I noticed today that whenever I attack or defend in Clash of Clans, the number of trophies won or lost is the same number as the opponent loses or wins respectively. So, no new trophies are created, only exchanged. Do you know how there came to be trophies in the first place? I was wondering if trophies are perhaps created when a new player joins the game - perhaps they start off with some trophies, or are prevented from having a negative amount of trophies if they lose too many times (so the opponent would get trophies whilst the loser wouldn't lose as many).
My account had 0 trophies(We begin at 0) I was attacked and I lost the defense. As I had 0 trophies I didn't lose anything except resources but the attacker received trophies. Of course I was still at 0 trophies and received a shield.
So what I am trying to say is the number of trophies lost and won on both sides is not always the same. Also we don't start at a certain n number of trophies because we start at 0. So proves that trophies are not always just exchanged.
The story of
number of trophies won = number of trophies the opponent lost is not true under 200 trophies and at the highest part of the ladder (top 200).
This very nice article explains it all.
1. Every new player starts at 200 trophies. [OUTDATED]
So why is 200 an important number ? Mostly because a new player with a TH1 starts the game at 200 trophies. This is the intial "trophy currency" that allows more trophies to be pumped into the game. Think about it - how could someone accumulate 1,000 trophies unless someone else lost 1,000 trophies? If we all started with zero there wouldn't be any trophies to win.
This is the main reason why you have trophies to win. Every new player brings new "trophies" available to all players.
2. "Trophies won = trophies lost" is not always true
If you've ever watched high level attacks on YouTube where players are trying to stay in the top 200, you know that they are often fighting for two or three trophies an attack. This is because Supercell's algorithm makes it continuously harder to gain trophies the higher you go.
The same applies in the opposite direction for losing trophies. When I get down to ~230 trophies and do a hero drop, I only lose 3 trophies. When a low level player (category 1 above) drops a barb on my base and quits, I gain 20-30 trophies.
This also increases (or decreases ?) the global number of trophies available, depending on Supercell's needs.
I invite you to read the whole article about farming under 200 trophies, it's very interesting and you might find some additional information about this topic.