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The Soothsayer is a support unit in Civilization VI. It is exclusive to the Apocalypse game mode, introduced in the Maya & Gran Colombia Pack. It can only be purchased with Faith Faith.


Soothsayers get one random promotion by getting a Gold or Silver Tier reward from the Appease the Gods competition.

Promotion Effect
Incantation +1 Charge. Adjacent units gain +5 Strength Combat Strength.
Inquisitor +1 Charge, gains Stealth (only adjacent enemy units can reveal this unit).
Messenger +1 Charge, +2 Movement Movement.
Plague Bearer +1 Charge. Adjacent enemy cities are automatically Besieged.
Zealot +2 Charges.


Soothsayers are quite handy for creating misfortune for rival nations without the action being traced back to you, and without a single Soothsayer even having to cross their borders. For example, placing a Soothsayer beside a river (ideally on a Floodplains tile) that one or more rivals have cities on or near, and triggering its ability will create a flood that will generally devastate the area around those cities. The flood will also damage City Centers that don't have defenses or other protection against such disasters, making those cities easier to conquer. However, the flood will also damage your cities, so you may want to reconsider causing a flood if you have many valuable cities on the river you are attempting to flood.

Additionally, a less offensive possible use for this ability lies in the unexpected synergy it has with the Great Bath, thanks to being able to more or less create floods on demand for whichever of your cities hosts this wonder. However, it should be noted that the floods caused by Soothsayers will not fertilize tiles.

Forest Fires caused by Soothsayers are the only disasters that can fertilize the land. Use them in heavily forested areas that you plan to settle later on. Be wary of starting a fire that will spread to your cities as you will lose 1 population for every affected tile. Cities with Preserves and Natural Parks are especially vulnerable.

If you have a lot of coastal cities with lowland tiles you might want to avoid overusing Soothsayers due to their climate change impact, at least until you have access to Flood Barriers.

While is it tempting to keep 1 charge Soothsayer units around to receive more promotions from the Appease the Gods Competition their high maintenance cost might become a burden to your economy.

Civilopedia entry[]

In times of crisis, people have long turned towards those that promise some form of deliverance. As the natural, political, or economic order breaks down, soothsayers emerge that might provide people a way to stave off disaster, to survive it, or to inflict it on one's enemies. While the Soothsayer unit here is not meant to reflect any particular culture or historical moment, we can find similar turns towards such figure across the world and across history, from the Mesoamerican reaction to the arrival of the Spanish, to European millennial cults, to present-day groups like Heaven's Gate.

For instance, at the turn of the 20th century, across Lao-speaking parts of Southeast Asia, new prophets emerged, the "holy men." They promised Lao people - who had seen their territory divided between French and Siamese forces, new systems of taxation, and the destruction of the city of Vientiane - that worse things were to come. Cows and pigs would transform into demons. Money would become worthless, while currently worthless gravel would become gold. A great wind would sweep through the land and carry with it anyone who would not hold on to a clump of lemongrass. Many believed those soothsayers, collecting gravel and killing their own animals, all awaiting the great change that was to come.

Soothsayers rarely end up well. The Lao movement was suppressed by Siamese troops, Aztec prayers did not stop Spanish conquest, and the end times seemingly never come.


Related achievements[]

The accursed share
The accursed share
Use a max-promotions Soothsayer to sacrifice a max-promotions GDR
A reference to the The Accursed Share, a treatise by French philosopher Georges Bataille.
Civilization VI Units [edit]
Civilian SettlerBuilderTraderArchaeologistSpyNaturalistRock Band GS-Only.png
Land military AT CrewArcher (Hul'che1Pítati Archer1) • ArtilleryBarbarian Horse ArcherBombardCatapultCavalry (CossackHuszár GS-Only.pngLlanero1) • Courser GS-Only.png (Black Army GS-Only.pngOromo Cavalry1) • Crossbowman (Voi Chiến1) • Crouching TigerCuirassier GS-Only.png (Rough RiderWinged Hussar1) • Field Cannon (Hwacha R&F-Only.png) • Giant Death Robot GS-Only.pngHeavy ChariotHelicopterHorseman (Barbarian HorsemanHetairoi1) • Infantry (Digger1) • Keshig R&F-Only.pngKnight (Mandekalu Cavalry GS-Only.pngMamlukTagma1) • Line Infantry (Garde ImpérialeRedcoat) • Machine GunMalón Raider R&F-Only.pngMan-At-Arms (Khevsur R&F-Only.pngBerserkerSamurai) • Maryannu Chariot ArcherMechanized InfantryModern ATModern ArmorMountie GS-Only.pngMusketman (ConquistadorJanissary GS-Only.png) • Nihang1Pike and Shot (Carolean GS-Only.png) • Pikeman (Impi R&F-Only.png) • Questing Knight4Ranger (Highlander R&F-Only.png) • Rocket ArtillerySabum Kibittum1Saka Horse ArcherScout (Okihtcitaw R&F-Only.png) • Skirmisher GS-Only.png (Warak'aq GS-Only.png) • SlingerSpearman (Hoplite) • Spec Ops R&F-Only.pngSwordsman (Hypaspist1Immortal1LegionNgao MbebaToa GS-Only.png) • TankTrebuchet (Domrey1) • Vampire3VaruWar-CartWarrior MonkWarrior (Eagle WarriorGaesatae1) • Zombie5
Naval military Aircraft CarrierBattleship (Minas Geraes) • Caravel (Nau1) • DestroyerFrigate (De Zeven Provinciën R&F-Only.pngJong1) • Galley (Bireme GS-Only.pngViking Longship) • IroncladMissile CruiserNuclear SubmarinePrivateer (Barbary Corsair GS-Only.pngSea Dog) • Quadrireme (Dromon1) • Submarine (U-Boat)
Aircraft BiplaneBomberFighter (P-51 Mustang) • Jet BomberJet Fighter
Support Anti-Air GunBattering RamCultist3Drone R&F-Only.pngMedicMilitary EngineerMobile SAMObservation BalloonSiege TowerSoothsayer2Supply Convoy R&F-Only.png
Religious ApostleGuruInquisitorMissionary
See also Great PeopleHeroes
1 Requires a DLC2 Apocalypse mode only • 3 Secret Societies mode only • 4 Heroes & Legends mode only • 5 Zombie Defense mode only

R&F-Only.png Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only.png Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.