Just hit adventure 3 in Season of the Righteous, and I’m a little confused about card removal. The Adventure Path card has the normal home rules for getting rid of Basics and Elites (remove basics when they’re banished after 3, elites when they’re banished after 5). I’m assuming this is overridden by the removal rules in the organized play guide (basics and elites three less than current are removed)? Is that correct, or does the balance for the season rely on the all the elites still being in there up to 5?
The Guide actually outlines a few options for when to remove cards - the "Less than 3" rule you referenced is just one of multiple options, and hardly an actual rule. Most of the options presented are, as Parody says, just to help normal organizers cater to multiple tables with the same box quickly.
In other words, Parody's right; play however you want.
For reference, this is everything that the current version of the Card Guild Guide says about Basics and Elites.
Remove Basics and Elites When Adding Adventure Decks:Each season’s Adventure Path tells you when to begin removing cards that have the Basic and Elite traits from the game. To make things more interesting and to help you remove the right cards faster, after completing adventure 3, when you add a new Adventure Deck to your game box, you may remove all cards that have the Basic or Elite trait and an adventure deck number at least three lower than the adventure deck you just added.
Remove Basics and Elites on the Fly:
Alternatively, if you can’t spend as much time preparing the game box before play, you can remove the Basic and Elite cards as you find them in the game. Just set everything up as usual, and when you run into a card that meets the criteria described on the Adventure Path, immediately remove that card from the game and replace it with another card of the same type from the game box.