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I'm currently flatting out a big jungle mountain top to build my castle in Minecraft.

I want to have my castle surrounded by flowing moats (that mostly plunge off big cliffs).

To prevent mobs from crossing the moats how deep and wide do I need to dig them?

Is it correct I'll need to make them shallower in the middle and deeper at each end to get the water to flow correctly?

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    Just make the moat one deep at first to avoid problems with the water. You may need respiration and efficiency in the future though. – user28379 Jan 30 '14 at 2:22
  • I for one prefer lava moats. But...water's safer. ;) – Nathan C Jan 30 '14 at 16:04
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The moat should be four blocks deep and the water should only cover 3 of those blocks like this:

X X X X X X X X X X X X X
W W W W W W W W W W W W W
W W W W W W W W W W W W W
W W W W W W W W W W W W W

The w's resemble water and the x's are an extra block. The extra block is so mobs can't jump out of the water once they are in it. The water should have a downward flow so it'll make the mobs having to constantly jump. Otherwise they drown to death.

Here is an example from minebook.com:

enter image description here

Notice how this person added an extra layer of wood on top of their cobblestone. In this image all the person had to do to get the moat to work was place the water bucket on the top layer of cobblestone.

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You can dig them two wide and one deep, and then place water only on the inside.

    mobs here                     protected here
+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
| solid | solid |flowing| water | solid | solid |
| block | block | water | source| block | block |
+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
| solid | solid | solid | solid | solid | solid |
| block | block | block | block | block | block |
+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+

i.e. place water on the inside of the moat: enter image description here

And let it flow to the outside: enter image description here

Hungry zombies wanting my brains, but unable to cross moat: enter image description here

My fully protected castle (unless mobs spawn inside the moat): enter image description here

If the water isn't flowing, mobs will be able to cross the moat no matter how deep or wide it is. Mobs can even swim across oceans, if they need to.

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    What a truly epic castle you have :) – Philipp Jan 30 '14 at 16:04
  • @Philipp Gee, thanks! I spent hours and hours on it, because it was so big. – The Guy with The Hat Jan 30 '14 at 16:05
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    This wasn't quite what I was after - but it is pure genius! – BaronGrivet Jan 31 '14 at 2:40
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The moat really won't do anything unless it's pushing them. If you're hanging out within their agro-range, the mobs will swim through the water even if it's deep, long, or flowing sideways. They may get stuck in the current, but they will keep trying until they get to you. My advice is to make a moat where all of the water source blocks are on the inside of your island. Basically the water will push the mobs away from the castle. i suggest 3-wide and maybe 1-3 deep. Experiment a little.

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All of the given examples will work just fine. But however they are all missing one small detail. How do you expect to get across the moat? I am pretty sure your first thought will be a bridge of some kind... but this is the flaw in the moat, not all mobs will fall into the depths of your moat some will manage to get across your bridge and invade your castle. As there is no way of making a lift able Bridge, Rexdaboss from Planet Minecraft has made this:

http://www.planetminecraft.com/project/moat-fix/

Take a look. It is a castle entrance which shuts at night and re-opens during the day. This will stop mobs from entering your castle at night time by crossing your bridge, and also means you have a way of crossing your Moat at the same time.

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