I want to mine my hardmode metals but my regular pickaxes don't work (I have a gold and a lead pickaxe).

I did some research and I need a molten pickaxe or a reaver shark. First of all, the reaver shark takes a while to catch since it is basically from luck when fishing. Secondly, I can't mine hellstone with my regular pickaxes just like with the hardmode metals.

Then, I did more research and I need a nightmare pickaxe or a deathbringer pickaxe which both require materials you get from a boss. I don't know how to summon these bosses (Brain of Cthulhu to get the tissue material and Eater of Worlds for a shadow scale) nor do I know how hard they are to defeat alone.

What are the steps I have to follow to make a molten pickaxe given my situation ?

  • The Eater of Worlds is incredibly simple to beat if you get the flail from one of the shadow orbs, or even better, the Vilethorn. The Brain of cthulhu is more difficult but can be defeated in a similar way as well. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 2:59
  • To answer the second part of the question, summoning for the Brain is by collecting 15 Vertebrae that you collect from the Crimson Biome creatures and then craft at a Demonic/Crimson Alter to make Bloody Spine. For the Eye, collect 6 lenses from the night time Demon Eyes and craft into a Suspicious Looking Eye. Finally, the Eater of Worlds lure is made by crafting a Worm food from 30 Vile powder and 15 Rotten Chunks at an alter.
    – Vanzanz
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:18
  • 2
    If you managed to get to hardmode you should probably be equipped to thorougly trounce the brain or eater…
    – Weaver
    Commented Dec 22, 2014 at 14:28
  • Help us understand this. What gear were you using when you beat the Wall of Flesh?
    – tjd
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


PC Update: You can actually get one of (if not) the best pre-hardmode pick in the game by fishing in the ocean. You will need roughly 50% fishing power from bait and fishing pole combined (Enchanted Nightcrawlers and the Reinforced Fishing Pole will suffice), but the Reaver Shark will also suffice in mining up everything including the initial hard mode ore.

Original Post: You are skipping a step. You need to make a Nightmare or Deathbringer pickaxe. You get the ore and other components from defeating either the Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu respectively. These axes can then mine the Hellstone and you can keep moving forward.

There are two ways to summon these bosses, but they parallel each other. You can craft the appropriate summoning item at an Altar but more likely you will want to destroy the Crimson Hearts or Corruption Orbs. They are located at the bottom of the pits that naturally form in both of these zones. You will likely not be able to break the rocks but you can use TNT and such to destroy the rocks to get access to them. Every three of these items you break will summon a boss. You can usually summon 3-4 in this manner. After that you will need the items.

Both bosses 'hover' around. The brain literally does it appearing and disappearing to then swoop at you. The Eater of Worlds is a giant worm that will circle around you and try to hit you. The general strategies for both of them are to build an arena where you can jump up and down between 2-3 levels to help with placement. You may want to include some Camp Fires or healing lamps or the like to help your passive regeneration of health. Ranged weapons will be handy for the eye ball but honestly for both of these bosses you want multi-penetration items like spears that will hit continuously when they make contact.

For a list of Pickaxes and what they are made from and what they can mind, check out the Terraria Wiki. For recipes for the items you can check out the Worm Food and the Bloody Spine to summon the bosses.

  • If you are semi-lucky and have gotten a vile thorn, or were fearless and went underground jungle exploring and made a thorn chakram, it makes things a bit simpler. After the first 3 orbs/hearts are busted, meteorites fall. The minishark is not too hard to get from the Arms Dealer, and meteorite ammo is fairly nice with double hit and bounce capability for these two bosses, until the higher weapons become available.
    – Vanzanz
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 21:14
  • @Vanzanz Indeed Indeed. Ranged weapons so you can constantly be hitting the bosses do help quite a bit. They are just generally hard to get when in this particular stage. You are pretty much promised a gun from the orb or heart and then can wait for the arms dealer to show up to get a pistol. The bouncing ammo from the Meteorites would be helpful on the brain and if you wanted to fight the eater underground, most people do not do that though. Minishark can be pricey but can also be a great weapon for a long time.
    – James
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 23:08
  • Yeah, I do like making my "eater killer" arena underground. It seems spookier. :)
    – Vanzanz
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 13:03
  • I make mine underground as it's conveniently close to that 3rd shadow orb.
    – tjd
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 16:20
  • The Reaver Shark was sufficient for all pre-hard-mode ores as of version 2.2, but at 2.4 it no longer works on Hellstone ore. I guess the game devs figured too many people were skipping fighting the early bosses by using the Reaver Shark. Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 17:04

Break 3 crystals in the corruption. This will summon The Destroyer.

Kill The Destroyer, and it will drop shadow scales.

  • 2
    If you break 3 shadow orbs in the corruption, you will summon the Eater of Worlds, not The Destroyer. The Eater of Worlds drops shadow scales and demonite, which can be used to make a Deathbringer Pickaxe. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 20:16

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