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All About The Anvil

All About The Anvil - By Felicia

Do you name your tools in Minecraft? In case you didn’t know, I do. At the time of writing, I have a shovel called The Destroyer, a pick called The Silky Way, an axe called A Dead Squid, and a sword called The Last Of Us. If you want to name yours too and keep it repaired at the same time, you’ll need our item of the week – the anvil.

Anvils became a part of the Minecraft universe in the Pretty Scary Update, way back in October 2012, alongside witches, carrots, carrots on sticks, flowerpots, and pumpkin pie. Originally they were crafted from six iron blocks and one iron ingot, but that was pretty expensive - like 55 iron ingots - so the Minecraft team made them a LOT cheaper. Today they’re made from just three iron blocks and four ingots. YAY!

There are four basic things you can do with an anvil. First, you can rename items, which initially costs one level of XP, but does get more expensive over time due to the “prior work penalty” that applies to all anvil activity. The math is very complicated, but put simply, the more times you rework an item, the more expensive it gets. So it’s best to rename items at the same time as repairing or enchanting them.

Second, you can combine two items together. They have to be exactly the same item (i.e. you can’t combine a wooden pickaxe with an iron one). Combining two items will add their durability scores together (plus a little bit more as a bonus!!), and merges the enchantments.

Third, you can enchant tools with enchanted books to add the book’s enchantment to the tool. This costs much less XP than combining two enchanted tools together, though it’s still not going to be cheap when working with high-level enchantments.

Finally, and best of all, you can drop anvils on people and things. Anvils fall when there isn’t a block underneath them, just like sand and gravel, dealing damage to whatever’s underneath depending on fall distance – up to a maximum of 40 blocks (20 hearts of damage). It’ll also crush any items underneath it, so be careful what you leave lying around. Want to guard yourself against falling anvils? A helmet cuts the damage dealt by 25%.

One more thing to note here – every time you use an anvil, it has a 12% chance to get damaged. An anvil can be damaged three times before it’s destroyed - and you can see that damage on the anvil itself. On average, you’ll be able to use an anvil about 25 times before it’s destroyed, but it can be much more or much less depending on how lucky you are. Anvils, unfortunately, cannot be repaired – what would you repair one in anyway? It’s a big pain to keep having to replace anvils, but anyway, you can’t always get what you want…

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