Well, I can approach this 2 ways.
- “Keep your levels low so the game stays easy” is mostly superstitious IMO. I ignored it, and I managed to survive. While it’s true your stats, as they increase, will bump up your team rating, it’s also true that “being in a good guild” also increases it so at some point you have to say “I’m completely stunting myself because I’m afraid of something I can’t quantify.”
- Devs: is this what you really wanted, for people to decide, “I shouldn’t play the game today because it will get me closer to some black-box harder difficulty that people have told me is scary”?
The game went through many cycles of “hard” and “easy” for me. It mostly fluctuated because I’d find a new, powerful card, enjoy having a stronger team, then PvP would catch up. The game was the hardest when I was at an endgame stat level but lacked proper tools to deal with that set of PvP opponents. Even so, I’d argue the difference between “easy” and “hard” was only about 15% of my win rate. You still get some stuff if you lose, it’s not the end of the world.
Build a team that wins or loses fast and that will help you more than a team that wins a lot slowly. The best thing I ever did was build a TDS team as soon as I got it. If you don’t have TDS, save up your diamonds and get that. It shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. After that, shoot for Infernus or The Worldbreaker. A TDS/Worldbreaker team was my go-to from level 400 to 1000. Infernus is the core of every team you’ll play as soon as you get it. These troops facilitate really fast wins. When they lose, they lose really fast too. That’s way better than excruciatingly slow but consistent wins.