Season of the Malignant is upon us, wanderer!
The first Season of Diablo IV begins on July 20 at 10 a.m. PDT. Keep Sanctuary safe from a growing infestation by harnessing the potency of Malignant Hearts and unleashing the power within. To prepare you for the noxious threats that await, we’ve dredged up more details on Season of the Malignant below.
Patch 1.1.0 is now live! Visit this article for more information on the bug fixes, balance updates, and stats for new Unique items and Legendary Aspects it introduces.
Investigate the Malignance with Cormond in a New Quest
Transmute Malignance into Vengeance
Seek New Power in the Malignant Tunnels
How Seasonal Characters Work
Earn Rewards with the Season Journey and Battle Pass
Acquire Hellish New Looks from the Shop
A deviant form of Lilith’s sinister machinations has given birth to a new threat, Malignant Monsters. These decaying abominations roam Sanctuary in a frenzy, mindlessly attacking anyone in range. Distraught and in panic without the Church of Light’s guidance, the denizens of Sanctuary have turned to new sources for hope.
Wanderers will investigate this mysterious malady in a new Questline with the help of Cormond, a former priest of the Cathedral of Light, who trains you to capture the Malignant Hearts fueling these foul beasts and convert them into build-altering powers. The malignancy that’s taken hold cannot remain unchecked—you must snuff it out at the source before all of Sanctuary becomes subject to its corruption.
To embark on the new Burning from Within questline, you’ll need to have already completed the campaign on the Eternal Realm, or do so during the Season on the Seasonal Realm with at least one character. Once you’re ready to take on Sanctuary’s newest threat, head over to Kyovashad to begin your journey with Cormond.
To fight back against the relentless animosity of Malignant Monsters, you’ll need to turn their Hearts against them. Slaying Partly Corrupted enemies, a type of Malignant Monster, will drop a Malignant Heart. These can be captured by performing a ritual with the Cage of Binding, an item acquired during the Season’s Questline. Partly Corrupted enemies are an unruly sort and won’t go down easily. Trying to capture the Heart will cause the Partly Corrupted enemy to be reborn as a Fully Corrupted enemy. If defeated, these amalgamations of rot will drop a version of the Malignant Heart that can be placed into special Malignant sockets in your Jewelry in place of a Normal Gem.
This season introduces 32 Malignant Hearts that provide build-altering bonuses. The Hearts are broken into four categories, each with a corresponding color and unique keyword: Vicious (Orange, Offensive power), Brutal (Blue, Defensive power), Devious (Pink, Utility power), and Wrathful (Black, Super). Defeated Malignant Monsters will drop a Heart that corresponds to the monster’s color.
The colors of each Heart also correspond to special Malignant sockets, which will replace the normal Sockets of Jewelry you acquire for the duration of Season of the Malignant. Wrathful hearts are a special case due to their rarity, and can be placed in any Socket. As you roam Sanctuary in search of Malignant Monsters to dispatch, keep an eye out for ones that match the color of the item sockets you’re looking to fill.
As you encounter more menacing Malignant Creatures, so too will the strength of their Malignant Hearts grow. Any Heart that you don’t wish to keep can be salvaged at Cormond’s wagon for Ichor of a corresponding color. Ichor is a resource that allows for the creation and upgrade of Malignant Hearts and can also be harvested from lesser Malignant Monsters. Salvaging each Vicious, Brutal, and Devious Heart will provide you with 5-15 Ichor, with Wrathful hearts providing 2-5 Ichor of all other Heart types.
Creating a random Heart of a specific type costs 35 Ichor of the other two primary-colored Hearts. For example, if you wanted to craft a Vicious heart, you would need 35 Brutal Ichor and 35 Devious Ichor. In return, you would receive a random Vicious heart that scales to the Level of your character. The random Heart you create will always either be for your specific Class or Class-agnostic.
Each of the 32 Malignant Hearts pack a punch with the bonuses they provide you. Wielding the very core of the rot-infused husks you’ve slain across Sanctuary is essential to bringing about safety.
Below you’ll find a full list of each Malignant Heart broken out by Class. For our example, the stats you see reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop. As your Seasonal character grows in Level, so too will the power of the Malignant Hearts that drop for them. Unless specified, the Heart can be acquired by playing in any World Tier in the Seasonal Realm.
Developer’s Note: Caged Hearts cannot be traded between players because we want Hearts to feel like an achievement for slaying challenging Malignant Monsters. However, Jewelry containing Malignant Sockets can be traded to ensure that there are multiple sources for Jewelry with Malignant Sockets that correspond to the Caged Hearts players have earned.
One of the best places to acquire Malignant Hearts are in the new Malignant Tunnels, highly replayable Dungeons teeming with fearsome foes to eradicate. While inside, you’ll need to risk life and limb to defeat feral Malignant Monsters while navigating this dank system of tunnels.
In total, there are 6 dungeons spread across Sanctuary that make up the Malignant Tunnel system. After putting mobs of Malignant Monsters down, you’ll come across two Outgrowths—one will always be Wrathful and the other will be a different Heart type depending on the dungeon. Using Malignant Invokers, a special Item crafted at Cormond’s Wagon, players can interact with Outgrowths of the same type, causing them to summon a Fully Corrupted enemy. If you can overcome the summoned foe, you’ll receive a Malignant Heart that matches the monster’s type.
Rooting out the source of Malignant Monsters with Cormond will see you going toe-to-toe against Varshan the Consumed, the newest Boss battle. Varshan weaponizes his hatred in the form of malicious blasts, hurls globs of corruption are far enemies, and stabs and swipes with his meaty tendrils to eviscerate even the hardiest of wanderers.
With Season of the Malignant beginning on July 20, we wanted to take a moment to equip you with everything you need to know about Seasons.
To participate in Seasons, a new character must be made on the Seasonal Realm. You do not need to purchase a Battle Pass or any add-ons to play the Seasonal content, but you must have completed the campaign on either the Eternal or Seasonal Realm with at least one character. Once you have completed the Campaign, any Seasonal character will start the game with:
Once the Season has ended, the character you made and its progress will be transferred to the Eternal Realm. All items you collected, including in your Seasonal stash, will be transferred too. You can take this character into Sanctuary whenever you please, but Season-specific features (such as Malignant Hearts) will no longer be accessible.
Starting on July 18, we strongly recommend you log in to Diablo IV with your most progressed Eternal Realm character. Doing so ensures that the progress you made in the campaign, and with discovering the map and unlocking Altars of Lilith, carries over from your Eternal Realm character to your new Seasonal Realm character.
Seasons provide us with an opportunity to introduce innovative gameplay mechanics into Sanctuary for a limited time. Because Seasons reset, we can create crazy, fun Season themes without needing to worry about balancing it with the mechanics introduced in past or future Seasons—we start from a strong Eternal Realm baseline and build on top of it.
Seasons are also a place for players to explore and tinker. We encourage you to try a new Class or different builds for a Class you’ve grown fond of—our Seasons are a chance to get creative!
Additionally, Seasons present an equal playing field. Our Seasons are designed for new characters to conquer the nightmarish challenges brought on by a Season’s theme and to progress through the Seasonal Journey together.
As you hunt down Malignant Monsters for their build-enhancing Hearts and partner with Cormond to discover the source of the corruption, you’ll earn rewards from the Season Journey and Battle Pass.
The Season Journey is broken into Chapters with tasks to complete. As you progress through the Journey, you’ll earn rewards befitting Sanctuary’s defenders, such as new Legendary Aspects, a Mastery Title, and a Scroll of Amnesia, which provides a free Skill Tree and Paragon Board reset. The Journey also yields Favor—the resource used to climb through the Battle Pass’ Tiers—which is earned naturally by playing the game as well.
The Season of the Malignant Battle Pass begins on July 20, 10 a.m. PDT and hosts 90 Tiers, consisting of 27 Free Tiers and 63 Premium Tiers. Smoldering Ashes are earned from the Free Tiers, which can be spent on Season Blessings that provide you with a bonus to earning experience, Gold, or Obols depending on the Blessing you choose. The bonuses gained from Season Blessings only last until Season of the Malignant ends.
If you get the Premium Battle Pass, not only will the rewards of the Free Tiers be yours to wield as you choose, but Awoken Armor Sets, Mount and Mount Armor, Platinum, and more await you as well! All Cosmetics in the Battle Pass are Class-agnostic, giving you additional ways to showcase the fantasy of all your characters. The Premium and Accelerated Battle Passes do not contain any rewards that grant bonuses to power.
If you purchased the digital Deluxe or Ultimate Edition of Diablo IV and want to redeem your Battle Pass for this Season, navigate to the Seasons section of the Shop and select the option to activate your Battle Pass. Players also have the option to skip Tiers by spending Platinum at a cost of 200 Platinum per Tier skip. Keep in mind that your Tier Skip might unlock a Tier that rewards Smoldering Ashes, but you must meet certain Character Level requirements to claim them.
We’re dialing up the heat in the Shop with new Equipment, Armor, Accessories, Mount and Mount Armor bundles that will have you slaying in style. Starting on July 20, you’ll want to browse Tejal’s wares—remember to check back often as she’ll update her stock throughout Season of the Malignant. One such rarefied find from the far reaches of Sanctuary is the elementally attuned Celestial Court Equipment bundle for the Sorcerer.