One of the most popular animated series of the 2000s was Nickelodeon’s Avatar: the Last Airbender, and in 2012, the franchise returned with the four-season The Legend of Korra. The combat system is based on bending, where benders can manipulate the four classical Greek elements (and subtypes of those four, like lightning and metal).
As far as fire benders go, Princess Azula of the Fire Nation is among the best. She is quick-thinking, acrobatic, and wildly talented, being able to conjure blue flames and create lightning. She is a serious threat to Team Avatar and a rival to her brother Zuko, and she can handle most characters in a straight-up fight. But a few would be able to take her on.
10 Can Defeat: Mako
Mako is the fire bender of Korra’s team avatar, and while he’s a skilled pro bender and a brave member of the team, he’s not quite on Azula’s level. He is capable of regular fire bending, as well as some lightning bending.
These powers are similar to Azula’s, but Azula can push them further, and she is more ruthless and has a keen eye for her opponents’ weaknesses. In a straight fight, Mako could put up a fight, but he’s not going to win.
9 Can’t Defeat: Amon
Azula is a villain, and she ranks highly among the villains of Avatar and The Legend of Korra. But she’s not at the top, and Amon, the leader of the Equalist revolution, could show Azula how true villainy is done.
He is a prodigious water bender who can blood bend at any time, like his father and brother, and this would give him a serious edge against Azula. Unless he’s taken by total surprise (which is unlikely), he will prove too tough for Azula to handle.
8 Can Defeat: Bolin
Neither brother can take on Azula, it seems. Mako and Bolin are tough and brave boys who can handle themselves in the pro bending arena, and they are vital members of Korra’s team. But they can only do so much.
Bolin is an earth bender, unlik Mako, and while he’s good, he’s not at Toph‘s level (neither can he bend metal). He can create lava, but overall, it’s likely that Azula would blow him away with blue fire or zap him into submission first.
7 Can’t Defeat: Fire Lord Ozai
Although Azula eagerly takes after her father, and she has his complete trust and respect, she cannot overcome her old man in a battle. Fire Lord Ozai is so powerful and notorious, he gave Aang nightmares, and he felt ready to proclaim himself the king of the entire world.
If they fought, it would really just be a friendly sparring match, so Ozai could help keep his daughter’s skills sharp. And if the battle turned serious, he would definitely teach her a thing or two about bending fire.
6 Can Defeat: Suki
This girl is one of the Kyoshi warriors, a nonbender who uses armor and fans to do battle. Suki is quite skilled like her fellows, and they have kept Kyoshi Island safe for a long time against any and all intruders.
But her metal fans aren’t going to win against the like of Azula, or any powerful fire bender for that matter. Suki’s combat skills aren’t enough to handle fire bending and lightning of that caliber, and she’s definitely going down.
5 Can’t Defeat: Unalaq
Ordinarily, Azula probably would stand a fair chance against this chief of the Northern Water Tribe. He is much older and more experienced than Azula, and his water can douse flames. Still, Azula is known as a prodigy for a reason.
The deciding factor is Unalaq’s merging with Vaatu, transforming him into the first (and probably only) dark avatar with incredible power. If he’s in that state, then Azula is going to get wiped out in no time.
4 Can Defeat: The Boulder
“The Boulder objects to this claim!” Most likely, that’s what The Boulder would have to say about this, but there is no denying that while powerful, this muscle-bound earth bender has no chance to defeat Azula in a proper duel.
His earth bending puts more emphasis on showmanship and fun than the fundamentals of earth bending, and that’s how Toph defeated him so easily. Azula would just toy with him, and crush him at her leisure at any time.
3 Can’t Defeat: Avatar Wan
He was the first-ever avatar and a true historical figure. He realized that bending is not just a tool to use against spirits; it’s an art, and can become an extension of one’s own body. He did this with his native fire bending, then moved on to air, earth, and water.
If avatar Wan can take on the likes of Vaatu and entire armies at once to keep the peace, then he can take on Azula, too, and show her why the avatar is the true hero of the world, with all four elements to back him up. He’s got no serious blind spots.
2 Can Defeat: Admiral Zhao
Now it’s time for Admiral Zhao, a major antagonist of season 1. Before Azula came along, he was Zuko’s biggest rival in trying to capture the avatar, and he’s a devastating and proud fire bending commander.
But as Aang soon found out, Zhao is a reckless and sloppy fire bender, and he is better off behind a desk, planning campaigns. In a fair fight, Azula would blast him to bits with her superior discipline and lightning.
1 Can’t Defeat: Zaheer
He was the major antagonist for The Legend of Korra‘s third season, a skilled acrobat and martial artist who later gained the power to bend air. As a major villain, Zaheer was an anarchist who threw the Earth Kingdom into total chaos and threatened the Air Nomads.
He’s far more experienced than Azula in the ways of fighting, and he has unlocked the true potential of air bending, even to the point of murder. With these skills, he could take Azula down after a bitter fight, and literally take her breath away.
Princess Azula is one of the most vicious fighters in Avatar: The Last Airbender, but there are several characters who could beat her in a fight.