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

civ 6, Domination
You don't have to build an empire if you can conquer one

Whether you want to know what it’s like to have everything under your control, or simply want to get back at that leader who “stole” your Wonder, having military power is something every self-respecting leader needs. Conquering the world is one thing every powerful leader in history has tried to do. In Civilization 6 you have the chance to do just that, and it’s the most exhilarating way to play the game, as the risk is the highest.

 Achieving a domination victory requires you to conquer the capitals of all other civilizations, who will soon find out about your formidable force and may start to work together and try to defend their land fiercely. That’s why you’ll need to have the right tools in your tool-belt to persevere through their defences.

If you are wondering which leader will suit you best as you try to gain control over the rest of the world, then this is the right place for you.

10 - Harald Hardrada

The last viking king

If you feel like raiding the shores of your enemies time and time again then Norway and their leader is the right choice. His strength lies in the early game as he cannot be matched by any other navy, both in numbers and strength.

Harald’s unique bonus gives Norway 50% bonus production towards melee naval units, a second unique unit – the longship, as well as the ability to perform coastal raids, which provide science in addition to gold, faith or culture. The Longship is by far the strongest naval unit in the ancient era, as it has more combat strength and more movement in coastal waters. Norway’s Civ ability also contributes to their naval supremacy, as their ships can heal in neutral territory, they can enter ocean tiles earlier and all units don’t pay movement cost to embark or disembark.

The key to your success is in early game exploration. Finding an enemy city settled near the coast feels like finding treasure. It soon will become your favorite vacation spot, as you raid it endlessly with your superior longships and berserkers.

The game does a phenomenal job at recreating history, and when playing as Norway you really feel like a Viking, the gameplay, visuals and the soundtrack help to accentuate that feeling.

Why Harald Hardrada is great:

  • Strongest navy
  • Coastal raiding bonuses
  • No obvious counterplay

Harald Hardrada and Norway in detail 


9 - Matthias Corvinus

You have a nice army there, can I use it?

Renting an army to fight your battles? That’s exactly what Matthias is famous for. The interesting mechanic in civ 6, known as levying of city states, allows you to use their armies in return for gold. Hungary are the experts of that, as levied units gain more movement and combat strength, which enables Matthias to raise a powerful army in a matter of few turns.

With this leader, you get a 75% discount on upgrading levied units as well as improving their combat strength by 5 and their movement by 2. Hungary’s civ ability grants them 50% bonus production towards districts placed across the river from the city center. Matthias also gives them a unique unit the Black army which has high combat strength and gets even more when adjacent to levied units, but furthermore it upgrades into Hungary’s other unique unit the Huszar - another strong light cavalry unit.

In the early game, playing as Hungary, you should focus on building infrastructure and gain control over as many city states as possible. Your moment comes around the medieval era ,as you can take advantage of their units and your unique units, to surprise and conquer your enemies.

Why is Matthias great:

  • Can raise an army really fast
  • 2 strong unique units
  • Strong civ overall

Matthias and Hungary in detail:


8 - Tomyris

I'm gonna take my horse to the old town road...

The Scythians have the fastest spreading cavalry in game, which makes the people from the steppes the best at pillaging enemy land and forcing them to stop their development.

The Saka horse archers are one of the few ranged cavalry units, making them great for skirmishes and raiding. Tomyris’s special ability allows her units to heal up to 30 hp after each kill and gives all of her wounded units +5 combat strength. Due to their unique ability, every time you produce a light cavalry unit or a Saka Horse archer you get a copy of that unit, which means that you can build your army twice as fast.

With Tomyris and the Scythians your force is in the early game, taking advantage of your big and fast army of saka horse archers with which you can bully any neighbor, making them weaker and weaker, allowing you to snowball through the game.

Why Tomyris is great:

  • Able to get a massive, hard to kill and fast army of ranged cavalry units.
  • Incredible at pillaging and bullying other civs
  • Easily getting light cavalry units throughout the game.

Tomyris and the Scythians in detail:


7- Suleiman

The grand Vezier is too strong

The Ottomans are by far the best in the game at sieging and conquering cities, with their unique governor Ibrahim-the grand Vezier, their cheap, but powerful replacement of the Musketman- the Janissary and their bonus production to siege units. They become an unstoppable powerhouse in the medieval era which grows larger and larger.

Their unique unit the Janissary is the cheapest unique unit in the game costing only half as much as the musketman, which it replaces, in addition to that it has higher combat strength and starts with a free promotion, however when trained in cities founded by the ottomans the city loses one population. The Ottomans also get a production bonus to siege units, as well as bonus combat strength against defensible districts. On top of that, amenities, loyalty and population in conquered cities.

Suleiman’s power comes into play in the medieval era, when you can use the bonuses from Ibrahim, your powerful Janissaries and easy to construct siege units all together to besiege and conquer as many cities as possible. Keeping them in your control won’t be a problem as they gain amenities and loyalty and also can start producing more Janissaries to expand your power even further.

Why is Suleiman great

  • Best in the game at sieging
  • One of the best mid game power spikes
  • Easily maintains control over taken cities

Suleiman and the Ottomans in detail:


6- Shaka

Most ripped leader

Just like in real life, Shaka of the Zulu is a strong leader, rightfully respected by his enemies. As the Zulu’s strength lies in their numbers, they can prevail over their neighbours with sheer unity and determination, often being able to overcome civilizations with better technologies Apart from their unique unit the Impi and the Ikanda the Zulu have access to corps and armies far earlier, as well as having a combat strength bonus, which makes them a formidable force throughout the entire game.

Shaka’s unique bonus allows you to get corps and armies one era earlier as well as a +5 combat strength bonus to them, which gives you a massive advantage over your enemies. In addition to that each time a unit conquers a city it will be upgraded to corps or armies. The Ikanda is going to help you get more units even faster, as well as some gold and science. The Zulu’s unique unit the Impi has lower production and maintenance cost and gains experience much faster.

Leading the Zulu empire as Shaka you’d be best of if you focus on building a couple of Ikanda’s and getting some culture in the early game and waiting for your massive power spike in the classical/ mediaeval eras, and then continue steamrolling your enemies with your corps and armies, which couldn’t be matched by anyone.

Why Shaka is great

  • Able to get corps and armies earlier
  • Great at producing large infantry forces
  • Able to keep newly captured cities loyal

Shaka and the Zulu in detail:



Half human-half bush

The Aztecs with Montezuma are easily the scariest nation you can face in the early game. With the eagle warrior, one of the best unique units in the game available from the start of the game, they have an advantage over everyone. They will explore and conquer every city they lay their eyes upon in a matter of a few turns, which will put them in a massive lead for the rest of the game.

Montezuma’s leader bonus grants the Aztecs +1 combat strength to all units for each different improved luxury resource in their territory, as well as extra amenities. The bread and butter to the Aztecs’s success is their unique unit the eagle warrior, which has a much higher combat strength as well as the ability to capture defeated enemy units and turn them into builders. Another one of their bonuses is that they builders can spend their charges to complete 20% of a district’s production cost.

With them your goal should be to conquer as much as you can as soon as possible with the help of the eagle warriors, and then try to increase your power with the cities and builders you’ve captured. Very easy to understand and play with the Aztecs are great for beginners, especially if you’re eager to jump in the fight from the start.

Why Montezuma is great 

  • Strongest early game
  • Easy to understand and play with
  • Can snowball easily

Montezuma and the Aztecs in detail


4 – Alexander

Often takes off his helmet to show off his hair

With Alexander the Great at charge, the Macedonians are always ready for war and are prepared to stay in war for ages. Many believe that Alexander was never defeated in battle and this military prowess is also apparent in Civ 6 where Macedon is one of the scariest civilizations to have as a neighbour, since they thrive in endless wars and will sooner or later conquer you.

Alexander’s ability allows Macedonian cities to never incur war weariness, as well as granting them a second unique unit the Hetairoi, a heavy cavalry unit that’s starts with a free promotion, bonus combat strength against enemies adjacent to a great general and gives 5 great general points for each kill. The other unique unit is the Hypaspist which has higher combat strength than the swordsman, which it replaces and even more combat strength when besieging a district.

Playing as Alexander you shouldn’t be scared of wars as you have an apparent advantage in them, since your enemies will get weaker and weaker, and their cities more and more unhappy, and you shall sooner or later conquer them, using your unique units while you have them and gaining an army of great generals to command them.

Why Alexander is great:

  • No war weariness, making him ready to wear out his enemies in endless wars
  • Two strong unique units
  • Using great general bonuses

Alexander and the Macedons in detail:


3-Basil II

"Don't worry it's just a few missionaries"

In case you want to spread your power both through sword and faith, then Byzantium led by Basil II is the right choice for you. His combination of religion and military strength will overwhelm your enemies.

Byzantium’s civ ability gives them bonus combat and religious strength to all units for each holy city converted to their religion. Furthermore Byzantium’s religion is spread to nearby cities when an enemy unit is defeated. Basil allows all cavalry units to deal full damage to cities following the same religion as Byzantium, as well as granting them another unique unit. The tagma is a heavy cavalry unit which gives +4 combat or religious strength to nearby land units. Their unique district-the hippodrome grants Byzantium a free cavalry unit, with no maintenance cost, not only each time it’s constructed, but also each time a building in it is completed.

Converting enemies to your religion is key to your success, as they’ll be far easier to conquer with your massive cavalry, that’s why focusing on getting a religion and spreading it should be your priority in the early game. Afterwards building a Hippodrome in each of your cities, when you get access to the Tagma, will give you a massive power spike allowing you to demolish your opponents with ease.

Why Basil II is great:

  • Fast spawning cavalry that doesn’t require maintenance
  • Tons of amenities keeping your cities happy
  • Strong both for Domination and Religious victories.

Basil II and Byzantium in detail:


2 – Hammurabi


One-shotting units with musketmen or fighting knights with tanks. Sounds good right? With Hammurabi you can do just that, and more. In civ 6 the most powerful enemy is by far the one who is more advanced in technology, especially when it comes to military matters.

Babylon’s main ability means that they get 50% science per turn less, but eurekas unlock the respective technology instantly. That is a massive boost to science if the player can take advantage of these eurekas. Hammurabi’s ability gives the Babylonians a nice bonus in the early game, each time they build a new type of district they receive the first building and an envoy for free.

Playing as Babylon you should focus on getting as many eurekas as possible. The bonuses to their start and their fast unique unit that is very suitable for exploration, should help you get those eurekas fast. Your moment to strike will be obvious when you have crossbowmen and catapults while your opponents just produced their first archer…

Why Hammurabi is great:

  • Able to get a tech advantage
  • No obvious counterplay
  • Incredible civ both for domination and science victories

Hammurabi and Babylon in detail:


1 - Simon Bolivar

Great and even greater generals?

Nothing can stop you with the elite, constantly strong and fast army of Simon Bolivar. In real life Bolivar liberated most of South America of Spanish control, but in civ 6 you can do more, much more. Gran Colombia’s fast moving units, great generals and good economy to support your efforts, means that if used properly your advantage is everlasting.

Simon Bolivar offers one Comandante general each time they get to a new era. These generals give bonus combat strength to adjacent units as well as other great abilities when they retire. The civ’s base ability grants all units +1 movement making their development faster, as well as giving their armies more manoeuvrability, apart from that their unique unit the Llanero is very cheap to maintain gets even more combat strength from Comandante generals as well as being fully healed when they retire.

Gran Colombia led by Simon Bolivar is my choice for the best domination civ as they offer constant bonuses and versatility. The higher movement on all units in combination with the bonus combat strength from many generals and their unique abilities, as well as a good tile improvement giving you gold, food, production and housing makes you the best civ for pursuing a domination victory.

Why Simon Bolivar is great:

  • Fastest units
  • Unique great generals apart from the already great generals
  • Good infrastructure

Simon Bolivar and Gran Colombia in detail:


 Hopefully you know which leader is right for you and you are prepared for your campaigns, in case you get tired along the way and would like to rest...

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Everything changed when I got new flip flops, before I was an athlete, but that damn day I slipped in the shower. They were too big! Now I’m overweight and can fit in them, I’ve also played many games
Gamer Since: 2011
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