I don't understand why Mojang thought this was a good idea? Fortunately I already have Infinity+Mending bows in my worlds, but if I ever lose them I'm gonna be pissed I can't make another.
Same. This got changed at the same that they introduced firework usage for Elytras so I can't help wonder if this was done to prevent people from using the damage trick (shoot yourself) for infinite Elytra flight.
In my opinion, use mending. Because i have a very over powered bow (Power 5, Flame 1, Punch 2), so i wouldnt be wanting any of those hard earned enchantments to go soon. But if you have a chicken farm, a few hundred sticks and flint, you basically got yourself infinity. So then again, in my opinion, Infinity isn't really worth it if you had to choose between the two of them.
I get enough arrows from killing skeletons, even without a skeleton farm, that I only have to make arrows in emergencies. And I usually run into a skeleton spawner eventually, a skeleton farm isn't out of the question.
The only time I'd need a lot of arrows is when I'm going to have to fire lots of arrows fast, with no time to restock. Mostly, this means the dragon fight. It's worth it to make an Infinity bow that I only use for the dragon fight and other situations where I'm worried about being able to replace arrows.
The rest of the time, I use another bow, even when I don't put Mending on it. Bows don't really break that often. I go through swords faster than bows, so I'd rather put Mending on a sword. But maybe that's because of the way I play: I tend to only use the bow on creepers and cave spiders, and I don't do AFK fishing or AFK anything, so Mending books are too rare for me to waste on a bow.
I would have to say it depends on scenario. This is all coming from someone who never uses farms or grinders. Normally I use Mending, because I rarely use a bow until late game and by then I have hundreds of arrows and enough flint/gravel to make hundreds or thousands more. I also rarely use a bow even late game, excluding bosses, because I prefer melee combat.
But once I get low on arrows, the couple of bows I have with Infinity can last me long enough to get a few hundred arrows again. Keep in mind this would all be over the course of several months because of how few arrows I use.
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I still have my favorite mending+infinity bow (and a couple of backups) so it hasn't been an issue yet, but I'd definitely pick infinity. Getting arrows isn't a problem - I don't do AFK farms or mob grinders, I end up tossing (or stashing in chests in dungeons/mineshafts/villages/etc that i'll probably never visit again, which amounts to the same thing) probably half the arrows i pick up in the wild, and I still have multiple chests filled with arrows. Flint is easy enough - toss fortune on a shovel, and you can turn all the gravel into flint. Or just buy all your arrows, they're reasonably cheap (you could also buy your flint, but that's kind of silly ). It's the carrying around all the arrows that's the problem - if I'm just hunting near home or one of my villages that's one thing, but if I'm out caving or exploring I'd rather not risk running out at the wrong time. And I'd rather have an extra inventory slot for loot than carry multiple stacks of arrows.
(i use my bow a lot; when i'm out hunting at night i wield my bow in my off-hand and run around picking off distant targets with my bow while i slash away at the mobs in melee range. When i'm out exploring I'll shoot cows or pigs with my flame-enchanted bow to top off my food supply without having to stop to cook. Creepers, witches, cave spiders, the skelly shooting at me from a long way away... If i'm out fishing at night, i'll just shoot any mobs who get too close and carry on fishing rather than climb down and chase them with my sword. It doesn't take much to go through a stack of arrows...)
Ultimately I prefer mending since an infinity bow can eventually break, while you won't have to ever worry about a mending bow breaking. Find a skeleton dungeon and farm it for arrows and you'll be set.
As many others have said it all depends on how you play. If you normally use the bow to hit mid distance targets like up ahead in a cave of covered Forrest then mending is fine. I however prefer infinity as I build very large and open structures. Often I leave large sections unlit and like picking them off to gain easy experience and practice. Then again I also have plenty of traceable books to get as many bows as I need,
This is not an either/or question. Both enchantments have their own purpose. I disagree with this choice of Mojong, but it is what it is so onto the dilemma. When starting a new world, your goal should always be to get a perfect bow with Infinity. If you have Unbreaking III, you won't have to worry about repairs very often especially if you have a good sword. Once you've set up a skeleton spawner, consider your self to be somewhere around late-game. At this point you should definitely consider switching to mending, especially if you have crafted shulker boxes and enchanted arrows. This solution should provide a confident answer for anyone questioning the choice.