MTG-Themed Escape Room Just You Playing Against a Stax Deck for an Hour

Jon Ruggiero • August 14, 2023

Columbus, OH - A new escape room tailored to Magic: the Gathering fans has opened in town, promising an exciting room where you have an hour to beat a Stax player.

The room was designed by Columbus Get Out owner Chuck Grivers, a long-time fan of card games and locking people in rooms.

"Our previous escape experiences had more relatable themes," Grivers pointed out. "Dusty's Gold had participants escape an old mine shaft, and Sucked Dry involved getting out of a vampire's den. Those were designs I just bought online and implemented; this is the first room I've personally designed, and I wanted to represent my favorite game and the undeniably best way to play it."

After getting a rules run-down from Grivers at the front desk, participants are led into a back room to discover a table topped with four anime girl playmats. Then Grivers sits down at the table, starts a timer, and begins shuffling his Commander deck.

"We ask participants to bring their own deck," explained Grivers, "but if they come empty-handed, I have extra midrange Azorius decks that slowly gain resources I will happily take away. This benefits everyone: people still get to participate even if they don't have hundreds of dollars' worth of cards, and I get the bonus of laughing at you for not having a deck that can stop Gaddock Teeg."

Though it may seem unconventional, bookings for the room are filling fast. Grivers said he believes the popularity is tied to the concept of Stax itself.

"Stax offers many of the same puzzles you'd get in an escape room. There's math involved with players having to quickly subtract from how many permanents they can untap and control. There's logic, figuring out if Winter Orb or Rule of Law is the card you need to Capsize. Of course there's the challenge, but honestly doing an escape room or playing against Stax, you're gonna be pretty miserable unless you're the person running it."

Though the room is gaining in popularity, Grivers has considered shutting down the room after losing two consecutive games in a row to Najeela mono-red decks.

Escape room designer, comedy show host, satire writer; Jon Ruggiero never misses an opportunity to do weird things for money. He's written for Cracked, Hard Times and Hard Drive, and hopes you enjoy what he writes here.