How to Summon (and Defeat!) The Wither in Minecraft

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How to Summon (and Defeat!) The Wither in Minecraft

In the legendary crafting and adventure game Minecraft, part of the excitement of living in that blocky world is the numerous unique and dangerous monsters that inhabit it. From the iconic Creeper mob to the terrifying Enderman, Minecraft has no shortage of amazing monsters to keep you busy, but players who have quested for long enough will surely conquer these lesser creatures. Eventually, you will seek out the Ender Dragon in the faraway realm of The End, but there is another boss-level monster with its own on-screen health bar that players can summon into the world and fight against, known as The Wither. Today we’ll be breaking down how, and why, you can fight the Wither, complete with strategies to make sure it doesn’t destroy what you’ve worked hard to build.

Summoning The Wither

Unlike any other hostile mob in the game, the Wither needs to be summoned into the world by placing certain blocks together on the ground in a certain pattern, similar to building an Iron Golem or a Snow Golem. You’ll need to have access to the Nether via a portal to gather the majority of the resources required, some of which will be easier to get than others.

Gather Summoning Materials

The first step to summon the Wither is to farm the materials you’ll need. As we stated above, the Wither is built using certain blocks that can only be found in the Nether. First, you’ll want to gather up four blocks of soul sand and/or soul soil. This should be very easy to do once you’ve managed to explore the nether a little bit, both these blocks are plentiful and easily harvested by a shovel. For the next set of resources though, you’ll need to start hunting for a Nether Fortress, a massive structure made of the dark nether brick blocks. By the time you’re ready to summon the Wither, you’ll likely have already located one of these essential structures, given that they are the only decent source of blaze rods and netherwort in the game, reagents essential for making potions.

(Image: Mojang / Nathan Hart)

Once you’ve located a nether fortress you’ll need to patrol the building looking for Wither Skeletons. These are the blackened, sword-wielding skeletons that only dwell inside a nether fortress. They’re tough enemies, inflicting the “Wither” effect on you if they can touch you with a sword. It’s a good time to get acquainted with the Wither effect, since its namesake boss monster also applies the same damage-over-time effect with its trademark blackening of your health bar, preventing you from seeing just how close to death you really are. You need three wither skulls from these mobs. You’ll likely need to slay a good number of these special skeletons since the drop rate for their skulls is very low. It can help to fight them with a weapon bearing the “Looting” enchantment, although this will make the fights harder since it allows them to get into melee range. Keeping a regeneration potion around in case you get hit is a great way to nullify the withering.

Choose a Favorable Battleground

The next step to summoning the Wither, once you have four soul soil/sand and three wither skulls, is to place these items all together into a T-shaped pattern that will come to resemble the Wither itself. Just like summoning an iron golem, the second you finish this structure the boss monster will start to come to life, giving you a short period of time to flee its vicinity before it unleashes a massive explosion. The most unique part about the Wither compared to other hostile mobs in the game is that it is hostile to anything it views as alive. That means most other hostile mobs are free of its ire, but any wandering chicken in the overworld can become a target to get pummeled by its fireball attacks. Similar to the ghast in the nether, the Wither’s fireballs will rip through your defenses and tear apart the terrain near wherever you choose to fight.

(Image: Mojang via Minecraft Wiki)

With all this in mind, choosing an ideal location to fight the Wither is one of the most important choices you’ll make during this fight. You want to avoid summoning it inside your well-crafted base or near any valuable treasure stashes to make sure your hard-earned loot isn’t destroyed during the battle. The Nether is also an exceptionally hard place to fight the Wither since the terrain there is unpredictable and the threat of falling into lava is ever-present. Find an area where you’ll have a few places to take cover and heal up in between bouts of fighting the monster. Building yourself some obsidian bunkers with ports to fire arrows out of can make a huge difference in this fight. There is also the very dangerous option of fighting the Wither in close-quarters combat underground. The risky part of this is that it makes it nearly impossible to dodge its attacks.

Fighting The Wither

The next chunk of preparation you’ll need to do before placing that last wither skull on your chosen battlefield is to get ahold of a lot of powerful gear and aid items so that you can survive the difficult battle and reap the rewards. Be ready to fight a long, arduous battle with an enemy quite unlike anything else in Minecraft.

Preparing Your Gear

First off, you’ll want the toughest armor you can get ahold of for this fight. Netherrite would be ideal, but building a suit of Netherrite armor is so time-consuming that you can probably get by with diamond armor instead. The only major help Netherrite would offer in this fight is its resistance to knockback effects. For armor enchantments, you likely want a mix of protection and blast protection spread across your armor, as the Wither deals mixed types of damage, and it’s very hard to avoid its blasts. Other defensive trinkets like a Totem of Undying are as valuable as ever and may be worth carrying in the second half of the fight. Building some Iron Golems around the area will give you some allies in a difficult fight, as the Wither summons its own backup as well.

(Image: Mojang via Minecraft Wiki)

For weapons, you should get a melee weapon, either a sword or axe, with the “Smite” enchantment that causes you to do more damage to any undead mob, including the Wither. This will be very important in the second part of the fight. Additionally, you should acquire lots and lots of arrows, ideally arrows of Instant Healing. Healing arrows do extra damage to Undead mobs. Strong instant healing arrows will get you past the first phase of the fight quickly. If you have access to The End, having a phantom membrane around that will let you glide towards the Wither will be helpful at the last part of the fight. Potions of leaping are a viable alternative if you’re fighting the Wither in an area with a ceiling. Having some enchanted apples, or just regular golden apples on hand will help you stay healthy by giving you the Regeneration and Absorption effects.

Battle Tactics

The second you place the last wither skull on the wither structure, it will begin to transform and enter a momentary stasis. This is when you need to start running away and getting into one of your safe bunkers because, after a short period of time, the Wither will explode in a massive, destructive fireball before floating into the sky and starting to find as many targets as it can.

The Wither has two kinds of fireball attacks in the Java version of the game, but comes with some additional abilities in Bedrock, like a dash attack where it rushes towards you. For the first half of the fight, you will be fighting from a distance, shooting arrows into the Wither regularly while trying to dodge its attacks. In Java edition, this is where our guide ends, as you’ll simply need to wear the Wither down until it is dead.

However, in the Bedrock edition, when the Wither hits half health, you’ll need to switch tactics in order to take it down, as it will gain a shield that deflects arrows and will only take damage from melee attacks. Additionally, it will spawn some Wither Skeletons that will approach you to attack and block you from easily hitting the Wither itself. This is where your sword and quick-movement tactics come in. Just keep plugging away at the Wither with your melee attacks, while trying to time your attacks to dodge the fireballs it throws your way.

Victory & Beacon Setup

Eventually, you will wear the Wither down and defeat it, rewarding you with the valuable and unique Nether Star item. This item is used to build the Beacon block, along with three pieces of glass and obsidian. The Beacon is used to give nearby players some special buffs that will keep them stronger, with a wide range of effects ranging from increased walking speed, quicker mining, stronger attacks, reduced damage, a jump boost, or regeneration.

(Image: Mojang via Minecraft Wiki)

In order to activate the beacon, you’ll need to build a pyramid out of various kinds of minerals. While diamond and netherite blocks do work for this pyramid, it’s recommended you stick to the less valuable emerald, gold, and iron blocks. You don’t need the pyramid to be built from any one particular kind of block and can mix these three together based on whatever you have the most of. Make the base of your pyramid a 9×9 structure and work your way up with the beacon right on top to gain the maximum benefit from this powerful item. To activate the beacon after you’ve built the pyramid, simply click on it to open its own GUI window, where you’ll need to feed it another mineral bar in order to project the beam skywards. It has the additional benefit of being visible from a long distance away!

With this guide, we hope you can bring down The Wither and construct the perfect beacon pyramid to enhance your Minecraft settlements. This is one of the ultimate goals for a Minecraft player and while it takes a lot of preparation to pull it off, the fight is worth it. Don’t miss more tips and tricks like these, make sure you subscribe to the High Ground Gaming newsletter and follow us on all social media.

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