# Fastest way to do damage/kill with wind

Wind powers in fiction are often extremely powerful with the ability to kill or even level objects with a single attack. In real life wind is typically weaker than the wind in fiction and unless the wind is generated by specific natural phenomena like a microburst, tornado, or hurricane it is not going to kill anybody. So how would wind be able to do significant damage given these requirements?

• The character that can generate wind can generate winds at the level of a powerful tornado.
• They have the ability to cast this wind from their hands.
• Their opponent is 5-10 meters away.
• If you can cast a powerful tornado from your hands, I don't see how that wouldn't do significant damage. Cast a powerful tornado at a house or a person and it will blow apart/away. What exactly are you asking? Commented May 2 at 13:45
• I'm not that familiar with the physics here, but if you manage to compress the power of a tornado into a, let's say, stream of air with ~1cm in diameter that does sound very unpleasant to be hit by. Most of the time wind hits the full body with a rather largish surface area, minimizing the surface area can lead to much more damage. Commented May 3 at 8:08
• so the user can make tornado one from each hand? create 2 tornado with different rotational direction, then merge it to the middle trapping and ripping anything in the middle Commented May 3 at 10:11
• @Bobby 1 cm thick tornado with the concentrated power of an actual tornado is essentially an air-pressure drill. You could carve steel with it. It would be absurdly deadly. Hell, even the sound of this thing would be dangerous. A tornado can create up to 150 db of noise. Concentrate it into a sonic lance 1 cm thick and this noise becomes extremely high pitch shrill, like a dentist's drill shrill but with the sound power of a jet engine. Commented May 8 at 8:51

Wind doesn't kill people... unless it literally sweeps them off their feet and slams them into an obstacle.

Most of the time, deaths from strong winds occur because the victim was struck by wind-borne debris. Tornado-strength winds can disassemble buildings and propel the debris fast enough to punch timbers through walls or other objects:

So, this wind-using magician would be best advised to duck behind cover, then blow that cover at their enemy.

• Yes debris, even small ones can be deadly with the right amount of wind power. If its the power of a tornado, maybe even small glass shards, even sand can be used effectively. If your character throws shrapnel and projects that towards their enemies, I imagine there would be some not-minor inconveniences. Armoured opponents might be trickier and might not result in outright kills, but small glass pieces or sand can get in between the joints and clog up the joints, theoretically hindering or disabling their efforts to decease your character.. Commented May 2 at 5:48
• @Arkhaine If debris isn't going to affect your opponent, just blow them into an obstacle. Acceleration can be lethal too, as I pointed out... no matter how much armour you're wearing. Commented May 2 at 5:50
• I like how the creator of XKCD explains it in "What if the Earth stopps spinning" in his "What if" (2?) and the yt video. If you have a bunker that can withstand hypersonic winds, you might still see another bunker less well anchored slamming into your bunker at hypersonic winds. Debris is the most dangerous of wind. m.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5G1QG6cXc Commented May 2 at 10:59
• A plastic bag of toothpicks for unarmored opponents, and a bag of marbles for the bad guys in Kevlar... and lots of pockets on the hero's outfit for little baggies of things Commented May 3 at 20:59

Umbrella lance. A devastating weapon. Only good for one shot, but what a shot.

• +1 Makes me think of Gambit of the X-Men, of course the umbrella doesn't explode on contact like the playing cards. Commented May 2 at 7:57

I believe it was in a comedy bit from Ron White that I heard a profound observation that went something like, "It is not that the wind blows that can kill you, it is what the wind blows." Someone that can control wind with sufficient force and precision to pick up a car and drop it on an opponent would be quite lethal. Or, consider the opponent could be sucked up into a vortex/tornado/whatever and then dropped from considerable height.

I remember reading somewhere about some Army recruits being ordered to remain in their barracks as a storm blew through. It was demonstrated why this order was important when a drill sergeant felt this order didn't apply to him. He wanted to drive home than stay in the barracks so he went out to walk to his car. Shortly after leaving the barracks the drill sergeant was knocked off his feet and rolled across the ground.

If this power to control wind isn't precise enough to blow people over or suck large objects into the air then there's various was for this to still be harmful, helpful to the person controlling the wind in some kind of battle, or even lethal. Someone that can control wind could be equipped with protective gear that would be uncommon/unlikely for an opponent to have. Put the person in some kind of armor (perhaps as simple as a long leather jacket or as complex as head to toe in form fitting Kevlar), goggles over the eyes, and some kind of breathing aid to avoid blown up dust and/or having air sucked out of lungs.

The wind controlling person could prepare for battle by donning protective gear then raise a windstorm to create a cloud of dust to make it difficult to see and breathe, pick up small objects to cause injury, and possibly knock others off their feet and roll them away and/or into buildings or such.

A blinded opponent cannot fight

Imagine being able to concentrate a sudden burst of 200-300 kph column of air about the size of a pencil, directed at someone eyes.

Blood Embolism

Maybe not for immediate fighting, but the assasination possibilities here are fantastic - high pressure air, directed at a cut, getting air into the blood stream.

Simply being able to blow someone off their feet

If someone is off their feet, it is very difficult for them to fight. Blowing them off their feet, or simply blowing them off balance would make it very difficult for someone to mount an proper attack.

Extreme Windage for Firearms

If they are armed with a Firearm or similar - being able to blow the projectile at Tornado speeds off course would be a massive advantage, even at a short distance.

• Windage for Firearms <- not to just the bullet, but if the shooter is in a tornado strength wind, good luck even hanging onto your gun, much less aiming it. Commented May 2 at 15:02

Sandblast

Have your wind mage wield a grapple of sand in one of his hands, then as the fight starts, toss that sand at your opponent at supersonic speeds. Hitting eyes would cause instant blindness, for example.

Then reach at them and blow them up

My dad recalled a story that happened with some what-if-youths in an army regiment. They had a high pressure compressor for pumping up airplane tires or something, that compressed air to 150 atm pressure. Several of those kids used its hose to "inflate" a sleeping fellow soldier; he literally went BOOM from the excessive pressure up his @. They tried again (on another target), that one got the hose off himself before being blown up, and only got his intestines torn up in several places. So, if you're able to reach that opponent with your hand, direct high wind down his throat, and watch him go BOOM.

Even suffocating someone by sucking out the air from their lungs would take some minutes.

I guess the fastest way is for the wind to lift something heavy and hit the target on the head with it. Something like fatal concussion caused by a 20 kg branch hitting one's head while flying at 130 km/h.

Vacuum

Assuming your magic has a physical basis, the wind they're creating has to come from somewhere. If they've got the control to do it, creating a negative pressure zone, a vacuum, would be a horrific weapon. Blow away your enemy's breath and they're unconscious in under 30 seconds, dead in a couple of minutes.

Generate a burst of high velocity air inside their lungs, destroying their bronchioles and drowning them in their own blood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel are bombs in all but name. Have two, even small ones, spin them up via a turbine into opposite directions, then throw the whole thing with a parachute like contraption towards the enemy. If it makes contact, the opposing rotating flywheels meet each other, transferring all the rotational energy, into fracturing and directional energy in an instant. Exploding outwards into a cloud of metal shards.

This does not have to be big, this just have to be flywheels glued together from razorblades and with sawtooths optimal for interlocking and directional energy transfer.

## A bomb.

When a bomb explodes, it releases a shockwave of pressure through the air. This shockwave is what damages structures and kills people (if they aren't killed by the shrapnel the bomb throws off first).

### Darts

Carry around darts (or fletchettes) and blow a spread of them as projectile weapons. You want them to be just large enough to fly pointy-end first and pierce whatever armor the target has.

I'm not entirely sure of the physics of this, but I believe the fastest way would be to create, in effect, a "bullet" of air. If you compact the area of the wind down to the size of a bullet, and blast that air extremely quickly at someones head, it should just tear right through their brain, killing them instantly.

This can be seen in real life, as actor Jon-Erik Hexum accidentally killed himself with a blank loaded gun, after firing the pressurized gas into his head. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon-Erik_Hexum#Death

The difficulty is that your "air bullet" will lose pressure and dissipate quickly as it flies through the air. This is fine if the wind magically maintains pressure and precision the whole flight (which is perfectly fine in a fantasy setting), but if it doesn't, they could cup in their hands a metal spike or create a spike of ice by cooling the atmospheres humidity and fire that as a make shift projectile. Depending on the degree of control over the wind, they could adjust trajectory of the projectile mid flight, to potentially kill multiple people!

Taking this further, if they can create a thin edge of wind, they could fire out air blades, to slice up their opponent, effectively like throwing the blade of a guillotine at them. This could be used for gory effect, like to behead someone at a distance, but perhaps is a skill reserved to the most masterful mages, as it in theory would be more difficult to create the right shape of the projectile with their hands, and not blow up their own hands by accident, vs using a physical projectile.

• It wasn't a "bullet of air" that killed Hexum, it was an explosion that fractured his skull. I don't think you can reasonably call blast waves "wind". Commented May 2 at 9:55

Wind plus gadgets is a great way to superpower "lackluster" powers.

You need to think a bit outside the box, in this case the box is a gun.
A bullet is propelled by the high pressure formed by the explosion, replace the explosion with your high pressure air (if you can make a tornado you make this) and now you've got a gun with only need for ammo is lead balls and simpler mechanism.

In CQC a wind user would be quite deadly, all punches and kicks would be amplified by burst of air coming from the elbows/heels and at the point of contact add really high pressure air current and every soft tissue you hit it would explode and inject air into the bloodstream so the target would die of a heart attack, perfect for assassination.

Speaking of assassination, sound travels by air, remove the air by creating small vacuums and no one will hear anything.

The other good way to kill would be to use the venturi effect, create a high speed wind that goes around the head of the victim and all the air inside the lungs would go away collapsing them so even if air is allowed to go inside it wont without external help.

And of course that is before even asking the question: ¿What does an air bender actually bends? The Oxygen atoms? Hydrogen? Helium? Carbon?
Depending on the answer an Air Bender can be the perfect killing machine, if its oxygen just stop all oxygen movement in the blood of the enemy, if its hydrogen then it can bend water, if its Helium then it can make you have a funny voice, if its Carbon then it can bend everything that has Carbon (spoiler, almost everything has Carbon)

• the problem is not actually that the wind power is too weak, but way to powerful. Concentrating the power of even a small tornado to a narrow blast of air that you can shoot from your hand, basically turns air into a supersonic extremely high pressure lance that would carve through people, cars, walls, etc with ease. The issue now is how to use the concentrated wind power to fight, without accidentally killing yourself. For one, using a tornado-level power while being inside a closed room turns the room instantly into a deadly mega-hyperbaric chamber, because the pressure has nowhere to go. Commented May 8 at 9:06

Oh, this is easy.

The most powerful tornados we've measured have a total kinetic energy of up to 31,000,000,000,000 joules. That's a sizeable amount of energy, in a tornado it's spread out across kilometers of space over a few minutes.

But, imagine if all that wind was compressed to the size of your hand and projected forward all at once.

Let me put this into perspective, an 800-grain .50 BMG bullet (The highest loading data I could find) will put out upwards of 20,000 joules of energy.

A ton of TNT is equivalent to 4,184,000,000 joules, one blast from our hypothetical wind power is equivalent to 7.4 kilotons of TNT. Half the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in the palm of your hand :)

Forget 5 - 10m, everyone in a 1km cone in front of your character has just been vaporized in hypersonic winds. I don't have the time to do the math but I wouldn't be surprised if some of that wind became plasma as well.

• or make the tornado just 1cm thick, or even thinner, but with the same power, and you essentially have a lance of ludicrously high pressure air that can carve through steel and rock as if it was tissue paper, and produce enough decibels of extremely high pitch shrill to instantly kill a person with sound alone, and make everyone in front of you instantly deaf. Much more precise this way, and less of a chance of killing yourself by accident. Commented May 8 at 8:56
• I hadn't even considered the sound level, I don't think my comment put into perspective just how devastating such an attack would be. The sound from it is deadly, being hit by it is 100% deadly, and being in the vicinity is probably deadly as air is pulled from your surroundings. I hadn't fully thought out the last part of my post, at the speeds were talking about, the friction of air moving past the target would probably be enough to ignite stuff. Oh, and I forgot the shockwave. Even as a 1cm beam, I think you still wouldn't survive using this attack. Commented May 8 at 9:16
• Now I think of it after your comment about incineration, a lance of air moving that fast and at that high pressure is basically a blowtorch as well. Concentrate it even further, increasing pressure and accumulating energy, and at some point this becomes a beam of plasma. And lets not forget, a mass a high pressure air rubbing against lower pressure air is an excellent way to produce electricity as well :) Commented May 8 at 9:27
• Well, I think that settles it, wind powers can, in fact, be used as either a very clean WMD or a very precise ray of death. Wind is overpowered Commented May 8 at 9:47