Civ 6 Tier List: Civs, Leaders, Pantheons, Wonders (November 2021)

In this article, we decided to put together the ultimate Civ 6 Tier List. We will be ranking everything from leaders and civilizations, to pantheons, to wonders and natural wonders for the complete game (vanilla plus Rise and Fall, Gathering Storm, and New Frontier).

Last Updated: November 2021 with a major update. The update involves answering all of the most commonly searched questions about the game, which can be found on our last page. The last major update to the tier list was in May 2021, which reflected the significant April balance and update patch.

Table of Contents

  1. Civ 6 Tier List: Primary List
  2. Civ 6 Tier List: All Civs and Leaders Ranked by Victory Condition
    1. Best Civ / Leader in Civ 6
    2. What do the Tiers mean?
    3. Multiplayer vs Single Player
  3. Civ 6 Tier List: Civ Abilities Ranked
  4. Civ 6 Tier Lists: Pantheons and Religion
    1. Best Pantheons
    2. Best Places of Worship
    3. Best Founder Beliefs
    4. Best Follower Beliefs
    5. Best Enhancer Beliefs
  5. Civ 6 Tier Lists: Government and Wonders
    1. Best Governments
    2. Best Wonders
    3. Best Natural Wonders
  6. Most Commonly Searched Questions and Conclusion

With so many expansions added, Civilization 6 players can now pick from a long list of civilizations and leaders before starting the game. As of Gathering Storm (and New Frontier Pass), there are 58 leaders / civs in the game if you take into account all of the expansions. Clearly, different leaders have different strengths and weaknesses, and when you compound other elements of this gameplay (such as which victory condition you are pursuing, or which pantheon you should select), this game becomes all the more complex.. which prompted us to prepare this Civ 6 Tier List. This, of course, is not a bad thing: Civilization is notoriously addictive and one of the most re-playable games we’ve ever enjoyed, largely due to its layers of depth and freedom to play your own way. Throw in some randomness with each time you start on a new map, and you have a compelling experience every time you hit “Start Game”.

Without further ado, see below for the ultimate Civ 6 Tier List where we have ranked 58 leaders and civs in order to see who is the best and worst. Scroll down further to see a breakdown by victory type.

Civ 6 Tier List

S-Tier

  • Japan (Hojo Tokimune)
  • Russia (Peter)
  • Portugal (João III)
  • Australia (John Curtin)
  • Maori (Kupe)
  • America (Bullmoose Teddy)

A-Tier

  • Greece (Gorgo)
  • Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)
  • Egypt (Cleopatra)
  • Gran Columbia (Simon Bolivar)
  • Brazil (Pedro II)
  • Persia (Cyrus)
  • Arabia (Saladin)
  • America (Rough Rider Teddy)

B-Tier

  • Korea (Seondeok)
  • Greece (Pericles)
  • Ethiopia (Menelik II)
  • Maya (Lady Six Sky)
  • Phoenician (Dido)
  • Sumeria (Gilgamesh)
  • Babylon (Hammurabi)
  • Khmer (Jayavarman VII)
  • Mali (Mansa Musa)
  • China (Qin Shi Huang)
  • China (Kublai Khan)
  • Spain (Phillip II)

C-Tier

  • Inca (Pachacuti)
  • Dutch (Wilhelmina)
  • Nubia (Amanitore)
  • Aztec (Montezuma)
  • Byzantium (Basil II)
  • Polish (Jadwiga)
  • Georgia (Tamar)

D-Tier

  • Vietnam (Bà Triệu)
  • Indonesia (Gitarja)
  • Germany (Frederick Barbarossa)
  • Rome (Trajan)
  • Sweden (Kristina)
  • Canada (Wilfrid Laurier)
  • France (Catherine de Medici)
  • Ottoman (Suleiman)

F-Tier

  • England (Victoria)
  • France (Magnificence Catherine)
  • Mongolia  (Genghis Khan)
  • Mongolia (Kublai Khan)
  • Zulu (Shaka)
  • Macedon (Alexander)
  • Gaul (Ambiorix)
  • Mapuche (Lautaro)
  • England (Eleanor of Aquitaine)
  • Scythia (Tomyris)
  • Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga)

LOL-Tier

  • France (Eleanor Aquitaine)
  • Scotland (Robert the Bruce)
  • Cree (Poundmaker)
  • India (Ghandi)
  • Norway (Harald Hardrada)
  • India (Chandragupta)

Civ 6 Tier List: Best Leaders and Civs by Victory Condition

So firstly, before you jump up and down screaming how “Gold” is not a victory condition: we know. However, Gold is one of those elements in the game that can substantially boost your path towards any victory type if utilized correctly. It can help you defend, buy buildings and barter. Due to its significance, it is important that it is considered when ranking the overall ability of Civs.

Once you decide which type of victory you want to pursue, you need to choose a proper civilization and a good leader. Some civilizations excel in certain victory types, so be careful what you choose. For example, according to our Civ 6 Tier List, if you choose an S-Tier leader that specializes in science and religion like Arabia, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best Civ if you are going for global domination. So, be sure to consider how you intend to play: what is your ultimate goal?

Victory Type Legend: 

  • Dom: Domination
  • Sci: Science
  • Cul: Culture
  • Reli: Religion
  • Dipl: Diplomacy
  • Gol: Gold
  • Tot: Total
CivilizationDomSciCulReliDiplGoldTotalTier
Japan (Hojo Tokimune)77774638S
Russia (Peter)75884537S
Portugal (João III)58745837S
Australia (John Curtin)58765637S
Maori (Kupe)56884637S
America (Bullmoose Teddy)57858437S
Greece (Gorgo)65848536A
Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)87447636A
Egypt (Cleopatra)64866636A
Gran Columbia (Simon Bolivar)86664636A
Brazil (Pedro II)47874636A
Persia (Cyrus)75844836A
Arabia (Saladin)68684436A
America (Rough Rider Teddy)66748536A
Korea (Seondeok)78745435B
Greece (Pericles)55848535B
Ethiopia (Menelik II)66685435B
Maya (Lady Six Sky)68555635B
Phoenician (Dido)66754735B
Sumeria (Gilgamesh)78645535B
Babylon (Hammurabi)77655535B
Khmer (Jayavarman VII)66784435B
Mali (Mansa Musa)35685835B
China (Qin Shi Huang)47855635B
China (Kublai Khan47755735B
Spain (Phillip II)77464735B
Inca (Pachacuti)67674434C
Dutch (Wilhelmina)68634734C
Nubia (Amanitore)77564534C
Aztec (Montezuma)87563534C
Byzantium (Basil II)85583534C
Polish (Jadwiga)74574734C
Georgia (Tamar)45678434C
Vietnam (Bà Triệu)76844433D
Indonesia (Gitarja)66574533D
Germany (Frederick Barbarossa)87642633D
Rome (Trajan)76644633D
Sweden (Kristina)46838433D
Canada (Wilfrid Laurier)45848433D
France (Catherine de Medici)65844532D
Ottoman (Suleiman)86643532D
England (Victoria)77531831F
France (Magnificence Catherine)55844531F
Mongolia  (Genghis Khan)86652431F
Mongolia (Kublai Khan)66653531F
Zulu (Shaka)86642531F
Macedon (Alexander)87642431F
Gaul (Ambiorix)87542430F
Mapuche (Lautaro)75653430F
England (Eleanor of Aquitaine)56633730F
Scythia (Tomyris)74573430F
Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga)56714730F
France (Eleanor Aquitaine)54844429LOL
Scotland (Robert the Bruce)58434529LOL
Cree (Poundmaker)46444729LOL
India (Ghandi)35584429LOL
Norway (Harald Hardrada)64461728LOL
India (Chandragupta)74472428LOL

 

Who is the best leader in  Civ 6?

Firstly, it’s important to emphasize that this is a subjective selection. Depending on your playstyle, and the typical strategies you employ, you could get more utility out of an F-Tier Civ than someone who misuses an S-Tier Civ. In our editorial opinion, of the S-Tier Civs, we would choose Hojo of Japan as the single best leader in Civ 6.

Our selection for Japan as the top Civilization in this game would be on the basis of their well-roundedness. Japan’s varying abilities appear throughout early, mid, and late game. Japan’s abilities are also wide-ranging and can be useful regardless of the Victory condition that you are pursuing. This allows for an additional degree of flexibility for players who need to pivot into another direction should the game go into an unexpected direction.

Our choice for second best Civ would be Russia. Russia is also relatively well-rounded (a bit weaker on Science), but has an important advantage when it comes to start bias. Since Russia starts near (or on) Tundra, this means that you will start on the edge of your continent and there won’t be anyone to your North (or South). Often, you can expand your early Civs in one direction and then also cover your West (or East). This means that during early game, Russia is less likely to have issues where they are facing opposition from every direction. Of course, this issue fades during later game when Naval warfare enters into the game. Nevertheless, this gives players confidence that they have fewer fronts to worry about when they get started.

What do all these Tiers mean?

While the definitions below primarily apply to Civs and Leaders, you will notice that there are Civ Tier Lists further down in this article which address other elements of the game. To keep things simple, S is considered the best, followed by A, B, C, D, F and finally LOL (A ProClockers special).

Another very important consideration is that sometimes civilizations and leaders have bonuses that do not fit under any victory condition. For example, Kublai Khan of Mongolia has a benefit of having an additional economic card slot. This is a great ability, but does not fit under any of the victory conditions. So, we recommend that you check out the abilities on the next page to see which ones the official tier list above might be missing.

 

 

S-Tier

These are the best Civs in the game. They are always highly proficient in more than one way, allowing the player to approach the game in a more flexible manner. If, for example, you play as the very well-rounded Japan, you are not going to have many disadvantages in pursuing Domination, Science, Culture, or Religion. S-Tier is great for new players and casual players.

A-Tier and B-Tier

Similar to S-Tier, these Civs are also flexible. However, they are more notably disadvantaged in certain spaces. While they may still be great for certain game-play strategies, they may have notable disadvantages as well. As an example, Pedro II of Brazil is great for Culture and Religion, but it’s best to avoid domination gameplay with this Civ unless you are looking for a challenge. B-Tier is a continuation of A-Tier; these civs are slightly less well-rounded, and also have notable disadvantages. They are still suitable for most players.

C-Tier, D-Tier and F-Tier

C-Tier is where it gets interesting, because this is where pre-planning becomes important. When selecting one of these leaders, it is ideal to know what you are pursuing from the get-go, and to carefully consider each turn, because if your options are limited, you can’t afford to fall behind. D-Tier and F-Tier are similar, but are more challenging.

LOL-Tier

Alright, we admit it, we invented “LOL-Tier”. However, there’s nothing funny about them. These are the most challenging Civs  to play as in the game, because they do not have any significant advantages. These civs are great if you are looking to test your overall ability, because well-roundedness is critical.

Does the Civ 6 Tier List Apply to both Single Player and Multiplayer?

In short, yes. This tier list is equally applicable to both multiplayer and single player games. It ultimately depends on your competitiveness. For a casual single player game, if you are just relaxing and not trying to execute a perfect game plan, then don’t sweat it. The differences between the Civs are not dramatic enough to flip the game in your favor if you aren’t meticulously taking advantage of all of your Civ’s bonuses. On the flip side, against a strong opponent, you need to utilize as many of the bonuses associated with your Civ as possible. Study up!

On the next page, we will give you even more detailed data. We will score every single special ability so you will see where we are coming from with our overall tier rankings.  Alternatively, jump back to the Table of Contents to go to a different section. 

About James Sterling

James Sterling received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California (USC). His Bachelor of Science was completed in Computer Science (Games) and his Master of Science was completed in Game Development. James spends his free time contributing on popular forums such as Tom's Hardware and AnandTech while hanging out with his cat Jonathan. Humorously, his favorite youtube channel is Jimquisition by Jim Sterling.

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Austin COD
Member
10 months ago

Wow you guys went all out. This Civ 6 Tier List is incredible… actually its more like 10 tier lists. How long did this take you?? geeze

Phantom83
Member
7 months ago

Poundmaker is one of my favourites…. Maybe im just a sucker for punishment but here are my reasons: Strong scout that can assist in early capital taking (doesn’t get bonus versus arrows so you still want atleast a couple of warrior variants for later in the game). This scout lets you pick the reward from huts meaning you can sneak in a weapons upgrade and get an archer with double sight bonus or heaps of extra defence and heal. The scouts also can take more hits and less likely to get one shot prior to tech upgrade, meaning more of… Read more »