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How to use Smoldering Ashes and Season Blessings in Diablo 4 season 1

Which of the five Blessings should you choose first in Diablo 4: Season of the Malignant?

A Barbarian wearing a red shirt and silly pants from the Diablo 4 season 1 battle pass Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Diablo 4 in season 1 introduces a ton of new mechanics, including Season Blessings, which are purchased by a currency called Smoldering Ashes. Season Blessings offer powerful progression bonuses that allow you to level up your Battle Pass and character. These boosts range from the extremely useful (bonus XP) to the mostly useless (bonus salvage materials), but it can take some serious time investment to get them all.

In this Diablo 4 guide, we’ll teach you how to get all the Smoldering Ashes in season one and tell you how you should spend them.

How to earn Smoldering Ashes in Diablo 4 season 1

Season of the Malignant’s battle pass, hovering over Smoldering Ashes Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

Smoldering Ashes come exclusively from Diablo 4’s Battle Pass. Thankfully, the Smoldering Ashes are on the free track, so you don’t need to pony up some cash for the premium version of the seasonal Battle Pass.

In order to pick up Smoldering Ashes, you have to meet two criteria. The first is that you upgrade your Battle Pass to a certain tier level. The second is that your character level matches the level requirement of the Smoldering Ashe.

Here’s when you get each pile of Smoldering Ash:

  • Battle Pass tier 8 and character level 40
  • Battle Pass tier 18 and character level 53
  • Battle Pass tier 22 and character level 56
  • Battle Pass tier 28 and character level 62
  • Battle Pass tier 32 and character level 66
  • Battle Pass tier 38 and character level 71
  • Battle Pass tier 48 and character level 78 (x2 Smoldering Ashes)
  • Battle Pass tier 52 and character level 80
  • Battle Pass tier 58 and character level 82
  • Battle Pass tier 62 and character level 86
  • Battle Pass tier 68 and character level 89 (x2 Smoldering Ashes)
  • Battle Pass tier 72 and character level 90
  • Battle Pass tier 77 and character level 93
  • Battle Pass tier 82 and character level 97 (x2 Smoldering Ashes)
  • Battle Pass tier 88 and character level 100 (x3 Smoldering Ashes)

Chances are you’re going to level up your Battle Pass much faster than your character — the Season’s Journey contains a lot of Favor (XP) for the battle pass. And even if you boost your battle pass by paying extra, you won’t be able to access Smoldering Ashes until your character is the right level.

This is very much an endgame system that the game teases you with through the early levels. Just make sure that you remember to grab your tier 8 Smoldering Ashes once you hit level 40.

Best Season Blessings order in Diablo 4 season 1

The Season Blessings menu in Diablo 4, hovering over the XP bonus of the Urn of Aggression Image: Blizzard Entertainment via Polygon

There are five Season Blessings for you to spend your hard-earned Smoldering Ashes on:

  • Urn of Aggression — Bonus XP
  • Urn of Bargaining — Bonus gold from vendor sales
  • Urn of Reclamation — Bonus chance for rare salvage materials
  • Urn of Prolonging — Boosts duration for Elixirs
  • Urn of Malignance — Bonus chance for powerful Malignant Hearts to drop

Only two of these really matter: Aggression and Malignance.

The bonus XP from Aggression is critical, and starts out at +3%. But each level you buy does have diminishing returns. Still, you want to put all your Smoldering Ashes into the Urn of Aggression first, as XP is currently the most important commodity in Diablo 4. This Seasonal Blessing caps out at 8% bonus XP once you invest four Smoldering Ashes in it.

Urn of Malignance is also very useful this season. The Wrathful Malignant Hearts are powerful upgrades for your characters, and are essential to reaching peak power in multiple builds. By investing Smoldering Ashes into the Urn of Malignance second, you can increase the likelihood that you’ll get a rare Malignant Heart by 15% relatively early in your season 1 experience.

The other bonuses are entirely preferential and relatively minor. Bonus Elixir time with the Urn of Prolonging is nice to have, and is what we recommend you go with third. Normally, we’d recommend you go with the Urn of Bargaining fourth, but it’s currently bugged and actually increases the prices at some vendors. So, instead, go for the Urn of Reclamation fourth and leave Bargaining blank until Blizzard addresses the bug.

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