Not true. It's just a choice of where you spend resources. Collect and spend souls to upgrade troops (and boost power level), or spend souls on crafting to get troops you don't have, or to ascend troops (which also slowly helps boost power level).
That said, I don't expect Crafting will really be intended for new players. It's more likely to be a resource sink for the mid to late game. It won't be an efficient way to get new stuff in the early game, where every key you open has a very high chance of giving you something new, or at least useful for ascending.
As a late game player, every key I open has a very tiny chance of giving me something I actually need, as I have most troops ascended to Mythic already. Crafting will be the only feasible way to plug gaps. As new troops are added to widen the pool of collectibles, I have no other way to target stuff.