The difference is that the game is a lot less “puzzle” and a lot more “luck” now. I like puzzle games, but if I want to play a luck game I’ll go to a casino.
There is less strategy now. You can scout your opponent and build a perfect counter team, but the AI can match-3 and proceed to get a chain of cascades to fill the entire team, which allows it to kill your team without recourse. That isn’t strategy. That isn’t difficulty. It’s luck. The coin toss landed in the AI’s favor, so the AI gets the win.
There are also more subtle differences. I’ve noticed that if I get the AI down to 1-2 troops, the AI’s luck factor seems to increase dramatically. It gets mana faster, fills its troops faster, and its casting speed increases noticeably. If I get down to 1-2 troops, I often find myself starved for mana and can go multiple turns without being able to make a useful match, to the point where if I wind up down to 1-2 troops I already consider the match a loss.
No amount of strategy can overcome bad luck. That’s why a lot of people are so angry.
Difficulty is fine if it’s true difficulty. LUCK IS NOT DIFFICULTY.
I don’t mind losing a match, especially if I can see where I missed one or more key moves, or determine that there’s a way I could have somehow improved my play.
Prior to Unity this was a puzzle game. Now it’s a glorified coin toss combined with a forcibly-lowered win rate for players.