The Great Merchant is a Great Person acquired though Specialists or Wonders.
Can conduct a Trade Mission in City-States, producing Gold and Influence. Can construct a Customs House.
"Great Merchants" provide the goods and services civilizations need to survive. They import food, medicines, and luxuries, and they export a civilization's manufactured goods. They provide the financing needed for great works to be accomplished. They create a civilization's wealth.
Besides constructing the special Customs House improvement which, when worked, produces loads of Gold, the Great Merchant can also journey to a city-state and perform a "trade mission" which produces gobs of Gold and gains many points of Influence with the city-state. The Great Merchant is expended when used in either of these ways.
Again, you have the choice to use it for a long-term boost of the Gold production of one city (choose this city well), or use its unique ability to get a large one-time boost of Gold and Influence with a City-state. Note that the Trade mission may sometimes prove dangerous, especially if the City-state is far away.
Unique Unit Replacements
Holy Rome (Charles V)
Influence and Gold when completing a Diplomatic Mission with a City-State. Cannot be used to build a Customs House.
May be purchased just as any regular unit.
Can be upgraded at the cost of Gold into a Great Ambassador:
Twice as effective at Trade Missions.
Can acquire City-States.
Venezuela (Rómulo Betancourt)
May not construct Customs Houses.
Alongside the Trade Mission, the Beauty Queen may also perform a Concert Tour, generating
Gold as well as Tourism. Performing Trade Missions or Concert Tours provides a free Social Policy during a Golden Age.
The Kayapó (Raoni Metuktire)
Allows connection of luxuries and strategic resources to the Kayapo without burning up forests, jungles and marshes
Provides combat bonuses to nearby land units.
Generated from combat and the clearing of nearby tiles.
May be expended to increase Influence or perform a concert tour.
Burgundy (Philip III)
Can move through territory without Open Borders.
Produces Great Artist, Great Musician, or Great Writer points when conducting a Trade Mission, depending upon the City-State Type.
Can spread Religion 3 times.
Converts adjacent Barbarians to Faith (damages the Mburichi).
Merchant of Venice
Venice (Enrico Dandolo)
+100% Gold and Influence from Trade Missions.
+2 Movement at sea.
Can be used to puppet City-States.
With Holy Rome installed
Creates a Venetian Glass luxury upon making a Customs House.
Dutch East India Company (Jan Pieterszoon Coen)
Shares the movement of Naval Units it's stacked with.
While stationed in a Dutch East India Company city, provides a percentage Gold increase per outgoing Trade Route and Worked Luxury resource.
Venice (Domenico Selvo)
Can be expanded to grant a free permanent
trade route. Provides a burst of faith when expended depending on the number of trade routes in the nearest city.
Generates bonus Influence from Trade Missions, scaling based on distance from the
Capital May be expended in the territory of another Major Civilization to conduct a Diplomatic Mission, providing a burst of Influence with every City-State allied to that civ
Can build either a Customs House or a Manufactory
Customs Houses built by a Sabao increase the nearest friendly city's Trade Route range by 20%
Phoenicia (Hiram I)
Can establish Customs Houses.
Doing this earns Phoenicia 1 Tyrian Dye luxury.
Tidore (Nuku Muhammad Amiruddin)
Custom Houses created by Utusan claim adjacent Coastal tiles.
If inside the territory of a city-state, nearby combat units may pressure the City-State into allowing tribute much more effectively. This can be repeated with each city-state further away from the Capital than the last.
Canada (Lester B. Pearson)
Cannot conduct Trade Missions or make Customs Houses.
Can create Fur resources.
Can act as a Caravan.
List of Names
Great Merchant Names
Marcus Licinius Crassus
Anthony van Diemen
Milton S. Hershey
John Maynard Keynes
Sir James Lancaster
Sir Alexander Mackenzie
Giovanni de Medici
John Stuart Mill
John D. Rockefeller
Sir Thomas Roe
Raja Todar Mal
Otto von Bismark
Fronz von Albini
Frederick von Der Decken
Franz von Papen
Hans Caspar von Bothmer
Merchant of Venice Names
Niccolo de Conti
Ok-luang Kanlaya Ratchamaitri
Ok-khun Si Wisan Wacha
Ok-khun Wiset Puban
Ok-muen Pipith Raja
Okya Phra Sadet Surendhra Dhibodi
Okphra Sri Phiphat Ratana Rajkosa
Tyrian Merchant Names
Jean Nicolet de Belleborne
Médard Chouart des Groseilliers
Joseph Leger Dit Parisien