Is there any fire-related item or spell in D&D 5e that can create a fire that can burn underwater?


4 Answers 4


The fifth level evocation Immolation from the Elemental Evil Player's Companion wreathes a creature in flames.

These magical flames can’t be extinguished through nonmagical means.

Since water is non-magical, an Immolated target should burn quite nicely underwater.

(For up to 1 minute, if you concentrate, and they fail their save.)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ And just a reminder, in 5e a character cannot chose to fail a save voluntarily. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 14:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ What about holy water? It has magical properties. \$\endgroup\$
    – Suthek
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 23:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Suthek I would argue that while holy water does have magical properties, the property by which it would extinguish flame would still be non-magical. \$\endgroup\$
    – ArmanX
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:38

The common magic item, candle of the deep (XGE 136), may be what you are looking for.

The flame of this candle is not extinguished when immersed in water. It gives off light and heat like a regular candle.

Although this is just a candle, it gives an indication for how powerful WotC think an item with similar properties may be; namely, not at all (considering this is a common, minor, magic item).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe I missed it, but what's the indication that WotC think that this item is potentially powerful? \$\endgroup\$
    – Aventinus
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 15:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ They don't think it's powerful; as it is a common magic item, by their reckoning it isn't powerful at all. I'll add a clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – L0neGamer
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 19:40

The second level cleric, wizard, and artificer spell continual flame produces a flame which

can be covered or hidden but not smothered or quenched.

Since water puts out fire by quenching it, a continual flame can burn underwater.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Except that it doesn't produce heat or consume oxygen, so it doesn't really 'burn'. It's just a fancy light that looks like fire, but has none of the other properties of fire. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 7:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ It does however say "A flame ... springs forth..." which implies that it is fire (of the non-heat-producing non-burning kind). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 16:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ It describes itself as a flame, so it's fire. It's not remotely clear that the OP cared about heat, and the OP cares about oxygen consumption only so far as they care about the flame continuing underwater (where there is no free oxygen). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is true, but I don't think the word 'burn' is the right word to use at that point. It can't burn anything. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 20:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LouisWasserman - there is very certainly free oxygen in water. Fish don't separate water to get oxygen (and waste hydrogen) - their gills absorb the free oxygen suspended in the water. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 23:36

I'm not sure what the purpose for this is, but if you want it to be magical there's one option at least. The cantrip create bonfire from Xanathar's Guide to Everything (page 152) is a magical fire that does not require fuel, though it does behave like normal fire and can ignite objects.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I would say that that extinguishes normally since nothing says otherwise. However I had pretty much the same approach when WALL OF FIRE doesn't say anything either, so if you annoy your DM long enough he might allow it (and then BOOM, ALL of the fire spells burn underwater!= \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 10:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Right next to it is another cantrip called control fire and it describes requiring fuel. So given that, I think there is a distinction. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 12:30

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