Another neat way to present this would be quest based battles. Like, you walk between rooms, and if an “encounter” happens, it is resolved as a card game.
Random mobs would be relatively easy, taking only a few turns to take out (though certain decks could actually be tuned to the are explored!), and boss battles or skills could have abscracted moves/cards.
Think of those gem matching duel games, where the loop is gem matching to get colored mana to use abilities. Combine it with the block narratives released with Hearthstone expansions; these show remarkable creativity for storytelling considering the constraints of 14 mobs and 2 players. Sometime they are coop fighting a third enemy, but the game uses the same targeting rules to solve the challenge of passing the level using the existing rules.
And of course the single player MTG games that tell really abscract stories, not really based on the deck, though they thematically reward some cards that way.
I like this approach (still think MTG via ssh is brilliant), as it makes representing the player object as a set of cards, rather than arbitrary attributes meaning to describe their primary extension in reality. It also means we can make the players represent actual decks, whatever they are.
For instance, in the deck a character? Okay, then all the cards are their stuff. But what if they were an advebturig band, instead? Suddenly team moves become a thing. How about a nation? A diety? A city? A concept?
Personally I like the idea of adventuring parties. It adds dimensions that are easy to conceptualize at scale (some people cards are magic casters, some spells do fire damage), but we can add so much crunchiness to it, because the game does the math.
Representing many things with a card based metaphor also makes it easy to create content.