Powered By

Season of the Malignant Theme Breakdown

Last Updated: July 13th 2023

Share on Social

Welcome to our Season of the Malignant Theme Breakdown post. With Diablo 4's first Season just around the corner, we wanted to give you a quick rundown on what to expect. While this post will contain all that we know at this point, expect a full guide on our Diablo 4 branch once the season go live! With that, let's dive in to the corruption!

Season Theme and Story

An ex-priest of the Cathedral of Light, Cormond, is our guide through the season. He warns us about the malignant corruption taking over Wildlife, Demons, and Humans alike. He pleas for our aid as he may be biting off more than he can chew. With a Season character, we meet him in Kyovashad almost right away to start our journey to cleanse the corruption.


Season Mechanics

The main mechanic is seeking out Malignant Monsters, corrupted Elites in the world. Once found, you kill them and steal their heart to socket into your Jewelry (Amulet and Rings) for powerful buffs - neat! Early in the Season questeline, the player receive the Cage of Binding which is key later on. At this point, you go around the world looking for these Malignant Monsters. Once you find one, the magic starts to happen!

Collecting a Caged Heart

  1. Find a Malignant Monster (remember, they will only be Elites).
  2. Kill it to drop its Malignant Heart.
  3. Perform the ritual using your Cage of Binding. This gathers all the Malignance and spawns a more difficult version of that Elite with support minions.
  4. Kill the new Elite and collect the Caged Heart that drops.

Types of Caged Hearts

There are 32 different Caged Hearts that the player can find. Their powers can dramatically change your build's playstyle or even unlock previously untapped builds for your class. Most Hearts are general use by anyone, but some will be class specific. When found, they will roll 1 of 4 different types:

Types of Caged Hearts
  • The following colored Caged Hearts have one effect and can ONLY go in their respective colored sockets on Jewelry.
  • Brutal (blue Infested Socket)
  • Vicious (orange Infested Socket)
  • Devious (pink Infested Socket)

Wrathful (white Infested Socket) have three effects on them, one from each of the other Heart types and can be placed into any of the colored sockets for their corresponding bonuses. These Hearts can be placed into ANY socket on Jewelry. While this makes them powerful, they are much rarer than the other three.

At the end of the Season, these Infested Sockets will become regular sockets on the Eternal Realm. This will allow your now Eternal Realm characters to put in Gems or Skulls.

A Wrathful Caged Heart
Socketing a Malignant Heart

All Jewelry will roll with an Infested Socket color, even when you add one to a piece of gear via the Jeweler. You can't control which color you get, so best of luck! In addition, Caged Hearts can NOT be unsocketed - you've been warned! You can replace them with a better one as you find stronger Hearts when leveling and progressing your character through higher difficulties. Don't worry, those lower level Hearts can still be useful, so don't sell them off to the vendor!

Malignant Item Crafting

Just create a happy little Heart with Cormond

When you begin to have a small stockpile of unused Caged Hearts, you can start breaking them down. Assuming the images shown by the devs are correct, Cormond will be a special vendor for the Season. You can visit him to break down your Caged Hearts into various crafting materials (TBD).

A Vicious Malignant Ichor

You'll also be able to craft a random Brutal, Vicious or Devious Heart using Malignant Ichors. All we know for now is that Ichors have a small to decent chance to drop from a Malignant Monster. We don't know if they are a possible crafting material as a result of breaking down a Heart.

You can also craft a Malignant Invoker (crafting materials required TBD) for the same static Heart types as above (no Wrathful). Invokers are used in the Malignant Tunnels, special places that spawn in the world where you can target a specific Heart type for a chance at a GG drop!

There are two Crafted Caches we can make, but what they contain and the crafting mats required aren't known yet.

With all this known, there is one last key part to the puzzle, using your Malignant Invokers in the Malignant Tunnels.

Malignant Tunnel Farming

Invoke the Malignant event in a Malignant Tunnel

Malignant Tunnels as stated above are special places out in the world where you can hunt down Malignant Monsters. While boasting a higher spawn of rate of Malignant Monsters, you can also target farm a specific Heart type by completing the Invoke the Malignant event.

  • First, make sure you have the correct Malignant Invoker for the specific Heart you want.
  • Find a Malignant Tunnel in the world and go to it.
  • Clear the tunnel until you reach the Malignant Outgrowth at the end to start the event.
  • Select the type of Heart you would like (Wrathful and Brutal shown in the image on the right). *
  • Kill the already empowered enemy (no need to use the Cage of Binding) and receive your Caged Heart.
Malignant Outgrowth that starts the event

* This part is assumed from the video shown at the Developer Livestream. More precisely, we may be able to always pick between a particular color (Brutal, Vicious or Devious) and Wrathful, or Wrathful may be a rare chance to spawn from a Malignant Outgrowth. We need to wait and see.

New Boss Battle

Varshan the Consumed

Varshan the Consumed is a new boss to fight for Season 1. This mysterious boss doesn't have a lot of information, but you can rest easy knowing we'll have a guide for you as soon as we can. One interesting note to point out is that you may have to summon her in the Malignant Tunnels using a yet TBD method. Going off the latest video, you can see a quick clip of Varshan being clearly summoned and killed in the same room. It also appears that a Legendary Caged Heart drops at the end!

Apparent summoning and killing of Varshan the Consumed

More Updates, More Guides!

This was but a taste of what is to come from us with Season 1 quickly approaching! New and updated Build Guides, Updated Resources, updated D4Planner (with season release), new Map Tool, specific Season 1 Guides, and so much more! If you haven't already, head over to our Discord and select the D4 role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development. Keep on hacking and slashing!

© 2024 Maxroll Media Group, All Rights Reserved