It's just not. You could get the new hero at the portal, then realize, "Oh well. It doesn't matter because I won't be able to use him anyways.". Before, getting a new hero made you feel good and lucky, as you'd almost immediately be able to try them out in PvP. Now it doesn't matter because of 1). You won't have the stars to make it do damage 2.) you won't be able to ascend it due to not having stars. It's come to a point it's even dissatisfying for the major spenders, where they can dump 20$+ on heroic pulls and still not have any luck on unlocking the latest hero. And then when they do, they won't even have enough stars to play the hero without dumping another 20$+.
The point is, in order to make unlocking a new hero(or any hero really) feel special, either remove the star requirement for ascension or make all heroic portal heroes start at 3 stars, like before. (Obviously, there were exceptions, like heroes that started at 2 stars.).
I remember the reaction I had when I unlocked Zomm from the portal 3 years ago. Now I compare that to the "meh" reaction I had when unlocking Archon. I knew that even though I unlocked him, he'd still be 1 star with no ascension for the next 6 months until I can please RNGsus again.