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Everything You Need to Know About D4’s Season of the Malignant

Season of the Malignant FAQ

The Season of the Malignant, Diablo 4’s first season, is right around the corner!

Players have been getting their hands dirty with demons for a while now, but for many of us, Seasonal play is when the true fun begins.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Season of the Malignant and its new mechanics.

If you came here specifically wanting to know more about Malignant Hearts, check out our breakdown of all the Malignant Hearts here.

When does Season 1 go live?

The Season of the Malignant is set to go live on July 20th at 10:00 am PDT, though don’t be too surprised if there are any hiccups or server issues.

How do Diablo 4 Seasons Work?

When a season begins, all participating players must create a brand new character to join the Seasonal Realm. Previous characters will not be permitted and are only playable in the Eternal Realm. What this does is introduces a fresh experience for all players; putting everyone on equal footing as they jump back in.

Each season will introduce new quests and mechanics to the game, offering more unique ways to farm and obtain power. Additionally, seasons are accompanied by a balance patch in order to shake things up and potentially create more viable builds to try out. This encourages players to explore new classes or builds and experience more of what the game has to offer.

At the end of the season, your character(s) and all items (including stash) will be transferred into the Eternal Realm. You’ll still have access to playing these characters as much as you like, though any seasonal exclusive bonuses won’t transfer over. In the case of Season 1, that includes the Malignant Hearts. More on those later!

Diablo 4 seasonal realm

In order to access the new seasonal content, you must have completed the campaign. This can be done on the Eternal Realm or the Seasonal Realm. Along with completing the campaign, certain progress will carry over into your seasonal character.

  • You can skip the campaign.
  • Mounts are unlocked.
  • Altars of Lilith + Renown.
  • Discovered Areas + Renown.

While the campaign is required to unlock the new content, all players will have access to the Season Journey. So if you haven’t progressed far on the Eternal Realm or are planning to create a new character anyway, it’s definitely worth hopping into the Seasonal Realm!

Note: Log in to your strongest, most-progressed character on the Eternal Realm on the July 18th patch in order to update your account-wide bonuses. This ensures your character on the Seasonal Realm will carry over the aforementioned bonuses that you’ve previously unlocked.

The Season Journey

Diablo 4 season journey

The Season Journey is a series of objectives you can complete to earn additional rewards. They’re essentially miniature achievements, many of which can be completed by just playing the game. Every task you complete will earn you an amount of Favor to help progress through the Battle Pass. Complete enough of these objectives and you’ll unlock the next chapter, offering more challenges and greater rewards!

If there’s an objective or two that you’d rather not do, don’t sweat it. You’re only required to complete a majority in order to proceed further. This allows players to focus on the tasks they enjoy and avoid the less appealing options.

Even if you plan to continue playing on the Eternal Realm, there are some awesome goodies on the Season Journey that you’ll want to earn. Don’t forget, once the season ends, all of your items will be transferred over.. Allowing you to save these rewards for the future! Here are some of the rewards.

  • Legendary aspects to strengthen your builds.
  • A season Mastery Title, to show off your seasonal prowess.
  • A Scroll of Amnesia, which is a one time use, free reset to all skill and paragon points.

Season of the Malignant Overview

The Season of the Malignant introduces a new post-game quest line where players will meet an NPC named Cormond and help defeat Malignant Monsters. Cormond, a former priest of the Cathedral of Light, will teach us how to capture Malignant Hearts, harness their power, and turn them against our enemies.

Players will seek out “Partly Corrupted” enemies. These enemies will drop Malignant Hearts, which can be captured with a quest item known as the Cage of Binding. Attempting to capture these hearts will summon the “Fully Corrupted” version of that enemy.

Players who manage to defeat these challenging foes will be rewarded with a Caged Heart; a socket-able Malignant Heart that boasts powerful abilities. Caged Hearts socket exclusively into jewelry in place of its normal gem slot.

Malignant Tunnels

Diablo 4 outgrowths

Elites and/or Champion monsters have a chance to spawn as “Malignant” variants, but the best way to hunt for hearts is in the Malignant Tunnels. There are six repeatable dungeons that make up the tunnels, allowing players freedom to farm to their heart’s content. Continue to seek out the Malignant and you’ll eventually be able to take on a brand new boss; Varshan the Consumed!

After defeating hordes of Malignant foes you’ll come across two Outgrowths. One of these is guaranteed to be a Wrathful Outgrowth, while the other will vary depending on the chosen dungeon. Players can use Malignant Invokers (see below) to interact with these Outgrowths and summon a Fully Corrupted enemy of the corresponding color. It’s a sure-fire way to obtain a Caged Heart, assuming you’re powerful enough to defeat the enemy!

Malignant Hearts

Diablo 4 malignant hearts

There are a total of 32 available Malignant Hearts. Twelve of these are class-agnostic, while the others are class-specific; four for each class. Their power will scale based on level. Many Malignant Hearts are available at any difficulty level. However, a certain number of these are exclusive to World Tier III or World Tier IV.

Malignant Hearts come in different colors.

  • Vicious Hearts (Orange) grant Offensive Powers.
  • Brutal Hearts (Blue) grant Defensive Powers.
  • Devious Hearts (Pink) grant Utility Powers.
  • Wrathful Hearts (Black) grant Super Powers.

Corrupted enemies will have a specific color associated with them, allowing players to target farm the appropriate aspects they want to hunt.

As you play through the season, you’ll notice that jewelry sockets will be color-coded. Players will need to acquire accessories with sockets that correspond to the Caged Hearts they want to use. While Caged Hearts are not tradable, the jewelry containing Malignant Sockets can be traded. This helps make it easier to acquire the right pieces and not be left stranded with the wrong gear.

The fourth type, Wrathful Hearts, are much rarer than the other three. These black hearts can be socketed into any Malignant Socket regardless of color.

Cormond’s Wagon

Not every heart will be useful for your build.. But thankfully there’s a crafting system in place that can help make things easier! Cormond’s Wagon allows players to salvage any unwanted hearts in exchange for Ichor of the corresponding color. Ichor can be saved up and used to create one of the three hearts of your choice (Vicious, Brutal, or Devious).

In order to create a heart, you’ll need a combined total of 70 Ichor of the other two heart types. For example, if you want to create a Vicious Heart, it will require 35 Brutal Ichor plus 35 Devious Ichor. Doing so will provide you with a random Vicious Heart that scales with your level. Rest assured, your created hearts will always be usable to your class. Either you’ll get a class-specific aspect or a class-agnostic one, but never an aspect locked to a different class.

Breaking down hearts provides 5-15 of that type of Ichor. If you salvage a Wrathful Heart, you’ll be given 2-5 of each of Vicious, Brutal, and Devious Ichors. It’s not a lot, but it does at least offer a means of recycling the ones we don’t need. Additionally, Ichor can also be acquired from lesser Malignant Monsters, giving us more ways to farm and utilize these resources.

Malignant Invokers, the items used to activate Outgrowths, are crafted at Cormond’s Wagon. However, the rate and materials required is currently unknown.


The Season of the Malignant is right around the corner. If you haven’t completed the campaign, found all the Altars, or discovered the map.. Your time is ticking!

If not, don’t stress. The Season Journey will offer a smoother experience so that you can catch up in no time. There’s a lot to explore in this patch!

To top it all off, there are six new unique items and seven new legendary aspects that have been added into the game. These are also available in the Eternal Realm, making them available even after the season comes to a close. Are you ready!?

For new Season 1 builds, head to our Diablo 4 builds site.