Each of Diablo 4's live service seasons will shake up its gameplay with a temporary new addition or system, as Blizzard wants to ensure that the popular ARPG feels consistently fresh to play throughout the months and years to come. At the core of its first season, Season of the Malignant, are Malignant Hearts — unique items that give players valuable bonuses when equipped. With these, players are able to augment and fine tune their builds even more than they could during Diablo 4's "preseason" launch period.
Here's a full breakdown of everything you need to know about Malignant Hearts while battling your way through Sanctuary in Diablo 4 Season 1. This includes a detailed explanation on what they are and how they work, all the different ways you can get them, and a complete overview of each Malignant Heart type and bonus effect.
Diablo 4: How to get and craft Malignant Hearts
As long as you've completed Diablo 4's campaign at least once before or during Season of the Malignant, you will have access to a new questline with Season 1's new NPC, Cormond. By speaking with him, you'll learn about how a deadly corruption is spreading throughout Sanctuary, infecting everything and everyone with a fearsome Malignance that mutates and empowers its victims. At this point, you'll be able to encounter Partly Corrupted versions of Elite monsters randomly throughout the world.
When killed, Partly Corrupted enemies drop a Malignant Heart that you can attempt capture using the Cage of Binding quest item given to you by Cormond. This respawns the monster as an even more powerful Fully Corrupted foe, but if you're able to slay them again, their Malignant Heart will be yours. These hearts can then be slotted into pieces of Jewelry in place of regular Gems, providing you with Legendary Aspect-like bonuses (albeit less potent).
This is the main way you'll be getting Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4, but there are a few other methods you can use to acquire them as well. For example, you can craft specific types of Malignant Hearts by using a resource called Ichor that's obtained by killing lesser Malignant foes and salvaging hearts you don't want. In total, you'll need 35 of the Ichor types that don't match the type of Malignant Heart you're crafting in order to make one (more on heart types below). Note that these crafted Malignant Hearts will always be for your specific class or class-agnostic.
There are also six Malignant Tunnels in Sanctuary, which are alternative versions of dungeons filled with lesser Malignant enemies. At the end of Malignant Tunnels, you'll find two Outgrowths for specific Malignant Heart types that you can use Malignant Invokers — items craftable at Cormond's wagon — on. This is guaranteed to spawn a Fully Corrupted enemy that drops the type of Malignant Heart that corresponds to the Outgrowth you interacted with, effectively allowing you to target farm.
Are Malignant Hearts in the Eternal Realm?
While all of the bug fixes and balance changes in the Diablo 4 Season 1 patch notes have made it into the game's Eternal Realm, Season of the Malignant's seasonal content is exclusive to the Seasonal Realm for now. That includes Malignant enemies and Malignant Hearts, meaning that you won't be able to get or use them with any preseason characters.
It's important to note, though, that this may not be the case forever. Blizzard has previously indicated that it will consider adding content from seasons to the Eternal Realm once those seasons have ended, so it's possible that we'll see Malignant Hearts there in the future.
Diablo 4: All Malignant Heart types and sockets
There are four distinct categories of Malignant Hearts, with each one giving players a different type of bonus when socketed into pieces of Jewelry. We've listed each of these below:
- Vicious Heart (Orange): Hearts that provide a bonus to offensive power. Dropped by Vicious Malignant Monsters or crafted at Cormond's wagon.
- Brutal Heart (Blue): Hearts that provide a bonus to your defensive capabilities. Dropped by Brutal Malignant Monsters or crafted at Cormond's wagon.
- Devious Heart (Pink): Hearts that provide utility of some sort, and are procced by specific conditions. Dropped by Devious Malignant Monsters or crafted at Cormond's wagon.
- Wrathful Heart (Black): The rarest of all Malignant Hearts. Provides very powerful and unique effects. Dropped by Wrathful Malignant Monsters.
Malignant Monsters have a glow that matches the colors of these Malignant Heart types, making it easy to tell which heart they will drop when defeated. Also, you can only slot Malignant Hearts into pieces of Jewelry with a matching socket color. To make it easier to acquire Jewelry pieces with the sockets you want, Blizzard has enabled trade of these items between players.
DIablo 4: All Malignant Heart effects and powers
In total, there are 32 different Malignant Hearts available for players to acquire, with each one sporting a unique effect. All of these hearts fall into the aforementioned four categories, though some of them can also only be used by one class or are exclusive to specific Diablo 4 World Tiers.
Below, we've put together a full list of every Malignant Heart in the game, along with each one's type, restrictions, and special power.
- The Picana (Vicious, General): Critical Strikes electrically charge the enemy for 0.75-2.50 seconds, causing lightning to arc between them and any other charged enemies dealing 68-136 Lightning damage.
- The Dark Dance (Vicious, General, World Tier 3): Every 5 seconds while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.
- Tempting Fate (Vicious, General, World Tier 3): You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage.
- The Lionheart (Brutal, General): You gain 10% Barrier Generation. You Heal 3-7 Life per second while you have an active Barrier.
- Revenge (Brutal, General, World Tier 3): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to Nearby enemies.
- Prudent Heart (Brutal, General, World Tier 3): You become Immune for 2.0-4.0 seconds after you lose more than 20% Life in a single hit. This effect can only occur once every 110 seconds.
- Determination (Devious, General): Resource draining effects are 40-50% less effective. In addition, gain 3.0-8.0% increased Resource Generation.
- Retaliation (Devious, General, World Tier 3): Deal 510-680 Fire damage to surrounding enemies whenever a Crowd Control effect is removed from you.
- The Calculated (Devious, General, World Tier 3): After spending 150-200 of your Primary Resource, your next attack Stuns enemies hit for 2 seconds.
- The Malignant Pact (Wrathful, General): Cycle through a Malignant bonus every 20 kills:
- Vicious: Gain 20% Attack Speed.
- Devious: Core and Basic Skills have a 15% chance to fully restore your Primary Resource.
- Brutal: Every 21 seconds, gain a Barrier absorbing 85-102 damage.
- Creeping Death (Wrathful, General): Your damage over time effects are increased by 30-40% for each different Crowd Control effect on the target. Unstoppable monsters and Staggered bosses instead take 110-130% increased damage from your damage over time effects.
- The Barber (Wrathful, General, World Tier 3): Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second.
- Focused Rage (Vicious, Barbarian): After spending 100-60 Fury within 2 seconds, your next Non-Basic Skill's Critical Strike Chance is increased by 20-30%.
- Resurgent Life (Brutal, Barbarian): While below 40-60% Life, you receive 50-60% more Healing from all sources.
- Punishing Speed (Devious, Barbarian): Your Skills have a 20-30% chance to Knock Down all enemies for 1.25 seconds when that Skill's Attack Speed is higher than 35-20%.
- Ignoring Pain (Wrathful, Barbarian, World Tier 4): Incoming damage has a 5-15% chance of being ignored and instead Healing you for 17-68.
- The Moonrage (Vicious, Druid): Kills have a 5% chance to summon a Wolf Companion to your side for 20-30 seconds. In addition, gain +3 to Wolves.
- The Agitated Winds (Brutal, Druid): When 8-13 Close enemies, automatically cast Cyclone Armor. This cannot occur more than once every 10-20 seconds.
- Inexorable Force (Devious, Druid): Up to 30-50 Distant enemies are pulled toward you while you have an Ultimate Skill active.
- The Unconstrained Beast (Wrathful, Druid, World Tier 4): When you are hit with a Stun, Freeze or Knock Down effect, there is a 40-60% chance to automatically activate Grizzly Rage for 3 seconds.
- The Sacrilegious (Vicious, Necromancer): Walking near a Corpse automatically activates an equipped Corpse Skill every second, dealing 40-30% reduced damage.
- The Decrepit Aura (Brutal, Necromancer): When at least 5 enemies are near you, gain an aura that automatically curses surrounding enemies with Decrepify for 5-15 seconds.
- Frozen Terror (Devious, Necromancer): Lucky Hit: Up to a 10-20% chance of inflicting Fear for 2.5 seconds. Feared enemies are Chilled for 20% every second.
- The Great Feast (Wrathful, Necromancer, World Tier 4): Each Minion drains 1.0-2.0 Essence per second but deals 50-75% increased damage. With no Minions, this bonus applies to you and drains 5 Essence per second.
- Cluster Munitions (Vicious, Rogue): Lucky Hit: You have up to a 20% chance to launch 3 Stun Grenades that deal 26-32 Physical damage and Stun enemies for 0.50 seconds.
- Trickery (Brutal, Rogue): When you use a Subterfuge Skill, leave behind an unstable Shadow Decoy Trap that Taunts enemies. The Shadow Decoy Trap will explode after 6.0 seconds dealing 680-1020 Shadow damage. Cannot occur more than once every 5 seconds.
- The Clipshot (Devious, Rogue): Lucky Hit: Up to a 20-40% chance for your Cutthroat Skills to Slow by 40% for 3 seconds and your Marksman Skills to Knock Back enemies.
- The Vile Apothecary (Wrathful, Rogue, World Tier 4): Your attacks have a 5-15% chance to apply all Imbuement effects at 40-50% of normal potency.
- Tal’Rasha (Vicious, Sorcerer): For each unique element you deal damage with, you deal 7-12% increased damage for 3-10 seconds.
- Spellbreaking (Brutal, Sorcerer): After taking Elemental damage, gain 20-40% Resistance to that element for 5 seconds.
- Spite (Devious, Sorcerer): When you are afflicted with a Crowd Control effect, there is a 20-40% chance that the same enemy and enemies around you are also afflicted with the same effect for 3 seconds.
- Omnipower (Wrathful, Sorcerer, World Tier 4): Core Skills that launch a projectile consume all of your Mana. For every 45-35 extra Mana consumed, you launch an additional projectile, and the damage is increased by 3.0-5.0%.
More potent versions of these Malignant Hearts will drop as you level your seasonal character up and progress through endgame content like Nightmare Dungeons, ensuring that their effectiveness scales with your own. It's highly recommended to salvage low-level Malignant Hearts for Ichor that you can use to craft new ones, as they'll be much more effective.
Diablo 4 is out now and is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PC, PS5, and PS4. It's one of the best Xbox games for fans of dungeon crawlers and hack-and-slash combat, and we've been having an absolute blast with it.
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