I'm typically fury, and my guild's been working on 3D for the past week or so. However, we are losing our Pally tank due to RL issues, and so either myself or a holy pally who's been working a bit on his tank set, are going to switch in for him.
However, the question has come up as to how much gear we need to be able to pull this off. Assume we have the skill to pull off the strat and it just comes down to gear. Which is more gear-intensive, drakes or whelps? (note that I know that whelps are block-set, drakes are EH).
Also, how much gear would you say is necessary to survive this as a tank (for each)? Is it enough to go in with heroic/10man Naxx gear, or should we take the first night and spend it clearing Naxx and giving the plate drops to this new tank?
As you mentioned, whelps cost Block-Sets but not exclusively: Given, there are 2 tanks for the Drakes and one for Spawns and Whelps (as in most cases (so there are with the Sarth-tank four tanks in that raid)) this Add- and Whelptank will also need some good Magic resistances or your Raid needs two quick rogues. (the fire damage income of enraged Spawns is enormous) Also some independance from lowered Armor would be appreciated, since those Whelps sunder your armor heavily.
In Opposite, the Drake-tank has to build up first and foremost some real huge aggro! Tenebron must be taken down as quick as possible and if a bunch of pushed up damage-dealers show what they've got, you have to have real high tps.
The second Drake-tank actually has the 'easiest' role: he neither needs to build up too much aggro, nor is he forced to move around a lot. Just from time to time (while Tenebron is not down yet) he has to take two Drake-breaths. But nothing to worry about.
In my Raid it turned out to be best, when we let a warrior (often me) take over the first (and therefore third ) Drake, a Druid or Warrior tanks the second one and a Paladin (since we dont have no DK-Tank yet) does the adds.
So I'd propose that you manage to get some aggro-gear and tank Tenebron (or in case you already have a good one on that point, tank Shadron) while the Pala pays attention to the Whelps and Spawns. Consecration is an additional help for AoE tanking and the block-ratings of Paladins turn out to be very helpful as well.
Hope, I could help.
Concerning the gear question: The higher, the better. Damage input is at no time higher than 15k, tanking one Drake. If your rogues are good players as well, even addtanking wont require the uber-gear. I guess, a good BV-gear from Naxx10 will do the job.
The aggro-Tenebron tank however has to pay heed to his hit- and expertise rating! But if youve reached the soft cap for expertise (6,5%) and have about 100-150 hr, your DDs may let off steam!
We only use 3 tanks, and have the drake tank pop cooldowns while two drakes are down at the same time. Switching to 4 tanks and losing both me and the pally tank is not an option right now The loss of both a holy pally who knows the fight well, and a top-5 DPS who knows the fight well, is just too great to lose both.
That's a good point that threat needs to be higher on the drake tanking though; I guess I just take for granted that any tank who knows what they're doing isn't going to have threat problems, but undergeared may not be an issue.
I think what my guild's decided on is to have the pally switch and be a whelp tank, and keep with just 3 tanks. The loss of my DPS would be too great (I'm dual-betrayers), and we could use the prot pally's blessing.
Now it's just a question of if he'll have the gear to handle the whelps. Block rating/value stacking, and stressing to him to not let them get enraged if he can help it We'll see on Wednesday I guess!