Deck Tech: Turbo Fire Rai

Written by AndyK

Created 12 July, 2023

Last updated 12 July, 2023

With only one set available to Grand Archive players at the moment, a lot of decks seem to be obvious. Several of these decks tend to build themselves with only four mainline champions and three elements to choose from. While there are nuances here and there, a lot of decks succeed from either smashing two starter decks together or picking your champion and element combination, followed by adding the obviously best cards. At some point, attempting to reinvent the wheel hurts more than helps, and Fire Rai is no exception.

When building a deck, you want to keep in mind one question the entire time: “What is my deck trying to do?” If a card doesn’t help you achieve that goal, or rather, doesn’t help you achieve that goal as well as another card, it likely isn’t a card for your deck (or at least your mainboard). You’ll have tech cards here and there, but at the end of the day your deck still needs to be able to do what it’s trying to do.

So what is this deck trying to do? The main goal is to win the game as quickly as possible. You try to gather card advantage as best you can, all while leveling up every turn. It's very rare that you aren't level 3 on turn four, and often you get there on turn three with a Dungeon Guide. Speed is the key to this deck.

Your secondary goal is to "Full Combo," or in other words, to draw your entire deck in a single turn. After a couple draw spells, Reckless Conversion essentially allows you to take an extra turn. You will play two, three, or sometimes four of these in a single turn.

Below is a list I’ve tested, tweaked, and curated to what I believe to be peak efficiency, as well as an explanation of certain cards are included in the deck.

Material Deck

Turbo Fire Rai Material Deck

Turbo Fire Rai Material Deck

1 Fire Spirit, 1 Rai, Spellcrafter, 1 Rai, Archmage

Standard fire Rai line

1 Rai, Storm Seer

Rai, Storm Seer’s Ability is pivotal to the main idea of the deck. You want to level up using Arcane cards when you don’t have access to ditching a Floating Memory. The higher your level, the more damage your Fireball and Erratic Bolts do, and the less your Efficiency Spells cost.

1 Grand Crusader’s Ring

You don’t use this card every game. When your deck is firing on all cylinders, you’ll win by either turn 3 or 4 most of the time. In a game that fast, your materializations are reserved for Champions or Crystal of Empowerment. But when you do have an extra turn or you need a draw over +2 levels from Crystal, Grand Crusader’s Ring is your go-to and earns its spot.

1 Crystal of Empowerment

On the other hand, you end up using this card nearly every game (except in games that end on turn 3). As mentioned previously, being a higher level is invaluable in the deck. If you get to Rai, Storm Seer, and you’re only level 6, Crystal of Empowerment shoots you to level 8 and causes your Careful Study to cost 0. Knowing when you need to get this out and when you need to get GCR out is a skillset you will need to practice with this list.

1 Orb of Regret

This is a “Press in case of emergency” button. It won’t happen often, but there might be a time when your opening hand is all Arcane. Outside of that scenario, you will rarely be materializing this card.

1 Chalice of Blood

This card is here to help you get over the hump against Ally Burn decks. You won’t be able to use this card often, but when you do it ends up being a card that can win you the game.

1 Tome of Knowledge

There are some rare times when you’re level 3 and have an extra Floating Memory in your graveyard at the Materialization Phase. In those situations this ends up being a stronger Grand Crusader’s Ring. There are some fringe situations where you want to get rid of an Arcane spell to gain a level, but the situation seldom appears.

1 Tome of Sacred Lightning

For when the aforementioned Scenario arises.

1 Nullifying Lantern

This list struggles against burn, especially when going second. Sometimes this can buy you an extra turn against Erupting Rhapsody lists. That is enough to earn it a spot in the mainboard.

1 Orb of Choking Fumes

Against other Turbo Rai builds, this card can be the difference between them combo-ing off and killing you, and you combo-ing off and killing them. You’ll generally still need a Dungeon Guide so you can make up the Materialization turn, but playing to your outs is always better than being dead.

Main Deck

Turbo Rai Main Deck

Turbo Rai Main Deck


4 Idle Thoughts

Idle Thoughts is a nice touch in the deck for a few reasons. First, it’s generic, so you can use it to level up turn one if you don’t have a good card in your memory to banish. Secondly (and more importantly) it’s a failsafe for you to use if you’re combo-ing off on level 3 and you just can’t find your Reckless Conversion or the last burn spell you need for lethal. Leaving 3 Enlightenment counters up and playing this to look at 4 cards instead of one can sometimes be the difference between missing, and winning the game. Third, it costs one. So on that first turn you have a card you want to get rid of, there’s no guessing. That’s a big reason I prefer this card over Flame-Rune Swordsman, which costs 3.

4 Ignite the Soul

We go back around to that one cost. I can’t overstate how important it is to be able to choose what you banish to level early in the game. You only have so many combo pieces in your deck; sometimes accidentally losing one of them instead of an Arcane Spell that increases your level is devastating. We cycle back around to that initial deck building philosophy of “What is my deck trying to do?” and both Ignite the Soul and Idle Thoughts help you do what your deck is trying to do over other Floating Memory cards.

Why 8 Floating Memory? Why not more? Why play any at all?

One of my initial builds of this deck actually had 0 Floating Memory in it, and, shockingly, it was doing really well. But I kept running into issues where I realized Creative Shock wasn’t giving me any value, and at the same time getting in weird situations where I was banishing things I didn’t want to banish while leveling up. After some testing, I found 8 to be the sweet spot.


4 Arcane Blast

The goal of this deck is to win as quickly as possible. Arcane Blast is the spell you use most often to go for the kill. 11 Damage is a lot. An automatic inclusion.

4 Erratic Bolt

Another card that helps you achieve the goal of winning as fast as possible. I played around with not having this in the deck, as well as not having Fireball in the deck at one point. You would sometimes come across an issue where you would end up banishing too many burn spells with Reckless Conversion, and not be able to finish off the game. Playing 12 kill spells in your deck puts the mind very much at ease, and helps you find them more consistently. The goal of the deck is to full combo and draw all 60 cards, but by having more burn spells in your deck, you need less to win.

4 Arcane Sight

Costs 0, levels you up, and replaces itself. The holy trinity. Try not to play this card outside of your combo turn. The extra level is invaluable.

4 Arcane Disposition

This card is a little tricky. Because you don’t want to play it if you can’t combo off or end on something like a Peer into Mana. More In Depth analysis of this card and its use will be at the end of the article.

4 Reckless Conversion

This is by far the most important, and best card in the entire deck. In many situations, this card is equivalent to taking an extra turn. As you combo and put more cards in your memory, the stronger this gets. Every move you make is doing one of two things: putting cards in your memory in order to play this and get maximum value, or finding this card (when using something like Scry the Skies). In some games you will actually play all 4 copies of this card. In most cases, if you lose a game, it’s because you couldn’t find a copy of this card to reset your combo.

4 Power Overwhelming

In some games, you will set up your first couple turns around the idea that you will activate this card the moment you hit level 3. Peer into Mana when you are level 2 might not feel the strongest, but when you consider it gets you four levels with Power Overwhelming, it can be a game changer, especially if you open two Arcane Blasts in your hand. Power Overwhelming helps you in situations where you might not have the resources to combo off, or maybe you’re not high enough level to achieve full combo. Being able to trade Enlightenment Counters for levels is an ability that shouldn’t be overlooked. Opponent used Veiling Breeze on you for 11? Doesn’t matter when you’re level 30.

Wait a minute, no Spellshield: Arcane?

The problem I kept encountering with Spellshield: Arcane, is I would never use it. Not in the mirror, not against Lorraine. Never. When your goal is to win as quickly as possible, you’d rather fill your arcane package with cards that help you reach that goal. You might only use Power Overwhelming once every few games, but when you need it, you really don’t want it to be anything else.


4 Fireball

I had previously mentioned I had tested this deck without Fireball at one point. The reason is that I have also been testing Wind Rai and Water Rai with much the same package, and whose lists didn't have any issues winning without Fireball, so why even play it the fire list? As many of you who have played Fireball before know, the card is really, really good. It’s protection when you need it to be, as well as being another kill spell. When Wind and Water Rai were winning consistently on turn 4-5, Fireball is one of the cards that bumps Fire Rai up to being able to win on turn 3. Playing this pre-recollection to get you an enlightenment counter while also dealing some damage is huge. 3 Damage with a Fireball + 22 Damage with two Arcane Blasts is enough to get you there against any champion not named Lorraine. I know it might seem dumb to not have always had this card in my list, but I needed to know if it was necessary to the speed of the deck, or if it could be replaced with something else to make the list faster.

4 Creative Shock

Creative Shock is a jack of all trades in this deck. It helps you dig for Reckless Conversion, Dungeon Guide, and other combo pieces. It can throw Floating Memory in your graveyard, making it positive value. It can deal damage to your opponent (and more importantly) kill units with 2 health.

4 Increasing Danger

In Turbo Rai, the one thing you live and die for is card advantage. Increasing Danger nets you one card when you play it at the cost of giving your opponent an additional card as well. A major thing to note is when you are going first, your opponent does NOT get a recollection phase during their first turn. So against any matchup, you can play any number of these, and your opponent won’t be able to do anything with their cards until their second turn. If you are going first, you want this in every matchup. But if you know you’re going second in game two or three, you might want to side these out against Fire Zander or other Turbo Rai lists.


4 Careful Study

This card is free when you are level 8 or higher. But also don’t be afraid to cast this for one or two. This card either replaces itself, or gives you a ton of levels in conjunction with Power Overwhelming.

4 Peer into Mana

Peer into Mana is what makes Turbo Rai what it is. A cost of four seems pretty steep, but once you hit a high enough level, it’s more than worth it. The goal is to get to a point where Peer into Mana replaces itself. Hitting level 8 is the sweet spot for combo-ing off, but level 10 or higher is ideal (since at level 10, Peer into Mana grants you 12 Enlightenment Counters, or four cards).

4 Scry the Skies

When your main goal in this deck is to find combo pieces, Scry the Skies is the card you want in your deck. A key when you play this card is to always make sure you have a way to draw the top card of the deck in some way. Generally with Enlightenment counters or Arcane Sight.

4 Dungeon Guide

One of the main goals of this deck is getting to level 3 as quickly as possible. Dungeon Guide enables this by allowing you to level up twice in a single turn, and doing it on demand. Gaining an extra materialization is massive, and can be the difference between winning on turn 3, winning on turn 4, or losing.


Turbo Fire Rai Sideboard

Turbo Fire Rai Sideboard

4 Library Witch

Your most difficult matchup is a pure aggro build. Because of that, the entire sideboard is completely dedicated to helping that matchup. Library Witch is included because she replaces herself, as well as absorbs an attack. 

4 Spark Alight

Another card you'll side in simply to mitigate damage. In a burn matchup, a one for one trade is a proposition you'll happily accept.

So now that you've seen the deck, here's some tips to help you reach its full potential!

  • Take your time. Games end with this deck very quickly. On your first turn, take your time to figure out what options you have in your hand, as well as the optimal line for you to take.

  • If they can't kill you, it's fine to wait. Life is an often forgotten resource, use it to your advantage. If you're against a slower deck, or they just don't have the ability to push lethal on their next turn, feel free to wait a turn to guarantee your full combo to win the game.

  • Generally, ignore your opponent. If you see your opening hand, and you see the line to kill on turn 3, play solitaire. Don't over think it. Most decks don't have the ability to kill you turn 2 and 3, and many need a good draw to kill you turn 4. 

  • Test against yourself. Because you can ignore your opponent, this deck is extremely easy to practice. Sit down, shuffle your deck, and just practice winning as quickly as you can. Figure out the lines, what you need to do at pre-recollection, and the optimal way to win, with and without the full combo.


While there isn't much use for a matchup guide, since your game plan plays out much the same way against everything, I will share some matchup insights. If you find yourself struggling against some of these matchups, I'd review some of your games to figure out what you could have done better. This isn't the easiest deck to play 100% optimally, but when you can, it's hard to impossible to beat.

Wind Lorraine

You're extremely solid into pretty much every build of this. If Wind can't find two Phalanx Captains against you and an optimal Ally curve, you're winning. Veiling Breeze doesn't matter when you're full combo-ing. Be aware of Wind's ability to Prismatic Edge.

Fire Lorraine/Fire Mordred

This deck is a turn too slow some times. They can still explode and kill you. A worse matchup for you than Wind, but still leans in your favor.

Water Zander

This deck simply can't pressure you fast enough. This is a 100% matchup.

Fire Zander Burn

This is by far your worst matchup. They have the ability to kill you just as quickly as you can kill them, but with more ease. You'll be able to trounce suboptimal lists, but struggle against great ones. This is still a very winnable matchup, especially post sideboard.

Fire Zander Luxem

This build is a little too slow to get to you. It's not 100% like water is, but it's extremely favorable.

Fire Rai

You're slightly favored into non-full combo builds, but they can still get to you.

Water Rai

They sacrifice speed for control. This is a matchup very in your favor.

Wind Rai

This one is interesting. You definitely need to take out Increasing Danger game two against this deck. If you draw decently, they simply can't match your speed. However, they have access to EIGHT Dungeon Guides with Beseech the Winds. Avoid giving them cards at all costs.

Fun fact: this article was initially about three different Rai lists, one for each base element! But it just didn't flow properly. However, I will share the lists I've been working on for the past couple months. If you've been interested in a Wind or Water Rai list, follow the links below! I think all three elemental Rai decks are extremely solid, but I'm confident Fire Rai is the best of the bunch.

Without further ado, here is the fabled Wind Rai list!

Most of the advice I've posted about playing Fire Rai also doubles as advice for Wind Rai, so I’ll keep this brief.

  • Eight kill spells with Arcane Blast and Erratic Bolt is enough, but you’ll need to keep track of how many you’ve lost to banishing.

  • Ideally you want to Disorienting Winds your own Dungeon Guide or Swift Recruit in order to get use it as a resource once you begin to pop off, but it’s a solid defensive option.

  • Don’t forget you can use Floating Memory when you Beseech the Winds.

  • Feel free to use Beseech the Winds on things other than your Champion. Sometimes Beseech replacing itself with a Grand Crusader’s Ring is exactly what you need. This deck works because you have so many ways to pull things out of your Material Deck!

Here is the much less fabled Water Rai list!

This deck wants to reach level 3 without dying using Water Barrier, Shroud in Mist, and Revitalizing Cleanse. Here are some tips and tricks.

  • This is still a full combo deck. You win by drawing your entire deck, don’t forget that!

  • It is ok to use Water Barrier simply to gain an Enlightenment Counter. Don’t forget Water Barrier is a Floating Memory!

  • You will often Revitalizing Cleanse to recover two, one, and sometimes zero. At some point replacing itself, while getting cards in your memory is enough. If you really hate this card, you can play Tide Diviner in the main, but it’s generally worse against the Lorraine matchup.

  • Doing nothing besides using Shroud in Mist during a turn against aggro is a winning move. It nets you an extra materialization.

I hope this article provided you with a ton of information and insight into this turbo version of Rai! Whether you are playing Fire, Wind, or Water, I hope you enjoy drawing your entire deck!

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