Elements

What's the best element?


  • Total voters
    8

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#3
I've always been a big fan of tungsten and platinum, personally, but if we're giving it to classical elements it's fire all the way (whether Chinese or Greek). Aether is for suckers.
 

Requiem

Well-Known Member
Member
#4
If we're talking elements as in bending them, like Avatar, then I think earth is the most overall useful to groups of people. All of the elements have their incredible uses (with water being the most versatile), but I feel earth can do so much, from instantly building shelter for anyone who might need it, transportation, metal bending for both arming yourself and even for the arts. A single earthbender could build an extensive village or even a small city given enough time. Mostly this choice comes from bias on my part, I like earth the most as I prefer to stay grounded (me and water really don't agree).
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#5
Water is the best element because it's not an element. It's three elements. It has its own unique properties as liquid water, but it can also have the properties of earth in the form of ice, and the properties of air as steam.

It doesn't have the properties of fire, but water extinguishes fire, so get fucked. It also doesn't have the properties of Aether, but then again, Aether doesn't have the properties of Aether.
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#8
Fire provides heat and light, is easily the best weapon (water in "bloodbending" being a debatable exception, but air isn't even close - enough fire will suffocate you too, you'll just roast from the inside out while doing it), and it's a sweet representation of life and change in general.

If we're going by how Avatar uses it, fire is even better - because it comes with fuckin' lightning, which can blow the water out of water (if used for long enough). On top of that, it suggests that firebenders are capable of manipulating different kinds of energy; at the very least, a sufficiently skilled firebender might be capable of manipulating electromagnetism and thus light and other electromagnetic waves. That said, the exact scope of that manipulation is hard to say.

Even so, light alone is immensely powerful; ain't no way your waterbender shit is healing severe radiation sickness.
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#9
I'm pretty sure that light powers would fall under the domain of Aether, since it's supposed to be the medium that light waves travel through.
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#10
That theory was advanced literally millennia after "aether" was proposed as a classical element and has no bearing on either the classical analysis of the elements nor on "how it works" in Avatar, which is pretty clearly "fire gets electric (and thus magnetic) fields".

Aether sucks, fire fuckin' rules.
 

Dunsparce

Well-Known Member
Member
#11
Now hold on just a diddly darn second. The firebenders were very specifically said not to be able to control lightning. They could only create it, and send it in one direction.


"Remember, once you separate the energy, you do not command it, you are simply its humble guide."

If we're going off Avatar rules, there's no way that fire powers let you control electromagnetic waves. Also remember how the power to redirect lightning was originally based on waterbending? Water conducts electricity. I can just pee on your fire and take your lightning for myself.

As for aether, if we're going off the original meaning that it's the material that controls celestial movements, wouldn't power over aether let you control the motion of the planets themselves? That'd make it so absurdly powerful that it would be on a scale that's completely useless to human existence. But there's another discarded scientific meaning of aether that fits better with the classic meaning, which is that it's the medium for gravity, in other words, space-time. So if we're using that definition, aether gives you gravity powers, which basically let's you control all the elements anyway, and perhaps even time powers.

Are you sure you wouldn't rather pick aether, Tirin?
 

Regis

Well-Known Member
Member
#12
You all neglect to mention that air lets you fly, so air is the purest and most fun element.
 

Regis

Well-Known Member
Member
#14
You've made a convincing argument.

I'm changing my vote to aether.
 

Tirin

God-Emperor of Tealkind
Moderator
#15
Now hold on just a diddly darn second. The firebenders were very specifically said not to be able to control lightning. They could only create it, and send it in one direction.

"Remember, once you separate the energy, you do not command it, you are simply its humble guide."

If we're going off Avatar rules, there's no way that fire powers let you control electromagnetic waves.
Fake news. This was lightning theory as put forward by an old-ass man in a time where it was a skill that was limited only to royalty. We see in Korra that normal-ass people can use it predictably and reliably to the point it becomes a job, and Mako specifically can shoot lightning while bloodbent as well as change the voltage his lightning strike - indicating a definite ability to vary electric potential, because that's what voltage is. Iroh might have been a genius during and after The Last Airbender, but he was old and there was a solid 70 years of extremely quick innovation after that time; he's not omnipotent and in some ways is explicitly contradicted by, for example, the ease of use of lightning in the future and the much finer degree of control over it.

Also remember how the power to redirect lightning was originally based on waterbending? Water conducts electricity. I can just pee on your fire and take your lightning for myself.
The speed of a lightning strike vastly exceeds the speed of any fluid in the body - you'd just shock or electrocute the absolute shit out of yourself and it would go through your dick. Which, I mean - if you're into that, I guess.

As for aether, if we're going off the original meaning that it's the material that controls celestial movements, wouldn't power over aether let you control the motion of the planets themselves? That'd make it so absurdly powerful that it would be on a scale that's completely useless to human existence.
All it could do is move in circles, and I gotta be honest - the ability to change the orbital position of a planet, while cool, isn't really that great in general, especially since you'd probably end up killing everyone on it by trying to. Also they considered "Earth" not to be one of those planets because Greek philosophy didn't think of the Earth a celestial body. While we now know that they were wrong, per Greek philosophy having aether is practically fucking useless.

But there's another discarded scientific meaning of aether that fits better with the classic meaning, which is that it's the medium for gravity, in other words, space-time. So if we're using that definition, aether gives you gravity powers, which basically let's you control all the elements anyway, and perhaps even time powers.

Are you sure you wouldn't rather pick aether, Tirin?
That theory was advanced literally millennia after "aether" was proposed as a classical element and has no bearing on either the classical analysis of the elements nor on "how it works" in Avatar, which is pretty clearly "fire gets electric (and thus magnetic) fields".

Aether sucks, fire fuckin' rules.
On top of this, aether has been pretty convincingly proven not to exist nor to be necessary as a medium for gravity, electromagnetism, or any other fundamental forces. If you're gonna say I can have the powers of aether in the sense of "space in general as a readily-manipulated element" - then sure, I'll take that over any other element what with having literal omnipotence, and also submit that it's easily the best for that reason.
 
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