Are you feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of leaders in Civ 6? As Civ 6 has almost 60 leaders, it is entirely understandable if you do. The Civ 6 leaders tier list will go through your most notable and valuable leaders. Not all leaders are made equal; some are powerful and vulnerable. We will discuss 20 leaders of 17 civilizations in our following tier list. Keep in mind that this is just our opinion. After playing many hours with a leader, you may have a different view of the leader.
Before we get started, please note that we will discuss leaders with an alternate persona or if a civ has two leaders simultaneously. We will discuss the following civilizations:
- The Netherlands
- Conclusion leaders tier list
Germany has some decent abilities, and the extra military policy slot is okay. However, you will not frequently use their unique unit, the U-Boat.
Germany’s power lies more in its unique district, and the extra district they get makes Germany indestructible. The Hansa is more affordable to build and gets fantastic adjacencies. When placed in the right circumstances, the Hanse can add up to potentially plus 20. With another district per city. You can surround all your Hansas in a German circle surrounded by other districts—like commercial hubs, dams, and aqueducts. If you do that and you’ll be able to defeat any victory type. Considering they can build everything from wonders to holy sites. And even space parts in five turns are less.
Overall their ability to manage everything makes this civ very flexible. Germany is, therefore, an S-tier civ as they are indestructible from the classical era onwards.
The Dutch are one of the better civs. With culture from traders and significant adjacency bonuses when building districts on rivers. With bonus production towards dams and aqueducts. Bonus production is usually very costly. This bonus production makes them one of the best tall civs in the game.
Their unique tile improvement, Polder, is quite powerful but somewhat situational. The Dutch frigate, De Zeven Provincien, is some of the finest naval units in the game. It gets bonuses when bombarding districts, including city centers. That makes this Dutch unit super effective on an archipelago map with its boats and polders.
In our opinion, the Netherlands is an A-tier civ. The river ability and the district adjacency puts the Dutch unit in the A-tier class.
Macedon is next. Macedon has no war-weariness and full heal from wonders which is underrated but extremely powerful. Although it’s something most people forget.
Hellenistic fusion gives them so many Eeurikas and inspiration per captured district. The district that you can end the game if they take out an individual civ. The harder the difficulty, the more useful this ability becomes, especially on Deity, instead of the usual getting pounded by Deity AI. You use their advantages against them by robbing three Eurekas per captured city. As you will have every eureka, you would ever want.
We haven’t gotten to the unique units and buildings. The Hypaspist is a special melee unit with +5 combat strength when besieging a district. Additionally, you have extra support bonuses as a swordsman.
Hetairoy gets a promotion, great general generation, and combat strength from adjacent great generals, making them an insane unit to have on the battlefield.
Finally, for the unique building Basilikoi Paides, we have the barracks replacement for 25% of every unit’s total cost that is built in the city and gets converted to science. By making just units, If you have the gold, you dominate everyone on the tech tree without requiring you to build campuses. You will take campuses off the AI’s conquered cities.
Overall this civ is a low S-tier. The Macedon are only useful at domination and science to an extent. That is all you need as this civ snowballs extraordinary quick after you take out your first neighboring civ.
India gets follower beliefs of every civ that has at least one follower. And they get extra missionary distances. This ability is great and all, but it depends on the followers’ beliefs you have chosen. One mistake and you help another civ get a religious victory.
So it is required that you are vigilant if you want to make the most out of India.
The Varu is powerful at taking out units, as it gives -5 combat strength for all adjacent enemy units.
Stepwell gives extra food, housing, and faith. All of which India can make adequate use of.
The leader, Chandragupta gets the ability to “war of territorial expansion.” The territorial expansion gives +5 combat strength and +2 movement for ten turns. These bonuses come too late for the Varu, especially when the AI finishes building the second wall. The Varu becomes pretty much useless.
Your optimum bet is to quicken Varus and then go for medieval territorial expansion. We rank India with Chandragupta as their leader, a B-tier civ.
The other Indian leader, Gandhi seems underwhelming compared to Chandragupta. With Gandhi, you get an early pantheon thanks to your five faith per peaceful civ you meet. His other abilities give faith as well, but far less. More food and housing are nice, but you will exhaust all the amenities at a certain point.
Varu can be helpful early on with your first battle. If you’re quick enough and double war-weariness can be very good. Especially if you attempt to starve out the rival by taking a long time by taking out their amenities, this one is a D-tier civ.
China is the pre-eminent wonder builders are a lot better than given credit for.
Using extra build charges to build wonders lets you quickly create any classical or ancient era wonder. If that’s not enough, the dynastic cycle gives 10% additional eureka growth. Additionally, new wonders give one Eurika inspiration per wonder built. This ability is massive, considering you’ll get at least 7 to 8 total wonders in most games.
Also, China can build the Great Wall. This unique improvement also gives extra gold and culture. In late-game, you will get tourism as well. All these abilities give China one of the more powerful cultural games in the late game.
The Crouching Tiger is ineffective, except when you require an era score. But overall, in our opinion, Qin Shi Huang of China earns the B-tier.
Greece has a couple of solid abilities. A free wildcard slot is automatically C-tier giving them insane versatility early on.
Their unique unit, the hoplite, is effective until the swordsman comes into play.
The Acropolis gives one envoy per each one built, and that’s somewhat all Greece has aside from their leadership abilities.
Gorgo gets culture from combat victories. And one combat strength for every unit per military policy card. You can quickly get double digits of extra combat strength in the late game, making her one of the most dominant late-game civs. In the early game, however, Greece played with Gorgo is a weak civ. So overall, we will place her in the A-tier.
Pericles gets +5% culture per city-state Greece has suzerainty over. Under the right circumstances, that can be extremely powerful. You will get a lot of envoys and culture with Pericles. This ability will let you get late-game civics, wonders, and governments easier than everyone else. In the early game, it would be best if you got some hoplites to get more early culture. The hoplites generate culture by taking out barbarians. You do all this to prepare for the cultural scene’s domination for the rest of the game.
Greece, with Pericles as their leader, is a B-tier civ.
Rome gets free monuments. They also get free roads and cities within trader range, as well as a unique bath improvement, which replaces the aqueducts and gives up to six housing, and one amenity. You would want this free amenity just for the industrial zones. This growth potential is massive, with even an amenity to help you grow much quicker.
Rome’s unique unit is the Legion. Legion is a buffed swordsman who can chop and build forts. As the Legion only needs five iron to produce, you send them out early in the game. The extra combat strength makes it easy to dominate other civs early on in the game. Seize their land and grow large and powerful free monuments everywhere.
Just for that, we rank Rome an S-tier civ.
The Aztecs, with their Eagle Warriors, are very well known for capturing your builders on Deity difficulty. However, this can be very useful when you play Aztec and force these workers to work in your districts. It’s always great to get free builders. And the fact that you can utilize them to work districts makes it so that you get in operation quickly.
The extra combat strength from luxuries gives you some staying power late game. However, it is nowhere near as powerful as Greece’s Gorgo.
The unique building, Tlachtli, gives you +2 amenities, +1 culture, and +2 faith. It doesn’t make sense from a gameplay perspective, but it is still nice.
The problem with the Aztecs is that they are one of the original civs from the first civ game. Montezuma’s abilities have not aged as well as the Germans or Romans. Because you need to go to war early on from turn one, if the war does not go well, you will suffer a significant setback because eagles are expensive.
In any case, we rank the Aztecs as a C-tier civ. They are powerful when played right, but things can go incredibly wrong very early on.
Khmer is one of the best civs in civ 6. Their holy sites increase major adjacencies with rivers. Meaning in the right circumstances you can make work ethic function better than even Russia.
Aqueducts get amenities like Rome, which is nice. But farms now get food and faith with every adjacent aqueduct and holy site.
Domreys, the unique Khmer elephant unit, are overpowered as they move and bombard with siege units. They are also more powerful than a trebuchet. This makes sense as a wooden structure is considerably easier to take out than an elephant.
But what makes the Khmer even stronger is the unique building, Prasat. It replaces the temple with six faiths, half a culture point per population, and 10 to 20 tourism at 10 to 20 population.
In a suitable game, you can get so much towards tourism that snapping a thousand by turn 200 is possible, which is insane with enough prayers and peaceful relationships. You can get every city with up to 20 population with a work ethic. And get a large enough army.
Well with that in mind, we have nowhere to put the Khmer than on the S-tier rank.
The Inca loves to settle near mountains. Their unique tile improvement is the Terrace Farm, which gives one food for every adjacent mountain tile. Also, production when near an aqueduct or fresh water. With this level of production and food, the Inca could get resources very quickly.
The unique recon, Warak’aq, has an additional attack, but this ability is pretty useless. The attack range is only 1 tile and the attack strength is weak. So after attacking, you will lose your scout.
The tile improvement lets you move through mountains, which is also very nice. We rank the Incans an A-tier civ.
America has Teddy Roosevelt as their leader but in two different characters. The first character is Bull Moose and the other one is called Rough Rider.
The American ability is founding fathers, which halves the time needed to accumulate government legacy bonuses.
Their unique unit is the P-51 Mustang, which replaces the fighter. The P-51, with its two range, is a little bit better than the fighter. However, it doesn’t make much of a difference. The unique building is the film studio, which replaces the broadcast center
The film studio is great. Especially for Bull Moose, with all the excellent yields he will get for culture later in the game.
The founding fathers’ ability is excellent because you turn one of the most useless diplomatic policy slots into one of the most incredible wildcard slots. You get one diplomatic favor per turn for each wildcard slot. It lets you start building up your diplomatic favor early in the game. This ability makes America one of the best early diplomatic civs in the game.
Let’s discuss the differences between Bull Moose and Rough Rider. Rough Rider gets +5 combat strength on their home continent. This extra combat strength will result in your troops destroying the barbarians on your home continent. The additional envoys give you an added advantage for a diplomatic victory. These abilities sound nice, but none of Rough Rider’s abilities fit too well, even if you include the Rough Rider unique unit. For each kill, the Rough Rider unit gives culture. However, this is too late in the game to make too much of a difference unless you spam them. All in all, America with Rough Rider is a C-tier civ.
Bull Moose leader bonus gives every breathtaking tile near mountains and natural wonders +2 culture and +2 science. America with Bull Moose is the best early games civ for science and culture. The leader bonus makes that America can snowball so quickly. This leader bonus alone makes America with Bull Moose an S-tier civ.
Hungary can levy a city-state army, upgrade them and send them off to war for him. He comes back with more new empires under his control and does the same thing again.
Hungary gets a bonus to levied units giving them two moves speed and five combat strength, as well as much more affordable upgrade costs. Additionally, Hungary gets two envoys for each levy.
Hungary can start waging war early in the game without even having to build a military. They can do this because Hungary can get some warriors and turn them into swordsmen much more efficiently.
Hungary has some supporting abilities. For instance, Pearl of the Danube and thermal baths give some excellent bonuses to districts, construction, production, and amenities. Their unique unit, Huszar, and thermal bath building are either a hit or miss.
The Black Army gets three combat strengths for every levy that sparks enjoyment.
The Huszar is three combat strengths for every alliance, which does not spark enjoyment. The only way you have any friends at this stage is if you were peaceful in the early game, in which case you already lost.
All in all, Hungary is a B-tier civilization. Mainly because getting city-states is a challenging early game unless you have the hero Himiko which is what you are required to do as Hungary. When you have Himiko, Hungary is probably an S-tier.
Nubia is, without a doubt, the most attractive leader in civ six. Nubia is in the top tier due to how effortless and effective she is in the game.
Nubia would get production towards districts, even higher production if she upgraded with a unique Nubian pyramid adjacent to the capital. Additionally, she gets production towards ranged units and her mighty archer special unit, Pitati Archer, with three movement speed. When you’re fighting the AI, you can kill them a bit quicker.
Mines give extra yield according to their resource, for instance, gold or production. That’s pleasant, but she does not have much going on with the kit. And she does not require to.
The golden rule of civ is never to give ranged units three-move speeds. Nubia proves why the ability to move and attack so efficiently that the opposition has no chance in your next drive-by.
Nubia is an S-tier civilization. She can do everything well with her district production, extra yields, and powerful ancient era unique unit.
Maori settles cities on turn one. Despite beginning in a terrible position, he gets some bonuses that more than make up for it, with extra population, housing, and amenities when settling your capital. And science and culture while you do not have your city set up yet. It will let you select and choose the best city spot you can imagine.
Mana gives you sailing and shipbuilding from turn one, which is very useful.
Entering ocean tiles lets you colonize wherever you want from turn one. The problem with the Maori is the fact that you can’t chop for forests or rainforests. However, they get boosts, so they are better than lumber mills. But no chopping will hinder you catastrophically when you are playing Maori.
The unique unit, Tao, is solid, but the tile improvement, Marae, is useless. And his unique ability does give him late-game tourism and faith. But without being able to get great writers and not only getting tourism yourself. You are also giving more culture and tourism to the AI, making it more challenging to defeat a culture victory in the mid to late game.
The Maori is a C-tier civilization; this civilization is not the best, but not horrible.
Playing with Poland is complex, but they are versatile. If you want a peaceful approach to victory, you play to her strengths. Lithuanian Union gives her relic bonuses and holy site adjacencies from encampments, and her encampments are not great. So Lithuanian Union isn’t the best ability. Her relics can be good, especially if you have enough of them with the void singer secret society.
Golden liberty turns military slots into a wild card, which is fantastic. Culture bombing is suitable, especially if you have your own religion. If you could not get your religion, you just gave the AI a religious win when you spread them with Poland might.
The unique Polish unit, Winged Hussar, is solid. At this stage, cavalry becomes more suitable than infantry, as there are no more melee siege units. If you pin a unit, you can deal extra damage or force it back.
Finally, the unique Polish building, Sukiennice, gives production and gold from different trade routes.
Poland is a C-tier civilization, and this civilization is not the best civ, but it can still be effective.
The leader of Mali, Mansa Musa, is the wildest card civ in the game. If you spawn on a large stretch of desert, you are in a great starting position. However, if you have limited desert, it will get complicated.
Mali gets faith and food from adjacent desert tiles. Their unique commercial hub, Suguba, will let you purchase anything you want at an affordable cost. The catch is that mines provide almost no production, and you also get a penalty when producing units or buildings.
The Mandekalu Calvary lets you protect your trade routes. For every flat desert tile in the city, you get extra gold from traders. Additionally, you get more traders for every Golden age.
Mali is weak in the early game. Until you can get the commercial hub, Sugubas, and start swimming in that gold.
We rank Mali as a B-tier civilization. However, Mali can be an S-tier civilization at the correct starting location, a vast desert. But also as low as F-tier in the most destructive starting one, everything non-desert.
The leader of Georgia, Tamar, has a lackluster kit of abilities with faith from early kills. It is helpful to get an early pantheon and bonuses to chaining golden ages. But you have to secure one first. As then you will be able to get regular age bonuses and the Golden age.
You get two envoys instead of one to city-states following your majority religion. This is great if it is your religion. However, this isn’t very good if you couldn’t start your own religion and you have to spread someone else’s religion to get the bonus.
The Georgian unique unit, Khevsur, is a solid unit with combat strength on hills. This unit also has a great upgrade path. Their unique building, Tshikhe, which replaces the Renaissance walls are useless. You must build two sets of walls before getting the Tshike, and this wall’s bonuses are not even that good. The bonuses are three tourism and four faith, which will double in a golden age. And that’s a problem. Tamar requires a golden age which might not be possible in some games. You will also struggle with the city-states if you are unable to found your religion. Unless you want to help, your adversary wins a religious victory.
In our opinion, Georgia is a D-tier civ. We gave it this ranking purely because Tamar can chain golden ages and for her strong, unique unit, Khevsur.
Conclusion leaders tier list
With this, we come to the end of this Civilization 6 20 leaders tier list. We have summed up 20 leaders with their strengths and weaknesses, which is our biased opinion. We ranked them as follows.
|S||Germany, Macedon, Rome, Khmer, America with Bull Moose, Hungary with hero Himiko, Nubia, Mali on vast desert tiles|
|A||The Netherlands, Greece with Gorgo, Inca|
|B||India with Chandragupta, China, Greece with Pericles, Hungary, Mali|
|C||Aztec, America with Rough Rider, Maori, Poland|
|D||India with Gandhi, Georgia|
|F||Mali with no desert tiles|
Of course, you will have your own opinion once you start playing the game. However, if you want to know more about the other civs or get a different view? Check out this video.