Pantheon comes from Greek. For those who are unfamiliar, pan means “all” and theos means “god.” As such, pantheon tends to mean all of the gods of a polytheistic religion. However, it is interesting to note that the term can also mean “a temple of all gods,” with the most famous example being the Roman temple turned Catholic church called the Pantheon in Rome. In Civilization VI, pantheons are religious structures that provide interested individuals with terrain bonuses. The player gets their pantheon by accumulating 25 Faith. After which, they can pick one out of the options that are available to them. Conveniently, interested individuals can continue benefiting from their pantheon even if they never found their own religion or if their cities have been converted to a foreign religion. However, they should see their pantheon as a stepping stone to founding their own religion.
What Kinds of Pantheons Can Be Found in Civilization VI?
There are numerous pantheons. However, they can be put into three categories. First, there are pantheons that provide boosts to some kind of resource collection. For example, Earth Goddess, Religious Idols, and Stone Circles boost Faith. However, each one boosts Faith in its own particular way. Earth Goddess gives 1 Faith to each player-owned tile that has either Charming or Breathtaking Appeal, which has been changed to 2 Faith for each tile that has Breathtaking Appeal as of Gathering Storm. Meanwhile, Religious Idols give 2 Faith to each Mine that has been built on either a Bonus resource or a Luxury resource. As for Stone Circles, interested individuals can expect 2 Faith to each Quarry. There are similar pantheons for boosting Culture, Food, and Production. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that there are pantheons that provide boosts based on events rather than terrain. For example, God of War provides a Faith bonus whenever a unit is killed within eight tiles of a Holy Site, with the Faith bonus being 50 percent of the unit’s combat strength. Similarly, Initiation Rites provides 50 Faith whenever the player clears out a Barbarian Outpost, which has been changed so that it also comes with a 100 HP heal for the unit that cleared out the Barbarian Outpost as of Gathering Storm.
Second, there are pantheons that provide bonuses for being situated next to a particular kind of terrain. First, Dance of the Aurora boosts the Faith output of a Holy Site by 1 for each Tundra tile next to it. Second, Desert Folklore boosts the Faith output of a Holy Site by 1 for each Desert tile next to it. Third, River Goddess gives a city 1 Amenity so long as it has a Holy Site situated next to a River, which has been changed to 2 Amenities and 2 Housing for meeting the same condition as of Gathering Storm. Fourth, Sacred Path boosts the Faith output of a Holy Site by 1 for each Rainforest tile next to it.
Third, there are pantheons that don’t fit into either one of the other two categories. As such, they can be very interesting for players who have a specific goal in mind. For example, Divine Spark provides Great Person points for having the right districts, thus making it very useful regardless of what Great Person interested individuals have in mind. Likewise, God of Healing increases healing by 30 HP for units stationed either on a Holy Site or next to a Holy Site, which can help if the player wants to maintain their momentum in spite of constant combat. Other pantheons in this category range from God of the Forge that can provide a huge boost to an early game military rush to Religious Settlements that can enable interested individuals to expand faster than otherwise possible.
How Can You Choose the Best Pantheon in Civilization VI?
In any case, here are some suggestions for people seeking to choose the best pantheon for themselves in Civilization VI:
Surrounding Landscape – The player can control much about their starting characteristics. However, they can never exercise complete control over their surroundings as well as the resources that can be found in their surroundings. This is important because these are some of the most important factors that should influence the player’s pantheon choice. After all, something like Desert Folklore is useless if interested individuals don’t have convenient access to Desert tiles so that they can maximize their benefit from having it. Similarly, other pantheons that are beneficial because of a particular resource or a particular kind of tile will become more useful if the player has convenient access to them but less useful if the player has either no access or inconvenient access to them.
Priorities – Moving on, interested individuals should choose a pantheon that suits their priorities. For instance, if the player is planning to spread out as fast as possible, Religious Settlements can become very powerful in their hands. The boost to border expansion will enable them to secure more land and thus more resources. Similarly, the bonus Settler unit can mean a huge jump in empire building so long as interested individuals can defend their new territories, particularly since Settlers cost so much Production. Regardless, the player’s priorities will be set based on both their choices and their circumstances. It is definitely possible for them to play in a particular way, meaning that they can choose a pantheon that suits what they have in mind. However, they will also need to adjust their strategy as they continue to learn new things about their competitors. Simply put, interested individuals can play the economic game all they want, but if they find out that their neighbors are very aggressive individuals who have been eyeing their holdings, they need to be prepared to fight off one or more would-be conquerors.
Path to Victory – Having said this, the single most important consideration will be the player’s intended path to victory. They cannot count on their pantheon to carry them throughout the game. However, they can definitely use their pantheon to provide them with a sizable boost towards their goals, thus enabling them to jump out ahead of their competitors. Primarily, this factor will be focused on the kind of victory that the player is going for. For example, if they want a Science victory, they should grab Divine Spark so that their Libraries can pump out the Great Scientist points. Meanwhile, if they want a Culture victory, they can consider either Oral Tradition or Goddess of Festivals for the Culture boosts. Besides this, interested individuals should also consider their planned tempo. To name an example, if they are thinking about carving out a big empire in the early game before using that to fuel their race to the end goal, they might want to pick up God of the Forge so that they can build a lot of Ancient and Classic units for their push. However, the downside is that they will sacrifice their later potential, meaning that there is a real trade-off.