originally being the blueprint. We’ve since gotten tons of young trainers that adore spookier Pokémon, but there’s an association between the elderly and lost spirits that’s well established in the Pokémon world.
Polteageist is one of the only Pokémon that would fit an old grandmother even better, as the classic teapot would suit her more than any other Ghost-type trainer. It’s also one of the more friendly and sweet Ghost-types compared to the pranksters and horrific monsters that embody the typing. Polteageist is one of the most grandmother-friendly Pokémon out there, and considering most of Magnolia’s role is as Sonia’s grandparent it wouldn’t be amiss for her to have a stereotypical teapot.
So far, Magnolia already has two Pokémon with unique Gigantamax Forms, Dreadnaw and Appletun. While this Gigantamax expert should have more than one, only one is usable each battle so her finisher has to stand out and be additionally unique. This means one Gigantamax Pokémon that no other trainers use as a signature partner, and one that is distinctly reminiscent of Magnolia.
Even though Snorlax is from Kanto, its Gigantamax Form is more reminiscent of the nature surrounding Wedgehurst and Galar in general, and a perfect final partner for Magnolia. Her love for plants and nature is represented in the biome on top of Snorlax’s titanic stomach, while the rest and comfort of retirement are represented by Snorlax’s obvious love for relaxation.
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