Pantheons precede established religions, and are founded automatically as Faith is accumulated. In Civilization VI, all Pantheons require 25 Faith (at Standard speed), regardless of how many other Pantheons have been created already.
Unlike in Civilization V, a civilization's Pantheon will not get overwritten by foreign religions converting its cities. This means that a player will be able to use his or her Pantheon bonus even without managing to found a full religion, or after founding a religion that gets wiped out. However, despite staying with you through the whole game this time, Pantheons are still seen as just a stepping stone towards creating a religion, and thus it is encouraged to not just settle with a pantheon if you are hoping to gain power from faith.
Pantheons worship a number of minor gods, usually related to nature and natural phenomena, and provide minor bonuses, usually based on terrain.
|Dance of the Aurora||Holy Site districts get +1 Faith from adjacent Tundra tiles.|
|Sacred Path||Holy Site districts get +1 Faith from adjacent Rainforest tiles.|
|Monument of the Gods||+15% Production to Ancient and Classical era Wonders.|
|Lady of the Reeds and Marshes||+1 Production from Marsh, Oasis, and Floodplains.|
|God of the Open Sky||+1 Culture from Pastures.|
|Desert Folklore||Holy Site districts get +1 Faith from adjacent Desert tiles.|
|River Goddess||+1 Amenities Amenity to cities if they have a Holy Site district adjacent to a River.|
|Divine Spark||+1 Great Person point from Holy Site (Prophet), Campus (Scientist), and Theater Square (Writer) districts.|
|God of the Sea||+1 Production from Fishing Boats.|
|Goddess of the Hunt||+1 Food from Camps.|
|Fertility Rites||City growth rate is 10% higher.|
|Religious Idols||+1 Faith from Mines over Luxury and Bonus resources.|
|God of the Craftsmen||+1 Production from Mines over Strategic resources.|
|Goddess of Festivals||+1 Food from Wine, Incense, Cocoa, Tobacco, Coffee, and Tea Plantations.|
|Oral Tradition||1 Culture from Banana, Citrus, Cotton, Dyes, Silk, Spices, and Sugar Plantations.|
|God of the Forge||+25% Production toward Ancient and Classical military units.|
|Initiation Rites||+50 Faith for each Barbarian Outpost cleared.|
|God of Healing||Increases Healing by +30 in your Holy Site district, or any adjacent tiles.|
|Religious Settlements||Border expansion rate is 15% faster.|
|Goddess of the Harvest||Harvesting a resource or removing a feature receives Faith equal to the other yield's quantity.|
|Stone Circles||+2 Faith from Quarries.|
|God of War||Bonus Faith equal to 50% of the strength of each enemy unit killed within 8 tiles of a Holy Site district you own|
Note that adjacency bonuses from Mountain and Tundra don't stack, so for instance with Dance of the Aurora a mountain tile that's also tundra provides only +1 Faith to an adjacent Holy Site. However, the effect of Woods and Natural Wonders do stack with Tundra.
Overall, if there's nothing obvious (for instance 4 related tiles) to give you a solid push in a particular direction when you found your pantheon, there are some things to bear in mind:
|Stone Circles||Stone is all over the place. You'll probably find a lot of it, even if you can't see any at the start of the game. Expect to average more than one per city even if you aren't founding your cities to take advantage of this. So as it's +2 Faith (not +1 like a slew of other pantheons), it roughly doubles the worth of every Stone, Marble or Gypsum resource (remembering that we need to compare each not to nothing but to random resource free terrain). This should be your default, "I-have-no-idea-what-other-one-to-take" choice. Just pray that it's not taken already, but if it is then read on.
However, if you're not interested in pushing a religion, the Faith generation isn't a particularly valuable resource. Yes, it can be used for patronage of Great People and some other non-religious uses, but by and large you'd benefit more from something else. For non-religious civs, see the comments on Religious Settlements below.
|God of the Open Sky||If Stone Circles has already been taken then, while not as common as the resources for that, it's a fair assumption that you'll find more Cattle, Sheep, and Horses, so this is a fairly good pick. They're probably not common enough that it's worth taking this if you don't already have at least two or three of them available. It can be useful to get early Culture to spend less gold on tiles and to get Temples in time to get your pick of the third and fourth faiths or acquire more policies.|
|God of the Sea||Even on an islands map with high sea level you won't get as many of these as you'd like. Probably less than one per city on average. This could be a shock if you've played a lot of Civ V—you have been warned. This isn't to say that there won't be starting positions that favour it, but if you get one you probably don't have enough land for districts.|
|God of the Forge||This can be a solid choice if you're going for a fast aggressive start, especially if your unique unit is available in the Ancient or Classical Era. If not, it is doubtful that this will provide enough of an edge to make it worthwhile.|
|Divine Spark||The headline is probably the Great Prophet points, but if you can take something that provides Faith instead you'll get your two Apostles sooner and continue to reap the benefits throughout the game, so it's probably better to go that way and just lean on the more mundane ways of getting Great Prophet points. The other Great People points are mediocre—Great People aren't that great, because they come along too infrequently, even with this.|
|Initiation Rites||Best case scenario: one outpost every 4 turns or so — about 12.5 Faith per turn on average. Not a scratch on what you'll probably get from Stone Circles eventually because it won't scale well — as the territory is taken up, the barbarian outposts stop appearing.|
|Fertility Rites||Really poor because it's based on modified Food per turn. Take only as a last resort.|
|Religious Settlements||Probably the worst of all choices: you may have to buy 13% ((1 - 1 / 1.15) * 100) fewer tiles. Taking this would be worse than taking Fertility Rites, because population provides Culture, so you'd gain more border expansion (and the Culture, Science, etc.) from that over time.
However, the value of this pantheon extends beyond it being treated as a replacement for purchasing tiles - specifically, EVERY civ and EVERY city can benefit from it. Instead of needing 10 turns to claim the next tile, you only need 9. It can offset poor Culture generation for militaristic civs or maximize border growth for other civs. Yes, every tile claimed automatically is a tile that you didn't have to buy, but every tile claimed automatically will usually open up new tiles for purchase. It helps you reach key resources faster, and again, is passively applied to every city you've got.
Moreover, this is a GREAT choice for any civ that doesn't really care much about pushing their own religion, as the primary (but not the only) purpose of Faith is to purchase religious units. Unlike so many pantheon beliefs which rely on having specific resources nearby (which you now shouldn't harvest or you lose the bonus), this is one that any civ and any victory type can benefit from at every stage of the game.