Both entries in the Avatar franchise, The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, feature some very powerful heroes at the core of their shows. Over the course of their respective stories, all the heroes gained more experience and strength, eventually improving their skills.
But by the end of their respective shows, which series had the most powerful Team Avatar?
Aang and Korra were connected through the Avatar line of resurrection, but they couldn’t have approached their powers from a more different perspective. While Aang was defined by his devotion to pacifism, Korra was a hot-headed and competitive fighter. Whereas Aang mastered airbending at a young age but had some difficulty in mastering the others, Korra was naturally gifted with all of the elements except air. Both could greatly amplify their power by activating the Avatar state, but while Aang became deliberate and focused, Korra at times seemed almost unleashed and ferocious with her power.
Comparing the two, it’s likely Korra’s greater experience with combat would give her the edge. Even if the two were to be compared in a fight, Korra would be able to counter almost all of Aang’s abilities with her own and would likely push that advantage. Even his natural skill as an airbender doesn’t give him a full advantage over Korra, as shown by her defeat of Zaheer. While Korra was in the Avatar state at the time, she had also been dosed with a lethal amount of toxic metal that weakened her by the second — and she still was able to almost overwhelm and take down the far more vicious airbender. Compared to Aang, Korra is shown to be a more powerful and skilled bender — although Aang is far more gifted in the spiritual aspect of the Avatar’s position.
While Korra is the Avatar and capable of bending all four elements, she was specifically born in the Southern Water Tribe. Almost her entire family are revealed to be waterbenders themselves, and she’s often shown to be specifically skilled with that form of bending. This makes her also a parallel in terms of power with Katara, who was the resident waterbender of the original Team Avatar. Katara learned more about her abilities as she helped Aang save the world, eventually even graduating to the title of Master Waterbender and becoming Aang’s teacher in the craft. But which one was a more capable waterbender?
While Korra showcased plenty of craft and skill with her waterbending over the years, she doesn’t master nearly as many specific skills as Katara does. By the end of the first season of The Last Airbender, Katara proves to be an adept healer. While Korra is eventually taught how to do the skill by Katara, the elder bender is established in Legend of Korra as perhaps the most powerful healer in the world. She’s also privy to a much more devastating skill: bloodbending. Katara was taught the technique in the third season of the series, and although the implications of the ability terrified her, it also gives her an advantage that Korra lacks — and even has a weakness against, as Amon proved when he used bloodbending to defeat and even temporarily remove Korra’s powers.
Sokka and Asami are both the non-powered member of their teams. They make up for this lack of raw power by focusing on their minds, eventually becoming brilliant in their own unique ways. Sokka proved to be an adept strategist, helping form multiple plans — both in advance and on the fly — while also showcasing some solid knowledge of scientific and deductive reasoning. Asami meanwhile became a gifted engineer and business mogul, quickly repairing any broke equipment the heroes needed and even inventing her own tools.
Neither are particularly helpless in physical combat either: Sokka has been trained in sword-fighting and martial arts, while Asami became such a gifted fighter through years of formal training that she can easily counter chi-blockers. Both even have a signature weapon that they use in combat, with Sokka having his boomerang and Asami frequently using the shock glove she used on her father when he was revealed to be an Equalist. But while Sokka has plenty of impressive feats of the mind, Asami’s sheer skill against foes like the Equalists and members of the Earth Empire. Even with his eventual training, Asami is shown to be able to keep up with fighters with similar skills to Ty Lee — who Sokka never could beat on his own — meaning she’s likely the more useful fighter in the field.
Throughou The Last Airbender, Toph proves herself to be an earthbending prodigy. She becomes the first person in the world to figure out how to metal-bend, giving her a distinct advantage over other, more conventional earthbenders. While she would later teach this technique to other benders — even opening her own school for metal-benders — Toph also possesses another ability thanks to her blindness — an ability to sense earth around her. While Bolin might not have those strengths (proving to be unable to metal-bend even when taught how), his pro-bending career turned him into a uniquely powerful earthbender. He also eventually proves capable of maybe the single most destructive bending form — lavabending, allowing him to melt the earth into magma and even manipulate it.
But which of the two is actually a more gifted earthbender? It’s difficult to say, especially considering how powerful both of their unique skill sets are. Toph being the first metal-bender gives the original Team Avatar a unique power that saves the day multiple times, while Bolin’s lavabending makes him arguably one of the most powerful benders on the planet. That lavabending may even negate Toph’s almost supernatural ability to feel the earth around her to predict and outmaneuver attacks, as they can be thrown as burning projectile weapons. But Toph’s historic stubbornness might be enough to outlast the more absent-minded hero. Toph and Bolin would be one of the most epic battles possible between the two generations of Avatar, and it’s almost too difficult to gauge which one is more powerful.
Zuko and Mako, despite having many of the same powers, actually have very different approaches to firebending. Zuko was the son of the Fire Lord and formally trained as a warrior. He proved to be an adept bender, and eventually even learned how to redirect lightning bolts — even if he’s never been able to generate them himself. Meanwhile, Mako was much more self-taught. Growing up on the streets of Republic City with his brother as orphans, the pair eventually found a way to utilize their skills for the betterment of the world around them.
Zuko is a well-trained fighter, and he showcases more than enough skill to defeat more experienced enemies throughout The Last Airbender. He even (along with Aang) receives some brief training from some of the last dragons in the world. But Zuko has a consistent weakness while in combat — his inability to deal with adaptation. Most of his losses (especially at the hands of Aang before Zuko turned his back on the Fire Nation and joined Team Avatar) came when his opponent was able to surprise him in some way and gain the upper hand. Mako is shown to be particularly capable of that, surprising veteran soldiers and even resisting bloodbending to shoot off a blast of lighting at Amon. That’s another perk that Mako has over Zuko too: while Zuko eventually learns to redirect lightning, Mako is almost a prodigy with the technique. While Zuko is very skilled, he can’t keep up with the sheer talent of Mako.
This means that, with Bolin and Toph more or less countering each other, that Team Korra is the more powerful of the two.
Which show has the more powerful Team Avatar: the heroes of The Last Airbender of The Legend of Korra?