Tutorials/Defeating a woodland mansion

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An average woodland mansion viewed from the outside.

Woodland mansions are special structures found in the dark forest. They are highly anticipated to explore, because they are inhabited by the illagers and are the only place where you can find the totem of undying, an extremely useful item that can save you from death. This makes woodland mansions a great place to go before fighting bosses.

Preparation checklist[edit]

Exploring a mansion requires a lot of preparation, but not everyone has the same skills. So depending on how skilled you are, different preparations may be needed. The following is a suggested collection of equipment you might need:

Preparing equipment[edit]

Sword[edit]

Your sword (preferably diamond) will be used to take out the vindicators and evokers in the mansion, as well as normal nighttime enemies you may encounter along the journey to the mansion. You should enchant your sword with Sharpness IV or V, to deal as much damage as possible. Unbreaking will allow it to last longer. Looting will allow you to obtain more emeralds as drops from vindicators and evokers, but it will not affect the evoker’s drop of the totem of undying. Fire Aspect will set your enemies on fire, and cause them to take damage over time. Knockback is also recommended, because it will allow you to knock them over ledges if possible.

Bow[edit]

The bow will be your secondary weapon, for taking out enemies from a distance, or to take out vexes that the evoker may summon. Along the journey to the mansion, it can be used to take out phantoms. You should enchant your bow with Unbreaking III, Power V, Flame, and Infinity. Punch is also recommended, but not required. Flame makes the arrows more visible, which is useful for taking out enemies in the dark. You can also use harming arrows or poisoned arrows to inflict more damage.

Armor[edit]

Armor is absolutely necessary to wear when you explore a mansion, because the vindicator has the strongest direct attack of any mob in the game, and the evoker is also extremely powerful. Therefore, you should wear a full set of diamond armor, enchanted with Protection IV. Thorns is also recommended, because it will damage your enemies when they attack you. However, Thorns has a high enchantment weight, so be sure to add Unbreaking to your armor as well.

Pickaxe[edit]

A pickaxe (preferably diamond) is highly recommended to have when you explore a mansion. It can be used to break into secret rooms that have loot in them. The secret rooms have no entrance initially, so you will need to break in. However, most secret rooms are hidden by cobblestone, so you will need a pickaxe. You should enchant your pickaxe with Efficiency IV or V, to break into the secret rooms quickly. And Silk Touch is necessary to reclaim your ender chest.

Axe[edit]

An axe (preferably diamond) can also be used to break into secret rooms, because they can also be covered in wood. It is recommended to enchant your axe with and Efficiency IV or V, to break in quickly. Your axe can also be used to collect dark oak saplings in the farm room, if you don’t have any already, or bookshelves in the map room and the library. However, to prevent your axe from breaking, you should add Unbreaking to it as well.

Elytra[edit]

To get to the mansion, you will need a source of transportation. You can easily walk or ride a horse, but the most efficient method is to fly with an elytra. However, it can only be accessed when you explore an end city, but it is absolutely worth it. Since the journey to the mansion is extremely long, it will take a massive toll on your elytra’s durability, so it is almost necessary to enchant your elytra with Unbreaking III and Mending, but it can only be enchanted on an anvil using enchanted books. You easily can enchant an Unbreaking III book, and try to fish up or trade for a Mending book. If you add Mending to your elytra, it will pretty much be indestructible, because it will self-repair when you collect XP, even if you are still wearing it. However, if you need to repair your elytra in an emergency, kill some phantoms, get at least four phantom membranes, and combine your elytra with the membranes in your anvil.

On its own, the elytra is more like a glider, because it is extremely difficult to gain height with just the elytra. With firework rockets, the elytra actually behaves more like a cape. When you are gliding, the fireworks will boost your speed and allow you to fly faster. You can also easily gain height with boosted flight speed. However, if your rockets are equipped with a firework star, they will produce a colorful explosion, but you will take 8 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svgHeart.svg) damage when you use them, so avoid adding firework stars to your rockets. The flight duration of your rockets is measured in seconds (for example, flight duration 1 will propel you for one second). You should bring at least ten stacks of rockets, because of the long trip to the mansion.

Healing items[edit]

You will take a lot of damage when exploring the mansion, so healing items are absolutely necessary. Golden apples are the best healing item, so bring at least 10 of these. But golden apples are not enough, so you should also bring at least six healing potions and regeneration potions. Enchanted golden apples can heal you more than regular ones, but they are extremely rare, so save them only for emergencies, and use regular golden apples otherwise.

You can get the totem of undying in the mansion, dropped by evokers. However, since they can only be found in these mansions, don't use the totems, and use golden apples or potions to heal yourself.

Food[edit]

There should never be a time when you do not have food with you. Bread and steak are some of the most nutritious foods possible, so bring at least a stack of either of these. You can also bring cake, in case you need to eat immediately, so you can just place it down and start to eat without any delay. However, cake has a low saturation and hunger-filling value, so eat your other food whenever possible.

Golden apples and enchanted golden apples can also restore food points, but they are mainly used as a healing item. Eat your food if you do not have full saturation, and only use golden apples or enchanted golden apples when you take damage.

Potions[edit]

Potions are highly recommended to have when you explore a mansion, to enhance your performance. Strength potions, invisibility potions, and swiftness potions can be extremely useful. When you use an invisibility potion, mobs can still see you if you are wearing your armor. To stay safe, take off all of your armor before drinking it, and put it back on at least 30 seconds before the effect expires.

Potions can also be used for emergency healing, since you will take a lot of damage from enemies in the mansion. Healing potions and regeneration potions are different, because healing potions will heal you instantly, and regeneration potions will heal you gradually. Both of them are great healing items, so bring at least six of each type of potion.

Blocks[edit]

Blocks are extremely useful to have when you explore a mansion. If you land with your elytra along the journey, you can build a tower and take off again. In the mansion, blocks can be used to build a defensive wall against enemies. You can also build a tower to avoid attacks by vindicators. However, this method is ineffective with evokers, since their fangs can go on top of your pillar, and the evoker may summon vexes that can fly and attack you, so it is best to build a wall between you and the evoker to protect yourself.

Ender chest[edit]

An ender chest is almost necessary to have, because it can store items that you will not use to explore the mansion. It can only be reclaimed using a Silk Touch pickaxe. All ender chests in the world, including in different dimensions, are interconnected. So even if you die in the mansion, all of the items in your ender chest will be safe. If you make a new ender chest, all of the items that were originally in it will still be there.

Ender pearls[edit]

Ender pearls are not required to explore the mansion with, but they are highly recommended. Along the journey, if your elytra breaks while you are flying, you should use an ender pearl to break your fall so that you don’t die. In the mansion, vindicators and evokers are really fast, so you can use a pearl to teleport away from them and avoid their attacks. They can also be used to get up to higher floors instantly. If you throw a pearl to the ceiling, and it hits the block, it will teleport you above that block and onto the next floor.

Map and compass[edit]

To find the mansion, you will need a woodland explorer map, a special map that will help you find the mansion. You can obtain the map from trading with a cartographer as a fourth tier trade. When in your inventory, it will look like an ordinary map. However, when you open the map, it will have a pointer that indicates where you are, and patterns that describe the terrain around the mansion. There will also be a small icon that tells you where the mansion is. Since the mansion will be really far away from your base, the pointer may not move around if you move. However, it will start moving when you get closer, and move on the map when you are within the map’s range.

You should bring a compass as well. To make one, you will need four iron ingots arranged in a diamond shape and a piece of redstone in the middle. You will also need a compass to trade for the map, so you will need to make two. The compass needle will point to your original spawn point instead of north. Before you leave, make sure you know the location of your base compared to your original spawn point, because the direction the compass points will never change. Once you have fully explored the mansion, you can use the compass to find your way back.

Trident[edit]

A trident can be extremely useful to have, because it can also be used to propel your elytra along the journey. To obtain a trident, you must kill a drowned that is holding one, ideally with a Looting III sword. The trident will be damaged, so you should get a second one, and combine them on an anvil to get a fully repaired one.

Once you have obtained the trident, you should enchant it with Unbreaking III, Riptide III, and Mending. Riptide will allow you to use the trident to propel your elytra, because it will launch you in the direction that you throw it, even when you are flying. It only works in the rain or when you are in a body of water. However, this property of Riptide has some very good uses. If you land with your elytra, you can step into a river or lake and use your trident to take off again. Since your fireworks will be consumed when you use them, you should use your trident to save on rockets if you are flying through the rain. It will propel you even faster than your fireworks. If you have Mending on your trident, you should make a few brief stops along the way to get XP and repair it, as well as your elytra.

Shield[edit]

A shield is not required to explore the mansion with, but it is highly recommended. It can be used to block attacks, which is extremely useful against the illagers, which have among the strongest attacks of any hostile mobs. If you bring a shield, you should enchant it with Unbreaking III, so that it doesn’t break when you use it. You don’t have to add Mending, because you can easily repair it yourself. To repair your shield, combine it with wooden planks on an anvil. To get the wooden planks, you can simply collect some from the floor or wall.

The journey[edit]

Locating the mansion can be difficult, as they are very rare and may generate thousands of blocks away from the spawn point. Remember they only generate in dark forest biomes, where it is dark enough for mobs to spawn. You should bring at least 3 stacks of torches with you.

As shown in the picture, the easiest way to find a woodland mansion without cheating is by using a woodland explorer map, which you can get by trading with villagers.

Aside from stumbling upon it by coincidence while exploring, there are two ways for locating Woodland Mansions.

One way is to use a woodland explorer map, which will lead you to the mansion. Explorer maps can be bought from cartographer villagers for 16-28 emeralds and one compass. This is the easiest way of finding a woodland mansion without using cheats.

Another way is to use a command if cheats are enabled. (/locate Mansion in Java Edition, /locate mansion in Pocket Edition). If cheats are not enabled, or you do not want to cheat, then the above method is the only one.

After getting the woodland explorer map, check for a small white dot on the edges of the map. If the dot is on an edge, travel the opposite direction. For example, if the dot is showing on top, travel South instead of North. It is the same with the dot on the corner; if it is in the north-east direction, move south-west. The smaller the dot, the further away the mansion is located from the player. Pay attention to the map, when your map starts getting color, you are on the map's showing area. The top of the map is always North, and you can see which direction you are facing by noting the position of the sun and remembering that it rises in the East and sets in the West.

Exploring/Defeating the mansion[edit]

Getting in[edit]

Here are some methods to get inside of a woodland mansion:

Method 1 - Gentleman's entrance

Find the side of the mansion that contains the front door, and go through it.

Method 2 - Breaking and entering

Make your own door:

Use an axe to get in through a wall (or if you are feeling sneaky, go in through the floor or the window, and if you are feeling bold, try cutting your way in through the roof!).

Navigating the Mansion[edit]

Once inside, create a small shelter with a crafting table and chest, preferably an ender chest. Every piece of treasure you find will go into the chest. If you want enchantments you find on your armor or anything, bring an anvil.

When inside a mansion, always watch yourself and stay on guard. If you can, take two players. The mobs spawning in a mansion will quickly kill a player who is not paying attention, even with good equipment. Vindicators deal hefty amounts of damage, Evoker's fangs are not affected by armor, and creepers are a common problem in the poorly lit structure. This makes awareness extremely important.

There are two styles of advancing through the mansion, both of which are founded on good philosophy. The first method is to take the mansion floor-by-floor, killing all mobs and looting the chests, lighting up the way as you go. This method will reduce the spawning of hostile mobs in the first floor, which has no windows and therefore is subject to greater levels of darkness than other floors. Another good method is to immediately enter the second floor and find an evoker. Killing it will give you a totem of undying, and provide you with a bit more security.

The best way to be prepared in a mansion is to look at each room before entering - what does it contain? The most dangerous room, by far, in a mansion is the conference room, a room with a U-shaped table. This room always spawns 5 vindicators and an evoker. The second is a map room, which consists of a large carpet art piece on a table resembling a map, surrounded by chairs. This room spawns 2 vindicators and an evoker. The two rooms previously mentioned only occur on the second and third floors.

  • Focus on the most dangerous mobs first. Kill "very dangerous" mobs first (vindicators and evokers etc.), then target "semi-dangerous" mobs (skeletons, creepers and witches etc.) then kill all "less dangerous" mobs (zombies and spiders etc.).
  • Don't bother looking in the chests in storage rooms: they have nothing in them and looking through them leaves you vulnerable to ambushes.
  • If you plan to make the mansion your home, make sure to light up every room to prevent hostile mob spawning. Be particularly careful not to accidentally set anything on fire or let any creepers sneak up on you.
  • If you can, bring parrots, cats and tamed wolves with you. Parrots can indicate what mobs are around you by imitating their sounds, cats can scare away creepers, wolves can attack skeletons and defend you. Don't scare away when a parrot imitates the creeper's fizz sound!

Defeating the mansion[edit]

There are two safe systems to defeat the creatures inside without damaging valuable objects and drops (like TNT could do):

  • Building 3 or 4 or more iron golems in the hall, in front of the stairs, locking the entrance from outside, and waiting for the end of their dirty work. You may repeat the whole operation on every floor. There can be up to 3 floors, so you will need a good supply of iron.
  • Setting fire to the whole structure. The majority of mobs will die, illagers will receive fall damage (and sometimes they will burn to death); evokers will drop their totem and valuable blocks like diamond and lapis lazuli blocks will be revealed. For a uniform arson, we recommend to dig under the birch floor, to set up a system of tunnels whose ceiling must be that birch floor (4 or 5 are sufficient); for an even more accurate work, dark oaks all around the mansion should be cut; after that you can burn the floor from under with a flint and steel.

However, those systems are not totally safe: iron golems cannot come in secret rooms (or, in general rooms not connected with the main corridor). On the other hand, rooms like jails or blacksmith labs are not affected by fire, because they are made of stone.

Killing the mobs[edit]

Vindicators[edit]

Vindicators have 24 HP, slightly higher than that of most other mobs, but they hit hard, dealing a total of 19 damage on Hard difficulty. Their fighting style is the most simplistic out of all Illagers, they simply pull out an axe and try to run up to the player and hit them.

  • It is advised to attack them with a sword/axe and a shield. However, it is impossible to defend damage from an axe after 1.11.1.
  • Quickly attack them until they die.
  • They drop emeralds and have a chance of dropping their axe as well. In such a case, the dropped axe can also be used as a weapon.
    • However, if renamed to "Johnny", they will attack any mob in sight, making them useful for mob farms.
  • You can shoot them from a distance(highly recommend)

Evokers[edit]

Evokers have the same amount of health as Vindicators (24 HP) but inflict far less damage, at just six damage at any difficulty. This doesn't mean, however, that they are less dangerous.

Evokers have a more unconventional fighting style. Upon seeing a player, they will run towards them until they are within 16 blocks of them. On getting within this radius they will most likely summon their offensive fang attack, summoning 16 fangs in a line towards the player. If the player moves towards them, they will cast a defensive fang spell, summoning a ring of fangs around them to repel attackers, assuming they have not attacked recently, otherwise they will run from the player. For this reason, it is best to use a bow in open space, and use a sword only if the evoker is cornered.

  • Try to keep a fair distance between the player and the evoker. The evoker has a defensive fang attack that deals damage in a small radius around the evoker.
  • The evoker has a second offensive fang attack, where it summons a line of fangs out of the ground to attack the player.
  • It can also summon vexes as support enemies, which makes killing him quickly important.
  • For a safer way of fighting evokers, you can try shooting them with a bow ( highly recommended. )

Vex[edit]

  • The vexes are summoned by evokers and act as support enemies. To prevent them from possibly swarming you, quickly kill the evoker before it can summon any, preferably from a distance in order to avoid the evoker's other attacks.
  • Vexes should be killed first if dealing with evokers from a distance as they can pass through walls and attack you from unexpected angles.
  • If in close contact with an evoker, kill the evoker first and then the vexes, the evoker's death will prevent any more vexes from being summoned.
  • It is best to attack when they are charging toward you, as their movements are otherwise very unpredictable.
  • If the vex disappears, do not worry, as it will despawn within 2 minutes of its summoning.

Common Strategies[edit]

There are some common methods used to raid mansions. The list below is in no way complete, so feel free to add your own ideas.

Melee Warfare[edit]

To a beginner player, rushing into a woodland mansion and killing mobs by hand might seem insane. However, to an end-game player with enchanted swords and armor, this might just be the easiest and fastest way to conquer one.

Required Items:

  • Enchanted diamond sword (highly recommended)
  • Armor ( at least iron)
  • Food
  • Golden apples ( recommended)
  • Axe and pickaxe
  • Fairly good fighting skills

Procedure: Using a sword or bow, attack the illagers head on. Take the mansion room by room, and punch holes in the walls to look for hidden rooms.

Water Defense[edit]

Required Items:

  • Sword
  • Bucket of Water
  • Bow and Arrows

Carry your water bucket in your hand. When you see a Vindicator, apply the water bucket to the floor right underneath you to make a water pool. Stand in the water and hit the Vindicators with your sword. Shoot any Evokers with your bow.

  • Tip: Dig up the carpet as you walk so you can see where you have been.

The Peaceful Raid[edit]

To some people, illagers might seem terrifying. With their brutal axe-slaying, and despicable magic, peaceful mode might seem a good idea. Warning: Once in peaceful mode, the illagers will never respawn.

Required Items:

  • Axe
  • Pickaxe

Procedure: Walk in, take what you want, and don't forget to check for secret rooms

Foolproof Attack[edit]

If those illagers are scaring you, then try this method! Based on the idea that all illagers can be hit with arrows, this strategy relies on raiding the mansion from above, clearing one room at a time.

Required Items:

  • Iron sword
  • Bow ( preferably enchanted)
  • Arrows ( bring a lot, or use infinity)
  • Gravel or Sand ( a few stacks should do)
  • Food
  • Axe and Pickaxe

Procedure: Climb to the top of the mansion. From there, build a small base with a bed and a few chests. Next, mine out the ceiling of a room. Using your bow, shoot the mobs from above. Drop gravel over the doorways to prevent more mobs from entering, collect the drops, then proceed to the next room. Soon, you will have raided the entire top floor. There can be up to 3 floors. Because the entire ceiling is broken off, you will easily find all of the secret rooms. In rooms with lots of illagers, drop gravel or sand around the vindicators and shoot the evoker. Then, kill the vindicators after collecting the drops from the evokers. This way, you won't lose drops while killing other mobs.

Infiltration Sniper[edit]

As long as you have a power 5 and flame bow, you can use invisibility to snipe the illagers off one by one! Wear no armor and bring tons of arrows, or use infinity.

Required Items

  • Invisibility
  • Bow with power 5 and flame (perhaps with punch and unbreaking)
  • Enough arrows or infinity
  • All other regular supplies (maybe a melee weapon and golden apples in emergencies)
  • Ender pearls (optional)

Procedure Get in the mansion with invisibility, once you see a illager, shoot it at enough distance with your fully charged bow. A bow with power 5 will deal 23-25 damage when fully charged, plus the 4 damage from flame, will kill any illagers. The vindicator will burn to death before it can reach you (it won't notice you in the first place due to invisibility) evokers should be done with more caution and distance, as it may still use the fangs or vexes to attack you (but it won't escape the fate of burning to death) The vex won't notice you so just wait for it to expire and do not attack it first, and you can use your supplies to recover from the fang's damage. No loot should be lost when using this. Other monsters in the mansion can also be killed with this, except for armored mobs and maybe witches, just don't mess with them and it will be fine. Make sure to bring enough invisibility potions and drink another one when the effect is about to expire, in emergencies where you lost invisibility, either escape with ender pearls,or if you have the equipment, put on a brave face, armor and sword and kill the monsters melee!

Loot[edit]

The mansion is made up of several rooms and some of them contain chests with loot in them.

The majority of the chests found in the mansion contain the same loot as chests found in a Dungeon would contain, however, there are some exceptions to this rule.

  • The chest generated in the "Allium room" will contain 8 Alliums.
  • The chest generated in the "Sapling farm room" will contain 28 Dark Oak Saplings.
  • The trapped chest generated in the "Fake End portal room" will contain 2 Ender Pearls (Note that this chest is linked to two blocks of TNT which will ignite if the trap is sprung).
  • The chest generated in the "Tree chopping room" will contain an Iron Axe enchanted with Efficiency I.

Two of the rooms that can generate in the mansion are the large and small storage rooms. These rooms contain shelves which house either 42 single chests in the Small storage room or 13 double chests (26 single chests) in the Large storage room. Despite the amount of chests present, they are all empty. Pay attention to walls, some have secret rooms which can have enchanted golden apples if your version of Minecraft still has them.

Aside from chests, there are also several valuable blocks that the player can scavenge from the mansion's rooms, for example: the "Obsidian room" and the "Lava room" both contain a Diamond Block, the "Illager statue room" contains a hidden Lapis Lazuli block, a lot of the furniture can dismantled into loot and the Jail rooms contain Redstone circuitry, just to name a few.

Post-Exploration[edit]

After the mansion is looted, there are a number of things you can do with it. You can turn it into a home, burn it down, systematically dismantle it to get extra resources, or just leave it as it is.

If you are planning on turning it into a home, make sure to light up all rooms and clear out any residual hostile mobs (if there are any left).

If you are planning on leaving it as it is, the illagers will respawn, making the mansion an excellent source of emeralds (vindicators might drop emeralds).