Civ 6 Tier List (Jan. 2021) Civs, Leaders, Pantheons, Wonders

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).

Written: December, 2020

Last Updated: January, 2021 (continually updated)

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. Conclusion and Background Information

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, there are 54 leaders 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 the re-playability is excellent because you are able to continually experiment with different strategic approaches. 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 54 leaders in order to see what civs are best and worst. Scroll down further to see a breakdown by victory type.

Civ 6 Tier List

S-Tier

  • Japan (Hojo Tokimune)
  • Russia (Peter)
  • Arabia (Saladin)
  • America (Bullmoose Teddy)

A-Tier

  • Korea (Seondeok)
  • Australia (John Curtin)
  • Maori (Kupe)
  • Brazil (Pedro II)
  • America (Rough Rider Teddy)

B-Tier

  • Gran Columbia (Simon Bolivar)
  • Hungary (Matthias Corvinus)
  • Greece (Gorgo)
  • Babylon (Hammurabi)
  • Egypt (Cleopatra)
  • Greece (Pericles)

C-Tier

  • Persia (Cyrus)
  • Sumeria (Gilgamesh)
  • Aztec (Montezuma)
  • Nubia (Amanitore)
  • Byzantium (Basil II)
  • Maya (Lady Six Sky)
  • China (Qin Shi Huang)
  • Inca (Pachacuti)
  • Ethiopia (Menelik II)
  • Sweden (Kristina)
  • Phoenician (Dido)
  • France (Catherine de Medici)
  • Indonesia (Gitarja)
  • Khmer (Jayavarman VII)
  • Georgia (Tamar)

D-Tier

  • Germany (Frederick Barbarossa)
  • Ottoman (Suleiman)
  • Mongolia  (Genghis Khan)
  • Dutch (Wilhelmina)
  • Macedon (Alexander)
  • Rome (Trajan)
  • Polish (Jadwiga)
  • Mali (Mansa Musa)
  • Canada (Wilfrid Laurier)

F-Tier

  • Zulu (Shaka)
  • Gaul (Ambiorix
  • France (Magnificence Catherine)
  • Spain (Phillip II)
  • Scythia (Tomyris)
  • France (Eleanor Aquitaine)
  • India (Ghandi)
  • India (Chandragupta)
  • Scotland (Robert the Bruce)
  • Mapuche (Lautaro)
  • England (Victoria)
  • Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga)
  • England (Eleanor of Aquitaine)

LOL-Tier

  • Cree (Poundmaker)
  • Norway (Harald Hardrada)

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

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 culture and religion like Russia, 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
  • Tot: Total
Civilization Dom Sci Cul Reli Dipl Tot Tier
Japan (Hojo Tokimune) 7 7 7 7 4 32 S
Russia (Peter) 7 5 8 8 4 32 S
Arabia (Saladin) 6 8 6 8 4 32 S
America (Bullmoose Teddy) 5 7 8 4 8 32 S
Korea (Seondeok) 7 8 7 4 5 31 A
Australia (John Curtin) 5 8 7 6 5 31 A
Maori (Kupe) 5 6 8 8 4 31 A
Brazil (Pedro II) 4 7 8 8 4 31 A
America (Rough Rider Teddy) 6 6 7 4 8 31 A
Gran Columbia (Simon Bolivar) 8 6 6 6 4 30 B
Hungary (Matthias Corvinus) 8 7 4 4 7 30 B
Greece (Gorgo) 5 5 8 4 8 30 B
Babylon (Hammurabi) 7 7 6 5 5 30 B
Egypt (Cleopatra) 6 4 8 6 6 30 B
Greece (Pericles) 5 5 8 4 8 30 B
Persia (Cyrus) 8 5 8 4 4 29 C
Sumeria (Gilgamesh) 6 8 7 4 4 29 C
Aztec (Montezuma) 8 7 5 6 3 29 C
Nubia (Amanitore) 7 7 5 6 4 29 C
Byzantium (Basil II) 8 5 5 8 3 29 C
Maya (Lady Six Sky) 6 8 5 5 5 29 C
China (Qin Shi Huang) 4 7 8 5 5 29 C
Inca (Pachacuti) 5 7 6 7 4 29 C
Ethiopia (Menelik II) 6 5 6 8 4 29 C
Sweden (Kristina) 4 6 8 3 8 29 C
Phoenician (Dido) 6 6 7 5 4 28 C
France (Catherine de Medici) 7 5 8 4 4 28 C
Indonesia (Gitarja) 6 6 5 7 4 28 C
Khmer (Jayavarman VII) 5 5 6 8 4 28 C
Georgia (Tamar) 4 5 6 6 7 28 C
Germany (Frederick Barbarossa) 8 7 6 4 2 27 D
Ottoman (Suleiman) 8 6 6 4 3 27 D
Mongolia  (Genghis Khan) 8 6 6 5 2 27 D
Dutch (Wilhelmina) 6 8 6 3 4 27 D
Macedon (Alexander) 8 7 6 4 2 27 D
Rome (Trajan) 7 6 6 4 4 27 D
Polish (Jadwiga) 7 4 5 7 4 27 D
Mali (Mansa Musa) 3 5 6 8 5 27 D
Canada (Wilfrid Laurier) 3 4 8 4 8 27 D
Zulu (Shaka) 8 6 6 4 2 26 F
Gaul (Ambiorix 8 7 5 4 2 26 F
France (Magnificence Catherine) 5 5 8 4 4 26 F
Spain (Phillip II) 6 6 4 6 4 26 F
Scythia (Tomyris) 7 4 4 7 3 25 F
France (Eleanor Aquitaine) 5 4 8 4 4 25 F
India (Ghandi) 3 5 5 8 4 25 F
India (Chandragupta) 7 4 4 7 2 24 F
Scotland (Robert the Bruce) 5 8 4 3 4 24 F
Mapuche (Lautaro) 6 5 5 5 3 24 F
England (Victoria) 7 7 5 3 1 23 F
Kongo (Mvemba a Nzinga) 5 6 7 1 4 23 F
England (Eleanor of Aquitaine) 5 6 6 3 3 23 F
Cree (Poundmaker) 4 6 4 4 4 22 LOL
Norway (Harald Hardrada) 6 4 4 6 1 21 LOL

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).

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
12 days 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