Cult: Choose Your God Wisely is AVAILABLE NOW! Gather your Priests and chart your path towards victory!
The Cults in the game follow eight dark Gods who are all trying to win over the hearts and minds of mankind. Each God has unique strengths and weaknesses that will affect your strategy. So, choose your God wisely!
Let's take a closer look at the different Cults and the best strategies for each one.
Cthulhu’s Cult is the most powerful (at the beginning of the game) and one of the simplest to control. This Cult can play with the force of a rushing rhino, trampling others without any regard for obstacles. The key to this power is a Divine Might of 21, which is higher than any other Cult at the start, allowing the controlling player to win Locations even when they are tied with another Cult. Also, by using the “Ritual of the Abyss” ability, Cthulhu’s Cult can gain and use a Priest with a strength of 5 during the very first round of the game.
Using these early advantages, this player can (and should) get to higher-numbered Locations faster than their opponents. Don’t forget that this early lead is fleeting and your opponents will do everything they can to catch up. Before they do, your focus should be on getting a Fanatical Mob and securing your way to more Followers. Even if your opponents manage to slow you down, you can create an Altar in the Slums. Just remember that the number of Followers is key as you prepare for the endgame.
During the second half of the game, the Cthulhu Cult can regularly use “The Great Shrine” ability, steadily raising the number of its Altars up to 5, all while assaulting the Rift of Darkness Location. Once your Cult becomes a dark Cult (after you perform the first Summoning and flip over your Cult sheet), you should move fast to try to perform the second Summoning during the next round, so you can win the game! This shouldn’t be too hard because Cthulhu’s Divine Might is only increased by 1 after the flip, and you need to have Influence at least equal to the Cult’s Divine Might to perform a successful Summoning.
When you play with 2 or 3 players, Cthulhu can be very effective and is recommended for new players. With a higher player count, the Cthulhu Cult must be played with more finesse and ingenuity in order to outplay your various rivals.
This Cult shares similarities with Cthulhu’s in that there is a small difference between Divine Might on the light and dark sides of the Cult sheet (20 and 23, respectively). When combined with the Cult’s “Incarnation” ability, your best path to victory becomes clear: Perform two Summonings!
Tiamat’s Cult is different from Cthulhu’s in the early parts of the game, as you need to focus more on Priests than Followers. This Cult never rushes to higher-numbered Locations, playing in the vicinity of the Temple District longer than some others. However, once Priests with strength of 5 enter play, the Cult of Tiamat can dominate the whole board during the latter part of the game, losing only to Patriarchs when it comes to Influence.
At first chance, this Cult should turn to the dark side—performing the first Summoning and flipping over the Cult sheet. This will make the life of your opponents much harder, because now you can send all of your Priests to the Rift of Darkness and wait until the other Cults exhaust all their countermeasures
This doesn’t mean that other paths to victory are closed to you. On the contrary, through the clever use of Miracle cards, the Cult of Tiamat can quickly gain two or even three Fanatical Mobs or Altars. You can make good use of Miracle cards with the light-side ability “Change of Guise” and dark-side ability “Harvest of Chaos."
Other Cults can outpace Tiamat’s Cult, since it requires a bit of setup before it can perform a Summoning. However, the Cult of Tiamat is more flexible and able to outplay any number of opponents, provided that a player uses all of their advantages.
Arachne’s Cult is even more focused on Priests than Tiamat’s, as players can send Priests with a strength of 3 to higher Locations, ignoring the usual restrictions and confusing opponents. Thanks to the Cult’s “Charms of the Woman” ability, Priests can be moved one, two, or sometimes even three Locations higher than they were originally placed, allowing you to pressure opponents into overcommitting to a Location or risk having their victory snatched away. This deceptive potential requires a bit of preparation, so Arachne’s Cult usually spends the first few rounds sending out lots of Priests and taking advantage of Locations uncontested by other Cults.
With careful planning, the Cult of Arachne can commit to any of the three routes to victory. Clever use of the “Ordination of a Priestess” ability allows you to build Altars much faster than your opponents, because Arachne can easily gain Priests with strength 1 (and more) without fighting it out in the Temple District. A combination of both of this Cult’s light-side abilities provide a fast way into the Guard Quarters.
The dark side of this Cult gives you more options for unexpected and creative endgame comebacks, as you can make good use of Priests with strength 3 and put more pressure on your opponents with sudden appearances of this Cult’s devotees all over the board. In the right hands, Arachne’s dark-side abilities are more powerful than those of the Cthulhu or Tiamat Cults. It’s also much easier to assemble the 16 Influence this Cult needs to perform a Summoning at the Rift of Darkness.
Even when playing with 2 or 3 players, Arachne’s Cult is best for experienced players, since it requires finesse, patience, and a willingness to counter the moves of your opponents. With a higher number of players, this Cult can become a real test of your skills!
This is another Cult recommended for new players. Unlike the deities we have previously previewed, Fafnir plainly and unabashedly loves money. He is a miserly dragon, whose Cult uses gold to engulf the Eternal City in chaos.
No other Cult focuses on the Ruins and Forum at the beginning of the game as extensively as this one. Each of these Locations can give the player a card, which the ability “Ode to Treachery” can turn into coins. This money will be spent either in the Thieves District or on License cards. Both are ways to access higher Locations and gain benefits, even when losing clashes due to having less Influence. Your first 12 coins should yield you a Fanatical Mob (from the Guard Quarters Location) that will open a solid path to gain more benefits from Locations.
Of the different paths to victory, Fafnir’s Cult usually prefers gaining four Fanatical Mobs. By gaining the benefits of the Thieves District repeatedly, you can easily turn every 12 Coins and two Followers into a Mob. This effective strategy forces your opponents to control the Thieves District or lose the game quickly. When there are several opponents, this Cult should flip to the dark side of the Cult sheet as soon as possible. The dark side allows you to steal coins from other players using the “Blood for Gold” ability and then to use this money to pay the cost of the “Army of Pillagers” ability (which gives you a Fanatical Mob and two Miracle cards) repeatedly.
Other types of victory are rarer for Fafnir’s Cult and usually depend on the License cards available in a particular game. Being a very rich Cult, it can buy many License cards and perhaps find another way to win when the primary strategy doesn’t work out.
Because of this Cult’s simple focus, a player can feel comfortable battling against any number of opponents. The straightforward game plan doesn’t require much experience, but still provides opportunities for some unusual tactics.
Nirriti’s Cult is one of the hardest to play as, particularly since it is the weakest at the beginning of the game. This Cult is focused on a daunting task: making its Patriarch as powerful as possible. Both of its Cult abilities are expensive and cannot be used easily at the start. Nirriti’s Cult needs time to gain Followers, save coins, and gather cards.
Similarly to Tiamat’s Cult, it must play the waiting game until more aggressive Cults move on to higher Locations, leaving lower ones uncontested. However, as soon as some powerful Miracle card is put at the bottom of the deck, you should immediately initiate the vicious “Way of Loyalty” ability to grab it (and two other Miracle cards). The ability to play Miracle cards repeatedly is what distinguishes this Cult’s playstyle from others and creates situations that heavily reward skillful play. In the right hands, playing Nirriti’s Cult is like playing one with four or five abilities instead of just two.
During the first half of the game, this Cult must focus on creating a Patriarch with a strength of 16. This is usually done by snatching key License cards with the “Path of Temptation” ability. Once the Patriarch is powerful enough, he alone will be able transform Nirriti’s Cult into a dark Cult.
After flipping the Cult sheet, Nirriti’s Cult becomes truly a force to be reckoned with. The “Way of Triumph” ability, which gives you a Fanatical Mob, makes it so that the game can end in just more four rounds. These final rounds can be truly frightful, as the Cult sacrifices Priests to rain down Intrigue cards on any Locations where opponents may have a chance to snatch away victory.
This manner of playing requires a great deal of concentration and careful planning. Nirriti can be effective against any number opponents, as long as you are willing to seek the right moment to commit all of your resources, while also being prepared to recover when you’re outplayed.
This is another advanced Cult that requires you to play your cards cleverly. Since Janus is a God with two faces, it is appropriate that his Cult is tricky, capable of changing the rules of the game. We recommend playing with it only after all players have had a couple of games under their belt.
Janus’s Cult needs cards to shine, so at the beginning of the game you should send Priests to the Trade District and Forum. This is usually enough to get three or four Miracle cards utilizing the “Mystery of Virtues” ability. After that, the Cult can pursue any type of victory.
This Cult’s greatest strength comes in counterplaying, stopping others from winning. It doesn’t matter if other Cults have powerful Priests or influential Patriarchs. As long as Janus’s Cult has cards, they will have a hard time getting their victory. The “Chalice of Clarity” ability turns the game on its head by allowing the Cult with the least Influence to win the Active Location.
Usually, when playing as this Cult, your preferred path to victory will involve either performing the Summoning twice or gaining four Fanatical Mobs. The latter is usually easier, since you can win Locations even with weak Priests. An effective way to Mob victory is collecting a big card pool (including around 7 License cards), then turning into a dark Cult and discarding nine cards for two Fanatical Mobs using the “Chalice of Madness” ability. Getting enough cards to get the needed number of Mobs to win can take a while. But this Cult has excellent abilities to slow down opponents until you can can execute this plan.
Janus’s Cult works best with higher number of players, like 4 or 5, but can also be a very strong opponent in a one-on-one duel.
This opportunistic Cult can gain multiple Followers from Locations that are crowded with Priests using the “Ritual of the Passing” ability. In the first round, you can take advantage by putting all of your Priests in a single Location. This almost guarantees that during the second round, the Cult of Anubis will get a License card, an Intrigue card, and access to higher Locations. Subsequently, this will lead to the chance to gain a Fanatical Mob in the third round, which can give you quite an edge early in the game.
Once your opponents catch up, Anubis’s Cult can turn Followers into strength for Priests. With the “Hand of Death” ability (removing one Priest from a Location and increasing his strength by 2), it’s easy to prepare a first Summoning.
However, just turning into a dark Cult won’t be enough for Anubis’s Cult to win, as its abilities do not offer a clear path to victory like the abilities of the Cults of Fafnir and Nirriti do. However, when you become a dark Cult, it will put you in a position to capitalize on your early lead and dominate key Locations during the late game.
Anubis’s Cult must choose which victory condition to pursue based on what advantages it manages to get during the first half of the game. It’s a fast and aggressive Cult, one that is not that demanding on a player. It is not the best for one-on-one duels, but is very good for battles between 4 or 5 players.
The Cult of Atheism doesn’t worship any deity, its Priests devoting themselves to rationality instead. Don’t let the low Divine Might of 13 deceive you—this Cult can be as powerful and relentless as any of the others. Its goal is to destroy the Eternal City by blowing up the Rift of Darkness with several tons of pyroxylin.
While weak at the beginning, Atheism’s Cult can quickly ramp things up as it gets its first and second 4-strength Priests. It is a good idea to gain such a Priest during the first round. Even if the Temple District is contested by a stronger Cult, you can still try to win at the Forum.
The “Triumph of Science” ability (giving you a Follower if you have a Priest in a Location and other players do not) is so effective that it can make Atheism's Cult the only faction in the game with an overabundance of Followers. Because of this, you should always play more than three Priests per round, trying to secure more of an advantage.
Once this unusual Cult gathers its initial momentum, you can pursue any type of victory or even all three of them at the same time. The dark-side ability “Nihilism” can help you establish Altars with unparalleled efficiency, provided that you can get enough cards for it (three per Altar).
One of the most unique Cults to play as, Atheism's Cult is pretty accessible for players of all skill levels and can be effectively used against any number of opponents.