Trait Rankings


Feb 8, 2011
This forum has a proud tradition of pointlessly fighting over the relative value of traits and to my knowledge it's been over a year since the last brawl. We're long overdue. Let's get this over with :ninja:
First off some caveats. Difficulty level, map script, and your ultimate goal is going to drastically affect your rankings. AGG is top tier for warrior rushes if the AI doesn't start with archery. ORG might be the best trait on Huge maps, etc. So to clearly define the criteria I use for this list I'm going to assume:
Deity, Standard, Normal, Fractal, Medium Seas, NH/NE, temperate climate, no additional settings, with the goal of highest win %.


Tier lists can be misleading in exaggerating the difference between traits based on an arbitrary cutoff, so let's go with a more precise scoring.
FIN 100/100: Helps every game. While PHI/IND can outperform FIN, you need a plan with both of them. FIN is braindead and always helps. Every FIN leader is above average.
IND 93/100: I believe this is the strongest trait on *average* but what's holding it back is the win-more nature of failgold. While you should be able to maintain a dominant position, as the old expression goes: Sh*ka Happens. If you do fall behind on the tech game unlocking wonders, it's hard to catch back up. Still National Wonders can be failgolded at your discretion and I'm of the opinion that half priced forges is the biggest single building hammer save in the game. Some of this depends on your philosophy of using forges. The argument goes forges aren't really worth it in pre-lib attacks, so you're not truly saving half the hammers if the forge wasn't worth building at full price. The thing is though, with any of the big 3 traits you should be trying for a lib breakout not an early war, if at all possible. The forges will then augment failgold even further, and with a little commerce you can unlock them really early with Oracle -> MC. I always look for opportunities to go TGW, mids, or GLH, but Oracle -> MC is my fallback plan unless Izzy's in the game.
PHI 90/100: Where PHI really shines is unlike FIN/IND, you can totally do a cuirassier breakout with ~4 cities by utilizing your extra great people on a pair of merchants to upgrade HAs. This solves your hammer deficit. It also solves the need for iron, which isn't guaranteed at 4 cities, since you'd only need to trade for iron for 1 turn with upgrading. All you really need to do is lock down horses and you're good to go. Other strong play with PHI involves an early academy. Maybe the easiest way to snag your first deity win outside of OP UUs is to shop around for a HoF start with a PHI leader and rush an academy. This is very much a win-more mechanic though. With PHI and a strong capital I don't really need more help. Beyond those methods, you really need a plan to get strong value out of PHI. Can work nicely with TGW or the mids to get spies/engineers in a reasonable time, but you have to base your whole strategy around this. I do TGW often enough to know the spies come in quick enough without PHI, and if you're going for the engineer from the mids, you'd have to limit how many other specialists you can run at the beginning, somewhat defeating the point of mids which is early rep. Many good players will also give the answer "math bulb", and I've never understood that. Feel free to explain it to me. From my way of thinking, a math bulb is settling for 1/3 potential bulb value and there's the inherent issue that math immediately follows writing, so you're not even beelining construction, you're sandbagging with 1-2 other techs while you wait for the GS. And if you're not doing a construction rush, why not just trade for math like a dozen turns later?
CHA 82/100: Why does CHA have its own tier? Simple: that happyhap. CHA might be often unnecessary but it helps in the worst case scenario that you're stuck with size 4 cities until HR. Whipping is very important, but it's prohibitive when you're capped at size 4. With CHA I know I can whip out the gate. With everything else it's map dependent. The promotion cost reduction isn't game changing per se, but it's a real nice diversification in benefit and I think promotion maximization is underrated.
CRE: 74/100: Yes, the nooby trait is still quite good. You can find maps where your food fits neatly in your first ring and it's unnecessary but I can find a lot more maps where that's not the case. And sometimes even if you can put food in your first ring, you could improve your overall city position by putting it in your second ring instead - simply not an option with other traits. CRE also gives subtle advantages you might not think about. More culture = more fogbust. It's map dependent whether CRE or AGG is the best trait for dealing with barbs early. Boxing an AI out early can relieve a lot of the pressure for early settlers. Flipping cities is possible (actually maybe even MORE possible) on deity if the AI makes the foolish choice of settling near your capital. If you've got a barb city tucked away in the back instead of building an army just plant an adjacent city and let the culture do its thing. With +2 culture and half priced libraries culture fights in your border cities will go your way without additional investment.
IMP: 71/100: The traditional thinking is I'm only building a few settlers and I only need 1 supermedic so this is a dud. Nothing could be further from the truth. Comparing it directly to EXP, settlers are more expensive and the modifier you get is +50% instead of +25%. I reject all guidelines of the flavor "you should build workers to settlers in a 2:1 or a 1.5:1 ratio". Nonsense. My average ratio is much lower than that, and ultimately this is completely map/trait dependent. Pure coastal cities literally require no worker turns. Let's dive into exactly when these hammer bonuses come into play since everyone's a fan of snowballs. If there's AI competition for city spots my settler to worker ratio is going to spike early on. It might not be as efficient, but I'd rather secure those cities inefficiently than lose them. This change in philosophy was big for me in personally breaking the reloading habit. Getting just a single extra city before you go to war can have a marked effect on the game's difficulty, especially if you don't have a good setup for early war. Also, you can improve diplo with dangerous neighbors faster and more effectively with a gift city than with tech gifts. Another opportunity most people fail to take advantage of is settler-first starts. I think settler-first with IMP is the right move maybe 1/4 of the time, and this disproportionately helps the hardest, slowest starts so I value it quite highly. Lastly, and it deserves a thread all on its own, GGs are better than people realize. Settling them in cities is always a mistake and even supermedics are often a lazy mistake. Even with horse armies (where GGs are weakest) the first GG should probably go to maximizing promotions. Put in the logistical forethought and shoot for bringing 10 promotions to the front in an instant. I'll even choose my attackers based on getting enough units to 8-9 xp. Getting your first GG in 1-2 battles instead of 2-4 battles can have a significant effect on your breakout war which is the most pivotal moment of any game. It's also much more comfortable to delay grabbing a supermedic when you can rely on another GG not being far off.
SPI: 70/100: This has creeped up a little in my personal rankings due to recent game experiences. In a normal game this might only save me ~5 anarchy turns. But in a tricky map where you have multiple dangerous neighbors with different religions, this can be an absolute godsend letting you manipulate religion/civics with whoever starts plotting so you can beg truce.
EXP: 69/100: I expect popular opinion is this is too low so I won't be arguing EXP's strengths but rather its weaknesses. EXP is a win-more trait. With the right map this trait can accelerate your start more than any other. The issue is getting that right map. It's actually incredibly rare that we get the full "3 turns" value from a faster worker at the open. This requires that you're not settling on a bonus hammer already and that there's a 3h tile in your first ring, OR that we can settle a bonus hammer t1 and have at least a 2h tile in the first ring, AND that your worker isn't destined to idle. It's more common to get NO value from EXP on the first worker than it is to get the full 3 turns. This trait shines with already good starts/techs. This trait also shines where you have plenty of forests for a double worker opening. 1-pop whip granaries are great.... if you have happiness. This trait just screams win-more while having only marginal benefit in tough starts. I have no doubt that it's better than SPI and IMP at least 2/3 of the time, but it's all about what can go wrong, not what can go right.
AGG: 42/100: Spectacular drop from EXP. AGG's number one benefit is barb safety and eliminating the need for early archery. With a little land, move out warriors aggressively to fogbust trusting that their odds are good enough to defend against archers from forests. If there's too much land, rush out that half priced barracks and give your warriors cover and you should be able to fogbust most maps before spearmen. If you do have to defend against spears, 2 agg warriors in a city does well enough. Efficiently dealing with barbs means this trait is actually helping your economy in the opening more than any other traits. Beyond that though it doesn't do much. Devs were clearly thinking more about axe rushing on the medium difficulty levels. If you're using siege though, a free combat promotion to your non-siege barely matters. Still it does synergize with some UUs making them actually viable: mainly samurai and berserkers with spies but to a lesser extent musketeers, phalanxes, impi and gallics. However, unless you're playing with unrestricted leaders, AGG has a hidden downside - all but 2 AGG leaders start with Hunting. In a void, Hunting is fine. I'd argue it's comparable to agriculture because scout > warrior and it's a prereq to archery, which you generally need before pottery. With AGG though both of these benefits disappear. Scout is roughly equal with a combat 1 warrior, and we shouldn't need archery unless the threat is AI not barbs and we don't have copper.
PRO: 33/100: Your question might be how did PRO escape single digits. First, the obvious, PRO can theoretically save a lost game, especially if you're sloppy and need to cold whip a wall. Early DoWs are some of the hardest games to tackle and PRO does help here, especially because we don't need to worry about strategics. Sure, you can defend with regular archers, but you'll have to build more upfront and replace them more often. PRO will save you some upkeep and some hammers in some of the toughest games. If you get DoWed say turn 70-90 PRO archers can more reliably work their way up the drill promotion line and then be able to defend against catapults without further investment. Even if there's no DoW, PRO gives me confidence in knowing I can get a last second defense set, so I'm able to play much more efficiently next to Shaka and don't feel the need to react until I actually see the fist. I've heard it argued that if you defend with archers the AI will pillage your land, so you need an active defense. That's true.... in KMOD. In BTS there's huge overlap between the aggressiveness of an AI and their unit courage. In other words, the leaders who are likely to attack you are for the most part the same ones who like to zombie into your cities. If rampant pillaging is a problem in your games, you're probably wildly overdefending your border town. Against barbs it's not nearly as useful as AGG because your fogbusting archers are more expensive and still vulnerable. It can defend improvements, but only if they're on hills. In some situations you can trust a single PRO archer to hold down against a barb while with a normal archer you'd want a second unit, as losing a city = game over. I've had great success combining PRO archers with HAs, whipping the HA, overflowing into the archer. The ultimate idea is the HAs ignore the enemy stack and go for undefended cities trusting that PRO archers and PRO walls can stall the enemy attack long enough for a favorable city exchange and in the end the war goes much faster. Once I get GGs I can give archers/longbows morale to move with the HA stack. Another benefit PRO provides is synergistically working with an espionage game. Since most people never do this, I'm not shocked by the attitude of the "PRO is by far the worst" crowd. The synergy comes from super cheap walls/castles and from Nationhood as drafted units still keep their guaranteed 2 promos. For this reason stone, while always a great resource to start off with, can really salvage the PRO trait through TGW, by turbocharging the EE and potentially even farming GGs early if it comes to war. My favored gameplan with Qin Shi is actually to build TGW and then DoW (worker steal ideally) a neighbor with high unit courage to farm xp for super Choks.
ORG: 30/100: The main bonus from ORG imo is the half priced factories, which really sets the tone for this trait - hot garbage. The fundamental issue with ORG is that less civic maintenance and half price courthouses are negligible until you're already big. It does nothing in helping you get big, and when you're big the game should already be decided. The only leader I see who frequently benefits from ORG is Julius who can get to a lot of cities through praets early. Otherwise it's a win-more trait. Seriously, in your standard 6 city -> lib breakout your savings will start at 0 GPT and top out at like 3 GPT. That's what I expect to save with PRO by skimping on defense and at least I get those couple pennies early. BuT dReW wHaT aBoUt LiGhThOuSeS? Even in pure seafood towns 60h granaries are usually better than 60h lighthouses so this is not saving you the full 30h early you think it is. Granaries + lighthouses is overkill until you raise the happy cap, and sometimes overkill for a good bit of time after that. I'm a big fan of the GLH and lighthouse is a prereq, but again this is not a true 30h save, because going from a 2 to a 1 pop whip hurts the efficiency of whipping overflow from the lighthouse into the GLH. I'd rather have IMP to really explode once I get the GLH or AGG to cover the barbs which are usually a real danger when going for a competitive GLH time. The only map type I see this trait increasing win% is when you're alone on an island with a psychopath. I tend to attack them rather than wait for them to attack me with no plot warning. Post-war you'd have a lot of cities but still be in a rough spot due to the high cost of killing a psycho and the lack of trade routes. It's worth noting though that PRO also helps in this situation with the "give peace a chance" approach and "bleed them dry" as a fallback.
My worst trait is Expansive.

I've never had a game where it really made my civ kick butt.
Maybe Mehmed makes it shine a little.
as a lowly immortal player... (roughly sorted within tiers idk i didn't think too hard)


FIN - its ok :)
PHI - Stupid good, versatile, useful every single game, though a little map dependent to get full use
IND - Also a little map dependent but immortal ai are slow enough that it's pretty easy to get multiple thousands of FG per game

CRE - Free border pops are amazing for culture wars with the ai. One of my biggest pet peeves is losing tiles in the early game because an ai settled in my face and beelined a monument and CRE completely solves this. Cheap libraries are amazing to build when you might not be building anything besides warriors anyway, and can get you your first scientist earlier than normal.
IND - Not much to say, huge hammer bonus on the most expensive early-game unit to make sure you secure all the good city spots you want.
if only Catherine didn't start with hunting :undecide:

EXP - idk sounds amazing on paper but I always find it kind of underwhelming, but guaranteed to save several hundred hammers in early-mid game
CHA - I'll admit I don't have much experience with CHA and usually underrate it, threw it in B tier
PRO - :devil::devil::devil: HOT TAKE ALERT :devil::devil::devil:
So realistically a good player is only going to lose immortal in 2 ways, an unreasonably bad map or an early DOW. PRO will help out tremendously in an early DOW with cheap walls and very strong archers. Unupgraded archers in flatground cities are pretty meh and PRO gives them a huge boost. It also has great synergy which early rushes, which you'll need to do if you have a horrible map or are boxed in fast; you can build archers while teching for HBR, use them to defend newly captured cities, and are really cheap to whip out of capture cities. It can also be used offensively by loading put a walled hill city with archers and having the ai suicide their stack to them. If the game goes late, your rifles/grenadiers/infantry will all be promoted which raises their base effectiveness and also makes drafting rifles much much stronger since they can immediately be upgrade to pinch.

ORG - Cheap CHs are cool but if you get up to 20 cities and need CHs you're probably going to win anyway
SPI - I remember back 2-3 years ago I think where SPI was considered a top 3 trait by some people. No early game bonus besides saving 1 turn going into slavery, and not getting diplo penalty is somewhat counteracted by going into a civic that you don't want to be in which can really hurt your empire. And of course cheap temples are lol

AGG - Very little early game benefit, makes warriors slightly stronger, you could build a barracks for cover/woodsland warriors or you could just build 2 warriors for the same cost, and I think I'd rather have the 2 warriors. Doesn't really help with early rushes, you might get 2 or 3 more HAs with C1, maybe it's stronger with axes but I never rush with axes. The first unit where I'd consider building a barracks before the unit is catapults for city raider, but it's a long way to construction and chances are you'll be able to build barracks in all your cities anyway.
Drew always puts 100% effort into his posts, hitting that like button comes automatic ;)

On fractal (which can be Iso too) i rate PHI at 100.
We have GS for everything (mainly an Academy + Astro if only 0-2 AIs are met) without putting cities on scientists early when you want to do other stuff with them.
I need no big plans for that tbh. Can even bulb maths if we go for an early war.
If we run into very advanced AIs later (think Lain's Toku Iso game), Ox with stone + much cheaper Unis also rocks.

FIN sure it's somewhere around 90 for me, not much to say about that one.
IND as well..i always look if Pyras are possible when Monarchy would be the alternative.

SPI comes in at around 85, switching between Caste & Slavery made for some of the best games i had.
We can always make important trades with AIs (later) if we can switch in and out of religions, to remove annoyed status.
SPI gets the only 100% fun factor rating from me.

Middle tier traits i will skip..Cha, Exp, Cre and Imp are all nice to have but i'd struggle with putting numbers on that :)

I actually like ORG on fractal. 2 cities cost just 1gpt (reduced civic costs even if you run none i think). LHs are vital on coastal maps.
Overexpanding can be fun if you know CHs are cheap, every far away city can get one and their seafood will be boosted earlier too with LHs.
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Some starts are very poor commerce wise, to the point financial becomes irrelevant (early game)

So depending on the map, the trait combination could be adequate or not :rolleyes:
Deity, Standard speed, Fractal, no additional settings, with the goal of highest win %.
Well, fractal + win% has to account for potential isolation and potential early box-in by AI. For the deity iso I would go cultural beeline. All that Astro talk is very nice, but I have not seen anyone winning iso consistently.

S - philo and fin - helps with tech rate and helps with cultural. The worst case scenario - boxed in two cities, you can work financial water (without water you should not be boxed in) to get some tech, philo would bulb maths in such scenario.

IND worst part is that the second trait won't be PHI. Failgold is good at iso situations, but not so much if your empire is at 2-3 city limit.

B CRE maybe IMP. Cre and IMP somewhat help with getting land although I think both of these are overrated. I have not seen many maps in which CRE makes a critical difference before 1AD and it probably only helps to win easier or feel more comfortable. IMP is good at one thing getting a critical settler early enough. The question is if it happens often enough - and I would guess - not really.

C - AGG, CHA probably IMP, charismatic is cute but most certainly not critical. AGG is good if you are forced to go early rush, sucks at iso. I think unless your only target is PRO Aggresive is not necessary. Charismatic is good at very specific situations - Iso with no happy resources (still would rather have other traits) or chariot rushes - for promo healing.
D - ORG/PRO/EXP - I think org is more of archipelago trait - low base hammers, need lighthouses, multiple landmasses. I imagine you could overexpand by rushing barb cities or something like that, but even in these cases, you could just aim for currency instead of CoL. PRO - probably good if you are semi-iso with Monty, but lacks old walls overflow... Exp is cute to save turns on workers, but in my opinion does not affect an actual win percentage, maybe I should bump the Exp one tier up.

Now the rankings for my taste --- this would be very different.
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Creative and exp are hard to rate, maybe A- or B+ would be how i put them realistically, but I prefer them over the others in B tier. I like org personally but I can understand your reasoning sampsa.
Industrious continues to be the most overrated trait ever.
More journeyman deity players (eg me) still often run into issues on deity despite having secured a decent chunk of land. So for me, ORG is more valuable as it helps me convert these good positions into wins. Up there in the mid pack along with EXP, IMP, IND.

I’ve fallen out of love with aggressive as I still find AGG warriors often too risky with barbs, would perhaps now even put AGG bottom of the pile…

My ranking:


Spoiler Ps :

What ranking system has the letter S before A? What is the S supposed to stand for?!
Ranking from a newbie's (<--me :o ) very limited experience from Settler to Emperor levels:

Best traits: FIN, PHI
Worst trait: PRO
Decent traits, nice to have, but not overpowered: All the rest

Tokugawa is one of my favourite leaders, but that doesn't mean I despise economical traits :lol:. Actually I value economical traits highly. Willem and Darius are among my favourite leaders as well :D. Personal preference may be very subjective - for example we all know Huayna Capac is the strongest leader, however he's not necessarily everyone's favourite. Some players prefer Pacal or Sury over Capac, others might like Gandhi or Washington a little more.
@drewisfat: ORG acts on each civic category individually and maintenance is rounded down. It's hard to see how ORG does not save you 5gpt minimum at 3+ cities.

Edit: Huh, interesting. With 3-4 cities you indeed can stay at only 3 gold saving for quite a while. Did not expect that all. The settings you use are using are quite removed from games I usually play.
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So I've been meaning to make a list like this for a long time myself, but I just never got around to it, being busy and all. Well, now that you've gone ahead and made a thread in my stead, I may as well chip in my two cents.

If we're ranking traits by their deity fractal competitiveness regarding win rate and nothing else (speed of win, fanciness of win, fastest space win WITHOUT dom/conquest like the obsessively specific things to do), then the tier of a trait should be determined in large part by % of times they can turn a loss into a win. If you want highest win %, it doesn't really matter how hard you stomp; I know that later wins run the risk of the AI winning, but if it is a win then it's a win, and earlier player wins can be given credit as increasing the likelihood of winning before the AI does, and therefore increasing the % of times they can turn a loss into a win.

So, here's my list. The key thing to think about is - what and how frequent are the situations in which this trait would make me win, when I otherwise would've lost? - a form of counterfactual thinking, if you will.
S: Fin
A: Phi, cha, imp
B: Cre, ind
C: Spi, exp
D: Org, agg
F: Pro

Let's go over the situations per trait.

Fin: Virtually every situation where you would have needed a mild or medium amount of more commerce to win, this trait will give you the win where you otherwise would've likely had the loss. This is so many more situations than possible to even count, but I suppose a prominent recent case is @Henrik75 's deity Hannibal water game, where he was crammed in a corner and had to crawl to rifles and cannons with Colossus water tiles. Take away fin and you take away 1/3, maybe even more, of his research power, leaving him doomed to be crushed by an 18-city Charlie with 2 vassals. Other situations besides this include: very commerce-poor starts, bad isolated islands where you have to pretty much work water to crawl to optics, riverless and/or corner starts like Lain's old Willem game where dry grass cottages and coast are all you have until astronomy, starts where you rush someone but then have to scramble to recover, starts with lovefests where teching even a bit slower leads to falling hopelessly behind, and so on. When commerce is clutch, financial saves games, and on deity, commerce is VERY tight more often than not. FIN is the solid and the only S-tier trait, for me.

Phi: Extra are probably a (somewhat distant second, but still) second next to raw commerce on making the difference between wins and losses. A math bulb can make a necessary construction attack work when it otherwise wouldn't have. An extremely quick philo bulb 8-10 turns earlier can give you trades when otherwise you would've been left in the dust. 1x academy + 2x astro as opposed to astro without the academy can keep you in the tech race in iso games, especially in that crucial midgame period. Edu bulbs can win you lib, chem bulbs can net you fast steel, and so on. And let's not forget the additional golden age(s) you'll likely get, as well as the cheaper universities (the biggest saving on buildings possible besides factories), which can turn the tide in tight games too. Every GP is worth ten times more than their weight in gold, and phi is appropriately ranked to be powerful enough to reflect that.

Cha: How does +50% happiness sound? Sounds pretty good? Well, that's pretty much what you get with cha, and if you think that's a lifesaver on happiness-starved and especially iso maps, well, you're right. Quite a while ago, I won two Boudica iso games - here and here - going much further with that happiness than I would've with any other trait. Being able to far more freely whip, and 2 extra citizens per city at any given time, is just so monumental in games where every single yield and pop counts. As if that wasn't good enough, the faster promotions is better and more versatile than either agg OR pro, and you can build ultra-units with cha and especially agg/cha where the promotions themselves are not just "quality of life" improvements, as they often are past combat 2, but stack to the point of ludicrousness. Henrik's imm Boudica NTT iso displays exactly what I'm talking about, as does my second game I linked where commando marines wrecked a monstrous 16-city Ragnar overnight.

Imp: As the old adage goes, you can always build workers later, but you can't settle land that's already been settled once it's gone...unless by force. Faster settlers is so crucial, and it helps more than fast workers both because of what I mentioned, as well as since it makes them into an easy 2 pop whip when they're otherwise 3 at 10 hammers invested...unlike workers, which are 2 anyways. Securing city spots vs not can mean winning the game vs not in so many cases, for obvious reasons. The faster GGs also helps in desperate wars, especially iso, where you want your first medic up as soon as physically possible, and subsequent GGs (or even the first one) to boost your units to get that extra edge when it makes the most difference. All in all, can make a key difference in quite a few circumstances. This is not even to mention the Justinian meme starts where you'd have nothing to do with a worker for 20 turns...but can 12-turn a settler to found a city where a worker DOES have something to do, and very early on to boot.

Ind: Everyone's raving about failgold, but I honestly don't see the point, and it starts to get less gamebreaking at around this part of the list. Before you can build research and wealth, you pretty much HAVE to be pumping out settlers and workers on deity. Afterwards, I find that 50% extra compared to just building wealth (in exchange for no control over when you actually GET that money, because AI builds things at random), is pretty poor. And if you have the resource for the wonder, well, +150% is relatively less of an improvement from +100%, still. The biggest place I can see this making a difference is: Stonehenge failgold when you start as Inca with quad cow or something (though, at that point, spam quechuas) - or iso when you're totally out of options. The bigger benefits to IND, IMO, are fast forges and faster actually building wonders. Forges are probably the "best" discount one can get, as changing it from 4 to 2 pop whip makes them far more viable for engineering rushes. But - engineering rushes are pretty much the only area where this makes a difference. Cuir rushes come late enough where the 4 pop whip is still pretty easy (3 w/ org religion), and anything earlier, you won't have MC anyways. And wonders CAN be game-changing, but really only 5-6 of them (GLH, Oracle, Great Wall, Pyramids, GL, maybe Colossus), and the games where your win depends on you winning the wonder AND ind makes you win in a situation where you otherwise would've been beaten to them is...existent but still infrequent, I would say.

Cre: The times when a +2 culture/city will save your game are a bit slimmer than the near-universal benefits of the last couple of traits, but off the top of my head, they are mostly: giving you access to key tiles (etc. ocean fish) far sooner and easier, fogbusting barbs much sooner, getting/winning tiles you otherwise would not win, and stopping AI forward settles that eat up your land, by closing off your territory. All of those things do add up and are occasionally game-changing though not always (etc. you getting a wet corn or marble as opposed to AI getting it), especially when up against cre neighbors themselves (looking at YOU, Catherine), and allowing better city placement in turn leads to better cities which can make the crucial difference, but it's certainly more marginal and subtle.

Spi: I understand the appeal, I really do, but the whole civic quickswitching thing feels like more of a quality-of-life thing than an actual game-changing mechanic. The only times when I feel like a game that should have been lost, can actually be won via spiritual, are: when a leader demands a civic switch and the diplo difference is significant enough to affect trades and/or a DoW AND you absolutely need the diplo bonus but cannot afford the anarchy penalty, or when you need to switch multiple civics in a short timeframe for an optimal strat. Both of these situations can happen, but, they are all in all just 2 situations (or sets thereof), and not as all-encompassing as what comes before.

Exp: Cheap workers are decent, but not as good as cheap settlers because of them being less crucial to be out ASAP, and also because they're 2 pop whip anyways. Getting a faster first worker only is possible some of the time, and desirable a fraction of those times in turn, as stated by other posters. Cheap granaries are good, except, granaries are already cheap. If you 1-pop whip them when you have massive amounts of food, then you're really not saving much time, and when you DON'T have much food in a city, it's best to chop them out anyways. Finally, the +2 health is usually inconsequential early-game. All in all, a very good boost, but the only significant and potentially game-winning timesaves I can think of, are super improvement and/or forest-dense starts where you crank out one more worker to mass-chop and therefore can chop out settlers in turn faster to claim hotly contested land, need lots of early workers to chop out many units for an early rush...or if you're completely drowning in health issues, especially in iso.

Org: The lighthouse bonus is rather insignificant, except on island maps, BUT island maps are just so ridiculously easy even on deity with the bad AI that it won't turn a loss into a win, just a win into a "win harder". The civic upkeep and courthouse bonuses actually CAN matter, in the niche case when you finish an early rush and need to recover quick, but the problem is that fin outstrips helping to recover in every way (even phi for a philo bulb, and so forth...), and the games where you absolutely need NEED the extra money and courthouses to make your way to something good, while also having had enough commerce to make it to CoL already, is quite rare. Finally, fast factories can save you in a lategame final push, given the massive cost reduction, but by that point in the game you are more likely than not to have snowballed enough to where that isn't needed. All in all, the traits do make a difference, just not really enough in the most harrowing of situations, which is what actually matters.

Agg: It can save you from barbarians. I also want to say that the combat 1 on melee units actually CAN make a difference in classical and medieval rushes. If you have no elephants or knights, an extra 10% can make the difference between 32% odds and 50%, 50% and 68%, or even 32% and 68% outright. Every bit counts, especially when production is not as available as late rushes. Cheap barracks are far from useless, in axe rushes, construction rushes, and HA rushes especially, where you're hard-pressed to sink 110 hammers into a city before even starting to build units. Early military bonuses can help you push out when you need to and make the difference between defeat and victory occasionally. Agg can even save you in an early rush if you have metal, as combat axes and even swords make rather excellent defenders. Still, in a lot of cases, the other traits can make as great of or even more of an impact. And of course in the lategame, in those final battles for the fate of the planet, when teching is done and it's fully monkey mode...I'd prefer an extra combat promotion over not having it if I were a betting man. The other thing that pushes this trait near the bottom, however, is that it only applies for selective units, and the more promotion-heavy units become, the more useful cha is. I'd almost say cha is the superior promotion trait, or even half of cha, compared to pretty much all of agg. You can't get barracks + single-withdraw CR2 siege with agg, for one.

Pro: Expectedly, this trait sits at the bottom. It can help defend, sure, but I'd honestly take agg melee units to defend if it came down to that any day of the week, even on hills (the only advantage pro gives: if you suddenly don't have metal). Fast walls and castles can very rarely save you, but that's the rarest of the rare; usually, 2 archers is...not going to stop Shaka's impi horde, walled/pro or not, whereas 5 can and will regardless of the wall or pro, if they are on a hill (quantity matters more than quality, unfortunately, especially when it comes to super small numbers of defenders hanging on for life). In the midgame/lategame, you overwhelmingly want to be on the offensive, and something is likely seriously wrong if you're defending in any major capacity. And really, that's it. This trait gives absolutely nothing else, except for something that I think even agg does better. No thanks!

tl;dr: A serious fractal deity tier list needs to evaluate the rough % of times where traits can turn a loss into a win for an accurate rating. This is my best attempt at such.

PS: I have a job now, so I don't have that much time to play or comment anymore these days. But I absolutely felt like I had to take this chance.
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What ranking system has the letter S before A? What is the S supposed to stand for?!
"Special", as in, barely comparable with the other entries. "S" as the highest class in a ranking comes from Japan, and has been gaming prominence through gaming cultures.

Drew always puts 100% effort into his posts, hitting that like button comes automatic ;)

Can even bulb maths if we go for an early war.
:love: I try to write well to make up for being a bad talker.
Where's my breakdown in understanding the math bulb though? What are you teching after writing? I could accept such a cheap bulb if it meant getting construction 422 beakers earlier, but it's not really because we have to wait around for the scientist to build and whatever we're teching in the meantime is worse than math would be sans bulb.

How did you calculate the scores out of 100?
Well I made them up lol. Numbers supposed to give some relative value as if you were doing an advanced start, so like ORG + SPI = FIN in my mind.
Purposely didn't use S tier, to me that doesn't just mean best, but OP relative to peers. Maybe like Quechuas are S tier in a UU list, but I think the traits are closer together and there's only 11.

@Fish Man I'd say the idea of IND failgold is that right off the bat the +50% is more than offsetting the downside of having to wait for wonders, and so then any resources take it to new heights. A big part about failgold is overflow management. With failgold I can maximize OF, and bounce around from city to city always building the next expected wonder in the city with the most OF instead of building multiple wonders at once. Without failgold, OF is often the enemy since those hammers tend to sit idle for a long time or even go into something I don't want. And this deal is sweetened further with cheaper forges, which is why I get them early with IND.
Glad to see you're a fellow IMP fan though :)
More journeyman deity players (eg me) still often run into issues on deity despite having secured a decent chunk of land.
When this happens to me, as in the case of clearing my only neighbor from the island, my answer tends to be resource for GPT using the subsidizing trick (or dirty exploit).
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