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Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts Guide: Effects and Viability for Each Class

In Diablo 4's Season 1, players have the opportunity to acquire and use Malignant Hearts, powerful items with unique effects. These hearts can greatly impact gameplay and build strategies. In this guide, we will explore all 32 Malignant Hearts, discuss their effects, and evaluate their viability for each class in the game. Please note that the numbers mentioned in this guide are based on level 20 characters but can become even stronger at higher levels.



Diablo 4 Malignant Hearts Guide: Effects and Viability for Each Class


Obtaining Malignant Hearts

To obtain a Malignant Heart, you must first locate and defeat a Malignant enemy. These enemies can be identified by their distinctive growths and their classification as "Malignant" in their name. Upon defeating them, a Malignant Heart will drop as loot. However, simply defeating the enemy is not enough to acquire the heart; you need to capture it using the Cage of Binding.


Performing the Ritual

Once you have defeated the Malignant enemy and obtained its heart, you must initiate a ritual using the Cage of Binding quest item. Before starting the ritual, make sure to heal up and prepare yourself, as the ritual triggers a sequence that draws all nearby Malignance towards you. This includes a stronger version of the Malignant enemy you just defeated, so exercise caution and remain vigilant during this process. Defeating all enemies that appear during the ritual rewards you with a Caged Heart.


Crafting Malignant Hearts

To craft Malignant Hearts, you will need 35 Cores of two different types. The exact recipe for crafting Wrathful Hearts is still unknown. When salvaging a heart, you will receive 5-15 Cores of their specific type, making it take around seven salvaged hearts to craft a new one. Crafted hearts can randomly belong to the classic Gnostic hearts or ones specific to your class, and they will be appropriate for your active level.


Malignant Tunnels

Season 1 introduces Malignant Tunnels, which are new dungeons spread across the world. These tunnels contain guaranteed Malignant Elites and offer Malignant drops. These locations also play a role in the outgrowths and invoker mechanics, providing an event to create a heart of your desired type. There are a total of six Malignant Tunnels, each considered a new dungeon.


Class-Agnostic Malignant Hearts

Heart Name Type Effect Suitability
Bikana Class-Agnostic Critical strikes charge enemies, causing lightning to arc between them and dealing lightning damage. Lightning damage or crit-focused builds
Dark Dance Class-Agnostic Skills cost life instead of a primary resource while above 60 life, and skills consuming life deal increased damage. Core skill-focused builds
Tempting Faith Class-Agnostic Increases critical strike damage but reduces non-crit damage. High crit chance builds
Lionheart Brutal Heart Grants bonus barrier generation and life regeneration while a barrier is active. Suitable for defensive builds
Revenge Brutal Heart Suppresses incoming damage when using defensive subterfuge or Macabre skills, causing amplified damage to nearby enemies. Defensive builds with multiple defensive skills
Prudent Heart Brutal Heart Grants immunity for a few seconds after losing a significant amount of life in a single hit. Hardcore players or high-end content
Determination Devious Heart Reduces the effectiveness of resource training effects and increases resource generation. Niche use, potential for resource-focused builds
Retaliation Devious Heart Deals fire damage to surrounding enemies when a crowd control effect is removed from you. Builds with crowd control effects
Calculated Devious Heart Stunning enemies hit after spending a certain amount of primary resource. Builds that benefit from stunning enemies


Class-Specific Malignant Hearts


- Barbarian

Malignant Heart Color Effect
Barb's Vicious Heart Blue Increases critical strike chance for non-basic skills after spending Fury within two seconds.
Resurgent Life Brutal Increases healing from all sources while below a certain life threshold.
Punishing Speed Devious Provides a chance to knock down enemies for a short duration when using skills with high attack speed.
Ignoring Pain Wrathful Grants a chance to ignore incoming damage and heal you when hit by stun, freeze, or knockdown effects.


- Druid

Malignant Heart Color Effect
Moon Rage Vicious Summons a wolf companion and enhances the Wolves skill.
Agitated Winds Brutal Activates Cyclone Armor when a specific number of enemies are close.
Inexorable Force Devious Pulls distant enemies towards you while an ultimate skill is active.
Unconstrained Beast Wrathful Activates Grizzly Rage when hit by hard crowd control effects.


- Necromancer

Malignant Heart Color Effect
Sacriligious Vicious Activates an equipped corpse skill every second after dealing damage with a unique element.
Spell Breaking Brutal Leaves behind an unstable Shadow decoy trap that taunts enemies after using a subterfuge skill.
Frozen Terror Devious Inflicts fear and chill on enemies when afflicted with crowd control effects.
The Great Feast Wrathful Drains essence but increases minion or character damage based on consumed essence.


- Rogue

Malignant Heart Color Effect
Cluster Munitions Vicious Launches stun grenades with a chance on lucky hits.
Trickery Brutal Leaves a shadow decoy trap that explodes after a few seconds, dealing Shadow damage.
Clip Shot Devious Slows enemies with Cutthroat skills and knocks enemies back with Marksman skills.
Vile Apothecary Wrathful Applies all imbuement effects at reduced potency or deals increased damage without minions.


- Sorcerer

Malignant Heart Color Effect
Tell Russia Vicious Increases damage for each unique element used for three to ten seconds.
Spell Breaking Brutal Grants resistance to elemental damage for a few seconds after taking elemental damage.
Spite Devious Affects enemies with the same crowd control effect that has been applied to the player.
Omnipower Wrathful Consumes mana to launch additional projectiles for core skills that launch projectiles.


Using Malignant Hearts

Malignant Hearts can be socketed into specific pieces of gear, much like gems in Diablo 4. Each heart corresponds to a particular color that signifies the type of gear it can be used on. For example, Brutal Hearts are associated with the color blue and can only be socketed into Infested Sockets found on blue rings and jewelry.


There are four colors of Malignant Hearts, but only three colored sockets are available. The fourth Malignant Heart color is exceptionally rare, as it can be socketed into any colored slot. As you progress through the campaign, your chances of acquiring rare Malignant Hearts increase. Additionally, playing at higher Diablo 4 world tiers enhances your odds of obtaining high-quality Malignant Hearts.



Each class in Diablo 4's Season 1 can utilize Malignant Hearts to enhance their gameplay and create unique build strategies. The effects and viability of these hearts vary for each class, so consider their strengths and synergies with your chosen playstyle. Experiment with different hearts and discover new ways to conquer the challenges of Sanctuary. Good luck, and may your journey in Season 1 be filled with epic loot and memorable battles!

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