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In Minecraft, which blocks are the rarest, most expensive to build a house from? In particular, by the following criteria:

  • Which are the most labour-intensive and time-consuming per block?
  • Which are the rarest per-block?
  • Which block is the most dangerous to acquire and build with?
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closed as not constructive by StrixVaria, Rapida, fredley, Macha, FAE Sep 1 '11 at 14:30

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

+1 for a seemingly pointless but rather amusing question, essentially 'what is the worst way to build a house?' ;) – Alex Sep 1 '11 at 13:29
You're asking 3 questions that may not have the same answer, does the accepted answer have to address all 3? – Kurley Sep 1 '11 at 14:09
I don't think this question is a good fit for the site, unfortunately. It's subjective based on the materials you use, whether or not you decide to use mods to build, etc. and is ultimately a "list of X" question with no definite answer. – FAE Sep 1 '11 at 14:34
up vote 12 down vote accepted

This is not a single block, but if you have too much building material and need inspiration on how to use them up - explore the most inefficient house ever. The house consists of only 200 blocks, but took 1,280 blocks to construct.

enter image description here

The architect went insane, shortly after completing it.

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I like the obsidian door. – fredley Sep 1 '11 at 13:16
@fredley Yeah, it takes a good 30 seconds of mining just to get into the house! Or you could just smash the wall in, I guess. – Alex Sep 1 '11 at 13:36
Although I like the screenshot, there's nothing particularly difficult to find in building this, just obsidian/redstone/wood/reeds/stone. – Kurley Sep 1 '11 at 14:14
No Kurley, those around the obsidian are jukeboxes. They take a diamond each. – ZJR Sep 1 '11 at 14:20
@Claw, KJR - Fair enough, I tend not to follow links under principle. Athough, without cheating, it would still be harder to build a house of the same size solely from diamond blocks. – Kurley Sep 1 '11 at 14:27

Ice, it can only be formed in a winter biome, must be moulded and cannot be made if there is a roof above it.

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If you can only form the ice in the winter biome, when you move it elsewhere does it melt? – DMA57361 Sep 1 '11 at 12:22
@DMA you can't move it. – John the Green Sep 1 '11 at 12:38
@John Well, that does sound rather difficult to build with then. – DMA57361 Sep 1 '11 at 12:40
You can move it with pistons, and it won't melt if you put it in another biome, but you can't put light sources near it. – Ronan Sep 1 '11 at 13:07
I had a nice Ice tower once. Bulges and windows to accomadate a light source. Creeper blew a hole in the base, so I had to rebuild the entire wall from the ground up. – Arkive Sep 1 '11 at 14:05

I'm leaning towards, for the time consuming side, Diamond Blocks. Nine diamonds per block, and combined with their rarity, you could be mining a very, very long time just to build a wall... Gold blocks might be up there too, but I'm not as sure on that one.

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+1: Obsidian is easy to acquire, and clay is really only useful as a building material, so not very "extravagant". – Kurley Sep 1 '11 at 14:08


enter image description here

It requires a lot of effort just to build an obsidian portal and get to the nether. Once there, it's extremely dangerous, you will almost certainly die at least once. You need to collect a lot of glowstone, which due to its location is difficult to get to, just to make a small number of blocks.

I reckon that starting a fresh game, it would take you longer to build a glowstone house (of say a hundred blocks) than a house from any other block, and you would die more times.

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I disagree with your last statement. Yes, glowstone is hard to find. But once you are in the nether, it is quite easy to get a lot of it. You just need to farm some iron to make some buckets to model your obsidian gate without any diamond pickaxe (just by putting lava and water on top of it). It can be done in 1 hour I think, maybe 2 if you are unlucky with finding iron and lava. To collect a hundred blocks of diamond or gold, it will take you much more than 2 hours ... – Claw Sep 1 '11 at 14:19


OK, probably not. But it's at least as intensive as bookshelves, and the thought of making a house out of (essentially) gingerbread is kind of hilarious.

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But...But...The CAKE IS A LIE!!! – Joe the Person Sep 1 '11 at 14:00
I believe this could actually be possible, and pretty extravagant. Would be hard to refrain from eating your own house though... – Kurley Sep 1 '11 at 14:20

On the labour intensive and time consuming I see two contenders:

  • Obsidian. Simply on the amount of time it takes to mine and the fact you need a diamond pickaxe to mine it. You can create obsidian in place using lava and water but that's time consuming as well - mining iron to make buckets, finding the lava source, transporting it to the building site then dousing it with water.
  • Bricks. You have to find the clay (which is fairly rare), bake it into brick and then craft the individual bricks into blocks. Less so after 1.8 when clay was made more common.

I think the winner is obsidian.

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Most extravagant building material: Bricks. Lol. – fredley Sep 1 '11 at 13:15
@fredley - I've never managed to find enough clay to make enough bricks to build even one wall of a house, let alone a whole house. – ChrisF Sep 1 '11 at 13:20
I know, I agree with you, I just think it's funny! – fredley Sep 1 '11 at 13:21
Obsidian's kind of easy if you just make a few buckets, pull lava to the surface, dump it into a mould of dirt, and pour water on it to harden. Don't even need a diamond pick unless you make a mistake with your mould. – Alain Sep 1 '11 at 13:27
@Alain - it's still time consuming travelling up and down to the lava source - but YMMV – ChrisF Sep 1 '11 at 13:28


The amount of time spent having to harvest reeds to make paper to make books to make bookshelves means its very exotic/extravagant.


Diamond/gold blocks, 9 diamond/gold to make one block means its very hard to get. Not to mention the fact that both are super useful.

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Once you get a small reed farm, it's very easy to get bookcases galore. – John the Green Sep 1 '11 at 12:40

I'm not a minecraft player, but I'm going to suggest the "obvious" answer:


It's rare to find naturally, it only occurs where water is pouring on to lava. This means naturally occurring instances are usually over a lava pool, so mining them is fun.

You can, however, create your own obsidian by forcing water to pour on to lava, but this will destroy the lava source in the process (and thus, you need 1 lava source to create 1 obsidian block).

It can only be mined with a Diamond pickaxe and takes a whole 15 seconds per block to mine this way. It can be removed with other tools, taking 50 seconds per block, but you won't get the obsidian to build with that way.

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but you can craft it with a lava pool and a water pool and some patience – ZJR Sep 1 '11 at 14:24

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