During the fight scene in the sewers in The Dark Knight Rises, Batman throws something, and sparks and smoke start to appear around Bane.
Batman is, indeed, aiming for deception and theatricality, but what exactly does he throw?
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Yes, you are right. The thing that he throws is to distract Bane. But it's also used to confuse the enemy - remember in Batman Begins, Ras showed him the gun powder trick and then asked him to inhale that smoke before trying to find him among the other ninjas. This is because it was rather hard for Bruce to first get going when he first inhaled since the experience was new to him. What he was carrying was a chemical found in the blue flower; if inhaled,you will get distracted and hallucinate. That's why Bane says, "Powerful Agents to the uninitiated".