It's time to realize the ladder system below 4K is broken; and it's only going to get worse. We are at the beginning and here's why:
1. Draft Chest is Creating a Bigger Divide at 4K.
First, my Personal Best is 3953, though I haven't been within 1 game of that since the update in March. That tidbit will be important for comparison later.
I took a sample of 100 consecutive matches. My trophy range fluctuated between 3600 and 3900.
When I reached the 3800 mark, just 200 cups from 4K and draft chest status, 58% of my opponents were 4K+ players that had already secured their Draft Chest (does not include the players with 4K PB and have NOT secured the Draft Chest).
So why is this a big deal? You're close to 4K, of course you'll see other 4K players.
The problem is this: every season, 58% of my opponents will gain cards faster than I can. They essentially get a free Magical Chest with double the rares and epics that allows them some sort of control over the cards they get. Meanwhile, these players already have more skill/levels than I do which got them the chest that I cannot acquire. So, in order for me to rise, I have to have a sharp increase in marginal skill or card levels over them. Which is costly and difficult. Many players will never overcome that obstacle.
Not to mention, only 1 match was at 3900+. The percentage is undoubtedly higher at 3900-3999. And thus a perpetuated problem.
Why is this happening? Because players hit a peak after acquiring their Draft Chest. Realize they can't climb, and/or get frustrated facing max cards, and they drop. The new MM algorithm (more on that later) doesn't really kick in until 300ish trophies below their PB. So these players are safe in the 3800-3900 range.
Possible Solution: You must be present to win. If you can't maintain your ladder position; you really don't deserve the reward.
2. Matchmaking Focus on Personal Best
Go on. Get your groan out of the way... Better? Good, let's continue.
In my 100 matches, I broke it out to my trophy range and my opponents average Personal Best:
3600-3699 : 4008
3700-3799 : 3978
3800-3899 : 4048
As you can see, PB is very much a strong factor. In a 300 trophy swing, my opponents, on average, were the same strength.
So what's the point of even having trophies? I could put tape over the trophy count on your screen, win/lose a bunch of matches, hand the device back to you, and you would not be able to accurately tell me what trophy range you were in based on your opponents.
That is a major flaw and not a true ladder system as it should be.
Sure, it helps combat trophy droppers. But the game doesn't know whether or not it was intentional. And that's the issue; everyone who drops is punished equally. And punishing those that are victim of #1 above is wrong.
Solution: Remove the Personal Best influence on Matchmaking. OR remove trophy levels all together. What?! You say? Yes. Remove trophy levels. You are placed in a league based on your Personal Best. You only match other players based on their Personal Best. Just like the draft chest system (which is terrible).
Time to let those last groans out. Take a deep breath, it will be okay.
First, overleveling is not the fault of the player. They shouldn't be treated any differently for leveling up cards in a more strategic manner. They found a strategy, they followed it, they're rewarded.
The fault is with SC allowing such a dynamic to be created in the first place.
This is very similar to the huge "engineered bases" fiasco in Clash of Clans. For those that don't play CoC, it was found that players could strategically upgrade or not upgrade certain structures to give them an advantage in clan war matchups. It was very effective. The problem in CoC was that players that followed traditional wisdom (upgrade all of your base) were suddenly at a huge disadvantage and even banned from clan wars in many clans. Weaker bases were actually the strongest in the game; go figure. And since you couldn't downgrade buildings; the game was essentially broken for them.
The same is happening in CR. A person that plays around with lots of decks and experiments with the many cards CR has to offer, is now penalized for not sticking with a select 2-4 cards. Those players now have a huge uphill battle to regain that ground by adopting the same strategy. In effect, they are penalized for promoting diversity in the game. Which is SC's goal as well as noticed by balance changes. Thus, non-spender overleveling is an abomination to the game.
Possible Solution: Add a 24 hour cooldown on cards requested in clan. And, once a card is unlocked, any arena can reward those cards.
4. Rigged Matchmaking Putting Us Up Against Counter Decks
The reason for this is simple; just kidding, it's fake news. Now go read 1-3 if you really didn't read it the first time.