The biggest detriment to the game in its current state is those who consistently 4 stack in public matches. For me personally, it's the reason why I haven't hopped on for a while. I don't understand why those same people cannot just split themselves into duos, they'd have far better quality of matches and they wouldn't turn so many new players away from the game.
On the other hand, the game is tailor made for a 4 stack vs 4 stack experience. If we had a larger playerbase, therefore a larger pool of 4 stacks, it wouldn't be a problem at all, in fact it would be encouraged. However, like I said, in the game's current state, it has a tremendously large negative impact. If it's turning me away, then it's definitely turning Game Pass Gary away who is playing his 3rd ever game.
In regards to "exploits", there really isn't any at all. Emote cancelling is not an exploit. It does exactly the same as staggering your combos does, you just press the emote button in between. There's nothing exploitative about that. Mount cancelling tanks so they were infinitely hitstunned WAS an exploit and was patched. If anything, emote cancelling is healthy for the game - it adds a lot more depth to the combat, and along with parrying, the game has evolved a long way since everyone used their entire combo strings one after the other. HOWEVER I can definitely understand the poor taste in using these methods in a 4 stack versus complete new players.