What is your Top 3 Strongest Pantheons?

Which do you think is the better pantheon, earth mother or ancestor worship? Even if you have a mining starting lux I'm leaning towards ancestor worship, usually you will only have 2 mines on every city and ancestor worship gives you the yields quicker, you don't have to improve anything
Which do you think is the better pantheon, earth mother or ancestor worship? Even if you have a mining starting lux I'm leaning towards ancestor worship, usually you will only have 2 mines on every city and ancestor worship gives you the yields quicker, you don't have to improve anything
As a default, ancestor worship.

Earth mother would only be superior in situations where I had tons of mines (like 2 mining luxs around my area), and then probably wanting to do some early rush types plays where that 1 extra hammer is really valuable. I think earth mother has a niche where it can be superior to AW, but its rare.
I like,
god of the sea
god of the open sky
god of all creation

with mountain/natural wonder patheon being very powerful in a narrow but not super rare situation.

god of the sea gives you loads of yield, some of them food which is less useful but it doesn't require much work. Open sky again gives bonuses without too much hard work and culture is one of the best yields. All creation is great if you aren't getting a religion anyway or oyu are overkilling due to monopoly/civ. It trades late game power for a lot of bonus right at the start. Makes it much easier to get early wonders.

If you get a big mountain range and you can cluster around it you cities get a pretty big bonus for nothing
I definitely have specific pantheons I main, and the top three are follows:

Goddess of Nature
Goddess of Purity
God King

Goddess of Nature keeps coming up as probably the one I am always looking for a reason to use. The passive bonus from being around mountains are definitely the most popular feature, but essentially a free building that every city has that gives food, gold, and faith. (you can even share mountains if your cities are close together!) I will even go for it if I see a natural wonder though. If you got a natural wonder available, you are gonna work it. Most already give high yields, and those high yields are also often faith too, so you can get a lot of concentrated faith really early on with limited infrastructure. Most of my strongest religions end up with a Goddess of Nature start.

Goddess of Purity is honestly kind of dirty. I like pantheons that reward me for doing stuff I was already going to do. Encouraging me to place cities where I was going to place cities anyway, working tiles I was going to work anyways, building buildings I was going to- you get the gist. Goddess of Purity not only boosts two things I was probably going to do anyways, but also justifies draining Marshes later than sooner Lake tiles are great tiles at first, and this pantheon makes them even better; and settling on rivers are good anyways too, and now that gives a free happiness. Lake tiles still eventually run out of useful time, but getting big early growth makes it okay... In a different version of the game please fix happiness.

God King is my guilty pleasure. I love doing wars where I amass a bunch of puppet cities, and building a religion around optimizing around puppets, ever since base civ v. And God King lets you turn those puppet populations into passive boosts to your capital. It's a greedy pantheon, and outside of like India or Byzantines, I won't use it if I am planning on competing religions in the conventual way. It's definitely a win-more pantheon, but my best and most favorite games are usually on the back of a God-King.

Beyond that I got like another half dozen that are awfully close, god of sea being a big one. I really think there are only two pantheons that are bad:

Goddess of Springtime is one of them, what with not only having tech 2 buildings to get going but also tech 2 improvements... That may need additional tech(s) to leverage because you have to chop the trees. Unlike other tech 2 pantheons ( Goddess of Protection, Goddess of Renewal, God of Craftsmen, God of Sea), there is nothing early on to get the ball moving. You will be in the situation where you are like Indonesia surrounded by Citrus, and going Springtime might mean you simply won't get a religion unless you press real hard on wide shrines, even though your starting resources should demand it!

Oh and the other is God of War Faith on kills is alright but the other two bonuses are really disappointing and low impact.
Seems like everyone thinks different pathenons are best so the balance seems pretty good!

Celt patheons are better than anything normal and I still only ever take the jungle/forest one because it is even more absurd.
One neat feature of the Celtic pantheons is that they do nothing for non-celts. Don't make the mistake of going Goddess of Protection, getting a religion with Orders, and converting your next invasion target before you invade them.
Ancestor Worship:
I use it quite often (for progress) - as @feb said, it makes for VERY strong councils (and I rush-build them as the first building) and gives a good boost to early culture per turn for Progress (plus plays into their culture for science policy).
Tutelary Gods:
Like this one too, esp. for Progress with China (maybe also Carthage and others) - if you can grow your cities to 3 pop quickly, you will get a very nice boost to early production. Helpful for wide play.

Goddess of the Sea: Obvious and easy terrain pantheon.

God of Nature
: For Inca.

Goddess of Protection: As a fallback if I don't know what to take (as late pantheon)

Don't like:
- Earth Mother: sounds ok but plays meh.
- God of Craftsmen: Far too many requirements (2nd tier improvement) and not enough resources usually. Very much meh.
- other terrain pantheons (never played with the Tundra / open plains one though)
- God of War: very meh.
Tutelary Gods:
The problem with tutelary is your faith is garbage. It basically requires a good amount of secondary faith sources to found with by the Turn 100 mark (which is my cutoff for immortal play, any timing beyond that you are just gambling to get a religion). Even Tradition + Stonehenge I don't consider enough, you probably still need some other faith or going shrine first in some cities.
The problem with tutelary is your faith is garbage. It basically requires a good amount of secondary faith sources to found with by the Turn 100 mark (which is my cutoff for immortal play, any timing beyond that you are just gambling to get a religion). Even Tradition + Stonehenge I don't consider enough, you probably still need some other faith or going shrine first in some cities.
I like tutelary gods with progress, the 3 food per city means you grow to 3 pop quickly, and it helps to pump out settlers. You do need to go shrine first however.

By 'like', I mean its fun. It's not that strong, mostly because it gives no culture and pumping out settlers without a cultural pantheon kills your social policies.
I second that notion on Tutelary Gods. The three use cases where I see Tutelary Gods are good are:

1) I am planning to puppet my neighbor early on, but I am tradition not authority. The Production and Gold are nice for tall cities and puppets alike, and later on if I do get a religion, the bonus to engineers is fine for tall cities.

2) I am going wide in food rich but production mediocre areas, and I need the hammers to get my build order going, and I am not too concerned about not having enough faith

3) If I had some good early faith windfall through natural wonders, huts, or city-states, and grabbing it right now means almost all my cities that are up will immediately get the bonuses. An early +3 to production is actually great and early +1 faith is okay compared to late +1 faith.

I don't like it much for authority, who can get a lot of hammers anyways, but I can find use cases for progress and tradition starts who need early hammers and had the early growth to get them. Like a small expansionist war, for example It just uh, sucks with this current happiness balance.
I play a lot of Tradition, so

Goddess of Beauty if nothing else looks great based on lands.
Goddess of Purity for amazing growth if you spawn near lakes.
Spirit of the Desert for amazing growth if you spawn near desert/floodplains.
I like tutelary gods with progress [...] You do need to go shrine first however.
Fully agree (with you and the other posters) - Tutelary Gods,provides lacklustre faith; to found with it, you really need to get up the shrines fast, and you need a few cities >3. On King, it works, on higher difficulties, maybe not.
I favor pantheons that have a solid synergy with the civ I'm playing. Notable cases:

Japan - Goddess of Protection
Both Japan and this pantheon rewards you for building the same buildings, and those buildings end being very cost effective. Considering that shrines and monuments cost 65 :c5production: for 2 :c5faith: or :c5culture:, a.k.a. 32.5 :c5production: per yield, a Wall ends costing essentially 22 :c5production: per :c5culture: or :c5faith:, and the Barracks is then 18.34 :c5production: per yield. Yes, they have a maintenance cost, but gold is a lot less valuable than faith, culture and science, especially this early on. Even as Tradition, you can get quite productive cities this way, on top of the military benefits those buildings provide.

And then, the healing on friendly lands works really well with Japan's prospects to win culturally by fighting defensive wars. So, the pantheon helps not only with early development, but also on one of the civ's main victory plans.

Babylon - Goddess of Wisdom
Works really well with the UB and the civ's preference for Progress. Each city can generate 7 :c5science: science and 3 :c5faith: faith with a single building and scientist specialist in Ancient Era, on top of the 2 :c5gold: gold that the UB adds to scientists. With this much science output early on from a single building, you then also get plenty of early :c5culture: culture from Progress's opener and scaler. You are then rewarded for founding cities aggressively with such yields per city, and do so with the safety of a stronger Wall as your first building in each city. Overall a very explosive start.

In the long run, the 2 :c5greatperson: Great Scientist Points is boosted by Babylon's +50% :c5greatperson: GS generation right form the start., So, you may get an extra academy or two throughout the game with this pantheon, which plays to the civ's main plan to win a scientific victory.

Brazil - Goddess of Festivals
This civ gets plenty of copies of a second luxury resource thanks to its UI, which is very useful for trading aggressively with other civs for more luxuries. This allows you to gain more benefits than usual from this pantheon, giving you solid gold and culture yields in Ancient and Classical Era. In a way, the 3 :c5gold: 1 :c5culture: 1:c5faith: per luxury from this pantheon may as well be seen as your early brazilwood camps being worth not 2 :c5gold::c5culture:, but 5:c5gold: 3:c5culture: 1:c5faith:, as long as you still have a civ to trade a copy of brazilwood with (and they aren't like "Impossible!").

And then, you want those luxuries to feed more :c5goldenage: GAP to your UA, which is your main plan to win culturally, and trigger 'Carnaval' (WLTKD) more often to address unhappiness. This pantheon is really helpful at getting as many luxuries as possible from every civ out there without going bankrupt.

Egypt - Goddess of Beauty
Aside that Egypt has an easier time amassing wonders to earn faith from this pantheon, the 2 :c5greatperson: Great Engineer Points can further push Egypt's UA through extra and earlier manufactories. Building wonders in just 5-6 turns in later eras is quite easy with Egypt's UA and a dedication toward great engineers, and this pantheon fuels that.

For actually winning, Egypt leans towards cultural victory with its UA, UB and strong preference for Artistry. Goddess of Beauty gives you a push in this direction with 2 :c5greatperson: Great Artist Points, plus the mentioned benefits with wonders.
God of the Sea is pretty good when it's good, which is rather often.
Stars and Sky and Desert Spirit but they kind of make up for the shortcomings of the terrains. If you start in desert or tundra and don't take them would feel pretty bad.
I want to say Goddess of purity, but it's been a while since I had a good start for it.
So, for me it's mostly those that get going fast because getting a religion is harder with more players, Godess of the Hunt gets a honourable mention too.
Springtime can be good if you have a plantation lux on a featureless terrain like wine, incense, tobacco, tea, coffee, olives, cotton or perfume. For forest/jungle plantation resources it's too slow in my experience, chopping takes time.
I use it when I want to go fast monopoly and going to build plantations fast anyway. Plantations often give extra culture/faith/science, and working them you tend to have low food and production, so extra food and money from the pantheon is helpful.
Most of the time it will be progress path, to get a worker, build improvements quickly and reach calendar in a reasonable time.
Goddes of home and God of war are the preferred choices of AI and that may be an indication that they are the most effective. Actually Goddes of home push well population increase and God of war get a lot in the late game in combination with religious reformations
I'm going to ignore terrain pantheons for this because they are (usually) naturally the most powerful in their respective terrain, however notable mention goes to:

Goddess of Renewal
This one is the best terrain pantheon (for forests) that isn't celtic. one faith/culture/science per two tiles won't really make up for jungle tiles being terrible but does give them earlygame usability. It does however make forest go from the late blooming amazing tiles to amazing all of the time. And markets getting science makes markets a very desirable early building for how useful they are in any situation. Better than any other pantheon in the proper forest start and it isn't even close.

Anyways my top three are:

Ancestor worship
It's busted. You don't have to actually make a sacrifice choosing between founding, culture, or science because this pantheon puts all in one on top of being generous with the culture/faith given. The 1 extra faith per 5 isn't bad either for faith snowballing but it's not the star of the show. The ability to get 4 faith and 4 culture in three buildings early on is pretty fantastic, add two extra faith for good events and that's 6 faith per city earlygame after you build monuments/shrine. Best of all, there is literally no sacrifice or downside to picking it besides being forced to research the wheel, and helps especially so in low food/gold/prod starts.

Tutelary Gods
A great burner pantheon or a powerful founding pantheon for faith advantaged starts/UA's. Three production and two gold per city is a huge amount of value that can match some terrain pantheons without any terrain requirement even needed. It goes a very very long way in making a wide gameplay style go much more smoothly with how much faster you'll get out early buildings compared to without it, and makes pop locking cities at 3 and spamming them out a viable strategy (I play with no-pop consuming settlers so this is even more true here.) It also benefits tradition and progress more than it does authority because of their shortcomings in production output. It only ever falls short in actually founding a religion due to how pitiful the faith increase is (and how late it comes compared to some other pantheons), and how without two two-food tiles it can take a long time to actually get three citizens. So, unlike AW it does have weaknesses and so earns it's place in second.

God of all Creation
A mixture of the last two but arguably worse than either. That being said it does has the advantage of being much more instant than the other two and requires no investment at all, unlike the last two requiring either food or production. The science is notably the best part of this pantheon, ensuring you can delay councils safetly without falling too far behind in science. The food is also a unique advantage but seems pretty situationally useful to either low food starts or for progress' yields on birth very early on. a lack of per-city yield scaling or lack of faith however makes it so the other two supercede most of the utility of GOAC after the second or third city, but it earns third place regardless for being better and/or less situational than most of the other pantheons.
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