Civ 5 Best Leaders

The game is even better when you know who to choose to play with
Great leaders are not born, they are made!

1 Babylon – Nebuchadnezzar II

Nebuchadnezzar II speaks Akkadian. On his diplomacy screen, he is sitting on his throne in a dark ziggurat, flanked by two greenish flames. Notably, when the player first meets him, he drops his goblet. He seems to show disdain for both the player and his citizens, saying that "those fools outside think I am some sort of god."

Why is Nebuchadnezzar II is great:

  • Great Wonder Competitiveness
  • Strong Defensive Building Production
  • Great Espionage Power

Find out more about Nebuchadnezzar II: 

2 Korea – Sejong

Sejong speaks Modern Korean with a distinguishable South Korean accent and some archaic vocabulary. (Historically he would have spoken either Middle Korean or Early Modern Korean.) On his diplomacy screen, he is sitting on the Phoenix Throne at Gyeongbokgung Palace with a book in his hands.

Why is Sejong is great:

  • Great Power of Science 
  • Huge Science Victory Changes
  • Great Production of Naval Units

Find out more about Sejong: 

3 Brazil – Pedro II

    Pedro will most commonly try for a cultural victory. If he pursues a different victory condition, he is likely to choose a diplomatic one over a scientific or domination victory. Pedro is exceptionally friendly and loyal, and will readily befriend anyone but the most warlike leaders. He is more willing to denounce than to wage war himself but will maintain a defensive militia composed of a variety of units. He also has a habit of building a fairly large navy. Fittingly, Pedro's highest priority is the  Happiness of his people, followed by the development of his lands and Culture. He will not claim a large territory, but his cities will be highly populated and the land and water around them will be full of improvements. He will sometimes try to build wonders that enhance his Culture and Tourism output. Pedro is friendly toward city-states in his sphere of influence and will often pledge to protect them. He will hardly ever attack or bully them.

Why is Pedro II is great:

  • Great Happiness Emphasis
  • Great Growth Rate
  • Strong Cultural Emphasis 

Find out more about Pedro II: 

4 Egypt – Ramsses II

Ramesses II speaks Classical Arabic ("fus-ha") with a distinctive Egyptian accent. (Fusha was most likely chosen over Ancient Egyptian because no pronunciation guides were ever recorded for that language and because Coptic, the descendant of Ancient Egyptian, is spoken by only a few people.) On his diplomacy screen, he is sitting on a throne in his open-air palace.

    Why is Ramesses II is great:

  • Strong Wonder Emphasis
  • Great Military Building Production
  • Offensive Unit Production

Find out more about Ramsses II: 

5 Venice – Enrico Dandolo

Enrico Dandolo speaks with a "modern" Venetian dialect, albeit mixed with some modern Italian words here and there. On his diplomacy screen, he is standing on a bridge in the center of Venice at night, dressed in his ducal robes and hat. Dandolo's eyes remain in a relatively fixed position in his head (unlike most leaders, who "look around the room") on account of his blindness.

Why is Enrico Dandolo is great:

  • Strong Defensive Building Production
  • Great Gold Income
  • Powerful Naval Fleet

Find out more about Enrico Dandolo: 

6  Siam – Ramkhamhaeng

    Ramkhamhaeng will normally try any victory condition, but he will most likely attempt a diplomatic one. He is least likely to try a domination victory. Ramkhamhaeng puts a heavy emphasis on developing Culture. He will raise a large army to protect his lands, but his offensive army will typically be average in size. Ramkhamhaeng is a rather friendly leader, but he will become hostile if he sees the player as a warmonger. He is also one of the leaders most likely to ask his allies for help. Fittingly, Ramkhamhaeng tends to try making friends with city-states, as well as protecting them. He will rarely try to conquer them.

Why is Ramkhamhaeng is great:

  • Great defensive units production
  • High Changes of Diplomatic win
  • Strong relationships with city-states

Find out more about Ramkhamhaeng:


7 Poland – Casimir III

Casimir III will likely try to achieve any victory condition, but he will mostly focus on a domination victory.  Casimir is quite a bold leader. He is very loyal and willing to declare friendship. Casimir likes to build a strong army, consisting predominantly of infantry and fast-moving units. He is also known to be particularly keen on military training. Casimir puts a high priority on improving his cities' Production, as well as gathering Gold. He is very willing to make use of religion, as well. Even though he tends to be guarded and can often declare war, Casimir is one of the more trustworthy personalities and will hardly ever backstab. Casimir prefers to protect city-states and will rarely ignore them. On the other hand, he may sometimes try to demand tribute from them.

Why is Casimir II great:

  • The high number of military buildings
  • High production of mobile units
  • Likelihood of expanding very fast

Find out more about Casimir II: 

8 Zulu – Shaka

Shaka is an aggressive personality and will often try for a domination victory above all others. Shaka tends to be suspicious of other leaders, though neutral towards fellow warmongers. He will often denounce or declare war on them for perceived slights. However, Shaka is also the most loyal leader in the game, and anyone who succeeds in earning his trust will find him a steadfast ally in the face of mutual foes. Shaka puts a priority on developing Production and raising a strong offensive army consisting primarily of melee units, which are later replaced by gunpowder units. His defensive militia will not be as good, though. It's also worth noting that Shaka is very likely to get and use nuclear weapons. Shaka frequently bullies city-states, and may also try to conquer them. The greatest threat from Shaka, apart from outright wars, is his aggressive expansion. He will seek to claim the territory as quickly as he can, showing little interest in Culture, Science, or religion.

Why is Shaka great:

  • Fast Expansion
  • Very Bold
  • Fast offensive units production

Find out more about Shaka: 

9 Hunnic – Attila

Given his exceptional boldness and hostility, Attila is undoubtedly the most aggressive leader in the game. He will always go for a domination victory over others and will declare war on every civilization and city-state he meets all the time (even among his fellow warmongers). Don't try to befriend him, because even if you do, he will backstab you anyway. Attila will include many mounted and ranged units in his offensive army, which will be one of the best in the game. However, the fares poorly in defensive combat, and his cities tend to be poorly developed with weak defenses. If he manages to capture one of your cities, expect him to raze it to the ground. Be extremely careful when facing Attila, as he is relentlessly aggressive in the early game and all too willing to declare war on anyone he meets (particularly the civilizations with severe early game disadvantages like India and Venice). Counter his invading army with lots of Spearmen, Pikemen, and Lancers should he initiate a war against you. Consequently, his warmongering behavior will most likely help you gain a lot of allies from many city-states and other civilizations (particularly those who hate warmongers) for better late-game dominance.

Why is Attila great:

  • Strong offensive units
  • Fast Nuke Production
  • Fast Expansion Power

Find out more about Attila: 

10.Elizabeth- British Empire

Elizabeth will normally try a diplomatic victory, but she may attempt a different kind of victory on some occasions. Elizabeth is often hostile, but not especially bloodthirsty, as she is not very bold and will not wage many wars. She is very difficult to befriend and quick to denounce anyone who angers her, as well.

Most of the time, Elizabeth will have a small offensive force, but a good defensive army with many infantry and ranged units and powerful anti-air defenses. Aside from that, given Elizabeth's strong emphasis on raising a large navy, the English navy will be one of the best. Elizabeth also focuses on developing her empire's economy and is one of the leaders more likely to use espionage. Elizabeth will often try to protect city-states.

If you find yourself at war with Elizabeth, you can defend against her naval attacks by setting up Cannons and other siege units in your coastal cities and taking health away from her warships by bombarding them. Better yet, keep a small navy of your own around for defense.

Why is Elizabeth great:

  • Fast ranged units production
  • Naval Powerhouse
  • Fast Gold Production

Find out more about Elizabeth: 

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