Of course, experience helped in the sense that I didn't waste resources on useless toons. Also, I made more efficient use of the different features (boss pits/challenges/mountain etc) as I unlocked them, keeping scraps contests in mind. My grinding was much more efficient.
But all of those factors have little to do with my overall account level. In fact, I currently cannot keep all of my fav toons level up with my team level, until I open up some medals for xp pots next scraps contest. I'm lvl135 but my toons are lvl133.
edit: Also; thank you. I think this is the first time anyone has accused me of being intelligent, on any internet forum, ever.