Era of Aang vs Era of Korra: Which Had the Best Bending?

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CocaColaMan

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#1 CocaColaMan  Online

Between the two eras, though mainly just A:TLA and TLOK events, which had the best benders? You can answer for all four elements, so which had the best firebenders, best waterbenders, etc.

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CocaColaMan

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#2 CocaColaMan  Online

For me:

  • Air: Aang's. The Air Nomads were still around back at the beginning of Aang's Era, including Gyatso, and of course there was Aang himself.
  • Water: Korra's. Katara and Hama were the only really good waterbender from Aang's era; Pakku was fine but not that amazing. Korra's era had Korra, obviously, alongside multiple bloodbenders, Ming Hua, and Unalaq.
  • Earth: Korra's. Even ignoring Old Toph, you have the Beifong daughters, Korra w/ Earth, the lavabenders and Kuvira. Kid Toph and Bumi don't make up for those numbers + versatility.
  • Fire: Aang's. Combustion Man + The Royal Family + Jeong Jeong is way better than P'li + Mako + Korra.
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HighMantra_X0Sp

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Water - Avatar but close -Katara solos with bloodbending and the water bending lore. Ming Hua and Unalaq were nice and all but Hama, Katara, and Swamp "bending" takes the cake

Air - Avatar - No need to discuss this. Avatar with ease.

Earth - Korra - I would side with Korra due to metal bending and lava bending. Alongside versatility and skill, Bumi pales in comparison.

Fire - Avatar - With all the firebending in that serious alongside original lightning bending, fire takes the cake with skill, power, and lore. Korra doesn't compare with this.

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byondeon

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For me:

  • Air: Aang's. The Air Nomads were still around back at the beginning of Aang's Era, including Gyatso, and of course there was Aang himself.
  • Water: Korra's. Katara and Hama were the only really good waterbender from Aang's era; Pakku was fine but not that amazing. Korra's era had Korra, obviously, alongside multiple bloodbenders, Ming Hua, and Unalaq.
  • Earth: Korra's. Even ignoring Old Toph, you have the Beifong daughters, Korra w/ Earth, the lavabenders and Kuvira. Kid Toph and Bumi don't make up for those numbers + versatility.
  • Fire: Aang's. Combustion Man + The Royal Family + Jeong Jeong is way better than P'li + Mako + Korra.

This except I disagree with Air. Zaheer learning to Fly literally counter anything from Aang's era.

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ANTHP2000

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#6  Edited By ANTHP2000

I'll say what I'd said in the past on the matter; while, generally speaking, the cream of the crop of Aang's era is a step above that of Korra's, the latter still brought many more noteworthy benders to the table. In the original series, no one besides Team Avatar, the order of the White Lotus, and the Fire Nation's royal family was a particularly skilled master. An isolated talent pushed to their limits here and there, like Hama or Combustion Man also existed, but politico-economical hierarchy and social classification largely affected the bending arts and restricted them to particular groups of people. Not to say those don't exist in Korra, but not to the same degree; even nameless benders showcased knowledge of and skill the highest forms of fire and earthbending in their skill set, because the previous generation made sure to open way for the next. It's an entirely new world.

That said, if we are going strictly on direct comparison of the very finest, I would, say, the original series procuced more capable benders in most aspects. Simply looking at the top of both eras. Waterbending is probably the closest comparison; all things considered, Yakone's bloodline are the most powerful of their element in, probably, history, while Ming Hua's raw skill and connection to water rivalled Katara's. I'd probably say the best earthbenders in Korra's era, besides Toph herself, were her daughters. And while their metalbending is far more advanced than anything Toph showed in TLA, I'd be hesitant to rank them above her and King Bumi on that alone. The firebenders really are just, so much better in the first series too. P'Li is quite literally the only one who can rival the Royal Family. Zuko's grandson also had potential, but that's all it was: potential. I imagine this had in part to do with the writers not wanting to focus on firebending as much then, given it was the forefront element in the first one. I guess airbending is quite the limited comparison, with Tenzin being the only true experienced master in the second series. And I think his father was better. Although, again, there's a whole new Air Nation now, and the fact that more people besides the Avatar have mastered airbending is obviously an excellent plus.

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StormShadow_X

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Shamelessly going to agree with Ant ^

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It's tough to say because TLA focused more on the original bending styles, while LOK focused more on sub-bending styles. Overall, TLA featured more naturally-talented benders and prodigies though.

Airbending goes to TLA due to Aang. Tenzin was impressive but never really did anything Aang couldn't replicate. The only added things were spiritual projection and flight, both of which are very specific sub-styles.

Earthbending is a toss-up. No one in LOK has demonstrated the raw earthbending power that Toph and Bumi were capable of, but LOK also has lavabending and advanced metalbending on its side.

Waterbending goes to LOK but it's close. No one except Korra comes close to Katara's level of waterbending and Hama invented/developed bloodbending. Ming Hua and Unalaq are both great waterbenders though, and Amon/Tarrlok/Yakone all improved upon bloodbending. Unalaq also has spiritbending.

Firebending definitely goes to TLA, which have Zuko, Azula, Jeong-Jeong, Iroh, Ozai...compared to Korra, Mako, and that's about it for LOK. P'Li brought more advanced combustionbending but Combustion Man displayed more raw power.

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the_amongus

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Its aang! Aang is better than poor crying korra

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BigDreamer48

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#10 BigDreamer48  Online

@geekryan said:

It's tough to say because TLA focused more on the original bending styles, while LOK focused more on sub-bending styles. Overall, TLA featured more naturally-talented benders and prodigies though.

Airbending goes to TLA due to Aang. Tenzin was impressive but never really did anything Aang couldn't replicate. The only added things were spiritual projection and flight, both of which are very specific sub-styles.

Earthbending is a toss-up. No one in LOK has demonstrated the raw earthbending power that Toph and Bumi were capable of, but LOK also has lavabending and advanced metalbending on its side.

Waterbending goes to LOK but it's close. No one except Korra comes close to Katara's level of waterbending and Hama invented/developed bloodbending. Ming Hua and Unalaq are both great waterbenders though, and Amon/Tarrlok/Yakone all improved upon bloodbending. Unalaq also has spiritbending.

Firebending definitely goes to TLA, which have Zuko, Azula, Jeong-Jeong, Iroh, Ozai...compared to Korra, Mako, and that's about it for LOK. P'Li brought more advanced combustionbending but Combustion Man displayed more raw power.

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freestyler1999

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For me:

  • Air: Aang's. The Air Nomads were still around back at the beginning of Aang's Era, including Gyatso, and of course there was Aang himself.
  • Water: Korra's. Katara and Hama were the only really good waterbender from Aang's era; Pakku was fine but not that amazing. Korra's era had Korra, obviously, alongside multiple bloodbenders, Ming Hua, and Unalaq.
  • Earth: Korra's. Even ignoring Old Toph, you have the Beifong daughters, Korra w/ Earth, the lavabenders and Kuvira. Kid Toph and Bumi don't make up for those numbers + versatility.
  • Fire: Aang's. Combustion Man + The Royal Family + Jeong Jeong is way better than P'li + Mako + Korra.

I have nothing to add.

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KlarionKnight

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@geekryan said:

It's tough to say because TLA focused more on the original bending styles, while LOK focused more on sub-bending styles. Overall, TLA featured more naturally-talented benders and prodigies though.

Airbending goes to TLA due to Aang. Tenzin was impressive but never really did anything Aang couldn't replicate. The only added things were spiritual projection and flight, both of which are very specific sub-styles.

Earthbending is a toss-up. No one in LOK has demonstrated the raw earthbending power that Toph and Bumi were capable of, but LOK also has lavabending and advanced metalbending on its side.

Waterbending goes to LOK but it's close. No one except Korra comes close to Katara's level of waterbending and Hama invented/developed bloodbending. Ming Hua and Unalaq are both great waterbenders though, and Amon/Tarrlok/Yakone all improved upon bloodbending. Unalaq also has spiritbending.

Firebending definitely goes to TLA, which have Zuko, Azula, Jeong-Jeong, Iroh, Ozai...compared to Korra, Mako, and that's about it for LOK. P'Li brought more advanced combustionbending but Combustion Man displayed more raw power.

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Viking1205

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#13  Edited By Viking1205

The average bender during TLoK was better than the average bender in TLA. The advancement due to Metalbending due to Republic City, Earth Empire and Zaofu pretty much put any regular bender in TLoK over every regular bender during TLA.

The handful of elite high tiers in TLA were better than their counterparts in TLoK (excluding waterbenders). Among waterbenders, TLoK easily is better since Katara is the only bender that is better than several waterbenders during Korra's time. The one element where I'd put TLA over TLoK is Fire. The Royal family is head and shoulders above the ones in TLoK.

On the whole, I'd say Bending improved and advanced in quality overall from Aang to Korra's time.

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Tektonic

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I'd say overall even, but I'll post something more detailed later.

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Ok so here's my two cents, complete with pictures and gifs.

Average LOK vs ATLA:

Of course I agree that from the ground up LOK offers stronger characters.

  • Metalbending Officers
  • Equalists
  • Dark Spirits
  • Air Nation Members
  • Earth Empire Soldiers

The average even with the fodder is absurdly higher than it was in ATLA.

Masters LOK vs ATLA:

I also agree that their is a more widespread list of powerful masters in LOK

  • Tenzin
  • Lin Beifong
  • Mako
  • Bolin
  • Tarrlok
  • Yakone
  • Amon
  • Iroh II
  • Tonraq
  • Desna and Eska
  • Unalaq
  • Kya
  • Zaheer(kinda)
  • Ghazan
  • Ming Hua
  • P'Li
  • Suyin
  • Jinora
  • Kuvira

I'm sure I am missing a few names.

Top Tier Masters LOK vs ATLA:

Waterbending:

Here I believe LOK is superior. Katara alone doesn't carry, the waterbenders from Korra's era are so advanced(Korra herself, Unalaq, Ming Hua, Amon, Desna and Eska, Kya, Tonraq etc.)

Despite their limited screen time, I believe any of Korra, Ming Hua, or Unalaq have a good chance of beating Katara if they ever were to fight.

Korra was trained by Katara, so she probably started the show not that far off from her, and by EOS was probably a contender for surpassing her, having further honed her waterbending with pro bending, spirit bending, and battling the Northern Royal Family. I'm excited to see the depths of her waterbending mastery as the comics progress.

No Caption Provided

Ming Hua, is obviously a fantastic waterbender, with a unique set of skills, and even has a writer statement comparing some of her skills favorably to Katara by Bryan Konietzo.

No Caption Provided

And of course Unalaq, who created a whole new sub section of waterbending, ruled the water tribe and fought the avatar all out. I'd say his final battle with Korra was the single most impressive duel for a waterbender in the history of the franchise.

No Caption Provided

Earthbending:

I push back on the idea that ATLA has stronger earthbenders. By feats yes, though by portrayal I'd disagree.

No Caption Provided

Bryan or Mike stated that they were "sure" that Toph could give Kuvira a good fight out of the list presented. Which implies they are relatively close to each other. Even in the comics we don't see one take the lead over the other in showings.

No Caption Provided

Metalbending

LOK just replaced screen time for earthbending with metalbending. And they are for sure superior here.

Just thinking of the list here, Kuvira, Lin, Su, Korra and even Guan
Just thinking of the list here, Kuvira, Lin, Su, Korra and even Guan

Firebending

Yes ATLA definitely has better firebenders, and a much more diverse list of them. But that's only because ATLA explored the Fire Nation royal family and upper echelon fully, while LOK wanted to move away from the Fire Nation that ATLA centered around.

That being said Mako and Korra are the perfect examples of how I think firebending has progressed way past ATLA. They aren't even royal family members and they displayed pretty much every firebending technique that characters in ATLA took until S3 to showcase.

Even a glimpse of the royal family's ability through Iroh II is very promising. In only a couple of scenes he showcased...

Comet level jet propulsion
Comet level jet propulsion
Instant lightning
Instant lightning
Probably the best fire bending potency feat in the franchise, when he blocks a warship busting bomb head on
Probably the best fire bending potency feat in the franchise, when he blocks a warship busting bomb head on

And he's not even Fire Lord Izumi.

Via AvatarNews, at some point Korra will visit the Fire Nation in the comics and I hope we get a chance to flesh out the abilities of the other members of the royal family
Via AvatarNews, at some point Korra will visit the Fire Nation in the comics and I hope we get a chance to flesh out the abilities of the other members of the royal family

Airbending

Aang obviously has an advantage being an incredibly talented airbender with three seasons worth of feats. If just based solely on him than ATLA would have an advantage. But LOK has way more airbenders(to be fair the ones in ATLA were literally all murdered), some very impressive ones.

Tenzin of course comes first to mind.

Son of Aang, and was trained to be his successor, we can't say for sure if he is as good as his father(as an adult no less) but we know he's very powerful in his own right and likely close
Son of Aang, and was trained to be his successor, we can't say for sure if he is as good as his father(as an adult no less) but we know he's very powerful in his own right and likely close
I mean...
I mean...

Than their is Jinora who is even more prodigious than Aang himself, one day will probably be the greatest air bender in the world

No Caption Provided

And lastly Korra, who's journey as an airbender both physically and spiritually has brought her to a newfound level of mastery.

Death Sphere
Death Sphere

In conclusion, I'd say LOK has an advantage in water and metal, while still having a lot of space for development in fire and air, while canonically being close in earthbending via "word of god".

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IndomitableRegal

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I'm gonna say LoK has refined their bending more, while ATLA has the better displays of power, and more "S Tier" benders.