How to get Malignant Hearts - Diablo 4

Malignant Hearts are at the core of Diablo 4's first season and power up your builds in new ways.


Getting Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4 Season 1 takes a bit of time and more effort than Blizzard suggested in the season overview. You can encounter corrupted foes, the creatures these Malignant Hearts drop from, at any point during the season. However, unless you have a certain item, you won’t be able to steal their hearts.

How to get Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4

A group of people in metal armor are gathered around a forge at a caravan on a rocky outcrop

Malignant Hearts come from Corrupted Foes, but the process of creating a Corrupted Foe is a bit involved. Any elite enemy you encounter in the overworld or dungeons has a chance of being Partly Corrupted. A heart drops when you defeat a Partly Corrupted foe, but you need the Cage of Binding to interact with the heart.

Use the Cage of Binding, and then the heart gets reabsorbed into the monster, which is reborn as a fully Corrupted Foe. These are stronger versions of the elite you just defeated, so make sure you use your best skills to take it down.

Once the Corrupted Foe dies, you can pick up your Malignant Heart.

Partly and fully Corrupted enemies only appear in the Seasonal Realm. You won't find them or Malignant Hearts in the Eternal Realm where the campaign lives.

The other way to get Malignant Hearts is by clearing Malignant Tunnels. These dungeons become available after you complete the seasonal quest and include a higher concentration of elites, some of which may be Corrupt, and at the end, you can interact with a Malignant Outgrowth to summon a Corrupted foe that matches the Malignant Heart color of your choice.

Malignant Tunnels are the best way to get Malignant Hearts quickly. There are six in the season, so you should have plenty to keep you busy while you wait for dungeons to reset.

How to get the Cage of Binding in Diablo 4

Cormond from Diablo 4 Season 1 is depicted wearing a blue top and cream-colored vest

You can only get the Cage of Binding after you complete the Season 1 questline. That sounds daunting, but unlike the campaign, the seasonal questline is pretty short. It only includes a handful of comparatively simple quests before focusing on the seasonal objectives, so you should be able to get the cage without much hassle.

Chat with Cormond at the end of the questline to get your Cage of Binding.

How to use and equip Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4

Malignant Hearts fit in Malignant Slots in your necklaces and other jewelry, but the catch is that the Heart has to match the color of the slot. If you get a blue heart, but you only have jewelry with red and purple slots, you’ll have to farm for more accessories.

If you end up with a Heart you don’t want, visit Cormond’s wagon and salvage them there. You’ll get Ichor in return, which you can use to craft new Malignant Hearts. Corrupt foes also reward you with Ichor when you defeat them.

Types of Malignant Hearts

An image showing four types of Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4 - Vcious (offense), Brutal (defense), Devious (utility), and Wrathful (super)

There are 36 Malignant Hearts in Diablo 4 Season 1, divided into several categories. 

  • Vicious (red heart): Attack buffs
  • Brutal (blue heart): Defensive buffs
  • Devious (purple heart): Utility buffs
  • Wrathful (clear heart): Super power

Each class has a set of Hearts that are exclusive to them and augment certain skills or stats, such as increasing a Barbarian’s critical strike chance or buffing the Sorcerer’s elemental resistance. There’s also a set of universal Malignant Hearts that any class can equip. These offer fairly standard bonuses, including strong barriers, resource generation buffs, and increased critical chances.

Some hearts only drop at higher World Tier levels, and the potency of a heart you get will differ depending on your World Tier and character level.

Check out our Diablo 4 Season 1 overview for more info about Season of the Malignant. Make sure you defeat Lilith and complete the campaign to unlock the seasonal realm, and don't forget to claim your new cosmetics and mounts as you clear the new battle pass.

Contributing Editor

Josh is a freelance writer and reporter who specializes in guides, reviews, and whatever else he can convince someone to commission. You may have seen him on NPR, IGN, Polygon, or VG 24/7 or on Twitter, shouting about Trails. When he isn’t working, you’ll likely find him outside with his Belgian Malinois and Australian Shepherd or curled up with an RPG of some description.

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