What are Malignant and Caged Hearts?
The Season of the Malignant introduces Malignant Hearts and Caged Hearts. Even though they are used interchangeably among players, a Malignant Heart is the heart of a corrupted enemy that drops the first time it is defeated, and can evaporate if not activated in time. If you do activate it, the monster will respawn, and upon defeat, it will leave behind a Caged Heart. The Caged Heart can be placed in the matching type of malignant socket in your jewelry. Note that Wrathful Caged Hearts can be placed in any Malignant Socket. There are 4 types of Caged Hearts:
- Vicious Hearts: Offensive Power, comes with considerable trade-offs
- Brutal Hearts: Defensive Power, enhances survivability
- Devious Hearts: Utility Power, effects range from aiding in resource management to inflicting status effects and crowd control options
- Wrathful Hearts: Super Power, yet only one can be in effect and thus only one should be socketed.
Each type of Caged Heart in turn has 8 variations that come with unique effects, which, depending on your build, can make a significant difference. You can find an overview of all 32 Caged Hearts and their effects below.
Where do you find Malignant Hearts?
As it is a seasonal item, you can only find them in the Seasonal realm. The questline with Cormond will involve hunting down Malignant enemies, classified as 'Partly Corrupted'. At the end of the questline you will receive the Cage of Binding, it is only then you will be able to capture Malignant Hearts. Using it, will turn the monster you defeated into a reborn, and stronger, 'Fully Corrupted' enemy. Upon defeat, it will drop a Caged Heart.
You can come across these Malignant enemies almost everywhere, but if you intend to farm, it would be best to focus on the Malignant tunnels. These new seasonal dungeons include a higher concentration of elites, some of which may be corrupt. There are six Malignant tunnels in the Seasonal realm, to be found in Hawezar, Scosglen, and Dry Steppes.
Another good, but riskier, option is to go to the Fields of Hatred. Again, here you will find more elites which are most often the corrupted enemies, your odds are higher to get Malignant Hearts here.
How do you get Caged Hearts?
There are 3 ways of getting a Caged Heart.
The first way is to defeat the Malignant enemies twice, in their Partly Corrupted and Fully Corrupted forms. This will lead to them dropping a random Caged Heart.
The second option is to go to Malignant Tunnels in which you can find Malignant Outgrowths. These Outgrowths will give you two options to use an Invoker on:
- Invoke a Malignant enemy that will drop a Wrathful Caged Heart
- Invoke a Malignant enemy that drops one of the other Caged Hearts (depending on the color shown on the Outgrowth).
It will depend on the Invokers you have in your possession which option you can activate. Note that if you have neither of the Invokers, you cannot activate the Malignant Outgrowth.
When farming Caged Hearts, the Malignant Tunnels are a good option as you will also find Malignant enemies in the tunnels that upon second defeat drop one Caged Heart.
Last but certainly not least: crafting them at Cormond's Workbench by using Malignant Ichor. Malignant Ichor also comes in the same four types: Vicious, Brutal, Devious and Wrathful, and can come from almost any enemy. Yet, it has been noted that Elite and Corrupted enemies – the same ones that drop Caged Hearts – have an even higher chance of dropping Ichor upon defeat.
Additionally, you also get Ichor if you salvage Caged Hearts. If you get a Caged Heart you don’t need, it is best practice to salvage them at Cormond’s Workbench to get your Ichor. With this Ichor, you can craft a new Caged Heart, hopefully with a different or higher level you do need.
How many Caged Hearts can you equip?
Caged Hearts can only be used in malignant sockets on your jewelry, and there will only be one socket per piece of jewelry. Meaning you will have 3 places of Caged Hearts in total.
Each type of Caged Heart needs to match the type of malignant socket, in order for you to socket them. Note, that only one Wrathful Caged Heart can be active, and two Caged Hearts with the same effect will not stack.