The Guru is a religious unit introduced to Civilization VI in the Fall 2017 Update. It can only be purchased with Faith in a city that has a majority religion and a Holy Site with a Temple (or one of its replacements).
- Defend against (but not initiate) Theological Combat.
- Can ignore national borders.
- Heal itself and nearby Religious units (3 charges)
The Guru is unique for its ability to heal itself and all religious units in surrounding tiles. Its Heal ability restores up to 40 HP to all affected units. What's more, its power doesn't depend on the unit's health, which means that a unit with as little as 1 HP will be able to survive and still help an attacking religious group immensely.
Gurus, theoretically, are good when competing against other religious civilizations for a Religious Victory, since they enable Missionaries and Apostles to march much deeper into unfriendly territory and spread their wisdom; in practice, however, Gurus are very underused, even for religious players, simply because they do not directly help advance towards a Religious Victory. It is also very clunky to use effectively, as you will find that there are few circumstances when you are able to heal more than two surrounding units per charge with a Guru, since the easiest way to convert a foreign civilization into your religion is to convert multiple cities at once (similar to Loyalty mechanics and conquering); therefore, your Missionaries and Apostles will likely spread out rather than travel together. They are also a liability in Theological Combat since their job is to venture outside of friendly territory next to Missionaries and Apostles, but their low Religious Strength makes them vulnerable to enemy Inquisitors and Apostles. Even if you build Meenakshi Temple, which reduces the Faith cost of Gurus and allows them to provide Religious Strength and Movement bonuses to adjacent religious units, you should use Gurus sparingly - even if you have a Religious Victory in mind, your two main goals are spreading your religion and defending against other religions, and Gurus do not directly help with either.
The Sanskrit word "guru" means teacher and yet what is a guru without someone to teach?
Historically, gurus have been both scholars and spiritual guides to their disciples. Which is to say, the guru would not only offer answers, but help their students interpret questions. The guru is thought to be "heavy" with knowledge, wisdom, and sometimes hidden scripture.
Of course, one would best beware of unofficial gurus out there: these fake gurus have been known to take existing scripture and interject their own thinking.
In the guru-shishya traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, a potential student would come to the guru's home bearing gifts, showing their willingness to learn. And if the pupil was found acceptable, the guru would then pass along their esoteric or specialized learning.
Similarly, Sikh gurus would retain and reproduce the writing of the gurus who came before. In this way, the guru relationship would ensure that their knowledge would live on across generations.
With a Guru Heal 7 religious units with one action