In an all out fight, who is the better fighter and bender? I know this has probably been done to death but didn’t Azula lose their last fight? How come she’s regarded as better.
Is Azula a greater fire bender/fighter than Zuko?
She was insane when she lost. Not "unpredictable" insane, "completely out of your game and unable to make rational decisions" insane.
I agree that current Azula > Zuko, but you're overestimating how much Azula's insanity affected her under Sozin's Comet. Her actual firebending power was unaffected (matched Zuko, much like happened in their previous S3 fights and in Smoke and Shadow) and she still had enough poise to use advanced techniques like fire jets and lightningbending. She was also capable of making rational decisions, like going after Katara with lightning when Zuko had her number, although she was obviously not at her best. She was hindered, but she wasn't completely gone yet. Her comics insane incarnation (where she is completely gone) was easily taken down by Zuko, whereas it was an actual fight under Sozin's Comet.
She beats Zuko. Physically, the only area he has the advantage in is strength, and she's the better fighter and tactician. As far as the EOS fight, Zuko only thought he was capable of beating Azula because he could tell that something was "off about her". She's a more versatile bender too, since she can use (and now redirect) lightning, propel herself with fire, and breathe fire. Yes, the gap between them has closed a lot from what it used to be, but she's still superior.
Zuko has never been on Azula's level as a fighter, or as a bender, not at her peak. Granted his firebending has grown a lot in his time as Firelord by Smoke & Shadow, as has Azula's upon regaining part of her mental stability (in a way). People will reference their final duels before Sozin's Comet, the one in the Boiling Rock - which barely qualified as a fight, more of a short term exchange in an environment that severely limited Azula's set of skills - and the one in the Western Air Temple, which was right after Mai and Ty Lee betrayed her, ergo the beginning of her mental breakdown. And I think both the animators and Grey DeLisle did a fantastic job showcasing that part of her in the scene, she was visibly starting to lose it. And it is worth noting that in both of these duels, Zuko would have died had it not been for Mai and Team Avatar saving him, respectively, and that is exactlty because he did not have Azula's advanced firebending skill, which allowed her to save herself solo, twice.
Their Agni Kai was quite literally Azula's fighting style suffering in its entirety from poor tactics, breath control, and lack of grace, a very important aspect of the martial arts her personal style is based on. It was no better than Zuko taking on a bender of Zhao's level with greater raw power and bloodlust; in no way does it reflect on Azula's ability in her right mind. The Avatar Extras in Sozin's Comet III even note that Azula is "normally a much better fighter than Zuko, but she's starting to slip". I'm not sure how much more explicit that could have been.
When it comes to holistic efficiency in bending fights, Azula's skill set provides her with the most powerful offence - lightningbending - far greater speed and acrobatic ability, greater ability in martial arts, more destructive flames, and a technique unique to her of all firebenders: the ability to solidify her fire and form barriers that can deflect solid objects and concussive force. On top of everything else, she's a lot more tactically gifted. I don't believe it is even much of a fair comparison anymore, she is up there with the best.
He's not that far below her in terms of firebending, but she has more technique, a bigger skillset, more precision, more speed, more agility, and better H2H. So yeah, I'd say she's a superior fighter than he is. He can contend with her, and has more durability, but she would beat him 9/10 times high difficulty in a fight.
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