The description of Holy Water (p. 151 of the PHB) states:

As an action, you can splash the contents of this flask onto a creature within 5 feet of you or throw it up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. In either case, make a ranged attack against a target creature, treating the holy water as an improvised weapon. If the target is a fiend or undead, it takes 2d6 radiant damage.

So, 2d6 damage at range for 25gp, not the worst thing out there, that you can throw and shatter or for some reason splash...

The throw explicitly shatters, but the word they use is 'splash'. Not 'empty', not 'pour out', but 'splash'. Is there anything, explicitly, RAW, making the splash leave you with nothing but a 2cp empty flask, rather than a still almost full flask of holy water?

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Let's assume "splashing" does not consume the flask. In this case, how many times could we use the same flask again and again? I mean, your question suggests to choose from two options. One option is the flask being consumed. Describe the other option. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 18, 2018 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor don't answer in comments. Also, Omega Supreme has some words for you. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 18, 2018 at 19:00
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mindwin that was not an answer, was it. I asked the OP to clarify the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 18, 2018 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, holy water is an expensive way to do damage. The only reason you would be likely to do it is if you couldn't do much damage to your target by other means. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2018 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ The answers below I think adequately answer the question, but I think "splash" is used to simply differ from "pouring out" or "emptying". If I "pour out" a glass of water, the primary direction the water travels is straight down; similarly, if I "empty" it, it's probably mostly going straight down too. Now if I "splash" my glass of water at someone, I'm not throwing the glass itself, but making a throwing motion to launch the water at my target (upon which it splashes). \$\endgroup\$
    – Doktor J
    Jul 19, 2018 at 17:18

2 Answers 2


The contents means "what's in the flask"

you can splash the contents of this flask onto a creature within 5 feet of you

The contents, not modified by "some of" or "a fraction of" implies all of it. (That is a plain English reading of that clause).

Another example of this usage would be when my beer spilled on Monday night. You can honestly say that

The contents of the mug ended up on the counter.

That means that all of the beer was on the counter (and soon thereafter, some of it was dripping onto the floor).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "when my beer spilled on Monday night" -- I am so sorry for your loss \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2018 at 19:48


It says "splash the contents" not "splash half the contents" or some other fraction. If it meant anything less than the entire contents, it would say so.

Allowing one to splash some fractional amount of the contents on the creature leads to many questions, none of which have answers in the text. How much do you splash out each use? How much damage does a partial volume deal? Does using twice as much deal twice as much damage?

Occam's Razor tells us that all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. All-or-nothing introduces by far the fewest number of additional questions.


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