Original @ Wikia; modified for revamped use / relevance; revised much of the information.
Infinity Challenge is a special mode where players party-up to defeat consecutive waves of enemies. Maximum amount of waves is 30; the given time limit is 30 minutes.
Not permanent content; only available (approx. once/year) for a few weeks as an event.
- Level 30+ Requirement.
- 30 Stages in 30 minutes; fight waves of monsters in a party of 3.
- Cannot use any consumables during battle (Potions, Scrolls).
- Kicked out if idle for too long; disqualified if player disconnects or retreats.
- Will not receive contribution reward if player dies and leaves the party during IC.
- Cannot apply/join when in a fight, My Home or while in Competitions (FL/CL/AoA).
- Cannot apply as a Squad. If the player doesn’t apply as a Party, they will be matched with other players near their level or with Doppelgangers.
- Obtain [Infinity Challenge Medal] based on the battle contribution and stages completed.
The Infinity Challenge opens daily at 6 different time frames. The players are given 5 minutes to apply, after which they will have to wait for the next instance.
- PST (NA AO): 4 AM, 8 AM, 12 PM, 4 PM, 8 PM, 12 AM
- CET (EU AO): 4 AM, 8 AM, 12 PM, 4 PM, 8 PM, 12 AM
[Stages] (theme; description)
- Marksburg; very easy, magic can instant-kill with strong bonus/gear.
- Sea Palace; very easy, magic can instant-kill with strong bonus/gear.
- Van Gogh; very easy, magic can instant-kill, 1st magic-vulnerable group.
- Huaguo; very easy, magic can instant-kill with strong bonus/gear.
- Bosses; very easy, magic is extremely effective, 1st boss group.
- Bulguksa; easy, magic can instant-kill, 2nd magic-vulnerable group.
- Revolution; easy, magic is extremely effective, low Defense.
- Honey Jar; freebie, magic will instant-kill, barely any Defense.
- Golden Dragon; easy, magic is extremely effective, low Defense.
- 6 Mercenaries; easy, magic is very effective, 2nd boss group.
- Shogun; medium, magic is very effective, medium Defense.
- Alcatraz; medium, magic is very effective, medium Defense.
- Machine; medium, magic can instant-kill, 3rd magic-vulnerable group.
- Hanging Gardens; medium, magic is very effective, medium Defense.
- Bosses; medium, magic is very effective, 3rd boss group.
- Egypt; moderate, magic can instant-kill, 4th magic-vulnerable group.
- Bran Castle; moderate, magic is effective, moderate Defense.
- Honey Jar; freebie, magic will instant-kill, barely any Defense.
- Volcano Valley; moderate, magic is effective, moderate Defense.
- Bosses; moderate, magic is effective, 4th boss group.
- Dallas; tough, magic is slightly effective, high Defense.
- Detroit; tough, magic is slightly effective, high Defense.
- Byzantine; tough, magic can instant-kill, 5th magic-vulnerable group.
- Insects; tough, magic is slightly effective, high Defense.
- Bosses; tough, magic is slightly effective, 5th boss group.
- Three Kingdoms; very tough, magic is barely effective, very high Defense.
- Ancient Aztec; very tough, magic is barely effective, very high Defense.
- Honey Jar; freebie, magic will instant-kill, barely any Defense.
- Yggdrasil; very tough, magic is barely effective, very high Defense.
- Bosses; extremely tough, extremely high M.DEF & DEF, 6th boss group.
- Weapons: Jupiter > Twilight > Legendary > Judgment > everything else
- Armor: Riederan > Twilight > Judgment > everything else
- Bracelets: Deep Blue Sea / Elizabeth’s Blood Red > Vivian’s > everything else
- Earrings: Vivian’s > Deep Blue Sea / Elizabeth’s Blood Red > everything else
- Necklace: Riederan > Sapphire > Holy > Ruler > Infinity > everything else
- Rings: Riederan > Holy > DFP / Whale > Ashur > 150 > Assyrian / BDR > 130
- Mount: offensive proc > special ability (offensive/defensive) > heal passive
- Ammunition: Screaming > Assassin’s > Poisonous > Enhanced Titanium
Mercenary types: 6 total: 2-3 AoE/debuffs/buffs, 2 front-line tanks, 1-2 range.
Best to have mercenaries that are flexible (Dark King Arthur/ General / Warlord).
- Healers are a waste of valuable space @ Lv. 165+ IC formations. The ONLY exception of needing a healer is when you run Stages 27, 29, 30 because the monsters will start to do too much damage to handle; bring a Vampire or equivalent to keep your formation (and fellow players) alive in those stages.
- Monk / Goddess are completely unnecessary if you’re well-geared.
- Single-target mercenaries that don’t have powerful magic/AoE/procs.
Continue reading for a detailed description of the usability for particular mercenaries.
Note that this is a list based on personal perspectives; much of the details will be biased.
Unlike normal PvE, Infinity Challenge can require more than physical capability, although some high-geared players are capable of sweeping through with brute-force. In most cases, it is dependent upon strategy; players need effective formations to get them as far as possible.
Understand that the Rankings here are based on speed, not surviving; if you’re focusing on surviving then you’ve already failed. Offense is the best defense, even when it comes to the long-term Infinity Challenge. However, that does not mean you do not need to sustain your formation! Sustainment of MP and keeping track of combo-count while murdering mobs left and right is certainly important. Also, keep in mind that by stages 27/29/30, you will run into mobs that can one-shot mercenaries, so accuracy debuffs and seals can of course help.
[Mana Regen] Aimed at those with limited funds with no Deep Blue Sea / Elizabeth’s Blood Red earrings / bracelets. Mana can be drained very fast when wearing low + rings and helmets (and some mobs can drain MP). If maintaining your mana is a problem, using a Bai Yigai, Bounty Hunter, Kim Choon Sam, Witch can allow you to sustain longer in IC.
S-Rank (alphabetically organized):
Bounty Hunter: Great defense, very good physical attack with a passive attack buff. Morale boost raises both HP and MP of selected row. Decent AoE. So basically a jack-of-all-trade mercenary. Expensive to buy, expensive to upgrade, expensive to book-up. Not a poor-man’s choice for sure… One might want to wait for a free event.
Dark King Arthur: Awesome proc, Dark Legacy / King’s Command are useful in many of the stages. His combo-count reducing skill is very useful to keep him and a merc/main that’s behind him from being stunned.
Elementalist: Blazing Earth. Enough said. All if not most melee units affected by this debuff will start missing attacks. Very handy in the late stages to reduce damage intake.
General: A cost-effective all-around efficient mercenary. His green dragon rage can render enemy range units/bosses useless (making them miss most of their attacks), it can also 1-hit K0 whole range formations on Magic-vulnerable stages. Green dragon glaive is also a great AoE which can 1-hit K0 any type of formation (Magic-stages).
Warlord: One of the best mercenaries to consider bringing in IC. His passive gives a good attack buff to your main. His Demoralize can seal the opponent’s boss magic while also decreasing his physical attack stats, multi-hit, etc. His Lightning slash can also destroy a row of enemies, very useful in magic-vulnerable stages (careful in stage 23; it has a chance to heal with high bonuses).
Automaton: Has an AoE, a heal and a passive multi-hit + attack power buff. Plus he fucking hits hard; Pretty reliable.
Centaur Archer: High single target killing power, low defense; has a very good AoE and proc. With the funds required to summon and upgrade her, there are possibly better alternatives available. However, she probably has the best potential for damage of range mercenaries.
Clown: The harlequin has good offensive stats, and with those attack buff skills it’s even more apparent. Fatal Flourish can be pretty powerful, but not worth wasting the mana. She hits like a truck and is reliable for the majority of IC for damage. Spam Masquerade at the end of each stage.
Trainee Ching Ya: Mediocre heal; she is also damn useful to give AP + Multi-Hit + Attack Power to a single target (a.k.a. an OP bowmain).
Trainee Empress Tianmo: Tank, has a powerful AoE to destroy magic-vulnerable stages. Enough said.
Trainee Heisha Modi: Personally found him very useful has he’s basically the equivalent to Shen Hong for melee classes. His Bad Blood debuff hits and enemy and a Clown or whatever melee mercenary can do up to ~95% or so bonus damage based on his skill level.
Trainee Kim Choon Sam: Great tank, great single target HP/MP restoration. Has a good AoE. Basically Tianmo for the poor. His passive can stun enemies when he’s hit, which can come in handy.
Trainee Shen Hong: Decent AoE with AP debuff is useful on magic-vulnerable stages and bosses. She’s a whip, which has the capability to hit a row of flying enemies. Extremely useful to increase damage output of Range classes that attack where she drops her Soul Wound debuff.
Arthur: Upgrade to Dark King Arthur for Dark Legacy!
Astrologer: Celestial Venom (DoT) which can be triggered by any Holy Guard variant if the enemy uses them. I’ve only seen Holy Guard used by the enemy in maybe Stages 21-22. Star Spite, a passive which is triggered upon the mercenary being directly attacked and harms the enemy (uncertain as to how much damage the enemy takes in various stages). Stellar Hunt (AoE) might be useful on the magic-vulnerable stages.
Grim Reaper: His Mantle of Death has some effect in certain stages; a few stages where it helps, and a few times where it does nearly nothing. His Silence of the Grave proc is perhaps useful to reduce M-DEF and silence mobs, but otherwise, also not that great since most of the mobs deal more physical damage. Demon’s Sickle is a passive that triggers upon Grim’s health lowering below 30%; it will slightly heal him and allow him to deal bonus damage for 2 turns.
Necromancer: Since scrolls and consumables are forbidden in Infinity Challenge, the necromancer is a great way to replace the Scroll of Resurrection. And with her signature weapon, the Faust’s Violin, it makes her both a great support mercenary and a decent ranged attacker.
Patriot: May not be the best damage dealer, but his utilities are useful. Great defense and attack buff to whole formation. Protects allies from getting stunned (camaraderie), and being a gun merc, he can attack flying bosses and enemy units.
Pirate: Good for boss fights, with her dual-swords and high attack potential. Her Marauders Edge can also be of great help to Atlantian Blademasters.
Puppeteer: Has the ability to give any mercenary or main character a second turn. Can be a life saver when bosses or high stage mobs are close to dying.
Sage King Arthur: Awesome proc, His combo-count reducing skill is very useful to keep him and a merc/main that’s behind him from being stunned. However, his Holy Guard variant isn’t useful in IC by much, so going with Dark Arthur is preferred.
Sorceress: Lots of AoE magic and triggers/combo magic that’s useful on magic-vulnerable stages. Retribution is her AoE debuff, which can trigger various combo skills depending on which they are combined with (Sorceress’ skills only). Beating Sun that seals (single-target passive proc) and can trigger a combo skill (Solar Rage) with Retribution. Purifying Path (AoE) removes all debuffs AND buffs on your formation or the enemies’; dropping Purifying Path over Retribution triggers Annihilation (AoE). Primal Monsoon (AoE) is used on an enemy formation and if dropped over Retribution, it triggers Storm (another AoE).
Taoist: Most valuable purpose of this guy is to give AP. Don’t fucking need his seal if you plan on murdering things efficiently. But, yes his seal can be useful if you need to not get owned in one of the last stages and your ass is near-death. Plus, he gives a passive Multi-Hit buff to any spear classes in the formation.
Vampire: Her ability to heal allies, heal herself, and attack flying enemies makes her a decent mercenary to consider. Players with top-tier armor may want to substitute her with a more efficient damage-dealing mercenary though.
Trainee Xuanzang: Great AoE; reduces vitality by a large margin, thus making it easier to kill mobs efficiently.
Bard: Possesses a decent debuff and AoE; seals an enemy passively with Dischord.
Champion: Weapon Rend can be used to buff some sword magic, but it’s fairly situational and not worth the effort / time. His Shield Bash is fairly useful, but also slow and a waste of time unless you really need a debuff on a boss. Athena’s Protection for Sword classes in the formation, but if you have too many swords, well probably have problems with killing speed.
Folklorist: Has a nice heal, a dispel skill which is fairly situational, decent stats and a seal. He’s decent, but there’s better options out there.
Demeian Guardian: Accuracy debuff for range mobs, Accuracy passive buff, cannon mercenary with decent damage and stats.
Druid: Decent stats, row attack, Forest prison not only freezes a row for 2 turns but also deals a lot of damage in magic-vulnerable stages. Beast soul is highly situational, but can help on boss stages.
Tarkan: Good overall damage and valuable debuff; resists combo-count; can still be stunned by the Valkyrie in Stage 10.
Sheriff: Used to be one of the best ranged mercenaries due to the high damage and multi-hit rate. Lost her luster over the years; AoE might be useful (?). Lacks on the survivability side, and requires a MP regen in order to keep her passive buff.
Trainee Bai Xian: Great damage & stats, all passive skills; has a chance to stun an enemy (non-bosses) like the Valkyrie.
Trainee Bai Yigai: No AoE but a decent mana restoration magic with a small magic defense buff. Decent physical attack with a good passive attack buff. Cheap to buy, arguable on the upgrade (no need to buy books). Equip with a Nemesis Cannon for maximum efficiency.
Trainee Master Lian Hua: Has a combo-count reducing AoE which is useful in long-term fights, so… useful for IC. Decent stats and damage perhaps, but not that great.
Valkyrie: Useful stun skill against normal mobs, AP buff as a cross which can last a while depending on her skill level + bonus magic. Also, Odin’s Chain can seal (normal) mobs from attacking allies, but it can be fairly limited at times for whatever reason. In general, I find Jeon to be a better alternative.
Artilleryman: Deep Insight is a VERY powerful debuff; many Cannon Mains consider it as their Specialization Magic. Otherwise, this mercenary has crap stats as it’s another Grade D mercenary.
Cannoneer: Smoke Bomb (Accuracy Debuff AoE) which is very useful in the late stages for making enemies miss. Smoke Bomb can be combined with one of the Princess’ four range sealing magics to trigger a combo skill.
Dryad: Don’t know much about this one, just that she’s useful in PvP. As far as I know she isn’t that great for IC, but I could be wrong.
Empress: With decent sniping capability and holy guard magic, the Empress can be considered a decent mercenary for boss stages. Otherwise she doesn’t have much going for her.
Lady Knight: Very good entry-level front-line tank. Her Light Slash magic is decent with its 2 target-column reach. Very cheap to use but ultimately only used for one purpose.
Punisher: His main useful-ness is his awakening skill; otherwise mediocre stats and capability is situational.
Trainee Beggar Su: Whip mercenary that has a passive buff for range classes. Also has a skill called Karmic Cunning; not exactly sure how that one works and if it’s useful in any regard.
Trainee Chiu Hong: Her passive debuff reduces the enemy’s melee attack power. And she can also buff your whole formation’s defense (VERY situational).
Trainee Chueh Shui: Her active magic might be useful in the magic-vulnerable rounds, otherwise, kind of not that great.
Trainee Guangmo: Useful AoE (?).
Trainee Maitreya: Can seal boss magic or protect an ally from being attacked directly (row only); very situational.
Trainee Mo Chien Lang: His row skill (Dark Spirit Daggers) might be useful on the magic-vulnerable stages, but otherwise probably not that great.
Trainee Nightshade: His DoT might be useful (?).
Trainee Shao Xian: All passive skills, which are decent, but she’s mostly useful for giving other rifles mercs/main Multi-Hit. Kind of a waste of space.
Trainee Soranggoon: Has a useful passive debuff, decent stats, hit’s in a row. Is pretty much a cheap version of the Tarkan.
Witch: High magic resistance, immune to cannonballs. Decent AoE and mana restoration skill. Cheap to buy and upgrade. But her AoE uses a huge amount of AP, making her useless and open for a few turns.
Dark Archer: She might not boast very good stats, but her Multi Arrow magic is a very good alternative if you don’t have any AoE casters. However, her frailty is quite disturbing, so not recommended.
Exorcist: Just… no. I mean he can be useful, but there’s so many better options out there.
Goddess/Monk – Both are decent choices for slower players. However those with high survivability might want to scrap them from their formation in favour of high-attack mercenaries. Helps cover weak-to-AoE mercenaries/main during some bosses and magic attacks from normal units in higher stages. Can also awaken allies during long stages.
Hwarang: The only thing he has going for him is his ranging mercenary attack buff, which is quite good. But at the end of the day, this squishy mercenary will probably die within 5 turns.
Inventor: This guy would be good if stunning was a viable strategy. Unfortunately, it isn’t, at all; and with his bad stats, he is useless.
Janissary: Only one skill, and it happens to be not-so-useful in Infinity Challenge. Overall, his stats also lack. Wouldn’t recommend this guy at all.
Minstrel: Very situational; has a heal, a magic seal, and a random Power-Saw debuff that’s pretty useless in most of IC.
Oracle: Cheap healer for low levels. Don’t need past Lv. 150 or so.
Princess: Buff to increase Range classes’ Defense and provides Health recovery. Debuffs for each respective range-type except Whip.
Prophet: Useful to buff melee mercenaries (and main) with Accuracy, Attack Power and Health. Otherwise fairly useless except for some odd stages where she can actually do some damage with her debuffs or cause melee mobs to miss attacks.
Trainee Ching Yue: In general, this mercenary isn’t very useful here; single-target Sword Mercenary with poor skills for this game-mode. Buddha’s Grace is an active skill that has a chance to decrease Combo Count on the main character in the formation & Health on a physical attack. Dharma’s Mantra is the basic Sect skill for all Shaolin mercenaries which recovers Health and raises Defense. Peace of Mind is used on allies; reduces incoming physical damage and increases Evasion.
Trainee Dharma: AoE is perhaps useful (maybe? IC can be weird).
Trainee Fangzhang: Single-target Fist Mercenary that has some mediocre skills for this game-mode. 108 Afflictions reduces Defense and Health, but increases Multi-Hit and Attack Power. Holy Arhat is an enemy-only purification spell (removes all magical effects) that also harms enemies with physical damage.
Trainee Gou Chen Nam: Can freeze/root enemies (two in a column); otherwise nothing special.
Trainee White Witch: Appears to be another mercenary that isn’t that great here; Staff Class. Accursed Shroud is a triggered Passive which has a chance to silence the enemy and deal DoT for two turns when hit by enemy magic. Sanguine Touch is a skill that lasts one turn and when this mercenary attacks on that turn, she restores a small portion of her health; didn’t bother checking how powerful the heal is.
Archer: Low stats, Silence can block magic, but most enemies regular attacks hits harder then their magic attacks. Silence does not effect bosses and some regular enemies.
Beast Trainer: NOPE.
Gunner: She might have the worst overall stats in the whole game, but that doesn’t stop her from having a decent column killing move. The good old Wild Shot can take out a column of weak-to-magic enemies which is much better than most magic found in the garbage tier, but she’s still a bad choice.
Shaman: Weakest healer, essentially a weaker version of the Oracle.
Spearman: Average attack power, but can be easily knocked out compared to other mercenaries. Lightning Spear magic isn’t very effective in these fights.
Swordsman: Not bad for tanking purposes, but fails at everything else. Dark seed + Hex of Darkness could be cool, if it wasn’t for the low stats of Grade D mercenaries.
Defaults: the mercenaries you automatically get after completing the tutorial. Yes the generic ones; forget about them and start looking for real stuff. Not only do they cap at level 60, but you can’t change out their equipment, rendering them useless for Infinity Challenge.
I realize I probably skipped some mercenaries, but I don’t care to cover all of them.