• Our Forum Hosts will be doing maintenance sometime in the next 72 hours and you may experience an outage lasting up to 5 minutes.

Civ 4 Tier List


May 30, 2012
I am not sure about Civ I, I think the shields (hammers) were just wasted, but maybe they could be used for another building. Civ II gave a 50% penalty when switching between types of builds, but one could (another exploit maybe) switch between wonders free of any penalty. So one would build a wonder almost to completion and switch to the new wonder once the required tech was researched, usually easily beating the AI (It was even easier, because caravans contributed to wonders, so wonders could be rushed more easily.)

I think I'd prefer that the hammers put into a wonder could go into another build, with some penalty. Failgold with a high enough penalty (so it would not be preferable to the wonder or "building wealth") would also be o.k. But being able to generate huge amounts of gold from failgold, because of IND and having marble is just ridiculous IMO.


Settled Great Scientist
Jan 2, 2014
The great Mayan city of Teotihuacan
Civ II gave a 50% penalty when switching between types of builds, but one could (another exploit maybe) switch between wonders free of any penalty. So one would build a wonder almost to completion and switch to the new wonder once the required tech was researched, usually easily beating the AI.

Prebuilds also worked in Civ3. They were deliberate, and they worked with anything that hadn't already been rushed.


Jun 29, 2016
(Sorry for necro)

I am not sure about Civ I, I think the shields (hammers) were just wasted,

Civ 1 - shields (hammers) could be freely swapped between buildings at no penalty. but there was no carryover from overflow ... so if you had 299/300 in a wonder, you could switch to anything else, but if you built something cheaper, the extra shields just got wasted....but the game didn't MAKE you switch production away from something that was impossible to build, so you could keep putting shields into something you could never build indefinitely. they tightened all that up in Civ2, but it was kind of fun to abuse that.


Apr 21, 2022
Мy tier list


  • Тир лист лидеров.png
    Тир лист лидеров.png
    822.6 KB · Views: 62


My Ancestors were Vikings
May 29, 2002
Minneapolis, City of Lakes
Based on a combination of my experiences, along with general consensus and this leader guide on GameFaqs, I've made a tier chart of the 52 leaders based on how strong they are in general, and whether they're more well-rounded or specialized. Note that the well-rounded/specialized axis isn't terribly precise, as that was largely guessing on my part and there wasn't a huge amount of space to work with, so it's to be taken with a grain of salt. Also, in the top couple tiers, the well-rounded/specialized axis is relative to other leaders in the same tier. (Obviously the higher tier leaders are all generally better rounded than the lower tier leaders in general)

The tiers go as follows:

S Tier (Top row): Stand head and shoulders above the rest. Have great traits, as well as powerful uniques, some (Egypt, Rome, Incas, Persia) of which can break the game with a successful rush.

A Tier (2nd row): Not quite as strong as S tier, but still very good. They all have great trait combos and/or uniques that may also synergize well, too.

B Tier (3rd and 4th row): These leaders are good, but don't quite have the same potential that S and A tiers do. Some here do have a great base for one particular thing (say warmonging or wonderbuilding), but aren't very well-rounded, while others are but don't excel in any particular area. Some also have particularily poor uniques.

C Tier: These leaders are okay, but are set back somewhat by A. being too specialized towards warfare at the expense of other areas, B. having lacking uniques and/or C. having a trait combos that don't have much synergy

D (for Dice) Tier: These guys are very reliant on either warfare or religion/culture, to the point that their most optimal way to leverage their traits and/or uniques depends heavily on one area. If they're not able to take advantage of this, you're basically working on your own, without any benefits.

F Tier: These guys have very poor traits that don't combine to produce anything interesting at all. Though Charlemagne and Mao at least have interesting unique buildings and units, respectively, those aren't much consolation to make up for lacking trait combos. Sitting Bull doesn't have much to show for in uniques and his protective trait does little to help leverage the Philosophical trait.

With that said, the chart's all just my opinion/speculation. I'd love to hear what you agree and disagree with regarding my chart. Feel free to post your own views and ideas regarding who's the best or worst, perhaps even your own tier lists or charts.
Nice list but I think Elizabeth should be a little higher. Financial for a healthy money flow and Philisophical for a good amount of Great people. Plus she has a strong unique unit that comes into the game at the right time. If I want an easy game I play her.


Aug 2, 2016
There are lots of issues with it, not just Liz being slightly too low:

-Sitting Bull is one of the best "reliable" leaders in the game on any random map with standard settings. PHI trait, guaranteed barb defense, and AGRI starting tech is really tough to replicate for anybody else. This was the first thing that jumped out at me

-JC and Hatty/Rameses are NOT top tier simply because they can rush. Hatty is a great package overall though, and would be higher B or low A for me.

-Monty is much too high, and Shaka is not top tier either, though he's pretty good among the warmonger picks.

-Splitting the Ottoman leaders is perplexing and indicative of not having a good grasp on the relationship between traits + techs + uniques. Both leaders are solid A tier for great traits, good starting techs, and actually good uniques should you want to use them. Personally I would also rate Sulieman above Mehmed every time, so it's even more confusing why the OP values Mehmed so highly based on his middling traits, though I feel this is just rooting out the OP's bias for Mehmed.

-Lincoln as the lowest American leader and Rosie as highest is a marker of the same issue.

-The Chinese leaders are too low. China has the best starting techs in the game, that doesn't land you in D/F tier in Civ 4. Not at all.

-Izzy is solidly mid-tier due to the power of her uniques

-Catherine is above Gandhi, which should never happen on any serious tier list for Civ4. Cathy being overrated in some form is the most common thing I see in tier lists, but selling Gandhi so short as to rate her above him? No.

-Nitpicking on my part, but Joao doesn't belong anywhere near the top 10 leaders.


Mar 10, 2013
Orange County, NY
To be fair, the OP's list was created in 2014.
Top Bottom