Hearth Lord Ozai was the massive unhealthy of Avatar: The Final Airbender, and so as to bolster the drama of his place, he was regularly claimed in content material outdoors the present to be probably the most highly effective firebender on the planet. This leads many followers to position Ozai within the prime tier of any firebenders within the historical past of Avatar, from earlier than the Hundred 12 months Warfare up via The Legend of Korra. Sadly, his direct showings of energy simply do not assist this.
Energy and talent are intertwined in Avatar, and there are a lot extra spectacular fighters who carry out feats Ozai was by no means able to. Whereas virtually every part Ozai did was carried out underneath Sozin’s Comet, others in the course of the comet had superior showings. Put aside the comet solely and the case is evident: Ozai is much from Avatar‘s deadliest firebender.
A part of what’s ridiculous about overhyping Ozai’s talents is that there’s so little to base these on. Except for a short apply session bending within the comics and the lightning he threw at Zuko in the course of the eclipse, Ozai has virtually no firebending with which to gauge his talents that wasn’t affected by Sozin’s Comet. To discover a higher firebender with simply as few showings, followers want look no additional than Sozin himself.
The Hearth Lord of Roku’s period actually solely had one episode to showcase his talents, however just about each time he did, they have been spectacular. He bested Roku in a sparring session after they have been youngsters, and later attacked Roku with such a large plume of flame that it is superb he did not have his personal comet amplifying his talents. Maybe most memorably, he fought a whole volcano alongside Roku, heat-bending the lava with a method by no means seen earlier than or since. Nearly all of the proof factors to Sozin being a greater firebender than his grandson Ozai, showcasing extra talent, uncooked energy and distinctive expertise.
In relation to distinctive abilities, it will be remiss to depart out combustion-bending. Whereas the unique collection’ Combustion Man sacrificed agility and flexibility for his distinctive artwork, his successor P’Li confirmed no such restrictions in The Legend of Korra. Even in comparison with the blasts of fireplace seen throughout Sozin’s Comet, combustion-bending is much extra damaging and exact in fight. On the similar time, P’Li remained a powerful firebender with feats surpassing Ozai’s.
Upon her launch from jail, P’Li managed to protect herself and Ming-Hua from a burst of flame launched by Zuko’s dragon, Druk, proper earlier than knocking him out of the sky. She even proved she might alternate blasts of flame with Mako throughout their combat in Zaofu. Previous to her loss of life, she held a whole staff of metalbenders at bay. This all proves much more substantial in estimating her talents than a obscure assertion about Ozai’s energy.
Maybe a fairer comparability to Ozai’s talents can be how they stack up towards others throughout Sozin’s Comet, however even this comparability shouldn’t be favorable. Alongside all the opposite firebenders in his fleet, Ozai’s plume of flame he used to decimate Wulong Forest was no bigger or extra damaging than any of the others at his facet. His legendary battle with Avatar Aang at the moment supplied an intensive have a look at the comet’s true energy, and but it was actually no extra spectacular than Azula’s personal showings throughout the identical interval.
If something, the destruction of the buildings surrounding Azula’s combat signifies she brought about extra harm than Ozai did. Ozai’s flight was more adept, but it surely’s necessary to account for Azula’s crazed state, deteriorating a few of her management. She readily makes use of jet propulsion elsewhere within the collection even with out the comet, her lightning is repeatedly extra damaging than Ozai’s ever is, and within the comics, she even learns to redirect it as Ozai by no means did. Weigh the creator’s statements that Ozai was the world’s strongest firebender towards their statements that the blue hue of Azula’s flames signifies the prevalence of her energy, and the scales tip towards Azula when it comes to the proof that she’s the higher bender.
In-character statements weigh virtually as closely as these made by creators, so many followers latch onto Iroh’s uncertainty that he might defeat his brother within the finale to say that the elder brother is the inferior bender — besides that Iroh’s assertion shouldn’t be essentially any significant comparability of their powers. He says, “Even if I did defeat Ozai, and I don’t know that I could…” which might point out his ethical reservations about killing his brother simply as a lot because it might point out doubt in his personal talents.
Regardless, Iroh’s feats show superior at each flip. Throughout Sozin’s Comet, he destroyed the wall of Ba Sing Se together with his personal hearth blast — a better achievement of sheer destruction than most non-Avatars within the collection. Ozai by no means got here near showcasing such energy. Iroh additionally produced lightning that destroyed a wall throughout his hasty escape from the Dai Li, once more displaying superior destruction in comparison with Ozai’s lightning in the course of the eclipse. The clincher, after all, is that Iroh actually invented the strategy of lightning redirection, giving him a singular talent that Ozai doesn’t share, and which might be a tough counter to his little brother in an precise combat.
Sheer energy, versatility, uniqueness and showings each influenced and uninfluenced by Sozin’s Comet all present significant metrics for asserting that different benders are superior to Ozai, and Jeong Jeong has a agency lock on all of those. Through the comet, Jeong Jeong’s flight was extra exact than Ozai’s, the sheer quantity of fireplace he produced was better, and the novel management he showcased in wielding these flames was far and away superior. No different firebending feat within the franchise comes near Jeong Jeong creating columns of fireplace that tear via Ba Sing Se’s streets, all whereas hovering in place midair.
Furthermore, Jeong Jeong didn’t even want the comet to carry out such astounding feats of firebending. In his debut episode, “The Deserter,” he closed off a whole river with a wall of flame he raised on the spot, circumventing the standard want for firebenders to provide flame from their very own our bodies. No different firebender comes near the extent Jeong Jeong operates on, and that features Ozai as a lot as anybody else.