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When speedrunning minecraft, in the end I would kill the dragon with beds. But I've always wondered, if I place the beds at the top of the bedrock portal will it do more damage then putting it on the sides of the portal?

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Yes - beds explosion behaves just like other explosions, the wiki contains a detailed, lengthy section discussing the exact procedure, but the very essence applicable here can be boiled to 'the more rays hit, the more damage is caused', and 'the closer the entity to the explosion, the more rays will hit'. As the dragon perches on top of the bedrock column, placing the bed closer to the dragon will cause more damage, simple as that.

What is more important in speedrunning though, is the knockback of explosion and AI of the dragon. Perched dragon upon losing 1/3 of its hitpoints will invariably, immediately take off and start circling again, costing the speedrunner plenty of time. Depending on the random attacks, hunting the dragon with a bow, randomly placed beds, waiting for the dragon to finish perching and then blasting the beds - these are all old strats that just take a lot of time. The current meta is to detonate the beds while the dragon is in the process of descending, just before it perches over the pillar. The knockback of the explosion throws the dragon a short distance upwards, giving the player time to place another bed, and detonate it again - since the dragon never gets to perch, the 1/3 hitpoints count is never initiated, and the player can kill the dragon in a single perching cycle. It requires very good timing, as detonating the bed too early won't deal enough knockback, giving the dragon enough time to perch before next bed is placed, and obviously doing it too late will put the dragon in the 'perched' state, meaning it will take off after losing just 1/3 health.

The closer it is to being perched the more damage it will take, making it possible to finish it off with as little as 4 beds, but it obviously increases the risk of allowing it to perch. Detonating the bed sooner is safer but may take 8 and more beds.

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Yep. Put it on the top with the hanging side placed in the direction of the head. Try it yourself and see.

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