Whether you’re fighting mobs or other players Minecraft is a world where combat is going to be inevitable. While for those playing on difficulties lower than hard core the consequences aren’t that extreme, it can still be demoralizing to lose a fight and of course there’s the loss of precious experience that goes with it. In order to make your character more combat ready, there are some things you’ll want to make and some tactics you’ll want to know.
The first thing of course is armor which will reduce the damage you take from almost all sources. There are four pieces to any set of armor; breastplate, leggings, boots, and helmet. If you’re just making your first set of armor you want to make it in that order as a breastplate will offer the highest level of protection, leggings the next highest, etc. There are also four materials you can use to make your armor; leather, gold, iron, and diamond. Obviously diamond is going to provide the most protection for you, with iron being the step below that. Because gold is a soft metal its protection is about on par with leather, however it’s superior because gold is more easily enchanted (you get better enchants for less experience) so if you have an enchanting table ready to go but have no diamond or iron, you can use gold. Just be aware it has very low durability. Leather of course is your lowest level armor, but given how easy it is to obtain leather once you’ve got a cow farm going, it’s easily renewable and so there’s never a good excuse for having no armor.
There are two primary weapons in Minecraft the sword and the bow. The ax can also be used as an effective weapon if you need to save that last inventory slot, but it does a little less damage than the sword, so you’ll want to use the sword anytime you have the space in your inventory (note that the ax can receive both tool and weapon enchants making it very versatile). You’ll want to use your sword for close in combat and your bow for hitting targets further out (or keeping dangerous melee opponents like the creeper at bay). The one catch with the bow is that you’ll need arrows to use it. These are dropped by skeletons or you can craft them with flint (obtained by digging gravel), sticks, and feathers (dropped by chickens). Bows can be enchanted to make them more powerful adding things like more damage or flaming arrows, which can be used to set off TNT that you have placed out at a distance.
While combat may seem like it’s just a basic move and click game, there are a few extra tactics worth knowing. If you’re holding a sword, holding down the right click button will cause your character to block reducing damage taken by up to half. This is useful if a creeper surprises you. It’s not directional either so blocking will reduce damage from any source around you (even behind). If you melee an enemy while falling it will deal critical hit damage. This can be accomplished by holding the jump button while you’re fighting your enemy not only making you harder to hit but occasionally dealing more damage to them. Rapidly switching between right and left clicking on your sword will cause it to attack faster and will also occasionally block damage reducing the damage you take and increasing the damage you’re dealing. Finally, mobs need line of sight to attack you which means having a stack of blocks with you and making a 2 high pillar between you and a mob, will prevent it from attacking you until it navigates around the obstruction. This can help you get close enough to melee a skeleton or avoid a creeper explosion.
While combat can be dangerous, there are ways to make sure you’re dominating, rather than being dominated. I sincerely hope the information provided here will help you truly conquer your N3rd C0rn3r.