Keeping your deck slim is lethal with the Ironclad.
I got an early Armaments so upgraded it ASAP and went with a block + Bodyslam build. I never managed to pick up a Barricade but I removed Strikes from my deck at every opportunity and turned down enough non-synergistic card picks that my defensive card draw was good enough and I only needed to heal at the last campfire before taking on the Awoken One. Between drinking all my strength potions and the couple of strength cards I'd picked up continually coming back into my hand while I was blocking, I took down his final form in a few hits.
Being able to spend all your energy on blocking then wrecking faces with as many 0-cost Bodyslams as you can draw is It feels much more stable than something like an energy + Whirlwind + strength build where you're vulnerable to getting taken out by unlucky draws on defense-checking fights before you're strong enough to wipe them out.