I tried tanking Heroic ToC 5 man about a month ago, and was getting swatted around by Paletress whenever we drew her. At that time I was running about 26k HP unbuffed, and had a bit less avoidance.
Now, I have picked up a couple of upgrades (Armory Link), and am curious if I am ready to dive in there. I know I am not quite to the magic 30k that seems to be the floor for tanking these days, but I am a lot better off than I was. Do I need to keep farming reg ToC and heroics for the last few upgrades? Which trinket should I get? I have Black Heart, which is spiffy, but I know the other one needs replacing.
I know the difficulty of H ToC can be pretty random depending on which champs you get and which second boss you get, but am I geared sufficiently to tank an "average" run?
You are completely fine to tank HToC5. That said, a general comment: You're an engineer, and the armor webbing is VERY good (not to mention cheap). Some of your gemming choices are not optimal, but oh well.
People, ESPECIALLY new healers, want overgeared tanks so they can slack. Just play smart and you should be fine. (Lightning Arrows and Haste can be Bashed or Stunned, and dispelled with Slam if they land. Intervene is great for getting out of slime quickly. Save Berseker Rage for the fear on Paletress. Turn away on Mr. Monoclepally's light AE. Get diseases dispelled on P1 BK. Etc. etc.)
Paletress is really not about tank damage (most of the instance isn't). It's the massive group-wide damage that is a pain to heal. Even a well-geared healer will fall behind on healing her on occasion. It doesn't help if the add hits the healer with its 90% cast-time slow (which also does a chunk of damage).
Important things to note: If you have a shaman, drop tremor totem on the add. Breaking the fear not only stops you from running around like crazy, it will also stop the DoT effect that comes with the fear. The vast majority of the damage comes from Paletress spamming her spells at random party members.
Also, ranged DPS and healers should stay away 20+ yards from Paletress. Her stun + knockback does 7000-9000 physical damage (reduced by armor), and you don't want to start out that far in the hole when it comes to patching everybody up (not to mention that healing when everybody is scattered is really annoying).
Random things a warrior tank can do: Use Berserker Rage when the Memory of X starts casting "Waking Nightmare". That will preempt the fear and the DoT, both of which are good things. If you're specced into Improved Spell Reflection, have everyone stand close to reflect as many of Paletress's spells as you can. (Everybody should group up on the add, anyway, to facilitate AE heals and make Tremor Totem work better -- the add doesn't use any area effects.)
The champions can be easy or hard, depending on what group composition you pull. Cleansing Totem + Nature Resist totem is the best counter to the rogue (you still want to move out of his Poison Clouds).
Don't be afraid to use your cooldowns and your abilities. Disarm the warrior, Demo Shout and Thunder Clap for the debuff, reflect spells, use Concussion Blow, if you have drawn the mage and hunter and need to get away from the rogue, Charge/Intercept towards her, etc. Also, have a /cast [target=focus] Shield Bash macro to be able to interrupt the shaman's heals even if you burn down a more dangerous mob first.
On the Black Knight, the ghoul in phase 1 CAN be shackled or otherwise CCed. Both it and the ghouls in phase 2 have a Claw attack that makes them switch aggro. In phase 1, you can taunt back, in phase 2, the ghouls are mostly untankable. I still try to get aggro on as many as I can, and use Shockwave to stun them if they are still chasing the healer. Cleansing Totem/Abolish Disease helps a LOT in keeping the Black Knight's diseases under control and reduces the damage done by Obliterate.
If it's any comfort, I had a wipe healing Paletress the other night on my pretty well-geared resto shaman with a pretty well-geared tank -- it was just that everything that COULD go wrong DID go wrong.
Thanks for the answers! I ended up having a well geared healer friend who could come along, and it went fine, even drawing Paletress. For the champs we got the shaman, rogue, and hunter, which wasn't too bad. I think I have drawn the rogue nearly every time I set foot in there, though.
Anyhoo, run went fine, and no deaths, let alone wipes.