Avatar The Last Airbender- Most powerful tribe?

If we exclude the awesome power of narrative from the world, which tribe do you think would be the most powerful?

I’m pretty divided between the Earth Kingdom and the Water Tribe, The Earth Kingdom would be able to create impenetrable fortress’s anywhere they went, but on the other hand the Water tribe would be able to rule the seas which is pretty important…*

I think Fire may actually be the least useful if it didn’t seem to give some +Research bonus as well.

  • This is based upon my extensive strategic knowledge gained through hours of Alpha Centauri and Civ.

Fire-bending not only doesn’t seem particularly for non-combat applications, in the show its not even that useful for fighting. You’d think getting hit with a fireball would leave you with some third-degree burns and basically take you out of a fight, but instead it basically just pushes you around. If the fire benders just replaced firebending with cross-bows, they’d be much more effective.

Air bending is basically the same as fire-bending, except you can fly.

Water bending doesn’t seem like it’d be that useful, except in the show it gets all sorts of special applications. You can heal people and contol their movements and make giant plantmonsters.

Earthbending wins though, You can use it to build stuff, its base material is almost always available, it gives you ESP and you can throw giant rocks at people.

I agree that earth bending is the most practical and powerful.

ESP? In what way?

The “sensing stuff through the ground” thing the blind Earthbender girl uses.

Yeah, but firebending gives you a cheap, clean, and infinitely renewable power source. The possible applications of fire bending dwarf anything you can do with earth bending.

Also, I wouldn’t call what Toph does ESP. Feeling vibrations isn’t an extra sense, it’s one of the standard five we all get. Hers is just vastly more accute than normal.

I also wouldn’t call Toph’s perception as typical in any way for other Earth benders, she was a unique specialist.

Recall that the Fire nation steamrollered the Water relatively easily. They were in a stalemate against the Earth nation and only succeeded with subterfuge and espionage. I think the Earth nation was easily the most powerful.

It seems to me they all do, and the Earthbenders put it to better application than the Firebenders. Remember the Omashu postal system, for instance: You put letters and packages in stone carts, bend them uphill, and let them slide downhill.

And given that the Fire Nation was doing a pretty good job of conquering the other three combined, I think it’s pretty safe to say that they were the most powerful, at least in terms of warfare.

I agree, Toph’s sensing talent was a one-off that the other earth benders didn’t have. She learned it from Badgermoles when she was young. I think we’re supposed to guess that this is also why she’s such a powerful bender, since she was taught her talent by the “original” earth benders (badgermoles), much like the Fire Nation originally learned bending from dragons.