Picking your tribe is crucial in Polytopia, absolutely crucial. It can either make or break your start and also make you hit a wall later. As it can be confusion which technology and tribe benefits are really good and which ones are not (although they appear strong early), I have written this guide here that gives you a overview what tribes I really find strong and helpful and which ones are rather mediocre or even bad picks for your Polytopia journey.
Polytopia Tribes Tier List
Let’s not waste more time and get directly into the tier list.
Imperius is a top-tier tribe in Ploytopia, no doubt, simply because Organization is one of the best starting techs in the game. Not only does Organization give you a huge lead by letting you level up your Capital by Turn 0, but it can also give you routes to Farming. If you’re going to research Strategy, the newly added Diplomacy tech, which can make the Imperius even stronger.
The Bardur is another tribe that can level their Capital by Turn 0 due to their great starting tech, Hunting. They have great resource distribution, mainly forests and wild animals. The Bardur don’t really need more tech than Organization, Roads, and Writing in Polytopia. However, suppose you want to boost your economy with sawmill spots or get some giants. In that case, Mathematics will also be a good tech to take it to the next level.
There are two main reasons why the Kickoo is an A-tier tribe on Polytopia. First, their starting tech, Fishing, lets you level your Capital at Turn 0. Second, Fishing can give you a quick route to naval dominance through Sailing and Ports. You can even go for trade routes or customs houses if you want to.
The Zebasi is a great tribe with a great starting tech. Farming lets the Zebasi level their Capital on Turn 0, which is always a great thing. However, farms need five stars for two Population, which can be costly, seeing as every star matters in the late game.
Cymanti’s starting technology in Polytopia is Farming, but they get Fungi instead of Farmlands, you know, because they’re insects. Fungi can get you 1 Population per turn for three turns, but you can only level up your capital on Turn 1. Plus, their Shaman can buff their already deadly units like their hexapods. Game over if a Shaman Squad gets a chance to swarm you.
The only reason the Luxidoor is not in S-tier is their Capital nerf. They have no starting tech, but it’s balanced out with a starting Level 2 Capital, better early game economy, and increased maximum capital population. The Luxidoor has a decent and abundant resource palette, which can open up many gameplay possibilities. This is also one of the reasons why the Luxidoor can be such a fun tribe to play.
Roads is a great starting tech in Polytopia, giving the Yădakk an early exploration and capital lead as tribe. They can also get a great +3 population with Network, perfect for getting giants. You also won’t need much tech to level up your cities, given that the Yădakk has decent resource distribution.
The Elyrion (∑∫ỹriȱŋ) starts with Force Magic tech, which lets them enchant Polytaurs as early as Turn 0. They can match Kickoo’s naval dominance with their enchanted Navalons, which can counter boat spams. Their dragons are fragile and take too long to grow, but they’re good anti-spammers.
The Polaris are great for tilting your friends and enemies with their freezing. They also have pretty powerful units — the battle sleds, ice fortresses, and of course, the Gaamis — and they start with the Frostwork tech, which can get you Moonis and outposts quickly.
One of the issues with Hoodrick is that their starting tech, Archery, is only good if you survive the early game. The defense boost on forests is great for the late game, but it’s pretty much underwhelming until it kicks off. The Hoodrick has decent resources, like animals and forests, so you can route to Mathematics and start getting sawmills and giants. It’s just a meh-tier tribe, but it surely has potential.
The Oumaji‘s Riding is not the worst starting tech, but it’s not one of the good ones either. It may allow for early expansion leads, but you’ll soon have trouble getting the tech you need to level your cities late game. Their resource distribution isn’t at all great, but at least you’ll have easy access to the Roads tech. Make sure not to get too excited with expansion, or else you’ll sink yourself with rising tech prices.
Meditation is just simply not a good starting tech but the Ai-Mo have that. Five turns for only three Population (through the Altar of Peace) is just a bad trade. Plus, with Philosophy as your only valid choice for future tech, you’re pretty much just going to fade out while others overtake you.
Some may believe that the Xin-Xi is one of the strongest starting tribes. Still, it’s hard to defend that stance, given that climbing is an underwhelming starting technology. Sure, it might give you a head start on exploration early game, but then you’ll have difficulty leveling your cities. The only way to make up for that mid- to late-game would be to focus on Mining research, which means that you’ll probably waste a lot of stars just trying to level your first city. Overall, great resource distribution but not good enough for competitive play.
Surprisingly for many players (but a fact for more experienced ones in Polytopia), Strategy is just not a good starting tech and you will discover that with the Quetzali. It can help with early game defense but is ultimately ineffective with strong advances. You may get the new Diplomacy tech fast, but it’s even better to just take Imperius then research Strategy, then Diplomacy.
Smithery is the worst starting tech in the game, making the Vengir one of the worst tribes in Polytopia. You may have swordsmen, but you’ll never make enough starts to train them, a bad resource distribution, and not to mention that you’ll probably only be leveling your first city with a tier-two tech, which leaves you behind the enemy by a wide margin.
This is a pretty controversial take, but the lack of starting technology without having anything to balance it out like the Luxidoor is a definite bummer. This causes the Aquarion to have a bad early game and given how Polytopia’s first few moves matter, they will struggle in the late game. There have been rumors of Aquarion buffs and reworks, especially on their combat units, so there may be hope for them.
I hope this guide helps you pick the right tribe or at least a strong one on Polytopia and not waste too much time just to find yourself hitting a wall at one point. If you have more questions or you think I did rank one of the tribes horribly wrong, just drop a comment below.
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