9

I think that Korra could heal using water-bending, but what about blood-bending, etc?

  • 2
    Aang and Korra definitely haven't used Bloodbending, as they both consider it to be an abomination. – rsegal Sep 29 '13 at 13:06
10

As far as I know we have never seen an Avatar bend blood, metal or lightning. As you say, Korra knows how to heal with waterbending, but that isn't a very rare ability.

It is not known exactly how Avatar Aang was able to overcome Yakone bloodbending him, but it is possible he overpowered him by bloodbending himself while in the Avatar state.

I think it's worth mentioning that these other "sub-techniques" aren't really that different, they just require more skill. Bloodbending is bending water in the blood, metalbending is bending the earth impurities in metal (hence why it doesn't work on pure metal) and lightning is a very powerful form of fire.

The Avatar has to learn all four bending disciplines, plus all the spiritual jazz, and also travel the world solving problems, so he or she doesn't have the time to devote to learning these extremely difficult techniques. But there's no reason to think that he or she couldn't do with enough training.

  • 1
    Korra is able to metal bend in series 3. – Alfredo Hernández Sep 10 '14 at 6:15
  • 2
    That third paragraph is important. For some reason people act like the "sub-techniques" are different abilities, when really they seem more like the difference between writing and calligraphy: a matter of quality and expertise, not a different field entirely. – Nerrolken Oct 15 '14 at 21:56
2

No Avatar has been shown using the advanced techniques of any element that is not the element they were born into, with two notable exceptions. Korra was born to waterbenders and is the only Avatar known to be able to heal with water. As gentle and caring as Aang was, the fact that he was never shown to be able to heal is rather telling, to me. Likewise, Korra should likely have learned to use lightning, given her strong affinity with fire despite her waterbender birth.

Notable exceptions to using advanced techniques: Aang did "see with his feet" using Earthbending against Phoenix King Ozai. Presumably, that can count as "a niche use of earthbending" any Avatar can learn if they're inclined and not an advanced ability, since Toph invented it at a very early age and didn't create metalbending until she was, according to herself, the greatest earthbender in the world.

Number #2 can also be justified, but it's a stretch. Aang also redirects lightning during that same battle. He never creates lightning, but he does redirect a bolt. Perhaps, again, you can call it a niche use that you don't need to learn to create lightning to do (I'm not even certain you see Zuko ever throw lightning, even though he also learns to redirect it), but it might be a little harder to see.

  • Korra becomes a metal bender in season 3. – Ellesedil Dec 1 '15 at 23:42
  • @Ellesedil yes, and I'm rather offended. If Avatars can learn all the advanced techniques, why did we never see Aang heal? Kind, loving, wants-to-help-everyone-and-everything Aang, what, just couldn't be bothered to learn how to heal people? Healing might be a special exception, since it seems rare despite its extreme usefulness; but if so, surely the other elements have an exception as well. Balance is kind of a key aspect of the Avatar's world. – gatherer818 Dec 2 '15 at 0:07
  • Well, during The Last Airbender, it is constantly noted that Aang slacks off when learning the other bending disciplines. Even in season 3, both Katara and Toph comment that he needs more practice on both water and earth bending. This seems to indicate that Aang doesn't have the time to learn any of the specializations prior to facing the Fire Lord, with the notable partial exception of lightning redirection. In Legend of Korra, we see Aang for all of 5 minutes as he fights a blood bender, so there's no real opportunity to see if he has developed any specializations by then. – Ellesedil Dec 2 '15 at 0:11
  • @gatherer818: Based on dialog in "The Deserter" I suspect that healing is not something you can learn how to do: Jeong Jeong says "The great benders of the water tribe sometimes have this ability." That makes it sound like something you're born with rather than something you learn to do. Also, Katara first healed herself by accident, and Jeong Jeong had to explain it to her. I don't think she knew anything about healing before that. – Kevin Mar 26 '17 at 8:10

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