The world of the Avatar is fully of mysticism as certain humans have the ability to bend elements at a whim. But, if your childhood memory knows the intro by heart, you’ll remember that only the Avatar can control all three elements at once. This has led to two television series where we follow the Avatar, either Aang or Korra, and their journeys to hone their abilities and grow stronger. After all, they are the ones that protect the world in times of need. However, the Avatars aren’t always the only powerful people in the world -- when learned at an expert level, regular benders can prove to be just as strong.
For example, characters like Iroh or Toph have a certain amount of skill that makes them incredibly difficult opponents to beat. Their dedication to their craft has led them to be nothing short of lethal. Throughout both series, we’ve seen some incredible things. There are scenes that show us just how strong people in the Avatar universe can be. Some are large acts that will always remain iconic to the series, whereas others can be small acts that showcase just how dangerous bending the elements can be. With so many different ways to use the elements, it’s only natural that there are unique ways to use them. If you’ve wondered what some of the most impressive and over-powered feats in the Avatar series were, look no further. We have 20 of the most intense feats in the Avatar universe listed right here to satisfy your curiosity!
20 GHAZAN AND BOLIN PROVE THAT LAVABENDING IS A THING
Lavabending is something everyone in the Avatar fanbase used to daydream about. Afterall, aspects of all elements are usually present in every aspect of nature. Why would lava be any different? Fortunately, The Legend of Korra series finally gave us some lavabenders to finally make this form a reality!
You would think that lavabending would be a combination of fire and earthbending, with more of a lean towards fire. However, it was proven to be solely an earthbending skill when both Ghazan and Bolin used it. The form is incredibly difficult to master, but it is a very deadly one.
19 HUU WATERBENDS A PLANT MONSTER
One of the most heart-wrenching episodes took place when the original Avatar crew got lost in a mysterious swamp. Visions of the ones they’d loved appeared in different places and now one was quite sure what was real or why they were seeing this. A more pressing issue arrived when a giant swamp monster appeared before them, resulting in battle.
It turns out that the waterbender, Huu, can actually control the water in the plants, meaning he can bend the plants themselves. While the team did eventually take him down, it showed us that there’s always interesting ways to use your bending; and that everything is connected.
18 THE CANYON GUIDE BENDS A LITERAL ROCKSLIDE
We hope that you remember the canyon guide; an earthbender who, you guessed it, guides tourists through the large canyons around the Earth Kingdom. He was a very minor character in the grand scheme of things, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have some serious skills up his sleeve.
While the crew was journeying through the canyons, a rockslide almost hit them. The canyon guide was able to use his bending to control the rockslide and move it out of there direction. What’s a little nerve-wracking about this scene is that it shows just how powerful even normal earthbenders are -- give them a cliff, they’ll give you a rockslide!
17 THE SANDBENDERS OF SI WONG DESERT
Another form of element bending arrived when we were introduced to the sandbenders in the Si Wong Desert. They proved to be very capable fighters and incredibly efficient in using their skill to help mobilize them. Sandbending is a form of earthbending, but it’s much trickier because it’s considered a lot finer than your average rock.
This was shown when, after their interaction in the Si Wong Desert, Toph tried the art herself. She realized that it was much tougher than she originally anticipated, but after a lot of practice, she was able to recreate an entire replica of Ba Sing Se out of sand!
16 TOPH CREATES METALBENDING
At one point in the original series, Toph was captured by firebenders and put in one of their metal carriages to be transported. She was frustrated, for obvious reasons, but then she realized that metal is still a form of earth and she would be able to bend it if she concentrated hard enough.
While her first attempts were understandable rough, she would later be able to use metalbending in order to fight off two comet-enhanced firebenders at their strongest. After the original series ended, we’d see that metalbending would become vastly popular amongst earthbenders in The Legend of Korra series.
15 AZULA'S FAMOUS LIGHTNINGBENDING USED AGAINST ZUKO
Azula was one of the scariest characters in the Avatar series. She often bothered her brother Zuko and was considered highly advanced as a skilled firebender. Her signature was always her blue fire, which is considered much hotter than normal flame and incredibly difficult to control. This same technique would later translate into her other form of bending -- lightningbending.
Controlling lightning is one of the most OP things you can do as a firebender. There were plenty of brutal fights that Azula would use this in, but her final fight with Zuko was particularly rough. In The Legend of Korra series, this would also be seen as a more common practice for those with advanced skills.
14 KATARA CONTROLS HAMA WITH BLOODBENDING
Katara was eventually reconnected with a waterbender named Hama, a friend of her grandmother Kanna. Hama had lived a hard life after being captured by the Fire Nation and imprisoned. She was able to escape by using what is considered “the ultimate technique”; bloodbending. After she and Katara became friends, she tried to teach her this technique in hopes of passing it down.
However, Katara never wanted to learn this kind of waterbending. Yet, Hama was determined and forced Katara’s hand until she had no other option. After subduing Hama by force, Katara looked nothing short of devastated; she would never forget what it felt like to take someone’s free will.
13 GENERAL FONG SINKS KATARA INTO THE GROUND
When we see earthbenders, we often see a lot of external uses for it. Everything from levitating rocks to building giant walls is a common practice amongst the Earth Nations. Earthbending is one of the most skilled forms because there are a lot of interesting uses for it and it’s a great use for defense. One of the coolest ways to use it, however, is by creating quicksand.
One memorable time we’ve seen this move used is when Katara tries to take on General Fong. Unfortunately for her, Fong is able to sink her straight into the ground to immobilize her. Using this on a grand skill would be a horrible time for any of their opponents.
12 AANG SEPARATES THE TOWN OF YU DAO FROM THE LAND
Obviously, the Avatar has access to much powerful moves than your average benders. There are a few OP moves that really show you some of the ways the Avatar is a superior bender, and Tectonics is one of them. This is another earthbending move that was mostly known from Avatar Kyoshi -- she split her island from the mainland to give them their much-wanted isolation.
Aang would later learn how to master this move and use it to separate Yu Dao from the surrounding land. This move is one of the most incredible moves in the series because the Avatar is literally using tectonics in order to shift masses of land.
11 TOPH'S SIGHT
Toph has always been one of the most interesting characters in the series. When we first saw her, she was just a little girl beating up buff dudes with her earthbending skills like it was nothing. But what puzzled everyone was how she could sense her opponents because she’s completely blind.
The way that Toph sees is one of the most OP aspects of the entire series. Using her earthbending skills, Toph is able to sense where people are and actually recreate a mental 360 vision of them in her head. This sight, known as sesmic sense, can be so accurate when used often that Toph can actually sense the movement of ants.
10 AANG LEADS ANIMALS IN BA SING SE
It’s not much of a surprise that Aang has a way with animals. He has Appa and Momo afterall, who really only seem to listen to him, but apparently they’re not the only animals that Aaang can manage. We’ve seen Aang use a move called Breath of Wing. This move is similar to a jet of air, only it requires much more control; s much control that the user can actually manipulate sound.
Aang used this exact move in order to communicate with the animals of Ba Sing Se. By amplifying the same whistle, he uses on Appa, he was able to send a massive sound wave throughout the entire city.
9 ZAHEER SUFFOCATES EARTH QUEEN HOU-TING
Airbending is often seen as one of the more passive forms of bending. Most benders use it in order to escape opponents or easily evade. Pair that with the fact that most airbenders are taught to be pacifists, and you never really see airbending used for anything sinister. However, Zaheer uses airbending to do something simply grotesque.
Bending air comes with an obvious ability; the ability to drain someone’s access to breathe. Zaheer creates an airball around the head of the Earth Queen Hou-Ting and effectively suffocates her. It was one of the most impressive ways we’ve seen air bending used.
8 YANGCHEN'S TORNADOES AND HURRICANES
Avatar Yangchen was known for being a kind and peaceful avatar. She was eager to make a difference in her world and gained the respect of those she interacted with. As an Air Nomad like Aang, the two were thought to have a lot in common. Yangchen was exceptionally powerful, and when she appeared to Aang, she needed to show him just how powerful the Avatar was.
Using her airbending abilities, Yangchen proved just how dangerous she was by creating hurricanes and tornadoes at will. This was how we, and Aang, saw just how powerful the Avatar State can be.
7 JINORA PROJECTS HER SPIRIT TO KORRA
Airbenders are known for being exceptionally perceptive because they’re hypersensitive due to their airbending abilities. They can pick up different senses along the winds and feel oncoming danger. This is pretty cool, but they can actually take this a step further -- if they’re highly spiritual, they can project their actual spirit to aid others.
We see this technique used primarily with Jinora, who projects her spirit in order to help Korra fight the Dark Avatar during Harmonic Convergence. The coolest part about this move is that they can also use this same move to help find people they share a strong connection with.
6 ZUKO MASTERS THE DANCING DRAGON
The one thing every Avatar fan can feel proud of is the character redemption Prince Zuko went through. He’d gone through so much throughout the series that we wondered where his power would lie in the end. Eventually, his siding with Aang would lead him to fight his own sister.
One of the coolest moves a firebender can learn is The Dancing Dragon. Zuko learns how to integrate it into his fighting style and we see it actually put him on par with Azula. He’s able to dispel her attacks and it offers much more protection than most other firebending moves.
5 "THE DRAGON OF THE WEST"
Iroh is one of the most beloved characters in the series; and rightfully so, because Zuko’s uncle has nothing but good advice and a ton of love for his favorite nephew. However, as the original series went on, we saw that Iroh had a very troubled fast. As a general, Iroh’s nickname was “The Dragon of the West”.
He was known for causing mass destruction because he had a very rare firebending ability called the Breath of Fire. This ability allows the user to firebend out of their mouth, which creates a very broad and hot attack. This particular move allows the user to be unpredictable because it doesn’t even require hands to preform.
4 P'LI CAN "COMBUSTIONBEND"
P’Li looks menacing, but it’s her abilities that really make her a threat. We’ve actually seen this technique used twice by P’Li and Combustion Man. The move allows the user to ignite objects with their mind instead of using the proper hand gestures.
P’Li uses this move almost constantly, but Combustion Man has shown to us just how deadly this technique can be if used improperly. In his past, we saw him lose his own right arm and leg due to lack of control. The other massive weakness to this move is if you block the chi paths it relies on, causing a potentially fatal backfire.
3 KATARA AS THE PAINTED LADY
The Painted Lady is one of the most beautiful looks to come out of the Avatar series and we highly recommend it for a cosplay. At one point, we see Katara play the Painted Lady, and during her performance she shows off just how versatile waterbenders are.
Phase Change is known as the action of controlling water in its many forms. Waterbenders are able to bend water whether it be a solid, liquid or gas. Each of these stages provides a different level of assistance to the bender wielding it, but the Painted Lady performance is where we got to see this cycle most prominent. We wouldn’t advise messing with a waterbender!
2 YUE CREATES A TSUNAMI TO SAVE AANG
During this list, we’ve talked about how those who can bend the elements are able to cause some massive natural disasters. For waterbenders, they’re able to actually control tsunamis; something we were shown when Princess Yue conjured one in order to save Aang.
This particular move is for very advanced waterbenders, which makes sense considering Princess Yue is incredibly gifted, but it also shows that waterbenders are able to control tsunamis no matter their size. We also see this move used by Avatar Kuruk, who demonstrates using the tsunami technique and actually riding the wave itself as a means of transportation. That's pretty extra.
1 PAKKU'S SNOW VORTEX
The vortex ability can actually be used in various forms: it doesn’t always have to be just snow or ice and it can also be regular water. Pakku is the one we see use this in a pretty scary way. During the Siege of the North, he’s able to create a giant snow vortex in order to fight off the firebenders attacking.
Luckily, Pakku isn’t the only one to demonstrate this particular power. Katara was also able to preform this same move to help bring Aang up out of the Crystal Catacombs and, in The Legend of Korra series, we’d see characters like Korra, Amon, and Unalaq also utilize this technique.