By dropping, you mean deliberately losing to stronger opponents? That's brilliant, and pretty rewarding if you ask me... So you stand a better chance to win heroes at level 15, or is it guaranteed?
You cannot lose rank by losing games. Only if someone attacks you. Thus, just use a one hero defence.
Curious. What heroes did everybody get during their Gauntlet runs?
A short list I saw so far...
Think Hercules is part of that list too. Can someone confirm more heroes?
Looks like you should not rank up arena if you want to collect gold consistently during your Gauntlet runs. So if you want more heroes, shards or/and gold, get a crappy arena score. If you want to gain credits or/and gems, then aim to be top 100 on arena.
Daunting to know you need at least 10,000+ power to aim to be top 100. Or at least 11,000+ points if you don't have 3 star heroes filling up your team (trust me, I've checked!)
Arena ranking does no effect gauntlet. Gauntlet is a random range of leveled players within a range the system selects for each stage. Also I can state that those players are random within that player range so you may encounter heroes higher level than you with far much power. But also sometimes it may be easier and I'm sure as the player population increases in godsrush the gauntlet may become more difficult.
I hope that clears things up a little on the guide and I'm locking this thread until I hear more official news regarding it.