So, I've recently hit 80 and have begun earnestly gearing up in hopes for doing heroics. I'm def-capped (and in fact, past that) and have begun gathering rep/crafted gear as much as I can. I don't tend to have any aggro problems, but I do notice my health dropping *extremely* fast on heroics. Not any of the difficult heroics even, just easier ones like Nexus, UK, or VH. I have no problems when running with Naxx-geared healers, but it seems anyone else lesser geared = tankdeath.
My Gear & My Frost Spec. Chardev doesn't have the honored Sons of Hodir enchant so I put the exalted one on there - it should be the honored reward on my shoulders though. Not sure why, but armory is refusing to update my character, so I'm currently in dps gear on there.
This is the setup I went into H UK today, and my health was consistently going below 50% (and a lot of the time going down to 4-7k) even during trash pulls. I'm using my cooldowns by hitting anti-magic shell to begin with when the casters are still up, then cycling between IBF, Lichborne, Unbreakable Armor and my two trinkets (usually don't get to the trinket phase before the mobs are down). I'm doing my best to run out of bombs and I don't tank with my back to the mobs if I can help it. Yet, my health keeps dropping to dangerous levels incredibly fast.
Edited 3/22/2009: One thing I do notice is that I don't hold up too well against magical attacks, so I recently re-specced Unholy. This spec is what I have right now. I took the essential tanking talents so I can tank some regular dungeons in a pinch, but also wanted enough talent points so I could DPS some heroics as well if I want a change of scenery. Any thoughts on this new build?
Nope! It was my bad. The URL got messed up. This should be the working link to my gear. Anyway, in talking to the other tanks in my guild, they don't really see anything wrong with my gear and my HP level should at least be okay for easy heroics. But for whatever reason, I'm really hard to heal, even when cycling my cooldowns and not doing anything obviously stupid while tanking. I've tried with a bunch of different healers, including our Naxx healers, so it's definitely not a problem on their end, I'm just really squishy for whatever reason.
One thing I did notice was that it's mostly magic damage that was getting me down, so I decided to test out re-speccing Unholy. It's not a pure tank build, since I think I'm gonna try DPSing heroics for a change, but I'm hoping it's at least good enough for regular dungeons for now. New Spec here.
Any comments/thoughts are appreciated! I've also updated the OP with the new information.
Unholy has an innate 'design flaw' in that the weaker your gear, the less effective it is overall. I ran frost myself and felt it was superiour until I was collecting a variety of drops. When I tried Unholy again, using the improved gear, it felt more stable. Boneshield taking longer to be worn off being a great example.
I feel that when you're gearing up (entry heroics), the best spec is Frost over all. After you've gotten geared adequately, Unholy works better. No opinion on Blood, I feel it relies on massive heal and a solid healer, where Frost/Unholy are more tank-centric survival.
If getting gear is an issue (as we can't see yoru armory and Chardev give me an error), I suggest you look at this guide I wrote, perhaps there is some gear you can pick up.
Okay. I finally got armory to upgrade to my tank gear! My Armory. Currently unlearned my talents (so I should at least have more armor & +5% dodge from anticipation), but am still undecided about where to go next.
Thanks again for all those who visited and sorry about all the trouble with chardev and the links! Hoping third time's a charm!
Looking at your gear, and assuming you're not terrible, I can't see why you'd be having any problems.... my only thought is maybe if you're tanking lots of mobs some of them are behind you so you lose most of your avoidance. I really don't know what else could cause you to be so hard to heal.