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Civilization VI

is a 4X video game in the Civilization series. Civilization VI offers new ways to interact with your world, expand your empire across the map, advance your culture, and... read more

Civilization VI: Maori Reveal

Author: Luan Erasmus

Category: News

The countdown to Civilization VI: Gathering Storm has begun but instead of counting down the days, this timelapse is marked by the reveal of the new civilizations that will be added with this upcoming expansion. Last week we saw that Hungary will be the first to join the fray and today, they're adding the Maori. Keep'em coming Firaxis.

The second new civilization for Gathering Storm has been announced, and it's one we haven't seen in any iteration of the Civilization series, the Maori.  

Leader: Kupe

According to folklore, Kupe was the person responsible for navigating the rough seas and discovering the land which we know today as New Zealand. I'd say that makes him a worthy addition to the Civilization leader roster.

His unique ability is called Kupe's Voyage which sees the Maori people start the game in the ocean, and makes them one of the most unique civilizations we've seen yet. Obviously, this means you won't be able to settle a city within the first turn, but this is a good thing since you'll receive 2 science and culture each turn until your first city is settled.

Additionally, when you find your paradise and decide to settle down, your first city will start with 2 population and you'll immediately receive a free builder. As if that wasn't enough, your palace provides additional housing and amenities.

Unique Unit: Toa

This frightening classical era, melee unit could be a game changer for the Maori. Their first ability is the Haka War Dance, which anyone who've ever seen a New Zealand rugby game will tell you, is quite a sight to behold. Much like Po from Kung Fu Panda, this ability weakens all adjacent enemy units with sheer awesomeness.

The Toa can also construct Pa improvements on hills which function similar to the fort improvement we remember from Civilization V. In addition to providing a defensive bonus, any friendly units who end their turn on this tile will also receive healing.

Unique Building: Marae

The Marae unique building replaces the amphitheater in the theatre square. It adds +2 culture, faith, and later tourism to all tiles within the city with a passable feature such as floodplains.

Unique Ability: Mana

As if Kupe's Voyage didn't make the start with the Maori interesting enough, this civilization also starts with both the Sailing and Shipbuilding technologies and embarked units receive +5 strength and +2 movement right off the bat, making the Maori great for exploring those giant maps.

Furthermore, the Maori receive additional production to woods and rainforest tiles with further production being added once the Conservation civic is unlocked. Fishing boats provide extra food, and also immediately claim all adjacent tiles that aren't yet part of your territory.

With all these abilities, some balance is required and as such the Maori can't harvest resources or earn Great Writers.


It's been a while since I've been so excited to try a new civilization. Every single feature of the Maori civilization is one I can see my playstyle benefitting from and the drawbacks they have are just enough to ensure they aren't completely overpowering.

Those who play Civilization might have come across the "settle immediately or move first" debate where experience players discuss whether it's best to settle in your first turn or scout for a better location before plopping down your tents. The Maori tosses all arguments in that regard into the water by starting their journey in the middle of the ocean, and they actually benefit by delaying the founding their first city, which is an unthinkable concept. This sets the Maori apart from the rest of the civilizations in a big way and also means that your decisions at the start of the game when playing as them, are more important than ever before.

The bonuses the Maori receive should ensure a thriving economy and fantastic city growth and, depending on your preferred playstyle, you should be able to easily pursue several of the victory conditions available in the game.

Gathering Storm is already looking to be a big deal in the Civilization universe and the Maori civilization is definitely one of the highlights to look forward to.

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