Season of the Malignant Now Live
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
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.
Transmute Malignance into Vengeance
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.
A Heart for Every Type of Wanderer
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.
Creating and Salvaging Malignant Hearts
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 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.
Harness their Power, Elevate your Build!
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.
- The Picana (Vicious, Offensive): 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 (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): 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.
- Tempting Fate (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage.
- The Lionheart (Brutal, Defensive): You gain 10% Barrier Generation. You Heal 3-7 Life per second while you have an active Barrier.
- Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to Nearby enemies.
- Prudent Heart (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 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.
- Determination (Devious, Utility): Resource draining effects are 40-50% less effective. In addition, gain 3.0-8.0% increased Resource Generation.
- Retaliation (Devious, Utility-World Tier III): Deal 510-680 Fire damage to surrounding enemies whenever a Crowd Control effect is removed from you.
- The Calculated (Devious, Utility-World Tier III): After spending 150-200 of your Primary Resource, your next attack Stuns enemies hit for 2 seconds.
- The Malignant Pact (Wrathful, Super): Cycle through a Malignant bonus every 20 kills:
- Vicious: Gain 20% Attack Speed.
- Devious: Core and Basic Skills have a 15% chance to fully restore your Primary Resource.
- Brutal: Every 21 seconds, gain a Barrier absorbing 85-102 damage.
- Creeping Death (Wrathful, Super): 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.
- The Barber (Wrathful, Super-World Tier III): Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second.
- Focused Rage (Vicious, Offensive): After spending 100-60 Fury within 2 seconds, your next Non-Basic Skill's Critical Strike Chance is increased by 20-30%.
- Resurgent Life (Brutal, Defensive): While below 40-60% Life, you receive 50-60% more Healing from all sources.
- Punishing Speed (Devious, Utility): 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%.
- Ignoring Pain (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): Incoming damage has a 5-15% chance of being ignored and instead Healing you for 17-68.
- The Moonrage (Vicious, Offensive): Kills have a 5% chance to summon a Wolf Companion to your side for 20-30 seconds. In addition, gain +3 to Wolves.
- The Agitated Winds (Brutal, Defensive): When 8-13 Close enemies, automatically cast Cyclone Armor. This cannot occur more than once every 10-20 seconds.
- Inexorable Force (Devious, Utility): Up to 30-50 Distant enemies are pulled toward you while you have an Ultimate Skill active.
- The Unconstrained Beast (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): 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 Sacrilegious (Vicious, Offensive): Walking near a Corpse automatically activates an equipped Corpse Skill every second, dealing 40-30% reduced damage.
- The Decrepit Aura (Brutal, Defensive): When at least 5 enemies are near you, gain an aura that automatically curses surrounding enemies with Decrepify for 5-15 seconds.
- Frozen Terror (Devious, Utility): Lucky Hit: Up to a 10-20% chance of inflicting Fear for 2.5 seconds. Feared enemies are Chilled for 20% every second.
- The Great Feast (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): Each Minion drains 1.0-2.0 Essence per second but deals 50-75% increased damage. With no Minions, this bonus applies to you and drains 5 Essence per second.
- Cluster Munitions (Vicious, Offensive): 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.
- Trickery (Brutal, Defensive): When you use a Subterfuge Skill, leave behind an unstable Shadow Decoy Trap that Taunts enemies. The Shadow Decoy Trap will explode after 6.0 seconds dealing 680-1020 Shadow damage. Cannot occur more than once every 5 seconds.
- The Clipshot (Devious, Utility): 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.
- The Vile Apothecary (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): Your attacks have a 5-15% chance to apply all Imbuement effects at 40-50% of normal potency.
- Tal’Rasha (Vicious, Offensive): For each unique element you deal damage with, you deal 7-12% increased damage for 3-10 seconds.
- Spellbreaking (Brutal, Defensive): After taking Elemental damage, gain 20-40% Resistance to that element for 5 seconds.
- Spite (Devious, Utility): 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.
- Omnipower (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): 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 3.0-5.0%.
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.
Seek New Power in the Malignant Tunnels
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.
Confront Varshan the Consumed
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.
How Seasonal Characters Work
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:
- The option to skip the Campaign.
- Your Mount available immediately.
- All previously discovered Altars of Lilith unlocked, and the corresponding Renown for them.
- All previously discovered areas of the map revealed, and the corresponding renown for them.
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.
Our Beliefs Behind Seasons
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.
Earn Rewards with the Season Journey and Battle Pass
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.
Acquire Hellish New Looks from the Shop
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.