I always make a sword with Sharpness V, Knockback II, Unbreaking III, which kills almost all mobs in two hits or less (three for Endermen, one for cave spiders and silverfish and (critical) regular spiders and large slimes; so much for Bane of Arthropods); appropriately enough, I name it the "Monster Slayer".
As for enchantments like Fire Aspect and Looting, the former is bad for melee combat because burning zombies set you on fire (don't really want it on my bow either; shooting another arrow, even uncharged, is much faster as fire only deals 1 damage per second) and the latter is useless for me; why do I want more rotten flesh (which I never pick up) or a slightly higher chance of iron ingots (as I mine thousands of iron ore, which I don't really need either aside from the occasional anvil and shears), or arrows (Infinity, anyone)? Plus they make it more expensive to repair; the sword I use can be repaired with two diamonds for 35 levels; Looting III would make it too expensive to repair at all, even with one diamond; as it is, each repair gives me back 780 durability, which, combined with Unbreaking III, is good for another 1,560 mob kills, returning 6.5 times more XP than required to repair it again (that is, I don't use mob farms or anything other than XP from mining and killing mobs to repair stuff, which is very easy if you don't use unnecessary enchantments).
Of course, Fire Aspect and Looting can be useful on a sword used to kill cows for meat, but I don't eat cows, leaving Looting for special uses like getting Wither skulls, and I've never had the incentive to want a beacon so that Looting III book I got from enchanting is just laying around unused.
Also, MrBlueSoda, do note that this thread was last posted in 2013 and your reply adds no value to the thread.
I think the best enchantment is the sharpness 5 knockback 2 fire aspect 2 unbreaking3 and looting 3 but in survival i think it's better to enchant books first.
There is a very big problem with such a sword though:
(even just placing it in the anvil without a diamond says "too expensive" - deservedly so!)
Here's the repair cost shown in Creative - yes, that is correct - SIXTY levels!
(repair cost = 5 for Sharpness V, 8 for Fire Aspect II, 4 for Knockback II, 12 for Looting III, 6 for Unbreaking III, 15 for 5 enchantmnets, 2 for prior work penalty (always 2 if renamed), and 8 for one diamond (3 + number of enchantments); even the base cost (50 levels, excluding prior work and repair costs) is over 39 levels, which is why the anvil absolutely refuses it from the start, even before trying to do anything with it)
Yeah, anything that does that is totally useless IMO, and in any case Looting is useless for common mob drops, Fire Aspect only slowly kills (7 damage over 7 seconds, compared to 14.25 damage per hit, up to two hits per second (limited by temporary damage immunity) with Sharpness V), although fire damage from burning does ignore armor (only reduced with Fire Protection/Resistance); such a sword is useful in PvP but I'm talking about general Survival. That is, if I ever had the inclination to want a beacon (which arn't useful for me so I've never bothered) I'd enchant a sword with Looting III (I have a book lying around from enchanting) but otherwise I only use Sharpness V, Knockback II, Unbreaking III on my everyday sword, which costs only 35 levels to repair with two diamonds (good for another 1,560 mob kills, returning over six times the XP required to repair it again, so extremely affordable; even the sword I used from my amethyst tools mod, which costs 47 levels (increased anvil cap for amethyst items only to 49) still has a big return on investment).
Similarly, the best bow you can make has every bow enchantment except for Punch, which isn't very useful for ranged attacks and can still be repaired with a new bow for 39 levels (I prefer just Power V, Infinity I, and Unbreaking III though, which costs 31 levels to repair). Tools can be maxed out though and still be repairable; the most expensive pickaxe/shovel/axe has Efficiency V, Fortune III, Unbreaking III and costs 37 levels to repair with a diamond (33 levels with Silk Touch instead, which can also be repaired with two for 39 levels; of course, you'd only use Fortune/Silk Touch on pickaxes).
Fireasp II, Sharp V, Unbreaking III and Knockback II.
Sharp V - base damage of your sword, pretty obvious why it should be maxed
Fire Asp II - adds damage over time effect to your blade, and slows enemy down if they are running away. Plus fire can hit through armor more effectively
Unbreaking III - your blade will last longer in combat
Knockback II - You can sprint and knockup enemy into air especially when hes jumping. Extremely useful both on close quarters and open pvp as it knocks up enemy into air, causing the enemy to take additional fall damage when used correctly. Another option is sword-bow-sword-bow semi-melee fighting. You knock enemy out of melee range, preventing hits(especially criticals) and use semi-charged bow to do damage, then rush again. So it determines sequence of hits because if you intiate attack the enemy cant hit back as long as knocked up, giving you free time to strafe, lock on and take down.
Fire Aspect, Sharpness, and Looting are my favorite. Knockback is awful.
I wonder how you would handle this (just ordinary zombie spawns trying to invade a village):
That is actually a fairly regular experience as this shows:
(while caving, often due to how I made zombie spawners spawn mobs every 5-10 seconds (instead of 10-40 in vanilla) with increased spawn counts and caps, plus in 1.6.4 the tracking range is more like double the intended range so pretty much every zombie in the mob cap tracks you down).
Also, perhaps another way to judge how effective your sword is is to see how much damage you have dealt and taken:
In this case, I've dealt over a dozen times the damage I've taken with an average of slightly more than 2 damage, one heart, of damage taken per mob killed (note that this is on Normal difficulty but it can be scaled, wearing armor has no effect on "damage taken"; which is before any armor calculations, similarly, I've dealt an average of 25.8 damage per mob, as the game counts overkill damage (Sharpness V diamond = 14.3 damage per hit, 28.6 for most mobs); also, a lot of the damage I get is from poisoning, as cave spiders (which spawn true to their name, not just "abandoned mineshaft spiders") are often hard to hit before they hit you, almost like they have a larger reach than you do); witches (no difficulty scaling) have knocked me down to half a heart. Note also that I consider these stats to be inaccurate if you've used mob traps to kill many without getting hit by them, or killing them with a punch (only one damage dealt per kill); almost all of the mobs seen, aside from a handful of passive mobs (probably less than 1% of the total, now only the occasional bat I hit while mining), were killed in ordinary combat.
imo sharpness IV, unbreaking III, looting III. and then fire aspect II and knockback II are good additions but i personally dont care for knockback. also if you are early game and are using the looting enchantment to farm ender pearls for the end, i would recommend not using fire aspect as it makes endermen teleport around and they often die in random places far away making the pearls hard to retrieve.
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