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Tutorials/Thunderstorm survival

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Thunderstorms are a very dangerous weather. As well as a light level low enough to allow monster spawning, there are also lethal lightning strikes, which set fire to the surrounding blocks and can cause monster mutations. They are a good challenge for the well-established player.

Basic dangers[edit | edit source]

Be prepared to fight monsters. Thunderstorms come without warning, and, due to the low light level, monsters can spawn. If you are not ready, go to your house as quickly as possible. If you are stuck outside accidently, either make an emergency shelter (dig down three blocks, jump in and place dirt over your head or a similar design) or, (if you are either brave or foolish), tough it out.

Avoid letting your health go below 5 (Heart.svgHeart.svgHalf Heart.svg). After this point, you are in severe danger of dying. Also try to keep your hunger bar full, because if it is depleted, it will have debilitating effects. Also don't forget that lightning could strike you by surprise, although this is unlikely.

Fires[edit | edit source]

Every time lightning strikes, it will start a fire. Usually, the rain will quickly put the fire out, but the fire will remain lit if it is under a ledge or on netherrack, allowing it to spread.

If you see a fire, put it out as quickly as possible. If you do not have a bucket, you can break the fire similar to grass. If it is not put out, it could spread, and, although there is a limit to how far it can go, it is still undesirable, especially if near the player.

Mobs[edit | edit source]

Lightning strikes can spawn or change mobs in these ways:

  • Every single lightning strike could potentially spawn a skeleton trap. (See below).
  • Creepers will become charged if struck by lightning. This increases their blast radius to nearer TNT
  • Pigs will turn into zombie pigmen if struck by lightning. These are a version of zombies normally found only in the nether
  • Villagers will turn into witches if struck by lightning. These mobs throw potions at the player and drink health potions themselves.

Remember that this will only occur if the mob(s) in question are within 3 blocks of the lightning. However, it is not an inconsiderable threat.

Skeleton traps[edit | edit source]

A skeleton trap before activation

Skeleton traps look like bone/skeletal horses when created, but as soon as the player comes within ten blocks, the horse will turn into a skeleton horseman, and two more will spawn either side of it. They are very hard to kill, having a AI of a skeleton or skeleton jockey and speed and agility of a horse. What's more, they won't despawn, and they won't burn if the sun comes out again, because they have an iron helmet on. Their bows are enchanted as well. Skeleton traps have a 0.75%-6.75% chance of spawning in a lightning strike, depending on difficulty. They do not spawn on peaceful mode.

Never get to close to a skeleton trap without knowing what you are doing. It will be obvious that it is not a normal horse because it will look like a skeleton version of a normal one. The safest way to fight them is with a bow, and a shield. However, you may want to activate a skeleton trap for one of these reasons:

  • The skeletons have enchanted armor and weapons, each with a 8.5% chance of being dropped.
  • If you kill the skeleton, the horse becomes yours, which is handy if you are in a biome that does not have normal horses. It is also the fastest type of horse you can get without breeding.

Generally, iron armor and a sword with Smite is recommended. Alternatively, you can drink a potion of Invisibility. However, the latter will not work unless you wear no armour, have nothing in your hand and do not attack the skeleton horsemen. This is not necessarily the best tactic.

Charged creepers[edit | edit source]

Charged creepers are more dangerous than normal ones, due to the fact that they have a much larger blast radius. If possible, use a bow to fight the creeper. If you do not want to fight it, DO NOT GO NEAR IT.

If you want mob heads, you can let the creeper follow you to a mob. When triggering the explosion, make sure that you are wearing good armor and that the mob is close to the creeper. If the mob dies, it should drop a mob head. To allow yourself to run away without stopping the explosion, trigger the creeper with flint and steel.

Also see Tutorials/Charged creeper farming.

Zombie pigmen and witches[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, lightning will strike in a pig farm or a villager that you have been trading with.

When killed, zombie pigmen drop gold nuggets, rotten flesh and, occasionally, their own golden swords. However, they are difficult to kill and are neutral mobs only triggered by harm done by a player unlike spiders and endermen. To replenish pigs, look for "wild" pigs, and bring them to your farm using a carrot, potato or beetroot. A separate pen can also be built to reduce the chances of losing every pig.

Witches are always hostile, and use potions offensively and defensively. Witches are deadly if approached by a player without nearby shelter or battle equipment, so avoiding them is beneficial when caught in the open. They drop valuable loot like glass bottles and glowstone, but witches are rare outside of witch huts so it is not as beneficial to hunt them in a storm as building a witch farm.

Materials Needed[edit | edit source]

If you do decide to go outside in a thunderstorm, here is a list of recommended materials to carry in your inventory (in no particular order):

  • Sword or axe (preferably a diamond sword, iron axe, or diamond axe)
  • Shovel
  • Pickaxe
  • Bow
  • Arrows; carry 1 1/2 times as many as you think you will need
  • Shield (in your offhand slot)
  • Iron or diamond armor
  • At least a half stack of a cheap block, such as dirt, to build pillars or blockades to escape mobs
  • Plenty of food; 2 types is best: one that has a high saturation value, and another that has a high hunger value
  • A bucket of water, to put out the larger fires from lightning

Notes[edit | edit source]

Lightning can only strike in the rain. This means that snowy and dry warm biomes cannot have lightning, which cuts most of the hazards. However, you still have an "unexpected nighttime", as monsters can spawn.