The Japanese-inspired series, Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: Legend of Korra, embody a fantasy world with intriguing mastery techniques involving the control of certain elements. The most prominent bending styles – water, air, fire, and earth – were the main highlights of the series. However, at critical moments, history has revealed other deviant styles that are fundamentally different from the four iconic bending techniques.
Before they can use these specialized techniques, they must fully master the art from which this technique originates. For example, lightning generation users must learn firebending, and metalbenders must master the earthbending style. There are various awesome bending subtypes in the world of Avatar, ranging from the deadly art of bloodbending to Toph-inspired metalbending. Here is a ranking of these specialized techniques, from the least powerful to the most powerful
ten Waterbending: Healing
Healing is a special waterbending substyle used by only a few gifted waterbenders. As the name suggests, it allows users to heal their wounds and the wounds of others with water. This category of waterbenders can take advantage of the healing properties of water, allowing it to heal and soothe the source of their patients’ discomfort.
Although the art of bending is powerful, it has certain limitations. One such limitation is the inability to restore chi paths from masters. Also, in most situations, the technique cannot heal internal injuries or birth defects, such as Toph Beifong’s blindness. However, despite its weaknesses, it was a valuable art that saved Aang after being struck by Azula’s lightning.
9 Airbending: Spirit Projection
Spirit projection is a complex sub-art that has been shown in Avatar: Legend of Korra. It is a technique that requires maximum concentration and skill. To use spiritual projection requires a high sense of spirituality and a deep skill in meditation. During spirit projection, the user’s spirit detaches from their body, allowing them to move freely in bodily form. Users who enter this state can move through walls, buildings, and any physical object.
Spiritual projection practitioners can also use this technique to find people with whom they have a strong connection. Jinora, Tenzin’s daughter, was the only known user of this technique during Harmonic Convergence. Although Spirit Projection has no offensive power, it is a useful scouting skill.
8 Airbending: Flight
Avatar: The Last Airbender depicts airbenders flying using special contraptions, while their abilities allow them to manipulate the wind and glide through the air. However, Avatar: Legend of Korra revealed another dimension to the art of airbending: flying without any gear.
Flying is a unique skill, even among gifted airbenders. The only known users are Guru Laghima and Zaheer. In order to harness flight, an airbender must let go of their earthly attachment to synchronize with the wind and become one with it. Masters of this technique can fly and glide easily. In battle, this ability gives users an edge over their opponents, as they can easily direct long-range attacks.
7 Waterbending: Spiritbending
Spiritbending is a waterbending technique created to manipulate the energies within spirits. The inventor of this technique was Unalaq, one of the main antagonists of Avatar: Legend of Korra. Unalaq also taught this technique to his niece, Korra, making them two the only practitioners.
Mastery of the mind aims to restore balance to a mind with distorted spiritual energy. Generally, it changes a spirit’s negative energy to positive energy, restoring balance to the spirit’s energy. The technique involves the manipulation of water currents surrounding the mind. Although this technique is good for spirits, it is harmful when used against humans.
6 Earth Mastery: Lava Mastery
Lavabending is a powerful earthbending substyle. In the Avatar franchise, the first lavabender was none other than Avatar Szeto, the Avatar before Yangchen. In a vision Aang shared with this Avatar, he was seen controlling the magma residing in four different volcanoes. In Avatar: The Last AirbenderAvatar Roku used this technique to destroy the Fire Temple, showing how deadly this art is.
The technique allows its users to manipulate molten rock or change the nature of the earth to molten rock. All known users of this technique are extremely skilled earthbenders and avatars. Bolin, one of the main protagonists of Legend of Korra, was also shown using this technique in later seasons of the show.
Metalbending is a powerful skill pioneered by Blind Earthbender Toph Beifong. Metalbending allows earthbenders to manipulate metallic substances. Since metal is obtained from the earth, it is still part of the earth, making the element bendable by earthbenders.
In The last air Master, Toph was the sole metalbender; however, in Legend of Korra, the Republic City police force was capable of metalbending. The reason behind this was Toph’s establishment of the metalbending academy where she taught this unique technique to other earthbenders. Toph’s daughters, Lin and Suyin Beifong, were also expert metalbenders.
4 Curvature of the earth: seismic direction
Seismic Sense is a high-level earthbending sub-art inspired by the original earthbenders, the Badgermoles, who used the technique to force their way underground without any light sources. This ability allows earthbenders to sense their surroundings using vibrations that travel through the ground.
Toph was the first known user of seismic sense, and it allowed her to perceive her opponent’s movements, even though she was blind. This technique can also be combined with metal, allowing users to perceive their surroundings even through metal. In Legend of KorraLin Beifong demonstrated this technique many times.
3 Fire Mastery: Combustion Mastery
Combustion Mastery is a rare and powerful firebending substyle. The only known users of the technique are Combustion Man and P’Li. The technique involves the channeling of chi through a specially marked brow. The emanation of this chi blasts the air in the surrounding area in devastating fashion.
The beams created by combustion benders are capable of large-scale destruction. On one occasion, it vaporized an entire lake. Due to the powerful nature of the technique, it requires high level concentration and stability. If the user’s concentration wavers, the skill can backfire, causing a self-explosion.
2 Firebending: Lightning Manipulation
Lighting Manipulation is a deadly one-hit firebending substyle. The technique allows the user to manipulate lightning by subtly controlling it with their fingertips. According to General Iroh, to manipulate lightning, peace of mind is needed, as it allows practitioners to control yin and yang energies.
Compared to firebending, which is instantaneous, lightning manipulation requires a start-up time, as Azula has demonstrated on several occasions. However, there are exceptional lighting users who can instantly bend lighting, such as Firelord Ozai and Mako.
Lightning Redirection is a Lightning Manipulation/Generation sub-skill. The technique was created by General Iroh and allows users to take lightning attacks head-on and redirect them to a location of their choosing. To redirect lightning, users must perfect a stance that allows them to channel lightning through their stomach, carefully avoiding the heart and delicate organs. In addition to General Iroh, Zuko and Aang were also lightning redirect practitioners.
1 Waterbending: Bloodbending
Bloodbending is arguably the deadliest bending substyle in the series. The technique was created by Hama, a Fire Nation Water Tribe prisoner, who perfected the technique by practicing on rats. Through bloodbending, waterbenders can control the fluids inherent in living organisms, allowing them to control the bodies of their targets.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the full moon was a requirement for bloodbending, as during this time the abilities of waterbenders reach their peak. But in Avatar: Legend of KorraYakone, Amon, and Tarrlok could bloodbend without the full moon, as they trained specially in this art.
Psychic bloodbending is a powerful specialized technique. It allows Bloodbenders to control their targets telepathically, with little or no movement, rendering users undetectable. Yakone was the first known user of this ability; he used it to control Aang and other members of the courtroom before Aang removed his bending. Amon was the strongest psychic bloodbender. He could take away masteries with the technique, leaving his targets in a state of misery.
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