Faceless Masks and you: How to use Faceless Masks to up the difficulty and rewards of Horrific Visions
As you’ve been delving into the Horrific Visions of Orgrimmar and Stormwind you might’ve noticed those five pedestals in the room right before you start. These are for Faceless Masks that will change up how your Horrific Vision run works. Think of them like Mythic Keystone affixes, except that you can control which are active at any point. By completing runs with the masks active you’ll be able to earn more Corrupted Mementos and a higher-level piece of gear from the main bosses box. But keep in mind that each mask will also make things more difficult, increasing the health and damage that the enemies have.
Here’s how to earn each mask.
- Faceless Mask of the Long Night — Kill Thrall or Alleria with all five areas complete
- Faceless Mask of the Pained — Complete the Old Town zone in Stormwind with at least one mask active
- Faceless Mask of Dark Imagination — Complete the Mage Quarter zone in Stormwind with at least one mask active
- Faceless Mask of the Daredevil — Complete the Valley of Honor in Orgrimmar with at least one mask active
- Faceless Mask of the Burned Bridge — Complete the Valley of Wisdom in Orgrimmar with at least one mask active
Once you’ve unlocked any mask on your character you can turn them on or off at the beginning of each run. Simply go to the pedestal the mask is placed on and interact with it. You can strategize with your group and turn things off and on until you talk to Wrathion to start the Vision — so don’t worry if someone activated an extra one.
Faceless Mask of the Long Night: This is generally the first mask that everyone will unlock since all you have to do is clear all the zones in one run. This is a shame because it’s also the hardest to deal with. The blanket loss of 50% of your total sanity is a hard hurdle to overcome. All is not lost though. All you need to unlock an easier mask is to finish one of the Lost Areas in Orgrimmar or Stormwind with one mask active, so you can dedicate a run to completing only that in order to get one of the easier masks. If you’re playing in a group, only one person out of the group needs to have any of the masks unlocked to let the group play with their effects. This means that you can unlock the easier masks for yourself without having to use Mask of the Long Night.
In Orgrimmar it’s easiest if you head straight for the Valley of Wisdom. You can’t reach the Valley of Honor without clearing almost the entire Drag first, so you may run out of sanity on the way. When you’re in Stormwind, you can run along the canals to reach either Old Town or the Mage Quarter without having to clear either corrupt zone beforehand. You don’t have to kill Thrall or Alleria either to unlock the mask from the Lost areas. As long as you complete the zone you’ll get it in the chest at the end of your run.
Once you’ve unlocked any other mask, put the Long Night away. Put it high up on a shelf and forget about it; talk about it only in the hushed whispers of kids at camp telling scary stories. The drawback is not worth it for what you gain. Every other mask is 1000% easier. When you’re ready to start working on completing a run with all five masks, that’s when you get it out. By then you should have a cloak at least rank 11 for the 65% sanity protection and most if not all of your Titan research complete so that you’re as strong as possible. Even then you’re going to be pushed to the limits of your sanity.
Faceless Mask of the Burned Bridge: This is probably the easiest mask of all five. As you move you’ll leave little circles of void badness behind you. If you stand in the void circle you’ll take lose sanity points and take damage. They’ll fade away after a short bit of time so don’t worry about having to plan a route through the whole zone with no backtracking. Playing solo or as a tank will make this a tiny bit harder, as you’ll have to move around more to dodge enemy casts. But you should be alright as long as you’re careful about how you approach things. It can get a bit trickier depending on what madnesses are present in the areas that you’re clearing. Split Personality is the worst offender for this, as it’s random where the exit to the ring of copies will be, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be pointing directly where you just came from. In cases like that, I find it’s almost always better to take a hit from crossing your own path, than anything else that’s coming your way.
Be wary of anything that causes your character a loss of control, like stuns and fears. You could be stunned in your own path or moved into someone else’s. Magister Umberic’s Unstable Polymorph is the worst offender for this, as your sheepified character wanders around you’ll be dropping more and more void underneath yourself.
If you’re playing in a group the void zones that you drop are slightly smaller, but now you have to watch out for everyone else’s void zones on top of your own. Try and be courteous and spread out while running down hallways or other tight areas. Luckily the void areas don’t activate right as soon as they drop, you’ve got a tiny window of leeway before they start damaging so you can move to avoid them. Just don’t be the person who runs right over someone as they’re opening a chest or a mailbox.
Faceless Mask of the Daredevil: You will learn how good you are at paying attention to boss mechanics with this mask. Daredevil is on the harder side if you’re playing by yourself, but gets easier when you’re in a group. There are a couple of bosses and elites sprinkled around that have multiple sanity hurting abilities that need to be interrupted. If you play flawlessly this mask won’t affect you at all. Consider this as your third or fourth mask depending on how you feel.
This has the worst interaction with Mask of the Long Night. Combining the overall smaller sanity pool with the increased amount lost when you get hit can quickly snowball a small mistake into needing to use a restoration orb. Keep in mind though that the increased sanity drain only affects enemy attacks on you, it doesn’t increase the sanity hit from drinking the wrong potion or standing in the pools left behind by Burned Bridge.
Faceless Mask of Dark Imagination: This is probably the first or second mask that you’ll want to start running with since it’s almost as easy to manage as Burned Bridge. The Horrific Figment will spawn and come attack you, but it only has a little health and doesn’t have any abilities that you need to watch out for. Most of the danger comes from the fact that it keeps you in combat so if you were about to drop a sanity orb you’ll have to deal with it first. Luckily these only start appearing once you’re under 50% sanity. Take advantage of that by pulling larger groups and taking more risks while you have high sanity in order to make the most of that time.
The Figments will spawn on average every 90 seconds. So after you see one you know that you have a little bit of time before the next one shows up. One positive thing to come of these Figments is that killing one can activate the Gift of the Titans. Thrall starts the fight with two void boar friends if you cleared the Valley of Honor, but after those are dead there isn’t anything else to kill. Alleria doesn’t even have that since the extra eyeball she gets after you defeat Shaw has more health than she does. The huge haste and sanity immunity can really come in handy during these boss fights so it’s nice to be able to get it.
Faceless Mask of the Pained: Depending on the week this can either be not so bad or really annoying. The main Valley of Strength and Cathedral Square madnesses are all fairly innocuous, and can actively increase your damage sometimes. So having a second one of those can even be a bit helpful. As you move into the Corrupted areas and beyond things start to get trickier. The Scorched Feet madness is always annoying — but Dark Delusions and Entomophobia aren’t so bad. As long as you’re paying attention you should be able to handle these combinations easily enough.
The corrupt zones are where things get tricky. Combining Haunting Shadows with Split Personality or Leaden Foot can make for some scary moments. Having to dodge something while other things actively try and limit your movement is rough. That being said, I do like the combination of Leaden Foot and Split Personality. The slow from Leaden Foot has stopped me from running through the copies and taking the sanity hit and stun. As always Magister Umberic is the worst of these four bosses since he requires the most movement. Luckily he was just hotfixed to only jump to the other side of the room twice instead of three times.
So what’s the point? Well, aside from the extra fun of a good challenge you get a bunch more Corrupted Mementos for running each Vision with a mask. A full clear with five masks active adds an extra 120% to the boxes and creatures that you kill. You’ll wind up netting somewhere around 5000 per run, which you’ll need if you want to buy Wrathions big-ticket items. That fancy A’qir bug mount won’t pay for itself after all. You’ll also need them if you want to earn the Through the Depths of the Visions achievement which is required to get the Black Serpent of N’zoth. Finally, you’ll be able to ride your very own Great Worm From Beyond. If you can do a full run with all five masks all by yourself you’ll also earn the Faceless One title. Completing all five areas with any of the masks active will also give you a cosmetic item that lets you transmog to that mask! Collect all five and you’ll have a mask to match almost any color of Old God transmog from blood red to void purple.
Each active mask increases the item level of the piece of gear that you get from the end chest by five points. Running a full clear with no masks active gets you something at level 445. Which means that a full clear with five masks pays out with a 470 piece. That’s only five points below what you’d get from a Mythic raid boss! That’s only for the first run of the week though. After the first clear, each reward you get from subsequent runs would be one tier lower, so you’d get a 465 then a 460 and so on.
I know that there are people who are wondering to themselves why they’d ever take the risk of adding any difficulty to their Visions — and you definitely don’t have to in order to upgrade your cloak to level 15. But there will come a time where you’re finding that you’re able to clear all five areas and the boss, with an abundance of extra sanity at your disposal. When that day comes, consider finding a friend and turning on one of the easier masks. You may end up having more fun than you were expecting.
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