Avatar - The Last Airbender

The Last Airbender – Strongest Non-Avatar Benders

In the series of “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” bending the elements is a source of immense power and a symbol of mastery. And while the Avatar, with their ability to control all four elements, often steals the spotlight, the series also introduced us to a remarkable cast of non-Avatar benders who demonstrate exceptional strength and skill.

Let’s explore the incredible abilities of these non-Avatar masters and understand what makes them formidable forces in the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” universe.

Who are Benders?

Before we dive in, it’s essential to understand who benders are. Benders in the world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” are gifted with the unique ability to manipulate one of the four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. These powers are rooted in ancient bending arts and are tied to various spiritual and philosophical practices.

Exceptional Non-Avatar Benders: Who Are They?

1. Master Piandao: The Swordmaster

the last airbender - non-benders
Source: Dewey Dew Night

A legendary swordsman and a former Fire Nation officer, Master Piandao stands as one of the most skilled non-benders in the entire series. Renowned for his wisdom and philosophy, he trained both Sokka and Zuko in the art of swordsmanship. Master Piandao’s strength lies in his ability to adapt the fighting styles of benders of all four elements, making him exceptionally unpredictable in combat. He single-handedly defeated a hundred Fire Nation soldiers, cementing his reputation as an unparalleled fighter.

2. Ty Lee: The Chi-Blocker

Ty Lee - the last airbender - non-benders
Source: CBR

Agile and acrobatic, Ty Lee is a formidable non-bender from the Fire Nation. A childhood friend of Azula, her unique ability to block chi (the flow of energy within a body) gives her a considerable edge in battle. With precise strikes to pressure points, Ty Lee can temporarily paralyze benders, rendering them helpless. Her prowess and agility make her one-of-a-kind and a truly dangerous opponent for even the most skilled benders.

3. Mai: Deadly Precision

The last airbender - non-benders
Source: Youtube

Mai, another loyal member of Azula’s entourage, wields exceptional accuracy and deadly precision. Her weapon of choice is throwing knives and stilettos, which she uses with uncanny proficiency. Mai’s remarkable talent allows her to strike targets with astonishing accuracy, effectively pinning down benders and disrupting their movements. Her calm demeanor and unwavering focus add to her intimidating presence.

4. Suki: Leader of the Kyoshi Warriors

The last airbender - non-benders
Source: CBR

As the valiant leader of the elite Kyoshi Warriors, Suki is a master of hand-to-hand combat and utilizes the signature fans of her order with deadly expertise. Suki’s unwavering courage, adaptability, and tactical mind make her a force to be reckoned with, even when outnumbered by benders. She played a crucial role in protecting Avatar Aang and consistently proved herself against formidable opponents.

5. Combustion Man (Sparky Sparky Boom Man)

The Last Airbender: Combustion Man
Source: CBR

While his backstory may be shrouded in mystery, Combustion Man remains one of the most intimidating non-bender antagonists in “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” With the rare and highly destructive ability to generate explosions from his third eye, Combustion Man possesses raw power that’s nearly unmatched. His long-range attacks and the sheer force of his blasts make him a threat even to skilled benders.

Honorable Mentions

While these five stand out, there are many other remarkable non-Avatar benders worthy of recognition in “Avatar: The Last Airbender”:

  • Sokka: The resourceful strategist and warrior of the Southern Water Tribe.
  • Hakoda: Sokka and Katara’s father, a fierce leader, and skilled warrior.
  • June the Bounty Hunter: Known for her tracking abilities and the use of her shirshu mount.
  • The Yuyan Archers: Elite Fire Nation archers with incredible precision.

What Makes Them Strong

The non-Avatar benders in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” derive their strength from diverse sources:

  • Mastery of Technique: These characters have honed their skills through years of dedicated practice and discipline.
  • Strategic Thinking: Often facing bending opponents who possess greater raw power, non-benders must rely on their intelligence and tactical cunning to survive and win battles.
  • Adaptability: Non-benders are masters of adaptation, able to analyze their opponents’ bending styles, exploit weaknesses, and adjust their own tactics accordingly.
  • Unwavering Determination: These characters possess an unmatched spirit and fierce willpower, refusing to yield even against overwhelming odds.

Non-Benders in The Legend of Korra

The “Avatar” universe continues to introduce impressive non-benders in the sequel series, “The Legend of Korra.” Here are some notable examples:

  • Asami Sato: The brilliant industrialist daughter of Hiroshi Sato. Asami boasts superb driving skills, engineering knowledge, and uses an electrified glove for close-quarters combat.
  • Lieutenant: A loyal member of the Equalists and a skilled martial artist with chi-blocking abilities, demonstrating the continued impact of Ty Lee’s legacy.
  • Varrick: While manipulative and eccentric, Varrick is an undeniable strategist who can talk his way into or out of any situation.
  • Zhu Li: Varrick’s loyal and efficient assistant. Her organizational skills, intelligence, and willingness to do whatever is needed demonstrate she truly does “the thing.”

The Importance of Non-Avatar Benders

These non-Avatar benders add incredible depth and richness to the world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and its sequel, “The Legend of Korra.” They demonstrate that strength and heroism aren’t exclusive to bending and offer these valuable lessons:

  • Power Comes in Many Forms: Bending is visually impressive, but mastery over one’s skills and unwavering determination are just as powerful.
  • Challenges Foster Growth: Non-Avatar benders rise to the occasion, developing their skills and intelligence to overcome limitations.
  • The Value of Teamwork: “Avatar: The Last Airbender” shows us that victories often come from collaborations between powerful benders and skilled non-benders.


The intricate world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” reminds us that true power lies not just in the ability to manipulate elements but in skill, determination, and the unwavering spirit of its heroes – whether they are benders or not. The formidable non-benders of the series inspire us and show us that even without bending, one can be an unmatched force in their own right.

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