Wed. Jul 6th, 2022
How to Play As an Apostle in Civ 6

In this article, we will tell you our Civ 6 best Pantheon list. Our thoughts on them and when you should and shouldn’t take them. Everyone has different experiences with Civ 6, and it’s a complicated game. Our opinion is that there are only three good pantheons and 86 terrible pantheons, and we will have to sort through them. We’re going to have to create middle tiers. We are trying to be as generous as possible and give some use case scenarios for each Pantheon. However, know that most of these are not it, and you should not pick them in your games. Pantheons aren’t meant to be huge bonuses. They’re meant to be small bonuses specific to your civ, specific to your game. We try to be a little generous with the ratings and not expect all these pantheons to be something they’re not designed to be. Let’s begin.

Dance of the aurora
Holy site districts get plus one faith from adjacent tundra tiles. Dance of the Aurora is the perfect kind of middle-use case scenario pantheon if you’re playing Russia, sometimes Canada. It can be a game-breaking powerful pantheon pick if you’re playing the suitable Russia game. We think this is a b-tier pantheon of having to give it a tier rating. If you’re around the tundra and you’re having a good time, Dance of the Aurora is a fine pick.

Desert folklore
Holy site districts get plus one faith from adjacent desert tiles. It does help make those desert tiles useful. If you’re not building wonders on desert tiles, they’re useless tiles that are just sitting up and hogging space in your empire. We can think of a scenario in which Desert Folklore could be useful. It would probably come up, but most likely, we would pick a different Pantheon. We would give this a C rating as there probably is a scenario where this Pantheon might be helpful. It’s undoubtedly pickable but only in very niche cases.

Sacred path
For us, Sacred Path Is completely unpickable unless you’re in Brazil and you’re trying to keep your rainforest around for the appeal, or you’re trying to keep your rainforest around for food. We value chopping rain forest much more. We don’t see a scenario where we would take this and then not chop those rainforests. In almost every case, we would rather take another Pantheon and then chop the rain forests. Also, get a good Pantheon and the production shop. Sacred Path rating is an F for us. We’ve never found a use case scenario for it.

River Goddess
Two amenities and plus 2 housing to cities if they have Holy site districts adjacent to a river. Anytime you’re playing the Khmer Civ, River goddess is an excellent pick. There are lots of use case scenarios for this. We think it ranks lower than some of the best picks, but if you’re building holy sites, putting them next to the river is not usually the best idea, but amenities and housing are very valuable. While we prefer other ways to get those things, we can sometimes see other than Khmer games where River goddess might be a reasonable pick for any of your games. A C+, River Goddess is fine, especially on Khmer.

Monument to the Gods
Monument to the Gods is fascinating 15% production towards ancient and classical era wonders. This Pantheon might be a little better on lower difficulties because you’re going to get the wonder anyway. Speeding it up early on might be nice to help you get more of the early game wonders. With this, you might be able to sneak a Great Bath, a Pyramid, and an Oracle down, and a Toa. Maybe you can support all the early wonders of this. That’s quite good on higher difficulties; even with the 15%, we don’t think you’ll be able to hoard early game wonders. On higher difficulties, this Pantheon would be a wasted pick. There are other ways to get this production. We prefer chopping out our wonders if it’s at all possible to do. This Pantheon might be different because if you played more on difficulties than weren’t deity, maybe this is better for wonder hoarding. Our rating for this Pantheon is C-, only for wonder hoarding on lower difficulties.

Divine spark
Plus one great person points from holy sites (prophet), campuses with a library (scientist), and theater squares with an Amphitheater (writer). The divine spark is fine. The problem with this Pantheon is, it’s in a lower tier than some of the best pantheons. There are games in which this is a reasonable pick. We don’t think it’s actively good, but It’s not actively harmful either. If you have fun with this Pantheon you could take it. Divine spark used to be way better, and so people are holding on to it. We give it a C can be good, not usually the best thing ever. There are usually better picks, but you’re not actively hurting yourself if you’re picking this one either.

Lady of the reeds and marshes
This Pantheon gives plus two production from marsh, oasis, and desert floodplains. It’s a terrible pick in almost every game. But with the new wetlands map going for an Etemenanki play, the use case scenarios where this would be a good pick have risen steadily. This Pantheon might have been better if this was just marsh and regular floodplains. Or if the Pantheon gave two production for desert floodplains and one production for regular floodplains. To put it in that reliably good pick tier, it needs a bit of a buff, but it isn’t terrible. There are games where you can pick it. We’re going to give this a C+.

God of the sea
Plus one production from fishing boats. There are loads of games where this Pantheon is pickable, almost any game playing with a naval civ on an archipelago map. You’re going to want that extra production. It takes a while to get your shipyard zone, the harbor districts rolling, and this additional production of fishing boats can be great. Also, if you have extra resources when setting up the game and have put abundant resources in. You can play lots of fun games with Harald (Norway), Dido (Phoenician), and all the other naval Civs. God of the sea is great, fun, and a good pick. There are a lot of use case scenarios. It takes tiles that don’t have production on them and gives them production, which is huge. We give this Pantheon a B.

God of the open sky
Plus one culture from pastures. There are some games where plus one culture from pastures would be nice. It’s not quite as good as plus one culture from plantations. Certainly, if you’re looking at the map and there are many pastures around, this is pickable. Anything that gives you culture is fantastic. Culture early game is tough to find, and helping you catch up with the AI is very important. God of the open sky is theoretically quite good. However, in terms of the way the maps are laid out, it’s never quite there. There are some games where this can be a decent pick. This one is getting a B-.

Goddess of the hunt
Goddes of the hunt is very good on the right map, you’ll know it when you see it. Plus one food, plus one production from camps early on can be powerful. Often when you spawn in, you immediately have two first tiles that you can put a camp on right in your empire. It’s perfect. You can get a toa, and you can get Goddess of the hunt. You can start snowballing the game. When this Pantheon works, it’s incredible, and it works more often than Dance of the aurora. We give this an A-, there are a lot of times where it can be powerful.

Stone circles
Plus two faith from Quarries. This one is in the never picked and never will be picked tier. If you have enough stone to make stone circles worth it, you have enough stone to chop out 87 wonders. It would be best if you did the wonders instead of this Pantheon. This Pantheon belongs at the bottom of our Civ 6 best Pantheon list. It definitely is an F tier, never to pick tier.

Religious idols
Plus two faith from mines over luxury and bonus resources. Religious idols would be so much better if this Pantheon didn’t give faith but something else. It’s like the camps, you’re going to have to look around your map and see if you have enough luxury and bonus resources that you can put mines on top. Putting mines down is fantastic. Getting extra faith is nice but getting extra two faith is not so great. It would be better if this were two science or two culture, even two gold, literally two anything else would be better. This is going into the never-pick F category for religious idols.

God of craftsmen
If strategic resources are your game, then God of craftsmen can be really good. You are getting the production and faith from improved strategic resources. Huge difference here. If you see strategic resources, you can’t get rid of them. Once they’re there, they’re there; you might as well work them in most games, and getting an extra production for that is awesome, and then the one faith is great. Faith is the least valuable of all the tiles that can come on here unless it’s earth goddess where there’s enough faith to make that worth it, but this production makes it good. We give it a B. This Pantheon is good, it’s applicable you can pick this in every game and feel decent about it.

Goddess of festival
Plus one culture from Plantations. Most maps and lots of games have enough plantations where this is at least worth considering and taking. Plantations are something you actively want to try and put down. It’s giving very valuable culture. It’s getting an A-, it’s a good pick.

God of the Forge
25% production towards ancient and classical military units. In the right domination game, it can be quite powerful. There still are better picks. If you know you are going for domination, you would typically go for God of craftsman. So you can get the extra faith and production. +25% production of no production early on in the game is not a lot. It’s not 25% of 100 production. The 25% of 6 production it’s not a lot of extra production you are getting. God of craftsmen usually makes up for that. God of the Forge is worse than God of craftsmen. God of the forge can be quite powerful in the very specific domination game. This Pantheon is getting a C.

Initiation rites
+50 faith for each barbarian outpost cleared. The unit that cleared the barbarian outpost heals +100 HP. You’re not actively harming yourself by picking this. It’s free stuff, and free stuff is always nice. You can choose almost any other free stuff, but this Pantheon is better than Stone Circles. Initiation rites gets a C-, the highest you can go above never picked for any reason.

God of healing
Increases healing by +30 in your Holy site district or any adjacent tiles. The chance that this would work in any game is so remote it has no place being a Pantheon.

The biggest problem with it is that you have to build a lot of Holy sites to make this work. Most of the time your units need healing. They are not near your holy sites because you know what you’re doing with your units, you are fighting the enemy over where they are and not where your holy sites are. Never pick God of healing, even if you only have one plantation for the culture, pick that. God of healing is F tier, never pick.

God of war
Bonus faith is equal to 50% of the strength of each combat unit killed within 8 piles of a holy site district. It’s understandable why all the Pantheons seem holy site-specific to the Pantheon as a religious thing. Still, no, you don’t want to build that many holy sites. You don’t want faith equal to half the strength. You should never pick this. This is an F-tier Pantheon.

Fertility rites
This Pantheon is the most interesting one on this list. When chosen, receive a builder in your capital. The city growth rate is 10% higher. The city growth rate doesn’t do much for you. It’s whatever. The problem is with the builder. You’ll be getting a free builder, but it’s inefficient because you’ll be getting lots of builders. If you go to your Hall of Fame and you’re going to your most built unit, it’s going to be builders. In terms of what you are getting, you’re getting something you’re going to have a lot of anyway. There are occasionally games where you have a bopping city with three good tiles you can work. Getting that builder might speed up that one city to get the snowball rolling.

This Pantheon is definitely not unpickable. People value fertility rites way higher than it is because of the free builder it gives. However, it would be best to find production or culture somewhere else in the Pantheon selection process. Fertility rites isn’t too terrible, but it isn’t great either it’s a C+, at best.

If you get early builders in your goodie huts early on, please don’t take it, but if you don’t have a builder early on in your game and you have three good tiles to work for a couple of chops that you need, it can be appealing to get fertility rites.

Religious settlements
When chosen, receive a free settler in your capital. The border expansion rate is 15% faster. Border expansion is cool but still whatever, though. The free settler, the best thing you can do in civilization is getting your cities down early. Getting this free settler helps you do that. Unlike the builder, the settler is something you’re not building loads of every game. You have way more builders than settlers in every game you play. Building settlers early on takes a lot of time, effort, or a lot of money. You are also spending so much of your time with policy cards trying to lower the production of settlers, and getting a free settler is valuable. This Pantheon is one of the top two in the game. If this is available, you should pick it. You will never feel let down. It is never a bad thing. Unless the barbarians take your settler, it’s always fantastic. Religious settlements is an incredible S-tier category.

City patron goddess
+25% production towards districts in cities without a specialty district. This Pantheon is one you are probably never going to pick, but the appeal is entirely understandable. You’re getting a lot of cities you want that production for your first district. This Pantheon isn’t great because your first city doesn’t have any districts when you place it down. The city will not have much production, and getting 25% production of almost nothing is not helpful. The cities you’re getting this Pantheon to use it in are cities with low production +25% of low production that does not feel like a huge victory. There are better options. City patron goddess gets a C.You can pick it and enjoy it. It’s just incredibly inefficient.

Earth Goddess
Plus one faith from tiles with a charming or breathtaking appeal. In Gathering Storm plus one faith from tiles with a breathtaking appeal. Earth Goddess is one of the best top 2. Earth Goddess is powerful because you can manipulate the condition to make it work with something like, plus one culture from plantations. You can’t make more tiles able to put plantations on, but you have a set amount of possible plantations, and that is about whether or not you get them all.

With earth goddess, you actively get to change the appeal. You can go in and plants lots of woods or districts that give you high appeal, you can chop away marshes and rainforests. You can actively make Earth Goddess better and get more and more faith. To the point where there is no cap on how good it can be. You can keep making more tiles breathtaking, getting more faith, and because of that approach, you can manipulate the conditions of the game to infinitely make your pantheon work for you.

Overall, slightly worse than religious settlements, earth goddess is still in that S-tier. There are many good use cases for it. I know it’s not as good as it used to be, but because of the way you can manipulate the map to make this pop off, it’s excellent.

Fire Goddess
Like all the other faith ones, we have the same opinion of Fire Goddess. Don’t pick stone circles, don’t pick Fire Goddess. There are some games where it’s fun to look at, like apocalypse mode on a primordial with 800 volcanoes. Slightly more pickable than something like stone circles, as the stones you actively want to get rid of those. Fire Goddes receives a C. It’s fine in some games; it’s better than others. There are very few games where it is the most efficient pick, but overall, I think Fire Goddess can be fun. But unlike Earth Goddess you can’t make more geothermal fissures or volcanic soil because there is a set amount on the map. Once the volcano started erupting, you can make more breathtaking appeal tiles, and that’s the difference and why Earth Goddess is powerful.

Conclusion
We hope our opinions were helpful, and we were able to lay out some of the reasoning for the pantheons we enjoy and for the Pantheons we don’t enjoy as much. Below you find our best Pantheon list.

BEST PANTHEON LIST

TierPantheon
SReligious Settlements, Earth Goddess
AGoddess of the Hunt (-), Goddess of Festivals (-)
BDance of the Aurora, God of the Sea, God of the Open Sky (-), God of Craftsmen
CDesert Folklore, River Goddess (+), Monument to the Gods (-), Divine Spark, Fire Goddess, Lady of the Reeds and Marshes (+), God of the Forge, Fertility Rite (+), City Patron Goddess
D C-Initiation Rites
FSacred Path, Stone Circles, Religious Idols, God of Healing, God of War

Do you want to know how to dominate every Civ 6 game, check out our article here.

In summary, Earth Goddess and religious settlements are the two overall best Pantheons in most games. Religious settlements is an excellent pick in every game. Earth Goddes, you have to be a little more specific, but you can manipulate the map. Be careful with Earth goddess it’s just highly valued because of the manipulation aspect of it.

But without religious settlements and Earth Goddess, you need to look for culture, Goddess of festivals, God of the open sky. However, the Goddess of festivals is slightly better than God of the open sky. There are a few other fun ways to get some production and food, Goddess of the hunt, God of craftsmen, all of those types of things, God of the sea here for fishing boat production. They’re all quite good. Typically try to avoid all the faith ones. Usually, you can do something else, something better, with those tiles. It is recommended not to get faith from Pantheons at all. Suppose you’re going for a religious victory. In that case, you should get hundreds of faith from all of the religious stuff you’re doing. A couple of faith from Pantheon will not be very helpful. That’s mostly our opinion on all the pantheons.

See also:
How to Manage Era Score in Civ 6
An Introduction to Civilization 6 National Parks
The Complete Guide to Civ 6 Archaeologist and How They Shape Your Gaming Experience

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