Title about says it all.

I've been killing drowned for tridents with a Looting III diamond sword, which has fire aspect I on it.

My guess, is that of the trident carrying drowned, I'm killing about 1 in 30 to get a trident. Not the 1/10 I should expect with a Looting III sword based on the wiki article.

I've wondered similar things for Wither Skeleton skulls, and other rare mob drops. I am assuming/hoping my flaming sword isn't affecting my odds.

2 Answers 2


No, it doesn't - but the fire damage doesn't apply the Looting effect. If the drowned dies directly from getting slashed by the sword, Looting is applied. If it's set on fire and the fire finishes him off, the chance of dropping the trident is not increased.

Moreover, if the death from fire occurs more than 5 seconds after the last hit, the chance to drop the trident drops to zero; the drowned will not drop any XP either - the death will be counted as 'natural causes', not attributed to the player.

enter image description here

Above: result of an experiment. 30 cows were killed in each batch, and loot collected:

  • First row - a diamond Looting III sword, no Fire Aspect, each cow killed with two hits.
  • Second row - a Looting III, Fire aspect II sword - one hit, which the cow survives, then dies from fire.
  • Third row - same Looting III, Fire aspect II sword, but the cow is hit twice before allowed to die from fire.

The results are quite clear: the mob killed by fire doesn't drop extra loot.

  • For your "second row". How many seconds does it take for a cow to die from fire? In my reading of the wiki, if it takes < 5 seconds, it shouldn't matter. But > 5 seconds and it will matter.
    – John
    Mar 18, 2019 at 15:45
  • I didn't count, but a good while - at least 4-5.
    – SF.
    Mar 18, 2019 at 15:46
  • @John: It appears that time 'on fire' since the attack counts towards XP drop and loot tables regarding 'player kill' vs 'death from natural causes' (meaning drowned dying from fire after more than 5s from being hit will never drop a trident), but not the Looting enchantment, which is applied only on attack - if your attack drops the drowned to 0.5 heart, and it dies half a second later from fire, Looting still won't be applied.
    – SF.
    Mar 19, 2019 at 8:43
  • I accepted the answer, but I'm thinking, the answer is, "YES" it can impact mob drops, just not in the way I speculated.
    – John
    Mar 19, 2019 at 15:14


The only way fire aspect affects mob drops is by cooking meat.

If you get no drops at all, the gamerule doMobLoot might be disabled or there could be a command block killing them. If you just get fewer, it could be a loot table in a datapack decreasing the chance or the drops might be falling in a direction you didn't look. Or you're just unlucky: Even with looting 3 there's a chance of 12.5% of getting only one or no trident with 30 tries.

Edit: If the mobs burn to death, looting doesn't apply, see answer by SF..

  • Trident drops are also rarer than they should be, due to multiple bugs. Dec 31, 2019 at 16:27

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