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I was wondering if anyone uses the beacon for standard branch mining? Its range is just 50 and I'm not sure if it can be used at all, since 50 blocks is too little to cover the whole mine.

Do you dig your tunnels in a specific way?

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I'm no hardcore minecrafter myself, but I know someone who is: Etho. In episode 303 of his let's play he introduces a new way of gathering a ton of resources and levels.

He digs all the way down to y=12 and sets up two beacons, one with Haste II the other one with Speed II. (Speed is not required, but does make it easier, provided you have a second beacon.)

You'll want to use an Efficiency IV, Unbreaking III pickaxe for mining.

Now, the thing with branch-mining is, that it requires a quite a bit of precision. While it might be true that the ratio of mined blocks vs. exposed ore is the highest when branch-mining, it's not the quickest.
What you instead want to do is break every block in a two high area. The Haste II and Efficiency IV will make sure that stone gets mined instantly. If you quickly move your mouse from side to side, you will not be breaking ores, as they require more time to mine.

As a bonus to the tons of ores you get, you will accumulate a whole lot of levels.

You might want to watch the episode (starting at 7min) to see this in action.

  • Wow, thanks a lot for this! I assume he then simply moves the beacon 100 blocks once he finishes clearing the area – Nikolay Dyankov Dec 13 '15 at 20:01
  • I'm not sure, but that would be the best thing to do. – Lars Dec 13 '15 at 20:55

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