A seriously OP card in any kind of dwarf deck. Like Wandalf said, with readying, a dwarf hero can become almost invincible for a round. Notably, it's also only 1 cost. The art and the quote are also pretty great.

Erkenbrand has very quickly become my go to defender. His ability is so strong compared to other shadow cancellation options - it's available from turn one, it doesn't take up a restricted slot, doesn't cost resources, and it's can be used on every shadow card for every attack he defends. Having Sentinel also helps protect other players before their shadow cancellation is found ready to go. The only restrictions are that he needs to be the defender and the number of hit points he has available.

The release of Ancestral Armor and Hauberk of Mail has improved his capability significantly - they increase both defence and hit points which is exactly what Erkenbrand needs. If he has both he sits at 6 and 7 , and still has an additional restricted slot for an Armored Destrier to make sure he can use those stats to their fullest.

Any readying he gets can always be put to good effect - taking multiple defences, his 2 can be important in the early game, and in desperate times he can commit to the quest for 1 as well.

Including healing with him is important, but that isn't the restriction for deck building that it may have been - Magic Ring is another strong attachment that can provide healing or readying at the cost of threat, if including Lore isn't what you want to do. Dúnedain Remedy can also work when in combination with Rune-master or The Day's Rising (which are all in sphere), but takes a bit more to set up. Including Lore is the easiest way to get the required healing, but I've found I include Lore anyway to provide the card draw to find Ancestral Armor and/or Hauberk of Mail sooner rather than later.

Even if you consider healing as requisite to using his ability to ensure it can be used repeatedly, the cancellation is still available before the healing turns up and the damage can then be healed later. Finding the healing is no different to finding A Burning Brand or Staff of Lebethron, but being able to use the ability while still searching for the combo piece is significant.

It's a fantastic ability, and I've found myself longing for it in decks that don't include him. The early shadow that causes an additional attack, or the attack to be undefended, or to discard the attachment just played can really hurt, and Erkenbrand makes sure that doesn't happen.

I feel like Balin has a better shadow cancel effect because it doesn't hurt him and he doesn't need to defend. —
Balin's difference is that you still risk a shadow effect —
And because it's limit once per attack, so multiple shadow cards can sting you too. —

This guy is really, really good. The one hero that Tactics has missed so far. Now, his best home are undeniably Forth, The Three Hunters! decks, since he will get even more willpower from the things he already gets his innate boost from – restricted attachments. He can be the dedicated quester, and since Tactics usually want to play some restricted Weapon or Armor attachments on their heroes anyway, he will quickly get to 5 without your having to do much about him. Since good questers are hard to come by in Tactics (except for his kinswoman Éowyn), he would be a great addition either way. But then, there is his response: Drawing a card whenever you kill something in the staging area. Conveniently, he has the Rohan trait, and no other trait is better at killing things in the staging area, with Éomer and Dúnhere coming to mind as the most reliable choices of doing so. And who would not like built-in card draw in Tactics? No one. I have built a Three Hunters Deck with him, Eomer and Fastred (who allows you to return enemies to the staging area after their attack and then reduce your threat by 2) and man, this deck did blast some quests. He is bonkers good in the right deck and a welcome and valuable addition to the Tactis heroes pool.

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Other than the cost, as others have stated, my other issue with this card is that there really aren't a ton of Rohan heroes I'd feel like using this on. Tactics theoden is probably the best that I can think of where I'd want to quest AND attack or defend. most other Rohan heroes (eomer, eowyn) usually only do one or the other.

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Spirit Theoden comes to mind with his willpower and sword —

For me this ally has immediately become one of the new defensive staples, right alongside the Defender of Rammas. 3 Defense is really respectable, and 2 hit points let it avoid some of the more annoying treacheries or shadow effects. The Response is pure gold, especially in a trap deck or in a staging area attack deck (Éomer or Dúnhere will thank this little guy a lot) as a sort of Fastred alternative. I will almost always include these guys in any deck which includes Lore or has a pure Rohan hero lineup to take advantage of the Devoted keyword.

10/10 would defend Helm's Deep again.