Important information on Guardians in Minecraft

What are guardians?

Guardians are an aquatic-type hostile mob that will attack players when they get near them. They are similar to pufferfish and have spikes that will inflict damage on the attacker when their spikes are extended, similar to the thorn’s enchantment. This thorn-like attack hits quite hard, doing 3 hearts of damage in hard mode, so it’s best to fight them with ranged weapons if possible.

They also attack by sending a laser beam out of the guardian’s eye, which will target nearby players. This hits quite hard, dealing 9 damage (4.5 hearts of health) in hard mode, but it does take time to charge, so you do have time to swim out of range. You have two seconds before the laser flashes green and deals damage to you.

Guardians attacking the player.

These factors make guardians one of the most dangerous mobs to fight in Minecraft. Even more dangerous than enderman or cave spider.

Behavior of a guardian

Guardians are hostile creatures that are not just hostile to players but also other aquatic mobs such as squids, glow squid, and axolotl. If they see any of these mobs near them, they will actively try to kill them. This does mean that mobs that attack them, such as iron golems, will simply be ignored and will only damage them through the spikes.

Guardians, unlike other aquatic mobs, can survive outside of water indefinitely. When this happens, they will jump and flop around randomly. They will also always have their spikes puffed up when they’re on land, meaning that their thorns are active.

Stationary guardians can be pushed by flowing water. However, when they are swimming, they cannot, which is notable because, when pushed horizontally, they move notably faster than other mobs.

How to avoid guardians

There are two main ways to avoid guardians.

The first is by avoiding their attacks completely, which is rather easy. Guardians have two main ways of attacking, one of which can be completely avoided by not hitting them with a melee attack. In this case, you can use a trident, ideally with loyalty and impaling enchantment, to help deal with guardians in an efficient manner. The beam can also be avoided by getting out of its line of sight by using solid blocks.

It’s important to note that only losing line of sight will stop the beam from hitting you. Using a shield will not work against guardians for both their thorns and their laser beam. You also shouldn’t depend on a bow and arrow since you cannot use them efficiently underwater.

The second way to avoid them is unique to the Java edition of Minecraft. If you have less than one piece of armor on and have the effects of invisibility from a potion, they will not attack you. This is very helpful when you simply want to raid ocean monuments for sponge.

Where can I find guardians?

Guardians spawn in primarily one location, and that would be ocean monuments. You can find these structures in any type of deep open biome. You’ll always be able to find guardians inside an ocean monument, but it does change a bit depending on the version of the game you’re using.

Note: Even if monuments are destroyed, they will continue spawning guardians, which is helpful when setting up a farm.

Java Edition

In JE, guardians are limited in their spawn location but can spawn in the open sea above the temple. The game has multiple checks for both under sea level and a spawning water block to make sure that they can only spawn in water while at a certain distance from the temple.

Bedrock Edition

BE treats guardians quite differently, as they are considered structure spawns. Which means they spawn in water source blocks and will always avoid spawning near the player’s a majority of the time. They will typically spawn between Y = 39–61, which usually equals the bottom of a monument and the very top point of one.

What else can I find at an ocean monument?

Ocean monuments are great areas for different reasons. They have plenty of decorative purposes, but they also have many things for the player to gain.

One of the most notable things about the monument are the wet sponges. These, when dried, can allow you to clear out areas with a lot of water fairly quickly. You can quickly dry wet sponges by going to the nether and placing them, which will instantly dry them.

This is also one of the only places where you can fight one of Minecraft’s boss mobs, the Elder Guardian. It’s essentially a bigger version of the regular guardian that does a lot more damage and gives the player mining fatigue III when entering the area. Killing this boss is important if you want to venture to the monument more than once. It can also drop additional wet sponges but also a tide armor trim, which is unique to this boss.

What do guardians drop?

Guardians have quite a decent loot table for a simple mob, and you can get quite a bit from killing them. They have decent drop chances, but farming them is not easy.

Main Drop

Upon killing a guardian, they will always drop 0-2 prismarine shards. Prismarine shards are a fairly important material, especially for those into decorating. But they can also be used to make the blocks that can power a conduit, such as sea laterns, prismarine, prismarine bricks, and dark prismarine.

By using a sword with the looting enchantment, you can increase the number of potential drops by 1 for each level. This means that with a looting 3 sword, you can get up to 5 per kill.

Additional drops

They have a 40% chance of dropping raw cod when killed. In the Java Edition version of Minecraft, when killed with a sword with fire aspect, this turns into cooked cod. This makes killing them an actual decent source of food. You can get 0-1 cod per kill, which increases when the player uses the looting enchantment on their weapon. This increases it to a potential of 0–4 cod per kill.

They also have a 40% chance of dropping prismarine crystals. Similarly, it can drop 0-1 per kill, unless you use a weapon with the looting enchantment, then it increases to 0-4. Prismarine crystals are the other primary component for crafting sea lanterns. Which can both be used as decorations and as a lighting source while underwater, but it is also one of the blocks you can use to power a conduit.

The guardian’s also drop 10 xp orbs when killed. This is either done by the player getting the last hit or by their tamed wolf killing the mob.

Additionally, they also have a 2.5 percent chance of getting a random fish as an extra drop. There’s a wide variety of raw fish it can drop, including tropical fish, pufferfish, raw cod, and raw salmon. Using a weapon with fire aspect will turn these fish into their cooked versions when the mob is killed with a fire aspect sword or a fire source.

Every level of looting will increase the 2.5 percent chance by one. A looting III sword has a 5.5 percent chance of dropping a random fish drop from a killed guardian.

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