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Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts explained

Diablo 4 Season 1 introduces Malignance, a deadly curse turning enemies into bloodthirsty monsters that drop Malignant Hearts, special endgame-level items.

What are Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts? Following the events of the Diablo 4 story, a new curse known as Malignance has started to spread to every living creature in Sanctuary. This curse turns its host into a bloodthirsty being, making enemies more powerful than ever before.

The first Diablo 4 season now here, introducing Malignant mechanics, a brand-new storyline, and access to the battle pass. In the new season, any elite enemy has a chance of being Malignant. If you happen to take one of these enemies down in Diablo 4, you gain access to a powerful Malignant Heart that has the potential to create stronger Diablo 4 endgame builds to tackle the Malignant army.

The Sorceress has caged one of the Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts.

How to get Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts

To obtain a Malignant Heart, you need to kill a Malignant enemy and capture it using the Cage of Binding. Defeat them again to get the Caged Heart.

These enemies can be identified by their growths, in addition to their name, which should classify them as Malignant. Killing one of these enemies drops their Malignant Heart, allowing you to capture it by performing a ritual using the Cage of Binding quest item.

Prepare yourself by healing up before you begin the ritual, as this triggers a sequence that pulls in all of the nearby Malignance towards you. This also includes a stronger version of the Malignance enemy you just defeated, so be careful, as this is an easy way to get yourself in trouble if you aren’t paying attention. Killing all of the enemies during the ritual rewards you with a Caged Heart.

You can also get Malignant hearts by crafting them at Cormond’s Workbench, for 35 of the other two types of Ichor. For example, a Brutal Caged Heart costs 35 Vicious and 35 Devious Ichors. You can also create caches for 20 of each type of Ichor, which has a small chance of generating a Wrathful Heart.

The Sorceress has two bands that can be used to bind Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts in her inventory.

How to use Malignant Hearts

Malignant Hearts can be socketed into specific pieces of gear, similar to Diablo 4 gems. There are 32 Malignant powers that provide the user with new legendary abilities. Each heart you collect is associated with a color that signifies what type of gear you can use the ability on. For example, Brutal Hearts are blue, and they can only be used on Infested Sockets found on blue rings and jewelry.

There are four colors of Malignant Hearts: Brutal (blue), Devious (purple), Vicious (orange), and Wrathful (silver). Of these, only three colored sockets. The Wrathful Malignant Heart color is the most powerful and extremely rare, so as a result, it can be socketed into any colored slot. You can increase your odds of receiving rare Malignant Hearts as you progress throughout the campaign. Also, the higher the Diablo 4 world tier you’re on, the better your chances of earning high-quality Malignant Hearts are. If you want to replace the bound heart with a fresher, better one, you can do so, but it will destroy the socketed heart.

One of the Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts tunnels where players can explore to find a higher chance of getting the unique equipment.

How to use Malignant Tunnels

Once you finish up the content in the latest season, you can break down your older, less powerful Malignant Hearts into crafting materials. These materials can be used to create Invokers, special items that can only be used at Malignant Tunnels. Endgame players can utilize these tunnels to fight against Malignant enemies right away to farm Malignant Hearts. There are only a handful of Malignant Tunnels dotted around the Diablo 4 map, so you will have to track them down first.

The Sorceress has come across an Outgrowth at the end of a dungeon, which has two Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts inside.

How to use Malignant Outgrowths

At the end of the Malignant Tunnel, you can use your Invoker on an outgrowth to increase your odds of finding specific types of Malignant Hearts. The color of the outgrowth determines what color heart drops, making it easier to farm for the items you’re after. Unlike the Malignant Hearts found in the wild, you don’t need to perform the ritual to acquire the heart when it drops. You can craft Malignant Invokers at Cormond’s Workbench for 20 of each type of Ichor.

That’s all you need to know about the Diablo 4 Malignant Heart mechanics. Collecting them makes up some of the season journey chapter challenges, needed to complete the Diablo 4 Holding Back the Flood quest, so make sure you gather as many as possible. If you’re struggling with the new season, we also have a guide on the best Diablo 4 builds if you want to learn a class that can breeze through the entire campaign.