Magic: the Gathering is widgety. Its got tokens and counters and double-faced cards and exile zones and emblems and all kinds of things. What I was thinking of was a simpler way to play. If two folks somewhere that’s not traditionally built to accommodate Magic–like an airport or a coffee shop–they could play a game with nothing more than the cards they had on hand.
Construction rules would be generic: 60-card decks with banned and restricted cards from the Vintage banned and restricted list.
It would have to remove counters and tokens, including life counters. All permanents would be cards. No extra dice or tapped pennies; just actual cards.
Finally, I think that there needs to be a hard cap on permanents, to respect the limitations of table space in some places. While somewhere might support more, a one-size-fits-all approach gives players some ideas of their limitations when building decks. Maybe twelve or so.
I think there’s a lot of potential here and plenty of interest. I’d love to formalize the rules and test them, but I don’t think I’ll get an opportunity any time soon. If there’s anything I’ve missed, lemme know.