7 Wonders Strategy: Winning Picks for the Pyramids of Giza

by Brian Durkin

Optimal set up for Giza side “B”

The Egyptians built the Great Pyramid in approximately eighty years, but you only have eighteen turns to gather the resources and construct this wonder of the ancient world. Providing more victory points than any other wonder, you want to make sure you fully construct Giza every time you play. How do you do this? Easy. Collect resources.
When playing Giza, try to take every type of resource card
The Right Pieces Complete a Puzzle
In order to build this massive and magnificent wonder, you need access to many raw materials. Side “A” requires stone and wood, while side “B” requires those resources plus clay and papyrus. Do not stop there. I suggest collecting them all. You want as many raw materials and manufactured goods as possible. Side “B” naturally promotes you playing Chamber of Commerce in Age III. With access to ore and loom, either side will benefit from Haven. Giza requires so many resources that Haven should always provide you with upwards of eight points.
Haven, Arena, and
Chamber of Commerce provide
the most points from commercial
structures for Giza
This Little Piggy Should Not
Go to Market
Some commercial buildings can help you finish completing your levels, such as Caravansary and Forum, but I suggest avoiding dependence on these types of cards. Commercial buildings require a lot of money or free construction to maximize their potential. Your resource requirements for leveling will cost a fortune if you purchase everything you need; moreover, it will diminish the value of cards like Haven and Chamber of Commerce. Besides the fore mentioned commercial structures, Arena will complete the list of important yellow cards. Avoid the Trading Posts. Only use Marketplace between players who also need to take manufactured resources, and if you can afford to concede playing Chamber of Commerce.
How to Make Patriots
Many nations build national pride through wars and conflicts, such as the 100 Year War for Great Britain and France as well as the Revolutionary War for the United States. Some historians believe Egypt built unity and national pride in its citizens through working on projects as a community, such as building the pyramids. I agree with this strategy when playing Giza. You score so many points with your wonder levels and cards in Age III that you should not need to start a war. I always promote keeping opponents honest with military conflicts by taking a couple cards to mitigate the value a neighbor can generate from military structures; however, you can still win playing Giza if you play zero military structures and take a minus six points in defeat tokens.
Examples of military structures you could play
Pool Party
Nothing is like a refreshing dip in the pool on a hot day, except maybe taking great cards most players cannot make time to play for themselves. Baths in Age I and Aqueduct in Age II provide Giza with some key victory points early on in the game. Since you start with stone and require more anyway, these cards should prove easy to play. Most players need to focus on other crucial cards in the first two ages, and will not take Baths or Aqueduct over another card. Do not let these cards pass you assuming you will see them again, but assume that a copy of each will make its way down to you. From fully constructing your wonder and these two civilian structures, you will score anywhere from 23 to 30 points (depending which side you play).

You want to prioritize Baths and Aqueduct

Keep an eye out for other civilian structures in Age III. Cards like Senate and Town Hall should not prove that difficult to play. If you want to collect all the raw materials and manufactured resources anyway, assume you might place either Palace or Pantheon. If you use a card like Forum over taking the manufactured resources, you make it more difficult to play these high point value civilian structures, so try and stick to the actual resource cards.
Look out for these guilds
because they should benefit
a Giza player the most
When I can I say, “You Just Lost?”
Whenever you open Builder’s Guild you can start talking smack. Of course if you do not prepare yourself to have access to two stone, two clay, and glass then everyone now makes fun of you. Do not be that guy who opens the nuts and cannot take it. Do stand up and dance if anyone ever passes you this card. Builder’s Guild should provide you or anyone next to you an average of nine points. Most players would rather guarantee that they lose by hate drafting this card for money then ever letting you have it.
Look out for these other guilds as well: Shipowners Guild, Spies Guild, and Philosophers Guild. You have no business competing in science, so Philosophers Guild can provide a lot of points. You can further hedge against not taking military structures by positioning yourself to play Spies Guild. Besides Builders Guild, Shipowners Guild provides the highest potential of points. Unlike Builders Guild, many players will pass it because they cannot benefit from playing it themselves.
Summary of Picks
I made a list of cards to look out for in each age. The order of the cards on the list does not reflect their importance relative to other cards.
Age I
  • Raw Materials – prioritize wood and stone, leave with one ore
  • Manufactured Resources
  • Baths
Age II
  • Missing Raw Materials – most likely you will need Quarry and Brickyard (if side “B”)
  • Missing Manufactured Goods – leave this age with at least access to everything
  • Aqueduct
  • Haven
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Arena
  • Philosophers Guild
  • Builders Guild
  • Spies Guild
  • Shipowners Guild
  • Town Hall
  • Senate
  • Pantheon
  • Palace

Optimal set up for Giza side “A”

Note: You usually will complete your final level in Age III. If you can complete it sooner then go for it; however, do not sacrifice any of the cards you need from the first two ages. The final stage for Giza on each side provides seven points, which ranks above the average value of any pick in Age III.

Simple enough, right? Just take resource cards and awesome stuff in Age III. Do you think a more complex angle for playing Giza exists? If you do, comment below and share your thoughts. We want to know if you agree or disagree.

Let us know what you think.
Additional Information

For more information about 7 Wonders check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Interested in purchasing a copy of 7 Wonders? Try the following links.
Amazon: 7 Wonders.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday Night.


  1. What is the difference between a non collectible card game and a collectible game? I hear that there is a Resident Evil game now. What does that fall under? For the games that can be played solo are they still fun playing solo?

  2. @ Gorged:A collectible card game or trading card game packages the cards much like baseball cards. Each card has a certain rarity. People have to buy packs which include a random assortment of cards. Magic: the Gathering is a collectible or trading card game.A non collectible card game uses cards as its game pieces, but packages itself much like a traditional board game. You purchase one box and know exactly what comes inside. Uno is a non collectible card game.The Resident Evil card game is a non collectible card game. It uses the deck building engine that most games coming out today use as the method of playing the game. What does that mean? Instead of a community deck of cards like Uno, each player has their own deck. Unlike Magic the Gathering, players do not build their deck ahead of time and bring them to the table. While the game progresses, each player adds cards to their deck to make it stronger. So as you slay zombies, you add more weapons to your deck to take on more difficult monsters. Personally I have not played this game yet. From what I've heard, if you like the Resident Evil brand you should enjoy this game. If you enjoy deck building games or non collectible card games, other products add a better mix of complexity and features.You can find out more information about the Resident Evil Card Game here:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/79073/resident-evil-deck-building-gameBoard Game Geek provides plenty of product information and forums that answer a lot of questions you may have about this product. Any time I’m interested in a game, I check what people say there.I would suggest Amazon or Cool Stuff Inc for online shopping. If you want to find somewhere local to you, let me know what area you live in. I can point you to some specialty stores that would carry these types of products. These stores usually provide gaming space to play board games and you may run into someone who already owns a copy, giving you a chance to demo the game.Are Solo Games Fun?I think so, but it really depends on the game and the person. I love playing these types of games, so I enjoy throwing on a record and playing a complicated solitaire game. Someone else may enjoy playing a traditional adventure RPG on a game console instead. Maybe another person would rather listen to his or her iPod while running. If you like this stuff, then you will enjoy spending your time even playing solitaire.Unfortunately most games do not provide rules for playing solo, and usually the game system does not allow adequate rules to exist. Many new products design themselves to cater to people who may not find someone to play with on a regular basis. I like the option of playing solo, but I would always rather have an opponent. Card games are social by nature. That’s part of the reason I like them.

  3. I have 2 things to say besides that this was very well written.1. You should emphasize the fact that gathering so many resources opens you up to a new way to gain points and that is your neighbors paying you. Having access to everything, and also second handedly cutting them off, will lead to your neighbors paying you 1-2 bucks for almost every building in pack 3. Scoring a 10 in money is an advantage that is hard to overcome if you have a good game.2. The little history lessons are kind of lame.

  4. @ Fred:I like to mix up the lead ins, but I'll note that negative view on history facts.That's a good point about money. Taking a significant amount of resource cards can force your neighbors to take commercial buildings in order to reduce the cost of purchasing what they need from you. Also the "money" strategy receives significant bonuses when Leaders comes out.

  5. After playing seven wonders, I have to agree with this article. I probably would have done better playing Giza, if I didn't waste a pick on military and one on science in pack two.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. awww I like your history lessons, it gives the game context and colour. If I get Giza I always max on military too, but only on stages 2 and 3. The combination (20+15) gives such a good starting platform its hard to lose. Plus military tends to use similar materials to the pyramids, eg walls.Giza is definitely my second favourite wonder after Ephesos side B.

  8. Wonderful Post i would to say thanks a lot because your blogspot post talking about Egyptian Pyramids Facts Giza and i have blog too speaking about Ancient Egypt not only i post every day post related to Ancient Egyptian Pyramids ,Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Giza ,Ancient Egyptian Pyramids facts ,Ancient Egyptian Pyramids for kids ,Ancient Egyptian Pyramids history,Ancient Egyptian Pyramids images,Ancient Egyptian Pyramids information Djoser's Step Pyramid so thanks a lot admin again Ancient Egypt ,,,

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