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Diablo 4: An In-depth Guide to Malignant Hearts and Caged Hearts

The world of Sanctuary in Diablo 4 is filled with enchanting mysteries and menacing threats. Among the most intriguing elements introduced in the inaugural season, the Season of the Malignant, are the Malignant Hearts, a game-altering mechanic that has the player base buzzing. The Malignant Hearts, once captured and converted into Caged Hearts, hold tremendous potential to boost your character's prowess and transform your gameplay.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through all aspects of these powerful items, from what they are, how to obtain and use them, to the best strategies for leveraging their unique properties.

Understanding the Malignant Hearts

The Malignant Hearts are an intriguing addition to Diablo 4, exclusive to the Season of the Malignant. Born out of Lilith's malevolent schemes, these potent items emerge from defeated Malignant Monsters, creatures corrupted by a sinister curse plaguing Sanctuary.

The Malignant Hearts function akin to souped-up gems, offering players enhanced abilities when socketed into specific gear. Unlike ordinary gems, however, they come in four color-coded categories, each holding unique powers.

  • Vicious (Orange): Ideal for offensive playstyles.
  • Brutal (Blue): Geared towards defensive strategies.
  • Devious (Pink): Provides additional utility to players.
  • Wrathful (Black): Offers unique bonuses and fits into any type of socket.

Each of these categories contains a unique set of Malignant Hearts, totaling 32 in all.

Obtaining Malignant Hearts

To secure these coveted items, players must slay Malignant Monsters, formidable foes that spawn randomly and are distinguishable by their distinctive growths and names. Upon their defeat, these adversaries drop a Malignant Heart, which players can capture using a unique item known as the Cage of Binding.

The act of capturing a Malignant Heart initiates a challenging ritual. The fallen monster reanimates in a more potent, fully corrupted form, and players must defeat it once more to finally claim the Malignant Heart, now transformed into a Caged Heart.

The Role of Caged Hearts

The captured Malignant Hearts, now Caged Hearts, can be socketed into specially designed slots known as Infested Sockets. These sockets, exclusive to Jewelry (Rings, Amulets), can house a matching category of Caged Heart.

The Caged Hearts, once inserted, unleash their unique Malignant Powers, significantly enhancing your character's capabilities. Some of these Caged Hearts are universal, usable by any class, while others are class-specific.

Harnessing the Power of Malignant Hearts

To fully utilize a Caged Heart, players must match the color of the Infested Socket with the type of Caged Heart. For instance, a Brutal (Blue) Caged Heart can only be inserted into a blue Infested Socket. However, the rare Wrathful Malignant Hearts can be socketed into any color of Infested Socket, making them highly sought after.

Once a Malignant Heart is inserted into an Infested Socket, it can be replaced but not removed, adding a strategic element to their use.

Crafting with Malignant Hearts

As your character progresses and you gather more robust Malignant Hearts, the older ones may lose their effectiveness. Rather than wasting these, players can disassemble them to craft new Caged Hearts or a special item known as Invokers.

Crafting a new Caged Heart requires the combination of two different types of Malignant Ichor, the crafting resource obtained from salvaged Caged Hearts. The color and affix of the original heart are retained in the Ichor, allowing players to craft specific types of Caged Hearts.

Invokers, on the other hand, can be used in Malignant Tunnels to spawn Malignant Monsters and farm specific types of Caged Hearts.

Malignant Tunnels: Farming Malignant Hearts

Malignant Tunnels are dungeons teeming with Malignant Monsters, providing a perfect location for farming Malignant Hearts. By using an Invoker on a Malignant Outgrowth in these tunnels, players can summon an enemy that guarantees a Caged Heart of the Outgrowth's color upon defeat.

Unlike in the wild, the Malignant Hearts obtained from Malignant Tunnels do not require a ritual to be captured, making these locations a more efficient means of farming.


Malignant Hearts and Caged Hearts add a fascinating new dimension to Diablo 4, allowing players to customize their characters in unique ways and face greater challenges. As the Season of the Malignant unfolds, understanding and effectively harnessing these powerful items will be key to conquering the corrupted beasts of Sanctuary and asserting your dominance in the game.

Remember, the Malignant Hearts are only available in Season 1, so it's essential to make the most of this opportunity while it lasts. Happy Hunting!

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