Most Civs do not need further Balancing

Most Balance Suggestion Posts and Videos i see, suggest changes for a seemingly random set of civs, some of which have an almost exactly 50% win rate.
I think its unnecessary to change a civ that’s not generally too strong or too weak.
A common argument for changing civs is, that theyre strong or weak in certain situations, but i think if their win rate is still near 50% that must mean their weaknesses balance out their strenghts and trying to make all civs equally good in all situations is not only a pointless endeavour but it also takes flavour out of those civs and makes them less fun to play.
If one civ is really strong in early game and weak in late game and one is weak in early and strong in late game, the matchup is now about whether or not the late game civ can outlast the early game civ or if the early game civ can win before the late game civ reaches it’s power spike. That’s an interestig premise for a game and ultimately the fewer different machups there are that play out exactly the same, the more interesting that makes the game in my opinion.
Call it ‘uncompetetive’ if you will, but it’s what makes the game fun.

Anyway, with this out of the way, here are the civs, that i think are perfectly balanced and definitely do NOT need to be changed:
Khmer, Britons, Chinese, Mongols, Persians, Turks, Aztecs, Japanese, Magyars, Celts, Slavs, Vikings, Ethiopians, Mayans, Goths, Teutons, Malians, Indians, Huns, Burgundians, Lithuanians, Berbers Bulgarians.

-Incas are technically balanced, but im still sour about them losing the bonus that gave them their identity. So it’s fine if nothing is done about them, but i would still like to see them get something.

-Franks havent been anything less than the best civ in the game for over a year now, and while theyre far closer to being balanced now than they were back then, i think, a teeny tiny nerf would still not be bad.

Here’s the list of civs, that i think could need a SMALL buff to be well balanced, but even if they didnt got buffed wouldn’t be too unbalanced either:
Sicillians, Koreans, Italians, Portugese, Byziantines, Spanish, Tatars, Vietnamese, Malay

And now here’s the civs, that in my opinion definitely do need a bit of a buff to be fully competetive with the rest:
Saracens, Burmese, Cumans

You can look up civ win rates on or

In case you’re wondering, why im suggesting buffing for a number of civs and not nerfing any: I think it’s the better way to go from here, because it nerfs all stronger civs indirectly by giving them just slightly worse matchups against the buffed weaker civs, without taking anything away from the stronger civ and without affecting the matchup of the strong civ against other strong civs.


Most pros agree they need a nerf

This civ scream to be nerfed.

Ornlu, the caster of pros, thinks that needs a rework.

They need to be watched closely.

While I agree that they aren’t that powerful, they need to highlight a weakness lol

Koreans need the war wagon nerfed in castle age (double castle WW say hi).

All are fine, But agree that sicilians need a better buff.

Feitoria on Islands is broken


Winrates are mostly worthless and unreliable, neither 50% or 55% do say anything about whether a civ is balanced or not. The probably better metric is pickrate but even this one seems to not correlate well with intuition.

Perfect example of why winrates are absolutely worthless. Care to explain why Celts are above Mayans?


Hoang, cmon all know that


So when stats say Celts are high it must be because some particular players like to play them, but when Mayans and Chinese are high because they are OP. How do you know it’s not the opposite?


Youre using pro games as a benchmark. the vast majority of games happens around the 1000 elo mark and 1000 elo players essentially play a completely different game than 2500 elo players. Pro players are just a vocal minority. Sure chinese might be a bit too strong for top 100 players, but that doesnt reflect the vast majority of games. Even at 1650 ELO, chinese are not even among the top 5 civs in terms of win rate, and that’s already the best 0.3 percentile of players.

Why? If they lose as many games as they win, where’s the problem? Their weakness is a better player and that’s fine.

War wagons are strong, but theyre not the only strong, nor the strongest UU, plus koreans have an abyssmal win rate. War wagons are the only thing that keeps them from being a bottom end civ, so i see no reason to nerf them.


Celts aren’t above Mayans if you average over all elo


Oh look, another forum professional singling out all the water civs as being bad in a matchmaking meta that’s 100% land maps. Go on.


Hell no. Malay are literally a top 5 competitive civ if you haven’t lost your goddamned mind and anyone who argues with that is just wrong. Find Viper, ask him what he thinks, and if he thinks otherwise, he’s wrong. This civ is broken.


Point is, if you use stats targetting only 1650+ Arabia-only players (a very narrow chunk of the playerbase), and even those show aberrations like these, then why do you bother using stats at all. Just quote pros and let them decide.


Valid point.

I was assuming all civs to be supposed to be balanced over all maps that are being played.

If you seperate civs into land and water civs, im sure those are fine.


And that players, while they are competent enough to the game strats, they still don’t know how to use the civ/unit strenghts into its full potential.
Chinese is a civ that has a terrible winrate at lower ELO because they don’t know how to use the extra vills, let’s go and buff them congrats, this civ at the top level is more broken than ever 11

At high levels Lithuanians dominate Hybrid maps and they have exceptional navy lol.

cmon just because their winrate is low doesn’t means that they can keep such broken strat viable lol, Burmese are a below average civ yet playable, and that never prevented the Arambai nerf because they were just OP at the double castle strat.

I invite you to see the Khmer case, their winrates never showed that they were OP and indeed was true for 1v1, but in team games they were that broken to the point that every TG at very high levels were just Khmer as pocket, no other civ other than Indians was seen lol.

And still can’t get that dirty cheap BEs in Imperial age…

Forget 'em. (and I think they’re insane. Check my profile summary)

You play a map where water control matters at all? Malay hits the next age sooner even with the same uptime and can have an extra ship (or two) out when it matters most, right at the start of Feudal.

Playing Arena? Go fast feudal for extremely fast eco upgrades and then click up castle barely seconds behind, up villagers with a more efficient economy to boot.

See your opponent click Imperial with the score drop? Buy yourself up, beat them to Imperial by a minute and a half, and be up two trebs to one in the treb war.

The only thing stopping Malay from exploding in winrate is the limited effective use of the age up bonus, often enough hurting a player that fails to take advantage of it. If you do exactly what you normally do but you play Malay as random or otherwise and simply forget to change your start, you’ll suffer as a result of it. Malay age-up bonus is one of those that takes a plan to make full use of, but with a plan in mind it’s clearly one of the best bonuses in the entire game, bar none.

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This post commits the same error that most of the balance changes proposed do. It reduces a high dimensional space to a very low dimensional space, proposes a change (in this case the trivial change of nothing), without making reference to the different kind of distributions one uses when balancing a game.

If you’re doing any kind of analysis on a high dimensional joint probability distribution (which this data is) you always have to be explicit about which variables you are marginalizing out and why.

E.g. Take a simple discrete data vector containing (p1win, p1, p2, civ1, civ2, map ,elo1 ,elo2, strategy1 , strategy2). You can turn this into a joint distribution by binning. The number like 50% aggregated win rate marginalizes out everything except p1win. You get a Bernoulli distribution for the marginal distribution of p1win, over which you can easily take the expectation to get the aggregated win rate.

However there are good theoretical reasons why you should want to look at different marginal distributions, e.g. the marginal distribution of civ1, civ2, p1 win, marginalizing out all other variables. From this you can create the conditional distributions of p(p1 win | civ1, civ2). This lets you check if certain civ match ups are horrendously one-sided (either due to design problems or player bias).

Or maybe you want to make sure that a civ doesn’t have a glaring weakness to a certain strategy. So you label the strategies with a 1 hot vector of [archer, cavalry, siege, monks, infantry] or something. Marginalize out all other variables. You are left with the marginal distribution of (p1win, civ1, strategy2). You can derive a conditional distribution of P(p1win| civ1, strategy2).

No matter what you do though you have to remember which variables you are marginalizing out (sometimes implicitly because the data isn’t there) and their effect on the resulting distributions due to correlations. E.g. if map and civ are highly correlated for some civs marginalizing out one but not the other will create problems for interpretation. E.g. if civ2=mongols and map=valley and you marginalize out civ2. Your conditional distribution would show a bunch of civs weak to mongols having lower win rates on valley.

It’s also possible to design changes which more or less keep certain distributions the same but change others. But to do so you need a good understanding of the underlying causal network. E.g. change mongols 40% faster hunt to y% cheaper feudal and x% faster hunt. It’s almost guaranteed you can find a y and x (other than 0 and 40) such that their early game plays very similarly conditional on ‘standard hunt’ maps. That is it would keep P(…|map=Arabia or Arena) more or less unchanged, but it would affect the other conditional distributions like P(…|map=Valley).


Kinda agree, butnot 100%Indians sucks in 1v1. Portos are broke. In water. And vikings and italians are just too good there too.

Saracens are fine. Market into fc is still viable. and their xbows + camels are really dangerous.

Mayans… Mayans still feel to strong sometimes.

Burgundians might be a little too good right now


Indians in top 5 civs winrate in +1650 ELO


Great topic bro, couldn’t agree more! But I have something to say, I think Chinese and Mayans and Aztecs the most sick civs in the game, and the new Burgundians are hell broken with their 50% discount eco and age before, Lithuanians maybe need a little nerf, like removing thumb ring (why they actually have thumb ring:?!) And reduce their relics attack to +3 max not +4.
Any other thing I totally agree with you :+1:t2:


Well said! This really starts to tick me off. Especially when most justifications are basically that the poster doesn’t bother learning how to counter strategies and civs, so just nerf it.

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Afaik he considers it to be the best Arena civ

Saracens a major buff?

I get that on some intermediate elo they are undet the 45% wind rate, but about 0.5% low, so maybe they don’t need a significant buff.

I agree that most of this civs are mostly fine, but some small changes wouldn’t hurt a at all.

For example, celts stronghold UT is considered useless by most people. Now I’m not saying that we should crazy buff it, or give celts bracer, but a small change like having that UT affect TCs too wouldn’t make them OP or broken.

On the other hand, a strong civ like chinese, that it’s banned almost on every tournament, could use A small nerf, like a +5 gold cost on their super good UU.

I’m not gonna bring an example for all of them (also because some of them are actually fine) but this is basically the scale of what I meant.

I don’t think that all those civs actually need buffs or nerfs. Italians could receive SE, and portos could have their fast tech bonus buffed by a 3%, but civs like byz or viets are actually fine.

The Burmese are more difficult to use than weak, but could use a small buff. The cumans definitely needs something.

That’s a tricky one…

I would leave them alone for some time. Part of their strength comes from the fact that they are an easy civ. So let’s see how they’ll work.


I agree with the premise that most civs are actually on a very good spot. I dont feel general win rate is the best way see who is balanced and who is not and I think even 1650+ elo cant really say the whole story. I know most players are at low and average elo but I think balance should be aimed at the highest level as presumably players should improve and its not really the civs fault players dont play it to its potential.

If I have to use my feeling here is what could be changed. I think franks, aztecs and mayans despite going strong have been nerfed several time recently and have to be left for a while.

Sicilians need help and perhaps a rework in the civ design, too.
Burmese need some attention. Before they were about the arambais now them being nerfed the civ is lacking while still being an option on certain settings. Idk what giving then SO back would do for them right now.
Incas. If compared to the general bunch looks to be fine but they are clearly weaker than the other American civs. I would improve somehow/make cheaper the slingers and or kamayuks to have them build identity around their UUs.

Italy and Portugal are very good on water. Feels like they need smth extra on land but I think esp Portuguese must be OK as they are now.

Spanish, Bysantines and Saracens have their strenghts and I personally consider them balanced. Yet with the general improvement of all civs seems they could use a little love from the devs.

I would agree with Ornlu Indians need some changes as design. Not necessary a nerf or a buff. But smth doesnt quite feel right for me. Cant say what.

The rest of the civs are fine for me as they are.

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