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Season of the Malignant Guide

Last Updated: October 17th 2023

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Season 1 - Malignant

Less than 2 months after the successful release of long awaited Diablo 4, the first season of the game is on the rise : The Season of the Malignant! Similar to late Diablo 3 seasons, each Diablo 4 season delivers a special theme which let players a new mechanic to discover and play around.

Season of the Malignant Overview

A new form of Lilith’s corruption has spread throughout Sanctuary, creating Malignant Monsters that roam the land overtaken with this infectious turmoil, minds lost and killing at random. Only you can fight back and harness the power of this twisted corruption to uncover the source of the Malignance and put it to an end.

A deviant form of Lilith’s sinister machinations has given birth to a new threat, Malignant Monsters. These decaying abominations roam Sanctuary in a frenzy, mindlessly attacking anyone in range without hesitation. Wanderers will investigate this mysterious malady in a new Questline with the help of Cormond, a former priest of the Cathedral of Light, who also trains you to capture the Malignant Hearts fueling these foul beasts and convert them into build-altering powers. The malignancy that’s taken hold of the Burning Hells’ armies cannot remain unchecked—you must snuff it out at the source before all of Sanctuary becomes its thrall.

With a Season character, we meet Cormond in Kyovashad almost right away to start our journey to cleanse the corruption.


Malignant Mechanic Basics

The main mechanic is seeking out Malignant Monsters, which are corrupted Elites with specific affixes in the world. Once killed, these Partly Corrupted Monsters drop a Malignant Heart which stays on the ground for a few minutes. In order to cleanse the malignance out of it, the player must use the Cage of Binding device received from the Seasonal Questline (Burning from Within). This ritual spawn a powerful Fully Corrupted Monster alongside some minions for the player to defeat and once this is done, a Caged Heart will drop.

Caged Hearts are items that can be socketed into Jewelry slots (Rings & Amulet) and grants special powers whether it's offensive, defensive or a utility one. In higher World Tier difficulties, Malignant Monsters become more powerful but also drop better quality Malignant Hearts. Note that some Malignant Hearts can only drop in World Tier III or even IV difficulties.

  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.

Caged Hearts Presentation

There are 32 different Caged Hearts that the player can find. They cannot be traded. Their powers can dramatically change your build's playstyle or even unlock previously untapped builds for your class. There are general Hearts that can be used by anyone, along with class-specific ones. When found, they roll 1 of 4 different types:

Types of Caged Hearts

The following colored Caged Hearts 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 special powerful effects. These Hearts can be placed into ANY socket on Jewelry. They are much rarer than the other three and you can only use one at a time.

At the end of the Season, these Infested Sockets become regular sockets on the Eternal Realm 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!

Caged Hearts Full List

The Malignant Hearts are split into four categories, each with a corresponding color and unique keyword: Vicious (Orange, Offensive power), Brutal (Blue, Defensive power), Devious (Pink, Utility power), and Wrathful (Black, Super). Defeated Malignant Monsters will drop a Heart that corresponds to the monster’s color.

Below you’ll find a full list of each Malignant Heart broken out by Class. For this example, the stats you see reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop. As your Seasonal character grows in Level, so too will the power of the Malignant Hearts that drop for them. Unless specified, the Heart can be acquired by playing in any World Tier in the Seasonal Realm.

All Classes






Malignant Hearts Crafting

As you encounter more menacing Malignant Creatures, so too will the strength of their Malignant Hearts grow. Any Heart that you don’t wish to keep can be salvaged at Cormond’s Wagon for Ichor of a corresponding color. Malignant Ichor is a resource that allows for the creation and upgrade of Malignant Hearts and can also be harvested from lesser Malignant Monsters. Salvaging each Vicious, Brutal, and Devious Heart will provide you with 5-15 Ichor, with Wrathful hearts providing 2-5 Ichor of all other Heart types.

Cormond’s Wagon

Creating a random Heart of a specific type costs 35 Ichor of the other two primary-colored Hearts. Hence we got:

  • Random Brutal Heart: 35 Devious Ichor & 35 Vicious Ichor
  • Random Devious Heart: 35 Brutal Ichor & 35 Vicious Ichor
  • Random Vicious Heart: 35 Brutal Ichor & 35 Devious Ichor

The Heart you receive is a random heart that scales with the Level of your character. The random Heart you create will always either be for your specific Class or Class-agnostic.

Malignant Tunnels

Invoke the Malignant event in a Malignant Tunnel

Malignant Tunnels Overview

One of the best places to acquire Malignant Hearts are in the new Malignant Tunnels. These are highly replayable Dungeons teeming with fearsome foes to eradicate. Once inside you'll need to risk life and limb to defeat feral Malignant Monsters while navigating this dank system of tunnels.

There are 6 dungeons spread across Sanctuary that make up the Malignant Tunnel system. After putting mobs of Malignant Monsters down, you’ll find a room with a special event that contains two Outgrowths—one will always be Wrathful (Black) and the other will be a different Heart type depending on the dungeon.

Malignant Invokers

Malignant Invokers are items that can either be crafted at Cormond’s Wagon or dropped randomly from monsters in Dungeons. Using Malignant Invokers, players can interact with Outgrowths of the same type, causing them to summon a Fully Corrupted enemy. If you can overcome the summoned foe, you’ll receive a Malignant Heart that matches the monster's type, allowing you to focus Malignant Hearts of the type you want.

  • 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 and receive your Caged Heart.
Malignant Outgrowth that starts the event

Varshan the Consumed & Invoker of Varshan

Varshan the Consumed

Varshan the Consumed is a new boss to fight for Season 1. You can fight him at the end of the Seasonal Questline. His purpose is to end the seasonal questline and unlock the Invoker of Varshan that is used in Malignant Tunnels to open a door at the end of the dungeon to fight an Echo of Varshan. The Invoker of Varshan is consumed on use.

To fight this boss on higher difficulties, you need to use either a Foul (Tier 3) or Tormented (Tier 4) Invoker of Varshan. While the recipe for the default Invoker of Varshan is a reward from the seasonal questline, the Foul & Tormented versions of the recipe are dropped by Echo of Varshan himself (In World Tier 1 or 2 for the Foul one; In World Tier 3 for the Tormented one which unlocks the boss in World Tier 4).

Echo of Varshan is a good source of Caged Hearts, dropping on average 1.5 Caged Heart per kill and a decent amount of random Ichors to craft using Cormond's Wagon. He also drops 1-2 random items with a static Item Power, which is set to 800 in World Tier 4.

Summoning and killing of Varshan the Consumed

Video Guide

Video Guide by Raxxanterax


  • Season 1 introduces a special theme and mechanic for players to discover.
  • Malignant Hearts are only available in seasonal mode and grant special powers to your character.
  • Vicious grants offensive bonuses, Brutal grants defensive bonuses and Devious provides utility bonuses while Wrathful grants generic powerful bonuses.
  • They are socketed into special Infested Sockets on your Jewelry slots (Amulet and Rings).
  • Once socketed, Malignant Hearts cannot be removed! Socket them wisely.
  • Malignant Hearts and Infested Sockets will disappear once Season 1 ends.


Written by Chewingnom & Dredscythe
Reviewed by Raxxanterax

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