Civilization 6 Tier List: The Best Civ 6 Leaders

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive list of the best leaders in Cid Mier’s Civilization 6, look no further! We’ve analyzed the entire line-up, including leaders from the game’s most recent expansion, and compiled the worthiest rulers in the game.

S-Tier

The creme de la crop of civ leaders, their prowess in domination allows them to seize other victories just as effortlessly.

Hojo Tokimune (Japan) is currently considered the strongest and most well-rounded civ in the game. Japan’s military receives bonuses for land units adjacent to water tiles and naval units in shallow water. Furthermore, Japan’s specialty unit, Samurai, don’t suffer combat penalties upon losing health. Hojo incurs a +50% Production for Encampments, Holy Sites, and Theater squares. Japan’s unique Electronics Factory ramps up production even more. Moreover, district adjacency bonuses encourage compact cities, which is great for defending and expanding cities.

Alexander (Macedon) gets lots of conquering bonuses and unique military enhancement, making the Macedonian civ a natural warmonger. With two specialty units simultaneously available, an immunity to war-weariness, and the ability to heal upon capturing wonders, Alexander is primed to wage a game-long war and win.

Peter I (Russia) Russia holds a phenomenal aptitude for expansion between the Mother Russia ability granting extra tiles and Larvas, improved holy sites, accruing even more land. Combined with Peter’s leader ability, The Great Embassy, absorbing Science and Culture from more advanced civs, Russia can easily achieve every victory path.

Frederick Barbarossa (Germany) Germany has a superior production rate, putting it ahead of the game from all other civs. With Barbarossa’s predilection for conquering city-states and Germany’s unique U-Boat unit capable of devasting enemy coastal cities, Germany is also predisposed to victory on all fronts.

Gilgamesh (Sumeria) is a quick starter civ, with their unique war-carts and Ziggurats accessible from the first turn. Placing Ziggurats along river banks capitalizes on science and culture. Moreover, Gilgamesh’s leader ability entices other civs to ally with Sumeria for the joint war benefits, leaving him few adversaries and providing backup for the few enemies he does accrue.

Cyrus (Persia) utilizes the element of surprise when waging war, making him a precarious neighbor. With a strong domestic trade boosting culture and finances, Persia is flexible in its path to victory.

A-Tier

They can’t all be the best of the best. That’s why there’s the A-Tier, which is basically a continuation of the S-Tier. It culminates a list of well-rounded civs, and civs that dominate their chosen path to victory.

Cleopatra (Egypt) As Queen of the Nile, Cleopatra gets district and wonder bonuses for building along rivers. Egypt’s bountiful trade routes will ensure monetary security and bolster friendships with other powerful nations, setting this civ up for well-rounded victory paths.

Wilhelmina (Dutch/Netherlands) Wilhelmina places great importance on trade. International trade routes accrue culture while domestic routes maintain loyalty. Settling along coasts and adjoining rivers is the best strategy, amassing land and maximizing science, culture, and production yields. The monetary profits from this layout make any victory possible.

Pedro II (Brazil) Pedro utilizes his land’s rainforest terrain to maximize faith, culture, and gold adjacency bonuses. He’s also incredibly proud of his Great People and can generate them at an astounding rate. So many great minds poise Brazil for any victory, though culture is Pedro’s predilection.

Gorgo (Greece) is heavily geared towards a cultural victory. She allows and even encourages an aggressive approach, rewarding culture for every enemy kill. The Spartan Queen is also versed in politics, which makes all victory paths a feasible goal.

Pericles (Greece) is best suited to a culture victory as well, through his use of city-state allegiances and proper central placement of his cities’ Acropolises. Though his political savviness still makes this civ flexible towards any victory path.

Saladin (Arabia) Saladin leads by religion, which allows him to gain a foothold on other victory paths. Spreading Arabia’s religion boosts science while its unique worship building bolsters science, faith, and culture.

Simon Bolivar (Gran Columbia) With elite movement bonuses and strong foundational units such as Settlers, Builders, and Scouts, Gran Columbia is primed for a Domination victory. Still, its superior conquering abilities allow the player to focus on other areas of growth as well.

Trajan (Rome) “Veni, Vidi, Vici,” I came, I saw, I conquered was coined by Julius Ceasar and Rome, under Trajan’s rule will do just that. With leader and civ bonuses geared towards mass expansion, a domination victory is your best bet.

Montezuma (Aztec) Montezuma is a warmonger with a taste for luxury. That’s to say, each hand washes the other with luxury resources soothing war-weariness and battle victories aiding expansion to accrue more luxuries.

Suleiman (Ottoman) The Ottoman empire is built for the siege, capable of overtaking the most fortified defenses. Their Grand Bazaars keep resources flowing, allowing continual city growth even through wartime.

Genghis Khan (Mongolia) Mongolia seeks a domination victory by way of their formidable cavalry.

Matthias Corvinus (Hungary) is another domination powerhouse who relies on levying mercenary armies and ample city-state bonuses to wage war victoriously.

John Curtin (Australia) thrives on liberating cities and being the subject of war declarations. The recent occurrence of either boost Australia’s production 100%. Acting as the world’s police dog can set Australia on the path to multiple victories.

Amanitore (Nubia) Amanitore prioritizes production, providing her cities with a 20% bonus. The civ’s unique Nubian Pyraminds double that production yield, and their elite ranged units staunchly defend their progress.

B-Tier

These civs are every bit as valid as S and A tiers, but they tend to utilize more specialized gameplay that may not be for everyone.

Victoria (England) England has mastered global expansion and reaps hefty military benefits from colonizing new continents. That expansive political coverage coupled with England’s Archeology perks makes for easy culture and domination victories.

Wilfred Laurier (Canada) Making use of tundra tiles, which many civs are loath to inhabit, gives Canada a unique edge. Thanks to Canada’s unique geographical predilection and Wilfred’s genuine diplomatic interest, this civ is well suited for culture and diplomatic victories.

Catherine De Medici (France) With her love for espionage and constructing wonders, Catherine leads France to culture victories almost too easily.

Teddy Roosevelt (America) is a late-game powerhouse with two unique military units. However, Teddy will want to keep the peace up until the 20th century. A culture victory is more feasible with America’s Film studio and National Parks.

Jadwiga (Poland) is a religious powerhouse with the bonus of a formidable military.

Tomyris (Scythia) is also a formidable foe, with her military gaining bonus damage against wounded units and revitalizing when the enemy is slain.

Qin Shi Huang (China) inspires more production than any other leader and prioritizes wonder creation. China’s other merits allow the civ to defend all they have created and advance swiftly through both skill trees.

Kupe (Maori) Starting on an Ocean tile and accruing science and culture points every turn before founding their capital, the Maori provides unique gameplay. Kupe is a naturalist who respects the land and fiercely defends his territory.

Seondeok (Korea) Korea is heavily based around Science with the unique district the Seowon. Placing these amongst hills and flatlands where farms and mines can surround them will maximize their effect, sending you well on your way to a science victory.

Lady Six Sky (Maya) A reclusive leader, preferring to keep her cities nestled close together, focuses on farm and luxury yields. However, she will staunchly defend her lands. Strategically placing Observatories near farms and plantations rockets the Mayans towards a Science victory.

C-Tier

This is an interesting tier as seasoned players may utilize these civs maximum potentials and prove victorious over the higher tiers. Yet, many may find these leaders difficult or downright useless for their personal playstyle. Some leaders on this list simply offer generic perks that higher tiers already flourish in and to a greater capacity.

Ba Trieu (Vietnam) Introduced in the most recent pack, Vietnam and Kublai Khan, Ba Trieu’s military thrives on rough terrains that bog other civs down, such as marshes, woods, and rainforests. Their prowess on these tiles doubles if it’s home turf, making them staunch defenders. Vietnam’s specialty district provides a slight boost to culture as well.

Kublai Khan (Mongolia) This other newcomer focuses on international trade and maintaining friendships to earn Eureka and Inspiration perks. With a priority on trade, Mongolia needs to evade war when possible, but an additional Economics Policy lets its government set the stage for diverse victory conditions.

Mansa Musa (Mali) As a leader driven by gold, the financial stability Mansa accumulates sets Mali up for a diverse victory path.

Kristina (Sweden) Between Kristina’s influence at the World Congress and Sweden’s tourism attractions, this civ is built for a cultural victory.

Dido (Phoenicia) excels with coastal settlements and a government based around trade.

Shaka (Zulu) is geared towards a domination victory with boosted combat for his Corps and Army units.

Eleanor of Aquitane (France) relies on influencing the loyalty of surrounding civs’ cities. A nearby city that drops to 0 loyalty with their civ, automatically pledges allegiance to Eleanor.

Gitarja (Indonesia) This civ is uniquely built for coastal colonization with a penchant for religious power. Kampung stilt houses reserve land tiles for other uses, and a wealth of faith bonuses coupled with naval perks allows the spread of Indonesian religion far and wide.

Pachacuti (Inca) The Incas are unique in that they flourish amongst mountainous terrain. They accrue food bonuses for every mountain tile in their capital city, and they can begin utilizing the mountains far sooner than other civs.

Jayavarman VII (Khmer) is a religious-based ruler. His holy-sites trigger culture-bombs to spread the Khmer religion. Building these sites adjacent to rivers adds the benefit of accruing more land and stabilizing the city’s growth with food and housing. Though they’re not much for fighting, the Khmer’s Domrey units can besiege cities encroaching on their borders if necessary.

Robert The Bruce (Scotland) More geared towards a scientific victory, it behooves the Scots to pick up arms in the name of Liberation as it grants them a temporary 100% production bonus.

The D and F-Tiers are where things take a turn for the worse. Leaders that didn’t make the cut on our list may not be complete trash, but there are certainly better options above that offer the same play styles while being more inclined to achieve greatness.

Next: The Witcher 3: How To Make Geralt OP

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Kim is a freelance writer for TheGamer. She recently began writing online articles in the summer of 2019 when she was approached on Discord to contribute some articles and guides for Wizards Unite World. Kim is a fan of fantastical genres, some of her favorite titles including Harry Potter, The Lord of The Rings, and The Witcher. She’s a bookish Ravenclaw eccentric, with an inquisitive sense for adventure. Kim seeks to use her writing as a means to travel and explore, hoping to share her findings and spread curiosity.

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