Tutorials/Defeating an end city

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End cities are special structures found in the End. They are highly anticipated to explore, because they are inhabited by shulkers, and are the only place where you can find the elytra, an extremely useful set of wings that you can use to fly. Since elytra wings can only be found here, end cities are a great place to go before going on long journeys.

End city exploration checklist[edit]

Exploring a city 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 shulkers, as well as provoked endermen. You should enchant your sword with Sharpness IV or V, to deal as much damage as possible. Knockback is ineffective against the shulkers, since they cannot move without teleporting, but it works against the endermen. If you have Fire Aspect on your sword, any endermen you hit will be harder to deal with, since they teleport upon taking damage. However, if endermen get set on fire, they will still get weaker for every firetick. Looting is also extremely useful, because it will allow you to get more shulker shells from shulkers, and more ender pearls from endermen.

Bow[edit]

The bow will be your secondary weapon, for taking out shulkers. It is ineffective against the endermen, since they will teleport away from the arrow, but it works against the shulkers. You should enchant your bow with Power V, to deal as much damage as possible, and Infinity, so that you don’t run out of arrows while exploring. Unbreaking is also recommended, but not required. Flame is extremely useful, because shulkers will almost never teleport if they get set on fire. Punch is ineffective, since they are immune to knockback. Shulkers will deflect arrows if their shell is closed, so wait for them to open their shell before shooting them.

Armor[edit]

You will take a lot of damage when exploring a city, especially from attacks by shulkers and endermen. Therefore, armor is absolutely essential. You should wear a full set of diamond armor enchanted with Protection IV. Because of the narrow bridges, and the height of the buildings, Feather Falling IV on your boots is almost necessary. Thorns is also recommended, because it will damage provoked endermen when they attack you. However, Thorns has a high enchantment weight, so be sure to add Unbreaking to your armor as well.

Pickaxe[edit]

Most materials in the End are stone-related. A pickaxe (preferably diamond) will be needed to collect these. The most common items to collect are end stone and purpur blocks, which require a pickaxe to collect. You should enchant your pickaxe with Efficiency IV or V, to collect blocks quickly. And Silk Touch is necessary to reclaim your ender chest.

Axe[edit]

Besides end cities, you will find several new places in the End, such as chorus forests. Chorus trees grow inevitably here. You should bring an axe (preferably diamond) to collect them, because they take a while to cut down without an axe. You should enchant your axe with Efficiency IV or V, to chop the chorus trees down fast, and Unbreaking III and Mending to prevent it from breaking.

When you chop down the tree, it will drop some chorus fruit. In order to take the chorus home and farm it yourself, you will need to collect chorus flowers, which grow at the very tops of the tree. They can be identified by their slightly different appearance from the rest of the tree. Collect at least five flowers, so that you can start your farm with a good amount of trees.

Healing items[edit]

Since shulkers and endermen can deal a lot of damage, healing items are absolutely necessary. Golden apples are the most efficient healing item, because they provide Absorption, which will protect you from most damage while you heal, so bring at least 10 of these. Potent healing potions and extended regeneration potions are recommended, but not required. Enchanted golden apples can heal you more than regular ones, but they are extremely difficult to find, so save them only for emergencies, and use regular golden apples otherwise.

The totem of undying can also be used, but it can only be accessed after you explore a woodland mansion or stop a raid[upcoming: JE 1.14]. However, it can be used in emergencies, and will prevent you from dying. To use it, simply place it in your off-hand and ignore that it is even there while you explore. When you take fatal damage, the totem will explode and cause an animation of fireworks, which will "resurrect" you and provide you with Regeneration and temporary Absorption.

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. Bread can also be found in loot chests that are found along the way to the end portal. You don’t have to worry about running out of food, because you can just collect some chorus fruit along the way.

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

Potions[edit]

Potions are highly recommended to have when you explore a city, 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 shulkers and endermen. Healing potions and regeneration potions are different, because healing potions will heal you instantly, and regeneration potions will heal you gradually. However, both of them are great healing items, so bring at least six of each type of potion.

Water bucket[edit]

A water bucket is extremely useful to have in the End, because it can save your life in several ways. For example, it can save you from long falls. If you are in a city on a bridge, place down your water so that it falls to the ground. If you fall off the bridge, you can jump into the waterfall to survive. Water can even help you deal with provoked endermen. If an enderman gets mad at you, dump the water at your feet, and the enderman will get hurt and teleport away. The water will also neutralize the enderman, and it will start to ignore you again.

Other equipment[edit]

Other items and blocks that you should bring in preparation for defeating an end city are blocks to build with, an ender chest, ender pearls, a crafting table, an anvil, and a map.

The journey[edit]

A map in the end.

Before finding an end city, you must go to the outer islands. Between the central island and the outer islands is 1,000 blocks of deadly emptiness. Rather than building a 1,000 block long bridge, you can teleport yourself to an outer island by throwing an ender pearl into the end gateway portal or building a flying machine with redstone.

Once you arrive at the outer islands, start a map so you can see which islands you have already explored. Apply a compass to it so that you’ll know where you are. Save the coordinates of your end gateway portal so that you don’t get lost.

To cross a gap between islands, build a bridge, sneaking as you go to avoid falling into the void. Ender pearls can also do fine. Don't worry about them falling into the void, because they won't teleport the player if this happens. However, try not to do this too much, as this will cost you ender pearls.

It is recommended to bring an ender chest in case you find valuable items in the city, although some cities generate with ender chests in them, so you can just steal those ender chests.

There are much faster ways of finding end cities than going from island to island, but they involve cheats. One way is using /locate endcity (/locate EndCity in Java Edition).

Here is a tool to find them.

If you do not want to build bridges, you can build an engine using slime blocks, pistons, sticky pistons and redstone blocks.

If you already have an elytra and some firework rockets, you can simply fly around to find end cities. If you run out of them, try to land on an island or you will slowly fall into the void, unless you throw an ender pearl onto an island.

Hazards[edit]

One is not likely to get lost in an end city, as down always leads out and up always leads in. However, you might want to mark which towers have already been explored. A simple way to do that is to break all the end rods you see so you know that you only need to go to the towers with end rods.

You will see that there are few endermen in the cities. Instead, the main hazards in end cities are shulkers, and falling to your death. To stay safe, bring armor, preferably a full set of diamond armor with enchantments such as protection and feather falling, as well as ender pearls to teleport if you fall. Shields are also helpful, because they can block the shulker's bullets.

Avoiding falls[edit]

End city towers are relatively empty. They are 3x3 tubes with blocks only on the edges, not the corners. Because of the emptiness, it is easy to fall when jumping up a step. Place blocks in the corners to complete the staircase.

Fighting shulkers[edit]

Whenever you see a shulker, wait until it opens. Then, hit it repeatedly with a sword or use the bow and arrows to damage it from some distance away. Tipped arrows such as Arrow of Poison and Arrow of Harming are recommended because they can do more damage. Deflect or destroy its bullets if necessary. Fireworks can also be an effective weapon against these shulkers.

If you get hit with a bullet, make sure you do not levitate to fatal heights. To avoid this, drink milk as fast as you can or go under one of the purpur slabs and continue to hit the shulker. When the levitation wears off, you will only fall a few blocks. Also, you can wait off the levitation effect and then deflect your fall. To do this, get a water bucket or ender pearls into your hotbar. Use ender pearls if you don't want to worry about placing water at the perfect time, and use a water bucket if you are experienced with placing things at a moment's notice, and you don't want to take any damage. When the levitation effect has worn off, if you are high in the air and falling, either ender pearl to the ground or quickly place a bucket of water when you're about to hit the ground.

If the shulker teleports out of sight, the battle is essentially complete because the shulker cannot attack anymore. Showing the shulker's hitbox by pressing F3+B may help you to find it. If you happen to encounter the same shulker later, you can finish it off and collect the shell.

Shulkers may appear in inconvenient places, such as rooftops, outside walls, and even the undersides of platforms. To get to these shulkers, pillar jump to the shulker, or descend using sand. Try to shoot the shulker only if it opens otherwise the arrow will not deal any damage. If you get hit, place blocks and as you go up, and make sure you are directly over your pillar. You can also break the shulker's support block, thus forcing it to teleport, hopefully to a better location.

Special rooms[edit]

When exploring end cities, you may find special rooms.

Treasure room[edit]

This is what a treasure room looks like inside of an end city, with 1 chest and 1 ender chest.

If a room has chests, simply collect the loot. Some rooms will have an ender chest beside the regular chest. Bring a pickaxe with the silk touch enchantment to pick these up.

Large shulker room[edit]

Large shulker rooms have a spiral staircase around the edge, but it is much easier to go down than up. An easier way is to pillar jump, killing shulkers as you go. Another way of going up is letting a shulker hit you, use the levitation effect. If you want to try this, make sure that you have a good armor. After killing the shulkers, go down the spiral staircase and collect the shulker loot, or use a fishing rod.

An easy strategy to use is to sit at the top of the stairs leading to the room, looking down, and blocking with your shield. At first, almost every bullet will hit you, but as you float up, more will be caught by the shield. Make sure you keep yourself aligned to the middle of the room, and then land at the top with the loot chests. This strategy is effective because it causes the majority of the shulkers to start fighting each other. Generally speaking, by the time you finish raiding the loot chests, most of the shulkers are either dead or severely weakened.

If the room branches out at the top, place ladders along the walls and continue exploring.

End ship[edit]

Before going to the ship, make sure you have the necessary equipment for end cities. In addition, have an ender pearl and some chorus fruit (both of which are fairly easy to obtain in the end).

To enter, throw the ender pearl onto the roof of the ship. Then, go inside, and then to the treasure chamber. First, kill the shulker. Then collect the elytra and chest loot.

Finally, go to the bow, where the dragon head is. Place blocks around and under the head. Once it is secure, you can mine the head and return to the ground by building a bridge back to the pier, eating chorus fruit, or teleporting using an ender pearl. Alternatively, you can use your elytra to get back to the pier.

Because end ships contain extremely rare items, it is recommended to put the items in an ender chest. If the end city doesn't have one, but you brought an eye of ender, a diamond pickaxe and a crafting table, just mine the obsidian on the bottom of the ship and then you can make an ender chest.

Tactics[edit]

Shulker shells are useful. Keep as many as you can, and using the chests from in the cities, you can create shulker boxes. It is recommended to store stackable loot separately from the non-stackable loot. You may only need one shulker box to store the stackable items, but you will definitely need more than one shulker box for non-stackable loot. If you really would like to go on a spree, you can clear out your ender chest, as these can hold boxes too. Since the chances of death and/or getting lost are so high, it is best to store your loot in an ender chest. Unfortunately, inception-style tactics don't work here, as shulker boxes cannot hold shulker boxes. However, the combination of shulker boxes and an ender chest allows for a quick and easy way to get home via the void.(though you will lose your xp via this and it doesn't work on hardcore)