This tier list is designed to compare the 6 syndicate doctrines to each other.
While I have ranked all 96 doctrine that are currently in the game, and I could try to explain why I placed each doctrine in each tier in one video that sounds like a really long video, and I want to make sure that I give clear reasons as to why each doctrine was placed where it was. By only covering a couple doctrines each week, I can also get my audience’s thoughts and feedback before publishing/posting my final comprehensive tier list, which will include all the doctrines that are currently in the game.
If you disagree about the placement of any of the doctrines on my tier list, then please let me know in the comments below. Likewise, if you do agree with my assessment, then I would find it helpful to hear those thoughts as well.
Accessibility signifies how much research it takes to unlock the doctrine. If a doctrine has a green square with a 1 inside it in the top left corner of the block, then the doctrine is very accessible and can be researched from the beginning of the game. If a doctrine has a red square with a 9 inside it then all the other racial and secret tech doctrines have to be researched before you can start researching it.
If a doctrine gets significantly better with enough investment in a strategy, then it is marked with an arrow in a circle on the top right corner of the doctrine.
If a doctrine only gives a combat bonus against certain enemies, then it is marked with two swords on the bottom right corner of the doctrine.
The Reasons for Placing Each Doctrine
Noble Diplomats – I placed this doctrine in the S tier, because getting more influence and more energy is always useful. I know some people like playing the syndicate as an evil faction who indentures all the other factions, but I love making friends and playing the good guys as them, mostly because of this doctrine. With this doctrine, a single integrated NPC faction gives you an extra +3 influence and +45 gold per turn. If heavily invested in the strategy you will get an insane amount of gold and influence, leading to this doctrine being marked as “Better with synergy”.
Indentured Servitude – I placed this doctrine in the A tier, because getting +40% production in all cities for 8 happiness is a great trade. 40% of 80 production is 32 production which can be turned into 8 energy or 8 research when the city is not building anything.
Indentured Contracts – I placed this doctrine in the B tier, because it massively reduces the cost of indentured units, both innate, and those who are indentured through the Cerebral Control Collar mod. If you take advantage of the passive boosts which the overseer and the subjugator give to indentured units, you get very powerful armies, which are cheap to make and maintain, leading to this doctrine being marked as “Better with synergy”.
Deep Infiltration – I placed this doctrine in the C tier, because getting an extra 20% more damage against infiltrated players is a big boost to damage, but requires investing in covert ops in order to support. Due to only being useful against a few specific opponents, this doctrine is marked as “Better v. certain opponents”. Due to this doctrines reliance on covert operations, you will need to invest a lot into researching and casting covert operations to get the most out of it, but if you do, then the damage bonus is quite significant, leading to this doctrine being marked as “Better with synergy”.
One-Way Trust – I placed this doctrine in the D tier, because this doctrine gives you extra covert operational defense, which in turn makes it harder for the AI to steal energy from you. If you win a match fast enough, the AI won’t get a chance to use the more powerful covert ops.
Cloak and Dagger – I placed this doctrine in the D tier, because this doctrine costs energy to make stealing energy cost a tiny bit less influence (as well as a few other covert operations in the mid game and late game). I have had a lot of success ignoring covert operations entirely, but I could see this being somewhat useful in a multiplayer setting. If you go for Energy Siphon and don’t research other covert operations, then this doctrine can be very good at getting that covert operation to go through, leading to this doctrine being marked as “Better with synergy”.