[Top 10] CiV 6 Best Domination Leaders That Are Powerful

Civilization 6 best domination leaders
For when tanks aren't enough.

While Civilization offers plenty of options for diplomacy, cultural and pacifistic approaches, dominating the globe is always a quick and easy answer for all your problems. Not enough culture? Build a tank. Your enemies are richer than you? Bomb them with cannons.

No matter how, building an army and conquering the world requires plenty of preparation and strategy, so having a Leader that is focused and helps in this endeavor is very useful.

So these are the Top 10 Best Domination Leaders that are Powerful.


10. Frederick Barbarossa

Although Frederick Barbarossa, king of Germany, does not have a solely Domination focused playstyle, his absurd production capabilities make him stand out as one of the most versatile and strongest leaders in the game.

The main weapon in Germany's arsenal is not even a weapon, but the unique Hansa production District, regarded by many as one of the most broken Districts in the game. With an already lower production cost, the Hansa works together with strategic resources, +1 production for every one adjacent, and Commercial Districts, +2 production for every one adjacent. With this, you can alternate between Commercial and Industrial District, creating a grid that gives a crazy amount of production and gold, the perfect combination for building a massive army. This production can also be used for any other projects, like Campuses, Wonders and much more, allowing you to get ahead in almost every way. This comes in handy with their main ability, which allows cities to build one more District than normal, which scales rapidly during late game.

Frederick also gives off two important bonuses, an extra military slot in any government, and a +7 Strength against units of a City State. The first one makes all government types stronger, specially those focused on economic slots, since you won't be losing too many military ones. The second is very strong early in the game, allowing you to take city states instead of settling cities, but beware of suzerains as they will go to war with their city state.

Although not objectively a military powerhouse, Frederick has all the capabilities for winning any type of game, and with Germany’s insane production, building a massive army is no problem at all.


What Makes Frederick Barbarossa Great For Domination 

  • Extremely high production
  • Versatile
  • Can create large armies quickly

Choose Frederick Barbarossa if you:

  • Have a hard time managing production
  • Want more late game option
  • Don't mind less direct combat bonuses


9. Bà Triệu (Vietnam)

Bà Triệu, Vietnamese folk hero, is a master of forests, jungles, and territorial defense, with a skill set that pushes you into building an impenetrable fortress of an empire. With special abilities and a unique district that require wooded areas for their bonuses function,  you won’t be chopping down all your trees for the production bonus. 

Bà’s ability gives a global bonus to units of +5 Strength when fighting in a Rainforest, Marsh or Woods, and +1 Movement when starting off in those tiles. These are doubles if the tile belongs to Vietnam, a perfect combination for defending highly forested cities. This also comes in handy when attacking, as you can look for wooded areas that will give you an advantage when at war.

The main ability that changes Vietnam’s playstyle makes it impossible to build Specialty Districts outside of Wood, Rainforest or Marsh tiles. Because of this, a lot of consideration has to be taken when deciding whether or not to build a district or remove those terrain features for their bonuses. Building Districts in those tiles will grant a bonus depending on the feature, like +1 Culture in Woods, +1 Science in Rainforests, and +1 Production on Marshes. Helping with that, you also unlock the ability to plant Woods with the Medieval Fares Civic, instead of Conservation.

Their defensive power also comes from the Thành, a unique Encampment replacement which doesn’t spend population to build. This allows you to place Encampments without the fear of missing out on other Districts. With the production cost cut in half, it also produces +2 Culture for every other adjacent District, and Tourism outputs based off of the Culture. If you are able to surround the Thành with other districts, you can gain a lot of Culture, which is especially good coming from a District that is focused on defense. By building Thànhs in cities with close proximity to each other, enemy attacks become much more difficult and slow, especially since you will have the upper hand in forested tiles.

Lastly, their unique unit, replacing the crossbowman, is an agile beast that destroys enemies in the woods. They come with extra sight, movement and strength, but most importantly can move after attacking, turning them into a menace when attacking cities without proper ranged defenses. Since they are also affected by Vietnam’s bonuses when attacking in forests, the stats on this unit go very high, especially when paired with the Great Generals provided by the Encampment.

With these abilities you will dominate any war, utilizing the terrain to your advantage, and protect your homeland fiercely while hidden within the woods.


What Makes Bà Triệu Great For Domination:

  •  Huge bonuses when fighting in Marsh, Woods or Rainforest
  • Good for defending heavily forested areas
  • Unique infrastructure Thành is a great upgrade

Choose Bà Triệu if you:

  • Don’t want to remove resources
  • Have a hard time with defense
  • Want great general bonuses


8. Genghis Khan (Mongolia)

The infamous Genghis Khan, first khan of the Mongol Empire, is a Expansionist Horse Lord that gives you the tools to create a mighty horse hoard, backed by territories that stretch continents.  Revolving around light and heavy cavalry, Mongolia’s bonuses are tied to trade routes and Diplomatic Visibility.

All cavalry units receive a +3 Strength, a slight advantage especially in the early game. But for every cavalry unit killed by your own cavalry, there is a small chance to capture the enemy as your own. These bonuses help you to keep up pressure during battles, and give a slight edge against anti cavalry units.

However, their main power comes from trade routes, which establish Trading Posts instantly instead of at the end of a trade. Every Trade Post also increases Diplomatic Visibility by one level, meaning that getting the upper hand on opponent information. Lastly, instead of the usual +3 Strength for having more intel than your enemy, a +6 Strength bonus is applied instead. In a perfect scenario where your enemy has no Diplomatic Visibility at all and you have full visibility, a bonus of +24 Strength can be granted, but this is a very rare scenario.

Anyway, although some of these bonuses may seem situational, having them throughout the whole match is a gamechanger, since Diplomatic Visibility is way more useful and trade routes become quite strong. This will make you into an untamable Horse Lord that will surely dominate the globe.


What Makes Genghis Khan Great For Domination:

  • Massive bonuses to cavalry
  • Trade Routes influence troops
  • Diplomatic Vision linked to Strength

Choose Genghis Khan if you:

  • Like fast paced horse units
  • Prefer rushing your units
  • Can acquire a lot of Diplomatic Vision


7. Nader Shah (Persian)

Playing Nander, first Shah of the Afsharid dynasty, you will quickly rush through enemies and gain bonuses from captured cities while thriving off domestic trade routes.

Nander’s biggest help in achieving domination victory comes from his special ability. It gives +5 Strength when fighting units on full health, making your first strike the most powerful, helping you one hit kill some weaker units. This is very useful, especially in the early game where most units don’t have much HP.

Persia gets many bonuses from domestic trade routes, especially those that start in cities not founded by it, but conquered through war or trade. Any domestic trade route gets +2 Gold and +1 Culture, a big bonus if most of your trades are domestic. Not only that, but if that trade route is on a city that was not founded by Persia, another +2 Faith and +3 Gold is gained. In total a bonus of +5 Gold, +2 Faith and +1 Culture can be gained from a single trade route, and in the late game up to 17 trade routes can be acquired, leading to huge bonuses if done properly

With extensive domestic trade routes, you will have no problem in training and maintaining a big army, while still being able to found religions and keep up with culture civics easily.


What Makes Nander Shah Great For Domination:

  • Trade Routes can replace building of non military districts
  • Gold income is very high, for maintaining a large army
  • Good early game Strength

Choose Nander Shah if you:

  • Like managing trade routes
  • Are good at trade mixed with military strategy
  • Have a rough time in early game


6. Montezuma (Aztec)

As Montezuma, your military dominance comes from your reach of luxury resources, with abilities that allow you to make a powerful army backed up by amazing luxurious infrastructure. 

The Aztecs main ability makes luxury resources infinitely more useful, as every single one provides an extra amenity to two other cities, dealing with any problems related to citizen happiness. Most importantly, for every unique improved luxury resource, all units receive +1 Strength, and with over 10 unique luxury resources in the game your units have the potential to become military powerhouses fueled by diamonds, marble, salt, and many others.

Their other main strength comes from their unique early game unit, the Eagle Warrior. With apparently normal stats and a slightly higher production, they seem like a direct downgrade, but every time a unit is killed by an Eagle Warrior there is a chance for that unit to be captured and transformed into a free builder. This may not seem that game changing, but free extra builders can absolutely change the course of your game, allowing you to focus production on Districts and units while still getting builders. On the topic of Districts, Montezuma’s last ability allows builders to spend one charge to complete 20% of a District production cost, something that can be done multiple times to almost instantly finish construction.

When these abilities are properly used in unison with the Eagle Warrior, you are able to get a near constant supply of free builders that can finish Districts in no time, useful not only for a Domination victory, but for anything in the whole game

Montezuma is an extremely strong and versatile leader who gets his power from a luxurious city that can then be quickly developed into high tech infrastructure and powerful standing armies, allowing for global domination with plenty of luxury and class.


What Makes Montezuma Great For Domination:

  • High Amenities, good for War Weariness
  • A lot of builders in early game
  • Quick for building infrastructure

Choose Montezuma if you:

  • Like hoarding luxury resources
  • Want more builders
  • Struggle with Amenities


5. Shaka (Zulu)

With a focus on combining troops into Corps and Army, Shaka from Zulu is a strong contender for domination victories, with fewer but stronger units, earlier in the game than anybody.

With any other Civ, you unlock the ability to combine two units of the same type into a single Corps with the Nationalism civic, and Armies (Three of the same unit) with the Mobilization civic. Instead, Shaka allows you to build Corps with the Mercenaries civic, and Armies with Nationalism. This is much, much earlier than any other civilization can combine troops, allowing you to overpower enemies with fewer numbers, but more strength. The bonuses come in many ways, for example, Armies get +17 Strength and two thirds of the maintenance cost of the separated troops, way more bang for your buck when it comes to your resources. Aside from being able to build Armies and Corps earlier, every time a unit captures a city it will receive a free upgrade, and if the previously mentioned Civis are unlocked, it transforms single units into Corps, and Corps into Army, absolutely free of charge.

Zulu also comes with a special unit and a unique encampment replacement. Their new unit, the Impi gain 25% more experience than normal, but instead of having a downside to balance it out, Impi require way less production, and gold to upkeep, as well as doubling their flanking bonuses. This unit is perfect for spamming, as they are cheap to make and maintain, upgrade faster, and you can create huge armies in no time.

Shaka relies heavily on his strength in numbers, so his unique encampment, the Ikanda, helps with that task. With a production cost cut in half, Ikanda allows Corps and Armies to be trained directly without a Military Academy upgrade. It also gives off gold, science, and trains Corps/Armies 25% faster than normal, making them a good choice instead of training single units.

As the Zulu nation, destroying your opponents with your immense numbers should be an easier task, amassing huge armies that get stronger the more they fight.


What Makes Shaka Great For Domination:

  • Easily builds Corps and Armies
  • Has encampment upgrade
  • Fast experience gain for units

Choose Shaka if you:

  • Like huge building up huge armies
  • Want stronger singular units
  • Struggle with troop production


4. Suleiman (Ottoman)

Suleiman, tenth sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is a complex leader that, when played correctly, can militarily and culturally destroy your enemies with his unique governor and bonuses.

The Ottoman’s main differential is their unique governor, Ibrahim, The Grand Vizier. Being a Military and Loyalty focused governor, Ibrahim starts off by giving a flat 20% Production buff to all military training in the city he is established in. With his upgrades, the units become stronger when fighting close to said city, and later gains bonuses from capturing enemy capital cities, such as halting enemy Loyalty spread, reducing grievances and much more. He is a governor skilled in diplomacy and war, good for frontline cities and capitals. 

Aside from Ibrahim, the Ottomans get a buff to all siege units, as they are 50% faster to produce and gain a +5 Strength against defensible districts, like city centers and encampments. This is a huge bonus when at war, allowing for a constant supply of siege units to be trained with high effectiveness. The Ottomans also gain bonuses when capturing cities, as they lose no population and gain +1 Amenity and +4 loyalty for every owned city that was not settled by themselves. They also come with a unique Musketman that, although costs one population to train in Ottoman settled cities, are much cheaper, stronger and receive a free upgrade when first trained.

All of these in unison with Ibrahim in your main military production city make for an unstoppable besieging army that can be backed by strong musketman. And with every city captured giving off bonuses, you will have no problem snowballing into late game as Suleiman, taking enemies by force or diplomacy.


What Makes Suleiman Great For Domination:

  • Unique Governor focused on Domination
  • Strong war diplomacy
  • Amazing at sieges

Choose Suleiman if you:

  • Like a diplomatic warlord style
  • Want a large siege armie
  • Struggle with Loyalty in cities


3. Tomyris (Scythian)

Tomyris is usually presented as a beginner friendly leader, with very simple buffs and abilities. This does not mean that Tomyris is weak, but on the contrary, her simple and effective abilities are what makes the Scythian Empire a force to be reckoned with.

The first and most important ability gives two different bonuses: a +5 Strength against units that are already wounded, great for finishing off enemies. Most importantly, the second bonus heals the unit up to 30 Hit Points with every kill. These two abilities give Tomyris an objective edge when fighting any unit as, once they take even a single hit, the battle will be way easier. Once the enemy is killed, Scythian units don't have to worry about retreating for healing, and the more enemies they kill the fuller their HP will be. These two bonuses are extremely scary to deal with, and can easily overpower entire nations using way fewer numbers.

These may seem overpowered, but it doesn't end there. Being people of horse riding, their unique troop replaces the light cavalry with a ranged and swift horse archer named Saka Horse. This unit is fast and is great for Hit & Run strategies, keeping your enemy on their toes. Pair it with their last ability, which grants a free copy of light cavalry units every time one is trained, and you will amass a huge horse archer army in no time. With this, you can train 4 Saka Horses and end up with an army of 8, enough to overpower cities in the early game. All this combined with the healing factor, and you have yourself a rush of unkillable horse riding archers, which is as strong as it is cool.

As Tomyris, you will have no trouble rushing your enemy from all sides, and stay in battle indefinitely to win wars and conquer the world.


What Makes Tomyris Great For Domination:

  • Overpowered combat healing abilities
  • Good early game unique unit
  • Amazing strength buff towards hurt units

Choose Tomyris if you:

  • Want to rush through battles
  • Like spamming troops
  • Struggle with combat


2. Simón Bolívar (Gran Colombia)

As Simón, you will manage his unique supporting Troop and your nimble forces to outmaneuver your opponents, conquering vast lands in no time.

Starting off, Bolívar has a very simple but powerful ability, which grants all his units a base +1 movement, making them objectively stronger than default. With extra movements you can scout your starting area faster, get troops to the front lines in no time, and escape stronger troops, giving you control of the playing field throughout the whole game. The same ability also makes it so promoting a unit does not end its turn, allowing for quick healing and abilities that help you stay in battle.

Colombia’s main strength, however, is their unique Great Person granted every new era: the Comandante General. Although they cannot directly fight, they give off a passive +5 Strength for your units in a 2 tile radius, and each one has a different active ability that can be used once, making them disappear at use. These bonuses give off strong buffs, such as extra trade routes, permanent additional Strength to a selected unit, or upgrading troops at a lower cost.

Lastly, the Llanero is their unit unit, which aside from ignoring Zone of Control debuffs, has a lower maintenance cost and is stronger when paired with a Comandante General. All this culminates into one of the strongest domination leaders in the game, with swift and upgraded units that dominate the battlefield.


What Makes Simón Bolívar Great For Domination:

  • Amazing permanent movement buff
  • Guaranteed great person every Era
  • Unique unit that synergizes with Great General

Choose Simón Bolívar if you:

  • Like faster paced combat
  • Want to strategize placement of Generals
  • Struggle with movement penalties


1. Alexander the Great (Macedonia)

And lastly on the list, Alexander the Great, the leader of the vast Macedonian Empire, goes off as one of the most powerful military forces in the game, much like in real life, making for one of the strongest Civs to destroy your enemies.

Firstly, Macedonia produces absolutely NO war weariness, meaning no underproduction or angry citizens during your battles. This means wars can go on for much longer, and you can be constantly at war with little to no downsides, and without a timeout between conflicts. Alexander’s units also gain a massive bonus from his ability, which heals every single military unit you own when conquering a City with a Wonder, great for chaining siege attacks one after the other. Beyond that, if a City has a Campus or Encampment, a free Eureka is granted, and if there is a Theater or Holy Site, an Inspiration is triggered. These two abilities combine to make for a great offensive play style that is always at war, giving you a bonus in Tech and Culture and no war weariness.

The Civilization also comes with two unique units, which are almost direct upgrades from their default counterparts:

First, the Hetairoi is a replacement for Heavy Cavalry which has a couple of unique offsets, with a free promotion when first trained, +5 Great General points from every kill, and an additional +5 Strength when attacking a unit that is adjacent to a Great General, all this at the cost of slightly higher production cost. The free Great General points and initial promotion are very strong and can help you create an army with multiple generals in no time.

Secondly we have the Hypaspist, a replacement to the Swordsman and a perfect city sieging unit. This unit comes with a +5 Strength when besieging a District, as well as an increased support bonus and a slightly higher base Strength, only at the cost of +10 Production. As said before, this is an amazing unit for supporting your siege weapons and finishing off low HP Districts.

All in All, although Macedonia has units with a slightly higher production cost, the absurd bonuses they receive from constantly being at war makes Alexander the Great a top tier leader for dominating the world.


What Makes Alexander great for domination:

  • No war weariness accumulation
  • Eurekas and Inspirations triggered by capturing cities with wonders
  • Two unique units instead of one

Choose Alexander if you:

  • Like being constantly at war
  • Have an aggressive play style
  • Struggle with war weariness


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