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With the newest Minecraft Dev Version: 12w32a, a new block was introduced, the beacon block. Apparently, it gives off certain powers in a certain radius, when built upon a 3x3 pyramid, etc., and I've seen videos of the block in work.

However, it seems that there are different ores used in making pyramid, the question is, does the type of ore used (iron, gold, diamond, emerald, etc.) change anything?

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No, all blocks used to build the pyramid have the same effect. The way you activate different powers is through the Beacon Block's GUI. Placing a single iron ingot, gold ingot, diamond, or emerald will allow you to set which power is being produced by the pyramid. The size of the pyramid determines the radius of the effect, and the number of powers which can be active at the same time. To change to another power, another of those four items must be used.

Source

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  • The wiki isn't yet complete, but it answers the question. – MBraedley Aug 14 '12 at 2:04
  • Precisely where my answer came from. Forgot to source it this time. – SaintWacko Aug 14 '12 at 3:03
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The type of block used for the base has no impact on how the beacon works. If you're placing the beacon permanently, your only concerns are availability and aesthetics (maybe in case your beacon is at risk of explosions you may go with insanely expensive Netherite beacon base and make it blast-proof).

If you're building a temporary pyramid to e.g. dig up an area, your best choice is gold blocks, as they are mined considerably faster than the remaining options (0.6s vs 0.95s to mine by unenchanted diamond pick without Haste) which helps when removing the beacon. (also, start mining a Haste beacon from the bottom to retain the Haste I effect for nearly entire work)

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I don't think it really matters. I've built beacons on my own games out of diamonds AND emeralds. I just haven't got round to trying out an iron/gold pyramid, though I'm 99% sure it'll still come out successful.

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As far as i can tell the mineral used to make they pyramid does not matter, but the material used with emerald being the best to power the beacon affects how good the beacon is.

(tested on a 2 block jump test iron igot could not clear it but an emerald in the beacon let me jump 2 blocks

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