I played CIV 5 last week a LOT, trying out new civs, new VCs. Overall, I am very satisfied, the game is more diverse, there are fun new parts. I like trade routes, archeology, tourism. However, looking competitive, Science is still absolute best. I won 3 games around T280 in immortal, built lot of wonders, religion, trade, CS allies, etc. I run a comparative game in Deity, and after I failed to build any wonder, still easily won at T 235. Here is how. (Note steps are exactly the same as in Vanilla ) 1. Library (not GL, it will gone at around t30 in deity) NC First, big Capital. (3-4 food or sea resource needed) 2. Full Trad. No religion. 3. 2-3 more City, food focus, some lux is needed but not much. 4. Virtually no army if you are in a corner, otherwise 6-8 archer/CB. 5. Dont spend money to anything until Uni. 6. Rush buy all Uni, start RA. Full Science specialists. 7. Full Rationalism. 8. Take any ideology that civs next to you might have for bonus. 9. Rush buy public schools. new RAs. If you can build PT, do it, but it is not necessary. 10. Beeline Plastics, Rush Buy Research Labs. You should have around 1K science here. 11. Start bulbing all GS for Hubble. Build hubble. Bulb the last few tech. So the problem is that the new features are all interesting, they does not help you to win at all. If you can get some free Faith (CS q, NW etc) that helps you with 1-2 GS but that is all. I am ready to be convinced the power of reformatism, if you can beat T 240 in deity with full piety, and rush buying all Science building by faith, but I would not expect it will happen.