The reason that Artists is by far the best pick is because ICS is the best strategy, and the +2 culture per city helps to offset the increased culture requirements for increased city numbers. The increased tech costs per city can be easily offset by trade routes, making Scientists less needed. If a small/tall strategy ever becomes viable after a future patch then Artists will not be as critical. Currently it's like vanilla Civ 5 France where you could ICS to a cultural victory due to the +2 culture per city. In the current incarnation of BE there is no reason to not just spam cities for the entire game.