The key being "both those techs". You need to take a tech you may not need immediately to gain the culture benefit from the Mosque + Amphitheater, while the Pyramid is a science boost you get 'free' on the tech path you need to go down anyway. The Mosque is more a way of avoiding the need to quickly shoot for a culture building, so the analogy is closer to saying that Songhai is a culture civ in the same way the Maya are a warmonger civ, since they get an Atlatlist who allows them to delay Archery. I think if we're talking about a Civ's focus we're talking about the way it can be played to best effect. Delaying Theology is not playing the Maya to best effect, in the same way that playing Babylon wide and/or not shooting for early Education is not playing Babylon to best effect. As so often pointed out, Maya GPs aren't free - they cost the same as any other 5 GPs (Admirals and Generals don't count towards the cost). Going for Theology early is important (quite apart from the timing of the Academy) because the interval between GPs is so much less, and you can more readily time them to your tech progression (after all, how often are you going to remember that 394 years are up later in the game?). Getting an 'unwanted' GP is trivial - you can get it late, it's still useful even if not your ideal choice, as Maya playing wide you probably aren't focusing on targeted GP production anyway, and it will come so late that (with the boost from getting GPs early) the game may well be decided by the time the final one hits, and/or if you are specialising in GP production you're churning them out every few turns anyway so a slight delay is a non-issue. Science (and all Civ resources) is cumulative - that's the whole point of beaker bonuses at all. Pyramids + Messenger of the Gods is more powerful than either individually. This isn't a game with a certain number of beakers per turn you need to have by turn X, and there are several interchangeable ways of doing so, it's a game where the more beakers you have the better. My experience on Immortal and Deity is that the first religions are founded while shrines/pyramids are still being built in third or later cities, and sometimes in the second city. Like Shrines, Pyramids give you more faith to play with once you've founded a religion, but they're much more reliable for getting a pantheon you want than a religion you want. again, I'm talking about how the Maya can be played optimally. Yes, you can rush a random Wonder early, but what Wonders are there worth rushing that early in the game that fall along a tech path the Maya will want to take at that stage, and that f have synergy with everything else they're doing at that game stage? Conceivably Great Mosque ... if, of course, you want Interfaith Dialogue to boost your science. Not much else. After all, you've just taken the Theology path, so you either need to go back to earlier-period techs whose Wonders are likely to be unavailable by this point, or you take something along the path you're already on. Which basically means Great Mosque (=Interfaith Dialogue = science focus), Oracle (usually a waste of an Engineer since you can hard-build it even on Deity, supports all victories but does produce scientist points), or Porcelain Tower. The point is that a civ works best when all its elements act with synergy, and the only way this is the case with the Maya is when they aim to play the science game. Theology beeline means Pyramids for science, National College, Library and a good position to go for Education. Pyramid faith means quick Pantheon, and the empire's intrinsic wide focus benefits from that Pantheon being Messenger of the Gods. And now you're committed to that tech path, the best choices of Great People are those that facilitate a science-based strategy.