The First 1.19 Experimental Snapshot Is Terrifying

The first experimental 1.19 snapshot for Minecraft: Java Edition is here!
Britt Britt (157)

I’m writing this under pure duress. We all know that the 1.19 update for Minecraft will feature the Deep Dark biome. We also know that this biome features new mechanics centered on the next hostile mob, the warden.

And yet, knowing all this, didn’t prepare me for actively experiencing this for myself. Still, I braved caves and mobs in a search to find an Ancient City, the location that the warden and sculk blocks spawn.

Before you dive into the Deep Dark and explore an Ancient City, read on to find out what to expect!

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ancient city minecraft

Long-lost and abandoned, an Ancient City spawns in the Deep Dark biome. Chests are guarded by sculk sensors and shriekers. You can find treasure and the new enchantment (read more below). You can also find Reinforced Deepslate which can’t be obtained in Survival. The only good thing about the Deep Dark is that mobs don’t spawn in Ancient Cities.

Unique to the warden and sculk shrieker, the Darkness effect will afflict you when nearby. It lowers the gamma down to “moody” and, in periodic pulses, will lower the overall brightness of the world.

There is a new accessibility slider called “Darkness Effect” which controls how dark it gets when a warden of sculk shrieker gives it to you, but doesn’t affect the fog distance.

The darkest biome in Minecraft, the Deep Dark is dimly lit and eerie. The floor is covered in sculk blocks, with shriekers at every corner, ready to call out to the warden. Thankfully, the warden is the only mob that spawns here (for now).

sculk blocks minecraft

The newest family of blocks are now available, dwelling in the Deep Dark.

  • Sculk: When wool blocks are placed on a sculk block, it will let nearby sensors know, preventing that vibration from being excluded.
  • Sculk Vein: Found at the edge of sculk patches, can be placed in any orientation, and can be waterlogged.
  • Sculk Shrieker: Responds to sculk sensors that detect vibrations and send out a warning signal to distant wardens. Shriekers are found in the Deep Dark or growing from Sculk Catalysts.
  • Sculk Catalyst: Blooms when mobs die within an 8-block radius. Mobs that perish in its presence don’t drop experience, instead a bubbling charge will be created where it died. This charge will spread through sculk veins and sculk blocks in random directions until they find a valid block they can convert into sculk.

Things to know about sculk blocks: All blocks require Silk Touch to acquire. Hoe is the most efficient tool for all sculk blocks.

In case you want to experience the power of these blocks, here’s some footage of my exploration through the Deep Dark.

Watch the video:

The newest enchantment to Minecraft! This enchantment, when added to boots, allows your crouch movement to be as fast as if you were walking.

It can only be found in chests in Ancient Cities, has three levels, and can only be applied to boots. It cannot combine with Soul Speed, Frost Walker, or Depth Strider.

the warden deep dark minecraft

The horror entity we’ve all be waiting for (which I personally find unsettling) has arrived. This creature has no eyes, and seemingly has souls embedded into its chest. The lore behind that is up for discussion, but right now I can’t handle thinking about it.

Wardens use vibrations as a way to navigate around, and when that’s not enough, they use their sense of smell to track down prey. Mojang Studios states, "In the Deep Dark, Wardens are everywhere-you just can't see them."


In the Deep Dark, Wardens are everywhere–you just can’t see them.

The more vibrations a warden detects, the angrier it will get. In fact, the souls within its chest will beat. Meaning, the faster the beat, the angrier it is. Also, if you set off a shrieker block, you can hear the warden responding back to it.

If you’re wondering how strong a warden is, let me put it into perspective. I tested with both full netherite and diamond armor. I died in two hits.

Wardens can also disable shields, don’t drop any loot (for now), and are better off left alone.

Download the latest snapshot here! Learn how to install a snapshot version with this guide!

There’s plenty more to uncover about this snapshot, so read more in Minecraft’s blog!

Dayne Dayne (57)

The darkness of a roast greatly affects its flavor profile. I'm going to tell you a bit of the why and hopefully teach you some things you didn't know.