I agree, it’s definitely a huge disadvantage to level Ascension up cause defense is still under powered and if you lv up you’re just going to face more players who have been at it for a long time and have high dominance heros. By staying low you get attacked by lower dominance players more often and even if they beat you, you lose fewer trophies because in order to get >3 trophies they have to be both higher trophy AND higher Ascension level. I’ve experienced it a dozen times where I beat a top 10 player and, you guessed it, 3 trophies. As for every level I’ve gone above 42, all its done is cause me to hemorrhage more trophies. It also makes the game quite dull because you spend a day fighting, maybe get 50 trophies or so 3 at a time, and wake up and whoops they’re all gone. You’re just another stop on the eternal waterfall of down flowing trophies.
Some solutions would be to pair, as suggested, based on an algorithm that gives you some islands based only on Ascension lv so that you have some similar defensively matched people around you, but also sometimes based solely on trophy level, so that a lv 65 person gets the chance to take on a lv 28 player in the top 10 and, of course, obliterate their meager defense. And by beating someone of higher trophies, they should get bonus trophies for that.
The other sad consequence of the disincentive to lv up is that nobody has a descent hall of Uranus, which makes alliances impotent unless you’ve gathered a lot of high rollers spending lots of cash and gems into one alliance who are willing to take the rest of the alliance on a free ride. And, of course, if your alliance tries to be frugal, you end up just being an incubator for players who are just trying to get recruited by the next alliance up the list that spends more $$$ than yours. To keep even the three most common blessings up for a day,35-40 people need to put in over 75k daily, which isn’t even possible until Ascension lv 55 or so. But, if you ascend that high, better be ready to be sucked dry of trophies