I haven’t completely made up my mind, but I think I’m warming up to the idea of orbs, particularly the orbs of Wisdom and Ascension. As the total number of troops increases and the rate of new troops also, having these orbs available as flexible shortcuts to advancement is quite a boon.
For example, now that there are three Legendary troops in a number of kingdoms, event keys are getting much less effective at targeting these troops. Trying to get a newly released Legendary to Mythic is going to be a matter of either burning an enormous number of event keys during a Kingdom event, or waiting a very long time to randomly pull 5 extra copies from glory, gem or VIP chests. Now, with the orb of ascension, a single copy of the troop plus an orb of ascension is all we need to bump a new Legendary up to Mythic.
Likewise, with the orb of wisdom, you can save yourself farming a potentially large number of traitstones to forge a trait. Personally, I’ll be saving these for 3rd traits on Mythics unless I happen to accumulate more orbs than I think I’d need, but even for an endgamer like me, that is a bonus. For a newer player who maybe gets a new legendary but needs to trait it, using an orb of wisdom or two could let them get that new legendary into a team right away. Having this orb applicable to any troop, without needing the specific traitstones is also a big bonus.
The other orbs are somewhat underwhelming, but overall, I think these have a lot of utility, as long as you pick your spots carefully. For the beyond-endgamer who already has more than they could use of everything, yes, these are useless, but so would anything else have been.