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A while back I was digging in my mine, near the bottom level of my map, and I found something odd-- clay! So, I cooked the four blocks I found and it gave me some bricks. Awesome!

I've never seen clay again. I consulted the Minecraft wiki and it stated that clay is more rare than diamonds but slightly easier to find since it often appears on the surface near sand.

I haven't done a ton of looking but so far I haven't found any clay on the surface. So, why would such a useful block be so rare? Is this a bug or by design?

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Closed as the bug's been fixed and clay is now commonly found. Look under rivers. –  badp Feb 20 '12 at 0:12
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closed as too localized by badp Feb 20 '12 at 0:11

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4 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

If you made those chunks (new world or explored new area) during 1.6, clay was bugged and only occurred when the X coordinate equaled the Z coordinate. New chunks in 1.7 should be unaffected by this bug, so you can explore further in an existing map, causing more chunks to be generated, or start a new world.

In the future, I think the amount of clay was going to be upped, as Notch felt it rarer than desired.

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I'm not sure how the minecraft works as the actual code, but for curiosity's sake, when you say it only spawned, does clay spawn as a single block, or a chunk of clay? –  Raven Dreamer Aug 22 '11 at 23:54
    
I believe groups of clay only occurred where X=Z (within a group it wasn't only in a diagonal line). I saw various screenshots, but can't dredge them up currently –  Nick T Aug 22 '11 at 23:59
    
Okay. That aligns with my own anecdotal evidence. (I have found clay a few times, pre 1.6. –  Raven Dreamer Aug 23 '11 at 0:09
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It's technically quite common, it just has very specific requirements. It must be in sand, and because there is not much sand (compared to dirt and stone, the other two main blocks) there are not many chances to be generated. Also most of the sand is found underwater, so any clay generated there may not be seen. And a bug from 1.6 only allowed it to be made where coordinate X=Z but this is now fixed.

It does not require water to be spawned but because shores have more unexposed sand, there is the best place to find it.

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10x rarer than diamond can hardly be called "quite common" –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 20 '11 at 16:09
    
@BlueRaja You misunderstand. Out of all the places it can spawn it spawns in many. But there are 10x more diamonds because there are not many places. –  Ronan Forman Sep 20 '11 at 16:37
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Now in 1.8.1 clay is much more common! Just look at a river or lake that has sand in it. Look for clay in the deep parts. You should be able to find at least 20-30 pieces of clay in an area like that. I hope this helped.

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Ah, good to know. Thanks! –  RLH Sep 21 '11 at 16:22
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I have noticed this! +1. Although it doesn't have to be deep. I've found clay in 2 deep water. –  John the Green Sep 21 '11 at 20:10
    
Yea, now you can find clay in very shallow water. –  turoktony Jul 13 '12 at 9:00
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Rare!? Trying digging at the bottom of lakes, and you'll soon find some. Mind you keep an eye on your oxygen levels whilst you do that. Got quite a few clay blocks, though haven't found anything really useful with them.

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