The Black Mask is a high-ranked mystic headgear in Final Fantasy XII that boosts the wearer's Magick Resist by 53 and Magick Power by 8, and makes the wearer absorb Dark damage. In the Zodiac versions, it also gives 81 MP, slightly less than the preceding Celebrant's Miter. It is a contender for endgame gear for its good stats and Dark-absorption property.
Wearing multiple pieces of armor that all give the same elemental resistance does not stack, but certain different types do:
- Weakness + Absorb = Absorbs double
- Halve + Absorb = Absorbs half
This means that wearing the Black Mask in conjunction with the Bone Mail and Argyle Armlet (Zodiac only) would have the character absorb half damage from Dark. There are no equipment that makes the wearer weak to Dark.
Black Mask is the dark counterpart of the Holy-absorbing White Mask whose bazaar set requires one of the same items; for best efficiency to unlock both sets simultaneously, the player can make use of the "bazaar glitch".
In the original PlayStation 2 version, the Black Mask is sold for 12,400 gil in Balfonheim Port after Sky Fortress Bahamut appears. It is also found as a treasure in Great Crystal's Kabonii Jilaam Pratii'vaa (always appears, 50% chance the treasure is the Black Mask without the Diamond Armlet equipped, and 90% chance the treasure is the Black Mask with the Diamond Armlet ). It very rarely drops from the Banshee.
The Black Mask is made in the bazaar set "Black Vestments" by selling nine Blood Wools (e.g. from Baritine Croc), seven Prime Tanned Hides (e.g. from Behemoth), and eight Dark Crystals (from various enemies, e.g. Dark Lord). The nine Blood Wools are also used for making the "White Vestments" set, so selling the ingredients for both sets at the same time, with only nine wools, the player can unlock both sets without needing to grind for 18 Blood Wools. However, the ingredients for the White Vestments are acquired late.
In the updated Zodiac versions, the Black Mask is not available in normal shops, but sells for 6,200 gil. It is a treasure in Cerobi Steppe's The Terraced Bank (20% chance to appear, 50% chance for gil, 5% chance the item treasure is the Black Mask with the Diamond Armlet equipped), and in Pharos - First Ascent's Horizon's Cusp (always appears). It is still a very rare drop from the Banshee and made in the "Black Vestments" set in the bazaar with the same items as before.
It is now also the rare steal from the Piscodaemon in Trial Mode Stage 55, and the common steal from Zodiark in Stage 97. The Black Mask is now also obtained through the Hunt Club on the Phon Coast by giving five Rare Game trophies to Atak and Stok, and twelve to Blok; the Black Mask is then available to purchase from the Shifty-Eyed Merchant's Store nearby for 18,600 gil.
Black Mask is a high-ranked mystic hat, giving 53 Magick Resist, 8 Magick Power, as well as 81 MP in the Zodiac versions. It makes the wearer absorb Dark damage, and so is good against many undead, and perhaps against Zodiark, though in this battle it is best if not every party member absorbs Dark, as the boss will then avoid his Darkja attack and use other, devastating attacks more frequently. Many endgame enemies have an affinity with Dark, making Black Mask a good endgame mystic headgear choice.
Mystic armor offer magick-related bonuses that affect all types of magickal actions, from casting black magick to damage an enemy, to casting white magick to heal the party. Magick Power is also a factor when determining damage dealt by katana, staves, and maces.
In the Zodiac versions, White Mage, Red Battlemage, Black Mage, and Bushi can equip it, and so the Black Mask is only useful to look for if the player has chosen any of these License Boards for their party. In The Zodiac Age versions, after fighting Belias the player can choose two License Boards per party member; it is usually a good idea to pair jobs that use two different types of armor for versatility.
As the Black Mask is a good mystic headgear and potentially endgame equipment. The player could get it a bit earlier from the bazaar, or even from the Banshee, but as the Banshee appears on the Nabreus Deadlands, the player can also find the more numerous Dead Bones there to procure the Golden Skullcap, the second-best mystic hat in the game.