Welcome to the Season of the Malignant, an extraordinary chapter in the realm of Sanctuary that promises an exhilarating journey through darkness, intrigue, and enigmatic challenges.
The core mechanic of the first Diablo 4 Season is the Malignant Hearts. This guide shall teach you all that is to be known about the Malevolent Hearts - where to obtain them, their purpose, and the ways in which you can harness their power to vanquish the encroaching darkness plaguing the Sanctum.
The Malignant Hearts is essentially a substitute for Legendary Gems. You can Socket them inside your Jewelry as long as you have special Infested Sockets there, meaning you can have up to 3 Malignant powers active at once. To obtain Malignant Hearts, you will have to fight Malignant Monsters. Those are more powerful versions of regular Elites, you can find them everywhere through your journey in the Sanctuary. You can also face the challenge of Malignant Tunnels, six special Dungeons filled with Malignant Elites to the brim. There are 4 main Types of Hearts: Vicious Hearts (red) enhance offensive powers, Brutal Hearts (blue) bolster defensive abilities, Devious Hearts (pink) empower utility skills, and Wrathful Hearts (black) contain unspecific superpowers.
Obtaining Malignant Hearts
Randomly encountered Monsters have a chance to be Malignant, which makes them more powerful, and causes them to drop Caged Hearts, with random Type and Level. You should pick up every single of them, even if their power is useless for your character, as you can Salvage them for Ichors.
The first thing you will have to do is to finish the new Questline commissioned by Cormond. Doing so will unlock the Crafting system related to the Hearts. There you will be able to craft Caged Hearts, Malignant Inovkers, and Uncertain Caches. Here is what they do:
You can eventually obtain your desired Heart by simply playing the game, but targeting specific types will make the hunt much faster and more efficient!
Malignant Heart Effects
There is a total of 32 available Hearts, but some of them are Class-specific. Here you can find a list of each of them. The numeric values will depend on their Level, Item Power, and luck. You can use only one copy of each Heart at once.
VICIOUS MALIGNANT HEARTS
Those Hearts improve your Offensive Powers
|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
|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.
|You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage.
|After spending 60-100 Fury within 2 seconds, your next Non-Basic Skill's Critical Strike Chance is increased by 20-30%.
|Kills have a 5% chance to summon a Wolf Companion to your side for 20-30 seconds. In addition, gain +3 to Wolves.
|Walking near a Corpse automatically activates an equipped Corpse Skill every second, dealing 40-30% reduced damage.
|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.
|For each unique element you deal damage with, you deal 7-12% increased damage for 3-10 seconds.
BRUTAL MALIGNANT HEARTS
Hearts of this type improve your Defensive Powers
|You gain 10% Barrier Generation. You Heal (3-7) Life per second while you have an active Barrier.
|(10-20)% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge, or Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to (1360-2040) Fire damage to nearby enemies.
|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.
|While below (40-60)% Life, you receive (50-60)% more Healing from all sources.
|The Agitated Winds
|When (8-13) Close enemies, automatically cast Cyclone Armor. This cannot occur more than once every (10-20) seconds.
|The Decrepit Aura
|When at least 5 enemies are near you, gain an aura that automatically curses surrounding enemies with Decrepify for (5-15) seconds.
|When you use a Subterfuge Skill, leave behind an unstable Shadow Decoy Trap that Taunts enemies. The Shadow Decoy Trap will explode after 6 seconds dealing (680-1020) Shadow damage. Cannot occur more than once every 5 seconds.
|After taking Elemental damage, gain (20-40)% Resistance to that element for 5 seconds.
DEVIOUS MALIGNANT HEARTS
Bonuses from those Hearts fall into the Utility Powers category
|Resource-draining effects are (40-50)% less effective. In addition, gain (3-8)% increased Resource Generation.
|Deal (510-680) Fire damage to surrounding enemies whenever a Crowd Control effect is removed from you.
|After spending (150-200) of your Primary Resources, your next attack Stuns enemies hit for 2 seconds.
|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)%.
|Up to (30-50) Distant enemies are pulled toward you while you have an Ultimate Skill active.
|Lucky Hit: Up to a (10-20)% chance of inflicting Fear for 2.5 seconds. Feared enemies are Chilled for 20% every second.
|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.
|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.
WRATHFUL MALIGNANT HEARTS
Various and specialized Powers form their own category
|The Malignant Pact
Cycle through a Malignant bonus every 20 kills:
|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.
|Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within (2-4) seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second.
|Incoming damage has a (5-15)% chance of being ignored and instead Healing you for (17-68).
|The Unconstrained Beast
|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 Great Feast
|Each Minion drains (1-2) Essence per second but deals (50-75)% increased damage. With no Minions, this bonus applies to you and drains 5 Essence per second.
|The Vile Apothecary
|Your attacks have a (5-15)% chance to apply all Imbuement effects at (40-50)% of normal potency.
|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 (3-5)%.
Socketing Malignant Hearts
The new Season introduced new Socket Types. During the Season, Items will naturally drop with a randomly chosen type of Infested Socket. You can also add them via Jeweler. To insert Heart into a piece of Gear, you will need to match the Socket to the Heart type. The only exception to that are the Wrathful Hearts, which will fit any Socket type, as long as it is Infested. The important catch here is that you can't remove Heart from its Socket. You can only overwrite them with a different Heart, so you shall have a healthy amount of backup Hearts at your disposal.
The Maginant Tunnels are a special type of Dungeons, available only to the ones participating in the Seasonal Realm. Here you can face many Malignant Enemies in high density, and it is obviously the best source of Malignant Hearts. At the end of the Tunnel, you will face the corrupted Boss, the Varshan the Consumed. You will also find there two Malignant Outgrowths, interacting with them will give you the chance to use the previously mentioned Invokers. Doing so will summon a powerful Elite enemy, which will drop a specific Type of Heart.
This is our complete Guide on Diablo 4's first Season - Season of the Malignant. We hope you find it informative, and if you are interested in more similar content, let us know in the comments below!
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