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Diablo > Diablo 4Jul 25, 2023 10:00 am CT

How to get Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4 Season 1

Diablo 4 Varshan the Consumed

If you’re playing Diablo 4 Season 1, the Season of the Malignant, and you haven’t been able to get Malignant Hearts to drop for you, that may be because of the way the Season theme works this time. While you can immediately start gathering Amulets and Rings with sockets for the various types of Malignant Hearts that drop, you can’t start gathering the items themselves until you start on the Burning From Within questline. This quest chain starts in Kyovashad, and it can’t be started until you’ve done one of two things — either you’ve completed the Main Campaign for Diablo 4 that requires you to complete the six acts and face down Lilith in Hell on a Season character, or you finished it before on a different character and took the option to skip the campaign on your Season character.

Hunting down the Malignant

Once you’ve either finished the campaign or skipped it, you’ll be sent to Kyovashad to start the quest. Demons exploding our of people’s skin, the corruption spilling out, the whole deal. Heading off into the wilds between Menestad and Kyovashad you’ll eventually find a skittish fellow being menaced by a monstrous being, and once you do the usual and kill it you’ll see a blob of raw malevolence explode out of its chest. From here, Cormod gives you the skinny on the whole theme of the Season. The Malignant are people who are affected by Lilith — remember, all humans in Sanctuary are descended from Inarius (an Angel) and Lilith (a Demon) and for some reason, some people are being affected by Lilith’s presence and the hatred that spreads in her wake and their Demonic heritage is taking over.

Making their skins explode and corruption leaking everywhere, it’s horrible, but it’s also an opportunity for you, the player. Cormond hands you a Cage of Binding and sends you off to gather Malignant Hearts, and in the process, potentially cure or at least halt the spread of Malignant monsters as the cages can bind the Malignant Heart so its essence can’t spread to anyone else.

Killing it once just starts the process — you have to kill it twice

There are several ways to go about gathering Malignant Hearts once you’ve reached this point. One is simple — go fight Elite monsters with the Malignant affix. The presence of that affix means that these Elites are partially corrupted — killing them causes a Malignant Heart to spawn, and using the Cage of Binding you can trap the Malignance. Doing so causes a fully corrupted Elite Malignant monster (and likely some friends) to appear. Killing them gets you a new Caged Heart that you can use in your rings and necklaces, but be warned — these are not tradeable and they will be destroyed if you remove them from an item.

If you look over the list of every Malignant Heart that can drop, please note that some of them only drop on World Tier 3 or above.

But as you gain in power you’re going to start targeting the kind of Malignant Hearts you want to drop, right? Yes, and that’s where the Malignant Tunnels come into play. Consider these six specialized random dungeons — similar to the dungeons we see throughout Diablo 4 — that allow you to farm for Malignant Hearts and which feature a special boss fight at the end. This boss fight can be used to target specific Malignant Hearts, although to do that, you’ll first need to know what Ichor and Malignant Invokers are.

The Ichor of Malignant Hearts helps you find more of them

As you work to complete the Burning From Within, you’ll come to learn how to use Cormond’s Wagon (it’s literally a wagon the poor guy drags around with him) to salvage the Malignant Hearts that you get but which can’t or don’t want to use. Since they’re not tradeable, salvage allows you to turn the hearts into Ichor which can be used to craft other hearts or upgrade ones you already have.

Ichor can also be used to craft a Malignant Invoker, and this device can be used before the boss of a Malignant Tunnel spawns. The Invoker is always targeted to a specific kind of Malignant Heart you’re looking for — Vicious, Brutal, Devious, or Wrathful — and using it will cause a boss that drops that specific category of Heart, allowing you to target the kind of Hearts you can farm for. The image above of a Brutal Malignant Elite — that creature will drop a random Brutal Heart, so if you’re looking for Brutal gems, using an Invoker to summon Brutal Malignant bosses will speed up your farming.

So, to sum it all up, if you want to farm Malignant Hearts:

  • Start the questline Burning From Within and get the Cage of Binding from Cornond
  • Kill Elite monsters with the Malignant affix to use the Cage of Binding on their Malignant Hearts, then kill the fully corrupted Elite Malignant that spawns to claim a Caged Heart.
  • Run Malignant Tunnels to kill vast quantities of Elite Malignant monsters
  • Use the Ichor you salvage from unwanted Malignant Hearts to craft new Malignant Hearts you are looking for, or to craft a Malignant Invoker which you can use before the final boss of a Malignant Tunnel to pick what kind of Malignant Hearts that boss drops.

And that’s how to get Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4’s Season of the Malignant. Have fun ripping hearts out of monsters and caging them.

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