[Guide] Let's play with clay!

Discussion in 'Player Guides, Tips and Tricks' started by ShelLuser, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Hi gang!

    Ever played with clay to make pots and sculptures? Maybe at school (which was the last time I did)? I don't play with clay anymore, but I do fondly think back about that time. Building, then letting it dry and when you're done it was time to bake it in an oven (something only the teacher was allowed to do), and the next lesson your work was all finished and ready to be taken home.

    SO yeah, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I like it how the whole concept of clay is also part of Minecraft. And quite a diverse one too! So today I'll share some tips and tricks on how to get your hands on a lot of clay to make brick blocks.

    A sturdy house made out of bricks, the wolves are probably thinking about getting a ventilator ;)


    You basically need 2 things: good equipment and a place where you can find clay. There are 2 places where you can find lots of clay: swamps and mesa's. But Mesa biomes only have hardened clay, and since I want to make brick blocks (see above picture) we'll be focusing on swamps. As such: we'll need a good shovel. Obviously you want something with Unbreaking III to reduce wear, but don't overdo it with the Efficiency enchant! My suggestion is not to go further than Efficiency II, because you'll risk digging up a lot of unwanted blocks like dirt and sand, and that will only hinder you.

    Armor is less important because you'll spend plenty of time in the water, so even if you are getting attacked by mobs you'll see them coming from miles away. So even iron armor will work just fine. Still... Unless you want to spend money (or effort) on potions I do suggest trying to get some enchantments; especially Respiration (You can hold your breath longer and see better under water) and Aqua efficiency (you can mine faster under water).

    If you can't get something like that then you should definitely bring potions of Water breathing and Night vision along.

    In my opinion voters armor and voter tools are the best gear you can get for digging up clay, but your mileage may vary as the saying goes ;)

    So, summing up:
    • Get a good shovel, preferably diamond with Unbreaking III and at most Efficiency II (Eff. I will also work just fine!).
    • Get armor which has at least Respiration III and Aqua Affinity I.
      • If you can't get such armor get some potions for Water breathing and Night vision.
    • Use your voters gear & tools for best results (my personal opinion obviously!).
    Bringing friends!
    A watcher and a digger...

    It's a good idea to bring some friends along, but if you do then I suggest you carefully divide the roles. If you want to do this as efficiently as possible then you should consider not to get everyone to bring their shovels along and just start digging somewhere, but to have diggers and watchers.

    Now, diggers should be obvious: these are the guys that will be doing the digging and bringing up the clay. Basically they will be doing most of the work.

    Watchers may seem to do less, but they're just as important! They will keep an eye out for hostile mobs, they can double check if you really dug up all the clay, they will help you to find your way (coordinate) and finally: they will provide extra inventory space so that you can bring back even more clay!

    My suggestion would be to have 1 watcher for 2 or 3 diggers.

    Getting set...

    Now that you got all your preparations done it's time to move out. But where to? Elementary my dear reader: just use the live map (see the servers overview) to find a good spot for digging:

    I marked the areas which indicate swamps. And remember: clay can be found in water. So you shouldn't simply look for swamp areas, but specifically those which have large pockets of water. More water means more chances of finding plenty of clay. So in the example above the area to the upper right is much more appealing to me than the one to the left. Not merely because it's bigger, but because it has a lot more water.

    But wait... Before we teleport to the Waste and start running there are 2 more important things to keep in mind. I know all this theoretical stuff may seem boring, but trust me: it may very well safe your life!

    Pick your time!

    See the moon and sun in the picture above? It actually shows you the time on the world. Pay close attention to that! The best time to head out is early in the morning, when the sun is already shining. Why you ask? Simple really: because hostile mobs can only spawn when it's dark(er). So if you travel while it's light then you'll have much less chances of running into those.

    Mark your bearing!

    See that square box in the upper left corner, under the "layer" iron? It shows you the coordinates (X, Y and Z) on the map where your mouse is hovering over. So if you want to get to the swamp easily then I suggest you bring a compass along (use /assist new to get a new one) so that you can simply follow the needle :) Start by writing down the coordinates though.

    Summing up:
    • Use the live map to find a swamp area.
    • Be sure to write down the coordinates.
    • Wait for the sun to rise before running out into the waste.
    (end of part I)
    Lomax70, Duckne, Hasorko and 3 others like this.
  2. (Part II)

    Let's go!

    This is what we're after!

    Go to the closest outpost and bring up those coordinates you wrote down earlier, then start by using this command: /compass set X Z. Where X and Z are the first and third numbers of the coordinates you wrote down. If you look carefully you should see that the red needle of your compass is now pointing to where you need to go. When in doubt use: /loc, and it should not only show you the coordinates again, it also tells you how far out your destination is.

    When you arrive it's important to stick to your roles. The watcher(s) should find a specific area where they have a good overview of the lake, while also making sure that the diggers can see them. And those diggers... What are you standing around here for reading? Start digging already, dig nabbit! :D

    Aya has her bow ready and checks for hostiles while I'm getting ready to dig up more clay...

    When your inventory gets full...

    Eventually your inventory will fill up with balls. But not to worry: 4 balls can make one block of clay. This will help you to save some tremendous amounts of inventory space!


    Shortly after...

    (if you count the number of balls you'll see the 2nd picture contains too much clay, this is just an example!)

    Of course: when your inventory is filling up with blocks then it becomes time to give some to the watcher so that you can dig up even more clay. Don't think you're done that easily ;)

    Careful near the edges!

    Digging out clay near the edges of a lake can become tricky, always make sure that there are no hostile mobs before digging, or tell the watcher that you're near the edge and that they should scope the area. Because if you don't you could get into problems...

    See that water stream? I need to be close to pick up the blocks, but that water stream will also make it harder for me to get away. Normally that won't be a problem, but if a creeper were to jump in then I'd be pretty much stuck with no where to go.

    Careful in the rain!

    When it's raining then it becomes darker. Not just that: dark enough for hostile mobs to spawn and wander without getting burned. So be very careful to pay close attention to the watcher as soon as it starts to rain. The watcher will have your back, but obviously they need to pay attention to you (this mostly applies when there are more diggers).

    Pay attention to the watcher!

    A good watcher also coordinates. In the picture above Aya spotted a second lake and has already moved there after she saw that I was done in the main lake (see empty pockets on the right), but while still making sure that I could see her. So all I basically had to do was pay attention to something blueish, go there, and then I could continue digging up more clay.

    Don't take unnecessary risks!

    When there are hostile mobs leave the fighting to those with the best armor and gear, do not run after those mobs with the whole team. The problem should be simple: by the time you're done your inventories will be packed with clay. So should one of you die then there's no way for someone else in the group to pick up your items for you. And as you can see in the pictures above we didn't bother with bringing a bed because the risks of dying are quite minimal, even if you play on normal difficulty.

    But as said: do not take chances if you don't have to. In my example Aya had the better armor, so she dealt with all the hostile mobs.

    Summing up:
    • Stick to your roles: watchers should scope out the area and coordinate, diggers should dig.
    • Careful with digging near the edges of a lake (a water stream can hold you back).
    • Careful when it starts to rain, because hostile mobs can spawn.
    • When your inventory gets filled with clay balls craft them into blocks (4 balls make one block). When your inventory fills up with blocks give some to the watcher(s).
    • Always keep an eye out for the watchers, they should try to coordinate the digging and keep their eyes open for other lakes and areas.
    • Do not take unneeded risks, only players with the best armor should fight hostile mobs.
    And finally....

    When you're done and want to head back to the outpost you can use: /compass spawn, to make your compass point to the outpost again. Just follow the needle, be careful, and you should be back in no time.

    So what to do with all those clay blocks you may wonder?


    (Picture courtesy of AyanamiKun)

    Place them on your residence, then go mine them again to get the clay balls back. It sounds tedious (and it is) but it's the best and efficient way to bring all that clay back home. And once you get those clay balls you can finally cook them into bricks, and make brick blocks out of those (4 bricks make one brick block).

    And there you have it. My guide into playing with clay. Just don't forget to wash your hands afterwards :D Nah, I don't think they'll get dirty from playing Minecraft, but... for old times sake, you know ;)
    Lomax70, Kytula and Mob_Meal like this.
  3. Thanks for the guide Shel! I personally, rarely use brick blocks, but have been using more & more hardened clay.

    The best part of this guide: I learned some commands to help use the compas better! I never use a compass because I didn't know you could set where it points to like that. Thanks a bunch Shel!
    Kytula likes this.
  4. I agree with mob there's some commands I never understood correctly before , and now I'm looking forward to using!

    I love the guide :D thanks for making it.

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents.
    I like to use a a silk touch pick or shovel to save time on crafting them back into blocks. Plus if it has mending on it, the xp you get when cooking the clay balls repairs it. Win win.

    To speed things up have a haste beacon up when breaking the blocks on your lot. Trust me, it's worth it, especially with a large haul.

    Beware of full moons in the swamp!

    I bring my trusty donkey daisy for added loot storage plus faster travel time.

    Also I bring a couple signs to make air pockets in the water for the deeper clay cashes.

    Copied this from the wiki to share about the type of material you make your shovel out of, affecting the dig time.

    Breaking time[note 1]
    Hand 0.9
    Wooden 0.45
    Stone 0.25
    Iron 0.15
    Diamond 0.15
    Golden 0.1
    ShelLuser likes this.
  5. Depth Strider Enchant! Must have! :) Also (dont exploit this kids ^.-) a favourable texture pack helps. Just make sure you can see clay from afar. Good luck all! :D