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Minecraft's latest update brings significant changes to combat

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Shields, new attacks, new weapons and more

Mojang rolled out Minecraft version 1.9 today, making a significant update that revolves around combat in the game.

Shields lead the list of new features, along with a sweep attack for swords and a "crushing blow" attack for axes. As a result, armor protection values have been lowered, but attacks also feature a "cool-down" period now, requiring users to time their strikes. There's also dual-wielding, as the player may now hold items in both hands.

The game's conclusion (The End) has been expanded and the Ender Dragon may be resummoned as well. A full list of changes is below. The update is available now on PC, and presumably will roll out to Minecraft's many other platforms later.

  • Added shields
  • Attacking now has a "cool-down" delay, making it more important to time your attacks
  • You can now hold items in both hands (default quick key to swap items is ‘F')
  • Swords have a special sweep attack
  • Axes have a special crushing blow attack
  • Added the elytra
  • New mob: Shulker
  • Expanded The End
  • Added Chorus plants
  • New Purpur blocks
  • New End Rod block
  • Added dragon head block
  • Ender Dragon can be resummoned
  • Added beetroot and beetroot soup (from MC:PE)
  • Added grass path block
  • Added igloos
  • Armor protection values have been lowered
  • Added tipped arrows
  • Added spectral arrows
  • Added Frost Walker enchantment and frosted ice block
  • Added a whole bunch of new sound effects
  • Added sound effect subtitles
  • Brewing Stand now requires Blaze Powder to activate
  • Added skeleton riders
  • We believe we've fixed MC-10 and a whole bunch of other issues
  • Removed Herobrine